Two radioactive goldfish were found swimming in a juice pitcher of nuclear reactor water in an underground steam tunnel at an Ohio power plant. Investigators are baffled as to how the radioactive fish remained unnoticed in the ‘secure’ facility.
May 16, 2013

Investigators from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and officials of the plant, which is operated by FirstEnergy Corp., have been looking through surveillance tapes to try to identify who was responsible for leaving the radioactive goldfish in the tunnel on May 2.

They believe one of the 700 employees and contractors who work at the plant smuggled the fish into the facility, Jennifer Young, spokeswoman for FirstEnergy Corp., told AP. The fishy tale has served as an embarrassment for the plant, which has already come under scrutiny for a case in which four contractors were exposed to life-threatening hard radiation in 2011. The plant has also been scutinized for a serious lack of security.

“Last year, Perry got into trouble with the NRC about weaknesses preventing unauthorized access to the plant,” David Lochbaum, a spokesman at the Union of Concerned Scientists, told The Plain Dealer. “Goldfish are not authorized to be inside the tunnel, yet they were there. And Perry cannot determine how they got there or who put them there.”

Officials believe the goldfish were taken through the front door and likely hidden in a plastic bag in a worker’s pocket. All workers are required to pass through security, which detects metal and bombs but not fish and water. Investigators believe the fish were left unnoticed in the tunnel for several days before scaffolding crews discovered them and filed a report.

But despite looking through surveillance tapes for more than a week, little progress has been made in identifying the perpetrator(s). “While we continue to look at the video for evidence, identifying folks in the video has been challenging,” Young told AP.

Both of the 1 ½-inch-long fish died shortly after their discovery, but officials at the plant claim that neglect and starvation may have been the cause – not radiation. Chemists found that the fish were admitting small amounts of radiation, but not enough to put anyone at risk, including the fish. “They did not have exposure to enough radioactivity to hurt them,” Young told The Plain Dealer.  “It was probably due to lack of care before they got to the plant. The radiation could not have killed them.”

Lochbaum said the story might sound funny to some, but that smuggling live animals into the plant shows a serious lack of security. The story has caused some to recall an episode of the “Simpsons” in which Blinky, an orange fish, has a third eye due to his exposure to radiation.

“What might be an amusing account of misplaced goldfish today could become tomorrow’s nightmare story if someone with an axe to grind, another Timothy McVeigh type, places a bomb instead of two goldfish in Perry,” Lochbaum told The Plain Dealer, referring to the 1995 bombing of the Oklahoma City federal building.

Source

Navajo Nation battles uranium corporations, nuclear industryMay 10, 2013
Since European settlers first arrived on this continent, they set out to accumulate as much wealth and land as humanly possible. Their reign of terror on the indigenous populations —destructive of land, culture and entire communities—was the basis for immense fortunes that spurred the global economy and advancing capitalism.
This struggle, now over 500 years in the making, is ongoing on many fronts, including the Navajo Nation’s current battle over U.S. companies’ uranium extraction.
In early 2013, uranium companies approached the Navajo Nation in hopes they will allow them to renew mining operations on their land. These companies claim that they have developed newer and safer methods for extracting uranium, after decades of environmental destruction and abuse led the Navajo Nation to officially ban their mining.
This decades-long battle for environmental justice is part and parcel of the struggles for workers’ rights and Native self-determination, and against the forces of militarism and capitalism.
Exploitation of Navajo lands
The Navajo Nation sits on 27,425 square miles in the four corners area of the southwestern United States. The area holds a vast amount of uranium ore and thus has become a center in the struggle over nuclear energy and weaponry.
Since the end of World War II, and the onset of the so-called Cold War, the U.S. government began mining uranium domestically in order to not rely on foreign supplies. Uranium is one of the most common naturally occurring radioactive metals on the planet, and was understood as essential for the development of nuclear weapons and technology.
Due to the unique geology and consistent climate of the Southwest, mining companies saw the Navajo reservation as the most profitable site to open mining operations in the 1940s. In 1948, the United States Atomic Energy Commission declared it would be the sole purchaser of all uranium mined in the country, initiating a mining boom of private companies and contractors who knew they had a guaranteed buyer.
Of the thousands of uranium mines, 92% were located in the Colorado Plateau on which the Navajo Nation is located. Between 1944 and 1986 approximately 4 million tons of uranium ore was mined from Navajo Tribal land.
In the early days of mining, Navajo people flocked to the low-wage work given the scarcity of jobs around the reservation. The Navajo workers dealt with racist bosses and coworkers while going into the most dangerous and undesirable jobs at lesser pay. Nonetheless, after Navajo Code Talkers’ had famously contributed to U.S. forces in World War II, many Navajo workers believed they had a patriotic duty and responsibility to the United States.
Mineworkers were also lied to about the dangers of Radon poisoning.
Full article

Navajo Nation battles uranium corporations, nuclear industry
May 10, 2013

Since European settlers first arrived on this continent, they set out to accumulate as much wealth and land as humanly possible. Their reign of terror on the indigenous populations —destructive of land, culture and entire communities—was the basis for immense fortunes that spurred the global economy and advancing capitalism.

This struggle, now over 500 years in the making, is ongoing on many fronts, including the Navajo Nation’s current battle over U.S. companies’ uranium extraction.

In early 2013, uranium companies approached the Navajo Nation in hopes they will allow them to renew mining operations on their land. These companies claim that they have developed newer and safer methods for extracting uranium, after decades of environmental destruction and abuse led the Navajo Nation to officially ban their mining.

This decades-long battle for environmental justice is part and parcel of the struggles for workers’ rights and Native self-determination, and against the forces of militarism and capitalism.

Exploitation of Navajo lands

The Navajo Nation sits on 27,425 square miles in the four corners area of the southwestern United States. The area holds a vast amount of uranium ore and thus has become a center in the struggle over nuclear energy and weaponry.

Since the end of World War II, and the onset of the so-called Cold War, the U.S. government began mining uranium domestically in order to not rely on foreign supplies. Uranium is one of the most common naturally occurring radioactive metals on the planet, and was understood as essential for the development of nuclear weapons and technology.

Due to the unique geology and consistent climate of the Southwest, mining companies saw the Navajo reservation as the most profitable site to open mining operations in the 1940s. In 1948, the United States Atomic Energy Commission declared it would be the sole purchaser of all uranium mined in the country, initiating a mining boom of private companies and contractors who knew they had a guaranteed buyer.

Of the thousands of uranium mines, 92% were located in the Colorado Plateau on which the Navajo Nation is located. Between 1944 and 1986 approximately 4 million tons of uranium ore was mined from Navajo Tribal land.

In the early days of mining, Navajo people flocked to the low-wage work given the scarcity of jobs around the reservation. The Navajo workers dealt with racist bosses and coworkers while going into the most dangerous and undesirable jobs at lesser pay. Nonetheless, after Navajo Code Talkers’ had famously contributed to U.S. forces in World War II, many Navajo workers believed they had a patriotic duty and responsibility to the United States.

Mineworkers were also lied to about the dangers of Radon poisoning.

Full article

Tens of thousands of Taiwanese have protested to demand that the government scrap a $10 billion nuclear power plant slated to begin operating in two years.
March 9, 2013

Saturday’s protests were held in four cities. Many protesters chanted “We must not put the future of our children up for a vote.”

The government says halting the project could lead to electricity shortages and has proposed a public referendum to resolve the issue. But at least half of the eligible voters need to vote for a referendum to pass, which activists say will work against them.

Taiwan’s opposition party has long opposed nuclear power, and public caution over nuclear safety has risen following the 2011 nuclear disaster in Japan.

Source

America’s most contaminated: Radioactive waste leaks into northwestern river 
February 23, 2013

Radioactive waste is leaking from six underground tanks at America’s most-contaminated facility in Washington, the state’s government announced on Friday. Just how much toxic stew got into the Columbia River’s underground basin is unclear.

The leak at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation has so far not posed an immediate health risk to the public, Governor Jay Inslee said, because it will take a long time, years perhaps, for the waste to reach the groundwater. But the leakages have not been stopped yet.

The US Department of Energy spokeswoman Lindsey Geisler promised federal officials will to collaborate with Washington State to deal with the emergency.

US Senator Ron Wyden from Oregon, who chairs the Senate’s Energy and Natural Resources Committee, said that “This should represent an unacceptable threat to the Pacific Northwest for everybody. There are problems that have to be solved, and the Department of Energy cannot say what changes are needed, when they will be completed, or what they will cost.”

The troubled Hanford nuclear facility is situated very close to the border of Wyden’s native Oregon State.

The US Department of Energy had earlier said that toxic radioactive liquid level was decreasing in one of the 177 tanks at south-central Washington’s Hanford Nuclear Reservation. The leakage was estimated in between 150 to 300 gallons (560-1,100 liters) a year, posing a real threat to groundwater and rivers in the region, state officials acknowledged.

Monitoring wells near the tank have not detected higher radiation levels, AP reported.

After the news about the leakage made into the headlines Governor Inslee visited Washington, DC, for consultations with federal officials, where he learnt that actually six tanks were leaking.

He called the development of things as “disturbing” and promised to “vigorously pursue” a course of new actions “in the next several weeks.”

America’s most contaminated facility

Established in 1943 as part of the Manhattan Project, the Hanford Nuclear Reservation facility was constructed very quickly on the bank of Columbia River holds millions of liters of a highly-radioactive stew left from decades of plutonium production for nuclear weapons. All of the radioactive waste storage tanks at Hanford Nuclear Reservation are long past their intended 20-year lifespan.

Those tanks have a long story of unreliability. The documentary ‘Waste: The Nuclear Nightmare’ by filmmaker Eric Guéret and producer Laure Noualhat, filmed in 2009, maintained that the first leakages were registered in 1960s and by now up to 67 out of 177 tanks with radioactive waste have failed. An estimated nearly-4,000 tons of liquid radioactive waste have contaminated the environment over the decades as a result.The water from the Columbia River has always been used in technological cycle at the Hanford nuclear facility. The systems’ pumps used river water to cool down reactors and then returned it to the river.In 2002 test of Columbia River fish exposed presence of radioactive Strontium 90 in samples.

In spite of the leakage problem reported as being fixed in 2005, the latest developments exposed that “only a narrow band of measurements’ was evaluated, acknowledged Inslee. This means that falls in the levels of radioactive waste in the tanks is an established fact, but nobody knows exactly how much the levels have been changing over time.

“It’s like if you’re trying to determine if climate change is happening, only looking at the data for today,” he said, calling it a “human error”. In any case, the most important thing at the moment is“to find and address the leakers,” the governor pointed out.

The overall quantity of radioactive waste in the tanks is estimated at 200,000 tons, enough to fill dozens of Olympic swimming pools. The quantity of solid radioactive waste piled there is close to 710,000 cubic meters.

A work for future generations

Governor Jay Inslee insists the Hanford Nuclear Reservation must be cleaned of radioactive waste, which would take decades and cost billions of dollars.

Washington is already allocating for Hanford site $2 billion annually, actually a third of the national nuclear clean-up budget. But as the latest emergency expose this money is definitely not enough to ensure radioactive contamination security.A new report entitled ‘2013 Hanford Lifecycle Scope, Schedule and Cost’ by the US Department of Energy estimates the remaining environmental cleanup at Hanford at $114.8 billion, a step up from 2012’s $112 billion forecast. The DOA promises to increase the annual clean-up budget at Hanford to over $3 billion.At such a pace the operation will possibly continue till 2070 with post-clean management needed till 2090. And costs usually tend to increase with lengthy projects.

America’s nuclear ordnance workshop

The site, near the town of Hanford in south-central Washington, used to be home to the B Reactor, the world’s first full-scale weapon-grade plutonium production reactor.

Plutonium produced at the facility was used in the first nuclear bomb, tested at the Trinity site, as well as in the Fat Man, the 21-kt bomb detonated over Nagasaki, Japan.Several reactors commissioned at the Hanford facility produced most of plutonium (57 tons) for the American nuclear arsenal (60,000 warheads and bombs at the peak). Production continued for over 40 years and was stopped in 1987.The site was constructed in what was considered a poorly-populated mountain area, but today there is a Tri-City metropolitan area (towns Richland, Kennewick and Pasco) just miles downriver from the facility. The population of the metropolitan area exceeded 250,000 as of the 2010 census. There are also at least six Native American reservations situated close to the site.The new project of the US Energy Department implies constructing a plant that will transfer all of the radioactive liquid at the Hanford facility into glasslike logs for secure storage. But the estimated $12.3 billion cost of the factory has surpassed the budget by billions of dollars already and lags behind schedule. The new program is expected to be operable no earlier than in 2019.Meanwhile the authorities have to utilize a limited budget to build additional tanks to prevent an environmental disaster until the new technology is in place.

Source

With no way to process it, US will bury 70,000 tons of nuclear waste
February 3, 2013

With two decades to go before it can reprocess spent nuclear fuel, the US will have to bury nearly 70,000 tons of it, a research lab reports. It comes after Congress and the Obama administration defunded a planned nuclear waste repository in 2011.

The Oak Ridge National Laboratory, a facility that does research for the Department of Energy (DOE), said that “about 68,450 [metric tons] or about 98 percent of the total current inventory by mass, can proceed to permanent disposal without the need to ensure retrievability for reuse or research purposes” in its report, published near the end of 2012. The rest of the waste, the report said, could be kept available for research on fuel reprocessing and storage.

The report was fairly obscure until being cited in a DOE document that showed plans to find a new permanent waste dump after Congress and the Obama administration cut funding for the Yucca Mountain repository in 2011.

Reprocessing has little support in Washington due to concerns that spent fuel could fall into the wrong hands. Nevertheless the DOE started looking into reprocessing methods in 2005.

But following the March 2011 disaster at Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, US officials became wary of recycling radioactive waste. The Blue Ribbon Commission on America’s Nuclear Future, co-chaired by Energy Secretary Steven Chu, said that “no currently available or reasonably foreseeable reactor and fuel cycle technology developments — including advances in reprocessing and recycling technologies — have the potential to fundamentally alter the waste management challenges the nation confronts over at least the next several decades, if not longer” in a report.

Reprocessing was not taken off the table following the report, though, with American officials saying it was “premature for the United States to commit, as a matter of policy, to ‘closing’ the nuclear fuel cycle given the large uncertainties that exist about the merits and commercial viability of different fuel cycle and technology options.”

The method is seen as a dangerous cash grab by anti-nuclear activists.

“Recycling is a euphemism for reprocessing which is one of the worst polluters of the atmosphere and the ocean, and is a direct conduit to proliferation,” Mali Martha Lightfoot, executive director of the Helen Caldicott Foundation, told Forbes. “It is not really a solution to anything except how can the industry get more of our money. It also ups the ante for reactor accident danger, as in the case of Fukushima, because MOX fuel has plutonium in it.”

So-called MOX fuel, short for mixed-oxide, is used in nuclear warheads and usually consists of a mix of plutonium and uranium. 

The stock of used nuclear fuel currently held at 79 temporary locations in 34 US states “is massive, diverse, dispersed, and increasing,” according to the Oak Ridge report.

Source

The People’s Record Daily News Update - Whose news? Our news!

November 15, 2012 

Here are some stories you may not otherwise read about today:

  • The hacktivist group Anonymous has expressed anger at Israel, saying that Israel has crossed a line in the sand by threatening to destroy access to the internet and other telecommunications in Gaza. Anonymous’ online statement warned the Israeli government: “Like all the other evil governments that have faced our rage, you will not survive it unscathed.”

Follow us on Tumblr or by RSS feed for more daily updates. You can also like our Facebook page for related content. 

Nuclear protest storm reaches Chennai, India
October 29, 2012
The anti-nuke storm hit Chennai on Monday, with more than 10,000 people opposed to the Kudankulam atomic power project gathering for a siege of the Fort St George on the Marina seafront, home to the secretariat. 
The protest was called by political parties and outfits who have joined hands with the People’s Movement Against Nuclear Energy (PMANE), demanding the closure of the Kudankulam plant and withdrawal of cases against activist S.P. Udayakumar and others. They are also seeking the revocation of prohibitory orders clamped around the nuclear site.
Despite a security blanket that had been thrown in and around the city, volunteers and cadres of MDMK, VCK and various other outfits had managed to sneak in large numbers since Sunday night. 
The leaders addressed the rally before proceeding to lay a siege which was foiled by the police. Before being taken in a police van, Vaiko charged the central and state governments with ignoring the genuine safety concerns of the coastal communities in southern Tamil Nadu. 
This is the second time that anti-nuke protesters have put on a show of strength in the city. The police detained about 3,000 people who were released in the evening.
Source

Nuclear protest storm reaches Chennai, India

October 29, 2012

The anti-nuke storm hit Chennai on Monday, with more than 10,000 people opposed to the Kudankulam atomic power project gathering for a siege of the Fort St George on the Marina seafront, home to the secretariat. 

The protest was called by political parties and outfits who have joined hands with the People’s Movement Against Nuclear Energy (PMANE), demanding the closure of the Kudankulam plant and withdrawal of cases against activist S.P. Udayakumar and others. They are also seeking the revocation of prohibitory orders clamped around the nuclear site.

Despite a security blanket that had been thrown in and around the city, volunteers and cadres of MDMK, VCK and various other outfits had managed to sneak in large numbers since Sunday night. 

The leaders addressed the rally before proceeding to lay a siege which was foiled by the police. Before being taken in a police van, Vaiko charged the central and state governments with ignoring the genuine safety concerns of the coastal communities in southern Tamil Nadu. 

This is the second time that anti-nuke protesters have put on a show of strength in the city. The police detained about 3,000 people who were released in the evening.

Source

The People’s Record Daily News Update

October 25, 2012 

Here are some stories you may not otherwise hear about today: 

On Wednesday, the Post revealed that the kill-list unearthed earlier this year is being updated to be included in a greater “disposition matrix” that helps the White House figure out how to carry clandestine strikes on insurgence and when and where they may require the help from outside agencies from allied nations.

Follow us on Tumblr or by RSS feed for more daily updates. 

Media blackout on chicken in Iran to prevent social upheaval
July 23, 2012
Iran, a country rich in oil with no need for nuclear power, has nevertheless sacrificed Iranian delicacies like chicken to build nuclear plants. NOTE: This is not valid justification for America to invade and destroy millions more lives/inflict immeasurable suffering onto the Iranian people.
After Iran’s national Police Chief Esmail Ahmadi recently felt it necessary to address the nation’s “chicken crisis,” public emotion has flown the coup, ultimately leading to the banning of televised images of people eating chicken, according to a Rueters report.
The soaring price for the culinary common that Iranians relish cooked with saffron, plums or pomegranates has become a simmering public debate, as international nuclear sanctions take hold of the Iranian economy.
Ahmadi urged television stations to avoid broadcasting images of people eating chicken, saying such pictures could fire up social tensions, with perhaps unforeseen consequences. “Certain people witnessing this class gap between the rich and the poor might grab a knife and think they will get their share from the wealthy,” Mehr news agency quoted him as saying.
Apparently, one way of identifying “the wealthy” in Iran is too spot them enjoying some chicken nuggets prepared with saffron. As Iran’s economy withers under erratic government management and international sanctions imposed over the country’s disputed nuclear program, food and fuel prices have the public clucking increasingly louder over the past 18 months.
As a reaction to Ahmadi-Moghaddam’s words, Mana Neyestani, a leading Iranian cartoonist, published a cartoon on “chicken story” (above). The text in the cartoon depicts a father scolding his son, saying:

“How many times have I told you not to watch a film with chicken in it.”

Photo source
Source

Media blackout on chicken in Iran to prevent social upheaval

July 23, 2012

Iran, a country rich in oil with no need for nuclear power, has nevertheless sacrificed Iranian delicacies like chicken to build nuclear plants. NOTE: This is not valid justification for America to invade and destroy millions more lives/inflict immeasurable suffering onto the Iranian people.

After Iran’s national Police Chief Esmail Ahmadi recently felt it necessary to address the nation’s “chicken crisis,” public emotion has flown the coup, ultimately leading to the banning of televised images of people eating chicken, according to a Rueters report.

The soaring price for the culinary common that Iranians relish cooked with saffron, plums or pomegranates has become a simmering public debate, as international nuclear sanctions take hold of the Iranian economy.

Ahmadi urged television stations to avoid broadcasting images of people eating chicken, saying such pictures could fire up social tensions, with perhaps unforeseen consequences. “Certain people witnessing this class gap between the rich and the poor might grab a knife and think they will get their share from the wealthy,” Mehr news agency quoted him as saying.

Apparently, one way of identifying “the wealthy” in Iran is too spot them enjoying some chicken nuggets prepared with saffron. As Iran’s economy withers under erratic government management and international sanctions imposed over the country’s disputed nuclear program, food and fuel prices have the public clucking increasingly louder over the past 18 months.

As a reaction to Ahmadi-Moghaddam’s words, Mana Neyestani, a leading Iranian cartoonist, published a cartoon on “chicken story” (above). The text in the cartoon depicts a father scolding his son, saying:

“How many times have I told you not to watch a film with chicken in it.”

Photo source

Source