Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

See through the nuclear lobby’s spin and technical jargon

It’s important to bust the pro-nuclear spin, Millennium Alliance for Humanity and the Biosphere  (MAHB),  Noel Wauchope | October 1, 2020  ”……………. cutting through the spin, where do we start? The reason that I start with the nuclear industry is that it is utterly symbolic of the lies, the deceptions, that prop up the polluting industries that are ruining the natural world on which we depend.

It is the most dangerous arena of industry lying because its proponents have very successfully put across the idea that only the ”experts” those with technical knowledge of nuclear physics, can have a valid opinion. I think that’s why journalists world-wide are content to simply regurgitate industry handouts as ”news” – often as an excited recitation of a sequence of technical procedures, with detailed technical illustrations. The only bit that is easily understood is the bit where they’ll say that nuclear power is “zero-carbon” “essential to combat climate change”. But is that bit true?

Any doubt about nuclear power fixing climate change is not explored, because, after all, the society at large, including the journalists, do not understand nuclear physics. They might know a bit about history, ecology, biology, radiation effects, sociology, economics, indigenous rights, conflict resolution, – but hey, that’s all soft stuff and doesn’t matter.

The lying began with the very conception of the nuclear monster. First, the idea that it’s OK for war attacks to focus on massacring civilians – this reached its greatest acceptance with the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Then came that first big factual lie, that this bombing was necessary to end the war. This comfortable belief has been refuted by many recent studies that indicate that the real motive was to intimidate the Russians and that Japan was already set to surrender, anyway. The persecution of Wilfred Burchett, and the suppression of his reporting, set off the deception that the effects of ionizing radiation are not all that bad, really.

The next lie, again a very comforting belief, is that this new horror could be turned into something really good – nuclear reactors, safe, cheap, electricity – a peaceful purpose.

It was never safe. You just ignore the cancers among the uranium mining communities, and nuclear workers. You ignore the many radiological and nuclear accidents and messes, even the big ones – Chalk River, Rocky Flats, Windscale, Soviet ice-breaker Lenin, Mayak, Three Mile Island, Chernobyl, Tomsk, Hanford, Fukushima. The risk of terrorism, using nuclear materials, is ever-present.

It was never cheap. You just ignore the costs of the health and environmental damage due to uranium mining, and to the many accidents. The insurance industry understands this, which is why laws like the Price Anderson Act are there, to make sure that the tax-payer cops the costs of nuclear accidents. You just don’t count the costs of disposing of the virtually eternal radioactive wastes, including dead reactors, and the necessary security involved.

It was never peaceful. The prime purpose of nuclear reactors was to produce that novel element – plutonium, for nuclear weapons. Every country that now has nuclear weapons began that process by getting “peaceful” nuclear power. We must wonder why Gulf states like Saudi Arabia, with abundant oil and sunshine resources, are so keen to get nuclear power. Today, the nuclear industry no longer makes the pretense that there is no connection between commercial and military reactors. and indeed, calls for government subsidy because of its role in national security. It is particularly worrying that the media enthuses over space research, while the USA and other nuclear nations are planning for nuclear-powered weapons in space.

When it comes to global heating, it’s a terrible shame that the media keeps on buying the nuclear deception about this. Even if nuclear power were ”zero-carbon” – there would have to be thousands of reactors, (millions of small ones) operating very quickly, to have any effect. But global heating is happening too fast for that. “Zero carbon” is also nonsense when you consider the whole nuclear fuel chain – those many operations that go on from uranium mining through to the building and operation of nuclear waste dumps.

Nuclear medicine is becoming somewhat of a fig leaf on the industry. It still has its role. But, non-nuclear technologies – cyclotrons are coming into operation, and produce the medical radioisotopes far more conveniently, and near hospitals, close to the point of use.

The nuclear lobby’s most questionable deception, which was shown in its glossy propaganda film “Pandora’s Promise”, is that the world needs endless energy use, for the world’s expanding human population. Indeed, we learn that nuclear is needed to set up colonies on Mars when we’ve mucked up this planet.

Not that the nuclear lobby is the only one advocating endless energy use. Some renewable energy advocates have this same idea. It’s an idea tied to our mistaken culture of growth.

During this period of pandemic economic paralysis, and despite all the suffering, many people have the chance to reflect on the world’s rather perilous situation. Many citizen scientists, citizen journalists, are asking the necessary questions. We need to be aware, to bust through, the vested interests, the jargon, the lies, that keep us hooked to the growth paradigm. There is no better spin bubble to bust than the nuclear one. https://mahb.stanford.edu/blog/its-important-to-bust-the-pro-nuclear-spin/

October 3, 2020 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

The climate crisis is heating up nights faster than days in many parts of the world

Global heating warming up ‘nights faster than days’

Effect seen across much of world will have profound consequences, warn scientists .   https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2020/oct/01/global-heating-warming-up-nights-faster-than-days   Damian Carrington Environment editor @dpcarrington, Thu 1 Oct 2020 09. The climate crisis is heating up nights faster than days in many parts of the world, according to the first worldwide assessment of how global heating is differently affecting days and nights.

The findings have “profound consequences” for wildlife and their ability to adapt to the climate emergency, the researchers said, and for the ability of people to cool off at night during dangerous heatwaves.

The scientists compared the rises in daytime and night-time temperatures over the 35 years up to 2017. Global heating is increasing both, but they found that over more than half of the world’s land there was a difference of at least 0.25C between the day and night rises.

In two-thirds of those places, nights were warming faster than the days, Continue reading

October 3, 2020 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Ionising radiation – the tragedy of the ”radium girls”

They weren’t just making paints, they were doing the painting, too. According to NPR, US Radium hired scores of girls and young women — as young as just 11-years-old — to paint watch dials with the glow-in-the-dark, radium-based paint. As if just working with the paint wasn’t bad enough, they were also encouraged to put the brush between their lips and twirl it into a point. It was the best way to get truly precise numbers and brush strokes, but with each lick of the brush, they were swallowing radium.

the human body isn’t great at telling the difference between radium and calcium. Radium gets absorbed into the bones just like calcium does, and when that happens, the rot starts.

Writer and historian Kate Moore documented the cases of the Radium Girls (via The Spectator) and found that there were a whole host of symptoms. Some started suffering from chronic exhaustion. For many, it started with their teeth — one by one, those teeth would start to decay and rot. When they were removed, their gums wouldn’t heal. In some cases, the jaw would just simply disintegrate at the dentist’s touch. Bad breath was common. Skin became so delicate that the slightest touch would tear open wounds. Ulcers formed for some, and those that were pregnant bore stillborn babies.

THE RADIUM GIRLS HAD TO BE BURIED IN LEAD-LINED COFFINS
The Radium Girls weren’t just sick, they were very literally radioactive. Mollie Maggia was exhumed in 1927, in the hopes that her bones would give still-living Radium Girls the evidence they needed to win in court. According to Popular Science, her coffin was lifted out of the ground, and her body? It glowed. That wasn’t entirely surprising, considering her bones were found to be highly radioactive — and considering radium’s half-life is 1,600 years, they’re not going to stop glowing any time soon.

Eventually, 16 separate sites around Ottawa would be classified as Superfund sites. 

NPR Illinois says that many have been cleaned up, but as of 2018, there was at least one site — a 17-acre plot of land on the Fox River — that still remained a highly radioactive and terrifying legacy of the Radium Girls.

THE MESSED UP TRUTH ABOUT THE RADIUM GIRLS  https://www.grunge.com/181092/the-messed-up-truth-about-the-radium-girls/   BY DEBRA KELLY/DEC. JULY 14, 2020 
History is filled with episodes that prove mankind is just sort of making everything up as it goes. There’s no shortage of things that can kill us or do horrible, terrible things to our soft and squishy bodies, and every time we think we know about them all, it turns out there’s something else lurking around the corner.

And sometimes, it’s disguised as something awesome. Need proof? Look no further than the Radium Girls.

Yes, that radium. Today, the Royal Society of Chemistry says there’s really only one use for radium — targeted cancer treatments, because it’s so good at killing cells. It was first discovered in 1898 by Marie and Pierre Curie, after they extracted a single milligram from ten tons of a uranium ore called pitchblende. And it was pretty darn cool. It glowed, and seriously, how exciting is that? Unfortunately, it was also deadly — as the so-called Radium Girls would find out.

Continue reading

October 3, 2020 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Japanese Government Is Ordered to Pay Damages Over Fukushima Disaster — Fukushima 311 Watchdogs

The Sendai High Court said the state and the plant’s operator must pay $9.5 million to survivors of the 2011 nuclear accident. They have until mid-October to appeal to the country’s Supreme Court. A damaged reactor building at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in Japan in 2011. September 30, 2020 TOKYO — A high […]

Japanese Government Is Ordered to Pay Damages Over Fukushima Disaster — Fukushima 311 Watchdogs

October 3, 2020 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Environmental News Stories We Should Be Paying Attention To — Skyler Breanne

With everything going on this past year, environmental news and its importance has been placed on a back burner, overtaken by pandemic related issues as well as social and political chaos. While it may be understandable that we are focused on other important news stories right now, 2020 is set to be the hottest year […]

Environmental News Stories We Should Be Paying Attention To — Skyler Breanne

October 3, 2020 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Flexible exports: It looks like the future of rooftop solar for households — RenewEconomy

Trials in South Australia and Victoria to test “dynamic exports”, giving power to networks to manage rooftop solar exports and removing static export limits.

Flexible exports: It looks like the future of rooftop solar for households — RenewEconomy

October 3, 2020 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Why combining hydro power and floating solar PV may be a good idea — RenewEconomy

New research published this week highlights the “untapped potential” of combining floating solar PV projects and hydropower plants.

Why combining hydro power and floating solar PV may be a good idea — RenewEconomy

October 3, 2020 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

TEPCO’s fitness to operate nuke reactors still open to question — Fukushima 311 Watchdogs

From left, the No. 5 to No. 7 reactors of the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear power plant in Niigata Prefecture September 24, 2020 The Nuclear Regulation Authority has effectively endorsed Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s fitness to operate nuclear reactors in its safety screening of the utility’s plans to restart the No. 6 and No. 7 reactors at […]

TEPCO’s fitness to operate nuke reactors still open to question — Fukushima 311 Watchdogs

October 3, 2020 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Japan Struggles to Secure Radioactive Nuclear Waste Dump Sites — Fukushima 311 Watchdogs

A small, aging town grapples with the financial lure of storing radioactive waste underground.  Japan’s worsening depopulation crisis is crippling the public finances of regional towns. Now one small town has made national headlines after expressing interest in storing radioactive nuclear waste underground in a last ditch effort to save itself from impending bankruptcy. The […]

Japan Struggles to Secure Radioactive Nuclear Waste Dump Sites — Fukushima 311 Watchdogs

October 3, 2020 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Technology roadmap not a credible policy to tackle climate, investors say — RenewEconomy

Investors say the Morrison government’s Technology Roadmap is not a replacement ‘for a coherent national climate policy’, or a lack of 2050 target. The post Technology roadmap not a credible policy to tackle climate, investors say appeared first on RenewEconomy.

Technology roadmap not a credible policy to tackle climate, investors say — RenewEconomy

October 3, 2020 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment