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Karl Grossman: There is no “peaceful nuclear power” via


Although enriched uranium was the fuel used in the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima, plutonium was the fuel in the atomic bomb that devastated Nagasaki—and virtually all atomic bombs ever since have used plutonium, not enriched uranium.

Gathering plutonium for atomic bombs from spent fuel from a nuclear power plant can be accomplished by having a “hot cell”—s very common, indeed ubiquitous machine used in nuclear technology—and separating out the plutonium chemically with it.

Hot cells are shielded nuclear radiation chambers. They’re used to protect technicians inspecting nuclear fuel rods from a nuclear plant or processing medical isotopes. But they have long been a concern when it comes to the proliferation of nuclear weapons because of their potential use to carry out the chemical steps of extracting plutonium from reactor fuel.

When I was an anchor of the nightly news at the then Long Island commercial TV channel, WSNL-TV 35 years ago, anchorpeople from all over the U.S. were invited to a three-day symposium on nuclear weapons proliferation held at the Kennedy School at Harvard. The object was for us to know the facts behind the proliferation issue if and when we needed to report on what could be the terrible outcome of it. The hot cell was a major item discussed. It remains a major proliferation concern.


“A large power reactor,” they noted, “annually produces…hundreds of kilograms of plutonium.” Civilian nuclear power technology, they concluded, provides the way to make nuclear weapons, furnishing the material and the trained personnel.

Indeed, that’s how India got The Bomb in 1974. Canada supplied a nuclear reactor to be used for “peaceful purposes” and the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission trained Indian engineers. And lo and behold, India had nuclear weapons.


It was the U.S. with its “Atoms for Peace” program in the 1950s that encouraged Iran to develop nuclear power. After the rupture of relations between the countries with the Iranian revolution of 1979, Russia stepped in, completing Bushehr I.

More details on how plutonium, a manmade element, is created in a nuclear power plant: 97 percent of the uranium fuel in a nuclear power plant is Uranium-238 which does not fission or split. Only 3 percent of the uranium is Uranium-235, which does fission or split, and it is from

this reaction that comes the heat used to boil water, turn a turbine and generate electricity. However, much of the Uranium-238 will, in proximity to fission, absorb a neutron and change to another element, Plutonium-239. Plutonium-239 is extremely radioactive and has a half-life of 24,100 years, so it’s radioactive for 240,000 years. It was first produced during the World War II Manhattan Project as an alternative fuel for atomic bombs to uranium, the supply of which was considered limited. Plutonium-239 became the preferred bomb fuel for atomic bombs and plutonium is also used as the “trigger” in hydrogen bombs.


Admiral Hyman Rickover, “father” of the U.S. nuclear navy and in charge of construction of America’s first nuclear power plant, Shippingport in Pennsylvania, opened in 1957, saw the light regarding nuclear power decades later—and voiced his completely changed position.

In a “farewell address” in 1982, to a committee of the U.S. Congress, Rickover bluntly declared that the world must “outlaw nuclear reactors.”

He said it had been “impossible to have any life on earth: that is, there was so much radiation on earth you couldn’t have any life—fish or anything. Gradually, about 2 billion years ago, the amount of radiation on this planet and probably in the entire system reduced and made it possible for some for some form of life to begin.”

“Now,” he continued, “when we go back to using nuclear power, we are creating something which nature tried to destroy to make life possible.… Every time you produce radiation, you produce something that has life, in some cases for billions of years, and I think there the human race is going to wreck itself, and it’s far more important that we get control of this horrible force and try to eliminate it.”

As for atomic weaponry, Rickover said the “lesson of history” is that nations in war “will use whatever weaponry they have.”

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Psychological impact of nuclear disasters like Fukushima more damaging than the risk from radiation, experts say via The Independent

However evacuees were found to be almost five times more likely than average to have suffered psychological distress. Experts writing in the special edition of The Lancet, published to mark the 70th anniversary of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki atomic bomb attacks, said that the social and psychological aftermath of a nuclear accident was too often overlooked.

Among people affected by the 1986 Chernobyl disaster, rates of depression and post-traumatic stress remain high, and a UN assessment conducted in 2006 concluded that the incident’s effect on mental health was the most serious resulting public health issue.

Exposure to radiation can increase the risk of cancer throughout life, and those exposed to very high doses can suffer severe and sometimes fatal symptoms known as acute radiation syndrome (ARS). At Chernobyl, 134 workers involved in the emergency response developed and 28 died. No such cases were reported at Fukushima.

In a study led by Dr Koichi Tanigawa, of Fukushima Medical University, experts said that along with the immediate radiation risks, the displacement of hundreds of thousands of people created a new wave of public health impacts.


However, there are still problems with stigma, Dr Tanigawa’s study reported, particularly among women from Fukushima, owing to “misconceptions” about the effects of radiation on future pregnancy and children’s health.

Professor Simon Wessely, president of the Royal College of Psychiatrists, said that the Lancet series showed that “the psychological and social consequences of nuclear accidents are more profound, long-lasting, divisive and difficult to manage than the more direct consequences of radiation leaks.”

“In future, far more attention needs to be given to community engagement and choice, and less to the extreme risk aversion which currently dominates thinking,” he said.

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El premio ‘gordo’ de la lotería nuclear via El Pais

El pasado 22 junio, una decena de alcaldes de la comarca de la Mancha Alta acudieron a la llamada de Carmen Barco, la secretaria del Ayuntamiento de Villar de Cañas (Cuenca), y de otros tres municipios de la zona. Ella, que ganó su oposición en los noventa, se ha transformado en una experta en centrales y cementerios nucleares. De ella partió la idea de instalar uno en su pueblo. Lleva diez años sin parar de convencer a sus vecinos, empezando por el alcalde, José Sáiz, a quien no solo ha persuadido sino que sustituye en su asiento cuando encarta.

A las 11.30 de la mañana de aquel caluroso lunes de principios de verano estaban —como ella quería— reunidos los regidores “con Arturo, el representante de Enresa”. La empresa pública española que gestiona los residuos nucleares, cuenta con una sede en el municipio manchego donde —si la polémica desatada esta semana no lo impide— se construirá un basurero de residuos procedentes de las siete centrales nucleares de España.


La veintena de pueblos afectados se debate entre argumentos a favor y en contra expresados por técnicos e ingenieros y sus informes y notas aclaratorias que salen y entran oportunamente de los cajones de los políticos y las Administraciones competentes, como el Consejo de Seguridad Nuclear. Pero en última instancia todo se reduce a una cuestión económica. Los pueblos tienen que apostar por un modelo de desarrollo industrial-nuclear, “con turismo científico, congresos, convenios y subvenciones que permitirán realizar residencias de ancianos de última generación para exportar modelos a Europa”, en palabras de Carmen Barco. O agropecuario y turístico. “Reivindicando los productos y el modo de vida de la zona como un atractivo”, como defiende María Andrés, cabrera y portavoz de la plataforma anti-ATC. El Estado, por su parte, tendrá que ver cómo supera las dificultades de esos suelos de yeso que, según algunos estudios, requieren costosos revestimientos.

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Tokyo Electric executives to be charged over Fukushima nuclear disaster via Reuters

A Japanese civilian judiciary panel on Friday forced prosecutors to indict three former Tokyo Electric Power (9501.T) (Tepco) executives for failing to take measures to prevent the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster.

The decision is unlikely to lead to a conviction of the former executives, after prosecutors twice said they would not bring charges, but means they will be summoned to appear in court to give evidence.

Tokyo prosecutors in January rejected the panel’s judgment that the three should be charged, citing insufficient evidence. But the 11 unidentified citizens on the panel forced the indictment after a second vote, which makes an indictment mandatory.

The three are former chairman Tsunehisa Katsumata, 75, and former executives Sakae Muto, 65, and Ichiro Takekuro, 69.

Citizens’ panels, made up of residents selected by lottery, are a rarely used but high-profile feature of Japan’s legal system introduced after World War Two to curb bureaucratic overreach.

The panel ruled that the former executives had failed to take countermeasures to strengthen the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant despite foreseeing the dangers of a severe nuclear crisis it faced from tsunamis, according to a copy of the 31-page ruling seen by Reuters.

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福島原発事故:東電旧経営陣3人、強制起訴へ via 毎日新聞


2011年の東京電力福島第1原発事故を巡り、東京第5検察審査会は31日、東京地検が2度にわたって容疑不十分で不起訴とした東京電力の勝俣恒 久元会長(75)ら旧経営陣3人を、業務上過失致死傷罪で起訴すべきだとする「起訴議決」を公表した。第5検審は「3人は『万が一にも』発生する事故に備 える責務があり、大津波による過酷事故発生を予見できた。事故を回避するため原発の運転停止を含めた措置を講じるべきだった」と指摘した。3人は今後、裁 判所が指定する検察官役の弁護士によって強制起訴される。

議決は17日付。他に武黒一郎(69)、武藤栄(65)の両元副社長が起訴議決を受けた。第5検審は、3人が事故を未然に防止する注意義務を怠 り、原発建屋でがれきに接触するなどした東電関係者と自衛官13人を負傷させ、福島県大熊町の双葉病院から避難をした入院患者44人を死亡させたと認定し た。

三陸沖から房総沖で大地震が起きるとした政府の地震研究機関の予測に基づき、東電は08年、想定される津波の高さを最大15.7メートルと試算し た。こうした経緯から、3人が巨大津波の発生を事前に予測できたか、予測を踏まえて対策を取れば事故を回避できたかの2点が焦点となった。








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Survey: 61% of 2nd-generation hibakusha feel anxiety over parents’ radiation exposure via The Asahi Shimbun

More than 60 percent of second-generation hibakusha still feel anxiety over their parents’ exposure to radiation from the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki 70 years ago, a survey showed.

The Tokyo Federation of A-Bomb Sufferers Organizations released its study report on July 29, the first in Japan covering children of those exposed to the 1945 nuclear attacks.

The group sent questionnaires to 2,391 residents of the capital who are children of atomic bomb survivors in Nagasaki or Hiroshima. It received 660 responses.

About 20 percent of the respondents said they suspect that any health problems they may suffer could be associated with the 1945 atomic bombings.

According to the results, around 20 percent are worried about diseases related to radiation, while another 20 percent are also concerned that the effects of radiation exposure could appear in their children and grandchildren.

“It is difficult for people to find effective ways to address problems if their causes are unclear,” Yagi said. “The central government needs to carefully examine the mental conditions of second-generation hibakusha and provide some care.”

Toyoko Tasaki, 47, who heads a group of second-generation hibakusha in Tokyo, said her mother was exposed to radiation in Hiroshima in 1945.

“Many second-generation victims cannot talk about their anxieties in fear of prejudice,” Tasaki said. “The latest findings could be a good way to represent the silent voices of those people.”

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被爆者治療セズ:ABCCの暗部/中 ウソだった「救うため」via 毎日新聞







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福島第一原発事故の公文書アーカイブ開設 via NHK



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フクシマの子どもが死んでいく via People’s News

いま日本では 37万5千人の青少年のうち48%以上が前甲状腺がん症状



原子力がそういう症状を引き起こす可能性は、ずっと前にカナダ核安全委員会が指摘していた。同委員会は、原子炉事故には必ず「子どもの甲状腺がんの 発症率上昇の危険が伴う」と警告した。カナダの原発建設に関して、「12㎞離れたところで疾患率が0・3%増加」をあげたが、それは、緊急避難が完全に行 われ、放射能から人体を保護するといわれるカリウム・ヨウ素化合剤を住民に配布するという対策が取られた場合の疾患率である。しかし、スリーマイルでも、 チェルノブイリでも、フクシマでも、そういう対策は取られなかった。

放射能・公共衛生プロジェクトのジョセフ・マンガーノ委員長は、80年代から、放射能研究者アーネスト・スターングラス博士と統計学者ジェイ・グー ルドといっしょに、原発からの放射能被害について研究をしてきた。そこで彼らは、原発の風下住民の健康は原子炉が停止している間は良好で、再稼働すると悪 化することを確認した。



スリーマイル島事故の際、会社は「原子炉溶解はない」と発表した。しかしロボットを投入して調べたところ、炉心溶解が確認された。ペンシルヴァニア 州は、新たに腫瘍疾患で治療を受けた人数を発表させず、死亡や病気の原因だという「証拠はない」と言った。しかし、民間による自主調査の結果、幼児死亡率 の上昇とがん患者の増加が確認された。


チェルノブイリ事故に関する数多くの調査・研究があり、それによると、死亡者数は推定百万人を超える。風下のベラルーシやウクライナの子どもたちが 主な被害者だ。マンガーノによると、事故後に風下地域で生まれた「チェルノブイリの子どもたち」の約80%が、生まれながらの障がい、甲状腺がん、長期に わたる心臓、呼吸器、精神疾患で苦しんでいる。風下地域で健常児は4人に1人しかいない。


最近、国連放射線影響科学委員会(UNSCEAR)が、原発事故の人体への影響を過小評価するレポートを出した。国際原子力機関(IAEA)と連動 したのだ。IAEAは、長い間原発の健康被害に関する国連の発見を発表することを抑え、UNSCEARとWHOは原子力産業がばらまく放射能汚染を数十年 間隠してきた。フクシマに関しても例外ではない。




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被ばく限度引き上げは妥当 原発作業員、放射線審答申 via 上毛新聞ニュース



続きは被ばく限度引き上げは妥当 原発作業員、放射線審答申

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