Tag: Radiation (Page 1 of 2)

Nuclear Rage Continued @Los Alamos National Labs

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=teQYuxU2jZs&feature=player_detailpage]Los Alamos, New Mexico is now in mandatory evacuation including Los Alamos National Labs and Nuclear Research Facility, home to nuclear energy.  The winds have moved the Las Conchas Fire to the nuclear facility. This is where the first atomic bomb was built, and numerous nuclear tests carried out over 50 years ago. Tech Area 49, which was used in the early 1960s for a series of underground tests with high explosives and radioactive materials is said to have a spot fire. The fire has burned an estimated 60,000 acres.

The potential greater public concern is the dumpsite where as many as 30,000 55-gallon drums of plutonium-contaminated waste are stored in fabric tents above ground this adds to the element of usual catastrophic effects of fire.

“These drums are designed to a safety standard that would withstand a wildland fire worse than this one,” Lab spokeswoman Lisa Rosendorf said, the drums contain cleanup from Cold War-era waste that the lab sends away in weekly shipments to the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant.  Charlie McMillan, Los Alamos Labs Director as of a month ago, starts off with significant challenges.

Teams from the National Nuclear Security Administration’s Radiological Assistance Program are on the way to the scene to help assess any nuclear or radiological hazards, said Kevin Smith, Los Alamos Site Office manager.  The teams will monitor the air and contaminants. The National Guard and State Police have been called in to patrol, with the main road into Los Alamos closed.

Watch the news reports coming out today, and it is hard to hold the light for humanity.  The key is appreciation of what we have now, and to gain perspective to change our patterns regarding the source of energy.

Fukushima’s Radiation-3 Months & Still Counting

"Solar Impulse" Soaring Innovation with Renewable Energy

If you continue to read about the dark reality of the situation of Fukushima, at least make it to the end of the post to focus on something positive, that gives hope, like the solar airplane; Solar Impulse in flight.  Who would have ever thought it was possible?

Fukushima still continues to spew radiation; this is projected to be ongoing for at least another year before the water temperatures drop below boiling since it is now confirmed that at three of the reactors had “meltdowns”. More about the situation continues to be revealed. TEPCO has re-calculated the amount of initial radiation released in the first week of Fukushima.  As a result there is serious concern about the effect of “Hot particles,” also known as “Fuel fleas” to human health. Hot particles when ingested through food we eat, breathed in, or drank through water/milk, or on skin; cause cancer. Watch Fairwinds Arnie Gunderson’s video on “Hot Particles” to better understand what hot particles are, and how they may affect us. Click here to see the interview by CNN’s John King about the re-calculation of radiation released.   Parents are concerned the amount of radiation their children are receiving as far away as Tokyo. Evidence of the Fukushima radiation (which may include hot particles) is found predominantly throughout Japan, but also around the world including Hawaii, along the West Coast  in 13 cities in the USA, and  Ireland.

Remains of building #4 reactor and radioactive storage pool that holds spent nuclear fuel photo released by TEPCO

There is the question of the #4 fuel pool’s storage instability, this is a critical situation with the looming threat of the pool’s structural integrity in addition to keeping the rods from overheating without a cooling system. Work was done to re-enforce the troubled fuel pool which is elevated several floors above the ground level in what remains of the building (see video from a month ago).  Plutonium discovered outside Fukushima does not ease the severity of the situation. The radiation from Fukushima continues to stream at high levels into the air, water, and earth.  Disposal of radioactive water will continue to be an issue, and radioactive sewage is now a reality too. Not only are the lungs of people in danger but also radiation is affecting the lungs of our planet flora and fauna.

It is out of the ordinary in the Japanese culture to protest, but this past weekend was the three months from the date it all began, March 11th and people had enough, so they took to the streets in protest of nuclear power. [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b-I3Sz49j0U&feature=player_detailpage]Fukushima protests have gone as far as Germany too.   People shouted “Fukushima Warned”—pull the plug on all nuclear power plants,” and they also yelled “Fukushima, Chernobyl, too much is too much!”  German’s protests where the largest anti-nuclear protest in history with tens of thousands of people. Riot control is now in force for the upcoming annual TEPCO board meeting, June 28th .

TEPCO’s situation remains a challenge (see daily status). Fukushima did not happen without warning.  Japan’s rolling blackouts does affect the economy. Decisions made during the crisis created suspicion and mistrust within the Japanese Government itself and between the USA and Japan and remains precarious on all fronts. Adult suicide rates have grown and nearby school children will begin to wear a dosimeter at all times to accurately measure the amount of radiation they receive. Dosimeters will be for children 4-15 yrs. old and under 3yrs. at the parents’ request to help measure monthly radiation exposure.  But the program will not begin until September, and cannot measure hot particles ingested.

It has been suggested that Fukushima be a repository for nuclear waste, even though it is on the “ring of fire”—a study is being done now to consider making this site a permanent graveyard a nuclear repository.

Governments from 30 nuclear countries called for stress tests after Fukushima and international nuclear policy is being discussed. Japan admits to being unprepared for a nuclear disaster even though they were warned—whether that is even possible to prepare for a nuclear disaster, when there is so many potentially fatal factors, is now being rightfully questioned.  Many countries are willing to learn from Japan’s experience as people all around the world are standing up to their governments and saying “no more nukes”.  Italy’s funny and creative video campaign “Freedom of Choice” brought people out to vote on nuclear power. Italy now joins Switzerland, Germany, and voted in a referendum on Monday against the use of nuclear power.

As nuclear power becomes less of an option it affects the controversial uranium minihttp://resourcetelevision.tumblr.com/post/6249855066/remember-fukushima-3-months-ago-a-disaster-likeng in Australia and the USA’s Grand Canyon where companies have applied for a license to begin mining, as well as in other parts of the world where uranium mining exists now.

France who has been the global leader in nuclear energy is now being pressured by the people to reconsider this source of energy too. The big question remains with USA and China, as both continue to hold up the issues of global importance now, as they are doing in Bonn, Germany on the road to Rio+20.

Right now, in the USA,  the decision to extend a nuclear power plant’s license lives at the Federal Government level and each state government, like it or not, now has to accept the federal decision made on their behalf—but that may soon change. State vs. federal is going at it, for example, in Vermont and Massachusetts where they have started to fight this battle in court to take back their power. As a result, Vermont Yankee may have their recent nuclear plant operation renewal revoked, as it is highly controversial that it was even extended.   It is one of the oldest reactors and has the same reactor model as Fukushima, and has been cited for safety failures numerous times. The operating company, Entergy (a large contributor to President Obama’s campaign), is now in a lawsuit with the state of Vermont; this may get more interesting. Massachusetts is filling suit too, and brings to question whether California and New York will take action next and what the USA & China will do regarding this so-called “nuclear renaissance”. There is concern that no entity will be able to prepare for the terrorist threat involving nuclear plants .

We need an international framework and policy structured for nuclear as well as other environmental catastrophes, and mechanisms to approach them when they affect the entire world. This is idealistic but in times like this, we need a little idealism.

Embracing the reality of this entire nuclear situation is not easy.   A reminder to consider the bigger perspective—read “Energy and the Future of our Earth” here.

"Liquid Solar Robot" on mission to collect data

Let’s focus on hope by trying to find something positive like this new helpful technology “Liquid Robots” that may help monitor the oceans’ with their solar powered ocean robots that could accurately measure contaminates.  Or remember the Solar Eagle aerial art we made last year as to raise awareness of the U.N. Climate Conference in Cancun.  Let’s think about the Solar Impulse that actually took flight again and landed yesterday in Paris! World Team Now is focused on renewable energy,  and finding  innovative solutions. It takes a team and we need all the help we can get, so please join us!  We appreciate the support and welcome your comments.

Our Ocean, Fun Science- Beyond Radiation

"Ocean" Photo by Suzanne Maxx

The nuclear situation at Fukushima with radiation is not promising, but here are some things that are;

Global

Focus on the positive things that are being done helps, like Germany’s choice to lead the transition to renewable energy. G8 re-thinking nuclear energy last week.

Think about Concentrated Solar Power (CSP), which gives hope for renewable energy on the global level, too.

Check out a blue goo called DeCon Gel, an innovative way to clean up radiation.

Watch the dynamic duo team, Bill Clinton & Mike Bloomberg, go to Brazil to tackle Climate Change with innovation and capital at hand to focus on cities.

Kids Ocean Day courtesy of The Malibu Foundation

Local

On the local level, if you are part of World Team Now’s (WTN) California constituency, will you please consider being a volunteer for Kids Ocean Day?  Join in tomorrow with the youth to clean up the beach, and help deliver a message with aerial art about the oceans. Kid’s Ocean Day is an event World Team Now  loves because it makes a difference!

If you are part of WTN’s New York constituency, consider the World Science Festival Events starting tonight until the 6th throughout NYC. Here you can indulge in events: Biorhythm: Music and the Body, The Radical New Science of Longevity,  to the timely event that the nuclear industry might benefit from: Illusion of Certainty: Risk, Probability and Chance.  You can watch live events where ever you are in the world, so really it can be local– to you.

Universal

On the universal level, NASA has “From Earth to the Solar System” (FETTSS).  A continuation of the well-received International Year of Astronomy 2009 From Earth to the Universe program, and here perspective can be broadened to consider universal possibilities with this collection of powerful images.

SPACE WEATHER: What is a storm on the Sun like? Most of the time when we talk about “the weather,” we are referring to the state of Earth’s atmosphere that gives us rain, wind, and temperature changes. The “space weather” produced by the Sun extends deep into the Solar System. It drives some of the greatest changes in our local space environment—affecting our magnetosphere, ionosphere, atmosphere, and potentially our climate. The Sun contains very powerful magnetic fields and they can become twisted and tangled, storing enormous amounts of energy. Luckily, Earth’s magnetosphere acts as a shield, and its atmosphere absorbs the dangerous radiation, protecting us.. Image Credit: NASA/ESA/SOHO

Never Ask If It Can Get Worse-Fukushima’s Radiation

Earth Globe Asia Courtesy of NASA

Our next World Team Now post will hopefully lift you up from the radiation leaking, the recent oil spill and a typhoon.

The reality is that the global situation from Fukushima seems to go from bad to worse.  With new continuous leaks of massive amounts of radioactive water into the ocean and radiation that has now gone into the earth, and the ground water table too, when is it enough?

In addition to reactor #1-#3’s meltdown, there was an explosion by reactor building #4 that ruptured a tank, and now it is said that the oil spill is leaking by reactor’s #5 & #6.  These last two reactors are the only nuclear reactors left that are potentially functional, but they are now in a nuclear “dead zone”.  So why not entomb the entire plant, as maintenance at #5 and #6 will continuously threaten workers maximum exposure, and remain complicated.

Plus there is more with this situation that we had not even considered like the past week’s typhoon’s which fortunately was downgraded to a tropical storm, so the wind and rain damage was minimal, and with the recent oil spill on site it doesn’t help now to have to  determine if the oil is radioactive.  What more is at risk one may consider?  Further detonation of radioactive materials into the atmosphere, and nuclear criticality with a chain reaction from the radioactive materials– is what we hope to prevent.

Earth Atmosphere Courtesy of NASA

But will it take a greater catastrophe for humanity to wake up to the consequences of the choices we are making for our future? Can we change our value structure in time? Sadly, it seems that it is easier to turn a blind eye now to these possibilities and ignore the situation.   The draft report of UN’s week long inspection shows there was much at fault from TEPCO with the situation at Fukushima, as they did not follow the “play book of rules”.

It’s not easy to move on from grief realizing the impacts of the nuclear situation with the Fukushima radiation.  Added to the existing polluted air and contaminated water, radiation further affects our drinking water and food. It is hard to reconsider what we drink and eat now—where it comes from—to make this inquiry part of our daily eating habits to consider.

The nuclear situation at Fukushima continues to get worse, if you want to read about the positive look to our next post coming soon.

New “Sign” of Radiation

IAEA's New Warning Sign for Ionizing Radiation

It may be better to not “know” what is happening now.  We have meltdowns in all three of Fukushima’s Power Plants’ reactors, plus number four’s elevated floor storage pool is in jeopardy of collapsing from inside of what remains of the building.

Aftershocks continue in Japan.  It is amazing how many people knew about “The Rapture” and how few know that there is a very real radioactive catastrophe still unfolding in Fukushima, Japan that affects us all, and our world. It is not just the air we breathe; it is the food we eat, the water we drink, and our whole bio-diverse interconnected system to consider. Radioactive particles are being found in the USA and continue to be a concern for all of us around the world.  Learn more about the danger, click here to watch video on radioactive particles.

Meltdown through containment vessels in three nuclear reactors via a global media perspective;

The radiation exposure seems minimal; 3 millisieverts in 20 minutes is what is being reported that workers are exposed to who entered the No.#3 reactor at Fukushima.  The wording below reduces the severity of the amount of radiation exposure, comparing ten minutes with the amount of radiation for the entire year, instead of an hour, (which the amount is greater than) and using words like “less than”.  Can the media distract public fear?

“The two TEPCO employees that entered the No. #3 reactor building on Wednesday evening were exposed to less than 3 millisieverts of radiation during their 10-minute stay, compared with the government-set limit of 250 millisieverts per worker per year.”

These workers are continuing to go onsite…What is not mentioned (see below), or in the many articles that concern the amount of radiation exposure, is that the radiation dose is cumulative.  This is a high dose of radiation for 20 minutes.

The media, government and corporate officials’ approach to minimize the severity and calm the public perception of the situation in the long run does not serve anyone, especially the public.  People deserve the opportunity to make responsible decisions regarding their own health and livelihood, and be informed from authority that is endowed with trust.

If the reactor’s pressure vessels are damaged, as we now know is the case in No.#1, and looks to be the case recently proven also in No. #2 and No.#3 reactors, this remains unchartered territory.  This is  a critical situation with unknown outcomes that will continue for at least several months more.  If you are wondering how TEPCO in good conscious can now make the statement; “We don’t think it will develop into a worse situation,”  take into consideration that this comes from a company who was brought to court about the back-up safety systems of their nuclear power plants, and failed to make the safety changes when warned prior. Unfortunately none of this is comforting.

One thing all can agree on is that this situation is constantly changing so check out the IAEA’s Facebook page for up to the minute status of the continuing nuclear catastrophe at Fukushima, the IAEA team is there now to review. They also are now using a new sign to communicate a radio active area,  to reduce deaths and serious injuries from exposure to radioactive sources. Have you seen this yet?  “It is a supplementary warning to the trefoil, which has no intuitive meaning and little recognition beyond those educated in its significance,” said staff report from the IAEA. A study about the old sign showed the symbol did not clearly communicate to the public any inherit danger.

Fukushima can’t be stopped at this point, but we can take a look at what we continue to have at stake, in each country with nuclear power.  Germany recently, and today we congratulate Switzerland for the decision to phase out nuclear power now entirely– for renewable energy.

Many countries have begun a review of their nuclear power plants. The EU protested yesterday the proposed review of nuclear to exclude the possibility of safety if terrorist attack,  in the assessment.  There seems to be agreement on the concern here from both the English and the Irish, but some controversy about Sellafield; an Irish media outlet says it will be excluded in the review, while an English media outlet says it will be included ?

Here in the USA right now, the NRC is reviewing all power plants with a report expected to be complete mid July.  World Team Now is focused on these potentially “fatal 4” power plants in largely populated coastal areas;

  1. Indian Point, NY
  2. Oyster Creek, NJ
  3. San Onofre, CA
  4. Diablo Canyon, CA

The Nuclear Power Licensing Reform Act of 2011  reflect our concern about these plants. We can make different choices –with the best method to solve a catastrophe; avoid one.  Defense: close antiquated nuclear power plants.  Offense: open up renewable energy sources on a large scale.  It is a step that Japan is now considering 20% renewable energy by 2020. We need both defense and offense for humanity’s game of life. The points from Arnold Gunderson of Fairewinds in this presentation; “The Implications of the Fukushima Accident on the World’s Operating Reactors” brings home some considerations about the nuclear power.

More Radioactive Water into the Ocean:

The levels of radiation from Fukushima now:

Japan’s Fall: TEPCO:

TEPCO’s recent press releases:

Fukushima PP for IAEA Nice, France:

The business of TEPCO:

The IAEA’s new appropriate sign for ionizing radiation, last week, and for present status check out IAEA’s Facebook page, (see the comments section for real time frustration):

Fairewinds videos to understand the nuclear situation, radiation and fallout:

New USA nuclear power plants delayed, prior to license

Japanese/Swiss move to renewable energy;

Take action on these potential accidents waiting to happen, “The Fatal 4”;

Action towards change- through education about the situation, is our goal.  About the “sign” of radiation, there is no sign– until it is too late.

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