Archive for April, 2013

China maintains its policy of no pre-emptve nuclear strile

April 28, 2013

 The original Chinese text is unambiguous and emphatic in its assertion that no first use has been “scrupulously” observed “from the start” and will continue to be “to the end” [始终恪守].

China Still Committed to No First Use of Nuclear Weapons project manager and senior analyst April 23, 2013

 On April 16, the Chinese Ministry of Defense released a white paper that mentioned Chinese nuclear weapons but did not contain familiar language expressing China’s declaratory policy, particularly that China would never use nuclear weapons first, under any circumstances. This commitment to “no first use” has been a bedrock of Chinese nuclear weapons policy since the announcement was first made in 1964, immediately following China’s first nuclear weapons test.  All previous white papers issued by the Chinese Ministry of Defense contained the language.

James Acton suggests the omission indicates China may be abandoning its long-standing commitment to no first use. It doesn’t. Eight days before the white paper was released, Chinese Councillor Zhang Junan repeated China’s commitment to no first use in an official statement to the United Nations Conference on Disarmament. Acton’s suggestion is based on the reasonable assumption that the change in the white paper “is almost certainly not the result of bureaucratic error.” But neither is Councillor Zhang’s statement to the UNCD. Moreover, Pang Sen, Director General of the Department of Arms Control of the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, made the following statement at the Second Preparatory Committee for the 2015 Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) on April 22:

“Nuclear weapons states should abandon the deterrence doctrine based on the first use of nuclear weapons. … China has adhered to the policy of no first use of nuclear weapons at any time or under any circumstances, and made the unequivocal commitment that we will unconditionally not use or threaten to use nuclear weapons against non-nuclear weapons states or nuclear weapons free zones.”

Readers should not mistake the use of the present perfect and past tense in the translation as a cause for concern. The original Chinese text is unambiguous and emphatic in its assertion that no first use has been “scrupulously” observed “from the start” and will continue to be “to the end” [始终恪守].

Unfortunately, while Mr. Acton pleads for greater U.S.—China dialog on nuclear weapons policy his op-ed perpetuates a fundamental misunderstanding that inhibits progress. Productive dialog on nuclear weapons issues between the United States and China requires a change of heart on both sides of the table. The United States needs to set aside its doubts about China’s commitment to no first use and China should stop insisting the United States adopt the same policy. Continuing to make no first use the focus of the talks will only condemn them to continued failure.

Corium lava flow in crippled Fukushima nuclear reactors

April 28, 2013

Wired: ‘Healthy debate’ about location of Fukushima corium — Lava can melt a foot of concrete per hour — Cooling with water may not stop corium flow Title: The Most Dangerous (Man-Made) Lava Flow
Source: Wired
Author: Erik Klemetti
Date: April 18, 2013 at 11:45a ET
h/t Room101
Title: The Most Dangerous (Man-Made) Lava Flow

[…] researchers at the Argonne National Lab have created corium in the laboratory […] They found that corium lava can melt upwards of 30 cm (12″) of concrete in 1 hour! This is why it is so important to know if a nuclear reactor accident has gone into true “meltdown” as the corium lava will rapidly melt its way through the inner containment vessels (or more) in a matter of hours unless it can be cooled again.

However, results from these CCI (core-concrete interaction) experiments, suggest that cooling with water may not be sufficient to stop corium from melting the concrete. One thing to remember — much of the melting of concrete during a meltdown occurs within minutes to hours, so keeping the core cool is vital for stopping the corium for breaching that containment vessel.

[…] TEPCO, the Japanese energy company who ran Fukushima Dai’ichi, claims that the corium didn’t breach the outer wall of the containment vessel (although there is a healthy debate about this).  […]

So, why is corium so dangerous? Well, even long after the flow has stopped, that lava will be highly radioactive for decades to centuries (along with the surrounding countryside if radioactive material made it out of the containment vessel) as the various radioactive materials in the lava decay. In fact, we don’t even have pictures of the corium lava from Fukushima Dai’ichi due to the high levels of radioactivity near the reactor. […]

See also: Analysis: Melted fuel completely penetrated concrete in under 15 hours at GE Mark I — Shows little decline in speed (CHART)

Cover-up of radiation disaster in Urals by Soviet Russia

April 28, 2013

In conferences debating the number of victims of the Chernobyl accident, officials who draw paychecks from nuclear lobbies make similar arguments about alcohol abuse and “radiophobia”—stress-related illnesses caused by fear of radiation.

Strange illnesses in one of the most contaminated towns in the world challenge what we think we know about the dangers of radioactivity.Slate, By , April 18, 2013, ”……What do we know about communities living on contaminated terrain? Two years after the meltdown of three reactors in Fukushima, Japan, the World Health Organization forecasts that there will be no significant rise in cancers among people living nearby. These projections are based on guesses from models calculated from prior studies, mostly of Japanese people who survived Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Yet when Japanese scientists and inspected the bodies of 38,000 children living in the Fukushima Prefecture, they found 36 percent had abnormal growths on their thyroids a year after the accident.

We have grown accustomed to this scenario—media attention to nuclear accidents followed by a long, slow quarrel among scientists about whether the spilled fission products will damage human bodies or not. It will take decades to learn the public health impact of the 2011 meltdown. By then, most of the public will have lost interest. But there are other ways to get at this question of what it means to live on earth sullied with decaying radioactive isotopes.

No one has lived longer on contaminated terrain than people in the village of Muslumovo in the southern Russian Urals located downstream from the Maiak plutonium plant, built in 1948 to produce Soviet bomb cores. Unlike the S.T.A.L.K.E.R. game, daily life in Muslumovo is terrifyingly banal: long waits at medical clinics, worries over the price of prescriptions, reams of paperwork related to compensation and disability claims, sick kids, unemployment, poverty, and chronic illness.

I showed up in Muslumovo on a Saturday morning in August 2009. Muslumovo is a big village, sprawled inside a crooked elbow of the Techa River, which is slow, sluggish, and considered to be the world’s most radioactive. The village center has a train station, a few apartment buildings, and a corner store. Marat Akhmadeev met me at the station in his Soviet vintage car, dusty and dented. We jolted up and down on the choppy seas of the unpaved streets. Muslumovo is a strange village—half there and half gone. Many houses are abandoned, some partly dismantled, exposing weathered wallpaper and overturned appliances.

The Techa became a flowing radioactive reservoir in 1949 when engineers at the plutonium plant ran out of underground storage containers for high-level radioactive waste. A Dixie cup of this waste could kill everyone in a large ballroom. Compelled by the arms race, the plant director ordered it dumped in the Techa River. The men running the plant didn’t tell anyone about this decision. The 28,000 Russian, Bashkir, and Tatar farmers living on the river—drinking, cooking, and bathing with river water—had no idea. In the 1950s and ’60s special forces resettled most of the 16 contaminated villages on the Techa, but a few villages were too large and expensive to move, so they stayed. Muslumovo is one.

There’s no work in Muslumovo. A person either commutes 60 miles to the industrial city of Cheliabinsk or farms a patch of land of the long-defunct Muslumovo collective farm. Marat farms, living off the land—a term that takes on new meaning in Muslumovo, where in 2008, an American team found domestic interiors registering radiation at 40 times above the background level. After we pulled up at Marat’s house, his teenage son silently trailed us. Noticing a twitch in the boy’s step, I turned to look at him. His mouth drooped and fingers twisted, as he mouthed a stuttered greeting. Marat explained, “This is Kareem,nash luchevik,” meaning “our radiant one,” said in an off-hand manner, as if every family has a luchevik……

There is a legal contest going on over the health of the people of Muslumovo: whether they are sick and, if so, ill from the radioactive isotopes dumped in the river or from poor diets and alcohol abuse. Medical evidence has been contradictory. In 1959, Soviet scientist A. N. Marei wrote a dissertation in which he argued that the Techa villagers were in poor health because of their poor diets. In 1960, in contrast, local Soviet officials linked the river-dwellers’ illnesses to the contaminated river. This debate between nature (radiation) and nurture (lifestyle) has been going on a long time…….

Over the years, FIB-4 doctors had diagnosed 935 people on the Techa River with chronic radiation syndrome. But as thousands of people in Ukraine worried about their exposures from the Chernobyl blast, Soviet medical officials backpedaled on the FIB-4 doctors’ original findings. In 1991, Angelina Gus’kova, the chief official voice in evaluating Chernobyl health problems, argued that in fact there were only 66 cases of chronic radiation syndrome among the Techa River people. The rest, she claimed, suffered from more prosaic diseases such as brucellosis, tuberculosis, hepatitis, and rheumatism caused by poor diets and sanitation. As American researchers supported by the Department of Energy have taken over as lead researchers of studies in Muslumovo, the diagnosis of chronic radiation syndrome has largely dropped from the radar. Meanwhile, Russian officials, worried about lawsuits, charged that many people in Muslumovo had dreamed up illnesses in order to sue for compensation. These people, they said, had no chronic radiation disease but were chronic welfare cases looking for handouts.

The trope of ignorant, genetically deficient, and drunken villagers is a common one in Russia. In the southern Urals in the past few decades, the cliché has been useful in glossing over the human suffering connected to uncontrolled dumping into the Techa River. In conferences debating the number of victims of the Chernobyl accident, officials who draw paychecks from nuclear lobbies make similar arguments about alcohol abuse and “radiophobia”—stress-related illnesses caused by fear of radiation. It would be a mistake, however, to allow the longstanding politicization of medical studies to overtake this very important, yet overlooked, place for our understanding of radiation’s effects on human bodies. Reprinted from Plutopia: Nuclear Families, Atomic Cities, and the Great Soviet and American Plutonium Disasters by Kate Brown with permission from Oxford University Press USA.

Earthquake danger to Iran’s Bushehr nuclear power plant.

April 28, 2013

Another Cause for Alarm in Iran’s Nuclear Program: Earthquakes, The Atlantic, Jill Keenan, 18 April 13,  The country’s nuclear power plant is built near tectonic plates, and reports show it may not be safe in the event of a major seismic event. On April 16, a massive 7.8-magnitude earthquake hit southeast Iran, sending tremors across the region and causing casualties that are expected to reach into the hundreds. According to an Iranian official , it was the biggest earthquake to hit the country in 40 years. This devastation comes only one week after another earthquake hit the town of Kaki, also in southern Iran, killing at least 37 people and injuring more than 850 others. Shockwaves from both earthquakes were felt as far away as Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, the UAE, and western Saudi Arabia. They are only the two most recent in a series of earthquakes that regularly haunt this seismically unstable country.

Most ominously, the epicenter of the April 9 earthquake’s first tremor, which measured a 6.3 on the Richter scale, was centered only 62 miles away from Iran’s Bushehr nuclear power plant.

These incidents have raised global concerns that a subsequent earthquake could strike even closer to the plant, causing a nuclear disaster similar to the 2011 incident at Fukushima. Despite international outrage, however, the Iranian government remains unconcerned about the risk. Only hours after the April 9 earthquake, the head of Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization, Fereydoon Abbasi-Davani, reiterated Iran’s intention to build two more reactors at Bushehr, along with 16 additional reactors in other parts of the country. This decision even defies a report that Iranian nuclear scientists secretly compiled in 2011 in response to Fukushima, which concluded that the potential consequences of an earthquake near the power plant might be catastrophic. “The seismic danger to Iran and its implications for the reactor in Bushehr could be disastrous…similar to the disaster in Fukushima, Japan,” the report stated.
The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), which includes Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates, has taken the threat more seriously. In response to the first earthquake, GCC states met on Sunday to look into ways to address potential nuclear leaks stemming from the Bushehr plant, since a disaster there would have grave implications for them, too. Toxic nuclear material can be carried by wind and water for hundreds of miles, bringing irreversible damage far beyond the boundaries of the initial disaster. And on top of the air pollution and immediate human toll, a nuclear incident at the Bushehr plant would contaminate the Gulf waters that are a main source of drinking water for nearby countries. Finally, many major Gulf cities are far closer to Bushehr than the Iranian seat of government in Tehran; Kuwait City, for example, is a mere 155 miles from the nuclear power plant while Tehran is a more comfortable 807 miles away…..
According to a report released this month by the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace , the Bushehr plant sits at the intersection of three tectonic plates, and Iran’s “nuclear materials and stockpiles are some of the least secure in the world.” Although the Bushehr plant cost over $11 billion dollars (making it one of the most expensive reactors in the world) and took over four decades to build, it fills only 2 percent of Iran’s electricity needs……


60 years of radioactive poisoning – Muslumovo

April 28, 2013

Soviet radiation biology took a different trajectory from science in the United States. American researchers at that time were working with the highly politicized medical studies of Japanese bomb survivors. They narrowed the list of radiation-related illnesses to leukemia, a few cancers, and thyroid disease. Soviet doctors in formulating chronic radiation syndrome had grasped the effects of radiation on the body more holistically. They determined that radiation illness is not a specific, stand-alone disorder, but that its indications relate to other illnesses. They determined that radioactive isotopes weaken immune systems and damage organ tissue and arteries, causing illnesses of the circulation and digestive tracts and making people susceptible to conventional diseases long before they succumb to radiation-related cancers.

Strange illnesses in one of the most contaminated towns in the world challenge what we think we know about the dangers of radioactivity. Slate, By , April 18, 2013, ”…… the sad fact is that there are irradiated zones that are fully inhabited, and have been since the first years of the nuclear arms race. Despite a media culture enthralled with nuclear accidents, the cameras generally turn off after the first clouds of radioactive vapors dissipate.

“………..For Soviet leaders, the river dwellers were a unique opportunity in the history of health physics—what scientists call “a natural experiment” that promised to answer an important civil defense question about how to survive a nuclear attack. In 1962, the Cheliabinsk branch of the Soviet Institute of Bio-Physics, called FIB-4, started conducting regular medical exams of the Muslumovo population. FIB-4 doctors invited village children playing on the streets to a clinic room to take blood samples. In Cheliabinsk, they set up a repository of irradiated body parts: hearts, lungs, livers, bones. They started a collection of genetically malformed babies who died soon after birth, each infant preserved in a two-quart glass jar. A Dutch photographer, Robert Knoth, visited the repository and saw hundreds of babies in jars. He photographed one infant with skin like patched, rough burlap. Another boy had eyes on top of his head like a frog. During the examinations, doctors did not inform the villagers of their exposures or of diagnoses of radiation-related illness.

In 1986, soon after the Chernobyl disaster, Glufarida Galimova, working as chief doctor at a pediatric clinic in Muslumovo, her native town, was puzzled by the saturation of illness in her community. The illnesses were rare, strange, complex, and often genetic: hydrocephalic children, children with cerebral palsy, missing kidneys, extra fingers, anemia, fatigue, and weak immune systems. Many kids were orphaned or had invalid parents.

Galimova asked other doctors about it. They said the villagers were sick of their own doing, from poor diet and alcohol. Doubtful, Galimova investigated and learned that FIB-4 had a 50-year-old registry with Muslumovo’s health records.  She requested the records be opened to the public. Her requests went unanswered. She went to the press and helped organize citizens’ groups. The security services accused her of disclosing state secrets, and she was fired from her job. Undaunted, Galimova teamed up with the chief of genetics of the Siberian Academy of Medical Science, Nina Solovieva. The two doctors tracked newborns and pediatric health in Muslumovo. When, in 1995, Solovieva died of breast cancer, Galimova continued alone. She found that more than half of the children born in Muslumovo in the 1990s suffered pathologies. In 1999, 95 percent had genetic disorders. Meanwhile, 90 percent of Muslumovo’s children suffered from anemia, fatigue, or immune disorders. Galimova examined the records of the city’s adults and found that all of 7 percent could be described as healthy.

In 1992, FIB-4 doctors finally declassified Muslumovo residents’ health records. Galimova discovered that in 1950, plutonium plant doctors came up with a new disease, diagnosed, so far, only in the Russian Urals—chronic radiation syndrome (CRS), caused by extended exposure to low doses of radioactive isotopes. The first young plant workers diagnosed with the syndrome complained of headaches, sharp pains in bones and joints, and a constant weariness. One memoirist described the terrible ache of CRS as a pain that made him “want to crawl up the walls.” They lost weight. Their gait slowed. They suffered severe anemia, wheezed heavily, and started to show signs of heart disease. The doctors learned to predict the onset of this mysterious new illness by changes in the blood, often signaled in severe anemia.

Soviet radiation biology took a different trajectory from science in the United States. American researchers at that time were working with the highly politicized medical studies of Japanese bomb survivors. They narrowed the list of radiation-related illnesses to leukemia, a few cancers, and thyroid disease. Soviet doctors in formulating chronic radiation syndrome had grasped the effects of radiation on the body more holistically. They determined that radiation illness is not a specific, stand-alone disorder, but that its indications relate to other illnesses. They determined that radioactive isotopes weaken immune systems and damage organ tissue and arteries, causing illnesses of the circulation and digestive tracts and making people susceptible to conventional diseases long before they succumb to radiation-related cancers…….

USA’s West Coast babies affected by Fukushima radiation – hypothyroidism

April 28, 2013

Study: Fukushima radiation fallout has devastated health of US babies on West Coast and in other areas April 15, 2013 by: Jonathan Benson, staff writer New peer-reviewed research published in the Open Journal of Pediatrics raises fresh concerns about the health effects of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster on American children and babies. As has long been suspected by those with an understanding of the widespread reach of radioactive fallout from Fukushima, newborns living in California, Hawaii, Washington, and other West Coast states appear to have been directly affected by Fukushima fallout in a serious way, which is reflected by the disproportionate rate of hypothyroidism observed amongst this demographic.

Conducted by a duo of scientists from the Radiation and Public Health Project, a non-profit education and scientific organization that seeks to understand the relationship between nuclear radiation exposure and public health, the research evaluated average rates of hypothyroidism both before and after the Fukushima disaster. In their findings, Joseph J. Mangano and Janette D. Sherman reported that, compared to one year earlier, babies born between one week and 16 weeks after the nuclear meltdowns in Alaska, California, Hawaii, Oregon, and Washington were 28 percent more likely to suffer from congenital hypothyroidism.
2,110 percent increase in iodine-131 on US West Coast following Fukushima linked to hypothyroidism Each of these states and the Pacific Ocean, according to the study, experiences significantly elevated levels of radioactive iodine-131 (I-131), as well as various other radioactive isotopes, in the days and weeks following the March 11, 2011, disaster. Based on the data, the 2,110 percent increase in detectable I-131 all along the U.S. West Coast following the disaster appears to be directly correlated with the higher-than-average rates of congenital hypothyroidism.

“After entering our bodies, radioactive iodine gathers in our thyroids,” explains John Upton, writing for, about how radioactive isotopes interfere with proper thyroid function. “Thyroids are glands that release hormones that control how we grow. In babies, including those not yet born, such radiation can stunt the development of body and brain. The condition is known as congenital hypothyroidism.”
You can view an abstract of the new study here:

You can also download or view a PDF file of the complete study here:

A similar uptick in congenital hypothyroidism, which is fully treatable if detected early, was also observed in young children following the historic meltdown of the Chernobyl nuclear reactor back in 1986. Because of this, researchers are even more convinced that Fukushima is responsible for the now-occurring uptick, which is only just now beginning to be realized.

“Congenital hypothyroidism can be used as one measure to assess any potential changes in U.S. fetal and infant health status after Fukushima because official data was available relatively promptly,” wrote the authors in their report. “However, health departments will soon have available for other 2010 and 2011 indicators of fetal/infant health, including fetal deaths, premature births, low birth weights, neonatal deaths, infant deaths, and birth defects.”

For the latest developments related to the Fukushima disaster, be sure to check out the Fukushima Diary blog:

USA’s cruel history of radiation experiments on people

April 28, 2013

Contaminated Nation. Inhuman RadiationExperiments, CounterPunch, by JOHN LaFORGE, 12 Aprl 13,  This year marks the 20th anniversary of the declassification of top secret studies, done over a period of 60 years, in which the US conducted 2,000 radiation experiments on as many as 20,000 vulnerable US citizens.[i]

Victims included civilians, prison inmates, federal workers, hospital patients, pregnant women, infants, developmentally disabled children and military personnel — most of them powerless, poor, sick, elderly or terminally ill. Eileen Welsome’s 1999 exposé The Plutonium Files: America’s Secret Medical Experiments in the Cold War details “the unspeakable scientific trials that reduced thousands of men, women, and even children to nameless specimens.”[ii]

The program employed industry and academic scientists who used their hapless patients or wards to see the immediate and short-term effects of radioactive contamination — with everything from plutonium to radioactive arsenic.[iii] The human subjects were mostly poisoned without their knowledge or consent.

An April 17, 1947 memo by Col. O.G. Haywood of the Army Corps of Engineers explained why the studies were classified. “It is desired that no document be released which refers to experiments with humans and might have adverse effect on public opinion or result in legal suits.”[iv]

In one Vanderbilt U. study, 829 pregnant women were unknowingly fed radioactive iron. In another, 188 children were given radioactive iron-laced lemonade. From 1963 to 1971, 67 inmates in Oregon and 64 prisoners in Washington had their testicles targeted with X-rays to see what doses made them sterile.[v]

At the Fernald State School, mentally retarded boys were fed radioactive iron and calcium but consent forms sent to parents didn’t mention radiation. Elsewhere psychiatric patients and infants were injected with radioactive iodine.[vi]

In a rare public condemnation, Clinton Administration Energy Sec. Hazel O’Leary confessed being aghast at the conduct of the scientists. She toldNewsweek in 1994: “I said, ‘Who were these people and why did this happen?’ The only thing I could think of was Nazi Germany.”[vii] None of the victims were provided follow-on medical care.

Scientists knew from the beginning of the 20th century that radiation can cause genetic and cell damage, cell death, radiation sickness and even death. A Presidential Advisory Committee on Human Radiation Experiments was established in 1993 to investigate charges of unethical or criminal action by the experimenters. Its findings were published by Oxford U. Press in 1996 as The Human Radiation Experiments.

The abuse of X-radiation “therapy” was also conducted throughout the ’40s and ’50s. Everything from ringworm to tonsillitis was “treated” with X-radiation because the long-term risks were unknown or considered tolerable.

Children were routinely exposed to alarmingly high doses of radiation from devices like “fluoroscopes” to measure foot size in shoe stores.[viii]

Nasal radium capsules inserted in nostrils, used to attack hearing loss, are now thought to be the cause of cancers, thyroid and dental problems, immune dysfunction and more.[ix] ………..

Nevada dump for over 400 containers of radioactive wastes

April 28, 2013

DOE finalizing plans to dump man-made uranium in Nevada, Fox News, By  April 12, 2013 WASHINGTON –  A Department of Energy plan to drag hundreds of canisters of radioactive nuclear material into the Nevada desert for a “shallow land burial” is raising safety concerns as experts worry what could happen if the security of the bomb-making material were compromised. Energy officials told the department is preparing to ship 403 welded steel containers of a man-made highly radioactive cargo to the Nevada National Security Site, about an hour northwest of Las Vegas.

The canisters would carry about 2.6 kilograms of uranium-233 and uranium-235 – two products so dangerous that they require safety escorts and can only be handled with remote-controlled cranes.

The radiation at the exterior of the canisters is about 300 rads (radiation absorbed dose), which categorizes it as a high-hazard level. According to Robert Alvarez of the Institute of Policy Studies, this raises serious proliferation and safety concerns.

“I went over to the headquarters, talked to project managers. They all sort of gave me the ‘I don’t know’ response,” Alvarez told “Nobody wants to deal with it.”

The DOE says the container sleeves act as a shield and reduce the radiation field by about half. The uranium 233 will be in ceramic form and welded shut which will add an extra level of protection.

The material would be transported from Tennessee’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory, the government’s only facility for handling, processing and storing weapons-grade uranium.  The radioactive waste that could be headed Nevada’s way in a matter of days is what’s left over from a government research program in the 1980s called Consolidated Edison Uranium Solidification Project……

“This is nasty stuff,” one federal official told The Las Vegas Review-Journal. “It’s a safeguard material that you watch over with lots of guns and make sure it is in a place you could safely say would be safe and people won’t be able to get to it.”

Uranium-235 is an isotope made up of 0.72 percent of uranium and was attractive to the government because it can undergo induced fission – something needed for producing nuclear power.

While some experts tell they are not worried about the safety surrounding the disposal plan, others, like Alvarez urge caution.

Alvarez says DOE has yet to meet or address the challenges of ensuring that the uranium is accounted for and stored in safe facilities or creating a viable plan to safely dispose of it. He adds that the department’s decision to move the nuclear material “sets an exceptionally bad precedent for the rest of the world not just in terms of non-proliferation but in protecting public safety and security from concentrated fissile materials.”

Alvarez, who worked at the DOE and also served for five years as a senior investigator for what is now the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, is widely regarded as an expert on the country’s nuclear weapons program……


USA’s radiation experiments on the public

April 28, 2013

Contaminated Nation. Inhuman Radiation Experiments, CounterPunch, by JOHN LaFORGE, 12 Aprl 13 “………Experiments Spread Cancer Risks Far and Wide In large scale experiments as late as 1985, the Energy Department deliberately produced reactor meltdowns which spewed radiation across Idaho and beyond.[x] The Air Force conducted at least eight deliberate meltdowns in the Utah desert, dispersing 14 times the radiation released by the partial meltdown of Three Mile Island in Pennsylvania in 1979.[xi]

The military even dumped radiation from planes and spread it across wide areas around and downwind of Oak Ridge, Tenn., Los Alamos, New Mexico, and Dugway, Utah. This “systematic radiation warfaresecret-agent-Smprogram,” conducted between 1944 and 1961, was kept secret for 40 years.[xii]

“Radiation bombs” thrown from USAF planes intentionally spread radiation “unknown distances” endangering the young and old alike. One such experiment doused Utah with 60 times more radiation than escaped the Three Mile Island accident, according to Sen. John Glen, D-Ohio who released a report on the program 20 years ago.[xiii]

The Pentagon’s 235 above-ground nuclear bomb tests, and the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, are not officially listed as radiation experiments. Yet between 250,000 and 500,000 U.S. military personnel were contaminated during their compulsory participation in the bomb tests and the post-war occupation of Japan. [xiv]

Documents uncovered by the Advisory Committee show that the military knew there were serious radioactive fallout risks from its Nevada Test Site bomb blasts. The generals decided not to use a safer site in Florida, where fallout would have blown out to sea. “The officials determined it was probably not safe, but went ahead anyway,” said Pat Fitzgerald a scientist on the committee staff.[xv]

Dr. Gioacchino Failla, a Columbia University scientist who worked for the AEC, said at the time, “We should take some risk… we are faced with a war in which atomic weapons will undoubtedly be used, and we have to have some information about these things.”[xvi]

With the National Cancer Institute’s 1997 finding that all 160,000 million US citizens (in the country at the time of the bomb tests) were contaminated with fallout, it’s clear we did face war with atomic weapons — our own.

Surgeons doing fluoroscopy procedures face radiation risks

April 28, 2013

Surgeons reach radiation limits with 291 PELDs per year  April 12, 2013   Surgeons performing minimally invasive transforaminal percutaneous endoscopic lumbar discectomy, involving fluoroscopy, are exposed to the maximum allowable radiation dose after 291 procedures performed without protective shielding, according to a study published in the April 1 issue of Spine.

Yong Ahn, M.D., Ph.D., from Wooridul Spine Hospital in Seoul, Republic of Korea, and colleagues assessed the occupational radiation dose absorbed by three spinal surgeons performing 30 PELD procedures (33 levels), performed according to the standard technique, during a three-month period. Based on guidelines from the National Council on Radiation Protection & Measurements, the number of allowable procedures per year was calculated.
The researchers found that, per operated level, the calculated radiation doses were 0.0785 mSv for neck, 0.1718 mSv for chest, 0.0461 mSv for right upper arm, 0.7318 mSv for left ring finger, and 0.6694 for right ring finger. There was a 96.9 and 94.6 percent reduction in the radiation dose with use of a protective lead collar and apron. With respect to whole-body radiation, use of a lead apron would allow 5,379 operations to be performed per year compared with 291 without a lead apron.
To meet the exposure limits for the eyes and hands, 1,910 and 683 operations, respectively, could be performed. “Without radiation shielding, a surgeon performing 291 PELDs annually would be exposed to the maximum allowable radiation dose,” the authors write. “Given the measurable lifetime radiation hazards to the surgeon, the use of adequate protective equipment is essential to reducing exposure during PELD.”
More information: Abstract