Tag Archives | Nuclear Power

Fake ‘Radiation’ Text Messages And E-mails

Fukushima Nuclear Reactors 1-4. Photo: National Land Image Information (Color Aerial Photographs, Ministry of Land, Infastructure, Transport and Tourism

Fukushima Nuclear Reactors 1-4. Photo: National Land Image Information (Color Aerial Photographs, Ministry of Land, Infastructure, Transport and Tourism

Many citizens across Asia have been warned about faux messages being sent, such as this e-mail: “Japan Government confirms radiation leak at Fukushima nuclear plants. Asian countries should take necessary precautions. If rain comes, remain indoors first 24 hours. Close doors and windows. Swab neck skin with betadine where thyroid area is, radiation hits thyroid first. Take extra precautions. Radiation may hit Philippine at around 4 pm today. If it rains today or in the next few days in Hong Kong. Do not go under the rain. If you get caught out, use an umbrella or raincoat, even if it is only a drizzle. Radioactive particles, which may cause burns, alopecia or even cancer, may be in the rain.” BBC reports:

A fake text message warning people that radiation from the Fukushima nuclear plant has leaked beyond Japan has been panicking people across Asia.

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Radioactive Plume Could Hit The U.S. By Friday

Japan Nuclear power plants map

Japan's nuclear power plants

If the quake and tsunami were karma for Pearl Harbor, I guess this is karma for Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The New York Times reports:

A United Nations forecast of the possible movement of the radioactive plume coming from crippled Japanese reactors shows it churning across the Pacific, and touching the Aleutian Islands on Thursday before hitting Southern California late Friday.

Health and nuclear experts emphasize that radiation in the plume will be diluted as it travels and, at worst, would have extremely minor health consequences in the United States, even if hints of it are ultimately detectable. In a similar way, radiation from the Chernobyl disaster in 1986 spread around the globe and reached the West Coast of the United States in 10 days, its levels measurable but minuscule.

The projection, by the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty Organization, an arm of the United Nations in Vienna, gives no information about actual radiation levels but only shows how a radioactive plume would probably move and disperse.

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Anti-Radiation Pills Flying Off U.S. Drug Store Shelves

IoSatVia Fox News:

One drug supplier says it has sold 250,000 anti-radiation pills to people in the U.S. concerned about possible exposure from Japanese nuclear reactors.

Troy Jones, president of Nukepills.com, said his company sold out over the weekend of potassium iodide pills, which prevent against radiation poisoning of the thyroid gland. Jones, in an interview with FoxNews.com, said that the pills were sold to dozens of U.S. pharmacies, corporations, hospitals and nuclear labs.

“You name it,” he said. Jones said that he has back-ordered more than a million tablets and is expected to get another 10,000 of the liquid potassium iodine. He also said that he has donated about 50,000 pills to Japan, many of them going to a hospital in Tokyo.

Despite assurances from health officials that Americans are not at risk from Japanese nuclear reactors, U.S. drug stores are reporting a sudden increase in sales of the over-the-counter anti-radiation pills.

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Germany To Close Seven Nuclear Reactors For ‘Safety Review’

Brunsbüttel Nuclear Reactor. Photo: Steffen Papenbroock (CC)

Brunsbüttel Nuclear Power Plant. Photo: Steffen Papenbroock (CC)

Could Japan’s tragedy be used as a wake-up call for other countries? Germany has decided to close some of it’s oldest nuclear reactors for safety checks after Japan’s nuclear crisis. The Wall Street Journal reports:

Germany said it would shut down its seven oldest nuclear reactors during a three-month “safety review,” a surprise reversal by Chancellor Angela Merkel whose government just months ago vouched for the plants’ safety.

Ms. Merkel’s center-right government, which already said on Monday that it would suspend a lifespan extension for country’s nuclear reactors, responded to growing public unease over nuclear power amid the Japanese crisis by agreeing to shut down the oldest of those plants. The sudden shift reflects concern within Ms. Merkel’s Christian Democratic party that it has been on the wrong side of an emotional political issue that analysts say could tip the balance in several upcoming regional elections.

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Japan Nuclear Radiation Likely To Reach California

Radiation warning symbolThe likes of Matt Drudge and Alex Jones have been banging the drum to create fear among U.S. citizens that radiation from Japan’s Fukushima nuclear disaster will reach North America. Now Neil Katz poses the same question for a mainstream outlet, CBS News. The conclusion he posts is:

“As for America, experts say for now we are in the clear. ‘It is true that radiation emanating from Japan is moving across the Pacific and it’s feasible that one could detect those radiation levels in California,’ says [Dr. Cham] Dallas. ‘But it’s certain that it wouldn’t be dangerous.'”

Do any disinformation readers have expertise in radiation safety issues? Can we be so certain that there is no danger as Dr. Dallas suggests? Please post your thoughts in the comments.

Here’s some more of Katz’s story:

As conditions worsen at four nuclear reactors in Japan, many here and abroad are worried about the health risks of radiation.

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Germans Protesting Nuclear Power Form 75-Mile Human Chain

Reuters reports:
Opponents of nuclear power formed a 120-km (75-mile) human chain between reactor sites in Germany Saturday to protest against government plans to extend the power plants' operation. Around 120,000 peaceful demonstrators, according to police and organizers, linked arms in a chain running between the northern towns of Brunsbuettel and Kruemmel that passed through the city of Hamburg...
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WikiLeaks Revelation: Israel Bombed Syrian Nuclear Facility in 2007

Israel / SyriaThe Jerusalem Post reports:

Israel destroyed a nuclear reactor in Syria, apparently built with North Korea’s help, former US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said to State Department officials in April 2008, according to Yediot Aharonot quoting a cable recently released by Wikileaks.

The cable is the first official confirmation of the incident, and details the intelligence gathered before the attack, the collaboration between the US and Israel, the government’s move to bomb the Syrian reactor and concern that Syrian President Bashar Assad would retaliate with war, Yediot Aharonot reported, quoting the cable.

“We have avoided sharing this information with you until now for fear of and in an attempt to avoid a conflict,” Rice says in the cable.

“I would like to inform you that the Israeli attack was aimed at destroying the secret reactor built by Syria in a desert area in the east of the country called al-Kibar,” the cable quotes her as saying.

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Radioactive Wild Boars in German Forests

Radioactive BoarThis is creepy news from Cyriaque Lamar on io9.com on a Der Spiegel report:

It’s been 25 years since Chernobyl fallout contaminated flora and fauna in Europe, but German hunting officials are still dealing with rising numbers of radioactive wild boars. But why?

This burgeoning boar population munches on radiation-absorbing truffles and mushrooms, and because of an overall increase in wild boars, the number of radioactive boars has gone up as well. The German Atomic Energy Law requires Berlin to reimburse hunters who bag radioactive boars. In 2009, the government paid out approximately €425,000 — or $555,000 — for polluted piggies. According to Der Spiegel, the contaminated boar population has been the most problematic in southern Germany:

Many of the boar that are killed land on the plates of diners across Germany, but it is forbidden to sell meat containing high levels of radioactive caesium-137 — any animals showing contamination levels higher than 600 becquerel per kilogram must be disposed of.

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U.S. Budget Gives Nuclear Power A Yea And Big Oil A Nay

Susquehanna_steam_electric_stationBy Phil McKenna for New Scientist:

Nuclear power got a boost and big oil took a hit yesterday when US President Barack Obama submitted his 2011 federal budget proposal to Congress. The budget calls for an immediate $36 billion increase in loan guarantees for new nuclear power plants and eliminates $36.5 billion in subsidies to oil and natural gas companies over a 10-year period.

Federal loan guarantees could be a huge boost to the US nuclear power industry, which hasn’t had an order for a new plant since the 1970s. The guarantees allow power companies to get lower interest rates when they secure project financing.

The US Department of Energy already has authority to grant $18.5 billion in loan guarantees, enough for two to four nuclear plants. If approved by Congress, the additional guarantees could help finance about six more plants, according to Steven Kerekes, spokesperson for the Nuclear Energy Institute, an industry lobby group based in Washington DC…

[continues at New Scientist]

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