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Frances Lamberts writes about the Finnish Repository for radioactive waste and Dr Caldicott's interview with Michael Madsen about whether the Onkalo repository is more than a gesture, hiding something that will remain forever deadly deep beneath the earth and "forgetting it." As the Waste Confidence Rule is discarded in the US as wishful thinking, and nuclear countries around the world struggle with what to do with the mountains of radioactive waste they are producing, as the Fukushima nuclear disaster is finally bringing home to the average person that "spent fuel" is not "spent" at all- Michael Madsen's beautiful philosophical film about how humankind is failing to come to terms with how to safely contain something that exists in geologic time is even more timely.
Frances Lamberts l Herald & Tribune 29 October, 2013
"...Dr. Helen Caldicott interviewed the Danish director of a documentary about the Onkalo repository in Finland, which is to “hide” the spent-fuel waste from that country’s nuclear power plants.
...“Into Eternity,” ... details the bunker-like underground structure, begun in 2004, whose completion and sealing is expected to take 120 years.
Under Finnish law for the project, Onkalo is to quarantine the highly dangerous, radioactive materials “in a foolproof manner for 100,000 years.”
That means some 3,000 generations... or as long into the future as the human prehistory of the past...
He wonders what would happen in future ice ages, whose sheets would “depress the crust of the earth” far deeper than the lay of the bunker tunnels.
Or if earthquakes or water seepage create cracks in the bedrock, future wars wreak destruction on the facility, or the man-made materials crumble through corrosion.
The film questions our morality in leaving a legacy of waste to future children which, in the human timescale, is lethally dangerous forever. It asks, too, how we can effectively even warn or inform these of the danger...."
Listen to Dr Caldicott's interview with Michael Madsen here: http://ifyoulovethisplanet.org/?p=4732
Into Eternity: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J2OKY00fmWY
Alexey Yablokov l Blacksmith Institute (Journal of Health and Pollution) June 2013
"Radioactive pollution and its effects are some of the least visible but most dangerous man-made changes of the biosphere. Though above-ground nuclear weapons testing has been banned since the 1960s, mankind has continued to find new ways to exploit radionuclides. To protect people from anthropogenic radiation contamination, it is necessary to determine an acceptable level and range of exposure. Today, the system of radiation safety endorsed by the U.N. and other multi-national groups is based on the concept of an effective dose—the measure of cancer risk toan entire organism from radiation exposure to its various parts. This review posits there are serious problems with both the concept of an effective dose and the methodology behind its calculation, and that a new framework is needed. In order to study the issues and drawbacks of the official concept of radiation safety, and to assist readers in understanding the basis of his argument, the author sums up and critiques the current system’s main basic postulates and conclusions."
Link to downloadable article: http://blacksmithjournal.org/ojs/ojs-2.2.4/index.php/journalhealthpollution/article/view/71/95
Dr Helen Caldicott l RT 15 September, 2013
As the escape of radiation at Fukushima seems virtually unstoppable, there are still steps that governments all over the world should take to prevent worst case consequences. One of them would be canceling the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.
Scientific estimates predict that the radioactive plume travelling east across the Pacific will likely hit the shores of Oregon, Washington State and Canada early next year. California will probably be impacted later that year. Because the ongoing flow of water from the reactor site will be virtually impossible to stop, a radioactive plume will continue to migrate across the Pacific affecting Hawaii, North America, South America and eventually Australia for many decades.
We are only talking about ocean currents, however, fish swim thousands of miles and don’t necessarily follow the currents. As noted in Part I, big fish concentrate radiation most efficiently, and tuna have already been caught off the coast of California containing cesium from Fukushima. Seaweed also efficiently concentrates radioactive elements.
As I contemplate the future at Fukushima, it seems that the escape of radiation is virtually unstoppable. The levels of radiation in buildings 1, 2 and 3 are now so high that no human can enter or get close to the molten cores. It will therefore be impossible to remove these cores for hundreds of years if ever.
Dr Helen Caldicott l RT September 13, 2013
Bio-accumulation of radioactive elements around Fukushima will devastate many future Japanese generations, while the Pacific Ocean is also being contaminated by leaking radioactive water. Yet there is still no good solution from the Japanese government.
As I watched the tsunami power into the reactor complex at Fukushima on March 11, 2011, I realized the world would never be the same again. No nuclear reactor can withstand being drowned in a massive wave of water without catastrophic consequences.
There were three nuclear reactors undergoing fission at the time while one, unit four, had just been emptied of its radioactive core, which was now situated in an unprotected cooling pool on the roof of the building, 100 feet (30 meters) above the ground. As the power supply to the reactors was disrupted during the earthquake, and the auxiliary diesel generators in the basements of the reactors failed because they were flooded, the pumps which supplied up to 1 million gallons of cooling water to each reactor failed.
Within hours the intensely hot radioactive cores in units one, two and three started to melt. As they melted, the zirconium metal cladding on the uranium fuel rods reacted with water to produce hydrogen which exploded with overwhelming intensity in the buildings of units one, two, three and four releasing huge amounts of radioactive elements into the air.
On March 15 alone, it is estimated that 100 quadrillion Becquerels of cesium, 400 quadrillion of iodine plus 400 quadrillion of inert noble gases (xenon, krypton and argon) escaped. Over a period of time two-and-a-half to three times more noble gases were released into the air than at Chernobyl.
Read more by clicking title link or here on the RT site.
Amory Lovins l RMI Blog 15 August 2013
I recently wrote about—and debunked—the renewables “disinformation campaign” that spreads misinformed and falsely negative stories about the growth of renewable energy. A special focus of such disinformation has been reportage on Germany’s efficiency-and-renewables revolution. The impressive success so far of the German Energiewende (energy turnaround) is an important existence proof for the world, because Germany is cloudy, high-latitude, heavily industrialized, highly competitive (it rivals America’s merchandise exports with one-fourth its population), and the world’s fourth-biggest economy.
Perhaps because German success would therefore belie the supposed necessity of fossil-fuel and nuclear energy, some media regularly report the Energiewende’s failure or supposed impossibility. As I highlighted, Germany’s renewables revolution is in fact highly successful and strong as ever, but that hasn’t stopped three myths from gaining traction in the media: 1) Germany’s supposed turn back to coal, 2) how renewables undermine grid reliability, and 3) how renewables subsidies are cratering the German economy. None of those are true, and here’s why.