Archive for the ‘Nuclear Crisis’ Category

Dr. Caldicott Talks of Fukushima & Meeting Ronald Reagan

October 17, 2014


Dr. Helen Caldicott Tells of Fukushima’s Lethal Toll & Meeting Ronald Reagan


By Harvey Wasserman



The great Dr. Helen Caldicott graced the Solartopia Green Power & Wellness Show this week with her unique assessment of the health effects of Fukushima and the rest of the nuclear power industry.

She tells us about what’s happening to the renewable industry in Australia, and why Dr. James Hansen needs to reassess his views on atomic energy.


Listen to Dr. Helen Caldicott on the Solartopia Green Power & Wellness Show. Photo credit: Heide Smith

“Nuclear Power Plants are cancer factories and bomb factories … because any country that has a nuclear reactor makes 500 pounds of plutonium a year and you need 10 pounds to make an atomic bomb … so the nuclear power industry in this country in its wisdom and in Japan, Canada and elsewhere is selling nuclear reactors as fast as it can … and they will have enough plutonium to make enough atomic bombs for the next half a million years … cause that’s how long the plutonium lasts …,” said Dr. Caldicott.

Then she shared one of modern American history’s most critical episodes. In the early 1980s, during the global campaign for a nuclear freeze, Helen met Patty Davis, the daughter of Ronald and Nancy Reagan. Davis figured that Dr. Caldicott might be one of the few people who might reach her father about the dangers of nuclear war.

read the rest at…….

Niigata governor says it is too soon to restart nuclear plants

October 16, 2014


A Japanese governor said Wednesday the country should not restart any nuclear plants until the cause of the Fukushima meltdown is fully understood and nearby communities have emergency plans that can effectively respond to another major accident.

Hirohiko Izumida, governor of Niigata Prefecture – home to the seven-reactor Kashiwazaki-Kariwa plant – said regulators look at equipment but don’t evaluate local evacuation plans.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is pushing to restart two reactors in southern Japan that last month were the first to be approved under stricter safety requirements introduced after the Fukushima disaster. Nuclear Regulation Authority Chairman Shunichi Tanaka has called the new standard one of the world’s highest.

Regulators are inspecting 18 other reactors, including two in Niigata operated by the utility that runs the Fukushima plant, which experienced meltdowns following the 2011 earthquake and tsunami. All 48 workable Japanese reactors are currently offline.

Izumida also said the Tokyo Electric Power Co was responsible for the Fukushima crisis and has no qualifications to resume operating a nuclear plant without fully clarifying unanswered questions about the accident.

Ensuring protection of nearby residents from radiation exposure as part of a multi-layer safety measure is an international standard, but still not required in Japan. Towns as far as 30 kilometers from the plant, an expansion from the 20 kilometers before the crisis, are now required to compile evacuation plans, but many have not. Niigata compiled its evacuation plan in June and is set to test it next month.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Comment: With the worst volcano eruption of Mt. Ontake (more than 50 dead) seismologists claim no predictability about volcano eruption (remember earthquake and tsunami at Fukushima Plant). The Sendai Plant, the most probable first restart candidate, is with this risk with the active volcano Sakurajima. Poor safety preparation and approval of the residents warn reckless restart.

Why Are Researchers Finding Traces of Radioactive Particles in Baby Teeth?

October 16, 2014
comments_image 78 COMMENTS

Data indicates we still don’t understand the dangers of nuclear energy.

Photo Credit: PlusONE/Shutterstock

The meltdown disasters at Fukushima and Chernobyl have solidified the American public’s reticence about nuclear energy. The full health significance of these events is still being debated, as government and academic monitoring programs generate a patchwork of data about their impact. And while many studies show that the risks from nuclear power are negligible in the U.S., these two catastrophes continue to raise questions about long-term safety and the cumulative affect of small and large releases of radioactive material. Meanwhile, researchers are attempting to track these contaminants in the food chain, in our bones and even in baby teeth.

Is nuclear power safe? Is it an acceptable alternative to natural gas and petroleum? The answers turn largely on three nagging uncertainties that drive scientists, feed the political debate and worry parents and people who live and work in the shadow of nuclear power plants.

1. Why haven’t levels of radioactive contaminants in baby teeth decreased further since the ban on nuclear weapons testing? Strontium 90 is one of hundreds of radioactive byproducts created exclusively by nuclear power generation and the detonation of nuclear weapons. If ingested, it mimics the action of calcium and accumulates in breast milk, human teeth and bones, reaching blood-forming bone marrow where it can damage DNA, blood cells and the immune system. Strontium 90 is a known human carcinogen and has been linked to higher rates of leukemia in people exposed to high doses.

Fallout from nuclear weapons testing in the 1950s and ’60s spread Strontium 90 widely throughout the environment. By comparison, nuclear power plants are thought to contribute a minute fraction of this contamination. Public concerns about the health risks ultimately led to the global ban on nuclear weapons testing and an expectation that environmental and human body burdens of Strontium 90 would drop over time.

By 1999, government monitoring programs of Strontium 90 had largely been phased out, based on significant decreases in milk and teeth found in the first four years after the ban went into effect. But a small group of academic researchers conducted followup tests and were surprised to find Strontium 90 in new baby teeth, at levels higher than expected, concluding that there must be some unidentified sources to account for the levels found.

They turned their focus to nuclear power plants. Though tiny by comparison to atomic bomb tests, releases from power plants are not an uncommon result of accidents, planned leaks or releases from incidents the Nuclear Regulatory Commission deems of little consequence.

How much of the Strontium 90 in teeth that comes from these releases and how much is past contamination that’s recycled and further concentrated up the food chain is heavily debated, and the work of the Radiation and Public Health Project has been widely criticized. However, no other studies have been done in the U.S. to challenge the findings which link concentrations in baby teeth to proximity to nuclear power plants.

The studies did not test foods consumed by affected populations and critics point out that FDA’s limited testing as part of national dietary surveys do not find similarly persistent contamination in dairy and other high-calcium foods that were so heavily affected by nuclear weapons tests. So it’s not possible to know how much food accounts for higher levels in baby teeth. Tooth studies in Greece, England and Ukraine also report findings that suggest contributions of Strontium 90 or other radioactive contaminants are coming from sources other than nuclear weapons.

2. Do we know enough about the potential health impacts from recent nuclear plant disasters? Health impacts are determined in two parts—measuring exposure and tracking exposure-related health effects in exposed animal and human populations. These efforts have largely been split among many government agencies and academic institutions, with apparently little integration or coordination. Nuclear plants also conduct limited monitoring that critics consider grossly inadequate. NRC just recently announced plans to revise the regulations for how radiation dose is calculated, how it is measured and how radioactive effluents are reported annually.

National averages reported for foods tested to date are well below quantities that would be considered a health threat. Still, the American Medical Association and other advocates are calling for more comprehensive ongoing tests, both in Japan to characterize fully the health risks from Fukushima and its impact on the Japanese food supply, and in the U.S. to rule out possible pockets of contamination that may emerge from unreported releases from U.S. nuclear power plants or atmospheric drift from the incident in Japan. Recent tests by researchers at Oregon State University have identified minute, but significantly increased levels of radioisotopes in albacore tuna that trace back to the Fukushima reactor meltdown. Researchers are undertaking a larger study.

Tracking levels over time is important since these substances persist in the environment. Results from the baby tooth studies suggest levels are higher in the teeth of children living near nuclear plants and that higher cancer rates track with levels detected. These findings are discounted by some experts who say the study suffers from deficiencies in methods and inadequate peer review. Nonetheless, no published studies have attempted to replicate or challenge these findings. NAS recently established a new comprehensive program to evaluate data and methodologies for assessing health risks from five nuclear plants operating in the U.S. and is scheduling public meetings in the communities being studied to engage local residents.

3. What is the likelihood of more disasters like Fukushima and Chernobyl? Fallout of Strontium 90 aside, experts are split on the question of operating safety of aging plants and whether or not new technology can make future plants free from all possibility of a nuclear meltdown. A notable skeptic is the former head of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Gregory Jaczko, who recently argued that future incidents like Fukushima are” inevitable,” unless existing plants undergo major redesign to make sure facilities can contain any releases that might be possible in worst-case scenario accidents.

A similarly cautionary message comes in a new report from the National Academies of Science that examines lessons learned from Fukushima. It makes an urgent call for more pro-active efforts by regulators and operators of licensed reactors to seek out new information on hazards and take aggressive action to start more effective measures to improve safety. Published in July, the congressionally mandated report was particularly critical of failure of existing safety programs to consider unlikely events, known as “beyond design-basis” accidents, deemed a prominent cause of disasters at Fukushima, Chernobyl and other serious accidents examined by the NAS committee. Other recommendations focused on the need for greater offsite emergency response preparations.

Right now, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission is renewing licenses to existing plants that extend their operating life decades beyond their original design and new efforts are underway to win approval to build new plants, both here in the U.S. and elsewhere. The latest research is focused on finding ways to design smaller scale reactors with more safeguards against accidents, and to find ways to lower the amount of waste that’s created and develop more secure containment systems.

Friends of the Earth Petitions NRC to Include Alarming New Seismic Data in Considering Diablo Canyon License Renewal

October 14, 2014

For Immediate Release


Expert Contact: Damon Moglen, (202) 352-4223,

Communications Contacts:
Bill Walker, (510) 759-9911, (West Coast)
EA Dyson, (202) 222-0730, Coast)

Request Follows Dramatic Findings That Nuclear Reactors are Surrounded by Stronger and Inter-connected Earthquake Faults

WASHINGTON – Friends of the Earth has filed a petition to intervene in the Nuclear Regulatory Commission proceeding that would allow  Pacific Gas & Electric’s controversial Diablo Canyon nuclear reactors to run for an additional twenty years.

The new seismic data released in September by the utility reveals that the 1960s-era Diablo Canyon reactors are surrounded by larger, interconnected faults capable of producing earthquakes that far exceed the plant’s licensed design.  Friends of the Earth argues that the plant’s ability to withstand such earthquakes should be considered in  a public hearing on the seismic safety of the PG&E reactors  before the license extension to operate Diablo Canyon into the mid-2040s can be decided.

“This new, alarming seismic data clearly shows that faults surrounding Diablo Canyon could produce earthquakes far more powerful than those for which the plant is designed—this is a recipe for disaster,” said Damon Moglen of Friends of the Earth “It’s now clear that Diablo Canyon could never get a license to be built at its current Central Coast site. The NRC must consider this seismic data as part of public licensing hearings.”

Friends of the Earth filed its petition to intervene in the PG&E Diablo Canyon license renewal Friday, October 10, prompted by the seismic report. The state-mandated PG&E report reveals that the newly discovered Shoreline fault is twice as long as the utility had maintained in its prior report of 2011. Located just  600 meters offshore from the plant, the fault runs  45 kilometers and is capable of far greater ground motion than the Diablo reactors were licensed to withstand. In addition, the new report reverses prior claims by PG&E, and establishes that the Hosgri, San Simeon and Shoreline faults are connected and therefore capable of far greater ground motion than the plant was designed and licensed to withstand.

PG&E filed for a license renewal for Diablo Canyon in 2009, but the hearing process was suspended in the immediate aftermath of the Fukushima nuclear disaster.  A 2011 NRC study indicated that Diablo Canyon is the nuclear power plant in the U.S. most likely to fail in response to an earthquake larger than it was designed to withstand. Despite this, PG&E has remained committed to its pursue of license renewal.


Friends of the Earth is the U.S. voice of the world’s largest grassroots environmental network, with member groups in 77 countries. Since 1969, Friends of the Earth has fought to create a more healthy, just world.

US gov’t analysis says Fukushima is more serious than ‘China Syndrome’

October 9, 2014


Professors: Fukushima has emerged as global threat — Major health concerns along west coast — Bioaccumulation expected to keep rising for decades — Gov’t failing to inform public of looming long-term radioactive hazard… Instead, official gives tips on how to disguise radiation levels from public (PHOTO)

Posted: 08 Oct 2014 04:56 PM PDT

US gov’t analysis says Fukushima is more serious than ‘China Syndrome’ — Destroyed reactors suffered worst type of containment failure (PHOTOS)

Posted: 08 Oct 2014 05:35 AM PDT

Nuclear Issues Discussion Thread

October 8, 2014


FORUM: Fukushima Webcam Discussion Thread

Posted: 01 Oct 2014 09:00 AM PDT

FORUM: General Nuclear Issues Discussion Thread

Posted: 30 Sep 2014 09:01 PM PDT

FORUM: Off-Topic Discussion Thread (Non-Nuclear Issues)

Posted: 30 Sep 2014 09:00 PM PDT

NYTimes: “Enormous orange flash” seen around suspected nuclear site as mysterious explosion rocks one of world’s largest cities

October 7, 2014


NYTimes: “Enormous orange flash” seen around suspected nuclear site as mysterious explosion rocks one of world’s largest cities — US Gov’t: We are “monitoring the situation closely” — Reports: Windows broken 9 miles away, all trees burned over large area (PHOTO)

Posted: 06 Oct 2014 08:54 PM PDT

Officials: Typhoon triggers alarm at Fukushima plant — Warning of leakage at Reactor No. 1 turbine building — Leak then detected at Reactor No. 3 — Camera captures images of water pouring in after “very heavy rain” — Powerful storm still packing gusts of up to 180 km/hr off Fukushima coast

Posted: 06 Oct 2014 07:30 AM PDT

Please Sign Petition to Stop Nuclear Plants Restart Under Volcano Threat

October 2, 2014


Mt. Ontake eruption was unpredictable, the Seismological Society of Japan (SSJ) says.

Sendai Nuclear Plant was permitted for restart by the Nuclear Regulation Committee.

It is surrounded by many volcanos whose eruption is unpredictable, but NRC says that

unpredictability should not stop social actions (nuclear plants restart) – illogical argument

to rationalize its position (unpredictability of nuclear plants’ disasters should be stopped

– other safe social activities can be allowed of course).


Irresponsible NRC and unpredictable nuclear disasters should be stopped. Please sign:

Originally posted on Global Ethics:














御嶽山噴火でめた火山予知の難しさ 川内原発の再稼働に影響するか(ハフィントンポスト・日本語)


川内、地元同意手続きへ 再稼働、年明け以降 主要審査終了(朝日新聞/日本語)



川内原発 新基準適合と判断 未完成の対策で承認(東京新聞/日本語)

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September 20, 2014
Life Arts 9/19/2014 at 16:55:32

Diablo Canyon Nuclear Reactor on FIVE Earthquake Fault Lines! How Can We Shut It Down?

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Interview with No-Nuke Activist, Harvey Wasserman

My guest today is Harvey Wasserman, author, democracy activist and long-time strategist for the anti-nuke movement. Welcome back to OpEdNews, Harvey.

JB: We haven’t talked for quite a while. What’s on your mind today?

HW: We need to shut the Diablo Canyon nukes asap. A newly revealed report by an NRC insider confirms the plant cannot meet basic earthquake standards. Dave Lochbaum of the UCS says it can’t meet basic fire standards.

The owner PG&E has just been fined $1.4 billion for killing eight people in an avoidable explosion that destroyed an entire neighborhood in San Bruno.

This is bad stuff. We need to get these California Fukushimas offline!!

JB: There are many readers out there who are not up to date on this whole topic. Let’s pause for a bit of backstory. The Diablo Canyon nuclear facility is in California on one of the earthquake fault lines, correct? Has that fact been known from the get-go?

HW: Diablo is surrounded by FIVE earthquake faults that we know of. Any one of them could level the place. A major one—the Hosgri—was discovered while they were building the reactors. But they never fully retrofitted to account for it. Since then three more have been found. And there’s always been the San Andreas, just 45 miles away, half the distance that the one that destroyed Fukushima was from the one that destroyed those reactors there.

JB: Yikes – five fault lines? Why and how were they able to go ahead and build when at least some of these were known and acknowledged? Wasn’t that extremely foolhardy? Weren’t there other, less dangerous potential sites for the reactor? What they did sounds more like Russian roulette!

HW: Many reactors are built on or near fault line, including Indian Point near New York City. You have to remember the corporations that build these things are not liable for the damage they do. Fukushima has actually become a profit center for Tokyo Electric. They just take government money to clean it up and don’t worry about the rest of it because they’re protected from liability.

It’s actually Chernobyl roulette and the losers are the public. The only safe site for a reactor is the one we have 93 million miles away.

JB: Hmmm… Well, if the utilities that build these reactors bear no financial responsibility for any damages, it’s a sweet deal for them, no question. I get that part. But why does the government keep falling for that kind of bad deal? Bad for the government, bad for taxpayers, bad for citizens. And is there any noise about shutting down Diablo and any other reactors on or near fault lines?

HW: Diablo Canyon’s owners are very vulnerable right now. I think we can wage a very powerful campaign against them and hopefully have an impact. Remember we shut the two San Onofre reactors in California last year.

The government goes along because the corporations are very powerful. It’s the same with virtually all issues we face now. The great virus that threatens the human race is the corporation. Nuclear power is basically a corporate form of energy. They are terrified of the Solartopian green power revolution because it could allow the public to control its own energy supply. That would be a huge step forward for democracy. It won’t be easy but it can be done.

JB: It’s not just those within spitting range of the reactor who are in danger, is it? Give us a sense of the potential population at risk, if nothing is done.

Joan Brunwasser is a co-founder of Citizens for Election Reform (CER) which since 2005 existed for the sole purpose of raising the public awareness of the critical need for election reform. Our goal: to restore fair, accurate, transparent, secure elections where votes are cast in private and counted in public. Because the problems with electronic (computerized) voting systems include a lack of (more…)

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More Nuclear Power is NOT the Answer to the Climate Crisis

September 14, 2014

Petition published by Tom Hayden on Sep 04, 2014
147 Signatures 

Target: Dr. Jeffrey Sachs, UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network
Region: GLOBAL

Petition Background (Preamble):

We believe that expanding the role of nuclear power may threaten the planet as surely as the global warming you seek to mitigate.

Fukushima alone demonstrates the risks of nuclear meltdowns even in a society based on science and advanced technology. The one hundreds plants in our country are terrorist targets.

There are no solutions in sight to nuclear waste disposal. The timelines for bringing new nuclear plants online exceed the UN’s call for rapid decarbonization. The estimated costs are staggering.


We urge you to revise the recommendations of the UN’s Sustainable Development Solutions Network to remove its advocacy of nuclear fission as a “solution” to the climate crisis. The accelerated development of nuclear power plants would only increase the course we are on to planetary catastrophe.

We urge you to develop an analytic model that includes the decommissioning of current nuclear plants as part of a transition to a future based on conservation, efficiency and renewable energy.

The More Nuclear Power is NOT the Answer to the Climate Crisispetition to Dr. Jeffrey Sachs, UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network was written by Tom Hayden and is in the category Environment at GoPetition. Contact author here. Petition tags: , , , , , , ,

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