Former Top IAEA Official: Actually, Fukushima “is a catastrophe for every citizen of the world… radiation doesn’t recognize borders”

Former Top IAEA Official: Actually, Fukushima “is a catastrophe for every citizen of the world… radiation doesn’t recognize borders” — Dose from Fukushima fallout in Europe many times higher than California gov’t claimed for West Coast (VIDEO)

 
Published: October 5th, 2014 at 7:42 pm ET
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Interview with Olli Heinonen, former IAEA deputy director general, former Finland Reactor Laboratory senior officer and senior fellow at Harvard University (emphasis added): “[We] have a potential catastrophe on our hands… I think that when this thing is over — this is certainly a national catastrophe for Japan — but actually this a catastrophe for every citizen of the world… Russians, Americans, they are also subject radiation. The radiation doesn’t recognize borders… It looks to be a very dire situation.”

United Nations (pdf), 2014: Estimated doses in the first year following the [Fukushima] accident

> Italy — External exposure, inhalation and ingestion of 131I, 134Cs, 137Cs

  • 1-year-old: 180 microsieverts/year
  • Adult: 35 microsieverts/year
  • Very conservative assumptions were applied as the highest concentration values measured for each radionuclide in rainwater were used to calculate the dose from ingested water.

> Serbia — Effective doses from 131I concentrations in food, milk, air and rainwater

  • Adult estimated effective dose: 7.2 microsieverts/month
  • [Does NOT include: Inhaled 134Cs/137Cs; Ingested 134Cs/137Cs; External doses]

Nuclear Physics Workshop (pdf), Apr. 12, 2014: Data discussed in the present work includes the observations of Fukushima related radionuclides in… Italy… [transported] from Japan, across the Pacific and to Central Europe… Estimated committed doses for population related to the contributions of Fukushima fallout due to different pathways were at least one order of magnitude [i.e. around ten times] less of the limit of 1 [millisievert a year] even if the calculations are made using high conservative assumptions… caesium and iodine were found above their detection limits in all environmental samples, but well below levels of concern.

Dr. Steve Wing, Univ. of North Carolina epidemiologist: “What we know about radiation is any amount increases risk of cancer… [At Fukushima] there’s a spectrum of types of radiation being emitted… Risks to populations exposed will play out over the rest of their lives. Even after the radiation is gone, genetic damage could lead to cancer many years later.”

Watch the interview with the former IAEA deputy director here

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It’s Time for People to Demand Information About Our Own Nuclear Disaster! We Cannot Allow a Cover-Up!

Top Official: “Really concerned” over radiation release at US nuclear site; Feds “have put a noose around scientific personnel”… they refuse to reveal crucial information about WIPP disaster — Investigators becoming suspicious — Nuclear Expert: “It sure seems like there’s a cover-up” (AUDIO)

 
Published: September 6th, 2014 at 5:16 pm ET
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The Santa Fe New Mexican, Sept 6, 2014: Flynn accuses feds of blocking WIPP probe — New Mexico’s top environmental regulator lashed out at the U.S. Department of Energy this week, accusing it of impeding the state’s investigation into [the WIPP] radiation leak… Secretary Ryan Flynn warned [about] Energy Department roadblocks that have protracted the probe… Increasingly in recent weeks, the federal Energy Department has thwarted attempts by the state… Flynn accused the Energy Department of muzzling scientists with crucial information about the waste…. [They] asked for documentation supporting the scientists’ observations [but] the Energy Department has repeatedly refused… his frustration with the Energy Department grew as its denials… became more frequent… The Energy Department’s refusal to provide information raised suspicions among Flynn’s investigators…

New Mexico Environment Department Secretary Ryan Flynn, Sept 6, 2014: “The problem is that Department of Energy headquarters back in Washington, D.C., is looking at this situation through a political or (public relations) lens, so they’ve put a noose around the scientific personnel who can answer our questions… there’s a willingness (by LANL personnel) to provide information [but] someone back at headquarters decides that no, they’re not going to provide that information to the state… it happens repeatedly, that’s when you start to get really concerned… they don’t provide certain information [or] make staff available… The more we investigate, the more we’re discovering at Los Alamos… the Department of Energy headquarters refuses to provide certain information.”

Greg Mello, Los Alamos Study Group, Sept 6, 2014: “[Not sharing this information] could be a danger signal for workers and the public. Mislabeling drums and withholding information can be criminal.”

The Santa Fe New Mexican, Sept 3, 2014: Review, relabeling of LANL waste raises questions about scope of problem… [Los Alamos National Laboratory’s] review of the incident has led to uncertainty over the volatility of hundreds of other drums… The lab notified state environment officials late last month that it was re-evaluating and relabeling as “ignitable” or “corrosive” the contents of 86 drums at LANL… The Department of Energy also is reviewing and relabeling more than 300… stored in WIPP’s underground… [This] raises questions about the scope of the problem that led to the leak at WIPP.

Chris Harris, former licensed Senior Reactor Operator & engineer, Aug 28, 2014 (at 22:15 in): “It sure seems like that there’s a combination of a cover-up, and a combination of slip-shot record keeping. Now there’s talk of whether they ditched those records after the fact or before the fact, but those records are nonexistent. One would expect really good records as to what is being stored, where it’s being stored, when it was put away, when it was stored, all that – every bit of information that one would expect to have in a nuclear storage facility and these are missing, there’s a lot of information.

Full interview with Harris here

 
Published: September 6th, 2014 at 5:16 pm ET
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Harvey Wasserman “Diablo Must Go” On EcoWatch

Shut California’s Fukushima: Diablo Must Go

| September 6, 2014 12:02 pm | Comments
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hwassermanThe catastrophe at Fukushima was not an accident. It’s unfolding again in California.

The next west coast quake could easily shake the two reactors at Diablo Canyon to rubble.

They are riddled with defects, can’t withstand potential seismic shocks from five major nearby fault lines, violate state water quality laws and are vulnerable to tsunamis and fire.

Diablo’s owner, Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E), is in deep legal and financial crisis.

diablonuclear
A 42-page report from NRC inspector Dr. Michael Peck says new fault line discoveries challenge Diablo’s “presumption of nuclear safety.”

The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) has just proposed that PG&E be fined $1.4 billion for a 2010 gas explosion and fire that killed eight people and obliterated a neighborhood in San Bruno. The federal government has announced 28 indictments, meaning the CPUC fine may just be the tip of a very expensive iceberg for PG&E. The San Bruno disaster was caused by pipeline defects about which PG&E had been warned for years, but failed to correct. The fines cover 3,798 separate violations of laws and regulations, both state and federal. PG&E was previously fined $38 million for a 2008 pipeline explosion in Rancho Cordova.

Similar defects remain uncorrected at Diablo Canyon, whose radioactive cloud could span the continental U.S. in four days. Mass citizen action recently shut two coastal reactors at San Onofre. It must do the same at Diablo before the next quake hits.

Ironically, as America’s Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) allows Diablo to operate, all 54 reactors in Japan remain shut. Its Nuclear Regulatory Authority has just ordered the Tsuruga reactor to be scrapped because of its vulnerability to earthquakes. Two more elderly reactors at Mihama may also be terminated before year’s end.

At Fukushima, Tokyo Electric Power now admits that far more radiation is spewing into the Pacific than previously admitted. Thethyroid cancer death rate among children in the area is 40 times normal. So is the still-rising childhood thyroid abnormality rate, a terrifying re-run of downwind Chernobyl.

Tepco has begun paying compensation to local suicide victims, including the widower of a woman who doused herself with kerosene before burning herself alive.

All of it predictable.

For decades Japanese citizens warned Tepco not to build reactors in an earthquake/tsunami zone. The company repeatedly ignored safety warnings and tolerated known defects that worsened the disaster.

Diablo Canyon’s twin reactors sit eight miles west of San Luis Obispo, between Los Angeles and San Francisco, surrounded by earthquake faults.

The Hosgri, three miles offshore, was found as the reactors were being built. Design specifications were never fully altered to account for it. Nor have they been upgraded for the newly-found Los Osos, San Luis Bay and Shoreline faults.  The Shoreline lies just 650 yard from Diablo’s cores.

The massive San Andreas fault is just 45 miles away, about half as far as was the March 11, 2011, Richter-9.0 epicenter from Fukushima.

A shock that size from any of the fault lines near Diablo could reduce it to a seething pile of radioactive hell, far deadlier than Fukushima. Prevailing winds could blanket virtually all of North America with its deadly fallout.

The nuclear industry would immediately deny all health impacts. It would blame “unpredictable” God and nature.

But a 42-page report from NRC inspector Dr. Michael Peck says new fault line discoveries challenge Diablo’s “presumption of nuclear safety.”

Buried by the NRC for at least a year, it was released by Friends of the Earth and reported on by the Associated Press and the great enviro-journalist Karl Grossman, as well as by the Nuclear Information & Resource Service and Beyond Nuclear.

Peck has a doctorate in nuclear engineering and was Diablo’s chief on-site inspector for five years. He’s now a senior instructor at the NRC’s Technical Training Center in Tennessee. His status as a current NRC employee makes such a critical report highly unusual—and alarming.

Nuclear engineer Arnie Gundersen has warned about sea-level intake pipes like those at Diablo. When the tsunami struck Fukushima, he writes, “The cooling equipment along the shoreline was turned into a scrap yard of twisted metal.”

Then there is fire.

Diablo Canyon, writes David Lochbaum of the Union of Concerned Scientists, “has never, ever complied with fire safety regulations, not even for a second by mistake.”

“The one-two punch of earthquake/tsunami caused Fukushima,” Lochbaum wrote in an email to me.

“A one-two punch of earthquake/fire could cause Diablo Canyon.”

But, says Lochbaum, “It can’t be an accident. Not when the company and its alleged regulator both know that the plant does not met earthquake and fire safety regulations.

“That cannot cause an accident. Criminal negligence perhaps. At least malicious mayhem. But not an accident.”

More than 10,000 people were arrested trying to stop Diablo in the 1970s and ‘80s. During the delays they caused, PG&E found major errors in reading key blueprints involving some of Diablo’s most critical equipment.

Damage is still being tallied from California’s Aug. 25 Napa Valley quake. The 1994 Northridge quake killed 57 people, injured roughly 5,000. The Loma Prieta quake during the 1989 World Series killed 63 people, injured more than 3,700. The infamous 1906 San Francisco quake leveled the city and killed thousands.

New shocks at Diablo Canyon could dwarf all those numbers—and Fukushima’s.

Tens of millions of Americans would be irradiated.  Our continent’s eco-systems would be poisoned.  Our nation’s economy would be gutted.

But as at San Bruno, there would be no excuses.

Harvey Wasserman wrote SOLARTOPIA!  OUR GREEN-POWERED EARTH and editswww.nukefree.org.  He was arrested at Diablo Canyon in 1984, and is likely to be back soon. Listen to Wasserman’s recent radio discussion of Diablo with David Lochbaum and Rochelle Becker.

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News On Fukushima Fallout Very Bad!

Gov’t Expert: Fukushima hot particles can’t be dissolved, even with hot nitric acid! — Huge amounts of fallout are still bound to organic material… “we have very little knowledge about this” — “Reaction is irreversible” (PHOTO)

Published: August 12th, 2014 at 9:44 am ET
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Journal of Radioanalytical and Nuclear Chemistry, Volume 295, Issue 3, 2013 (emphasis added): […] radionuclides were emitted from the FDNPP as airborne ‘hot’ particles […] Subsequent interaction of the ‘hot’ particles with water (e.g. rainfall) dissolved and strongly fixed the radiocesium on rock and soil particles, thus changing the radiocesium into insoluble forms. […] Consequently, ‘hot spots’ were studded on the rock surface rather than being uniformly distributed. […] Leaching experiments demonstrated that radiocesium in rock, soil and river suspended sediment was fairly insoluble, showing that the adsorption [binding of particles to a surface] reaction is irreversible. The micro-scale heterogeneous distribution of radiocesium […] was due to the presence of ‘hot’ particles in aerosols. […] ‘hot’ particles in the aerosols [experienced] irreversible adsorption onto the soil particle complex […]

Agricultural Implications of the Fukushima Nuclear Accident –  Radiocesium Absorption by Rice in Paddy Field Ecosystems (pdf), 2013:Unexpectedly, we found that the fallout was relatively insoluble and only a small percentage of the radiocesium could be extracted by a boiling water treatment followed by nitrate leaching. We have very little knowledge about this fallout, including its chemical form and properties, but huge amounts of this relatively insoluble radioactive fallout are still bound to organic matters […]

Presentation by Yasuhito Igarashi of Japan’s Meteorological Research Institute at IAEA’s expert meeting (pdf), February 2014: Mar. 14-15 sample contained insoluble materials not only in water but hot nitric acid! […] They are insoluble; even refractory to conc. nitric acid. […] They would persist for a long time in the environment as well as in living organisms.

Scientific Reports (Nature Publishing Group) — Emission of spherical cesium-bearing particles from an early stage of the Fukushima nuclear accident, Aug. 30, 2013: We analyzed the water solubility of Cs Particle 1 by comparing the particle’s shape before and after exposure to water. The results show that there was no change in shape, suggesting that the particle was insoluble to water at least during atmospheric transportation.

American Chemical Society Publication, Analytical Chemistry — Detection of uranium and chemical state analysis of individual radioactive microparticles emitted from the Fukushima nuclear accident… (Tokyo Univ., Japan’s Meteorological Research Institute), August 1, 2014: We explored the possible sources of the 14 elements (Cr, Mn, Fe, Zn, Rb, Zr, Mo, Ag, Sn, Sb, Te, Cs, Ba, and U) found within the microparticles […] These particle natures suggest that they could have relatively long-term impact on the environment, i.e., the release of soluble radioactive Cs into the environment as these insoluble glassy particles degrade. Similar radioactive particles have been detected in soils, plants, and mushrooms […] it is probable that [these particles are] the same as the microparticles characterized in our study.

See also: Scientists: ‘Spheres’ of radioactive material from Fukushima reported for first time — Ball-like particles composed of cesium, iron, zinc — Solid and insoluble in water — Impact on human health needs to be examined (PHOTOS)

Foreclosure Fallout: Robo-Signing deal falls flat

Oppenheim Law,

This was shared by Tiffany Arthur in Foreclosure Prevention:  Real Estate Agents, Investors, Bankruptcy Attorneys, Mortgage/Lending Agents @ LinkedIn

Will Obama Target Housing Crisis During State Of The Union? 

Obama and the State of the Union — a Political Jekyll and Hyde?

President Obama is likely to talk about this in tonight’s State of The Union Address, but we’re not going to wait that long.

With details of the proposed $25 billion settlement with the nation’s largest banks over the robo-signing fiasco now out in the public eye thanks to the Associated Press, we feel a large sense of disappointment.

There’s no question that this deal will change the mortgage industry for the better. Some homeowners will even have a much better chance of being able to restructure their loans when facing foreclosure under this deal.

No One’s Getting Their Keys Back

Yet, there are many out there who are going to feel little comfort with this agreement. Here’s what the deal is NOT going to do. It’s not going to put people who’ve lost their homes (again because of deceptive foreclosure practices) back in those houses, or give them any real financial security.

According to the deal, about 750,000 Americans, which by the way is about ½ of the people who are eligible for help under this settlement, may get a check for about $1,800. That’s the equivalent of one of those parting gifts they’d give contestants when they lose on Wheel of Fortune. In other words, it does them very little good.

Now it’s true that about a million current homeowners will supposedly get their loan balances reduced by an average of 20 thousand dollars. That’s great, and something we here at the South Florida Law Blog have been begging for. But when you consider their are about 11 million out there with underwater mortgages, A LOT of people will be no better off.

Banks Still On Easy Street

And here’s the other thing this deal doesn’t do. It doesn’t hold the banks accountable. Why after the mountains and mountains of evidence of wrong-doing, is the government still playing nice-nice with the nation’s lenders?

The funny thing about this settlement, despite the fact that it’s long overdue, it feels rushed. There hasn’t been a full investigation into the banks’ conduct, no discovery, yet here this deal is, as if they are trying to push it through before anyone notices. It’s feels as if they are trying to avoid the investigation in the first place!

Red Flags Already Raised

Several politicians, including Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown, are already raising concerns over a lack of a proper investigation. We should also point out that the attorneys general in New York and California, a state with one of the highest foreclosure rates, have split from the federal government to pursue their own investigations. The ink on this deal isn’t dry and yet it’s already raising red flags.

“Wall Street is again trying to pass the buck,” Brown told the Associated Press, “Instead of criminal prosecutions, we’re talking about something that’s not more than a slap on the wrist.”

The banks have dragged their feet, in order to escape any real punishment. The perception still remains that the banks are too big to be punished, there is nothing in this deal that invalidates that notion. While we agree this deal should be and is about fixing the system, there is a call for retribution from homeowners that this deal simply doesn’t address.

“This is not vengeance against the banks,” Brown told HousingWire about the deal.

But shouldn’t it be?

Tags: Associated Press, barack obama, fallout, foreclosure, foreclosure practices, foreclosures, Harriet Johnson Brackey, large banks, mortgage, mortgage industry, mortgage practice, Oppenheim Law, personal finance, President Obama, Real Estate, robo, settlement, sherrod brown, South Florida Law Blog, wheel of fortune

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