A Southern California mother discovers that the Santa Susana Field Lab, the site of one of the largest nuclear accidents in U.S. history, is located only 7 miles from her home. Concealed from the public eye for 20 years and never fully cleaned up, she grapples with the idea that the site may be responsible for exposing her daughter and community to cancer-causing radioactive waste. The feature documentary, directed by Nicholas Mihm, airs Sunday, November 14th at 10 p.m. ET on MSNBC.
The Chinese Foreign Ministry has said “the international community is watching Japan” and called on Tokyo to “fulfil [its] international responsibilities” as the government there mulls discharging nuclear wastewater into the sea.
Speaking on Monday, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian claimed the disaster at the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant has already caused large amount of radioactive material to leak, which has had a profound impact on the marine environment, food safety, and human health.
Responding to a question from a journalist, who cited reports that the Japanese government would hold a meeting on Tuesday to sign off on plans to dump more than one million tons of nuclear wastewater into the ocean, Zhao demanded that they “fulfil their international responsibilities” and listen to the condemnation from other nations.
“This matter is of great importance, and Japan should be responsible for the international public interest, which is also responsible for the interests of its own people,” he stated.
Zhao said that China has expressed its serious concerns to Japan through diplomatic channels, with the aim of “safeguarding international public interest and the health and safety of the Chinese people.”
Last week, Beijing called on Tokyo to put off a decision on dumping radioactive water from the Fukushima nuclear plant into the ocean until it has fully consulted its neighbors, after reports emerged that Japan was on the brink of electing to discharge the waste into the sea.
Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga was quoted as calling the move “unavoidable” after the nuclear wastewater built up over the last decade…
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 , plans to build a solar power plant at the site, and so on .
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” .
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 . 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)
(A) = Aleksandr Medinskiy
(K) = Konstantin Zazvonov
(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!
 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.
 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.
 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.
 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.
“Everyone seems to be dying of cancer. Every day one hears about another acquaintance or friend of a friend dying.”
On Monday, February 20, US-led coalition fighter jets bombed al-Shefaa, a residential area in eastern Mosul (Iraq). Sources from a variety of perspectives say that several dozen civilians died in the raid and a large number were wounded. The highest numbers are being quoted by the Islamic State’s Amaq News Agency, while the lower numbers come from al-Jazeera. The coalition commanders have not answered questions about the raids.
According to Airwars, a large number of civilians have been killed due to US-led coalition bombings that began in 2014. The total civilians killed range from 5,875 to 7,936, while those specifically killed by coalition airstrikes number between 2,405 and 3,517. These are twice the number of civilians as killed by Russian airstrikes in Syria, according to Airwars figures.
The Iraqi military confirms that it has slowed down its advance into Mosul because it does not know how to fight ISIS without endangering the 750,000 civilians in the region. The most recent UN situation report from Iraq counts 160,000 people already displaced as a result of the Mosul crisis. Low income levels, shortages of water, great threats because of the fighting – these define the situation for residents in and around Mosul.
A joint investigation by Airwars and Foreign Policy pushed the US military to confirm that in two incidents in 2015 the United States used depleted uranium (DU) shells against ISIS targets in Syria. When Airwars’ Samuel Oakford asked the United States military whether it had used any DU in Syria, they first denied it, then finally admitted to its use earlier this month. DU ammunition was fired from A-10 aircraft against fuel tankers.
Strikingly, the A-10 aircraft normally carries high explosive incendiary (HEI) ammunition which, according to its manufacturer General Dynamics, ‘provides fragmentation and incendiary effects for use against personnel, trucks, ammunition storage and many other targets’. The HEI would have been sufficient to destroy the fuel tankers, so that it was unnecessary to use DU – a radioactive substance – to contaminate parts of northern Syria.
Make the Desert Glow.
At the same time as the US was using radioactive weapons in Syria, Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz said of ISIS – ‘We will carpet bomb them into oblivion. I don’t know if sand can glow in the dark, but we’re going to find out’. This was plainly a reference to some kind of radioactive bombardment. It was precisely what the administration of Barack Obama had already been doing.
Not long after Cruz first made this comment – which became a standard for his stump speeches – Mark Halperin of Bloomberg asked another Republican presidential candidate, Donald Trump, whether he would go nuclear against ISIS. ‘Well, I’m never going to rule anything out’, replied Trump. When pushed by Chris Matthews of MSNBC on this issue, Trump said, ‘Somebody hits us within ISIS – you wouldn’t fight back with a nuke?’
Three generals who made their mark in Iraq between 1991 and 2008 now lead President Trump’s national security team. General James Mattis (Secretary of Defense), General John Kelley (Secretary of Homeland Security) and General H. R. McMaster (National Security Advisor) all led the US counter-insurgency operations in Iraq. Of the three, General James Mattis had the closest relationship to the use of radioactive weapons in Iraq. This was during the siege conducted by the United States against the city of Fallujah in 2004. To grasp the attitude of the US officers in this war, reflect for a minute on Mattis’ statement made in a 2003 speech to soldiers regarding how to comport themselves in Iraq, ‘Be polite, be professional, but have a plan to kill everybody you meet’.
Fallujah is one of the most forgotten contemporary US battlefields. In that battle to defeat the popular insurgency against the American occupation, the United States used chemical (white phosphorus) and radioactive (DU) weapons with great abandon. The fierceness of the war destroyed three quarters of the city and sent most of its population to the grave or into flight. At this time, General Mattis headed the 1st Marine Division that was key to the Fallujah war.
Ironically, the United States went into Iraq in 2003 with the claim that it wanted to destroy weapons of mass destruction. In turn, it was the United States that used weapons of mass destruction inside Iraq.
The United States dropped at least 116,000 kgs of DU ammunition during the bombing campaign of the 2003 Iraq War. At that time, A-10 fighter jets were used for these missions, the same planes used in Syria. Strike logs released to George Washington University in 2013, shows that in the early months of the war (March-April 2003), DU ammunition was used against cars and trucks as well as buildings of all kinds. The widespread use of these radioactive weapons across Iraq contaminated large swathes of the country. What transpired in Fallujah the next year was merely the continuation of what had become normal policy. The data from that war has not been released as of yet. It would show that DU weapons were fired not only from A-10 jets, but also from tanks and other ground-based devices. These not only contaminated the soil, but also endangered US troops.
It is not as if the US military did not know that DU weapons are dangerous.
The US Environmental Protection Agency calls these weapons ‘a radiation health hazard when inside the body’. A 1975 US Air Force review suggested that these weapons not be used against troops, but only against ‘tanks, armored personnel carriers or other hard targets’. This prohibition was routinely violated during the US War on Iraq. In 2003, the UK’s Royal Society of Medicine and the UN Environment Program warned against the use of such weapons. None of these warnings were heeded. People like Mattis and Kelley had their fingers on the trigger. There is no available evidence that they cautioned against what is tantamount to a war crime.
Everyone Seems to be Dying of Cancer.
Evidence from Baghdad and Fallujah is compelling. Before she died of leukemia, artist Nuha al-Radi wrote, ‘Everyone seems to be dying of cancer. Every day one hears about another acquaintance or friend of a friend dying. How many more die in hospitals that one does not know? Apparently, over 30 per cent of Iraqis have cancer, and there are a lot of kids with leukemia. The depleted uranium left by the US bombing campaign has turned Iraq into a cancer-infested country’.
Dr. Samira Allani, a pediatric specialist at the Fallujah General Hospital, sees the connection between Iraq and Japan – two countries struck hard by weapons of mass destruction. The rate of children born with birth defects in Fallujah are much greater than that of children born – after 1945 – in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The dust from DU emits alpha radiation, which experts say is twenty times more dangerous than the gamma radiation from nuclear weapons. There was no dramatic mushroom cloud over Baghdad or Fallujah, but the smaller explosions might have been just as deadly.
Over the years, the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) has pushed a non-binding resolution in the UN General Assembly against the use of DU ammunition. Both in 2012 and 2014, the overwhelming majority of the world’s states voted for a resolution brought by the NAM against DU weapons. Both times the United States, the United Kingdom, France and Israel voted against the resolution. In December 2014, the NAM resolution came just as US A-10 fighter jets arrived in Kuwait to bomb ISIS targets in Syria and Iraq. There was fear that the US would use DU weapons once more in the region. This fear, we now find, was not unwarranted. The US has said that it used DU twice. One should not be comforted by this number, since there might be other instances where DU was used in the last few years.
It would be naïve to assume that the United States and its coalition are not using DU weaponry in the fight against ISIS in Mosul and elsewhere. These are dangerous weapons, whose radioactivity lasts a very long time and damages societies for generations. Statements by Trump and Cruz about the use of nuclear weapons and the lack of outrage against that shows how desensitized the population has become about violence against the brown bodies of West Asia.
And even against the ecology of the region. In her captivating memoir, Nuha al-Radi writes about fleeing into her family orchard when the US bombing of Iraq took place in 2003. ‘The birds have taken the worst beating of all’, she wrote. ‘They have sensitive souls, which cannot take all this hideous noise and vibration. All the caged lovebirds have died from the shock of the blasts, while birds in the wild fly upside down and do crazy somersaults. Hundreds, if not thousands, have died in the orchard. Lonely survivors fly about in distracted fashion’.
Whether Nuha, powerful artist that she was, wrote of the birds alone or wrote with allegory close to her pen is moot. Both the birds and Iraqis as well Syrians go about in a distracted fashion. Their lives continue to be turned askew by the hideous bombardment of this ongoing war.
Vijay Prashad is professor of international studies at Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut. He is the author of 18 books, including Arab Spring, Libyan Winter (AK Press, 2012), The Poorer Nations: A Possible History of the Global South (Verso, 2013) and The Death of a Nation and the Future of the Arab Revolution (University of California Press, 2016). His columns appear at AlterNet every Wednesday.
In 2011, with foresight and scientific analysis Dr. Helen Caldicott focussed on the implications of the Fukushima disaster at a Press Conference in Montreal organized by Global Research. The 2011 GRTV video presentation featuring Dr. Caldicott tells us the truth. This is the most devastating catastrophe in human history. And six years ago Helen Caldicott analyzed in detail the significance of this tragic event. (M. Ch)
Dr Helen Caldicott, explains recent robot photos taken of Fukushima’s Daiichi nuclear reactors: radiation levels have not peaked, but have continued to spill toxic waste into the Pacific Ocean — but it’s only now the damage has been photographed.
Recent reporting of a huge radiation measurement at Unit 2 in the Fukushima Daichi reactor complex does not signify that there is a peak in radiation in the reactor building. All that it indicates is that, for the first time, the Japanese have been able to measure the intense radiation given off by the molten fuel, as each previous attempt has led to failure because the radiation is so intense the robotic parts were functionally destroyed.
Satellite image shows damage at Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant (via ecowatch.com).
The radiation measurement was 530 sieverts, or 53,000 rems (Roentgen Equivalent for Man). The dose at which half an exposed population would die is 250 to 500 rems, so this is a massive measurement. It is quite likely had the robot been able to penetrate deeper into the inner cavern containing the molten corium, the measurement would have been much greater. These facts illustrate why it will be almost impossible to “decommission” units 1, 2 and 3 as no human could ever be exposed to such extreme radiation. This fact means that Fukushima Daichi will remain a diabolical blot upon Japan and the world for the rest of time, sitting as it does on active earthquake zones.
Robot image of Fukushima Daiichi Unit 2 reactor (Source: tepco.co.jp)
What the photos taken by the robot did reveal was that some of the structural supports of Unit 2 have been damaged. It is also true that all four buildings were structurally damaged by the original earthquake some five years ago and by the subsequent hydrogen explosions so, should there be an earthquake greater than seven on the Richter scale, it is very possible that one or more of these structures could collapse, leading to a massive release of radiation as the building fell on the molten core beneath. But units 1, 2 and 3 also contain cooling pools with very radioactive fuel rods — numbering 392 in Unit 1, 615 in Unit 2, and 566 in Unit 3; if an earthquake were to breach a pool, the gamma rays would be so intense that the site would have to be permanently evacuated.
The fuel from Unit 4 and its cooling pool has been removed. But there is more to fear. The reactor complex was built adjacent to a mountain range and millions of gallons of water emanate from the mountains daily beneath the reactor complex, causing some of the earth below the reactor buildings to partially liquefy. As the water flows beneath the damaged reactors, it immerses the three molten cores and becomes extremely radioactive as it continues its journey into the adjacent Pacific Ocean.
Every day since the accident began, 300 to 400 tons of water has poured into the Pacific where numerous isotopes – including cesium 137, 134, strontium 90, tritium, plutonium, americium and up to 100 more – enter the ocean and bio-concentrate by orders of magnitude at each step of the food chain — algae, crustaceans, little fish, big fish then us. Fish swim thousands of miles and tuna, salmon and other species found on the American west coast now contain some of these radioactive elements, which are tasteless, odourless and invisible. Entering the human body by ingestion they concentrate in various organs, irradiating adjacent cells for many years.
The cancer cycle is initiated by a single mutation in a single regulatory gene in a single cell and the incubation time for cancer is any time from 2 to 90 years.
The 420-acre shipyard was one of the nation’s most notorious Superfund sites, home to a federal nuclear program begun in 1946 that included a secret laboratory [Naval Radiological Defense Laboratory] where tests were conducted to determine the effects of radiation on living organisms. Military equipment and ships contaminated by atomic bomb explosions were kept at Hunters Point, and the grounds were polluted with petroleum fuels, pesticides, heavy metals, PCBs, organic compounds and asbestos. — SF Chronicle, February 7, 2017
On February 8, 2017, government agencies held a meeting on the state of clean up at San Francisco’s former Hunters Point Naval Shipyard. It was an open format” meeting with poster boards and reps scattered around the room, forcing people to individually talk with reps. This was done instead of a real meeting before the whole audience — presentations by the various oversight agencies and questions and answers from audience which would put them on record for their remarks and which everyone could hear. “A government propaganda show,” said a community advocate. This format was deliberately chosen for lack of accountability.
The Navy representative refused to answer a request to hold a meeting with presentations and debate.
Government representatives included:
Nina Bacey, California Dept of Toxic Substances Control
Amy Browntell, SF Department of Public Health
Lily Lee, EPA Cleanup Project Manager, Superfund Division
Zach?, U.S. Navy
Malia Cohen, SF Board of Supervisors
Community advocates who spoke on camera included:
Marie Harris, Green Action
Bradley Angel, Green Action
Dr. Ray Tomkins, environmental scientist
Daniel Hirsch, UCSC Executive Director on Environmental and Nuclear Policy; Founder, Committee to Bridge the Gap
Comments and interviews:
3:10 Interview of Nina Bacey, California DTSC
16:13 Interview of Amy Brownell, SF Public Health
18:37 Marie Harris, Green Action
20:10 Bradley Angel, Green Action
22:11 Dr. Ray Tomkins, environmental scientist — on the testing
29:13 Interview of Lily Lee, EPA
35:10 Daniel Hirsch (UCSC) questions Lily Lee (EPA)
41:40 Interview of Malia Cohen, SF Supervisor
45:07 Bradley Angel, Green Action
From the Labor Video Project
Cover up blows up at SF Hunters Point Naval Shipyard “Clean-up” Meeting, 2-7-17
At a meeting at San Francisco Hunters Point superfund site, the US Navy, EPA, California Department of Toxic Substances and San Francisco Department of Public Health tried to explain what they are doing about the systemic falsification of testing at the highly contaminated site. There has been on Federal, state or local criminal investigation of the intimidation, workplace bullying and termination of health and safety testers and whistleblowers at TestAmerica and Tetra Tech. The US Navy also said they are still employing Tetra Tech around the United States.
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has a few more public meetings scheduled regarding “Consent-Based Siting” of centralized interim storage sites for high-level radioactive waste, and the truck, train, and barge shipments it would take to deliver the irradiated nuclear fuel there:
Boise, Idaho, July 14;
Minneapolis, Minnesota, July 21.
Strong turnouts are needed, both in person and via Webinar. If you live close enough, please consider attending, and taking folks with you; otherwise, spread word to people you know who live nearby, and watch online.
Public comments are urgently needed by DOE’s July 31 deadline.
LEAK FIRST, FIX LATER Uncontrolled and Unmonitored Radioactive Releases from Nuclear Power Plants
A Beyond Nuclear Report
By Paul Gunter, Director, Reactor Oversight Project
Revised Edition: March 2015
“Leak First, Fix Later” was first published in April 2010. Now nearly five years later, Beyond Nuclear takes another look at the problem of aging and deteriorating piping systems carrying
radioactive liquids that still run under every nuclear power plant.
Nuclear power plants have an extensive network of piping systems dozens of which transport liquids that contain radioactive isotopes including tritium — a radioactive form of hydrogen — and long-lived strontium-90. These piping systems are not adequately inspected or maintained due to their inaccessibility.
U.S. reactors continue to experience leaks and spills of radioactive material into groundwater the unmonitored pathways from unknown and unanticipated sources.
Now, five years after our initial 2010 report, Beyond Nuclear has determined that the NRC has failed to mandate any corrective action programs that focus on inspection and maintenance programs aimed at groundwater protection by preventing ongoing radioactive leaks and contamination of water resources.