Take Action Now! Information and Fukushima Flyers

To get news on Fukushima and the spreading radiation, go to —

http://www.enenews.com

Flyers
These flyers from Fukushima Response can be printed on colored paper (like pale yellow) for greater visibility. Distribute everywhere.

Fukushima Response flyer, p.1
Fukushima Response flyer, p.2

This is truly an emergency, and it will take many actions to warn the public and solve the growing radiation which is harming everything worldwide

Get informed!

Get the word out!

Take action!

— Mothers for Peace argues for closure of Diablo Canyon in 2019

From Mothers for Peace
January 31, 2017

On Friday, January 27, Mothers for Peace through Ojai-based attorney Sabrina Venskus, submitted expert testimony to the California Public Utilities Commission showing that Diablo Canyon should be closed in 2019, not 2024. news release

One of Mothers for Peace’s expert witness, nuclear engineer Arnie Gundersen, chief engineer for Fairewinds Associates, Inc, provided testimony demonstrating unsafe and unreliable conditions at the plant.  Arnie Gundersen testimony

Another expert witness is David D. Jackson who works with the Department of Earth, Planetary, and Space Sciences at UCLA.  In his testimony, Dr. Jackson explains the many types of seismic damage to the plant in case of an earthquake. Among his assertions is that the substantial risk of earthquakes at Diablo Canyon nuclear plant has been underestimated, and that the seismic studies relied upon evaluate only a part of the risk which affects any decision of how long to continue operation of the two Diablo Canyon reactors.  David D. Jackson testimony

————————————–

NEWS RELEASE

For Immediate Release

January 31, 2017

Contacts:  Jane Swanson, spokesperson

(805) 440-1359

janeslo[at]icloud.com

 

Linda Seeley, spokesperson

(805) 234-1769

lindaseeley[at]gmail.com

 

On Friday January 27, San Luis Obispo Mothers for Peace (SLOMFP) through Ojai-based attorney Sabrina Venskus submitted expert testimony to the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) showing that Diablo Canyon should be closed in 2019, not 2024, because it is becoming unsafe and unreliable. SLOMFP’s expert witness is nuclear engineer Arnie Gundersen, chief engineer for Fairewinds Associates, Inc.

“Diablo Canyon was designed in the mid-1960s. Some of its parts are as dated as rabbit ears on a black and white TV.  This atomic power reactor is old and tired, and it is not reliable or safe.  The faster Diablo Canyon closes, the safer Californians will be,” stated Mr. Gundersen. Replacement costs for these outmoded parts at Diablo Canyon during the next 7 to 8 years are well in excess of a reasonable investment for a plant that is scheduled to shut down in 2024. Mr. Gundersen’s testimony also illuminates the degraded condition of tens of thousands of often neglected switches, plates, springs, shock absorbers, pipes, and other components of this aged atomic power reactor that are in danger of failing well before 2024.

The companies that own nuclear reactors have a tendency to defer needed maintenance and replacement of worn parts when permanent closure is imminent. Called “running to failure,” the operator tends to take a chance that the part won’t fail before the plant closes down. In an old car that is ready for the junkyard the owner won’t replace worn tires with ones that are guaranteed for 50,000 miles. Instead, he will take a chance that the tires won’t blow out before the old car is junked. If there’s a blowout in a tire, it can be hazardous. If there’s a failure of an essential component of a nuclear power plant, the costs of of replacement or of repair of damage can be huge.

Mr. Gundersen’s testimony, attached below, cites numerous parts and components at Diablo Canyon that have been listed in the 2017 Rate Case by Pacific Gas and Electric as in need of replacement. In Mr. Gundersen’s opinion, shutting the doors of the two reactors makes sense in 2019, before parts and components are forced to run to failure.

SLOMFP is commenting as a party to the California Public Utilities Commission’s proceedings on the Joint Proposal reached in June of 2016 between PG&E and several environmental groups and unions. SLOMFP has also submitted expert testimony to the CPUC by David Jackson, Ph.D. regarding seismic damage to the plant in case of an earthquake. SLOMFP has joined with Women’s Energy Matters of Marin County regarding timing and costs of replacing the needed power at Diablo Canyon with renewable energy, using the testimony of energy analyst Robert Freehling. SLOMFP compiled documents regarding the environmental effects of Once-Through Cooling on aquatic life around the facility. By co-sponsoring a portion of the testimony by the Alliance for Nuclear Responsibility’s attorney Al Pak, SLOMFP is objecting to PG&E’s request to recover the costs of its relicensing application filed with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission in 2009, but later withdrawn.

https://mothersforpeace.org/

— L’UE exhorte à lever le blocus commercial du Donbass

Un blocus du Donbass au lieu d'une aide

Sputnik

16.02.2017

Face à la perspective des coupures d’électricité tournantes en Ukraine, l’Union européenne s’est enfin aperçue du blocus commercial du Donbass, Kiev n’en recevant plus la houille anthracite absolument nécessaire pour les centrales ukrainiennes.

Le blocus commercial du Donbass viole les droits des Ukrainiens habitant sur les territoires qui échappent actuellement au contrôle de Kiev et risque de déclencher une crise énergétique dans le pays, prévient, dans un communiqué, la représentation de l’Union européenne en Ukraine, ajoutant que les organisateurs du blocus doivent le lever immédiatement.

« Le blocus du Donbass par l’Ukraine contredit l’approche inclusive envers les Ukrainiens habitant sur les territoires où les organes du pouvoir n’exercent pas provisoirement leurs fonctions. Les responsables du lancement du blocus doivent le lever immédiatement. Quant aux autorités, elles doivent régler ce problème au plus vite », lit-on dans le communiqué, cité par Sputnik.

Il s’agit en l’occurrence du blocus de la communication ferroviaire avec le Donbass qui se poursuit depuis fin janvier, quand un groupe d’anciens combattants des bataillons de volontaires, qui avaient participé aux hostilités dans le sud-est de l’Ukraine, et de députés de la Rada suprême (parlement ukrainien), a barré le trafic sur la ligne de chemin de fer. Les organisateurs du blocus ont affirmé que tout commerce avec les Républiques populaires autoproclamées de Donetsk (DNR) et de Lougansk (LNR) était illégal, et que toutes les marchandises transportées relevaient par conséquent de la contrebande.

Le blocus ferroviaire a débouché sur des problèmes de livraison de houille anthracite depuis le Donbass, engendrant des difficultés dans le secteur énergétique de l’Ukraine. Comme résultat, Kiev envisage d’ores et déjà des coupures d’électricité tournantes dans la plupart des régions du pays.

https://fr.sputniknews.com/international/201702161030122172-ue-blocus-donbass-levee-commerce-kiev/

— Ukraine energy crisis affecting reactors: EU urges lifting rail blockade of Donbass coal

To understand the situation in Ukraine — 

http://www.globalresearch.ca/a-documentary-youll-likely-never-see-ukraine-on-fire-by-oliver-stone/5574843
http://www.globalresearch.ca/indepthreport/ukraine-report

From Fort Russ

February 16, 2017 – Fort Russ News –
– Sputnik France, translated by Tom Winter –

“Donbass, the Heart of Russia.” 1921 poster has two coal miners at top, and the map serves well today to show how suicidal blocking the coal trains was.
This is Sputnik France’s illustration for this report.  “The EU urges lifting the Commercial blockade of Donbass.” And the picture’s hidden label reads “Instead of aid, blockade.”

Faced with the prospect of revolving power outages in Ukraine, the European Union has at last taken note of the commercial blockade of the Donbass, with Kiev no longer receiving the anthracite coal absolutely necessary for the Ukrainian power stations.

The commercial blockade of the Donbass
a) violates the rights of Ukrainians living in the territories that are currently beyond the control of Kiev, and
b) is likely to trigger an energy crisis in the country, warns the representation of the European Union in Ukraine, adding that the organizers of the blockade must immediately lift it.

The blockade of the railway connections with Donbass started at end of January, when a group of veterans of the volunteer battalions participating in the hostilities [on the side of the Kiev regime], with deputies of the Supreme Rada (Ukrainian parliament), blocked traffic on the railway line.

The organizers of the blockade claimed that any trade with the self-proclaimed People’s Republics of Donetsk (DNR) and Lugansk (LNR) was illegal, and that all goods transported were therefore contraband.

The railway blockade has led to problems in getting anthracite coal from the Donbass, causing difficulties in Ukraine’s energy sector. As a result, Kiev is already considering revolving power cuts in most parts of the country.

http://www.fort-russ.com/2017/02/eu-urges-lifting-rail-blockade-of.html

— Public comments opposing de facto permanent parking lot dump at WCS, TX needed by March 13!

From Beyond Nuclear
February 9, 2017

Waste Control Specialists (WCS) in West Texas has applied to the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) for a license to construct and operate a “centralized interim storage facility” for 40,000 metric tons of commercial irradiated nuclear fuel, more than half of what exists in the U.S.

The “host” county, Andrews, has a large Latin American population, as well as many low income residents; so too does Eunice, New Mexico, just four miles from WCS across the state border.

This de facto permanent parking lot dump would launch 4,000 high-risk Mobile Chernobyl train car shipments, traveling through most states (see map, right; click here for a larger version).

A significant number would initially travel by barge on surface waters — Floating Fukushimas on lakes, rivers, and seacoasts — just to reach the nearest rail head. Dirty Bomb on Wheels security risks would abound.

On Thurs., Feb. 23, from 1-4pm Eastern, NRC will hold an environmental scoping public comment opportunity, accessible by call-in teleconference and/or Webinar (in-person attendance is also an option for those near enough NRC’s HQ in Rockville, MD).

NRC’s Webinar link will go live in real time. The toll free call-in/teleconference number is (800) 619-9084; Passcode 3009542.

Beyond Nuclear has assembled sample comments you can use to prepare your own, for oral submission at next week’s meeting, whether in-person or via Webcast/call-in, and/or for written submission by the March 13th deadline, via email, online Web form, or snail mail. Please take part, make comments, and spread the word! More

——————————————————–

Public comments are needed in opposition to Waste Control Specialists (WCS) in West Texas, which seeks to open a de facto permanent parking lot dump for up to half the commercial high-level radioactive waste in the U.S., upstream of the Ogallala Aquifer, vital drinking and irrigation water supply for numerous High Plains states, from Texas to South Dakota.

The region around WCS has a high proportion of low income, Latin American residents, and is already heavily burdened with nuclear activities and dirty fossil fuel industries. WCS would launch unprecedented numbers of irradiated nuclear fuel train and barge shipments through many states.

Sample comments you can use to write your own:

Beyond Nuclear sample comments on a variety of subject matter:

Risks of De Facto Permanent Parking Lot Dump at WCS; 

Risks of Loss of Institutional Control if De Facto Permanent Parking Lot Dumps are Abandoned, Containers Fail, and Release Catastrophic Amounts of Hazardous Radioactivity into the Environment;

SEED Coalition & Public Citizen’s Texas Office have prepared sample comments you can use to write your own for submission to NRC by the March 13, 2017 deadline;

Public comments previously submitted to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) for a proceeding re: Private Initiatives to carry out centralized interim storage can now also be used — “recycled,” so to speak! — to prepare comments to NRC re: WCS’s scheme (the comments to DOE were due Jan. 27, 2017);

Link to instructions on HOW (snail mail, email, as well as online web form) to submit your public comments to NRC by the March 13 deadline

Please see entries below on Beyond Nuclear’s Centralized Interim Storage website section, for more information.

http://www.beyondnuclear.org/centralized-storage/2017/2/9/public-comments-opposing-de-facto-permanent-parking-lot-dump.html

— “Interim” parking lot dump for 50% of U.S. nuclear waste in Andrews, Texas? NRC public scoping hearing February 23; attend and comment — in person, by phone, by webinar, by email

From Beyond Nuclear

February 8, 2017

The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has, at long last, published the announcement for its quickly approaching HQ meeting, at its Rockville, MD HQ, re: WCS, TX’s environmental scoping public comment opportunity, to be held on Thursday, February 23, 2017. Please attend in person if you can, or by Webcast/Teleconference Call-In. Please pre-register in advance to make oral public comments for the official record, raising various concerns in opposition to WCS’s application.

NRC’s announcement is posted at: https://www.nrc.gov/pmns/mtg?do=search.results&pageno=1&StartDate=2/23/2017&EndDate=2/23/2017

Here are those details and additional links:

Date/Time: 02/23/17, 1:00PM – 4:00PM

Purpose:

To conduct a public scoping meeting for the NRC’s Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for Waste Control Specialist LLC (WCS) license application to construct and operate a consolidated interim storage facility (CISF) for spent nuclear fuel at the WCS site in Andrews County, Texas. At the meeting, the NRC will receive comments from the public on the appropriate scope of issues to be considered in, and the content of the EIS. [more…]

Participation: Category 3

Teleconference/Webcast

[Here is the Webinar info.:

Webinar

Webinar Link:https://video.nrc.gov/
Webinar Meeting Number:None
Webinar Password:None

Here is the teleconference/call-in info.:

Teleconference

Bridge Number: 8006199084
Passcode: 3009542]

[Yes, comments can be submitted orally via the Webcast/Call-in options. Please sign up in advance — see below — and do make comments!]

Location [yes, in person attendance is an option, and oral comments can be made there]:


NRC One White Flint North
11545 Rockville Pike
Commission Hearing Room
Rockville MD

NRC Contacts:

James Park
301-415-6954

Debbie Miller
301-415-7359

From NRC’s Public Meeting Schedule: Meeting Details link: https://www.nrc.gov/pmns/mtg?do=details&Code=20170198

Members of the public who will attend the meeting in person, and those wishing to present oral comments [via Webcast and/or teleconference/call-in] may register in advance by contacting Mrs. Debra Miller at (301) 415-7359, or by email to Debra.Miller@nrc.gov, no later than February 21, 2017. Those comments may be limited by the time available, depending on the number of persons who wish to speak. Please provide name and company or organization for each attendee. Arrive 30 minutes early to allow time for security registration.

[Please see entries below, for more background details and links to additional information. Please attend by watching the webcast and/or calling in. Please sign up to make comments at the meeting. Additional written comments can be made until March 13th. Legal intervention deadline is March 31st (or forever hold your peace). See entries below for links to more info.

See http://www.beyondnuclear.org/centralized-storage/

http://www.beyondnuclear.org/centralized-storage/2017/2/8/nrc-environmental-scoping-mtg-for-public-comment-on-wcs-tx-c.html

— Coal crisis again in Ukraine as government-allied militias blockade coal shipments; state of emergency declared; electric grid and nuclear reactors at risk

Articles are in Russian. As they are translated, they will be posted. 

From Fort Russ:

Ukrainian energy crisis: state of emergency declared

February 15, 2017 –
– Rusvesna – Translated by James Harmon

 

The Cabinet of Ministers declared a state of emergency today within the Ukrainian energy system.

The decision was made due to the blockade of coal supplies originating from the Donbass.
“The decision made,” – said Prime Minister Vladimir Groisman, “Due to this coal shortage, is completely artificial and the list of names of people who have done this, know the whole of Ukraine”.
However, Groisman added; “It is unacceptable to make the people of Ukraine suffer simply to fight the government.”

— Fukushima prognosis and how radioactivity affects the body: Medical facts from Dr. Helen Caldicott

With specific information on Tritium, Strontium 90, Cesium 137, radioactive Iodine 131, and Plutonium.

By Helen Caldicott, Volume 4, Issue 2 2014, Australian Medical Student Journal

…Fukushima is now described as the greatest industrial accident in history.

The Japanese government was so concerned that they were considering plans to evacuate 35 million people from Tokyo, as other reactors including Fukushima Daiini on the east coast were also at risk. Thousands of people fleeing from the smoldering reactors were not notified where the radioactive plumes were travelling, despite the fact that there was a system in place to track the plumes. As a result, people fled directly into regions with the highest radiation concentrations, where they were exposed to high levels of whole-body external gamma radiation being emitted by the radioactive elements, inhaling radioactive air and swallowing radioactive elements. [2] Unfortunately, inert potassium iodide was not supplied, which would have blocked the uptake of radioactive iodine by their thyroid glands, except in the town of Miharu. Prophylactic iodine was eventually distributed to the staff of Fukushima Medical University in the days after the accident, after extremely high levels of radioactive iodine – 1.9 million becquerels/kg were found in leafy vegetables near the University. [3] Iodine contamination was widespread in leafy vegetables and milk, whilst other isotopic contamination from substances such as caesium is widespread in vegetables, fruit, meat, milk, rice and tea in many areas of Japan. [4]

The Fukushima meltdown disaster is not over and will never end. The radioactive fallout which remains toxic for hundreds to thousands of years covers large swathes of Japan and will never be “cleaned up.” It will contaminate food, humans and animals virtually forever. I predict that the three reactors which experienced total meltdowns will never be dissembled or decommissioned. TEPCO (Tokyo Electric Power Company) – says it will take at least 30 to 40 years and the International Atomic Energy Agency predicts at least 40 years before they can make any progress because of the extremely high levels of radiation at these damaged reactors.

This accident is enormous in its medical implications. It will induce an epidemic of cancer as people inhale the radioactive elements, eat radioactive food and drink radioactive beverages. In 1986, a single meltdown and explosion at Chernobyl covered 40% of the European land mass with radioactive elements. Already, according to a 2009 report published by the New York Academy of Sciences, over one million people have already perished as a direct result of this catastrophe. This is just the tip of the iceberg, because large parts of Europe and the food grown there will remain radioactive for hundreds of years. [5]

Medical Implications of Radiation

Fact number one

No dose of radiation is safe. Each dose received by the body is cumulative and adds to the risk of developing malignancy or genetic disease.

Fact number two

Children are ten to twenty times more vulnerable to the carcinogenic effects of radiation than adults. Females tend to be more sensitive compared to males, whilst foetuses and immuno-compromised patients are also extremely sensitive.

Fact number three

High doses of radiation received from a nuclear meltdown or from a nuclear weapon explosion can cause acute radiation sickness, with alopecia, severe nausea, diarrhea and thrombocytopenia. Reports of such illnesses, particularly in children, appeared within the first few months after the Fukushima accident.

Fact number four

Ionizing radiation from radioactive elements and radiation emitted from X-ray machines and CT scanners can be carcinogenic. The latent period of carcinogenesis for leukemia is 5-10 years and solid cancers 15-80 years. It has been shown that all modes of cancer can be induced by radiation, as well as over 6000 genetic diseases now described in the medical literature.

But, as we increase the level of background radiation in our environment from medical procedures, X-ray scanning machines at airports, or radioactive materials continually escaping from nuclear reactors and nuclear waste dumps, we will inevitably increase the incidence of cancer as well as the incidence of genetic disease in future generations.

Types of ionizing radiation

  1. X-rays are electromagnetic, and cause mutations the instant they pass through the body.
  2. Similarly, gamma radiation is also electromagnetic, being emitted by radioactive materials generated in nuclear reactors and from some naturally occurring radioactive elements in the soil.
  3. Alpha radiation is particulate and is composed of two protons and two neutrons emitted from uranium atoms and other dangerous elements generated in reactors (such as plutonium, americium, curium, einsteinium, etc – all which are known as alpha emitters and have an atomic weight greater than uranium). Alpha particles travel a very short distance in the human body. They cannot penetrate the layers of dead skin in the epidermis to damage living skin cells. But when these radioactive elements enter the lung, liver, bone or other organs, they transfer a large dose of radiation over a long period of time to a very small volume of cells. Most of these cells are killed; however, some on the edge of the radiation field remain viable to be mutated, and cancer may later develop. Alpha emitters are among the most carcinogenic materials known.
  4. Beta radiation, like alpha radiation, is also particulate. It is a charged electron emitted from radioactive elements such as strontium 90, cesium 137 and iodine 131. The beta particle is light in mass, travels further than an alpha particle and is also mutagenic.
  5. Neutron radiation is released during the fission process in a reactor or a bomb. Reactor 1 at Fukushima has been periodically emitting neutron radiation as sections of the molten core become intermittently critical. Neutrons are large radioactive particles that travel many kilometers, and they pass through everything including concrete and steel. There is no way to hide from them and they are extremely mutagenic.

So, let’s describe just five of the radioactive elements that are continually being released into the air and water at Fukushima. Remember, though, there are over 200 such elements each with its own half-life, biological characteristic and pathway in the food chain and the human body. Most have never had their biological pathways examined. They are invisible, tasteless and odourless. When the cancer manifests it is impossible to determine its aetiology, but there is a large body of literature proving that radiation causes cancer, including the data from Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

  1. Tritium is radioactive hydrogen H3 and there is no way to separate tritium from contaminated water as it combines with oxygen to form H3O. There is no material that can prevent the escape of tritium except gold, so all reactors continuously emit tritium into the air and cooling water as they operate. It concentrates in aquatic organisms, including algae, seaweed, crustaceans and fish, and also in terrestrial food. Like all radioactive elements, it is tasteless, odorless and invisible, and will therefore inevitably be ingested in food, including seafood, for many decades. It passes unhindered through the skin if a person is immersed in fog containing tritiated water near a reactor, and also enters the body via inhalation and ingestion. It causes brain tumors, birth deformities and cancers of many organs.
  2. Cesium 137 is a beta and gamma emitter with a half-life of 30 years. That means in 30 years only half of its radioactive energy has decayed, so it is detectable as a radioactive hazard for over 300 years. Cesium, like all radioactive elements, bio-concentrates at each level of the food chain. The human body stands atop the food chain. As an analogue of potassium, cesium becomes ubiquitous in all cells. It concentrates in the myocardium where it induces cardiac irregularities, and in the endocrine organs where it can cause diabetes, hypothyroidism and thyroid cancer. It can also induce brain cancer, rhabdomyosarcomas, ovarian or testicular cancer and genetic disease.
  3. Strontium 90 is a high-energy beta emitter with a half-life of 28 years. As a calcium analogue, it is a bone-seeker. It concentrates in the food chain, specifically milk (including breast milk), and is laid down in bones and teeth in the human body. It can lead to carcinomas of the bone and leukaemia.
  4. Radioactive iodine 131 is a beta and gamma emitter. It has a half-life of eight days and is hazardous for ten weeks. It bio-concentrates in the food chain, in vegetables and milk, then in the the human thyroid gland where it is a potent carcinogen, inducing thyroid disease and/or thyroid cancer. It is important to note that of 174,376 children under the age of 18 that have been examined by thyroid ultrasound in the Fukushima Prefecture, 12 have been definitively diagnosed with thyroid cancer and 15 more are suspected to have the disease. Almost 200,000 more children are yet to be examined. Of these 174,367 children, 43.2% have either thyroid cysts and/or nodules.In Chernobyl, thyroid cancers were not diagnosed until four years post-accident. This early presentation indicates that these Japanese children almost certainly received a high dose of radioactive iodine. High doses of other radioactive elements released during the meltdowns were received by the exposed population so the rate of cancer is almost certain to rise.
  5. Plutonium, one of the most deadly radioactive substances, is an alpha emitter. It is highly toxic, and one millionth of a gram will induce cancer if inhaled into the lung. As an iron analogue, it combines with transferrin. It causes liver cancer, bone cancer, leukemia, or multiple myeloma. It concentrates in the testicles and ovaries where it can induce testicular or ovarian cancer, or genetic diseases in future generations. It also crosses the placenta where it is teratogenic, like thalidomide. There are medical homes near Chernobyl full of grossly deformed children, the deformities of which have never before been seen in the history of medicine.The half-life of plutonium is 24,400 years, and thus it is radioactive for 250,000 years. It will induce cancers, congenital deformities, and genetic diseases for virtually the rest of time.

    Plutonium is also fuel for atomic bombs. Five kilos is fuel for a weapon which would vaporize a city. Each reactor makes 250 kg of plutonium a year. It is postulated that less than one kilo of plutonium, if adequately distributed, could induce lung cancer in every person on earth.

Conclusion

In summary, the radioactive contamination and fallout from nuclear power plant accidents will have medical ramifications that will never cease, because the food will continue to concentrate the radioactive elements for hundreds to thousands of years. This will induce epidemics of cancer, leukemia and genetic disease. Already we are seeing such pathology and abnormalities in birds and insects, and because they reproduce very fast it is possible to observe disease caused by radiation over many generations within a relatively short space of time.

Pioneering research conducted by Dr Tim Mousseau, an evolutionary biologist, has demonstrated high rates of tumors, cataracts, genetic mutations, sterility and reduced brain size amongst birds in the exclusion zones of both Chernobyl and Fukushima. What happens to animals will happen to human beings. [7]

The Japanese government is desperately trying to “clean up” radioactive contamination. But in reality all that can be done is collect it, place it in containers and transfer it to another location. It cannot be made neutral and it cannot be prevented from spreading in the future. Some contractors have allowed their workers to empty radioactive debris, soil and leaves into streams and other illegal places. The main question becomes: Where can they place the contaminated material to be stored safely away from the environment for thousands of years? There is no safe place in Japan for this to happen, let alone to store thousands of tons of high level radioactive waste which rests precariously at the 54 Japanese nuclear reactors.

Last but not least, Australian uranium fuelled the Fukushima reactors. Australia exports uranium for use in nuclear power plants to 12 countries, including the US, Japan, France, Britain, Finland, Sweden, South Korea, China, Belgium, Spain, Canada and Taiwan. 270,000 metric tons of deadly radioactive waste exists in the world today, with 12,000 metric tons being added yearly. (Each reactor manufactures 30 tons per year and there are over 400 reactors globally.)

This high-level waste must be isolated from the environment for one million years – but no container lasts longer than 100 years. The isotopes will inevitably leak, contaminating the food chain, inducing epidemics of cancer, leukemia, congenital deformities and genetic diseases for the rest of time.

This, then, is the legacy we leave to future generations so that we can turn on our lights and computers or make nuclear weapons. It was Einstein who said “the splitting of the atom changed everything save mans’ mode of thinking, thus we drift towards unparalleled catastrophe.”

The question now is: Have we, the human species, the ability to mature psychologically in time to avert these catastrophes, or, is it in fact, too late?

Disclaimer: The views, opinions and perspectives presented in this article are those of the author alone and does not reflect the views of the Australian Medical Student Journal. The accuracy, completeness and validity of any statements made within this article are not guaranteed. We accept no liability for any errors or omissions.

References

[1] Caldicott H. Helen Caldicott Foundation’s Fukushima Symposium. 2013; Available from: http://www.helencaldicott.com/2012/12/helen-caldicott-foundations-fukushima-symposium/.

[2] Japan sat on U.S. radiation maps showing immediate fallout from nuke crisis. The Japan Times. 2012.

[3] Bagge E, Bjelle A, Eden S, Svanborg A. Osteoarthritis in the elderly: clinical and radiological findings in 79 and 85 year olds. Ann Rheum Dis. 1991;50(8):535-9. Epub 1991/08/01.

[4] Tests find cesium 172 times the limit in Miyagi Yacon tea. The Asahi Shimbun. 2012.

[5] Yablokov AV, Nesterenko VB, Nesterenko AV, Sherman-Nevinger JD. Chernobyl: Consequences of the Catastrophe for People and the Environment: Wiley. com; 2010.

[6] Fukushima Health Management. Proceedings of the 11th Prefectural Oversight Committee Meeting for Fukushima Health Management Survey. Fukushima, Japan2013.

[7] Møller AP, Mousseau TA. The effects of low-dose radiation: Soviet science, the nuclear industry – and independence? Significance. 2013;10(1):14-9.
Originally published: http://www.amsj.org/archives/3487

http://www.helencaldicott.com/the-impact-of-the-nuclear-crisis-on-global-health/