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DocWatch
radiation
Twitterit?
News stories about "radiation," with punchlines: http://apocadocs.com/d.pl?radiation
Related Scary Tags:
contamination  ~ health impacts  ~ toxic leak  ~ climate impacts  ~ carbon emissions  ~ toxic water  ~ ecosystem interrelationships  ~ governmental idiocy  ~ corporate malfeasance  ~ fracking  ~ economic myopia  



Sat, Jul 4, 2015
from The Guardian:
Eleven Thousand Cubic Yards of Radioactive Nuclear Test Debris Leaching into Ocean
Officially, this vast structure is known as the Runit Dome. Locals call it The Tomb.... Below the 18-inch concrete cap rests the United States' cold war legacy to this remote corner of the Pacific Ocean: 111,000 cubic yards of radioactive debris left behind after 12 years of nuclear tests. Brackish water pools around the edge of the dome, where sections of concrete have started to crack away. Underground, radioactive waste has already started to leach out of the crater: according to a 2013 report by the US Department of Energy, soil around the dome is already more contaminated than its contents.... "Runit Dome represents a tragic confluence of nuclear testing and climate change," said Michael Gerrard, director of the Sabin Center for Climate Change Law at Columbia University, who visited the dome in 2010. "It resulted from US nuclear testing and the leaving behind of large quantities of plutonium," he said. "Now it has been gradually submerged as result of sea level rise from greenhouse gas emissions by industrial countries led by the United States." ...


Where is our new Shakespeare, who can so craft / iambic pentameter to scribe anew / the fix'd irony, the fey tragedy / the hubris, the absurdity, and e'en / the farcical satire named Runit Dome?

ApocaDoc
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Mon, Dec 1, 2014
from Newsweek:
Boxer Rebellion: A Pocketed Cellphone May Be Behind Your Infertility
The object that billions of people around the world hold to their face to make calls or place in their pocket when not in use emits radio frequency energy, which is considered a potential health hazard... "With fertility, the verdict isn't out anymore," contended Michael Lam in an interview with Newsweek. Lam is the co-founder of Belly Armor, a company that got its start in 2009 making maternity, prenatal and nursing products out of a silver conductive textile. In September, the company expanded their products into the world of male fertility by launching a radiation-shielding boxer brief for men. The underwear, which is specifically targeted to men trying to conceive, costs about $50 a pair due to the high cost of silver fabric. ...


Nothing says "I want to reproduce with you" more than radiation-shielding underwear.

ApocaDoc
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Tue, Nov 11, 2014
from San Francisco Chronicle:
Traces of radiation from Fukushima detected off California
The first faint traces of radioactivity in the ocean from the Fukushima nuclear disaster have been detected 100 miles off Eureka, a scientist who has been monitoring radiation levels across the Pacific reported Monday. The levels of the radioactive element Cesium-134 were far lower than any radiation that would pose a threat to human or marine life, said Ken Buesseler, a nuclear chemist at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution on Cape Cod. The radioactivity was detected in samples of ocean water volunteers aboard a research vessel from the Moss Landing Marine Laboratory in Monterey County collected last August. The samples were sent for analysis to Buesseler's lab at Woods Hole.... No federal government agency finances efforts to track radioactivity in ocean water, so Buesseler has created a volunteer organization of coastal residents to collect water samples periodically and send them to his lab at Woods Hole. He has volunteers collecting water samples along the coast from San Diego to Canada and around Hawaii. ...


That's right -- saving the world will require crowdsourcing!

ApocaDoc
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Sun, Oct 5, 2014
from AccuWeather:
Typhoon Phanfone Bears Down on Japan
The southern coast of Honshu, from the prefectures of Wakayama to Chiba, will bear the brunt of Phanfone's fury. Destructive wind gusts of 160 to 195 kph (100 to 120 mph) threaten to cause widespread and significant damage to trees and structures. Residents should prepare for extensive and lengthy power outages.... Residents should prepare for widespread flooding, damage to trees and some structures, power outages and flight cancellations. The worst of Phanfone will blast Tokyo later on Sunday night through Monday morning. Douty expects conditions to rapidly improve around Tokyo on Monday afternoon as Phanfone races out to sea and transitions to a non-tropical system. Widespread rain totals of 200 to 250 mm (8 to 10 inches) are also expected from eastern Shikoku to the Honshu prefecture of Fukushima, triggering widespread and life-threatening flash flooding. ...


Flash floods foment feverish Fukushima fears.

ApocaDoc
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Thu, May 22, 2014
from Huffington Post:
53 Million Gallons Of Nuclear Waste May Soon Be Stored Right Next To The Great Lakes
A proposed Canadian nuclear waste site near the shores of Lake Huron is facing mounting criticism from Michigan lawmakers who say it's dangerous and called on the federal government to intervene.... "Building a nuclear waste dump less than a mile from one of the largest freshwater sources in the world is a reckless act that should be universally opposed," Michigan Rep. Dan Lauwers (R-Brockway Township) said in a statement Monday. ...


Our relationship with Canada is getting ... rather awkward.

ApocaDoc
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Tue, Apr 29, 2014
from Al Jazeera:
Environment Second radioactive oil waste site found in North Dakota
North Dakota this week confirmed the discovery of a new radioactive dump of waste from oil drilling. And separately, a company hired to clean up similar waste found in February at another location said it had removed more than double the amount of radioactive material originally estimated to be there. The twin disclosures highlight a growing problem from North Dakota's booming Bakken oil development, and for other oil and gas operations across the country: the illegal disposal of radioactive material from drilling sites. Rocks deep in the earth contain naturally radioactive material, and when those rocks are drilled for oil and gas the drilling equipment and water can become slightly irradiated. As more drilling occurs across the nation, experts warn of a brewing crisis of leftover radioactive materials. ...


Clearly, the rocks are at fault here.

ApocaDoc
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Tue, Apr 22, 2014
from E&E Publishing:
Obama admin calculations spared developers millions in loan guarantee fees for Ga. nuclear project, documents show
The Obama administration finalized $6.5 billion worth of loan guarantees for the country's first U.S. reactors in decades without requiring developers to pay a "credit subsidy fee" -- money that protects taxpayers should the developers default, according to documents obtained by Greenwire... The zero-sum figure drew immediate criticism as a "sweetheart deal" for the companies. "It is outrageous that the Department of Energy and Office of Management and Budget somehow determined that the two reactors under construction at Plant Vogtle pose less of a risk of default today than they did a couple years ago," said Sara Barczak, director of the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy's high-risk energy choices program. Barczak said the fees are critical in light of the 2011 nuclear disaster in Japan, stiff competition nuclear projects face from cheap gas and the snuffing out of other projects. ...


Must be part of the all of the above energy strategy.

ApocaDoc
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Wed, Apr 9, 2014
from Huffington Post:
North Korea's Nuclear Reactors Are Facing A Radiation Leak, Experts Warn
North Korea's main nuclear site could be facing a radiation leak following water supply woes, experts have warned. A constant water supply from a nearby river is essential to cool the secret state's old reactor - which can rather worryingly produce fissile material for nuclear bombs - and would be needed for the safe operation of another reactor under construction at the same complex. But recent commercial satellite imagery showed the recently restarted reactor may have been temporarily shut down or operated at a lower power level for repairs after flooding caused the river to change course. ...


Dear Leader Jr. has threatened to have the river "torn apart by rabid jackals."

ApocaDoc
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Tue, Mar 4, 2014
from MLive.com:
Piece of metal lodged in reactor at Palisades Nuclear Power Plant
A piece of metal from a broken impeller blade has lodged in the reactor vessel at Palisades Nuclear Power Plant. Workers discovered the issue during the nuclear power plant's scheduled refueling and maintenance shutdown, which began Jan. 19. The metal is 5 inches by 12 inches long, said Lindsay Rose, spokeswoman for Entergy Corp., which owns Palisades. The piece is wedged into the reactor vessel between the vessel wall and the flow skirt, inside the vessel... Efforts to remove the metal have proved unsuccessful. At this point, Entergy plans to leave it in place, saying it does not pose a safety risk. ...


As safe as leaving a scalpel in a surgery patient.

ApocaDoc
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Wed, Jan 15, 2014
from Indianapolis Star:
Nuclear power for Indiana?
Indiana hasn't tried to build a nuclear ­power plant since two efforts fizzled in the 1980s over high costs, nearly bankrupting one of the companies in the process. But an influential state senator says it's time to encourage nuclear power again and has introduced a bill that would provide financial incentives to utilities to build nuclear plants. Sen. Jim Merritt, R-Indianapolis, chairman of the Senate Utilities Committee, says nu­clear energy is clean, safe and reliable and should have a place in Indiana's energy lineup. His bill, Senate Bill 302, would allow utilities to build a nuclear plant, or a small modular reactor, and pass along the construction costs to customers years before the plant goes into operation. ...


That's counting your radioactive chickens before they melt down.

ApocaDoc
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Mon, Jan 13, 2014
from Omaha World-Herald:
Fort Calhoun nuclear plant offline again
Two weeks after the Fort Calhoun Nuclear Station finally came online after nearly three years in a cold shutdown, the Omaha Public Power District shut it down again to deal with some iced-over equipment. Freezing temperatures caused ice to build up on one of six sluice gates that control the flow of Missouri River water into the plant. ...


Sounds like an opportunity for cold fusion.

ApocaDoc
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Tue, Dec 31, 2013
from Reuters:
Special Report: Japan's homeless recruited for murky Fukushima clean-up
Seiji Sasa hits the train station in this northern Japanese city before dawn most mornings to prowl for homeless men. He isn't a social worker. He's a recruiter. The men in Sendai Station are potential laborers that Sasa can dispatch to contractors in Japan's nuclear disaster zone for a bounty of $100 a head. "This is how labor recruiters like me come in every day," Sasa says, as he strides past men sleeping on cardboard and clutching at their coats against the early winter cold. It's also how Japan finds people willing to accept minimum wage for one of the most undesirable jobs in the industrialized world: working on the $35 billion, taxpayer-funded effort to clean up radioactive fallout across an area of northern Japan larger than Hong Kong. ...


The Grapes of Wradiation.

ApocaDoc
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Mon, Dec 2, 2013
from Politico:
The $38 billion nuclear waste fiasco
Doing nothing often has a cost -- and when it comes to storing the nation's nuclear waste, the price is $38 billion and rising. That's just the lowball estimate for how much taxpayers will wind up spending because of the government's decades of dithering about how to handle the radioactive leftovers sitting at dozens of sites in 38 states. The final price will be higher unless the government starts collecting the waste by 2020, which almost nobody who tracks the issue expects. ...


Radioactive Leftovers is my band's name!

ApocaDoc
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Want more context?
Try reading our book FREE online:
Humoring the Horror of the Converging Emergencies!
More fun than a barrel of jellyfish!
Wed, Nov 20, 2013
from New York Times:
Energy Dept. Is Told to Stop Collecting Fee for Nuclear Waste Disposal
A federal appeals court ruled Tuesday that the Energy Department must stop collecting fees of about $750 million a year that are paid by consumers and intended to fund a program for the disposal of nuclear waste. The reason, the court said, is that there is no such program. Congress passed a law that established the fee in the early 1980s, to be paid by customers who use electricity from reactors. But soon after President Obama took office, he made good on a campaign promise and stopped work on the disposal site selected by Congress, Yucca Mountain, about 100 miles from Las Vegas. ...


I wonder if I can get my money back?

ApocaDoc
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Mon, Oct 7, 2013
from Los Angeles Times:
Company fires scientist who warned of Hanford waste site problems
When senior scientist Walter Tamosaitis warned in 2011 about fundamental design flaws at the nation's largest facility to treat radioactive waste in Hanford, Wash., he was assigned to work in a basement room without office furniture or a telephone. On Wednesday, Tamosaitis, an employee of San Francisco-based URS Corp., was laid off from his job after 44 years with the company... The Hanford site is the nation's most contaminated property, holding 56 million gallons of highly radioactive sludge in underground tanks, some of which are leaking. The complex sits on a plateau above the Columbia River, which could be threatened if the cleanup fails to contain the tank waste. ...


Thank goodness he didn't complain about the toilet seat being left up!

ApocaDoc
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Mon, Sep 9, 2013
from Alternet:
Holy Cow: Former Chairman of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission Says Every Single Reactor in the U.S. Should Be Shut Down
The first thing to remember about nuclear power is that it's not safe. Just ask Japan. The second thing to remember is that nuclear power isn't cheap. Connecticut draws half its juice from nuclear reactors and has the second-highest rates in the country, after Hawaii. The third thing to know is that everybody lies about it. The power plant designers lie, the builders lie, the utility companies lie, the regulators lie, and the politicians lie.... Consider this: Former Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) Chairman Gregory B. Jaczko declared in April that he believes every single nuclear power plantoperating in the nation should be shut down, starting with the riskiest. ...


The fourth thing is ... run!

ApocaDoc
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Mon, Sep 9, 2013
from Midwest Energy News:
Study supports nuclear waste disposal near Great Lakes
New geology research says radioactive wastes are unlikely to enter groundwater from a proposed Canadian disposal site less than a mile from Lake Huron. ...


Gradiation Lakes!

ApocaDoc
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Tue, Sep 3, 2013
from AP, via HuffingtonPost:
Fukushima Disaster: Japan To Build Costly Subterranean Ice Wall To Stop Nuclear Reactor Leaks
The Japanese government announced Tuesday that it will spend $470 million on a subterranean ice wall and other steps in a desperate bid to stop leaks of radioactive water from the crippled Fukushima nuclear station after repeated failures by the plant's operator. The decision is widely seen as an attempt to show that the nuclear accident won't be a safety concern just days before the International Olympic Committee chooses between Tokyo, Istanbul and Madrid as the host of the 2020 Olympics.... The ice wall would freeze the ground to a depth of up to 30 meters (100 feet) through an electrical system of thin pipes carrying a coolant as cold as minus 40 degrees Celsius (minus 40 Fahrenheit). That would block contaminated water from escaping the facility's immediate surroundings, as well as keep underground water from entering the reactor and turbine buildings, where much of the radioactive water has collected.... With anti-government demonstrations plaguing Istanbul, Turkey's bid and a recession and high Spanish unemployment hanging over Madrid's candidacy, Tokyo is pushing its bid as the safe choice in uncertain times. ...


It's sad when "a safe choice in uncertain times" means "160 miles from our Acme Sure-Fire Death Ray Protection System."

ApocaDoc
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Mon, Sep 2, 2013
from Wall Street Journal:
New Radiation Hotspots Found at Fukushima Daiichi
TOKYO -- The operator of the troubled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear complex said over the weekend that its struggles to control highly radioactive water had suffered new setbacks. The company announced the discovery of contaminated spots in new parts of the compound where the water is stored, while radiation levels jumped to highly dangerous levels in another part of that area where readings were previously lower. ...


There is no "me" in Daiichi.

ApocaDoc
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Wed, Aug 14, 2013
from Reuters:
Insight: After disaster, the deadliest part of Japan's nuclear clean-up
The operator of Japan's crippled Fukushima nuclear plant is preparing to remove 400 tons of highly irradiated spent fuel from a damaged reactor building, a dangerous operation that has never been attempted before on this scale. Containing radiation equivalent to 14,000 times the amount released in the atomic bomb attack on Hiroshima 68 years ago, more than 1,300 used fuel rod assemblies packed tightly together need to be removed from a building that is vulnerable to collapse, should another large earthquake hit the area. Tokyo Electric Power Co (Tepco) is already in a losing battle to stop radioactive water overflowing from another part of the facility, and experts question whether it will be able to pull off the removal of all the assemblies successfully. ...


Oh Fukushima ... will the horrors ever end?

ApocaDoc
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Fri, Aug 9, 2013
from The Asahi Shimbun, via Desdemona:
Radioactivity levels in Fukushima groundwater increase 47-fold over 5 days
Radioactivity levels soared 47-fold over just five days in groundwater from a monitoring well on the ocean side of the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant, the plant operator said Aug. 5. Tokyo Electric Power Co. said 56,000 becquerels of radioactive substances, including strontium, were detected per liter of groundwater sampled on Aug. 5 in the "No. 1-5" monitoring well, which is adjacent to the turbine building for the No. 1 reactor. The previous measurement for the well water was made on July 31. ...


It's a nuclear trickledown!

ApocaDoc
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Wed, Aug 7, 2013
from New York Times:
New Leaks Into Pacific at Japan Nuclear Plant
Tons of contaminated groundwater from the stricken Fukushima nuclear plant have overwhelmed an underground barrier and are emptying daily into the Pacific, creating what a top regulator has called a crisis. The water contains strontium and cesium, as well as tritium, which is considered less dangerous when released into the ocean. Despite increasing alarm among regulators in recent weeks, the plant's operator says it does not yet pose a health threat because levels of the contaminants are still very low in the open ocean, beyond the plant's man-made harbor -- a contention even critics support. But regulators and critics alike are worried because the company, the Tokyo Electric Power Company, or Tepco, has been unable to stop the flow of the contaminated water, which appears to have started between December and May. The company has also not yet conclusively identified the source of the contamination, compounding fears. ...


This is, like, a clusterfukushima!

ApocaDoc
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Mon, Aug 5, 2013
from Japan Times:
Huge leak of tritium feared in Fukushima
Tokyo Electric Power Co. said Friday that an estimated 20 trillion to 40 trillion becquerels of tritium from the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant may have flowed into the Pacific Ocean since May 2011.... Tepco said the size of the release is roughly in the allowed range of 22 trillion becquerels a year but acknowledged it didn't take place in a controlled manner. Tritium has a half-life of about 12 years. Since it doesn't know when the leak began, the utility has assumed the beginning was in May 2011, after it attempted to stop the toxic water from entering the ocean when it was discovered in April 2011. ...


Triple your panic/ triple your freak/ with Tritium, Tritium, Tritium leak!

ApocaDoc
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Sun, Aug 4, 2013
from Reuters, via Jennifer:
Radioactive Fukushima groundwater rises above barrier - media
Radioactive groundwater at the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant has risen to levels above a barrier being built to contain it, highlighting the risk of an increasing amount of contaminated water reaching the sea, Japanese media reported on Saturday. One of Tepco's biggest challenges is trying to contain radioactive water that cools the reactors as it mixes with some 400 tonnes of fresh groundwater pouring into the plant daily. Tepco has been injecting a chemical into the ground to build barriers to contain the groundwater. But the method is only effective in solidifying the ground from 1.8 meters below the surface, whereas data from test wells shows the contaminated water has risen to one metre below the surface, the Asahi said. ...


I bet with enough Superglue, we could seal that sucker tight!

ApocaDoc
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Mon, Jul 22, 2013
from AFP, via FOX:
Radioactive water leaked into sea at Fukushima
The operator of the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant on Monday admitted for the first time that radioactive groundwater has leaked out to sea, fuelling fears of ocean contamination. The admission came the day after Japanese voters went to the polls in an election for the upper house, handing the largely pro-nuclear party of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe a handsome majority. Earlier this month Tokyo Electric Power (TEPCO) said groundwater samples taken at the battered plant showed levels of possibly cancer-causing caesium-134 had shot up more than 110 times in a few days. ...


And I suppose the ecoterrorists are saying there's some relation between the two.

ApocaDoc
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Wed, Jul 17, 2013
from MLive.com:
Another small leak found at Palisades nuclear plant July 10, says Nuclear Regulatory Commission
COVERT TOWNSHIP, MI -- Palisades Power Plant has had two more leaks since it shut down May 5 for more than a month to repair a leaking water storage tank, Nuclear Regulatory Commission officials said during a July 16 webinar with the public. The NRC will be conducting further investigation into at least one of the leaks, said Jack Geissner, branch chief of Region III, which oversees Palisades. The NRC is also investigating the May 5 incident, in which about 80 gallons of very diluted radioactive water leaked from the safety injection and refueling water tank (SIRW tank) into Lake Michigan. The NRC will be issuing its report in coming months, said Geissner. ...


Perfectly poisonous!

ApocaDoc
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You're still reading! Good for you!
You really should read our short, funny, frightening book FREE online (or buy a print copy):
Humoring the Horror of the Converging Emergencies!
We've been quipping this stuff for more than 30 months! Every day!
Which might explain why we don't get invited to parties anymore.
Mon, Jul 15, 2013
from Agence France-Press:
Radioactivity found in Swiss lake near nuclear plant
GENEVA -- Scientists have discovered a radioactive substance in sediment under a Swiss lake used for drinking water and situated near a nuclear plant, the Le Matin Dimanche weekly reported Sunday. While scientists cited in the report stressed there was no danger to human health, the discovery raises concerns about safety practices and a lack of transparency at the Muehleberg nuclear plant in northwestern Switzerland. The plant is believed to have caused a spike in cesium 137 found in the sediment of Lake Biel and dating back to 2000 through the discharge of contaminated waste water into the Aar river that feeds into the lake, about 20 kilometres (12 miles) downstream, the weekly reported. Geologists from Geneva University happened upon the spike while working on an unrelated research project in 2010, and chemists in the northern canton of Basel recently verified the findings, it said. ...


Glad they got right on that.

ApocaDoc
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Mon, Jul 15, 2013
from Bloomberg:
China Protest Forcing Nuclear Retreat Shows People Power
Protests in a southern Chinese city last week that forced local authorities to abandon plans for a uranium-processing facility highlight the growing willingness of ordinary people to challenge the state on environmental issues. The proposed Longwan Industrial Park project won't be approved "in order to fully respect the opinion of the masses," the government of Heshan, Guangdong province, said in a statement on its website on July 13. A "social-stability risk assessment" of the proposal that was released for public awareness generated "much opposition," it said. ...


Wait'll they all get TVs and cars, the Chinese will stop complaining.

ApocaDoc
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Mon, May 27, 2013
from The Detroit News:
Canadian firm's nuclear waste plan near Lake Huron stirs Michigan fears
A Canadian company's plan to store nuclear waste near Lake Huron is alarming environmental groups and some Michigan lawmakers, who fear the project could eventually harm the Great Lakes. For years, Ontario Power Generation has pushed to construct a deep geologic repository -- a massive underground storage facility to handle low- to intermediate-level nuclear wastes -- on the grounds of its Bruce nuclear facility near Kincardine, Ont. The company wants to locate its storage facility 2,230 feet below the ground and three-quarters of a mile from the Lake Huron shore. ...


Makes me want to hur(l) on it.

ApocaDoc
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Tue, May 14, 2013
from Michigan Live:
Small crack found in tank at Palisades nuclear plant; inspection still ongoing, executives say
Eight days after Palisades Nuclear Power Plant shut down May 5, an inspection is still ongoing of the safety injection refueling water tank. Until that inspection is complete, residents of Southwest Michigan won't know what the permanent solution to repair the leaking tank will be. It will, however, have to pass muster with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, said U.S. Rep. Fred Upton, R-St. Joseph....So far, the inspection has turned up a crack about ˝-inch-long around a nozzle... ...


A little crack goes a looooong way.

ApocaDoc
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Mon, May 6, 2013
from Detroit Free Press:
Palisades nuclear power plant shuts down after water leak
COVERT TOWNSHIP, MICH.-- Operators of the Palisades Nuclear Power Plant in southwestern have removed it from service because of a repeat water leak from a tank that caused seepage into the control room last year.... The plant is owned by New Orleans-based Entergy Corp. and has been under extra NRC scrutiny after numerous safety issues. There were four shutdowns last year and at least two this year. ...


This plant is a vewy vewy bad plant!

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Tue, Apr 30, 2013
from New York Times:
Flow of Tainted Water Is Latest Crisis at Japan Nuclear Plant
Two years after a triple meltdown that grew into the world's second worst nuclear disaster, the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant is faced with a new crisis: a flood of highly radioactive wastewater that workers are struggling to contain. Groundwater is pouring into the plant's ravaged reactor buildings at a rate of almost 75 gallons a minute. It becomes highly contaminated there, before being pumped out to keep from swamping a critical cooling system. A small army of workers has struggled to contain the continuous flow of radioactive wastewater, relying on hulking gray and silver storage tanks sprawling over 42 acres of parking lots and lawns. The tanks hold the equivalent of 112 Olympic-size pools. ...


This image of Fukushima is brought to you by Hieronymus Bosch.

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Tue, Apr 9, 2013
from New York Times:
Ex-Regulator Says Reactors Are Flawed
All 104 nuclear power reactors now in operation in the United States have a safety problem that cannot be fixed and they should be replaced with newer technology, the former chairman of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission said on Monday. Shutting them all down at once is not practical, he said, but he supports phasing them out rather than trying to extend their lives.... it is highly unusual for a former head of the nuclear commission to so bluntly criticize an industry whose safety he was previously in charge of ensuring....Dr. Jaczko cited a well-known characteristic of nuclear reactor fuel to continue to generate copious amounts of heat after a chain reaction is shut down. That "decay heat" is what led to the Fukushima meltdowns. ...


Our nukes are fuked!

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Wed, Apr 3, 2013
from Popular Science:
Over Time, Nuclear Power Would Kill Fewer People Than Petroleum
Using nuclear power for energy instead of coal has prevented almost 2 million pollution-related deaths around the world, and could save millions more lives in the future, according to a new paper. It's the latest publication from James Hansen, NASA's fiery climate change scientist, who is retiring on Wednesday after 46 years with the space agency. The paper argues that policymakers should increase nuclear power, rather than continuing dependence on fossil fuels. The 2011 disaster at Japan's Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant should not deter governments from expanding nuclear power... Nuclear power has already prevented 64 gigatons of greenhouse gas emissions, and would prevent the equivalent of another 80 to 240 gigatons, again depending on which fuel it replaces. ...


This lesser of two evils still looks like a killer to me.

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Tue, Mar 19, 2013
from Associated Press:
Crippled Japanese nuclear plant suffers blackout
A power failure at Japan's tsunami-damaged nuclear plant on Monday night has left three fuel storage pools without fresh cooling water for hours, the plant's operator said. Tokyo Electric Power Co. said the power failure at the Fukushima Dai-ichi plant was brief at its command center but continued for hours at three of the seven fuel storage pools and at several other facilities, including one that treats water contaminated with radioactivity. ...


In the post-Apocalyptic future, "Fukushima" will be synonymous with "cursed."

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Mon, Mar 11, 2013
from Midwest Energy News:
Report: A "ripped safety net" at Midwest nuclear plants
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has a "ripped nuclear safety net,” according to a new study by the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS). The report, by nuclear engineer Dave Lochbaum, details 14 incidents in 2012 where the NRC did special inspections at reactors and considered that the likelihood of a core meltdown had increased at least 10-fold over normal circumstances. In the past three years, 40 of the nation's 104 reactors logged such incidents. ...


That net isn't just "ripped," it's in tatters!

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Mon, Feb 4, 2013
from NPR:
Are Mini-Reactors The Future Of Nuclear Power?
The U.S. government is investing millions of dollars in what it considers a promising new industry for American manufacturing: nuclear reactors. The plan is to build hundreds of mini-reactors, dot them around the U.S. and export them overseas. Development of these reactors are already in the works, and at one office park in Lynchburg, Va., where one of these reactors is being assembled, the traditional signs of nuclear reactors are nowhere to be found. There are no cooling towers that look like smoke stacks, no clouds of steam over the buildings -- just a research building and a tower about nine stories tall. ...


In fact, I've got one in my pocket and boy am I happy to see you!

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Fri, Jan 25, 2013
from RT.com:
Fukushima debris hits Hawaii
Debris set adrift by the 2011 Japanese tsunami has made its way to Hawaii, triggering concerns over the unknown effects of the radiation it may carry from the meltdown of the Fukushima reactor. Debris has washed ashore the islands of Oahu and Kauai and the state's Department of Health has been asked to test some of the incoming material for radiation levels. Refrigerator parts, oyster buoys, housing insulation, storage bins, soda bottles, toys, fishing nets, plastic trash cans and even Japanese net boats have all washed up on Hawaiian sands in the past few weeks, triggering serious environmental concerns over both water pollution and radiation exposure.... Aside from the unknown radiation risks, some of the debris is bringing invasive species to Hawaii, thereby threatening the island chain's ecosystem and introducing the possibility of consuming contaminated seafood. The 24-foot boat found by the fisherman was covered in blue mussels, which are native to Japan and harmful to Hawaii's marine life - especially the corals. ...


It's cool when you can dumpster-dive right into the ocean! In Hawai'i!!

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Tue, Jan 15, 2013
from Popular Mechanics:
NASA's Climate Drones Research at 65,000 Feet
Some NASA researchers believe the key to better climate science is sitting about 65,000 feet above the Pacific Ocean. This month, they're going up there. The project, called ATTREX (Airborne Tropical TRopopause EXperiment), will provide measurements of moisture and chemical composition, radiation levels, meteorological conditions, and trace gas levels in the high atmosphere. A slew of climate specialists hope to collect unprecedented amounts of data from the tropopause, the boundary between the troposhere (where most weather phenomenon take place) and the stratosphere. The ultimate goal, according to principal investigator Eric Jensen, is to improve the mathematical models scientists use to predict climate change. ...


And the drones shall inherit the earth.

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Wed, Dec 26, 2012
from Associated Press:
West Coast girds for more tsunami debris in winter
Volunteers who patrol California beaches for plastic, cigarette butts and other litter will be on the lookout this winter for flotsam from last year's monstrous tsunami off Japan's coast... The March 2011 disaster washed about 5 million tons of debris into the sea. Most of that sank, leaving an estimated 1 1/2 million tons afloat. No one knows how much debris -- strewn across an area three times the size of the United States -- is still adrift. ...


We are all connected!

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Fri, Oct 26, 2012
from Yahoo Finance:
Chesapeake Is Planning To Frack Within A Mile Of A Nuclear Plant
Natural gas giant Chesapeake Energy has been given permission to drill for natural gas via hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking," one mile away from the Beaver Valley Nuclear Power Station in Shippingport, Pennsylvania, according to multiple reports.... "We're not aware of any potential impacts and don't expect any," Jennifer Young said Monday. "We see no reason to be particularly concerned."... "[T]here are no required setbacks specifically relating to a required distance between unconventional wells and nuclear facilities, just a blanket regulation requiring a 500-foot setback from any building to an unconventional well." ...


As long as they're not breaking any laws, right, Mr. Murphy?

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Mon, Sep 24, 2012
from The Atlanta Journal-Constitution :
Nuclear industry slowed by its own waste
Just as the nuclear industry is starting to build reactors after a 30-year drought, it faces another dry spell. The industry thought it had what it needed for its rebirth: federal loan guarantees; a uniform reactor design; a streamlined licensing process. The nightmares from the 1979 partial meltdown at Three Mile Island, 1,000 new safety regulations and cost overruns would be left in the past, industry officials believed. But what never came together was a long-term plan for how to store the used radioactive fuel. As a result, judges and regulators have slammed the brakes on new reactor projects -- with two exceptions, one of those in Georgia. ...


This is the central story of human civilization: Not knowing what to do with our waste.

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Tue, Sep 18, 2012
from London Guardian:
Hunt launched after Halliburton loses radioactive rod in Texas desert
Halliburton has lost a seven-inch radioactive rod somewhere in the Texas desert. The National Guard has been called in to help to find the device, which employees of the controversial US oilfield services company lost a week ago. The rod, which contains americium-241/beryllium and is stamped with a radiation warning symbol with the words "Danger Radioactive: Do not handle. Notify civil authorities if found", was lost during a 130-mile journey between oil well sites in Pecos and Odessa last Tuesday. The US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) warned that the radioactive materials "could cause permanent injury to a person who handled them". ...


It's 11 p.m. Do you know where your rod is?

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Tue, Sep 4, 2012
from Columbus Dispatch:
'Fracking' brine | Gas-well waste full of radium
Millions of barrels of wastewater trucked into Ohio from shale-gas wells in Pennsylvania might be highly radioactive, according to a government study. Radium in one sample of Marcellus shale wastewater, also called brine, that Pennsylvania officials collected in 2009 was 3,609 times more radioactive than a federal safety limit for drinking water. It was 300 times higher than a Nuclear Regulatory Commission limit for industrial discharges to water. The December 2011 study, compiled by the U.S. Geological Survey, also found that the median levels of radium in brine from Marcellus shale wells was more than three times higher than brine collected from conventional oil and gas wells. ...


Arrrrr! Is that radium in your brine or are you just happy to see me!

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Tue, Aug 14, 2012
from CNN:
Mutant butterflies a result of Fukushima nuclear disaster, researchers say
In the first sign that the Fukushima nuclear disaster may be changing life around it, scientists say they've found mutant butterflies. Some of the butterflies had abnormalities in their legs, antennae, and abdomens, and dents in their eyes, according to the study published in Scientific Reports, an online journal from the team behind Nature. Researchers also found that some affected butterflies had broken or wrinkled wings, changes in wing size, color pattern changes, and spots disappearing or increasing on the butterflies.... The scientists wanted to find out how things stood after a longer amount of time and again collected more than 200 butterflies last September. Twenty-eight percent of the butterflies showed abnormalities, but the rate of mutated offspring jumped to 52 percent, according to researchers. ...


This report makes it seem like speedier evolution was a bad thing.

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Mon, May 28, 2012
from CBC Canada:
Chemicals in tsunami debris could pose coastal threat
The spill and spread of industrial chemicals across the coastline of British Columbia is a possibility as slower-moving tsunami debris from Japan approaches the west coast, according to experts observing its movements. The risk of chemical contamination is sizable, especially considering that many of the tsunami-affected areas on the Japanese coast were industrial and used many different types of toxic chemicals in manufacturing operations. ...


...and they called the tsunami... Pangea...

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Tue, Apr 17, 2012
from Assorted voices:
Fukushima: Three Full Nuclear Meltdowns, and pesky reality
From CNN: Three meltdowns happened in Fukushima in 2011. Three nuclear meltdowns, a year ago. Recently, on a follow-up story in the Star-Phoenix, comes the quote:... After a magnitude 9 earthquake and a major tsunami walloped Japan's northeastern coastline last March, three of the Fukushima Daiichi plant's six reactors went into full meltdown, triggering explosions which spewed radiation across an area where tens of thousands of people had lived. The disaster was a "seven," the highest and most dangerous rating on what is called the International Nuclear Event Scale. The nearest you can get to ground zero and the most heavily contaminated area around it without government-approved papers is a blockade on Route 6, a long coastal highway that has been split in two by the danger zone. ...


As I understand it, radiation is invisible, and therefore, thank goodness, doesn't exist.

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Tue, Apr 17, 2012
from National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR):
Fukushima and radiation modeling
After an earthquake and tsunami damaged the Daiichi nuclear power plant in Fukushima, Japan, on March 11, 2011, an unknown quantity of radioactive material was released into the surrounding air and sea. NCAR scientists and their Japanese colleagues are working to get a better picture of radioactive fallout from the event. By assessing the fuel rods that melted during the event, scientists and engineers are approaching a consensus on the total amount of radioactive material released from Daiichi. What remains unclear, however, is how much ended up on land and how much in the sea. The complexity of the disaster--which included multiple explosions and continuous release, along with rainfall during the incident--complicates any estimates.... One of the main conclusions from the workshop is there is currently no operational system anywhere in the world that can assess the rate of release of the radioactive material should a similar incident occur again. ...


More than a year later, and they don't know anything. That must mean there's nothing to know!

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Wed, Mar 28, 2012
from Associated Press:
Japan reactor has fatally high radiation, no water
One of Japan's crippled nuclear reactors still has fatally high radiation levels and hardly any water to cool it, according to an internal examination Tuesday that renews doubts about the plant's stability. A tool equipped with a tiny video camera, a thermometer, a dosimeter and a water gauge was used to assess damage inside the No. 2 reactor's containment chamber for the second time since the tsunami swept into the Fukushima Dai-ichi plant a year ago. The probe done in January failed to find the water surface and provided only images showing steam, unidentified parts and rusty metal surfaces scarred by exposure to radiation, heat and humidity. The data collected from the probes showed the damage from the disaster was so severe, the plant operator will have to develop special equipment and technology to tolerate the harsh environment and decommission the plant, a process expected to last decades. ...


Some nightmares just never seem to end.

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Wed, Jan 18, 2012
from Montreal Gazette, via Desdemona:
Canada government didn't disclose radioactive iodine in rainwater
After the Fukushima nuclear accident, Canadian health officials assured a nervous public that virtually no radioactive fallout had drifted to Canada. But last March, a Health Canada monitoring station in Calgary detected an average of 8.18 becquerels per litre of radioactive iodine (an isotope released by the nuclear accident) in rainwater, the data shows. The level easily exceeded the Canadian guideline of six becquerels of iodine per litre for drinking water, acknowledged Eric Pellerin, chief of Health Canada's radiation-surveillance division. "It's above the recommended level (for drinking water)," he said in an interview. "At any time you sample it, it should not exceed the guideline." Canadian authorities didn't disclose the high radiation reading at the time. ...


They just figured we already knew.

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Wed, Dec 7, 2011
from Agence France-Press:
Japan baby formula shows radiation taint
Radiation contamination has been found in a leading brand of Japanese baby formula, most likely fallout from the country's crippled nuclear plant, its manufacturer said on Tuesday. Meiji, a major producer of milk, confectionery and pharmaceuticals, said it was recalling some 400,000 cans of "Meiji Step" formula that contained a small amount of radioactive caesium-134 and ceasium-137... The formula was produced at a factory in Saitama prefecture, some 200 kilometres (125 miles) from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, where reactors were sent into meltdown in the aftermath of the March 11 quake and tsunami. ...


This aftermath is incalculable.

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Tue, Nov 29, 2011
from Reuters:
Laptop Wi-Fi said to nuke sperm, but caveats abound
The digital age has left men's nether parts in a squeeze, if you believe the latest science on semen, laptops and wireless connections. In a report in the venerable medical journal Fertility and Sterility, Argentinian scientists describe how they got semen samples from 29 healthy men, placed a few drops under a laptop connected to the Internet via Wi-Fi and then hit download. Four hours later, the semen was, eh, well-done. A quarter of the sperm were no longer swimming around, for instance, compared to just 14 percent from semen samples stored at the same temperature away from the computer. And nine percent of the sperm showed DNA damage, three-fold more than the comparison samples. The culprit? Electromagnetic radiation generated during wireless communication... ...


Wi-Fi = Jizz-Fizz

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Tue, Nov 1, 2011
from Huffington Post:
Three-eyed Fish Found Near Argentina Nuclear Power Plant
According to Infobae.com, a Spanish-language news site, the lake where the three-eyed fish was caught is a reservoir where hot water from the nuclear facility is pumped. Now, the appearance of a three-eyed fish has the locals worried, especially because there has never been such a sighting before. Residents who live near the reactor are worried the third eye is a mutation caused by exposure to water from the nuclear plant, which is why Zmutt and crew plan to have it tested rather than eat it themselves, before having it preserved. ...


Pfft. I bet that third eye doesn't even glow in the dark.

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Wed, Oct 26, 2011
from Nature News:
Fallout forensics hike radiation toll
The disaster at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant in March released far more radiation than the Japanese government has claimed. So concludes a study1 that combines radioactivity data from across the globe to estimate the scale and fate of emissions from the shattered plant. The study also suggests that, contrary to government claims, pools used to store spent nuclear fuel played a significant part in the release of the long-lived environmental contaminant caesium-137, which could have been prevented by prompt action. ...


Only in America... I mean Russia! Wait, I mean Japan!

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Mon, Oct 17, 2011
from NHK:
Radioactive cesium found in plankton near Fukushima
High concentrations of radioactive cesium have been found in plankton from the sea near the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant. Researchers from Tokyo University of Marine Science and Technology collected plankton in waters up to 60 kilometers from the coast of Iwaki City in July. They found 669 becquerels per kilogram of radioactive cesium in animal plankton from waters 3 kilometers offshore. They say a wide range of fish feed on animal plankton and that the contamination could accumulate in the food chain and have a more serious impact when it gets into relatively large fish. ...


That plankton might just have the glow of good health, y'know.

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Tue, Jul 26, 2011
from Bloomberg News:
Threat to Japanese Food Chain Multiplies as Cesium Contamination Spreads
Radiation fallout from the wrecked Fukushima nuclear plant poses a growing threat to Japan's food chain as unsafe levels of cesium found in beef on supermarket shelves were also detected in more vegetables and the ocean. More than 2,600 cattle have been contaminated, Kyodo News reported July 23, after the Miyagi local government said 1,183 cattle at 58 farms were fed hay containing radioactive cesium before being shipped to meat markets. Agriculture Minister Michihiko Kano has said officials didn't foresee that farmers might ship contaminated hay to cattle ranchers. That highlights the government's inability to think ahead and to act, said Mariko Sano, secretary general for Shufuren, a housewives organization in Tokyo. ...


I sure wouldn't want to take a roll in that hay!

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Fri, Jul 8, 2011
from Toronto Sun:
Study downplaying cellphone risks funded by manufacturers
OTTAWA - An international study which debunks research linking cellphones to cancer risks received major funding from wireless manufacturers. The World Health Organization's International Agency for Research on Cancer classified radio frequency emitted by wireless devices as possibly carcinogenic, but a panel of international scientists recently published a study challenging these findings. The International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection - composed of scientists from Britain, the United States and Sweden - said evidence is mounting against the hypothesis cellphones may cause cancer despite the findings of IARC. But in the study's conflict of interest disclaimer, the panel acknowledged it received support from the wireless industry to conduct the research. ...


Investigative journalism is a luxury we can not afford.

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Sun, Jul 3, 2011
from BBC:
Tanzania 'will mine uranium on Selous Game Reserve' -- World Heritage Site
Tanzania will go ahead with plans to mine uranium in the UN World Heritage site Selous Game Reserve, the natural resources minister has told the BBC. Ezekiel Maige said he told the recent UN World Heritage Centre meeting it would mean the park's size would need to be reduced by less than 1 percent. The UN body said it would approve the plans, as long as environmental assessments were carried out. Money made from the mining would help in the park's upkeep, Mr Maige said. According to the UN cultural organisation Unesco, the 5m hectare-Selous Game Reserve in the south of Tanzania has large numbers of elephants, black rhinos, cheetahs, giraffes, hippos and crocodiles - and is relatively undisturbed by humans.... Firms could expect to earn $200m each year from mining uranium from the site, of which $5m would be paid to the government, he said. Some of this would be able to help with the costly business of managing the park, and it would provide employment for about 1,600 Tanzanians.... He said it currently costs the government about $490,000 a year to manage it and the income from mining would help pay for guards to stop poaching.... ...


Two and a half percent seems a fair royalty, at least when amortized over the next seven generations.

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Fri, Jun 24, 2011
from The Indypendent:
What Happened to Media Coverage of Fukushima?
While the U.S. media has been occupied with Anthony Weiner, the Republican presidential candidates and Bristol Palin's memoir, coverage of Japan's Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant disaster has practially fallen off the map. Poor mainstream media coverage of Japan's now months-long struggle to gain control over the Fukushima disaster has deprived Americans of crucial information about the risks of nuclear power following natural disasters.... Months of spraying seawater on the plant's three melted-down fuel cores -- and the spent fuel stored on site -- to try and cool them has produced 26 million of gallons of radioactive wastewater, and no place to put it. After a struggle, the Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO), finally managed to put in place a system to filter radioactive particles out of the wastewater, but it broke down soon after it started operating. A filter that was supposed to last a month plugged up with radioactive material after just five hours, indicating there is more radioactive material in the water than previously believed. Meanwhile, TEPCO is running out of space to store the radioactive water, and may be forced to again dump contaminated water into the Pacific Ocean. ...


I think the media has been distracted by covering the ocean scientists who can't believe what they're seeing. "Shocking" declines that they didn't expect for another century or two. They fear it is the ocean's death sentence. You heard about that, right?

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Thu, Jun 16, 2011
from Reuters:
IEA: Nuclear retreat to increase CO2 growth 30 percent
A halving of a global nuclear power expansion after Japan's Fukushima disaster would increase global growth in carbon dioxide emissions by 30 percent through 2035, the IEA said on Wednesday. The International Energy Agency warned last month that a political goal to limit climate change to safer levels was barely achievable after global emissions rose by near 6 percent in 2010.... A halving of nuclear power growth would make the task even more difficult, said IEA chief economist Fatih Birol. "We believe this huge emissions increase plus the rather bleaker perspective for nuclear power put together make the 2 degrees target very, very difficult to achieve." ...


Some days it almost seems as if we've hit the limits to endless growth. Crazy, hunh?

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Thu, Jun 2, 2011
from New York Times:
Cellphone Radiation May Cause Cancer, Advisory Panel Says
A World Health Organization panel has concluded that cellphones are "possibly carcinogenic," putting the popular devices in the same category as certain dry cleaning chemicals and pesticides, as a potential threat to human health...The W.H.O. panel ruled only that cellphones be classified as Category 2B, meaning they are possibly carcinogenic to humans, a designation the panel has given to 240 other agents, including the pesticide DDT, engine exhaust, lead and various industrial chemicals. Also on the list are two familiar foods, pickled vegetables and coffee, which the cellphone industry was quick to point out. ...


I suggest you don't hold pickled vegetables up to your ear.

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Wed, Apr 27, 2011
from London Guardian:
Forest fires around Chernobyl could release radiation, scientists warn
A consortium of Ukrainian and international scientists is making an urgent call for a $13.5m (ÂŁ8.28m) programme to prevent potentially catastrophic wildfires inside the exclusion zone surrounding Chernobyl's ruined nuclear power plant. The fear is that fires in the zone could release clouds of radioactive particles that are, at the moment, locked up in trees, held mainly in the needles and bark of Scots pines....If there is a catastrophic or "crown" fire (a high-intensity wildfire affecting a large part of the CEZ) radionuclides could be dispersed over a wide area; a big fire could send radioactivity as far as Britain. ...


Smokey the Russian Bear says Only YOU can prevent nuclear radiation.

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Wed, Apr 13, 2011
from Wall Street Journal:
Japanese Declare Crisis at Level of Chernobyl
The Japanese government raised its assessment of the monthlong crisis at its Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant to the highest severity level by international standards -- a rating only conferred so far upon the Chernobyl accident. Japan's nuclear regulators said the plant has likely released so much radiation into the environment that it must boost the accident's severity rating on the International Nuclear Event scale to a 7 from 5 currently. That is the same level reached by the Chernobyl nuclear disaster in the former Soviet Union, which struck almost exactly 25 years ago, on April 26, 1986. ...


To commemorate this horrid milestone, Fukushima's name will be changed to Fukushimad.

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Wed, Mar 23, 2011
from New York Times:
Japan Extended Reactor's Life, Despite Warning
Just a month before a powerful earthquake and tsunami crippled the Fukushima Daiichi plant at the center of Japan's nuclear crisis, government regulators approved a 10-year extension for the oldest of the six reactors at the power station despite warnings about its safety. ...


What a relief! I thought this kind of stupidity only happened in the US.

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Tue, Mar 15, 2011
from Alaska Dispatch:
Huge ozone hole spreads over Arctic, scientists say
Extremely cold temperatures in the upper atmosphere over the Arctic have triggered a "massive" loss of ozone in just the past few weeks, a situation that could create the most severe ozone hole yet observed in the Far North, according to Europe's leading Arctic research group....The depletion in the Arctic could migrate southward on air currents, Rex said, and ultimately lead to reduced protection against ultraviolet radiation in more populated areas of Alaska, Canada and Europe later in the season. An international network of more than 30 ozone measuring stations have tracked this sudden reduction in the concentrations of the trace gas that protects life on Earth from dangerous solar radiation, according to a release from the Alfred Wegener Institute. ...


I sense my tan will be luscious this coming season.

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Tue, Mar 15, 2011
from New York Times:
Wind and Solar Stocks Surge on Nuclear Fears
Stocks for wind and solar energy producers jump as investors speculate that demand for renewable power will surge in response to the unfolding Japanese nuclear catastrophe. The German solar-panel maker Solarworld AG leads the pack, surging 32 percent. [Bloomberg]... Plans for a $10 billion expansion of a South Texas nuclear plant could be shelved because of repercussions from the growing disaster in Japan, analysts say. "We think the potential added pressure could be the end of its nuclear loan guarantee award," Barclays tells clients, referring to the project by NRG Energy. [Reuters] ...


So maybe that radioactive cloud has a silver lining?

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Sun, Mar 13, 2011
from Japan Times:
Basic nuclear policy questioned
OSAKA -- Severe damage to the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant had the central government and local authorities in neighboring towns racing Saturday to evacuate residents and implement previously agreed upon emergency response measures. But the unprecedented scale of Friday's earthquake and tsunami left questions about not only the adequacy of the measures but the basic policy of pursuing nuclear power in a country as earthquake-prone as Japan....antinuclear activists say there is a glaring flaw to the nuclear emergency response system. "In this seismically active country, the government refuses to draw up emergency plans taking into account nuclear accidents due to earthquakes. There is no emergency plan to protect the public when there is both an earthquake and a nuclear accident," said Green Action head Aileen Mioko Smith. ...


No matter what category of enviro-devastation, survivors of our climate apocollapse will be asking: What were they thinking?

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Fri, Mar 11, 2011
from ABC News:
Residents near nuclear plant told to evacuate
Authorities have urged 2,000 residents living near a nuclear power plant in Fukushima to evacuate after the biggest earthquake in Japan's history hit the region. The prefectural government issued the evacuation advice for residents in a two-kilometre radius of the No. 2 reactor of the Fukushima No. 1 plant operated by Tokyo Electric Power Co. Kyodo News reported earlier that an emergency core-cooling unit had been activated at the plant after a power failure. ...


Something tells me they probably don't need to be urged.

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Sun, Feb 27, 2011
from National Geographic:
Small Nuclear War Could Reverse Global Warming for Years
Even a regional nuclear war could spark "unprecedented" global cooling and reduce rainfall for years, according to U.S. government computer models. Widespread famine and disease would likely follow, experts speculate. During the Cold War a nuclear exchange between superpowers--such as the one feared for years between the United States and the former Soviet Union--was predicted to cause a "nuclear winter."... But nuclear war remains a very real threat--for instance, between developing-world nuclear powers, such as India and Pakistan.... The global cooling caused by these high carbon clouds wouldn't be as catastrophic as a superpower-versus-superpower nuclear winter, but "the effects would still be regarded as leading to unprecedented climate change," research physical scientist Luke Oman said during a press briefing Friday at a meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in Washington, D.C. ...


We'll just call it "nuclear spring"!

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Thu, Dec 23, 2010
from Wall Street Journal:
Bunnies Are in Deep Doo-Doo When They 'Go Nuclear' at Hanford
The little pellets that government contractors found near a building here in October looked like any other pile of rabbit droppings. A Geiger counter told a different story. The scat was radioactive, and that could only mean one thing: There was a cottontail on the loose with access to sensitive nuclear material...Sleuthing for atomic flora and fauna is serious work at Hanford, which once had nine nuclear reactors and produced plutonium for the Fat Man bomb dropped on Nagasaki in 1945. Since 1989, Hanford has been the site of a cleanup that's cost over $30 billion. Most of that work is decommissioning reactors, demolishing tainted buildings and burying waste. But animals tend to root around contaminated areas at the 586-square-mile site, so federal contractors closely monitor plants and critters to curb the spread of radiation. ...


Isn't radioactive bunny poop one of the Seven Signs of the Apocalypse?

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Tue, Dec 14, 2010
from London Guardian:
Chernobyl: now open to tourists
...the heavily contaminated area around the Chernobyl power plant will be officially open to tourists with an interest in post-apocalyptic vistas, late-period Soviet history, or both. Ukraine's emergency situations ministry said today that visitors would be offered tours inside the 30-mile exclusion zone set up after reactor four at the plant exploded on 26 April 1986, showering northern Europe in radioactive fallout. The disaster killed an unknown number of people - estimates for deaths from radiation exposure range from dozens to thousands - and forced around 350,000 people to leave their homes forever. While the area remains heavily contaminated, a ministry spokeswoman said, tourism routes had been drawn up which would cover the main sights while steering clear of the dangerous spots. ...


I'm only going if they serve hot pretzels on site.

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Wed, Nov 24, 2010
from CBS News:
Report Claiming Wi-Fi Hurts Trees Slammed as Bogus
The outlandish claim, supposedly based on a Dutch study, cropped up late last week and has since been repeated in countless blog posts. In response, the Dutch government's Antenna Agency, which provides information on the health effects of electromagnetic fields, has issued a statement urging caution on the unpublished, unverified and otherwise very preliminary findings.... Nevertheless, officials in the Dutch municipality of Alphen aan den Rijn tasked a researcher at Wageningen University several years ago to investigate unexplained abnormalities on local trees. According to a writeup on the municipality's website, the work was apparently commissioned with an eye toward the increasing number of sources of electromagnetic radiation in the region, such as cell phone tower masts. In lab tests, leaves placed for a few months near six radiation sources emitting radio waves in the 2.4 gigahertz range common for Wi-Fi and other wireless communications became discolored and showed a "metallic luster appearance . . . followed by desiccation and death of a portion of the leaf," the website said. Other reports have said that corn cobs exposed to such conditions grew more slowly than expected. The Antenna Agency statement suggests that the researcher involved has backed away from the reported findings and has not succeeded in repeating them (pardon the translation): "The researcher from Wageningen University indicates that these are initial results and that has not been confirmed in a repeat survey. He warns strongly that there are no far-reaching conclusions from its results." ...


Strangely, the abnomalities remain unexplained.

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Wed, Oct 27, 2010
from ScienceDaily:
Uranium in Groundwater? 'Fracking' Mobilizes Uranium in Marcellus Shale
Scientific and political disputes over drilling Marcellus shale for natural gas have focused primarily on the environmental effects of pumping millions of gallons of water and chemicals deep underground to blast through rocks to release the natural gas. But University at Buffalo researchers have now found that that process -- called hydraulic fracturing or "fracking"-- also causes uranium that is naturally trapped inside Marcellus shale to be released, raising additional environmental concerns.... "Marcellus shale naturally traps metals such as uranium and at levels higher than usually found naturally, but lower than manmade contamination levels," says Tracy Bank, PhD, assistant professor of geology in UB's College of Arts and Sciences and lead researcher. "My question was, if they start drilling and pumping millions of gallons of water into these underground rocks, will that force the uranium into the soluble phase and mobilize it? Will uranium then show up in groundwater?" ...


Oh, Cassandra, will you fracking shut up?

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Mon, Oct 11, 2010
from New York Times:
Economy Sandbags Plans for Nuclear Reactors
Just a few years ago, the economic prognosis for new nuclear reactors looked bright. The prospect of growing electricity demand, probable caps on carbon-dioxide emissions and government loan guarantees prompted companies to tell the Nuclear Regulatory Commission that they wanted to build 28 new reactors. The economic slump, which has driven down demand and the price of competing energy sources, and the failure of Congress to pass climate legislation has changed all that, at least for now... The government is hardly the only one to question the economics of nuclear power right now. The would-be builders of seven reactors around the country have deferred their projects in the last few months. ...


Then where will the Homer Simpsons of the world find jobs?

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Fri, Oct 1, 2010
from Washington Post:
FCC changes cellphone safety guidance
The Federal Communications Commission has changed its guidance to cellphone users worried about the health effects of wireless devices, dropping a long-standing recommendation that concerned consumers purchase phones with lower levels of radiation emissions... In its revised guidance, the FCC said that data on a phone's radiation emissions is not a useful gauge of the risk posed by any device. The updated language omitted a previous suggestion that users buy phones with lower specific absorption rates, a measure of the rate of radio-frequency energy absorbed by the human body. The FCC now says that any phone approved by the FCC has passed its absorption tests and is safe.... "The FCC requires that cell phone manufacturers conduct their SAR testing to include the most severe, worst-case (and highest power) operating conditions for all the frequency bands used in the USA for that cell phone," the agency wrote on its consumer and governmental affairs section of its Web site on Sept. 20. ...


FCC you!

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Tue, Sep 14, 2010
from Washington Post:
Miniature nuclear reactors might be a safe, efficient source of power
Take a mental stroll through the streets of Anytown, U.S.A. City hall is on your left, the movie theater on your right. Smell the delights from the bakery. And in the distance, there's the gentle steam plume billowing from the cooling tower of the miniature nuclear reactor that powers the quaint little burg. Not your idea of Americana? Wait a decade or two. The government and its private partners are developing reactors that one day might power your home town. Not long ago, siting a nuclear reactor anywhere near a population center would have been unthinkable. While the 1979 Three Mile Island reactor meltdown didn't cause any deaths or injuries, it soured Americans on nuclear energy. Construction of new reactors came to an abrupt halt. The dramatic Chernobyl meltdown in 1986, meanwhile, created widespread fear that another accident could be even more disastrous. ...


Is that nuclear reactor in your pocket ... or are you happy to see me!

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Mon, Sep 13, 2010
from Moscow News:
Radiation scare for Moscow parks
Levels of radiation on Moscow's streets have reached a level so high that the authorities are about to spend 4.7 billion roubles to get rid of it. The $153 million clean-up will run from 2011-2013 amid reports of no fewer than 18 dangerous radioactive objects within the capital. And they can be found in heavily built-up areas like Kuzminki, or on slopes vulnerable to landslips close to the Moskva river... During the intensive work with nuclear energy in 1950s a lot of radioactive material was moved beyond the city borders. "The used minerals and radioactive materials were simply taken out in cars and dumped into ravines outside the city," the head of radiation control laboratory of the institute of city ecology Gennady Akulkin said. "It was acceptable then. But Moscow grew, and the ravines outside the city limits became part of it. Now the radioactive waste needs to be removed." ...


Let's hope they at least washed their hands afterward!

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Wed, Aug 11, 2010
from New York Times:
Russian Fires Raise Fears of Radioactivity
As if things in Russia were not looking sufficiently apocalyptic already, with 100-degree temperatures and noxious fumes rolling in from burning peat bogs and forests, there is growing alarm here that fires in regions coated with fallout from the Chernobyl nuclear disaster 24 years ago could now be emitting plumes of radioactive smoke. Several fires have been documented in the contaminated areas of western Russia, including three heavily irradiated sites in the Bryansk region, the environmental group Greenpeace Russia said in a statement released Tuesday. Bryansk borders Belarus and Ukraine. ...


Where there's radioactive smoke there's radioactive fire!

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Tue, Aug 3, 2010
from Spiegel Online:
Radioactive Boar on the Rise in Germany
As Germany's wild boar population has skyrocketed in recent years, so too has the number of animals contaminated by radioactivity left over from the Chernobyl nuclear meltdown. Government payments compensating hunters for lost income due to radioactive boar have quadrupled since 2007. It's no secret that Germany has a wild boar problem. Stories of marauding pigs hit the headlines with startling regularity: Ten days ago, a wild boar attacked a wheelchair-bound man in a park in Berlin; in early July, a pack of almost two dozen of the animals repeatedly marched into the eastern German town of Eisenach, frightening residents and keeping police busy; and on Friday morning, a German highway was closed for hours after 10 wild boar broke through a fence and waltzed onto the road. Even worse, though, almost a quarter century after the Chernobyl nuclear meltdown in Ukraine, a good chunk of Germany's wild boar population remains slightly radioactive -- and the phenomenon has been costing the German government an increasing amount of money in recent years.... Wild boar are particularly susceptible to radioactive contamination due to their predilection for chomping on mushrooms and truffles, which are particularly efficient at absorbing radioactivity. Indeed, whereas radioactivity in some vegetation is expected to continue declining, the contamination of some types of mushrooms and truffles will likely remain the same, and may even rise slightly -- even a quarter century after the Chernobyl accident. ...


You mean those Atomic Age sci-fi movies were right?

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Sun, May 2, 2010
from Hindustan Times:
India's wastelands endanger 5m poor
At sunset, the sky above Ram Ganga river in Moradabad, 200 km from Delhi, turns black with smog. Tiny chimneys belch smoke, the result of hundreds of small waste processing plants that residents have opened in their homes. A huge waste processing accident in Delhi, where one person died and seven were taken ill after radiation exposure, has caught the media's attention. But far from the media glare, five million of the country's poorest are exposed to hazardous waste -- including radioactive -- every day as India turns into the wasteland of the world. In the last three years, India's hazardous waste import spiked 48 per cent. Last year, the developed world dumped 64 lakh tonnes of waste in India, adding to the 59 lakh tonnes produced domestically. ...


Maybe they can take on all this leaking oil from the Gulf!

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Fri, Apr 23, 2010
from London Daily Telegraph:
Mobile phones, cancer and Alzheimer's disease: the ultimate study is launched
More than 250,000 people in five different countries will take part in the research which is expected to last more than 30 years and cost millions of pounds. Experts hope the investigation will help settle once and for all the ongoing debate about the safety of mobile phones. Dr Mireille Toledano, one of the principal investigators from the School of Public Health at Imperial College London, said: "This is the largest study to date worldwide on mobile phones and health and will be monitoring a large number of mobile phone users over a long time. "It will be the gold standard." Unlike earlier studies which relied on people who develop illnesses recalling their mobile phone usage, the study will pick up diseases and symptoms as they arise. Between 90,000 and 100,000 people are expected to participate in the UK, with others joining from Finland, the Netherlands, Sweden and Denmark. ...


30 years??? The 1200 or so people still left on the planet will find the results of this study quite edifying.

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Wed, Apr 7, 2010
from Chicago Tribune:
Material traps radioactive waste, could help nuclear cleanup
It may be oversimplifying to suggest that the microscopic mechanism that Mercouri Kanatzidis and Nan Ding have developed resembles a roach motel of nuclear waste, where the ghastly undesirable checks in but doesn't check out. Kanatzidis prefers to call it a Venus flytrap. Either way, the results are the same. The pinkish, powdery material the two researchers created traps cesium-137, a prevalent, stubborn radioactive contaminant. And trapping it could make clearing it from toxic sites immensely easier...Essentially, the sulfide framework acts as a "very tiny, tiny building with rooms," Kanatzidis said. The cesium enters the building, then bonds to the sulfide "walls" of the interior. At that point, the building begins "making all the doors and windows smaller so the cesium cannot get out," he added. ...


Sounds like a funhouse of cards to me.

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Thu, Mar 25, 2010
from Reuters:
Higher birth-defect rate seen in Chernobyl aread
Rates of certain birth defects appear higher than normal in one of the Ukraine regions most affected by the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear power plant disaster, according to a new study. The findings, reported in the journal Pediatrics, stand in contrast to a 2005 U.N. report stating that there is no evidence of an increased risk of birth defects or other reproductive effects in areas contaminated by radiation from the Chernobyl accident....The 2005 position statement from the International Atomic Energy Agency and other U.N. bodies may have had a "chilling effect" on research into congenital defects in Chernobyl-affected areas, Wertelecki notes in his report. The current findings, he said, "suggest that we should re-evaluate that position." ...


Position statements are so much sexier than actual science.

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Wed, Mar 17, 2010
from Environmental Health News:
Depleted and enriched uranium affect DNA in different ways
Radiation is not uranium's only health concern, say researchers who report the less radioactive form of the metal can also damage DNA, but in a different way that could also lead to cancer... Meticulous research identifies for the first time how two main types of uranium - enriched and depleted - damage a cell's DNA by different methods. The manner - either by radiation or by its chemical properties as a metal - depends upon whether the uranium is processed or depleted. This study shows that both types of uranium may carry a health risk because they both affect DNA in ways that can lead to cancer. Why does it matter? Regulatory agencies determine safe uranium exposure based on the metal's radioactive effects. Currently, safe exposure levels for workers and military personnel are based on enriched uranium - which is the more radioactive form and is considered to have a higher cancer risk than depleted uranium. Uranium exposure has been shown to affect bone, kidney, liver, brain, lung, intestine and the reproductive system. ...


Pray... for radiation's abeyance.

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Sun, Mar 14, 2010
from University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science via ScienceDaily:
Aquatic 'Dead Zones' Contributing to Climate Change
The increased frequency and intensity of oxygen-deprived "dead zones" along the world's coasts can negatively impact environmental conditions in far more than just local waters. In the March 12 edition of the journal Science, University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science oceanographer Dr. Lou Codispoti explains that the increased amount of nitrous oxide (N2O) produced in low-oxygen (hypoxic) waters can elevate concentrations in the atmosphere, further exacerbating the impacts of global warming and contributing to ozone "holes" that cause an increase in our exposure to harmful UV radiation. ...


Maybe we should call these dead zones zombie zones.

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Fri, Mar 12, 2010
from Chicago Tribune:
Exelon to pay $1 million to settle suits over leaks at power plants
Exelon agreed Thursday to pay more than $1 million to settle lawsuits filed by Attorney General Lisa Madigan after the company allowed radioactive tritium to leak outside three of its nuclear power plants... "It is imperative that Illinois' nuclear power plants are operated in a manner that does not endanger public health or the environment," Madigan said in a statement. Tritium, the radioactive form of hydrogen, is found naturally in groundwater but is also one of the byproducts of nuclear energy production. Exposure can increase the risk of cancer, though the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency considers it one of the least dangerous radioactive substances, in part because it leaves the body quickly. ...


Just a little EXtra EXposure from EXelon.

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Wed, Feb 17, 2010
from Washington Post:
Not exactly a ringing endorsement
...A long-awaited study by the International Agency for Cancer Research -- an arm of the World Health Organization -- will attempt to give the world's billions of cellphone users a better informed perspective; the findings are now in the midst of peer review for publication. The so-called Interphone study looks at the results of published national studies in 13 countries (the list includes Canada, eight European nations, Australia, New Zealand, Japan and Israel, but not the United States) to assess whether radio-frequency radiation exposure from cellphones is associated with cancer risk. The international study, though, will hardly be the last word. Now in motion is a 10-year, $25 million research project by the U.S. government. It will soon beam 10 hours' worth of cellphone radio waves daily into specially designed stainless-steel containers housing rats and mice to test whether cellphones pose any health risk. Preliminary results are expected in two to three years. ...


These will be the most garrulous rodents, ever.

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Fri, Jan 29, 2010
from GQ:
Warning: Your Cell Phone May Be Hazardous to Your Health
Ever worry that that gadget you spend hours holding next to your head might be damaging your brain? Well, the evidence is starting to pour in, and it's not pretty. So why isn't anyone in America doing anything about it?... Though the scientific debate is heated and far from resolved, there are multiple reports, mostly out of Europe's premier research institutions, of cell-phone and PDA use being linked to "brain aging," brain damage, early-onset Alz­heimer's, senility, DNA damage, and even sperm die-offs (many men, after all, keep their cell phones in their pants pockets or attached at the hip). In September 2007, the European Union's environmental watchdog, the European Environment Agency, warned that cell-phone technology "could lead to a health crisis similar to those caused by asbestos, smoking, and lead in petrol." Perhaps most worrisome, though, are the preliminary results of the multinational Interphone study sponsored by the International Agency for Research on Cancer, in Lyon, France. (Scientists from thirteen countries took part in the study, the United States conspicuously not among them.) Interphone researchers reported in 2008 that after a decade of cell-phone use, the chance of getting a brain tumor -- specifically on the side of the head where you use the phone -- goes up as much as 40 percent for adults. ...


If I keep switching ears does it only go up 20 percent?

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Sat, Nov 22, 2008
from Scientific American:
Fact or Fiction?: Cell Phones Can Cause Brain Cancer
This summer, Ronald Herberman, director of the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute, sent a memo to staffers warning them to limit their cell phone use and to use hands-free sets in the wake of "growing evidence that we should reduce exposure" to cell phone radiation. Among the possible consequences: an increased risk of brain cancer. Five months later, a top official at the National Cancer Institute (NCI) told a congressional panel that published scientific data indicates cell phones are safe. So what's the deal? Do cell phones cause cancer -- or not? ...


Cell phones are no more dangerous than my bad-tempered carrier pigeons!

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Mon, Nov 17, 2008
from Los Angeles Times:
Cellphones in Yellowstone?
Reporting from Yellowstone National Park -- Natural forces over millennia created the geysers, peaks and canyons that fascinate visitors here. But a newer feature is emerging on this stunning landscape -- cellphone towers... After years of complaints from environmental groups about the proliferation of cellphone towers in national parks, officials here and across the country are asking: How wired do we want our wilderness? ...


Why don't we just call it wirederness?

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Wed, Oct 22, 2008
from U.S. News and World Report:
Some Nuclear Energy Backers Say Uranium Alternative Could be a Magic Bullet
In the midst of renewed global interest in nuclear energy, a long-overlooked nuclear fuel, thorium, is being re-examined as a potential solution to some of the industry's most daunting problems, including disposal of waste. Widely available in the sandy beaches of India, Australia, and the United States, among other places, thorium is a naturally occurring, slightly radioactive element that is being heralded by advocates as a safer alternative to uranium that could help limit the production of nuclear waste and prevent nuclear technology from being used for weapons rather than energy. ...


Walk softly and carry an enchanted hammer called a Mjolnir.

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Sat, Oct 18, 2008
from Natural News:
Cell Phones May be Wiping out Bees and Affecting Health of Humans
But one of the most popular theories is that electromagnetic radiation given off by cell phones and other hi-tech gadgets is causing this worrying phenomenon. The theory is that radiation interferes with bees' navigation systems, preventing them from finding their way back to the hive, which is a hallmark trait of bees. And there is actual evidence to back this up. German research has long shown that bees change their natural patterns of behavior near power lines. In addition, a study at Landau University has found that bees do not go back to their hives when cell phones are placed nearby. Dr Jochen Kuhn, who carried it out, said this could provide a "hint" to a possible cause. [Editor's note: from International Herald Tribune: "Good story for sure, except that the study in question had nothing to do with mobile phones and was actually investigating the influence of electromagnetic fields, especially those used by cordless phones that work on fixed-line networks, on the learning ability of bees. The small study, according to the researchers who carried it out too small for the results to be considered significant, found that the electromagnetic fields similar to those used by cordless phones may interrupt the innate ability of bees to find the way back to their hive."] (Thanks, Bud) ...


The subscriber you are trying to reach is not available in its hive.

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Sun, Aug 24, 2008
from London Independent:
Nuclear waste containers likely to fail, warns 'devastating' report
"Thousands of containers of lethal nuclear waste are likely to fail before being safely sealed away underground, a devastating official report concludes. The unpublicised report is by the Environment Agency, which has to approve any proposals for getting rid of the waste that remains deadly for tens of thousands of years. The document effectively destroys Britain's already shaky disposal plans just as ministers are preparing an expansion of nuclear power." ...


Has anyone considered using Tupperware?

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Thu, Jul 31, 2008
from New York Times via Reuters:
Prenatal Cell Phone Exposure Tied to Behavior
"Children whose mothers used cell phones frequently during pregnancy and who are themselves cell phone users are more likely to have behavior problems, new research shows... After the researchers adjusted for factors that could influence the results, such as a mother's psychiatric problems and socioeconomic factors, children with both prenatal and postnatal cell phone exposure were 80 percent more likely to have abnormal or borderline scores on tests evaluating emotional problems, conduct problems, hyperactivity, or problems with peers." ...


How a cell phone can get into the uterus is beyond me. Perhaps it's contained within the placenta?

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Sat, Jul 12, 2008
from BBC:
Leak closes French nuclear plant
"France's nuclear safety watchdog has ordered a plant in the country's south to temporarily close after a uranium leak polluted the local water supply... Waste containing unenriched uranium leaked into two rivers at the Tricastin plant at Bollene, 40km (25 miles) from the popular tourist city of Avignon." ...


If only the uranium had been enriched!

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Fri, Jun 27, 2008
from Indian Catholic (India):
Radioactive wastes contaminate Jharkhand's water
Record level of rains this year has ironically contaminated the water sources of villages near Turamdih uranium mines in Jharkahnd state.... The overflowing waste ponds have contaminated the water sources. The villagers fearing death have reportedly stopped fetching water from their wells and ponds. ...


Nobody wants to glow in the dark
(except fireflies).

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Tue, Jun 10, 2008
from OPB News:
Commercial Waste Disposal At Hanford Raises Some Eyebrows
The commercial low level waste dump at Hanford is a disgrace to the state of Washington. It is a massive unlined set of ditches that are leaking contamination that threatens the Columbia River. And it’s an embarrassment that we are dumping radioactive waste, some of it extremely radioactive, in unlined ditches." ...


Embarrassing, indeed.
Is my face glowing.

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Sun, May 18, 2008
from London Independent:
Warning: Using a mobile phone while pregnant can seriously damage your baby
"Women who use mobile phones when pregnant are more likely to give birth to children with behavioural problems, according to authoritative research. A giant study, which surveyed more than 13,000 children, found that using the handsets just two or three times a day was enough to raise the risk of their babies developing hyperactivity and difficulties with conduct, emotions and relationships by the time they reached school age. And it adds that the likelihood is even greater if the children themselves used the phones before the age of seven." ...


We can imagine a new disorder named fetal cellphone syndrome otherwise known colloquially as you can't hear me now.

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Sun, Mar 30, 2008
from The London Independent:
Mobile phones 'more dangerous than smoking'
"Mobile phones could kill far more people than smoking or asbestos, a study by an award-winning cancer expert has concluded. He says people should avoid using them wherever possible and that governments and the mobile phone industry must take "immediate steps" to reduce exposure to their radiation. The study, by Dr Vini Khurana, is the most devastating indictment yet published of the health risks. Earlier this year, the French government warned against the use of mobile phones, especially by children. Germany also advises its people to minimise handset use, and the European Environment Agency has called for exposures to be reduced." ...


And, the second-hand effects of mobile phones are just as dangerous as second-hand effects of smoking: Listening to people talk on their cell phones is one of the most stressful experiences of all.

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