Thousands of gallons of radioactive waste leaked from the Hanford Nuclear Reservation Site in Washington State, as workers pumped sludge from the tank during the weekend. “This is catastrophic. This is probably the biggest event to ever happen in tank farm history. The double shell tanks were supposed to be the saviors of all saviors (to hold waste safely from people and the environment),” said former Hanford worker Mike Geffre.
As a reminder, during the Cold War, the project was expanded to include nine nuclear reactors and five large plutonium processing complexes, which produced plutonium for most of the 60,000 weapons in the U.S. nuclear arsenal. Alas, the site has been leaking ever since, as many of the early safety procedures and waste disposal practices were inadequate and Hanford’s operations released significant amounts of radioactive materials into the air and the neighboring Columbia River. Continue reading »
Satomi Horikiri, Host(8:30 in): Have you heard of any health hazards in Fukushima?
Hisae Unuma, evacuee Futabamachi: I know many saying they have cancers, even in Saitama Prefecture…
Setsuko Kida, evacuee from Tomiokamachi: My daughter [got] pregnant in the fall of 2013, but she was diagnosed with tethered miscarriage… the womb grew… but her unborn baby didn’t grow at all. She… got a second opinion from another clinic in Mito, only to get the same result. When the Mito doctor asked her why she came for the second opinion, she told she couldn’t trust the doctor in Fukushima… Many with a birth defect were born after Hiroshima/Nagasaki A-bomb, but the number dropped in one or two years. I only knew the reason in 2013; many women had to have an abortion, so that inconvenient babies wouldn’t be born… One month later, I was happy to know my daughter got pregnant. But in only 3 months my daughter told me the bad news and my mind got flooded with that story of Hiroshima/Nagasaki. That’s where I started to doubt. Although I asked the doctor to wait and see since my daughter could give birth if she tried, but the doctor said that the unborn child inside her was not alive anymore… So she had the abortion. My daughter called and told her friend about her abortion… She was told that out of 4 in her friends group, 3, including herself, had abortion during early pregnancy. The only one who could give birth was told by her doctor that she was unable to give birth because of the baby’s weak heart sound. So my daughter began to doubt her doctor, thinking her unborn baby could have made it. I became doubtful as well. A nurse I knew told me that many get abortions in Fukushima. My daughter and friends are just a few of those. Continue reading »
Interview with nuclear engineer Hiroaki Koide (translation by Prof. Robert Stolz, transcription by Akiko Anson), published Mar 8, 2016 (emphasis added): [Radioactive] material has been dispersed, contaminating Tohoku, Kanto [Tokyo area], and western Japan… [The law says] that absolutely nothing may be removed from a radioactive management area in which the levels exceed 40,000 Becquerels per square meter… [H]ow much area has been contaminated beyond 40,000 Bq/m2… that answer is 140,000 km^2 [54,054 square miles]… Indeed, while centered on Fukushima, parts of Chiba and Tokyo have also been contaminated. The number of people living in what must be called a radiation-controlled area is in the millions, and could exceed ten million… I believe the government has the responsibility to evacuate these entire communities… the government decided to leave them exposed to the real danger of radiation. In my view, Fukushima should be declared inhabitable… but if that were to be done, it would likely bankrupt the country… They’ve decided to sacrifice people… In my view, this is a serious crime committed by Japan’s ruling elite… [F]undamentally, people must not be forced to live in contaminated areas… First must come complete evacuation… [W]hen it comes to radiation… “removal of contaminants” is impossible… This stuff contaminates everything. Continue reading »
CCTV, Apr 5, 2016 (emphasis added) — Nuclear engineer Arnie Gundersen: [During my recent trip to Japan] I met in one of the resettlement areas… The unofficial mayor of this group – a real dynamo of a woman – she experienced hair loss, bloody nose, speckles on her skin and the doctors told her it was stress and not to worry about it. That’s not stress. It was radiation damage. But again, that’s this inhumanity that I was experiencing… Every time I turned around, I saw people that definitely experienced radiation damage. We had one woman who ran from her house to evacuate carrying her dog. About a day after the accident, they realized that she needed to be evacuated. And so she runs barefoot to her car, gets in her car, drives to the resettlement community. She’s highly radioactive. They make her – especially her feet – they make her take her socks off and take showers, wash her down before they let her in. And her feet were black for three years from radiation damage. And that’s not being spoken about in any of the medical journals… [The government wants] to get these other nuclear plants up and running. And if the population is getting ill from radiation effects, it’s a lot harder. So they have… banded together with the medical community. We had numerous doctors say that they were going to lose hospital privileges and things like that. And the people that are keeping track of deaths in Fukushima Prefecture aren’t publishing the data. So the entire government infrastructure, from the people in Tokyo to the underlings in the Prefecture, are all singing the same song: that this is stress, there’s no radiation. And it sure isn’t what I found, I’ll tell you… Were it not for the internet, they would have won. And I think the difference between the disaster at Fukushima and the disaster at Chernobyl and TMI is that now we have the internet. It still is an unlevel playing field. There’s still so much money on the other side of it that people are being brainwashed. Oh, that bloody nose you’ve had for the last 3 weeks is stress. So they are being brainwashed. Continue reading »
US Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Apr 8, 2016: BROWNS FERRY [Alabama]… Event Date: 04/06/2016… Emergency Class: UNUSUAL EVENT… EMERGENCY DECLARED… OFFSITE NOTIFICATION… UNUSUAL EVENT DECLARED DUE TO MAIN STEAMLINE HIGH HIGH RADIATION CONDITION… At 1545 CDT on 04/06/16 Browns Ferry Unit 3 declared and exited the declaration of an unusual event due to a main steam line high high radiation condition. Power to Unit 3 was reduced to 91 percent power. The high radiation condition alarm cleared at 1526 CDT. Browns Ferry Unit 3 reported that the high radiation conditions were due to resin intrusion from the condensate demineralizers into the reactor and hydrogen water chemistry was a potential contributor to the event. The cause is still under investigation. The NRC Resident Inspector has been notified. State and Local notifications were made. Notified DHS SWO, FEMA Ops Center, NICC Watch Officer, FEMA NWC and Nuclear SSA (email)… At 1941 [CDT] BFN [Brown’s Ferry] determined this notification to be potentially newsworthy due to receiving notification that counties [surrounding the plant] were alerted of this event. No plant conditions changed.” The licensee may issue a press release. The licensee will notify the NRC Resident Inspector. Continue reading »
AP, Mar 24, 2016 (emphasis added): Alaska’s massive seabird die-off spreads… Federal biologists last week walked… Katmai National Park and counted 2,000 dead seabirds… “[That’s only] a hint of what probably was there… every beach we looked at had dead birds” [US Fish & Wildlife Service’s Robb Kaler said]… “if we had rakes we would have found a lot more,” [said retired USGS biologist Tony DeGange]… [Officials surveyed the area] in 2009 and 2012 [and] counted zero and 14 common murres… Last week [they] counted hundreds.
AP, Mar 24, 2016: Seabird die-off takes twist… thousands of common murres were found dead [in an Alaskan] lake… experts were puzzled. “We’ve talked about unprecedented things about this die off. That’s another one,” said [USGS biologist] John Piatt… “6,000, 8,000 birds in the lake is pretty mind-blowing, really… I’ve never heard of any such a thing anywhere in the world.”… [F]ederal agencies are trying to determine if the murre deaths are connected to lack of food… or something else…”This is the thing about this die-off,” Piatt said. “We don’t even know what we don’t know.” Continue reading »
The Fukushima disaster was over five years ago, and may have been largely forgotten by the general public and the media (perhaps because the Japanese olympics are just four years from now), but its effects still linger. Perhaps nowhere more so than for those who took pare in the Fukushima clean up effort: as Starts and Stripes reports, sixteen U.S. ships that participated in relief efforts after Japan’s nuclear disaster five years ago remain contaminated with low levels of radiation from the crippled Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant
As for the scale of the [Fukushima] accident… we simply don’t know… all the measuring equipment was destroyed at the time of the accident…
The Japanese government has reported estimates [of] 1.5×10^16 Becquerels of Cs-137, which would make it a release of 168 times more radioactive material than the Hiroshima bombing. And this is only material released into the atmosphere… Continue reading »
Today, Japan marks the fifth anniversary of the tragic and catastrophic meltdown of the Fukushima nuclear plant. On March 11, 2011, a massive earthquake and tsunami hit the northeast coast of Japan, killing 20,000 people. Another 160,000 then fled the radiation in Fukushima. It was the world’s worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl, and according to some it would be far worse, if the Japanese government did not cover up the true severity of the devastation. Continue reading »
According to a study released by Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez on Monday, the waters of Biscayne Bay measured 215 times the level of radioactive tritium as is found in normal ocean water.
Tritium is a radioactive isotope traceable to nuclear plant cooling tower operations. In this case, the leak appears to be emanating from the aging canals in the Turkey Point Nuclear Generating Station located nearby.Continue reading »
U.S. Department of Commerce – NOAA National Marine Fisheries Service (pdf), Dec 2015 (emphasis added): Results of testing for Fukushima Radiation in northern fur seals on St. Paul Island, AK – In summer 2014, NOAA Fisheries in partnership with Colorado State University collected tissue from northern fur seals harvested from St. Paul Island for lab testing of the radiation levels… We detected very small amounts of Fukushima-derived radioactive material in the seal tissue… Continue reading »
Vicki Fox, teacher of social studies at Lakeland Copper Beech Middle School in Yorktown Heights less than 10 miles from Indian Point (emphasis added): “My name is Vicki Fox, I’m a middle school teacher at a school that is just a few miles from Indian Point… I really can’t tell you how many teachers and students I’ve met there over the years who are survivors of cancer — specifically thyroid cancer. I was talking about this to a woman who is an aide… and she said ‘Oh, do you know that I had thyroid cancer?’… She’s just another. This year again I’m working with somebody who has had thyroid cancer. One of my students this year… he had cancer on his optic nerve and is almost blind. As I said, I can’t believe the number of teachers who have gotten cancer. And I think it’s because they live in this area.” Continue reading »
Inhabitat, Feb 26, 2016 (emphasis added): ‘Uncontrollable radioactive flow’ from Indian Point continues to contaminate the Hudson River — No matter where you live, “uncontrollable radioactive flow” is not a phrase that you want to hear in relation to your local water source … According to the Huffington Post’s report, for more than a decade, the Indian Point plant has been unable to prevent its highly radioactive reactor and spent fuel pool coolant from leaking into groundwater routes that eventually lead into the Hudson River. Entergy, the operator of the plant, seems to zero in solely on tritium… The most recent leak, however, according to an assessment by the New York Department of State as part of its Coastal Zone Management Assessment, contains a variety of radioactive elements such as strontium-90, cesium-137, cobalt-60, and nickel-63 in addition to tritium…
Huffington Post by journalist Roger Witherspoon, Feb 15, 2016: Indian Point Contaminates the Hudson River With Uncontrollable Radioactive Flow — For more than a decade, it has been impossible for operators of the Indian Point nuclear power plant to stop highly radioactive reactor and spent fuel pool coolant from leaking into the groundwater and migrating to the Hudson River… there is no indication that the company has developed the ability to prevent the latest uncontrolled leaks from following the underground waterway into the Hudson. And because the river is a tidal estuary flowing as much as 20 miles above and below the nuclear site, radioactive contaminants may be sucked into the drinking water systems of several river towns… Entergy representatives declined to comment on planned and unplanned radioactive discharges into the environment. The sequence of events leading to leaks of radioactive liquids from Indian Point 2 is the subject of an intense investigation… to determine how the leak occurred and whether or not it can be stopped… In the past, the Coastal Zone Management report states, “radioactive releases have been detected at the Indian Point facility from cracks in two different spent fuel pools. Leaks of radioactive liquids from the Indian Point 2 spent fuel pools have reached the Hudson River”… Continue reading »
United Nations General Assembly – Human Rights Council, Sep 2015 (emphasis added): The case of Kalachi, known as a “sleeping village”, was brought to the attention of the Special Rapporteur. For the past three years, many residents of Kalachi have been experiencing health problems, suffering memory loss and hallucinations and sleeping for days, unable to wake up without medical intervention. According to available statistics, one in four villagers have suffered from this mysterious sickness… Kalachi was a site for uranium mining… According to local residents, the shaft was reopened three years ago and some work was undertaken. The villagers associate the illness with the uranium mining… Continue reading »
Tri-City Herald, Feb 21, 2016 (emphasis added): The Environmental Protection Agency has called the uncontrolled spread of small amounts of radioactive waste at Hanford “alarming” after a Nov. 17 windstorm. Surveys six miles north of Richland after the winds subsided found specks of contamination… The waste came from research and uranium fuel fabrication work… [W]inds were worse than usual… and Hanford officials knew they were going to have issues… “Washington Closure Hanford went out and started surveying to understand how far the contamination had spread,” said Stacy Charboneau, manager of the DOE Richland Operations Office… The waste had high levels of radioactive isotopes that grout does not bind well, said Dennis Faulk, EPA Hanford program manager. Continue reading »
Albuquerque, NM — Edgar Camacho-Alvarado, 23, was shot and killed by police this weekend while police were searching for a murder suspect in his neighborhood. The young man was not actually guilty of any crime, nor did he pose a threat to officers, and he never even attempted to interfere with their investigation. He was simply at the wrong place at the wrong time, working to fix the engine in his truck in the driveway in front of his home.
The police are refusing to release any further information about the shooting, but Edgar’s family wants answers. Continue reading »
Tokyo (AFP) – Japan’s Olympic football teams will train for the Tokyo 2020 Games at a complex currently being used as a base for thousands of workers cleaning up the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant.
The Japan Football Association (JFA) said Monday that the Japanese men’s and women’s teams would hold their training camps at J-Village, once the country’s centre of excellence until it was taken over by plant operators following the 2011 nuclear disaster. Continue reading »
Washington Post, Feb 10, 2016 (emphasis added): Five years after nuclear meltdown, no one knows what to do with Fukushima… one huge question remains: What is to be done with all the radioactive material?… Tepco has built a 1,500-yard-long “ice wall” around the four reactor buildings… however, Japan’s nuclear watchdog blocked the plan, saying the risk of leakage was still too high… [M]ost problematically, there’s the nuclear fuel from the plant itself… “The biggest challenge is going to be the removal of the nuclear fuel debris,” [Akira Ono, Tepco’s Fukushima Daiichi superintendent] said. “We don’t even know what state the debris is in at the moment.”… one of the options the government is considering is building a nuclear waste dump under the seabed, about eight miles off the Fukushima coast… Many groups… staunchly oppose the idea of burying the radioactive material at sea in such a seismically active area. “At some point it would leak and affect the environment,” said Hideyuki Ban, co-director of the Citizens’ Nuclear Information Center. Continue reading »
Matt Herod, Univ, of Ottawa Ph.D Candidate, Dec 21, 2015 (emphasis added): A recently published paper (by myself and colleagues from uOttawa and Environment Canada) investigates… [Iodine-129] which was released by the Fukushima-Daichii [sic] Nuclear Accident… Within 6 days of the FDNA 129I concentrations in Vancouver precipitation increased 5-15 times… sampling of groundwater revealed slight increases in 129I… The results in rain show an increase in 129I concentrations of up to 220 million atoms/L… 129I anomalies [in groundwater wells], which occurred exactly when the recharge age predicted they would, suggests that some of the 129I deposited by Fukushima was reaching the wells… [P]ulses of elevated 129I occurred for another several months. Elevated 129I concentrations were measured in two wells… indicating that 129I from Fukushima can be traced into groundwater… [M]odeling has shown that 129I can be rapidly transported to the water table… Continue reading »
NY Daily News, Feb 11, 2016 (emphasis added): Cuomo to launch probe into troubled Indian Point power plant as radioactive leak gets worse — The amount of radioactive tritium leaking from the Indian Point nuclear power plant is growing, officials said… New samples from groundwater monitoring wells show 80% higher concentrations of tritium compared with when the leak was first reported Saturday… Wednesday, [Cuomo] ordered a more sweeping investigation… “Last week the company reported alarming levels of radioactivity at three monitoring wells, with one well’s radioactivity increasing nearly 65,000%,” Cuomo said… “The news just keeps getting worse,” said Paul Gallay, president of the watchdog group Riverkeeper. Continue reading »
Cuomo, in a letter Saturday to the state Health Department and the Department of Environmental Conservation, called for the probe into the Indian Point NPP after he said Entergy, the plant’s owner, reported “alarming levels of radioactivity” at three monitoring wells, with one well’s radioactivity increasing nearly 65,000 percent. Continue reading »
If you’re a germaphobe, there is one lake where you needn’t worry about swimming in something diseased or slimy. That’s because this lake is so irradiated, every germ in it is probably dead.
Lake Karachay in the Urul Mountains is so polluted with nuclear waste that merely standing next to it for an hour will give you a dose of 600 roentgen (which is enough to kill you at least once). Come on in, the water is deadly!
Some parts of the lake may look deceivingly pretty, but Lake Karachay was the site of many nuclear accidents from the nearby Mayak Production Association nuclear facility. Mayak was one of Russia’s biggest nuclear facilities. Some of the accidents were nearly as devastating as the Chernobyl meltdown in 1986.Continue reading »
Author and Pediatrician Helen Caldicott takes time out of her busy schedule to join me to discuss the unfolding events at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power station in Japan. Fukushima was devastated by a massive earthquake on March 11, 2011 which led directly to a massive failure causing hydrogen explosions which blew the roof off of at least two of the reactor buildings. Tepco and the Japanese government have understated the radiation dangers and the dire reality of the situation from day one.
Helen says, at this point there is no “best case scenario” for Fukushima, just worsening degrees of horror because it’s scientifically impossible to clean up what has already occurred. And with thousands of spent fuel rods and thousands more active rods still in the fuel pools of the damaged reactor buildings, the worst case scenario – if another major earthquake hits the area – is an ecological nightmare of biblical proportions for everyone living in the Northern hemisphere.
Robert F. Kennedy Jr., Jan 8, 2016: Their animals are dying… their fish are dying in their fish bowls, their dogs are dying, their cats are getting sick. And their children are getting sick — they’re suffering nose bleeds, they’re suffering terrible debilitating migraine headaches, asthma attacks, respiratory infections, eye infections, ear infections, stomach ailments… The health impact — it’s not just methane coming out of that hole… This is global crisis, more importantly this is a local crisis. Because not only do you have methane — you have benzene, toluene, xylene, which are carcinogenic. You have hydrogen sulfide, sulfur dioxide — which are neurotoxic, which can injure your brain, affect memory, injure your kidneys, your liver, your other bodily organs. There’s also a lot of radon gas being measured in the area. People believe — we don’t know if this is true — the gas that is leaking at 2 miles deep is now coming out and pushing that radon up into people’s living rooms, their bedrooms, their nurseries.
Lawyers and Settlements, Jan 7, 2016: The leak has caused a continuous flow of gases and fluids. Methane alone is leaking 100,000 pounds per hour, according to Los Angeles city attorney Mike Feuer. Along with that greenhouse gas is methyl mercaptans (odorants added to gas to aid in leak detection) and aromatic hydrocarbons. More concernedly, health officials have identified benzene and radon, both known carcinogens. Continue reading »
As the evidence of the extreme harm to health inflicted by nuclear radiation mounts, the denialists are resorting to ever greater extremes, writes Chris Busby. On the one hand, advancing the absurd claim that ionising radition is not merely harmless, but health-enhancing. On the other, closing down the experiment that would have provided the strongest evidence yet.
“The torture imposed on logic, reason and observational data by the advocates of nuclear power has now reached the level of clinical psychosis – a thought disorder in which reality testing is grossly impaired.”
It used to be, and indeed children are still taught in schools, that the advances that have been made in the last five hundred years (antibiotics, electricity, computers etc) resulted from the application of Science and its overthrow of dogmatic belief. Continue reading »