Archive for December, 2012

Legal action by USA Navy men agsinst Japan’s government and Tepco

December 28, 2012

Navy rescue workers sue Japan over Fukushima cover-up — “Irreparable harm to life expectancy” — Gov’t and Tepco conspired
 Title: U.S. Sailors Sue Japan Over Fukushima
Source: Courthouse News Service
Date: Dec 26, 2012

[…] Eight crew members of the U.S.S. Ronald Reagan, whose home port is San Diego, sued the Tokyo Electric Power Co. in Federal Court. […]

Lead plaintiff Lindsay R. Cooper claims Tokyo Electric (TEPCO) intentionally concealed the dangerous levels of radiation in the environment from U.S. Navy rescue crews working off the coast of Japan […]

The complaint states: “Defendant TEPCO and the government of Japan, conspired and acted in concert, among other things, to create an illusory impression that the extent of the radiation that had leaked from the site of the FNPP was at levels that would not pose a threat to the plaintiffs, in order to promote its interests and those of the government of Japan, knowing that the information it disseminated was defective, incomplete and untrue, while omitting to disclose the extraordinary risks posed to the plaintiffs who were carrying out their assigned duties aboard the U.S.S. Ronald Reagan.” […]

And, they say: “Defendants had actual and/or constructive knowledge of the properties of radiation that would ensure that, once released into the environment, radiation would spread further and in concentrations that would cause injury to the plaintiffs.” […]

The sailors say they “face additional and irreparable harm to their life expectancy, which has been shortened and cannot be restored to its prior condition.”

Radiation at Treasure Island, USA

December 28, 2012

Alarming Radiation Levels Found on Treasure Island (includes Video –
on cancers in former residents) ) 
The Navy’s own data suggests that island residents were at risk of
radiation exposure.
East Bay Express, By Ashley Bates, 27 Dec 12, Navy officials have repeatedly downplayed the risks of
radiation exposure to current and former residents on Treasure Island.
But data from the US Navy shows that measurements taken in former
residential areas of the island revealed pockets of alarmingly high
radiation levels. (more…)

Fukushima – a continuing disaster

December 28, 2012

Two high school girls that were affected by the disaster are launching a peace discussion forum devoted to expanding the dialogue about nuclear power and weapons. One of the young women said, “My parents’ and grandparents’ generations may be to blame for allowing the nuclear power plants, but both adults and children are responsible for thinking together about the problem.”

Japan Continues Struggle with Aftermath from the Fukushima Nuclear Disaster
 December 26th, 2012 › As 2012 draws to a close, evaluating the ongoing effects of the March 2011 Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster on the people of Japan is a difficult and depressing task. After having fled their homes due to the tsunami and resulting triple nuclear meltdown, 21 months later an estimated160,000 citizens still have not returned home.

Reports of illness in humans and livestock continue to underscore the far reaching and difficult to predict impacts that a nuclear accident can cause. In July, 36% of Japanese children screened were found to have abnormal thyroid growths. This fall, an illness dubbed the “Fukushima syndrome” was reported to be killing cattle near the Fukushima prefecture. Mutations are already observed inbutterflies and other insects, whose shorter life cycles allow genetic disruptions to display more quickly than in mammals or humans.

The World Health Organization downplayed radiation and exposure risks in a report they released last summer, (more…)

1.5 million deaths estimated from Chernobyl nuclear disaster

December 28, 2012

Death toll estimate from Chernobyl now around 1.5 Million -Expert (VIDEO)
December 22nd, 2012 
 Title: Pr A.Yablokov and Pr C.Busby on Fukushima victim estimations 
Uploaded by: radioactivebsr
Date: April 6-8, 2011
Description: Interview by an unidentified Austrian radio reporter
h/t Nuclear_Problem

Prof. Alexey Yablokow, PhD, Centre for Russian Environmental Policy, N. K. Koltzoff Institute of Developmental Biology, Russian Academy of Sciences:

9,000 additional deaths from cancer, nothing more – This is official data from so called Chernobyl Forum, by International Atomic Energy Agency and World Health Organization. […]

And when I calculate this, of course it’s not precise. But level of death toll was more than 1 million. If you not only for 15 years, but for 25 years, maybe to close one and a half million – than 9,000 deaths which I mentioned before.

Radioactivity problem in wastes from rare earths processing

December 28, 2012

Lynas’ waste plans a toxic pipe dream  Aliran,   19 December 2012 by Wendy Bacon ”    ……While Lynas says it is confident in the current by-product plans, they are yet to be tested. Dr Peter Karamoskas, who has been a nuclear radiologist for 13 years and represents the Australian public on the Radiation Safety Committee of Australia’s nuclear safety agency, shares none of that confidence.

Speaking on his own behalf, Karamoskas said that to be safe more than a million tons of WLP residue with a radioactive reading of 6Bq have to be mixed with five times the amount of aggregate to reduce its reading to 1Bq. While he said that a similar process had been used in the Netherlands, the waste was far less radioactive, sitting near 1Bq, which is the threshold for safety. (more…)

Christian conference highlights the social tragedy of Fukushima

December 28, 2012

The science in play is not fiction. Children are growing up forbidden to play outdoors, young women worry that no one will want to marry them, a mother tests her rice harvest to see if she can share it with her children, families are paying off loans on radioactive homes they will never use. These are the kind of stories heard every day at a parish radiation information centre in Aizu Wakamatsu, Japan.

The conference concluded that “there is no safe use of nuclear power, no safe level of exposure to radiation, and no compatibility between nuclear power, life and peace.”

Nuclear tragedy finds  a human face in Fukushima,  Insights, ON 19 DEC 2012 BY STEPHENW
The everyday effects of radiation borne by survivors of the 2011 Fukushima disaster in Japan add up today to an involuntary experiment with public health, community life and environmental affairs.
An ecumenical conference, called to listen to local residents, found that last year’s chain reaction of earthquake, tsunami and nuclear calamity has generated a “live” human tragedy, across a province, with no end in sight.
The Geiger counters that priests and parishioners pull out of their pockets like cell phones made the local anxieties and fears real for their visitors.
“I cannot tell my children that there will be something good if they live,” one mother told a Buddhist priest.  (more…)

The story of Lynas rare earths project in Malaysia, and its radioactive wastes problem

December 28, 2012

The IAEA also recommended that Lynas proceed no further until it had filed comprehensive plans for the permanent disposal of waste, decommissioning of the plant and remediation of the site at the end of its life.

Lynas’ waste plans a toxic pipe dream  Aliran,   19 December 2012 Scientists and community leaders are concerned about radioactive waste from Lynas’ Malaysian plant but the company representative who took Wendy Bacon’s questions brushed off the criticism. This is the second of two articles about Lynas by Wendy Bacon.Read the first here.

Australian rare earth company Lynas has always known it had a waste problem. (more…)

Lynas tries to shut up critics of its rare earths processing project in Malaysia

December 28, 2012

Lynas’ waste plans a toxic pipe dream  Aliran,   19 December 2012 Scientists and community leaders are concerned about radioactive waste from Lynas’ Malaysian plant but the company representative who took Wendy Bacon’s questions brushed off the criticism. This is the second of two articles about Lynas by Wendy Bacon “………Shutting down the critics

New Matilda asked to interview Lynas Executive Chairperson Nick Curtis but he was not available. Instead we interviewed a Lynas spokesperson who insists that the waste products of the Lamp project are “not hazardous in any way”. He refers to the safety record of Lynas which in “all of its constructions … has been achieved with zero lost time injury”.

When New Matilda suggested that problems are more likely to arise in the long term, even 20 or 30 years away, he replied: “I would be lying if I categorically tell you there is no risk in 20 or 30 years time from anything. What I can tell you is that the unanimous conclusion of all of the scientific experts from all of the different organisations that have investigated this material and everything else is that there will be no discernible risk for the public or anyone else from this facility.”

But this is far from true. (more…)

History of uranium mining and its wastes, on Navajo land

December 28, 2012

Uranium cleanup on Navajo Nation complicated by scope, history of problem   19, 2012 By MARYANN BATLLE  Cronkite News “…..

• 1940s: The mining and milling of uranium ore for U.S defense and energy begins on the Navajo Nation.

• 1952: Kerr-McGee Oil Industries Inc. acquires Lukachukai Mountains property and begins mining uranium ore.

• 1954: Kerr-McGee moves its field camp to Transfer Station 1, which includes buildings used as offices and employee housing. Uranium ore was stockpiled on Transfer Stations 1 and 2 before being trucked to a processing mill.

• 1968: Final shipments of uranium ore are removed from the Lukachukai Mountains; activity at Transfer Stations 1 and 2 is believed to cease at this time.

• 1980s: Uranium mining ends on the Navajo Reservation.

• 1993: Navajo speak at a congressional hearing that includes the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and other agencies. The EPA offers to help the Navajo Nation with resources from its Superfund program, set up to address abandoned hazardous waste sites.

• 1994: The U.S. EPA conducts a study to determine human exposure to radiation and heavy metals from every abandoned uranium mine on the Navajo Nation.

• 2003 to 2004: Under its Navajo Abandoned Mine Land Reclamation Program, the Navajo Nation removes one to two acres from Transfer Station 1 and takes the soil back to the Lukachukai Mountains.

• April 2005: Navajo Nation President Joe Shirley Jr. signs the Diné Natural Resources Protection Act of 2005, banning uranium mining and processing on the reservation.

• October 2005: The Navajo Nation EPA conducts a radiological survey of Transfer Station 2.

• August 2007: A U.S. EPA study finds 520 abandoned uranium mines in the Navajo Nation.

• October 2007: At a House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing about the issue in Washington, Navajo witnesses testify about health effects they say they have experienced from uranium.

• June 2008: The U.S. EPA, the Department of Energy, the Bureau of Indian Affairs, the Indian Health Service and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission release a five-year plan to clean up abandoned uranium mines on the Navajo Nation.

• September to November 2012: The U.S. EPA cleans up two former uranium transfer stations in Cove, Ariz.

Contradictions in Lynas rare earths company’s plans to deal with radioactive wastes

December 28, 2012

Lynas will be in court in Malaysia on 19 December. The Save Malaysia Stop Lynas (SMSL) campaignerswill be appealing against the Kuantan High Court decision to lift its stay on the company being able to exercise its rights to proceed under the temporary licence.

The toxic waste that’s not in Australia’s backyard  18 Dec 12, Australian-owned company Lynas is quietly shipping rare earth to a processing plant in Malaysia – without a firm plan in place to dispose of dangerous radioactive waste. Wendy Bacon reports.

If a manufacturing plant involving radioactive materials moved into your community, one of the first things you would ask is, “what’s going to happen to the waste?”

This is exactly how residents of Kuantan on Malaysia’s east coast reacted when the Australian company Lynas announced plans to build Lamp, the world’s biggest rare earth processing plant in their area.

Several years later, they have no clear answer. Indeed last week, while the plant that will use concentrate imported from Lynas’s rare earth mine at Mount Weld in Western Australia was finally ramping up for production, the Malaysian government and the company were in direct conflict about what would happen to the waste. (more…)