Category Archives: Health/Environment

Peer Reviewed Research Exposes Fukushima Cover-up By Japan’s Nuclear Safety Authority

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

Masakazu Honda and Miki Aoki
THE ASAHI SHIMBUN : January 18, 2016

Researchers: No doubt cleanup at Fukushima nuclear plant contaminated rice crops in 2013

Radioactive substances that contaminated rice paddies here in 2013 came from the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant, an international group of researchers said, rejecting a denial issued by Japan’s nuclear safety authority.

The researchers, led by Akio Koizumi, a professor at Kyoto University’s Graduate School of Medicine, reached the conclusion after analyzing radioactive substances and taking spot readings of radioactivity levels around Minami-Soma.

Koizumi presented the final report of the group, consisting of 11 researchers from Japan, Europe and the United States, to local farmers and other parties at a community center in Minami-Soma on Jan. 17.

“The cause of further contamination was the radioactive particles dispersed from contaminated rubble during the cleanup effort at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant,” Koizumi concluded in the report.

Earlier, the agriculture ministry and the Nuclear Regulatory Authority (NRA) gave different views on the source of the contaminated rice.

In 2013, rice crops from areas of Minami-Soma were found with unexpectedly high radioactivity levels more than two years after the triple meltdown at the nuclear plant located 20 kilometers south of the city.

One theory was that highly radioactive substances were dispersed when workers were lifting and removing contaminated rubble at the Fukushima plant on Aug. 19 that year. Two workers at the plant were exposed to high doses of radiation during the cleanup process.

The Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries said the cause of the contaminated rice was “unknown” although it acknowledged “the possibility of the dispersal of contaminated dust.” The farm ministry discontinued its investigation without specifying the source of the contamination.

The NRA, however, said the contaminated rice was not related to the cleanup work at the nuclear plant.

The Minami-Soma city assembly expressed outrage over the NRA’s stance. Some in the city suspected the NRA of a cover-up.

Koizumi and the other researchers digitally recreated an accidental dispersal of contaminated dust from the plant in August 2013.

They used a new analysis system to estimate the amount of radioactive cesium that spread toward Minami-Soma based on radioactivity readings around the city and other factors.

The group’s cesium estimate was more than 3.6 times the amount initially estimated by the NRA.

The research group in September 2014 also collected soil samples from 10 locations around the contaminated rice paddies to determine the amount of strontium 90 in the area.

They confirmed that the ratio of strontium 90 to radioactive cesium in the soil samples was similar to the ratio that would be found near the Fukushima nuclear plant.


They also confirmed radioactive substances captured on equipment that keeps track of airborne radioactive particles around Minami-Soma. The researchers concluded that a highly irregular plume of radioactive cesium reached Minami-Soma on the third week of August 2013.

“Every single piece of data in the paper supports the fact that contamination by radioactive dust came from the debris at the nuclear plant,” Koizumi said.

Asked about the NRA’s conclusion, Koizumi said: “It seems they were blinded by their estimated amount of dispersed particles, and their choice for the analysis system was misguided. This kind of attitude would only increase the anxiety of residents in the affected areas.”

The group’s findings were published in the international academic journal Environmental Science & Technology last month after a peer review.

(Full article at THE ASAHI SHIMBUN)

More On Fukushima HERE

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

TEPCO Admits Fukushima Radiation Leaks Have Spiked Sharply

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

Zero Hedge: December 10, 2015

Just weeks after the completion (and failure) of one supposed ‘containment’ wall (and as the construction of the “ice wall” begins), TEPCO, the operator of the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant, has admitted that the levels of radioactivity in underground tunnels has risen sharply (4000x last year’s levels). As NHKWorld reports, TEPCO officials have stated that they plan to investigate what caused the spike in radiation… yes, that would seem like a good idea.

With the newly constructed 780-meter ‘containment’ wall “already leaning,” news that the radiation leaks are growing is a grave concern. As NHKWorld details,

Tokyo Electric Power Company has detected 482,000 becquerels per liter of radioactive cesium in water samples taken from the tunnels on December 3rd. That’s 4000 times higher than data taken in December last year.


The samples also contained 500,000 becquerels of a beta-ray-emitting substance, up 4,100 times from the same period.


Around 400 to 500 tons of radioactive water, including seawater washed ashore in the March 2011 tsunami, is still pooled in the tunnels.


The tunnels lie next to a structure used to temporarily store highly radioactive water, which cooled melted nuclear fuel inside the damaged reactors.


TEPCO officials say it is unlikely the wastewater stored in the building has seeped into the tunnels.


They say the water level in the tunnels is higher than that in the building and measures are in place to stop the toxic water from leaking out.


They plan to investigate what caused the spike in radiation.

(read the full article at Zero Hedge)


facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

Declassified Documents Show US Government Misled Public About Severity Of Fukushima Radiation

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

Within a week of the Fukushima accident in 2011, U.S. authorities knew that parts of Fukushima had melted down completely, and instead of telling the public, they insisted radiation levels were safe and changed the “acceptable radiation levels”. (source)

The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission wrote a report on March 18, 2011 (only one week after the tsunami hit Fukushima) which has now been declassified. (source) The report says:

The source term provided to NARAC was: (1) 25% of the total fuel in unit 2 released to the atmosphere, (2) 50% of the total spent fuel from unit 3 was released to the atmosphere, and (3) 100% of the total spent fuel was released to the atmosphere from unit 4.

Unit 4 released more cesium than if 800 nuclear bombs exploded above ground. (source)

Written by Alternative Free Press
Creative Commons License
Declassified Documents Show US Government Misled Public About Severity Of Fukushima Radiation by is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.


facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

Alberta’s Carbon Tax Is Just More Corporate Welfare

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

Yesterday oil executives, First Nations, academics, and environmentalists stood with the provincial government to announce a carbon tax for Alberta… but where will the money go?

Trevor Tombe, an economist with the University of Calgary, is estimating a $2.8-billion subsidy to the largest emitters. That is almost half of the estimated $6 billion revenue.

According to the CBC and Michal Moore, an economist with the University of Calgary’s school of public policy, the plan for industry is a hybrid of a straightforward carbon tax and a cap-and-trade system that allows the buying and selling of carbon credits enabling large corporations to make money trading permits.

In other words…. Alberta’s carbon tax is just more corporate welfare.

Written by Alternative Free Press
Creative Commons License
Alberta’s Carbon Tax Is Just More Corporate Welfare by is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

Sources: Alberta’s climate-change plan: Breaking down the numbers

Harper commits Canada to contribute corporate welfare

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

Bumblebee exposure to pesticides can lead to poorer crops

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

Emily Chung
CBC News : November 18, 2015

Bumblebees exposed to common neonicotinoid pesticides may do a poorer job of pollinating crops such as apples, leading to poorer-quality fruit, a new Canadian-led study suggests.

When apple trees were pollinated by bees exposed to those pesticides, commonly called neonics, the trees produced about a third fewer seeds.

The number of seeds is generally linked to fruit quality in apples – apples with more seeds tend to be larger, firmer, tastier and more symmetric, said Nigel Raine, the University of Guelph researcher who led the study with his postdoctoral researcher Dara Stanley.

Apples with fewer seeds are more likely to end up as lower-value products such as applesauce.

“Bumblebees are essential pollinators of many important crops other than apples, including field beans, berries, tomatoes and oilseed rape,” the researchers wrote in a paper published today in the journal Nature.

“If exposure to pesticides alters pollination services to apple crops, it is likely that these other bee-pollinated crops would also be affected. Most importantly, the majority of wild plant species benefit from insect pollination services.”

Raine said that means the findings might be “really important… not just in terms of economics and food production of agriculture, but also thinking about biodiversity more broadly.”
Costs of pesticide use

Overall, the information suggests that using neonics has costs – to both production of other crops and wild ecosystems – that may not have previously been considered when weighing the costs against the benefits of using the pesticides.

Neonics, or neonicotinoids, are widely used to treat seeds of crops such as canola, corn and soybeans. The pesticide ends up in the entire plant as it grows, making it resistant to many insect pests.

Many studies have shown that exposure to neonics has a negative impact on the behaviour and reproduction of bees. That has prompted restrictions on neonics in some places, such as Europe and Ontario.

Because bees are so important for crop production, Raine said, he and his colleagues were interested in finding out whether the effects on bees might translate into effects on crop production.

(read the full article at CBC)

Whistleblower Says USDA Protecting Pesticide Makers

Danish authority declares glyphosate a carcinogen

Study Confirms Popular Herbicide Is Brain-Damaging Neurotoxin

Study Shows Pesticides More Toxic to Human Cells Than Declared

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

Canada’s Corporate Cannabis Takeover Continues As Pharmacies Look Poised To Distribute

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

The future of legalized Cannabis in Canada is bleak if the Liberals continue the Harper regime’s push to corporatize Cannabis. Based on the vague rhetoric promised by Justin Trudeau and the Liberal party platform, that is exactly what we should expect.

The Canadian Pharmacists Association (CPhA) is preparing for further corporatization by “reviewing its existing policies to ensure its policy position regarding pharmacist dispensing of medical marijuana reflects patient safety in this evolving area”.

The CPhA has no business distributing Cannabis. If Cannabis is removed from the Controlled Drugs & Substances Act (CDSA), there is no legal justification to restricting distribution to pharmacies. Cannabis is a benign plant with many uses, which gardeners and farmers should be allowed to grow and sell at farmer’s markets freely. Of course, it seems unlikely that Cannabis will be removed from the CDSA, the Liberal version of legalization sounds a lot like prohibition with increased penalties for unlicensed distribution.

Cannabis is medicine, it can be very expensive medicine, so calls for insurance coverage are understandable… but Cannabis is only expensive because of prohibition. Cannabis can be grown for less than $1/gram, but invested MMPR interests want to keep the cost high to cash in on the corporate welfare windfall of health insurance covering medical marijuana.

If Trudeau and the Liberals are serious about “real change” and evidence-based policy then they need to regulate Cannabis based on the potential harm caused by the plant. Cannabis is safer than coffee and energy drinks. Teens have died consuming energy drinks, but they are sold in convenience stores without age restrictions. Nobody has ever died from consuming Cannabis.

Dana Larsen details 7 key things needed before we can consider Cannabis prohibition to be truly over. (here is a brief summary:)

#7. Don’t increase penalties

In some of their campaign literature, the Liberals were promising to create “new, stronger laws, to punish more severely” people who sell cannabis to minors, or to anyone operating outside of their undefined new system.

Considering we already have Harper’s strict mandatory minimums for cannabis offences, we do not need to be punishing anyone “more severely” for anything related to cannabis.

#6. Allow personal growing

Any model of legalization must include the right to grow some cannabis for personal use. People with a doctor’s recommendation for cannabis should be allowed to grow whatever quantity they need for medical purposes. The Conservatives tried to shut down the current home-garden program for patients, but were stopped by a court injunction. That injunction needs to remain, and be expanded to make it easier for patients to grow their own when needed.

If home cultivation is not allowed, then cannabis is not truly legalized in Canada. Canadians must have at least as much right to grow their own cannabis as they do to brew their own beer and wine.

#5. Allow dispensaries

The Liberals need to recognize the important role that community-based dispensaries are playing, and to incorporate them into any legal access system.

Any system of legalization that tries to shut down the existing network of cannabis dispensaries will face strong opposition from Canada’s cannabis community.

#4. License more producers

Whatever the details of the system, it is important that there is equal access to the cannabis market, and that anyone who meets the quality standards can legally grow and sell cannabis.

Ultimately, the federal government should get out of licensing large-scale production and leave that to the provinces. But whoever the regulating and licensing authority is, the system needs to be fair and equal. Any attempt to limit production to a few major companies or create some kind of monopoly or cartel will be met with resistance, and will ultimately fail.

#3. Ditch the medical program

Cannabis is a wonderful medicine with a wide range of therapeutic benefits, but we don’t need a specialized medical cannabis system in Canada. Cannabis extracts should be available as non-prescription drugs for all Canadians to access.

When cannabis or a cannabis extracts is prescribed by a doctor then it should be exempt from GST, like other prescription drugs. But we don’t need the current complex system of restricted access for medical patients once all Canadians have access to legal cannabis.

Doctors should become more knowledgable about cannabis medicines, and legalization should mean that all sorts of new cannabis extracts are readily available for research and medicine. But since cannabis is generally safer than products like aspirin, most cannabis medicines should be sold over the counter, without a need for a prescription.

#2. Amnesty for past convictions

Legalization of cannabis must also include an amnesty for past cannabis convictions, so that those criminal records are erased from the system.

#1. Don’t overtax it

Legal cannabis needs to be cheaper and better than what is currently available, or else no-one is going to buy it. The only way to extinguish the black market is to substantially reduce the price of cannabis.

Any plan for legalization must not include extremely high or punitive taxes, as the result will be a thriving black market and no real change to the status quo.

If Trudeau’s Liberals stick to these 7 principles then legalization will be a success.

But if they try to legalize cannabis in the form of a highly taxed product grown only by big corporations, while banning home gardens and increasing penalties for underground dealers, then legalization will not succeed, and we will still have to keep fighting for a better system.

Jonathan Page is the co-founder of Anandia Labs and an Adjunct Professor at the University of British Columbia. He co-led the Canadian team that reported the first sequence of the cannabis genome and his work has helped elucidate the biochemical pathway leading to the major cannabinoids. Mr Page wrote an article at Lift, here is a very brief summary of a few of his points:

Like Liberal governments before him, Justin Trudeau practiced Big Tent politics to obtain a majority. Similarly, legalization has to offer a Big Tent so that the disparate parts of the existing industry – Licensed Producers (LPs), dispensaries and MMAR growers – are included. Health Canada and the 25+ LPs can be justifiably proud they have created a system to grow and distribute pharmaceutical-grade cannabis. But the Marihuana for Medical Purposes Regulations (MMPR) are viewed as a failure by many for their inability to create a system that both serves patients and creates a viable industry. The Allard injunction, the proliferation of Vancouver dispensaries, the logjam of LP applicants and the slow patient growth for LPs are indicators of systemic problems.
It is possible to safely grow cannabis at many scales from small outdoor gardens to massive indoor factories.The 2013 Liberal Party draft marijuana policy paper (PDF) suggested that production encompass “very small farms to medium size and large-scale operations”. Jamie Shaw of the Canadian Association of Medical Cannabis Dispensaries (CAMCD) wrote a blog post proposing that the cannabis production could resemble Canada’s brewing industry where industrial behemoths like Molson Coors co-exist with craft breweries.

It is difficult to contemplate a system that allows purchase of cannabis but not personal growing. I favour six plants (in flowering stage) with a cap on total plants in a household. The judge’s decision on the Allard case, which revolves around the right of patients to grow their own medical cannabis, now has added importance as legalization is contemplated.

In my opinion cannabis sits somewhere between a controlled substance and an NHP in the regulatory landscape but I don’t think it is productive to treat cannabis as either. Nor is it useful for it to be lumped with alcohol or tobacco. It is simply and uniquely cannabis. Amending laws created for prohibition is not likely to work as they were created to demonize cannabis. Let’s give cannabis its own laws and regulations that allow it to exist simultaneously as a medicine and a social (recreational) drug. Is the solution a pragmatic federal Cannabis Act or even a Psychoactive Substances Act for a new, post-prohibition era?

Written by Alternative Free Press
Creative Commons License
Canada’s Corporate Cannabis Takeover Continues As Pharmacies Look Poised To Distribute by is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

Fukushima scientists say radiation continues to wash into Pacific Ocean

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

Mary Beth Brangan & James Heddle
Point Reyes Light : November 12, 2015

Last September, two eminent scientists visited the Dance Palace to update us on their research on radiation impacts of the ongoing nuclear disaster in Japan. Dr. Tim Mousseau reported that population decline and mutations in birds, insects and animals are already occurring in Japan similar to those in Chernobyl. Dr. Ken Buesseler found radioactive cesium from Fukushima in ocean samples from British Columbia, Canada, 100 miles offshore from Eureka, Calif., and one mile offshore of Del Mar, Calif., near San Diego.

After his lecture, Dr. Mousseau continued his wildlife research in Fukushima, but he reported his team’s work was hampered when typhoon Etau dumped up to 21 inches of rain in 24 hours, causing severe flooding.

Radioactive soil from higher elevations washed over previously uncontaminated land and re-contaminated other areas. Flooding overwhelmed over-taxed drainage pumps of Tokyo Electric Power Company, which admitted releasing contaminated water from the on-going disaster site. Huge additional amounts of intense radioactivity poured into the Pacific and are now on the way to our coast, along with the constant daily leaks of at least 300 tons of radioactive water.

The first authoritative report on the serious implications of the flood’s impact came from former nuclear industry vice president turned whistleblower and educator Arnie Gundersen, now the chief nuclear engineer at Fairewinds Energy Education, based in Vermont. […] Gundersen said, “For the next three hundred years, events like this typhoon will reoccur until all the radioactivity released during the Fukushima Daiichi disaster is finally washed entirely into the Pacific Ocean, not just from the Fukushima Daiichi site but from all the tributaries and rivers in the mountains that enter the Pacific Ocean.”
(read the full article at Point Reyes Light)


facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

Officials Secretly Added Cancer-Causing Chemicals to City’s Water Supply

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

Cassius Methyl
The Anti-Media : November 6, 2015

In 2013 and 2014, the City of Sacramento performed a water treatment experiment at the expense of residents of the city “to save money,” according to a local news investigation.

Area residents were never informed about the toxic chemical contamination of their water that resulted from the experiment. “Cancer, miscarriages, and birth defects” are the consequences of consuming those chemicals, but the extent to which Sacramento residents are likely to experience these symptoms is not yet known.

City officials allowed the experiment to continue for an entire year — despite knowing early on that very process was creating carcinogens. For how long that contamination will be suspended in the water supply is up in the air.

Officials experimented on the water with a new added chemical to aid in removing sediment, silt, and other impurities in the water supply: aluminum chlorohydrate (ACH). It was due to replace the chemical known as ALUM that was regularly used to take the larger particles out of river water to treat it. Both chemicals weigh down the sediment to make it easily removable.

However, the addition of ACH to the city’s water supply wound up being ineffective as a treatment — so an excessive quantity of chlorine was added to the water, as well.

An astonishing failure, the combination of excess chlorine and aluminum chlorohydrate ended up yielding carcinogenic toxins known as “DBPs” — disinfection byproducts. Specifically, these are in the class of chemicals known as THMs, or Trihalomethanes.

According to Water Research, THMs are in the same chemical class as chloroform; and, although this water experiment ended about a year ago, the THMs remain in Sacramento’s water supply in levels that exceed EPA regulations. Several readings of THM levels provided to ABC10 exceeded 80 parts per billion, the EPA limit.

The ABC10 investigation says “data showing dozens of readings in excess of the EPA standard of 80 parts-per-billion during the year-long trial. In the Westlake neighborhood, near Sleep Train Arena, during a two-month period between August and October 2013, 11 of 13 readings were above EPA limits. Then in March of 2014, readings were way up across the city. Some people were drinking water with DBP levels above 130 parts-per-billion.”

Sacramento’s Utility Director, Bill Busath, told ABC10 the entire issue had to do with saving money: “There was an expectation that we would be able to save quite a bit of money.”

Bob Bowcock grew up working in the water treatment industry. His description, as reported by ABC10, is telling:

“This community was basically looked at as a laboratory guinea pig, in that they were exposed to violation level trihalomethanes for up to one year without any proper notification whatsoever […] Every corner you turn, on this particular project, it’s red flag, red flag, red flag. It’s like peeling back an onion. There is just another layer. The closer you get to the center, the stronger the smell.”

According to an ABC10 news report:

“Pregnant women and unborn babies, Bowcock said, are especially vulnerable to DBPs. In first trimester pregnancies, there’s a significant rise in miscarriages, and in third trimester there’s evidence of low birth weight,” he said, describing how the DBP-tainted water is even more dangerous when its mists are breathed in while showering or washing dishes.”

(read the full article at The Anti-Media)

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

Whooping Cough Infecting Vaccinated Population; Doc Says Blaming Anti-Vaxxers Is Incorrect

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

N.B.’s whooping cough outbreak: Blame the anti-vaxxers or blame the vaccine?

Dr. Neil Rau, CTV News Infectious Diseases Expert
CTV : November 1, 2015

The current whooping cough outbreak in New Brunswick continues to grow, with an increasing number of children and adolescents implicated.

According to Dr. Yves Leger, Medical Officer in the Eastern Region of New Brunswick, which is at the centre of this outbreak, most people who have whooping cough symptoms have been vaccinated.

Another outbreak in Northern Alberta and Saskatchewan earlier this year similarly involved fully immunized populations. By contrast, an Ontario outbreak in 2012 involved unimmunized Mennonite communities, leading to the death of three infants.

Given the mixed history of outbreaks, some have concluded that so-called “anti-vaxxers” are to blame for the recent New Brunswick outbreaks of whooping cough, also known as pertussis.

Although I am a strong proponent of vaccination, the anti-vaxxer explanation is incorrect. Here’s why:

Some facts about pertussis and its vaccine

1. Pertussis continues to circulate among adults and adolescents, even in communities with high immunization levels. For infants under three months of age, pertussis remains a potential killer. But for adults and adolescents, the disease mimics a common cold, or at worst, causes a bad cough illness. In fact, the early phase of pertussis features a runny nose, and is indistinguishable to most doctors from other viral infections, including the common cold. Pertussis in older children and adults is often so mild that patients don’t seek medical attention. And when they do, the special tests needed to pick out the disease are seldom performed, and the patients are sometimes misdiagnosed as having something else, such as asthma. In short, most cases of whooping cough in older children and adults stay under the radar because they are inconsequential.

2. Protection from the pertussis vaccine falls over time. This is why five doses are required in childhood, along with “booster” doses in adolescence and adulthood to maintain protection. In contrast, most who receive the measles vaccine have life-long protection, explaining why measles does not circulate much amongst vaccinated populations.

3. The whole cell pertussis vaccine was replaced by the acellular pertussis vaccine in 1997, as the latter had fewer side effects. By 2012, it was becoming evident that the change in vaccine came with a trade-off: the acellular vaccine — which contains only part of the pertussis bacterium — has become less effective. A credible explanation is that the evolution of circulating pertussis strains are missing a protein called pertactin. Pertactin is an important component of the vaccine; if a strain is deficient in this protein, those who have received the vaccine are less able to mount an immune response to such strains. Multiple other outbreaks of pertussis in fully immunized children and adolescents have followed in the U.S. and Western Europe over the past three years. I suspect that the current New Brunswick outbreak falls into the same category, and may feature pertactin-deficient strains.

4. Despite the shortcomings of the acellular vaccine, we remain miles ahead of the prevaccination era of the 1940s, when four times more cases of pertussis were reported. The current vaccine is still effective – just not 100 per cent effective. Better vaccines are the subject of research.

(read the full article at CTV)

Massachusetts Whooping Cough Outbreak Only Infecting Vaccinated Students
Majority of flu vaccinations don’t work, admits CDC
New Jersey Mumps Outbreak Exclusively Infecting Vaccinated Population; same as in New York & Ohio
As world seeks to eradicate polio, Laos suffers vaccine-linked case
Measles Outbreak Traced to Fully Vaccinated Patient

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

Whistleblower Says USDA Protecting Pesticide Makers

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

Proof the USDA Would Rather Protect Pesticide Makers than Save the Bees

Derrick Broze
AntiMedia : October 29, 2015

On Wednesday, a researcher with the United States Department of Agriculture filed a whistleblower complaint alleging his supervisors suspended him in retaliation for his research on pesticides. The complaint follows calls for investigation of both the USDA and the Environmental Protection Agency.

According to the Washington Post, Jonathan Lundgren, an entomologist and 11-year veteran of the USDA’s Agricultural Research Service, filed the complaint with the federal Merit Systems Protection Board after his supervisors allegedly began to “impede or deter his research and resultant publications.” Lundgren is well-known in the scientific community for previously alleging the USDA attempted to prevent him from speaking about his research for political reasons.

The Post reported:

“The trouble began after he published research and gave interviews about the impact that certain common pesticides were having on pollinators, according to a statement by Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER), which filed the complaint on his behalf. The whistleblower complaint says Lundgren’s work showed the adverse effects of certain widely used pesticides, findings which have drawn national attention as well as the ire of the agricultural industry.’”

The USDA says Lundgren was suspended for submitting research to a scientific journal without proper approval and that he violated official travel policies related to lectures he gave in Philadelphia and Washington. Lundgren’s complaints say the article submission was not inappropriate and called the travel violations a paperwork error.

Lundgren previously published a study that found soybean seeds pre-treated with neonicotinoid pesticides “offer little benefit to soybean producers.” He also served as a peer reviewer in a report published by the Center for Food Safety. That study found further evidence that neonicotinoids adversely affect bees.

Laura Dumais, Staff Counsel for PEER, condemned the USDA’s decision to suspend Lundgren: “Having research published in prestigious journals and being invited to present before the National Academy of Sciences should be sources of official pride, not punishment. Politics inside USDA have made entomology into a most dangerous discipline,” she said

Scott W. Fausti, one of Lundgren peers, acknowledged the retaliation in the footnote of a paper recently published in Environmental Science & Policy:

“I would like to acknowledge Dr. Jonathan G. Lundgren’s contribution to this manuscript. Dr. Lundgren is an entomologist employed by the USDA Agricultural Research Service (ARS). However, the ARS has required Dr. Lundgren to remove his name as joint first author from this article. I believe this action raises a serious question concerning policy neutrality toward scientific inquiry.”

This is the not the first time the USDA has been called out for putting politics before science. In early May of this year, TruthInMedia reported that 25 organizations representing farm workers, food safety organizations, and the environment sent a letter to officials with the USDA and Environmental Protection Agency. They called for an investigation into claims that scientists are facing pressure and retaliation for research that presents the controversial neonicotinoid insecticide in a negative light.

The groups said they were concerned about a report from Reuters that detailed threats to scientists who speak out about the dangers of the pesticide. These threats included suspension without pay and threats of damage to careers. The scientists filed a petition in March asking for more protection.

PEER executive director Jeff Ruch told Common Dreams the petition was “based on the experiences of 10 USDA scientists.” The scientists allegedly faced backlash for research on neonicotinoid insecticides and glyphosate — an ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup Herbicide — as well as their investigation of other topics, including genetically modified crops.

The “neonics” are a class of pesticide that has previously been linked to declines in bee populations. Neonics were developed in 1991 and commercial use began in the mid-1990s. Around 2006, commercial beekeepers began reporting what is now known as colony collapse disorder — where entire colonies of bees die off with no obvious cause. The disorder has been reported in commercial colonies all over the world. Several studies have implicated neonics, which are used to kill insects harmful to crops.

In early September, Anti-Media reported that a federal appeals court issued a ruling that blocks the use of the neonicotinoid, Sulfoxaflor. In spite of this small victory, PEER’s letter to the EPA and USDA expressed deep concerns about the effects of the pesticide on animals and the environment:

“Bees, butterflies, birds and other critical pollinators are in great peril and populations are dwindling worldwide. A growing body of scientific evidence has implicated neonicotinoids as a leading driver of bee declines and glyphosate as a leading driver of the destruction of milkweed, the sole food source for monarch butterflies. Recently, the World Health Organization’s research arm, the International Agency for Cancer Research (IARC), updated its cancer determination for glyphosate, categorizing it as ‘probably carcinogenic to humans’ (Group 2A) after reviewing scientific research from 17 of the world’s top oncology experts from 11 countries.”

A 2014 study published in the journal Nature found a strong correlation between pesticides measured in surface freshwater and lower population growth rates of 14 species of birds in the Netherlands. The study suggested the bird population might be drinking infected water or feeding infected insects to their offspring.

More recently, Swedish scientists conducted a study of neonics in the wild — the first of its kind. They examined 16 patches of land with canola seeds, half of which were sprayed with the pesticide. The other half was not sprayed. The researchers found that wild bees displayed negative health side effects while honeybee populations, which pollinate crops with assistance from humans, did not display the illness. A second study found that in laboratory tests, bees are not deterred by the pesticide and may actually prefer crops sprayed with the chemicals. This could indicate an addiction to the nicotine in the pesticides. Both studies were published in Nature.

Will the USDA be held accountable for allowing politics to dictate science? What role, if any, do corporations like Monsanto play in suppressing and discouraging science on pesticides? Let’s hope Jonathan Lundgren will continue speaking out about his findings. Unfortunately, it seems the USDA is yet another agency of the U.S. government in bed with corporations. While this news is disheartening, it is also a reminder that there has never been a better time to begin removing your support — both moral and financial — for the U.S. government and its corporate partners.

(The Anti Media cc)

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

Fracking, landslide blamed for contamination of Northern B.C. creek ‘dead’

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

Betsy Trumpener
CBC News: October 25, 2015

A relentless landslide that’s contaminated a source of drinking water near a community in northeastern B.C. has residents blaming oil and gas exploration’s effects underground for causing the slide that’s contaminating the creek with silt and heavy metals.

Farmers and ranchers near Hudson’s Hope say they’ve lost their sole water source and blame landslides on changes to underground aquifers and land stability because of nearby fracking and the effect of two nearby hydro dams, but officials say there is no proof of this.

“I have no water,” said Rhee Simpson, who has lived and farmed along Brenot Creek for 62 years.

“You can’t play in it. You can’t fish in it. You can’t drink it. Your stock can’t drink it. Someone has to do something to get our water back.”

Brenot Creek has long carried clean water to families, crops and cattle near Hudson’s Hope in northeastern B.C. The creek is a tributary of Lynx Creek, whose water eventually flows into the nearby Peace River.

Last year, a landslide started oozing grey mud, filling the creek with silt and sand. Tests by the Ministry of the Environment showed dangerously high concentrations of heavy metals, including lead, barium, cadmium, and arsenic.

In September 2014, the District of Hudson’s Hope and Northern Health issued an advisory to stop using the creek’s water for drinking, stock watering or farm irrigation.

“Clean water is essential for life and all of us need to feel confident that the ground and surface water we all depend on is of good quality. We will continue to press for answers to how exotic metals came to be present in the groundwater,” Mayor Gwen Johansson wrote on the District of Hudson’s Hope website in January.

Since then, debris has continued to slide, filling the creek with heavy metal silts and sand.

The mayor said this summer there was so much heavy metal silt it created a visible debris plume and sandbar in the Peace River.

Johansson continues to search for answers as to why this is happening and who will pay for any clean-up.

“There’s a lot of vulnerabilities in this area as far as water is concerned.” she told CBC News. “It’s a real concern.”

In the past, hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, in the region has triggered earthquakes. Fracking, is the process of injecting water, sand and chemicals at high pressure deep underground to break rock and free gas.

(read the full article at CBC)

Fracking linked to Alberta earthquakes, study indicates
Study confirms fracking wastewater causing central US earthquakes
Fracking Causes Rare Earthquake Warning in Oklahoma
Alberta Oil Consultant Exposes Fracking Crimes

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

As world seeks to eradicate polio, Laos suffers vaccine-linked case

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

Reuters : October 12, 2015

Laos has suffered a case of vaccine-derived polio, the World Health Organization said on Monday, in a new setback to a global plan to eradicate the crippling disease after the virus resurfaced in Ukraine and Mali.

The WHO said an 8-year-old boy died of the disease on Sept. 11, and genetic sequencing suggested the virus strain has been circulating in the area of Bolikhamxay province, which has low immunisation rates, for more than two years.

There is no cure for polio, which attacks the nervous system and can cause irreversible paralysis within hours of infection. But a global vaccination campaign has all but beaten the wild polio virus, with only Pakistan and Afghanistan reporting cases of wild polio virus infection this year.

Specialists have warned that vaccine-derived cases – such as this one in Laos and previous ones in Ukraine and Mali – could hamper progress towards global eradication.

The WHO stressed that “ending polio for good requires eliminating both wild and vaccine-derived polio”.
(full article at reuters)

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

Radiation Impact Studies – Chernobyl and Fukushima

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

Robert Hunziker
Counterpunch : September 23, 2015

Some nuclear advocates suggest that wildlife thrives in the highly-radioactive Chernobyl Exclusion Zone, animals like it, and not only that, a little radiation for anybody and everybody is harmless and maybe good, not bad. This may seem like a senseless argument to tackle were it not for the persistence of positive-plus commentary by nuke lovers. The public domain deserves better, more studied, more crucial answers.

Fortunately, as well as unfortunately, the world has two major real life archetypes of radiation’s impact on the ecosystem: Chernobyl and Fukushima. Chernobyl is a sealed-off 30klm restricted zone for the past 30 years because of high radiation levels. Whereas, PM Abe’s government in Japan has already started returning people to formerly restricted zones surrounding the ongoing Fukushima nuclear meltdown.

The short answer to the supposition that a “little dab of radiation is A-Okay” may be suggested in the title of a Washington Blog d/d March 12, 2014 in an interview of Dr. Timothy Mousseau, the world-renowned expert on radiation effects on living organisms. The hard answer is included further on in this article.

Dr. Mousseau is former Program Director at the National Science Foundation in Population Biology, Panelist for the National Academy of Sciences’ Panels on Analysis of Cancer Risks in Populations Near Nuclear Facilities and GAO Panel on Health and Environmental Effects from Tritium Leaks at Nuclear Power Plants, and a biology professor – and former Dean of the Graduate School, and Chair of the Graduate Program in Ecology – at the University of South Carolina.

The title of the Washington Blog interview is:

Chernobyl and Fukushima Studies Show that Radiation Reduces Animal and Plant Numbers, Fertility, Brain Size and Diversity… and Increases Deformities and Abnormalities.

Dr. Mousseau made many trips to Chernobyl and Fukushima, making 896 inventories at Chernobyl and 1,100 biotic inventories in Fukushima. His mission was to test the effects of radiation on plants and animals. The title of his interview (above) handily serves to answer the question of whether radiation is positive for animals and plants. Without itemizing reams and reams of study data, the short answer is: Absolutely not! It is not positive for animals and plants, period.

Moreover, low doses of radiation aka: “radiation hormesis” is not good for humans, as advocated by certain energy-related outlets. Data supporting their theory is extremely shaky and more to the point, flaky.

Furthermore, according to the Cambridge Philosophical Society’s journal Biological Reviews, including reported results by wide-ranging analyses of 46 peer-reviewed studies published over 40 years, low-level natural background radiation was found to have small, but highly statistically significant, negative effects on DNA and several measures of good health.

Dr. Mousseau with co-author Anders Møller of the University of Paris-Sud examined more that 5,000 papers involving background radiation in order to narrow their findings to 46 peer-reviewed studies. These studies examined plants and animals with a large preponderance of human subjects.

The scientists reported significant negative effects in a range of categories, including immunology, physiology, mutation and disease occurrence. The frequency of negative effects was beyond that of random chance.

“There is no threshold below which there are no effects of radiation,” Ibid.

“With the levels of contamination that we have seen as a result of nuclear power plants, especially in the past, and even as a result of Chernobyl and Fukushima and related accidents, there’s an attempt in the industry to downplay the doses that the populations are getting, because maybe it’s only one or two times beyond what is thought to be the natural background level…. But they’re assuming the natural background levels are fine. And the truth is, if we see effects at these low levels, then we have to be thinking differently about how we develop regulations for exposures, and especially intentional exposures to populations, like the emissions from nuclear power plants….” Ibid.

Results of Major Landmark Study on Low Dose Radiation (July 2015)

A consortium of researchers coordinated by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) in Lyon, France, examined causes of death in a study of more than 300,000 nuclear-industry workers in France, the United States and the United Kingdom, all of whom wore dosimeter badges, Researchers Pin Down Risks of Low-Dose Radiation, Nature, July 8, 2015.

The workers received on average just 1.1 millisieverts (mSv) per year above background radiation, which itself is about 2–3 mSv per year from sources such as cosmic rays and radon. The study confirmed that the risk of leukemia does rise proportionately with higher doses, but also showed that this linear relationship is present at extremely low levels of radiation.

The study effectively “scuppers the popular idea that there might be a threshold dose below which radiation is harmless,” Ibid.

Even so, the significant issue regarding radiation exposure for humans is that it is a “silent destroyer” that takes years and only manifests once damage has occurred, for example, 200 American sailors of the USS Reagan have filed a lawsuit against TEPCO, et al because of radiation-related illnesses, like leukemia, only four years after radiation exposure from Fukushima.

Japan Moving People Back to Fukushima Restricted Zones

Japan’s Abe government has started moving people back into former restricted zones surrounding the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station even though it is an on-going major nuclear meltdown that is totally out of control.

Accordingly, Greenpeace Japan conducted a radiation survey and sampling program in Iitate, a village in Fukushima Prefecture. Even after decontamination, radiation dose rates measured ten times (10xs) the maximum allowed to the general public.

(read the full article at Counterpunch)

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

Report says 70 to 100 percent of nuclear fuel in Fukushima No. 2 has melted

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

Fukushima reactor could have suffered total meltdown – report

RT : September 26, 2015

Fukushima’s reactor No.2 could have suffered a complete meltdown according to Japanese researchers. They have been monitoring the Daiichi nuclear power plant since April, but say they have found few signs of nuclear fuel at the reactor’s core.

The scientists from Nagoya University had been using a device that uses elementary particles, which are called muons. These are used to give a better picture of the inside of the reactor as the levels of radioactivity at the core mean it is impossible for any human to go anywhere near it.

However, the results have not been promising. The study shows very few signs of any nuclear fuel in reactor No. 2. This is in sharp contrast to reactor No.5, where the fuel is clearly visible at the core, the Japanese broadcaster NHK reports.

The team believes that 70 to 100 percent of the fuel has melted, though they did add that further research was needed to see whether any fuel had managed to penetrate the reactor

A report in May by the Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO), which is the plant’s operator, said that a failure in reactor No.2’s pressure relief systems was one of the causes of the disaster. The team used a robot, which ventured into the building and measured radiation levels at various places, while also studying how much leakage had occurred from the control systems.

TEPCO has used 16 robots to explore the crippled plant to date, from military models to radiation-resistant multi-segmented snake-like devices that can fit through a small pipe.

However, even the toughest models are having trouble weathering the deadly radiation levels: as one robot sent into reactor No.1 broke down three hours into its planned 10-hour foray.

Despite TEPCO’s best efforts, the company has been accused of a number of mishaps and a lack of proper contingency measures to deal with the cleanup operation, after the power plant suffered a meltdown, following an earthquake and subsequent tsunami in 2011.

Recent flooding caused by Tropical Typhoon Etau swept 82 bags, believed to contain contaminated materials that had been collected from the crippled site, out to sea.

“On September 9th and 11th, due to typhoon no.18 (Etau), heavy rain caused Fukushima Daiichi K drainage rainwater to overflow to the sea,” TEPCO said in a statement, adding that the samples taken “show safe, low levels” of radiation.

“From the sampling result of the 9th, TEPCO concluded that slightly tainted rainwater had overflowed to the sea; however, the new sampling measurement results show no impact to the ocean,” it continued.

A recent study by the University of Southern California said the Fukushima disaster could have been prevented. One of the main faults cited was the decision to install critical backup generators in low-lying areas, as this was the first place the 2011 tsunami would strike, following the massive earthquake.

(read the full article atrt)

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

Fukushima Report Dangerously Downplays Ongoing Health Risks

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

RINF: September 2, 2015

A new report from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) “downplays” the continuing environmental and health effects of the Fukushima nuclear meltdown while supporting the Japanese government’s agenda to normalize the ongoing disaster, Greenpeace Japan charged on Tuesday.

The Vienna-based IAEA released its final report Monday on the 2011 triple meltdown at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant. While the agency pointed to numerous failings, including unclear responsibilities among regulators, weaknesses in plant design and in disaster-preparedness, and a “widespread assumption” of safety, it was more circumspect with regard to health concerns.

The Fukushima disaster released vast amounts of radiation, leading to fears that cases of thyroid cancer in children would soar as they did following the Chernobyl disaster of 1986.

The 200-page report sought to assuage those worries, stating: “Because the reported thyroid doses attributable to the accident were generally low, an increase in childhood thyroid cancer attributable to the accident is unlikely.”

That assertion wasn’t bulletproof, however. The report added: “[U]ncertainties remained concerning the thyroid equivalent doses incurred by children immediately after the accident.”

In a press statement, Greenpeace Japan seized on the information gap.

The IAEA concludes that no discernible health consequences are expected as a result of the Fukushima disaster, but admits important uncertainties in both radiation dose and long-term effects,” said Kendra Ulrich, senior global energy campaigner with Greenpeace Japan. “Nobody knows how much radiation citizens were exposed to in the immediate days following the disaster. If you don’t know the doses, then you can’t conclude there won’t be any consequences. To say otherwise is political rhetoric, not science.

The IAEA report conveniently comes as pro-nuclear Prime Minister Shinzo Abe systematically seeks to lift evacuation orders and re-start the country’s nuclear program.

“The IAEA report actively supports the Abe government’s and the global nuclear industry’s agenda to make it appear that things can return to normal after a nuclear disaster,” Ulrich said. “But there is nothing normal about the lifestyle and exposure rates that the victims are being asked to return to.”

In July, Greenpeace Japan charged that the IAEA “has sought to downplay the radiological risks to the population since the early days in 2011. In fact, it produced two documents that can be said to have laid the foundation and justification for Abe’s current policy of de facto forced resettlement.”


(read the full article at RINF)

Radioactive cesium from Fukushima detected in North America at highest levels yet

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

Gas Pipeline Explodes In Minnesota Near USA-Canada Border

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

Crews battle TransCanada pipeline fire southeast of Emerson

CBC News: September 6, 2015

TransCanada was forced to shut down one of its natural gas pipelines Saturday night after a massive fire about 50 km southeast of Emerson, Man.

It happened at about 9 p.m CT in Kittson County, Minn. A TransCanada spokesperson said the fire started in the yard of the St. Vincent Compressor Station.

Crews fought the fire for more than four hours before managing to extinguish the blaze at about 1:10 a.m. Sunday.

(read full article at CBC)

Wild Sight For Emerson Residents As Pipeline Explodes

CJOB: September 6, 2015

Evacuated residents are back in their homes after a natural gas pipeline explosion caused the sky to bloom orange Saturday night.

The explosion occured in Minnesota. Volunteer firefighters were called to the fire which started about one kilometer south of the border.

Residents of two homes on the Canadian side were evacuated after the explosion but were allowed to return by 11:00 p.m. The explosion could be seen from kilometers away. Flames have been described as reaching a height of 20 to 30 feet. Residents of the area also describe hearing a loud rumbling noise.

(read the full article at CJOB)

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

Radioactive cesium from Fukushima detected in North America at highest levels yet

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

Fukushima nuclear waste detected along Southern California coast — Highest levels seen anywhere in North America since testing program began — 8.4 Bq/m3 of radioactive cesium measured near beach between Los Angeles and San Diego

ENENews : August 25, 2015

Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution’s Center For Marine And Environmental Radiation:

  • Location: 32°57’0.00″N; 117°17’60.00″W [1.8  miles off the coast of Del Mar, California]
  • Sample Date: Apr 04, 2015 11:36
  • Depth: 3m
  • Cs134: 1.5 ± 0.1Bq/m3
  • Cs137: 6.9 ± 0.2Bq/m3


The sample was taken just over a mile off the coast of Del Mar, CA – located about 15 miles north of San Diego and 100 miles south of Los Angeles. The only other location Woods Hole has reported detecting nuclear waste from Fukushima Daiichi along the shoreline of North America is in Ucluelet, Canada about 1,200 miles to the north of Del Mar.

7.2 becquerels per cubic meter of Cesium-134 and Cesium-137 was measured in a Ucluelet sample taken in February 2015. The Del Mar sample had 8.4 Bq/m3.

Results for other Fukushima Daiichi-derived radionuclides were not posted. According to media reports, “The plume also contains other radioactive material, including Strontium 90… radioactive isotopes of iodine, low levels of plutonium and tritium might be in the plume.”

According to Woods Hole scientist Ken Buesseler, “As the plume begins to arrive along the West Coast [it] will actually increase in concentration… no public agency in the US is monitoring the activities in the Pacific… Without careful, extensive, consistent monitoring, we’ll have no way of knowing how much radiation from Fukushima is reaching our shores, and how it could affect life in the ocean.”

Watch Buesseler’s recent presentation near Del Mar, CA here

source: ENENews

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

Fukushima Fallout? Whales are dying in Pacific Ocean

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

Alternative Free Press

Mainstream media continues to ignore the possibility that radiation from Fukushima building up in the Pacific Ocean for four years could be what is killing whales in unprecedented numbers.

“Alaskan researchers report that at least nine fin whales have been found dead in the water in recent weeks. It’s rare for more than one such death to be discovered every year or so, they say, and they’re exhaustively searching for a possible cause. It’s possible that warming ocean temperatures could be partially to blame.” Washington Post (June 2015)

“In only one week, the corpses of four humpback whales have been found along Canada’s west coast, fueling questions of whether their deaths are connected to a recent uptick of whale and other marine animal deaths in Alaskan waters. So far scientists don’t know what’s causing the deaths, but some believe they could be connected to warmer than average ocean temperatures that have caused unusual and potentially poisonous algae blooms.” Vice (August 2015)

Most mainstream media has ignored Fukushima for years, downplaying the severity and failing to report on the ongoing problems, such as:

Radioactive isotope Strontium-90 spikes at Fukushima; highest reading ever(July 2015)

Japan delays nuclear fuel removal schedule for Fukushima plant(June 2015)

Fukushima: Record Levels of Radioactivity Detected in Seawater — Spiked “More than 200 Times” at Sampling Location(June 2015)

Fukushima’s “Caldrons of Hell”: More than 300 Tons of Highly Radioactive Water Generated Daily(May 2015)

TEPCO Admits Fukushima Is Leaking Again – Over 600x ‘Safe’ Radiation Levels(May 2015)

Fresh leak at Fukushima nuclear plant sees 70-fold radiation spike(February 2015)

These recent whale deaths are continuing a trend. Back in April we reported: Fukushima Fallout? Emergency closure of fishery along entire West Coast – “Catastrophic crash… Population decimated”

Compiled by Alternative Free Press
Creative Commons License
Fukushima Fallout? Whales are dying in Pacific Ocean by is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

Fukushima fishermen OK TEPCO plan to release “decontaminated” water into sea

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

THE ASAHI SHIMBUN : July 28, 2015

Fishermen in northern Fukushima Prefecture gave Tokyo Electric Power Co. the green light on July 27 to release radioactive groundwater from the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant into the ocean after it undergoes decontamination treatment.

The Soma-Futaba fisheries cooperative association approved TEPCO’s “subdrain plan” at a board member meeting after earlier approval by the Iwaki fisheries union, which brings together fishermen operating on the southern Fukushima coast, to back the plant operator’s plan.

After the decisions by the two fisheries unions, the Fukushima Prefectural Federation of Fisheries Cooperative Associations is expected to formally approve the subdrain plan in mid-August at the earliest.

To deal with the accumulation of contaminated groundwater at the plant, TEPCO and the central government implemented from May last year a “groundwater bypass” that intercepts clean groundwater before it flows into contaminated reactor buildings and reroutes it safely around the facility into the ocean.

Under the subdrain plan, the utility will pump 500 tons of water from 41 subdrain wells around the premises of the plant’s four crippled reactors each day. It expects that the amount of groundwater flowing into the reactor buildings will be drastically reduced, and the amount of contaminated water generated at the plant will be halved from the current levels.

The water will be released into the sea after it undergoes decontamination treatment to reduce cesium levels to below 1 becquerel and beta ray-emitting radioactive materials to less than 3 becquerels.

Because the decontamination equipment cannot remove tritium, water contaminated with the radioactive isotope that emits 1,500 becquerels or more of radiation will not be released into the sea.

TEPCO has sought the fisheries cooperatives’ approval of the subdrain plan.

But TEPCO’s delay in disclosing the flow of radioactive water into the ocean whenever it rained–which came to light in February–hampered negotiations with the fisheries unions, which felt the incident undermined their confidence in the utility.

At the meeting of the board members of the Soma-Futaba fisheries union, TEPCO officials explained that the subdrain plan was essential in reducing the flow of contaminated water into the ocean, according to Hiroyuki Sato, the union president.

(read the full article at Asahi)


Radioactive isotope Strontium-90 spikes at Fukushima; highest reading ever(July 2015)

Japan delays nuclear fuel removal schedule for Fukushima plant(June 2015)

Fukushima: Record Levels of Radioactivity Detected in Seawater — Spiked “More than 200 Times” at Sampling Location(June 2015)

Risk of hydrogen explosion from leaking containers at Fukushima plant(May 2015)

Fukushima’s “Caldrons of Hell”: More than 300 Tons of Highly Radioactive Water Generated Daily(May 2015)

TEPCO Admits Fukushima Is Leaking Again – Over 600x ‘Safe’ Radiation Levels(May 2015)

Fresh leak at Fukushima nuclear plant sees 70-fold radiation spike(February 2015)

Fukushima Didn’t Just Suffer 3 Meltdowns … It Also Suffered Melt-THROUGHS and Melt-OUTS(April 2014)

Fukushima boss admits radioactive water out of control(April 2014)

Fukushima Storage Crisis: Full Of Radioactive Water(March 2014)

Canadian Soil Tests Positive for Fukushima Radiation(March 2014)

Fukushima’s Radioactive Ocean Water Arrives At West Coast(February 2014)

Alternative Free Press -fair use-

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

Soil shields disabled & nitrogen circulation halted at Fukushima

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

Accidental power cable damage briefly disables frozen soil shields at Fukushima No. 1

The Japan Times: July 29, 2015

Frozen soil shields aimed at curbing the buildup of radioactive water were temporarily disabled at Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s stricken Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant on Tuesday.

The problem occurred after a power cable was damaged by mistake, Tepco said. […]

The underground shields, designed to block groundwater from flowing into the basements of the stricken reactor buildings, were restarted later in the day.

The power leakage also halted a device circulating nitrogen reactors1, 2 and 3 to prevent hydrogen explosions.

According to Tepco, a plant worker found white smoke around the power cable at around 8:35 a.m.

(read the full article at The Japan Times)


Radioactive isotope Strontium-90 spikes at Fukushima; highest reading ever(July 2015)

Japan delays nuclear fuel removal schedule for Fukushima plant(June 2015)

Fukushima: Record Levels of Radioactivity Detected in Seawater — Spiked “More than 200 Times” at Sampling Location(June 2015)

Risk of hydrogen explosion from leaking containers at Fukushima plant(May 2015)

Fukushima’s “Caldrons of Hell”: More than 300 Tons of Highly Radioactive Water Generated Daily(May 2015)

TEPCO Admits Fukushima Is Leaking Again – Over 600x ‘Safe’ Radiation Levels(May 2015)

Fresh leak at Fukushima nuclear plant sees 70-fold radiation spike(February 2015)

Fukushima Didn’t Just Suffer 3 Meltdowns … It Also Suffered Melt-THROUGHS and Melt-OUTS(April 2014)

Fukushima boss admits radioactive water out of control(April 2014)

Fukushima Storage Crisis: Full Of Radioactive Water(March 2014)

Canadian Soil Tests Positive for Fukushima Radiation(March 2014)

Fukushima’s Radioactive Ocean Water Arrives At West Coast(February 2014)

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather