8 Weeks Later, The Chalk River Scandal Emerges in the MSM

On Dec. 13, when I read Dr. Dale Dewar’s email message in response to my query regarding medical isotopes, the message in which she asked if anyone else smelled a rat, I certainly had no idea just how big the rat actually was!

Well! It is about time the true story about the Chalk River Scandal came out in the mainstream media and in the House of Commons! On Monday, January 28, the French language newspaper, Le Devoir [Google translation] reported that the isotope crisis was manufactured, based on research which included conversations with officials at nuclear reactors in Europe.

Other papers and politicians must have been waiting for something like this because they have jumped on board!

…New Democrat MP Catherine Bell said her own research is consistent with the newspaper’s findings. She said she found European isotope suppliers that were ready and willing to step into the breach.

Moreover, she said, experts told her “there was a shortage but it was not a life and death shortage.”

All of which raises the question: “Was this a manufactured crisis?”

Bell said it appears the government wanted to get rid of Keen. It may also have been trying to protect “the financial position” of MDS Nordion, the private company that supplies the isotopes produced at Chalk River.

“Their bottom line had to be protected as well. If we have to buy these isotopes from somewhere else, then it affects them.”

Remember MDS Nordion was about to face significant financial losses. And the Cons are nothing if they are not friends of business!  They’re definitely not friends of civil servants.

Yesterday was Linda Keen’s day before a Parliamentary committee, a day she was able to defend her actions and clarify her (now former) role as President of Canada’s nuclear regulator. Her clarity on the point that it was not her job to either obey the Minister or consider the need for medical isotopes needed to heard!

It seems that Members of Parliament are now beginning to see that they were hoodwinked by the Harperites. Mind you, had any of them or any reporters spoken with the head of nuclear medicine at Yale, they’d have learned a lot sooner that there was no medical isotope crisis and that the Harper government created it to suit its own purposes, whatever those may be.

Thanks to Dave, JimBobby and Impolitical for keeping on top of this while I have been fighting with my ‘puter and preparing for a 3-week writing get-away!

Uranium harmful: another study

Folks may be interested in this technical paper looking at the question of whether uranium can act as an endocrine disruptor. Conclusion of 34 page study:

Our data supports the conclusion that uranium is an endocrine disrupting chemical and populations exposed to environmental uranium should be followed for increased risk of fertility problems and reproductive cancers.

But that doesn’t matter to those who want more, more, more. In fact, with the multinational medical corporations now into uranium, it seems to me they are creating the need for their medical equipment.  That’s an ideal situation, for a corporation.

GE Plans Partnerships With Uranium Miners for Nuclear (Update4)
By Lars Paulsson

Jan. 17 (Bloomberg) — General Electric Co., the world’s biggest maker of power-generation equipment, plans to form partnerships with uranium companies to develop its nuclear business and improve access to the fuel that runs reactors.

GE’s atomic unit is holding talks with “several miners, millers and converters” to find partners after agreeing last year to use a new technology from Australia’s Silex Systems Ltd. to expand into fuel enrichment, said Andrew White, chief executive officer of GE Nuclear in Wilmington, North Carolina.

“We’re in serious conversations, and I think we will do something in the first half of this year,” White said today in an interview in London. He wouldn’t name the companies, citing confidentiality agreements. “Obviously, if we’re going into enrichment, we need the feedstock.”

General Electric, competing with companies including Areva SA, the world’s biggest builder of reactors, and Toshiba Corp.’s Westinghouse Electric Co., is developing its nuclear business into a more integrated company with reactors, servicing and fuel supply, to some extent mirroring France’s Areva.

“Any good customer we’re willing to get into bed with,” said Peter Farmer, chief executive officer of Denison Mines Corp., a Toronto-based uranium miner, who wouldn’t say whether his company is in specific discussions. “In our case, it just makes sense to offset some of the risk of going into a new mine.”

Potential Partners

General Electric may be talking with Cameco Corp., Areva or ConverDyn, the only uranium converter in the U.S., Max Layton, an analyst with Macquarie Bank Ltd. in London, said today in a telephone interview. They are the main Western producers, he said. Converters refine the uranium by turning it into a gas before it’s enriched.

Nuclear Guardianship: We Need to Know

What we need to know as responsible citizens and what we need our politicians, the law-makers, to know

The Nuclear Guardianship Library

is intended to contribute to the political, technical and moral understandings required to keep radioactive materials from further contaminating the biosphere, in order to protect present and future generations.  We hope to provide opportunities for ongoing, in-depth discussion among citizens, specialists, and policy makers on the responsible care of radioactive materials.

The moral issues remain the same.

 Our most enduring legacy to future generations will be the radioactive materials generated over the last fifty years by nuclear power and weapons production, including structures and equipment contaminated at every step of the fuel cycle as well as all categories of waste. The toxicity of these materials, with their proven capacity to cause cancers, immune diseases, birth disorders, and genetic mutation, constitutes an unprecedented and monumental assault on organic life. To safeguard ourselves and future generations, all these contaminants must be kept out of the biosphere now and for thousands of years.

We who are living now, whether “pro-nuclear” or “anti-nuclear,” need to consider together how we are to isolate the radioactive materials we have produced. We need to consider our responsibility for their ongoing containment, and the immediate steps this guardianship requires of us.

A People’s Policy on Radioactive Waste  (Draft July 23, 2002)

PREAMBLE

The amount and danger of long-lasting environmental poisons produced in recent decades is unprecedented in human history. Since the beginning of the nuclear age, policy regarding all levels of radioactive waste has been set by the nuclear industry, the military and governments. Monetary gain, secrecy and militarism have consistently taken precedent over concerns about intergenerational equity, environmental and public health and spiritual well-being.

Any policy regarding nuclear waste must begin with an immediate halt to its production.

Future survival requires that we take full responsibility for nuclear waste and keep it within our sphere of control. Policy decisions must consider the health, safety and habitat of ALL living things and recognize the need for this most dangerous substance to be completely isolated from the environment for as long as it remains hazardous.

Presently, there is no scientifically sound, environmentally just or democratically defined solution to the disposal or storage of radioactive waste. Yet each day approximately ten tons of high-level radioactive waste (HLRW) is generated, which is one million times more radioactive than the original fuel. It is insanity to continue to use nuclear reactor technology that benefits only one or two generations while creating poisons that will threaten the next 12,000.