Archive for October, 2010

Widespread incidences of nuclear contamination of water

October 16, 2010

the nuclear industry has contaminated groundwater with radioactive tritium at nuclear power plant sites all across the country.

Nuclear Power’s Threat to Clean Water | Greenpeace USA, by Jim Riccio – October 15, 2010 , “…..One of many risks to clean water are nuclear power plants and the inadequate measures to protect us from their radioactive elements that can leak into our drinking water.
Last week brought more disturbing discoveries of radioactive tritium leaking into groundwater from Vermont Yankee, the aging nuclear plant in southern Vermont.  Exposure to tritium, a radioactive form of hydrogen produced by nuclear power plants, presents risks of cell damage and can increase the likelihood of developing cancer.  Ingested tritium is
directly absorbed into the bloodstream, and will quickly spread to other body fluids, organs, and other tissues – it’s critical that our drinking water is protected from unsafe levels.
For Vermonters, it’s yet another sign that Entergy‘s 38 year-old plant should not be relicensed by President Obama’s Nuclear Regulatory Commission; this comes after more discoveries of tritium leaks into groundwater earlier this year, and the collapse of a cooling tower in 2007.  The plant should be closed as scheduled in 2012, and that’s why the Vermont Senate voted 26-4 in February to do just that.

The problem goes beyond Vermont though – tritium levels in underground wells at another old Entergy relic, Pilgrim nuclear plant in Massachusetts were recently found to be above standards for drinking water set by the Clean Water Act to protect people’s health.  In fact, the nuclear industry has contaminated groundwater with radioactive tritium at nuclear power plant sites all across the country.  Nuclear plants that have admitted leaking tritium into the groundwater include:

  • Braidwood, Byron, Dresden and Quad Cities in Illinois;
  • Indian Point and Fitzpatrick in New York;
  • Yankee Rowe and Pilgrim in Massachusetts;
  • Three Mile Island and Peach Bottom in Pennsylvania;
  • Callaway in Missouri
  • Catawba in South Carolina
  • Oyster Creek in New Jersey
  • Hatch in Georgia
  • Palo Verde In Arizona
  • Perry in Ohio
  • Palisades in Michigan
  • Point Beach in Wisconsin
  • Salem in Delaware
  • San Onofre in California
  • Seabrook in New Hampshire
  • Shearon Harris in North Carolina
  • Watts Bar in Tennessee
  • Wolf Creek in Kansas
  • Connecticut Yankee in Connecticut
  • Vermont Yankee in Vermont

Unfortunately, rather than hold nuclear plant owners to the terms of their licenses, the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission has failed to exercise its authority and instead has handed the problem of radioactive tritium leaks over to the industry lobbyists’ in a voluntary program. It’s time to shut down these unsafe and aging nuclear power plants, and embrace the clean, renewable energy revolution that can truly help solve global warming and keep our air and water clean.

Nuclear Power’s Threat to Clean Water | Greenpeace USA

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Climate sceptics depict scientists as the enemy

October 15, 2010

‘Science as the Enemy’The Traveling Salesmen of Climate Skepticism,  SPIEGEL ONLINE -13 Oct 10, By Cordula Meyer A handful of US scientists have made names for themselves by casting doubt on global warming research. In the past, the same people have also downplayed the dangers of passive smoking, acid rain and the ozone hole. In all cases, the tactics are the same: Spread doubt and claim it’s too soon to take action. With his sonorous voice, Fred Singer, 86, sounded like a grandfather explaining the obvious to a dim-witted child. (more…)

The Salesmen of Tobacco

October 15, 2010

‘Science as the Enemy’The Traveling Salesmen of Climate Skepticism,  SPIEGEL ONLINE -13 Oct 10, By Cordula MeyerFor decades, Big Tobacco managed to cast doubt on the idea that smoking kills. An internal document produced by tobacco ma ker Brown & Williamson states: “Doubt is our product since it is the best means of competing with the ‘body of fact’ that exists in the minds of the general public.”In 1993, tobacco executives handed around a document titled “Bad Science — A Resource Book.” In the manual, PR professionals explain how to discredit inconvenient scientific results by labeling them “junk.” For example, the manual suggested pointing out that “too often science is manipulated to fulfill a political agenda.” According to the document: “Proposals that seek to improve indoor air quality by singling out tobacco smoke only enable bad science to become a poor excuse for enacting new laws and jeopardizing individual liberties.”

‘Junk Science’

In 1993, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published what was then the most comprehensive study on the effects of tobacco smoke on health, which stated that exposure to secondhand smoke was responsible for about 3,000 deaths a year in the United States. Singer promptly called it “junk science.” He warned that the EPA scientists were secretly pursuing a communist agenda. “If we do not carefully delineate the government’s role in regulating … dangers, there is essentially no limit to how much government can ultimately control our lives,” Singer wrote.

Reacting to the EPA study, the Philip Morris tobacco company spearheaded the establishment of “The Advancement of Sound Science Coalition” (TASSC). Its goal was to raise doubts about the risks of passive smoking and climate change, and its message was to be targeted at journalists — but only those with regional newspapers. Its express goal was “to avoid cynical reporters from major media.”

Singer, Marshall Institute founder Fred Seitz and Patrick Michaels, who is now one of the best known climate change skeptics, were all advisers to TASSC….

‘Science as the Enemy’: The Traveling Salesmen of Climate Skepticism – SPIEGEL ONLINE – News – International