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Radioactive spikes from nuclear plants – a likely cause of childhood leukemia via Ecologist

When nuclear reactors are refueled, a 12-hour spike in radioactive emissions exposes local people to levels of radioactivity up to 500 times greater than during normal operation, writes Ian Fairlie. The spikes may explain infant leukemia increases near nuclear plants – but operators provide no warnings and take no measures to reduce exposures.

On 23rd August, The Ecologist published very clear evidence of increased cancers among children living near nuclear power stations around the world, including the UK.

The story sparked much interest on social media sites, and perhaps more importantly, the article’s scientific basis (published in the academic peer-reviewed scientific journal the Journal of Environmental Radioactivity) was downloaded over 500 times by scientists.

Given this level of interest and the fact that the UK government is still pressing ahead with its bizarre plans for more nuclear stations, we return to this matter – and examine in more detail an important aspect which has hitherto received little attention: massive spikes in radioactive emissions from nuclear reactors.

Refueling releases a huge radioactive emissions plume

Operating nuclear power plants (NPPs) contain large volumes of radioactive gases at high pressures and temperatures. When their reactors are depressurised and opened to refuel every 12-18 months, these gases escape creating a spiked emission and a large radioactive plume downwind of the station lasting for 12 hours or so.

In 2011, the UK National Dose Assessment Working Group published guidance on ‘Short Term Releases to the Atmosphere‘. This stated that “…doses from the assessment of a single realistic short-term release are a factor of about 20 greater than doses from the continuous release assessment.”

An older German study (Hinrichsen, 2001) indicated that these doses could be 100 times greater. (Hinrichsen K (2001) Critical appraisal of the meteorological basis used in General Administrative Regulations (re dispersion coefficients for airborne releases of NPPs) See Annex D page 9: Radiation Biological Opinion (in German).

A dramatic increase in individual doses

Some scientists think that the time pattern is unimportant and only the population dose is relevant, but this turns out not to be the case. The reason is partly related to the duration of the release, as short releases produce very narrow plumes (plume widths vary non-linearly as a fractional power of the duration).

The result is that individual doses increase dramatically per Bq emitted. Another reason is that spikes result in high concentrations of organically bound tritium and carbon-14 in environmental materials and humans which have longer retentions and thus higher doses.

The precise amount will depend on many factors, including source term, proximity to the reactor, wind speed, wind direction, and the diets and habits of local people.


‘Especially at risk are unborn children’

IPPNW Germany warned of the probable health impacts of such large emission spikes. Dr Reinhold Thiel, a member of the German IPPNW Board said:

“Especially at risk are unborn children. When reactors are open and releasing gases, pregnant women can incorporate much higher concentrations of radionuclides than at other times, mainly via respiration. Radioactive isotopes inhaled by the mother can reach the unborn child via blood with the result that the embryo/ fetus is contaminated by radioactive isotopes.

“This contamination could affect blood-forming cells in the bone marrow resulting later in leukemia. This provides a plausible explanation for the findings of the KiKK study published in 2008 that under-fives living near NPPs are considerably more at risk of cancer, particularly leukemia, than children living further away.”

In the light of the German data, it is recommended half-hourly emissions data from all UK reactors should be disclosed and that the issue of childhood cancer increases near NPPs be re-examined by the Government.

Nuclear operators should inform local people when they intend to open up their reactors, and they should only do so at night-time (when most people are indoors) and when the winds are blowing out to sea.

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Rolls-Royce fined £200,000 after exposing workers to radiation at Derby site via Derby Telegraph

Rolls-Royce has been fined £200,000 and ordered to pay £176,500 after breaching safety regulations that led to employees being exposed to radiation.

The company’s Marine Power Operations business, in Sinfin Lane, faced seven charges in the case, which was brought by the Health and Safety Executive and the Environment Agency.

Leicester Crown Court heard that significant failings led to a radioactive source being lost for approximately five hours at the Sinfin Lane site on 3 March 2011.

The charges centred on the management of risk of exposure of employees to ionising radiation from radioactive sources used in industrial radiography.


Speaking after the hearing, David Orr, HSE’s specialist inspector of radiation, said:

“Industrial radiography carries a greater risk of radiation exposure compared to other industrial uses of radioactive sources by nature of the very high activity sources used. HSE expects companies carrying out such work to have robust safety systems and procedures in place to protect employees during normal work and following a radiation accident such as the detachment of the radioactive source.

“Gamma radiation emitted by this type of radioactive source is harmful to human health. Rolls-Royce is fully aware of the danger it poses and has a clear duty to protect staff from harm. However the company failed its duty of care on this occasion, losing control of the source without realising it.

“There was no effective surveillance of it for five hours and the exposure of workers to radiation, including some who were not involved in the industrial radiography work, was considerably in excess of the annual permitted dose.”

Read more at Rolls-Royce fined £200,000 after exposing workers to radiation at Derby site

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原発なしでも安定供給=電力9社の今冬見通し via The Wall Street Journal

東京電力や関西電力など、沖縄を除く電力9社が、今冬は原発の再稼働なしでも、電力の安定供給 に最低限必要な余力を確保する見通しであることが30日、明らかになった。北海道電力については、発電所事故などで突発的な電力不足に陥る懸念があるた め、政府は節電目標設定の検討を進める。  経済産業省は10月1日に電力需給検証小委員会を開き、冬の節電対策の議論を始める。九州電力の川内原発(鹿児島県)は今冬にも再稼働する可能性があるが、小委員会は全原発停止を前提に電力各社の需給見通しを検証。

続きは 原発なしでも安定供給=電力9社の今冬見通し

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浜岡原発:5号機、核燃料の異物は金属くずと発表 /静岡 via 毎日新聞






続きは浜岡原発:5号機、核燃料の異物は金属くずと発表 /静岡

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荒川医オーラル・ヒストリー 2013年3月30日 via 日本美術オーラルヒストリーアーカイブ

荒川医オーラル・ヒストリー 2013年3月30日

荒川医(あらかわ・えい 1977年~)
福島県いわき市出身。1998年に渡米、2000年にニューヨークのスクール・オブ・ヴィジュアル・アーツに入学、ファイン・アート学科にて現代美術を学 び、パフォーマンス・アートを中心に活動を展開する。聞き手に大学時代から親交のある富井玲子氏を迎え、渡米前のピースボートでの経験、渡米後にクラブイ ベントをオーガナイズした経験、在学中から数々のパフォーマンスを内外で企画しニューヨークのアーティストとして活躍を始めた経緯、最近の作品などについ て語っていただいた。作品に日本美術史の文脈を持ち込むアイデアや、パフォーマンスとオブジェ制作の両方で生計を立てていくことについても独自の意見を述 べている。


荒川:そうですね…… 最近ね、アムステルダムで、わりと簡単な気持ちでパフォーマンスをやったんですね(注:Japan Syndrome-Amsterdam versionのイベントの一部、《Yum Yum Vibe & Lost Love》、Studium Generale Rietveld Academie, Amsterdam, 2013)。それは、福島県産の切り干し大根をスープに入れてね、そのスープを観客に渡してね。


荒川:まあ、食べるかどうか決めてくれ、みたいなかんじだったんですけど、アクティヴィストの連中が結構いて、すごく反対されたっていうか、 僕のステージ・プレゼンスみたいなのがすごく批判を受けたんですね。僕のプレゼンスがすごくフレンドリーで、福島の食べものを食べてもいいっていうのを ノーマライズするっていうのが問題だ、みたいなかんじでね。





富井:だって普通、君自身のプレゼンスはそれほど強調されないパフォーマンスが多いわけですよね。このあいだのアート・フォーラムの記事でも 書かれてるし、全体的には私もそうなんじゃないかなと思うけど(注:Cathrine Wood, “Out of Body,” Artforum 51, no. 6 (February 2013), pp. 172–181)。さっき言ってたしょっぱいお水を飲ませてっていうのは、君がその人たちとの関係をもとにしてやるわけだけど、切り干し大根のスープを食 べてもらうっていうのも、ちょっとそれに似たところがあるんじゃないかなと思ってね。

荒川:ああ、そうかもしれないですね。スープは僕が作ってたんじゃなくて、ステファン・チェレプニン(Stefan Tcherepnin)とハナ・トーンナッド(Hanna Törnudd)っていう友人が作ってたんですけど。でも確かに、ケニー・スチャクターでやったときに、僕一人に視点があたってしまうというのは、あまり 好ましくないっていうか、できれば黒子的な役割で、しかも同時に現代美術の共通認識みたいなのに関わるみたいな、荒川医っていうソロの名前と、複数の名前 で自己を曖昧にしてくみたいな作業を同時にするみたいなのは興味がありますね。





富井:いま、福島の話がでたけども、もうひとつグループで言うと、ユナイテッド・ブラザーズ(UNITED BROTHERS)っていうのがあるでしょ、あれはご自分のお兄さんと直接関係したグルーピングの発想ですよね、最初は。

荒川:そうですね。原発の問題があったときに、ニューヨークでは僕、アートのインサイダーだと思うんですけど、ニューヨークでアートをやって る自分と福島の状況が乖離していて、それでウチの兄を誘ったというか。本人はアートのことはまったく知らなかったけど、刺激的なことを探してるんで。この グループを構成したのは、ニューヨークと福島を自分の中で同じ地平線にしたい、みたいなのがあって、それで始めたんです。ユナイテッド・ブラザーズは元々 兄の税理関係のための会社の名前で、それをそのまま使ったんですね。






荒川:ユナイテッド・ブラザーズをやるときは、ドイツのダス・インスティテュート(DAS INSTITUT)っていうデュオ作家とコラボレーションするのが常なんですけど。日本人の作家だけで福島のサブジェクトで何かやるっていうよりは、日本 人以外もいれて外部の視点みたいなのもうまく取り入れてやりたいんですけど。そのときは、ダス・インスティテュートと一緒に日焼けマシーンを原発のモチー フとして捉えて、それを使ってインスタレーションを作ったりするんですけど。今ちょっと迷っているのが、今までのユナイテッド・ブラザーズのアウトプット が、結構フランボワイアント(flamboyant、派手)っていうか、わりとね、シリアスな風じゃないんですね。

富井:グリーン・ナフタリ(Greene Naftali Gallery)で見せてたビデオも、わりとフランボワイアントな感じよね。





荒川:安全だって言ってたっていうよりかは、現状どういう選択肢を持って生活してるのかっていうのと、あと、地元のいわき踊りっていうのを、 パフォーマンスに取り入れたりしてるんですけど。その狙いがまだ、すごくはっきりしてるっていう訳じゃないんですね。僕の家族は被害もそんな大きいわけ じゃないし。ただね、福島の中に居るけれど日常的にはあんまり危機感が感じられてないっていうある現実が僕としてはすごく重要で、それをなんとかプロダク ティブにパフォーマンスとしてできないかなと思っているんですけど。だからチャリティー的なイベントとは違ってきちゃってて。そういう中で、日本の中では どっちかって言うと社会的に役割がはっきりした原発とか震災のアートがどんどん出てきてて、日本の外では、原発そのものは忘れさられていくか、それか逆に どっちかって言うとすごく怖いものとして取り上げられるっていうのがあって……


荒川:そうそう、反原発でも状況をすごくペシミスティックなだけじゃくて、大げさにに見る見方があって、その両方がちょっとね、どうにかねぇ…… うまく判定できないでいる中で、今後どうしようかっていうのがあるんですね。

池上:じゃあその…… 何て言うんだろう、医くんがやったことの、そういう問題をリプリゼントしてるんだけど、どういう立場でリプリゼントし てるのかが曖昧な訳ですよね。その曖昧さが、アクティヴィストの人達には批判しないといけないものに見えちゃったっていうことなのかな。



荒川:もしかしたら、ユナイテッド・ブラザーズは、そういうのをもうちょっと、エステティックス(aesthetics、美学)の中でどんど ん創造していって、原発に対するアートが単純にコミュニケーションとして消費されないようなやり方、みたいなのができたらいいんですけどね。それはまだ続 いてるんですけど。スパリゾート・ハワイアンズっていうのが、いわきにあるんですけど。







荒川:うーん…… でも、インタヴューこんな感じでいいんですか(笑)。




全文は 荒川医オーラル・ヒストリー 2013年3月30日

当サイト内既出関連記事 ‘Nuclear soup’: Japanese duo to serve Fukushima broth at London art fair via RT

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KJ 81 preview: filmmaker and activist Kamanaka Hitomi via Kyoto Journal

‘Little Voices From Fukushima’ bridges time and space between Chernobyl and Japan

However pitched her debate of choice may be, and however culturally freighted its most contemporary iteration has become in Japan, Kamanaka’s films persist in asking a particular question: How and why our particular moment in human history has accommodated itself (in a strikingly quotidian way) to a technology which could, under the right circumstances, become earth-shattering, and which occasionally has been.

In her latest film, Kamanaka looks at one source of these curious accommodations and their contested future: children growing up with the implications of the Chernobyl and Fukushima disasters.This isn’t the first time Kamanaka has placed her faith in making documentaries which regard the damaging effects of radiation as a multipolar phenomenon, indifferent to questions of nationality and culture. Nor is it the first time that a Japan-based artist has fixed their gaze on what’s to be learned from Chernobyl. ‘Little Voices’ is thus an elaboration of several conversations between social documentarians in Japan and the many types of accepted wisdom they seek to challenge.
In an interview with Anastasia Smith, Kamanaka discusses the texture and significance of using film to send political ideas across languages and borders. See the full version of the interview soon, as the KJ 81 web special.
The Japanese government has approved the restart of two nuclear power plants near Sendai. Is this a particularly important moment for your work and your message?

People think that the big accident is the problem, that Fukushima is a special occasion because a big earthquake occurred, and that we can manage with other nuclear power plants. But what I’ve been describing is how radiation affects the human body. Major scientists understand now—there is consensus—that for radiation safety, the acceptable level of radiation is zero.

It takes time, the nature of radioactivity’s effect. Maybe three years after the disaster you cannot see a difference, but after three years you’re noticing: Oh, my neighbor or my relatives and my family are getting tired or are susceptible to the flu. Or your friend found a tumor in her breast. Small things happen after three years, but you can still convince yourself that everybody experience these problems.

That’s why I went to Belarus for my latest film, Little Voices from Fukushima, because there are 25 years’ difference between Chernobyl and Fukushima. These things already happened there. They can see the future, I think.
I understand that human beings have a social kind of existence. So if you lose your social and geographic roots, you cannot survive. People are forced to choose: Do you forget about your social ties, or do you choose your health? Immediately following this kind of disaster, health issues seem less immediate because they aren’t apparent right away, and even then they are invisible at first. So people choose their homes and their careers and their communities instead of their health. This dynamic is used by the government to reduce their financial liability to these people. They say: “Oh, we don’t need to compensate them. People like to live in that community. They choose to live there.” People are silent. People don’t complain.

Do issues of womanhood and motherhood naturally call up issues of environmentalism?

My film is almost complete, so I’ve had several screenings—for my staff and some outside people. Afterwards, they said, “Only women! Where are the fathers? Where are the men? You cut away the men. Did you cut away men?” It wasn’t my intention, but it did happen; I focused on this issue, and only women appeared.

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Hanford’s B Reactor celebrates 70 years via Komo News

RICHLAND, Wash. (AP) – Hanford’s B Reactor celebrated its 70th anniversary this week with public tours and live music.

Friday marked 70 years since the reactor was started up for the first time.


The B Reactor was the world’s first full-scale nuclear reactor and it produced plutonium used for nuclear bombs.

The military project during World War II brought 50,000 to the area, who built the town of Richland.

The B Reactor is currently a National Historic Landmark.

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Eruption or not, nuclear restart in Japan to go ahead on schedule via RT

Japan’s plans to restart the Sendai nuclear reactor won’t be affected by the volcanic eruption of Mt. Ontake, the government said. The reactor is in a separate volcanically-active area, which rose concerns for its safety after the Saturday eruption.

The eruption that is presumed to have killed over 30 people and left dozens injured is not a reason for a safety reassessment for the Sendai plant, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told a news conference.

“This was a steam-driven [eruption] and it has been said it was extremely difficult to predict,” Reuters cites him as saying.

Opponents of the nuclear restart, who gathered Sunday for a protest rally in Kagoshima on the island of Kyushu in Japan’s southwest, where the power plant is located, say that is exactly why they don’t want it to be operational again.

“No one knows when natural disasters, including earthquakes and tsunamis will strike. The fact that they could not predict the Mount Ontake eruption highlights that,” said Yoshitaka Mukohara, one of the organizers of the demonstration.

“There were plumes above Sakurajima yesterday and today. We have no idea when something might happen,” he said in a reference to Mt. Sakurajima, a volcano located some 50km from the facility. The volcano experiences hundreds of minor eruptions annually.

Japan shut down all its nuclear reactors in the wake of the Fukushima disaster. The Sendai facility was cleared on September 10 by the Nuclear Regulation Authority (NRA) to be restarted. The watchdog said the danger of major volcanic activity in the area during the reactor’s lifespan was negligible.


The 3,067-meter volcano is the second-highest in Japan and a popular hiking spot, especially in autumn during the turning of the leaves. Its sudden eruption on Saturday took many hikers by surprise and became the first fatal volcano event in the country since 1991. Ontake’s last major eruption was recorded in 1979.

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川内原発:再稼働を批判 安倍政権、知事批判に拍手 反対集会、九州各地の市民ら参加 /鹿児島 via 毎日新聞




三男(13)と三女(9)とともに熊本県水俣市から来た主婦(49)は「子供が安心して暮らすためにできること は何でもしたい」。北九州市から長女(6)と参加した社会福祉士の女性(33)は「どれだけ規制基準を並べても事故が起これば人類の力ではどうしようもな い」と訴えた。


全文は川内原発:再稼働を批判 安倍政権、知事批判に拍手 反対集会、九州各地の市民ら参加 /鹿児島

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「川内原発 再稼働許すな」 大宮駅周辺でデモ via 東京新聞




 参加者は「ストップ川内原発再稼働!」と書かれた横断幕を掲げながら「原発いらない」「命が危ない」などと訴え、大宮駅周辺を約一・四キロ練り歩 いた。参加した市民団体「原発さよならデモ@埼玉」の白田真希さん(47)は「川内原発は遠い九州にあるが、再稼働の危機が高まっていることをデモを通じ 埼玉でも共有したい」と話していた。 (竹内章)

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