Tag Archives | Radiation

New Fukushima Leak Patched with Plastic Tape, Radiation Readings Soar

Pic: Accuweather (C)

Pic: Accuweather (C)

Why hasn’t the Invisible Hand of the Market fixed this yet?  Via Common Dreams:

Radiated water leaking from tanks at Japan’s crippled Fukushima nuclear plant is 18 times more dangerous than had been previously reported.

The Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO), which owns the Dai-Ichi Fukushima plant, originally said the radiation emitted by the leaking water was 100 millisieverts an hour.

Now, the company admits, the testing equipment used in the previously announced August 22nd testing could only read measurements of up to a maximum of 100 millisieverts.

Saturday’s test, using a more accurate device, showed a level of 1,800 millisieverts an hour, a level that Reuters says is “enough to kill an exposed person in four hours.”

In addition, TEPCO announced Sunday that it has discovered a leak on another pipe emitting radiation levels of 230 millisieverts an hour. TEPCO said it halted the leak from a pipe connecting two water storage tanks by patching it with plastic tape just hours after stumbling upon the potentially lethal radioactive hot spot.

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Japanese Authorities Admit Fukushima Has Been Leaking Radiation Into Water For Two Years, And Cannot Be Stopped

fukushimaVia the New York Times, a reminder to always take officials with a grain of salt when they issue statements denying that the oceans and air are being poisoned:

The stricken nuclear power plant at Fukushima has probably been leaking contaminated water into the ocean for two years, ever since an earthquake and tsunami badly damaged the plant, Japan’s chief nuclear regulator said on Wednesday.

In unusually candid comments, Shunichi Tanaka, the head of the Nuclear Regulation Authority, also said that neither his staff nor the plant’s operator knew exactly where the leaks were coming from, or how to stop them.

The operator, Tokyo Electric Power, has reported spikes in the amounts of radioactive cesium, tritium and strontium detected in groundwater at the plant, adding urgency to the task of sealing any leaks. Radioactive cesium and strontium, especially, are known to raise risks of cancer in humans.

Until recently, Tokyo Electric, known as Tepco, flatly denied that any of that water was leaking into the ocean, even though various independent studies of radiation levels in the nearby ocean have suggested otherwise.

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Star Trek-Style Deflector Shields – Coming Soon!

Copyright 2007 Paramount Pictures and CBS Studios Inc. (Fair Use)

Copyright 2007 Paramount Pictures and CBS Studios Inc. (Fair Use)

It’s always fun to see Gene Roddenberry’s fictional devices become reality. CNN reports on the latest:

You’ve answered the call for volunteers, signed up for the Mars trip and you are looking forward to boldly going to space, the final frontier, to explore a strange new world.

But wait. Recent evidence from NASA’s Curiosity rover mission to the Red Planet has revealed that astronauts on the round-trip would be exposed to high levels of radiation from cosmic rays and high-energy particles from the sun contained in solar storms. NASA says a Mars voyager would receive a radiation dose around 100 times the average yearly exposure on Earth.

Along with all the other risks of spaceflight, this would clearly be bad for your health — and it is proving difficult to find a solution.

Eddie Semones, a radiation health expert at NASA’s Johnson Space Flight Center, told CNN that shielding to completely block the radiation danger would have to be “meters thick” and too heavy to be used aboard a spacecraft.

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FBI Unravels KKK-Linked Plot To Create Deadly Radiation Beam Weapon

radiation

The most insane non-starter terrorist death ray plot in a while, reported by upstate New York’s Times Union:

A plot to design a radiation weapon was unraveled by an FBI task force that charged two men with conspiring to sell the weapon to Jewish groups or a southern branch of the Ku Klux Klan. The vehicle-mounted radiation gear was intended to be remotely controlled and capable of aiming a high-energy lethal beam of radioactivity to silently kill human targets.

Glendon Scott Crawford, who was suspended from his job as an engineer at General Electric this week, had devised a plan to build and sell the weapon to a terrorist organization. An FBI affidavit indicates that as many as eight unidentified people may have been assisting Crawford, including a fellow GE employee described as “Person C.”

The FBI’s investigation began in April 2012 when Crawford went to a synagogue and “asked to speak with a person who might be willing to help him with a type of technology that could be used by Israel to defeat its enemies, specifically, by killing Israel’s enemies while they slept.”

The unidentified synagogue contacted police, who relayed the information to the FBI.

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Study Suggests “WiFi Sickness” Is Imaginary

wifi sickness

A sizable number of people are convinced that cellphones and wireless internet make them physically ill, and dozens have gone so far as to give up their lives and move to the isolated, signal-free Radio Quiet Zone in the mountains of West Virginia to alleviate the symptoms. Via Inkfish, a recent experiment at King’s College London points to the disease being psychological:

Subjects at put on headband-mounted antennas. They were told that the researchers were testing a “new kind of WiFi,” and that once the signal started they should carefully monitor any symptoms in their bodies. Then the researchers left the room. For 15 minutes, the subjects watched a WiFi symbol flash on a laptop screen.

In reality, there was no WiFi switched on during the experiment. Yet 82 of the 147 subjects—more than half—reported symptoms. Two even asked for the experiment to be stopped early because the effects were too severe to stand.

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Radioactive Goldfish Discovered At Ohio Nuclear Power Plant

radioactive goldfish

No word on an eye count. Russia Today reports:

Two radioactive goldfish were found swimming in a juice pitcher of nuclear reactor water in an underground steam tunnel at an Ohio power plant. Investigators are baffled as to how the radioactive fish remained unnoticed in the ‘secure’ facility.

Investigators from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and officials of the plant, which is operated by FirstEnergy Corp., have been looking through surveillance tapes to try to identify who was responsible for leaving the radioactive goldfish in the tunnel on May 2.

The fishy tale has served as an embarrassment for the plant, which has already come under scrutiny for a case in which four contractors were exposed to life-threatening hard radiation in 2011. The plant has also been scutinized for a serious lack of security.

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San Francisco Loses Legal Battle Over Warning Public About Cell Phone Radiation

cell phone radiation

Major phone companies appear to be winning the battle to suppress information about possible cancer risks from mobile phone usage, Reuters reports:

San Francisco city leaders, after losing a key round in court against the cell phone industry, have agreed to revoke an ordinance that would have been the first in the United States to require retailers to warn consumers about potentially dangerous radiation levels.

“This is just a terrible blow to public health,” Ellen Marks, an advocate for the measure, said outside the supervisors’ chambers. She said her husband suffers from a brain tumor on the same side of his head to which he most often held his mobile phone.

The 2011 ordinance mandated warnings that cellular phones emit potentially cancer-causing radiation. The statute, which a judge blocked before it took effect, also would have required retailers to post notices stating that World Health Organization cancer experts have deemed mobile phones “possibly carcinogenic.”

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Fukushima’s Fallout is Already Harming Our Children

Picture: Fry1989

Harvey Wasserman writes at Counterpunch:

Thyroid abnormalities have now been confirmed among tens of thousands of children downwind from Fukushima.  They are the first clear sign of an unfolding radioactive tragedy that demands this industry be buried forever.

Two years after Fukushima exploded, three still-smoldering reactors remind us that the nuclear power industry repeatedly told the world this could never happen.

And 72 years after the nuclear weapons industry began creating them,  untold quantities of deadly wastes still leak at Hanford and at commercial reactor sites around the world, with no solution in sight.

Radiation can be slow to cause cancer, taking decades to kill.
But children can suffer quickly.  Their cells grow faster than adults’.  Their smaller bodies are more vulnerable.  With the embryo and fetus, there can never be a “safe” dose of radiation.  NO dose of radiation is too small to have a human impact.

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Iran Battles Plague Of Giant Genetically Mutated Rats

SINA English reports on the perils of city living:

Iran has sent in sniper teams to clear Tehran’s streets from the massive rodents weighting up to five kilos plaguing 26 district of the Iranian capital, the city’s environmental agency said.

“They seem to have had a genetic mutation, probably as a result of radiations and the chemical used on them,” said Ismail Kahram, Teheran city council environment adviser.

“They are now bigger and look different. These are changes that normally take millions of years of evolution. They have jumped from 60 grams to five kilos, and cats are now smaller than them.”

The “mutated rats” have been running rampant in the capital, as traditional poison appear to have no effect on them. To stop them, the council has deployed ten snipers teams armed with infra-red sighted rifles. So far 2,205 rats have been shot dead.

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A Gamma Ray Blast Irradiated The Earth In The Eighth Century

Radiation in centuries-old tree rings reveals what occurred. If the event were to repeat itself today, it could wreak havoc on humankind’s technology. Phys.org writes:

A nearby short duration gamma-ray burst may be the cause of an intense blast of high-energy radiation that hit the Earth in the 8th century, according to new research led by astronomers Valeri Hambaryan and Ralph Neuhӓuser, based at the Astrophysics Institute of the University of Jena in Germany.

In 2012 scientist Fusa Miyake announced the detection of high levels of the isotope Carbon-14 and Beryllium-10 in tree rings formed in 775 CE, suggesting that a burst of radiation struck the Earth in the year 774 or 775.

Drs. Hambaryan and Neuhӓuser suggest that two compact stellar remnants, i.e. black holes, neutron stars or white dwarfs, collided and merged together. When this happens, some energy is released in the form of gamma rays. If they are right, then this would explain why no records exist of a supernova or auroral display.

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