Monthly Archives: January 2014

Sick animals in the Pacific

There was  recent article in the Voice of Russia which reported that:

According to scientists from the University of California Santa Cruz and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)), who monitor marine animals in the Pacific Ocean, there are signs of low-level radioactivity in California fish. Starfish, Pacific bluefin tunas, sea lions, whales, dolphins, anchovies, and other marine animals either haves mall amounts of radioactive elements from the Fukushima nuclear power plant, or diseases caused by radiation.

The article does not offer a citation.  A Google search of “NOAA and Pacific Ocean” did not turn up any relevant citations.   Is the Voice of Russia lying, or is NOAA involved in a cover-up?

Radiation in health care is dangerous

recent piece in the New York Times states that the biggest danger of radiation may come from “health care.”   the authors comment that:

 cancer rates remain stubbornly high and may soon surpass heart disease as the leading cause of death in the United States. Increasingly, we and many other experts believe that an important culprit may be our own medical practices: We are silently irradiating ourselves to death.  A 2009 study from the National Cancer Institute estimates that CT scans conducted in 2007 will cause a projected 29,000 excess cancer cases and 14,500 excess deaths over the lifetime of those exposed. Given the many scans performed over the last several years, a reasonable estimate of excess lifetime cancers would be in the hundreds of thousands. According to our calculations, unless we change our current practices, 3 percent to 5 percent of all future cancers may result from exposure to medical imaging…

A recent study at one New York hospital found that nearly a third of its patients undergoing multiple cardiac imaging tests were getting a cumulative effective dose of more than 100 millisieverts of radiation — equivalent to 5,000 chest X-rays.

     Many people are rightly concerned about nuclear weapons and nuclear reactors.   The nuclear industry has been most successful in promoting the friendly atom for peaceful purposes in health care.  Yet, all these medical tests have had a significant harm on ourselves.   Every time a head injury, such as a concussion from football or cheerleading, or an auto accident is assessed with a CT scan, that person has increased the risk of getting cancer.   If a doctor orders a radiological study just to be sure, it may be reasonable to decline the test.  Being sure may be contributing factor to cancer.

Stars and Strips: Stricken sailors claim radiation injuries

There was a recent report in Stars and Strips that Congress has asked the Defense Department to look into the plight of the sailors who were on the USS Ronald Reagan, when it was stationed off the coast of Fukushima after the disaster.   They swept up the radioactive snow that fell on the flight deck of the air craft carrier.  Precipitation will bring down the radioactive dust and concentrate the radioactive particles.  There are already 50 who have bee made ill, with many more projected to enter the suit.  By law the sickened soldiers cannot sue the US Government, and are trying to sue TEPCO.  The sailors  will not get any support from the people, the Department of Defense,  who put them into harms way.

ronald reagan

Congress has instructed the Defense Department to launch an inquiry into potential health impacts on Navy first-responders from Japan’s March 2011 earthquake, tsunami and nuclear disaster.  The request, made in the explanatory statement from the House that accompanied the fiscal 2014 budget bill that passed Congress this month, comes as a growing number of sailors and Marines have joined a lawsuit against Tokyo Electric Power Co.  While the instruction is not law, Defense Department officials said that they were taking the request seriously.  “The Department treats reporting requirements included in committee reports seriously and tries to respond to all of them,” Defense Department spokesman Army Lt. Col. Catherine Wilkinson wrote in a statement to Stars and Stripes.

     The Defense Department could probably give a better report if they had not decided there was no problem, and cancelled the  registry, as previously reported on this  blog.    It seems that the Defense Department is more interested in defending the corporations than its own citizens.   I am not comforted that the spokesman said that they will try to respond to all the requests.   Who will defend the sailors from the Defense Department?In this case use of science is being denied because of the political concerns, protecting corporate interests.

Radiation effects found in seals in Alaska

A recent article  reports that cesium levels have risen in seals, and that thyroid cysts have been found for the first time.

In the days and weeks following 3/11, cesium-134 levels were roughly equal to cesium-137 levels. It is highly unlikely that cesium-134 was detected in the seals from the 1990s. If cesium-137 levels were comparable, adding in the cesium-134 means the 2011 seals should have about double the total cesium levels than the seals from the 1990s.  In addition to cesium-134, exposure to short-lived radionuclides like iodine-131 were left out of the discussion. According to official estimates, iodine-131 releases from Fukushima wereestimated to be 10 times higher than cesium-137. Iodine-131 is blamed for causing various thyroid issues in exposed humans. According to the scientists who examined these seals and walrus, thyroid cysts were observed — something that appears to never have been documented before in this area.

No to Jim Hansen’s yes about Nukes.

This blog has reported  on Jim Hansen’s comments in favor of nuclear power.   He has recently gotten some feedback.  In a recent report on Ecowatch:

A total of 311 U.S. and international environmental and clean energy groups said yesterday that, while they respect the climate change work of Dr. James Hansen and three of his academic colleagues, they take strong exception to the notion that nuclear power is the solution to global warming.

It will be interesting to see if Dr Hansen responds.

Increased childhood cancer near nuclear reactor in Wales

There was a recent  article in the Daily Mail (h/t to Harvey) that reported on the increased incidence of childhood cancer in a town in Wales close to a nuclear reactor.   There is a plea for the British to release information, but they have refused to do so.

A Euro MP has called on the Government to release figures after a new study suggested people living near nuclear power stations stood a high risk of developing cancer.  Radiation expert and independent researcher for Green Audit Dr Chris Busby found that children in Chepstow, south Wales, were 11 times more likely to develop myeloid leukaemia than the national average. Chepstow is just five miles from Oldbury nuclear power station on the banks of the River Severn, which has been found to contain high levels of radioactive particles.  South West MEP Michael Holmes, who commissioned Dr Busby’s report, said: “It is imperative that Health Minister Alan Milburn releases data on all cancer incidence down to ward levels as a matter of grave public concern.  “How many more clusters will have to be discovered before this government recognises that its existing models do not address the environmental causes of cancer, particularly the regular, permitted radioactive discharges from nuclear power stations such as Oldbury?  “It’s possible the authorities know this is a much bigger threat then they are letting the public know – that’s why they don’t let the figures out.  “If the data Dr Busby had access to is correct and his mapping is correct it casts grave doubt on the view that nuclear power is safe.”

There seems to be an ongoing coverup of the dangers of living near reactors, even if they do not have catastrophic failures.

Nuclear reactor to heat environment

An article about the nuclear reactor at Morris, Illinois, (h/t to Leslie) reports that nuclear reactors are quite useful for warming up the environment.  This issue has been reported previously on this blog.   It seems that they were having ice dams on the river, and flooding was threatened.   They turned to the local nuke, and used their thermal discharge to make the ice go away.

The Will County Emergency Management Agency is siphoning the water from the station’s cooling pond to lower the risk of ice jams forming on the Kankakee River. Will County began siphoning the water Jan. 11 and will continue the process through Jan. 25.   “During the recent cold weather, a significant amount of ice has developed along many portions of the river,” said Harold Damron, EMA director, in a news release. “This icing can form ice jams, which can cause serious flooding and damage to structures on the banks of the river. The warm water from Dresden’s pond helps to break up the ice and move it down the river.”