What nuclear energy really costs – in accidents, cancer and cover-ups

Cancer, Coverups and Contamination: The Real Cost of Nuclear Energ27th September 2015

Andreas Toupadakis Ph.D Contributing Writer for Wake Up World

“…..If we assume that more nuclear power plants are constructed around the world, can anyone guarantee that the nuclear accidents will disappear? No, that is impossible. Not only will the risks not disappear, but logic dictates they will also increase if there are more plants in operation, as will the volume of unmanageable radioactive waste. And let us not forget the unpredictability of earthquakes. Nuclear accidents will always happen just like any other accidents do, which may affect both power plants and waste storage facitilities.

Reliance on nuclear energy not only results in building new nuclear power plants but also relicensing existing ones. The peril of tragic accidents within the industry will inevitably be higher, especially while maintaining plants that are decades old — as we have already witnessed with the ongoing disaster at Fukushima, as well as the overheated reactor at Miami’s Turkey Point facility in 2014. Other nuclear power plant disasters include:

  • 1952 Chalk River, near Ottawa, Canada: a partial meltdown of the reactor’s uranium fuel core resulted after the accidental removal of four control rods.
  • 1957 Windscale Pile No. 1, north of Liverpool, England: fire in a graphite-cooled reactor spewed radiation over the countryside, contaminating a 200-sq-mile area.
  • 1957 South Ural Mountains, Soviet Union: an explosion of radioactive wastes at a Soviet nuclear weapons factory 12 miles from the city of Kyshtym forced the evacuation of over 10,000 people from a contaminated area.
  • 1959, Santa Susana, USA: A reactor at the Atomics International field laboratory in the Santa Susana Mountains, California, experienced a power surge and subsequently spewed radioactive gases into the atmosphere. According to a 2009 report from the Los Angeles Times, residents blame the facility for their health issues and say the site remains contaminated.
  • 1976, near Greifswald, East Germany: the radioactive core of a reactor in the Lubmin nuclear power plant nearly narrowly avoided meltdown following the failure of safety systems during a fire.
  • 1979, Three-Mile Island, near Harrisburg, Pennsylvania: Following a combination of equipment malfunctions, design-related problems and worker error, one of two reactors lost its coolant which caused overheating and partial meltdown of its uranium core, releasing radioactive water and gases.
  • 1986, Chernobyl, near Kiev, Ukraine: an explosion and fire in the graphite core of one of four reactors released radioactive material that spread over parts of the Soviet Union, Europe and Scandinavia.
  • 1987, Rocky Flats Plant, near Denver, Colorado, USA: Following insider reports of unsafe conditions, investigation found numerous violations of federal anti-pollution laws, including discharging of pollutants, hazardous materials and radioactive matter into nearby creeks and water supplies. A subsequent grand jury report criticized the Department of Energy and Rocky Flats contractors for “engaging in a continuing campaign of distraction, deception and dishonesty”.
  • 1999, Tokaimura, Japan: An uncontrolled chain reaction in a uranium-processing nuclear fuel plant spewed high levels of radioactive gas into the air, exposing 69 people, killing one worker, and seriously injuring two others.
  • 2011, Fukushima Prefecture, Japan: The troubled Fukishima Daiichi nuclear plant in Japan has experienced a number of ‘incidents’ since its construction in 1971, culminating in total reactor failure when the plant was hit by a tsunami following an earthquake. At the time of the disaster, the plant began releasing substantial amounts of radioactive materials and, more than four years after the incident, the plant is still leaking radioactive water into the Pacific Ocean.

The extent of this recent disaster at Fukushima should not be taken lightly. The water leaking from the ailing plant contains plutonium 239 and its release into the world’s ocean system has global repercussions. Explains chemist John A. Jaksich for DecodedScience.com:

“Certain isotopes of radioactive plutonium are known as some of the deadliest poisons on the face of the Earth. A mere microgram (a speck of darkness on a pinhead) of Plutonium-239, if inhaled, can cause death, and if ingested… can be harmful, causing leukemia and other bone cancers.

“In the days following the 2011 earthquake and nuclear plant explosions, seawater meant to cool the nuclear power plants instead carried radioactive elements back to the Pacific ocean. Radioactive Plutonium was one of the elements streamed back to sea.”

As history has shown us, assurances on safety from nuclear operators and regulators are nothing but preposterous. That is something that the public understands — because it is common sense. No matter how much uncaring, financially invested scientists will try to convince the public of the safety of the nuclear industry, the public does not have a salary from working on nuclear business and so, unlike those working on behalf of the industry, can maintain integrity and common sense……….….http://wakeup-world.com/2015/09/27/cancer-coverups-and-contamination-the-real-cost-of-nuclear-energ

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