Fukushima

Fukushima: 2nd Anniversary. Making it Personal (March '13)

** Other posts about the symposium on this blog: 'Helen Caldicott for Woman of the Year!' 'Quotations from the Symposium' & 'Helen Caldicott Symposium Summary.' Some short YouTubes of presenters  ++ 1-hour Karl Grossman interviews with some presenters 

** Entire Webcast of the Symposium is now available 

*******

A week ago (March 11/12th), I was in New York City to attend the 2-day Helen Caldicott ‘Medical & Ecological Consequences of the Fukushima Nuclear Accident’ symposium.

I learned plenty!

The line-up of speakers was wildly impressive - an incredible array of scientists, MDs, people from Russia & Japan, including Japan's former PM (by video, in his case) -- many nuclear experts. (All listed here).

Nuclear technology is complicated, & nuclear matters can be made to seem so complex the “average person” can’t fathom them at all.

When you boil it right down though, it’s really quite simple.

Nuclear energy is a technology that is simply too dangerous to keep going.

What became clear to me at the Caldicott symposium last week is something I seem to keep needing to be reminded of over & over & over again (whichever issue I happen to be working on, btw).

We always need to remember to make it personal.

The speakers who were there from Japan helped make it very personal for me.

Here is some of what they shared:

  • In the early days of the accident, both some children & some adults had nosebleeds & fever (even as far away as Tokyo)
  • People are absorbing dangerous levels of radiation from air, water, soil & food
  • This applies to children
  • Who are already being seen to have thyroid nodules at a disturbing rate
  • The government is lying to its people
  • There is no safe way to handle all the radioactive waste
  • People are returning to areas with dangerous levels of radiation
  • This includes children!
  • Who have to be kept inside, cooped up like captive animals
  • Relationships are cracking & breaking under all the strain
  • Families are being destroyed
  • Women are encountering high levels of domestic abuse

 

& yet the “nuclear village” is determined to crank up, once again, its earth- & people- & life-destroying nuclear plants.

There is not only no “easy” solution to the problems facing Japan & its people, post-Fukushima nuclear disaster, there is really no solution at all. But some things are just insane.

Cranking up the nukes again is the absolute OPPOSITE of a solution or sane response.

& you know what?

All of this could happen here.

It can happen anywhere this unforgiving, unforgivable, unbelievably dangerous technology is in use.

***

KISS.

The KISS principle = Keep It Simple, Stupid

I have a proposal for a new guiding principle for what we loosely call “civilization.”

Let us always, always, always

Do what’s best for the kids.

All of the kids.

Janet

p.s. with many thanks to AB, whose parents were wise enough to be guided by this simple, sane principle. Imagine the amazing-ness of having parents so sensible, unselfish & wise. Boggles the mind, really (although it shouldn’t!).

p.p.s. “Seeing is believing.” This too is very simple & basic. It was seeing the impacts of the Chernobyl nuclear accident that was a game-changer for David Freeman (which I learned by watching the Karl Grossman interviews from last week’s symposium here)

p.p.p.s. So. 3 simple, 3-word phrases:

  • Keep it simple (don’t let the nuclear industry bafflegab you with its fancy, complex talk).
  • Seeing is believing (take a look at the heartbreaking images of Chernobyl’s damaged children, for one small example)
  • Make it personal (the people affected in Chernobyl & Fukushima are people just like you & me. With families & jobs & so on. This could be us, & our lives too!)

 

p.s. # 4: So, what to do?? Get active. As was said over & over & over again at the symposium, we need to prevent any more accidents from happening. This will only happen with a ton of active voices & bodies, raising a ruckus. Apathy is deadly, didn’t you know?? Check this list for groups to help, & start helping!! (Tons of great motivating, get-you-off-your-butt quotations here) Also, if this is an option for you, visit the people in Fukushima. Twice now I have been told that people there want very much to be visited by people from other parts of the world. Such visits would accomplish at least 2 things I can think of right off the top of my head: decrease the feelings of abandonment & isolation of the people there who undoubtedly do feel abandoned & isolated, & create ambassadors who will return home prepared to work for a saner, safer world for us all.

Quotes for Today:

” …the fears and dangers of radioactive fallout… Even then, the number of children and grandchildren with cancer in their bones, with leukemia in their blood, or with poison in their lungs might seem statistically small to some, in comparison with natural health hazards. But this is not a natural health hazard—and it is not a statistical issue. The loss of even one human life, or the malformation of even one baby—who may be born long after we are gone—should be of concern to us all. Our children and grandchildren are not merely statistics toward which we can be indifferent.” — John F. Kennedy, July 26, 1963

”All nuclear power plant systems, structures, components and personnel are potential sources of failures and malfunctions. Problems can arise from defects in design, manufacturing, installation and construction; from testings, operational, and maintenance errors; from explosions and fires; from excessive corrosion, vibration, stress, heating, cooling, radiation damage, and other physical phenomena; from deterioration due to component aging, and from externally-initiated events such as floods, earthquakes, tornadoes and sabotage.” – Daniel F. Ford (from a Stop Plant Vogtle brochure)

“Child-bearing women (or women intending to have children) shouldn’t live within 5 kilometres of nuclear reactors. Woman and nuclear facilities don’t really mix.” – Dr. Ian Fairlie, radiation biologist

 

OUTRAGEOUS!

Couple days ago I listened to the most recent Fairewinds Energy Education podcasts (all the podcasts are listed here). I learned about a nuke plant called Oyster Creek (in New Jersey) that has a damaged pipe (post-Hurricane Sandy) that could lead to serious problems if it breaks altogether. A special investigation team from the NRC (Nuclear Regulatory Commission) has been dispatched to Oyster Creek in the wake of Hurricane Sandy. The plant is the only one in the U.S. without “a modern High Pressure Safety Injection System.” As also explained by Arnie Gundersen, the plant is the oldest operating nuke plant in the U.S. (lots more on the podcast!!) (A 2nd NRC team has gone to Turkey Point in Florida due to a similar problem which was not, I understand, due to Hurricane Sandy.)

This is all very disconcerting.

Then too, there are 3 plants on long-term shutdown in the U.S. – Fort Calhoun (Nebraska), San Onofre (California) & Crystal River (Florida) – that are still paying employees to keep them … hmmm. Keep them safe, I suppose.

But the thing is, ratepayers (in Canada we usually call them taxpayers) are paying hundreds of millions of dollars per year to keep these plants going while they are … not going.

Did I already say that taxpayers are paying for this??

Did I also mention that the nuclear industry makes GOBS of money every year (wish I knew how much; it would stagger us all, no doubt; we’d probably faint dead away in droves) & they do this by making energy in a preposterously dirty & dangerous way & not only do we all wind up being exposed to the toxic by-products of the entire nuclear fuel chain in a variety of ways, we get stiffed with the costs for the long-term waste that will still be dangerous to all living creatures long after there are any living creatures left, even (maybe at least partly because of all the nuke waste mess on the planet).

If that doesn’t make you annoyed or disgusted, consider that “ratepayers” are paying out $750 million per year to keep the staff at the Crystal River plant in Florida paid while the plant is on shutdown & “containment problems” are being sorted out.

San Onofre in California is also paying out close to $200 million per year in its “highly paid employment program to pay engineers to not produce power” … or words to that effect.

If this was my tax dollars at work so engineers can not work, I’d be pissed. (Of course I am pissed about the nuke scene in Canada … but that’s another story…)

What do I recommend?

  1. Listen to Arnie’s podcast. This one & others. (They are less than half an hour long, btw.) Become informed. Get a little mad. Take action. Raise your voice! You’ll be in fine company if you do!! (This blog posting provides a list of active groups you can check into.)
  2. Donate some money to Fairewinds so Arnie et. al can continue to provide us with the essential information he is so generously providing us with. Every donation counts!
  3. Donate some money to the Red Cross!! Hurricane Sandy did an awful lot of damage. Those of us who were not directly affected (or even those less so) need to pitch in. Donating will make you feel good, I absolutely promise you  .

 

As a well-known saying goes, Action is the best possible antidote to despair. I say it again & again, because it happens to be true!!

Janet

p.s. a day or so later: this posting is a bit lame, for which I apologize. I had only sporadic Internet access when I posted it & my life is kinda crazy lately (slight understatement). I really want you all to listen to the podcast, OK?? Arnie says important stuff. One seriously important thing he says is this: the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (called the Nuclear Rubberstamp Commission by many, kind of like the way I call the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission first of all an oxymoron - there is no such thing as "nuclear safety," folks!! - so I call it the Canadian Nuclear DANGER Commission. Anyway, what Arnie sez is this: the NRC has no intention of increasing safety post-Fukushima. It would cost the nuclear industry too much $$$. The NRC (& the CNSC in Canada) are far too concerned with making $$$ for the nuke industry to tighten up safety standards. What they really care about is profit for the nuke boyz. They don't really care about you & me. Arnie is an ex-nuke industry boy (as it were) himself. So he really knows what he's talking about....... We all need to get fussed up about this......OK???

p.p.s. also of some relevance to us here in Canada as our own so-called "nuclear regulator" prepares to license Ontario Power Generation (OPG) to build 4 new reactors & refurbish the existing ones is the lack of sufficient emergency planning down at Oyster Creek in New Jersey. Ontarians, take note! (see CELA report on this.)

‘Quote of the day’ with this post: “So, organize. Teach the young. Teach the not so young. Recognize that this is a political problem & that problem lies in the law of the United States. It’s time to end the nuclear age, not to continue and expand it. I’m counting on all of you. ” – Dr. Judith Johnsrud, radiation & nuclear power specialist & long-time American activist, from a speech [many, many other great nuke-related quotes here]

Radioactive Rain

<Oct. 20/12> When it rains

& I wake in the night to the sound of the rain

(the rain still sounds the way it has always sounded)

but the rain is full of poisons now

especially since fukushima went ballistic

& yesterday I met with some people who don’t seem to care

could it be because their salaries are somewhere up in the stratosphere?

& I wonder

does the rain contain less poison when it rains on them??

are their umbrellas especially thick

or somehow magical?

Janet

Quote of the day’: On the dangers of un-guided technology: “We are aboard a train which is gathering speed, racing down a track on which there are an unknown number of switches leading to unknown destinations. No single scientist is in the engine cab and there may be demons at the switch. Most of society is in the caboose, looking backward.” – Ralph Lapp, Scientist-turned-writer 

A Few Others:

“Often people attempt to live their lives backwards: they try to have more things, or more money, in order to do more of what they want so that they will be happier. The way it actually works is the reverse. You must first be who you really are, then do what you need to do, in order to have what you want.” – Margaret Young, quoted in Simple Abundance by Sarah Ban Breathnach

“The capacity of people to get on with what they have been doing all their lives, even when they know it is not in their best interests, is a marvel. Denial is one of the strongest of human emotions. It gets us through the shock of chronic illnesses or sudden deaths, and often it is what keeps us from making changes in life. Thus it is not enough to have a good idea or even a great one to bring about social change. People have to believe that the problem being addressed is so bad that something must be done, and they must believe that something can be done.” – Devra Davis in When Smoke Ran Like Water – Tales of Environmental Deception & the Battle Against Pollution – 2002

“The truth is that we never conquered the world, never understood it; we only think we have control.  We do not even know why we respond a certain way to other organisms, and need them in diverse ways, so deeply.” – E.O. Wilson

4 Laws of Ecology:

  • Everything is connected to everything else.
  • Everything must go somewhere.
  • Nature knows best.
  • There is no such thing as a free lunch.  – Barry Commoner

 

“Thou shalt not be a victim. Thou shalt not be a perpetrator. Above all, thou shalt not be a bystander.” – Quote displayed at the Holocaust Museum in Washington, D.C. – quoted in Heat – How to Stop the Planet from Burning, George Monbiot, Doubleday, 2006.

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world.  Indeed – it’s the only thing that ever has.” – Margaret Mead, Anthropologist

“Today no task is more pressing and noble, not only for a scientist, but also for any sober-minded individual, than to prevent nuclear insanity.” – Valery Legasov, head of the former Soviet delegation to the IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency). He was upset over both the Chernobyl disaster & its handling at the IAEA & UN, & later took his life over it. (tons of great nuke-related quotations here & some good science ones here.)

Fukushima. Collusion. Only in Japan, you say?

The Japanese Parliament has been told by a panel of experts that the Fukushima nuclear accident of March 11, 2011, was a man-made disaster. It cannot be blamed on the earthquake or the tsunami – but on Japanese culture, human-made error…& collusion. Good articles & short YouTubes here:

 

What has my knickers in a knot right now is the statement “Its fundamental causes are to be found in the ingrained conventions of Japanese culture: our reflexive obedience; our reluctance to question authority; our devotion to ‘sticking with the program’; our groupism; and our insularity.” (from the article here)

Yes. Japanese culture does breed conformity & obedience.

What is our excuse in the other relentlessly nuclear countries?

In Canada, for example, say.

The level of collusion among nuclear industry, politicians & regulators is no less in evidence here.

Those of us who follow the goings-on of the un-aptly-named Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (an oxymoronic title, given the impossibility of “nuclear safety”) are all too aware of this collusion.

Come on, people!

We all know nuclear energy is not safe. Not safe, not reliable, not cheap. Wildly dangerous, wildly polluting & toxic, producing wastes that will remain dangerous for more years than we can even properly begin to conceive of.

Why don’t more Canadian citizens speak up?

Are we too obedient? Or just too lazy? Too complacent? “Too busy?” Too smug?

*****

I have to work a little at not letting nuclear goings-on make my blood boil (having my blood boil seems to be very bad for my own personal sense of equanimity. Heh heh).

But the apathy of my fellow citizens – on all environmental fronts – stuns me. Has stunned me for many years now.

Nuclear issues are complex, I grant you.

Tell me, though, how complex is this?

The Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) has repeatedly licensed a company called SSI (short for Shield Source Incorporated, which is located in the small Ontario city of Peterborough since 1986) to make glow-in-the-dark products, using tritium – a wildly toxic by-product of the creation of nuclear energy. (They also license its competitor company, SRB, in Pembroke, Ontario. Therein lies another, quite similar, tale. Serious, stubborn polluters, both, of local air & water. Licensed over & over again to go on being so.)

Our so-called nuclear safety commission (or “regulator”) has done this knowing that the man who runs SSI used to run another tritium company in Almedia, South Centre Township, Pennsylvania (in the U.S.) by the name of Safety Light Corp. (Safety Light, btw, is one of the daughter companies of the old U.S. Radium Corp. No time to go down that road right now, though it’s an interesting one!) Safety Light had many safety violations while operating in Almedia, & frequently fell behind in its payments to the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission for site clean-ups that have now fallen to U.S. citizens to fund.

Mr. William Lynch – Safety Light’s head honcho – shut Safety Light down in 2007, leaving U.S. taxpayers on the hook for a $120 million Superfund site clean-up (this figure may be an under-estimate, btw. Nuclear waste clean-ups are wildly, even outlandishly, expensive).

& in 2009, our Canadian regulator once again re-licensed Mr. Lynch’s SSI (which they had been licensing since 1986) – knowing of his company’s safety violations while in Pennsylvania, his departure from tritium light manufacturing in the U.S., & his company’s decision to leave American taxpayers with an impossibly toxic & dangerous nuclear mess by the shores of the Susquehanna River. (If the CNSC didn’t know all this, how come they didn’t know? Either way, it makes them some regulator…eh??)

I think I’ve said enough. I think you can connect the dots here, can’t you? It’s not rocket science.

Everywhere on this planet this horrid (I call it evil) nuclear industry operates, it does so hand-in-hand, i.e., with collusion, among its industry members, local ruling political elites & the so-called nuclear “regulators.”

Relevant quotation/insight from Frank Zappa?

“Government is the Entertainment Division of the military-industrial complex.”

Janet

* Check out the February 2012 Greenpeace report called “Lessons from Fukushima” here 

* For info on SSI in Peterborough, Ontario, go to the Tritium Awareness Peterborough Facebook page & also this page 

* Plenty of information about tritium here & on the Tritium Awareness Project Web site (& also, I expect, on the NIRS & Beyond Nuclear sites) Probably on the CCNR site also.

* Lots of pithy quotations about nukes (also maps, films & other resources) here 

* An incomplete (but still useful) list of groups working on nuclear matters here 

* The essay here compares the lead & nuclear industries & finds 10 common elements.

* As regards U.S. Radium Corp., good luck getting it all straight! They started out in New Jersey (so says Wikipedia) & after leaving a big nasty mess there, moved on to other locations & messed them up too. The Harvey Wasserman & Norman Solomon book Killing Our Own –The Disaster of America’s Experience with Atomic Radiation (available on-line here) has info on the company on page 128.

* You can also check into The Press Enterprise from Bloomsburg, PA to seek out articles about U.S. Radium/Safety Light’s history in Almedia, PA (as well as some of the New Jersey piece of the story) over the years.

Relevant quotation from a Press Enterprise story by Michael Lester: “’The net effect of these corporate and name changes, restructuring and ownership transfers was to limit the liability of predecessor companies and protect their corporate assets while Safety Light maintained an active license,’ says an NRC [Nuclear Regulatory Commission] document.”

** company name changes & re-locations to avoid liability seem to be a common ploy of ... hmmm, maybe any kind of polluting industry?? Not sure about that. I am pretty sure the tritium-using industry is an old hand at it.

'Quote of the day' with this post: “Until we know how to safely dispose of the radioactive materials generated by nuclear plants, we should postpone these activities so as not to cause further harm to future generations. To do otherwise is simply an immoral act, and that is my belief, both as a scientist and as a survivor of the Hiroshima atomic bombing.” – Dr Shoji Sawada

Nuclear Humour

So, although I am not managing to get much written about nuke stuff lately (hmmmm. I’m not getting much written about anything; it is apparently not a prolific writing time just now), it is still very present in my mind. That damn nuclear industry, eh?? They just don’t know when to quit. When to fold ‘em. You might think Three Mile Island, Chernobyl & Fukushima (not to mention a ton of other accidents & incidents, here, there & everywhere, all over the globe) would give these … people (I wanted to say morons, but I said people instead, okay?) pause. (I actually believe this industry is evil, but never mind, so what, eh? What difference does it make what I think about it?? Not a single solitary bit of difference, quite clearly.)

Okay. Lots to do. Let’s cut to the chase.

Nuclear humour.

I saw a statement recently from Don Howard, a nuclear something-or-other specialist with the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (don’t even get me started on that oxymoronic term).

He was speaking about the current search for places in Canada to store what is called “high level” nuclear waste.

“As we produce fuel, we produce waste. We keep storing it and storing it. At some point in time, you have to find a disposal mechanism,” he said. “We have to go out and find (a long-term solution) so we don’t leave the legacy to future generations to deal with.” (from a Sudbury Star article here)

 “…so we don't leave the legacy to future generations to deal with.”

Now that’s pretty rich, wouldn’t you say???

Nuclear waste – expected to remain dangerous for, oh, only a million years or so – stored in places (in some cases) near major bodies of water, & calling this NOT leaving a “legacy to future generations to deal with.”

Pretty funny, in a gallows humour-ish sort of way…hmmm?

Well, what can I say. An industry as mixed up as this one, I guess we can expect their brand of humour to be a little, um, off the wall…eh?

Janet

p.s. speaking of Fukushima, this recent item may be of interest: ‘Commission Calls Fukushima Nuclear Crisis a Man-Made Disaster’ 

p.p.s. & speaking of nuclear humour, this is absolutely a must-see!!! One minute YouTube called 'Tritium Give-Away Days.' Laugh-out-loud funny (I guarantee it!!) item from the ever-hilarious (Canadian TV personality) Rick Mercer.

'Quote of the day' with this post: “Electricity is but the fleeting byproduct of nuclear power. The actual product is forever deadly nuclear waste.” – Michael Keegan, long-time Michigan, U.S.-based anti-nuclear activist (plenty more nuke quotes where that one came from!!)

Abolish Nuclear Plants Immediately: Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Japan
 (Nov. 2011)

Abolish Nuclear Plants Immediately ~ Facing The Tragedy of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Plant Disaster ~

Source

Accompanying comments

From Sendai 
November 8, 2011

Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Japan

To all residents in Japan,

The accident in the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Plant triggered by the Great Eastern Japan Earthquake contaminated the ocean and land by radiation, and tragically disrupted the daily life of an enormous number of people. Even now, almost one hundred thousand people are evacuated from the neighboring area of the nuclear plant, and numerous people are forced to live in fear and anxiety.

With regard to the pros and cons of nuclear plants, we, Japanese bishops, expressed in our message “Reverence for Life–A Message for the Twenty-First Century from the Catholic Bishops of Japan” as follows:
“It has provided a totally new source of energy for humanity, but as we can see in the destruction of human life in a moment in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the disaster at Chernobyl and the life-threatening criticality accident at Tokaimura, it also has the potential to pass huge problems on to future generations. To use it effectively, we need the wisdom to know our limits and exercise the greatest care. In order to avoid tragedy, we must develop safe alternative means of producing energy.”(1)

The “tragedy” in this message was brought about by nothing less than the accident in the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Plant. This nuclear disaster wiped out the “safety myth”, which was created because people put too much trust in science and technology without having “the wisdom to know our limits”.

In the message “Reverence for Life”, we, Japanese bishops could not go so far as to urge the immediate abolishment of nuclear plants. However, after facing the tragic nuclear disaster in Fukushima, we regretted and reconsidered such attitude. And now, we would like to call for the immediate abolishment of all the power plants in Japan.

With regard to the immediate abolishment of nuclear plants, some people voice concerns about energy shortage. There are also various challenges such as the reduction of carbon dioxide. However, most important of all, we as members of the human race, have responsibilities to protect all life and nature as God’s creation, and to pass on a safer and more secure environment to future generations. In order to protect life, which is so precious, and beautiful nature, we must not focus on economic growth by placing priority on profitability and efficiency, but decide at once to abolish nuclear plants.

Because of the prediction that a new disaster will occur due to another earthquake or tsunami, all the 54 nuclear plants in Japan are at risk of horrific accidents like the latest one. Therefore, in order to prevent human-generated calamities associated with natural disasters as much as possible, it is essential to eliminate nuclear plants.

Although nuclear plants have been supplying energy in the context of “peaceful use” to society until now, they have also released an enormous amount of radioactive waste such as plutonium. We are going to place the custodial responsibility of these dangerous wastes on future generations for centuries to come. We must consider this matter to be an ethical issue.

Nuclear power has been encouraged by national policies up to now. As a result, natural energy has fallen behind in development and popularity. We urge that the national policies be changed to place top priority on development and implementation of natural energy, which will also contribute to reducing carbon dioxide. On the other hand, it takes a long time and enormous labor to decommission a nuclear plant. Therefore, the decommissioning of reactors and the disposal of radioactive waste must be conducted with extreme caution.

Indeed, electricity is essential for our lives today. However, what is important is to amend our ways of general life by changing the lifestyles that excessively depend on electricity.

Japan has its culture, wisdom and tradition that have long co-existed with nature. Religions such as Shinto and Buddhism are also based on the same spirit. Christianity has the spirit of poverty as well. Therefore, Christians have an obligation to bear genuine witness to the Gospel especially through the ways of life expected by God; “simplicity of life, the spirit of prayer, charity towards all, especially towards the lowly and the poor, obedience and humility, detachment and self-sacrifice”.(2) We should choose anew a simple and plain lifestyle based on the spirit of the Gospel (3), in cases like saving electricity. We live in the hope that science and technology will develop and advance based on the same spirit. These attitudes will surely lead to a safer and more secure life without nuclear plants.

From Sendai
November 8, 2011
Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Japan

<Notes>

(1) Reverence for Life –A Message for the Twenty-First Century from the Catholic Bishops of Japan (Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Japan, 2001, p.104~p.105).
Another message on nuclear plants announced by the Catholic Church in Japan is “Petition on the Criticality Accident at the Uranium Conversion Facility, JCO Co. Ltd” (1999).

(2) Pope Paul VI, Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Nuntiandi, 76(1975).

(3) Cf. Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church, 486 d. New lifestyles (2004).

‘Quote of the day’ with this blog posting: “I deeply regret believing in the security myth of nuclear power.” - Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan at the Hiroshima Day commemorations (many other nuclear-related quotations here)

Fukushima: latest I've seen / read

** Note on Jan. 10th: I keep adding more items in toward the bottom of this post.

2 Arnie Gundersen items:

1. Fukushima: Total Cost - 33 minute interview by Warren Pollock with nuclear expert Arnie Gundersen. Chockfull of very, very useful information about the Fukushima accident. Its potential impacts on U.S. health (very minor compared to what the Japanese will suffer, of course). Arnie Gundersen's theme: we can't run, we can't hide. The potential problems with reactors in the U.S. How the political system plays hardball (more like deathball) with our lives. (No different here in Canada than in the U.S., btw.) I did not know that nukes kill more birds than wind turbines - sure hope someone adds this info to the FAQ's on sees on wind energy!! Includes talk about economic costs of the Fukushima disaster, as well as human costs. Some clarifications re: particulate matter. Very worth seeing & I recommend it highly!! (One insight: if air travel were as risky as nuclear power, nobody would be flying!!)

2.  TEPCO Believes Mission Accomplished & Regulators Allow Radioactive Dumping in Tokyo Bay - Is the Japanese government and the IAEA protecting the nuclear industry and not the people of Japan by claiming that Fukushima is stable when it is not? Fairewinds’ chief engineer Arnie Gundersen outlines major inconsistencies and double-speak by the IAEA, Japanese Government, and TEPCO claiming that the Fukushima accident is over. Dynamic versus static equilibrium, escalated dose exposures to the Japanese children and nuclear workers, and the blending of radioactive materials with non-contaminated material and spreading this contaminated ash throughout Japan are only a small part of this ongoing nuclear tragedy.

PLUS:

Public health fallout from Japanese quake - Canadian Medical Association Journal

Fukushima: Alaska Seal Die-Off

The New Significance - Impressions of Post 3/11 Japan: lengthy & thoughtful piece by Sabu Kohso after a visit home this past summer, post-Fukushima accident. Puts the accident into "the big picture" & covers topics I don't hear "average" people talking about (how is one to eat or think about gardening, there, now? What is the fate of the workers who are being sent in as basically lambs to the slaughter? Why are men denying the dangers & women the ones who are speaking up, angrily? What is the purpose of demonstrating, & how does all of this relate to the overall global system of capitalism? How are the Japanese to live, post-Fukushima??)

Abolish Nuclear Plants Immediately - Catholic Bishops of Japan

'Radioactive Iodine Blankets Much of Europe - Everyone Points Fingers'

Also watched the Greenpeace short film "From Chernobyl to Fukushima: A Campaigner's Journey." 20 minutes. Well-done interviews & photo coverage of Greenpeace Toronto Nuclear Campaigner Shawn-Patrick Stensil as he travels to Chernobyl & Fukushima &, closer to home, works to oppose new reactors at Darlington. No crazy anti-nuke hysteria at all, folks - just a calm & articulate campaigner telling (& showing) it like it is.

Janet

P.S. ++ YouTube here & reflections ++ here

'Quote of the day' with this post: “Sure, you can say nuclear power is somewhat less carbon-intensive than burning fossil fuels for energy; beating your children to death with a club will prevent them from getting hit by a car. Ravaging the Earth by one irreparable means is not a sensible way to prevent it from being destroyed by another. There are alternatives. We should choose them and use them.” – Rebecca Solnit (many other nuke-related quotes & other resources here)

Accidents, nuclear & otherwise...

Having one of "those" days. Not getting done what I'm "supposed" to get done. So, just going to share a few links w. you.

I've both laughed & cried this morning. From the sublime to the ridiculous.

As so often, am focusing on nuclear issues, which are enough to make you crazy (& I didn't have far to go!?).

Okay.

Article here is good on the subject of why technology can never "save" us. In light of the disaster that is Fukushima (YouTube about latest big leak here), an "accident" that will be affecting us all .... forever, I guess.... perhaps now is the time for more of us to clue in to this simple truth: accidents happen. They always will. So let's stop - now - playing with forces that are so clearly beyond our ability to control, shall we?????

Go here for a chuckle about engineer-speak. And bear in mind, it's engineers who dominate the nuclear industry. And the nuclear lapdog, er, I mean watchdog, agencies. (I really ought to do a post soon on my growing list of engineer WTF stories. The things some of them say!?!?!)

Anyway, I really ought to be doing other stuff, so I'll leave you with this link. It's the one that led to a few tears on my part. Only 5 minutes long...

Janet

p.s. Here is something I bet you didn't know. Most folks don't know it. (There is plenty about the nuke biz most folks don't know.) But here's just one teeny-tiny thing (a "small" thing that is really quite a BIG thing) that some of the recent converts to nuclear energy need to know: Way back in 1959, the IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency, which exists to promote nukes) made an agreement with the World Health Organization that prohibits the WHO from doing or publicizing research into the effects of radiation on human populations. This agreement remains in effect. Now what do you make of that, eh?

p.p.s. There is plenty of other stuff the nuke industry doesn't want you to know. You can read lots about it in the book Cover up: what you are not supposed to know about nuclear power. It's available on-line, free. Sure hope Mr. George Monbiot (& certain other high profile types who've come down in favour of nukes post-Fukushima) downloads & reads it. He's just plain all mixed up on this subject!! (& all that bullroar about nukes solving the climate issue? Bollocks!)

p.p.p.s. 3 other free-to-download books are

 

p.s. # 4: Lots of great nuke-related quotes (& maps, & films) listed here

 

Nuclear Roulette: let’s stop playing!!

Nuclear Roulette – The Case Against a “Nuclear Renaissance” is an awesome June 2011 publication I cannot recommend highly enough! The report, from the International Forum on Globalization, is # 5 in a series that focuses on “false solutions to the global climate crisis.”(1)

Good full review of it here (ordering info also available there).

So excellent – both the series, & this report on nukes.

The report project was already underway when the Fukushima disaster hit, & there is some excellent commentary about how that disaster fits into the global nuclear picture.

The foreword by Aileen Mioko-Smith of Green Action (Kyoto) lays out a summary of the 30-year history of anti-nuclear activism in Japan. Since the social & political cultures of Japan are quite different from those of North America, it makes for excellent learning. (On the Green Action blog there is a section devoted to Fukushima updates. Also on the Green Action site is a 5-minute YouTube about the August 7th benefit concert by the Musicians United for Safe Energy – MUSE – in Mountain View, California.

From the YouTube site: “On August 7th, musicians held a concert to support Japan disaster relief efforts, and organizations worldwide working to promote safe, alternative, non­-nuclear energy. The bill included Crosby, Stills & Nash, Jackson Browne, Bonnie Raitt, Jason Mraz, The Doobie Brothers, Tom Morello, John Hall, Kitaro, Jonathan Wilson and Sweet Honey in the Rock.

“The disaster in Fukushima is not only a disaster for Japan. It is a global disaster. We come together now across cultural boundaries, political and generational boundaries, to call for changes in the way we use energy, and in the ways we conduct the search for solutions to the problems facing humanity,” says Jackson Browne. “We join with the people of Japan, and people everywhere who believe in a non-nuclear future.”)

Back to “Nuclear Roulette”…

The review here comments “With the book's rousing prologue, I thought it would climax with an appeal for massive civil disobedience. It does not go there all-out, perhaps because a Gandhian protest movement is barely glimpsed even by many activists in the U.S. Gandhi is quoted in Nuclear Roulette to showcase his awareness of resource domination and waste. Activist Mioko-Smith concludes her section wisely with "Should we take to the streets?"

“It's not as if the problems and crises with nuclear power are new, such that a shocking report could bring about action. It is sad that nuclear's evil and nasty poison have been on display -- though hidden as best the moneyed interests and corporate media could do -- for decades. Except for the unpleasant details of the Fukushima catastrophe, nothing new can be said. It is time for action. Yet, more people must become aware and motivated to act.

& adds: “The question, “who is this book written for” may be answered with “those who have an appetite for more information and who are willing to help put a handy new volume (a large, thin paperback booklet of 76 pages) into circulation.” Every home, school, library and workplace should have a copy of Nuclear Roulette for reference.”

My take is, this report packs a very considerable punch! You can learn enough about the global nuclear scene in this book to educate yourself & become part of the movement away from nuclear. Please go for it! (Please also share the report with friends, family, colleagues & neighbours. Why not also donate a copy to your local library? I did.)

Janet

P.S. Free download of the book here

‘Quote for the day’ w. this post: “The phrase ’spent fuel’ is one of those misleading terms that the nuclear industry is so fond of.  The “spent fuel” is millions of times more radioactive than fresh fuel.  When first removed from the reactor, a single spent fuel assembly can deliver a lethal dose of radiation in just a few seconds to any unshielded person within a metre or two.  In addition, each spent fuel assembly contains hundreds of different radioactive poisons which do not exist in the fresh fuel, but were created as unwanted byproducts inside the nuclear reactor.” - Dr. Gordon Edwards, Canadian Coalition for Nuclear Responsibility

Runner-up Quote: “Nuclear power has died of an incurable attack of market forces and is way beyond any hope of revival, because the competitors are several fold cheaper and are getting rapidly more so. The competitors I mean are not other central power stations (coal or gas-fired, or big hydro); rather, they’re micropower and efficiency—the big market winners, already bigger than nuclear power worldwide in both capacity and output.” - Amory Lovins, Rocky Mountain Institute


(1) The first 4 are ‘Searching for a Miracle’ (by Richard Heinberg), ‘The Rise and Fall of Global Industrial Agriculture’ (by Debbie Barker), ‘Manifesto on Global Economic Transitions’ (by 25 IFG associates), & ‘The False Promise of Biofuels’ (by Jack Santa Barbara).

Fukushima: The Crisis is NOT Over

I receive a lot of e-mail about nuclear matters. & do fairly frequent postings about nuclear matters, too. It isn’t as though I really want to think about this stuff, it’s rather that I feel compelled to do so. & to pass along some of what I am hearing about.

Here are some recent news item links:

Fukushima: The Crisis is not Over

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Fukushima residents urine now radioactive

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Radiation in Our Food

The ocean around large areas of Japan has been contaminated by toxic radioactive agents including cesium, iodine, plutonium and strontium. These radioactive agents are accumulating in sea life. Fish, shellfish and sea vegetables are absorbing this radiation, while airborne radioactive particles have contaminated land-based crops in Japan, including spinach and tea grown 200 miles south of the damaged nuclear plants. Meanwhile, on U.S. soil, radiation began to show up in samples of milk tested in California, just one month after the plants were damaged. Radiation tests conducted since the nuclear disaster in Japan have detected radioactive iodine and cesium in milk and vegetables produced in California. According to tests conducted by scientists at the UC Berkeley Department of Nuclear Engineering, milk from grass fed cows in Sonoma County was contaminated with cesium 137 and cesium 134. Milk sold in Arizona, Arkansas, Hawaii, Vermont and Washington has also tested positive for radiation since the accident. Additionally, drinking water tested in some U.S. municipalities also shows radioactive contamination. Is the fallout from Fukushima Daichi falling on us? Yes, it is.

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Fukushima children test positive for internal radiation exposure

Traces of cesium-134 and 137 isotopes found in urine tests on 10 children in city near stricken nuclear power plant

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Dr. Helen Caldicott: Fukushima Meltdown Much Worse Than Chernobyl

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Nuclear Power and Women

Decisions on nuclear power, nuclear weapons, nuclear wastes are almost exclusively made by men, yet the brunt of nuclear-caused cancer is suffered by women & children, as is the brunt of nuclear war, & of depleted uranium spread.

Fallout! (do watch this!!) A 13 minute, 60-Minutes video report on Fukushima & Chernobyl

Second Japan Nuke... More Dangerous Than Fukushima? 10 minute video interview with Kevin Kamps of Beyond Nuclear (also a must-see!)

Who Controls the Nuclear Control Agencies? Not as recent an item, but highly relevant still!

Note: Most of these items came from 2 recent issues of the No Nukes News - to which you can subscribe if you wish. Check it out! (& btw, both recent issues have plenty more good items in them!!)

‘Quote of the day’ w. this post: “Anyone who has one iota of a brain or humility could only conclude that nuclear power is insane!” – Anne Hansen

Darl. Hearings: Dr. Baker-Physicians for Global Survival (April 4th)

Good to hear a medical perspective! April 4th transcript here Audio here

Physicians for Global Survival

Darlington New Nuclear Power Plant Project Joint Review Panel

Good morning Mr Chairman, panel members, ladies and gentleman. My name is Dr. Sharon Baker. I have with me two young people and a community member who are also deeply concerned about the future of our planet: Justin and Shawn Hertwig and Don Baker.

Thank you for the opportunity to speak to you today. I am here as a member of Physicians for Global Survival. I have been a physician in Ontario for 26 years. I currently work as a Palliative Care Physician Consultant and Site Chief at University Hospital – London Health Sciences Centre. This includes a position as an assistant professor in the Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry at the University of Western Ontario. I also served for 10 years as an acting Medical Officer of Health in Elgin County.

Physicians for Global Survival is an organization concerned about global health.

I am sure that many of the people in this room have been affected by cancer, whether directly or indirectly. As a Palliative Care Physician, I care for people every day who are actively dying from this devastating disease. Cancer is largely preventable, with education about healthy lifestyle choices and the elimination of toxic substances from our environment.

As a society, Canadians have raised billions of dollars to find a cure for cancer. We walk, run, relay, ride, and row. While these are noble acts, and I applaud these people, still there is no cure. Albert Einstein defined insanity as doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. The insanity needs to end. Our approach to health care has been seriously flawed. We need to move from treating illness, and turn our focus to prevention. April is cancer awareness month. Cancer can be prevented.

Cancer in general is not caused by just one thing - it is multi-factorial. It is the result of the cumulative exposure to carcinogens over time, referred to as a body burden. Carcinogens often work synergistically with one another, to produce cancer. Therefore, the more carcinogens to which a person is exposed over time, the more likely cancer is to develop.

In order to decrease rates of cancer, exposure to known carcinogens must be decreased, period. This is a societal choice.

Radiation is a known carcinogen. This is not debatable. Madame Curie, in her research, taught about radiation, including its potential to be fatal. Exposure to radiation is accumulative. It builds up in biological organisms, including human bodies; the more exposure – the greater the likelihood of getting cancer¹. Humans are constantly exposed to low levels of radiation in the environment, some that can’t be controlled. Attention needs to be directed to what we can control.

Radiation toxicity is accumulative. There is no safe level of radiation exposure. As physicians, we recognize this. We weigh the risk and benefits when ordering X-rays, mammograms, CT scans and radioisotopes. We try to limit exposure to decrease the risk of cancer or genetic defect.

The assignment of “acceptable risk” is completely arbitrary. This approach has more in common with a game of chess, or rolling a dice, than actual science.

Increasing the global burden of radioactivity increases the incidence of cancer. Nuclear technology increases humanity's collective exposure to radiation. The increased risk is not limited to emissions from nuclear reactors themselves. It is also the culmination of all the risks of exposure from processing uranium, the mining, milling and the handling and the management of toxic wastes from all these processes.

Choosing to expand nuclear technology and thus the global burden of radioactivity is like determining that it is acceptable that some people are expendable. That person might be your neighbour, someone in this room or an impoverished aboriginal that you will never meet. Choosing nuclear power puts the sweep of the pen to someone’s or some people’s death sentence. I would not want to live with that responsibility.

The negative impact that uranium mining has upon the environment is gargantuan. The fossil fuel requirements for the mining, milling, refining, enriching and transport of uranium ore are enormous. However, I will only discuss the health risks of radioactivity here.

Uranium miners are exposed to multiple types of excess radiation. This includes a radioactive gas called Radon 220 which is a decay product of uranium. When this is inhaled, it increases the risk of lung cancer.

In the early 20th century, a number of people, primarily women, were employed to paint numbers on watch dials with radium-enriched paint so the numbers would glow in the dark. The women would lick the brushes so that the numbers would be precise. They believed what they were doing was safe. However, many developed painful bone cancers called osteosarcomas, or leukemia, from this radioactive material. This same Radium is also in mines and can be ingested via the dust with the same resulting cancers these watch-makers faced.

The mining of uranium ore results in a destabilized radioactive environment. When mines are abandoned, the water that has been pumped out often re-enters the mine, contaminating the ground water. Milling - extracting uranium from ore - results in further risk of exposure and production of radioactive waste products. These toxic waste products, or tailings, require safe isolation from the environment. In the post-World War II era, in Canada, this sludge was often deliberately dumped directly into our lakes, contaminating the groundwater. Accidental dumping also occurs, as in the 1984 spill of 100 million litres of contaminated liquid at Key Lake, Saskatchewan. Currently, industry is experimenting with ponds and hoping the experiments don’t fail. These tailing ponds will be radioactive, essentially forever. We cannot let our hunger for power be used to excuse leaving a toxic mess for our children to inherit.

The uranium mining industry has still not effectively addressed the issue of contamination that resulted from mines that have been abandoned. For example, contamination remains a problem in the rural community of Deline in the Dene Nation of the North West Territories, and El Dorado at Uranium City in Saskatchewan.

Developing more uranium mining when the unconscionable contamination of the past has not been addressed is a travesty to social justice.

An extensive amount of uranium mining and milling in Canada is done on Aboriginal land, usually without consultation. This a health issue, a human rights issue and a native rights issue.

The nuclear reactors themselves are not innocuous. They are a risk factor for increasing background radiation. Workers are exposed to low dose radiation. The arbitrary figure that has been chosen by many nuclear power facilities as acceptable for worker exposure in one year is equivalent to 400 chest X-rays.

The issue has been studied extensively in Europe. A 15-country collaborative study among workers in the nuclear industry demonstrated that this type of low-dose radiation exposure resulted in a risk of developing cancer that was equal to or greater than the risk of the survivors of the atomic bomb in Japan.

Furthermore, living near a nuclear reactor has been shown irrefutably to increase the risk for children of developing leukemia2. This has been studied extensively in Germany. The closer children live to a nuclear reactor, the more likely they are to develop leukemia before the age of five. There are other toxins in the environment which can cause Leukemia, such as pesticide exposure. Observing clusters of children who have suffered from other toxic exposures does not negate the dangerous effects of living near a nuclear reactor. In fact, the findings of an increase incidence of childhood leukemia are expected. Their parents are more likely to work in the reactor. The chronic radiation levels they are exposed to can affect their sensitive germocytes, resulting in genetic damage. In addition, water containing tritium is released by nuclear power plants into the environment both by planned events and accidentally. On March 16 of this year 73,000 litres of demineralised water was released into Lake Ontario when a pump seal failed at the Pickering Nuclear Power Plant. Tritium is dangerous. It binds with oxygen in water. For biological organisms, including humans, this radioactive water is indistinguishable from normal water, and it becomes incorporated in every cell of the body. Tritium has a half-life of 12 years, meaning it can do damage over a long period of time. Moreover, industry data shows spikes in the local measurements of radioactivity when reactors are opened for refuelling.

Nuclear power generating plants also produce radioactive waste that must be stored and guarded essentially forever. Again, the need and greed for power does not justify leaving a radioactive inheritance for generations to come.

While my focus today has been on cancer, we must not forget that accumulative exposure to radiation also causes other illnesses. It contributes to genetic damage, birth defects, immune system dysfunction, diabetes and heart disease.

This issue cannot be addressed effectively without mentioning the possibility for human error. Accidents happen! With all of the marvellous fail-safes and back-up plans, planes still crash, the Space Shuttle Challenger disintegrated, and patients die from human errors. While accidental leaks of radioactive water are relatively common, serious accidents also happen. There was a significant meltdown of a reactor in Rolphton, Ontario in December, 1952. We have also experienced very serious accidents at Three Mile Island in Pennsylvania in 1979, Chernobyl in 1986, and Tokaimura Japan in 1999. And now our hearts go out to the people of Japan. The accident in Fukushima that began on March 11 is devastating. It humbles us to realize that nature can be relentless and that man-made fail safes can and do fail. People have already died because of this nuclear disaster. Many more will become ill and die. The global burden of radioactivity has increased forever.

While I conclude that the serious risks to Public Health and human life from nuclear technology is indisputable, if doubt did exist we would still be ethically required to follow the “precautionary principle.” The precautionary principle states that if an action or policy has a suspected risk of causing harm to the public or to the environment, in the absence of scientific consensus that the action or policy is harmful, the burden of proof that it is not harmful falls on those taking the action. You have seen that there are many scientists who conclude that nuclear power is unacceptably dangerous. We must implement the precautionary principle. Nuclear power must be phased out. This is the same approach that lead to banning cosmetic pesticides in Ontario and many other provinces.

Beyond error, particularly since 9/11, we have lived with the fear of a terrorist attack. This raises a seldom-mentioned point - the astronomical costs of security. It doesn't take a rocket scientist, or a nuclear physicist, to do the math.

Guarding nuclear reactors and nuclear waste costs society enormously more than protecting wind towers and solar farms.

The risk of a terrorist attack is low; nevertheless, over $100 million is spent annually in this province on special weapons and tactical forces to protect nuclear power plants and the valuable nuclear bomb-making materials contained within.

The nuclear power plant at Darlington is protected by the Nuclear Division of the Durham Regional Police Force. This plant, as Pickering was in January 2010, is to be transferred to the Ontario Power Generation Nuclear Security Branch.

The Bruce Nuclear Generating Station is protected by a privately owned and operated highly trained tactical force larger than the police force of many large Ontario cities.

These tactical team salaries, the extensively high level of training, and the expensive equipment, result in costs that are exorbitant.

The extreme cost of military presence cannot be justified when no other form of power generation requires even a fraction of this defence cost. While the probability of a terrorist attack on a nuclear reactor may be low today, the future is unknown. Public funds are better allocated to health care, education and employing people to fix and repair existing environmental problems. Every dollar wasted on expanding and protecting nuclear technology is a dollar diverted from the development of true green energy.

In conclusion, nuclear power is costly. It is costly to human health, the environment and the taxpayer. Nuclear power is a cancer on society. It increases the global burden of radioactivity and human exposure to radiation. Radiation causes cancer. Developing nuclear power will contribute to untimely deaths. Now is the time to turn our attention to prevention.

Nuclear power should be phased out, not expanded.

Thank you.

Respectfully submitted,

Sharon Baker MD, MCFP

References:

This reference list is incomplete; a complete list can be submitted upon request.

1) BEIR VII (U.S. Academy of Science report on the Biological Effects of Ionizing Radiation) unequivocally states that “no low level of radiation exposure is safe.”

2)Kaatsch P., Kaletsch U., Meinert R., Michaelis J. An Extended Study on Childhood Malignancies in the Vicinity of German Nuclear Power Plants. Cancer Causes Control 1998; 9: 529-33

Hofmann W., Terschueren C., Richardson D. B., Childhood leukemia in the Vicinity of the Geesthacht Nuclear Establishments near Hamburg, Germany. Environmental Health Perspectives 2007; 115: 947-52

Spix C., Schmiedel S., Kaatsch P., Schulze-Rath R., Blettner M. Case-Control Study on Childhood Cancer in the Vicinity of Nuclear Power Plants in Germany 1980-2003. Eur. Journal of Cancer 2008; 44:275-284

Kaatsch P., Spix C., Schulze-Rath R., Schmiedel S., Blettner M. Leukemia in Young Children Living in the Vicinity of German Nuclear Power Plants. Int. J. Cancer 2008; 1220: 721-26

American Cancer Society. Radiation and Cancer. 2010. http://www.cancer.org/Cancer/

CancerCauses/OtherCarcinogens/MedicalTreatments/radiation-exposure-and-cancer.

"Annual General Assembly Resolution No. 17/2008." Assembly of First Nations. 17 July 2008. Web. 21 Feb 2011. <http://64.26.129.156/article.asp?id=4280>

Caldicott, Helen. Nuclear Power is Not the Answer. New York: The New Press, 2006. Print.

Diehl, Peter. Uranium Mining and Milling Wastes: An Introduction.

2010. http://www.wise-uranium.org/indexu.html.

Environmental Protection Agency. “Understanding Radiation: Health Effects.” 2009. www.epa.gov/radiation/understand/health_effects.html.

Goncharova, Roza. "New insight into cancer risks." Institute of Genetics and Cytology: Belarus, IPPNW World Congress. 2010. Web. http://www.ippnw2010.org/fileadmin/user_upload/

Plenary_presentations/Plen4_Slides_Goncharova_Basel_291008.pdf>.

Harding, Jim. Canada's Deadly Secret: Saskatchewan Uranium and the Global Nuclear System. Winnipeg, ON: Fernwood Publishing Company, 2007. Print.

London Police. "2011 Budget." Web. police.london.ca/Headlines/Images/2011LPSBPublic.pdf.

McKay, Paul. Atomic Accomplice: How Canada deals in deadly deceit. 2009. Print.

National Research Council of the National Academies. "Health Risks from Exposure to Low Levels of Ionizing Radiation: BEIR VII Phase 2. 2006."  www.nap.edu/openbook.php?record_id=11340.

"OPG’s Commitment to Security - Safe Station, Safe Community." Ontario Power Generation. Darlington Nuclear Neighbourhood Newsletter, Dec 2010. Web. <http://www.opg.com/community/activities/newsletters/DN%202010-12.pdf>

Tufts, Heather. 2010. “‘Canada, O Canada!’ Uranium Mining and Indigenous Communities: The Impacts of Uranium Mining on Indigenous Communities.” Native Unity Digest.

"Radiation Exposure Information and Reporting System (REIRS) for Radiation Workers." U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission. 12 Feb 2008. Web. <http://www.reirs.com>.

Zielinkski, et al. "Low dose ionizing radiation exposure and cardiovascular disease mortality." Low dose ionizing radiation exposure and cardiovascular disease mortality. Study based on Canadian national dose registry (NDR) of radiation workers. Ottawa, ON, 2010.

[27-33] Web. <http://www.ippnw2010.org/fileadmin/user_upload/Plenary_presentations /Plen4_behar_slides_CHRONIC%20LOW%20DOSE%20RADIATION.pdf>

** Dr. Baker's final Darlington submission can be found here

Fukushima Nuclear Disaster - links

For a person who usually has plenty of words at the ready, I have no idea what to say. Like everyone, I guess, I feel more or less struck dumb. Dumb & numb, I guess...

So I'll just pass along a few links where you can find continual updates on the nuclear situation in Japan.

Beyond Nuclear has tons & tons of info

Nukefree.org does too

Lots of good "Resources on Nuclear Accidents" here

Good compilation here on EcoSanity site

Union of Concerned Scientists - "All things nuclear - Insights on Science & Security."