— Japan alert: May-June symposiums to reveal maps of proposed nuclear waste dumps

Many half-truths and untruths in this article.

“Robust containers” — really? Sounds like an advert. No mention of manufacturer. Also the thickness of the containers is conspicuously missing.  Also, are these single-walled or double-walled?

Selection will be based on “scientific grounds rather than waiting for municipalities to volunteer”. In other words, these waste storage sites will be forced on communities.

The most hilarious statement is that these facilities will be in stable bedrock. Where does that exist in Japan, a country on the Ring of Fire, with earthquakes and volcanoes?

On what basis is the claim that radioactivity will be reduced to 1/1000 in 1000 years? On which radioactive element is the government and the news media basing this claim, and what about all the other radioactive elements?

There’s enough scary information — 1,500 sieverts per hour from these containers — to make any sane person ask, “What are we doing creating and increasing this lethal nightmare every single day?” 

But then sanity was never part of nuclear energy’s scheme.

From Japan Times

Government to release map of potential final nuclear disposal sites this summer

May 2, 2017

The government has set the criteria for a map meant to identify potential final disposal sites for high-level radioactive nuclear waste, paving the way for its release as early as this summer.

The process of finding a host for nuclear waste could face challenges amid public concerns over safety.

Based on the map, the government will approach select municipalities to allow research to be conducted for suitable sites to store waste from nuclear power generation.

For permanent disposal, high-level nuclear waste needs to be stored at a final depository more than 300 meters underground for up to about 100,000 years until radiation levels fall and there is no longer potential harm to humans and the environment.

The government plans to create a permanent underground repository somewhere in stable bedrock so the canisters can be stored for tens of thousands of years.

The map is likely to classify which areas are geologically suitable for such a structure to be built deep enough underground. This would rule out areas near active faults and volcanoes as well as oil and coal fields.

Based on waste transport criteria, the map is likely to show that zones within 20 km of the coastline are favorable to host final disposal sites.

The government hopes other municipalities — not just the ones located near nuclear power plants — may also become interested in hosting the disposal facilities. It also wants to show that a variety of places nationwide are suitable for nuclear waste management.

The map was originally planned for a 2016 release but the publication date was later postponed, as some local governments were wary that disposal sites would be imposed on them.

About 18,000 tons of spent fuel currently exist in Japan. Including spent fuel that has already been reprocessed, the country’s total jumps to about 25,000 canisters of vitrified high-level waste, all of which needs to be managed.

The process to find local governments willing to host final storage started in 2002, but little progress was made due mainly to opposition from local residents.

In May 2015, the central government introduced a plan announcing that final depository site selection would be based on scientific grounds, rather than waiting for municipalities to volunteer.

Before presenting the map, the government will hold symposiums between mid-May and June at nine cities to explain the map criteria to the public. The cities include Tokyo, Nagoya and Fukuoka.

Radioactive waste is classified into two categories: The high-level type is generated from reprocessing spent fuel by separating the plutonium and uranium for recycling, while the low level type refers to all other waste.

High-level waste is a byproduct of fission in the reactor core, which is very hot and dangerous. It is mixed with glass and solidified before being placed in robust heat-resistant stainless steel canisters that are 130 cm high, 40 cm in diameter and weigh 500 kg each.

A full canister emits about 1,500 sieverts per hour — an extremely lethal biological level — and has a surface temperature in excess of 200 degrees.

Its radioactivity starts at 20,000 trillion becquerels. It will take about 1,000 years to fall to one-thousandth of that level, and tens of thousands of years to weaken to the same intensity as natural uranium ore, the Natural Resources and Energy Agency says.

Worldwide, only Finland and Sweden have been able to successfully decide on a final depository site for nuclear waste, while many other countries with nuclear plants face difficulties in doing so.

The United States decided in 2009 to call off a plan to build a site to dispose spent fuel in Nevada’s Yucca Mountain due to local opposition, but President Donald Trump earmarked funds to revive the plan in the budget proposal for fiscal 2018 unveiled in March.

In Japan, the selection process is also a touchy issue and has triggered conflicts in the communities around which prospective depository sites have been considered.

In one example, Minamiosumi Mayor Toshihiko Morita in Kagoshima Prefecture filed a criminal complaint against a 65-year-old resident for libel, claiming that his allegations that the rural town office had been actively inviting such a facility was not only groundless but also defamation.

The resident handed out flyers to about 500 households in the town in January which said Morita went to Tokai, Ibaraki Prefecture, and Horonobe in Hokkaido at the invitation of the private sector involved in the construction of nuclear waste disposal facilities. Both municipalities host nuclear-related facilities.

Morita flatly denied the allegations, telling Kyodo News in writing that he has heard “rumors” that there have been moves aimed at hosting a nuclear waste disposal facility but “I myself haven’t gone anywhere and been treated to anything.”

“I would reject any request from the central government” to host one, Morita said. The town approved an ordinance to reject a plan to host a nuclear waste disposal facility the year after the 2011 nuclear crisis at the Fukushima No. 1 plant.

A supporter of the mayor, however, did visit nuclear-related facilities in locations including Rokkasho, Aomori Prefecture, several years ago, according to the supporter’s admission, and a Tokyo company covered the expenses of the trip.

http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2017/05/02/national/government-release-map-potential-final-nuclear-disposal-sites-summer/#.WQ11pfnysnQ

Posted under Fair Use Rules.

— NASA just crashed Cassini with 72.3 pounds of plutonium-238 into Saturn; 1997 riveting press conference against Cassini launch with Michio Kaku, Bruce Gagnon, Allan Kohn, and other experts

NASA was saying that if there was an “inadvertent reentry” on the slingshot pass by the Earth, each person would receive only a 1 millirem dose, the equivalent of 1 dental x-ray. Panelist Dr. Janice Kirsch said, “One encounter with plutonium is not one exposure; it stays there bombarding that sensitive tissue with those particles…year after year…It’s not a millirem when the exposure is continuous…To paraphrase Shakespeare, plutonium is the stuff that nightmares are made of.”

Panelist and former NASA official Allan Kohn detailed many of the lies from NASA about the mission, and concluded, “In other words, I am saying that the government is deliberately putting out a disinformation campaign.”

The death toll from a Cassini accident was put by Dr. Ernest Sternglass, professor emeritus of radiological physics at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, at 20 million to 40 million.

And this is not a sky-is-falling story. Of 28 U.S. space missions using plutonium, there have been three accidents, the worst in 1964 in which a plutonium-powered satellite fell back to Earth, breaking up and spreading the toxic radioactive substance widely. [1]

Looking at the reporters in the room, panelist Karl Grossman called Cassini the most censored story of the year in 1997

Lawsuits were filed against prior NASA plutonium missions in 1989 and 1990 under NEPA — the U.S. National Environmental Protection Act. But that law was changed, “denuded”, afterward . Standing was narrowed, the ability to examine agency documents (discovery) was dramatically reduced, and it became no longer possible to argue that the agency is wrong in its analysis. As a result, filing a lawsuit under NEPA against Cassini was no longer possible.  

It’s called rigging the system.

Massive worldwide opposition couldn’t stop Cassini. Massive worldwide opposition couldn’t stop the “they’ve got WMDs” Gulf War a few years later. On how many issues does significant opposition fail to stop the harmful action?

And what avenues are left to us when all of our informed, creative, well-spoken, and expert voices fail to move our leaders to stop their harmful or deadly actions?

From Space4Peace

April 27, 2017

This video covers a news conference held in 1997 at the National Press Club in Washington opposing the launch of the Cassini space probe and was covered by CSPAN on cable TV. The news conference was organized by the Florida Coalition for Peace & Justice where I worked for 15 years.  The Florida Coalition was one of the founding members of the Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space.

NASA has just crashed Cassini with 72.3 pounds of plutonium-238 onto the surface of Saturn.

Journalist Karl Grossman has written a story about this latest incident.  You can find it here

The Cassini campaign lasted for three years and it became a rousing international effort.  Alan Kohn (one of the speakers in the news conference and former head of NASA’s emergency preparedness operation) told us after the successful launch of Cassini that a friend of his working in the White House informed him that they received more communications opposing the Cassini launch than any other issue in the history of the White House.

Groups in England, Germany, Australia and from throughout the US sent cards, letters, emails and faxes to then President Clinton calling for the halt of plans to launch the deadly mission.  One of my favorite stories at the time was about citizens from Tasmania, Australia who set up a fax machine one Saturday in front of their capital building and sent 1,000 faxes to the White House opposing the launch.

Also speaking in the news conference is world renowned physicist Dr. Michio Kaku and Karl Grossman, one of the founding members of the Global Network.

Bruce Gagnon

[1] http://space4peace.blogspot.com/2006/09/nasa-admits-solar-will-work-in-deep.html

Additional information:

http://space4peace.blogspot.com/2012/04/bad-seed-is-being-planted-in-space.html
http://space4peace.blogspot.com/2011/07/next-plutonium-space-launch-set.html
http://space4peace.blogspot.com/2006/01/nasa-losing-public-support.html
http://space4peace.blogspot.com/2005/12/plutonium-launch-countdown-begins.html

http://space4peace.blogspot.com/2017/04/nasa-crashes-cassini-plutonium-probe.html

 

— World Health Organization cover-up of radiation impacts, Chernobyl, Fukushima

From CounterPunch

May 2, 2017

By Robert Hunziker

Imagine the following hypothetical: The World Health Organization (“WHO”) is deeply involved in a high level cover up of the human impact and dangers of ionizing radiation, intentionally hiding the facts from the public, a chilling storyline!

After all, the world community depends upon WHO as an independent org t0 forewarn the general public of health dangers and to help in times of crises, not hide pivotal health facts from public eye.

As it happens, that nightmarish hypothetical comes to life in an interview with Alison Katz, who claims: “We are absolutely convinced that if the consequences of nuclear radiation were known to the public, the debate about nuclear power would end tomorrow. In fact, if the public knew, it would probably be excluded immediately as an energy option.”

Alison Katz heads a NGO known as Independent WHO, and she spends a lot of time arranging sandwich boards with messages like: “Complicity in Scientific Crime” or “Crime of Chernobyl – WHO Accomplice” in front of WHO headquarters/Geneva. For 10 years now on a daily vigil from 8:00-to-6:00 she and/or other protestors expose alleged misbehavior committed by WHO, right outside of the headquarters building. Imagine this: Ten years on the same street corner every working day. It’s commitment and determination sans pareil.

“The aim of the silent vigil is to remind the World Health Organisation of its duties. It was Hippocrates who formulated the ethical rules for health practitioners. The World Health Organisation ignores these rules, when it comes to protecting the health of the victims of the consequences of the nuclear industry”.

Which brings forth: Ten years of hard work combating a difficult and challenging issue warrants public adulation beyond carrying posters back and forth, come rain or shine, trudging away in the heat of the sun or the freezing cold and snow in front of WHO Hdqs. Hopefully, this article serves that purpose for Alison Katz.

The mission of Independent WHO is to expose WHO’s failings whilst calling for WHO independence away from influence by the worldwide nuclear syndicate: According to WHO Independence’s Web Site: “The World Health Organization (WHO) is failing in its duty to protect those populations who are victims of radioactive contamination.”

Ms Katz worked inside the WHO for 18 years. She insists that WHO, in cahoots with IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency), dangerously misrepresents the inherent dangers of ionizing radiation, an insinuation that smacks in the face with egregiousness galore.

Ms Katz’s April 2017 interview, which this article is based upon, can be heard in its entirety.

This article condenses and summarizes her one-hour interview. As such, according to Ms Katz: “The health consequences of nuclear activity, whether they are civil or military, are not known to the public… There has been a very high level cover up… including the WHO.”

Continue reading

— California: San Onofre action alert on upcoming Coastal Commission meeting

From Residents Organized for a Safe Environment (ROSE)
April 29, 2017

ACTION ALERT: Your voice is needed
.

The Coastal Commission is meeting for 3 days in San Diego May 10th, 11th and 12th. Please attend and request Southern California Edison (SCE) not be allowed to destroy the spent fuel pools. SCE will be submitting a request to destroy the spent fuel pools once they are empty.

San Onofre is not on the agenda. However, the Commission allows 3 minute public comments on items not on the agenda. Public Comments for non-agenda items start at the beginning of the meeting each day.

The pools are the only NRC approved method to replace cracking and leaking canisters. Canisters with even partial cracks are not approved for transport per NRC Safety regulations, and there is no method in place to repair them.

Existing San Onofre canisters have been in use as early as 2003. According to the NRC, the Koeberg nuclear plant in South Africa had a comparable container leak in only 17 years.

No one knows how many cracks are in the existing San Onofre canisters or how deep the cracks are. Once a crack starts, it will continue to grow through the wall of the canister.

Also, there is no seismic rating for partially cracked canisters or for the vented concrete structure they are stored in.

Since canisters cannot be inspected for cracks, we will only know after they leak, so pools must remain and be maintained until all nuclear fuel waste is removed from San Onofre. The Commissioners should not approve destruction of the pools until nuclear fuel waste is removed from the site.

Southern California Edison has been stating leaking canisters will be put inside another container, such as a metal transport or transfer cask. However, no such container has been approved by the NRC and leaking canisters cannot be transported. And the nuclear fuel waste in the canisters could overheat if stored in sealed metal casks. (Currently, canisters are stored inside concrete overpacks that have air vents so the nuclear fuel waste doesn’t overheat.)

Meeting details:

San Diego County Board of Supervisors Chambers
1600 Pacific Highway
San Diego, CA 92101
(415) 407-3211
[The phone number will only be in service during the meeting.]
Wednesday, May 10, 2017, 8:30 a.m.
Thursday, May 11, 2017, 8:30 a.m.
Friday, May 12, 2017, 8:30 a.m.

Meeting Agenda and rules for public comment. https://www.coastal.ca.gov/meetings/agenda/

California Coastal Commission ]https://www.coastal.ca.gov/meetings/agenda/

 

Sincerely,

Gene Stone
Residents Organized For a Safe Environment (ROSE)
http://residentsorganizedforasafeenvironment.wordpress.com/ http://residentsorganizedforasafeenvironment.wordpress.com/ http://partofthearth.blogspot.com/
http://partofthearth.blogspot.com/
“The secret of change is to focus all of your energy not on fighting the old, but on building the new.” Socrates

— America’s war against the people of Korea: The historical record of U.S. war crimes

Global Research, April 30, 2017
Global Research 13 September 2013

The following text by Michel Chossudovsky was presented in Seoul, South Korea in the context of the Korea Armistice Day Commemoration, 27 July 2013

A Message for Peace. Towards a Peace Agreement and the Withdrawal of US Troops from Korea.

Introduction

Armistice Day, 27 July 1953 is day of Remembrance for the People of Korea.

It is a landmark date in the historical struggle for national reunification and sovereignty.

I am privileged to have this opportunity of participating in the 60th anniversary commemoration of Armistice Day on July 27, 2013.

I am much indebted to the “Anti-War, Peace Actualized, People Action” movement for this opportunity to contribute to the debate on peace and reunification.

An armistice is an agreement by the warring parties to stop fighting. It does signify the end of war.

What underlies the 1953 Armistice Agreement is that one of the warring parties, namely the US has consistently threatened to wage war on the DPRK for the last 60 years.

The US has on countless occasions violated the Armistice Agreement. It has remained on a war footing. Casually ignored by the Western media and the international community, the US has actively deployed nuclear weapons targeted at North Korea for more than half a century in violation of article 13b) of the Armistice agreement. 

The armistice remains in force. The US is still at war with Korea. It is not a peace treaty, a peace agreement was never signed.

The US has used the Armistice agreement to justify the presence of 37,000 American troops on Korean soil under a bogus United Nations mandate, as well as establish an environment of continuous and ongoing military threats. This situation of “latent warfare” has lasted for the last 60 years. It is important to emphasize that this US garrison in South Korea is the only U.S. military presence based permanently on the Asian continent.

Our objective in this venue is to call for a far-reaching peace treaty, which will not only render the armistice agreement signed on July 27, 1953 null and void, but will also lay the foundations for the speedy withdrawal of US troops from Korea as well as lay the foundations for the reunification of the Korean nation.

Michel Chossudovsky Presentation: 60th anniversary commemoration of Armistice Day on July 27, 2013, Seoul, ROK. 

<iframe width=”690″ height=”400″ src=”https://www.youtube.com/embed/U2xO7Cn_xDU&#8221; frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen><!–iframe>

Armistice Day in a Broader Historical Perspective.

This commemoration is particularly significant in view of mounting US threats directed not only against Korea, but also against China and Russia as part of Washington’s “Asia Pivot”, not to mention the illegal occupation of Afghanistan and Iraq, the US-NATO wars against Libya and Syria, the military threats directed against Iran, the longstanding struggle of the Palestinian people against Israel, the US sponsored wars and insurrections in sub-Saharan Africa.

Armistice Day July 27, 1953, is a significant landmark in the history of US led wars.  Under the Truman Doctrine formulated in the late 1940s, the Korean War (1950-1953) had set the stage for a global process of militarization and US led wars. “Peace-making” in terms of a peace agreement is in direct contradiction with Washington “war-making” agenda.

Washington has formulated a global military agenda. In the words of four star General Wesley Clark (Ret) [image right], quoting a senior Pentagon official:

“We’re going to take out seven countries in 5 years, starting with Iraq, and then Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and, finishing off, Iran” (Democracy Now March 2, 2007)

The Korean War (1950-1953) was the first major military operation  undertaken by the US in the wake of  World War II,  launched at the very outset of  what was euphemistically called “The Cold War”. In many respects it was a continuation of World War II, whereby Korean lands under Japanese colonial occupation were, from one day to the next, handed over to a new colonial power, the United States of America.

At the Potsdam Conference (July–August 1945), the US and the Soviet Union agreed to dividing Korea, along the 38th parallel.

There was no “Liberation” of Korea following the entry of US forces. Quite the opposite.

As we recall, a US military government was established in South Korea on September 8, 1945, three weeks after the surrender of Japan on August 15th 1945. Moreover,  Japanese officials in South Korea assisted the US Army Military Government (USAMG) (1945-48) led by General Hodge in ensuring this transition. Japanese colonial administrators in Seoul as well as their Korean police officials worked hand in glove with the new colonial masters.

From the outset, the US military government refused to recognize the provisional government of the People’s Republic of Korea (PRK), which was committed to major social reforms including land distribution, laws protecting the rights of workers, minimum wage legislation and  the reunification of North and South Korea.

The PRK was non-aligned with an anti-colonial mandate, calling for the “establishment of close relations with the United States, USSR, England, and China, and positive opposition to any foreign influences interfering with the domestic affairs of the state.”2

The PRK was abolished by military decree in September 1945 by the USAMG. There was no democracy, no liberation no independence.

While Japan was treated as a defeated Empire, South Korea was identified as a colonial territory to be administered under US military rule and US occupation forces.

America’s handpicked appointee Sygman Rhee [left] was flown into Seoul in October 1945, in General Douglas MacArthur’s personal airplane.

The Korean War (1950-1953)

The crimes committed by the US against the people of Korea in the course of the Korean War but also in its aftermath are unprecedented in modern history.

Continue reading

— On Earth Day, the U.S. poisoned Saturn with plutonium-238 — the Cassini crash and trashing life for “science”

“When I heard that NASA would be dive-bombing Cassini into Saturn with 72 pounds of deadly plutonium-238 on-board, I thought of the Army handing out smallpox laden blankets to Indians on the reservations,” comments Bruce Gagnon, coordinator of the Global Network against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space, which has been in the lead in protesting NASA nuclear space missions. “NASA readily admits that ‘biotic or prebiotic’ life very possibly exists on Saturn—are they trying to kill it?”

“It’s time to put a stop to their freedom to threaten the lives of people here on Earth.” — Allan Kohn, NASA official from 1964 to 1994

When was the worldwide vote where all of us agreed to this project? Officials with unlimited power and technology take actions immune from public input, putting planets and the Earth in the crosshairs of their “scientific” madness and risking everything. The article below is terrifying. Rarely are these projects discussed widely or in depth for the public.

Several years ago, the U.S./NASA bombed the Moon. Think of it: the moon which controls the tides and many of Earth’s natural systems including women’s cycles, NASA damaged. There is constant talk about mining the moon and putting military and commercial enterprises there. This is pure madness.

Public and private space programs are marketed and romanticized constantly, but each flight does enormous damage to the ozone layer. U.S., other countries, and private entities insist they have a right to conquer space and other planets. Who gave them that right? 

March for science? Absolutely not. Unless there are radical reforms that put the rights of all life first and have public governance and true oversight and complete visibility, and love of nature and reverence for life becomes the governing principle, science risks ending life here and on other planets completely.

The Nuclearization of Space. The Crash of Cassini

Global Research, April 29, 2017
CounterPunch 27 April 2017

Despite protests around the world, the Cassini space probe—containing more deadly plutonium than had ever been used on a space device—was launched 20 years ago. And this past weekend—on Earth Day—the probe and its plutonium were sent crashing into Saturn.

The $3.27 billion mission constituted a huge risk. Cassini with its 72.3 pounds of Plutonium-238 fuel was launched on a Titan IV rocket on October 17, 1997 despite several Titan IV rockets having earlier blown up on launch.

At a demonstration two weeks before in front of the fence surrounding the pad at Cape Canaveral from which Cassini was to be launched, Dr. Michio Kaku, professor of theoretical physics at the City University of New York, warned of widespread regional damage if this Titan IV lofting Cassini exploded on launch. Winds could carry the plutonium

“into Disney World, University City, into the citrus industry and destroy the economy of central Florida,” he declared.

Four months before, at an earlier demonstration at the same site, Allan Kohn, a NASA career official from 1964 to 1994 who had been the emergency preparedness officer at the Kennedy Space Center, noted that

we were told by NASA that the odds against the Cassini blowing up and releasing radiation [are] 1,500 to one. These are pretty poor odds. You bet the lottery and the odds against you are one in 14 million.”

As to NASA’s claim that the plutonium system was “indestructible,” he said it is

“indestructible just like the Titanic was unsinkable….It’s time to put a stop to their freedom to threaten the lives of people here on Earth.”

And, indeed, on an Earth “flyby” by Cassini , done on August 18, 1999, it wouldn’t have been a regional disaster but a global catastrophe if an accident happened.

Cassini didn’t have the propulsion power to get directly from Earth to its final destination of Saturn, so NASA figuredImage result for cassini saturn on having it hurtle back to Earth in a “sling shot maneuver” or “flyby”—to use Earth’s gravity to increase its velocity so it could reach Saturn. The plutonium was only used to generate electricity—745 watts—to run the probe’s instruments. It had nothing to do with propulsion.

So NASA had Cassini come hurtling back at Earth at 42,300 miles per hour and skim over the Earth’s atmosphere at 727 miles high. If there were a rocket misfire or miscalculation and the probe made what NASA in its “Final Environmental Impact Statement for the Cassini Mission” called an “inadvertent reentry,” it could have fallen into Earth’s atmosphere, disintegrating, and releasing plutonium. Then, said NASA in its statement, “Approximately 7 to 8 billion world population at a time … could receive 99 percent or more of the radiation exposure.”

The worst accident involving space nuclear power occurred in 1964 when a satellite powered by a SNAP-9A plutonium system failed to achieve orbit and fell to Earth, breaking apart and releasing its 2.1 pounds of Plutonium-238 fuel, which dispersed all over the planet. According to the late Dr. John Gofman, professor of medical physics at the University of California at Berkeley, that accident contributed substantially to global lung cancer rates.

In her book, Nuclear Madness, Dr. Helen Caldicott, president emeritus of Physicians for Social Responsibility, writes about plutonium:

“Named after the god of the underworld, it is so toxic that less than one-millionth of a gram, an invisible particle, is a carcinogenic dose. One pound, if uniformly distributed, could hypothetically induce lung cancer in every person on Earth.”

Further, the Plutonium-238 used in space devices is 280 times more radioactive than the Plutonium-239 used in nuclear weapons.

Cassini finally reached Saturn and took excellent pictures and provided scientific information about Saturn, its rings, and moons including Enceladus and Titan.

NASA sent it crashing into Saturn on April 22, 2017

“to make sure Cassini is incinerated at the end of its journey to ensure that any of its earthborn microbes do not contaminate the biotic or prebiotic worlds out there,” wrote Dennis Overbye in his front-page story in The New York Times on April 22. (The article didn’t mention plutonium at all.)

“When I heard that NASA would be dive-bombing Cassini into Saturn with 72 pounds of deadly plutonium-238 on-board, I thought of the Army handing out smallpox laden blankets to Indians on the reservations,” comments Bruce Gagnon, coordinator of the Global Network against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space, which has been in the lead in protesting NASA nuclear space missions. “NASA readily admits that ‘biotic or prebiotic’ life very possibly exists on Saturn—are they trying to kill it?”

Said Gagnon:

“We are told that NASA is out searching for the origins of life in the universe but they seem to have forgotten the prime directive from Captain Kirk on Star Trek to ‘do no harm.’”

Felton Davis, an activist with the Catholic Worker movement in New York City, who participated in anti-Cassini protests through the years, said NASA

“should face the environmental reality that other celestial bodies are not garbage dumps.”

After the 1964 accident involving the SNAP-9A plutonium system, NASA moved to develop solar photovoltaic panels to energize satellites, and now all are powered by solar panels—as is the International Space Station.

But NASA has insisted that it needs nuclear power for missions into space—claiming for years that it could not use anything but atomic energy beyond the orbit of Mars. However, that has been proven incorrect by NASA itself. On July 4th, Independence Day, 2016, NASA’s solar-energized space probe Juno arrived at Jupiter. Launched from Cape Canaveral on August 5, 2011, it flew nearly two billion miles to reach Jupiter, and although sunlight at Jupiter is just four percent of what it is on Earth, Juno’s solar panels were able to harvest energy.

Related image

Juno spacecraft above the north pole of Jupiter
Photo from NASA

Nevertheless, the U.S. Department of Energy working with NASA has started up a new production facility at its Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee to produce Plutonium-238 for space use. Other DOE labs are also to participate.

Says Gagnon of the Maine-based Global Network (www.space4peace.org):

“Various DOE labs are rushing back into the plutonium processing business likely to make it possible for the nuclear industry to move their deadly product off-planet in order to ensure that the mining operations envisioned on asteroids, Mars, and the Moon will be fully nuclear-powered. Not only do the DOE labs have a long history of contaminating us on Earth but imagine a series of rocket launches with toxic plutonium on board that blow up from time to time at the Kennedy Space Center. They are playing with fire and the lives of us Earthlings. The space and the nuke guys are in bed together and that is a bad combination—surely terrible news for all of us.”

“The Global Network,” said Gagnon, “remains adamantly opposed to the use of nuclear power in space.”

Karl Grossman, professor of journalism at the State University of New York/College of New York, is the author of the book, The Wrong Stuff: The Space’s Program’s Nuclear Threat to Our Planet. Grossman is an associate of the media watch group Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR). He is a contributor to Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion.

— Chernobyl anniversary, 26 April, 1986: Radioactive goods are being looted, stripped, and exported from exclusion zone (VIDEO)

From Fort Russ
April 28th, 2017
Translation by Tatzhit Mihailovich

Source Video:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6lWp6enOwTQ

FROM THE TRANSLATOR

The 31st anniversary of Chernobyl nuclear disaster this Wednesday has attracted considerable media attention in the West. Most of the publications focused on the event itself. Some talked about the recent “accomplishments” of the Poroshenko regime – erecting a steel containment structure over the old concrete one [1], plans to build a solar power plant at the site, and so on [2].

A few articles, like the Associated Press piece (reprinted by most Western outlets – Washington Post, ABC News, Fox, Daily Mail, etc etc)  used to occasion to highlight “anti-nuclear protest in Belarus” [3].

Finally, one or two articles talked about cool projects in the exclusion zone – such as a few Polish “adventurers” moving a generator into Pripyat and turning lights on (source) – but without discussing e.g. the potential for electrical fires, which would spread radioactive smoke, or the fact that random people can freely roam Pripyat.

No one talked about the real problem – the fact that the “closed zone” around Chernobyl is no longer really “closed”, and that everything of value is being looted and sold to unsuspecting buyers [4]. The interview below discusses this problem.

[pictured: school in the radioactive town of Polesskoe, mentioned in interview below, midway through being disassembled for construction materials. Photo credit to zametkiev LJ.]

Interestingly, the man presenting the evidence (Alexander Medinskiy) is actually a Ukrainian nationalist – or used to be, anyway. He even fought in Donbass, but since coming back from the war, he has seen the effects of “Western democracy” on Ukraine and has become a vocal critic of the new regime, calling it corrupt, dictatorial, and criminal (and was branded a “terrorist sympathizer” in return). So, we can hear a report for an “insider”, as it were.

VIDEO (transcript below)

INTERVIEW TRANSCRIPT
(A) = Aleksandr Medinskiy
(K) = Konstantin Zazvonov

[greetings skipped]

(A) Kostya, everyone in Ukraine understands that the industry is mostly dead, so all that’s left is scrapping the leftovers. Now they are getting into Chernobyl.

(K) Isn’t it supposed to be closed off?

(A) It used to be “restricted” before. And even then, not guarded well. And now, it’s not just lone looters. It goes all the way to the top, so restrictions no longer apply.
Moreover, most of the policemen that were guarding Chernobyl have been laid off now, so it’s standing wide open.

(K) Got it. What exactly is being looted? [Irradiated] vehicles from storage areas, or building materials and infrastructure?

(A) Anything and everything of value, Kostya.
First of all… Let’s show a photo here… On Google photos we can see that in 2002, this “vehicle cemetery” was completely full and by 2013, it was all taken. So first they looted the vehicles – those are the most valuable. Not every last one, but most.

Now they’ve moved on to houses – taking them apart for pipes, rebar, and so on.

Here we can see how the school in Polesskoe [ghost town about 20 mi downwind from the reactor – ed.] is being disassembled into concrete slabs.

No idea where those slabs will turn up, because it is very tricky to figure out the schemes being used there.

But… I can say that, some time ago, businessmen I know personally have bought a load of used metal pipes, supposedly originating from Dnepropetrovsk.

And when the load was delivered, they were smart enough to check it with a radiation counter – the levels were off the charts, pretty much lethal.

They weren’t able to find out where the pipes originated from, but it certainly wasn’t Dnepropetrovsk. Somewhere within the exclusion zone, apparently.

(K) So is it sold within Ukraine, or exported? Or you don’t have that sort of information?

(A) I’ll put it this way. If you really look into what’s happening into exclusion zone, this is a large-scale, industrial effort. They are disassembling buildings using cranes. This isn’t merely a couple hobos trying to scavenge.

We can see heavy construction vehicles being moved in. We can see buildings being disassembled in a professional manner, with cranes.

We can see heavy vehicles being used to drag radioactive barges onto the shore, where they are cut for scrap. There are videos of that as well.
Where does all of this go is anybody’s guess. Some of it is bought by unwary people within Ukraine. Some of the metal is probably molten down, re-cast, and then exported.

Everybody knows that, [unfortunately], our government is among the world’s most corrupt ones. Thus, it is no problem to make real and proper documents verifying that these goods have “successfully passed” radiological inspection.

The real horror of the situation is that these materials can be anywhere in Ukraine now. Those radioactive pipes I told you about – they were brought to the capital!

And after those businessmen refused – where did they take those pipes? Maybe sold them to somebody else?

(K) I’d bet they didn’t take them back to Chernobyl! Yeah, probably resold.

You know, in one of my future videos, I plan to talk about contraband to Poland – how cigarettes and [medical] drugs are being smuggled across the border via drones.

And about Chernobyl – how is it all transported, do you think? How do they smuggle all those vehicles and building materials? Do they do it at night, do they camouflage it, or what?

(A) Let me explain how things work here. “Illegal” smuggling isn’t the main problem here, not really.

The problem is that the government officials are so corrupt, this wave of contraband is going “semi-legally” – through the checkpoints, with all the proper documentation, with knowledge of those in charge.

We’ll talk about that in more detail later. As for items from the exclusion zone, they can be split into several segments.

The most basic category are the hunters, poachers, the people who hunt for meat here. As you can guess, no one checks the meat with any sort of radiation counters.

And the exclusion zone is kind of interesting. There are some patches that are relatively clean, and there are patches that are extremely radioactive.

For example, aforementioned Polesie, [where the school was being taken apart for slabs] – that area is extremely “hot”.

There are people who gather mushrooms, berries, and so on – [Chernobyl] exclusion zone obviously has all of that. And then this food can go to the markets in Kiev, maybe even exported abroad, zero control for that.

Then there are the midlevel “harvesters”, who cut up pipes, rebar, the aforementioned barges, and so on. They pay off the officials and transport the loot semi-legally.

And there is an even higher level. [Irradiated] vehicles aren’t usually cut for scrap, unless they’re completely unserviceable. And if they can still work…

There was discussion of using the remaining helicopters [from the “radiation graveyard”], some tracked vehicles – to use them in the warzone. Can you imagine that?

(K) I thought it was actually done in the end?

(A) I can not claim that it was done. I know it was discussed, that’s all.
So, we can see that the “graveyards” are now empty. Where did the vehicles go…

Maybe they sold the armor to some warring African state. Or to South-East Asia somewhere – not everyone is smart enough to do their own radiological inspection of our country’s exports.

(K) So you suspect UkrSpetsExport (Ukraine’s arms export monopoly – ed.) could have made some money there?

(A) I don’t want to make any such statements. Because we want to be… [Ukrainian word] how do you say this in Russian… We want to be objective, evidence-based.
What I wanted to tell here is that the problem exists, and that its rapidly getting worse.
Right now they’re taking apart Polesskoe, then they’ll move on to Pripyat – the probably already started, then they’ll start taking apart the reactor building itself…

You see, that place can be looted for decades. There are construction materials, scrap metal,  venison, mushrooms, and so on. It can be a serious source of income.

The problem is that the whole government system is corrupt. UkrSpetsExport is part of it, so we can not honestly conclude that it is not involved, either. Any part of the system could be.

(K) Thank you very much for your insights on [what’s currently going in] Chernobyl

(A) Yes, thank you too, for raising awareness about this problem. Its being swept under the rug, not talked about, but it’s actually huge. Radiation is an invisible killer.

There are many survivors of Chernobyl among the Ukrainian people, and they should know about this. Also, this problem needs to be discussed internationally. We will continue investigating this matter over here.

(K) Thank you Alex. Use your radiation counter, be safe. All the best!

NOTES:

[1] The project was funded by foreign countries, started in 2007 and slated for completion in 2014.
Of course, the Maidan “revolution” set the project back a few years and incurred mysterious additional costs that required further foreign funding. In the end, the new regime was able to claim credit for finishing a project they didn’t start, didn’t pay for, and actually delayed.
[2] An interesting contrast can be seen here: VOA propagandists claim that the Chernobyl solar plant will generate 2.5 Gw and the project will be complete by May (link), while the somewhat more reasonable BBC propagandists talk about 1 Gw, built by 2019 or so (link).
In reality, most likely, none of these output figures and deadlines will be met – no work has been done so far, and no contracts have been signed.
[3] There is almost no information on this anti-nuclear protest in Belorussian or Russian-language sources; even the Youtube videos put out by the organizers have a couple thousand views at most.
The number of Western journalists and bloggers discussing this tiny gathering of professional “opposition activists” might very well be greater than the number of actual Belorussians who support the protesters.

[4] The lack of attention to what’s going on in the exclusion zone is especially puzzling considering how much the Western mass media love scaring their audiences – fear is the most powerful of human emotions, after all, and scare stories bring the most ad profits.
I suppose that in this case, profits had to take a back seat to the political goal of supporting the Poroshenko regime.

http://www.fort-russ.com/2017/04/open-ukraine-radioactive-goods-are.html