Australian news, and some related international items

Nuclear news as May ends – the problems keep getting worse 

Some bits of good news –  INDIGENOUS INSIGHTS ON HEALING LAND AND SKY.       Cuban Farmers Fight Land Degradation with Sustainable Management.

It’s a worrying thought that everyone might just get ”Ukraine fatigue” and let this cruel war grind on.  In the meantime, the global nuclear industry is suffering all sorts of upsets, while Elon Musk and the rest of the space war enthusiasts are carrying on, as if there were no problems at all.   Hard to single out the most significant nuclear failure, but I think that it would have to be France, where the financial and safety problems just keep getting worse.  


Julian Assange’s family says Australia’s election result brings renewed hope for WikiLeaks founder’s release. Labor urged to act to prevent Julian Assange extradition.

Nuclear.    Sydney University radiation case shows the need for stronger environmental laws, with wider scope. Stop Deep Yellow: No uranium mining on Upurli Upurli Nguratja country. Australia’s new Prime Minister backs the UN Nuclear Weapons Ban Treaty. Australia’s weapons-buying binge from USA continues . 

Climate.  Albanese commits Australia to stronger 2030 target, starts climate reset .     The political and media establishment ignored climate – but voters didn’t.   The 2022 climate election: unpacking how climate concerned Australians voted        Months of more rain likely as BOM report links global warming to flood disasters.   

‘I’m so angry, I’m wild’: the never-ending wait to clean up asbestos town Wittenoom


What to do about humanity entering “a spiral of self-destruction” – a UN Summit now on in Indonesia.   The U.N. “Sustainable Development Goals”- just ”greenwashing” – claim experts.   Why nuclear power can’t solve climate crisis – in fact makes it worse-

When Henry Kissinger gives advice on ending the Ukraine conflict, the West should listen.     Ukraine, Taiwan: Biden trip designed to recruit S. Korea, Japan into global anti-Russia/China bloc. They’re Just Outright Telling Us That Peace In Ukraine Is Not An Option.

 Book Review: ”Atoms and Ashes’‘ – A Timely History of Nuclear Catastrophes.

Asianization of NATO: China, Russia react to Biden visit   War for Taiwan, nuclear war for Japan: Biden pushes two-front campaign against China, Russia.       Like the rest of Europe’s few remaining non-members, Ireland being prepped for NATO .         Expanding NATO – it’s a $quillion bonanza for the U.S. weapons industries!!     Why environmentalists are pushing back against nuclear energy .

Nuclear is already well past its sell-by date.    After the meltdown.

Billionaires from USA and Denmark have inordinate influence on public opinion about molten salt nuclear reactors’.     Caitlin Johnson, rogue journalist, on corporate control of the media.

“Don’t work for climate wreckers:” UN chief warns young people off fossil fuels.

Curbing other climate pollutants, not just CO2, gives Earth a chance.

Experts call on governments to start including animal welfare in sustainable development governance.

UKRAINE. For the first time in history, nuclear sites have been caught up in the middle of warfare. Ukrainian negotiator rules out deal with Russia.

May 30, 2022 Posted by | Christina reviews | Leave a comment

Australia’s weapons-buying binge from USA continues ..

Australia Wins U.S. Approval to Buy Rocket Launchers

US News, By Reuters Wire Service Content • May 26, 2022, By Katharine Jackson and Mike Stone

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -The U.S. State Department has approved the sale of mobile rocket launchers to Australia, as the country seeks to boost its military presence in the Indo-Pacific region.

The U.S. approved several weapons sales worth as much as $3.1 billion to allies, the Pentagon said on Tuesday, including helicopters to Egypt and missiles to the Netherlands.

Australia has been boosting its defense spending over the past few years as China looks to step up its presence in the Indo-Pacific region. Last year, Australia entered into a deal to buy nuclear submarines from the United States and Britain…………..

May 30, 2022 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Sydney University radiation case shows the need for stronger environmental laws, with wider scope

The fallout of the University’s radiation case,  To see real environmental progress, it is not enough to rely on corporate responsibility; we need a body of enforceable restrictions on corporate and institutional consumption. Honi Soit   by Bella Gerardi, May 2, 2022,  

Last week, the University of Sydney was fined $61,000 for failing to properly dispose of a radioactive source belonging to a decommissioned medical imaging machine. For an institution that claims to have a strong commitment to the environment, conviction of a criminal environmental offence appears at odds with its sustainability strategy.

The source, which contained a sealed radioactive isotope, was found when a truck delivering scrap metals to a recycling yard set off alarms during a routine radiation check. 

Identified as belonging to a PET scanner owned by the University, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) charged the University with four individual breaches of the Radiation Control Act. The case didn’t go to court as the University pled guilty, and in exchange the EPA dropped two of the four charges. 

………. Last week, the University of Sydney was fined $61,000 for failing to properly dispose of a radioactive source belonging to a decommissioned medical imaging machine. For an institution that claims to have a strong commitment to the environment, conviction of a criminal environmental offence appears at odds with its sustainability strategy.

The source, which contained a sealed radioactive isotope, was found when a truck delivering scrap metals to a recycling yard set off alarms during a routine radiation check. 

Identified as belonging to a PET scanner owned by the University, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) charged the University with four individual breaches of the Radiation Control Act. The case didn’t go to court as the University pled guilty, and in exchange the EPA dropped two of the four charges. 

……………   It is disappointing, but not surprising, that it took a criminal conviction to reach the safeguards imposed today. Unfortunately, the University’s prior lack of clear procedure is indicative of the broader attitude institutions and corporations hold toward environmental crimes. Environmental crimes are often entangled with accidents, negligence, or oversight, and are often not viewed as holding the same gravity as other offences.

Corporations and institutions are responsible for the majority of environmental harm, yet complex corporate hierarchies make it uncommon for individuals to face repercussions for offences, which in turn promotes a lax attitude toward environmental damage.

Is anything changing?

The NSW Government passed the Environment Legislation Amendment Act 2022 (NSW) last month, which broadened the personal liability that executives face if their corporation breaches environmental legislation. If directors financially benefit from a breach of environmental law, they can be criminally prosecuted for that offence, regardless of whether they were personally aware of or involved in the breach.

In bringing a greater threat of personal liability, the new laws will hopefully incentivise directors to take greater care in ensuring company policies uphold environmental laws.

Despite all this, the scope of environmental law as it stands is limited, as most environmental offences relate to waste management or water and air pollution. ……….

May 30, 2022 Posted by | legal, New South Wales | Leave a comment

‘I’m so angry, I’m wild’: the never-ending wait to clean up asbestos town Wittenoom

‘I’m so angry, I’m wild’: the never-ending wait to clean up asbestos town Wittenoom

The WA government has announced former asbestos mining town of Wittenoom officially closed. But will it get cleaned up? For one man, time is running out

May 30, 2022 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

A first look at federal Labor’s emissions plan finds it wholly insufficient — RenewEconomy

Labor has good intentions on climate and net-zero emissions, but not much of a plan. And it needs to get off the fence on new coal and gas extraction. The post A first look at federal Labor’s emissions plan finds it wholly insufficient appeared first on RenewEconomy.

A first look at federal Labor’s emissions plan finds it wholly insufficient — RenewEconomy

May 30, 2022 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

After the meltdown

Because many health impacts appear years or decades after the radiological catastrophe, this allows governments, media and nuclear power proponents to claim minimal health impacts, and thereby to misrepresent the true state of affairs. This downplays the significant long-term health impacts of accidents, including among those who were not alive when the initial radioactive fallout occurred. 

The most effective, and precautionary, approach, is the prompt phaseout of nuclear power and its supporting industries, which would be beneficial for both health and the climate.  by beyondnuclearinternational, Reactors in a war zone and potential health consequences, By Cindy Folkers, Beyond Nuclear (US) and Dr Ian Fairlie, CND (UK)

Nuclear power plants are vulnerable to meltdown at any time, but they are especially vulnerable during wars, such as we are seeing in Ukraine, as evidenced by Russian attacks on the six-reactor Zaporizhizhia nuclear power facility and on the closed nuclear facility at Chornobyl in March 2022. 

Media articles often dwell on the conditions that could spark a meltdown, but attention should also be paid to the possible human health consequences. We answer some questions about the short-term and long-term consequences for human health of a radiological disaster at a nuclear power plant.

What happens at a reactor during a major nuclear power disaster?

The main dangers would arise at the reactor and at its irradiated fuel pool. Loss of power can result in both of these draining down, as their water contents leaked or boiled away. This would expose highly radioactive fuel rods, resulting in meltdowns and explosions as occurred at Fukushima in Japan in 2011, where large amounts of radioactivity were released into the environment. 

Explosions, as happened at both Chornobyl and Fukushima, eject radioactive nuclides high into the atmosphere, so that they travel long distances downwind via weather patterns, such as winds and rain. The result is radioactive fallout over large areas, as occurred at Chornobyl and Fukushima. The map below, from the European Environment Agency, shows that the dispersion and deposition of caesium-137 (Cs-137) from the Chornobyl catastrophe in Ukraine in 1986 was far-reaching — covering 40% of the land area of Europe, as it followed weather patterns over the 10-day period of the accident.

Contrary to what many people think, the radioactive fallout from Chornobyl reached the UK (2,500 km away) in 1986 as also shown in the above map [on original].

In Japan, radiation deposition from Fukushima in 2011 also fell in selective areas of Japan, with some radioactive particles traveling as far as 400 km. It is estimated that about 7% of Japan was seriously contaminated.

What is released during a major nuclear power accident?

In the first few days and weeks after the disaster, the first releases are generally short-lived radioactive gases and vapors including tritium (i.e. as tritiated water vapor), xenon, krypton, and iodine. These gases and vapors deliver harmful exposures to people living downwind of the nuclear plant when they are inhaled.

Later, hundreds of non-volatile nuclides can be released. These are non-gaseous, generally longer-lived radionuclides which can nevertheless travel long distances. They include strontium, caesium and plutonium. These pose dangers over longer time periods, contaminating the trees, farms, fields and urban areas where they settle and recirculate for decades afterwards. 

Although media reports usually talk about the half-lives of radionuclides (defined as the time it takes for half of the substance to decay), this is misleading, as the hazardous longevity of these nuclides is often 10 to 20 times longer than their radiological half-life. For example, nuclear waste consultants routinely use 300 years (i.e. 10 x the 30-year half-life of Cs-137) as a benchmark for the required longevity of waste facilities.

What are the harmful health effects?

Both short-lived and long-lived nuclides are dangerous.

Although short-lived radionuclides, for example, iodine-131 (I-131) with a half-life of 8.3 days, decay relatively quickly, this means that their doses-rates are high. Therefore during their short times they still give high dosesThese cause (a) immediate impacts (e.g. skin rashes, metallic taste, nausea, hair loss, etc.) and (b) diseases years later, such as thyroid cancer, long after the nuclide has decayed away. As they decay, they result in exposures both externally (e.g. to skin) and internally, by inhalation or ingestion.

Longer-lived nuclides in the environment, such as caesium-131 (Cs-137) with a half-life of 30 years, also pose dangers. These occur both initially during the first phases of a catastrophe when they are inhaled or ingested but also decades later when soils and leaf litter are disturbed by storms or forest fires. They can continually expose subsequent generations of people and animals, especially those unable to evacuate from contaminated areas or who lack access to clean food. 

Can I protect myself and my family?

The main responses to a nuclear disaster are shelter, evacuation and stable iodine prophylaxis. The most important, in terms of preventing future cancer epidemics, is evacuation, in other words, reducing exposure time as much as possible.

However unless evacuations are properly planned and executed, they can add to the death toll. For an accurate account of what happened during the poorly planned evacuations after the Fukushima see Ian Fairlie’s articleEvacuations After Severe Nuclear Accidents.

Shelter means staying indoors and closing all doors and windows tightly, blocking any areas where air might enter. 

Potassium iodide (KI) tablets are proven to be effective in protecting against the harmful effects of fast-traveling iodine-131, as radioactive gases are the first to arrive in the event of a nuclear disaster. This protection is particularly important for pregnant women and children. However KI ONLY protects the thyroid and does NOT provide protection against exposures to the other nuclides commonly released during nuclear accidents, such as caesium-137, strontium-90 and tritium.

Harm down the generations and continuing recontamination

The contamination released by nuclear reactors doesn’t stay in one place. Through forest fires, heavy rains, snowmelt, and human activities such as war, radioactivity in plants and soils can be resuspended later on, becoming available for yet more inhalation or ingestion, ensuring ongoing exposures.

Much of the impact in populations in radioactively contaminated areas could be avoided if people were assisted in moving away in order to stop breathing contaminated air and eating contaminated food. In addition, Korsakov et al., (2020) showed that babies in contaminated areas suffered raised levels of birth defects and congenital malformations. 

Studies have also shown that animals living on contaminated lands show an increased sensitivity to radiation compared to their parents (Goncharova and Ryabokon, 1998) and accelerated mutation rates (Baker et al., 2017, Kesäniemi et al., 2017). 

What we already know about health effects from nuclear accidents

The radioactive plumes from the Three Mile Island (TMI) nuclear catastrophe near Harrisburg, Pennsylvania US in 1979 resulted in local people complaining of skin rashes, metallic tastes in their mouths, hair loss (Wing, 1997) and the deaths of their pets. These are all deterministic (i.e. cell killing) effects due to exposures to the very high concentrations of the radioactive gases iodine, krypton, xenon and tritium vapor released during the TMI accident. Radiation levels were so high they overwhelmed radiation monitors, which then failed to measure levels, or erroneously registered them as zero.

At TMI, Chornobyl, and Fukushima, children exposed to radioactive iodine in the initial release experienced thyroid problems, including thyroid cancer. At Chornobyl, the link between this exposure and thyroid cancer was definitively made and even accepted by radiation authorities – see UNSCEAR (2008). After Fukushima, the incidence of thyroid cancer has increased to 20 times the expected number of thyroid cancers among those exposed as children. However the Japanese Government and its agencies have refrained from accepting these figures.

Because many health impacts appear years or decades after the radiological catastrophe, this allows governments, media and nuclear power proponents to claim minimal health impacts, and thereby to misrepresent the true state of affairs. This downplays the significant long-term health impacts of accidents, including among those who were not alive when the initial radioactive fallout occurred. 

For example, the Torch 2 report in 2016 showed a long list of other health effects apart from thyroid cancer after the Chornobyl disaster.

Women, especially pregnant women and children are especially susceptible to damage from radiation exposure. This means that they suffer effects at lower doses. Resulting diseases include childhood cancers, impaired neural development, lower IQ rates, respiratory difficulties, cardiovascular diseases, perinatal mortality and birth defects — some appearing for the first time within a family in the population studied (Folkers, 2021).

Animals are also harmed: they have been found to suffer from genetic mutations, tumors, eye cataracts, sterility and neurological impairment, along with reductions in population sizes and biodiversity in areas of high contamination. 

What needs to happen

During the confusion and upheaval of past nuclear catastrophes, authorities have invariably attempted to downplay the dangers, deny the risks, and even raise allowable levels of radiation exposures. In all cases, they have comprehensively failed to protect the public. This needs to change.

Officials need to acknowledge the connection between radiation exposures and negative health impacts, particularly among women and children, so that early diagnoses and treatments can be provided. Independent, rather than industry-funded, science is needed to fully understand the cross-generational impact of radiation exposures. 

Ultimately, the best protection is the elimination of the risk of exposure, whether from routine radioactive releases or from a major disaster. The most effective, and precautionary, approach, is the prompt phaseout of nuclear power and its supporting industries, which would be beneficial for both health and the climate.

Read the report with full references — Possible health consequences of radioactive releases from stricken nuclear reactors — and a second report by Dr. Fairlie — A Primer on Radiation and Radioactivity—here.

Cindy Folkers is the radiation and health hazards specialist at Beyond Nuclear. Dr. Ian Fairlie is an independent consultant on radioactivity in the environment.

May 30, 2022 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Nuclear dependence

Europe must cut off Russian nuclear supply routes, From Ecodefense, Russia, Beyond Nuclear 30 May 22

Europe needs a plan in place for cutting ties with Russia’s nuclear giant Rosatom, says 2021 Right Livelihood Award winner and co-chairman of Ecodefense Vladimir Slivyak.

With the European Union tightening its sanctions against Russia, banning Russian imports of oil, gas, and coal has emerged as one powerful tool to starve the Kremlin’s war machine of funding it needs to continue its brutal aggression in Ukraine.

But one other major source of Russia’s revenue in Europe has largely remained unnoticed: Russia’s supplies of nuclear fuel and services to European nuclear power plants.

Seeking to close this gap in Europe’s concerted action against the war in Ukraine and to provide a comprehensive picture of the union’s reliance on Russian nuclear technology, environmentalists Patricia Lorenz, of Friends of the Earth Europe, and Vladimir Slivyak, a 2021 Right Livelihood Award laureate and co-chairman of the Russian environmental group Ecodefense, jointly presented over Zoom Russian Grip on EU Nuclear Power – an overview of Russia’s businesses and supply chains serving the European nuclear market. 

The report comes on the heels of the European Parliament’s resolution demanding a full embargo on Russian nuclear fuel as well as oil, gas, and coal, and as Moscow’s war reveals the terrifyingly irresponsible actions at the hands of Russian troops at or near the sites of Ukraine’s nuclear power plants.

Through its uranium-producing mines, the fuel manufacturing subsidiary TVEL, and a number of other enterprises – including the German firm NUKEM and the Czech-based Škoda JS – as well as ties with France’s Framatome, Russia’s nuclear giant Rosatom earns billions supplying uranium, fuel assemblies, and maintenance, storage and transport services to nuclear companies and power plants in European countries. This includes fuel deliveries to Soviet-built nuclear power plants in Ukraine.

According to a late April report carried by Rosatom’s corporate outlet Strana Rosatom, the corporation’s total foreign revenue in 2021 rose 20.3% year on year, reaching $8.9 bn. In the first three months of 2022, Rosatom’s foreign earnings grew by 13%. TVEL’s revenue from nuclear fuel exports stood at $0.7 bn in 2020, said the corporation’s annual report for that year.…………………………………..

……….. Ecodefense’s Slivyak:

“Europe must stop its cooperation with Rosatom – stop participating in joint projects, including building nuclear power plants. Stop buying nuclear fuel from Rosatom,” he said.

…………. “A plan to replace nuclear energy with energy from other sources must be created, and the [Russia-dependent] operating reactors must be shut down,” Slivyak said. 

May 30, 2022 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Caitlin Johnson, rogue journalist, on corporate control of the media

The report says that toward this end the US government has deliberately circulated false or poorly evidenced claims about impending chemical weapons attacks, about Russian plans to orchestrate a false flag attack in the Donbass…………………. So they lied. They may hold that they lied for a noble reason, but they lied. They knowingly circulated information they had no reason to believe was true, and that lie was amplified by all the most influential media outlets in the western world.

Nowadays the CIA collaboration happens right out in the open, and people are too propagandized to even recognize this as scandalous. Immensely influential outlets like The New York Times uncritically pass on CIA disinfo which is then spun as fact by cable news pundits. The Washington Post has consistently refused to disclose the fact that its sole owner has been a CIA contractor when reporting on US intelligence agencies as per standard journalistic protocol.

Ten Times Empire Managers Showed Us That They Want To Control Our Thoughts Caitlin Johnstone, 30 May 22,

The single most overlooked and under-appreciated aspect of our society is the fact that immensely powerful people are continuously working to manipulate the thoughts we think about the world. Whether you call it propaganda, psyops, perception management or public relations, it’s a real thing that happens constantly, and it happens to all of us.

And its consequences shape our entire world.

This should be at the forefront of our attention when examining news, trends and ideas, but it hardly ever gets mentioned. This is because the mass-scale psychological manipulation is succeeding. Propaganda only works if you don’t know it’s happening.

To be clear, I am not talking about some kind of wacky unsubstantiated conspiracy theory here. I am talking about a conspiracy fact. That we are propagandized by people with authority over us is not seriously in dispute by any well-informed good faith actor and has been extensively described and documented for many years.

More than this, the managers of the US-centralized empire which dominates the west and so much of the rest of the world have straightforwardly shown us that they propagandize us and want to propagandize us more. They have shown us with their actions, and they have at times come right out and told us with their words.

Here are just a few of those times.

1. Operation Mockingbird

Let’s start with maybe the best-known example. In 1977 Carl Bernstein published an article titled “The CIA and the Media” reporting that the CIA had covertly infiltrated America’s most influential news outlets and had over 400 reporters who it considered assets in a program known as Operation Mockingbird.

It was a major scandal, and rightly so. The news media are meant to report truthfully about what happens in the world, not manipulate public perception to suit the agendas of spooks and warmongers.

But it only got worse from there.

2. Intelligence operatives now just openly working in the media

Continue reading

May 30, 2022 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

 Cancer patients forced to testify anonymously in Fukushima nuclear disaster case

 Cancer patients forced to testify anonymously in Fukushima nuclear
disaster case. The plaintiffs are facing a backlash as they argue that the
2011 disaster is the cause of their ill health. A court in Japan this week
began hearings against the operator of a Fukushima power plant over cases
of thyroid cancer in children allegedly linked to the 2011 nuclear

Six people are seeking Y616 million (£3.8 million) in damages
from Tokyo Electric Power Co (TEPCO), claiming they were exposed to
radiation after a massive tsunami destroyed the plant’s cooling systems and
caused three of the six reactors to suffer meltdowns.

The people – all aged between 6 and 16 at the time – have been living with the effects of that
day ever since. Four had their thyroid removed entirely and will need to
take hormone medication for the rest of their lives. The other two had
portions of their thyroids removed. One of the plaintiffs said the cancer
has spread to their lungs.

 Telegraph 29th May 2022

May 30, 2022 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Debris in sediment, bottom of Fukushima Unit 1 Neutron radiation detected at high levels

Lawyer Kenichi Ido, second left, sitting among other lawyers representing plaintiffs who were children in Fukushima at the time of the 2011 nuclear disaster and later developed thyroid cancer, speaks during a news conference after a trial in Tokyo, Thursday, May 26, 2022. A Tokyo court began hearing a case Thursday seeking nearly $5 million in damages for six people who lived as children in Fukushima and developed thyroid cancer after its 2011 nuclear disaster. (AP Photo/Mari Yamaguchi)

By Mari Yamaguchi Associated Press

May 26, 2022

A Tokyo court has begun hearings in a lawsuit seeking nearly $5 million in damages for six people who were children in Fukushima at the time of its 2011 nuclear power plant disaster and later developed thyroid cancer

TOKYO — A Tokyo court began hearings Thursday in a lawsuit seeking nearly $5 million in damages for six people who were children in Fukushima at the time of its 2011 nuclear power plant disaster and later developed thyroid cancer.

The plaintiffs are suing the operator of the nuclear plant, saying radiation released in the accident caused their illnesses.

It is the first group lawsuit filed by Fukushima residents over health problems allegedly linked to the disaster, their lawyers say.

One plaintiff, identified only as a woman in her 20s, testified from behind a screen that she had to give up plans to attend university because of repeated operations and treatments.

“Because of the treatments, I could not attend university, or continue my studies for my future job, or go to a concert. I had to give up everything,” she said. “I want to regain my healthy body, but that’s impossible no matter how hard I wish.”

She and the five other plaintiffs are seeking a total of 616 million yen ($4.9 million) in damages from Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings for allegedly causing their cancers.

On March 11, 2011, a magnitude 9.0 earthquake and massive tsunami destroyed the Fukushima plant’s cooling systems, causing three reactor cores to melt and release large amounts of radiation. Critics say the plant operator should have known that a large tsunami was possible at the site.

The plaintiffs, who were 6 to 16 years old at the time of the accident and lived in different parts of Fukushima, were diagnosed with thyroid cancer between 2012 and 2018, their lawyers said.

The plant operator told the court that they were not exposed to enough radiation to cause cancer, citing tests of 1,080 children from three cities around the plant that showed about 55% were not exposed and none received more than 50 millisieverts, the annual limit for nuclear workers.

An increase in thyroid cancer was found among children following the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear disaster in Ukraine.

The Fukushima prefectural government tested 380,000 residents aged 18 or younger at the time of the accident for thyroid cancer. About 300 were diagnosed with cancer or suspected cancer.

That occurrence rate, about 77 per 100,000, is significantly higher than the usual 1-2 per million and can only be linked to radiation from the accident, the plaintiffs’ lawyers said.

Prefectural officials and experts have said the high level of thyroid cancer found in Fukushima is due to an overdiagnosis, which might have led to unnecessary treatment.

Kenichi Ido, one of the lawyers, said none of the cases involve an overdiagnosis and that the plant operator should be held accountable for radiation exposure unless it can prove otherwise.

The plaintiff who testified Thursday said she walked from home to her high school five days after the tsunami, just as the reactors were undergoing meltdowns.

Three other plaintiffs who attended the hearing were also behind a partition to protect their privacy because of criticism on social media accusing them of fabricating their illnesses and hurting the image of Fukushima, the lawyers said.

Ido said many people with health problems feel intimidated to speak out in Fukushima and that he hopes the lawsuit will prove a correlation between radiation and the plaintiffs’ cancers “so that we can have a society in which people can talk freely about their difficulties.”

The government was slow in responding to the crisis, and evacuations in many places were delayed due to a lack of disclosure of what was happening at the nuclear plant. Residents who fled in their cars clogged roads and were stranded for hours outside while radiation spread from the damaged reactors. Some residents headed to evacuation centers in the direction of the radiation flow.

May 30, 2022 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

If a major earthquake were to occur… “Will it be safe?” concerns the chairman of the regulatory committee after the damage to the foundation of the pressure vessel at the Fukushima Daiichi Unit 1 reactor is discovered

The foundation supporting the pressure vessel has lost its concrete, leaving the rebar exposed inside the reactor of TEPCO’s Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant Unit 1 (courtesy of the International Nuclear Decommissioning Research and Development Organization and Hitachi GE Nuclear Energy).

May 25, 2022
At a press conference on May 25, Chairman Toyoshi Sarada of the Nuclear Regulation Authority of Japan (NRAJ) said, in response to an investigation that found rebar exposed in part of the reinforced concrete foundation supporting the Unit 1 reactor pressure vessel at TEPCO’s Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant (Okuma and Futaba, Fukushima Prefecture), “I have concerns about whether it will be safe when a major earthquake occurs. I have concerns about whether it will be safe in the event of a major earthquake. If we could reinforce it, we would.
 Sarada pointed out that “it is possible to speculate” about the possibility that nuclear fuel (debris) melted down during the accidental meltdown (core meltdown) and broke through the pressure vessel, melting the concrete (1.2 meters thick) of the foundation. He expressed a sense of crisis, saying, “It is necessary to consider what would happen if the foundation collapsed.
 He also recognized that it would be difficult to reinforce the foundation in a nuclear reactor with extremely high radiation levels, and said, “We cannot take too long when considering earthquake resistance, and we should remove the debris as soon as possible, even if it is just an earpick, and analyze its condition.
 TEPCO placed an underwater robot into the containment vessel from March 17 to 21 to investigate its interior. Near the base of the bottom of the containment vessel, several lumpy deposits were found that appeared to be debris. Although the accident caused the meltdown of Units 1-3, this was the first time that the exposure of rebar inside the concrete was confirmed. (Kenta Onozawa)

May 30, 2022 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Plaintiff diagnosed with thyroid cancer after the Fukushima nuclear accident: “I have suffered without telling anyone

The day the lawsuit was filed (January 27, 2022, courtesy of OurPlanetTV)

May 25, 2022
In January 2022, children who suffered from thyroid cancer and were living in Fukushima Prefecture at the time of the accident at TEPCO’s Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant, aged between 6 and 16, became plaintiffs and filed a lawsuit against TEPCO, claiming that their thyroid cancer was caused by the nuclear accident and demanding that the company clarify the causal relationship.

This is the first class action lawsuit filed against TEPCO 11 years after the accident, claiming the effects of radiation exposure.

All of the plaintiffs have had their thyroid glands removed, and four of the six have relapsed; the four who have undergone two or more surgeries and had their entire thyroid glands removed must continue to take hormone medication for the rest of their lives. Another child has been diagnosed with distant metastasis to the lungs.

We interviewed one of the plaintiffs, who said, “I have suffered for the past 11 years without being able to tell anyone. (Writer: Chia Yoshida)
Announcement of acceptance with the possibility of exposure to radiation

Sawa Mukai (15 years old at the time of the accident, pseudonym) was an athletic child who was affected by the disaster on March 11, 2011, the day of her junior high school graduation ceremony. She recalls how eerie it was to see a blizzard immediately after the earthquake, followed by a sky that suddenly cleared up.

The next day, she helped clean up a relative’s house that had been completely destroyed by the earthquake. The road in front of the relative’s house was jammed with cars heading in a westerly direction.

It was strange because there is not usually a lot of traffic on this road, but when I thought about it later, I realized that they were cars evacuating from the nuclear power plant,” Mukai said.

On March 12, Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant Unit 1 exploded, Unit 3 exploded on March 14, Unit 2 was in a critical condition, and Unit 4 exploded on March 15.

The next day, March 16, was the announcement of acceptance to high schools in Fukushima. Many junior high school students in the prefecture went out to the high schools they had applied to in order to check their numbers.

Although many teachers and staff members were opposed to the announcement of acceptance in the midst of the possibility of children being exposed to radiation, the prefecture decided to go ahead with the announcement. Mr. Mukai was one of those who had no choice but to go to the acceptance announcement.

Kenichi Ido, a lawyer representing the plaintiffs, points out that “elementary and junior high school students who were unprotected at the time of the accident were exposed to radiation, which may have led to their illnesses.

“We often hear stories of students who were engaged in club activities as usual, or who went to the March 16th prefectural high school acceptance announcement,” he said. The government has assumed that there are no health hazards caused by the nuclear accident, but this is not the case,” said Ido.
Even if the radiation dose rate is above the standard value, “Oh, well…

The risk of radiation exposure lurked even in high school.

Although Ms. Mukai was fond of sports, she gave up her outdoor sports club, which she had planned to join. His mother was concerned that he should not be exposed to radiation as much as possible.

Although warning poles were placed at hot spots (areas with locally elevated radiation levels) on campus to alert people to the danger, once they became accustomed to the area, everyone began to pass by them.

Gradually, no one would wear masks to avoid internal exposure. Mr. Mukai wore a mask until the end, but in the summer of 2011, he began to remove it because it was too hot.

At the time, the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) had a standard for school grounds that they could only be used if the air dose rate was “less than 3.8 μSv per hour,” but “It’s over. But I once heard a teacher say, “Well, that’s OK.

The radiation level at home was also high. In some places, the radiation levels were 100 times higher than before the accident. Even indoors, the levels were 60 times higher than before the accident. The family decontaminated the area with a high-pressure washer, but the levels did not go down that much.

Mr. Mukai was unable to join an athletic team, so he focused on his schoolwork, aiming to attend a university in Tokyo. Thanks to his efforts, he was accepted with a recommendation. She was so happy that she started living in Tokyo in early March (before entering university),” she smiles.
I will never forget the doctor’s words: “There is no cause-and-effect relationship between the nuclear accident and my life.

There were many places to play in Tokyo, I started a part-time job, and my new life was enjoyable.

However, around that time, she began to experience some physical problems. Her body swelled, her menstrual periods became irregular, she gained weight, and her skin became rough. And when she swallowed water or saliva, she felt discomfort in her throat.

When she consulted her mother, she was told that it might be a thyroid-related condition and that she should get checked out as soon as possible. Mr. Mukai was busy with university classes and other obligations, so he missed the second thyroid checkup conducted by the Fukushima prefectural government.

Soon after, Ms. Mukai took the test along with other children at a large-scale thyroid screening site in Fukushima Prefecture. The test took only a minute or so for the others, but the process stopped at Mr. Mukai’s spot.

While applying the echo, Ms. Mukai saw the doctor nod his head and wondered if something was wrong.

Later, the results arrived at his parents’ home, and his mother contacted Mr. Mukai in Tokyo to inform him of the “reexamination. Fukushima Medical University called her twice and asked her to retest immediately. Ms. Mukai said that by that time she had a dim feeling that she might have thyroid cancer.

In the fall of 2015, he was told at the hospital that he had thyroid cancer. Mukai will never forget being told by the doctor that there was no causal relationship between the nuclear accident and the cancer, even though he had not asked any questions at the time.

I wondered how they could possibly know that,” Mukai said.

She then underwent surgery to remove the left half of her thyroid gland at the age of 20.
He was 20 years old. “I hope that other sufferers will be in a situation where they can raise their voices,” he said.

In consideration of his health condition, he quit the part-time job he had enjoyed.

After graduating from university, he found a job, but his health deteriorated due to the hard work. She quit the job she had longed for, and now works at a job that is less demanding on her body.

If her numbers worsen, she has to resume taking her medication, and she lives her life constantly worrying about her health.

I gave up a lot of things myself, but there are many more people younger than me who had to make the choice to give up,” Mukai said.

People who dropped out of college. Some have dropped out of college, others have been unable to find work. Some confided in me that they had given up on love and marriage and could not even think about falling in love with someone. I was shocked by all of them.

As she recounted her own experiences, Ms. Mukai was considerate of the other plaintiffs and those who had contracted thyroid cancer but were not plaintiffs.

There is a situation where other small children cannot speak up,” she said. I hope that by raising our voices this time, other sufferers will be able to speak out,” said Mukai.

The incidence of childhood thyroid cancer is generally said to be “1 to 2 per million children.

However, in Fukushima Prefecture, according to a prefectural survey, 273 children were diagnosed with suspected malignant (cancerous) thyroid cancer through cytological puncture diagnosis, and 226 children have already undergone surgery. When national cancer registries and regional cancer registries are combined, more than 300 people have been diagnosed with thyroid cancer.

The aforementioned lawyer Ido also commented, “In Fukushima Prefecture today, people cannot talk about the fact that they have thyroid cancer because it is a sensitive issue, and they are isolated from the rest of the community.

Ms. Mukai, too, had only been able to talk about her thyroid cancer to those close to her. However, this changed when she decided to file the lawsuit. As a result of calling for support for the trial through crowdfunding, he raised approximately 17.62 million yen, far exceeding his goal of 10 million yen.

I was very happy that 1,966 people donated to the trial and sent messages of support. The other plaintiffs were also happy,” said Mukai.

My fears that I would be discriminated against or that I would not be understood were slightly allayed.

On the other hand, however, on the same day that the lawsuit was filed, five former prime ministers, including Junichiro Koizumi and Naoto Kan, sent a letter to the European Commission, the executive body of the European Union, stating that “many children are suffering from thyroid cancer,” to which incumbent Diet members and Fukushima Prefecture Governor Masao Uchibori protested, calling the information “false,” “inappropriate,” and “regrettable. The letter was sent to the European Commission, the executive body of the European Union (EU).

They said, “We are surprised and indignant that you would make such a statement even though you know that there are children who have developed thyroid cancer. Because I have seen other plaintiffs who are truly suffering, that statement was unforgivable,” said Mukai.

Mukai, who felt that this trial would not be an easy one, has continued to consider the causal relationship between the nuclear accident and thyroid cancer by attending study sessions with experts and reading the complaint.

Among the plaintiffs, there were some who were so mentally distressed that they could not eat rice, and this made me feel more strongly that something had to be done.

I believe that there is a causal relationship between the accident and thyroid cancer, and although I cannot do it alone, I would like to fight the trial in cooperation with the plaintiffs and the defense team,” said Mukai.

The first oral argument will be held at the Tokyo District Court on May 26 at 14:00. Plaintiffs are scheduled to make statements.

The plaintiffs and their lawyers in the thyroid cancer trial are seeking continued support for the trial through the crowdfunding service “READYFOR.

Chia Yoshida: Freelance writer. After the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant accident, she has continued to cover victims and evacuees. She is the author of “Reporto: Mother and Child Evacuation” (Iwanami Shinsho), “Sotoko no Fukushima: Nukei no Koto o Koto wo Ikiru Hitobito” (After Fukushima: People Living After the Nuclear Accident) (Jinbunshoin), “Korunin: Futaba-gun Firefighters’ 3/11” (Iwanami Shoten), and co-author of “Nukei Hakusho” (White Paper on Nuclear Evacuation) (Jinbunshoin).

May 30, 2022 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Putin Ready For “Serious Negotiations” With Zelensky, But Says Western Arms ‘Destabilizing’ Situation BY TYLER DURDEN, SUNDAY, MAY 29, 2022

Russian President Vladimir Putin in a Saturday phone call with his French and German counterparts Emmanuel Macron and Chancellor Olaf Scholz said Moscow stands “ready” to re-engage in peace talks with the Ukrainian government. The phone call came as some Western officials have belatedly admitted that Russian forces are making steady gains in the Donbas, also as the Luhansk is about to come under total Russian control.

The focus of the call included Macron and Scholz urging the Russian leader to immediately hold “serious negotiations” with President Zelensky; however the European leaders reportedly requested that captured Azov battalion members from Mariupol must be released, which the Kremlin balked at, also given the group’s neo-Nazi identity.

A follow-up Kremlin statement said of the call that “Special attention was given to the state of affairs on the negotiating track, which is frozen because of Kiev. Vladimir Putin confirmed Russia is open to resuming the dialogue.”

But neither side as yet appears willing to make serious concessions. For example, while Zelensky has in past days admitted an increasingly “difficult” situation for Ukrainian forces fighting in Donbas, he’s still pledging that he’ll never recognize Russian authority over any Ukrainian territory, even including Crimea.

In his latest statements in a Friday night speech, he vowed that Donbas will be “Ukrainian again”… 

“That’s why we have to increase our defense, increase our resistance, and Donbas will be Ukrainian again. Even if Russia will bring all suffering and ruination to Donbas, we will rebuild every town, every community. There’s no real alternative,” Zelensky stressed

Putin, for his part, appears unwilling to get serious about negotiations so long as huge quantities of Western weapons are pouring into the Ukrainian side. He warned Macron and Scholz in the Saturday call that continuing the arms flow is “dangerous”, saying the situation “risks of further destabilization of the situation and aggravation of the humanitarian crisis,” according to a Kremlin statement.

The Russian leader condemned the dangerous “ongoing pumping of Ukraine with Western weapons…” as the conflict continues to slide into a full-blown proxy war between Russia and NATO.

This as the Biden administration is widely reported to be readying authorization of long-range missiles for Ukraine, also as it appears Stinger anti-air rockets are being transported to Kiev in larger numbers.

Putin also discussed with Macron and Scholz the growing global food and wheat supply crisis due to Black Sea port blockages… “Based on specific data, Vladimir Putin explained the real reasons for the difficulties with food supplies, which were the result of the misguided economic and financial policies of Western countries, as well as the anti-Russian sanctions they imposed,” the Kremlin readout said. Russian officials have also laid central blame on Ukrainian forces mining their own ports as well.

The Kremlin statement emphasized, “Russia is ready to help find options for unhampered exports of grain, including exports of Ukrainian grain from the Black Sea ports”. And further: “Increasing supplies of Russian fertilizers and agricultural products will also help reduce tension on the global food market, which, of course, would require removing the relevant restrictions.” 

May 30, 2022 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

A warning from France, about nuclear delusions of grandeur,

Nuclear: ”  Industrialists are in denial, politicians know nothing about it  

France had the madness of grandeur in wanting to build more and more powerful reactors.

Gaspard d’Allens and Émilie Massemin (Reporterre)  Reporterre 28th May 2022

Nuclear ”  unacceptable  “, ”  industrial disaster  ” of the EPR , France and its ”  delusions of grandeur  “… Pillar of the fight against the atom, the engineer Bernard Laponche warns of the dangers of this technology.

You are reading Bernard Laponche’s great interview. The first part is here .

Reporterre — How do you analyze the return to grace of the nuclear industry by Emmanuel Macron, with the construction of six  EPR2s and the study of eight additional ones  ?

Bernard Laponche — It’s communication  ! This operation is part of the mythology that goes back to General de Gaulle, and that Emmanuel Macron has taken over, according to which civil and military nuclear power is the basis of France’s independence.

EDF ‘s nuclear fleet is going through its worst crisis since its birth. The stalemate of the Flamanville EPR site , the chain shutdowns of reactors due to problems of corrosion and cracks, the problems at the Orano reprocessing plants in La Hague and the manufacture of Mox  [1] in Marcoule, EDF on the verge of bankruptcy … This is unheard of. Between 2010 and 2020, nearly a hundred incidents occurred throughout the park. Bernard Doroszczuk, president of the Nuclear Safety Authority ( ASN ), recognized this on April 7, 2021 during a hearing in the Senate  : “  A nuclear accident is possible in France.  »

In this situation, it seems very difficult to hold a triumphant speech on nuclear power. But the industrialists are in denial, the politicians who promote it know nothing about it. All are surfing on the argument of the fight against climate change to promote the sector.

Why nuclear won’t save the climate  ?

Greenhouse gas emissions are far from negligible. Nuclear fissions in an operating reactor, the source of the energy produced, do not effectively emit CO₂ . But all nuclear activities in a plant in operation – 800 employees on average – or during shutdowns for maintenance work, yes. These activities also very often cause leaks of gases that are very active in global warming, such as refrigerants (1,000 times warmer than CO₂) and especially sulfur hexafluoride (23,500 times more warming). The extraction of uranium from the mines of Canada, Niger and Kazakhstan, the construction of nuclear plants and power stations, the manufacture of nuclear fuels, the transport and storage of radioactive materials and waste also emit considerable quantities of CO ₂ and other greenhouse gases. For example, the work for each fourth ten-year inspection of a 900 megawatt ( MW ) reactor — there are thirty-two of them — mobilizes 5,000 workers, between six months and a year.

…………………………………..  Take the case of the Flamanville EPR : very high CO₂ emissions during construction — several thousand cubic meters of concrete, hundreds of tons of steel and thousands of workers since 2007 — and we do not know still not sure if it will start one day, or when.

Today, nuclear represents only 10 % of the world’s electricity production and only makes it possible to avoid 2.5 % of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions. For it to contribute significantly to the fight against climate change, its share in the global electricity mix would have to be multiplied by at least five. Which, given the duration of construction of a plant, is absolutely technically impossible, even in fifty years.

Finally, due to accelerating global warming, power stations on the banks of the river will increasingly be confronted with warming waters and the reduction of this resource, and those on the seashore with rising ocean waters, caused by melting ice.

But above all, the nuclear issue cannot be reduced to greenhouse gas emissions. Other factors must be taken into account when choosing the electricity mix: the risk of a serious or major accident , the radioactive waste which accumulates for thousands of years, the proliferation of nuclear weapons through the enrichment uranium and the production of plutonium, via the reprocessing of irradiated fuel. This technique is unacceptable for the threat it poses to humanity.

As you remember, the setbacks accumulate for the sector. Which do you think is the most serious ?

The management of radioactive waste is very problematic. In the other nuclear-powered countries, irradiated fuel is considered waste as soon as it leaves the reactors. France, on the other hand, reprocesses its irradiated fuel to produce plutonium, initially for the atomic bomb. Nearly 70 tons of this radioactive material are currently stored at La Hague. The plutonium produced is now used to manufacture Mox fuel. Used in about twenty 900  MW reactors , it is more radioactive and more dangerous than ordinary enriched uranium fuel and is not reprocessed once it is irradiated.

The La Hague plant is one of the most dangerous installations in the world. It stores in its pools, unprotected against external attacks, the equivalent of 100 reactor cores in irradiated fuel. And she is aging. Some evaporators are down, preventing the site from operating at full capacity. The risk of bottling the fuels to be reprocessed and saturation of the storage pools is increasing.

It is urgent to stop reprocessing. The Nuclear Safety Authority recently mentioned the difficulties that are accumulating in the management of irradiated fuels. But the sector is stubborn, and prefers to mitigate the risk of saturation by asking to build a new large storage pool .

Even if we stopped reprocessing, the question of waste would still arise. What do you think of the only seriously studied project in France to bury them 500 meters underground in Bure (Meuse) ?

………………….. There are many criticisms and questions about this project, in particular from the Environmental Authority , independent experts, environmental organizations and local populations: on the legacy to future generations of hazardous waste for hundreds of thousands of years, on the risks during the 150-year period of construction and operation, on the choice of clay, on the risks of fire, hydrogen production, water pollution, etc. Such experiences abroad of deep burial of chemical or nuclear waste have proven to be catastrophic: Stocamine in France , Asse in Germany , WIPP in the United States. In addition, the cost of Cigéo, not yet estimated [4] , would be considerable, not to mention the CO ₂ emissions of such a project………………………………..

The number of reactors currently shut down is historically high. How do you assess the state of the park  ?

France had the madness of grandeur in wanting to build more and more powerful reactors.

After the French natural uranium graphite gas ( UNGG ) model was abandoned in 1969, France bought the American Westinghouse license for pressurized water reactors. Framatome  [5] was tasked with implementing the 1974 Messmer plan and delivered the first 900  MW reactors under Westinghouse license. EDF has thus built 34 reactors in less than ten years, which is a performance.

Framatome then developed a 1,300  MW model , then achieved a further power jump of around 1,450  MW . This latest model presented design problems from the start. The Civaux and Chooz plants were delivered two years late.

The difficulties continued with the EPR , of 1,650  MW , a veritable industrial disaster. The Flamanville EPR began construction in 2007 and was due to start in 2012. It has accumulated failures: concrete of its platform, welds to be redone several times, refusal of control command, falsification of equipment certificates, delivery of a non-compliant tank… The cost of the EPR , initially established at 3 billion euros, is now estimated at 19 billion euros by the Court of Auditors . The two Taishan reactors in China, built faster and commissioned in 2018 and 2019, are shut downsince the discovery of radioactive leaks from damaged fuel sheaths – without the cause of this phenomenon being understood yet.

……….. Every time you increase the power of a reactor, you have to redesign everything. The calculations to be performed are extremely complex. But if these leaks turned out to be linked to a design problem, it would be catastrophic for EDF , because all the EPRs would be affected.

Finally, for several months, EDF has been faced with a problem of corrosion and cracks on the emergency cooling circuits connected to the primary circuit of several reactors in the fleet, primarily its most powerful reactors (1,450 megawatts) at Civaux and Chooz, but also those of 1,300  MW and probably those of 900  MW . The Civaux, Chooz and Penly reactors have been shut down for several months and will perhaps remain so for years, for inspections after cutting and examination of the parts concerned in the safety cooling circuits ( RIS ) and the cooling circuits at the stop ( RRA), for repair. All reactors must be checked by the end of 2023. The cause of these faults is still poorly explained  [6] and would be multifactorial: quality of the steel of the parts, method of welding, layout of the circuits…

Currently, between a third and a half of EDF ‘s reactors are shut down due to these difficulties and almost daily incidents on such and such a reactor.

During the war in Ukraine, civilian nuclear power became a military target with the seizure of the Chernobyl and Zaporijia power plants. How do you view this new risk  ?

In Ukraine, the Chernobyl power plant, located on the northern border with Belarus, was equipped with four Soviet RBMK reactors commissioned between 1974 and 1983. After the 1986 disaster on reactor 4, the other three were definitively stopped between 1991 and 2000. There now remains on the site the destroyed reactor containing the molten core protected by a sarcophagus, a new arch intended to confine the radioactivity, but not at all designed to withstand strikes ; three reactors to be dismantled ; as well as storage facilities for irradiated fuel and radioactive waste. Many workers remain on site. The entry of Russian tanks into the prohibited fenced area of ​​​​2,600 km 2produced significant resuspension of radioactive aerosols and air contamination. Russian soldiers who dug trenches were irradiated. On March 30, the Russian army began to evacuate the Chernobyl site.

( Zaporizhia)…………………………………..The reactors, even shut down, and the storage facilities for irradiated fuels, must be supplied with cooling water and therefore constantly supplied with electricity. They are therefore extremely fragile vis-à-vis any external aggression in a situation of armed conflict or terrorist attack. Even if the reactor itself is not targeted, any bombardment, missile or shell can lead to a loss of water, by the piercing of a pipe for example, or of electricity by loss of the network or lack of fuel for emergency diesels. With the key to a risk of serious accident as in Three Mile Island (United States), even major as in Fukushima and Chernobyl. This intrinsic fragility is a warning for all nuclear plants and power stations in the world.

 Reporterre 28th May 2022

May 30, 2022 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment