#Nuclear Obfuscation?

West coast people might be wondering about this horrible headline from Counterpunch:
A Global Threat

Fukushima Fallout Damaged the Thyroids of California Babies

by CHRIS BUSBY

A new study of the effects of tiny quantities of radioactive fallout from Fukushima on the health of babies born in California shows a significant excess of hypothyroidism caused by the radioactive contamination travelling 5,000 miles across the Pacific. The article will be published next week in the peer-reviewed journal Open Journal of Pediatrics.

 

Counter that with this and one can see how people might be torn:

Ontario nuclear reactor shutdown triggers medical isotope shortage

HELEN BRANSWELL

TORONTO — The Canadian Press

An unplanned shutdown of the aging Chalk River nuclear reactor has the country on the verge of a major shortage of medical isotopes, the president of the Canadian Association of Nuclear Medicine said Friday.

Dr. Norman Laurin said the forced shutdown of production at the Chalk River facility comes at a time when two of the world’s three other major producers of medical isotopes are also out of operation.

 

The Doctor incorrectly identifies the problem as being the shutdowns.  A thorough reading of the Canadian Coalition for Nuclear Responsibility’s documents suggests that the  larger problem is AECL.  Before nuclear fission was discovered, there were other ways to make the radioisotopes necessary for imaging.

…radio-isotopes have been used in nuclear medicine, industry and scientific research, for a very long time, starting around 1900 — half a century before the first nuclear reactors were built.

At first, the radio-isotopes utilized were naturally-occurring ones such as radium-226, radium-224, radon-222, polonium-210, tritium (hydrogen-3), carbon-14, et cetera. Even today, “radium needles” and “radon seeds” are used to shrink cancerous tumours, and polonium-210 is used in industrial devices to eliminate static electricity. These naturally occurring radioactive substances have nothing to do with the operation of nuclear reactors.

Later, in the 1940s, when the first particle accelerators were built (beginning with the cyclotron of Ernest Lawrence in California) a host of artificial radio-isotopes became available — produced not by the fissioning of uranium, not by neutron bombardment inside a nuclear reactor, but simply by colliding a beam of accelerated subatomic particles with various target materials.

And as Politics’n’Poetry has discussed in the past, other new, non-nuclear ways have since been developed.  But the  nuclear industry’s stranglehold on the market prevails.

Politics’n’Poetry has discussed the Chalk River facility in the past.  Visitors may want to refresh their memories regarding it.  Of particular interest is the paper presented  by Dr. Gordon Edwards to the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission, the body that licenses reactors.  Have these been addressed?  Ask your MP.

It seems there’s a shortage of isotopes every time the aging facility has to shut down.  Isn’t it time to invest in alternatives?

 

Saskatchewan exports death

Jim Harding documented the uranium trail to the deathfields of Iraq in his book, Canada’s Deadly Secret .  The Dominion now reports on increased birth defects and cancers in the children of Iraq:

“Cancer, Infant Mortality and Birth Sex-Ratio in Fallujah, Iraq 2005-2009,” a report in the July 2010 issue of the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, compared data gathered in Fallujah to data from the Middle East Cancer Registry. The infant death rate in Fallujah during the period of study (2005-2009) was found to be four times the rate in Egypt and Jordan and nine times the rate in Kuwait. Furthermore, the death rate in Fallujah has increased in recent years; and “the results for cancer show some alarming rates in the five-year period. Relative risk based on the Egypt and Jordan cancer rates are significantly higher for all malignancy, leukaemia lymphoma, brain tumours and female breast cancer.”

It points to Saskatchewan uranium:

The authors of the report, though cautious in identifying the cause of the high rates of defects, deaths and cancers, concluded by drawing attention to the use of DU in armaments used by invading US forces. The report states their study does not identify the agent(s) causing the increased levels of illness, they wish to draw attention to presence of DU as one potentially relevant agent.

The largest single source of uranium for the US military is Saskatchewan, according to a 2008 article by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA).

We sold our uranium to the USA.  They used it.

Not only was the US using Saskatchewan uranium for DU munitions during its occupation of Iraq, but as late as 1990 Canada was itself processing DU which was then being sent to a US weapons manufacturer. A section of the 1970 Treaty in the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) prohibits the sale of Canadian uranium for use in weaponry.

But do we care?

Overlooked by most Canadian media, the medical study from Fallujah adds to mounting evidence for a global ban on the production of DU munitions, and to considering their use a war crime.

No, we let them die and live off the revenues of our death-inducing exports.

Fuck, sometimes I hate being from SK!

Poster:  SK targeted for nuke dump -- say NO

Cameco, poisoning minds and kids

Not only is Cameco  poisoning northern Saskatchewan through its uranium mining practices, but it is also poisoning the minds of children who happen to take in the Much More Munsch display at the Children’s Discovery Museum in Saskatoon.  As corporate sponsor Cameco gets to demonstrate how generous it is to the community while in the north it contaminates plants and wildlife, lakes and rivers, the earth and its people.

Interestingly, Munsch’s publicist claims Munsch has nothing to do with that traveling display.  How Munsch can possibly extricate himself from the merchandizing and characterizing around it is beyond me!  The brochure for the display even thanks him and Martchenko (his illustrator) for their collaboration on it!  After several emails, I’ve decided to quit trying to understand it, to boycott Munsch, and to post this here.

In other Cameco news, today we learn that the company is also going to poison China, by increasing sales to that country so that the Chinese government can fuel  a reactor in order to meet China’s increased energy demands.

Cameco Corp., the world’s second- largest uranium producer, agreed to supply the fuel to China Guangdong Nuclear Power Holding Co. through 2025 to meet rising demand in the world’s fastest-growing nuclear market.

Cameco plans to sell 29 million pounds of uranium concentrate to China Guangdong Nuclear, subject to the approval of the Chinese government, the Saskatoon, Saskatchewan-based company said in a statement yesterday. That’s equivalent to about 13,000 metric tons.

I guess we can call it fair if kids in both countries are poisoned, eh?

Child cancer risk higher near nuclear plants: study

This is something not carried on major newscasts when it was released in December 2007. Of course, Canada had its own nuclear issues going on then. From the inbox:

Gordon Edwards wrote:


I have been told that this German study was carefully carried out with a very large population living in the vicinity of 16 nuclear power plants. According to my source, there was a statistically significant correlation between cancer/leukemia among children under 5 and their proximity to (or distance from) a nuclear power plant. Moreover, this correlation remained significant when any one nuclear plant was taken away and the other 15 were studied. Thus the results are the strongest ever obtained, and the methodology was, according to all reports, exemplary.

.

Child cancer risk higher near nuclear plants: study

Sat Dec 8, 2007

BERLIN (Reuters) – A German study has found that young children living near nuclear power plants have a significantly higher risk of developing leukemia and other forms of cancer, a German newspaper reported on Saturday.

“Our study confirmed that in Germany a connection has been observed between the distance of a domicile to the nearest nuclear power plant …. and the risk of developing cancer, such as leukemia, before the fifth birthday,” Suddeutsche Zeitung newspaper quoted the report as saying.

The newspaper said the study was done by the University of Mainz for Germany’s Federal Office for Radiation Protection (BFS). A copy of the report was not immediately available.

The researchers found that 37 children within a 5-kilometer (3-mile) radius of nuclear power plants had developed leukemia between 1980 and 2003, while the statistical average during this time period was 17, the paper said.

The newspaper cited an unnamed radiation protection expert familiar with the study who said its conclusions understated the problem. He said the data showed there was an increased cancer risk for children living within 50 kilometers of a reactor.

The statement of the expert external panel is here.

The background to the study is here.

Thar be munnee in that thar yeller stuff!

From cradle to grave, there’s big bucks in the nuclear cycle:

From the National Post:

“We think that Fronteer should have a steady flow of exploration results through the year that may act as catalysts for the share price,” he wrote in a note.

Fronteer is teamed up with Teck Cominco Ltd. in Turkey and Newmont Mining Corp. in Nevada, giving it a pair of established partners. It also holds a 42% stake in Aurora Energy Resources inc., which has made significant uranium discoveries in Labrador. Mark O’Dea is chief executive of both companies.

“We think that using Fronteer as a vehicle to invest in Aurora is reasonable,” Mr. Schatzker noted.

From Investment U:

The yellow stuff that drives almost every reactor in the world – uranium – has reached a supply gap that dwarfs the wildest dreams of the most successful oil or coal investors. In fact, worldwide uranium demand already exceeds supply by 139%, and it could take a decade or more before mines are able to crank up production.

No wonder prices have jumped almost 500% in five years, from just $7 a pound in 2000 to well over $40 today. But with demand, especially from China, outstripping supply by tens of millions of pounds a year with no end in sight, prices should continue to skyrocket.

So how can you invest in this burgeoning market? This report will show you three proven strategies for investing in uranium to maximize your profit potential.

According to MSNBC:

Areva already makes $2.2 billion in revenues a year on treating and recycling waste. The plant at Beaumont-Hague takes in 22,000 tons of spent nuclear fuel a year, from France, Japan, Germany, Switzerland, Belgium, the Netherlands, Italy and Australia. The foreign fuel by law must be returned to its owners once it has been reprocessed into a more stable form that — through lack of alternatives — is buried or held in storage.

Meanwhile, children the world over suffer from inadequate healthcare.