MOX is considered orders of magnitudes worse than the isotopes used in most reactors for a number of reasons. Here’s one reason: it contains plutonium, which has a half-life of 24,000 years. Plutonium is a by-product of nuclear energy production: it is found in the spent fuel rods of all nuclear reactors. It is sometimes added to new fuel rods is to save money and reduce the amount of waste they have to store. Learn some other nasty facts about DOX fuel in this article published by Time magazine.
…but shouldn’t 3 simultaneous reactor meltdowns be front page news?
I am glad to see that the tone of New York Times articles have become more critical of the nuclear industry over the last two months. The latest article describes how Anthony Sarrack, an NRC engineer pointed out serious design flaws in the design of venting systems at his reactor and others in the United States similar to the ones in Japan. His frustration led him to eventually leave the industry.
The NRC and IAEA were the experts early on in the Fukushima Daiichi disaster. Now the Times is looking at these organizations with a more critical eye. If you would like to check out the articles that came up on a search of “nuclear power” visit the Times.
… for publishing “Unsafe at any Dose”
… in the April 30 magazine. In “Unsafe at any Dose” Helen Caldicott’s asks physicians to get involved, and stand up to the nuclear power lobby. “Physicists had the knowledge to begin the nuclear age. Physicians have the knowledge, credibility and legitimacy to end it.”
Nearly 80 percent of the world’s energy supply could be generated by truly safe renewables by mid 21st century according to latest report released by the UN Intergovernmental panel on Climate change. Politics and public policy will determine whether this transformation will take place.
Remember what the historian Howard Zinn said ” We don’t have to engage in grand, heroic actions to participate in the process of change. Small acts, when multiplied by millions of people,can transform the world. “
Will Unit One’s meltdown be on the news tonight?
TEPCO admits there is a molten pool of radioactive material at the bottom of the reactor. They are not denying the possibility of a molten pool of radioactive fuel burning a hole in the steel containment pressure vessel. What this could mean is not being talked about. According to Dr. Caldicott, the meltdown could initiate a hydrogen explosion which would release massive amounts of radiation into the atmosphere. Dr. Caldicott says the same goes for No. 2 Reactor.
Let’s contact the major networks and demand they cover this story!
“…managing public opinion is as serious an operation as managing the crisis itself” – Dr. Robert Jacobs, a research Associate Professor of Nuclear History and Culture at the Hiroshima Peace Institute.
Here are the latest stories from the last few days:
The crisis in Japan continues to escalate, yet US major media would have us believe all is well. There is good journalism in the US, however; thanks Tom Hartman, Gary Null and other progressive journalists covering this topic….look for them online.
Here are the latest stories from the last few days:
- \Unit 4 is leaning to the right. “A spent fuel pool from 3 or 4 reactors. If building were to collapse, the spent fuel would just get scattered around on the ground …this would make it almost impossible for workers to remain on the site.” video on Beyond Nuclear
- Data released on May 6th by Japanese and US authorities show that ground level radioactive cesium contamination beyond the 12 mile “no entry zone” are higher than radiation levels that led to the mandatory evacuations at Chernobyl.Asahi.com
- Unit 3’s spent fuel appears to be gone.
- Could this be why readings are so high, and why radioactive substances are being found in sewage sludge produced at wastewater treatment facilities in the Hiwada area of Koriyama. 500 tons of of possibly contaminated sludge was shipped out to cement companies, who use the sludge in cement production, since the disaster. Since the high levels of cesium-137 were found, shipping of the sludge has been suspended.
- On May 10, Japanese Prime Minister Natoto Kan announced that Japan will not pursue any new nuclear power plant construction. Fourteen power plants had been planned.
- On May 12th, TEPCO opened the main access points to Unit 1, and in doing do freely released 500 million becquerels of radioactive substances into the atmosphere, where it had gathered in the upper part of the reactor following a massive hydrogen explosion on March 12.
Even if you don’t understand all the science this is a great list of sites. What is most worrisome is the cumulative effect of the continuing leaks, as Fukushima is not slated to be entombed until 2015 at the earliest.
Currently 2% of China’s energy comes from nuclear power. China has a huge need to expand its energy supply. Plans were in place to significantly expand China’s nuclear power capacity. Since Fukushima, China has had a change of heart. China has just announced it would temporarily shelve plans to significantly expand its nuclear power capacity in order to review safety and other options. Why is this great news? It means that renewable technology will advance more quickly than predicted. We believe that with China’s new focus on renewables, they will compete economically with fossil fuels within a few years.
What do you think?
Maggie Gunderson interviews Marco Kaltofen on his timely study of the radioactive fallout from Fukushima.
We need to demand lots more testing. Just as there are smog alerts in some big cities we need to demand nationwide fallout alerts. Please spread the word.