Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Pro-nukers are drowning globally in a sea of dismal facts...

March 26th, 2008 -- Today's items:

1) Canadian media pushes for nuclear power
2) Africa: Dump to the world
3) Scientists, Engineers demand Kashiwazaki-Kariwa Nuclear Power Plant be closed:
4) Living through another Hiroshima
5) Contact information for the author of this newsletter (and quotes)

Dear Readers,

I again implore everyone, especially Californians, to contact Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and urge him to reverse is position in support of nuclear power. (Please see yesterday's newsletter for more information.) The URL for contacting the Governor is:

http://gov.ca.gov/interact


Today I'm presenting three powerful articles from around the world, plus a brief commentary responding to an editorial in Canada.

It is clear that the pro-DNA movement (aka the "anti-nuclear movement" but I don't like that term and neither should you) is incredibly widespread, pushing for a more healthy alternative for the planet. But we ALL must think globally, and ACT GLOBALLY. Please contact these organizations and writers and get on their mailing lists. Let them know you appreciate their efforts. Show them you're listening.

And Californians: PLEASE WRITE TO OUR GOVERNOR!

Sincerely,

Ace Hoffman
Carlsbad, CA


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(1) Canadian media pushes for nuclear power:
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Nuclear Energy Earns Trust Guest Editorial in the Penticton (B. C. Canada) Herald, March 24th, 2008:

Anyone who says cultural attitudes are fixed in stone should think about the astonishing transformation in how we think about nuclear energy.

For many years, nuclear power was a terrifying thing. Lingering images of Hiroshima, and then later the accidents at Three Mile Island and Chernobyl, caused many businesses and governments to shiver at the idea of investing in nuclear energy.

Today we have communities in Ontario that are actually lobbying to have nuclear plants built in their jurisdictions. Most notably, people living around the Nanticoke coal-fired station hope to play host to a renewed nuclear industry in the province. Community leaders rightly believe a nuclear plant in the neighbourhood would translate into hundreds of jobs and millions of dollars for the local economy.

Nuclear energy is enjoying a renaissance for several reasons. It is a clean form of energy. Suddenly, people are more afraid of global warming caused by burning coal than they are by the risks associated with nuclear power.

So, too, the global security risk associated with propping up dictators by buying their oil is arguably greater than the risk of nuclear accidents in our own borders. As experts continue to crunch the numbers and do the cost-benefit analyses, nuclear energy increasingly emerges as the most viable way to power our cities in the 21st century. Nuclear energy still has real problems -- the issue of wastes is the biggest -- but it appears to be better than the traditional alternatives.

That some communities are not just willing to accept this reality but are embracing it shows that nuclear's rehabilitation is nearly complete.

-- Ottawa Citizen

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My response:
-------------------------------

To: "S. Paul Varga - Managing Editor" <paul.varga@pentictonherald.ca>
Subject: The nuclear industry is based on lies
Cc: "Drew Gragg, Deputy Editor" <dgragg@thecitizen.canwest.com>, "Graham Green, Executive Editor" <ggreen@thecitizen.canwest.com>, "Derek Shelly, Senior Editor" <dshelly@thecitizen.canwest.com >, "Ruth Dunley, Associate Editor" <rdunley@thecitizen.canwest.com>

March 25th, 2008

To The Editor,

What was the "Ottawa Citizen" editor who wrote Monday's guest editorial ("Nuclear Industry Earns Trust") thinking? Did the editor talk to ANYONE outside the nuclear industry before composing their pro-nuclear propaganda?

Nuclear power has not earned ANY trust among people who have properly investigated it. The whole industry is based on lies. It lies every time there is an accident. It lies about its past. And it lies about what the future holds for those foolish enough to embrace nuclear power.

Admittedly, the nuclear industry IS getting better at LYING -- at using statistical gibberish to avoid culpability for cancers, leukemias, childhood deformities and other diseases. The nuclear industry claims that less than 30 people died because of Chernobyl -- a blatant lie. There are few more persistent and evil lies in history than that one -- Holocaust denial being similarly insidious. The real number Chernobyl has killed is surely in the tens of thousands and probably in the hundreds of thousands. And people will continue to die because of Chernobyl for thousands of years to come.

The nuclear industry ignores scientific studies about "free radical" damage to DNA, but at the same time, makes specious and false claims about being "emission free."

The nuclear industry is vulnerable to terrorism, recurrent embrittlement problems, financial woes, and legal liability issues that go well beyond the insurance fraud upon which the nuclear power industry is based. And did I mention poor workmanship, management problems, and -- perhaps most terrifying -- worker threats to the plants? These are in addition to the waste issue admitted to in the pro-nuclear guest editorial and they are NOT small problems.

Considering that electricity can be supplied a thousand different CLEAN ways, nuclear power is unquestionably the most devastating and useless industry ever devised.

Sincerely,

Ace Hoffman
Carlsbad, CA

The author, 51, who has studied nuclear issues for many decades, is an award-winning educational software developer and has interviewed thousands of scientists on both sides of the nuclear debate.

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(2) Africa: Dump to the world:
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Ingela Richardson's words should echo worldwide, among the citizens of countries who let their corporations use Africa as a global dump, and among citizens of countries which also are considering reprocessing or mining uranium, or building new nuclear waste generation machines (aka nuclear power plants). -- Ace

------------------------------------

To: <letters@mg.co.za>
Subject: Africa - toxic dump for the industrialized world

OPINION

AFRICA - TOXIC DUMP FOR THE INDUSTRIALIZED WORLD

by Ingela Richardson

"Toxic terrorism" and "garbage imperialism" are terms that come up often in a resource list compiled by Deanna Lewis and Ron Chepesiuk. In their research, "The International Trade in Toxic Waste" one African official says the Third World has been turned into the industrialized world's "outhouse".

A polite word - considering what it has meant for the people of Africa, where certain "recycling" facilities do not have adequate safety or environmental standards. There is not enough protective equipment and workers suffer lead and mercury poisoning, increased rates of birth defects and miscarriages, kidney disease, cancer and even death from toxic waste. To avoid negative publicity and laws against dumping toxic wastes, many companies just change the labels on their freight.

And yet, South Africa is planning to lead a nuclear charge into Africa. Nuclear power has been advertised across the continent as the answer to Africa's energy needs, which is ironic, considering major security issues like the genocide in Rwanda, "blood diamond" wars in Sierra Leone and the illegal trade in uranium and nuclear materials.

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) seems to think that spending 7 million Euros on "nuclear security" in Africa will somehow prevent an African nuclear holocaust. According to a report on their website, "Ghana, South Africa, Morocco and Nigeria are among the countries the IAEA will work with to secure nuclear and radioactive materials and sites at risk of sabotage. South Africa, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia are among countries the IAEA will assist to strengthen their capabilities to detect and respond to illicit trafficking".

Why is the international community not simply investing their millions in safer renewable energy providers? Maybe because these nations' own nuclear power stations require continuing supplies of uranium that they want from Africa.

What is the nuclear threat to Africa? Only last year, a gang of armed men broke into the Pelindaba nuclear facility. Three men have already been condemned by South African courts for smuggling nuclear materials. And in Niger armed men attacked a uranium prospecting camp maintained by the French company Areva, killing a security guard and wounding three other people. In the Congo, a thin barbwire fence protects a nuclear research reactor with an outdated control room and unguarded radioactive waste storage building. The Congo has repeatedly been accused of illegally selling uranium and not preventing smuggling.

According to a report on the IAEA website, Congo allows the IAEA to conduct "intrusive, short-notice inspections", but "safety conditions at the often chaotic Shinkolobwe mines in its unstable Katanga province have given cause for concern".

So the IAEA has sent African member states on "workshops" and "courses" to improve nuclear security. Does Africa feel safer?

French nuclear company Areva plans to build 12 nuclear reactors in South Africa. The first - Nuclear 1 - would cost N$120 billion (that's Namibian dollars - who knows what Eskom's latest number is in South African rands?). It seems that Eskom wants nuclear power plants of 20 000 MW total capacity to be built in South Africa before 2025.

Namibia also plans to build a nuclear reactor according to a report in "The Namibian", although it does not yet have a regulatory framework to govern issues like waste. Another report states that Namibia is considering the "floating nuclear reactors" that Russia has not been able to sell to anyone else due to safety concerns.

And Zimbabwe's "Herald" said: "Zimbabwe has had plans to invest in nuclear energy since the 1990s, and there were plans to acquire a nuclear reactor from Argentina to process uranium". But also that: "It is widely perceived that a region-wide switch to nuclear energy without qualified human resources will result in an exponential increase in the proliferation of weapons grade uranium on the global nuclear parallel market and raise the risk of a major catastrophe with nuclear plants".

In Malawi, Keyelekera is targeted for uranium mining, despite resistance from environmentalists and human rights organisations. Here, 200 tonnes of sulphuric acid would be used daily in the uranium leaching process. Environmental experts warned of contamination of rivers and watercourses, and that leaks of ammonia and sulphur-dioxide threaten more than 1000 people in the area.

It would be very nice to think that highly toxic nuclear waste is "recycled" or simply disappears. But the reality is that no nation in the industrialized world has any "disposal" solution. The best idea that nuclear scientists have come up with is to bury nuclear waste in a large hole in the ground - not like the one Necsa is already using at Vaalputs in Namaqualand - but a huge tunnel that costs millions and looks more like an underground subway station.

There is no question as to the extreme expense and toxicity of nuclear waste. The only question is - where the industrialized world plans to put theirs? In Africa? The toxic dump of the industrialized world?

Ingela Richardson is an environmental activist based in the Eastern Cape of South Africa

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(3) Scientists, Engineers demand Kashiwazaki-Kariwa Nuclear Power Plant be closed:
===========================================

There are NO safe nuclear power plants and no safe locations for those unsafe nuclear plants. But some locations and some plants are more obviously unsafe than others. The document shown below joins the others in this newsletter to show that the "nuclear renaissance" claimed in the first item's pronuclear editorial (above) is little more than the cries of a dead man walking. In the long term, it is NOT a question of IF humanity will close ALL the nuclear power plants globally -- WE WILL. It's just a question of WHEN. Many scientists in the United States feel that it will take a MELTDOWN HERE to convince Americans nukes are not the answer to global warming, foreign oil strangleholds, or any other problem we think we have. If that's what it takes, so it shall be. -- Ace

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From: http://cnic.jp/english/topics/safety/earthquake/kkscientist24feb08.html

Close Kashiwazaki-Kariwa Nuclear Power Plant

CNIC Press Release (24 February 2008)

Green Action Media Briefing (26 February 2008)

Scientists, Engineers demand Kashiwazaki-Kariwa Nuclear Power Plant be closed

The Group of Concerned Scientists and Engineers Calling for the Closure of the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa Nuclear Power Plant (KK Scientists)1 launched a Japanese leaflet in Kashiwazaki City on 24 February 2008. The leaflet, which is being distributed to residents of Niigata Prefecture, explains why the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa Nuclear Power Plant should be closed.

An English translation of the leaflet has been published in CNIC's English newsletter, Nuke Info Tokyo 123 (March/April 2008). The Japanese version of the leaflet can be ordered from the following web site:
http://kkheisa.blog117.fc2.com/ (Japanese site)

Before the full translation was available, Green Action compiled a media briefing from publicly available documents issued in English and Japanese by KK Scientists, Kashiwazaki and Kariwa residents and legislators, and NGOs in Japan calling for closure of Tokyo Electric's Kashiwazaki-Kariwa Nuclear Power Plant. Click here to find out the facts the Japanese nuclear industry may not reveal to the international community.

After the 16 July 2007 Chuetsu-oki Earthquake2, the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency (NISA) of the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) established the "Subcommittee for Investigation and Response to the Nuclear Facilities affected by Chuetsu-oki Earthquake" and ordered Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) to check equipment and carry out seismic response analysis. The KK Scientists point out that these investigations are not objective scientific and technical investigations, because they are based on the premise that the plant will be restarted in the near future. The KK Scientists demand that the option of permanent closure of the plant be retained.

The nuclear industry is attempting to lend authority to the investigations being carried out by Tokyo Electric and the government by holding an international symposium in Kashiwazaki City on 26-27 February 2008. The International Symposium on Seismic Safety of Nuclear Power Plants and Lessons Learned, sponsored by Japan Atomic Industrial Forum, Japan Nuclear Technology Institute, and Research Institute of Electric Power Industry, will downplay or ignore the most obvious problem, namely that the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear power plant, located in the middle of an earthquake belt, is built on ground which is unsuitable for a nuclear power plant.

The KK Scientists believe that it is necessary to highlight the problems of the biased investigation being carried out by the government regulatory authorities and TEPCO. Their key arguments are as follows:
Kashiwazaki-Kariwa was never a suitable place to build a nuclear power plant.
Sloppy safety assessments by TEPCO and the government ignored a 30 km-long active submarine fault.
The July 2007 Chuetsu-Oki Earthquake was a miraculously lucky escape.
The Japanese government is violating its own rules concerning seismic design.
The danger of another large earthquake remains.
Important safety equipment may have been seriously damaged due to the Chuetsu-Oki Earthquake.
TEPCO's equipment checks are not capable of identifying all the damage.
TEPCO's seismic response analysis fails to identify the true situation.
Struck by a double blow of aging and an earthquake, Kashiwazaki-Kariwa should not be restarted.

Notes:
1. KK Scientists was formed shortly after the Chuetsu-Oki Earthquake by four scientists/engineers who, on 21 August 2007, issued an appeal, "Call for Closure of Kashiwazaki-Kariwa Nuclear Power Plant". To date over 200 scientists and engineers have endorsed this appeal. They are actively demanding that objective scientific and technical investigations be carried out keeping in mind the possibility of permanent closure of the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa Nuclear Power Plant.

2. The Chuetsu-oki Earthquake, a magnitude 6.8 earthquake, struck just off the coast of Niigata Prefecture on the Japan Sea side of Honshu, Japan's largest island, at 10:13 am on 16 July 2007. As a result of the quake, four reactors (units 2, 3, 4 & 7) at Tokyo Electric Power Company's (TEPCO) Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear power plant shut down automatically. At the time, unit 2 was being started up after a periodic inspection, while the other three units (1, 5 & 6) were shut down undergoing periodic inspection.

Contact for the Group of Concerned Scientists and Engineers Calling for the Closure of the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa Nuclear Power Plant:
The Takagi Fund for Citizen Science (Tamotsu Sugenami)

For English inquiries contact Citizens' Nuclear Information Center.

Return to CNIC's Earthquakes and Nuclear Power page
CNIC
Citizens' Nuclear Information Center
Akebonobashi Co-op 2F-B, 8-5 Sumiyoshi-cho,
Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo, 162-0065, Japan
TEL.03-3357-3800
FAX.03-3357-3801

http://cnic.jp/english/

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(4) Living through another Hiroshima:
===========================================

The nuclear weapons exploded over Hiroshima and Nagasaki keep on killing. The fission products which were released are especially fearsome because they often mimic biologically-useful elements and enter the food chain. They also tend to have shorter half-lives (than, say, Pu or U). But even so-called "Depleted" Uranium, which contains uranium and plutonium isotopes with various half-lives from hundreds of thousands to billions of years, is extremely toxic, both as a heavy metal and as a radiological hazard. We (Americans, and dozens of other nations, too) are using DU in every war we engage in. But it's clear that we know there is something very, very wrong with DU, since NO POLICE FORCE IN AMERICA (or anywhere in the world, as far as I know) IS ALLOWED TO USE DU BULLETS! Why not? Because they're poisonous, that's why not! They produce poisonous gas, poisonous nano-particles, poisonous chunks, and they poison anything they land on. THAT's why not. Despite any lie the Pentagon (or any other armed force) might make, the use of Depleted Uranium in war IS a war crime. An ongoing war crime. -- Ace

------------------------------------------------------------

From: "MarshaRose" <mrjoy@hawaii.rr.com>
To: "Russell D. Hoffman" <rhoffman@animatedsoftware.com>
Subject: Fw: "We are living through another Hiroshima," Iraqi doctor says]
Date: Tue, 25 Mar 2008 22:51:51 -1000


----- Original Message -----
From: pete shimazaki doktor
To: undisclosed-recipients:
Sent: Tuesday, March 25, 2008 3:37 PM
Subject: "We are living through another Hiroshima," Iraqi doctor says]


http://www.smirkingchimp.com/thread/13637
"We are living through another Hiroshima," Iraqi doctor says
By Sherwood Ross
Created Mar 24 2008 - 8:41am


The U.S., Great Britain and Israel are turning portions of the Middle East into a slice of radioactive hell. They are achieving this by firing what they call "depleted uranium" (DU) ammunition but which is, in fact, radioactive ammunition and it is perhaps the deadliest kind of tactical ammo ever devised in the warped mind of man.

There's a ton of data about this on the Internet for the skeptics: from sources such as the 1999 report of the International Atomic Energy Commission to oncologist members of England's Royal Society of Physicians to U.S. Veterans Administration hospital nuclear medicine doctors to officials at the Basra maternity and pediatric hospital to reporter Scott Peterson of the Christian Science Monitor. Peterson used a Geiger counter in August, 2003 to find radiation readings between 1,000 and 1,900 times normal where bunker buster bombs and munitions had exploded near Baghdad. After all, a typical bunker bomb is said to contain more than a ton of depleted uranium.

For a concise overview on radioactive warfare, read "DU And The Liberation of Iraq" by Christian Scherrer, a researcher at the Hiroshima Peace Institute, published on Znet on April 13, 2003. Scherrer states: "Based on the report of the 48th meeting issued by the UN Committee dealing with effects of Atomic radiation on 20th April 1999, noting the rapid increase in mortality caused by DU between 1991 and 1997, the IAEA document predicted the death of half a million Iraqis, noting that...'some 700-800 tons of depleted uranium was used in bombing the military zones south of Iraq. Such a quantity has a radiation effect, sufficient to cause 500,000 cases which may lead to death."

Scherrer writes, "In 1991 the DU ammunition was mainly used against Iraqi tanks in the desert near Basra, while in the present war DU is being used all over Iraq, even in densely populated areas including the heart of Baghdad, Mosul, Tikrit and other cities." He adds that, based on IAEA estimates and his previous research, "the death toll may surpass a million deaths over the next few years, with more to follow!"

Scherrer notes, incidentally, the UN's Human Rights Commission back in 1996 declared DU a weapon of mass destruction(WMD) and that those who use it are guilty of a crime against humanity. Among its users: the first President Bush, President Bill Clinton, who irradiated the Balkans, and the current occupant of the White House.

Now let's hear it from Iraqi doctors: Oncologist Dr. Jawad Al-Ali of Basra Hospital and Professor Husam al-Jarmokly of Baghdad University "showed a rapidly increasing death toll in Iraq since 1991 due to cancer and leukemia caused by U.S. radiological warfare," Scherrer writes, based on their presentation of December 1, 2002 at the Peace Memorial Hall in Hiroshima. Al-Ali, who is also a member of England's Royal Society of Physicians, is quoted in Feb. 5, 2001, "CounterPunch" as stating, "The desert dust carries death. Our studies indicate that more than 40% of the population around Basra will get cancer. We are living through another Hiroshima." (Basra is a city of 1.7 million. Does that mean 680,000 people will be stricken? That toll alone would be more than Hiroshima and Nagasaki's casualties.)

The same article also reported since 1990, the incident rate of leukemia in Iraq has grown by more than 600 percent and, similarly, "The leukemia rate in Sarajevo, pummeled by American bombs in 1996, has tripled in the last five years" and "NATO and UN peacekeepers in the region are also coming down with cancer."

Dr. Zenad Mohammed, employed in the maternity department of the Basra teaching hospital, said in the three-months beginning in August, 1998, 10 babies were born with no heads, eight with abnormally large heads and six with deformed limbs, according to a report on World Socialist Web Site of September 8, 1999. And the British Guardian newspaper reported Basra maternity reported cancer cases shot up from 80 in 1990 to 380 in 1997.

Reporter Phil Gardner quotes Dr. Basma Al Asam, a gynecologist, at Al Manoon hospital, Baghdad, stating: "I've been watching this for seven years now and it's increasing. We're not just seeing babies born with congenital abnormalities, but very late spontaneous abortions because of congenital defects. In the past we used to see, maybe, one a month. Now it is two or three cases per day." (Two to three cases a day, h-m-m-m, does that equal about 1,000 a year at this one hospital?)

And from American doctors: Colonel Asaf Durakovic, formerly chief of nuclear medicine at the VA hospital in Wilmington, Del., said he found uranium isotopes in the bodies of Persian Gulf War veterans. The New York Times reported on January 29, 2001, Dr. Durakovic said he found "depleted uranium, including uranium 236, in 62 percent of the sick gulf war veterans he examined. He believes that particles lodged in their bodies and may be the cause of their illness." Once inhaled, Dr. Durakovic noted, "uranium can get into the bloodstream, be carried to bone, lymph nodes, lungs or kidneys, lodge there, and cause damage when it emits low-level radiation over a long period," the Times reported. The Times article also called attention to the cancer deaths of 24 European soldiers that served as peacekeepers in the Balkans "and the illnesses reported by many others."

And from a U.S. researcher: Roberto Gwiazda, of the environmental toxicology department at the University of California Santa Cruz, was the lead researcher examining returned Gulf War veterans that had radioactive shrapnel wounds. The university's "City On A Hill Press" newspaper quotes him as saying, "Of those with radioactive shrapnel wounds, all had significant levels of uranium in their urine seven to nine years after the explosion. Of those who only inhaled the incendiary uranium, a statistically significant number also had high uranium levels."

And from U.S. veterans: Tom Cassidy, of the 1st Cavalry Division who saw service in Iraq in 2003-05: "After the first gulf war, the level of radiation was 300 times what is considered normal. In this invasion we used even more DU bullets. The effects there are horrible," he told the UCSC paper. Added Dennis Kyne, from the U.S. Army's 18th Airborne division and Desert Storm veteran and who suffers from an "undiagnosed illness": "The scientists call it cell disruption, and they don't know why it's happening to veterans, but it's really radiation sickness, and it's because the DU is all over."
_______
About author

Sherwood Ross is an American reporter who has worked for major American newspapers and magazines as well as international wire services. To comment on this article or arrange for speaking engagements: sherwoodr1@yahoo.com

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In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes.

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5) Contact information for the author of this newsletter (and quotes):
===========================================


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Quotes collected by Ace Hoffman:
========================================

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"Nuclear war must be the most carefully avoided topic of general significance in the contemporary world. People are not curious about the details." -- Paul Brians (author; quote is from: Nuclear Holocausts: Atomic War in Fiction)
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"When fascism comes to America, it will come wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross." -- Sinclair Lewis (first American Nobel Prize winner in Literature, 2.7.1885 - 1.10.1951)
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"There is no such thing as a pro-nuclear environmentalist." -- Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa, 1992)
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"Know thy self, know thy enemy. A thousand battles, a thousand victories." -- Sun Tzu (Chinese general b.500 BC)
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"The most intolerable reactor of all may be one which comes successfully to the end of its planned life having produced mountains of radioactive waste for which there is no disposal safe from earthquake damage or sabotage." -- A. Stanley Thompson (a pioneer nuclear physicist who later realized the whole situation)
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"Any dose is an overdose." -- Dr. John W. Gofman (another pioneer nuclear physicist who saw the light (9.21.1918 - 8.15.2007))
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"Choose your leaders with wisdom and forethought. To be led by a coward is to be controlled by all that the coward fears. To be led by a fool is to be led by the opportunists who control the fool. To be led by a thief is to offer up your most precious treasures to be stolen. To be led by a liar is to ask to be lied to. To be led by a tyrant is to sell yourself and those you love into slavery." -- Octavia Butler (science fiction writer, 7.22.1947 - 2.24.2006)
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"If you want real welfare reform, you focus on a good education, good health care, and a good job.

If you want to reduce poverty, you focus on a good education, good healthcare, and a good job.

If you want a stable middle class, you focus on a good education, good health care, and a good job.

If you want to have citizens who can participate in democracy, you focus on a good education, good health care, and a good job.

And if you want to end the violence, you could build a million new prisons and you could fill them up, but you never end this cycle of violence unless you invest in the health and the skill and the intellect and the character of our children. you focus on a good education, good health care and a good job.

And other than that, I don't feel strongly about anything."

-- Paul Wellstone (US Senator, D-Minnesota, 7.21.1944 - 10.25.2002)
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"There are no warlike peoples - just warlike leaders." -- Ralph Bunche (8.7.1903 - 12.9.1971)
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"Resistance to tyrants is obedience to God." -- Thomas Jefferson
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"Please send this to everyone you know!" -- Ace Hoffman (original collector of the above quotes, January, 2008)
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This email was sent by:

Ace Hoffman
"Ace Hoffman" <rhoffman@animatedsoftware.com>
www.animatedsoftware.com
POBox 1936
Carlsbad, CA 92018

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and the bully pulpit

March 25th, 2008

Dear Readers,

Last Friday (March 21st, 2008) California's Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger claimed that nuclear power has "a great future" and that we should stop "looking the other way and living in denial."

It is the governor who is in denial.

He is in denial of the fact that some 10,000,000 pounds of used reactor cores currently endanger our precious California coastline. We don't need ANY more. There is no place to put the waste because the Federal government is in denial of the fact that Yucca Mountain, the proposed repository, is technically flawed and politically stagnated. In addition to the technical flaws of the repository itself, any repository plan is flawed due to the dangers inherent in actually shipping the nuclear waste. And these are no small hurdles: They've held up the project for more than 20 years already!

But keeping the waste where it is, in dry casks and spent fuel pools, is insanely dangerous. Didn't we learn from Banda Ache in 2004 (or Alaska in 1964) that the sea walls could NEVER be high enough? Didn't we learn from Loma Prieta, Northridge, and other seismic events that building codes don't mean buildings will stay up according to the code? Didn't we learn from the 2007 wildfires which almost cut the off-site power to San Onofre (which was completely down at the time, thus failing, once again, to provide "baseline" in an emergency) that evacuation after a nuclear event will be IMPOSSIBLE?

(Did you say, "duct tape," Mr. Governor? Duct tape and KI? You ARE in denial! Do you think band-aids are sufficient for amputations, too?)

Governor Schwarzenegger is also in denial of the true economic burden that electricity generated by nuclear power puts on the people of California. The fact is, using nuclear power for "baseline" energy is illogical. But nuclear-generated power certainly isn't good for anything OTHER than "baseline" because nuclear power plants are so difficult (and expensive, and dangerous) to stop and restart. They certainly cannot be "peaking power" plants. BUT -- and this is the part being denied -- they are prone to sudden, unexpected, and prolonged failures. AND when they fail, they fail completely -- you go from 1000 megawatts to zero megawatts output (or even to a 100 megawatt suck) in a fraction of a second. NOT GOOD for any state whose citizens love delicate electronic equipment as much as Californians do! To call nuclear power a useful "baseline" energy source -- as the industry routinely claims -- is to be in denial of the reliability benefits of a power grid supplied by distributed small-scale renewable energy generation systems. Or, for that matter, powered by ANYTHING half-way reliable, like, say, the sun or the wind.

Governor Schwarzenegger is also in denial of the true costs of nuclear power to our citizens in terms of cancer, leukemia, birth defects, and other ailments. Over the past six decades, independent study after independent study has SHOWN radiation to be MUCH MORE DANGEROUS than previously admitted -- or than the International Atomic Energy Commission (IAEA) or Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) want to admit. Over the decades, the limits for virtually every possible ionizing radiation dose have been reduced -- x-rays, exposures for nuclear workers, contamination of drinking water -- EVERYTHING. But the one thing they CAN'T reduce is the pollution generated every day by nuclear power plants: Tritium, cesium strontium, cobalt, plutonium, uranium -- ALL possible radioactive elements are released ALL THE TIME. The nuclear power industry simply DENIES IT. They leak only "legal" amounts and CALL IT "zero leakage." The two numbers are vastly different. The legal amounts are dangerous, and the denial is killing Californians.

Governor Schwarzenegger is also in denial about the alternatives. Even though we have added the energy equivalent of the entire output of California's four nuclear power plants about every two years for the past 15 years, the Governator evidently believes we can't simply close the four nuclear power reactors forever and be done with this awful mistake. We can. All nations, and all states, will have to some day soon, anyway -- it's INEVITABLE: Nuclear is unsustainable if only because its "oil" -- uranium -- is in short supply (and has gone up more than ten-fold in price in the past few years). Getting a head start on all the wondrous ways to get RID of this technology would be a good leadership position for California. And a typical one. We once cared about the land, the sea, the air, and our health. Perhaps we just don't anymore. Perhaps Arnold is not so health-conscious now, either.

Governor Schwarzenegger is also in denial about the democratic principles which were destroyed to force nuclear power on the citizens. When San Onofre and Diablo Canyon were being built, if you leafletted a parking lot, the authorities made a note of it. Even today, if you so much as simply speak at a hearing, you can be ABSOLUTELY SURE they'll investigate you and start a permanent file on you (and, of course, deny they've done that, too). If you become well known to the media, the NRC and the nuclear industry will counter everything you say with a press release. The nuclear power companies will provide biased full-color brochures for students from kindergarten through college, whenever they feel the community is starting to waver in their complacent disinterest in the complexities of nuclear power. The operators of San Onofre are funding 48 full scholarships in nuclear plant operations at a local college. The scholarships include room, board, books, tuition, and a paid summer internship at the plant. The college loves the money in these tight times. And all you have to give up to join is your open mind, your health, the health of any children you might have, and their children, and the life and health of millions if you make a mistake.

Governor Schwarzenegger is also in denial about what the public KNOWS about nuclear power. We know it is dangerous, just as we know that grenades at weddings are a bad mix. Perhaps the governor is fooled by the nuclear power industry (again), which claims that citizens just don't understand nuclear power. A national debate, or even a statewide debate is avoided, lest the reality of the situation come out, which is this: Nuclear power is a failed technology. It's been known for decades. Citizen-scientists who studied the issues in the 1950s warned of radiation dangers. Citizen-sleuths in the 1970s warned of airplane strikes in the style of 9-11. Citizen-economists all along kept pointing out the MASSIVE insurance fraud that accompanies nuclear power both in the form of Price-Anderson, which will underpay the afflicted to the tune of fractions of a penny to the dollar, AND in the form of exclusions in homeowner's insurance policies, which won't pay ANYTHING AT ALL after ANY nuclear accident -- power plant meltdown, submarine collision and meltdown, nuclear space probe landing on your head, Livermore Labs exploding Depleted Uranium in your face -- NONE OF IT IS EVER COVERED.

Governor Schwarzenegger is in denial of all of this, and so are a lot of people, and it's killing us.

Sincerely,

Ace Hoffman
Carlsbad, CA

The author, 51, has studied nuclear issues for more than 35 years, and experienced bladder cancer in 2007. His award-winning educational computer animation programs are widely used in numerous industries, including the chemical industry, the fluid power industry, the medical profession, and a wide variety of scientific fields. He has interviewed over 1000 scientists regarding nuclear issues.

---------------------------------------------------------

To email Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, use the two-step process described at the governor's INTERACT web site (URL given below). Be sure to include YOUR OWN COMMENTS along with a copy of THIS LETTER! Choose any appropriate "subject:"

http://gov.ca.gov/interact

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Saturday, March 8, 2008

It is now time to close ALL the nuclear power plants: Tomorrow may be too late!

Today's Topics:
1) It is now time to close ALL the nuclear power plants: Tomorrow may be too late! by Ace Hoffman
2) "Error of judgement" kills babies (from Richard Bramhall)
3) ATOMIC BALM: NUCLEAR REVIVAL IGNORES CASUALTIES by Joseph Mangano (Dec. 2007)
4) Nuclear debate- a French farce by Ingela Richardson (SA)

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1) It is now time to close ALL the nuclear power plants: Tomorrow may be too late! by Ace Hoffman:
===================================================


March 8th, 2008

Dear Readers,

It is now time to close ALL the nuclear power plants: Tomorrow may be too late!

Yes, that includes YOURS. Your local nuclear power plant IS on the verge of destruction. Find a local activist and ask them about it. They'll tell you.

Yes, radiation kills babies. Find a balanced, properly-funded study and you'll see. Radiation produces direct damage to the DNA, and it produces "free radicals" which are poisonous and may cause more harm than the direct DNA damage. Radiation causes damage deep within your cell structure (the worst place) and does so unannounced. Radiation is odorless, colorless, tasteless, even on a microscopic, or an atomic, level. To your body, a radioactive atom looks JUST THE SAME as a nonradioactive "isotope" of that same element -- iron, calcium, potassium, whatever. Nuclear operations produce them all (they are called "fission products").

YES, releasing radiation into the environment is MURDER.

Radiation kills and nuclear power plants all leak all the time, but that doesn't seem to be enough to convince "the people in charge" (WHOEVER they are!) that nuclear power is not an option.

Is it because they deny that radiation kills? YES, MANY "pro-nukers" (as they are called by themselves and others, but "cold-blooded murderers" is a perfectly acceptable alternative description) believe that radiation "in small doses" (an amount THEY define as basically any quantity below that which can easily be studied) is GOOD FOR YOU! They actually think radiation is like a vitamin because it "stimulates" the immune system, and if we all absorb a little plutonium, it will help us stay healthy!

In addition to being radioactive, plutonium, uranium, thorium, etc. are all extremely reactive heavy metals. These atoms have a lot of electrons loosely held in their outer shells, so when they get inside your body, they catalyze pieces of all sorts of complex molecules you've created, which destroys them and can even make them poisonous -- and that's just the heavy metal damage, which happens constantly!

At some point in time, every radioactive atom decays into something else -- which is usually ALSO radioactive (most "decay chains" are dozens of steps long, before a non-radioactive atom is reached). When an atom decays, a particle or ray (or both) is usually ejected from the nucleus of the atom. The decay particle or ray can destroy thousands of chemical bonds, thereby destroying useful molecules, including your precious, numerous, and enormous (billions-of-atoms-long) DNA molecules and other cell structures. Also, "free radicals" are created when the decay particle or ray knocks electrons off other atoms.

Given that radiation is SOOOOOO dangerous, WHY do we still have nuclear power?

First of all, because, in denying that radiation in so-called "low levels" is dangerous at all, the pro-nukers (aka "cold-blooded murderers") also deny that radiation damage (and, for that matter, heavy metal damage) is particularly bad for fetuses, infants, children, and young adults.

Not only is it worse for them, but it's hundreds of times worse for children and infants and THOUSANDS of times worse for fetuses.

But ALL THIS IS DENIED by the pro-nukers (aka "cold-blooded murderers").

WHY? Because they like to talk. It's called "weaseling out of a situation." If, by denying the obvious, they keep you talking about it, you won't stop them.

They'll start by telling you that everything is dangerous, everything is bad for you, everything has risk, nothing is safe, nothing is perfect, we have to make choices, we need energy. All of which is true. But it's a smoke-screen to hide the big picture, which is that little devil which hides in the details: RADIATION KILLS. It destroys atoms and molecules. It kills cells and multi-celled creatures.

Keep telling your pro-nuke friends that. Keep telling them radiation kills babies. There's no need to pretend it doesn't. There's no need to pretend there is some sort of fair balance for nuclear power plants wherein the human babies they kill are balanced against the deaths of raptors killed by wind turbine blades which are difficult for the birds to discern in flight, because the blades are not swept-back, nor painted brightly so they are easier to see.

There's no need to pretend that nuclear power keeps your lights on, and otherwise, BABIES WILL DIE when the power goes out. IT'S JUST NOT TRUE. Nuclear power's contribution to our energy needs in the United States is only about 7%; its electricity share is under 20%; and more than a dozen states get along fine getting ZERO PERCENT of their energy from nuclear power. America has not applied even ONE PERCENT of the conservation and renewable energy solutions available as alternatives to nuclear power.

So we CAN do this. We can shut them all.

We are a country of lazy ne'er-do-wells. We let the rich get richer off our children's future -- off our babies' lives. Off our own cancers. They get rich. We get cancer.

Nuclear power is NOT a solution to global warming, climate change, foreign oil imports, or the deaths of raptors. It takes far more than it gives.

Stop nuclear power. Stop the revival. Tell your friends it's over. THE WORLD KNOWS BETTER. Nuclear power kills babies even when it's working right, and it's the most vulnerable industry ON THE PLANET to terrorism, human error, acts of God or Nature, and every other possible catastrophic event there is.

More than a quarter century ago, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) had Sandia National Labs prepare what became known as the CRAC-2 report (Calculation of Reactor Accident Consequences). When brought up to date for inflation and population increases, the report shows that each plant can, on any given day, cause trillions of dollars in damage and millions of deaths. Even those numbers don't account for all of the real damage that radiation can cause. No amount of radiation is healthy, and every accident poisons the whole planet.

But America ignored its own report! Nowadays, a report like CRAC-2 would never see the light of day. That's why it hasn't been updated.

MURDER IS MURDER IS MURDER. MURDERERS WILL LIE TO THEIR GRAVE TO GET AWAY WITH THEIR CRIME. RADIATION KILLS AND NUCLEAR POWER PLANTS LEAK IT, AND THEN LIE ABOUT IT, ALL THE TIME.

TELL THEM IT'S OVER. Tell your local nuclear power plant to shut down permanently. If it's shut down right now for refueling (about 10% of them ARE shut down at any one time, either for refueling or for unplanned repairs (all of the "planned" repairs are done during the refueling outages, of course)) tell them NEVER to re-open. This CAN be done and it SHOULD be done and it MUST be done or you -- millions of you, and maybe me, too -- will be the loser. You don't want to be the next loser in this BIG GAMBLE, do you?

Your local nuclear power plant is betting you don't care enough to investigate them. They are betting they can LEGALLY hide their crimes. Nuclear power plants can release radiation EVERY DAY and if it's below the legal limit (set decades ago in a pro-nuclear environment which denied the dangers from radiation even more than today) they can say it's "ZERO EMISSIONS" which JUST ISN'T TRUE.

You can't complain when your local nuclear power plant's spokesperson lies to you, to the media, or to anyone else. If you do, the NRC will tell you, as they told me (I have this in writing): "Statements made by the public affairs officer of a NRC licensee are not regulated activities. Therefore, the veracity of such statements will not be investigated by the NRC."

You can't complain when the federal regulators refuse to answer your questions. If you manage somehow to get an elected official to listen to your complaint, they'll tell you that you need to talk to the NRC. They might even help arrange that. AND YOU'RE BACK TO SQUARE ZERO.

My elected official -- the one I got closest to actually talking to about nuclear power, since I ALMOST got a meeting with him one day, a couple of years ago, which was then suddenly cancelled -- is now in jail on fraud charges and SHOULD be in jail for much worse -- attempted murder.

Nothing is more important than realizing, collectively, that nuclear power has seen its day -- a day it never deserved in the first place. Nuclear power is not the solution to war, to famine, to the need for electricity, or to anything. There are NO new nuclear power plants being designed in some office somewhere, which will solve ALL the problems of the previous generations of nukes.

They will all still leak, they will all still make waste, and they will all still be terrorists' and nature's targets. You can't get around those facts, and you can't get around the basic fact that RADIATION KILLS BABIES in far greater numbers than ANY pro-nuker will EVER admit. That's why we have no choice but to call them what they are: Cold-blooded baby killers.

Sincerely,

Ace Hoffman
Carlsbad, CA

Ace, an award-winning educational software developer, has studied nuclear power for more than 35 years. His conclusions are based on thousands of interviews with nuclear physicists on both sides of the debate, as well as with thousands of other engineers, scientists, doctors, lawyers, etc.. He survived bladder cancer in 2007.


===================================================
2) "Error of judgement" kills babies from Richard Bramhall:
===================================================

From: "Richard Bramhall" <bramhall@llrc.org>
To: "info llrc" <info@llrc.org>
Subject: "Error of judgement" kills babies
Date: Sat, 1 Mar 2008 15:45:22 -0000

Leaks and peaks

"Error of judgement" kills babies

Increased infant mortality after radioactive leak points to fault line in radiation risk model

A BBC Inside Out documentary broadcast yesterday (29th February 2008) features new research by Green Audit (sponsored by Stop Hinkley). Leaks of radioactivity from Hinkley Point nuclear power station near Burnham on Sea, Somerset, UK in 1994 preceded a peak in infant mortality. This is based on official health data.

Earlier studies in Burnham on Sea showed increased breast cancer after the accident.

The first leak was caused by corroded pipework. The second was caused by a failure to replace one part of the suspect pipe. When prosecuted for this "error of judgement" in 1995 station operators Nuclear Electric described the leaks as "insignificant" and "at the bottom of the scale".

The conventional radiation risk model predicts no discernible impact on cancer at such levels of exposure. Infant mortality is not officially considered as an effect of radioactive pollution.

Radiation is thought to cause anomalies in the sex ratios of births ­ the proportion of boy babies born compared with girls. Normally, in England and Wales five percent more boy babies are born. The Green Audit report studied sex ratios in the data for Burnham North, the ward nearest to the most contaminated mud in the study area. The sex ratio was found to be abnormal, with nineteen percent more boys born, similar to the ratios found in the Hiroshima atom bomb studies.

To view the 10 minute BBC report go to http://www.bbc.co.uk/insideout/ Scroll down to find the icon titled "West" on the right hand side. Click on the link Watch the latest edition in full to run the video on your computer. You can see Dr. Julia Verne, the current head of cancer registrations in south west England, claiming she found nothing when she re-tested the data "using the best methods". Her predecessor, Dr. Derek Pheby, disagrees: "This is a serious finding, and most unlikely to have arisen by chance. The likelihood is that something happened environmentally at the beginning of the period in question and it is very likely, although this would be difficult to prove, that the accidental releases of radioactive material in 1994 to which the authors [of the study] draw attention is implicated in this. Clearly this is a serious matter, which warrants further investigation. The South West Public Health Observatory [formerly the SW Cancer Registry] ought to take this seriously."

Julia Verne has denied the existence of radiation effects before and had ignored refutations of her flawed analyses. Curiously, after her earlier reports, she was appointed to COMARE, the UK Government's advisory Committee on Medical Aspects of Radiation in the Environment.

The Green Audit study is on http://www.llrc.org/epidemiology/subtopic/infmort.pdf

A local newspaper report of the 1995 trial of Nuclear Electric is on http://www.llrc.org/epidemiology/subtopic/hinkleylocalnews201095.pdf

Stop Hinkley report http://www.stophinkley.org/Press%20Releases/pr080229.htm (Stop Hinkley sponsored the Green Audit study.)

Western Daily Press report http://www.westpress.co.uk/displayNode.jsp?nodeId=145809&command=displayContent&sourceNode=145792&contentPK=20029238&moduleName=InternalSearch&formname=sidebarsearch


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3) ATOMIC BALM: NUCLEAR REVIVAL IGNORES CASUALTIES by Joseph Mangano:
===================================================

From: http://www.precaution.org/lib/07/prn_atomic_balm.071203.htm

Rachel's Democracy & Health News #936, December 6, 2007

ATOMIC BALM: NUCLEAR REVIVAL IGNORES CASUALTIES

[Rachel's introduction: In the U.S., atomic bombs are no longer being tested. However, 104 nuclear power reactors still operate here, producing the same radioactive elements found in bomb test fallout, and people living downwind are routinely exposed to low levels of radioactivity.]

By Joseph J. Mangano

Nuclear power plants employ a controlled atomic fission reaction, splitting uranium atoms to create heat to boil water to make steam to turn a turbine to generate electricity. Because nuclear power is so complex, it is accident-prone and unforgiving -- small errors can have large consequences. Because of these important disadvantages, for the past three decades it has looked as if nuclear power were a dying industry.

But now the nuclear industry has seized on global warming to promote atomic power plants once again as necessary and safe. From politicians to corporate executives and conservative pundits, we hear that reactors are "clean" or "emission free" -- with no evidence offered to support the claims. Unfortunately, this baseless promotion emanates from a long-standing culture of deception that has plagued the industry since its beginnings. Earlier this year the British magazine, the Economist, characterized the U.S. nuclear industry as "a byword for mendacity, secrecy and profligacy with taxpayers' money.

Half a century ago, as America produced and exploded hundreds of atomic bombs (1054 nuclear tests in all, 331 in the atmosphere), public officials assured everyone that low-dose radiation exposures were harmless. But after the Cold War ended, barriers to the truth gave way. Government-funded research found that nuclear weapons workers and those exposed to fallout from atomic bomb tests in Nevada suffered from cancer in large numbers. The BEIR VII study. published by the U.S. National Academy of Sciences in 2005, ended the debate on this question: it is now firmly established that any amount of radioactive exposure carries some risk of harm. The only safe dose is zero.

In the U.S., atomic bombs are no longer being tested. However, 104 nuclear power reactors still operate here, producing the same radioactive elements found in bomb test fallout, and people living downwind are routinely exposed to low levels of radioactivity. Government regulators have established "permissible limits" for radioactive reactor emissions, declaring the resulting exposures "safe" -- contrary to the findings of the National Academy's BEIR VII study.

The U.S. nuclear power industry stopped growing in the mid-1970s. Until this year, no new reactors have been ordered in the U.S. since 1978, and several dozen reactors have been closed permanently.[1] But fears of global warming and an ardently pro-nuclear Administration in Washington have laid the groundwork for an industry revival.

The industry's revival plan has four parts:

1) Enlarging the capacity of existing reactors;

2) Keeping old reactors running beyond their design lifetime;

3) Operating old reactors more hours per year; and

4) Building new reactors.

To help promote the so-called nuclear renaissance, health risks from low-level radiation are once again being ignored or denied -- even though evidence of harm exists.

1. Expanding Existing Reactors -- Vermont Yankee

Since March 1993, utilities have submitted 99 requests to the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) for licenses to expand reactor capacity, and the NRC has approved all 99. The added capacity of 4400 megawatts is the equivalent of four large reactors. The NRC is considering 12 more applications, totaling another 1100 megawatts.

Most expansions have been small, but 10 of the 99 have raised capacity by 15 to 20%. Almost all sailed through with little public opposition. One exception was the Vermont Yankee reactor on the Connecticut River where Vermont, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire converge. It is the 11th oldest of the U.S.'s 104 reactors, and at 510 megawatts electrical, the 5th smallest.

Entergy Nuclear of Jackson, Miss. acquired Vermont Yankee in 2002 as part of its campaign to buy aging reactors to maximize their output and profit potential. Entergy wanted more than a 510 megawatt reactor, so it requested a 20% upgrade for Vermont Yankee -- the oldest U.S. reactor considered for an upgrade. The estimated cost was $60 million.[2]

Since 1972, when Vermont Yankee first generated power, Vermont has become an increasingly liberal state, especially on environmental issues. Hundreds of local residents opposed the expansion by packing auditoriums at several public meetings, making their fury known. Ira Helfand, a local emergency room physician, spoke up at one of them:

"My emergency room cannot deal with the casualties that would be produced by an accident at this plant... Now Entergy wants to make this plant even more dangerous by upgrading its production beyond what it was supposed to tolerate?.. . This plant should not be uprated. It shouldn't be allowed to operate. It should be shut down."[3]

Residents of Windham County, Vt., where the reactor is located, are well educated. The county poverty rate is low, and the mostly rural county of 44,000 has few polluting industries. Along with world class medical care in nearby Boston, these factors suggest that no unusually high rates of disease should exist. However, from 1979-2004 the county death rate was 7.2% below the U.S. -- except for cancer, which was 1.6% higher. These figures are age-adjusted, so the excess cancers are not attributable to an aging population. And the anomaly in Windham appears to be growing; most recently (1999-2004), the cancer death rate in Windham county has risen to 5.7% above the national average.[4]

The NRC refused to consider that radioactive emissions from Vermont Yankee might be contributing to the rise in cancer deaths in Windham county. In March 2006, the NRC approved the expansion, and an appeal by the New England Coalition Against Nuclear Power was turned down by the state Supreme Court in September 2007. Entergy is now operating an expanded Vermont Yankee reactor.

2. Keeping Old Reactors Running -- Oyster Creek, New Jersey

With Wall Street refusing to finance new reactors after the accident at Three Mile Island, utilities decided to increase profits by operating old reactors longer than originally planned. The NRC eased regulations and in this decade has approved 47 of 47 applications to allow reactors to operate past the initial 40-year design period up to a total of 60 years.[1] Dozens more applications are expected.

One exception to the federal rubber-stamping of license extensions is the Oyster Creek reactor in Lacey, New Jersey, about 60 miles from both Philadelphia and New York City. Oyster Creek is the oldest of the 104 U.S. reactors and one of the smallest (636 megawatts electrical). In the 1990s, the New Jersey-based GPU Corporation planned to close the reactor. This changed when AmerGen (a subsidiary of Exelon, the largest U.S. reactor operator) bought Oyster Creek and requested a license extension in 2005.[1]

The fight is going on now. Public hearings have been well attended by supporters and opponents of license extension. Local media has taken an interest; the Asbury Park Press, the most widely read newspaper in central New Jersey, has published numerous editorials opposing re- licensing. Governors James McGreevey and Jon Corzine have both publicly opposed re-licensing, as have many state and local elected officials. Governments in 19 local towns have passed resolutions of opposition. Legal interventions allowed by the NRC were filed by a coalition of citizen groups and by the state Department of Environmental Protection.

Information on radioactive contamination and local health became part of the Oyster Creek dialogue. A well publicized study (partly funded by the state legislature) of more than 300 baby teeth of New Jersey children, many living near Oyster Creek, found that average levels of radioactive Strontium-90 (Sr-90) had doubled from the late 1980s to the late 1990s.[5] More importantly, increases in Sr-90 near Oyster Creek were followed by similar increases in childhood cancer rates several years later.[6]

Ocean County, where the reactor is situated, has a population of nearly 600,000, up from 108,000 in 1960. Its residents are relatively well off, and have access to good medical care locally and in nearby major cities. But the low death rate for all causes other than cancer from 1979-2004 (8.4% below the U.S.) has been offset by an unexpectedly high cancer death rate (8.8% above the U.S. average).[4] With 39,000 county residents dying in the past quarter century, the number of "excess cancer deaths" exceeds 6,000.

The fate of Oyster Creek remains uncertain. In July, Exelon funded a group led by heavy-duty New Jersey lobbyists to ensure the application is pushed through. Local activist Janet Tauro reacted to the new group's formation by declaring,

"Exelon is putting its money into creating a bogus environmental group designed to lure the public's attention away from safety issues and scare us into believing that Oyster Creek's closure would hurt the region economically."[7]

3. Operating Old Reactors More Often -- Indian Point, New York

As recently as the late 1980s, U.S. reactors only ran at 63% of capacity; they were shut down 37% of the time for maintenance and repair. But larger corporations buying old reactors in the 1990s made it their mission to boost productivity, and now U.S. reactors run 90% of the time.[8] This is good news for the balance sheet, but running old reactors more hours per year raises safety and health concerns.

The two reactors at Indian Point, 35 miles north of New York City, represent a good example of this change. Until the mid-1990s, they only operated 57% of the time. But after Entergy Nuclear bought Indian Point, it raised the current productivity rate to 95%.[1]

Indian Point is in Westchester County, a wealthy area with a population of nearly one million. In the period 1979-2004, the cancer death rate in the county was just slightly below the national average (-1.8%), but well below the U.S. average for all other causes (-12.9%). If the cancer death rate in Westchester had been as far below the national average as deaths from all other causes (-12.9%), there would have been about 6,000 fewer cancer deaths in Westchester during the period.

Unlike reactor upgrades, license extensions, and new reactor orders, there are no mandated public hearings when a nuclear utility simply raises productivity. Thus, this issue has largely been ignored, at Indian Point and elsewhere.

4. Ordering New Reactors -- Calvert Cliffs, Maryland.

In 2005 the Bush Administration convinced Congress to enact billions in loan guarantees for new reactor construction because of continued disinterest from Wall Street; billions more in federal subsidies are currently under discussion now on Capitol Hill. With the loan guarantees put in place in 2005, utilities got serious about ordering new reactors. Over 30 have been discussed, and the dry spell of no orders since 1978 ended on July 31, 2007 when Unistar Nuclear submitted an application to the NRC for a new reactor at Calvert Cliffs, Md.

Unistar was formed when Constellation Energy of Baltimore failed to secure funds from Wall Street financiers for its new Calvert Cliffs reactor. The 2005 federal guarantees would only back 90% of costs, and private bankers have flatly refused to put up the other 10%. Constellation teamed up with the French company Areva to form Unistar. Areva put up $350 million in cash, promising to up the ante to $625 million. With financing secured, the new reactor was ordered.[9]

Unistar proposes to build a $4 billion, 1600 megawatt reactor at Calvert Cliffs. There is no precedent for a reactor this size; the average for the current U.S. reactors is about 1000 megawatts, with the largest being 1250. At the very earliest, assuming a fast, smooth regulatory review, rapid construction, and no legal holdups, the reactor would begin operating in 2014.

The Calvert Cliffs plant is on the west bank of the Chesapeake Bay, 45 miles southeast of Washington. Since the mid-1970s, two reactors have operated at the site. Until recently, the area was sparsely populated; but the Calvert County population has swelled from 16,000 to 90,000 since 1960. The county enjoys a high living standard, with a low poverty rate and good access to medical care in Washington.

Calvert County is a healthy place -- with the exception of cancer. From 1979-2004, the death rate was 9.2% above the U.S. for cancer, but 3.0% below the nation for other causes. Most recently (1999-2004), the cancer rate rose to 13.8% above the national average.

All local leaders support the new nuclear plant at Calvert Cliffs. Wilson Parran, the chair of the Calvert Board of Commissioners, sounded the clarion call that the promise of economic gain trumps any possible health hazards:

"From a national perspective, nuclear energy is our largest source of clean energy and a critical piece of our nation's energy strategy. It is imperative to reverse the growth of greenhouse gas emissions and Calvert County stands ready to share in our nation's responsibility to provide resources that produce energy."[9]

Putting Health First is Essential in Energy Policy

Unusually high cancer rates in counties like Windham, Ocean, Calvert, and Westchester should be taken seriously; they are not what you would expect among relatively well-off populations.[10] Even if a large scale reactor accident never occurs in this country, nuclear plants will still continuously emit about 100 different radioactive chemicals. The number of casualties is difficult to estimate, but it may well be in the thousands. And any expansion of nuclear power would only increase radioactive emissions.

Furthermore, threats to human health are not the only problem associated with the nuclear power industry. As we know from the recent history of India, Pakistan, Israel, South Africa, North Korea, and Syria, a nation that aims to build an atomic bomb begins by building a nuclear power plant. This is where they develop the expertise, the techniques, and the experience needed to build a bomb. The only sure way to minimize the proliferation of nuclear weapons would be to shut down the nuclear power industry world-wide. So long as the civilian nuclear power industry exists, there will be a well-worn path from nuclear power to nuclear weapons, accompanied by a growing threat of terrorist attack beyond anything we have yet imagined.

Fortunately, we do not need nuclear power at all. There are many alternatives readily available. Many of these were discussed recently in Arjun Makhijani's thorough study, "Carbon-Free and Nuclear-Free: A Roadmap for U.S. Energy Policy." Nuclear power is simply too dirty, too dangerous, and too unnecessary to warrant further support.

==============

Joseph J. Mangano MPH MBA is Executive Director of the Radiation and Public Health Project, a research and educational organization based in New York.

References

[1] U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, www.nrc.gov.

[2] Matthew L. Wald. Safety of Adding to Nuclear Plants' Capacity is Questioned. New York Times, January 26, 2004.

[3] Eesha Williams, Hundreds Attend Hearing on Vermont Yankee. Transcript of New Hampshire Public Radio broadcast, April 1, 2004.

[4] National Center for Health Statistics, Mortality -- underlying cause of death. Includes ICD-9 cancer codes 140.0-239.9 (1979-1998) and ICD-10 cancer codes C00-D48.9 (1999-2004). http://wonder.cdc.gov/mortSQL.html

[5] Mangano J.J. and others. An unexpected rise in Strontium-90 in US deciduous teeth in the 1990s. The Science of the Total Environment Vol. 317 (2003), pgs. 37-51.

[6] Mangano J.J. A short latency between radiation exposure from nuclear plants and cancer in young children. International Journal of Health Services Vol. 36, No. 1 (2006), pgs. 113-135.

[7] Janet Tauro, But Safety Issues at Oyster Creek Can't Be Ignored. Asbury Park Press, September 9, 2007.

[8] Division of Planning, Budget, and Analysis. Information Digest. NUREG-1350. Washington DC: Nuclear Regulatory Commission, annual volumes.

[9] Dan Morse. Agency Describes Process to License Calvert Cliffs Plant. Washington Post, August 15, 2007.

[10] U.S. Bureau of the census, 2000 census, state and county quick facts. The national average of U.S. residents living below the poverty levels was 12.7%, which is higher than the average for Windham County, Vt. (9.0%), Ocean County, N.J. (7.6%), Westchester County, N.Y. (8.9%), and Calvert County, Md. (5.4%). The national average percent of residents over age 25 who graduated from high school was 80.4%, but was higher for Windham County, Vt. (87.3%), Ocean County, N.J. (83.0%), Westchester County, N.Y. (83.6%), and Calvert County, Md. (86.9%). http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/index.html

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4) Nuclear debate- a French farce by Ingela Richardson (SA):
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From: "Ingela Richardson" <mwmarho@iafrica.com>
To: <letters@mg.co.za>
Subject: Nuclear debate- a French farce
Date: Fri, 7 Mar 2008 08:05:07 -0000

Dear Editor

RE: NUCLEAR "DEBATE" - A FRENCH FARCE

It was certainly an ear-opener to hear Jeremy Magg's nuclear "debate" on SAFM, Wednesday 5 March. The word "debate" is used advisedly, since the South African government seems to have signed deals with France without the slightest interest in public opinion.

The "debate" involved Dr Kelvin (I am a scientist!) Kemm and Mr Patterson (PBMR) advertising their product and Mike Kantey representing CANE (the Coalition Against Nuclear Energy). In the few short minutes he was alloted, Kantey was still able to ask valid questions that the nuclear industry could not answer.

All the nuclear industry wanted was to be able to sing their old song "It is safe, clean and cheap", but how many people will sing along with this chorus anymore? How much has the budget allocated to nuclear? R700 billion? Is that cheap?

Look up the words "nuclear, accidents" on the internet and you will see lists of all the countries around the world with reactors that have had a variety of accidents - from unintentional leaks and spillages of radioactive material to the careless dumping of radioactive waste. As long as people do not read these reports, the nuclear industry feels safe.

Uranium ore is finite. It is rapidly running out. And "reprocessing" or the attempted "recycling" of uranium has been condemned as dangerous, highly expensive and "not best practice". So why on earth would South Africa want to do it?

Uranium mining and the nuclear process is unlike any other form of energy on earth. There is no way to "dispose" of nuclear waste. Nations around the world have been trying to find somewhere to dump their radioactive waste. The Americans don't want a deep repository sited at Yucca Mountain. The Russians are protesting Europeans dumping their waste in Siberia. In South Africa, the nuclear scientists dump radioactive waste at "Vaalputs" in Namaqualand. Do the people of Namaqualand want it there? No. Did the scientists listen? No. In fact, certain "scientists" brushed off all local protest as being that of ignorant "yokels".

Yet when Mike Kantey asked the nuclear panel on SAFM if any of them would like the radioactive waste buried in their gardens, there was a deafening silence.

Ex-head of geology at Wits University, Prof Terence McCarthy (also a scientist) has stated that the Wonderfonteinspruit catchment area near Gauteng has been "sterilised in perpetuity" due to radioactive contamination from gold mining with uranium as a by-product. The National Nuclear Regulator (NNR) warned farmers not to use the water to irrigate or for livestock.

This is what a South African nuclear programme would contribute to our scarce water sources - radioactive contamination from uranium mining and the sterility of land, vegetation and animals. It does not seem to be a debatable issue for any who are really concerned about "clean, safe" energy.

Yours sincerely

INGELA RICHARDSON
Gonubie (SA)

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Quotes collected by Ace Hoffman:
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"Nuclear war must be the most carefully avoided topic of general significance in the contemporary world. People are not curious about the details." -- Paul Brians (author; quote is from: Nuclear Holocausts: Atomic War in Fiction)
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"When fascism comes to America, it will come wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross." -- Sinclair Lewis (first American Nobel Prize winner in Literature, 2.7.1885 - 1.10.1951)
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"There is no such thing as a pro-nuclear environmentalist." -- Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa, 1992)
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"Know thy self, know thy enemy. A thousand battles, a thousand victories." -- Sun Tzu (Chinese general b.500 BC)
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"The most intolerable reactor of all may be one which comes successfully to the end of its planned life having produced mountains of radioactive waste for which there is no disposal safe from earthquake damage or sabotage." -- A. Stanley Thompson (a pioneer nuclear physicist who later realized the whole situation)
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"Any dose is an overdose." -- Dr. John W. Gofman (another pioneer nuclear physicist who saw the light (9.21.1918 - 8.15.2007))
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"Choose your leaders with wisdom and forethought. To be led by a coward is to be controlled by all that the coward fears. To be led by a fool is to be led by the opportunists who control the fool. To be led by a thief is to offer up your most precious treasures to be stolen. To be led by a liar is to ask to be lied to. To be led by a tyrant is to sell yourself and those you love into slavery." -- Octavia Butler (science fiction writer, 7.22.1947 - 2.24.2006)
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"If you want real welfare reform, you focus on a good education, good health care, and a good job.

If you want to reduce poverty, you focus on a good education, good healthcare, and a good job.

If you want a stable middle class, you focus on a good education, good health care, and a good job.

If you want to have citizens who can participate in democracy, you focus on a good education, good health care, and a good job.

And if you want to end the violence, you could build a million new prisons and you could fill them up, but you never end this cycle of violence unless you invest in the health and the skill and the intellect and the character of our children. you focus on a good education, good health care and a good job.

And other than that, I don't feel strongly about anything."

-- Paul Wellstone (US Senator, D-Minnesota, 7.21.1944 - 10.25.2002)
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"There are no warlike peoples - just warlike leaders." -- Ralph Bunche (8.7.1903 - 12.9.1971)
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"Resistance to tyrants is obedience to God." -- Thomas Jefferson
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"Please send this to everyone you know!" -- Ace Hoffman (original collector of the above quotes, January, 2008)
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