#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?

 

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#Indigenous Elders and Medicine Peoples Council Statement on #Fukushima

From: Indigenous Action Media

Indigenous Elders and Medicine Peoples Council Statement on Fukushima

View the original statement with signatures here (PDF): COUNCIL_FUKUSHIMA_STATEMENT_OCT_2013.

Council Statement
This statement reflects the wisdom of the Spiritual People of the Earth, of North and South America, working in unity to restore peace, harmony and balance for our collective future and for all living beings. This statement is written in black and white with a foreign language that is not our own and does not convey the full depth of our concerns.

The Creator created the People of the Earth into the Land at the beginning of
Creation and gave us a way of life. This way of life has been passed down
generation-to-generation since the beginning. We have not honored this way of
life through our own actions and we must live these original instructions in order
to restore universal balance and harmony. We are a part of Creation;
thus, if we break the Laws of Creation, we destroy ourselves.
We, the Original Caretakers of Mother Earth, have no choice but to follow and uphold
the Original Instructions, which sustains the continuity of Life. We recognize our
umbilical connection to Mother Earth and understand that she is the source of life, not a
resource to be exploited. We speak on behalf of all Creation today, to communicate an
urgent message that man has gone too far, placing us in the state of survival. We warned
that one day you would not be able to control what you have created. That day is here.
Not heeding warnings from both Nature and the People of the Earth keeps us on the path
of self destruction. This self destructive path has led to the Fukushima nuclear crisis, Gulf
oil spill, tar sands devastation, pipeline failures, impacts of carbon dioxide emissions and
the destruction of ground water through hydraulic fracking, just to name a few. In
addition, these activities and development continue to cause the deterioration and
destruction of sacred places and sacred waters that are vital for Life.
Powerful technologies are out of control and are threatening the future of all life
The Fukushima nuclear crisis alone is a threat to the future of humanity. Yet, our concern
goes far beyond this single threat. Our concern is with the cumulative and
compounding devastation that is being wrought by the actions of human beings around
the world. It is the combination of resource extraction, genetically modified organisms,
moral failures, pollution, introduction of invasive species and much much more that are
threatening the future of life on Earth. The compounding of bad decisions and their
corresponding actions are extremely short-sighted. They do not consider the future
generations and they do not respect or honor the Creator’s Natural Law. We strongly
urge for the governmental authorities to respond with an open invitation to work and
consult with us to solve the world’s problems, without war. We must stop waging war
against Mother Earth, and ourselves.
We acknowledge that all of these devastating actions originated in human beings who are
living without regard for the Earth as the source of life. They have strayed from the
Original Instructions by casting aside the Creator’s Natural Law. It is now critical for
humanity to acknowledge that we have created a path to self destruction. We must restore
the Original Instructions in our lives to halt this devastation.
The sanctity of the Original Instructions has been violated. As a result, the Spiritual
People of the Earth were called ceremonially to come together at the home of the Sacred
White Buffalo Calf Pipe Bundle. These Spiritual Leaders and those that carry great
responsibility for their people from both North and South America came together with the
sacred fire for four days at the end of September 2013 to fulfill their sacred
responsibilities. During this time it was revealed that the spirit of destruction gained its’
strength by our spiritually disconnected actions. We are all responsible in varying
degrees for calling forth this spirit of destruction, thus we are all bound to begin
restoring what we have damaged by helping one another recover our sacred
responsibility to the Earth. We, the Original Caretakers of Mother Earth, offer our
spiritual insight, wisdom and vision to the global community to help guide the actions
needed to overcome the current threats to all life.
We only have to look at our own bodies to recognize the sacred purpose
of water on Mother Earth. We respect and honor our spiritual relationship
with the lifeblood of Mother Earth. One does not sell or contaminate their
mother’s blood. These capitalistic actions must stop and we must recover
our sacred relationship with the Spirit of Water
The People of the Earth understand that the Fukushima nuclear crisis continues to
threaten the future of all life. We understand the full implications of this crisis even with
the suppression of information and the filtering of truth by the corporate owned media
and Nation States. We strongly urge the media, corporations and Nation States to
acknowledge and convey the true facts that threaten us, so that the international
community may work together to resolve this crisis, based on the foundation of Truth.
We urge the international community, government of Japan and TEPCO to unify efforts
to stabilize and re-mediate the nuclear threat posed at the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear
power plant. To ensure that the Japanese government and TEPCO are supported with
qualified personnel and information, we urge the inclusion of today’s nuclear experts
from around the world to collaborate, advise and provide technical assistance to prevent
further radioactive contamination or worse, a nuclear explosion that may have
apocalyptic consequences.
The foundation for peace will be strengthened by restoring the Original Instructions in ourselves
Prophecies have been shared and sacred instructions were given. We, the People of the
Earth, were instructed that the original wisdom must be shared again when imbalance
and disharmony are upon Mother Earth. In 1994 the sacred white buffalo, the giver of
the sacred pipe, returned to the Lakota, Dakota and Nakota people bringing forth the
sacred message that the winds of change are here. Since that time many more
messengers in the form of white animals have come, telling us to wake up my children. It
is time. So listen for the sacred instruction.

All Life is sacred. We come into Life as sacred beings. When we abuse the
sacredness of Life we affect all Creation
We urge all Nations and human beings around the world to work with us, the Original
Caretakers of Mother Earth, to restore the Original Instructions and uphold the
Creator’s Natural Law as a foundation for all decision making, from this point forward.
Our collective future as human beings is in our hands, we must address the Fukushima
nuclear crisis and all actions that may violate the Creator’s Natural Law. We have
reached the crossroads of life and the end of our existence. We will avert this potentially
catastrophic nuclear disaster by coming together with good minds and prayer as a global
community of all faiths.
We are the People of the Earth united under the Creator’s Law with a sacred covenant to
protect and a responsibility to extend Life for all future generations. We are expressing
deep concern for our shared future and urge everyone to awaken spiritually. We must
work in unity to help Mother Earth heal so that she can bring back balance and harmony
for all her children.
Representatives of the Council

Chief Arvol Looking Horse
19th Generation Keeper of the Sacred White Buffalo Calf Pipe
Spiritual Leader
The Great Sioux Nation

Bobby C. Billie
Clan Leader and Spiritual Leader
Council of the Original Miccosukee
Simanolee Nation Aboriginal Peoples

Faith Spotted Eagle, Tunkan Inajin Win
Brave Heart Society Grandmother/Headswoman & Ihanktonwan Treaty Council
Ihanktonwan Dakota from the Oceti Sakowin

 

About that Chalk River Fiasco…

Remember the thoroughly abusive Stephen Harper knifing at Linda Keen over the nuke facility at Chalk River? Well, now there’s some interesting stuff written about the Chalk River reactor. This pdf, from Dr. Gordon Edwards, President of the Canadian Coalition for Nuclear Safety, for example, with the following preamble:

Background:

I have recently completed a document related to the relicensing of Canada’s Chalk River Laboratories.

It is addressed to the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission and is a submission to CNSC on behalf of the Concerned Citizens of Renfrew Country.

I have entitled it “Canada’s Nuclear Sacrifice Area” for public consumption, although this title was not included on the CNSC submission.

It includes some eye-opening material on the NRU reactor and the production of medical radioisotopes at Chalk River.

Gordon Edwards.

Safety research on nuke burial plan lags by decades

My favourite part in the story below is this bit regarding the public outcry about the lack of “adequate scientific backing” for the radioactive-waste facility slated for Ontario.

“The big motivation here is to bury OPG’s biggest public relations problem – which is radioactive waste . . . . They want to move ahead with building new nuclear reactors, and they need to be able to say they’ve solved the radioactive waste problem.”

Ted Gruetzner, spokesman for Ontario Power Generation, plays down such talk.

“They’re an anti-nuclear group who have an anti-nuclear bent,” he says. “It’s kind of what you expect them to say.”

Well, DUH!  That’s some response.  Attack the messenger is such a valid argument, eh?  Whadda crock o’shite!

Being the poet, I am interested in the phrase “nuclear sacrifice zone” which indicates that a certain portion of land around Kincardine has already been contaminated and suggests that the industry may as well further contaminate it.  That kind of thinking is not at all good for Mother Earth!

The Canadian Press: Safety research on nuke burial plan lags by decades

Safety research on nuke burial plan lags by decades

OTTAWA — As plans progress for a radioactive-waste site buried deep in Ontario limestone, the federal nuclear watchdog says the related safety research is full of holes.

Ontario Power Generation wants a licence by 2012 to bury low-to intermediate-level radioactive waste at its Bruce nuclear plant near Kincardine, Ont.

It’s the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission’s job to approve or reject that application.

But environmental critics and geoscientific experts are asking how the federal regulator can credibly assess crucial safety issues – especially when the commission itself says it lacks up-to-date, independent research.

Moreover, specific guidelines to oversee the project have yet to receive final federal approval.

“Compared to the European countries, research in Canada on geological disposal in sedimentary rocks is lagging behind by decades,” the nuclear regulator says in background documents for a contract recently awarded to hydrogeologist Kent Novakowski through Queen’s University.

In the next three years, he will gather the latest research from countries including France and Japan, along with studies commissioned in Kincardine by Ontario Power Generation (OPG).

Novakowski, who has worked as a consultant for OPG, will study the extent to which radioactive contaminants could be diffused through tiny pores in the 680 metres of sedimentary limestone under which they’re to be buried.

“What we want to do is assess realistically what the likelihood or the travel time might be for a contaminant to reach a potential receptor (such as) somebody who’s drinking the water at the surface, or it could be discharged into a stream or something like that,” he said in an interview.

The Bruce station, built between 1970 and 1987, is one of the biggest nuclear facilities in North America. It can power much of Toronto, Ottawa, Kingston, Hamilton, London and Thunder Bay.

It also produces radioactive waste that until now has been stored in sealed casks onsite.

The subterranean repository for those materials would be split into two wings: one for low-level radioactive garbage in sealed boxes, the other for intermediate-level items such as plastic resins and liners.

OPG is expected to argue before the federal regulator that its own seismic and geochemistry studies suggest the site has been stable for centuries with only prehistoric water migration.

Environmental groups and First Nations in the region aren’t sold.

The Citizens Environmental Alliance last June gave OPG the dubious 2008 Weenie Award for environmental degradation. It blasted the giant utility for planning the repository so close to Lake Huron – a precious freshwater resource.

“Once a facility like this is built it is more than likely going to be the permanent site” for nuclear waste from across Canada, alliance research and policy director Derek Coronado said at the time.

“Any contamination of the Great Lakes and we’re all in serious trouble.”

Environmental activists want more focus on renewable energy sources such as wind and solar power.

Shawn Patrick Stensil, energy and climate campaigner for Greenpeace, says the environmental assessment for the underground site is a cart-before-the-horse process that can’t be completed by 2012.

“There’s no way we will have adequate scientific backing for this project by the time OPG would like to complete the environmental assessment.”

The nuclear safety commission knows more about the kind of granite found in the Canadian Shield than the sedimentary rock at the Bruce location, concedes Patsy Thompson, the regulator’s director general for environmental and radiation protection.

But she insists the safety commission isn’t starting from scratch. “Essentially what we’re doing is complementing the expertise that we have,” she said.

“We know what the waste is, we know its characteristics, we know how it behaves, and we have experience in terms of management of waste in similar situations. It’s a huge project but it’s not something that we have no experience with.”

Stensil argues that Kincardine was chosen not because it’s ideal but because it’s already “a nuclear sacrifice zone” hitched to the industry’s wagon.

“The big motivation here is to bury OPG’s biggest public relations problem – which is radioactive waste . . . . They want to move ahead with building new nuclear reactors, and they need to be able to say they’ve solved the radioactive waste problem.”

Ted Gruetzner, spokesman for Ontario Power Generation, plays down such talk.

“They’re an anti-nuclear group who have an anti-nuclear bent,” he says. “It’s kind of what you expect them to say.”

He cites a range of studies being done on a project encouraged by local mayors and residents – thousands of whom rely on jobs linked to the power plant.

“There isn’t the concern in the community that may be expressed by people who don’t live close and haven’t taken the time to really understand what we’re proposing. That being said, we have said from the very start that the reason that you do these scientific studies is that you can then make a rational decision – and based on scientific facts.

“And if it’s not a safe project to proceed, then we won’t proceed.”

Gruetzner confirmed no other sites are being considered for the repository. “The site was chosen because that’s where this material has been stored since the reactors have been operating.”

Novakowski, the Queen’s professor commissioned to work on behalf of the federal nuclear watchdog, concedes his prior work for OPG could raise questions.

The reality is that only a small pool of scientists are trained for such research – and they tend to share their expertise with governments, the nuclear industry and critics alike, he said.

“It could be argued that I might favour OPG because I would be afraid of losing contractual work with them again,” Novakowski said.

“I guess the response would be: this is no different than any of the other research contracts that I have . . . anywhere between 10 to 15 at a time. I work extensively for the Ministry of the Environment, for example. They support about a third of my graduate students.”

He has also been asked to do some work on behalf of concerned First Nations in the Kincardine area.

Copyright © 2008 The Canadian Press. All rights reserved.