Monthly Archives: July 2014

British Government attempts to pay off nuclear veterans with lies and deceipt

Email from Dennis Hayden, British Nuclear Test Veterans’ Association

Fissionline – the Bulletin of Nuclear Test Veterans and Children
Dennis Hayden
To Anna Soubry MP Minister for Veterans
4 Jul
Forwarded for information to undisclosed recipients internationally . This follows copy of email circulated originally on July 02 , 2014 . Amended comment follows below by the Action Executive of the Combined Veterans’ Forum International on Issue number 23 of Fissionline – the Bulletin of Nuclear Test Veterans and Children .[ Attached ] .

This Bulletin and back copies are available free on request from fissionline@gmail.com . More details on this is given in the post scriptum below .
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To : Anna Soubry PM , Outgoing Minister for Veterans .

Copy : Undisclosed recipients internationally .

Dear Minister and all undisclosed recipients ,

Enclosed is copy of Fissionline No 23 which, as regular readers internationally will find, makes the usual interesting reading of what is actually happening with regard to the nuclear test veterans ! This edition contains more truthful information that you , as another outgoing Minister for Veterans , have been misled by officials to deny .

At last we are able to see exactly where the British Nuclear Test Veterans Association Charity campaign “ going forward together”, launched by their Chairman in 2010, has led the vast majority of nuclear test veterans and widows who are seeking real and meaningful justice.

After meetings, many held covertly and behind closed doors , between the BNTVA Charity leadership , their patron John Baron MP and the Ministry of Defence , Fissionline reveals just how far the nuclear veterans campaign for truth and justice in litigation and tribunals has been deliberately undermined. Fissionline 23 [ attached ] reveals the BNTVA have undermined the quest for truth and justice to the point of capitulation and humiliation.

Fissionline reports how , in 2012 without consultation with all who participated in the UK nuclear weapon test experiments , the BNTVA charity begged £8,500 ex-gratia payments for some 3,500 veterans . The charity proposed this sum to be paid in “recognition” only , without any admission of liability , in exchange for a pledge to cease the campaign of litigation for compensation , truth and justice by veterans and widows . This in fact was an appeasing bail- out of government liability considering well over 20,000 loyal servicemen from UK and several thousands from the Commonwealth took part in these experiments and many have since died prematurely or suffer radiation linked ill health and their children have been genetically damaged .

The BNTVA Charity in fact had absolutely no mandate at all to enter into such covert negotiations without the consent of all who participated in the nuclear test experiments in the UK and abroad .The fact they did only suited the government . Of course, the only way such an act of betrayal and appeasement like this can take place is behind closed doors and without consultation with all involved in legal action and pension tribunals .

However , thanks to the official minutes of the 2012 meeting released to Fissionline , under freedom of information laws , the ex-gratia payments begged for nuclear test veterans was , at the appeasing suggestion of the charity , not to be paid from Ministry of Defence funds but shockingly from the UK overseas aid budget allocated for the world’s starving, poor and under privileged .

This negative attitude possibly had its genesis at the Parliamentary Inquiry of Nuclear Veterans in 2007 when BNTVA chairman John Lowe astounded many present, including representatives of the CVFI , when he sowed the seeds of the undermining legal process by saying he would be happy if the government gave him £10,000 . As previously noted, the BNTVA chairman later admitted he had been prevented, by the current patron of the charity John Baron MP , from asking most of the questions he had prepared for this Inquiry which was conducted over two days and excluded a full discussion of the Rowland study showing elevated genetic damage in UK nuclear test participants . A discussion of Rowland was on the Inquiry’s agenda for the second day but was substituted instead by government scientists talking about the 1980’s and 90’s biased and significantly flawed NRPB studies that included no cytogenetic blood analysis but only statistical information from death certificates .

This capitulation by begging bowl of the BNTVA to the Ministry of Defence and government , as a substitute for real meaningful justice for nuclear test veterans and families , asks the question why should the world’s poor pay for the irresponsibility , inhumanity and unaccountability of the MoD and government’s deliberate use of loyal servicemen as guinea pigs during the nuclear weapon test experiments ?

It was not the poor of the world who sent veterans , without protective clothing , and ordered them to inhale and ingest the fall out at these locations over many months . It was not the poor of the world who ignored the genetic damage done to these loyal servicemen who participated in these experiments which has been passed to their children and grandchildren . It was Ministry of Defence and government scientists who oversaw these experiments . Therefore in an open and honest democracy it is an ethical and moral obligation that the government should settle the issue of claims for accountability and responsibility not by robbing aid to the world’s poor .

We will have to wait until the middle of Summer for the results of the latest pension appeal tribunal cases which are being heard at the moment . But to date over 90% of these are denied .

Meanwhile , the investigative reporting of Fissionline ( the bulletin for nuclear veterans revealing actually what is happening ) has put a spanner in the works of the campaign of the BNTVA charity and its patron , John Baron MP . The covert talks behind closed doors ‘going forward together’ with the Ministry of Defence have yet again , as many predicted , hit the brick wall of long running cover up and denial of the science .

The BNTVA campaign of appeasing the MoD is not working . This campaign had no hope of success from its inception in 2010 . Politicians, like yourself , are still being hoodwinked by officials and scientific evidence still continues being denied . The supine weakness and collusion displayed by the BNTVA charity has resulted in the MoD slamming the door in their faces at least three times since 2010 and will continue to do so . This is because the MoD have only been talking to veterans who have no real concern for, or understanding of , the truth .

The BNTVA’s campaign is not working for the simple reason it lacks openness , honesty and full support of nuclear test veterans and their families in the UK and abroad . The film the charity have produced will be ignored by government as they have ignored all evidence and other films since the mid-1980’s . The film may raise funds for the charity and short term public awareness but the message will be ignored by the Ministry of Defence and un- elected officials pulling the strings of politicians who, like yourself , are quickly ‘reshuffled’ before the truth becomes an inconvenience to any who have a conscience .

There is no need for the BNTVA to have acted in such a humiliating way. By ignoring radiation damage to health which is now self – evident and ignoring the science of causation this charity is treated with contempt by the government as the subservient and begging fools they have become . The vast majority of veterans, who the BNTVA charity disingenuously purport to represent, prefer to fight on for truth, justice and an honourable settlement of claims rather than capitulate to begging for charity .

David Cameron , has recently attempted to overcome the paralysis of what many regard as the undemocratic club of the European Union .Every credit should be given to the Prime Minister for his attempt to overcome a major obstacle to the UK’s best interests . The EU is considered worthy of reform as an organisation by the Prime Minister and the majority of the electorate because it conducts most of its business by unelected bureaucrats and by stealth behind closed doors .

The treatment of nuclear test veterans and their families is also decided by unelected officials at the MoD by stealth behind closed doors and all the Prime Minister and other ministers are able to repeat is the disingenuous mantra : “ The government is grateful for the service given by nuclear test veterans during the cold war but the veterans were not exposed to any radiation at nuclear test fall out locations etc .”

For undisclosed copied addressees please note this same disingenuous mantra has been again reported in the press [ ITV 2nd July – PM formally recognises plight of the nuclear test veterans as compensation campaign steps up] . This has caused some misguided excitement amongst some veterans and the press. The Prime Minister has only repeated again what he and other ministers have said many times :

“ this government absolutely recognises and is extremely grateful to all who participated in the nuclear testing programme etc ”

and promised his officials [i.e . those enforcing policy at the UK MoD against nuclear veterans interests ] will look again at the specific points of the arguments and he promised to get back with an answer .

The situation is unchanged and even if a benevolent fund arose without an apology and admission on liability this would not be compensation or a just and honourable settlement of claims .

The MoD and government have lied in all their dealings to date with the nuclear veterans . Their track record shows this is not likely to change . The nuclear veterans and widows know the truth . The vast majority of the public are aware of the truth . The truth will not go away because genetic damage has been passed to the veterans children and grandchildren , it is as simple as that .

On the date of the anniversary of the independence of the United States please note that the US government , to their credit , compensates their armed forces personnel, including ours , who attended US nuclear test fall out locations. Added to this the US government is now beginning to compensate US citizens who inhaled and ingested fall out downwind of mainland US nuclear weapon test experiments .

The report [ page 3 of Fissionline 23 ] by Archie Ross , ex- RAF and Director, Homeland Regions of Fissionline , which comments on your ’reshuffle’ as outgoing MoD Minister for Veterans , is summed up by him as “ you continue to turn a blind eye [ to the genetic damage of my daughter ] as you climb the greasy pole , as indeed have all your colleagues before you . None of you appear to be in the job long enough to find out what is really going on . That is our misfortune and your shame . I hope you can live with yourselves .”

As another outgoing Minister for Veterans , like many before you , you probably will continue to live with yourself . However , let your successor be assured of this : despite the best efforts to bury the truth by unelected MoD officials , loyal servicemen and their families who have been betrayed are not the ‘push over’ the MoD may have led you and others to believe as a result of dealing with the BNTVA charity , its patron and trustees in isolation since 2010 .

Revelations both scientific and political of the past few years have in fact given fresh impetus to the nuclear veterans campaign for justice here and abroad which will not go away until a just and honourable settlement of our claims is made . As time progresses our resolve only gets stronger .

With regards to you to all recipients of this email ,

For the Action Executive
Ken McGinley and Dennis Hayden
Combined Veterans’ Forum International

Post Scriptum :

If any recipient of this email wishes to keep up with the truth of what is happening with regard to the Nuclear Test Veterans and Families the on- line Bulletin Fissionline , an independent newspaper with no political affiliation, can be downloaded free by contact fissionline@gmail.com

Back copies of this Bulletin are also available on request . From a standing start in little over one year Fissionline has over 10,000 and growing readers internationally .

By the way , freedom of information questions seeking the truth from government agencies are increasingly referred to by UK ministers and officials as “vexatious” .This is because ministers do not like to answer nuclear veterans questions with the truth but instead by denial , obfuscation and factually misleading statements . This is a clear indication that the information sought by nuclear veterans is regarded by the establishment as best kept from public knowledge because ministers continue to live in fear of the truth of radiation damage to human health and its causal link of low dose , low level radiation inhalation and ingestion and the genetic damage passed to future generations . [ See also page 2 of Issue 23 “ World Top Radiation Expert Backs Rowland”.)
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This is a Combined Veterans’ Forum International [ CVFI ] open email release in support of Fissionline’s Campaign for Justice and in support of the editorial staff of Fissionline and all nuclear veteran Directors of Fissionline . As stated in Issue 20 and earlier issues of Fissionline , nuclear test veterans and widows expect an apology from government, the setting up of a full judicial inquiry into the government’s handling of the nuclear test veterans’ claims since the mid-1980’s and a just and honourable compensation scheme at least on a par with that offered by every other nuclear power . Nothing else will do because the government rightly expects loyalty from members of the armed forces but loyalty is a two way covenant. The Prime Minister promised before the 2010 election to enshrine a covenant into law but this has been reneged upon. The treatment of nuclear test veterans, their widows and genetically damaged children in particular is a national disgrace unworthy of any responsible democracy .

Please feel free to pass this email to anyone with an interest in this subject . This open email on behalf of the CVFI Action Executive is released on 04.07.2014 without prejudice to current or future litigation. Legal adviser to the CVFI is Ian Anderson , Advocate and Attorney at Law ( New York ) .
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Acceptance criteria for emergency core cooling systems for light-water nuclear power reactors

The Fukushima nuclear disaster was “predicted” or foreseen in type by the Ergen report of 1967. As a result of the fundamental flaw of reactor design – an insurmountable one to this day – nuclear authorities in the USA imposed design rules for Emergency Core Cooling systems for all US designed (including the design sold by the USA to Tepco, Japan). These design rules in full are here:

http://nuclearhistory.wordpress.com/2012/09/22/acceptance-criteria-for-emergency-core-cooling-systems-for-light-water-nuclear-power-reactors/

At the time of the 1970s Public Hearings in the US, nuclear industry lied and stated that the rules would prevent reactor core meltdown and resultant containment failure.

One salient rule is the following:

http://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/doc-collections/cfr/part050/part050-0046.html

UNITED STATES NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION

“50.46 Acceptance criteria for emergency core cooling systems for light-water nuclear power reactors….

“(b)(1) Peak cladding temperature. The calculated maximum fuel element cladding temperature shall not exceed 2200° F.
(2) Maximum cladding oxidation. The calculated total oxidation of the cladding shall nowhere exceed 0.17 times the total cladding thickness before oxidation. As used in this subparagraph total oxidation means the total thickness of cladding metal that would be locally converted to oxide if all the oxygen absorbed by and reacted with the cladding locally were converted to stoichiometric zirconium dioxide. If cladding rupture is calculated to occur, the inside surfaces of the cladding shall be included in the oxidation, beginning at the calculated time of rupture…..

“(3) Maximum hydrogen generation. The calculated total amount of hydrogen generated from the chemical reaction of the cladding with water or steam shall not exceed 0.01 times the hypothetical amount that would be generated if all of the metal in the cladding cylinders surrounding the fuel, excluding the cladding surrounding the plenum volume, were to react.
(4) Coolable geometry. Calculated changes in core geometry shall be such that the core remains amenable to cooling.
(5) Long-term cooling. After any calculated successful initial operation of the ECCS, the calculated core temperature shall be maintained at an acceptably low value and decay heat shall be removed for the extended period of time required by the long-lived radioactivity remaining in the core.
end quote.

As the Fukushima nuclear disaster unfolded, reactor after reactor exploded. “Nuclear experts” providing narrative to Australian media outlets described these explosions as being “perfectly normal”, “consisting of merely Hydrogen gas/”

No such expert fully explained that the mass produced reactor explosions were vivid demonstrations of the fact that ECCS as designed and regulated by the USA, being imposed upon the design of the US originated Fukushima reactors, were patently inadequate. That the rules merely stated a criteria which was known to be impossible to achieve in the real world in the event of the ECCS actually be called upon to work.

Criteria sub paragraph (5) is most troubling. It calls for the ECCS to contiue to work for months: “Long-term cooling. After any calculated successful initial operation of the ECCS, the calculated core temperature shall be maintained at an acceptably low value and decay heat shall be removed for the extended period of time required by the long-lived radioactivity remaining in the core.

Yet we learn from the American Nuclear Society that the US designed (incorporating a claimed conforming with the US Design Criteria above) to operate not for the length of time the longest lived radioctivity remaining in the core demanded, (months) but EIGHT HOURS.

I refer to :

American Nuclear Society Committee Report on Fukushima Diiachi

http://fukushima.ans.org/report/accident-analysis

In relation to the designed life of that part of the Emergency Core Cooling System known as the RCIC, the ANS report states: ” In general, one should not expect the RCIC system to run much beyond 8 hours in a station blackout (SBO)“.

The ANS points out that in the case of Reactor Fukushima Diiachi reactor 2, the RCIC ran for about 70 hours before failing.

Criteria sub paragraph however demands that ECCS componentry continue to function as follows:

“Long-term cooling. ….the calculated core temperature shall be maintained at an acceptably low value and decay heat shall be removed for the extended period of time required by the long-lived radioactivity remaining in the core.

At the end of of 2011, the Prime Minister of Japan declared that the Fukushima Reactors were in “Cold Shut Down”. (the fuel temperature not having been measured actually – the location of much of the fuel remains unknown).

Under the Design Criteria for ECCS given above, the ECCS MUST HAVE a working life of MONTHS.

Yet the American Nuclear Society plainly state that at least one part of the ECCS has a designed life of a mere EIGHT HOURS.

The ANS in report clearly explain that other parts of the ECCS in each of the afflicted and failed reactors did not work in part or at all due to one factor or another. There are no excuses. Relicensing of reactors commenced in the USA only after nuclear authorities promised the public that in all cases the nuclear reactor industry WOULD KEEP ITS NUCLEAR SOURCES SEALED. They lied or were and are insufficiently skilled to keep the promise, a promise, I submit, made to be broken.

The declaration of a claimed successful Cold Shutdown by the Japanese government at the end of 2011 covers up the fact that no part of the ECCS of each reactor at Fukushima was able to do its mandated job for the months required. They all clagged out in March of that year.

And so the ECCS, even at the design stage, broke the rules, as opponents had pointed out decades prior, at the same time as Ergen wrote his reports, at the same time the nuclear authorities wrote the rules and at the same time as the US Congress approved the export of the reactors to Japan. And Japan spent the decades imposing strict censorhip upon those of its society who knew the promises of safety were flawed and dishonest.

The Nuclear Dispossession caused by the inevitable failure of the Fukushima Diiachi ECCS was foreseen in type as early as 1967.

Lessons Learnt? After being forgotten for the purposes of PR for four decades? Pull the other one.

One may claim that the design of the Fukushima nuclear reactors is old. And that modern reactors do not suffer the same rule breaking actual performance flaws.

However, despite the same old industry advertising of its products, how improved is, for example the current flagship of the Westinghouse reactor familty?

It is my understanding that the ECCS systems of the Westinghouse AP1000 have a designed life of FIFTEEN HOURS.

How well does 15 hours comply with the requirement of the ECCS to cool the core for as long as it takes: “Long-term cooling. ….the calculated core temperature shall be maintained at an acceptably low value and decay heat shall be removed for the extended period of time required by the long-lived radioactivity remaining in the core”.

It took about 70 for each of the three failed Fukushima Diiachi reactors to fail explosively. 15 hours is not enough.

The modern reactors therefore break the promise as did earlier generations of this failed and old fashioned technology.

“Lessons Learnt” because history forgotten at Fukushima.

The vulnerablities of nuclear power plants to meltdown and containment failure were identified in the Ergen report of 1967. (full text here: http://nuclearhistory.wordpress.com/2013/11/22/the-ergen-report-1967-eccs-meltdown-studies/)

Nuclear industry has spent the time since burying the original insights which, by the 1970s, led to the suspension of Licencing of new nuclear power plants in the USA. Licencing recommenced only after nuclear industry lied during public hearings, claiming that meltdown was a very slight risk and that safety systems would prevent meltdown and containment failure.

Since the Fukushima nuclear disaster, industry has periodically issued “lesson learned” type reports, aiming to once again promise the world that nuclear power is acceptable. Here’s another one:

http://news.sciencemag.org/asiapacific/2014/07/fukushima-report-urges-u-s-plant-operators-take-heed

Science Insider

Fukushima report urges U.S. plant operators to take heed

By
Dennis Normile
24 July 2014 4:00 pm

To avoid the kind of complacency over safety that led to the March 2011 disaster at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station in Japan, U.S. nuclear plant operators and regulators must be prepared to take timely action to upgrade plant safety features in line with advances in the understanding of natural hazards, states a report released today.

The report, Lessons Learned from the Fukushima Nuclear Accident for Improving Safety of U.S. Nuclear Plants, was written by a committee of the National Academy of Sciences. The panel drew on Japanese and international investigations into the causes of the Fukushima disaster, precipitated by the magnitude-9 earthquake and tsunami of 11 March 2011.

Like previous assessments, the academy’s report cites as a key contributing factor to the disaster the “failure of the plant owner [Tokyo Electric Power Co.] and the principal regulator [the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency] to protect critical safety equipment at the plant from flooding in spite of mounting evidence that the plant’s current design basis for tsunamis was inadequate.” The earthquake cut power from the electrical grid and the tsunami swamped the plant’s emergency generators, which were located in basements in the complex. The total loss of power deprived plant operators of reliable data on conditions within the reactors. They could not control key equipment, and therefore could not cool the reactors. Three of the plant’s six reactors suffered core meltdowns, hydrogen explosions damaged the facility, and the release of radioactive plumes led to the evacuation of about 100,000 nearby residents, many of whom remain in temporary housing.

The report notes that plant personnel were inadequately trained and lacked sufficient manpower to cope with simultaneous crises at several reactors. The situation was exacerbated by the loss of communication lines between the plant and the headquarters in Tokyo.

The report’s authors describe the disaster as a beyond-design-basis event, because several factors were more severe than anticipated by designers—particularly the earthquake and tsunami hazards. “The overarching lesson learned from the Fukushima Daiichi accident is that nuclear plant licensees and their regulators must actively seek out and act on new information about hazards that have the potential to affect the safety of nuclear plants,” the report concludes, adding that plant operators “must take timely actions to implement countermeasures when such new information results in substantial changes to risk profiles at nuclear plants.” The report cites a need to strengthen capabilities “for identifying, evaluating, and managing the risks from beyond-design-basis events,” including large earthquakes or floods that occur very infrequently.

During a dial-in press conference to discuss the report, committee member B. John Garrick, a consultant in Laguna Beach, California, explained that there is also a need to assess how a severe accident, simultaneously affecting multiple reactors at one site and within a region, can complicate crisis management at a time when electricity, support, and emergency services from off-site could be disrupted, as happened at the Fukushima plant. In such circumstances, plant personnel must be trained to respond in an ad hoc manner to circumstances that are nearly impossible to completely predict, the report states.

Among a number of specific lessons, the report identifies the need to ensure a continuing source of power for instrumentation and safety system control and to cool and depressurize reactors; to improve monitoring of radiation levels both on-site and in the surrounding community; and to provide more robust communication links between on-site and off-site support facilities.

Robert Bari, a physicist at Brookhaven National Laboratory in Upton, New York, noted that plant operators and regulators in the United States and other countries are already taking steps to upgrade plant systems, operating procedures, and operator training in response to the Fukushima disaster. But “it is too soon to evaluate their comprehensiveness, effectiveness, or status,” he said.

Norman Neureiter, acting director of the Center for Science, Technology, and Security Policy of AAAS, which publishes Science and ScienceInsider, chaired the committee of 21 experts.
end quote

See also:

http://www.nrc.gov/about-nrc/short-history.html#meltdown:

The ECCS Hearings

One of those issues was the reliability of emergency core cooling systems. In light of the objections to the interim acceptance criteria for ECCS that the AEC had published in June 1971, the agency decided to hold a rulemaking hearing on the issue that would apply to all licensing cases. It hoped that this would avoid repeating the same procedures and deliberating over the same questions in case- by-case hearings and that generic hearings would provide a means to resolve issues common to all plants. The ECCS hearings got underway in early 1972 and stretched into 135 days over a period of a year and a half. When they ended, the transcripts of the proceedings filled more than 22,000 pages. The ECCS hearings led to a final rule that made some small but important revisions in the interim criteria. They also produced acrimonious testimony and front-page headlines that often reflected unfavorably on the AEC’s safety programs and that further damaged its credibility. end quote.

The lesson learnt from the hearings was the imperative to control the media and thus, in the lack of effective safety systems, reduce the public perception of risk. Social engineering has, since that time, been used in place of engineering solutions – for none exist. Fuksuhima is the proof that opponents have been correct since Ergen was a boy.

Abnormal blood in Japanese Monkeys linked to Fukushima Radio Cesium Effluent

Japanese scientists have been monitoring the health of Wild Japanese monkeys since March 2011. Although the scientists have not been allowed into the exclusion zone around the Fukushima Diiachi Nuclear Power Plant – resulting in some monkey populations not being monitored – much has been learned about Radio Cesium uptake (the nuclear exhaust from the Fukushima Diiachi nuclear disaster in which three reactors exploded, resulting in loss of containment of the radio poisons.) by wild Japanese monkeys in areas of more distant nuclear fallout.

Here is a link to a previous paper which describes the radiological contamination of the wild Japanese Monkeys some distance from the failed nuclear power plants:

http://nuclearhistory.wordpress.com/2014/03/10/concentration-of-radiocesium-in-the-wild-japanese-monkey-macaca-fuscata-over-the-first-15-months-after-the-fukushima-daiichi-nuclear-disaster/

Today, Friday 25 July 2014, both The Guardian UK and The Australian newspaper reported the finding that the blood tests of the contaminated wild Japanese Monkeys show abnormalities:

http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/jul/24/japanese-monkeys-abnormal-blood-linked-to-fukushima-disaster-study

Japanese monkeys’ abnormal blood linked to Fukushima disaster – study
– Primates in Fukushima region found to have low white and red blood cell levels and radioactive caesium

Damian Carrington
theguardian.com, Friday 25 July 2014 01.34 AEST

Quote:

Wild monkeys in the Fukushima region of Japan have blood abnormalities linked to the radioactive fall-out from the 2011 nuclear power plant disaster, according to a new scientific study that may help increase the understanding of radiation on human health.

The Japanese macaques (Macaca fuscata) were found to have low white and red blood cell levels and low haemoglobin, which the researchers say could make them more prone to infectious diseases.

But critics of the study say the link between the abnormal blood tests and the radiation exposure of the monkeys remains unproven and that the radiation doses may have been too small to cause the effect.

The scientists compared 61 monkeys living 70km (44 miles) from the the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant with 31 monkeys from the Shimokita Penisula, over 400km (249 miles) from Fukushima. The Fukushima monkeys had low blood counts and radioactive caesium in their bodies, related to caesium levels in the soils where they lived. No caesium was detected in the Shimokita troop.

Professor Shin-ichi Hayama, at the Nippon Veterinary and Life Science University in Tokyo, told the Guardian that during Japan’s snowy winters the monkeys feed on tree buds and bark, where caesium has been shown to accumulate at high concentrations.

“This first data from non-human primates — the closest taxonomic relatives of humans — should make a notable contribution to future research on the health effects of radiation exposure in humans,” he said. The work, which ruled out disease or malnutrition as a cause of the low blood counts, is published in the peer-reviewed journal Scientific Reports.

White blood cell counts were lowest for immature monkeys with the highest caesium concentrations, suggesting younger monkeys may be more vulnerable to radioactive contamination. Hayama noted: “Abnormalities such as a decreased blood cell count in people living in contaminated areas have been reported from Chernobyl as a long-term effect of low-dose radiation exposure.” But other blood measures did not correlate with caesium levels, which vary with the seasons.

Prof Geraldine Thomas, at Imperial College London, said the Chernobyl studies were not “not regarded as scientifically validated” and that the correlations between the caesium and low blood counts in the Fukushima study were not statistically strong.

“Unfortunately this is yet another paper with insufficient power to distinguish real effects and relevance to human health,” she said. “We know that one of the most damaging health effects comes from fear of radiation, not radiation itself.” She also noted that people, unlike the monkeys, could avoid eating contaminated food from the Fukushima region.

Another critic, Prof Jim Smith, at the University of Portsmouth, said: “I am highly sceptical of the claim. The levels of radiocaesium in the Fukushima monkeys are about the same as those found in sheep in some parts of the UK following the Chernobyl accident, i.e. extremely low in terms of damage to the animals themselves. I think it much more likely that the apparently low blood cell counts are caused by something other than radiation.”

Prof Hayama said that caesium levels were used as an indicator of the radiation exposure of the monkeys. “The low haematological values in the Fukushima monkeys could have therefore been due to the effect of any radioactive materials,” he said. “We did not conclude the low-blood cell counts are caused by caesium but so far we cannot find other reasons except radiation.”

Engineers at Fukushima are currently working to contain thousands of tonnes of irradiated water groundwater by next March by surrounding the four damaged reactors by an underground frozen wall.

Other research published on Wednesday showed children, teenagers and young adults living near two UK nuclear power stations since the 1990s are not at an increased risk of developing cancer.” end quote.

Here is the link to the peer reviewed paper: http://www.nature.com/srep/2014/140724/srep05793/full/srep05793.html

The British study of children is irrelevant to the Japanese Monkeys. The British reactors have not blown up since the 1950s. No one knows yet when they will do so again.

Probability of nuclear reactor core meltdown higher than expected

http://www.homelandsecuritynewswire.com/dr20120523-probability-of-nuclear-reactor-core-meltdown-higher-than-expected

Published 23 May 2012
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Currently, there are 440 nuclear reactors in operation, and sixty more are planned; new research finds that reactor accidents involving a core meltdown, as were the Chernobyl and Fukushima, may occur once every ten to twenty years — some 200 times more often than estimated in the past; the authors of the study note that they did not take into account potential contributing factors to accidents such as the age and type of reactors, or whether reactors are located in regions of enhanced risks such as earthquakes

Catastrophic nuclear accidents such as the core meltdowns in Chernobyl and Fukushima are more likely to happen than previously assumed. Based on the operating hours of all civil nuclear reactors and the number of nuclear meltdowns that have occurred, scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Chemistry in Mainz have calculated that such events may occur once every ten to twenty years (based on the current number of reactors) — some 200 times more often than estimated in the past.

A Max-Planck-Gesellschaft release reports that the researchers also determined that, in the event of such a major accident, half of the radioactive caesium-137 would be spread over an area of more than 1,000 kilometers away from the nuclear reactor. Their results show that Western Europe is likely to be contaminated about once in fifty years by more than forty kilobecquerel of caesium-137 per square meter. According to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), an area is defined as being contaminated with radiation from this amount onwards.

In view of their findings, the researchers call for an in-depth analysis and reassessment of the risks associated with nuclear power plants.

The reactor accident in Fukushima has fuelled the discussion about nuclear energy and triggered Germany’s exit from their nuclear power program. It appears that the global risk of such a catastrophe is higher than previously thought, a result of a study carried out by a research team led by Jos Lelieveld, director of the Max Planck Institute for Chemistry in Mainz: “After Fukushima, the prospect of such an incident occurring again came into question, and whether we can actually calculate the radioactive fallout using our atmospheric models.” According to the results of the study, a nuclear meltdown in one of the reactors in operation worldwide is likely to occur once in ten to twenty years. Currently, there are 440 nuclear reactors in operation, and sixty more are planned.

To determine the likelihood of a nuclear meltdown, the researchers applied a simple calculation. They divided the operating hours of all civilian nuclear reactors in the world, from the commissioning of the first up to the present, by the number of reactor meltdowns that have actually occurred. The total number of operating hours is 14,500 years, the number of reactor meltdowns comes to four — one in Chernobyl and three in Fukushima. This translates into one major accident, being defined according to the International Nuclear Event Scale (INES), every 3,625 years. Even if this result is conservatively rounded to one major accident every 5,000 reactor years, the risk is 200 times higher than the estimate for catastrophic, non-contained core meltdowns made by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) in 1990. The Mainz researchers did not distinguish ages and types of reactors, or other potential contributing factors to accidents such as whether reactors are located in regions of enhanced risks, for example by earthquakes.

Subsequently, the researchers determined the geographic distribution of radioactive gases and particles around a possible accident site using a computer model that describes the Earth’s atmosphere. The model calculates meteorological conditions and flows, and also accounts for chemical reactions in the atmosphere. The model can compute the global distribution of trace gases, for example, and can also simulate the spreading of radioactive gases and particles. To approximate the radioactive contamination, the researchers calculated how the particles of radioactive caesium-137 (137Cs) disperse in the atmosphere, where they deposit on the Earth’s surface and in what quantities. The 137Cs isotope is a product of the nuclear fission of uranium. It has a half-life of thirty years and was one of the key elements in the radioactive contamination following the disasters of Chernobyl and Fukushima.

The computer simulations revealed that, on average, only 8 percent of the 137Cs particles are expected to deposit within an area of 50 kilometers around the nuclear accident site. Around 50 percent of the particles would be deposited outside a radius of 1,000 kilometers, and around 25 percent would spread even further than 2,000 kilometers. These results underscore that reactor accidents are likely to cause radioactive contamination well beyond national borders.

The results of the dispersion calculations were combined with the likelihood of a nuclear meltdown and the actual density of reactors worldwide to calculate the current risk of radioactive contamination around the world. According to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), an area with more than forty kilobecquerels of radioactivity per square meter is defined as contaminated.

The team in Mainz found that in Western Europe, where the density of reactors is particularly high, the contamination by more than 40 kilobecquerels per square meter is expected to occur once in about every fifty years. It appears that citizens in the densely populated southwestern part of Germany run the worldwide highest risk of radioactive contamination, associated with the numerous nuclear power plants situated near the borders between France, Belgium, and Germany, and the dominant westerly wind direction.

If a single nuclear meltdown were to occur in Western Europe, around twenty-eight million people on average would be affected by contamination of more than forty kilobecquerels per square meter. This figure is even higher in southern Asia, due to the dense populations. A major nuclear accident there would affect around thirty-four million people, while in the eastern United States and in East Asia this would be fourteen to twenty-one million people.

“Germany’s exit from the nuclear energy program will reduce the national risk of radioactive contamination. However, an even stronger reduction would result if Germany’s neighbors were to switch off their reactors,” says Jos Lelieveld. “Not only do we need an in-depth and public analysis of the actual risks of nuclear accidents. In light of our findings I believe an internationally coordinated phasing out of nuclear energy should also be considered,” adds the atmospheric chemist.

— Read more in J. Lelieveld et al., “Global risk of radioactive fallout after major nuclear reactor accidents,” Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics 12 (2012): 4245-58 (doi:10.5194/acp-12-4245-2012)

Adaptation to Oxidative Stress in Birds at Chernobyl

Recently the following paper received major coverage in the New York Times:

“Chronic exposure to low-dose radiation at Chernobyl favours adaptation to oxidative stress in birds”, Ismael Galvan, Andrea Bonisoli-Alquati, Shanna Jenkinson, Ghanem Ghanem,
Kazumasa Wakamatsu, Timothy A. Mousseau and Anders P. Møller,
Functional Ecology 2014 doi: 10.1111/1365-2435.12283.

The New York Times piece can be read at: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/05/06/science/nature-adapts-to-chernobyl.html?_r=0

Entitled “At Chernobyl, Hints of Nature’s Adaptation“, by Henry Fountain, the New York Times piece was published on May 5, 2014.

The New York Times states that “…Some bird species, they reported in the journal Functional Ecology, appear to have adapted to the radioactive environment by producing higher levels of protective antioxidants, with correspondingly less genetic damage. For these birds, Dr. Mousseau said, chronic exposure to radiation appears to be a kind of “unnatural selection” driving evolutionary change.”

and further:

“Dr. Mousseau dismisses the idea that the zone is some kind of post-apocalyptic Eden. But the latest study has given him pause, he said, because it shows the kind of adaptations that may allow some creatures — chaffinches and great tits in this case, though not barn swallows or robins — to thrive in the zone. However, it remains to be seen whether these species are truly thriving, Dr. Mousseau said.

The findings also suggest that in some cases radiation levels might have an inverse effect — birds in areas with higher radiation exposure may show greater adaptation, and thus less genetic damage, than those in areas with lower radiation levels.” (End quotes)

I have obtained the complete paper by Galvan, Mousseau et. al., and am currently studying it.

I will post here my understanding of the paper in the light of the fact that Mousseau and Moller have confirmed that some bird species – for example the Barn Swallow – have been disadvantaged by the environmental contamination around Chernobyl.

The adaptation of species to environmental change and threats within the environment comes at the cost of the vulnerable individuals within a species, whether that be species be animal, bird or human.

Where some individuals and some species are able to adapt while others are not, the balance of nature and the range of individuals within a species changes.

While nuclear industry obviously considers these changes to be a good thing, those of less partial interests may do well to consider whether celebration is actually appropriate.

Certainly, for species less able to adapt to the poisoning of Chernobyl and its surroundings, there is no obvious cause for joy.

Such enviornmental change and imposed risk, when deliberately forced upon humans, is called “Eugenics”. It is for this reason that the Chernobyl exclusion zone is an ethical imperative. As much as nuclear industry claims there is no need for the exclusion zone.

The comparative morality applied to contaminated zones in Japan, to which people have no choice, given the policy of the Japanese government, concerns me to a great degree.

As does the actual conditions and quality of life experienced by those living in afflicted areas of Belarus and Ukraine today.

In the case of humans more over, the paradoxical role of a critical and potent free radical, nitric oxide, in natural cancer suppression and prevention, may well be compromised if the adaptation of increased anti-oxidant production, as displayed by some of the bird species at Chernobyl, were to take place.

The roles of Nitric Oxide within the human is simply explained by Wikipedia here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nitric_oxide

D A Wink et. al. explain the actions of Nitric Oxide in humans as follows: “The roles of nitric oxide (NO) in numerous disease states have generated considerable discussion over the past several years. NO has been labeled as the causative agent in different pathophysiological mechanisms, yet appears to protect against various chemical species such as those generated under oxidative stress. Similarly, NO appears to exert a dichotomy of effects within the multistage model of cancer. Chronic inflammation can lead to the production of chemical intermediates, among them NO, which in turn can mediate damage to DNA. Yet, NO also appears to be critical for the tumoricidal activity of the immune system. Furthermore, NO can also have a multitude of effects on other aspects of tumor biology, including angiogenesis and metastasis. This report will discuss how the chemistry of NO may impact the initiation and progression stages of cancer.” (The multifaceted roles of nitric oxide in cancer.
D A Wink, Y Vodovotz, J Laval, F Laval, M W Dewhirst and J B Mitchell, Carcinogenesis (1998) 19 (5): 711-721. doi: 10.1093/carcin/19.5.711).

Humans, further, are distinct from many animals species – we cannot produce, for example, Vitamin C, a potent anti-oxidant.

Thus it can be seen that the adaptations witnessed in the animal kingdom are not valid indicators of what is or what is not, a beneficial environment for human individuals, communities, and our species as a whole.

The disturbing fact remains that the human cost of Chernobyl is argued over to this day, while we, the lay public, must grasp at straws, from having little or no insight into what is or what is not Chernobyl related suffering. It is unlikely that the Great Tit of Chernobyl will provide any concrete answer. The Barn Swallow remains a warning, as if it were a modern variant of the coal miners’ canary.

In any study of a changed environment it would be strange indeed not to find individuals and species advantaged by a change. It would also be strange indeed not to find individuals and species disadvantaged by the same change.

In human terms, “Are you feeling lucky? Well do you, punk?”: Dirty Harry.

The induction of increased oxidative stress is one way in which radiation creates risk and harm. It is not the only vector of risk and harm. In the late 1950s and 1960s, some sections of nuclear industry eagerly awaited the evolution of the radiation resistant human, due to chronic exposure to bomb fallout. (Earnest Rock-Carling, Chair, ICRP, Atoms for Peace Conference, Geneva, 1955.)

The lesson from cigarette smoking induced disease since World War 2 is this: There is no sign of a tobacco related adaption in humans. Lung cancer rates go up with smoking rates. The lung cancer rates go down when smoking rates go down.

Why then should I expect the by now habitual explosion of nuclear power plants to induce a humanity resistant to such nuclear exhaust?

The longer one smokes, the greater the risk. The longer nuclear power plants exist on the planet, the greater the risk.

The industry would have it that the longer one is exposed to nuclear exhaust, the safer one is, due to hormesis.

Patent crap in my opinion. Ask a tobacco widow. There is no beneficial dose for tobacco. And none, I submit, for plutonium either.

What if, in the event of increased consumption of anti-oxidant pills by an individual, the result was “excess” “mopping up” of Nitric Oxide by the increased amount of anti-oxidant in the person’s system? Would that individual be more or less vulnerable to cancers and other diseases?

Yes, its a pity we have to breathe oxygen, a gas commonly described as reactive and toxic.

Nuclear industry often claims that synergy is an unproven concept. (It isn’t). Heightened “toxicity” or “reactivity” of oxygen and its radicals (along with hydrogen radicals) is one of the sure signs of synergistic effects of radiation when combined with oxygen. Why else would Nuclear industry spend so much money per year mitigating against radiation enhanced reactor steel corrosion at every nuke power plant on the globe? The chemical of choice as a corrosion inhibitor in reactor coolant is hydrazine. Yea, the old WW2 Nazi rocket fuel. The Material Safety Data Sheet for Hydrazine is eye opening. Hydrazine, Zirconium, nuclear fuel, fission products and false assurances. Mix well and wait.

Reads like a tobacco advert.