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Inviting Nuclear Disaster

Inviting Nuclear Disaster

Photograph Source: Brad.K – CC BY 2.0

Nuclear power plants when they began being constructed were not seen as running for more than 40 years because of radioactivity embrittling metal parts and otherwise causing safety problems. But in recent decades, the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission has extended the operating licenses of nuclear power plants from 40 years to 60 years and then 80 years, and is now considering 100 years.

“It is crazy,” declares Robert Alvarez, a former senior policy advisor at the U.S. Department of Energy and a U.S. Senate senior investigator and now senior scholar at the Institute for Policy Studies and is an author of the book Killing Our Own: The Disaster of America’s Experience with Atomic Radiation.

“No reactor in history has lasted that long,” commented Alvarez. The oldest nuclear power plant in the U.S. was Oyster Creek, five miles south of Toms River, New Jersey, which opened in 1969 and was shut down 49 years later in 2018.

The move is “an act of desperation in response to the collapse of the nuclear program in this country and the rest of the world,” he declares.

The nuclear industry and nuclear power advocates in government are “desperately trying to hold on,” says Alvarez. With hardly any new nuclear power plants being constructed in the U.S. and the total number down to 94, they seek to have the operating licenses of existing nuclear power plants extended, he says, to keep the nuclear industry alive.

It’s a sign of “the end of the messy romance with nuclear power.”

The NRC will be holding a webinar on January 21 to consider the extending of nuclear plant operating licenses to 100 years. As its announcement is headed: “PUBLIC MEETING ON DEVELOPMENT OF GUIDANCE DOCUMENTS TO SUPPORT LICENSE RENEWAL FOR 100 YEARS OF PLANT OPERATION.”

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Europe On Alert After Unknown Radioactivity Spike Detected Over Baltic Sea

Europe On Alert After Unknown Radioactivity Spike Detected Over Baltic Sea

Almost a year ago Russia admitted to releasing significant amounts of radiation into the air that triggered warning alerts in the region of the far north Arctic Circle port cities of Arkhangelsk and Severodvinsk, after a failed weapons test involving a “small-scale nuclear reactor” that killed Russian scientists – which was believed connected to Russia’s hypersonics program. 

We can’t help but recall that incident now with new reports of radiation sensors based in Scandinavia again picking up abnormal radioactivity levels in the air. Perhaps there’s some further failed weapons tests happening somewhere in the region?: 

“Radiation sensors in Stockholm have detected higher-than-usual but still harmless levels of isotopes produced by nuclear fission, probably from somewhere on or near the Baltic Sea, a body running a worldwide network of the sensors said on Friday,” Reuters reports.

The Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO) confirmed the higher than normal activity.

Its ultra-sensitive networked sensors set up across Europe and the world are capable of picking up nuclear weapons testing when it occurs anywhere around the globe.

As Reuters reports further, the Stockholm monitoring station “detected 3 isotopes; Cs-134, Cs-137 & Ru-103 associated with Nuclear fission at higher than usual levels,” according to CTBTO chief Lassina Zerbo, who made the announcement on Friday. 

The additional particles were picked up by the sensors last Monday and Tuesday, and confirmed by the nuclear monitoring organization. Zerbo pointed out, however, that it wasn’t at levels harmful for human health.

Russian nuclear plant in Saint Petersburg, AFP via Getty. 

“These are certainly nuclear fission products, most likely from a civil source,” the CTBTO said in a statement. “We are able to indicate the likely region of the source, but it’s outside the CTBTO’s mandate to identify the exact origin.” 

The organization further speculated that the source could have come from anywhere spanning from western Russia to Baltic countries to parts of Scandinavia

Nuclear reactor issues

Nuclear reactor issues

Preface.  There are half a dozen articles below. Although safety and disposal of nuclear waste ought to be the main reasons why no more plants should be built, what will really stop them isbecause it takes years to get permits and $8.5–$20 billion in capital must be raised for a new 3400 MW nuclear power plant (O’Grady 2008). This is almost impossible when a much cheaper and much safer 3400 MW natural gas plant can be built for $2.5 billion in half the time or less.

U.S. nuclear power plants are old and in decline. By 2030, U.S. nuclear power generation might be the source of just 10% of electricity, half of their 20% production of electricity now, because 38 reactors producing a third of nuclear power are past their 40-year life span, and another 33 reactors producing a third of nuclear power are over 30 years old. Although some will have their licenses extended, 37 reactors that produce half of nuclear power are at risk of closing because of economics, breakdowns, unreliability, long outages, safety, and expensive post-Fukushima retrofits (Cooper 2013).

If you’ve read the nuclear reactor hazards paper or my summary of it, then you understand why there will continually be accidents like Fukushima and Chernobyl.  That makes investors and governments fearful of spending billions of dollars to build nuclear plants.

Nor will people be willing to use precious oil as it declines to build a nuclear power plant that could take up to 10 years to build, when that oil will be more needed for tractors to plant and harvest food and trucks to deliver the food to cities (electric power can’t do that, tractors and trucks have to run on oil).

And if we are dumb enough to try, we’ll smack into the brick wall of Peak Uranium.

Nuclear Safety in the news

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Chernobyl Radiation Levels Suddenly Surge 17x

Chernobyl Radiation Levels Suddenly Surge 17x

Radiation across the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone spiked 17x as firefighters over the weekend battled a 250-acre forest fire, reported NBC News

More than 100 firefighters, several Antonov AN-32P Firekiller air tankers, and a Mil Mi-8 helicopter were dispatched near the village of Vladimirovka to fight the fire. Ukrainian emergency services said firefighters battled the blaze over the weekend and wrapped up operations by Monday.


VIDEO: A forest fire is underway in the restricted zone around Chernobyl, scene of the world’s worst nuclear accident, but Ukrainian government agencies have denied an official’s claim that the fire caused a spike in radiation levels

Embedded video

“There is bad news – radiation is above normal in the center of the fire,” ecological inspection chief Yegor Firsov wrote in a Facebook post alongside a video of a Geiger counter. “As you see on the video, the appliance indicators are 2,3 at ok 0,14. But such a situation is only in the fire.”

Firsov said the spike in radioactivity was observed in the proximity of the fire. He wrote in a Sunday post that nuclear experts recorded no increase of radiation levels in the capital, Kyiv, about 60 miles from the exclusive zone.

Vladimirovka is part of a 1,000-square-mile exclusion zone, which was deserted in 1986 after the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant explosion, which exposed millions of people to radioactive materials across Europe. The region is the most radioactively contaminated area in the world.  

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Japan Set To Release 1.2 Million Tons Of Radioactive Fukushima Water Into Ocean, Causing “Immeasurable Damage”

Japan Set To Release 1.2 Million Tons Of Radioactive Fukushima Water Into Ocean, Causing “Immeasurable Damage”

Just in case a global viral pandemic, whose sources are still unclear and apparently now include human feces, wasn’t enough, the global outrage meter is about to go “up to eleven” with Japan now set to flood the world’s oceans with radioactive water.

In a move that will surely prompt a furious response from Greta Thunberg’s ghost writers (unless of course it doesn’t fit a very narrow agenda), a panel of experts advising Japan’s government on a disposal method for the millions of tons of radioactive water from the destroyed Fukushima nuclear plant on Friday recommended releasing it into the ocean. And, as Reuters notes, based on past practice it is likely the government will accept the recommendation.

Tokyo Electric, or Tepco, has collected nearly 1.2 million tonnes of contaminated water from the cooling pipes used to keep fuel cores from melting since the plant was crippled by an earthquake and tsunami in 2011. The water is stored in huge tanks that crowd the site.

Tepco expects the wastewater storage tanks at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant to run out of capacity around 2022 

The panel under the industry ministry came to the conclusion after narrowing the choice to either releasing the contaminated water into the Pacific Ocean or letting it evaporate – and opted for the former, even though it means that Japan’s neihgbors will now have to suffer the consequences of the biggest nuclear disaster since Chernobyl.

Previously the committee had ruled out other possibilities, such as underground storage, that lack track records of success. At the meeting, members stressed the importance of selecting proven methods and said “the government should make clear that releasing the water would have a significant social impact.”

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Nuclear Power Offers an Abundant Supply of Low-Carbon Energy. But What to Do With the Deadly Radioactive Waste?

NUCLEAR POWER OFFERS AN ABUNDANT SUPPLY OF LOW-CARBON ENERGY. BUT WHAT TO DO WITH THE DEADLY RADIOACTIVE WASTE?

The race is on to develop new strategies for permanently storing some of the most dangerous materials on the planet.

Intro image

Photo of Chernobyl confinement structure © iStockphoto.com/E_Kryzhanivskyi 

There’s a small red hammer and sickle flag of the old Soviet Union on my dresser at home. I found it years ago on the floor of a primary school in Pripyat, the town built for workers at the doomed Chernobyl nuclear plant in what is now Ukraine. Perhaps it had been waved by a child at a state occasion, or had been left behind in the rush to evacuate Pripyat after the world’s worst nuclear disaster in April 1986.

Less than 2 miles (3 kilometers) away, the stricken, crumbling Reactor No. 4 was one of the most dangerous places on Earth. Everything for miles around, from the mushrooms in the woods to the trucks left in the parking lots to the toys in the nursery and the hospital beds, was radioactive to some degree.

Even though a dosimeter showed that after being washed down, the little flag was barely more radioactive than normal background levels found in nature, it should have been packaged up and landfilled as low-level nuclear waste.

By contrast, Chernobyl’s reactor No. 4 site will remain dangerous for tens of thousands of years. In July 2019, 33 years after the explosion, 200 metric tons (220 tons) of uranium, plutonium, liquid fuel and irradiated dust was finally encased below an enormous 36,000-metric-ton (40,000-ton), €1.5 billion steel and concrete structure taller than the Statue of Liberty. The new sarcophagus will last about 100 years — after which it will deteriorate and future generations will have to decide how to dismantle and store it permanently.

The new sarcophagus covering Chernobyl’s reactor No. 4 is expected to remain functional for a century. Graphic courtesy of Berria from Wikimedia Commons, licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0. Click to enlarge.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Growing nuclear waste legacy defies disposal

Growing nuclear waste legacy defies disposal

Spent nuclear fuel stored under water. Image: By US Dept. of Energy, via Wikimedia Commons

Supporters say more nuclear power will combat climate change, but the industry is still failing to tackle its nuclear waste legacy.

LONDON, 7 February, 2019 − The nuclear industry, and governments across the world, have yet to find a solution to the nuclear waste legacy, the highly dangerous radioactive remains that are piling up in unsafe stores in many countries.

A report commissioned by Greenpeace France says there is now a serious threat of a major accident or terrorist attack in several of the countries most heavily reliant on nuclear power, including the US, France and the UK.

The report fears for what may be to come: “When the stability of nations is measured in years and perhaps decades into the future, what will be the viability of states over the thousands-of-year timeframes required to manage nuclear waste?”

Hundreds of ageing nuclear power stations now have dry stores or deep ponds full of old used fuel, known as spent fuel, from decades of refuelling reactors.

The old fuel has to be cooled for 30 years or more to prevent it spontaneously catching fire and sending a deadly plume of radioactivity hundreds of miles downwind.

Some idea of the dangerous radiation involved is the fact that standing one metre away from a spent fuel assembly removed from a reactor a year previously could kill you in about one minute, the Greenpeace report says.

Official guesswork

The estimates of costs for dealing with the waste in the future are compiled by government experts but vary widely from country to country, and all figures are just official guesswork. All are measured in billions of dollars.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

The Tip of the Radiation Disaster Iceberg

The Tip of the Radiation Disaster Iceberg

Photo Source Surian Soosay | CC BY 2.0

The World Nuclear Association says its goal is “to increase global support for nuclear energy” and it repeatedly claims on its website: “There have only been three major accidents across 16,000 cumulative reactor-years of operation in 32 countries.” The WNA and other nuclear power supporters acknowledge Three Mile Island in 1979 (US), Chernobyl in 1986 (USSR), and Fukushima in 2011 (Japan) as “major” disasters. ¶ But claiming that these radiation gushers were the worst ignores the frightening series of large-scale disasters that have been caused by uranium mining, reactors, nuclear weapons, and radioactive waste. Some of the world’s other major accidental radiation releases indicate that the Big Three are just the tip of the iceberg.

CHALK RIVER (Ontario), Dec. 2, 1952: The first major commercial reactor disaster occurred at this Canadian reactor on the Ottawa River when it caused a loss-of-coolant, a hydrogen explosion and a meltdown, releasing 100,000 curies of radioactivity to the air. In comparison, the official government position is that Three Mile Island released about 15 curies, although radiation monitors failed or went off-scale.

ROCKY FLATS (Colorado), Sept. 11, 1957: This Cold War factory produced plutonium triggers for nuclear weapons 16 miles from Denver. It caused 30 to 44 pounds of breathable plutonium-239 and plutonium-240 to catch fire in what would come to be known as the second largest industrial fire in US history. Filters used to trap the plutonium were destroyed and it escaped through chimneys, contaminating parts of Denver. Nothing was done to warn or protect downwind residents.

WINDSCALE/SELLAFIELD (Britain), Oct. 7, 1957: The worst of many fires burned through one reactor igniting three tons of uranium and dispersed radionuclides over parts of England and northern Europe. The site was hastily renamed Sellafield. Another large radiation leak occurs in 1981and leukemia rates soared to triple the national average.

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Contaminated Fukushima Water Storage Tanks “Close To Capacity”, TEPCO Admits

The Tokyo Electric Power Company is running out of container space to store water contaminated by tritium outside the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant, and it’s also running out of room for building more tanks, according to Yomiuri Shimbum, a Japanese newspaper, which is creating an intractable problem for the utility, which has been tasked with supervising the cleanup of Fukushima.

The Japanese government has been desperately trying to accelerate the cleanup ahead of the upcoming 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo – and it’s a miracle it hasn’t run into this issue sooner. TEPCO is still struggling with how to dispose of the tritium-tainted water. Options discussed have included dumping it into the ocean, but that proposal has angered local fishing communities.

Fukushima

At some point, TEPCO and the government will need to make a difficult decision. Until then, ground water will continue to seep into the ruined reactor, where it becomes contaminated. Afterward, TEPCO can treat the contaminated water to purify it, but they can’t remove the tritium, which is why the supply of water contaminated with tritium continues to grow.

As one government official pointed out, Japan can’t simply store the radioactive water forever. As of now, the company should be able to store water until 2020.

Efforts have been made to increase storage capacity by constructing bigger tanks when the time comes for replacing the current ones. But a senior official of the Economy, Trade and Industry Ministry said, “Operation of tanks is close to its capacity.”

TEPCO plans to secure 1.37 million tons of storage capacity by the end of 2020, but it has not yet decided on a plan for after 2021. Akira Ono, chief decommissioning officer of TEPCO, said, “It is impossible to continue to store [treated water] forever.”

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Move Over Chernobyl, Fukushima is Now Officially the Worst Nuclear Power Disaster in History

Move Over Chernobyl, Fukushima is Now Officially the Worst Nuclear Power Disaster in History

Photo by thierry ehrmann | CC BY 2.0

The radiation dispersed into the environment by the three reactor meltdowns at Fukushima-Daiichi in Japan has exceeded that of the April 26, 1986 Chernobyl catastrophe, so we may stop calling it the “second worst” nuclear power disaster in history. Total atmospheric releases from Fukushima are estimated to be between 5.6 and 8.1 times that of Chernobyl, according to the 2013 World Nuclear Industry Status Report. Professor Komei Hosokawa, who wrote the report’s Fukushima section, told London’s Channel 4 News then, “Almost every day new things happen, and there is no sign that they will control the situation in the next few months or years.”

Tokyo Electric Power Co. has estimated that about 900 peta-becquerels have spewed from Fukushima, and the updated 2016 TORCH Report estimates that Chernobyl dispersed 110 peta-becquerels.[1](A Becquerel is one atomic disintegration per second. The “peta-becquerel” is a quadrillion, or a thousand trillion Becquerels.)

Chernobyl’s reactor No. 4 in Ukraine suffered several explosions, blew apart and burned for 40 days, sending clouds of radioactive materials high into the atmosphere, and spreading fallout across the whole of the Northern Hemisphere — depositing cesium-137 in Minnesota’s milk.[2]

The likelihood of similar or worse reactor disasters was estimated by James Asselstine of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), who testified to Congress in 1986: “We can expect to see a core meltdown accident within the next 20 years, and it … could result in off-site releases of radiation … as large as or larger than the releases … at Chernobyl.[3] Fukushima-Daiichi came 25 years later.

Contamination of soil, vegetation and water is so widespread in Japan that evacuating all the at-risk populations could collapse the economy, much as Chernobyl did to the former Soviet Union. For this reason, the Japanese government standard for decontaminating soil there is far less stringent than the standard used in Ukraine after Chernobyl.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Move Over Chernobyl, Fukushima is Now Officially the Worst Nuclear Power Disaster in History

Move Over Chernobyl, Fukushima is Now Officially the Worst Nuclear Power Disaster in History

Photo by thierry ehrmann | CC BY 2.0

The radiation dispersed into the environment by the three reactor meltdowns at Fukushima-Daiichi in Japan has exceeded that of the April 26, 1986 Chernobyl catastrophe, so we may stop calling it the “second worst” nuclear power disaster in history. Total atmospheric releases from Fukushima are estimated to be between 5.6 and 8.1 times that of Chernobyl, according to the 2013 World Nuclear Industry Status Report. Professor Komei Hosokawa, who wrote the report’s Fukushima section, told London’s Channel 4 News then, “Almost every day new things happen, and there is no sign that they will control the situation in the next few months or years.”

Tokyo Electric Power Co. has estimated that about 900 peta-becquerels have spewed from Fukushima, and the updated 2016 TORCH Report estimates that Chernobyl dispersed 110 peta-becquerels.[1](A Becquerel is one atomic disintegration per second. The “peta-becquerel” is a quadrillion, or a thousand trillion Becquerels.)

Chernobyl’s reactor No. 4 in Ukraine suffered several explosions, blew apart and burned for 40 days, sending clouds of radioactive materials high into the atmosphere, and spreading fallout across the whole of the Northern Hemisphere — depositing cesium-137 in Minnesota’s milk.[2]

The likelihood of similar or worse reactor disasters was estimated by James Asselstine of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), who testified to Congress in 1986: “We can expect to see a core meltdown accident within the next 20 years, and it … could result in off-site releases of radiation … as large as or larger than the releases … at Chernobyl.[3] Fukushima-Daiichi came 25 years later.

Contamination of soil, vegetation and water is so widespread in Japan that evacuating all the at-risk populations could collapse the economy, much as Chernobyl did to the former Soviet Union. For this reason, the Japanese government standard for decontaminating soil there is far less stringent than the standard used in Ukraine after Chernobyl.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Cancer, George Monbiot and Nuclear Weapons Test Fallout

Cancer, George Monbiot and Nuclear Weapons Test Fallout

Photo by JK the Unwise | CC BY 2.0

George Monbiot, who has now been diagnosed with prostate cancer at the young age of 55, was therefore born in 1963, at the peak of the atmospheric test fallout. He is thus a peak exposed (at risk) member of a cohort of those exposed in the womb to the fallout (1959-63) and currently suffering the consequences of exposure to Strontium-90 in the milk, and (measured) in the childrens’ bones.

In his article in the Guardian, he says that he has always done all the healthy things, done lots of exercise, eaten vegetables, didn’t smoke or drink, all that stuff. He is clearly puzzled about being singled out by the three ladies. But the cause was something that he had no control over, and neither had anyone else who was born in the fallout period. George writes that he is happy. This insane response to his predicament, (which I personally am not happy about despite his intemperate attacks on me in his Guardian column and blogs) must go alongside his equally insane response about the Fukushima events where he publicised his road-to-Damascus conversion to nuclear power.

The effect of the genetic damage of the fallout on babies can be seen in the graph below, Fig 1, taken from a recent paper I published (Busby C (2017) Radiochemical Genotoxicity Risk and Absorbed Dose. Res Rep Toxi. Vol.1 No.1:1.).  The babies that did not die were just those with insufficient genetic damage to kill, but this damage would have affected them in later life in various ways. The most measurable effect (apart from genetic defects and congenital diseases) is higher cancer risk which is presented as early cancer onset. The issue of the 1959-63 cancer cohort was discussed in my 1995 book Wings of Death, and a letter I published in 1994 in the British Medical Journal (BMJ). The issue is one of Absorbed Dose. If internal exposure to radionuclides like Strontium-90 and Uranium-238 and Uranium-235 bind to DNA, which is the target for genetic damage, then Dose, which is an average quantity over kilograms of tissue, is an unsafe way of quantifying genetic damage. The issue of genetic damage from radioactive pollution was first raised in 1950 by Herman Muller, the Nobel Prize winning geneticist who discovered the effects of radiation, but his warnings were ignored, though they are now found to be accurate.

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Fukushima: A Human-Made Disaster Brought on by Bad Faith

Fukushima: A Human-Made Disaster Brought on by Bad Faith

“Nearly seven years after the triple reactor meltdowns, this unique nuclear crisis is still underway,” Greenpeace International’s Shaun Burnie wrote in a blogpost last December. The word “unique” is an understatement but true. The March 11, 2011meltdowns are the world’s first combined earthquake-tsunami-reactor catastrophe. Moreover, while other power reactors have run out-of-control, melted down and contaminated large areas, never before have three simultaneously suffered mass earthquake damage, station black-outs, loss-of-coolant and complete meltdowns.

The consequences of its meltdowns-cubed are uniquely over three times deeper, broader and more expensive than anyone was prepared to handle. In the days following the initial quake, tsunami(s), and explosions, the head of the emergency response said, “There is no manual for this disaster.” Managers have had to invent, design, develop and implement the recovery whole cloth. Evacuation was so haphazard that on August 9, 2011, one local mayor accused the government of murder.

The crisis is ongoing in many ways: radioactively contaminated water is still pouring into the Pacific Ocean (permanently contaminating and altering sea life which bio-accumulates and bio-concentrates the radioactivity); radioactive gases and perhaps even “hot particles” are still wafting out of destroyed reactor structures and waste fuel pools; the constant threat of earthquakes and tsunamis in Japan puts millions of gallons of radioactive waste water now stored near the shore in tanks at risk of spilling; and the dangerous work of collecting radioactive soils, leaves and tree trimmings from farmlands, school yards, parks and gardens continuously adds to vast collections of 1-ton radioactive waste bags.

The government estimates that 30 million cubic meters of this collected rad waste — a nearly unimaginable 29 million tons — will eventually require burial, incineration or re-use in road-building. The disaster is ongoing because the dangerous radiation exposures endured by the workers in these disaster response jobs is cumulative and irreversible — and the work will continue for 3 centuries or so.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Belgium Begins Free Distribution Of Iodine Pills “In Case Of Nuclear Disaster”

As part of the government’s new nuclear safety policy, as of today, every Belgian citizen can come to a pharmacy and get free iodine pills.

Belgium has two nuclear plants, Tihange and Doel, with a total number of seven reactors, and is one of the world’s most nuclear-reliant nations…

In 2017 alone, there were seven incidents at the facilities.

Free distribution of iodine tablets has started in Belgium as a precautionary measure in the event of a nuclear catastrophe, the Belgian Pharmaceutical Association told Sputnik on Tuesday. Before March 6, only those living within 20 kilometers (12 miles) from nuclear sites were entitled to receive the medication free of charge.

As SputnikNews reports, Belgium’s neighbors, Germany and the Netherlands, are concerned over the safety of the kingdom’s ageing nuclear reactors.

In 2016, Germany requested Belgium to shut down its two reactors because of defects found in their pressure vessels, but the kingdom refused. In September 2017, citizens of Aachen, a western German city located 70 kilometers (43 miles) away from the Belgian Tihange, started getting free iodine tablets.

In 2016, the Netherlands started distributing the pills to people who lived within a 100-kilometre (62-mile) radius of the neighboring Dutch Borsselle and Belgian Doel plants.

So how would a population react to their government offering iodine pills – just in case… Fear, of course!

Scared people are not rational, they’ll buy virtually anything that promises to alleviate their fear. Every totalitarian, every proponent of curtailing freedom, knows this. It’s the equivalent of the smoking hot babe: fear sells government.

Not reassuring


Free iodine tablets distributed as of today across Belgium in case of disaster at one of country’s ageing nuclear power plants. Not reassuring. https://www.hln.be/nieuws/binnenland/vanaf-vandaag-gratis-jodiumpil-voor-elke-belg~a3cee5fb/ 

Vanaf vandaag: gratis jodiumpil voor elke Belg

De apotheken zullen vanaf vandaag gratis jodiumpillen verstrekken aan iedereen die erom vraagt. Dat meldt VTM Nieuws en wordt bevestigd door het kabinet van Binnenlandse Zaken.

Japan Erects Huge New Roof Above Crippled Fukushima Reactor

In what the Japanese press heralds as an important step to safely removing all the radioactive material left inside the Fukushima-Daiichi nuclear power plant’s ruined reactors, the Japanese utility in charge of cleaning up the site has finished installing a roof over reactor No. 3.

The work started last August to set up a dome-shaped cover. It is part of preparations for removing nuclear fuel from the reactor’s storage pool. A total of 566 spent and unused fuel units remain in the storage pool of the No. 3 reactor.

On Wednesday, workers installed the last part of the cover, which is 17 meters high and 22 meters wide, and weighs 55 tons.

Tepco, which ran the plant and also criminally lied and obscured the full extent of the radioactive leakage caused by the disaster, is scrambling to accomplish as much as possible ahead of the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo. Cleanup of the power plant’s crippled reactors – which experienced meltdowns when a tsunami thrashed the Japanese coast back in 2011 – is expected to take decades.

More recently, Tepco has been criticized for draining what it described as “harmless” radioactive material into the water near the plant – sparking outraged local fishermen to fight back.

Last year, the Japanese government started cutting benefits for people who were forced to flee their homes and possessions because of the disaster.  This has forced some people to move back to the exclusion zone for the first time since the initial evacuation. Photos of the area depict a nightmarish ghost town overrun by radioactive wild boars.

it is unclear what the true radiation level is in the zone, as none of the government’s data are reliable or credible.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Olduvai IV: Courage
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Olduvai II: Exodus
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