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The Logic of the Nuclear Age: The Insanity of Our Nuclear Weapons Policy via The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists

By E. Martin Schotz, MD/ peaceworker

Let us begin by examining two moments from the media in the past year.  The first occurred on Radio 360  during a segment exploring under what conditions the United States might launch nuclear weapons.  At one point the host exclaimed, “Well we wouldn’t want to blow up the world, if we didn’t have a good reason to do so.”  Put a check by that comment.  We will come back to it.  The second moment was a question a reporter put to Senator Bernie Sanders as to whether he would be willing to push the nuclear button.  The sense of the question was that to be qualified to be President of the United States you had to be willing to “push the button.”

How did we ever get into this situation, where we are planning to blow up the world and need to make sure we have a “good reason” to do so, and  in which in order to be considered competent to be President of the United States, you have to be willing to blow up the world.  This is literally the absurd criminal insanity in which we are living with nuclear weapons.  How has this come about?  By what means have we as otherwise sane human beings allowed ourselves to be put in such a situation?  How can political representatives and military officials who ordinarily appear sane participate in such a situation?

I want to suggest in this essay that one key to understanding this insanity rests on our failure to grasp the irrationality of the concept “nuclear deterrence.”  Albert Einstein at the dawn of the nuclear age famously warned that “the splitting of the atom has changed everything in the world except our mode of thinking, and thus we drift toward unparalleled  catastrophe.” 

[…]

Nuclear war does not begin with the weapons going off.  It ends with the weapons going off.  Thus the existence of nuclear weapons forces us to think of nuclear war as beginning prior to their being exploded.  Nuclear war must be seen as a process, a process in which the weapons are developed, tested and deployed.  A process in which war propaganda conditions the population to believe other countries are their enemies.  Looked at from this vantage point we must recognize that we are in a nuclear war right now. 

The idea that the US and Russia are separate, is not operative, when it comes to nuclear weapons.  Thus the age old moral adage – “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you” — this moral adage in the nuclear age has been turned into a practical necessity.  We cannot afford to see Russia as an enemy and Russia cannot afford to see us as an enemy.  We must see each other a partners in survival.  

Once the  US and Russia see each other as partners in survival, they would be in a position to work together to help other nations join in the process.  This is the way an international ban on nuclear weapons can eventually be achieved.

For those who find what has been written here unbelievable and say, “There is no way our officials could be so irresponsible”, an anecdote may be instructive.  Physicians for Social Responsibility, one of the leading organizations in the US for nuclear abolition, was begun in 1961, when a group of physicians decided to publish an article in The New England Journal of Medicine detailing what would be the result of a nuclear attack on Boston.  Following its publication the source of the largest number of requests for copies of the article came from the Pentagon.  It turned out that the Pentagon had developed and deployed a massive arsenal of nuclear weapons without taking the trouble to investigate what would happen if the arsenal was used.

Finally I want to quote the words of Four Star General Lee Butler who from 1991 to 1994 was commander of all US strategic nuclear forces.  Within two years of retiring from the Air Force he began traveling the world as an outspoken nuclear abolitionist.

[…]

… We cannot at once keep sacred the miracle of existence and hold sacrosanct the capacity to destroy it…..  We cannot sit in silent acquiescence to the faded homilies of the nuclear priesthood.  It is time to reassert the primacy of individual conscience, the voice of reason and the rightful interests of humanity.  (speech at the National Press Club, February 2, 1998)

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Association between the detection rate of thyroid cancer and the external radiation dose-rate after the nuclear power plant accidents in Fukushima, Japan via Medicine

Yamamoto, Hidehiko MDa; Hayashi, Keiji MDb; Scherb, Hagen Dr rer nat Dipl-Mathc,*

A thyroid cancer ultrasonography screening for all residents 18 years old or younger living in the Fukushima prefecture started in October 2011 to investigate the possible effect of the radiological contamination after the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant accidents as of March 12 to 15, 2011. Thyroid cancer in 184 cases was reported by February 2017. The question arises to which extent those cancer cases are a biological consequence of the radiation exposure or an artefactual result of the intense screening of a large population.

Experiences with the Chernobyl accident suggest that the external dose may be considered a valid surrogate for the internal dose of the thyroid gland. We, therefore, calculated the average external effective dose-rate (μSv/h) for the 59 municipalities of the Fukushima prefecture based on published data of air and soil radiation. We further determined the municipality-specific absolute numbers of thyroid cancers found by each of the two screening rounds in the corresponding municipality-specific exposed person-time observed. A possible association between the radiation exposure and the thyroid cancer detection rate was analyzed with Poisson regression assuming Poisson distributed thyroid cancer cases in the exposed person-time observed per municipality.

The target populations consisted of 367,674 and 381,286 children and adolescents for the 1st and the 2nd screening rounds, respectively. In the 1st screening, 300,476 persons participated and 270,489 in the 2nd round. From October 2011 to March 2016, a total of 184 cancer cases were found in 1,079,786 person-years counted from the onset of the exposure to the corresponding examination periods in the municipalities. A significant association between the external effective dose-rate and the thyroid cancer detection rate exists: detection rate ratio (DRR) per μSv/h 1.065 (1.013, 1.119). Restricting the analysis to the 53 municipalities that received less than 2 μSv/h, and which represent 176 of the total 184 cancer cases, the association appears to be considerably stronger: DRR per μSv/h 1.555 (1.096, 2.206).

The average radiation dose-rates in the 59 municipalities of the Fukushima prefecture in June 2011 and the corresponding thyroid cancer detection rates in the period October 2011 to March 2016 show statistically significant relationships.

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イランと米、核合意で応酬=韓国、原発処理水で注意喚起-IAEA総会 via Jiji.com

【ウィーン時事】国際原子力機関(IAEA)の年次総会が16日、ウィーンの本部で開幕した。

(略)

イランのサレヒ原子力庁長官は、核合意での核開発制限を段階的に撤廃していることについて、米国の制裁に対抗するには「ほかに手段がない」と正当化。米国のペリー・エネルギー長官は「イランに最大限の圧力をかけ続ける」とのトランプ大統領の声明を紹介した。サウジアラビアの石油施設攻撃についても、イランの関与を主張し批判した。

福島原発の処理水の問題では、韓国は既にIAEAに環境への影響を懸念する書簡を送付して海洋への放出をけん制している。日本政府代表として参加した竹本直一・科学技術担当相は演説で、韓国の名指しは避けつつ、「科学的根拠がない批判」があると指摘。「公正で理性的な議論」を呼び掛けた。

全文はイランと米、核合意で応酬=韓国、原発処理水で注意喚起-IAEA総会

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Fukushima fishermen concerned for future over release of radioactive water via The Guardian

Eight years after the triple disaster, Japan’s local industry faces fresh crisis – the dumping of radioactive water from the power plant

[…]

Having spent the past eight years rebuilding, the Fukushima fishing fleet is now confronting yet another menace – the increasing likelihood that the nuclear plant’s operator, Tokyo Electric Power (Tepco), will dump huge quantities of radioactive water into the ocean.

“We strongly oppose any plans to discharge the water into the sea,” Nozaki, head of Fukushima prefecture’s federation of fisheries cooperatives, told the Guardian.

[…]

Currently, just over one million tonnes of contaminated water is held in almost 1,000 tanks at Fukushima Daiichi, but the utility has warned that it will run out of space by the summer of 2022.

Tepco has struggled to deal with the buildup of groundwater, which becomes contaminated when it mixes with water used to prevent the three damaged reactor cores from melting. Although the utility has drastically reduced the amount of wastewater, about 100 tonnes a day still flows into the reactor buildings.

Releasing it into the sea would also anger South Korea, adding to pressure on diplomatic ties already shaken by a trade dispute linked to the countries’ bitter wartime history.

Seoul, which has yet to lift an import ban on Fukushima seafood introduced in 2013, claimed last week that discharging the water would pose a “grave threat” to the marine environment – a charge rejected by Japan.

[…]

Confirming Maeda’s fears, almost a third of consumers outside Fukushima prefecture indicated in a survey that dumping the contaminated water into the sea would make them think twice about buying seafood from the region, compared with 20% who currently avoid the produce.

Tepco’s Advanced Liquid Processing System removes highly radioactive substances, such as strontium and caesium, from the water but the technology does not exist to filer out tritium, a radioactive isotope of hydrogen that coastal nuclear plants commonly dump along with water into the ocean. Tepco admitted last year, however, that the water in its tanks still contained contaminants beside tritium.

[…]

Supporters of the discharge option have pointed out that water containing high levels of tritium, which occurs in minute amounts in nature, would not be released until it has been diluted to meet safety standards.

But Shaun Burnie, a senior nuclear specialist with Greenpeace Germany who regularly visits Fukushima, said a proportion of radioactive tritium had the potential to deliver a concentrated dose to cell structures in plants, animals or humans. “Dilution does not avoid this problem,” he said.

Burnie believes the solution is to continue storing the water, possibly in areas outside the power plant site – a move that is likely to encounter opposition from nuclear evacuees whose abandoned villages already host millions of cubic metres of radioactive soil.

[…]

Critics say the government is reluctant to openly support the dumping option for fear of creating a fresh controversy over Fukushima during the Rugby World Cup, which starts this week, and the buildup to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

Read more at Fukushima fishermen concerned for future over release of radioactive water

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A Dead Russian Submarine Armed with Nuclear Torpedoes was Never Recovered via The National Interest

A permanent watery grave.
by Robert Farley

Key point: She rests at a depth of 15,000 feet—too deep to make recovery practical.

The Bay of Biscay is one of the world’s great submarine graveyards. In late World War II, British and American aircraft sank nearly seventy German U-boats in the Bay, which joined a handful of Allied and German subs sunk in the region during World War I. On April 12, 1970, a Soviet submarine found the same resting place. Unlike the others, however, K-8 was propelled by two nuclear reactors, and carried four torpedoes tipped by nuclear warheads.

The Novembers (627):
The November (Type 627) class was the Soviet Union’s first effort at developing nuclear attack submarines. The 627s were rough contemporaries of the Skate and Skipjack class attack boats of the U.S. Navy (USN), although they were somewhat larger and generally less well-arranged. Displacing 4750 tons submerged, the thirteen 627s could make thirty knots and carry twenty torpedoes (launched from eight forward tubes). Visually, the 627s resembled a larger version of the Foxtrot class diesel-electric subs; the Soviets would not adopt a teardrop hull until the later Victor class. The Novembers were renowned in the submarine community for their noise; louder than any contemporary nuclear sub, and even preceding diesel-electric designs.

The Novembers were initially designed with a strategic purpose in mind. The Soviets worked on a long-range nuclear armed torpedo (dubbed T-15), which could strike NATO naval bases from ranges of up to 40km. The torpedo was so large that each submarine could only carry a single weapon. However, increasingly effective Western anti-submarine technology quickly scotched the first mission. The Novembers were too loud to plausibly find their way into close enough proximity to a NATO port to ever actually fire a nuclear torpedo in wartime conditions.

[…]

On April 8, K-8 suffered two fires, resulting in a shutdown of both nuclear reactors. The boat surfaced, and Captain Vsevolod Borisovich Bessonov ordered the crew to abandon ship. Eight crew members, trapped in compartments that were either flooded or burned out, died in the initial incident. Fortunately, a Soviet repair vessel arrived, and took K-8 under tow. However, bad weather made the recover operation a difficult prospect. Much of K-8’s crew reboarded the submarine, and for three days fought a life-and-death struggle to save the boat. Although details remain scarce, there apparently was no opportunity to safely remove the four nuclear torpedoes from K-8, and transfer them to the repair ship.

Unfortunately, the loss of power onboard and the difficult weather conditions were too much for the crew to overcome. On April 12, K-8 sank with some forty crew members aboard, coming to rest at a rough depth of 15,000 feet. The depth made any effort at recovering the submarine, and the nuclear torpedoes, impractical.

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「祈りと感謝を」バチカンのミサで福島からのメッセージ via 朝日新聞

ローマ・カトリック教会の総本山バチカンのサンピエトロ大聖堂で14日、東日本大震災の被災地福島県からのメッセージが「共同祈願文」として読み上げられた。ローマ法王代理の枢機卿が開いたミサで、同県からの参加者が「津波と原発事故風評被害で今なお苦しみつつも、桃が再び実を付け復興の希望となっている」と世界に訴えた。

メッセージを読み上げたのは、この日のミサに日本から参列した「イルミナート合唱団」のメンバーで、同県白河市の佐藤純子さん(67)。

(略)

ミサではイルミナート合唱団が、長崎・平戸の生月島のキリシタンが伝えてきた祈りの歌「オラショ」を披露。同合唱団の芸術監督指揮者の西本智実さんは、曽祖母が生月島出身で、「オラショの演奏を通じて、日本とバチカンの時空を超えたつながりを感じる」と語った。

フランシスコ法王は11月23~26日、日本を訪れる予定。東日本大震災の被災者や原発事故の避難者とも都内で面会するとみられる。(バチカン=河原田慎一)

全文は「祈りと感謝を」バチカンのミサで福島からのメッセージ

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高速実証炉断念。「原発大国」フランスは曲がり角 via 論座

原発に思い入れのないマクロン政権。日本と共同研究中の「アストリッド計画」を放棄
山口 昌子

「原発大国」(58基)のフランスが、日本と共同研究中だった高速実証炉「アストリッド(ASTRID)」計画を経費高騰を理由に放棄した。建設中の第3世代の原子炉「欧州加圧水型原子炉(EPR)を「優先する」(ボルヌ環境相)というが、そのEPRにしても完成のメドは依然、たっていない。先に「夢の原子炉」と謳(うた)ってきた高速増殖炉「スーパーフェニックス」を断念しているフランス。「政治的支援の不在」も指摘されるマクロン政権の方針は不透明さを増す一方だ。

フランス原子力庁(CEA)は8月30日、声明を発表してASTRID計画の放棄を確認。「現在のエネルギー状況下では、第4世代の原子炉の産業的発展は今世紀の後半前には実施しない」と述べ、計画再開は少なくとも2050年以降と表明した。『ルモンド』が同日、「ASTRID計画放棄の方針」「25人で構成の調整担当者もすでに解散された」と報じたからだ。

ASTRID計画の開始は2006年1月、シラク大統領の時代だ。大統領の指令でCEAが“第4世代”の高速炉として2020年の稼働を目指して研究を開始。サルコジ政権(07~12年)でも継承された。

サルコジは09年12月に、「フランスは10億ユーロを核開発、特に“第4世代の原子炉”のために計上する」と明言。10年には「未来への投資」として、ASTRID計画の「コンセプトの研究」に6億5160万ユーロの予算を計上した。

社会党出身のオランド大統領(2012~17年)も計画を継承し、着任直後の12年6月には、CEAがフランス南部ガール県の核施設内での建設に向けて、仏建設大手ブイグをはじめ、原発大手アレバ、仏電力公社(EDF)、ロールスロイス・パワー・エンジニアリングなどと国際チームを形成、約500人が計画に経済的、技術的に関与した。

安倍首相は2014年5月5日のエリゼ宮(仏大統領府)での日仏首脳会談で、「安全性の高い新型原子炉ASTRIDを含む高速炉の技術開発協力に関する取り決め」で合意し、オランドと共に署名した。フランス政府はこの時、日本政府に対し、「もんじゅ」(当時は事故続きで無期限停止中、2016年12月に廃炉が決定)でASTRIDの可燃性燃料のテストをするために、「もんじゅ」の再起動を要請したという(日本外交筋)。

フランス政府は16年10月には日本政府に対し、ASTRIDの経費分担も要請した。当時の総経費の予測は50億ユーロだった。日本は「経済成長においてはイノベーションが重要である」という「日仏合意」のもと、体よく巨額の負担金を課せられるところだったが、計画の放棄で助かったわけだ。

”金食い虫の計画”

(略)

15年には、日本における福島の原発事故や環境重視の世界的趨勢の中でその「安全性」が問題になり、仏放射線防護原子力安全研究所(IRSN)による検査を実施するべきだとの意見も出された。18年6月には朝日新聞がASTRID計画に協力する日本政府に疑問を示す記事を掲載している。

(略)

シラクが1995年に核実験を再開した時、「知識の伝達」という言葉が盛んに使用された。英国は核保有国だが、核爆弾は米国から買ったもので、自前で製造していない。フランスが「核の確実性、信頼性、安全性やシミュレーション実験移行への準備」として核実験にこだわったのは、核爆弾に関する物理的、数学的な知識はもとより、様々な技術、つまり核に関する重要な知識を若い世代に伝達するためという含意だ。

(略)

フランスは高速増殖炉「スーパーフェニックス」を泣く泣く廃炉にした過去もある。1976年12月、「夢の原子炉」との鳴り物入りで、フランス中部リヨンに近いイーゼル地方で工事が始められ、10年後の1986年12月に運転を開始した。EDFをはじめ、西独(当時)、英国、イタリア、ベルギー、オランダの各電力会社が出資した大計画だったが、運転された期間よりも、事故で運転停止している期間の方がはるかに長いという印象が徐々に強くなる。

当時のフランスはまだ、「原発大国」を誇り、国民もスーパーフェニックスの稼働と事故中止に一喜一憂した。1997年6月、ジョスパン首相(当時)が「放棄する」と発表し、98年12月30日に停止した。当時は、右派のシラク大統領の下に社会党のジョスパン首相がいるという「保革共存政権」の時代。シラクは98年7月14日の「革命記念日」に、スーパーフェニックスの「放棄」を非難している。シラクがASTRID計画を開始したのは、スーパーフェニックス放棄に対する怨念があったのかもしれない。

続きは高速実証炉断念。「原発大国」フランスは曲がり角

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Defenders of nuclear plant bailout go from deception to outright lie in new ad via The Columbus Dispatch

By Randy Ludlow 

A new TV commercial from the defenders of the House Bill 6 consumer bailout of Ohio’s two nuclear power plants includes an outright lie.

The 30-second spot that began airing Thursday, titled “Lights Out Ohio,” makes the false assertion that Chinese companies are buying Ohio power plants.

“Now because of deregulation, foreign entities including China are pouring into Ohio buying power plants and infiltrating our power grid,” the commercial says.

[…]

Group spokesman Carlo LoParo provided dozens of articles from corporate-financing websites about the government-owned Industrial and Commercial Bank of China and natural-gas-fired power plants in Ohio, but all of the articles concerned loans and financing it provided — not ownership interests.

[…]

A group opposed to House Bill 6 — Ohioans Against Corporate Bailouts — is working to obtain the valid signatures of 265,774 registered Ohio voters by Oct. 21 to place a referendum on the November 2020 ballot.

Signed into law by Gov. Mike DeWine, House Bill 6 will impose an 85-cent monthly charge on residential electricity bills to generate $150 million a year to subsidize the Lake Erie plants owned by Akron-based FirstEnergy Solutions. If the referendum makes the 2020 ballot, the law will not take effect unless voters approve it. The bankrupt company threatened to close the plants starting June 30 without a subsidy, and they will shut them down if the referendum qualifies for the ballot, LoParo said earlier.

Gene Pierce, spokesman for Ohioans Against Corporate Bailouts, said of the opposition’s new TV commercial: “It’s just as misleading and untruthful as before … it’s a sign of desperation. They have a billion dollars coming from someone else’s pocket and they will do everything they can — ignoring the truth — to get that money.”

Ohioans for Energy Security is a so-called dark money group that is not required to disclose its donors or the amounts they give. Ohioans Against Corporate Bailouts eventually will have to disclose its spending and donors. Pierce said they do not include Chinese interests.

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Hanford officials move nuclear waste from Columbia River via FiberOne

RICHLAND, Wash. (AP) — Workers at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation have removed the last of the highly radioactive sludge stored in underwater containers near The Columbia River.

[…]

Perry says the project came in ahead of schedule and under budget after 10 years of work. Perry says those aren’t words usually associated with nuclear waste cleanup.

[…]

Perry plans to visit Hanford Oct. 1 for a ceremony marking the milestone.
He says completion of the project shows Northwest residents they can trust the Energy Department to perform critical work on time.

Hanford was established by the Manhattan Project in World War II to make plutonium, a key ingredient in the atomic bomb dropped on Nagasaki, Japan. The site, near Richland, Washington, went on to produce most of the plutonium for the nation’s nuclear arsenal.

As a result, the site also contains the nation’s largest collection of nuclear waste. The most dangerous is stored in 177 aging underground tanks, some of which have leaked.

[…]

The sludge is highly radioactive because it contains particles of deteriorated irradiated fuel that was not processed at the end of the Cold War to remove plutonium.

Instead, the fuel was stored in water-filled cooling basins about 400 yards from the Columbia River.

Hanford contractor CH2M HIll Plateau Remediation Co., owned by Jacobs Engineering, spent a decade on the sludge transfer project, most of that making extensive preparations.

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【ライブ配信】14日14時〜原発事故後の科学「宮崎早野論文」via Our Planet TV

本人の同意を得ずに、福島県伊達市の全住民の被ばく線量を解析していた「宮崎早野論文」問題をめぐり、(略)9月14日、科学コミュニティの問題を考えるオープンフォーラムが開催します。OurPlaentTVでは、この模様をライブ配信します。 

日時:2019年9月14日(土)14:00~17:00
場所:東京大学本郷キャンパス 赤門総合研究棟 A200番教室
参加費:無料(申し込み不要・一般市民歓迎)
主催:科学の健全な発展を望む会・影浦研公開セミナー
共催:分野を横断した放射線疫学の研究会

プログラム
[講演]
黒川眞一(高エネルギー加速器研究機構名誉教授)
「科学の危機をまねく非論理性とルール無視――宮崎早野論文とその調査結果を例に」
濱岡豊(慶応義塾大学)「個人線量測定論文の諸問題」
牧野淳一郎(神戸大学)「「科学」の生態学:2011年3月の専門家の言動から宮崎早野論文と放射線審議会まで」
[討論]黒川眞一・濱岡豊・牧野淳一郎 ・司会:影浦峡(東京大学) 

科学の健全な発展を望む会
https://science-integrity-2019.jimdosite.com/

全文は【ライブ配信】14日14時〜原発事故後の科学「宮崎早野論文」

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