Archive for the ‘Ukraine’ Tag

Chernobyl Nuclear Disaster Anniversary–30 Years On   24 comments

 

“Sirens were sounded at the same moment as the first explosion at the reactor, in the early hours of 26 April 1986.

The meltdown at Chernobyl Nuclear Plant was the worst nuclear disaster in history.”

 

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“Chernobyl is not a historical event in Ukraine but a living reality for an unquantifiable number of people.” –Tom Burridge, Chernobyl

 

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“We honour those who lost their health and require a special attention from the government and society,” he said in a speech in Chernobyl. “It’s with an everlasting pain in our hearts that we remember those who lost their lives to fight nuclear death.” – Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko

 

 

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“The magnitude of the tragedy could have been immeasurably larger if it were not for the incomparable bravery and self-sacrifice of fire fighters, military personnel, experts and medics who honourably fulfilled their citizen’s duty. Many of them sacrificed themselves to save others.” – Russian President Vladimir Putin

Sources:

bbc.co.uk

europe.newsweek.com

Remember Fukushima–3rd Anniversary, Japan 11.3.2011   26 comments

 

        Fukushima, Japan 3rd Anniversary: March 11, 2011

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Fukushima Nuclear Denial

Remember Fukushima, March 11th 2011 – Many Would Rather You Didn’t….

 

citz_fihn1March 11th 2011: Three years later, marking the Third Anniversary of the Japan tsunami and Fukushima nuclear catastrophe, and still the denial and suppression of information, regarding the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Reactor continues.

 

It is information suppression on a global scale involving bodies such as the International Atomic Energy Agency, [IAEA] formed by the United Nations in 1957, national government bodies, the all-powerful nuclear industry and nuclear based scientists, not to mention, even the media, and others who stand to gain from the existence of nuclear energy.

"Fukushima is an eerie replay of the denial and controversy that began with the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. This is the same nuclear denial that also greeted nuclear bomb tests, such as Semipalatinsk in the Kazakhstan, plutonium plant disasters at Windscale in northern England and the nuclear power plant accidents at Three Mile Island in the United States and Chernobyl in what is now Ukraine."

Furthermore, "About a month after the disaster, on April 19, 2011, Japan chose to dramatically increase its official "safe’ radiation exposure levels from 1 mSv [a measure of radiation dose] t o 20 mSv per year–20 times higher than the U.S. exposure limit. This allowed the Japanese government to downplay the dangers of the fallout and avoid evacuation of many badly contaminated areas."

~Yale University Professor Emeritus Charles Perrow in the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists

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"To date no health effects have been reported in any person as a result of radiation exposure from the accident," the IAEA in 2011, a claim it holds to today.  

And a new State Secrets Act sanctioned by the Japanese government now endorses the right to restrict Fukushima reporting- on pain of a 10 year jail sentence.

 "It’s the cancerous mark of a nuclear regime bound to control all knowledge of a lethal global catastrophe now ceaselessly escalating."

~Harvey Wasserman, co-author of Killing Our Own, in a piece entitled Japan’s New Fukushima Fascism.

Fukushima is different because of the sheer extent of disaster; Multiple meltdowns, on-going pollution of a significant chunk of Japan, airborne radioactive fallout conveyed by the winds throughout the world, and colossal amounts of radioactivity disappearing into the Pacific Ocean, flowing with the currents and transported in the systems of the marine life unfortunate enough to consume the nuclear contaminants.

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The Medical Implications of Fukushima:

"Every increment of radiation exposure produces an incremental increase in the risk of cancer." 

~ National Council on Radiation Protection.

There have already been disproportionate numbers of thyroid cancer cases suddenly arising in Japan. This is a well-known primary indication of early radioactivity damage to the human body. Likewise damaged thyroid glands in Californian children were determined, in a study by the “Radiation and Public Health Project,” to be directly attributed to radioactive Fukushima fall-out. [Study conducted by Joseph Mangano and Dr Janette Sherman of the above mentioned Project and also Dr Chris Busby]

There is no such thing as a "safe" level of radioactivity. Any amount can kill.

"The Fukushima disaster is not over and will never end. The radioactive fallout which remains toxic for hundreds to thousands of years covers large swaths of Japan will never be "cleaned up’ and will contaminate food, humans and animals virtually forever."

~ Dr Helen Caldicott, a founder of Physicians for Social Responsibility quoted from Nuclear Madness, one of her books on nuclear power.

All Bluefin Tuna Caught In California-Radioactive:

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In a study by the Stanford University, every Bluefin Tuna arriving from Japan that they caught in Californian waters was without fail, contaminated with radioactive cesium-137, [large scale emissions occurring from the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Plant]:

“The tuna packaged it up [the radiation] and brought it across the world’s largest ocean. We were definitely surprised to see it at all and even more surprised to see it in every one we measured."

~ Daniel Madigan, Study Leader.

Costs and Consequences of the Fukushima Daiichi Disaster:

~ The Environmental Health Policy Institute of Physicians for Social Responsibility (PSR)

“Some 800 square kilometres are ‘exclusion’ zones of "abandoned cities, towns, agricultural land, homes and properties, and from which 159,128 people have been evicted."

~ PSR senior scientist Steven Starr. 

"Should the public discover the true health cost of nuclear pollution, a cry would rise from all parts of the world and people would refuse to cooperate passively with their own death."

~ Rosalie Bertell, a Catholic nun and author of No Immediate Danger, referencing “the decades of suppression of the impacts of nuclear power and the reason behind it.”

 

Sources:

opednews.com – Karl Grossman

theecologist.org

zerohedge.com

topinfopost.com

counterpunch.org

iaea.org

thebulletin.org

psr.org

ecowatch.com

Chernobyl’s Radioactive Wolves   38 comments

 

Chernobyl’s Radioactive Exclusion Zone Wolves

Hunting in the Land of Wolves

Chernobyl: 26 Year Anniversary…1986 – 2012

Radio active Wolves

“When a radioactive nuclear wasteland is abandoned by humans, wildlife takes over. Wolves now rule this once prosperous farmland claiming buildings as their own personal mansions. With humans out of the picture, there is a new boss in town.”

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“Chernobyl…an old river port in the middle of nowhere surrounded by marshes rivalling the everglades…site of a soviet nuclear power plant and history’s  worst manmade nuclear disaster back in 1986. The Chernobyl accident displaced 1/2 million people leaving behind the world’s biggest ghost town and an exclusion zone the size of Rhode Island. Radio active land void of people for 25 years but now a raw wilderness – ruled by wolves.

A team of scientists enters the forbidden  zone to explore the fate of radio active wolves. Why wolves? The wolf is at the end of the food  chain. It’s the peak of the pyramid. The state of a wolf pack says a lot about the state of the entire ecosystem. Radio collaring wolves will help answer essential questions  about the zone’s top predator and thus the rest of it’s wildlife.

Face masks matter now the wolfs fur is almost certainly radio active. Their time in the zone is up now. Boyde can stay. No one will disturb him here….

On the electronic  map the researchers find the wolves GPS  position this morning…the deserted village of Kososelya  If Boyde and Lotta are part of a pack this could be their headquarters.  The tracks in the snow confirm this is the base of a big pack….”

Radioactive_Chernobyl_Wolves(Image Credit:Public Domain)

Wolves in the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone which covers a 1,100 square miles reaching into  Ukraine and Belarus, and due to the dangerous levels of radiation is still, 26 years later considered unsafe for human habitation. Scientists with special permits are allowed to visit the zone for short periods to study the effects of radiation on the ecosystem. 

They also study it’s effects on the wildlife’s health although any handling of the animals, including wolves which they also tag, and their pups must be done with gloves on due to the dangerously high levels of radiation in their bones.

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Health wise the wildlife is in pretty good shape, all things considered though birth abnormalities are twice the norm, but even these figures remain single ones. Where humans once lived wolves now roam, claiming their territory amongst the abandoned and evacuated buildings.

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Hunting In The Land Of Wolves….

Chernobyl: 26 Year Anniversary…1986 – 2012

Fukushima Fallout–Radiation on the Nation   26 comments

Fukushima Fallout

Radiation on the Nation – The Truth and the Lies

“The story that the world forgot, and that everyone wishes could just be buried under a 10 foot lead plate, not only refuses to go away but is getting worse by the day. “

“The Fukushima, Japan nuclear disaster has 5 nuclear reactors burning, 2 in partial meltdown and 3 in full meltdown- and they’ve all been uncontrollably burning since March 11th. It’s been over 3 months and this nuclear disaster remains completely out of control.”

Fukushima Fallout–Radiation on the Nation

 

The EPA (Environmental Protection Agency), the ‘federal environmental safety agency arm of the US government’ fearing that the American people will learn the TRUTH as regards the exact amount of lethal radioactive fallout afflicting them, has hurriedly shut down the vast majority of its radiation detection monitors. But the food chains and water tables of the nation have already been contaminated by significant amounts of plutonium, strontium, cesium, uranium along with a wide range of other highly radioactive particles. Best not to let onto US residents about that though.

Reports from Japan including one by the Ministry of Science ~ The ABC quoting NHK news, say that concentrations of radioactive strontium 90 has been found in soil samples from 11 sites in Fukushima prefecture, including in Fukushima City, with a citizenship of 290,000 residents, about 60 kms from Japan’s stricken nuclear plant far exceeded the level that triggered compulsory resettlement ordered by Soviet authorities following the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear disaster in Ukraine.

Strontium 90 is the result of of uranium fusion in nuclear reactors fuel rods. It has a half life of 29 years. It builds up in bone and bone marrow, causing cancer and leukaemia.

Four locations in Fukushima city, outside the nuclear evacuation zone, showed that all soil samples contained caesium exceeding Japan’s legal limit of 10,000 becquerels per kilogram (4,500 per pound). . “Soil contamination is spreading in the city… Children are playing with the soil, meaning they are playing with high levels of radioactive substances. Evacuation must be conducted as soon as possible.” ~ Kobe University radiation expert professor Tomoya Yamauchi

Plutonium from the stricken Fukushima No. 1 reactor has been detected in the town of Okuma, about 1.7 km away from the plant’s front gate. It has a half-life of 24,000 years and some other radioactive elements such as uranium have a half-life of 4.47 billion years. So let’s hope that you’re not one of the statistical 1 in 2 unfortunates who will contract cancer in their lifetimes…

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The latest news from Fukushima is that the highly radioactive water has started leaking from Reactor #2, into a trench which is located just 180 feet away from the sea. The Telegraph reports: “The water seeping into a trench outside the Number two reactor at Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant in northeast Japan had a radiation level of more than 1,000 millisieverts per hour.” (100,000 times the normal level)

TEPCO, is of course here to remind us that this is perfectly normal and 1 sievert water is nothing to be at all worried about:

“We do not believe it is leaking into the ocean. We are now working out where the cause of the leak is and finding ways to remove the water as soon as possible.”

Luckily, nobody believes the lies out of Japan anymore: Too bad they still believe the lies out of the US government.

“In terms of radiation leaking into the sea, this would be diluted very quickly and there would be no particular risk to fish for example ” ~Yoshiaki Oka, a professor at Tokyo’s Waseda University, told The Telegraph.

Besides the 22 samples of seaweed tested in May, 10 of which were contaminated, with five times the legal limit of iodine 131, and 20 times of caesium 137, high levels of radioactive caesium (half life of 30 years, making it extremely toxic) have been found in fish off Japan’s east coast, in Ibaraki prefecture about 80 kilometres south of the Fukushima plant.It is believed to have its origins in the overheated fuel rods at the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant, Also found, radioactive iodine 7.5 million times above the legal limit in seawater near the facility.


Daily Yomiuri reports: “Fukushima Prefecture began checking the internal radiation dose levels of selected residents Monday, the first step in its plan to examine the health of all its 2 million residents amid the crisis at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant. About 28,000 residents of Namiemachi, Iitatemura and the Yamakiya district of Kawamatacho were to receive the initial checks.”

120 randomly chosen people will receive examinations by the National Institute for Radiological Sciences in Chiba. The remainder will be checked via questionnaires which will be used to estimate suspected dosages of internal radiation in their bodies.

Estimates naturally being infinitely preferable to knowing exactly.

And just to add insult to injury:

Germany announced it was going nuclear-free. Days later Charles Hendry, the Energy Minister, said the UK will build a new generation of power stations. Very nice of him…Even nicer:

“Government officials launched a PR campaign to ensure the accident at the Fukushima nuclear facility in Japan did not derail plans for new nuclear power stations in the UK”. ~ The Guardian

“This highlights the government’s blind obsession with nuclear power and shows neither they, nor the industry, can be trusted when it comes to nuclear,” ~ Louise Hutchins, a spokeswoman for Greenpeace

But nevermind…

Radiation from Fukushima? Don’t worry they’re taking care of it. Nothing to worry about. Just walk on by…..

WALK WITH ME IN THE LAND OF WOLVES   32 comments

Belorussian wolf within the Exclusion Zone

CHERNOBYL’S LOST CITY – COME WALK WITH ME IN THE LAND OF WOLVES

(Updated 12 June 2012)

In light of the the current crisis at the Fukushima Nuclear Reactor…Choose your future carefully! It is you who has to live in it!

 

  

  

“We walked into a wasteland, grey and desolate. The buildings had deteriorated, windows had been smashed. Trees and weeds had grown over everything. It was a ghost town.” (Pripyat)

 

Abandoned town of Pripyat Pripyat Fairground-most contaminated part of town(Image Credit: TimmSuess.com) A silent abandoned sentinal-Pripyat town-Chernobyl(Image Credit:TimmSuess.com)

(Tim Mousseau – Professor of Biological Sciences from the University of South Carolina – describing his first visit to Chernobyl)

Along with Anders Møller, an ornithologist and evolutionary biologist from the Pierre and Marie Curie University in Paris, Tim Mousseau has conducted on-site research into the effects of radiation on humans and animals, with highly controversial results.

The basic facts of the Chernobyl nuclear power station accident in the Ukraine — the worst in history are well known. At 1.23am on April 26, 1986, reactor number four at the Soviet nuclear power plant exploded, after an electrical test went horribly wrong. The radioactive material released was many times greater than the fallout over Hiroshima and Nagasaki, polluting about 80,000 square miles of land across Europe and spreading radioactive rain as far as north-west Ireland. In the wake of the accident, more than 300,000 people were evacuated and an 800 square mile exclusion zone created around the reactor – “the zone of alienation.”


LIVING IN THE SHADOW OF THE RUINED REACTOR – THE LAND OF WOLVES

Pripyat was built as a town for the Chernobyl power station workers. It was viewed a model town. The apartment blocks were alive with fir trees and rose beds. It was a town of young people and growing families.

25 years on the abandoned town of Pripyat has become a wildlife haven. The Land of Wolves.There have been sightings of wolves, bears, wild boar and moose wandering the deserted streets, and swifts swooping round abandoned office blocks. Likewise sightings of deer and wolves have been reported at Kiev Oblast, situated near the border with Belarus, in the zone of alienation in Northern Ukraine. The only other resident is a solitary guard. Prior to the accident the population had been around 50,000.

 

The site of the Red Forest remains one of the most contaminated radio-active sites in the world today. 

 Exclusion zone sign-outside zoneWalking in the land of WolvesKiev Oblast_Geiger Counter_Dosimeter

Although radiation levels have dropped significantly since 1986, there are still "hot" regions. the most contaminated areas measuring 300 microSieverts per hour on the Geiger counter, the equivalent of 1,200 times normal radiation levels.


VEGETATION

Therefore it is surprising the vegetation in the zone of alienation has flourished. Like a strange nature reserve, flora and fauna, in the absence of human interference have reclaimed the abandoned land. Scientists have found that since 1990, growth flourished and the ecological effect has been positive. Eighty percent of the zone is now forested; before the disaster, it was just 20 percent. A total of 240                Russian Wolves - Chernobyl and PripyatForest City-Pripyat 25 years onChernobyl-Pripyat town-25 years on-forested species of animals have been counted within the exclusion zone, most of which were present only in low numbers before the disaster. Giant catfish swim in radioactive water that surround the six nuclear reactors. Since nobody is going to go fishing, they’ll continue to breed and grow.That one should never eat the mushrooms or berries found there and that some of the clover might have six leaves is however another story.

So, could it be that if wildlife can return so soon, nuclear radiation and power might not be as dangerous as we first thought?

AN ECOSYSTEM IN CRISIS

The first discovery that Professors Møller and Mousseau made was that birds in the fallout zone were suffering increased levels of genetic mutations. The examination of 20,000 Barn Swallows found crippled toes, deformed beaks, malformed tails, irregularly shaped eyes and tumours. Some birds had red plumage where it should have been blue, or blue where it should have been red.

Because of contaminated food supplies, bird species have declined by more than 50 per cent in high-radiation areas. Only a fraction of the Swallows and Great Tits are reproducing, and of those that do lay eggs, only five per cent hatch. Less than a third of birds survive to adulthood. Professors Mousseau and Møller could confirm that these abnormalities were genetic by examining the Swallows’ sperm.

They discovered a connection between antioxidants, radiation and plumage colour: showing birds with the brightest plumage are more likely to die.

Antioxidants in both humans and birds, help counteract the effects of radiation Brightly plumaged birds migrating long distances eg Swallows, produce a lot of free radicals as a by-product of their very high metabolic rate and , resulting in tissue damage ~ Professor Mousseau.

Supplies of antioxidants in their blood and liver offset this.  Large amounts of antioxidants are directed to the female’s eggs, causing the bright yellow yolk.

If their destination is in highly contaminated areas, they find it impossible to replenish energy reserves preventing Swallows from maintaining their bright plumage or re-directing enough antioxidants into their eggs, so few chicks hatch.

It continues down through the food chain. In the areas of highest contamination, fewer butterflies, bumblebees, grasshoppers, dragonflies and spiders are found. "The fact that insects, including pollinators, are sensitive to elevated contaminants has a significant impact on the rest of the ecosystem," ~ Professor Mousseau. There is also another tragedy here. Professor Mousseau has started working with the Hospital for Radiation Biology, in Kiev, on a long-term study of humans who live in the area: more than 11,000 adults and 2,000 children in the Narodichesky region, 50 miles from Chernobyl.What will be the consequences for the children of these children????

The incidence among locals of cancer, birth defects and reduced lifespan is alarmingly high.


Update: 10th June 2012

Re: In discussing the conflicting research findings on whether wildlife really is recovering in the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone, one deadly serious point the optimists who think this land is going to recover from the worst industrial accident in history should take into consideration is:

“While iodine-131 decayed long ago and the strontium and cesium are slowly becoming less potentially lethal, the hot particles of plutonium-241 scattered across the landscape are actually decaying into an even more toxic isotope, americium-241. A more powerful emitter of alpha radiation than plutonium, americium is also more soluble and can easily find its way into the food chain. Americium-241, in turn, decays into neptunium-237, another energetic alpha emitter that has a half-life of more than 2 million years. As of yet, the long-term effect of americium-241 on animals remains largely unknown.” ~ Wired Magazine

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You have walked with me through the Land of Wolves…There will without doubt be many and varied opinions on the use of nuclear energy as a "safe, clean, low-carbon" energy source. But the hard cold fact that remains, seems to be that we cannot live WITH it yet neither can we live WITHOUT IT.

I for one just hope that we too will not be walking in "The Land of Wolves."