Sandi Maurer, Director of the EMF Safety Network has announced her organization is bringing suit against the California Public Utilities Commission “for failing to address serious Smart Meter issues, including health and safety impacts, and FCC compliance.”
(Photo by Buddhika Weerasinghe/Getty Images)
Kimberly Roberson, Founder of the Fukushima Fallout Awareness Network, and author of Silence Deafening, Fukushima Fallout … A Mother’s Response, has mounted a campaign on IndieGoGo on food safety in the US, human health and how citizens informed about Fukushima can change the world.
Sandi needs to raise $25,000 for legal costs ASAP attorneys, James Hobson and Joshua Nelson of Best, Best and Krieger are representing the Network in the California First Court of Appeals. Scroll down for details. $10-$100 from you will help and you can do it below, or right here.
Kim is aiming to raise $9,000 in order to disseminate key information that will help inform readers who may not realize the considerable dangers and consequences of a post-Fukushima nuclear powered society, while at the same time providing powerful tools for transitioning to a safer world. Scroll down for Kim’s explanatory video.
Cartoon by Jim Heddle EON
Why We’re Suing the CPUC
Sandi Mauer – Director, EMF Safety Network
On June 7th, the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) denied the EMF Safety Network Rehearing Request on the grounds that, “the evidence does not support re-opening a review of Smart Meters.” Because the Rehearing Request is denied we can now sue the CPUC for failing to address serious Smart Meter issues, including health and safety impacts, and FCC compliance.
The CPUC has buried it’s head in the sand!
The CPUC rubber stamped PG&E claims of Smart Meter safety!
Although no new evidence can be added to the lawsuit in Appeals court, this lawsuit is important because it could force the CPUC to address the issues it has been ignoring.
The CPUC has NEVER addressed the health and safety impacts of Smart Meters. They’ve only provided an opt out with a penalty!
We need to raise $25,000 for legal costs ASAP! Attorneys James Hobson and Joshua Nelson of Best, Best and Krieger will represent us in the California First Court of Appeals. The lawsuit will be filed by the July 11 deadline.
If every customer on PG&E’s delay list would donate 15 cents, we’d have it covered! Considering we probably won’t reach those 177,000 people, if people donate $10-$100 this will help! Please give whatever amount you can!
DONATE NOW! https://emfsafetynetwork.org/?page_id=2127
(You do not need a Paypal account to donate! See the ‘Don’t have a PayPal account?’ section to the left of login box and click on link to use your credit card.)
The results of suing the CPUC, if we win, will be that the Court will mandate the CPUC to address our original EMF Safety Network Application which includes:
Re-opening both of the Smart Meter proceedings (D.06-07-027 and D.09-03-026) Evidentiary hearings on radiation health, environmental, and safety impacts Review of actual Smart Meter program performance An independently prepared RF Emissions Study
A CALL TO ACTION: Facts are facts. There have been at least three major nuclear power disasters to date: Three Mile Island in 1979, Chernobyl in 1986, and Fukushima Daiichi in 2011. Radioactive fallout has extremely long term consequences. There are also many smaller nuclear accidents and near misses every year. Do we wait for another major nuclear catastrophe, or do we act now?
The world changed dramatically on March 11, 2011. Fukushima Daiichi’s unprecedented THREE nuclear meltdowns and continuing deadly radioactive fallout signaled that Japan and the world would be forever changed. Previously I had learned much about radioactive waste issues while working for Greenpeace in the US. I also studied holistic nutrition and worked in the nutrition field before becoming a mother. I used to think it was a bit of an unusual resume leap, going from radioactive waste to then nutrition and motherhood, but on March 11, 2011 those worlds collided and bonded together. What my experiences brought to the table was startling clear: radioactive fallout from nuclear power and food do not mix, and innocent children are especially at risk.
HOW YOU CAN HELP: These days the publishing world shifts responsibility primarily to the new author for not only creating the book but for distribution as well. I’m appealing to the good people here on Indiegogo to help raise $9,000 for this campaign. As a contributor, you will a) help to create a national advertising campaign and materials to provide a platform for myself and others to speak out on this urgent issue; b) a print edition for bookstores around the US in conjunction with the PR campaign and c) seed money to research the companion book to “Silence Deafening..” on mindful health in a Fukushima world. Read more.
For more on the Fukushima Fallout Awareness Network, you can also follow FFAN on Facebook.
“How Smart Are Smart Meters”
Reported by Spencer Michels, PBS News Hour
The eight-minute, fifty-second segment broadcast on 7-20-2012, included 3:42;25 of the industry point of view, 3:05;14 of activists’ point of view, and 48 seconds of exclusive EON footage assembled over the past 3 years. Our comments, a transcript snip, as well as viewer and reader comments are below. Here is a link to Spencer Michels’ blog. But first, if you haven’t seen it, take a look.
PBS News Hour reporter Spencer Michels fell into the deceptive trap cleverly laid by the industry pushing wireless technologies.
Spencer, who lives in Marin County, California, one of the main epicenters of the original pushback against the wireless ‘smart’ meter plan, told us he’s wanted to do a story on ‘smart’ meters for the last two years.
But he fell for the industry ‘dueling science studies’ confusion tactics and the lure to accept the word of so-called ‘authorities’ and ‘experts.’ (i.e. Every time an independent researcher does a study showing biological effects from RF exposure, the industry funded doubt machine underwrites a study to deliberately show opposite results through the way the study is constructed. This is not valid science, but unless one has the ability to read studies and spot the obvious flaws, a beginner to this issue can understandably be confused. This follows a pattern of deception mapped out by the cigarette companies that prevented cigarettes from being outlawed or even sanctioned against for over 50 years.)
News Hour reporter Spencer Michels interviews Valeri Hood (rt) and Mary Beth Brangan (back to camera)
We appreciate the opportunity to present some of our reasoning (albeit in a very simplified form) to the mainstream audience of PBS but hope that we have a chance to rebut the inaccuracies, spin and outright lies presented by the ‘experts’ and PG&E and to have our own experts interviewed on PBS News Hour in the future.
Some of the more glaring inaccuracies: 1) 56 cities and counties in California officially passed some kind of objection, ordinance or moratorium to the forced installation of wireless ‘smart’ meters – not 12 as reported by Michels. 2) The World Health Organization, the WHO, May 31, 2012 classified the RF used in ‘smart’ meters as a class 2B possible carcinogen. An outdated 2005 WHO statement was given by the so-called ‘expert’ Macari, and he even misrepresented that 2005 statement. 3) PG&E’s Helen Burt assured Michels that PG&E hasn’t sold anyone’s data gleaned from their meters. However, California Public Utility Commissioner Timothy Simon said in a public meeting that the CPUC hopes to sell the data to interested third parties. The reason they haven’t yet is that the system to do so hasn’t been completed. She also contended that only 30,000 customers want to opt out and that the rest are ‘engaged’ with the technology. We know that many, many thousands of customers have filed complaints and many more wanted to opt out but couldn’t afford the hefty fees to do so. We also know that PG&E lies about numbers that don’t favor them.
Though we linked to them in a previous blog edition, I want to repeat two especially good recent overview statements by our independent experts on RF who are truly concerned about the effects of RF pollution on public health so you can recognize the spin, lies and misinformation more clearly.
And the American Academy of Environmental Medicine July 2012 statement re RF health effects and ‘smart’ meters. In January they wrote a letter to the CPUC calling for a moratorium on ‘smart’ meter installation. Their July statement goes even farther. Download the PDF here.
By James Heddle
Longtime Bay Area-based News Hour producer Spencer Michels and his crew deserve credit and thanks for getting this issue on the mainstream airways, a goal Michels says he has been pushing for over the past two years. We understand the constraints in which he works and appreciate his team’s technical professionalism. They have mastered the form of News Hour reporting.
‘Could have been worse,’ was Mary Beth’s immediate comment. ‘Hey, it got the issue out there,’ said a respected media analyst friend. ‘Just getting the discussion onto mainstream media is major.’
Ok. But, still. It reminded us of why we don’t have a television and never watch the PBS News Hour. Polished, superficial, formulaic and, well, lazy. Not what one would call ‘probing investigative journalism.’ But that, as the saying goes, is ‘what the traffic will bear.’
‘You know too much,’ Michels told Valeri and Mary Beth in the pre-recording discussion in Valeri’s Fairfax home. You’ve got to keep it succinct and simple. We know your arguments. We know their arguments. We’re just going to pair them off and that’s our report. Uh huh. That’s balanced journalism for you.
But – not surprisingly, given their roster of sponsors – the underlying News Hour pattern is clear…once you see it. Simple as A, B, C. In this case, it goes like this: (A) ‘smart meter’ opponents’ views are presented in simplified bites; (B) industry spokespeople ‘rebut’ them with unsubstantiated assertions; (C) however, activists don’t really get the chance to rebut the industry ‘rebuttals’ or challenge their assertions with actual, factual data.
The resulting take-away impression is this: the activists’ critique has been debunked on every point and the industry has all the answers. End of inquiry.
Here’s my favorite egregiously erroneous statement from an alleged ‘expert,’ Dean of Engineering and Computer Science at the California State University, Sacramento, named Emir Jose Macari, who Michels says, ‘…was part of the California Council on Science and Technology, a team that reviewed the literature on electromagnetic emissions, including radio frequency waves, or RF, a study often cited by PG&E.’ [ None of the CCST committee were biologists or RF specialists nor did they consider any of the massive amount of science that was presented to them by experts whose studies show adverse health effects from RF radiation. They refused to even include it in their review, though it amounts to thousands of pages of peer-reviewed science that spans over 50 years and includes much gathered by the U.S. military! ]:
SPENCER MICHELS: Macari demonstrated for us how the emissions from a smart meter can be monitored. He says those emissions are very slight.
EMIR JOSE MACARI [holding an exotic-looking metering device the read-outs of which we can’t see next to a lone, unhooked up ‘smart’ meter in the middle of a sidewalk ]: So, I could also be measuring emissions on my cell phone.
SPENCER MICHELS: So, how does it compare?
EMIR JOSE MACARI: Well, this is so much higher.
SPENCER MICHELS: Really?
EMIR JOSE MACARI: But — by 20 times higher than what a smart meter does.
No mention here of the facts that (a) cellphone exposures are voluntary, while ‘smart meter’ exposure is involuntary, imposed without consent by the utility; (b) cellphone exposures are intermittent depending on use, while ‘smart meters’ pulse continuously 24/7; cellphone exposures are localized to the head, while wireless meters give virtually continuous whole-body exposure. No mention of mesh networks – i.e., emissions from all surrounding neighborhood meters ‘chirping’ to each other other 9,600 to 190,000 times per day as they transmit data among themselves and to a collection point receiver.
As a result, residents are exposed to a constant pulsing field of microwaves in their home (and more if they have close neighbors) and outside as well from the interconnecting mesh network of RF signals. e) No mention of the situations of banks of multiple meters on apartments or businesses f) no mention of reflections of signals from hard surfaces and the resulting ‘hot spots’ where exposures are intensified g) no mention of the increase of RF exposure if people actually have ‘smart’chips in their appliances that are also pulsing signals within the home 24/7; h) no mention of how the ‘dirty electricity’ from the meters transformers the SMPS, gets into the household wiring and adds to the total field of pulsing VHF and RF microwaves, etc., etc.
Finally (i) no mention of the ‘hackability’ of wireless ‘smart’ meters and a regional or national energy grid based on them. [See, for example, Smart grid vulnerability could give hackers free electricity Because cooling systems at the country’s 104 nuclear reactors are dependent on power from the grid to keep running, such hackability makes them all vulnerable to accidental and maliciously caused meltdowns.
As we reported in a previous blog on the inaccuracies in the California Council on Science and Technology ‘report’, a chart from independent researcher Dan Hirsch of the Committee to Bridge the Gap tells the ‘whole-body’ story:
Comparison of Radio-Frequency Levels to the Whole Body from Various Sources in IJ W/cm2 over time (corrected by Daniel Hirsch, Committee to Bridge the Gap, & UCSC Nuclear Policy lecturer, for assumed duty cycle and whole body exposure extrapolated from EPRI/CCST SmartMeter estimated levels at 3 feet).
The viewer comments below point out some of the other inaccuracies in the PBS segment.
Adding dubious gravitas to the report, EON Co-Director Jim Heddle (rt.) makes a cameo appearance.
Data Makes Me Drowsy
News Hour producer Spencer Michels’ blog on this topic follows much the same pattern as the video piece. He concludes that there are boring-to-read studies on both sides. Its up to opponents to prove the meters pose risks. Proponents don’t have to prove the meters are safe. He ends his commentary with this plaintive lament:
“So what is a home owner or a cellphone user, to say nothing of a journalist, to make of these dueling scientific and almost [sic] scientific statements? You could read studies till you fall asleep (which wouldn’t take long) and you still wouldn’t know the answer. Harm from wireless signals — especially from smart meters — hasn’t been proven or dis-proven, [oh, really?] though those who object to wireless signals probably need to document more scientifically their ailments. The burden of proof, given the prevalence of wireless devices, seems to be on them. [This really is infuriating after he was given so much documentation that he found so boring that he didn’t look at it seriously. And why not have the burden to prove safety be on the government officials and industry operatives who are rolling out this humongous boondoggle without public discussion or impartial, independent testing?]
And that leaves us with one choice [only one?]: present as much evidence as possible in the space available [8 minutes]. Indicate the possible risk [in a simple-minded, superficial way], and the fact many [un- and mis-informed] people are taking that risk — if in fact it is a risk. And examine and evaluate who is making the studies, a tough, lengthy job [too much for a busy News Hour journalist with, according to him, virtually unlimited global research and telecom resources]. Then hope you won’t be assaulted by someone with more studies “proving” his point of view.” [ Yet this is exactly why industry funds studies designed to purposely get no results and thus to confuse. See Henry Lai’s and B. Blake Levitt’s refutation of the CCST report for example:https://www.smartmeterdangers.org/index.php/position-statements/180-henry-lai-smart-meters ]
Meta-studies of studies on this and other serious public health and safety issues involving corporate profits [see our blog Sowing Doubt, Reaping Profit ] indicate that industry-funded studies are designed to manufacture pseudo-uncertainty, while truly independent studies find serious and mounting evidence of biological and medical harm. The responsible, common-sense action would be to apply the precautionary principle, i.e., when in doubt, don’t.
Industry-funded studies seem to reflect the result of corporate strong-arming. Lai reviewed 350 studies and found that about half showed bioeffects from EM radiation emitted by cell phones. But when he took into consideration the funding sources for those 350 studies, the results changed dramatically. Only 25 percent of the studies paid for by the industry showed effects, compared with 75 percent of those studies that were independently funded.
It is thus that the media masses are misled, mired in manufactured doubt and alleged ‘uncertainty.’ It has been the same story with pesticides, nuclear pollution, tobacco, asbestos, GMO and climate change, to mention just a few issues – until the evidence of harm is undeniable and it’s too late.
But, hey. Let’s look on the bright side. Like our media analyst friend says, at least this mainstream media organization is showing that there’s an argument going on in the public sphere about the wireless ‘smart grid’ concept.
This week’s ‘smart meter’ segment was intended, according to Michels and Woodruff, to ‘balance’ another one, which aired the previous Friday. Take a look:
This is a gee-whiz promo piece on the Pecan Street ‘smart grid’ demonstration project in Austin, Texas – one of 130 similar projects currently going on in 44 states. Pecan Street is a model housing development built on what used to be an airport. Here’s a peek at what life in a ‘smart grid’ community is supposed to be like.
From Elizabeth Kelly
Josh, I am so grateful to you, Mary Beth and Val for your incisive and heartfelt statements on this PBS show. The good news is that PBS covered this issue. The bad news is that their coverage of our side was weak and inaccurate. He who has the gold rules the world…
I just posted this statement to www.electromagneticsafety.org
On July 20, 2012, PBS NewsHour interviewed California activists opposed to smart meters. They also interviewed representatives of the California Public Utilities Commission, Pacific Gas and Electric Corporation and, an industry scientist. Somehow, they neglected to interview anyone from the American Academy of Environmental Medicine – https://www.aaemonline.org/
https://www.aaemonline.org/ (scroll down home page to find smart meter recommendations.) While we appreciate the interest PBS has shown by its coverage, we would have preferred equal time had been given to the point of view held by both sides of this complex issue and, more factual accuracy.
For example, more than 56 California cities and counties oppose smart meters, not a dozen; the World Health Organization classified radio-frequency radiation as a possible carcinogen in 2011, which belies the statement that “there is no proof of any evidence of harm”, the WHO report of 2005 said that electro-hypersensitivty was not a disease but a health condition, cause unknown: and, independent engineers have tested cell phone signals and compared them to smart meter signals and state that cell phone signals are not stronger than smart meter signals.
Smart meter signals carry a unique pulse modulated digital signature that creates an almost constant involuntary exposure condition for people in their homes. These transmissions are causing neurological problems in some people and domestic animals.
Smart meters were placed on the market without a premarket assessment to assure health and safety protections and do not carry an Underwriters Lab label, which would signify industry approval.
The 2005 Federal Energy Policy Act called for the utilities to invite customers to “opt in” to smart meters, signifying that Congress did not intend to make customers pay in order to “opt out.” Let the public debates continue.
from Melissa Levine
This morning I left a message at 703-998-2138 (Newshour contact)–Michael Getler.
I then reposted my comments and added an additional about possible censorship. Even though I sent in my first comment almost 24 hours ago–nothing’s been published. However, they have managed in that time to publish a comment from a J.V. Hodgson whose message to people who are concerned is basically–we live in a wi fi world–so tough luck.
I also viewed last week’s video on the smart grid. Judy Woodruff promised that this week’s story would show the other side. (So she is someone else to write)
They did publish for that story over 40 comments. One was Michelle’s (hers was one of the strongest). I am a bit suspicious that they sifted through those comments, also–as many seem a bit tame.
Oh, yeah, that was particularly obnoxious [the Michels comment re reading studies putting you to sleep]!!
What would have happened if people had found the literature on cigarettes, lead, asbestos, RBST, etc. only snooze-worthy?!
And they have the nerve to cal themselves journalists…what a travesty.
I think this merits contacting PBS directly at a higher level, though I’m not sure what department this would be.
One of our list members contacted KPFK back in November 2011 and said she would be canceling her membership/contributions if they did not at least respond to her request to cover SMs. The very next day she was contacted and an interview was set up with Cindy Sage. It was an effective strategy.
1. While ignoring the evidence and reports of people falling ill from the Smart Meter, CPUC employee claims the Smart Grid will prove “large economic benefit for most rate payers efficiencies in the long run”. The purpose of the CPUC is to “ensure that consumers have safe, reliable utility service at reasonable rates, protecting against fraud and promoting the health of California’s economy”. Key word: SAFE
2. So-called RF expert says “World Health Organization put out a report in 2005 saying there is no evidence of any harms to human beings from these technologies”. It seems that our “expert” forgot that the WHO changed their position on May 31, 2011 classifying RF radiation from cell phones (and Smart Meters) as a 2B level carcinogen. “The WHO/International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has classified radiofrequency electromagnetic fields as possibly carcinogenic to humans (Group 2B), based on an increased risk for glioma, a malignant type of brain cancer, associated with wireless phone use.” [ But the IARC decision also added that all devices operating in the same frequencies, like ‘smart’meters, are included in the Class 2B category as possible carcinogen. Ed. ]
3. Our RF expert is shown supposedly measuring emissions from a Smart Meter placed in the middle of a walkway. Is this for real? How is this Smart Meter showing a reading on this guy’s RF meter when the Smart Meter is NOT EVEN CONNECTED TO A POWER SOURCE!
4. The PGE employee Ms. Burt says “Our customers own their data. We do not own their data.” This is admission of unauthorized data theft by PGE.
5. Two separate systems have to be maintained according to Mr. Michels. Those using a Smart Meter pay for one system. However, those using the system that has been in place for the past 30 years have to pay for maintaining that system as well as the Smart Meter system. Those retaining a safe analog meter must pay for a Smart Meter and metering system that due to their health (such as pacemaker wearers) cannot use. Could this be discrimination?
The same PBS reporter [ Ray Suarez, who introduced the ] Smart Meter piece also wrote a piece 2 years ago on the Chinese hacking the internet. I just posted this on my Facebook wall:
PBS reporter does a report on cybersecurity and 2 years later on Smart Grid…with NO connecting the dots. No comments allowed at PBS.
Our entire utility metering and control system is currently being transitioned to a wireless IPv6 mesh network. In other words, our electricity, gas and water will be on a HACKABLE wireless network. The hub of this system starts in your home with a Smart Meter which is a transmitting computer complete with an upgradable Zigbee microchip, flash memory and 2 radio signals (one operating at 900 Mhz and one at 2.4 Ghz).
There are millions of data points that can be hacked and taken over by our enemies. Where were the microchips made? Who has access to the software code? Do we really think the Chinese haven’t considered hacking into our utilities?
On July 20, 2012, this same PBS reporter did a report on Smart Meters and the Smart Grid. There was no mention of a “smart” grid’s security vulnerabilities and how former CIA Director Woolsey calls this a wireless smart grid “really really stupid”. Is the public really getting their monies worth at PBS (Public B.S.)?
‘An 18-minute diversion of Internet traffic through China has raised security concerns around the world — especially for governments and people in critical infrastructure — and raises new concerns for online shoppers just ahead of Cyber Monday.
I know it’s hard to look at this in much positive light …. But as far as mainstream coverage goes (and PBS is more mainstream media than it’s not), this was actually very successful, I think. It could have been better, for sure, but it also could have been a lot worse, and frankly, I expected it to be. You all did really well, considering what you had to work with. Thanx for putting yourselves through the ordeal, and it was wonderful to see you all, virtually as it was.
As bad as it was, I think that ‘scientist’ who cited the 2005 WHO position kind of did us a favor. He made it so incredibly easy to make him look bad by citing the much more recent WHO position. Unfortunately I think most people only watch the broadcast and don’t go online to look at comments, but I think this glaring error should be used to put pressure on PBS to give us more air time to debunk the BS. I think all those contact options – comments, emails to the reporters/administrators, Facebook/Twitter, etc., should be utilized to their fullest….
To help keep EON’s work going, please check out all the support options on our Donation Page or you can also send a check made out to EON to EON, POB 1047, Bolinas, CA
The world mapped onto a DNA model. chemicalgraphics.com Both nuclear and electro-magnetic radiation permanently damage DNA
Different Mechanisms, Same Result: Pissing in the Gene Pool
As we’ve noted in these pages before, the reason we cover both nuclear and electro-magnetic technologies is that the radiological pollution they both emit (ionizing and non-ionizing, respectively) cause the same result, albeit by different mechanisms: they damage the DNA of all living things.
Caught in the Cross-Fire
The take-home is this: As both these forms of radiological pollution proliferate across the planet, the genetic health and integrity of all future generations of humans and all other lifeforms are foreclosed forevermore by the misguided actions of power-holders in the present generation.
Informed popular opposition to the spread of both these deadly technologies is growing around the globe as more and more people realize that – literally – the future is in our hands.
In this Edition…[Updated]
you’ll find updates in print and video on recent nuclear events around the world and summaries of the current science on the risks of so-called ‘smart’ electro-magnetic and microwave technologies.
…The statutes of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) oblige the organization to take decisions that are politically imposed upon it. These may be less costly, but they are medically unacceptable. These statutes serve as a reminder that the principle objective of the IAEA, which is a UN agency, is « to accelerate and enlarge the contribution of atomic energy to peace, health and prosperity throughout the world”.
In order to achieve its objectives, the IAEA cannot admit that these serious and common illnesses were caused by ionising radiation, because once known, it would prevent the development of the nuclear industry throughout the world.
The IAEA is therefore a poor source of advice for national health authorities; it denies the health catastrophe and gives priority to economic considerations; its statutes forbid attributing to, or associating serious illness with, radiation. Incorrect estimates delay the evacuation of communities that have been highly exposed to radiation. It was almost incomprehensible that at Fukushima there was no distribution of stable iodine to the population that would soon be under threat. Such a preventive measure would have been welcomed, as Keith Baverstock showed in Poland after Chernobyl.
The first victims of a serious nuclear accident are and will be children, with an increase in allergies and an aggravation of infectious diseases, which become chronic and involve serious complications. Professor Titov showed that in Belarus, the immune system was profoundly altered after the accident. Both white blood cells and gamma globulins were altered. This needs long term monitoring. Research needs to be done on the autoantibodies directed against beta cells in the islets of Langerhans in the pancreas, or against cells in the thyroid gland. Hashimoto’s thyroiditis has the same aetiology as Type 1 diabetes, both of which increased after the nuclear accident. At Chernobyl, this form of diabetes affected younger and younger children. This diabetes did not exhibit the same characteristics as the Type 1 we find in our countries. So it is an illness caused by ionising radiation. Other diseases of the endocrine system affect the sex glands, with problems occurring in young girls at puberty and with male sterility. Read more…
Protesters stage a rally against the restart of a nuclear reactor, in Tokyo, Monday, July 16, 2012. AP
Over 100,000 protesters took to the streets in central Tokyo on Monday to protest the country’s return to nuclear power. The demonstration was one of the largest if of its kind since Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda announced that the country would restart its reactors last month.
THE ASAHI SHIMBUN July 05, 2012
Lambasting both Tokyo Electric Power Co. and the prime minister’s office, the Diet’s task force investigating the accident at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant recommended an overhaul of the government’s crisis management system.
“The accident was not a natural disaster but was apparently a man-made disaster,” the Fukushima Nuclear Accident Independent Investigation Commission (NAIIC), headed by Kiyoshi Kurokawa, said in its final report released on July 5.
The panel concluded, “The crisis management system of the prime minister’s office and the regulatory authorities did not function.”
The conclusion of a report of a Japanese parliamentary panel issued last week that the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant disaster was rooted in government-industry “collusion” and thus was “man-made” is mirrored throughout the world. The “regulatory capture” cited by the panel is the pattern among nuclear agencies right up to the International Atomic Energy Agency. Read/Download an English version of the report here.
…The current IAEA director general is Yukiya Amano of Japan. In Vienna at the heaquarters of the IAEA, marking the first anniversary of the Fukushima disaster in March, Amano said: “Nuclear power is now safer than it was a year ago.”
Shuya Nomura, a member of the Japanese investigation commission and a professor at the Chuo Law School, was quoted in the New York Times as saying that the panel’s report tried to “shed light on Japan’s wider structural problems, on the pus that pervades Japanese society.” And, noted the Times, he added, “This report contains hints on how Japanese society needs to change.”
Those “wider structural problems” are far wider than Japan; ¬they are global. The “regulatory capture” cited in the Japanese panel’s report has occurred all over the world¬ with the nuclear industry and those promoting nuclear power in governments making sure that the nuclear foxes are in charge of the nuclear hen houses. The “pus that pervades Japanese society” is international. With some very important exceptions, people have not adequately taken on the nuclear authorities. And we all must. The nuclear promoters have set up a corrupt system to enable them to get their way with their deadly technology. They have lied, they have connived, they have distorted governments. The nuclear industry is thus allowed to do whatever it wants. The nuclear pushers must be firmly challenged and they and nuclear power must be stopped.
Japan’s ‘man-made’ nuclear fiasco
A report released last week by the Diet’s Fukushima Nuclear Accident Independent Investigation Commission backs what many members of the public have long believed: The fiasco at Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant was “a profoundly man-made disaster — that could have and should have been foreseen and prevented.”
The findings of the 19-member commission were based on a six-month investigation that included 900 hours of hearings and interviews with 1,167 people as well as nine visits to the Fukushima No. 1 power plant and three other nuclear power plants. In an unprecedented and most welcome move, the panel sought maximum information disclosure by opening up all 19 of its commission meetings to the public and broadcast all but the first one on the Internet in Japanese and English. The commission also dispatched teams overseas to confer with experts in the United States, Russia, Ukraine, Belarus and France.
The Fukushima nuclear accident, concluded the panel, “was the result of collusion between the government, the regulators and Tepco, and the lack of governance by said parties. They effectively betrayed the nation’s right to be safe from nuclear accidents.” The commission identified the root causes of the accident as “organizational and regulatory systems that supported faulty rationale for decisions and actions, rather than issues relating to the competency of any specific individual.”
The commission asserted that the direct causes of the accident were foreseeable prior to the March 11, 2011, disaster. But Tepco, the regulatory bodies, and the trade and industry ministry promoting nuclear power failed to develop the most basic safety requirements, including assessing damage probability, preparing for collateral damage containment and developing evacuation plans.
Friends of the Earth
WASHINGTON – July 13 – The problems with the steam generators at the San Onofre nuclear reactors are the most severe found in comparable generators across the U.S. nuclear industry, according to a new report commissioned by Friends of the Earth. The report by Fairewinds Associates also analyzes a leaked Southern California Edison document, which shows that despite assertions by Edison and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, thousands of tubes inside both San Onofre reactors are severely damaged and both reactors should remain shut down.
LOS ANGELES (AP) – Federal regulators Thursday disclosed the most detailed information to date on damage at California’s idled San Onofre nuclear power plant, where scores of tubes that carry radioactive water have eroded at an alarming rate.
The detailed data, posted obscurely on the Nuclear Regulatory Commission website, has implications for the future of the seaside plant that has been offline since a tube break in January released traces of radiation.
The records provide the first close portrait of how heavily damaged some tubes have become in a short time, and hint at the challenge faced by operator Southern California Edison to get the reactors running again. Edison officials had no immediate comment.
Thanks to Donna Gilmore SanOnofreSafety.org https://sanonofresafety.files.wordpress.com/2011/11/tubespluggedchart.pdf
San Onofre’s Steam Generators: Significantly Worse than All Others Nationwide
Wed, Jul 11, 2012
Client:Friends of the Earth
Presended to:General Public
Look. This problem existed in their previous Steam Generators. Alot of tube wear around the anti-vibration bars or batwing supports. Alot of wear……. leaks too. The problem was never fully addressed, along with the monumental safety implications. I tried to address it, but I will not get into that at this time. This problem was also accompanied by fuel cladding breeches (failed fuel). It was a radiological mess. SCE was not fully upfront with the NRC about this problem and other issues, and now they are paying the price. From my experience, significant fuel cladding breeches in Unit 2 will appear in November – December 2012 based on a startup of Unit 2 in August 2012. This is all based on past experience and modeled as such. The Xenon and Krypton offgasing from the cladding failures will be beyond the plants capacity to pr…ocess. In PWR’s where fuel cladding is compromised, xenon gas (from the failed fuel) emits gamma rays, which then decays to Strontium 90 and various isotopes of Cesium settling out on the ground, all with 30 year half lifes. Krypton is another mean beast. This is emitted mainly out the plant vent stack. Some of it is controlled, but at times, the pressure diaphrams can burst on the pressurized tanks and the release is uncontrolled. In addition, the irradiated U235 and UO2 can escape the primary system, with a degraded secondary barrier (steam generators) as fast as the atmospheric conditions prevail in any reactor shutdown or anticipated transient. Even though, there are Technical Specification Limits on primary system Iodine activity, walkdowns by NRC inspectors must be mandatory around the RCS sampling system penetrations and radiation monitors to ensure operability and correct sampling alignment. Furthermore,…read more
Fukushima’s radioactivity found in California kelp; levels spiked, then disappeared.
Kelp off Southern California was contaminated with short-lived radioisotopes a month after Japan’s Fukushima accident, a sign that the spilled radiation reached the state’s coastline, according to a new scientific study. Scientists tested giant kelp from the ocean off Orange County and other locations after the March, 2011 accident and detected radioactive iodine at peak concentrations 250-fold higher than levels found in West Coast kelp before the nuclear accident. “Basically we saw it in all the California kelp blades we sampled,” said biology professor Steven Manley of California State University, Long Beach. The radioactivity had no known effects on the giant kelp, or on fish and other marine life, and it was undetectable when the kelp was tested again a month later. Iodine 131 “has an eight-day half life so it’s pretty much all gone,” Manley said. “But this shows what happens half a world away does effect what happens here. I don’t think these levels are harmful but it’s better if we don’t have it at all.”
Richard Ling/flickr Some radioactive material probably accumulated in fish that eat California's giant kelp – including señorita, pictured above. There is no data on what iodine 131, which has a half life of only eight days, might do to fish.
Some radioactive material probably accumulated in fish that eat California’s giant kelp – including señorita, pictured above. There is no data on what iodine 131, which has a half life of only eight days, might do to fish.
By Marla Cone
Editor in Chief
Environmental Health News
March 30, 2012
LONG BEACH, Calif. – Kelp off Southern California was contaminated with short-lived radioisotopes a month after Japan’s Fukushima accident, a sign that the spilled radiation reached the state’s coastline, according to a new scientific study.
In a bizarre footnote to the final implementation of the privately funded MLPAI “Initiative,” Pacific Gas and Electric Company has asked the California Fish and Game Commission for a “scientific collecting permit” to possibly “cleanse an extensive swath of the ocean – virtually sterilized of living creatures” (Comm. Richard Rogers) – within a “Marine Protected Area” off the Central California Coast.
After the Fish and Game Commission adopted the final North Coast leg of the Marine Life Protection Act “Initiative” in Eureka, California on June 6, 2012, the next item on their agenda was a request from P.G. & E. for a “scientific collecting permit” – to allow the blasting of 250 decibel air cannons, within the Central Coast’s Point Bushon ‘Marine Protected Area.’
According to the P.G.&E. representative at the meeting, the proposal calls for a 240 ft. ship to tow a quarter-mile wide array of twenty 250 decibel “air cannons,” along a 90-mile stretch of California’s Central Coast. The cannons will shoot very loud underwater explosions once every sixty-three seconds, day and night, for 42 days and nights, beginning in September, 2012.
Once the shock waves kill or deafen everything in their path, from the surface to the ocean floor, they will penetrate some fifty feet into the earth’s crust, allowing scientists to map the newly discovered fault lines just offshore from the Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant.
(Reuters) – RWE AG, Germany’s second-biggest utility, is abandoning plans to build new nuclear power plants outside its home market, where the government decided last year to phase out nuclear power.
“We will not invest in new nuclear power plants,” incoming Chief Executive Peter Terium said.
ATLANTA (AP) — America’s first new nuclear plants in more than a decade are costing billions more to build and sometimes taking longer to deliver than planned, problems that could chill the industry’s hopes for a jumpstart to the nation’s new nuclear age.
Licensing delay charges, soaring construction expenses and installation glitches as mundane as misshapen metal bars have driven up the costs of three plants in Georgia, Tennessee and South Carolina, from hundreds of millions to as much as $2 billion, according to an Associated Press analysis of public records and regulatory filings
On July 5, Japan brought its first nuclear reactor back online, after having been nuclear-power free for two months. Its 50 functional reactors had been taken off line for maintenance but were not restarted due to a groundswell of opposition.
The trailblazer is reactor number 3 at the Oi power plant owned by Kansai Electric Power Co. After stress-testing the reactor, which had been idle for over 15 months, the government had declared it safe and had given permission for the restart. It’s expected to reach capacity in a few days.
All Pressure, All Places, All The Time
Albertans learned a very important lesson when Bruce Power cancelled its plans to build nuclear reactors in Alberta in December 2011: we can stop projects we don’t want in our community.
This book is not about the merits of nuclear power in Alberta. The Fukushima disaster, the unwillingness of the community to host the project, soaring reactor costs and Atomic Energy of Canada Limited’s (AECL) repeated failures and eventual fragmentation put an end to that debate.
This is about the corrupt and self-serving practices of industry, governments and academia we encountered in Alberta while scrutinizing Bruce Power’s nuclear proposal. It is also a “how-to” book for communities who have to deal with major issues or threats.
Spreading the word: Shuntaro Hida, who treated hibakusha for decades, is interviewed last month at his home in Saitama Prefecture. KYODO
By MEGUMI IIZUKA
A 95-year-old retired doctor is continuing to warn of possible health dangers to residents near the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant after some of them developed symptoms similar to those afflicting atomic-bomb survivors he treated for decades. More than a year after the nuclear crisis erupted, Shuntaro Hida is busy giving lectures and interviews to make people aware of the danger of inhaling, drinking or eating radioactive substances.
Jeremiad for Belarus
Revisiting the accident “that could never happen here”
text and photograph by Hope Burwell
Published in the March/April 2004 issue of Orion magazine
…Like most Americans, I hadn’t thought much about Chernobyl since the spring of 1986. Slowly the name “Chernobyl” became just another echo of the horrible nuclear events in recent memory, an anniversary sound bite, the subject of an occasional documentary.
Then in the fall of 2000, the Frankfurt International School, where I was teaching, asked if I’d join a delegation to Cherikov, a small town in southeastern Belarus.
“Belarus?” I asked. “What’s Belarus?”
“The country most contaminated by Chernobyl,” answered a German colleague.
“I thought that was Ukraine,” I said.
She sighed, “Most Americans seem to.”
I REMEMBERED Edward Teller’s response to the news about Chernobyl: “The chances of a real calamity at a nuclear power station are infinitesimally small,” he said on the “ABC Evening News” in late April 1986. “But should it happen, the consequences are impossible to imagine.”
Twenty-three percent of Belarus was contaminated with Chernobyl’s fallout, 32,592 square miles, more land than six eastern states combined. But it isn’t a solid swath of land, nor neat concentric circles emanating from Ukraine. On maps the contamination looks like rusty puddles and large tannin-stained lakes. Color variations denote concentration levels of the radioactive isotope mapped most clearly, cesium-137.
WASHINGTON, DC, July 12, 2012 (ENS) – The same “man-made” problems underlying last year’s nuclear disaster in Japan exist today in the United States, warn five U.S. groups responding to the Fukushima Nuclear Accident Independent Investigation Commission’s report to Japan’s Diet, or parliament.
The Commission found that the accident at Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, “…was the result of collusion between the government, the regulators and TEPCO, and the lack of governance by said parties. They effectively betrayed the nation’s right to be safe from nuclear accidents. Therefore, we conclude that the accident was clearly ‘man-made.'”
A sequence of global ocean circulation models, with horizontal mesh sizes of 0.5°, 0.25° and 0.1°, are used to estimate the long-term dispersion by ocean currents and mesoscale eddies of a slowly decaying tracer (half-life of 30 years, comparable to that of 137Cs) from the local waters off the Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Plants. The tracer was continuously injected into the coastal waters over some weeks; its subsequent spreading and dilution in the Pacific Ocean was then simulated for 10 years. The simulations do not include any data assimilation, and thus, do not account for the actual state of the local ocean currents during the release of highly contaminated water from the damaged plants in March–April 2011.
The Nuclear Power Corporation of India (NPCIL) is the sole operator of nuclear power plants in India and is wholly owned and controlled by the government of India.
NPCIL has made it a compulsive habit to lie about the safety of its nuclear power plants. Post every incident (sic), NPCIL covers it by either claiming only a few workers were affected or by blatantly saying the the leaks were of a non hazardous nature.
NNSA to Resume Plutonium Separation at the Savannah River Site’s H Canyon for MOX Fuel
Aiken, S.C. – Just as the Department of Energy touts the closing and capping of two nuclear waste storage tanks this summer in its brimming H Tank Farm – the result of hundreds of millions of dollars in Recovery Act funds – the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) released a statement on July 11, 2012, that proposes to use the crumbling and problem-plagued 430,000-square-foot H Canyon to process tons of weapons grade plutonium, sending additional high level nuclear waste to the H Tank Farm that was supposed to be cleaned up and shuttered. This process will add to the tens of millions of gallons of highly radioactive liquid waste that have made the Savannah River Site, an EPA Superfund site, the most concentrated and dangerous radioactive site in the United States.
WASHINGTON, D.C.///June 27, 2012///Fed up with the undue influence of the energy companies, utilities, lobbyists and other interests that are making it impossible for Washington to move forward decisively in achieving America’s clean energy future, 36 citizen organizations with more than 1.1 million combined members are joining forces to advance a nine-point “American Clean Energy Agenda” and to push for a serious renewable energy agenda no matter who is the next President or which party controls Congress.
As crafted by the groups, the new American Clean Energy Agenda calls for a number of bold steps, including: phasing out nuclear powe r, natural gas, coal and industrial biomass in favor of efficient use of renewable, non-polluting resources; opposition to a “clean energy standard” that includes coal, nuclear, oil, gas and unsustainable biomass; retooling federal “loan guarantees” to make smarter investments in renewable energy; greater emphasis on renewable energy and energy efficiency programs; and avoiding a future in which Americans suffer the consequences of mountaintop mining for coal and fracking of shale gas that is then exported for use in other nations.
Over the past two years, there has been mounting medical and scientific evidence of the grave biological dangers to humans from so-called “Smart” Meters exposure that are being installed by the hundreds of thousands all over North America and Europe. Scientists have been documenting the EMF/RF exposure effects for decades. However, it is only in the last two years, with the constant wireless electromagnetic radiation exposure to these new meters, that other medical evidence (down to the cellular level) has been reported. In the US, there has never been a mandate to force these utility meters on millions of unsuspecting people. There has been no Precautionary Principle used, while corporate greed has abounded. Various utility companies have not told their customers of the dangers. What they told their customers about these new meters was that it would update the grid and help them control individual usage. Customers have not been told about the serious health problems that these RF pulsing meters cause. We have been given no informed consent to this dangerous but invisible exposure.
As a multitude of hazardous wireless technologies are deployed in homes, schools and workplaces, government officials and industry representatives continue to insist on their safety despite growing evidence to the contrary. A major health crisis looms that is only hastened through the extensive deployment of “smart grid” technology.
In October 2009 at Florida Power and Light’s (FPL) solar energy station President Barack Obama announced that $3.4 billion of the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act would be devoted to the country’s “smart energy grid” transition. Matching funds from the energy industry brought the total national Smart Grid investment to $8 billion. FPL was given $200 million of federal money to install 2.5 million “smart meters” on homes and businesses throughout the state.
By now many residents in the United States and Canada have the smart meters installed on their dwellings. Each of these meters is equipped with an electronic cellular transmitter that uses powerful bursts of electromagnetic radiofrequency (RF) radiation to communicate with nearby meters that together form an interlocking network transferring detailed information on residents’ electrical usage back to the utility every few minutes or less. Such information can easily be used to determine individual patterns of behavior based on power consumption.
The smart grid technology is being sold to the public as a way to “empower” individual energy consumers by allowing them to access information on their energy usage so that they may eventually save money by programming “smart” (i.e, wireless enabled) home appliances and equipment that will coordinate their operability with the smart meter to run when electrical rates are lowest. In other words, a broader plan behind smart grid technology involves a tiered rate system for electricity consumption that will be set by the utility to which customers will have no choice but to conform.
Dr David O. Carpenter, founder, University at Albany (NY) School of Public Health
Quebec-based magazine La Maison du 21e siecle asked physician David O. Carpenter, former founding dean of the University at Albany (NY)’s School of Public Health, to comment on a letter published in the Montreal daily Le Devoir last May 24. This letter claimed wireless smart meters pose no risk to public health. Some fourty international experts contributed to the following rebuttal.
We, the undersigned are a group of scientists and health professionals who together have coauthored hundreds of peer-reviewed studies
Dr David O. Carpenter, founder, University at Albany (NY) School of Public Health
on the health effects of electromagnetic fields (EMFs). We wish to correct some of the gross misinformation found in the letter regarding wireless “smart” meters that was published in the Montreal daily Le Devoir on May 24. Submitted by a group Quebec engineers, physicists and chemists, the letter in question reflects an obvious lack of understanding of the science behind the health impacts of the radiofrequency (RF)/microwave EMFs emitted by these meters.
The meltdown and release of radioactivity (ionizing radiation) from four damaged nuclear reactors at the Fukushima Nuclear Facility in Japan in March 2011 continues to contaminate air and ocean water even 1 year later. Chronic exposure to low-dose ionizing radiation will occur over large populations well into the future. This has caused grave concern among researchers and the public over the very long period of time expected for decommissioning alone (current estimate from official sources is 30–40 years based on TEPCO in Mid-and long-term roadmap towards the decommissioning of Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power units 1–4, 2011) and the presumed adverse effects of chronic, low-dose ionizing radiation on children, adults and the environment. Ultimately, radioactive materials from Fukushima will circulate for many years, making health impacts a predictable concern for many generations (Yasunari et al. in PNAS 108(49):19530–19534, 2011). There is long-standing scientific evidence to suggest that low-dose ionizing radiation (LD-IR) and low-intensity non-ionizing electromagnetic radiation (LI-NIER) in the form of extremely low-frequency electromagnetic fields and radiofrequency radiation (RFR) share similar biological effects. Public health implications are significant for reconstruction efforts to rebuild in post-Fukushima Japan. It is relevant to identify and reduce exposure pathways for chronic, low-dose ionizing radiation in post-Fukushima Japan given current scientific knowledge. Intentional planning, rather than conventional planning, is needed to reduce concomitant chronic low-intensity exposure to non-ionizing radiation. These are reasonably well-established risks to health in the scientific literature, as evidenced by their classification by World Health Organization International Agency for Research on Cancer as Possible Human Carcinogens. Reducing preventable, adverse health exposures in the newly rebuilt environment to both LD-IR and LI-NIER is an achievable goal for Japan. Recovery and reconstruction efforts in Japan to restore the communications and energy infrastructure, in particular, should pursue strategies for reduction and/or prevention of both kinds of exposures. The design life of buildings replaced today is probably 35–50 years into the future. Cumulative health risks may be somewhat mitigated if the double exposure (to both chronic low-dose IR from the Fukushima reactors and LI-NIER [EMF and RFR] in new buildings and infrastructure) can be dealt with effectively in early planning and design in Japan’s reconstruction.
Remotely controlled radiofrequency (RF) waves in the microwave range have been used and abused as stealth weapons against everyday citizens including those in the U.S., British physicist and former military microwave specialist Barrie Trower told the International Center Against the Abuse of Covert Technologies (ICAACT) in an exclusive London interview by ICAACT co-founder Lars Drudgaard.
Trower, who became an agent specializing in the intelligence arena after his retirement from the military learned of the technology’s use both against and to promote Olympic athletic performance when he was consulted by a sovereign country with athletes participating in the upcoming Olympic Games.
(NaturalNews) It is well known that many people are sensitive to electromagnetic pollution. Wi-fi gives them headaches. Being near high-voltage power lines can bring on migraines. Using a cell phone unleashes similar symptoms. Until recently, there was no medically-understood mechanism by which electromagnetic waves could be sensed by humans. But now, thanks to some fascinating science summarized here, that mystery may be closer to being solved.
Scientists from the University of Munich, led by geophysicist Michael Winklhofer, say they’ve located and identified “internal compass needles” in the noses of rainbow trout. These are called magnetosensory cells, and they turn out to be far more sensitive to magnetic fields than anyone previously thought.
PORTLAND — The Maine Public Utilities Commission failed to resolve health and safety issues related to Central Maine Power Co.’s installation of smart meters and should now do so, the Maine Supreme Judicial Court has ruled.
In a decision released today, the court sided with smart-meter opponents, who argued that utility regulators ignored their legal mandate to ensure the delivery of safe and reasonable utility services.
At the same time, though, the court didn’t agree with the view of opponents that the meters violated constitutional issues related to privacy and trespass.
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David Freeman, former Director of the TVA, addresses a news conference on the San Onofre nuclear shutdown.
The Fukushima/San Onofre Connection
This is a packed edition folks. We’ve been on the road for the last several weeks, generating more video and reporting than we can keep up with posting. This is a sampling of the harvest. We hope you’ll find it a rich, informative and galvanizing scan. More to follow. Let’s hear it for a Nuclear Free California! And that’s just for starters… [ We haven’t been ignoring ‘smart meter,’ wifi pollution issues, but that’s for another blog. Stay tuned. ]
As thousands march in Japan protesting the start-up of the Oi reactors; and a panel rules the Fukushima disaster was ‘man-made;’ Friends of the Earth Special Consultants David Freeman and Arnie Gunderson are joined by Committee to Bridge the Gap President Dan Hirsch in a critique of the joint NRC/Southern California Edison report-to-the-public on San Onofre’s faulty steam generators; Cecile Pineda reveals the nuclear utilities’ PR playbook; Mae-Wan Ho and Peter Saunders blow the whistle on the WHO/IAEA connection; the L.A. Times calls for the permanent shutdown of San Onofre; and Chris Busby denounces the flawed ‘schoolboy’ plan to ‘dispose’ of nuclear waste in explosion-prone canisters under the Baltic Sea. Exclusive EON video reporting is combined with other sources. Scroll down, as they say, for ‘all that and more.’
Notice: EON is honored to host major organizer and Fukushima survivor, Chieko Shiina and Professor Rebecca Jenisson, 6 pm, Friday July 13. They will speak at a dinner at The Station House Cafe, Pt. Reyes Station, CA – $25.00
RSVP to: email@example.com
Chieko Shiina was an organic farmer and B & B owner until the Fukushima disaster.
Afterwards, she organized the women’s sit-in in Tokyo which became Occupy Tokyo
and gained international attention to the plight of the multiple and ongoing meltdown’s victims. Both Chieko and Professor Jenisson of Kyoto Seika University, will share the truth of the horrors being experienced by the Japanese people as a result of the criminal mismanagement of the catastrophe and how people are responding.
Cover-Up Charged at Ailing Seaside Nuke
Are the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) and Southern California Edison (SCE) collaborating in keeping from the public the root malfunction cause of the two faulty Mitsubishi steam generators that have kept the reactors in a shutdown that started last January? Are the so-called ‘watchdog’ agency and the investor owned utility trying to deflect justified public fears in the hope of starting the aging reactors up again despite serious problems? That’s what Friends of the Earth‘s special consultants David Freeman and Arnie Gundersen say in response to a recent joint NRC/Edison public meeting in San Juan Capistrano. Nuclear policy expert Dan Hirsch agreed as he challenged officials to supply ‘real numbers’ in place of vague assertions.
Please see video clips below.
Donna Gilmore of SanOnofreSafety.org addresses a news conference on the San Onofre nuclear shutdown.
Local residents have already got the picture: as Donna Gilmore of SanOnofreSafety.org asks “These steam generators are defective and not repairable. We don’t even need the energy from these plants, so why are we risking our communities, the future of California and the breadbasket of the nation for energy we don’t need? It’s insane.”
Some local residents see the aging reactors and their faulty new steam generators as 'lemons' that need to be decommissioned.
It was a well attended, heavily managed – and heavily policed – event in which NRC and Edison representatives ‘shared the interim findings’ of their on-going investigation of the steam generator malfunctions and fielded questions from the audience in order to demonstrate ‘transparency’ and ‘rebuild public trust.’ The meeting seemed to follow with creepy exactitude the playbook laid out by Frank Luntz of Luntz Global, ‘a powerhouse in the profession of message creation and image management.’ Here’s his advice to clients:
“Remember: ‘It’s not what you say. It’s what people want to hear.'”
Fran Luntz is the principal of Luntz Global, a man with a wide reach and author of the bestselling “What Americans Want – Really.” He has put words in the mouth of every two-bit snake oil salesman who’s ever run for office. But on the subject of nuclear energy, he waxes particularly eloquent. ‘Americans aren’t concerned about nuclear energy since Fukushima,’ he counsels members of the industry, ‘they are [merely] anxious’ And here’s the good news from Frank: ‘their anxiety can be manged, controlled and addressed,’ (but presumably not in that order). All you have to remember when talking about the absolute beauty of nuclear power is that although uncertainty has grown since Fukushima, ‘the light (for the industry) is yellow, not red.’ They need to hear you’re ‘learning lessons from Japan,’ in every way, and every day. And ‘going forward’ (a red-flag clue a bromide is about to be delivered) there’s going to be ‘even more accountability and even better safety.’ All around. Your responsibility is to educate them (if that is indeed possible), by reminding them that you are ‘committed to the relentless pursuit of safer nuclear energy.’ Let them know they ‘have a right to know the FACTS about nuclear energy…and that [you] have the responsibility to tell [them] openly and honestly’
But ‘talk about radiation as little as possible.’ Or if you must talk about it, say ‘we are committed to safely containing radiation in every nuclear facility. We don’t take chances. We used layer upon layer of redundant protection.’ And above all, ‘you need to invest time and language in building up the stringent oversight of the NRC.’ Frank follows up this generous advice with a list of ‘Do not says’ and ‘Do says.’ Example: ‘never refer to the NRC as a government agency.’ Say, ‘the NRC, the independent watchdog regulator.’
What’s at Stake for Stakeholders
The subtext of the local controversy over San Onofre nuclear power station is this: The promoters of a national and global ‘nuclear renaissance’ insist that nuclear-generated electricity is necessary and indispensable. With most of Japan’s nukes now off-line and Germany committing to close its own nukes down, decommissioning San Onofre’s two nukes (and better yet Diablo Canyon’s as well) would be a big loss of credibility for their agenda. If no blackouts or brownouts occur this summer with San Onofre shut down, the public might catch on that (a) California already has an excess of electrical capacity WITHOUT nuclear power and, (b) conservation, efficiency and renewables can more than replace the percentage of power now supplied by nukes.
In this news conference held June 18, 2012 in San Juan Capistrano, CA. before a Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) public report on conditions at Southern California Edison’s currently shut down San Onofre nuclear reactor facility, international environmental organization Friends of the Earth (FoE.org) called for a full adjudicatory hearing on the safety risks of the aging, ailing plant located in a tsunami zone near the intersection of several active earthquake faults. Calling the NRC investigation faulty and flawed speakers including FoE Energy and Climate Director Damon Moglen; former Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) Director David Freeman; nuclear engineer Arnie Gundersen of Fairewinds.org; Donna Gilmore of SanOnofreSafety.org; and local mother of three, Crystal Coleman, reported on some of the reasons Edison’s nuclear generating station has the country’s worst safety record and demanded release of information and documents they charge are being withheld by the utility.
Before speaking in a recent Friends of the Earth 6-18-2012 news conference in San Juan Capistrano, Ca., nuclear engineer Arnie Gundersen of Fairewinds.org tells EON why San Onofre’s new, ill-designed steam generators were doomed to fail…and why he thinks Southern California Edison is ‘hiding the ball.’ The Southern California Edison nuclear generating plant is located in an urban area between L.A. and San Diego of 8 million people, in a tsunami zone, near intersecting active earthquake faults and has the worst safety record of all the 104 U.S. reactors.
Dan Hirsch, President of Committee to Bridge the Gap and former Director of the Program on Nuclear Policy at U.C. Santa Cruz, challenges officials of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) and Southern California Edison disclose specific data on the damaged steam generators at the San Onofre nuclear generator, which has been shut down since January. The NRC was giving an interim report to the public on its investigation of the malfunction. Environmental groups suspect a cover-up of problems at the aging, ailing nuclear facility, located in a tsunami zone near several active earthquake faults in an area between L.A. and San Diego populated by 8 million people.
After listening to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) and Southern California Edison officials report to the public on steam generator malfunctions that have kept the two San Onofre nuclear reactors shut down since January, nuclear engineer Arnie Gundersen of Fairewinds.org, speaking as a special consultant to Friends of the Earth (FoE.org), points out the flaws in the official account. The Southern California Edison nuclear generating plant is located in an urban area between L.A. and San Diego with millions of people, in a tsunami zone, near intersecting active earthquake faults and has the worst safety record of all the 104 U.S. reactors.
Some Recent Related Stories
L.A. Times EDITORIAL San Onofre’s cloudy future Can the damaged nuclear power plant be repaired and restarted? And if so, what then?
These are dark days at the San Onofre nuclear plant just south of Orange County. Both of its reactors have been shut down for more than four months, when abnormal “thinning” was discovered in the tubes of recently installed steam generators. Neither reactor will come back on line this summer, and after that, it’s still unclear whether one or both will be switched on again and if so, at full power or partial — or whether they’ll stay shut for the foreseeable future….
…The decision about whether to start up the reactors is essentially an engineering issue. But the bigger policy question for both Edison and regulators is the long-term future of the aging plant. San Onofre’s two current reactors have been operating since 1983 and ’84, respectively; the license for both expires in 2022. (Unit 1 was retired in 1992.) Edison says it has not yet determined whether to seek a 20-year license extension, a process that it would have to begin in 2017 to be completed in time.
It should not. Instead of spending the next five years figuring out how to keep the plant going indefinitely, Edison should be using that time to develop other ways to generate the needed power, especially from reliable, sustainable sources such as solar and wind….
…Nuclear energy has been a relatively cheap source of power and one that doesn’t contribute to global warming, but the energy is not worth the long-term risk. As we have said before, California, with its network of earthquake faults and the environmental health of the ocean to consider, is the wrong place for such plants. Now is the perfect time for Edison, and the state as a whole, to begin the planning for a non-nuclear future. Read more
California energy officials are beginning to plan for the possibility of a long-range future without the San Onofre nuclear power plant.
The plant’s unexpected, nearly five-month outage has had officials scrambling to replace its power this summer and has become a wild card in already complicated discussions about the state’s energy future.
That long-range planning process already involves dealing with the possible repercussions of climate change, a mandate to boost the state’s use of renewable sources to 33% of the energy supply by 2020 and another mandate to phase out a process known as once-through cooling, which uses ocean water to cool coastal power plants, that will probably take some other plants out of service.
“Some of the weaknesses we have in the infrastructure [of Southern California] are laid bare by San Onofre,” said Steve Berberich, chief executive of the California Independent System Operator, the nonprofit that oversees most of the state’s energy grid.
Berberich and other energy leaders gathered in Los Angeles on Friday for a meeting convened by the California Energy Commission looking at long-term plans for California’s power grid. Read more
Hundreds of thousands of protesters showed up at the door of Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda’s residence on Friday, lining the streets of central Tokyo to express outrage over the continued push for nuclear reactor restarts in the country.
Shareholders of Japan’s electricity companies voted on Wednesday to reboot nuclear power throughout the nation, despite widespread public opposition.
Noda approved the restarts of two reactors at Kansai Electric’s Oi plant on June 16, but his pro-nuclear stance has prompted weekly protests outside of his residence. Friday’s protest was perhaps the biggest yet. Organizers estimated the turnout to be over 200,000 people, according to Japan Times.
Japan had shut down the last of its 50 nuclear facilities in early May, following continued public disapproval of nuclear power after last year’s disaster in Fukushima, which continues to plague the region with record levels of nuclear radiation. Read more
– Common Dreams staff
The Oi nuclear plant’s reactor No 3, in the western Fukui Prefecture of Japan, was switched back on Sunday evening in opposition to public outrage and a growing anti-nuclear protest movement throughout the country.
Hundreds of protesters blocked the road to the front gate of the power station on Saturday night and Sunday afternoon, as they faced off against riot police and pledged to stay there day and night, reports Al-jazeera.
However, plant operator, Kansai Electric said Sunday it already had enough workers on hand for the restart.
Last month Noda ordered the restarts of reactors No 3 and No 4, at the Oi plant, as he continued his campaign of hooking the country back onto nuclear power.
Up to 200,000 protesters had gathered Friday evening in central Tokyo, chanting, “No to nuclear restarts” outside of Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda’s home. Read more
A partial list of non-cancer health effects of human exposure to radiation:
Cleft Lip and Palate
Kidney and Liver Damage
Increased Infant Mortality
Genetic Mutations/Chromosomal Aberrations
The future of nuclear energy depends on the industry finding somewhere to put the high level waste. This is radioactive for millions of years and must be isolated from the environment.
The hitherto intractable problem was apparently solved by the Swedish nuclear industry who proposed a plan to encapsulate it in copper canisters and bury it in tunnels 500m underneath the Baltic Sea at Forsmark.
The full environmental impact report was released last year; the government requirements are that the company SKB show that the waste will not emerge from the canisters between 100,000 years and 1 million years.
After studying the report in detail it became clear that the design was flawed because it did not include consideration of the Helium gas produced from the alpha emitters. The volume of gas in each canister would cause it to explode long before 100,000 years resulting in the contamination of the Baltic Sea by the equivalent of 2000 Chernobyl accidents. Back to the drawing board!
Click here for a PDF of the Busby study…
Pandora’s Canister: A Preliminary examination of the Safety Assessment SR-Site for the SKB proposed KBS-3 Nuclear Waste Repository at Forsmark Sweden and associated activities relating to the disposal of spent nuclear fuel
The Swedish Land and Environmental Court, Unit 3, Nacka District Court, Case No Case M 1333-11
Swedish Radiation Protection Agency, Strålsäkerhetsmyndigheten, reference numbers: SSM2011-3522 for repository application SSM2011-3833 for Clink application
Dr. Mae-Wan Ho and Prof. Peter Saunders
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Now or never
“We lost Japan,” said Rie Inomata, who works as an interpreter .
“I feel guilty and sorry for the children. They did not choose nuclear power plants, they did not choose to be born; but it is them that have to suffer in the future.”
“By not protesting against nuclear power I allowed this accident to happen. If we go in the same direction, I don’t see any future.”
“If we [are to] make a difference, we must decide now, it is now or never.” Read more
A parliamentary panel investigating the Fukushima nuclear disaster in Japan last year have placed the blame squarely on the shoulders of plant owner TEPCO and government regulators by saying the crisis was “clearly man-made.” Though the plant was crippled by an enormous tsunami generated by a powerful earthquake, the panel concluded that key warnings were ignored and preparations that could have been implemented were disregarded out of self-interest.
“They effectively betrayed the nation’s right to be safe from nuclear accidents,” the panel’s report said. “Therefore, we conclude that the accident was clearly ‘man-made’.”
The report was submitted to the heads of both chambers of the Diet on July 5. It can be read in Japanese on the NAIIC’s website (https://www.naiic.jp/).
“We plan to make an English version of the final report to show it to the world,” said head of the commission, Kiyoshi Kurokawa. Read more
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