Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

2019 As coal and nuclear power stations retire, 2019 U.S. renewable generation additions expected to far outpace gas

2019 US renewable generation additions expected to far outpace gas: EIA https://www.utilitydive.com/news/2019-us-renewable-generation-additions-expected-to-far-outpace-gas-eia/545836/ AUTHOR, Iulia Gheorghiu @IMGheorghiu

Dive Brief:

  • 23.7 GW of new U.S. electric generating capacity, mostly from wind, natural gas and solar, are expected in 2019, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) inventory of electric generators.
  • In addition, EIA data shows 8 GW of primarily coal, nuclear and natural gas generation are expected to retire this year, though that number could increase as utilities continue to evaluate their generating portfolios.
  • The expected retirements include Arizona’s 2.3 GW Navajo coal-burning power plant, Exelon’s 819 MW Three Mile Island nuclear power plant in Pennsylvania and Entergy’s 677 MW Pilgrim nuclear power station in Massachusetts.

Dive Insight:

Cheaper prices of natural gas and renewable energy have impacted the competitiveness of more traditional generation fuels.

Renewable additions are projected to more than double gas in 2019. Last year, natural gas capacity additions outpaced renewable energy additions for the first time since 2013. 2018 was also a landmark year for new capacity additions, as EIA expected nearly 32 GW of new capacity — the most in a decade.

The estimates, based on EIA data, do not include additions in the residential and commercial solar sectors, which are expected to be an additional 3.9 GW by the end of 2019.

In 2019, EIA is tracking about 6.1 GW of combined-cycle gas plants and 1.4 GW of combustion-turbine gas plants, expected to be mostly online by June, in order to meet high energy demand during the summer peak. The rest of the expected additions include wind, solar and about 2% of other renewable and battery storage capacity.

Renewable capacity typically comes online at the end of the year, according to the EIA. This matches the upcoming changes in renewable energy tax credits. The wind production tax credit will phase out completely at the end of the year from its current status at 40% of 2015 levels. On the solar side, this is the last year for a full 30% investment tax credit for developing solar energy systems, which will begin to phase down in 2020.

Utility integrated resource plans (IRPs) are beginning to show that renewables can beat out older coal plants, as the Northern Indiana Public Service Company demonstrated through its 2018 IRP analysis last fall, assessing a scenario to eliminate the resource by 2028.

Half of the 4.5 GW of coal-fired capacity expected to retire in 2019 comes from the Navajo Generation Station (NGS), which has not found enough customers for its power generation despite support from a number of groups and the Trump administration to keep it open. Last September, private equity firm Middle River Power dropped its bid to purchase the plant.

In addition, the Pilgrim nuclear plant, set to retire in May, and Three Mile Island, scheduled to retire in September, follow announcements from the plant operators of “severe economic challenges.” Exelon’s Three Mile Island failed to clear the PJM Interconnection capacity market auction in 2017 and Entergy based the decision for Pilgrim on a range of financial factors, including low current and forecast wholesale energy prices.

While the Trump administration has worked to support existing coal and nuclear power plants and to create economic conditions to add new coal and nuclear capacity, trends are pointing away from nuclear and coal additions.

“I don’t think there are any trends in the current electricity market that favor the idea of building new coal or nuclear power plants,” Tim Fox, vice president of ClearView Energy Partners, told Utility Dive.

The natural gas plants set for retirement largely consist of steam turbine plants, mostly located in California. They are older units that came online more than 50 years ago. Other capacity retirements for the year include a hydroelectric plant in Washington state and smaller renewable and petroleum capacity.

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January 12, 2019 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Book by former chairman of Nuclear Regulatory Commission opposes nuclear energy

How Dangerous is Nuclear Power and How Bad is It’s Regulation? (2019)

Former NRC chairman remains clearly opposed to nuclear energy, Las Vegas Sun, 9 Jan 19, “……… former Nuclear Regulatory Commission Chairman Gregory Jaczko is going on the offensive to explain why nuclear energy is nowhere near a perfect solution to the climate crisis.

In a new book, Jaczko reiterates his longstanding criticism of the nuclear industry and his opposition to development of traditional nuclear power plants, which he says are unsafe despite technological improvements designed to make them safer.

Exhibit No. 1 in Jaczko’s argument is the Fukushima disaster. …, he contends that the catastrophe at Fukushima wiped out environmental gains that Japan made by burning less fossil fuels

…….Meanwhile, he says, the cost of generating electricity through natural gas and renewables is lower in most parts of the country than nuclear generation

……“So to me, the idea that somehow we’re going to preserve these reactors and that’s a climate solution is just wrong,” he said.

Then, of course, there’s the issue with nuclear waste ………

Jaczko’s bottom-line assessment is that despite decades of development, nuclear energy remains too hazardous and costly to be a viable source of power.

“There’s going to be an accident,” he said. “The only question is when and where.”

It’s a compelling argument, and anyone who may be warming to nuclear energy in the fight to reverse climate change should examine it. The book, “

,” is available now at Amazon, Barnes & Noble and other outlets. https://lasvegassun.com/news/2019/jan/09/former-nrc-chairman-remains-clearly-opposed-to-nuc/

January 10, 2019 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Trump administration and Bill Gates hope to further Gates’ nuclear project, with taxpayer funding, and weaker safety regulation.

TRUMP ADMINISTRATION WANTS BILL GATES TO DITCH CHINA AND BUILD HIS NUCLEAR PROJECT IN THE US, Daily Caller, Jason Hopkins | Energy Investigator 01/08/2019 |  Members of the Trump administration are actively working to convince Bill Gates to relocate his now-scrapped nuclear reactor project in China over to the U.S.

“We hope we can work with them and bring them back,” said Deputy Energy Secretary Dan Brouillette in an exchange with reporters Monday. Brouillette revealed the Energy Department has held “several conversations” with Gates, adding that he was optimistic the U.S. government could streamline the permitting process and entice the billionaire to bring his project stateside…….

“Unfortunately, America is no longer the global leader on nuclear energy that it was 50 years ago. To regain this position, it will need to commit new funding, update regulations, and show investors that it’s serious,” Gates wrote in a year-end blog post, first revealing his botched nuclear plans. ……

In the waning days of December, Congress passed the The Nuclear Energy Innovation and Modernization Act by wide margins in both chambers. The legislation aims to streamline the regulatory process for commercial nuclear plants, with an end game of making the development and commercialization of nuclear technology more affordable.

If signed by President Donald Trump, the bill could make nuclear projects, like the one Gates is spearheading, easier to accomplish. https://dailycaller.com/2019/01/08/bill-gates-nuclear-project/

January 10, 2019 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

State of Oregon opposes Federal plan to declassify some high level nuclear waste

Feds say some Hanford radioactive waste is not so dangerous. Oregon disagrees, Tri City Herald, BY ANNETTE CARY, JANUARY 07, 2019 RICHLAND, WA 

January 10, 2019 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Space Radiation is Risky Business for the Human Body

From Radiation to Isolation: 5 Big Risks for Mars Astronauts (Videos)

Even astronauts who live on the International Space Station, which sits inside Earth’s protective magnetic field, are exposed to 10 times the radiation they would if they were back on Earth, NASA officials said in a statement and series of videos from the agency’s Human Research Program.

Anyone who traveled through deep space would be at much greater risk from radiation exposure. Outside of Earth’s protective shield, radiation can increase cancer risk and damage a person’s central nervous system (which would cause altered cognitive function, reduced motor function and behavioral changes), NASA’s Human Research Program said. Other dangers of being exposed to such high radiation include nausea, vomiting, anorexia, fatigue, cataracts, cardiac disease and circulatory disease. …….https://www.space.com/42918-big-space-risks-mars-astronauts-videos.html

January 10, 2019 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Cancer risks of too much radiation-based medical imaging

Radiation in the ICU: How much is too much?  https://www.wndu.com/content/news/Radiation-in-the-ICU-How-much-is-too-much-504012981.html   By Maureen McFadden | , Jan 07, 2019  

The use of radiation-based imaging has risen dramatically in the past decade, and medical radiation now accounts for a significant proportion of all radiation exposure in the U.S.

Critically ill patients are often subjected to many CT scans and X-rays, but who is keeping track of when enough is enough?

When he noticed one of his patients had undergone 100 X-rays, Cleveland Clinic Dr. Sudhir Krishnan was concerned.

“I said, surely, someone is keeping track of this, some regional, local, or national authority is keeping track on the amount of radiation exposure a patient typically gets,” he said. “And I realized that wasn’t the case. There’s nobody.”

There is a standard federal limit for radiation dosage, but a recent Cleveland Clinic study revealed something shocking.

“Some exceeded a number of more than 100 milisiverts within these six days,” Krishnan said. “By Federal Occupational Standards, that dose cannot be exceeded in five years, and we have that happening in six days.”

As patients move from different facilities, the information about the radiation they have received isn’t transferred, which could lead to bad results.

“Patients could develop a certain kind of cancer because they’ve been exposed to a certain amount of radiation,” Krishnan said.

X-rays, CT scans and fluoroscopic surgery are the most common sources of radiation. But Cleveland Clinic Dr. Charles Martin says something needs to change

“Improving communication amongst the multiple specialties to see if there’s one way to get many pieces of information from one study [is necessary],” Martin said.

Talk to your doctor about it and be sure to ask, as Krishnan suggests, “if there is no suitable alternative and is absolutely necessary, then one would have to weigh the benefits versus risk and proceed with what’s required.”

The Cleveland Clinic is working to develop a tool that tracks radiation doses and uses our electronic medical records as a home for all of this information.

RESEARCH SUMMARY
TOO MUCH RADIATION IN THE ICU?
REPORT #2597

BACKGROUND: Radiation may be defined as energy traveling through space. Non-ionizing radiation is essential to life, but excessive exposures will cause tissue damage. All forms of ionizing radiation have sufficient energy to ionize atoms that may destabilize molecules within cells and lead to tissue damage.
Radiation sources are found in a wide range of occupational settings. If radiation is not properly controlled it can be potentially hazardous to the health of workers. Non-ionizing radiation is described as a series of energy waves composed of oscillating electric and magnetic fields traveling at the speed of light. Non-ionizing radiation includes the spectrum of ultraviolet (UV), visible light, infrared (IR), microwave (MW), radio frequency (RF), and extremely low frequency (ELF). Lasers commonly operate in the UV, visible, and IR frequencies. Non-ionizing radiation is found in a wide range of occupational settings and can pose a considerable health risk to potentially exposed workers if not properly controlled. Ionizing radiation sources may be found in a wide range of occupational settings, including health care facilities, research institutions, nuclear reactors and their support facilities, nuclear weapon production facilities, and other various manufacturing settings, just to name a few. These radiation sources can pose a considerable health risk to affected workers if not properly controlled.
(Source: https://www.osha.gov/SLTC/radiation/ and https://www.osha.gov/SLTC/radiation_nonionizing/index.html and https://www.osha.gov/SLTC/radiationionizing/index.html

January 10, 2019 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Katherine Hayhoe – the voice for climate science – it’s above party politics!

Katharine Hayhoe: ‘A thermometer is not liberal or conservative’ Guardian, Jonathan Watts,  6 Jan 19   Katharine Hayhoe: ‘Fear is a short-term spur to action, but to make changes over the long term, we must have hope.’  

Let Science Speak – Dr. Katharine Hayhoe

The award-winning atmospheric scientist on the urgency of the climate crisis and why people are her biggest hope  “….. In 2018, we have seen forest fires in the Arctic circle; record high temperatures in parts of Australia, Africa and the US; floods in India; and devastating droughts in South Africa and Argentina. Is this a turning point? 
This year has hit home how climate change loads the dice against us by taking naturally occurring weather events and amplifying them. We now have attribution studies that show how much more likely or stronger extreme weather events have become as a result of human emissions. For example, wildfires in the western US now burn nearly twice the area they would without climate change, and almost 40% more rain fell during Hurricane Harvey than would have otherwise. So we are really feeling the impacts and know how much humanity is responsible.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released its 1.5C report in October. A month later, the US federal government’s climate assessment – to which youcontributed – came out. How did these two massive studies move our understanding along? 
These assessments are important because there is a Schrödinger’s Cat element to studying climate impacts. The act of observing affects the outcome. If people aren’t aware of what is happening, why would anyone change? Assessments like these provide us with a vision of the future if we continue on our current pathway, and by doing so they address the most widespread and dangerous myth that the largest number of us have bought into: not that the science isn’t real, but rather that climate change doesn’t matter to me personally.

Compared to past studies, how much media attention did these reports receive?

There was significant coverage but a lot of media survive by generating controversy so they bring on opposing voices rather than explaining the scientific facts. Climate change shouldn’t be fodder for commentators who represent the interests of the fossil fuel industry by muddying the science. As a human and a scientist, this focus on controversy is frustrating. A thermometer is not liberal or conservative.

Are there any signs that public opinion is shifting in the US and elsewhere

We haven’t yet reached the tipping point to motivate sufficient action. But there has been a change. Ten years ago, few people felt personally affected by climate change. It seemed very distant. Today, most people can point to a specific way climate affects their daily lives. This is important because the three key steps to action are accepting that climate change is real, recognising it affects us, and being motivated to do something to fix it. Opinion polls in the US show 70% of people agree the climate is changing, but a majority still say it won’t affect them.

Trump was dismissive of these reports and has repeatedly tried to deny any link between climate change and extreme weather. What are the politics behind this denial? 

It’s a vicious cycle. The more doom-filled reports the scientists release, the stronger the pushback from politicians whose power, ideology and funding depends on maintaining the status quo, and who are supported by those who fear the solutions to climate change more than they fear its impacts. Opposition to climate change is a symptom of a society that is politically polarised between those who cling to the past and those who recognise the need for a better future. Fossil fuels have brought us many benefits – and I’m grateful for their contribution to my life – but the solution to our current crisis is to stop using them. That change can be scary, especially for those with most to lose financially from this shift. If you feel threatened, the instinctive reaction is to push back………

On current trends, if you had to give a percentage breakdown of the likelihood of the following three outcomes by 2100, what would you give: a) keeping to 1.5C; b) keeping to 2C; c) rising above 3C; and d) overshooting 4C?
I’d put my money on a gradual bend away from a higher scenario, which is where we are now, until accumulating and worsening climate disasters eventually lead to a collective “oh shit!” moment, when people finally realise climate impacts do pose a far greater threat than the solutions. At that point, I would hope the world would suddenly ramp up its carbon reduction to the scale of a Manhattan Project or a moon race and we would finally be able to make serious progress. The multitrillion-dollar question is simply when that tipping point in opinion will come, and whether it will be too late for civilisation as we know it. I hope with all my heart that we stay under 1.5C, but my cynical brain says 3C. Perhaps the reality will be somewhere between my head and my heart at 2C.

What is the best way out of the climate crisis? What policies would make a difference? 
The most important thing is to accelerate the realisation that we have to act. This means connecting the dots to show that the impacts are not distant any more: they are here and they affect our lives. It also means talking about solutions. The technology and knowledge are there. The economics already make sense. In Texas, where I live, the biggest military base, Fort Hood, switched last year to renewables because they were cheaper than natural gas. And finally, it means weaning ourselves off fossil fuels, which is challenged by the fact that the majority of the world’s richest companies have made their money from the fossil fuel economy – so the majority of the wealth and power remains in their hands. ……… https://www.theguardian.com/science/2019/jan/06/katharine-hayhoe-interview-climate-change-scientist-crisis-hope

January 8, 2019 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Plutonium and health

TOXICOLOGICAL PROFILE FOR PLUTONIUM , Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry Division of Toxicology and Environmental Medicine/Applied Toxicology Branch,  Atlanta, Georgia

” …….Plutonium may remain in the lungs or move to the bones, liver, or other body organs. It generally stays in the body for decades and continues to expose the surrounding tissues to radiation. Lung, liver, and bone cancer You may develop cancer depending on how much plutonium is in your body and for how long it remains in your body. The types of cancers you would most likely develop are cancers of the lung, bones, and liver…….

The risks of mortality and morbidity from bone and liver cancers have also been studied in Mayak workers. Increasing estimated plutonium body burden was associated with increasing liver cancer mortality, with higher risk in females compared to males…….

Cardiovascular Effects. Epidemiological Studies in Humans. Possible associations between exposure to plutonium and cardiovascular disease have been examined in studies of workers at production and/or processing facilities in the United Kingdom (Sellafield)……..  within a cohort of Sellafield workers   morality rate ratios for plutonium workers were significantly elevated for deaths from circulatory disease and ischemic heart disease . ….

the Mayak studies provide evidence for increased risk of cancer mortality (bone, liver, lung) in association with increased internal plutonium-derived radiation dose and/or body burden, with approximately 4-fold higher risks in females compared to males…….

Risks of mortality and morbidity from bone and liver cancers have also been studied in Mayak workers ….. Increasing estimated plutonium body burden was associated with increasing cancer mortality, with higher risk in females compared to males…..

U.K. Atomic Energy Authority and Atomic Weapons Establishment Workers. ………..The mortality rate ratio was significantly elevated for breast cancer  and cerebrovascular disease  in a cohort of female Sellafield workers identified as plutonium workers……..

Comparisons of mortality rates between plutonium workers and other radiation workers yielded significantly elevated mortality rate ratios for all deaths , all cancers , breast cancer, circulatory disease , and ischemic heart disease.

GENOTOXICITY Abundant information is available regarding the genotoxicity of ionizing radiation……….Although epidemiological studies do not provide conclusive evidence that plutonium produces genetic damage in humans, results of some studies provide suggestive evidence of dose-related increases in chromosomal aberrations in plutonium workers with measurable internalized plutonium……. ……https://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/toxprofiles/tp143.pdf?fbclid=IwAR1iffNMF8xj33aBhDW-zhtFzPejF0eNlQ5QUaIgxBhCcujUKU0XRC8NvMc

January 8, 2019 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Bill Gates’ Plutonium Pipe Dream

Bill Gates’ nuclear ambitions go beyond mere ideas. He actually possesses financial holdings in one very dangerous situation indeed – a situation that is presently causing residents around St. Louis, Missouri to live under an all-out nuclear nightmare

Bill Gates’ Plutonium Pipe Dream: Convert Mountains of Depleted Uranium at Paducah to Power Earth for Centuries (Pt. 2)  EnviroNews DC News Bureau on March 14, 2016

“………Cunnings: The man considered by many to be supposedly a humanitarian trailblazer when it comes to combatting disease, has a plan to fast-breed the mountainous heaps of depleted uranium at Paducah into plutonium – one of the most dangerous and disease-causing substance on the face of the planet. Then in turn, this plutonium would be used to power what would be the so-called new fourth-generation nuclear power plants. Let’s listen to Gates articulate his plutonium scheme.

Voice of Bill Gates – Excerpt #2: The concept of this so-called “TerraPower reactor” is that you, in the same reactor, you both burn and breed. So, instead of making plutonium and then extracting it, we take uranium – the 99.3 percent that you normally don’t do anything with – we convert that, and we burn it.

[Editor’s Note: Bill Gates is the current Chairman of the Board of TerraPower — a Washington-based nuclear power technology company.]

Cunnings:Now get this, only 60 seconds after Gates acknowledges the tremendous problem of bringing more plutonium into this world, he turns around and makes a joke about it to a crowd filled with university students from nuclear programs – all this, only a few months after the catastrophic triple melt-through at Fukushima Daiichi.

Bill Gates – Excerpt #3: Our flame is taking the normal depleted uranium – the 99.3 percent that’s cheap as heck, and there’s a pile of it sitting in Paducah, Kentucky that’s enough to power the United States for hundreds and hundreds of years. You’re taking that and you are converting it to plutonium (humorously under his breath) – and then you’re burning that.

Cunnings: Oh yes, Mr. Gates seems to have a little love affair going on with plutonium – and the notion is that we need nuclear power to save ourselves from climate change. ……

Bill Gates Excerpt #8: I love nuclear. It does this radiation thing that’s tricky (laughter). But they’re good solutions. You know, it was interesting; recently, in Connecticut this natural gas plant blew up 11 guys. It just blew them up.

Bill Gates Excerpt #8: Murray: But you are personally investing in nuclear?

Gates: Right.

Cunnings: EnviroNews Editor-in-Chief Emerson Urry chatted with the esteemed nuclear industry expert and whistleblower Arnie Gundersen to explore whether Gates’ plan is a good idea or not.

Emerson Urry: Let’s go back to Bill Gates again, [and] the fourth generation nuclear power. I’ve heard him out there speaking about this, and essentially his ambition to, let’s say, convert Paducah, Kentucky [to plutonium]..

……….. the Paducah site is a very expensive cleanup that is going to take 20 or 30 years to decontaminate. You know, it’s like all of these bomb legacy sites – Hanford in Washington State…

Gundersen:   Hanford is going to take 70 years and cost 110 billion dollars to clean up. So, here we are paying over half of a century for the legacy of building bombs for five years in 1940. And so, Paducah is another one of those sites. It was built to enrich uranium. Why did we do that? Because we had a bomb program. And now we’re stuck with these huge costs that are underfunded or unfunded by Congress. That plant is going to sit there for 30 years. It will create a lot of employment for a lot of people knocking it down, but it also is highly radioactive, and it’s got to be done so cautiously, and it’s a really difficult problem.

Cunnings: There’s no known disintegration of plutonium small enough that doesn’t possess the ability to cause cancer. To be clear, there is no safe amount to be exposed to whatsoever.

Plutonium, though a naturally occurring element was virtually non-existent on planet earth before the dawn of the nuclear age. Now, each of the roughly 400 uranium-powered nuclear reactors in the world create approximately 500 pounds of plutonium each year – or enough to create about 100 nuclear warheads each.

…….. Bill Gates’ nuclear ambitions go beyond mere ideas. He actually possesses financial holdings in one very dangerous situation indeed – a situation that is presently causing residents around St. Louis, Missouri to live under an all-out nuclear nightmare……https://www.environews.tv/031416-paducah-bill-gates-nuclear-pipedream-convert-mountains-depleted-uranium-plutonium-power-earth-centuries/

January 8, 2019 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Horror health effects of uranium mining in India

 By 2050 the government intends to meet 25% of its electricity needs from nuclear power JADUGUDA, JHARKHAND: Nestled in the mountainous district of East Singhbhum, this tiny dot on India’s vast map has become a virtual cancer ward for its residents, following years of dangerous radiation being emitted from uranium mines and tailing ponds in the area.

Jaduguda (or Jadugora) made its tryst with the hazardous byproducts of ‘clean’ nuclear power just 20 years after independence, when the country launched its nuclear programme.

Meeting 25 percent of India’s uranium needs, the town is in the news again as the Uranium Corporation of India Limited (UCIL) recently announced that it would soon resume its excavation operations here, following the renewal of its land lease for another 50 years.

Will Jaduguda’s residents still be able to live there 50 years from now?

As part of its indigenous nuclear power programme, India aims to generate 14.6 GWe (gigawatts electrical) of power through nuclear reactors in the next seven years – and 63 GWe by 2032.

By 2050 the Indian government intends to meet 25% of its electricity needs from uranium-based nuclear power, as against 5% at present.

This ambition, however, may annihilate a large number of Adivasi citizens resident in Jaduguda – from the Ho, Birhore, Santhal, Kora, Beiga, Munda, Malpahari and Mahali communities – who already are paying very dearly for uranium mining.

Due to the dangerous fallout of radiation, they are suffering from a plethora of clinical problems which were unheard of in the area before the public sector UCIL began excavating uranium ores in 1967.

People in the area suffer disproportionately from congenital deformities, sterility, spontaneous abortions, cancers and a plethora of other serious diseases known to be caused by radiation and industrial pollution.

Despite the low risk and damage done by wind and solar renewable energy generation, large, destructive hydel projects and nuclear reactors with highly toxic byproducts continue to be a part of India’s energy generation plans – not to mention the use of fossil fuels which continues unabated.

Jaduguda’s residents inhale toxic air. They drink poisoned water. They consume vegetables and cereals laced with radioactive iodine. They are exposed to radiation 24×7.

As you enter the hamlets located around UCIL’s mines and tailing ponds, where radioactive elements are dumped, the gory sight of deformed children playing innocently with their homemade toys meets your eyes.

The culprit is uranium, the highly radioactive mineral used in making nuclear warheads and for generating electricity.

Uranium is a sleeping monster. An estimated 99.28% of mined uranium ore is effectively waste – referred as tailings. These wastes are very highly radioactive with a centuries’ long half life.

In India the process of neutralising the toxicity of tailings is still done in a rudimentary manner, with simple lime, with the wastes carried through pipes to tailing ponds.

Of course, nowhere in the world is there a safe way to permanently dispose of nuclear waste, or render it harmless. In Jaduguda, though the tailings are treated at an effluent treatment plant for the removal of radium and manganese, solid radioactive matter settles in the ponds, allowing toxic iodine to vitiate the entire atmosphere.

Radioactive elements also leak out of the tailing ponds and enter the earth and water during floods, affecting people, livestock, rivers, forests and agricultural produce in and around Jaduguda.

Yellowcake or urania, processed from uranium, is the lifeblood of any nuclear programme. Jaduguda uranium ore can be enriched to 0.065-grade, making it highly valuable for nuclear power generation. The yellowcake produced Jaduguda is sent to nine nuclear reactors in India.

To obtain about 65 grams of usable uranium, UCIL needs to mine, grind and process 1000 tonnes of uranium ore. The waste is thrown into the tailing ponds.

As mentioned these tailings undergo radioactive decay to produce other radioactive substances, such as radium-226 which in turn produces radon-222 gas, a highly toxic cancer-causing gas, which emits high-energy alpha and gamma particles that can shred genetic material in our cells, leading to cancer and other illnesses.

For instance, radon-222 gas damages the air passages in our lungs. It remains radioactive for 1,600 years.

Some 36,000 to 40,000 citizens – mostly Adivasis – live within 5 kilometres of Jaduguda’s tailing ponds. So you can imagine what the extent of this “radiation trap” would be, given that uranium has been excavated and enriched here almost without a break since 1967.

The ores go through several process of purification. At each and every process, the ores emit radiation and other carcinogens.

Since the mining is carried out at depths as great as 880 metres, the miners also endanger their lives.

As long as uranium remains buried deep inside the earth, it does not pose any danger to living beings. But the moment it is brought out to the surface of the earth and ground, levels of radioactivity become hazardous in the ways described above.

Inside the Cancer Ward

On visits to villages in the Jaduguda uranium mine area, whether Chatikocha or Dungridih or others, several times this writer came across unusually large numbers of deformed children. They were born deformed.

According to an official estimate by the Union Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, nearly 3 percent of Indians suffer from physical disabilities, with congenital deformity being one of them.

In Jaduguda the rate is 50 percent higher, at 4.49 percent.

Cases of impotency, frequent abortions, infant mortality, Down’s syndrome, cancers, thalassemia and other serious diseases have made Jaduguda their home.

Some 9,000 people here – almost a quarter of the population – are suffering from congenital deformities, leukemia, and various forms of cancer. Cancer deaths are commonplace here, and do not surprise locals at all now.

Now uranium mining is set to resume here, despite this public health catastrophe. Jaduguda’s citizens are slowly being choked to death before our eyes.

January 6, 2019 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

A review of 2018 and developments in nuclear weapons policies

The Nuclear Ban Treaty was adopted by two-thirds of U.N. members in July 2017. By year’s end, 69 states had signed and 19 had ratified it. It will come into effect after 50 ratifications. There are reasonable prospects of this happening in 2019,

There are signs of discomfort in some umbrella states at having been exposed as lip-service adherents of the cause of nuclear disarmament. The Norwegian sovereign wealth fund and the largest Dutch pension fund have decided not to invest in nuclear-weapon-producing companies. The Australian Labor Party conference in December unanimously approved a resolution committing a future Labor government to sign and ratify the ban treaty.

Because this will violate many existing bilateral security arrangements with the U.S., Labor is unlikely to give it high priority if the government changes after elections due by May. But it sets down an important marker for majority sentiment among Labor Party members and parliamentarians. Importantly, Australian accession to the Ban Treaty would be compatible with a minimalist reading of the ANZUS Treaty but would have significant impact on present security ties.

January 6, 2019 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Paul Langley scrutinises academic whitewash of leukaemia incidence near Sellafield nuclear site

there is, or was, an excess of childhood leukemia close in to Sellafield.
There is no doubt that Pu contamination in children close in to Sellafield is higher than Pu contamination in children more distant from Sellafield. (O’Donnell et al) and that the Sellafield leukemia cluster adjacent to Sellafield exists or existed

On what basis does the British and World nuclear industry claim that Sellafield’s emissions have not caused and do not cause disease?

That is the claim and I cannot believe that claim. There is no rational path for me to attain such a level of blind faith.

Variations in the concentration of Pu, Sr-90 and total alpha-emitters in human teeth collected within the British Isles https://nuclearexhaust.wordpress.com/2019/01/05/variations-in-the-concentration-of-pu-sr-90-and-total-alpha-emitters-in-human-teeth-collected-within-the-british-isles/
Variations in the concentration of plutonium, strontium-90 and total alpha-emitters in human teeth collected within the British Isles

R.G.O’Donnell P.I.Mitchell N.D.Priest L.Strange A.Fox.L.Henshaw S.C.Long

Science of The Total Environment

Volume 201, Issue 3, 18 August 1997, Pages 235-243

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0048969797840600  quote “Abstract

quote “Abstract

Concentrations of plutonium-239, plutonium-240, strontium-90 and total α-emitters have been measured in children’s teeth collected throughout Great Britain and Ireland. The concentrations of plutonium and strontium-90 were measured in batched samples, each containing approximately 50 teeth, using low-background radiochemical methods. The concentrations of total α-emitters were determined in single teeth using α-sensitive plastic track detectors. The results showed that the average concentrations of total α-emitters and strontium-90 were approximately one to three orders of magnitude greater than the equivalent concentrations of plutonium-239, 240. Regression analyses indicated that the concentrations of plutonium, but not strontium-90 or total α-emitters, decreased with increasing distance from the Sellafield nuclear fuel reprocessing plant — suggesting that this plant is a source of plutonium contamination in the wider population of the British Isles. Nevertheless, the measured absolute concentrations of plutonium (mean = 5 ± 4 mBq kg−1 ash wt.) were so low that they are considered to present an insignificant radiological hazard.” end quote. emphasis added.

For the organism, it is the total dose which counts as far as biological effects and induction of diseases are concerned. Total dose is the sum of all dose contributors.

Further, comparison involves a subtraction of one thing from one or more other things in order to highlight proportion.

The bio-medical language in the abstract quoted above is laden with legal defensiveness which is totally inappropriate when considering the fate of an exposed cell, tissue and organism. Continue reading

January 6, 2019 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Climate change brings a boom in jellyfish, causing many problems

Is climate change beating nuclear reactors, even while the nuclear lobby claims it’s the other way around? There are many records of nuclear reactors being shut down due to jelly fish.
Jellyfish are causing mayhem as pollution, climate change see numbers boom, ABC, RN  By Hong Jiang and Sasha Fegan for Late Night Live 6 Jan 19 Jellyfish have been around for at least 500 million years — they’re older than dinosaurs and even trees.Science writer Juli Berwald calls them “ghosts from the true garden of Eden”.

“An intelligence of a sort has allowed them to make it through the millennia,” she says.

And they’re not going anywhere.

In fact, the brainless, spineless, eyeless, bloodless creatures are booming in numbers — and causing mayhem around the world. Their propensity to breed fast and prolifically means jellyfish can disrupt ocean ecosystems in a flash.

And their effects aren’t contained to the sea.

In places like Sweden, Israel, the US and the Philippines, power plants have been affected by blooms of jellyfish.

“So many jellyfish were swept into the power system … that it shut down the power system through much of this one island in the Philippines,” Ms Berwald says. People thought that perhaps there was a coup going on, but there wasn’t, it was just the jellyfish.”

Jellyfish have also caused plants to shut down in Japan.

“One jellyfish scientist from Japan told me that the first threat to the electric system in Japan is earthquakes, but the second is jellyfish,” Berwald says.

“We are dealing with a ubiquitous creature.”

A human cause

Some scientists think jellyfish numbers are increasing as the climate changes — the creatures reproduce well in warmer waters.

Jellyfish also fare better than many other sea creatures in polluted waters, as they don’t need much oxygen.

Berwald says that can give them the upper hand over predators.

“They can sort of slip into polluted waters, into low oxygen waters, and hide from predation there better than a fish that has a higher oxygen demand,” she says…….. https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-01-06/the-magic-and-mayhem-of-jellyfish/10377112

January 6, 2019 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

With heatwaves like this, what sort of future do we have in store? 

https://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/national/with-heatwaves-like-this-what-sort-of-future-do-we-have-in-store-20190103-p50pim.html, By Louise Freckelton
4 January 2019 I don’t really want to spoil your New Year with this article, but the changing of the year is a time to reflect on the past and to make plans for the year to come. So what are your plans for our future? What action will you take?Christmas Day in my part of the world – near Gundagai – was hot. It was the start of an intense heatwave where every day for 12 days in a row was 35 degrees or more. And our nights have been in the mid 20s making sleep fitful and uneasy.

It’s this kind of weather that also makes farming very difficult. After this kind of solar radiation onslaught, we won’t have any pasture left, we won’t be able to feed our sheep. Careful management with grazing rotations, maintenance of native grass pastures and planning to hold water in the landscape can only do so much. Our dams are nearly dry.

Now we spend much of the day keeping our pasture roaming hens cool (that is, preventing their death by overheating). There are frozen bricks in their water, we make ice pecking treats for them and hose down their pen. Your pasture-raised eggs will be hard to find this summer, and more expensive too.

Before you kindly offer bales of hay and make suggestions for sprinkling systems, before you placate me by saying how much we value our farmers and their work, how lovely our pictures on Instagram are, before you metaphorically pat me on the shoulder and say, “the rain will come, don’t worry”, I want you to know I don’t want bales or advice, or praise or cheering up.

When we have fewer eggs and no lamb, I want you to get angry. I want you to be angry with me at the lack of action on global warming.

I’m angry because being anything other than angry feels like being complicit. I want us all to be so noisy and so outraged that we get heard. I want our governments to take real action on climate change.

I’m not religious but I am deeply interested in symbols and in the underlying meaning of the stories we tell ourselves. Ultimately, Christmas is a story of hope – innocent hope that comes with the birth of a new baby; the hope that the baby will have a fruitful, happy life.

But what kind of life will a baby born today have? One without the Great Barrier Reef, magnificent forests, without koalas or polar bears? A future where bird diversity means sparrows, pigeons and starlings. A future of water scarcity, longer, hotter heatwaves and firestorms.

Our children, with their global friends are marching. But Prime Minister Scott Morrison told them to go back to school – that they needed “more learning in schools and less activism”. Well, soon they’ll be voting.

We are doing all the hard work: we’re reducing, reusing, recycling, renewing, repurposing, installing solar, minimising water use, changing farming practices, eliminating plastics, thinking about food miles, buying from ethical sources. We’re riding bikes, walking, taking public transport, eating locally, composting, sewing, fixing. Meanwhile, our politicians are obfuscating.

In 2019 we will have an election. It will be our opportunity to interrogate our politicians about action on climate change. To my despair it feels none of the available parties have policies strong enough for effective action. But let’s push them. What meaningful action will they take?

Make sure they know you are angry and that you will change your vote depending on that issue. Don’t let them distract you with fears about free-trade or immigration or terrorism – there is nothing more terrifying than an increasingly hostile climate.

So as we start the new year, hold your children tight and vote with their future in mind. Be an accountable adult.

In the meantime, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going out to put more ice bricks in the chickens’ water tank.

Louise Freckelton is a grazier at Highfield Farm and Woodland, Adelong NSW, and a member of Farmers for Climate Action.

January 5, 2019 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Facebook commentators not impressed with nuclear toady Australia’s Department of Industry Innovation and Science (DIIS)

Steve Dale Woomera is “an “incompatible land use”? Farming/tourism/fishing are incompatible land uses as well. This whole thing stinks of corruption and Machiavellian planning.
Robert Webb Yea well they can say what they want but the pressure needs to be put on them, there is a massive land space thee they control and this is the obvious position they would start with

January 5, 2019 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment