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Saturday, March 31, 2012

Abandoned Uranium Mines On Navajo Land

And the American government continues to rip off Native Americans to this day.

"There's No Such Thing As A Non-Harmful Level"

That's the standard mantra of anti-nukes in regards to radiation and it's repeated in this Thom Hartmann show segment (video below the fold).  Of course, all they do is play on the words "harmful" or "safe".  They intentionally confuse absolute harm/safe with relative harm/safe. 

The radioactivity measured by the USGS was safe relatively speaking (relative to all the risks we happily undertake everyday like the risks of driving, eating, having sex, etc.).  It was not safe absolutely speaking.  There is a very, very small risk of cancer (just like there is a small risk of accident when driving, choking or food poisoning when eating, or sexually transmitted disease or heart attack while having sex).

And then there's the undocumented "thousands" of dead from Chernobyl.  Ridiculous.

And then there's the "Tokyo Electric has even admitted...".  No they've related what they've learned as time goes on.  That's not an admission, like admitting a lie or wrongdoing.  It's just communication.

New Camera "Sees" Fukushima Contamination

Originally developed as a space gamma camera.

Savannah River Site Closes Two Hot Tanks

Congrats! It's a "tip of the iceberg".

Fukushima Update

Via an NYT writer.

Nuclear Power Not Economical In U.S.

According to Exelon's freshly retired CEO and a University of Vermont researcher.

There will be a forum on nuclear power at the U of Wisconsin in April.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Kenya Is Pro-Nuclear To Meet Expected Energy Demand

Women Power Vs. Nuclear Power

At the Kudankulam plant in India.

Only 1 Nuke Plant Operating In Japan

Will Texas Be Allowed To Dispose Of Out-Of-Compact Radioactive Wastes?

In the U.S., the states are responsibles for low level radioactive waste (LLRW) disposal.  Historically, no state wanted to be the nation's dumping ground for all of the LLRW.  However, due to interstate commerce laws existing at the time, no state could prevent interstate commerce of such wastes.   This dilemma led to the existing compact system under the LLRW Policy Act of 1980 (amended in 1985). 

Under the Act, states are allowed to form smaller groups of states (compacts) wherein those states would agree on LLRW disposal site arrangements and could legally exclude non-compact states.  Ironically, today, Texas wants to open its compact's (which only includes Vermont in addition to Texas) disposal site to non-compact states in order to generate more revenue.

Read more here.

"It's Just 20 Years Away..."

That's the sort of thing one hears over the decades about nuclear fusion.  Maybe today we can say so and mean it.

The Nurture Of Nuclear Power

Economics Professor Nancy Folbre points out the seeming hypocrisy over certain energy subsidies.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Bill Gates Sees Future In Nuclear Power

Flatulentwinds Associates

"All the Fukushima samples would be classified as radioactive waste!"

What Arnie doesn't tell you is that ANY waste from a nuclear power plant which is radioactively contaminated is considered....take a pause...think about it...RADIOACTIVE WASTE!

This tells us nothing about the radioactivity concentration levels in the samples he took and the likely doses to be received by individuals as a result of exposure pathways.

Arnie doesn't want to get into those details because they would produce results counter to the fearmongering he is trying flatulating.

Protein Found Which Regulates Spread Of Pancreatic Cancer

Meet S100PBP.

Using Nuclear Power To Produce H2

Hydrogen can be used to fuel autos emitting only H20, no CO2.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Kids Ask Questions Of NASA Radiation Scientist

You can skip to 2:00 (or 3:20 to skip the first question which was kind of silly..."what happens if a craft runs out of gas?").

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Reactor Decommissioning Funds Lagging

Partly due to 2008 global financial freefall.

Using Fast Reactors To Burn Plutonium

Good article which weighs the pros & cons.

Nanoparticle Radioactivity To Treat Brain Tumors

Tres cool!  Rhenium-186 is encapsulated in liposomes (fat molecules) and delivers 20-30 times more dose than traditional methods.

Work On Indian Nuke Plant Resumes

Protesters arrested

"This Is Not A ScareMongering Forecast"

States a sobering report on global warming's likely impact on the seas.

Dense Breast Tissue Nearly Doubles Cancer Risk

In women ages 50 and older.

Take Aspirin To Prevent Cancer

First headaches, then cardiovascular disease and now cancer.  Seems to work with blood platelets to minimize metastasis.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Fukushima Data

This AlJazeera piece points out some of the technical and political difficulties associated with nuclear power and nuclear accidents.

Primarily they're referring to the Fukushima paradox (my phrase).  The pro-nukes impress on people that nuclear power is safe and then an accident happens.  To avoid radiation folks evacuate to minimize their dose.  Then the pro-nukes tells us how safe radiation is, as if it didn't necessitate an evacuation and as if the doses wouldn't be higher had there been no evacuation. 

The anti-nukes impress on people how dangerous nuclear power is and then an accident happens.  Yet it's not as horrific as the anti-nukes had portrayed.  No one died of acute radiation exposure and the projected increase in cancer probably won't be discernable using epidemiology.  That's largely thanks to the evacuation.

It's obvious which side helps the media attract an audience, yet the other side sticks to their tired old strategy of "it's safe". 

And so it continues....

80% Of Japanese Want Nuclear Power Gone

Perhaps Fukushima had something to do with it.

One important Japanese author wants all nuclear power abolished.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Nuclear Power - Not As "Safe As A Chocolate Factory"

The Economist has changed its mind.

Lung Screening Tests Frequently Given To Asymptomatic Folks

Against guidelines.  55% gave radiographs.

Not Crop Circles....

But small DNA circles found outside of chromosomes.

Nuclear Site Goes Biomass


Ft. Wayne, Indiana WWII Uranium Workers Sought

So they can receive money due them.

"The Radiation Salesmen...You Can't Trust These Guys"

Here a bit of crazy from some anti-nukes.  You can just jump to 3:00 to save time.  I do like the term "radiation salesmen" which I borrowed for the title of this post.   I've seen plenty of evidence of that from the crazy pro-nuke side.  That doesn't excuse the crazy radioalarmism from these morons.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Butterfly Molecular Form Of Uranium Compounds

May assist in radioactive cleanups in the future, or not.

Cancer Survivors Have Increased Infertility Risks

And oncologists are addressing the issue with them.

Health Physicist Featured In Local News

Meet Paul Steinmeyer.

China's Nuclear Power Problems

I just can't tell you what they are.

James Conca Lies

In the scientific journal Forbes.

Gundersen Lies Again

About Fukushima.

Circumcision May Help Prevent Prostate Cancer

By reducing the risks of infection and inflammation.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

"Nuclear Meltdown" Now


European Anti-Nuke Rallies

In "celebration" of Fukushima's anniversary.

Health Physics Society YouTube Videos

They've posted a few...short and sweet.

The Nuclear Evacuation Paradox

This article illustrates the safety paradox encountered by officials when deciding to evacuate citizens (or not).  Radioactive contamination poses a cancer risk (typically decades in the future), whereas evacuating people involves a more immediate risk of death.

Fukushima was particularly perplexing because it was a nuclear disaster which followed the earthquake/tsunami disaster and its attendant chaos. 

I won't engage in armchair quarterbacking, that's too easy.  But there's certainly room for improvement.

AlJazeera Anti-Nuclear Propaganda

AlJazeera T.V. is owned by the government of Qatar.  Qatar has the highest per capita GDP of any nation.  Why?  Because they sell their fossil fuels to everyone else.  I've watched them broadcast quite a bit about Fukushima (much more than the BP oil spill).  Here's a recent addition:

Friday, March 9, 2012

More On Fukushima As Anniversary Approaches

Here's an AP bit and one from Euronews:

Gundersen Spins Half Truths

On the show called Democracy Now.  A couple of examples - plants have a decommissioning fund, so whether VY changes ownership (potential lack of capital) is irrelevant.  VY had a 20% power uprate with no increase in personnel.  So?  Those two things are not directly correlated. 

There's plenty more where that came from if you can stomach it. 

Cleaning Up Fukushima

Not much detail and I'm not sure why they say the work is "dangerous".  It sounds like controls have been implemented to avoid dangerous working conditions:

Cancer Evolution In Action

This article discusses the fact that within single tumors there are different DNA mutations.  In other words, different parts of the tumor are evolving along different pathways.  Of course this is what we expect (see my page on Radiation, Evolution, Cancer and Aging.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Speaking Of Contraceptives

There's been quite alot of media buzz surrounding women's health issues because the U.S. Republican Party, besides being anti-science, is also anti-women's rights.  Oral hormonal contraceptives do increase the risk of breast & cervical cancer, while decreasing the risk of ovarian & endometrial cancer.

Rare Sarcomas Often Misdiagnosed


Epigenetics & Colon Cancer

What you eat matters.

Freezing Radioactive Waste At Hanford

Has raised some concerns (since pipes could burst and lead to a release) and is being addressed.

California's Santa Susanna Site Still Contaminated

About 17% of samples were elevated.

California's Nuclear Power Anxiety


Meanwhile, China has confidence.

It's Storming Outside

The biggest solar storm in years.   Here's the source:

Understanding DNA Replication

Could provide a better understanding of cancer proliferation and life itself.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

"Powering America"

Is a new pro-nuclear propaganda documentary by The Heritage Foundation.  There is a trailer and broadcast dates on the Documentary Channel within the link.  Of course, The Heritage Foundation, which poses as a "think tank" is just an ultra-conservative public relations outfit known for its lack of scientific integrity. 

Exercise Is Medicine

Epigenetics at work.

The Challenges Of Cancer Vaccines

Are reviewed here.

Radiation Therapy Has Longer Term Consequences

Radiation therapy is used frequently to attack cancer, but for cancer survivors, the therapy can have negative long-term consequences (secondary malignancies and heart disease).  A new study provides conclusions and recommendatons on the subject.

Japanese Gov't Too Slow In Health Checks

Post-Fukushima, according to Human Rights Watch.

Internally Contaminated? Take A Pill!

Called HOPO (for hydroxypyridonate), it can sequester the actinides (those elements above actinium on the periodic table, which includes uranium and plutonium).

Monday, March 5, 2012

Japan's Cleanup Is Trial & Error

This article doesn't say much, it's like "okay...and???".

This one is more insightful.

Hospitals Working To Reduce Radiation Exposure

Avera Heart Hospital is one example.

Sad Times At Los Alamos

Due to layoffs.

"Chernobyl Heart"

Below the line is some anti-nuke propaganda courtesy of the Thom Hartmann show.  I'll just pick on the "Chernobyl heart" scare tactic used by his guest.  This "effect" of radiation is a product of the 2002 documentary of that name by Maryann De Leo.  Basically, after Chernobyl she went to some hospitals and focused on kids who had heart problems.  Therefore, Chernobyl caused the heart problems!!!  HA! 

Sunday, March 4, 2012

"This Is What The Morning After Would Look Like"

After a nuclear apocalyspe, according to an NBC correspondent.

Japan To Tighten Food Radioactivity Limits

Come April 1.

Hope Creek Problem

I'm writing this post on Saturday, when the cause of this recirc pump shutdown is unknown.

CNN Visits Fukushima

"One of the most hazardous places on the planet"....yet they magically survive.

Nuclear Power's "Myth Of Safety"

According to the Japanese Prime Minister.

I tend to agree that because nuclear power is so safe, so often, it can lull people into a sense of long-term safety.  We should expect a significant nuclear mishap every decade or two depending on the number of operating plants at any given time. 

Though Fukushima will end up being very expensive, it still shows just how safe nuclear power really is.  I call this the Fukushima paradox.  Those pro-nukes who tried to sell the concept that a nuclear meltdown wouldn't happen in our lifetimes have been proven wrong.  But the anti-nukes who tried to sell the concept that a nuclear meltdown would be horrific have also been proven wrong.  Fukushima involved 3 meltdowns and no one died from acute radiation exposure.  There will be some cancer increase in decades to come, but many Japanese cancers have already been avoided by not using fossil fuels over the past 4 decades.

Nuclear power is very safe from a health perspective, it's just very expensive and life altering when the low probability mishap occurs in your locale.

Nuclear Waste Pools & Solar Flares

This video is like a freak show from the 1970's or something:

Friday, March 2, 2012

What'd Ya Expect Him To Say?

The Nuclear Energy Institute's Senior V.P. says that the industry will become stronger and safer in the wake of Fukushima and U.S. natural disasters.

Evacuations Ain't Easy

It's not just Fukushima.

Bird Population Reduction Greater In Fukushima Than Chernobyl

For the same average radiation dose rate.  Not sure why this article would be published in The Economist.

New Pathway Found For Cancer Angiogenesis

The protein p14 ARF.

FOXM1 Hunt

Reducing levels of the protein FOXM1 can help increase cell apoptosis which can make cancer therapies more effective.

So That's What A Radioactive "Dump" Looks Like!

You can rely on the media to refer to radioactive waste disposal sites as "dumps".  Here's a short clip from the Nevada National Security Site which is typical of what low level radioactive waste disposal sites look like:

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Radioactivity Fears Haunt Japanese Food Shoppers

From Fukushima.

Mexico Should Turn To Nuclear Power

Says its Energy Minister.

World's Oldest Running Nuke Plant To Be Shutdown

To be replaced by newer plant.

New Mammogram Delivers HALF The Radiation Dose

Than conventional machines.

Coldwater Creek Lawsuit

Against Malinckrodt.

In What Ways Does Lead Damage The Brain?

Lead is associated with health physics because it has historically been used as gamma shielding.  The deleterious effects of lead have been known for a long time, but not the underlying mechanisms.  Now we have some insights.