Saint Louis Radioactive Rainfall 133x Greater Than Background Radiation

Breaking News: We are running out of time

Posted by Mochizuki

Within the 30km zone surrounding the Fukushima dai-ichi power plant, there is a certain amount of despair setting in regarding the question of whether or not residents will ever be able to return to their homes. Serious problems remain. “In reactor three, which suffered a meltdown, fuel rods containing plutonium perforated the bottom of the containment and embedded themselves in the basement of the building. Just where and how far the plutonium travelled, no one quite knows”. (political commentator Jirou Honzawa)

On the tenth of August, LDP party and Diet member Seiichi Murakami posed the question of the whereabouts of the plutonium to the budget steering committee of the lower house, but neither Minister of health, Labour and Welfare Ritsuo Hosokawa nor his fellow ministers were able to provide an answer.

The day after the question, Jirou Honzawa interviewed the member Murakami. “The plutonium is certainly buried deep within the basement, but where exactly is anyone’s guess, and no one is able to pin it down. Obviously, the ocean is right next to the facility, so there’s no question that underground water is flowing into the sea. TEPCO is absolutely avoiding checking this out, and the government and the mass media are keeping a tight lid on this whole stinking mess.

Immediately after the accident, when it was announced that low-level contaminated water was to be discharged into the ocean, Murakami raised the possibility than contaminants might be carried far past the Alutian archipelago and possibly reach as far as San Francisco. however the government was unable to provide a compelling rebuttal. “Contamination of the ocean is continuing steadily. The scary thing is that unlike cesium, plutonium has a half life of 24,000 years, longer than anyone can fully comprehend. That’s how long this pollution of the ocean will continue, and if we don’t come to grips with this one way or another, we are going to fall afoul of international law. Those countries affected by the oceanic contamination are going to demand damages, aren’t they? But of course the government is preoccupied with short-term concerns, and are failing to get a handle on the situation.” (Honzawa)

Explosion at French nuclear plant of Marcoule

Explosion at French nuclear plant of Marcoule

Map

One person has been killed and four injured, one seriously, by an explosion at the southern French nuclear plant of Marcoule.

There were no radioactive leaks after the blast, caused by a fire near a furnace in a radioactive waste storage site, a French nuclear official said.

A security perimeter has been set up because of the risk of leakage.

The plant produces MOX fuel, which recycles plutonium from nuclear weapons, but does not include reactors.

It is a major site involved with the decommissioning of nuclear facilities.

The Centraco treatment centre belongs to a subsidiary of national electricity provider EDF.

The explosion hit the plant at 1145 local time (0945 GMT).

“For the time being nothing has made it outside,” said a spokesman for France’s Atomic Energy Commission (CEA).

Marcoule, one of France’s oldest nuclear plants, is located in the Gard department in Languedoc-Roussillon region, near France’s Mediterranean coast.

Nuclear energy provides more than 70% of France’s energy needs.

All the country’s 58 nuclear reactors have been put through stress tests in recent months, following the disaster at Japan’s Fukushima nuclear plant which was hit by an earthquake and tsunami.

EDF’s share prices fell by more than 6% as news of the blast emerged.

Fukushima Crisis Is Still Hazy

Fukushima Crisis Is Still Hazy

Chaos and bureaucracy hamper assessment of nuclear crisis

By David CyranoskiGeoff Brumfiel and Nature magazine

Scientific American

Schools such as this one in Fukushima City are a high priority for clean-up effortsImage: REUTERS/N. HAYASHI/GREENPEACE

Tatsuhiko Kodama began his 27 July testimony to Japan’s parliament with what he knew. In a firm, clear voice, he said that the Radioisotope Center of the University of Tokyo, which he heads, had detected elevated radiation levels in the days following the meltdown of three reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear powerstation. But when it came to what wasn’t known, he became angry. “There is no definite report from the Tokyo Electric Power Company or the government as to exactly how much radioactive material has been released from Fukushima!” he shouted.

Kodama’s impassioned speech was posted on YouTube in late July and has received nearly 600,000 views, transforming him into one of Japan’s most visible critics of the government. But he is not alone. Almost six months after an earthquake and tsunami triggered the meltdowns, other researchers say that crucial data for understanding the crisis are still missing, and funding snags and bureaucracy are hampering efforts to collect more. Some researchers warn that, without better coordination, clean-up efforts will be delayed, and the opportunity to measure the effects of the worst nuclear accident in decades could be lost. Kodama and a handful of Japanese scientists have become so frustrated that they are beginning grassroots campaigns to collect information and speed the clean-up.

Since the crisis began, the Tokyo Electric Power Company and the Japanese government have churned out reams of radiation measurements, but only recently has a full picture of Fukushima’s fallout begun to emerge. On 30 August, the science ministry released a map showing contamination over a 100-kilometer radius around the plant. The survey of 2,200 locations shows a roughly 35-kilometer-long strip northwest of the plant where levels of caesium-137 contamination seem to exceed 1,000 kilobecquerels per square metre. (After the 1986 Chernobyl disaster in Ukraine, areas with more than 1,480 kilobecquerels per square metre were permanently evacuated by the Soviet authorities. In Japan, the high-radiation strip extends beyond the original forced evacuation zone, but falls within a larger ‘planned evacuation zone’ that has not yet been completely cleared.)

Exposure estimates
Japan’s Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency has also published new estimates of the total radiation released in the accident, based on models that combine measurements with what is known about the damage to the reactors. The latest figures, reported to the International Atomic Energy Agency in June, suggest that the total airborne release of caesium-137 amounts to 17% of the release from Chernobyl (see map). The government estimates that the total radiation released is 7.7 × 1017 becquerels, 5–6% of the total from Chernobyl.

Yet “there are still more questions than definite answers”, says Gerald Kirchner, a physicist at Germany’s Federal Office for Radiation Protection in Berlin. High radiation levels make it impossible to directly measure damage to the melted reactor cores. Perhaps the greatest uncertainty is exactly how much radiation was released in the first ten days after the accident, when power outages hampered measurements. Those data, combined with meteorological information, would allow scientists to model the plume and make better predictions about human exposure, Kirchner says.

Several measurements suggest that some evacuees received an unusually high dose. Five days after the crisis began, Shinji Tokonami, a radiation health expert at Hirosaki University, and his colleagues drove several hundred kilometres from Hirosaki to Fukushima City, taking radiation measurements along the way. The results indicate that evacuees from Namie, a town some 9 kilometres north of the plant, received at least 68 millisieverts of radiation as they fled, more than three times the government’s annual limit (http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/srep00087).

Sounding the Alarm About Dirty Bomb Material Falling Into Libyan “Al Qaida” Hands

[I watched the headline change from "IAEA Official" to the current title.]

Nuclear experts warn of Libya “dirty bomb” material

A Libyan rebel walks in the Bab Al-Aziziya compound in Tripoli, August 23, 2011. REUTERS/Louafi Larbi

By Fredrik Dahl

VIENNA | Wed Aug 24, 2011 8:59am EDT

(Reuters) – A research center near Tripoli has stocksof nuclear material that could be used to make a “dirty bomb,” a former senior U.N. inspector said on Wednesday, warning of possible looting during turmoil in Libya.

Seeking to mend ties with the West, Libya’s Muammar Gaddafi agreed in 2003 to abandon efforts to acquire nuclear, chemical and biological weapons — a move that brought him in from the cold and helped end decades of Libyan isolation.

A six-month popular insurgency has now forced Gaddafi to abandon his stronghold in the Libyan capital but continued gunfire suggests the rebels have not completely triumphed yet.

Olli Heinonen, head of U.N. nuclear safeguards inspections worldwide until last year, pointed to substantial looting that took place at Iraq’s Tuwaitha atomic research facility near Baghdad after Saddam Hussein was toppled in 2003.

In Iraq, “most likely due to pure luck, the story did not end in a radiological disaster,” Heinonen said.

In Libya, “nuclear security concerns still linger,” the former deputy director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said in an online commentary.

Libya’s uranium enrichment program was dismantled after Gaddafi renounced weapons of mass destruction eight years ago. Sensitive material and documentation including nuclear weapons design information were confiscated.

But the country’s Tajoura research center continues to stock large quantities of radioisotopes, radioactive waste and low-enriched uranium fuel after three decades of nuclear research and radioisotope production, Heinonen said.

Refined uranium can have civilian as well as military purposes, if enriched much further.

“DANGEROUS” MATERIAL

“While we can be thankful that the highly enriched uranium stocks are no longer in Libya, the remaining material in Tajoura could, if it ended up in the wrong hands, be used as ingredients for dirty bombs,” Heinonen, now at Harvard University, said.

“The situation at Tajoura today is unclear. We know that during times of regime collapse, lawlessness and looting reign.”

A so-called dirty bomb can combine conventional explosives such as dynamite with radioactive material.

Experts describe the threat of a crude fissile nuclear bomb, which is technically difficult to manufacture and requires hard-to-obtain bomb-grade uranium or plutonium, as a “low probability, high consequence act” — unlikely but with the potential to cause large-scale harm to life and property.

But a “dirty bomb,” where conventional explosives are used to disperse radiation from a radioactive source, is a “high probability, low consequence act” with more potential to terrorize than cause large loss of life.

“There are a number of nuclear and radiological materials at Tajoura that could be used by terrorists to create a dirty bomb,” said Mark Fitzpatrick, a director at the London-based International Institute for Strategic Studies think-tank.

There was no immediate comment from the IAEA on the Tajoura facility. A document posted on the IAEA’s website said it was a 10 megawatt reactor located 34 km (20 miles) east of the Libyan capital.

The Vienna-based U.N. agency has been involved in technical aid projects in Libya, including at Tajoura.

Heinonen said Libya’s rebel Transitional National Council would need to be aware of the material at Tajoura. Once a transition takes place it should “take the necessary steps to secure these potentially dangerous radioactive sources.”

Fitzpatrick said the looting that occurred at Iraq’s Tuwaitha center “should stand as a lesson for the need for nuclear security precautions in the situation today in Libya.”

(Editing by Mark Heinrich)

Tokyo Radiation Hot Spots

Our Nationwide Soil Testing Project has begun!

As our first work of our Nationwide Soil Testing Project, we tested soil samples from 150 areas in the Tokyo metropolitan area. This project is the first unified investigation on the diffusion of radioactive particles in the metropolitan area including Tokyo, Chiba, Saitama, Kanagawa, and Ibaraki prefectures, whereas the national and local governments are separately performing their investigations.

Local participants of this project collected soil samples from their preferred locations, and sent them to the same laboratory to test radioactive particles (Iodine-131, Cesium-134, and Cesium-137.) As a result, we discovered that the radioactive fallout in the metropolitan area was quite significant. Some of the extremely high numbers show that there are severely contaminated “hotspots” within the city.

We would be continuing our soil testing project on a nationwide level, to then bring actual ideas and actions to prevent the various effects of radiation.

Nationwide Soil Testing Project(PDF)
Nationwide Soil Testing Project Map(PDF)

Belarus calls off joint nuclear fuel swap programs with USA

Belarus calls off joint nuclear fuel swap programs with USA

Belarus calls off joint nuclear fuel swap programs with USA

Belarus calls off joint nuclear fuel swap programs with USA

© RIA Novosti. Ruslan Krivobok

MINSK. August 19 (RIA Novosti)

Belarus has suspended a joint program for exchange of highly enriched nuclear fuel with the U.S. in response to additional economic sanctions imposed by Washington, Belarusian Foreign Affairs Ministry spokesman Andrey Savinykh said on Friday.

The additional economic sanctions imposed by the USA are out of tune with our cooperation,” he said. “Belarus has decided to put a halt to the joint programs for the exchange of highly- enriched nuclear fuel. These programs were created at the initiative of the American Energy Ministry whose goal was to reduce global threats. The creation of an MBA program at Belarus State university will be stopped as well” Savinykh said.

“We could take other response actions as well,” Savinykh said, adding Belarus will be maintain material fuel security in accordance with its international non-proliferation obligations.

“We can reestablish cooperation if the USA stops imposing economic sanctions on Belarus and restore bilateral relations,” Savinykh said.

Belarus regards the U.S. sanctions as groundless and illegal. “These politically motivated actions,” he said.

The U.S. and the EU imposed sanctions against Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko, as well as other officials and companies over the crackdown on the opposition following presidential elections last December.

On August 11, the U.S. imposed additional sanctions against four major Belarusian state-owned enterprises.

Lukashenko granted pardons on August 11 to nine of several dozen people convicted of taking part in the mass anti-government protests, but the list of pardoned protesters does not include six former presidential candidates serving jail terms from two to five and a half years.

Giant Circus Tent Being Erected At Fukushima As Barrier From Future Leaks or “Blasts”?

Giant tent to go up over Japan nuclear reactor

By ERIC TALMADGE

TOKYO — The operator of Japan’s damaged Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant is building a huge tent to cover one of the worst-hit reactors, officials said Friday.

Officials hope the cover will keep radioactive materials that have already leaked from spreading, prevent rainwater seepage and offer a barrier from possible leaks or blasts in the future.

The tent is being erected to provide a temporary replacement for the No. 1 reactor’s outer housing shell, which was destroyed in an explosion caused by high pressure the day after Japan’s deadly earthquake and tsunami on March 11.

Construction of the tent and its foundation began this week, Koji Watanabe, a spokesman for the power utility, said Friday.

The work couldn’t begin until now because the location was too dangerous for workers to operate in.

The tent is made up of airtight polyester. It will stand 177 feet (54 meters) tall and stretch 154 feet (47 meters) in length. It is held up by a metal frame.

Tokyo Electric Power Co. officials have struggled to come up with ways to mitigate the dangers from the plant since the disaster struck five months ago, sending reactors into meltdowns, releasing radiative particles into the environment and causing the world’s world nuclear crisis since Chernobyl in 1986.

Work at the plant has been hindered by the continuing threat of radiation to workers.

Earlier this month, TEPCO said an area where potentially lethal levels of radiation were detected near Unit 1 has been sealed.

It said radiation exceeded 10 sieverts — 40 times the highest level allowed for an emergency workers to be exposed to — at two locations near a duct connected to a ventilation stack. The area required no immediate work and was closed off.

If the tent over reactor No. 1 proves successful, similar coverings will be constructed over other reactors on the plant. The areas around the other reactors are also highly risky to work in.

The tent is expected to be completed by the end of September, Watanabe said.

India reveals massive uranium discovery

India reveals massive uranium discovery

No details were released on the quality of the material in Tumalapalli, a key factor as other uranium mined in India has been inferior to imports being procured from France, Kazakhstan, Russia and elsewhere. – Reuters Photo

NEW DELHI: A new mine in south India could contain the largest reserves of uranium in the world, a government official said in remarks reported Tuesday, signalling a major boost for the energy-hungry nation.

The Tumalapalli mine in Andhra Pradesh state could provide up to 150,000 tonnes of uranium, Srikumar Banerjee, secretary of the Department of Atomic Energy, told reporters after a four-year survey of the site was completed.

“It’s confirmed that the mine has 49,000 tonnes of ore, and there are indications that the total quantity could be three times that amount,” Banerjee was quoted as saying in The Times of India.

“If that be the case, it will become the largest uranium mine in the world,” he said.

Previous estimates suggested that only about 15,000 tonnes of uranium would be produced at the mine, which is due to start operating by the end of the year.

No details were released on the quality of the material in Tumalapalli, a key factor as other uranium mined in India has been inferior to imports being procured from France, Kazakhstan, Russia and elsewhere.

“The new findings would only augment the indigenous supply of uranium. There would still be a significant gap. We would still have to import,” Banerjee was quoted as saying in an Indian newspaper.

India gets less than three per cent of its energy from atomic power and it hopes to raise the figure to 25 per cent by 2050.

The government has been seeking new supplies of uranium, which is refined into nuclear fuel, but it has been consistently rebuffed by major exporter Australia as India has not signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

The Empire’s Nuclear Double-Cross of India

Reversing the logic of the nuclear deal

ANIL KAKODKAR

File photo of Tarapur atomic power station. The NSG waiver for India does not affect the commerce related to nuclear reactors and their fuel supplies, it appears to shut doors on commerce related to enrichment and reprocessing technologies. Photo: V.V.Krishnan    The Hindu

The recently reported decision of the Nuclear Suppliers’ Group (NSG) on additional restrictions for transfer of ENR (enrichment and reprocessing) technologies with adherence to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) being a condition for transfer has caused huge unease in India. It negates the positive and forward-looking orientation with respect to ENR issues that was built into bilateral and multilateral agreements developed as a part of development of our international civil nuclear cooperation. The NSG waiver for India now seems to have been circumscribed. While this does not affect the commerce related to nuclear reactors and their fuel supplies and our rights to reprocess and recycle used fuel, it appears to shut doors on commerce related to enrichment and reprocessing technologies. The United States, Russia, and France have issued statements reiterating their adherence to understandings with India. One would only hope that this does not amount to doublespeak and the NSG waiver in respect of the NPT condition that was granted to India earlier remains undiluted in respect of ENR transfers as well. The statements of these countries are far from being explicit in this respect.

India is a responsible country with advanced nuclear technologies. Indian capability is comprehensive and covers the entire nuclear fuel cycle, including enrichment and reprocessing. Understandings embedded in our international civil nuclear cooperation arrangements are premised on sustained access to international commerce for facilities that we place under International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) safeguards. At some stage, we would set up reprocessing plants to reprocess used fuel arising from reactors under IAEA safeguards. Similarly, we could set up enrichment plants for enriching imported uranium under IAEA safeguards to feed our growing programme. Such plants, if they have to be under IAEA safeguards, must have the benefits of international commerce and not denied that access. That we have our own technological capability in respect of these technologies cannot be an argument to allow others to reverse the positive and forward-looking sentiment built into our understandings.

Reprocessing and recycle (particularly in fast reactors) of used fuel from nuclear reactors enables extraction of several tenfolds larger carbon-dioxide-free energy from a given amount of uranium. Reprocessing is thus the key to nuclear energy, addressing the twin challenge of sustainable global energy supply as well as mitigating the threat of climate change. Claims made about the capability of available uranium to meet global energy needs, in once-through mode, for a long enough time are true only in the context of the current rate of consumption, which is primarily in rich countries with more or less stabilised energy supply needs. They are not true in the context of the rapidly growing energy needs of countries in the developing world. A closed fuel cycle involving reprocessing is thus a key necessity. Concerns on ENR technologies arise because they handle large quantities of weapon usable material in loose form. To meet the needs of the energy-hungry world and make the energy benefits more widely accessible, such technologies should be in responsible hands and technological solutions worked out to minimise the proliferation concerns. Simply depending on inspection and policing regimes and placing additional restrictions on ENR technologies, though necessary, could in fact jeopardise the larger contribution of nuclear energy to sustainable development and bring the climate change-related threat closer. We need to realise that restricting access to fuller carbon-free nuclear energy potential could present far greater risks to humankind eventually.

During the Bush regime, restrictions were sought to be placed on transfer of ENR technologies to countries that do not have them already. This would have limited the spread of these sensitive technologies, with India remaining eligible for their transfers, as we already have our own technology in this area. The latest NSG decision has changed the logic completely: it essentially targets India as we are the only country outside the NPT eligible for nuclear transfers.

For us, a closed fuel cycle involving reprocessing of uranium and thorium has been an integral part of our policy from the beginning of our nuclear energy programme. While our interest in thorium arises primarily due to the huge energy potential that thorium provides for us, it is now becoming increasingly clear that the thorium fuel cycle also offers several advantages with respect to proliferation resistance. Since thorium by itself does not have a fissile component, it needs initial fissile inputs. Enriched uranium with thorium makes for an efficient fuel that could produce as much energy from mined uranium and leads to used fuel that can be recycled with a much-reduced proliferation risk. Uranium enrichment has thus a special significance in the context of the thorium-based proliferation-resistant fuel cycle as well. Given the present comprehensive capability and the rapid pace towards reaching the full objectives of the three-stage programme, Indian developmental efforts could well be a part of the solution the world is so desperately seeking. While we have a well-defined programme ahead of us for setting up reactors as well as fuel cycle facilities to support a growing power programme, progressively these technologies would evolve towards large-scale thorium utilisation. This programme being somewhat unique would anyway have to be evolved by us on our own. However, the inherent proliferation-resistant features of thorium that are of wider interest should have led to greater interest in collaboration with India. That somehow does not seem to be the case, at least for the present.

There is also a question of supply of other hardware and equipment not specifically concerning ENR technologies to enrichment and reprocessing plants that India might set up under IAEA safeguards. Clearly, there could be a number of alternative approaches to configuring such plants. Denial of a specific hardware or equipment cannot be allowed to jeopardise a mutually satisfactory resolution between the IAEA and India to ensure the safeguardability of such plants.

We live in an interdependent world where the terms of engagement depend upon how strong and capable you are. We have an ongoing mission to expand the share of nuclear energy in our energy mix to meet our rapidly growing energy needs and to reduce carbon intensity in our energy production. With the framework for international civil nuclear cooperation and the key provisions that are already in place, we can accelerate that process keeping our strategic interests intact. We however need to exercise caution and due diligence at every specific step as we negotiate the establishment of nuclear power plants with France, Russia, the U.S., and possibly others and as we do so, also press for adherence to the letter and spirit of our understandings.

There is also the question of NSG membership in the air. It would be strange if India were to become a member of a group that denies us cooperation on the basis of the NPT.

(Dr Anil Kakodkar, an eminent nuclear scientist, is a former Chairman of India’s Atomic Energy Commission. He was a key negotiator of the Indo-U.S. civilian nuclear deal.)

45 Per Cent of Fukushima Children Had Thyroid Exposure To Radiation After Only Two Weeks

“Earthquake and resulting tsunami on March 11….In late March, local and central governments carried out the survey on 1,080 children under the age of 15 in areas near the damaged Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station after the crisis.”

45 per cent of Fukushima children had thyroid exposure to radiation

DPA

In this March 13, 2011 photo a man holds his baby as they are scanned for levels of radiation in Koriyama, Fukushima Prefecture, Japan.

The plant has been leaking radioactive substances since it was hit by a magnitude-9 earthquake and resulting tsunami on March 11

About 45 per cent of children in Fukushima prefecture experienced thyroid exposure to radiation after the nuclear power there was damaged in March, officials said Tuesday.

But the results were not high enough to require further examination, the Nuclear Safety Commission said.

In late March, local and central governments carried out the survey on 1,080 children under the age of 15 in areas near the damaged Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station after the crisis.

The plant has been leaking radioactive substances since it was hit by a magnitude-9 earthquake and resulting tsunami on March 11.

Among children who tested positive for thyroid exposure, the amounts measured 0.04 microsieverts per hour or less in most cases, while the largest exposure was 0.1 microsieverts per hour, equivalent to a yearly dose of 50 millisieverts for a one-year-old baby, Kyodo News reported.

None of the children examined was exposed to more than 0.2 microsieverts per hour, the official benchmark for further examinations, Kyodo said citing the commission.

Children and babies are at highest risk of developing thyroid cancer after exposure to radioactive iodine released into the environment.

In the case of 1986 Chernobyl disaster in Ukraine, most victims who developed the cancer in following years had been babies or children living in the affected regions at the time of the world’s worst nuclear accident, Kyodo said.

A survey of soil at four locations in the city of Fukushima, 60 kilometres from the plant, found all samples were contaminated with radioactive caesium, measuring 16,000 to 46,000 becquerels per kilogram, exceeding the official limit of 10,000 becquerels per kilogram, citizens groups said Tuesday.

The city is located far from the 20-kilometre no-go zone around the plant.

The group detected as much as 931,000 becquerels per square metre at one location, above the 555,000-becquerel limit for compulsory resettlement in the Chernobyl disaster. Samples from the other three locations measured between 326,000 and 384,000 becquerels per square metre, Kyodo reported.

Moldovan police seize enriched uranium

Moldovan police seize enriched uranium

 

Authorities in Moldova say they have detained six men and seized a quantity of enriched uranium.

The seized uranium can be used to arm nuclear weapons and is valued at nearly $29 million.

An interior ministry official said it came from Russia.

The six men are accused of trying to sell at least a kilo to a Muslim national from an unnamed African country.

“The container with uranium has been in Chisinau for a week,” senior police investigator Vitalie Briceag told reporters.

“All that time, intermediaries were looking for buyers. The container, 20 centimetres long and 40 centimetres in diameter, was found at one of the detained men’s apartments.”

He said the metal was uranium-235, which can be used in nuclear weapons, although it was not clear to what degree it was enriched.

Four detainees were Moldovans and two were citizens of the unrecognised Transdniestria, a breakaway region of the former Moldavian Soviet republic.

“We have been helped by experts from Ukraine, Germany and the United States,” Mr Briceag said.

“We have been following the suspects since March.”

In August Moldova detained several men, some of them former police officers, who were trying to sell some uranium-238, an isotope that cannot be used in nuclear weapons.

BBC/Reuters

If it gets to this contamination, it’s over — not just for Los Alamos

Los Alamos residents Ross Van Lyssel, left, and Steve Bowers watch flames from the Las Conchas fire in Los Alamos, N.M., June 28, 2011. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

(CBS/AP)LOS ALAMOS, N.M. – Residents downwind of a wildfire that is threatening the nation’s premier nuclear-weapons laboratory are worried about the potential of a radioactive smoke plume if the flames reach thousands of barrels of waste stored in above-ground tents.

“If it gets to this contamination, it’s over — not just for Los Alamos, but for Santa Fe and all of us in between,” said Mai Ting, a resident who lives in the valley below the desert mesas that are home to the Los Alamos National Laboratory.

Chris Valvarde, a resident of the Santa Clara Pueblo about 10 miles north of Los Alamos, questioned officials at a briefing Tuesday evening, asking whether they had evacuation plans for his community. Los Alamos, a town of 11,000, already sits empty after its residents were evacuated ahead of the blaze, which started Sunday.

“I know it’s the worse scenario to think of,” Valverde said. “But when the radiation leaks, are we prepared to get 2,000 people out?”

Lab Director Charles McMillan said the barrels contain transuranic waste — gloves, toolboxes, tools — and other items that may have been contaminated through contact with radioactive materials. Top lab officials declined to say how many barrels were on site or how they are stored. An anti-nuclear group has estimated there could be up to 30,000 gallon-drums.

Los Alamos County Fire Chief Doug Tucker, whose department is responsible for protecting the lab, said the barrels are stacked about three high inside of tents on lab property.

The wildfire, which has swelled to nearly 95 square miles, has already sparked a spot fire at the lab. The fire Monday was quickly contained, and lab officials said no contamination was released.

Top lab officials and fire managers said they’re confident the flames won’t reach key buildings or areas where radioactive waste is stored above-ground. Areas around those buildings have been cleared of vegetation and are surrounded by gravel or asphalt, they said. As a last resort, foam could be sprayed on the barrels to ensure they aren’t damaged by fire, they added.

The site’s manager for the National Nuclear Security Administration said he evaluated the precautions and felt comfortable. The agency oversees the lab for the Department of Energy.

“I have 170 people who validate their measures,” Kevin Smith said. “They’re in steel drums, on a concrete floor.”

Flames were just across the road from the southern edge of the famed lab, where scientists developed the first atomic bomb during World War II. The facility cut natural gas to some areas as a precaution. The lab will be closed through at least Thursday.

The streets of Los Alamos were empty Tuesday, with the exception of emergency vehicles and National Guard Humvees. Homeowners who had left were prepared: propane bottles were placed at the front of driveways and cars were left in the middle of parking lots, away from anything flammable.

The wildfire has destroyed 30 structures south and west of Los Alamos, for many stirring memories of a blaze in May 2000 that destroyed hundreds of homes and buildings in town.

Authorities believe it was ignited by a downed power line, reports CBS News correspondent Cynthia Bowers. Containment remains listed at zero percent.

Favorable winds have helped firefighters, who were busy trying to keep the fire from moving off Pajarito Mountain to the west of Los Alamos and into two narrow canyons that descend into the town and the lab.

“Everything is just so dry and ready to burn,” Tucker said. “We need some rain. Snow would be nice.” He added that even containment lines had dangerous smoldering stumps and burning roots that could easily ignite fires.

An orange glow on the mountain could be seen from Los Alamos’ deserted streets. Some residents who decided to wait out the fire weren’t concerned, including Mark Smith, a chemical engineer who works at the lab.

“The risk of exposure is so small. I wouldn’t sit here and inhale plutonium. I may be crazy, but I’m not dumb,” he said.

The lab, which employs about 15,000 people, covers more than 36 square miles and includes about 2,000 buildings at nearly four dozen sites. They include research facilities, as well as waste disposal sites.

Some facilities, including the administration building, are in Los Alamos, while others are miles from the town. Most of the buildings from the Manhattan Project that developed the first atomic bomb in the 1940s were built on what is now the town and are long gone. The spot fire Monday scorched a section known as Tech Area 49, which was used in the early 1960s for a series of underground tests with high explosives and radioactive materials.

Lab spokesman Kevin Roark said environmental specialists were monitoring air quality, but the main concern was smoke. Lab personnel and the state environment department were monitoring the air for radioactivity and particulates. The state was also working to get additional ground-based monitors and an airborne monitor.

The anti-nuclear watchdog group Concerned Citizens for Nuclear Safety said the fire appeared to be about 3.5 miles from a dumpsite where as many as 30,000 55-gallon drums of plutonium-contaminated waste were stored in fabric tents above ground.

Lab spokeswoman Lisa Rosendorf said a section known as Area G holds drums of cleanup from Cold War-era waste that the lab sends away for storage in weekly shipments.

Mass anti-nuclear protests in Japan mark 3-month anniversary of quake and tsunami

 

Anti-nuclear demonstrators shout slogans during a march in Tokyo, Saturday, June 11, 2011. (AP Photo/Koji Sasahara) 

An anti-nuclear protester wearing a creation simulating the  troubled Tokyo Electric Power Co.'s Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant during a rally in Tokyo An anti-nuclear protester wearing a creation simulating the troubled Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant during a rally in Tokyo June 11, 2011, on the three month anniversary of the devastating March 11 earthquake and tsunami which triggered a nuclear disaster. REUTERS/Yuriko Nakao

Mass anti-nuclear protests in Japan mark 3-month anniversary of quake and tsunami

The Canadian PressBy Jay Alabaster, The Associated Press | The Canadian Press

TOKYO – Protesters held mass demonstrations against nuclear power across Japan on Saturday, the three-month anniversary of the powerful earthquake and tsunami that killed over 23,000 and triggered one of the world’s worst nuclear disasters.

Streets in parts of Tokyo were completely jammed with thousands of chanting protesters, paralyzing sections of the city. Some marchers called for the country’s nuclear plants to be shut down immediately and for stricter radiation tests by the government.

The magnitude-9 earthquake that hit March 11 off Japan’s northeast coast caused a massive tsunami that devastated the coastline. The disasters knocked out power and cooling systems at the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant, about 140 miles (225 kilometres) northeast of Tokyo, setting off explosions, fires and large radiation leaks at the facility.

Government reports released earlier in the week said the damage and leakage were worse than previously thought, with some of the nuclear fuel in three reactors likely having melted through the main cores and inner containment vessels. They said the radiation that leaked into the air amounted to about one-sixth of the Chornobyl nuclear disaster in 1986 — double previous estimates.

The disasters have renewed a national debate on nuclear power in Japan, which has few natural resources. Japan relied on nuclear energy for 30 per cent of its electricity before the disasters and planned to raise that to 50 per cent by 2030, but the government has announced it will abandon that target and promote renewable energy instead.

“Since the earthquake, I’ve realized that nuclear power is just too dangerous for use,” said Takeshi Terada, 32, a shipping worker who marched with 10 friends in Tokyo.

Some nuclear plants across the country remain shut in the wake of the disaster, leading to fears Tokyo and other areas may not have enough electricity for the peak summer months. Residents of the capital are reducing their use of lights and air conditioning, and some companies are moving crucial operations like computer centres to parts of Japan with more stable power supplies.

At the Fukushima plant, hundreds of workers are still struggling to bring the crippled reactors to a “cold shutdown” by early next year and end the crisis. Radiation fears have forced more than 80,000 people to evacuate from their homes around the plant.

Many more people have had to leave their homes along the northeast coast because of tsunami damage. Three months after the disasters, 90,000 are still living in temporary shelters such as school gyms and community centres.

Over 23,000 died

Along the tsunami-ravaged coast Saturday, residents bowed their heads in a moment of silence at 2:46 p.m., when the earthquake struck.

Embattled Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan visited Kamaishi, a hard-hit coastal city. Kan has been under fire for his handling of the disasters and the country’s recovery plans, surviving a no-confidence vote earlier this month by promising to step down once the recovery takes hold.

Speculation about when he will quit has been rampant, with his party and the main opposition hinting at a coalition to speed the recovery. But Kan’s visit Saturday was seen by some as a suggestion he will attempt to prolong his tenure.

“It is not just a matter of listening to what people say at the destroyed areas. I want to incorporate what I hear into government measures,” he said.

In Tokyo, protesters carried colorful banners and banged drums as they walked in orderly rows past the Economy Ministry and the head offices of Tokyo Electric Power Co., which operates the Fukushima plant. Entire families marched, their toddlers and even dogs wearing clothing with anti-nuclear slogans.

“I’m worried about the children. It’s not just in Fukushima, there are radiation problems even here in Tokyo,” said Mika Obuchi, 45, who marched with her husband and 9-year-old daughter.

Was Fukushima Stuxnet Attack?

[Just prior to the Fukushima quake/tsunami, Japan offered to enrich uranium for Iran.  Was the nuclear meltdown revenge for this?]

Was Fukushima Stuxnet Attack?

Thursday, 25th February 2010 
In Business In Japan,

Japan makes uranium offer to Iran

Japan has made an offer to Iran which could see it help the country enrich uranium, it has been reported.According to local news source the Nikkei Business Daily, Tokyo offered Iran help with enriching uranium back in December last year, when Iran’s nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili was visiting the nation.The report said that the uranium could be used to make medical isotopes at a facility in Tehran.

However, in a speech earlier this week, Japanese prime minister Yukio Hatoyama urged Iran to cooperate with UN Security Council resolutions and measures put in place by the Atomic Energy Agency in order to reassure the world over its intentions.

Nations including the US and the UK have previously expressed fears that Iran may be seeking to build highly destructive atomic weapons, which could be used against the west.

Iran has in the past refused offers from other countries to help it enrich uranium, preferring to stick with its own measures.

Report: Japan offers to enrich uranium for Iran

Nikkei business daily reports proposal for Japan to enrich uranium for Tehran was floated in December, with US approval

AFP

Published: 02.24.10, 11:07 / Israel News

Japan has offered to enrich uranium for Iran to allow it access to nuclear power while allaying international fears it might be seeking an atomic weapon, the Nikkei business daily reported Wednesday.

Tehran had not yet given a concrete response, but the issue was expected to be discussed Wednesday in Tokyo by Iran’s parliament speaker Ali Larijani and Japanese Foreign Minister Katsuya Okada, the daily said in an online report.

Jim Stone, Freelance Journalist, Updated Monday May 30, 2011   http://www.jimstonefreelance.com/fukushima.html

This is a massive report. If you have troubles understanding it, just look at THIS picture of the vanished reactor, THIS picture of the destroyed facility and THIS picture, of Magna BSP’s camera. Then scroll down to the photos of the NON EXISTENT quake damage and seismic charts which prove there was no 9.0 and therefore the very real tsunami could not have been natural. The fact that what happened in Japan did not occur naturally has been very well documented by a skilled investigator, who spent hundreds of hours getting to the bottom of this story. Archive and POST!

NEW INFO: Japan Offered to Enrich Uranium for IRAN!

HERE ARE THE LINKS: Ynet news… Inside Japan News NetworkThe New AmericanRianovosti newsHindustan TimesZee News

AND FOUR MONTHS LATER, THE DIMONA DOZEN SHOWED UP WITH A REALLY FANCY CAMERA!!

This report uses classified leaked high resolution photos of the destruction of Fukushima originally posted on Pink Tentacle to support it’s claims.

They are,

1. Reactor 3 is completely missing, which means the press and anyone who has claimed anything about pressures, temperatures, containment, ect about reactor 3 after March 14 are lying and people need to pay attention to it, because failure of the public to realize the massive extent of the lies about what is going on there will leave the door open to a repeat event.

2. Reactor 4 is building 7, demolished by explosives. Reactor 4 had been defueled and was undergoing replacement of it’s internal stainless steel shroud, yet blew it’s containment anyway. That is the FINAL smoking gun, an empty reactor is inert, and cannot produce an explosion, yet one happened at 4 that was so powerful it destroyed the structure leaving it in danger of falling over. Overheated open fuel pools cannot produce hydrogen because in an open fuel pool the water boils off at 100 Celsius, and won’t be present in pressurized form at 2,000 degrees Celsius to liberate it’s hydrogen by losing it’s oxygen to the zircon cladding in the fuel rods. The rods will prefer the free oxygen in the air and burn long before attempting to claim the oxygen in whatever humidity there might be. The fact that the rods can catch fire only enforces the fact that they cannot release hydrogen in open air the way they can in a reactor. If you entertain the fantasy that they could, another problem against buildup presents itself – the hydrogen would be safely burned the moment it was created on the surface of the superheated rods. There would be no buildup. Fuel rods are many orders of magnitude below incapable of going supercritical also, even if totally melted down. The explosion at #4 was flatly impossible.

Reactor 4′s dome was removed for defueling. Drone photos prove it. This dispels the rumors surrounding unit 4′s explosion. Some people have said that this reactor was secretly in operation to enrich plutonium. This photo proves it was disassembled for shroud replacement as stated. Tepco is going out of it’s way trying to explain the explosions, especially at reactor 4, because they did indeed occur, so an explanation is needed. As a result, they are giving reasons that cannot happen, just to say something. They need to see this post and get the Arava perspective(Arava is a district surrounding Dimona).

3. That the destruction of the facility is so severe it could only have been accomplished with nuclear weapons. Hydrogen produces a non-ideal subsonic explosion. It cannot turn concrete into dust. It can produce high pressures if sealed off, but the metal roof on all the reactor containments should have provided the relief and been the only thing destroyed. It takes a high intensity explosive to strip concrete off rebar, a blast wave many times faster than supersonic. This means that whatever happened at Fukushima did not have blast characteristics that fit the “official” story. If hydrogen blew the place apart (still many times beyond impossible, even if sealed off), it should be laying around in large pieces, with very little dust. Dust is much of what you see in the wreckage at Fukushima. If many tons of C4 had been brought into the place and set off, it could destroy it also, but remember that in a nuclear facility you have to keep what you are doing hidden if you intend to destroy it, so even at a thousand pounds a gun type nuke would be far more appropriate, especially when you have successfully duped the plant operators into believing it is only a security camera. If you missed it in the high resolution photo of the destroyed facility, I took a car that was laying around in the remains and placed it on top of one of the blown away walls at reactor 3, which clearly gives the reference that the walls had support columns at least 15 feet thick. Fukushima was built with the Mark 1 containment design, but beyond Mark 1 standards which was a common upgrade(reference is the included photos, it is obvious). It is true that gas explosions can be very destructive, but only in facilities that were not designed to handle them. Even the basic mark 1 containment was many times beyond capable of withstanding the worst hydrogen blast.

4. That nuclear weapon(s) were placed inside of the reactor containment(s) disguised as security cameras installed under contract this year by Arava based security firm Magna BSP (Arava is a district around Dimona, not a city.) Their “security cameras” weighed over 1,000 pounds and were the size and shape of gun type nuclear weapons.The reason Magna BSP gave for the odd shape, enormous weight, and giant proportions of their cameras was that they were stereoscopic. They have creatively called them bi-scopic so when you search on google their monstrous cameras are the only thing that comes up (outside of Dj lighting and a gun scope) Try it. Type “Biscopic camera” into google images,(without the quotes) it’s a hoot! This helps marketing I guess. The need for such a large stereoscopic camera could be plausible at an airstrip, where the camera would need depth perception out miles, but not indoors where focal lengths are short. Other manufacturers have units appropriate for indoor focal lengths which are only twice the size of ordinary monocular security cameras. Depth perception going out miles could also be accomplished with two separately mounted cameras weighing only a few pounds; the giant thousand pounder is a dead giveaway. Magna does make passive radar systems which require a large body, but the owl could accomplish it’s claimed function with two small lightweight cameras (5 or so lbs, not tiny) and the processor in a modern laptop. Why this giant thing? note – a not yet produced graphical model is what you see most on Google, the ones produced thus far are ugly boxes.

. . . . . . . . . .9/11, 4/11, 3/11? see a pattern? Let’s not see a 6/11. Your time and effort in spreading the word may really make a difference.

Due to the many positive e-mails about getting the truth out, rather than hold back I am going to put the original information back. It follows below.

The quake was not what we were told.

In fact, the quake was a bold faced lie, packing a political agenda. There is even more proof now, and it goes beyond the linked Japanese chart. This original seismic data is the smoking gun, however, I have something better. I finally suppressed the urge to vomit and analyzed the lies told by the USGS, and from them wrote this sad, sad story about how it really was, not what you will see in the video. Keep in mind that precise top speeds of flying debris cannot be determined with accuracy, but this story will at least be close to the numbers put out by the USGS.

Meet Atsuo, Airi, and Akiyoshi. They were all the best and most dedicated people at the NHK newsroom, in Sendai Japan. Akiyoshi loved Airi, and Atsuo was the one who introduced them. Unfortunately, all 3 died in the quake. Akiyoshi got a severe cut and bled to death when he hit a display screen behind him at 44 miles an hour, and was then thrown out through a hole in a collapsed wall. Airi followed pretty much the same path, and died beside him in the rubble. Atsuo flew through the open door behind him, then crashed through a window and was crushed when he landed in a massive seismic crack in the road, which closed in on him. Others in the newsroom died also, but I never thought up names for them. At least, according to the official USGS charts. The laser printer was never found, but the table it was on ended up on top of the rubble, smashed to pieces, where one of the few survivors used a piece of the metal frame to splint his broken leg.

The video below is the one I pulled the frames out of for the sad, sad story. It is a video of a newsroom at the hardest hit area in Japan, and it SAYS IT ALL. This is when the quake was happening live. They are alarmed there is an earthquake, but most people stay seated in their chairs.

Some people even keep typing on their computers as the quake happens.

Also, note that most of the stuff stays on the desks, at the end, a laser printer is still sitting on a cheap table, ect. some things fall but things return to normal quickly, all the while the English announcer is reading a script of devastation with all the pep of some paid fool who does not believe what he is saying in a cheezy infomercial. The quake was significant, but only in a 6.0 sense, as recorded by the seismographs. This is important footage, because it proves the earthquake measured at a 6.8 was an instrumentation based richter reading. Confusion between the Shindo and Richter scale is being used to cover this up . I chose this video because it’s location is documented to have been the worst affected, and was recorded in a news room with a known fixed location.

Remember that this video is proof of what really went on. This means there never were significant aftershocks, never was a natural tsunami, and if they lied about that, what else? This video is pivotal and vital to exposing the truth. Sure there was a quake, but at this newsroom it was not much over a six if it even was a six. I chose this video because the news room is within eyeshot of station MYG012, which was used by the USGS to make these graphs which represent an 8.8, as was stated in this (English) newscast and was probably used as a guide to fudge the lie due to the closeness of the newsroom to the seismic station. Looking at these charts, it is super easy to get a rough guess at how fast people would have flown. 44MPH to the North, and 28MPH to the East. Those are not precise numbers but the charts are proven wrong by the video because according to the charts people should have entered uncontrolled flight. Here is the full chart put out by the USGS Of course, they offer no reading from MYG011, which was closest to the 9.0 “epicenter” by a long shot, because it only got a 5.63′s worth of shaking. I will do that work for them. That map is below.

I challenge ANYONE to send me pictures of this quake showing me devastation in an area not hit by the tsunami. All we have, all the pictures are tsunami damage. Let’s see pictures of quake damage. The Kobe quake was a 6.9/7.2 depending on source. That makes this quake, at a 9.0 100X as powerful. Sendai was near the epicenter and would have been devastated if it really happened. Look at the earthquake photos of damage from the Kobe quake, and try to find ONE THING SIMILAR in SENDAI. Just try. They do not exist. Outside of the tsunami, the quake which supposedly hit Sendai with many times the power of the one in Kobe, did not damage a single building there. Sendai was only 48 miles from the epicenter of this “9.0″ which would have devastated everything in an area 1,000 miles across if it was real. All of Japan would be toast. Try to find a photo of seismic damage in Sendai. I challenge you. Try to find it in any of the coastal cities, as little as 25 miles from the “epicenter”. I looked for 5 hours, and except for some tanks that fell at a brewery not a single one exists. No pictures of collapsed skyscrapers or high rises equals NO 9.0. You will not find a single skyscraper photo where the windows got broken either. You will find no downed power poles, no flipped over cars, no uprooted trees, no derailed trains (except for one the tsunami hit), and the road damage is typical of even a 5.0. You will not find pictures of a single damaged multi story building or even a structurally damaged wood framed house outside the tsunami zone. In Sendai the quake messed up grocery stores and kitchens and that really is about it.

And now, I will say it like I knew it had to be.

I believe the phony 9.0 story was used as seismic cover for a tsunami nuke, which produced the tsunami of a 9.0 when detonated in the Japan trench (where no earthquakes of significance happen) as punishment for Japan offering to enrich uranium for Iran. The rest of the story, the concealment, is black ops. Bet on it. In the tsunami videos, the tsunami rips through pristine and undamaged cities, where business as usual is obvious and the tsunami is an ambush; not 9.0 earthquake ravaged debris. The quake is a paper thin story taped together by the undeserved trust of a gullible public. And the stories? The CIA did not hire a million people last year for nothing. If there is evidence of a 9.0 SHOW ME. A 9.0 will devastate an area over 1,000 miles across. That is how big a 9.0 is. The entire nation should be in ruins, especially judging from the damage the 6.9 Kobe quake did, and no where, no where outside the tsunami zone in the entire country is there a single damaged multi story building, a single collapsed bridge, a single structurally damaged wood framed house, or skyscraper. If a picture exists that can be definitively pinned to this quake, show me. The only collapsed structure in all of Japan was an old welfare shelter near station MYG004, the true epicenter.

Take a look at these frame captures, and ask a question – Why is no one trying to run? Why are the cars all just parked peacefully as the tsunami arrived? Why was there no warning? Why did the tsunami sirens only go off after the tsunami arrived? Could it be that the people and the governement had not felt a significant earthquake and did not measure one either?

Question: Why are none of the roads packed with people trying to flee the approaching tsunami?

Could it be that the people and government were not expecting one? Tsunami sirens blare only when it arrives, rather than 40 minutes before, which is how much warning they would have had if a real quake in the ocean had been detected. Consider that. Parking lots full of cars, everyone at work, no one trying to leave. AMBUSH!!.

When people keep typing at their keyboards during the quake, it’s obviously not what we were told.

RUSH UPDATE, May 28

When reviewing the seismic data for the supposed 9.0, I knew there were instead 3 small simultaneous inland epicenters. This made me suspicious right from the start that the quake was artificially triggered and used as seismic cover for a tsunami bomb. But I needed a reason to believe an artificial quake could have been done. I suspected that either Japan was testing nukes and Israeli intelligence was onto it and used the tests as the “start of clock” for their operation, or Israel managed to smuggle nukes into lava tubes and tunnels far underground to trigger earthquakes and contain the blasts. So I was hunting for tunnels and lava tubes near each of the three epicenters, and wanted to find them before writing this into this report. As it turns out, I did not need to. This military briefing with Secretary of Defense William Cohen, dated all the way back to 1997! shows that even then, Cohen knew about EM weaponry that could trigger quakes and set off volcanoes. I have ignored everything regarding this subject, I thought it was the realm of kooks. I thought EM weaponry would be effective in weather modification only, but I am not going to argue with the Secretary of Defense. There are obviously then, energy technologies which have never been publicized, such weaponry would need far more energy input than the electrical grid could provide. And the systems Cohen spoke of in 1997 would be outdated now.

Cohen stated: “Others are engaging even in an eco- type of terrorism whereby they can alter the climate, set off earthquakes, volcanoes remotely through the use of electromagnetic waves. So there are plenty of ingenious minds out there that are at work finding ways in which they can wreak terror upon other nations. It’s real, and that’s the reason why we have to intensify our efforts, and that’s why this is so important. - William S. Cohen, Secretary of Defense, April 28, 1997. Left unsaid by William Cohen is that such systems would be developed by DARPA and owned by America first!

I would expect with 14 years of advancement that these technologies could now trigger devastating earthquakes in non-seismic zones. Bejamin Fulford, an experienced Journalist with a long history and a paid access site, is predicting that the floods along the Mississippi are in fact caused by Haarp, which will then be followed by a manmade earthquake along the New Madrid fault, and then a subsequent attack at 15 reactors in the nation’s agricultural heartland. If this is so, it will make Fukushima look like a cake walk. I myself have verified that the Siemens SCADA system Stuxnet targets has been used to replace the old control systems at a majority of American nuclear facilities. It is therefore important for people to SPREAD THE WORD. They have already started with the flooding, which is phase 1. Phase 2 will be the earthquake, destroying levees and totally unleashing the raging Mississippi. Phase 3 will be a virus attack at nuclear facilities. THE ELITE ARE COWARDS. IF THE WORD IS SPREAD SUFFICIENTLY, THEY WILL NOT DARE TO PROCEED TO PHASE 2 AND 3, Mold grows best in the dark.

The following picture is the strongest reading for this quake on any seismogram anywhere in Japan. This was before the lie machine got running smoothly. Early on there were a few sputters and this REAL chart got out. As you can see on this chart, it was a 6.67 on the Richter scale, (not shindo scale, confirmed by PGA reference) and was centered inland in a rural area. This would fit in with NO structural damage in Sendai and the level of shaking in the video

This quake was initially asessed a 6.8, and the seismic data will show anyone the epicenter was inland, not at sea. So it started a 6.8, then got upgraded to a 7.9, then got upgraded to an 8.4, then got upgraded to an 8.8, then got upgraded to a 9.0, and had the epicenter put out in the ocean. Now many are saying it was a 9.1 which would bump up MYG011′s number to 1200 from 1070, and it is all based on tsunami effects, not seismic data.

The following seismograms clearly show epicenters from 3 separate small quakes all occuring simultaneously. This is what would be expected of an attack, rather than a natural occurence.

One problem with people grasping how big a 9.0 is, is exponential charts which will hide how much energy is really being released behind confusing gradient marking. To answer the need for clarity, I got out the calculator and produced a chart that shows you how big a 9.0 earthquake is on a linear scale. Make sure you expand and scroll it, it is 5,000 pixels tall. Due to its large verticle height it opens on the left side of the screen and is almost invisible until you expand it. Confusion over how GIANT a 9.0 really is has helped the elite scammers enormously in their lie. There is simply no way much of anything will remain standing, yet as the tsunami rolls in . . . . . .

And now, I will bite. This is what I did not want to publish, but I know it has to be true. Call this creative journalism, because I never called Netanyahu, but here is the most rational conclusion I can draw, based on all info gathered so far including the original not faked seismic data.

I honestly believe Japan is being held a nuclear hostage. It all makes sense.

1. Japan offers to enrich uranium for Israel’s GREAT SATAN, Iran

2. Immediately, Israel sets up front companies masquerading as security companies, and one of them succeeds in getting a security contract at a Japanese nuclear facility. 4 months later the Dimona Dozen shows up, and under the cover of a security contract gets unlimited access to the heart of Fukushima. They plant the virus, install real cameras outside the facility, and functional poorly disguised nuke cameras inside the facility. In addition to this, they install an unauthorized data connection to allow control of all the guts of the facility via the virus. (they admitted to this connection, as discussed later on this page)

3. After installing Stuxnet and the nukes they scram

4. Israel waits for one of the many natural quakes in Japan to provide cover for a tsunami bomb, and they already have it at the bottom of the Japan trench. VLF communications are established with the bomb to penetrate the water. David in Dimona gets seismic reading from Japan. 6.67 in progress, BOOM. (new evidence shows the quake most likely was not natural)

Tsunami comes in, swamps stuxnet infected power plant, direct video feed from legitimate cameras security company installed gets to David via totally unauthorized channel, and David knows just when to cut the generators off. Others on the team do all they can to counteract measures taken by the employees at fukushima, who are unaware an attack is taking place and do not understand why everything is going crazy

5. Israeli Prime Minister calls Japan, and says TAKE THAT for offering help to Iran, and ya know, there are FIVE MORE NUKES in the ocean off the coast of Japan, and we are going to set those off and destroy your coastal cities if you do not forget that 6.67, and say it was a 9 to cover for tsunami effects. AND NOW we are going to make your people DEMAND you move away from nuclear power so you can NEVER threaten us like that again. We are BLOWING UP FUKUSHIMA DIIACHI and you are going to go along with whatever story we tell you to. SO THERE!!

6. David and his pals close ALL valves to the reactors via the remote data link they admitted to installing, and put them full throttle, to melt them down while the virus keeps control room readouts displaying false info, like nothing is going on even though the place is coming apart. After enough mayhem ensues to provide plausibility, they set off planted nukes and blow the place sky high.

And even if the quake was real, there are nukes that can reach an 8.4. Close enough. Though I have yet to work out the final details, I probably have enough to hang them because:

1. I got the real seismic data that proves beyond a doubt the quake is not what we were told and was in fact an inland 6.8, (calculated higher than the seismogram due to the triangulated true epicenter being a little higher) which would get noticed but not feared in quake ridden Japan.

2. Numerous referenced sources prove Stuxnet really was written by Israel

3. Japan really did offer to enrich Uranium for Iran, and Israel has been documented to have attempted to destroy the reactor in Iran, and probably did. Japan contributing to Iran’s nuclear future would make them just as much an enemy to Israel as Iran. Israel would want them taken out.

4. It is documented that a team from Israel, with a history consisting only of working in Israeli defense, got unlimited access to a Japanese nuclear facility, which then went boom

5. Reactor 4 had been defueled and proven disassembled, and therefore no explosion there was possible. What should have happened at reactor 4, if anything at all? the fuel pools should have melted down and caught fire once the water boiled off from lack of recirculation AT Worst, and badly contaminated the containment structure, NOTHING ELSE. NO explosions, NOTHING ELSE. Reactor 4 is building 7, PERIOD. Why did an explosion there happen that was so severe it blew the outer containment walls (4 feet thick) and inner containment walls that were much thicker? Reactor 4 is reportedly now in danger of falling over. HOW?

6. The Japanese government is going along with the story of a scientifically proven false 9.0. There is a reason, and my guess is that Israel has made threats to wipe out Japanese coastal cities with additional tsunamis if the government of Japan speaks a word of what went on, there should be no reason for Japan to go along with this other than a continued threat.

Is it not interesting this “quake” reportedly happened at the bottom of the Japan trench, which would be perfect for hiding an atomic bomb blast?

Is the Department of Homeland Security trying to keep American industries (and nuclear facilities) in the dark about Stuxnet? After Fukushima fell victim to unwary operators, I would think such a conference would be a TOP priority here! The genie is out of the bottle. It is a fact that the writers of Stuxnet intend to use it. So cancelling a well researched conference about the vulnerabilities of the Siemens SCADA system to Stuxnet in the name of “keeping hackers from getting info” seems to me like an effort to keep the threat alive. Ignore the fluff at the beginning, and read the “About TakeDownCon” summary near the bottom so you know what they actually cancelled rather than settle for the no-panic fluff at the beginning. This is SERIOUS. I fear that by the time the Hacker Halted conference happens in October, the summer of disaster may have passed. And if it has not, I bet any discussion of Stuxnet at Hacker Halted will also be cancelled. Stuxnet is too good a toy for a very powerful group to let go of. Something is fishy here.

Other publications picked up this story now, and are poo pooing the issue into the ground. They are obviously attempting to morph responsibility for Stuxnet style attacks away from Israel so that they can regain cover and use the weapon as a false flag tool to destroy internet freedom. This is where they are going to go with this – count on it, and when the disasters happen there will be a cozy blanket of lies shielding Israel from all blame. Never forget, THIS IS THEIR BABY, NEVER FORGET. Prior to them doing this, WE NEVER HEARD OF IT.

This post has been greatly improved via input from readers. If you have information proving any points wrong, or think something should be clarified, as well as new info that can further solidify the case, contact me. Thanks!

The article about Fukushima follows.

_______________________________________

Fukushima was impossible. The swamping of the external generators by the tsunami was irrelevant, because the real emergency backup systemsare driven by steam from the reactors themselves. No electricity is needed to operate three separate emergency systems at each reactor, each of which will keep a reactor safe even if only one works. Interesting it is then that all 9 non electrical backup systems across the three fueled reactors failed. This is technically impossible outside of willful intent, and was likely the result of a Stuxnet attack.

Stuxnet was designed specifically to target Siemens SCADA controllers and is most effective at tampering with fluid control systems. The centrifuges it attacked in Iran were ideal. So are the fluid control systems at a nuclear facility. Oil refineries are equally at risk, Stuxnet is most dangerous when affecting a system which needs to control the flow of any liquid, be it hydraulic, for cooling, or combining chemicals. Stuxnet is documented to have been produced by the Israeli Defense Forces, for the purpose of destroying any industrial system that can be destroyed by improper fluid flow.

Magna BSP, a Dimona based company with no history outside of IDF contracts prior to Fukushima has a suspiciously short domain history despite a 10 year claimed history. Magna BSP had a full time internet linked two way connection to the Fukushima reactor room(s) all the way through the disaster. They told TEPCO about that connection on March 15 (after everything blew sky high) via an article printed in the Jerusalem Post. Why did Manga BSP wait until everything was blown sky high to tell Tepco the data link existed, and then did not tell them face to face? I find it hard to believe that TEPCO would not have been interested in viewing a reactor that was about to explode. It seems impossible that Tepco would not have wanted to view the reactor, and probably did not ask because the link was kept a secret. It is a simple fact that internet connections are never allowed inside a reactor’s containment. The connection was mentioned in the Jerusalem Post AFTER the destruction was finalized.

Stuxnet has two modes, random and administrative. It can be administered to optimize the damage and can also transmit setup information and industrial system information to a remote computer. Once installed on the host system via a flash drive it causes that system to violate it’s normal security protocols and internet administration becomes possible if a connection exists. Tampering is not visible on the control room readouts, because Stuxnet learns what “normal” looks like and keeps the temperature, pressure, and other readouts within normal limits so that the operators are oblivious to the destruction happening in secret. Stuxnet appeared in Japan in June of 2010, shortly after Magna BSP arrived. Remote administration mode can be adjusted on demand to suit any need. No doubt the people at Fukushima sat there in idle mode thinking all was well until something screamed or went boom and at that point it would be too late to do anything other than cry.

I am a lifer in the types of control systems Fukushima and it’s clone, TVA owned Browns Ferry have. BOTH have been upgraded to modern Siemens controllers running the Supervisory Control And Data Acquisition (SCADA) system Stuxnet was designed to attack; upgrades are the norm in any major facility. On many blogs people say the controls were old and therefore Stuxnet immune; they are out of touch or have no knowledge of industrial control systems. I actually ferreted it out.

And now I will explain in detail why the problems before the explosions had to be sabotage

The diesel generators were not out in the open as we were led to believe, they were in fact located in the basements of the turbine buildings which were sealed off and never significantly flooded. One of them stayed running the entire time, but the electrical switch gear attached to it disconnected it for an unexplained reason which made it useless. Each of the backup generators at Fukushima were capable of running 14,000 households each, which means they had to be over ten megawatts each. It is obvious then that Fukushima was set up to survive on only ONE of 13 backup generators, and ONE did keep running. One would be many times larger than needed to run last ditch backup systems at all reactors, but would not keep business as usual. But that is not the real story, which is that even others which were high and dry stopped as well.

I hypothesize that the ONE generator that kept running was kept as a lone reserve, never hooked up to a SCADA controller. Why did the switch gear disconnect a working generator? That is the type of thing Stuxnet was designed to do. On top of these things, emergency generators arrived on scene within 9 hours, before anything bad happened at all but were not able to provide power because the switch gear would not let them. This deceptively written report from the World Nuclear Association contains all this information, but it is presented in a way which will cause you to overlook these things if you are not careful while reading it. This report contains accurate information presented in a very misleading way, which will protect the liars who wrote it – they actually did speak the truth here but in a way it would be missed by virtually anyone. Study the facts presented here with the full ramifications of those facts in mind, not their shallow misleading conclusions.

From this report you can get:

1. The generators never got submerged – you have to connect the dot between them being in a contained area and the tsunami thereby not being able to get to them. Some water got into one of the the turbine buildings where several were located and flooded the lowest point in that building to a depth of 4 feet, which means that even if the generators were on the floor at the lowest point they likely would not have been swamped because they are too big – the water would not get past the footings. Perhaps a one megawatt generator would have swamped; certainly not one of the big diesels, which were, according to this report enough to run 14,000 homes each. In addition to this, there were several generators in a second location that never got flooded at all. One of these generators kept running but was not able to get power into the facility because the switchgear prevented it.

2. You have to have watched the robot videos, which clearly show the switch gear that malfunctioned after the tsunami never got wet – there was a non tsunami reason for the failure. Also look at the high resolution photos referenced below. There is no switch gear for the diesel generators outside the facility, it is all indoors in areas higher than the water got. Remember that there was no emergency when the off site generators arrived, which means that they could work efficiently to get things up and running. With my experience in this area, Assuming it DID get soaked, a complete replacement of high capacity switch gear should only take an afternoon if done with an emergency attitude. A truck mounted crane or a forklift does all the heavy lifting and the stuff is modular. In every major facility there are spares galore. It is not that hard to make the terminations. A worst case scenario could have been addressed before things went horribly awry, that is, unless a virus did not let the new switch gear activate either. It would take days to conclude a virus was messing things up. You would not expect that. I am sure there is a LOT we never heard about.

3. That batteries held, leaving only a one hour gap in time where there was no power present to run things before adequate off site power drove into the facility on the road all nice and ready to hook up, but was denied to by switch gear which this report says was swamped but that is likely an assumption because swamped switchgear could have been replaced even before the batteries died. The fact that the offsite generators were able to be driven into the facility also proves that other lies told about the earthquake in general – employees leaving only to find cracks in the road so bad they had to walk home; Why? Why lie like this? AT LEAST this report has some modicum of honesty.

4. You have to look at the chart that shows the thermal output of the reactors 8 hours after the earthquake, which is when the batteries running the electrical cooling pumps died, the output at that time was less than 20 megawatts from each reactor, which means that they would not have had troubles before the off site generators were hooked up to restore power if it was not denied by what I suspect was stuxnet infected switch gear. The real critical time is in the first 3 hours after shutdown.

5. Reactor 3 exploded entirely, yet this reactor had the most functional backup systems. At least this report says the explosion remains “unexplained”. Perhaps those who wrote the report should take a look at this for an answer.

6. The reactors are stated to be an “early 1960′s design” apparently to mislead people into believing they were outdated even when installed. This was not the case. Their design was an early 60′s concept but in fact a late 60′s design, and since installation takes years, what more could you expect in the early 70′s? The reactors were in fact a very safe design. This report at least states that the facility was very well updated. Identical reactors at TVA owned browns ferry have been certified safe and licensed to operate through the year 2035. These reactors were also converted over to run the Siemens Scada system. The reactors at Fukushima were not garbage. The fastest cars in production still function on a late 1800′s concept.

I hypothesize that the situation at Fukushima is not being properly assessed by facility controllers because STUXNET is STILL giving false readings to the control panels, readings which obviously have to be false because they show containment pressure when confidental leaked photographs prove beyond a doubt no containment exists AT ALL at reactor 3. There is not even a reactor there.

This report is perfectly inaccurate with regard to reactor 3 containment. Perhaps the people who wrote this report have not actually looked at the facility or seen the confidential photographs.

This report supports what I have said here entirely. It was written by an experienced reactor operator. I found this on May 10. I was absolutely right!

Each reactor has 8 separate emergency backup systems, each capable of saving the reactor on it’s own. Three are designed to function perfectly if all power is lost and even the generators fail. Fukushima did not need any electrical systems operating AT ALL to keep itself from blowing up, when power is lost steam from the reactors is automatically diverted from the generator turbines to two totally separate steam turbines connected to totally separate water pumps needing only reactor steam to power them. Even that backup system has dual redundancy, only one of the two is needed for the job. But the valves which have to activate to re-divert the steam, all 6 valves on a total of 3 fueled reactors, eventually failed to. At reactors 1 and 3 these systems worked, but switched off at reactor 1 within an hour and off at reactor 3 after running for more than two days. No one has been able to explain why these systems switched off all by themselves, when they need a powered command to switch off. At reactor 2 they were never allowed to activate. This can only happen if the control system tells them to shut off or stay off, absent intervention from the controller they automatically and seamlessly switch cooling modes to passive rather than electrical.

Some readers may remember that the real issue at Fukushima was malfunctioning valves, and the need to get someone past the radiation to open them. These are the valves that were spoken of. Because Stuxnet kept the readouts normal, no one knew this system did not function until major problems happened as a result flooding the area where the valves are with radiation. This prevented last ditch efforts (running and cutting the wires). One automatic valve jamming and mechanically failing would be a surprise,6 failing can only be sabotage.

In addition to this, another completely independent separately piped backup with an entirely different electronic decision tree which injects borated water at a pre charged 3,500 PSI into the reactor to irrevocably shut down all chain reactions (reactor rebuild required) also simultaneously failed at all 3 fueled reactors. The borated water systems have explosive operated valves so reliable that even one out of 3 failing would be a ten thousand to one possiblity, if that. The reliability of the borated water systems is technically theoretically assured. All three failing at the same time at Fukushima can only mean sabotage.

High pressure in all of the reactors proves the quake did not damage any of the infrastructure at fukushima because any leaks would have let the pressure go. In addition to this, the seismic readings at Fukushima were 6.07 Fukushima was designed to handle being at the epicenter of an 8.

The media keeps harping about how all the water went away. It only did because these three backup systems were prevented from cooling the reactor which caused the water to boil off and never be replaced. High pressures were talked about constantly in the press; This means beyond a doubt that all 6 steam powered backup systems were intact, and all 3 borated water systems were intact also because if they were not the pressure would have escaped through them. Absent emergency backup control power keeping the virus alive; (control power Magna BSP admitted was there the whole time by mistake when they said their cameras and supporting computers captured the explosions and maintained a data link) the valves which control these systems would have opened when the generators failed and there would have been no disaster. 3 worst case scenarios where all 9 automatic valves across 9 separate emergency backup systems are held shut by the controller when no power should have been present to prevent them from activating can only mean sabotage.

A historical perspective of Fukushima shows the hydrogen blasts were bogus.

Hydrogen blasts could not have damaged Fukushima so badly, this is a media fed lie. If hydrogen gas alone mixed with air could produce blasts strong enough to blow reactor containment buildings to pieces, which are among the strongest structures on earth (exceeded in strength only by ones like Hoover Dam,) then hydrogen gas filled bombs would be the prime military option. In reality, the Three Mile Island incident proved hydrogen ignition in open air after reactor meltdown is likely to only scare employees, while causing no damage at all to the facility, as was the case there. It is extremely important to know the differences between the boiling water reactor design and the design of Chernobyl. At Chernobyl, a hydrogen blast DID cause destruction of the facility, but it was because the reactor design caused hydrogen and oxygen at a perfect ratio to ignite at thousands of PSI inside the reactor pressure vessel. That’s a big difference from hydrogen alone igniting in relatively oxygen starved open air at one atmosphere (14.5 PSI). The difference would be similar to the difference between a small firecracker and a case of dynamite; there were many orders of magnitude lower blast potential at Fukushima.

Just to be absolutely safe after the Three Mile Island incident, many nuclear facilities installed hydrogen hard vent stacks hooked directly up to the relief valves on their reactors, and Fukushima was one of them. This was to prevent a hydrogen buildup in the containment building in the event of a core meltdown, which caused a minor explosion at Three Mile Island. These stacks are the tall white towers you see in thephotographs of Fukushima, and they are effective in getting rid of hydrogen buildup, are directly piped, and vent completely outside. “Hard piped” means that the electrical failures would have had nothing to do with the blasts, because a hard vent is exactly that – no fan needed at all because the system is sealed. Even if the hard piping at all 3 fueled Fukushima reactors failed entirely, it should not have been any worse than Three Mile Island which did not have any hard venting to begin with. While hydrogen venting might be a problem if it ignited, it would not mean the death of a facility. It makes no sense that at Fukushima we got a nuclear weapon style mushroom cloud far in excess of the highest yield conventional bomb.

Below are the classified photos

What then, caused the explosions? The containment walls were at their thinnest points in the lowest allowed General Electric design a minimum of4 foot thick steel reinforced concrete, were likely to be a minimum of 8 feet thick, and were totally blown away. All concrete was stripped from the rebar, which was left dangling. Reactor 3 vanished entirely,as seen in the classified photo used to compare the destruction to the diagram and reactor 4 appears to have been blown to pieces as seen in this classified photo The yellow dome which should be sitting on top of reactor 4 can be clearly seen on the wrong side of the containment building. This type of destruction is is indicative of hard weaponry in use; a hydrogen air mix will not do that. Reactors are not made out of tinfoil. On top of this, there was no potential for an explosion at reactor 4 at all, it had been defueled. SO WHAT, PRAY TELL, BLEW IT APART? That’s the dirty question no one is asking – how did that happen?

To give you an idea of how big the reactors at Fukushima were, look at this. It’s the top of the same make and model at Fukushima’s American twin, TVA owned Brown’s Ferry, and it is only the top. The yellow dome sits above this, and is even bigger. (here the yellow dome has been removed for refueling). over 150 feet of reactor sits below that cap. Hydrogen will not vaporize that, which appears to be what happened to #3, only a nuclear weapon would. Reactors are about 14 digits beyond incapable of going supercritical even with a complete core meltdown. The reactors did not explode, something placed in their vicinity did.

Magna BSP had access to the reactors at this facility. They were based in Dimona, which is a military base that manufactures nuclear weapons. Stuxnet was made in their yard. They are stated to be a military company.

There is extremely strong evidence that Dimona based Magna BSP placed nuclear weapons at the exploded or vanished reactors at Fukushima, possibly hidden inside one of their unbelievably GIANT stereoscopic cameras. These cameras were installed inside the reactor containment of Fukushima reactor 3 under the cover of a security contract in the year prior to the disaster. These cameras are identical in size and appearance to a gun type nuclear weapon. Since previous hydrogen explosions at boiling water reactors have never caused any sort of damage to equipment or buildings, even during complete meltdowns, it begs the question how on earth one at reactor 3 produced a mushroom cloud. Three Mile Island sits in the evidence pool against what we have been told about Fukushima. History does matter.

One problem with the reporting in the mainstream media is that it failed to convey just how massive and strong the containment structures really were, as seen in this classified photo. A hydrogen explosion would only blow the sheet metal off the steel framed roof if it even did that, at Three Mile Island the hydrogen ignition did nothing at all. It just scared employees. Another thing the reporting failed to convey is the gravity of the disaster. Compare the containment diagram to the remains of reactor 3. It is painfully obvious that many tons of highly radioactive plutonium in the containment pools is nowhere to be found, the entire floor they were on is completly gone. We are getting lied to.

That was a LOT more than a hydrogen blast, and as a result there are thousands of pounds of plutonium scattered everywhere. TEPCO was ridiculed for initially stating that the radiation from the facility was “immeasurable”. I think they at first told the truth. Now they have this story about the Fukushima 50. Is it in fact a “wag the dog”? No one could be there and live. Why is remote controlled heavy equipment doing the cleanup? The official story is hydrogen blasts, not nukes, so the story line has to at least be within the far outer limits of what a hydrogen blast could actually accomplish; not missing reactors and entire fuel pools blown away.

I suggest you ponder the pictures and materials presented and reach your own conclusion. A government issued training manual for the reactors at Fukushima is here

Now that Osama, who has been dead for 10 years is officially dead, Al Quaida is going to use a nuke, so they say; I strongly urge you to consider this article if a nuke actually does go off somewhere or if other nuclear facilities start acting like Fukushima.

The only reason I believe the management at Fukushima is not telling it like it really was is because victim status has been so well asserted by the ethnic group in question that it is career suicide to point the finger at them, even when they try to kill you. I find it interesting that all 12 Non Japanese employees of Magna BSP returned to Israel a week before the tsunami . . . . .

I might have understood the need for Stuxnet if it’s use would have ended with Iran. Unfortunately that does not appear to be the case. I do hope this article breaks their toy.

For those of you who are reluctant to re-post this because the wording is too strong, I ask you to consider this;

The real answer came out of Fukushima. We have a member of the international community which has already done horrendous damage to a very advanced and (presently) innocent civilization and we simply cannot continue to tolerate it. Consider what ignoring this will cost you. Are you prepared to have a major disaster at the convenience of the couch; because you sat there watching TV rather than dragging your butt over to the computer to at least spread the word? Are your video games, ball games, 4×4 and porno really worth continuing to lose everything for? Is your religion going to keep you silent as well? We really need a serious wake up call. Please let this post be it, rather than some other unforseen disaster.

I would love to chat with the criminal Magna BSP, all about how I am going down to Japan town to force this issue out in the open, and do anything else needed to bring those accountable to the table. You are not going to get away with false flag terror hidden under so-called environmental disasters for as long as I live. Threats made so far will not cut it; I am well prepared to meet my maker. I am well prepared to run for my life with only a laptop; eating out of dumpsters while begging for money to buy and burn CD’s to hand out. Go for it. Indonesia was another one of your glory days, THAT no preamble nuclear triggered 6.4 earthquake with a 9.0 tsunami and GORGEOUS clean well refined EMP recorded both in Egypt and India (and by your nation, of course) was every bit as outrageous as this one. Your time is over, or I am dead. The world you want is not one I will live in. Enough is enough!

Thank you to the many readers who pointed out flaws, gave tips, and suggested clarifications, you studied this indeed! My thanks also goes out to the radio hosts who have had me on the air and invited me to appear to discuss this subject. BTW, this article was written via code entry, without spell check. Consider that.

These references included as e-mail compatible links.

www.threemileisland.org/science/what_went_wrong/index.html
www.defense-update.com/products/m/magna.htm
www.jimstonefreelance.com/turbine.jpg
www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/news/8326274/Israeli-security-chief-celebrates-Stuxnet-cyber-attack.html
www.english.pravda.ru/history/22-02-2011/116985-Israeli_general_boasts_authoring_Stuxnet-0/
www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/israel/8326387/Israel-video-shows-Stuxnet-as-one-of-its-successes.html
www.reports.internic.net/cgi/whois?whois_nic=magnabsp.com&type=domain
www.magnabsp.com
www.jpost.com/Defense/Article.aspx?id=212168
www.infosecisland.com/blogview/12628-Japans-Nuclear-Crisis-Stuxnet-and-SCADA-Defenses.html
www.yomiuri.co.jp/dy/national/T101004003493.htm
www.jimstonefreelance.com/door.jpg
www.jimstonefreelance.com/borated.jpg
www.news.discovery.com/earth/2011/03/12/fukushima-zoom.jpg
www.nytimes.com/cwire/2011/03/25/25climatewire-us-experts-blame-fukushima-1-explosions-and-19903.html?amp=&pagewanted=all
www.jimstonefreelance.com/reference.jpg
www.jimstonefreelance.com/containment.jpg
www.jimstonefreelance.com/reactorlid.jpg
www.pcworld.com/article/224811/fukushima_daiichi_workers_clear_debris_by_remote_control.html
www.jimstonefreelance.com/03.pdf
www.jimstonefreelance.com/core.jpg
www.jimstonefreelance.com/camera.jpg
www.rense.com/general93/hid.htm
www.pinktentacle.com/2011/04/high-resolution-photos-of-fukushima-daiichi/ (source of high resolution photos)

Germany pulls plug on nuclear power

Germany pulls plug on nuclear power

By Georg Ismar, Berlin

GERMANY has announced plans to become the first major industrialised power to shut down all its nuclear plants, with the last to be closed by 2022.

Environment Minister Norbert Roettgen announced the government’s “irreversible” decision, which was prompted by the Japanese nuclear disaster.

Germany has 17 nuclear reactors, eight of which are currently off the electricity grid. Seven of those off-line are the country’s oldest nuclear reactors, which the government shut down for three months pending a safety probe after the Japanese disaster at Fukushima. The eighth, in northern Germany, has been mothballed for years because of technical problems.

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Most of the plants are to be off-line by 2021, sources said, but three plants were to serve as a back-up in case of energy shortages and would be closed a year later.

The decision comes after the environment ministers from all 16 German regional states on Friday called for the temporary order on the seven plants to be made permanent. The agreement emerged after 12 hours of negotiations between Chancellor Angela Merkel and the leaders of the three government parties — Dr Merkel’s Christian Democrats, the Christian Social Union and the pro-business Free Democrats. Also involved in the talks were the chiefs of the two main opposition parties.

Dr Merkel has said she wants to set a policy to end a dispute that has split Germans since the 1970s.

The decision is effectively a return to the timetable set by the previous Social Democrat-Green coalition government a decade ago.

It is a humbling U-turn for Dr Merkel, who at the end of 2010 decided to extend the lifetime of the reactors by an average of 12 years, which would have kept them open until the mid-2030s. That decision was unpopular in Germany even before the earthquake and tsunami in March that severely damaged the Fukushima nuclear facility, prompting Dr Merkel’s review of nuclear policy.

Her zigzagging on the highly emotive issue has cost at the ballot box. Dr Merkel herself has blamed the Fukushima disaster for recent defeats in state elections.

In the latest election, on May 23, the anti-nuclear Greens pushed her conservative party into third place in a vote in the northern state of Bremen, the first time they had scored more votes than the conservatives in a regional or federal election.

The decision means Germany will have to find the 22 per cent of its electricity needs covered by nuclear reactors from another source.

Business supporters of the centre-right government of Dr Merkel had urged caution, warning that power shortages could cripple the country’s industry.

The government is considering keeping 2000 megawatts of capacity — equivalent to two power stations — on standby after the shutdown in case of emergency, an idea that experts consider difficult to put into practice.

■In Japan, the Tokyo Electric Power Co said two of its Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant workers had high levels of radiation in their thyroid glands. The power utility is assessing the level of exposure, according to a company statement issued yesterday.

US Navy forecast shows super typhoon may hit Fukushima plant on May 30

http://www.usno.navy.mil/NOOC/nmfc-ph/RSS/jtwc/ab/abpwsair.jpg

US Navy forecast shows super typhoon may hit Fukushima plant — TEPCO “still considering typhoon measures”

Typhoon Songda strengthens; may hit Fukushima nuclear station, Bloomberg News, May 27, 2011:

Typhoon Songda strengthened to a supertyphoon after battering the Philippines and headed for Japan on a track that may pass over the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant by May 30, a U.S. monitoring center said.

Songda’s winds increased to 150 miles per hour, the U.S. Navy Joint Typhoon Warning Center said on its website. [...]

The center’s forecast graphic includes a possible path over Fukushima Dai-Ichi plant [...]

“We are still considering typhoon measures and can’t announce detailed plans yet,” Takeo Iwamoto, a spokesman at Tokyo Electric Power Co., said by phone when asked about the storm. [...]

Fukushima Faces ‘Massive Problem’ From Radioactive Waste Water

Fukushima Faces ‘Massive Problem’ From Radioactive Waste Water

May 27 (Bloomberg) — As a team from the International Atomic Energy Agency visits Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s crippled nuclear plant today, academics warn the company has failed to disclose the scale of radiation leaks and faces a “massive problem” with contaminated water.

The utility known as Tepco has been pumping cooling water into the three reactors that melted down after the March 11 earthquake and tsunami. By May 18, almost 100,000 tons of radioactive water had leaked into basements and other areas of the Fukushima Dai-Ichi plant, according to Tepco’s estimates. The radiated water may double by the end of December.

“Contaminated water is increasing and this is a massive problem,” Tetsuo Iguchi, a specialist in isotope analysis and radiation detection at Nagoya University, said by phone. “They need to find a place to store the contaminated water and they need to guarantee it won’t go into the soil.”

The 18-member IAEA team, led by the U.K.’s head nuclear safety inspector, Mike Weightman, is visiting the Fukushima reactors to investigate the accident and the response. Tepco and Japan’s nuclear regulators haven’t updated the total radiation leakage from the plant in northern Japan since April 12.

Japan’s nuclear safety agency estimated in April the radiation released from Dai-Ichi to be around 10 percent of that from the accident at Chernobyl in the former Soviet Union in 1986, while a Tepco official said at the time the amount may eventually exceed it.

Full Disclosure

“Tepco knows more than they’ve said about the amount of radiation leaking from the plant,” Jan van de Putte, a specialist in radiation safety trained at the Technical University of Delft in the Netherlands, said yesterday in Tokyo. “What we need is a full disclosure, a full inventory of radiation released including the exact isotopes.”

The government plans to release details on the radiation released at the “appropriate time,” said Goshi Hosono, an adviser to Prime Minister Naoto Kan who is overseeing the crisis response and appears at daily briefings at Tepco’s headquarters.

Radiation leakage from Fukushima was raised at a hearing of the U.S. Senate Environment and Public Works Committee this week. U.S. regulations may need to be changed after the Fukushima meltdown, William Ostendorff, a member of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission said.

The Japanese utility is trying to put the reactors into a cold shutdown, where core temperatures fall below 100 degrees Celsius (212 degrees Fahrenheit), within six to nine months. Ostendorff rated the chance of Tepco achieving that goal at six or seven out of 10.

‘Fundamentally Incorrect’

Tepco took more than two months to confirm the meltdowns in three reactors and this week reported the breaches in the containment chambers. The delay in releasing information has led to criticism of Prime Minister Naoto Kan for not doing more to ensure Tepco is keeping the public informed.

“What I told the public was fundamentally incorrect,” Kan said in parliament on May 20, referring to assessments from the government and Tokyo that reactors were stable and the situation was contained not long after March 11. “The government failed to respond to Tepco’s mistaken assumptions and I am deeply sorry.”

Public disagreements emerged this week between Tepco and the government over whether orders were given to halt seawater injection into reactors to cool them the day after the tsunami.

Order Ignored

Tepco is considering whether to sanction the manager of the Fukushima plant, Masao Yoshida, after he ignored an order to stop pumping seawater, Junichi Matsumoto, a general manager at the company, said yesterday.

He was commenting after Kyodo News cited Tepco Vice- President Sakae Muto saying Yoshida will be removed for disobeying the order. Hosono said Yoshida is needed at the plant to contain the crisis.

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Japan’s Fukushima crisis drives protests over world’s largest nuclear plant in India

Japan’s Fukushima crisis drives protests over world’s largest nuclear plant in India

Even as Japan has decided to forgo nuclear expansion following the Fukushima crisis, India’s government is insisting it will proceed with the world’s largest nuclear facility despite mounting public opposition.

A woman shouts slogans during an anti-nuclear protest in Mumbai April 26. India will tighten safety systems at a proposed $10 billion nuclear plant, potentially the world’s largest, a minister said on Tuesday, after protests against the plan turned violent in recent weeks following last month’s nuclear disaster in Japan. Clashes between protesters and police in April killed one person and injured at least 20 near the plant site in Jaitapur, western India, where anger over land acquisition has intensified on fears of a similar disaster.

Vivek Prakash/Reuters


By Aarti Betigeri

New DelhiJapan’s nuclear crisis has influenced a protest movement in India that is violently opposing plans to build the world’s largest nuclear plant. As international agencies eye India’s growing energy market, they’ll also be watching how India responds to this case.

India’s break-neck growth has driven an intense need for energy – and nuclear power has been accepted within the country as a suitable and clean way to deliver this. But in the wake of the crisis at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, citizens in and around Jaitapur, the seismic activity-prone region where the Indian government plans to build a 9,900 mega watt power station, are upset.Tensions came to a head in mid-April when one antinuclear demonstrator was killed during a protest, and several others were injured.

“The locals, especially after what’s happened in Fukushima, are not of two minds. They simply don’t want it,” says Greenpeace India activist Vinuta Gopal. “They see nothing to gain from it, and everything to lose,” she says. On top of that, “India certainly doesn’t have [Japan's] capacity for disaster management preparedness.”

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India has 20 nuclear plants in operation, providing only about 3 percent of the country’s energy. Another 23 are on the way, according to a former government minister, as the country attempts to more than double its reliance on nuclear power by 2030. The Indian government and nuclear reactor builder Areva, a French company, plan to start construction of the $12 billion Jaitapur facility in 2018 or 2019, despite the heated protests.

In an effort to help assuage concerns, the Indian government has promised it will undertake a safety review of all plants and reimburse those displaced through land acquisition.

But, so far, locals say that hasn’t been enough. They can’t seem to keep from bringing up what happened to the fishing and agriculture industry in Fukushima.

“We have been offered compensation for giving up our land, but only around 122 of 2,335 districts have accepted the money,” says Jaitapur-based farmer Pravin Gavankar. “We don’t want a plant, and we don’t want their money.”

Indeed, similar to the towns near the stricken Fukushima Daiichi plant in Japan, Jaitapur is located about 250 miles south of India’s financial capital Mumbai, on a scenic coastal stretch, and it is home to thriving agriculture and fishing industries. If a sophisticated nation like Japan can’t deal with a potential nuclear catastrophe, they reason, just how would India fare?

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TEPCO Admits Cores Damaged at Three Reactors

By MITSURU OBE

TOKYO—Substantial damage to the fuel cores at two additional reactors of Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear complex has taken place, operator Tokyo Electric Power Co. said Sunday, further complicating the already daunting task of bringing them to a safe shutdown while avoiding the release of high levels of radioactivity. The revelation followed an acknowledgment on Thursday that a similar meltdown of the core took place at unit No. 1.

Junichi Matsumoto, an official of Tokyo Electric Power Co. listens to questions during a press conference regarding the meltdown of Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant at the company headquarters in Tokyo, Japan, May 13, 2011.
0515tepco
European Pressphoto Agency

Workers also found that the No. 1 unit’s reactor building is flooded in the basement, reinforcing the suspicion that the containment vessel is damaged and leaking highly radioactive water.

The revelations are likely to force an overhaul of the six- to nine-month blueprint for bringing the reactors to a safe shutdown stage and end the release of radioactive materials. The original plan, announced in mid-April, was due to be revised May 17.

The operator, known as Tepco, said the No. 1 unit lost its reactor core 16 hours after the plant was struck by a magnitude-9 earthquake and a giant tsunami on the afternoon of March 11.

The pressure vessel a cylindrical steel container that holds nuclear fuel, “is likely to be damaged and leaking water at units Nos. 2 and 3,” said Junichi Matsumoto, Tepco spokesman on nuclear issues, in a news briefing Sunday.

He also said there could be far less cooling water in the pressure vessels of Nos. 2 and 3, indicating there are holes at the bottom of these vessels, with thousands of tons of water pumped into these reactors mostly leaking out.

Tepco found the basement of the unit No. 1 reactor building flooded with 4.2 meters of water. It isn’t clear where the water came from, but leaks are suspected in pipes running in and out of the containment vessel, a beaker-shaped steel structure that holds the pressure vessel.

The water flooding the basement is believed to be highly radioactive. Workers were unable to observe the flooding situation because of strong radiation coming out of the water, Tepco said.

A survey conducted by an unmanned robot Friday found radiation levels of 1,000 to 2,000 millisieverts per hour in some parts of the ground level of unit No. 1, a level that would be highly dangerous for any worker nearby. Japan has placed an annual allowable dosage limit of 250 millisieverts for workers.

The high level of radioactivity means even more challenges for Tepco’s bid to set up a continuous cooling system that won’t threaten radiation leaks into the environment.

Tepco separately released its analysis on the timeline of the meltdown at unit No. 1. According to the analysis, the reactor core, or the nuclear fuel, was exposed to the air within five hours after the plant was struck by the earthquake. The temperature inside the core reached 2,800 degrees Celsius in six hours, causing the fuel pellets to melt away rapidly.

Within 16 hours, the reactor core melted, dropped to the bottom of the pressure vessel and created a hole there. By then, an operation to pump water into the reactor was under way. This prevented the worst-case scenario, in which the overheating fuel would melt its way through the vessels and discharge large volumes of radiation outside.

The nuclear industry lacks a technical definition for a full meltdown, but the term is generally understood to mean that radioactive fuel has breached containment measures, resulting in a massive release of fuel.

“Without the injection of water [by fire trucks], a more disastrous event could have ensued,” said Mr. Matsumoto.

Tepco also released its analysis of a hydrogen explosion that occurred at unit No. 4, despite the fact that the unit was in maintenance and that nuclear fuel stored in the storage pool was largely intact.

According to Tepco, hyrogen produced in the overheating of the reactor core at unit 3 flowed through a gas-treatment line and entered unit No. 4 because of a breakdown of valves. Hydrogen leaked from ducts in the second, third and fourth floors of the reactor building at unit No. 4 and ignited a massive explosion.

Underwater robot captures Fukushima wreckage

Underwater robot captures Fukushima wreckage

Video shot by an underwater robot shows damage inside a spent fuel pool at the Fukushima nuclear power station.

Robot Footage–Nuclear meltdown at Fukushima plant, posted with vodpod

The operators of the stricken Fukushima Dai-ichi power plant, Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO), have released footage shot inside reactor No.3.

The clip shows that explosions that followed March’s devastating earthquake and tsunami have left the nuclear fuel rods inside the reactor covered in wreckage.

Hydrogen explosions at four of the buildings at the six-reactor complex destroyed roofs and walls and scattered radioactive debris.

In the operation, filmed by an underwater robot, contaminated water was collected in order to carry out further analysis of the reactor. Experts believe that the fuel rods, not visible in the clip, were left largely undamaged despite the disaster.

The Japanese government and TEPCO currently predict that bringing the plant to a cold shutdown could take between six and nine months.

Japan to halt three nuke reactors over quake concerns

Japan to halt three nuke reactors over quake concerns

DPA

Prime Minister Naoto Kan told a news conference on Friday his government asked operator Chubu Electric Power Co. to suspend two running reactors and a third shut for a regular inspection at its Hamaoka nuclear plant.

Japan’s prime minister has told a utility to halt three reactors in central Japan because of safety concerns in the event of a major earthquake.

Prime Minister Naoto Kan told a news conference on Friday his government asked operator Chubu Electric Power Co. to suspend two running reactors and a third shut for a regular inspection at its Hamaoka nuclear plant.

Mr. Kan cited experts’ forecast of a 90 percent probability of a major quake striking the region within 30 years.

He said it was a safety measure after the crisis at the Fukushima Dai—ichi nuclear plant, which was crippled by an earthquake and tsunami March 11.

Residents have long demanded suspension of the Hamaoka reactors.

Chernobyl: Consequences of the catastrophe 25 years later

Chernobyl: Consequences of the catastrophe 25 years later

by Janette D. Sherman, M.D., and Alexey V. Yablokov, Ph.D.

Editor’s note: The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists asked Dr. Sherman, recognized worldwide for her expertise on Chernobyl, to write this article last year, then rejected it just before deadline, probably considering it too alarming. In it, she reports the widespread expectation of another nuclear power plant failure and the catastrophic consequences. Now, a few months later, the world commemorates the 25th anniversary of Chernobyl while watching the Fukushima meltdown.

For more than 50 years, the World Health Organization (WHO) and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) have abided by an agreement that in essence allows them to cover each other’s back – sometimes at the expense of public health. It’s a delicate balance between cooperation and collusion.

Signed on May 28, 1959, at the 12th World Health Assembly, the agreement states:

“Whenever either organization proposes to initiate a programme or activity on a subject in which the other organization has or may have a substantial interest, the first party shall consult the other with a view to adjusting the matter by mutual agreement,” and continues: The IAEA and the WHO “recognize that they may find it necessary to apply certain limitations for the safeguarding of confidential information furnished to them. They therefore agree that nothing in this agreement shall be construed as requiring either of them to furnish such information as would, in the judgment of the other party possessing the information, interfere with the orderly conduct of its operation.”

The WHO mandate is to look after the health on our planet, while the IAEA is to promote nuclear energy. In light of recent industrial failures involving nuclear power plants, many prominent scientists and public health officials have criticized WHO’s non-competing relationship with IEAE that has stymied efforts to address effects and disseminate information about the 1986 Chernobyl accident, so that current harm may be documented and future harm prevented.

For years, concerned individuals have held vigils outside WHO’s Geneva headquarters urging it to function as an independent agency of the United Nations, free of influence from the IAEA because they want to prevent another tragedy. Chernobyl has shown that societies everywhere – especially Japan, France, India, China, the United States and Germany – must distribute stable potassium iodide (KI) before an accident and must provide independent, publicly available radiation monitoring of both food and individual in-body irradiation levels with the aim of documenting the danger and preventing additional harm.

Twin brothers Michael and Vladimir Iariga of Minsk, Belarus, are 16 years old. Michael, with hydrocephalus, is five minutes older than Vladimir, who is deaf. – Photo: Robert Knoth

On the 20th anniversary of Chernobyl, WHO and the IAEA published the “Chernobyl Forum Report,” mentioning only 350 sources, mainly from the English literature, while in reality there are more than 30,000 publications and up to 170,000 sources that address the consequences of Chernobyl. By 2006, there had been 10 major publications concerning Chernobyl published in England, Germany, Russia, Ukraine, Belarus and the United States, with scientists currently publishing new data.

After waiting two decades for the findings of Chernobyl to be recognized by the United Nations, three scientists, Alexey Yablokov, Vasily Nesterenko and Alexey Nesterenko undertook the task to collect, abstract and translate some 5,000 articles reported by multiple scientists, who observed first-hand the effects from the fallout. These had been published largely in Slavic languages and not previously available in translation. The result was “Chernobyl: Consequences of the Catastrophe for People and the Environment,” published by the New York Academy of Sciences in 2009.

According to the official records, the destruction of the Chernobyl reactor was the result of both design factors and human error. Many technocrats hope that engineering feats will provide benefits for society, but from the sinking of the Titanic to the recent British Petroleum oil blowout in the Gulf of Mexico, it is apparent that neither technology nor humans are error-proof. To mitigate this and any future nuclear disasters, it is critical to learn about the extent of the Chernobyl disaster and continue research into the effects upon the biosphere and all that live in it.

The greatest amount of radioactivity fell outside of Belarus, Ukraine and European Russia, extending across the Northern Hemisphere as far away as Asia, North Africa and North America, while the greatest concentrations continue to affect the 13 million living in Belarus, Ukraine and European Russia.

Immediately after the catastrophe, release of information was limited, and there was a delay in collecting data. WHO, supported by governments worldwide, should have been pro-active and led the way to provide readily accessible information. These omissions resulted in several effects: limited monitoring of fallout levels, delays in getting stable potassium iodide to people, lack of care for many and delay in prevention of contamination of the food supply.

Key to understanding the effects is the difference between external and internal radiation. While external radiation, as from x-rays, neutron, gamma and cosmic rays, can harm and kill, internal radiation – alpha and beta particles – when absorbed by ingestion and inhalation releases damaging energy in direct contact with tissues and cells.

Radiobiological science is not new, and Chernobyl’s adverse outcomes were to be expected, but new adverse effects in humans, animals and plants were documented for the first time by those who directly observed the human and biologic populations exposed to the fallout.

Environmental consequences

As a result of the accumulation of Cesium-137 (Cs-137), Strontium-90 (Sr-90), Plutonium (Pu) and Americium (Am) in the root soil layer, radionuclides have continued to build in plants over recent years. Moving with water to the above-ground parts of plants, the radionuclides – which earlier had disappeared from the surface – concentrate in the edible components, resulting in increased levels of internal irradiation and dose rates in people, despite natural disintegration and decreasing total amounts of radionuclides over time.

Will workers at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant in Japan meet the same fate as their predecessors in Chernobyl, as Dr. Sherman warned? These workers are inside Reactor B1. On April 27, plant owner TEPCO announced that a woman worker was exposed to radiation three times the legal limit last month – with no explanation why they waited a month to make this public. – Photo: TEPCO

Bioaccumulation results in concentration in plants, mushrooms and animals and can increase a thousand-fold as compared with concentrations in soil and water. The factors of accumulation and transition vary considerably by season even for the same species, making it difficult to discern dangerous levels of radionuclides in plants and animals that appear to be safe to eat. Unfortunately one cannot see, smell or taste radioactive isotopes and, in general, they cannot be cleaned up.

While there have been some reports of wildlife thriving in the 30-km exclusion zone around Chernobyl, the appearance is deceptive, with most being immigrants. According to morphogenetic, cytogenetic and immunological tests, all of the populations of plants, fishes, amphibians and mammals that were studied there are in poor condition. This zone is analogous to a “black hole,” essentially a micro evolutionary “boiler,” where gene pools of living creatures are actively transforming, with unpredictable consequences.

The accumulation of Sr-90 into plants is greater than that of Cs-137, but it varies by species, population and area. Thus, grazing animals concentrate Sr-90 in their milk, and then into the food supply.

People who rely upon wild plants and game animals found their food supplies diminished, as mushrooms, wild game and berries were contaminated and could not be used as food.

Plants developed deformities of their roots, fruits, leaves, pollen and spores, and land and aquatic plants show chromosomal changes and mutations that were rare or unheard of before the catastrophe.

It may be that disappearance of one or more species in an ecosystem may bring about the collapse of an entire system.

Radioactive contamination re-circulates through the biosphere via rain, snow, fire and water. Seasonal growth and decay of plants contributes to spread contamination to other plants and animals. Fires spread plant and soil contamination via air currents, and the spectacular wildfires in Russia that occurred in 2010 have not been fully documented.

Adverse human health findings

Those profoundly – and expectedly – affected are the liquidators, the young and healthy men and women who worked to stop the fires and to contain the release of radioactivity. Miners were recruited and many worked to tunnel under the reactor.

Of the estimated 830,000 people conscripted to do the work, by 2005, some 125,000 – 15 percent – were dead, mostly from circulatory and blood diseases and malignancies. Of those from Belarus who worked May to June of 1986, versus those who worked July to December 1986, more developed stomach or thyroid disease and had a greater incidence of cancer. Malignancies were expected, given the liquidators’ close proximity to intense radioactivity.

Heart disease accounted for 55 percent of deaths in the earlier workers. The increase in non-malignant diseases was new to the world of radiation medicine, and documented only because there were so many victims and so many scientists and physicians who observed the victims.

Koreans are still buying Japanese seafood like this at a wholesale market in Seoul, but fears are rising that it is being poisoned by the radioactive water pouring out of Fukushima. – Photo: Reuters

Children born to liquidator families were seriously affected with birth defects, thyroid cancer, an increase in central nervous system tumors – in Kiev – and generally poor health. There was also an overall increase in juvenile morbidity, cataracts in children and diseases characteristic of accelerated aging.

In Belarus and the area of Ukraine around the Chernobyl site, children in general have poor health, including loss of intellect. Based upon the research of multiple researchers, it is estimated that in the heavily contaminated areas of Belarus, only 20 percent of children are considered healthy, placing an enormous burden upon governmental resources to provide medical care and education for those affected.

Significant adverse human health findings

General morbidity increased all of the contaminated territories and is correlated with the density of radioactive contamination as documented in “Chernobyl: Consequences of the Catastrophe for People and the Environment.”

Blood and circulatory systems:

Radioactive contamination resulted in diseases of the blood, blood-forming organs and the circulatory system and is a major factor in overall morbidity for inhabitants of contaminated territories, including evacuees, migrants, liquidators and their children. It is becoming clear that one of the common reasons for these functional impairments is radioactive destruction of the endothelium, the covering of the inner surface of vessels. Leukemia incidence, largely involving the bone marrow damage, increased not only in children and liquidators, but also in the general adult population.

Endocrine system:

All forecasts concerning thyroid cancer have been wrong. Chernobyl related thyroid cancers have rapid onset and aggressive development, mostly in the papillary form, affecting both children and adults.

The marked increase in thyroid disease and thyroid cancer in children is linked to the release of radioactive iodine. Of concern is damage to the thyroid of the unborn, with concomitant loss of intellectual function. To date, an important finding is that for every case of thyroid cancer there are about 1,000 cases of other forms of thyroid gland pathology. In Belarus alone, experts estimate that up to 1.5 million people are at risk of thyroid disease.

Immune system:

The quantity and activity of various groups of lymphocytes and thus the production of antibodies, including various immunoglobulins, stem cells and thrombocytes, are altered. The ultimate consequences are immunodeficiency and an increase in the frequency and seriousness of infections and of acute and chronic diseases. The suppression of immunity as a result of this radioactive contamination is known as “Chernobyl AIDS.”

Respiratory system:

There was a marked increase in respiratory morbidity everywhere in the contaminated territories. In the first days after the catastrophe, respiratory problems of the mouth, throat and trachea in adults were basically linked to the gaseous aerosol forms of Iodine-131 (I-131), Ruthenium-106 (Ru-106), and Cerium-144 (Ce-144). Further damage to the respiratory system was caused by “hot particles” – the firm particles of uranium fuel melted together with other radionuclides. “Chernobyl dust” has been found in liquidators’ bronchial tubes, bronchioles and alveoli for many years.

Reproductive system:

A wide spectrum of reproductive function disorders and urogenital morbidity exists in those living in contaminated territories. These include abnormal development of the genitalia, sperm pathologies, including dead sperm, low sperm mobility, disorders of secondary sexual characteristics, degenerate changes of the placenta, delay in sexual maturation, primary infertility, complications during pregnancy and birth, and perinatal and neonatal deaths.

Significantly high levels of alpha radionuclides were found in bone tissue of aborted fetuses from mothers living in the contaminated territories in Ukraine. Changes in sex ratios at birth were documented in Denmark, Finland, Germany, Hungary, Norway, Poland and Sweden.

Genetic changes:

Chromosome aberrations in peripheral blood cells were among the first ominous signs of the Chernobyl catastrophe and revealed a correlation between the level of aberrations and a number of pathological conditions. Somatic chromosomal mutations were linked to congenital malformations and protein polymorphism. Mutations in mini-satellite DNA are only some of the genetic changes resulting from radionuclide exposure, but the overwhelming majority of Chernobyl-induced genetic changes will not become apparent for several generations.

Skeletal system:

Liquidators and residents of the contaminated territories often complain of bone and joint pain. Bone function is a balance between the formation of bone and the natural re-absorption process. Because a number of isotopes become deposited in bone these diseases may be due to either hormonal disorders or direct damage by irradiation to the cellular predecessors of osteoclasts and osteoblasts. Sr-90, produced in the splitting of uranium is deposited in children’s bones and teeth and linked to diseases later in life. (Sherman, 2000; Mangano and Sherman, 2011)

In contaminated Ukrainian territories, children have been born without bones (“jellyfish children”), a condition seen previously only in the Marshall Islands after the nuclear tests of the 1950s.

In contaminated Ukrainian territories, children have been born without bones (“jellyfish children”), a condition seen previously only in the Marshall Islands after the nuclear tests of the 1950s.

Cataracts:

Throughout the more contaminated territories, visual abnormalities occur with greater frequency than in less contaminated areas and include premature cataracts, vitreous degeneration, refraction errors, uvitis and conjunctivitis. It is disturbing that only after 2000 did medical authorities begin to recognize the radiogenic origin of the large increase in cataracts among liquidators and evacuees from the Chernobyl territories. Official recognition occurred 10 years (!) after doctors began to sound the alarm and 13 years after the problem was first registered.

Congenital malformations and anomalies:

Wherever there was Chernobyl radioactive contamination, there was an increase in children born with anomalies and congenital malformations (CMs), including previously rare multiple structural impairments of the limbs, head and body. (Wertelecki, 2010). Analysis of more than 31,000 Belarussian abortuses revealed that the incidence of officially registered CMs increased in all of the contaminated territories and was especially significant in areas with Cs-137 levels of contamination higher than 15 Curies per square kilometer (15 Ci/km2).

In Belarus, some 24 percent of the children in the territories with Cs-137 levels less than 1 Ci/km2 were born with CMs; 30 percent had CMs in territories with levels of 1-5 Ci/km2, and 83 percent had CMs in districts with contamination levels above 15 Ci/km2. The Russian State Registry, which included more than 30,000 children born to liquidators, revealed 46.7 percent had congenital anomalies and “genetic syndromes,” with the prevalence of bone and muscular abnormalities being 3.6-fold higher than corresponding normal Russian parameters.

With the passage of more than a decade, we do not know the full extent of the health of children and grandchildren born to those who were contaminated by the Chernobyl fallout, but research must continue to find out. (Holt, E., 2010)

Central nervous system:

The most serious effect of the Chernobyl radiation is to the brain and is a major medical, social and economic problem for the affected individual, the persons’ family and society at large.

TEPCO President Masataka Shimizu and other company officials kneel to beg forgiveness at a shelter in Koriyama – but they’ve offered no financial compensation. The story has surfaced of a whistleblower who warned about Fukushima 11 years ago and was blackballed from the industry in response. – Photo: Kyodo/Reuters

Studies of liquidators and those irradiated in utero reveal that even small amounts of nuclear radiation, considered harmless by official measures of radiation exposure, resulted in marked organic damage of the frontal, temporal and occipitoparietal lobes of the brain. These organic changes are reflected in nervous system dysfunction, including perception, short-term memory, attention span and operative thinking and result in behavioral and mental disorders and diminished intelligence.

Recent studies show that schoolchildren from the most exposed areas in Sweden who were in the sensitive gestational period during the Chernobyl release were significantly less likely to qualify for high school. (Almond et al., 2007) A recent study of Norwegian adolescents revealed the adverse effect of low dose Chernobyl radiation exposure in utero on cognitive function (verbal IQ). (Heiervang et al., 2010)

Inexplicably, WHO had a special project on brain damage in the Chernobyl territories, which was abruptly stopped after the first definitive results. It is becoming clear that low-dose and low-dose rates of radiation have a profound effect upon fine structures of the nervous system, upon higher nervous system function and upon neuropsychiatry function.

Many pro-nuclear critics have attributed the latter to “radio-phobia,” but documentation of disease is not limited to the human population. With few exceptions, animal and plant systems that were studied demonstrated structural abnormalities in offspring, loss of tolerance and viability, and genetic changes. (Moller and Mousseau, 2010) Wild animals and plants did not drink alcohol, smoke or worry about compensation.

Total number of victims

The number of victims is one of the most contentious issues between scientists who collected data first-hand and WHO/IAEA that estimated only 9,000 deaths.

The most detailed estimate of additional deaths has been done in Russia by comparing rates in six highly contaminated territories with overall Russian averages and with those of six lesser-contaminated areas, maintaining similar geographical and socioeconomic parameters. There were over 7 million people in each area. Documentation is as follows:

The region under study exceeded the Russian average in both over-all mortality and increased rate of mortality. The total number of additional deaths, calculated on the basis of the standardized mortality rates, is estimated at 60,400 (95 percent CI: 54,880 to 65,920) – or 34 persons per 1,000. From 1990 to 2004, the number of additional deaths represents 3.75 percent of the entire population of the contaminated territories and agrees well with the figure of 4.2 percent for Ukraine. (National Ukrainian Report, 2006)

For the populations in all the contaminated territories together – European Russia 1,789,000 (1999), Belarus 1,571,000 (2001) and Ukraine 2,290,000 (2002) – and based on the additional rate in Russia, the total number of extra deaths from Chernobyl in Belarus, Ukraine and the European part of Russia is estimated to be 212,000 for the first 15 years after the catastrophe.

While this calculation seems straightforward, it might underestimate the real figures for three reasons according to Khudoley et al. (2006):

1. Official data about the radioactive contamination for Belgorod and Lipetsk provinces do not correlate with corresponding changes in health statistics after Chernobyl, meaning that the differences in mortality between contaminated and non-contaminated populations that were found might actually be greater. If so, the Ukrainian mortality rate of 4.2 percent may be more realistic than the Russian 3.75 percent.

2. It is well known that there was considerable contamination – sometimes more than 1 Ci/km2 – not only in the six regions under consideration but also in 10 other regions of the European part of Russia, meaning that the total death toll for Russia may be higher.

3. The calculations cover a 15-year period (1990–2004), omitting the years between 1986-1990.

Japanese farmers protest outside the Tokyo head office of TEPCO on April 26, the 25th anniversary of the Chernobyl catastrophe. As calls were heard across Japan that day for a “nuclear-free society,” the farmers took with them vegetables, milk and even two cows. A farmer whose land is 23 kilometers from Fukushima said his cows were getting thin and dying. – Photo: AFP

When we apply the additional mortality of 34 extra deaths per 1,000 population for the 15 years 1990-2004, which was derived above, to the cohort of liquidators not living in contaminated zones (400,000), to the evacuees and to people who moved away from contaminated areas (350,000), then we expect another 25,500 deaths in this period. The overall number of Chernobyl-related deaths up until 2004 in the former USSR is estimated to be 237,500.

Assuming that 10 million people in Europe, outside the former Soviet Union, live in territories with a Cs-137 ground contamination higher than 40 kilobecquerels per square meter, or 40 kBq/m2 (>1.08 Ci/km2), and that the mortality risk is only half that determined in the Chernobyl region, that is, 17 deaths per 1,000 inhabitants – and with better food and better medical and socioeconomic status – up until 2004, we can expect an additional 170,000 deaths in Europe.

Assuming further that the other 150 million Europeans living in territories with a Cs-137 ground contamination below 40 kBq/m2, the additional mortality will be 10-fold less – i.e., 1.7 deaths per 1,000 in 1990-2004 – then we can expect 150,000 x 1.7 or 255,000 more deaths in the rest of Europe.

Given that 20 percent of the radionuclides released from the Chernobyl reactor were deposited outside Europe, with an exposed population of 190 million and with a risk factor of 1.7 per 1,000 as before, we can expect 323,000 additional deaths outside Europe by 2004.

Data from multiple scientists estimate the overall mortality from the Chernobyl catastrophe, for the period from April 1986 to the end of 2004, to be 985,000, similar to those of Gofman (1994a) and Bertell (2006) and a hundred times more than the WHO/IAEA estimate.

Overall effects of radioactive fallout

While fallout was measured in many countries, multiple short half-life isotopes were largely un-measured. Decades of research have confirmed that radioisotopes become deposited in various parts of living systems. In humans, I-131 and I-129 concentrate in the thyroid, Cs-137 in soft tissue, and Sr-90 in teeth and bones.

Combined effects from exposure to multiple isotopes that concentrate in various portions of a human or animal have not been fully examined, however, by comparing disease rates in communities with increased levels of radiation to others with low levels, or pre-Chernobyl levels, while maintaining similar socio-economic factors, distinct patterns of effect emerged in those who received the Chernobyl fallout.

Fallout deposition was uneven and remains uneven. Aerial measurements were largely of Cs-137 fallout, which has a gamma component detectable from a plane or helicopter, but even with monitoring, hot spots remained ill defined. The effects of “hot particles” was first documented when upper respiratory, skin and eye problems became manifest soon after the Chernobyl explosions. The particles consist of radioactive metal, largely alpha emitters that cause significant damage when in contact with living cells.

The effects from the Chernobyl catastrophe change over time, many ongoing and some increasing in adverse effect as, for example, Plutonium-241 (Pu-241) that decays to Americium-241 (Am-241), with a half-life of 432 years. Am-241 is water-soluble, moves through the food chain, and emits both gamma and alpha radiation. The ultimate effect upon migratory birds and sea life is not yet determined, but such contamination could result in the collapse of significant numbers of species and food sources.

A 2008 publication of the Ministry of Ukraine of Emergencies and Affairs of Public Protection from the Consequences of Chernobyl (“Atlas of Ukraine Radioactive Contamination”) shows dire predictions for the spread of increasing amounts of Am-241 around the Chernobyl site, westward into the Pinsk Marshes that form the border between Ukraine and Belarus, and south into the Dnepr River where it flows into the Black Sea near Odessa, empties through the Bosporus to the Aegean, and ultimately reaches the Mediterranean Sea.

The westward spread is augmented by commercial canal traffic that connects the Priyapat River to the Bug, Vistula and Oder Rivers and finally into the Baltic Sea. Thus in addition to the atmospheric spread immediately after the disaster, contamination continues to spread via water routes.

To date, not every living system has been studied, but of those that have – animals, birds, fish, amphibians, invertebrates, insects, trees, plants, bacteria, viruses and humans – many with genetic instability across generations all sustained changes, some permanent and some fatal. Wild and domestic animals develop diseases similar to those found in humans

It takes 10 decades for an isotope to completely decay, thus the approximately 30-year half-lives for Sr-90 and Cs-137 mean it will take nearly three centuries before they have decayed, a mere blink of the eye when compared to Plutonium-239 (Pu-239) with a half-life of 24,100 years.

The human and economic costs are enormous: In the first 25 years, the direct economic damage to Belarus, Ukraine and Russia has exceeded $500 billion. To mitigate some of the consequences, Belarus spends about 20 percent of its national annual budget, Ukraine up to 6 percent and Russia up to 1 percent. Funding from other countries and from the U.N. is essential to continue scientific studies and to provide help to those who continue to live with significant radioactive contamination.

The human and economic costs are enormous: In the first 25 years, the direct economic damage to Belarus, Ukraine and Russia has exceeded $500 billion. Belarus spends about 20 percent of its national annual budget to mitigate some of the consequences.

The tragedy of Chernobyl shows that societies everywhere – especially Japan, France, India, China, the United States and Germany – must consider the importance of independent, publicly available radiation monitoring of both food and individual in-body irradiation levels with the aim of documenting the danger and preventing additional harm and to have stable potassium iodide (KI) readily available to prevent thyroid damage.

Given profound weather effects – earthquakes, floods, tsunamis etc. – human fallibility and military conflicts, many believe that it is only a matter of time before there is another nuclear catastrophe. Nuclear fallout knows no state or national boundaries and will contribute to increase in illnesses, decrease in intelligence and in instability throughout the world. The economic costs of radioactive pollution and care of contaminated citizens are staggering. No country can maintain itself if its citizens are economically, intellectually, politically and socially impoverished.*

When a radiation release occurs, we do not know in advance the part of the biosphere it will contaminate, the animals, plants and people that will be affected, nor the amount or duration of harm. In many cases, damage is random, depending upon the health, age and status of development and the amount, kind and variety of radioactive contamination that reaches humans, animals and plants. For this reason, international support of research on the consequences of Chernobyl must continue in order to mitigate the ongoing and increasing damage. Access to information must be transparent and open to all, across all borders. The WHO must assume independent responsibility in support of international health.

Given the continuing and known problems caused by the Chernobyl catastrophe, we must ask ourselves: Before we commit ourselves to economic and technological support of nuclear energy, who, what and where are we willing to sacrifice and for how long?

Footnotes

Almond, D., Edlund, L. and Palme, M., “Chernobyl’s subclinical legacy: Prenatal exposure to radioactive fallout and school outcomes in Sweden.” Retrieved Aug. 3, 2009, from http://www.nuwinfo.se/almond-edlund-palme20070811.html 2007

Bertell, R. “The death toll of the Chernobyl accident.” In: Busby, C.C. and Yablokov, A.V., (Eds.), “ECRR Chernobyl 20 Years On: Health Effects of the Chernobyl Accident.” ECRR Doc. 1, Green Audit Books, Aberystwyth, pp. 245, 248, 2006

Gofman, J.W., “Chernobyl Accident: Radioactive Consequences for the Existing and Future Generations.” Vysheihsaya Shcola, Minsk. 576 pp., 1994 (in Russian)

Heiervang, K.S., et al. “Effect of low dose ionizing radiation exposure in utero in cognitive function in adolescence.” Scandinavian Journal of Psychology, 2010, doi: 10.1111/j.1467-9450.2010.00814.x

Holt, E., “Debate over health effects of Chernobyl re-ignited.” Lancet. 375(9724): 1424-1425, 2010

Khudoley, V.V., Blokov, I.P., Sadovnichik, T., and Bysaro, S., “Attempt to estimate the consequences of Chernobyl catastrophe for population living in the radiation-contaminated territories of Russia.” In: Blokov, I.P. (Ed.), “Consequences of Chernobyl Accident: Estimation and Prognosis of Additional Mortality and Cancer Diseases.” Center for Independent Environmental Assessment, Greenpeace-Russia, pp. 3-19, 2006 (in Russian)

Mangano, J.J. and Sherman, J.D., “Elevated in vivo strontium-90 from nuclear weapons test fallout among cancer decedents: A case-control study of deciduous teeth,” International Journal of Health Services, 41(1):137–58, 2011

Moller, A.P., Mousseau, T.A., “Efficiency of bio-indicators for low-level radiation under field conditions.” Ecological Indicators, doi:10.1016/j.ecolinf.2010.06.013 (pdf)

Ministry of Ukraine, “Emergencies and Affairs of Public Protection from the Consequences of Chernobyl,” “Atlas of Ukraine Radioactive Contamination,” Intelligence Systems GEO, Ltd., 2002, 2008

National Ukrainian Report. “Twenty Years of Chernobyl Catastrophe. Future Outlook.” (Kiev) http://www.mns.gov.ua/news_show.php? 2006 (in Russian)

Sherman, J.D. “Life’s Delicate Balance: Causes and Prevention of Breast Cancer.” Taylor and Francis. New York. 273 pp. 2000

Wertelecki, W. “Malformations in a Chornobyl-impacted region.” Pediatrics, 125(4): 836-843, 2010

Yablokov, A.V., Nesterenko, V.B., Nesterenko, A.V., “Chernobyl Consequences for People and Nature.” “Nauka” Publ., Sankt-Petersburg, 367 pp., 2007

Yablokov, A.V., Nesterenko, V.B., and Nesterenko, A.V., Sherman-Nevinger, J.D., Consulting Editor, “Chernobyl: Consequences of the Catastrophe for People and the Environment,” New York Academy of Sciences, 1181:1-327, 2009

Janette D. Sherman, M.D., is a physician and toxicologist, specializing in chemicals and nuclear radiation that cause cancer and birth defects. The author of “Chemical Exposure and Disease” and “Life’s Delicate Balance: Causes and Prevention of Breast Cancer” and editor of “Chernobyl: Consequences of the Catastrophe for People and Nature,” she has worked in radiation and biologic research at the University of California nuclear facility and at the U.S. Naval Radiological Defense Laboratory at the Hunters Point Shipyard in San Francisco. From 1976-1982, she served on the advisory board for the EPA Toxic Substances Control Act. Throughout her career, she has served as a medical-legal expert witness for thousands of individuals harmed by exposure to toxic agents. Dr. Sherman’s primary interest is the prevention of illness through public education and patient awareness. She can be reached at toxdoc.js@verizon.net and www.janettesherman.com. Co-author Alexey V. Yablokov, Ph.D., can be reached at yablokov@voxnet.ru.

*This article was solicited by the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists in 2010, but after Dr. Sherman had responded to 42 queries and spent 30 hours writing it, it was rejected shortly before the deadline, apparently as too alarmist. This paragraph is an ominous warning of the Fukushima catastrophe that occurred just a few months after it was written and a reminder of the urgent need for more public information such as is provided here. See also “Is the Fukushima nuclear plant breakdown worse than Chernobyl?” by Janette D. Sherman, M.D.

India Holds Back Approval for Four Russian Reactors, WSJ Reports

India Holds Back Approval for Four Russian Reactors, WSJ Reports

By Archana Chaudhary
India’s environment ministry held back approval for four Russian reactors to be set up in the southern city of Kudankulam because disposing of water into the sea may affect marine life, the Wall Street Journal reported.

A fresh risk assessment is needed following the Fukushima nuclear accident, according to the report, which cited a panel of the ministry.

Nuclear Power Corp. of India, the state-owned monopoly atomic generator, plans to set up four Russian reactors of 1,000 megawatts each at Kudankulam in the state of Tamil Nadu in addition to two units being constructed.

Shreyans Kumar Jain, chairman of Nuclear Power Corp., didn’t answer a call made to his mobile phone seeking comment. India is reviewing environmental approvals for all coastal nuclear power projects, Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh told reporters in New Delhiwhen asked to comment on the report.

To contact the reporter on this story: Archana Chaudhary in Mumbai atachaudhary2@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: David Merritt at dmerritt1@bloomberg.net

Rush in now, repent later

Rush in now, repent later

SIDDHARTH VARADARAJAN

Agitators pelt stones at police in Ratnagiri on April 19, 2011, in protest against the proposed nuclear power plant in Jaitapur. File Photo: Vivek Bendre
The HinduAgitators pelt stones at police in Ratnagiri on April 19, 2011, in protest against the proposed nuclear power plant in Jaitapur. File Photo: Vivek Bendre

A transparent assessment of the costs and risks associated with India’s ambitious nuclear plans must be made before any ground is broken at Jaitapur or elsewhere.

You really have to hand it to the nuclear industry. In any other sphere of the economy, a major industrial disaster is likely to have adverse, long-term financial consequences for the company or companies whose product or activity was involved in the accident, regardless of actual cause or legal liability. Thus, the people of Bhopal may still be paying for the poisonous gas which descended over their city in December 1984 but Union Carbide became such a toxic brand that it eventually went bust. Last year’s oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico has also blown a large hole in the profits of BP. But under the perverse economic logic of the nuclear industry, disasters like the one unfolding at the Fukushima-Daiichi nuclear power plant in Japan only mean more business for the world’s biggest atomic energy vendors.

According to Dan Yurman, a consultant for firms connected to the American nuclear industry, two giant nuclear consortia are forming to manage the clean-up of the Fukushima site. “The first consortium is composed of General Electric and Hitachi, with support from Exelon and Bechtel. The second group is led by Toshiba which is partnered with the U.S. branch of Areva, the French state-owned nuclear giant. Babcock & Wilcox and The Shaw Group are part of the Toshiba team,” he writes in his excellent and authoritative blog, Nuke Notes. Incidentally, cleaning up isn’t really their core competence. GE, Hitachi, Areva, Babcock & Wilcox and Toshiba are all in the business of building components for nuclear power plants.

In case readers have failed to spot the irony, let me be blunt about what’s going on here. First, you get paid to sell a reactor in a foreign country. Then, under an international liability regime that is explicitly designed to favour you, the entire burden for site remediation and victim compensation in the “highly unlikely” event of an accident is shifted on to the plant operator. Finally, if and when that “highly unlikely” accident does occur, you are not only insulated from any financial claims but you actually get paid even more handsomely to come in and help clean up the mess!

Exactly how much money are we talking about? Yurman estimates the cost of decommissioning the six reactors at the site could be as much as $12 billion and would take more than a decade to complete. “Industry experts agree this won’t be an ordinary job of tearing down a safe and cold reactor. For instance, to remove the spent fuel from Unit 4, a giant superstructure will have to be built around the devastated secondary containment structure to safely load the hot fuel assemblies underwater into special transportation casks.” Indeed, so lucrative is this project that the two consortia — which consist of companies that otherwise fiercely compete with each other for contracts and projects — “are reported to be having exploratory talks to combine forces.”

As for the $12 billion required to pay these companies for the clean-up, where is such a huge sum likely to come from? From the victims of the accident, the Japanese people, who else! “The Japanese government is said to be considering a form of receivership for the Fukushima site which would allow taxpayer funds to cover clean-up costs and pay compensation to people forced to evacuate their homes within the 13 km government defined danger zone around the plants,” notes Yurman.

As far as the Indian debate over nuclear energy is concerned, the unfolding Fukushima scenario poses an urgent challenge on three different fronts: estimating the true cost of nuclear power, assigning liability in the event of a nuclear accident in a way that is both equitable and efficient, and ensuring the highest possible standards of safety and regulation. As of today, despite the government’s ambitious plans for the construction of 20 or more nuclear reactors across the country, there is little or no clarity or transparency on these vital issues.

The Indo-U.S. nuclear agreement — which paved the way for actualisation of these grand targets — led to intense political divisions at the time it was being negotiated but the debate over the optimum energy mix for India must be conducted independently of those fault lines. The deal may have been sold to the Indian and global public as a cheap and green solution to the country’s power shortage but its primary economic utility today lies in presenting our planners with a wider set of energy options. A door has been opened for India to access nuclear material and technology which was unfairly denied to it in the past but any decision to walk through that door and fill our shopping cart must be based on a sound cost-benefit analysis. Post-Fukushima, we now know, for example, that the cost of clean-up in the event of a “low-probability” event must also be factored in to the equation. Once the $12 billion bill the Japanese taxpayers are going to be saddled with to permanently entomb the highly radioactive reactors there is retrospectively fed into the cost of electricity that the Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) generated over the years, the true per unit tariff is likely to be much higher than the figure TEPCO worked with when the decision to build the reactors was originally made. Here in India, the Planning Commission should now go back to the drawing board and ask itself whether it still makes financial sense to produce electricity at any given location through large and expensive imported reactors when there may be cheaper options available over the medium term. It may still be that nuclear energy makes economic sense but it is vital that the decision we take be based on a realistic assessment of actual and probabilistic costs over the entire life cycle of a nuclear plant.

As for liability, the Manmohan Singh government owes a debt of gratitude to those who criticised it during last year’s debate over the controversial liability law. If the watered down version had been passed, as the American nuclear industry was insisting, our leaders would be running for political cover today. Fukushima is a confirmation of the need for tough liability legislation, especially since the cause of the accident lay, at least partly, in deficient design. As the 16 leading nuclear scientists who recently sent a letter on nuclear safety to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Director General noted, “It appears that, in the siting and design of the Fukushima-Daiichi nuclear plants, an unlikely combination of low-probability events (historic earthquake plus historic tsunami leading to loss of all electrical power) was not taken sufficiently into account.” Rational liability laws are essential for ensuring the nuclear vendor pays adequate attention to safety in coming up with his designs. Optimum safety can only be built in if the vendor is forced to internalize the cost of an accident, something liability laws in Japan and elsewhere do not do. The Indian law is an improvement over the prevailing global model but post-Fukushima, many will argue for its further strengthening.

“We are confident that only nuclear power that avoids being a threat to the health and safety of the population and to the environment is acceptable to society,” the 16 nuclear scientists, including Anil Kakodkar, former head of the Department of Atomic Energy (DAE), said in their letter. They added: “It is necessary to ensure that national nuclear safety regulators in all countries are fully independent in their decision-making on nuclear safety and to assure their competence, resources and enforcement authorities.”

Unfortunately, India today has no such body of regulators. Even on paper, the “autonomous” Atomic Energy Regulatory Board cannot remotely be called “fully independent” since it reports eventually to the Atomic Energy Commission, which, in turn, is chaired by the head of the DAE. As Prashant Reddy, a research associate at the National University of Juridical Sciences in Kolkata, has noted, “This is like making the Securities & Exchange Board of India [SEBI] responsible to the Bombay Stock Exchange and then expecting SEBI to function as an independent, autonomous regulator.” The government is understood to be working on a proposal to create a truly independent regulator for the nuclear industry but what eventually emerges from its internal review process is anybody’s guess. Meanwhile, the decision to push ahead with construction activity at Jaitapur and other places has evoked a strong negative reaction from local communities. Opposition parties like the Shiv Sena may be trying to exploit people’s fears but the government’s failure to be open and transparent in its conduct at the grassroots level is what has created fertile ground for protest. Radioactive pollution, in the “low-probability” event of an accident, has a half-life of hundreds of years. Will the skies fall upon us if Jaitapur and other projects are put on hold for a fraction of that time, so that citizens at large — and the concerned local communities — can be convinced through argument and debate that putting up nuclear plants in their backyard is a safe and economical way of generating electricity?

This article was corrected for grammatical errors.

Indian Press Reveals Radiation-Caused Evacuation of Ohio’s Problem-Plagued Perry Nuke Plant

US facing nuclear scare in Ohio plant?

Oneindia News

Cleveland, Apr 27: After the nuclear scare in tsunami-hit Japan’s Fukushima Daichi plant, there were global concerns on the disastrous impact of the nuclear leak for years to come. Following the scare, nuclear plants across the world had stepped up their security and safety measures to avoid a catastrophe of fatal proportions.

News has emerged of exceptionally high radiation levels at a nuclear reactor in northeast Ohio that has caused concern to the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission. The plant in question is the Perry Nuclear Power Plant that was evacuated on Apr 22 after radiation levels rose while the plant was shutting down for a refuelling outage, revealed the commission. The plant officials have confirmed that workers have not been exposed to radiation in excess of NRC limits, the commission added.

In a statement issued by the commission, “The plant is in a safe condition and there has been no impact to workers at the plant or members of the public from this issue.” The commission explained that trouble started when workers were removing a monitor that measures nuclear reactions during start-up, low-power operations and shutdown.

The highest recorded radiation exposure to workers were measured at 98 millirems, which is the equivalent to two or three chest X-rays, revealed a spokesman for the owners of the nuclear reactor. He also added that the NRC’s limit for radiation exposure in a year is 5000 millirems.

The plant owned by Akron-based FirstEnergy Corp. has been operational since 1987. Plant spokesperson revealing the lapses in the part of workers stated, “The contractors did not use the proper method to remove this piece of equipment from underneath the reactor. It shouldn’t have happened, but the bottom line was it did not impact the safety or health of the contractors or the public.”

The Commission started inspecting the plant from Monday and refused to divulge how high the radiation levels are and how often such are carried out.

OneIndia News

Dissent should be heard

Column: Dissent should be heard

Written by
REKHA BASU

Early this month in India’s capital, a retired Navy admiral, a newspaper columnist and an anti-nuclear activist from Maharashtra told the press of their concerns about plans for the construction of the world’s largest nuclear-power park, in Maharashtra. Six reactors of 1,650 megawatts each would be designed and built by a French nuclear energy company.

The press conference, which I attended, was nine days before disaster struck Japan’s nuclear reactors. Speakers warned of environmental and health disasters in a biodiverse coastal farming and fishing area. The plants’ design, they said, never has been tested or cleared by any country’s nuclear regulatory agency. They also decried the undermining of democracy in the Indian and state governments’ promotion of the plan, through heavy-handed tactics including forcing the reactors on a population that doesn’t want them and then trying to silence dissent through arrests. The retired admiral, L. Ramdas, and several high courts’ former justices were among opponents banned from the area. The group charged that environmental impact information has been withheld. “Anything to do with atomic energy is secret,” said Ramdas.

The remark soon would be echoed in Japan. “Everything is a secret. There’s not enough transparency in the industry,” the Associated Press quoted a Japanese former nuclear power plant engineer as saying of that country’s industry. The Japanese are frustrated their government has downplayed the severity of radiation discharged from the damaged plants, even as U.S. inspectors had far worse assessments. They have reason to be wary, given Japan’s history of cozy relationships between the energy industry and nuclear regulators, secrecy and cover-ups.

Secrecy and heavy-handedness seem to be hallmarks of the nuclear power industry, going back to the days of Karen Silkwood. The late employee of the Kerr-McGee Corp. in Oklahoma testified to the Atomic Energy Commission in 1974 about serious violations, alleging the company had falsified inspection records. She died under mysterious circumstances while going to meet a New York Times reporter.

We’ve had enough warnings now that to move ahead on nuclear power without taking a hard look at what dangers we could be inviting would just be reckless. Recently, President Obama said he will order the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to do a comprehensive safety review before proceeding with nuclear expansion. Yet some Iowa lawmakers are determined to proceed with legislation paving the way for MidAmerican Energy to build a 1,000- to 1,600-megawatt nuclear plant in Iowa. The bill says nuclear power “has a long-term proven record of providing a safe, reliable and secure source of electricity in the United States.”

Former Gov. Chet Culver in 2010 signed a law allowing MidAmerican to charge Iowa customers $15 million for a three-year nuclear feasibility study. Nine Democratic senators now want a vote delay. About 100 opponents gathered, hoping to speak at a Senate subcommittee meeting, where MidAmerican’s president spoke. They couldn’t.

The industry and lawmakers can marginalize opponents, thanks in part to the money imbalance between the sides. Anti-nuclear activist Jane Magers says her group has no funds to place ads. But shouldn’t consumers, who are paying for the study, at least be heard? This isn’t a partisan issue but a health and safety one, with key democratic principles at stake.

Basu can be reached at rbasu@dmreg. com.

Opposition to huge India nuclear plant hardens after Japan

Main Image
A policeman stands at a kiosk at the proposed site of the Jaitapur nuclear plant in Ratnagiri district, about 360 km (224 miles) south of Mumbai, April 13, 2011. The stakes are high for chronically power-short India. The plant would eventually have six reactors capable of generating 9,900 megawatts of electricity — enough to provide power to 10 million Indian homes. Long-running opposition to the proposed plant at Jaitapur has hardened amid the unfolding nuclear crisis in Japan, with village posters depicting scenes of last month’s devastation at the Fukushima plant and warning of what could be in store for this region in the Western Ghats north of Goa.

By Tony Munroe

JAITAPUR, India | Fri Apr 15, 2011 11:33am EDT

(Reuters) – As far as Taramati Vaghdhare is concerned, there is no question of accepting compensation to make way for the world’s largest nuclear power plant.

“If you want the land, make us stand on the land — shoot us — and then take the land,” said the feisty 53-year-old, wearing a blue and gold sari and gesturing with a spatula.

In the yard outside her house, a young man sorted green mangoes of the prized Alphonso type from her family’s orchards.

“Our land is our mother. We can’t sell her and take compensation,” said Vaghdhare, who was among villagers detained during recent protests against the plant.

The stakes are high for chronically power-short India. The plant would eventually have six reactors capable of generating 9,900 megawatts of electricity — enough to provide power to 10 million Indian homes.

Long-running opposition to the proposed plant at Jaitapur has hardened amid the unfolding nuclear crisis in Japan, with village posters depicting scenes of last month’s devastation at the Fukushima plant and warning of what could be in store for this region in the Western Ghats north of Goa.

Even if villagers and fishermen manage to derail the plant, India is unlikely to back down from its broader nuclear ambitions given surging power demand and a lack of alternatives.

India suffers from a peak-hour power deficit of about 12 percent that acts as a brake on an economy growing at nearly 9 percent and causes blackouts in much of the country. About 40 percent of Indians, or 500 million people, lack electricity.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh staked his political career on a 2008 deal with the United States that ended India’s nuclear isolation dating to its 1974 test of a nuclear device, opening up a $150 billion civilian nuclear market.

India now operates 20 mostly small reactors at six sites with a capacity of 4,780 MW, or 3 percent of its total power capacity. It hopes to lift its nuclear capacity to 7,280 MW by next year, more than 20,000 MW by 2020 and 63,000 MW by 2032 by adding nearly 30 reactors.

Shortly after the earthquake and tsunami that crippled the plant at Fukushima and triggered a global rethink of nuclear power, Singh said India’s atomic energy programme was on track but regulators would review safety systems to ensure that plants could withstand similar natural disasters.

“I do not believe that there is any panic reaction in terms of calling for a halt for the nuclear projects,” said M.R. Srinivasan, former chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission of India, who selected the Jaitapur site.

“We will certainly review, in respect of new projects, the safety of those sites and the installations we propose to bring there in the context of an extreme, low probability but nonetheless possible natural event such as occurred in Fukushima,” he said.

VANDALISM AND CRICKET

A recent visit to the 938 hectare (2,216 acre) site saw few signs of activity other than a group of policemen playing cricket. Defaced signs and milemarkers on the road to Jaitapur, about 300 km (185 miles) south of Mumbai, are evidence of the opposition to the plant.

Stuxnet, Fukushima, Economic Warfare On Toyota–eliminating the competition

Israeli Test on Worm Called Crucial in Iran Nuclear Delay

By WILLIAM J. BROAD, JOHN MARKOFF and DAVID E. SANGER

This article is by William J. Broad, John Markoff and David E. Sanger.

The Dimona complex in the Negev desert is famous as the heavily guarded heart of Israel’s never-acknowledged nuclear arms program, where neat rows of factories make atomic fuel for the arsenal.

Over the past two years, according to intelligence and military experts familiar with its operations, Dimona has taken on a new, equally secret role — as a critical testing ground in a joint American and Israeli effort to undermine Iran’s efforts to make a bomb of its own.

Behind Dimona’s barbed wire, the experts say, Israel has spun nuclear centrifuges virtually identical to Iran’s at Natanz, where Iranian scientists are struggling to enrich uranium. They say Dimona tested the effectiveness of the Stuxnet computer worm, a destructive program that appears to have wiped out roughly a fifth of Iran’s nuclear centrifuges and helped delay, though not destroy, Tehran’s ability to make its first nuclear arms.

“To check out the worm, you have to know the machines,” said an American expert on nuclear intelligence. “The reason the worm has been effective is that the Israelis tried it out.”

Though American and Israeli officials refuse to talk publicly about what goes on at Dimona, the operations there, as well as related efforts in the United States, are among the newest and strongest clues suggesting that the virus was designed as an American-Israeli project to sabotage the Iranian program.

In recent days, the retiring chief of Israel’s Mossad intelligence agency, Meir Dagan, and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton separately announced that they believed Iran’s efforts had been set back by several years. Mrs. Clinton cited American-led sanctions, which have hurt Iran’s ability to buy components and do business around the world.

The gruff Mr. Dagan, whose organization has been accused by Iran of being behind the deaths of several Iranian scientists, told the Israeli Knesset in recent days that Iran had run into technological difficulties that could delay a bomb until 2015. That represented a sharp reversal from Israel’s long-held argument that Iran was on the cusp of success.

The biggest single factor in putting time on the nuclear clock appears to be Stuxnet, the most sophisticated cyberweapon ever deployed.

In interviews over the past three months in the United States and Europe, experts who have picked apart the computer worm describe it as far more complex — and ingenious — than anything they had imagined when it began circulating around the world, unexplained, in mid-2009.

Many mysteries remain, chief among them, exactly who constructed a computer worm that appears to have several authors on several continents. But the digital trail is littered with intriguing bits of evidence.

In early 2008 the German company Siemens cooperated with one of the United States’ premier national laboratories, in Idaho, to identify the vulnerabilities of computer controllers that the company sells to operate industrial machinery around the world — and that American intelligence agencies have identified as key equipment in Iran’s enrichment facilities.

Siemens says that program was part of routine efforts to secure its products against cyberattacks. Nonetheless, it gave the Idaho National Laboratory — which is part of the Energy Department, responsible for America’s nuclear arms — the chance to identify well-hidden holes in the Siemens systems that were exploited the next year by Stuxnet.

The worm itself now appears to have included two major components. One was designed to send Iran’s nuclear centrifuges spinning wildly out of control. Another seems right out of the movies: The computer program also secretly recorded what normal operations at the nuclear plant looked like, then played those readings back to plant operators, like a pre-recorded security tape in a bank heist, so that it would appear that everything was operating normally while the centrifuges were actually tearing themselves apart.

The attacks were not fully successful: Some parts of Iran’s operations ground to a halt, while others survived, according to the reports of international nuclear inspectors. Nor is it clear the attacks are over: Some experts who have examined the code believe it contains the seeds for yet more versions and assaults.

“It’s like a playbook,” said Ralph Langner, an independent computer security expert in Hamburg, Germany, who was among the first to decode Stuxnet. “Anyone who looks at it carefully can build something like it.” Mr. Langner is among the experts who expressed fear that the attack had legitimized a new form of industrial warfare, one to which the United States is also highly vulnerable.

Officially, neither American nor Israeli officials will even utter the name of the malicious computer program, much less describe any role in designing it.

But Israeli officials grin widely when asked about its effects. Mr. Obama’s chief strategist for combating weapons of mass destruction, Gary Samore, sidestepped a Stuxnet question at a recent conference about Iran, but added with a smile: “I’m glad to hear they are having troubles with their centrifuge machines, and the U.S. and its allies are doing everything we can to make it more complicated.”

In recent days, American officials who spoke on the condition of anonymity have said in interviews that they believe Iran’s setbacks have been underreported. That may explain why Mrs. Clinton provided her public assessment while traveling in the Middle East last week.

By the accounts of a number of computer scientists, nuclear enrichment experts and former officials, the covert race to create Stuxnet was a joint project between the Americans and the Israelis, with some help, knowing or unknowing, from the Germans and the British.

The project’s political origins can be found in the last months of the Bush administration. In January 2009, The New York Times reported that Mr. Bush authorized a covert program to undermine the electrical and computer systems around Natanz, Iran’s major enrichment center. President Obama, first briefed on the program even before taking office, sped it up, according to officials familiar with the administration’s Iran strategy. So did the Israelis, other officials said. Israel has long been seeking a way to cripple Iran’s capability without triggering the opprobrium, or the war, that might follow an overt military strike of the kind they conducted against nuclear facilities in Iraq in 1981 and Syria in 2007.

Two years ago, when Israel still thought its only solution was a military one and approached Mr. Bush for the bunker-busting bombs and other equipment it believed it would need for an air attack, its officials told the White House that such a strike would set back Iran’s programs by roughly three years. Its request was turned down.

Now, Mr. Dagan’s statement suggests that Israel believes it has gained at least that much time, without mounting an attack. So does the Obama administration.

For years, Washington’s approach to Tehran’s program has been one of attempting “to put time on the clock,” a senior administration official said, even while refusing to discuss Stuxnet. “And now, we have a bit more.”

Finding Weaknesses

Paranoia helped, as it turns out.

Years before the worm hit Iran, Washington had become deeply worried about the vulnerability of the millions of computers that run everything in the United States from bank transactions to the power grid.

Computers known as controllers run all kinds of industrial machinery. By early 2008, the Department of Homeland Security had teamed up with the Idaho National Laboratory to study a widely used Siemens controller known as P.C.S.-7, for Process Control System 7. Its complex software, called Step 7, can run whole symphonies of industrial instruments, sensors and machines.

The vulnerability of the controller to cyberattack was an open secret. In July 2008, the Idaho lab and Siemens teamed up on a PowerPoint presentation on the controller’s vulnerabilities that was made to a conference in Chicago at Navy Pier, a top tourist attraction.

“Goal is for attacker to gain control,” the July paper said in describing the many kinds of maneuvers that could exploit system holes. The paper was 62 pages long, including pictures of the controllers as they were examined and tested in Idaho.

In a statement on Friday, the Idaho National Laboratory confirmed that it formed a partnership with Siemens but said it was one of many with manufacturers to identify cybervulnerabilities. It argued that the report did not detail specific flaws that attackers could exploit. But it also said it could not comment on the laboratory’s classified missions, leaving unanswered the question of whether it passed what it learned about the Siemens systems to other parts of the nation’s intelligence apparatus.

The presentation at the Chicago conference, which recently disappeared from a Siemens Web site, never discussed specific places where the machines were used.

But Washington knew. The controllers were critical to operations at Natanz, a sprawling enrichment site in the desert. “If you look for the weak links in the system,” said one former American official, “this one jumps out.”

Controllers, and the electrical regulators they run, became a focus of sanctions efforts. The trove of State Department cables made public by WikiLeaks describes urgent efforts in April 2009 to stop a shipment of Siemens controllers, contained in 111 boxes at the port of Dubai, in the United Arab Emirates. They were headed for Iran, one cable said, and were meant to control “uranium enrichment cascades” — the term for groups of spinning centrifuges.

Subsequent cables showed that the United Arab Emirates blocked the transfer of the Siemens computers across the Strait of Hormuz to Bandar Abbas, a major Iranian port.

Only months later, in June, Stuxnet began to pop up around the globe. The Symantec Corporation, a maker of computer security software and services based in Silicon Valley, snared it in a global malware collection system. The worm hit primarily inside Iran, Symantec reported, but also in time appeared in India, Indonesia and other countries.

But unlike most malware, it seemed to be doing little harm. It did not slow computer networks or wreak general havoc.

That deepened the mystery.

A ‘Dual Warhead’

No one was more intrigued than Mr. Langner, a former psychologist who runs a small computer security company in a suburb of Hamburg. Eager to design protective software for his clients, he had his five employees focus on picking apart the code and running it on the series of Siemens controllers neatly stacked in racks, their lights blinking.

He quickly discovered that the worm only kicked into gear when it detected the presence of a specific configuration of controllers, running a set of processes that appear to exist only in a centrifuge plant. “The attackers took great care to make sure that only their designated targets were hit,” he said. “It was a marksman’s job.”

For example, one small section of the code appears designed to send commands to 984 machines linked together.

Curiously, when international inspectors visited Natanz in late 2009, they found that the Iranians had taken out of service a total of exactly 984 machines that had been running the previous summer.

But as Mr. Langner kept peeling back the layers, he found more — what he calls the “dual warhead.” One part of the program is designed to lie dormant for long periods, then speed up the machines so that the spinning rotors in the centrifuges wobble and then destroy themselves. Another part, called a “man in the middle” in the computer world, sends out those false sensor signals to make the system believe everything is running smoothly. That prevents a safety system from kicking in, which would shut down the plant before it could self-destruct.

“Code analysis makes it clear that Stuxnet is not about sending a message or proving a concept,” Mr. Langner later wrote. “It is about destroying its targets with utmost determination in military style.”

This was not the work of hackers, he quickly concluded. It had to be the work of someone who knew his way around the specific quirks of the Siemens controllers and had an intimate understanding of exactly how the Iranians had designed their enrichment operations.

In fact, the Americans and the Israelis had a pretty good idea.

Testing the Worm

Perhaps the most secretive part of the Stuxnet story centers on how the theory of cyberdestruction was tested on enrichment machines to make sure the malicious software did its intended job.

The account starts in the Netherlands. In the 1970s, the Dutch designed a tall, thin machine for enriching uranium. As is well known, A. Q. Khan, a Pakistani metallurgist working for the Dutch, stole the design and in 1976 fled to Pakistan.

The resulting machine, known as the P-1, for Pakistan’s first-generation centrifuge, helped the country get the bomb. And when Dr. Khan later founded an atomic black market, he illegally sold P-1’s to Iran, Libya, and North Korea.

The P-1 is more than six feet tall. Inside, a rotor of aluminum spins uranium gas to blinding speeds, slowly concentrating the rare part of the uranium that can fuel reactors and bombs.

How and when Israel obtained this kind of first-generation centrifuge remains unclear, whether from Europe, or the Khan network, or by other means. But nuclear experts agree that Dimona came to hold row upon row of spinning centrifuges.

“They’ve long been an important part of the complex,” said Avner Cohen, author of “The Worst-Kept Secret” (2010), a book about the Israeli bomb program, and a senior fellow at the Monterey Institute of International Studies. He added that Israeli intelligence had asked retired senior Dimona personnel to help on the Iranian issue, and that some apparently came from the enrichment program.

“I have no specific knowledge,” Dr. Cohen said of Israel and the Stuxnet worm. “But I see a strong Israeli signature and think that the centrifuge knowledge was critical.”

Another clue involves the United States. It obtained a cache of P-1’s after Libya gave up its nuclear program in late 2003, and the machines were sent to the Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee, another arm of the Energy Department.

By early 2004, a variety of federal and private nuclear experts assembled by the Central Intelligence Agency were calling for the United States to build a secret plant where scientists could set up the P-1’s and study their vulnerabilities. “The notion of a test bed was really pushed,” a participant at the C.I.A. meeting recalled.

The resulting plant, nuclear experts said last week, may also have played a role in Stuxnet testing.

But the United States and its allies ran into the same problem the Iranians have grappled with: the P-1 is a balky, badly designed machine. When the Tennessee laboratory shipped some of its P-1’s to England, in hopes of working with the British on a program of general P-1 testing, they stumbled, according to nuclear experts.

“They failed hopelessly,” one recalled, saying that the machines proved too crude and temperamental to spin properly.

Dr. Cohen said his sources told him that Israel succeeded — with great difficulty — in mastering the centrifuge technology. And the American expert in nuclear intelligence, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said the Israelis used machines of the P-1 style to test the effectiveness of Stuxnet.

The expert added that Israel worked in collaboration with the United States in targeting Iran, but that Washington was eager for “plausible deniability.”

In November, the Iranian president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, broke the country’s silence about the worm’s impact on its enrichment program, saying a cyberattack had caused “minor problems with some of our centrifuges.” Fortunately, he added, “our experts discovered it.”

The most detailed portrait of the damage comes from the Institute for Science and International Security, a private group in Washington. Last month, it issued a lengthy Stuxnet report that said Iran’s P-1 machines at Natanz suffered a series of failures in mid- to late 2009 that culminated in technicians taking 984 machines out of action.

The report called the failures “a major problem” and identified Stuxnet as the likely culprit.

Stuxnet is not the only blow to Iran. Sanctions have hurt its effort to build more advanced (and less temperamental) centrifuges. And last January, and again in November, two scientists who were believed to be central to the nuclear program were killed in Tehran.

The man widely believed to be responsible for much of Iran’s program, Mohsen Fakrizadeh, a college professor, has been hidden away by the Iranians, who know he is high on the target list.

Publicly, Israeli officials make no explicit ties between Stuxnet and Iran’s problems. But in recent weeks, they have given revised and surprisingly upbeat assessments of Tehran’s nuclear status.

“A number of technological challenges and difficulties” have beset Iran’s program, Moshe Yaalon, Israel’s minister of strategic affairs, told Israeli public radio late last month.

The troubles, he added, “have postponed the timetable.”

Is Japan’s Elite Hiding a Weapons Program Inside Nuclear Plants?

Is Japan’s Elite Hiding a Weapons Program Inside Nuclear Plants?

Is Japan's Elite Hiding a Weapons Program Inside Nuclear Plants?

New America Media, News Analysis, Yoichi Shimatsu, Posted: Apr 06, 2011
Confused and often conflicting reports out of Fukushima 1 nuclear plant cannot be solely the result of tsunami-caused breakdowns, bungling or miscommunication. Inexplicable delays and half-baked explanations from Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) and the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) seem to be driven by some unspoken factor.

The smoke and mirrors at Fukushima 1 seem to obscure a steady purpose, an iron will and a grim task unknown to outsiders. The most logical explanation: The nuclear industry and government agencies are scrambling to prevent the discovery of atomic-bomb research facilities hidden inside Japan’s civilian nuclear power plants.

A secret nuclear weapons program is a ghost in the machine, detectable only when the system of information control momentarily lapses or breaks down. A close look must be taken at the gap between the official account and unexpected events.

Conflicting Reports

TEPCO, Japan’s nuclear power operator, initially reported three reactors were operating at the time of the March 11 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami. Then a hydrogen explosion ripped Unit 3, run on plutonium-uranium mixed oxide (or MOX). Unit 6 immediately disappeared from the list of operational reactors, as highly lethal particles of plutonium billowed out of Unit 3. Plutonium is the stuff of smaller, more easily delivered warheads.

A fire ignited inside the damaged housing of the Unit 4 reactor, reportedly due to overheating of spent uranium fuel rods in a dry cooling pool. But the size of the fire indicates that this reactor was running hot for some purpose other than electricity generation. Its omission from the list of electricity-generating operations raises the question of whether Unit 4 was being used to enrich uranium, the first step of the process leading to extraction of weapons-grade fissionable material.

The bloom of irradiated seawater across the Pacific comprises another piece of the puzzle, because its underground source is untraceable (or, perhaps, unmentionable). The flooded labyrinth of pipes, where the bodies of two missing nuclear workers—never before disclosed to the press— were found, could well contain the answer to the mystery: a lab that none dare name.

Political Warfare

In reaction to Prime Minister Naoto Kan’s demand for prompt reporting of problems, the pro-nuclear lobby has closed ranks, fencing off and freezing out the prime minister’s office from vital information. A grand alliance of nuclear proponents now includes TEPCO, plant designer General Electric, METI, the former ruling Liberal Democratic Party and, by all signs, the White House.

Cabinet ministers in charge of communication and national emergencies recently lambasted METI head Banri Kaeda for acting as both nuclear promoter and regulator in charge of the now-muzzled Nuclear and Industrial Safety Commission. TEPCO struck back quickly, blaming the prime minister’s helicopter fly-over for delaying venting of volatile gases and thereby causing a blast at Reactor 2. For “health reasons,” TEPCO ‘s president retreated to a hospital ward, cutting Kan’s line of communication with the company and undermining his site visit to Fukushima 1.

Kan is furthered hampered by his feud with Democratic Party rival Ichiro Ozawa, the only potential ally with the clout to challenge the formidable pro-nuclear coalition

The head of the Liberal Democrats, which sponsored nuclear power under its nearly 54-year tenure, has just held confidential talks with U.S. Ambassador John Roos, while President Barack Obama was making statements in support of new nuclear plants across the U.S.

Cut Off From Communications

The substance of undisclosed talks between Tokyo and Washington can be surmised from disruptions to my recent phone calls to a Japanese journalist colleague. While inside the radioactive hot zone, his roaming number was disconnected, along with the mobiles of nuclear workers at Fukushima 1 who are denied phone access to the outside world. The service suspension is not due to design flaws. When helping to prepare the Tohoku crisis response plan in 1996, my effort was directed at ensuring that mobile base stations have back-up power with fast recharge.

A subsequent phone call when my colleague returned to Tokyo went dead when I mentioned “GE.” That incident occurred on the day that GE’s CEO Jeff Immelt landed in Tokyo with a pledge to rebuild the Fukushima 1 nuclear plant. Such apparent eavesdropping is only possible if national phone carrier NTT is cooperating with the signals-intercepts program of the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA).

The Manchurian Deal

The chain of events behind this vast fabrication goes back many decades.

During the Japanese militarist occupation of northeast China in the 1930s, the puppet state of Manchukuo was carved out as a fully modern economic powerhouse to support overpopulated Japan and its military machine. A high-ranking economic planner named Nobusuke Kishi worked closely with then commander of the occupying Kanto division, known to the Chinese as the Kwantung Army, General Hideki Tojo.

Close ties between the military and colonial economists led to stunning technological achievements, including the prototype of a bullet train (or Shinkansen) and inception of Japan’s atomic bomb project in northern Korea. When Tojo became Japan’s wartime prime minister, Kishi served as his minister of commerce and economy, planning for total war on a global scale.

After Japan’s defeat in 1945, both Tojo and Kishi were found guilty as Class-A war criminals, but Kishi evaded the gallows for reasons unknown—probably his usefulness to a war-ravaged nation. The scrawny economist’s conception of a centrally managed economy provided the blueprint for MITI (Ministry of International Trade and Industry), the predecessor of METI, which created the economic miracle that transformed postwar Japan into an economic superpower.

After clawing his way into the good graces of Cold Warrior John Foster Dulles, Eisenhower’s secretary of state, Kishi was elected prime minister in 1957. His protégé Yasuhiro Nakasone, the former naval officer and future prime minister, spearheaded Japan’s campaign to become a nuclear power under the cover of the Atomic Energy Basic Law.

American Complicity

Kishi secretly negotiated a deal with the White House to permit the U.S. military to store atomic bombs in Okinawa and Atsugi naval air station outside Tokyo. (Marine corporal Lee Harvey Oswald served as a guard inside Atsugi’s underground warhead armory.) In exchange, the U.S. gave the nod for Japan to pursue a “civilian” nuclear program.

Secret diplomacy was required due to the overwhelming sentiment of the Japanese public against nuclear power in the wake of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki atomic bombings. Two years ago, a text of the secret agreement was unearthed by Katsuya Okada, foreign minister in the cabinet of the first Democratic Party prime minister, Yukio Hatoyama (who served for nine months from 2009-10).

Many key details were missing from this document, which had been locked inside the Foreign Ministry archives. Retired veteran diplomat Kazuhiko Togo disclosed that the more sensitive matters were contained in brief side letters, some of which were kept in a mansion frequented by Kishi’s half-brother, the late Prime Minister Eisaku Sato (who served from 1964-72). Those most important diplomatic notes, Togo added, were removed and subsequently disappeared.

These revelations were considered a major issue in Japan, yet were largely ignored by the Western media. With the Fukushima nuclear plant going up in smoke, the world is now paying the price of that journalistic neglect.

On his 1959 visit to Britain, Kishi was flown by military helicopter to the Bradwell nuclear plant in Essex. The following year, the first draft of the U.S.-Japan security was signed, despite massive peace protests in Tokyo. Within a couple of years, the British firm GEC built Japan’s first nuclear reactor at Tokaimura, Ibaragi Prefecture. At the same time, just after the 1964 Tokyo Olympics, the newly unveiled Shinkansen train gliding past Mount Fuji provided the perfect rationale for nuclear-sourced electricity.

Kishi uttered the famous statement that “nuclear weapons are not expressly prohibited” under the postwar Constitution’s Article 9 prohibiting war-making powers. His words were repeated two years ago by his grandson, then Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. The ongoing North Korea “crisis” served as a pretext for this third-generation progeny of the political elite to float the idea of a nuclear-armed Japan. Many Japanese journalists and intelligence experts assume the secret program has sufficiently advanced for rapid assembly of a warhead arsenal and that underground tests at sub-critical levels have been conducted with small plutonium pellets.

Sabotaging Alternative Energy

The cynical attitude of the nuclear lobby extends far into the future, strangling at birth the Japanese archipelago’s only viable source of alternative energy—offshore wind power. Despite decades of research, Japan has only 5 percent of the wind energy production of China, an economy (for the moment, anyway) of comparable size. Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, a nuclear-power partner of Westinghouse, manufactures wind turbines but only for the export market.

The Siberian high-pressure zone ensures a strong and steady wind flow over northern Japan, but the region’s utility companies have not taken advantage of this natural energy resource. The reason is that TEPCO, based in Tokyo and controlling the largest energy market, acts much as a shogun over the nine regional power companies and the national grid. Its deep pockets influence high bureaucrats, publishers and politicians like Tokyo Governor Shintaro Ishihara, while nuclear ambitions keep the defense contractors and generals on its side. Yet TEPCO is not quite the top dog. Its senior partner in this mega-enterprise is Kishi’s brainchild, METI.

The national test site for offshore wind is unfortunately not located in windswept Hokkaido or Niigata, but farther to the southeast, in Chiba Prefecture. Findings from these tests to decide the fate of wind energy won’t be released until 2015. The sponsor of that slow-moving trial project is TEPCO.

Death of Deterrence

Meanwhile in 2009, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) issued a muted warning on Japan’s heightened drive for a nuclear bomb— and promptly did nothing. The White House has to turn a blind eye to the radiation streaming through American skies or risk exposure of a blatant double standard on nuclear proliferation by an ally. Besides, Washington’s quiet approval for a Japanese bomb doesn’t quite sit well with the memory of either Pearl Harbor or Hiroshima.

In and of itself, a nuclear deterrence capability would be neither objectionable nor illegal— in the unlikely event that the majority of Japanese voted in favor of a constitutional amendment to Article 9. Legalized possession would require safety inspections, strict controls and transparency of the sort that could have hastened the Fukushima emergency response. Covert weapons development, in contrast, is rife with problems. In the event of an emergency, like the one happening at this moment, secrecy must be enforced at all cost— even if it means countless more hibakusha, or nuclear victims.

Instead of enabling a regional deterrence system and a return to great-power status, the Manchurian deal planted the time bombs now spewing radiation around the world. The nihilism at the heart of this nuclear threat to humanity lies not inside Fukushima 1, but within the national security mindset. The specter of self-destruction can be ended only with the abrogation of the U.S.-Japan security treaty, the root cause of the secrecy that fatally delayed the nuclear workers’ fight against meltdown

Yoichi Shimatsu, a Hong Kong–based environmental writer, is the former editor of the
Japan Times Weekly.