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Sunday, April 1, 2018

DEADLY CHEMICAL HYDRAZINE ABOARD FALLING SPACE STATION TIANGONG-1




Tiangong-1 is currently predicted by The Aerospace Corporation on 2018 April 1st to reenter the Earth’s atmosphere around April 2nd, 2018 00:30 UTC ± 1.7 hours.



The United States Strategic Command’s Joint Space Operations Center, “provides Trajectory Impact Prediction messages concerning space debris to many locations” informs the FEMA operations centers, “which monitor the data for the FEMA Administrator,” according to FEMA’s National Warning Systems operations manual.

The National Warning System “is a 24-hour continuous private line telephone system used to convey warnings to federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government and public safety officials,” a FEMA spokesperson told Gizmodo. The organization pays closer attention to nuclear objects or those that may have poisonous fuels.

Once the authorities are notified, they would use the Integrated Public Alert and Warning System to warn people in danger.

Warning the right people could be difficult, though—the projected location is wildly unpredictable.

As the ESA writes in the same FAQ, “Even 7 hours before the actual reentry, the uncertainty on the break-up location is a full orbital revolution—meaning plus or minus thousands of km!”

The strike itself would litter debris spread over an area a hundred miles long and a few miles wide, says Harvard Astrophysicist Jonathan McDowel.  





Launched: 2011 September 30 @ 03:16:03.507 UTC
Site: Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center, China

Mission: Tiangong-1, First Chinese Space Station
Mass: 8500 kg at launch (18,740 lbs, or 9.4 tons)

Length: 10.5 m (34 ft)
Diameter: 3.4 m (11 ft)

Solar panels: 2 panels (approx. 7 m x 3 m)


In a written statement, a spokesman from Aerospace's Center for Orbital and Reentry Debris Studies (CORDS) wrote: 'Potentially, there may be a highly toxic and corrosive substance called hydrazine on board the spacecraft that could survive re-entry.

'For your safety, do not touch any debris you may find on the ground nor inhale vapors it may emit.'

ABOUT HYDRAZINE

Hydrazine, (also known as N2H4, UDMH , or 1,1-dimethylhydrazine, or Unsymmetrical Dimethyl Hydrazine, an organic amine) is a colorless, oily liquid or sometimes white crystalline compound with a very highly reactive base.

UDMH (and its derivatives) is usually mixed with nitrogen tetraoxide (N2O4) to form a bi-propellant architecture. 

It has a number of industrial, agricultural and military uses, including in rocket fuel.

WHY IS IT ON THIS SPACE STATION? 

Spacecraft and satellites require hypergolic propellants because their thrusters are used for reaction control, which requires thrusters to fire intermittently and for short bursts. Due to the complexity in igniting a rocket engine with pyrotechnics, the ignition sequences is usually measured in multiple seconds, which makes short burst firings impossible.

HOW MUCH HYDRAZINE WAS ABOARD THIS THING?
Titanium hydrazine tanks range from 58-litre to 177-litre capacity. The 58-litre model is a bladder tank, the others being surface tension tanks.

I FIND NO RELIABLE REPORT OF HOW MANY OR WHAT SIZE TANKS ARE ATTACHED TO TIANGONG-1.


WHAT ARE THE KNOWN HAZARDS OF HYDRAZINE?


Symptoms of short-term exposure to high levels of hydrazine include irritation of the eyes, nose, and throat, dizziness, headache, nausea, pulmonary edema, seizures, and coma, according to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Long-term exposure can also damage the liver, kidneys, and central nervous system in humans.

The liquid is corrosive and may produce dermatitis from skin contact in humans and animals.

Increased incidences of lung, nasal cavity, and liver tumours have been observed in rodents exposed to hydrazine.

The EPA has classified hydrazine as a Group B2, a probable human carcinogen.

The combustion of UDMH/N2O4 also produces large quantities of nitrogen oxides, which can further react with water vapor and sulfate in the atmosphere to form small particles containing nitric acid.

At least one human is known to have died after 6 months of SUB-LETHAL
exposure to hydrazine hydrate.
[See 9.2.3. Mortality studies at http://www.inchem.org/documents/ehc/ehc/ehc68.htm]

IT HAS ALSO BEEN DETECTED IN STREAMS AND DRINKING WATER HERE ON EARTH.


5.2. General Population Exposure 
It has been reported that analyses of hydrazine-treated boiler water and the condensate of steam, which could have been in contact with food, confirmed the presence of hydrazine (US FDA, 1979). District heating water has been mentioned as an additional potential route of accidental human exposure. This water may contain a low concentration of hydrazine as a corrosion inhi- bitor. If this water is used to heat tap water and there is a leak inside the heat-exchanger at the user end, the tap water may be contaminated. Cases have been reported in which hot water became contaminated with levels of up to 10.72 mg/litre and drinking-water, up to 0.47 mg/litre (Bodenschatz, 1986).

Traces of hydrazine have been found in samples of commercial maleic hydrazide, one of the uses of which is to inhibit sucker growth on tobacco.


5.3. Occupational Exposure
Workers may be exposed to hydrazine at facilities producing hydrazine itself and those producing its salts and derivatives, at propulsion testing and rocket launching sites, and at locations where aircraft using hydrazine as an emergency fuel are assembled or refueled. Workers at plants using high- pressure boilers are potentially exposed to relatively dilute solutions of hydrazine.

5.4. Populations at Special Risk

Recently, hydrazine was detected in the plasma of 8 healthy male volunteers taking (the drug) isoniazid for 2 weeks and in
the plasma of 8 out of 14 hypertensive patients treated with, among others, hydralazine. After 2 weeks of dosing with isoniazid, the average level of acid-labile hydrazine in men of a slow acetylator phenotype was 2.7 times higher than in men of a rapid acetylator phenotype (Blair et al., 1985).

Hydrazine can also be formed during the metabolism of these drugs (Noda et al., 1978; Timbrell & Harland, 1979).

WOULD ANYONE REALLY BOTHER TO WARN PEOPLE IN THE PATH, ONCE THE TRAJECTORY IS KNOWN?
PROBABLY NOT.


“I imagine perhaps if there was a public information plan, it would generate more hysteria than would be warranted for something so unlikely,” Ruth Rand, historian of science, technology, and the environment during the Cold War at the University of Wisconsin told me. “I imagine some people might respond with undue fear and you might have a crisis in your hands.” Instead, it might be better to just give people what information is available, and remind them not to touch any debris with their hands, as it might contain a corrosive fuel called hydrazine.

THERE ARE WORSE, AS IN MORE TOXIC TO HUMANS, MAN-MADE OBJECTS THAT FALL FROM THE SKY.


In 1978, a nuclear-powered Russian spy satellite called Kosmos 954 crashed into Northern Canada with little warning, scattering radioactive debris. Skylab dropped some debris in a small Australian town, and the same discussions seem to come up whenever a satellite is slated to crash into Earth, as happened in 2011 when some of NASA’s Upper Atmospheric Research Satellite (UARS) crashed into Earth.


Our military has a say, too. The U.S. Air Force’s Joint Space Operations Center tracks objects 10 cm and larger in low Earth orbit and about 1 meter and larger in deep space on space-track.org. U.S. Air Force spokesperson Major Cody Chiles said, “We will continue to monitor this reentry and provide more information when it is available.” The USS Erie shot down failed spy satellite USA-193 with a missile back in 2008.
IN FEBRUARY, 2007, A CONSIDERABLE AMOUNT OF HYDRAZINE WAS DUE TO COME BLAZING BACK TO EARTH. WE SENT A MISSILE UP TO PREVENT THAT.

A U.S. missile was launched to destroy a derelict spy satellite before it could, potentially, splash a half ton of toxic hydrazine somewhere on Earth that would result in human injury or death.

"A Navy missile, on February 20, 2007, achieved a head-on collision with the five-ton USA 193 satellite and reduced it to impotent shrapnel, dispersing the contents of the vehicle’s propellant tank harmlessly in space.

How dangerous was USA 193?
VERY.


“Under various assumptions we got different probabilities of human risk from the uncontrolled entry of this satellite,” Johnson told me by telephone. “But they were all much riskier than the accepted standard.” In fact, it wasn’t until last July 20, with the premiere on the cable TV Military Channel of a special program on the satellite intercept, that the actual values were released. General Henry “Trey” Obering, head of the US missile defense effort, disclosed the quantitative results for the likelihood of human casualty: “It varied depending on which experts we talked to, but [we got] anywhere between 1 in 45 and 1 in 25 chance of that occurring.” This translates to a range of 2.2 to 4%.

“Clearly nothing prior to USA 193 rose to that level,” said Nicholas L. Johnson, who has been NASA’s “space debris” guru for many years, leading a team of experts at the Johnson Space Center in Houston.
“The risk posed was much higher than any risk we’ve ever seen.”

MIT scientist Geoff Forden calculated a 3.5% chance of injury if the tank reached the ground, although he doubted it would—and he felt that chance was too small to bother with.
General Kevin Chilton, Commander in Chief of the US Strategic Command, disagreed with Forden.

Chilton confirmed that it was the specific contents of this satellite (THE HYDRAZINE) that elevated the hazards far above the mitigation requirement threshold. “If it had just been hardware we would never consider these extraordinary measures,” he told me. The presence of the toxic chemical, in a tank completely full because the payload had failed immediately after launch, was the unusual driving factor. Johnson concurred: “The odds of injuring many people was much higher then we’d seen in the past,” he had explained. “It was no longer just physical trauma injury.”

A graphic illustration of this nightmare scenario occurred on October 15, 2004 when an off-course Chinese spy satellite’s film canister smashed through the roof of a four-story apartment building in Penglai (southwest Sichuan). Photographs through the smashed roof of the refrigerator-sized capsule sitting among splintered bricks and wood showed what might have happened if it had been carrying toxic chemicals—dozens of people might have been poisoned, many fatally. And in terms of probabilities, this was one of only several hundred uncontrolled landings of similarly-sized space vehicles. 

NASA's STUDY STATED THAT THE TANKS CAN VERY LIKELY SURVIVE REENTRY.

NASA’s detailed computations of the tank’s survivability were described in a paper by NASA contractor experts Robert Kelley and William Rochelle in Houston. Their results were summarized at the end of the paper: “Under the initial conditions and modeling techniques described above, it was found that the N2H4 located inside of the titanium tank does not reach its melting temperature. The N2H4 would have needed to absorb 43.15 MJ of energy to reach 275 K [its melting point] from the start temperature of 214 K. It only absorbed 29.34 MJ, or about 68% of that.”

Nor would the tank disintegrate from other forces.

Johnson added that the deceleration forces—perhaps 8 to 10 Gs—were well within the structural strength of the tank to endure.

As to the observation that the hydrazine “exploded” when the tank was actually hit—possibly indicating it would have done the same during the descent—Johnson was equally dismissive.
USA 193 disintegrated due to the immense physical shock of the missile impact, and the scattered hydrazine decomposed at that point, once it had been strewn into empty space. The chemical energy of any hypothetical tank explosion was miniscule compared to the kinetic energy imparted by the collision.

GIZMODO wrote:
"But if you do get hit and die, take solace in the fact that you’d be the first confirmed death-by-space-debris."

THAT'S COMFORTING, YES?

WHAT IF WE DON'T GET HIT, BUT DO GET SPRAYED WITH HYDRAZINE?
IF OUR GOVERNMENT SAW THE 2007 INCIDENT AS "TOO RISKY" AND BLEW THEIR OWN SATELLITE TO PIECES, WHY NOT DO THE SAME THIS TIME?










//WW

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

MARINE LIFE STARVING, DISORIENTED, NOT REPRODUCING: KRILL TO GREAT WHALES AFFECTED


[LARGER IMAGE <HERE>]

IT DOESN'T TAKE HUGE AMOUNTS OF RADIATION TO KILL FISH AND OTHER MARINE LIFE, OR TO MAKE THEM STERILE.

THE PROBLEM FOR MARINE ANIMALS IS THAT THEY ARE SURROUNDED BY WATER 24 HOURS A DAY, EVERY DAY, NO ESCAPE, AND THEN THERE'S THE BIO-ACCUMULATION EVERY FEEDING, EVERY DAY, BECAUSE, IN AN OCEAN WITH RADIOACTIVE PARTICLES, EVEN IF THERE IS FOOD AVAILABLE, THAT FOOD IS ALSO IRRADIATED.


Radioactivity in the Ocean: Diluted, But Far from Harmless - Yale E360



ABOVE: A humpback whale carcass at the mouth of the Delaware Bay reported on July 5, 2016. Marine Education, Research and Rehabilitation Institute, Lewes, Delaware.

There were 26 coastal Atlantic humpback whale deaths in 2016, and 18 deaths through June 1, 2017, six of which were off the North Carolina coast, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The number of deaths so far in 2017 matches the total for 2014 and 2015 combined.

Boat strikes cannot explain all of the humpback deaths, and scientists are trying to figure out what caused the other half of them.

“There is still a question of whether there is disease or pathogen off shore,” McLellan said. “There’s still something going on inside these animals.”





ABOVE: About three out of four humpback whales in the waters around Hawaii have unexplained bumps on their flanks. They also exhibit severe weight loss.

Winter usually brings more than 10,000 whales to the waters of Hawaii from all over the
North Pacific.
Christine Gabriele, a marine biologist with the Hawaii Marine Mammal Consortium,
is there to focus on the slew of worrisome bumps on the whales' flanks.

The bumps are separate from the usual ones bulging from the head of a humpback (Megaptera novaeangliae). Those iconic oversize hair follicles are thought to be part of the sensory system.
These smaller body bumps look more like bad acne or an allergic reaction. Noted on rare occasions in the 1970s, the condition called nodular dermatitis has become much more prevalent. These days, Gabriele and colleagues see these skin lesions on over 75 percent of Hawaii’s humpback visitors.
The bumps coincide with other suggestions of declining health in the whales.
In the nearly three decades that Gabriele has been studying whales, she would not describe the animals as skinny. Now, often “you can see their shoulder blades,” she says. “They look angular rather than round.”

Collaborators from the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s Hollings Marine Laboratory in Charleston, S.C., are analyzing the skin for trace elements.

National Marine Fisheries Service lab staff are studying the blubber for organic pollutants like PCBs and flame retardants. Preliminary results suggest that bumpy whales differ from non-bumpy in levels of manganese and a few other trace elements. Gabriele eagerly awaits the full analyses to make sense of what she’s seeing among the migratory creatures.

Humpback whales dying in growing numbers off the East Coast

Bacteria on Whale Skin Tell a Tale of Health and Sickness

Strikingly, skin examined from 56 individual whales from populations in the North Atlantic, North Pacific and South Pacific oceans all harbored, and were generally dominated by, the same two groups of bacteria. Regardless of population, age or sex, all animals had bacteria on their skins belonging to the Flavobacteria (Tenacibaculum) and the Gammaproteobacteria (Psychrobacter).

These groups are marine bacteria previously found in association with marine animals, and but the types on the humpback whales’ skin hadn't been seen together before. The discovery of this core bacterial community on the skin of healthy humpbacks allowed us to follow up on the other important question from our first results: if and how the bacteria residing on a whale's skin may reflect its overall health.

Though we still need to learn more, the implications of this research are exciting and suggest that monitoring the skin-associated bacteria may provide a useful way to monitor the health of threatened and endangered marine mammals.

[You can read this paper at PLOS ONE.]


Humpback Whales Are Starving


New research shows that more of the marine mammals are dying as KRILL, their main food source in the Antarctic, dwindles.

A dead humpback whale washed up onto the beaches of Washington state. Although the cause of its death remains a mystery, initial observations found that the whale was overly thin, with little blubber and little of its associated oil, which humpbacks use for fuel and warmth.

It was not an isolated occurrence. In Western Australia, the number of humpback whale stranding events has been on the rise for the past several years. The region used to see just two or three dead whales a year; that has now increased to dozens per season. As with the humpback in Washington, tests down under have revealed that most of the dead whales in Australia also had low blubber levels.

Experts described the animals as “extremely malnourished.”


The conclusion: Many whales, especially mothers who recently calved and need to feed their young, could start running out of energy during their long migration and die from exhaustion.

NO, FROM STARVATION...



Strange, unprecedented behavior seen for the first time in orcas.

In what has been described as a first-ever account of such an event taking place, scientists were able to observe an adult male orca and his mother killing a newborn calf.

Although the incident took place in December 2016, it was only last week when a trio of researchers published their account of what happened in the journal Scientific Reports. According to the researchers, the attack marks the first time infanticide has been observed in killer whales, and, as Live Science noted, the only known case of a male orca and his mother jointly committing the act. 

In a detailed explanation of how the adult male orca ultimately killed the newborn calf, Live Science wrote that Towers and his fellow scientists saw three killer whales aged 2- to 13-years-old being chased by a 32-year-old male orca and his 46-year-old mother. The three younger whales were able to swim toward their other family members, which included their other siblings and their 28-year-old mother. This group of siblings included the aforementioned newborn, or neonate.

While the baby whale and its family tried their best to head to safety by swimming westward, the researchers wrote in the new paper that their two predators eventually caught up with the large group, with the newborn calf hanging out of the 32-year-old male’s mouth, as Towers had described to the Washington Post.

In the five hours that followed, the researchers observed the adult male orca killing the calf by drowning it, with the baby’s mother unable to do anything to stop the attack. The male attacker’s mother reportedly helped out in the killing, throwing herself in front of the baby’s mother and further preventing her from saving her newborn.




Right whale females apparently produced no calves during their winter migration this year.

Specialists fear the species is about to go extinct.


No new calves of the imperiled right whales were born this year, according to surveyors — furthering fears that the species is on what one expert called the "knife edge" of extinction.

The absence of newborns is something that hasn't been seen in 30 years of observing the whales' migration.
The National Marine Fisheries Service made the announcement as survey flights shut down at the close of the winter calving season.

The news comes with the whale population in an extremely vulnerable position, said Michael Jasny, the marine animal protection director of the National Resources Defense Council. He characterized it as a knife edge.

Right whales are the rarest of the large whales, with fewer than 500 (the new count is actually only 300-350 individuals) known to be alive, including only about 100 mature females.
They are massive 40-ton creatures. Their two-plume breathing spray and the lack of a dorsal fin distinguish them from other whales.

They migrate south to calve each winter, so close to the East Coast that a mother and calf pair was spotted in 2005 in the breakers off Pawleys Island near Georgetown. The proximity to boating, fishing and shipping has become deadly.

Last year, 17 washed up dead in the U.S. and Canada.

North Atlantic populations have been decimated by historical over-exploitation by the whaling industry. The species gets its names from early whalers, who considered them to be the "right" whales to hunt. Their slower pace, the fact that they come close to land, their tendency to float after being killed and their "productivity" in terms of oil made them lucrative animals to target.

Today, the species is threatened by ship collisions, entanglement in fishing nets, and separation from calving areas because of shipping traffic.

Since this right whale is found in coastal habitats, it is more likely to suffer from impacts of human activity than more open-water cetaceans. With such a small, slow-growing population, any threatening factor may have a significant impact.


Sequential megafaunal collapse in the North Pacific Ocean

Populations of seals, sea lions, and sea otters have sequentially collapsed over large areas of the northern North Pacific Ocean and southern Bering Sea during the last several decades.
A bottom-up nutritional limitation mechanism induced by physical oceanographic change or competition with fisheries was long thought to be largely responsible for these declines.

The current weight of evidence is more consistent with top-down forcing. Increased predation by killer whales probably drove the sea otter collapse and may have been responsible for the earlier pinniped declines as well.

We propose that decimation of the great whales by post-World War II industrial whaling caused the great whales' foremost natural predators, killer whales, to begin feeding more intensively on the smaller marine mammals, thus “fishing-down” this element of the marine food web.
The timing of these events, information on the abundance, diet, and foraging behavior of both predators and prey, and feasibility analyses based on demographic and energetic modeling are all consistent with this hypothesis.

King salmon stocks have been in decline for about the last 10 years and fish have been noticeably getting smaller.   



Daniel Schindler, professor at the University of Washington, studies fisheries at the university’s School of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences. He and his colleges analyzed data from fish tagging projects, catch and fishery management data from states and the Canadian government. They found that overall, older king salmon are getting smaller.
“It was only the oldest age classes, particularly the five-year-old marine age and four-year-old marine age fish that seemed to be achieving a smaller size when they return,” Schindler added. The trend was most pronounced in Cook Inlet and Western Alaska where the size of kings have declined about 10-percent.
There is no singular, concrete answer as to why king salmon are shrinking, but Schindler says that resident killer whales are much more size selective for the largest fish than commercial fisheries ever were.

Despite whether killer whales are the cause of the decline in older kings, their dwindling numbers may pose a problem for fishery managers.

REALLY?
IF ORCA ARE EATING ALL THE BIG KING SALMON, WHY ARE SO MANY ORCAS STARVING?  


Starving Killer Whales Are Losing Most of Their Babies
A nearly 70 percent miscarriage rate is threatening the future of the southern resident killer whale.


On top of habitat degradation, climate change, and other challenges, the whales have another problem: they’re not having enough babies.

In a recently published paper, University of Washington biologist Samuel Wasser and his colleagues report that from 2008 to 2014, nearly 70 percent of southern resident killer whale pregnancies failed, either in miscarriage or with the calves dying immediately postpartum.

Over the years, killer whales accumulate toxins from their food in their fat.
Normally, these pesticides and chemicals, such as PCBs or DDT, have chronic effects on the whales. But in recent years something else has happened: chinook salmon—one of the whales’ most important food sources—have dwindled.

When the whales don’t get enough to eat, they start to burn their fat reserves, which releases the stored toxins into their bloodstreams. This hurts the health of the developing calf, and the effect is particularly pronounced late in the pregnancy when the fetus is growing rapidly.

“The cumulative effects of loss of food and release of toxins are the best predicators of whether or not a pregnant female will take a fetus to term or abort it,” Wasser says.
For the southern resident killer whales (SRKW), the future is bleak.
This past summer, Wasser was forced to halt his team’s study because the whales were nowhere to be found. Despite searching for two months, they only saw the whales for five days.

“It’s terrible,” Wasser says. Late summer, when his team was on the water, should have been peak killer whale season. “There are no southern resident killer whales here at all, and that has never happened before. Never. We’re about to lose them.”

The SRKWs, a sub-population of killer whales that specialize in eating fish, strongly favor Chinook salmon over coho and steel-head. They will eat coho, though they much prefer the big, fatty Chinooks.

Representative Brian Blake, the Democratic lawmaker who put forward the bill, hopes that if the hatcheries release 10 million Chinook smolts, maybe 100,000 to 200,000 will survive, returning to the coast as adults in time to be eaten by the remaining SRKWs. So far, Blake’s bill has strong bipartisan support.

“I kept hearing stories about J pod and the lack of salmon, and that salmon is one of the factors in turning that around,” says Blake, who represents the Grays Harbor area, which is a regular fish-hunting area for the killer whales.

Scientists say if something is not done immediately, these whales are gone,” says Democratic State Senator Kevin Ranker, who has put forward other killer whale-related bills that are also under consideration.

Donna Sandstrom, executive director of the nonprofit organization the Whale Trail, says the whales’ situation seems dire. “We’re perhaps witnessing their last chapter on Earth,” she says. “The number of salmon does not necessarily translate to availability to orcas,” Sandstrom says.  

The Historical Collapse of Southern California Fisheries

Recently, the New York Times Green Blog described how two major Southern California fisheries (kelp bass and barred sand bass) had collapsed "right under the noses of management agencies." The management and oversight of these fish stocks had not changed since 1959. This news is perhaps not surprising as there are more examples of marine species collapses off our coastline than possible to list in this blog post.

These waters are home to one of the largest kelp forests in the Pacific, and this giant kelp (Macrocystis Pyrifera) is the main food source for abalone, sea urchins, and many other fish and marine mammals. Because of a spike in population growth after World War II, a greater amount of sewage was discharged into the water, leading to the deterioration of kelp forests. This pollution, combined with a warmer water temperature because of the 1957 El Niño event, rendered the kelp forests practically extinct, which meant to loss of abalones’ main food source.

The future of seafood and entire marine ecosystems is not at all certain, and based on past mistakes.
Stricter regulations and more consistent, updated research are the keys to ensuring that these species that we rely on for food, science, and natural beauty never go extinct. 

DISAPPEARANCE OF PACIFIC SARDINES, A MAJOR MARINE FOOD SOURCE
Pacific Sardines: Critical Food Source in Steep Decline


A Little Fish with Big Impact In Trouble on U.S. West Coast - Yale E360


OTHER SPECIES DWINDLING


Tuna and mackerel populations suffer catastrophic 74% decline ...


We're Running Out of Fish Faster Than We Thought - Pacific Standard


Anchovy decline spells big trouble for Pacific seabirds | Audubon
"Pew Charitable Trusts highlight on their blog a potential decline in the population of anchovy that could mean real problems for the many Pacific seabirds that rely on them to live."

Why are New England's wild blue mussels disappearing?



Ocean Acidification May Contribute To Global Shellfish Decline ...


Mystery of shellfish decline - NZ Herald

Two studies underscore the complexity of predicting the rise and fall of global fish populations.
George Sugihara, another biologist at Scripps, thinks that all simulations fisheries scientists use to predict populations and set quotas are "fundamentally flawed."

These models don't reflect the "dynamic complexity" of the ocean, and can't account for how a population's growth rate might vary in response to, for example, overfishing of another species or introductions of invasive species. His point is reinforced by a recent study, published in December 2013 in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, highlighting the "snowball effect" of overfishing and confirming what many have always known about the interconnectedness of different species.

An epidemic of sick sea lion pups in Southern California is already being blamed on the decline of sardines. The last time Pacific sardines declined this steeply was around 1950.
HOWEVER, THOSE SEA LION PUPS TESTED POSITIVE FOR LEUKEMIA.

SEA BIRDS ALSO STARVING 


A Mystery of Seabirds, Blown Off Course and Starving - New York Times
Jul 14, 2017 - All are the same species of agile seabird called great shearwaters, and all washed up emaciated on Long Island beaches last month in a mass mortality event that scientists say is extraordinary for the region.

SAME IN THE PACIFIC 
Hundreds of dead and starving seabirds wash up on Tasman beaches ...Jan 31, 2018, New Zealand - "There have been reports of people finding hundreds of dead, dehydrated and starving fairy prions, an abundant petrel species, across the entire Tasman Bay, and all the way to Wharariki in Golden Bay.
There are many that have passed away. Some are dehydrated from lack of food, and some that are fit enough to make a full recovery."
Dead and starving penguins have also been reported on Auckland's Waiheke Island and North Shore, the Coromandel Peninsula and Kaikōura.

Number of Starving Sea Lions in California 'Unprecedented'--National Geographic
10,000 Dead Sea Lions Wash Up In California



“The Ocean is Dying”: Marine and Animal Life Die Offs, California

July 30, 2017 - A startling new report says in no uncertain terms that the Pacific Ocean off the California coast is turning into a desert. Once full of life, it is now becoming barren, and marine mammals, seabirds and fish are starving as a result. According to Ocean Health: The waters of the Pacific off the coast of California are a clear, shimmering blue today, so transparent it’s possible to see the sandy bottom below […] clear water is a sign that the ocean is turning into a desert, and the chain reaction that causes that bitter clarity is perhaps most obvious on the beaches of the Golden State, where thousands of emaciated sea lion pups are stranded.

"This has never happened before… It’s incredible. It’s so unusual, and there’s no really good explanation for it. There’s also a good chance that the problem will continue," said a NOAA research scientist in climatology, Nate Mantua.

Experts blame a lack of food due to unusually warm ocean waters. NOAA declared an El Nino, the weather pattern that warms the Pacific, a few weeks ago. The water is three and a half to six degrees warmer than the average

The same is true of seabirds on the Washington State coast:

Littering a Washington State shoreline, Bonnie Wood saw something grisly: the mangled bodies of dozens of scraggly young seabirds. Walking half a mile along the beach at Twin Harbors State Park on Wednesday, Wood spotted more than 130 carcasses of juvenile Cassin’s auklets—the blue-footed, palm-size victims of what is becoming one of the largest mass die-offs of seabirds ever recorded.

“It was so distressing,” recalled Wood, a volunteer who patrols Pacific Northwest beaches looking for dead or stranded birds. “They were just everywhere. Every ten yards we’d find another ten bodies of these sweet little things.”

“This is just massive, massive, unprecedented,” said Julia Parrish, a University of Washington seabird ecologist who oversees the Coastal Observation and Seabird Survey Team (COASST), a program that has tracked West Coast seabird
deaths for almost 20 years. “We may be talking about 50,000 to 100,000 deaths. So far.” (source)

Last year, scientists sounded the alarm over the death of millions of star fish, blamed on warmer waters and ‘a mystery virus’:

Starfish are dying by the millions up and down the West Coast, leading scientists to warn of the possibility of localized extinction of some species. As the disease spreads, researchers may be zeroing in on a link between warming waters and the rising starfish body count. (source: PBS)

Researchers found that such events, which can kill more than 90 per cent of a population, are increasing among birds, fish and marine invertebrates.

In the last few days it was reported that a massive die off of bottlenose dolphins in the Gulf of Mexico was connected by researchers to BP’s Deep Water Horizon oil spill. Evidence was found in a third of the cases of lesions in the adrenal gland, an otherwise rare condition linked with petroleum exposure. More than a fifth of the dolphins also suffered bacterial pneumonia, causing deadly lung infection that is likewise rarely seen in dolphin populations.

SO, FROM KRILL AND KELP TO SEA BIRDS AND THE GREAT WHALES, MARINE LIFE ACROSS THE GLOBE IS STARVING.

MARINE LIFE SPECIES ARE ALSO NOT REPRODUCING AS THEY ONCE DID.

SINCE EACH SPECIES AND EACH LOCATION ARE DIFFERENT, ISN'T IT TIME "SCIENTISTS" DECIDED THERE MIGHT BE A COMMON FACTOR, SOMETHING THAT IS AFFECTING SEA LIFE EVERYWHERE, SOMETHING THAT CAUSES WASTING, LESSENS REPRODUCTION CAPABILITY, CAUSES SKIN ANOMALIES AND INTERNAL ORGAN FAILURE, CAUSES DISORIENTATION?


WHAT COULD IT BE?
SURELY NOT RADIATION, RIGHT?

The effects of radiation exposure on an individual are cumulative.
There is currently no treatment to repair cells that have already been damaged by radiation.

When one is exposed to around 100 rems, the blood's lymphocyte cell count will be reduced, leaving the victim more susceptible to infection. This is often referred to as mild radiation sickness.

Early symptoms of radiation sickness mimic those of flu and may go unnoticed unless a blood count is done.According to data from Hiroshima and Nagaski, symptoms may persist for up to 10 years and may also cause an increased long-term risk for leukemia and lymphoma.

Because reproductive tract cells divide rapidly, these areas of the body can be damaged at rem levels as low as 200. Long-term, some radiation sickness victims will become STERILE.

Like its effects on the heart, radiation kills nerve cells and small blood vessels, and can cause seizures and immediate death.
Disorientation, poor balance, dizziness?

Radiation damage to the intestinal tract lining will cause nausea, bloody vomiting and diarrhea. This is occurs when the victim's exposure is 200 rems or more. The radiation will begin to destroy the cells in the body that divide rapidly. These include blood, GI tract, reproductive and hair cells, and harms the DNA and RNA of surviving cells.

Hair loss, skin lesions, ulceration of the mouth and mucus membranes, anorexia, headache, malaise and rapid heartbeat (tachycardia). With mild acute radiation sickness (ARS), the discomfort subsides within a few hours or days.

However, there are three different types of severe ARS, which can develop as a result of high doses (e.g., an atomic explosion) to small doses (e.g., repeated x-rays over a period of days or weeks): 

1. Cardiovascular/central nervous system sickness is the type of ARS produced by extremely high total body doses of radiation (greater than 3000 rads). This type is the most severe and is always fatal. In addition to nausea and vomiting in the prodromal stage, patients with cerebral syndrome will also experience anxiety, confusion, and loss of consciousness within a few hours, the latent period will occur. 5 or 6 hours after the initial radiation exposure, tremors, and convulsions will begin, and eventually coma and death are inevitable within 3 days.

2. Gastrointestinal sickness is the type of ARS that can occur when the total dose of radiation is lower but still high (400 or more rads). It is characterized by intractable nausea, vomiting, imbalance of electrolytes, and diarrhea that lead to severe dehydration, diminished plasma volume, vascular collapse, infection and life-threatening complications.  

3. Hematopoietic sickness (bone marrow sickness)is the type of ARS occurs at exposure of between 200 to 1000 rads. Initially it is characterized by lack of appetite (anorexia), fever, malaise, nausea and vomiting, which may be maximal within 6 to 12 hours after exposure. Symptoms then subside within 24 to 36 hours after exposure.
During the latent period for this type, the lymph nodes, spleen and bone marrow begin to atrophy, leading to underproduction of all types of blood cells (pancytopenia). In the peripheral blood, lack of lymph cells (lymphopenia) commences immediately, reaching a peak within 24 to 36 hours. Lack of neutrophils, a type of white blood cell, develops more slowly. Lack of blood platelets (thrombocytopenia) may become prominent within 3 or 4 weeks.
Increased susceptibility to infection develops due to a decrease in granulocytes and lymphocytes, impairment of antibody production and granulocyte migration, decreased ability to attack and kill bacteria, diminished resistance to diffusion in subcutaneous tissues, and bleeding (hemorrhagic) areas of the skin and bowel that encourage entrance and growth of bacteria. Hemorrhage occurs mainly due to the lack of blood platelets.

The area of the body exposed to radiation is also an important factor. The entire human body can probably absorb up to 200 rads acutely without fatality. However, as the whole-body dose approaches 450 rads the death rate will approximate 50%, and a total whole-body dose of greater than 600 rads received in a very short time will almost certainly be fatal.
By contrast, many thousands of rads delivered over a long period of time (e.g. for cancer treatment), can be tolerated by the body when small volumes of tissue are irradiated.

Distribution of the dose within the body is also important. For example, protection of bowel or bone marrow by appropriate shielding will permit survival of the exposed individual from what would be an otherwise fatal whole-body dose.

[MY NOTE:
Expert teams have taken hundreds of radiation measurements on many occasions in towns just outside the 20 km exclusion zone around the Fukushima disaster site and in Fukushima City and Koriyama, 60 km from the disaster. Greenpeace monitoring began shortly after the accident on 11 March 2011. The teams have also tested soil, vegetables, seafood, and sediment. Their data can be found <HERE>.]


WHAT ABOUT ORGANISMS THAT SWIM 24 HOURS A DAY, 365 DAYS A YEAR IN RADIOACTIVE WATER?
IT'S ABSORBED BY THEIR SKIN, INGESTED AS THEY FEED AND MOVE THROUGH WATER.

THERE IS NO ESCAPE... EVER...EXCEPT IN DEATH.









//WW


Saturday, March 24, 2018

HUMAN GUINEA PIGS IN THE NUCLEAR POWER EXPERIMENT







Pilgrim Nuclear Power Plant (and ALL such facilities) releases different types of radiation that affect our bodies, as illustrated above. They can be either inhaled or ingested. They enter the air, soil and water, then plants, animals and fish, traveling up the food chain to humans. These elements concentrate in various parts of our body. The NRC and the nuclear industry consider "inert gases" (such as Xenon and Krypton) that Pilgrim releases to be harmless because they do not combine with any other elements when they are inhaled. This ignores the fact that during normal radioactive decay, inert gases become deadly.

Krypton 90 decays into Strontium 90 and attacks bone marrow. Xenon 137 becomes Cesium 137, which attacks muscles and genitals.
Inert gases, when inhaled, tend to be taken up by the adrenal glands.

Filters cannot stop inert gases.

Pilgrim Watch was a grassroots organization that served the public interest in issues regarding the Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station in Plymouth, Massachusetts.


Pilgrim Watch is still online, but "under construction" at http://www.pilgrimwatch.org/

The aged, leaking, problem plagued Pilgrim plant has been slated for shutdown, but only time will tell if
this becomes reality.

On October 13, 2015, plant owners announced that Pilgriim would close by June 1, 2019, citing "market conditions and increased costs," which would have included tens of millions of dollars of necessary safety upgrades.
Built in 1972, Pilgrim's original license to operate should have expired in 2012.

BELOW IS A HYPOTHETICAL "NON-CONSENT FORM" WHICH NONE OF US IN OUR RIGHT MINDS WOULD AGREE TO, BUT WE DO, BY OUR SILENT ACCEPTANCE OF NUCLEAR "ENERGY" PLANTS, THEIR INCESSANT LEAKING AND "VENTING", AND THE STUDIES THAT HAVE SHOWN AN INCREASE IN BIRTH DEFECTS, CANCERS AND OTHER AILMENTS NEAR SUCH NUCLEAR POWER PLANTS.

"INFORMED NON-CONSENT FORM FOR HUMAN RESEARCH : THE NUCLEAR POWER EXPERIMENT" - Prepared by Kate Parker Adams

You are invited to take part in an experiment.
Or you would be invited, if this experiment were covered by international standards for human experiments.

Radioactive materials will be released from a nuclear power plant into the air you may breathe, the water you may drink, and the food you and your family may eat.

This experiment will last as long as the nuclear power station is in operation.
It will continue while the plant is chopped up or “decommissioned”- as long as fifty years or more.

Nuclear waste [storage and] transport will extend the experiment to areas distant from nuclear facilities.

You have no choice but to participate in this experiment.

Procedures:

While the nuclear power station is operating normally, it will discharge radioactive materials such as: strontium; tritium; argon; xenon; krypton; cesium; barium; iodine [and at least 90 other radioactive substances].

These radioactive materials will be released from the power plant into the air as 'steam', or in wastewater. They may travel some distance from the plant in the air depending on the weather and release conditions. Radioactive materials in water will move with water in the ground, travel down stream in rivers, or move with ocean currents.

You will breathe these radioactive materials in the air, drink them from water sources, or eat them in food grown with contaminated water or soil.

We do not know how much, if any, radioactive material you will breathe or swallow.

The Nuclear Power Experiment has no plans to track these radioactive materials.

Risks, Discomforts, and Inconveniences
The health effects of breathing or swallowing radioactive substances from nuclear plants are not well studied.

[MY NOTE: ACTUALLY, IT HAS BEEN WELL STUDIED. It was very well studied in the 1940s, 1950s and 1960s when the old Atomic Energy Commission issued the statement that NO AMOUNT OF RADIATION IS HARMLESS, that the ingestion, inhalation of just one radioactive particle can cause cancer in humans/animals and that even the smallest doses of radiation, over time, will increase destruction and mutation of DNA. Because of their studies on other unsuspecting human guinea pigs, the  majority of scientists who created the bomb became activists in ending nuclear proliferation. As Oppenheimer stated on national TV, they "had become death".]

The amount of radiation you will get from the Nuclear Power Experiment is much less than the amounts of whole-body radiation people had in Hiroshima.

So we will tell you that the Nuclear Power Experiment will not cause you health problems even though swallowing or breathing radiation for many years is different from being bombed.
,
THE LONG-TERM EFFECTS WILL BE THE SAME.
SOME WILL DIE.
UNBORN BABIES, CHILDREN, THE ELDERLY AND THOSE WITH COMPROMISED IMMUNE SYSTEMS WILL BE THE WORST AFFECTED.

"
In reality, atomic bomb tests have dispersed about six tons of fine plutonium mist into the air, enough to give each person in the world 1,000 cancers."

BUT IT ISN'T "JUST" PLUTONIUM, IS IT? 

IF YOU LIVE NEAR A NUCLEAR REACTOR, YOU WILL BE AN UNPAID, UNINFORMED HUMAN GUINEA PIG, STUDIED COVERTLY BY THE U.S. GOVERNMENT AND "BIG NUKE".
YOUR ONLY HOPE IS TO MOVE AWAY FROM SUCH PLACES.


GOOD LUCK ON THAT!

Radiation Basics
"There is no safe level of exposure and there is no dose of (ionizing) radiation so low that the risk of a malignancy is zero"
--Dr. Karl Morgan, the father of Health Physics


Gamma rays are the most penetrating type of radiation and can be stopped only by thick lead blocking their path. Cesium-137 is a gamma emitter often released from nuclear reactors. It mimics potassium, collecting in muscle. Iodine-131and Iodine-129 are also gamma-emitters released through bomb testing and at atomic reactors. Radioactive iodines collect in the thyroid gland emitting both beta and gamma ionizing radiation to the surrounding tissue.

X-rays are much like gamma rays except they are most often generated electrically by a machine (rather than a radionuclide), usually for medical diagnostic procedures.
X-rays also require lead shielding.
When generated by medical equipment, their production does not create nuclear waste.


BIO-ACCUMULATION

With man’s increased uses of radioactive material, more radionuclides have been and continue to be released to the environment. Once released, they can circulate through the biosphere, ending up in drinking water, vegetables, grass, meat, etc. The higher an animal eats on the food chain, the higher the concentration of radionuclides. This is bioaccumulation. The process of bioaccumulating radionuclides can be especially harmful to humans since many of us eat at the top of the food chain.

"MADMAN IN A LIBRARY…"


Ionizing radiation travels through our living tissue with much more energy than either natural chemical, or biological functions. This extra energy tears mercilessly at the very fabric of what makes us recognizably human—our genetic material. Elderly and people with immune disorders are more susceptible to ionizing radiation. Children and the unborn are especially susceptible because of their rapid and abundant cell division during growth.

Cancers linked to ionizing radiation exposure include most blood cancers (leukemia, lymphoma), lung cancer, and many solid tumors of various organs. Birth defects can include downs syndrome, cleft palate or lip, congenital malformations, spinal defects, kidney, liver damage and more.

Evidence exists that radiation is permanently and unpredictably mutating the gene pool and contributing to its gradual weakening. The New Scientist quotes a report that calls genetic or chromosomal instabilities caused by radiation exposure a "plausible mechanism" for explaining illnesses other than cancer, including "developmental deficiencies in the fetus, hereditary disease, accelerated aging and such non-specific effects as loss of immune competence."

A living being’s genetic material is the library that houses the instructions for many important aspects of that being and his/her offspring, including the ability to defend against diseases. If we allow ionizing radiation to tamper with our genes, it could cause irreversible damage, not just to this generation through cancer, but to future generations through gene mutations and ensuing disease.

Government, university and independently sponsored studies have all shown that there is no safe level of radiation exposure - the lowest dose damages our health.
The National Academy of Sciences 2005 report thorough review of available biological and biophysical data supports a "linear, no-threshold" (LNT) risk model, which says that the smallest dose of low-level ionizing radiation has the potential to cause an increase in health risks to humans. In the past, some researchers have argued that the LNT model exaggerates adverse health effects, while others have said that it underestimates the harm. The preponderance of evidence supports the LNT model, this new report says.

Benefits of being a guinea pig:

When nuclear power was new, experimental subjects were told that they would receive electricity for little or no money, otherwise known as “too cheap to meter”. WRONG!
You will get about twenty-percent of your electricity from the Nuclear Power Experiment and you will pay market rates for this electricity.

Alternatives (Other Options) :

Nuclear power is not the only way to generate electricity. Alternatives include: development of our nation's vast potential for wind and solar power; using less electricity by reducing waste; encouraging energy efficient technology and design.

In Case of Injury (because I am a guinea pig):
If physical injury resulting from participation in the Nuclear Power Experiment should occur, your medical treatment will be entirely up to you. Persons conducting the Nuclear Power Experiment do not have to take any responsibility for the health of exposed subjects, and are exempted from liability in case of catastrophic accident.

No Signature Needed


I have been informed about the Nuclear Power Experiment, its possible benefits, risks, and discomforts. I recognize that I have no choice but to take part in this experiment and that my continued exposure is involuntary.

I understand that if the Nuclear Power Experiment was conducted according to human experiment standards started after the Nuremburg Trials, I could refuse to be exposed to potentially harmful radioactive materials for which the health effects are not established.
I FOUND THIS DAMN FINE ARTICLE COMPLETELY BY ACCIDENT, CREATED A DRAFT OF IT ABOUT 2 YEARS AGO AND FORGOT IT.

  I PRESENT JUST A FEW HIGHLIGHTS FROM IT (IT IS VERY EXTENSIVE) THAT MAY NOT SEEM TO CONNECT UNTIL YOU READ THE WHOLE THING.
ONE CAN READ FOR A VERY LONG TIME IN THE ARCHIVES OF THIS ARTICLE.


THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE FOUND AT http://www.pilgrimwatch.org/health1.html NO LONGER EXISTS, BUT WAS ARCHIVED BY THE 'WAYBACK MACHINE' AT
https://web.archive.org/web/20110131103424/http://www.pilgrimwatch.org/health1.html

READ, READ, READ!

IT EXPLAINS A LOT.

Dr. John Gofman - eminent nuclear chemist, part of the original team who created  "The Bomb", and cardiologist wrote the following letter, May 11, 1999


UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, BERKELEY
BERKELEY, CALIFORNIA 94720

LETTER OF CONCERN


To Whom It May Concern,

During 1942, I led "The Plutonium Group" at the University of California, Berkeley, which managed to isolate the first milligram of plutonium from irradiated uranium. [Plutonium-239 had previously been discovered by Glenn Seaborg and Edwin McMillan]. During subsequent decades, I have studied the biological effects of ionizing radiation---- including the alpha particles emitted by the decay of plutonium.

By any reasonable standard of biomedical proof, there is no safe dose, which means that just one decaying radioactive atom can produce permanent mutation in a cell's genetic molecules [Gofman 1990: "Radiation Induced Cancer from Low-Dose Exposure"]. For alpha particles, the logic of no safe dose was confirmed experimentally in 1997 by Tom K. Hei and co-workers at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons in New York [Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences [USA] Vol. 94, pp. 3765-3770, April 1997, "Mutagenic Effects of A Single and an Exact Number of Alpha Particles in Mammilian Cells."]

It follows from such evidence that citizens worldwide have a strong biological basis for opposing activities which produce an appreciable risk of exposing humans and others to plutonium and other radioactive pollution at any level. 

The fact that humans cannot escape exposure to ionizing radiation from various "natural sources" ---which may well account for a large share of humanity's inherited afflictions- is no reason to let human activities INCREASE exposure to ionizing radiation. The fact that ionizing radiation is a mutagen was first demonstrated in 1927 by Herman Joseph Muller, and subsequent evidence has shown it to be a mutagen of unique potency.
Mutation is the basis not only for inherited afflictions, but also for cancer.


Very truly yours,

[signed]
John W. Gofman, M.D., Ph D
Professor Emeritus of Molecular and Cell Biology


References :

1990: John W. Gofman, Radiation-Induced Cancer from Low-Dose Exposure. ISBN 0-932682-89-8. The entire monograph is online at www.ratical.org/radiation/CNR/RIC/

1995: Natl Radiological Protection Bd (Britain), Risk of Radiation-Induced Cancer at
Low Doses... ISBN 0-85951-386-6.

1997: Tom K. Hei et al, "Mutagenic Effects of a Single and Exact Number of Alpha
Particles...", Proceeding of the Natl Acad Sci Vol.94, No.8: 3765-3770. The full text is
online at www.pnas.org/cgi/content/full/94/8/3765

1999: John W. Gofman, Radiation from Medical Procedures in the Pathogenesis of Cancer
and Ischemic Heart Disease... ISBN 0-932682-97-9. The first 100 pages plus the Table of
Contents and References are online at www.ratical.org/radiation/CNR/RMP/

2000: Michele M. Doody et al, "Breast Cancer Mortality after Diagnostic Radiography,"
Spine Vol.25, No.2: 2052-2063.

2000: Betsy M. Sutherland et al, "Clustered DNA Damages Induced... in Human Cells by Low Doses of Ionizing Radiation," Proceedings of the Natl Acad Sci Vol.97, No.1: 103-108. The
full text is online at www.pnas.org/cgi/content/full/97/1/103
See also Sutherland 2000, "Clustered Damages and Total Lesions Induced in DNA by Ionizing
Radiation..." Biochemistry Vol.39: 8026-8031.

2001: David J. Brenner et al, "Estimated Risks of Radiation-Induced Fatal Cancer from
Pediatric CT," Amer. Journal of Roentgenology Vol.176, No.2: 289-296. Full text is online at
www.ajronline.org/cgi/content/full/176/2/289

2005: National Academy of Sciences report, Health Risks from Exposure to Low Levels of Ionizing Radiation (BEIR VII - Phase 2). Available on line at http://national-academies.org



Evidence of radiation-linked disease continued. In a statement before the Southeastern Massachusetts Health Study Review Committee [June 26, 1992] Dr. Richard W. Clapp, the founder and former director of the Massachusetts Cancer Registry, presented a graphical assessment of the pattern of leukemia and thyroid cancer in the towns closest to Pilgrim during the period 1982-1989.

Analysis of 1974-1989 Massachusetts Cancer Registry for Leukemia & Thyroid Cancer, Dr. Richard Clapp, DSc, MPH (2006), personal communication. Exhibit F-4 shows graphs of the incidence leukemia and thyroid cancer in the Plymouth area. The incidence of leukemia peaked in 1982 and subsequently declined until 1986.
Then there was a second, smaller peak in 1987 and 1988 while declined in 1989.

The number of cases exceeded the number expected in 1982-85 and 1987-88. The second graph depicts the pattern of thyroid cancer in the same set of towns. It shows a peak in the years 1987-1988.

These patterns of cancer incidence are consistent with the predicted health effects of the radiation released in the early 1980s. A graph showing the predicted health effects is also shown in Exhibit F. A statistically significant increase in childhood leukemia was noted in communities near Pilgrim, too. Although Massachusetts Department of Public Health recommended a state sponsored case controlled childhood leukemia study, it was not done.


BEIR Vll: Health Effects of Low Level Ionizing Radiation

The National Academies Committee to Assess Health Risks from Exposure to Low Levels of Ionizing Radiation, the National Research Council, published

Health Risks from Exposure to Low Levels of Ionizing Radiation: BEIR VII Phase 2 in 2005. Drawing upon new data in both epidemiologic and experimental research, they concluded that no amount of radiation is safe. There is a linear no threshold response to radiation, and exposure to low levels of radiation is approximately three-times more dangerous than previously thought. BEIR VII: Health Risks from Exposure to Low Levels of Ionizing Radiation, Report in Brief, June 2005. Therefore it is not surprising that radiation-linked disease rates are higher than expected in communities exposed to Pilgrim’s past releases.

A summary of cancer deaths estimated at NRC’s permissible dose release is provided in the BEIR VII Report. The report shows the number of cancer cases and deaths expected to result in 100,000 persons (with an age distribution similar to that of the entire U.S. population) exposed to 100mSv per year over a 70 year lifetime. On average, assuming a sex and age distribution similar to that of the entire U.S. population, the BEIR VII lifetime risk model predicts approximately one individual in 100 persons would be expected to develop cancer (solid cancer or leukemia) and approximately one in 175 would be expected to die from cancer from a the permissible dose of 100 mSv. Lower doses would produce proportionately lower risks.

For example one in 1000 would develop cancer from an exposure to 10 mSv.

ANY VOLUNTEERS TO BE THAT ONE?


This new report validates concerns raised by Petitioners and helps explain the radiation-linked disease observed near Pilgrim NPS. When the standards were set by the NRC for permissible release of off-site radiation, low levels of radiation were considered harmless. However, the BEIR VII report now reveals that any exposure is potentially dangerous. Therefore it is not surprising that radiation-linked disease rates are higher than expected in communities exposed to Pilgrim’s past radiological releases.

This new information is particularly relevant to the issue of re-licensing Pilgrim because twenty additional years of exposure will harm an already damaged population.

Pilgrim has operated, and most likely will continue to operate with defective fuel.

Pilgrim began operations in 1972 with defective fuel.

The Massachusetts Department of Public Health’s Southeastern Massachusetts Health Study 1978-1986 stated, “Pilgrim, which began operations in 1972, had a history of emissions during the 1970s that were above currently acceptable EPA guidelines as a result of a fuel rod problem.” Southeastern Massachusetts Health Study 1978-1986, Morris M.S., Knorr R.S., Executive Summary, Massachusetts Department of Health (October, 1990).

In the March 2005 and April 2006 Pilgrim SALP (Systematic Assessment of License Performance, performed by the NRC) Reports, NRC Resident Inspector, William Raymond, stated that Pilgrim operated in 2004 and 2005 with defective radioactive fuel – that is, fuel with perforated cladding.

Fuel cladding provides the first barrier to prevent radiation from getting out and harming workers and the public. Degraded fuel is an on going issue for the industry.

NRC Commissioner Merrifield has admitted nearly 1/3 reactors now have failed fuel, and the trend is increasing, not decreasing. Briefing on Nuclear Fuel Performance, Transcript, p.4, (February 24, 2005), http://www.nrc.gov.

Use of degraded fuel will increase exposure to both the public and workers.

For example, according to the NRC, “a plant operating with 0.125 percent pin-hole fuel cladding defects showed a general five-fold increase in whole-body radiation exposure rates in some areas of the plant when compared to a sister plant with high-integrity fuel (<0.01 percent leaks).

Around certain plant systems the degraded fuel may elevate radiation exposure rates even more.” United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Information Notice No. 87-39, Control Of Hot Particle Contamination At Nuclear plants, (August 21, 1987).


MUCH MORE ABOUT HEALTH ISSUES AT PILGRIM AT

https://web.archive.org/web/20110131104059/http://www.pilgrimwatch.org:80/health5.html

SEE ALSO:

FINDINGS AROUND MAJOR NUCLEAR FACILITIES - COMMUNITY STUDIES.


YOU MAY NOT BELIEVE THE PROOF IN THESE STUDIES WHICH MAINSTREAM MEDIA CONTINUES TO SUPPRESS, PEER-REVIEWED STUDIES, FACTS KEPT OUT OF THE MEDIA SPOTLIGHT.


BUT REMEMBER, WHAT APPLIES TO
PILGRIM APPLIES TO ALL OUR AGED, CRUMBLING POWER PLANTS WHICH HAVE ALL EXCEEDED THEIR DESIGNED 40-YEAR LIFESPAN.

FLAWED EMERGENCY PLANNING: WHAT THEY HAVE IN PLACE SIMPLY WON'T WORK.


RE-FOCUS!
Concern about nuclear reactor accidents or attacks has focused on a core meltdown.

Nuclear reactors have a weaker link – the spent fuel pool.


Spent fuel pools contain some of the largest inventories of radioactivity on earth.
Pilgrim's pool will have 3,859 assemblies in a space designed for 880.
The pool can catch fire if the water drops to the top of the stored assemblies, either by mechanical failure, operator error or acts of malice; and they are vulnerable to terrorism.

At present there is no safe storage solution - no permanent repository in sight; yet nuclear reactors continue to generate tons of waste each year that is stored on site in areas never designed for that purpose.

Host communities never bargained for (or agreed to become) massive, long-term radioactive waste storage sites.

Nuclear workers' children have increased cancer risk.
BTW, so do children of returning military veterans exposed to depleted uranium in the Middle East.

19 June 2002
Exclusive from New Scientist

"Working at the Sellafield nuclear plant in Cumbria may have been harmful after all.
Children of men who had been exposed to radiation while working at the plant have
twice the normal risk of leukemia and lymphoma, according to a major new study
sponsored by the nuclear industry.

Throughout the whole of Cumbria, they found that the incidence of leukemia and
non-Hodgkin's lymphoma was twice as high among the Sellafield children.
The incidence was 15 times as great in Seascale, a small village next to the
nuclear plant.
Crucially, they also discovered that the risk to children rose in line with the
radiation dose received by their fathers."
[More at: International Journal of Cancer (vol 99, p 437) ]

HOW CAN THIS HAPPEN?

BIOLOGICAL EFFECTS OF RADIATION


1. Cells are killed.
2. Passes through and misses cells.
3. Cell is damaged but repairs itself.
4. Cell is damaged and reproduces a damaged cell which may result in cancer.
5. Sperm or egg is damaged and passes its mutations to offspring which may cause stillbirths, miscarriages, birth defects, inheritable genetic damage, and possible cancer.

RADIATION DOSES AND BIOLOGICAL EFFECTS

Acute Exposure: Expected Effects

[DO NOTE:
For equivalent dose, the unit corresponding to rads is the rem (roentgen equivalent man).

The difference between the rad and rem is that the rad is a measurement of the radiation absorbed by the material or tissue.
The rem is a measurement of the biological effect of that absorbed radiation.

For general purposes most physicists agree that the Roentgen, Rad and Rem may be considered equivalent.
If the absorbed dose is in grays then the unit for dose equivalent is sievert (Sv).

Thus, 1 Sv = 100 rads/rem.

Roughly, 1 rem is the average dose received in three years of exposure to natural radiation. "Natural" radiation includes all that man has put into the environment since he started making and testing "The Bomb" and Nuke Plants and medical devices that utilize radiation. NOTHING "natural" about it, it's just how things are now. Like young birds, we have simply fouled our nest, 'Earth', and there is no going back.]

Explained: rad, rem, sieverts, becquerels | MIT News

Sievert, gray, rem, and rad: Why are there so many different ways to measure radiation?


2000 rads (20 Sieverts) - Immediate death

400-600 rads - Acute radiation sickness (nausea, vomiting), bone marrow destruction, 3-5 weeks until death; (one-half of the people will die within 30 days (LD-30)


150-400 rads - Acute radiation sickness, skin burns and benign tumors. Without medical intervention, increased risk cancers, genetic effects, shorter life span.


50-150 rads, roughly just 1 Sievert - Blood changes, increased risk of infection/hemorrhage, possible benign tumors, or increased risk malignant tumors, genetic effects, shorter life span.


25-50 rads - Blood changes can occur, increased risk tumors, genetic effects and temporary sterility in men


0-25 rads - Risk of premature aging, excess tumors, genetic effects

ZERO, BECAUSE AS THE ORIGINAL ATOMIC SCIENTISTS, INCLUDING OPPENHEIMER ADMITTED, THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS A SAFE DOSE OF RADIATION AND THERE IS NO NOWHERE ON EARTH THAT IS FREE OF RADIATION. WE'VE COVERED THE PLANET IN IT.

Long-Term Effects:
A cell damaged by radiation may produce damaged daughter cells which can
begin the carcinogenic process (the development of tumor). Tumors tend to
become increasingly malignant through time. All organs are vulnerable to
radiation induced cancer given the right conditions of exposure.

Latency:
The exact latency of radiation-induced cancers cannot be determined as it depends on the individual and factors such as age qt exposure, sex, genetic constitution, physiological state, smoking, and other physical and chemical agents. Radiation can initiate a cancer or other environmental insults can promote the cancer. Likewise, some other agent can initiate a cancer and a radiation exposure can promote the cancer.

Leukemia, thyroid, and bone cancers have short latencies.
Cancers in other organs generally have  latencies ranging from 10-25 years.

IT HAS NOT BEEN 10 YEARS SINCE DAI'ICHI MELTED DOWN.
WE WAIT TO SEE HOW MANY WILL DIE AFTER 10-25 YEARS.


RADIONUCLIDE/ORGAN DISTRIBUTION

Organs and the radioactive elements that affect them

-Thyroid: Iodine

-Skin: Krypton (external exposure)

-Liver: Polonium, Zinc, Cesium, Serium

-Ovaries: Zinc

-Prostate: Zinc

-Muscle (WHICH INCLUDES THE HEART): Potassium, Cesium

-Spleen: Polonium, Irridium, Cesium

-Kidneys: Ruthenium, Polonium, Uranium, Irridium

-Bone: Radium, Strontium-Ytrium, Promethium, Barium, Throium, Phosphorous, Calcium, Plutonium

-Uniform Distribution: Tritium, Carbon, Chromium, Sulfur, Cobalt (all forms), Cesium, Potassium, and Zirconium

-Lungs and GI Tract: Anything breathed and in insoluble form (not readily dissolved), e.g. Zirconium, Carbide


WHY DON'T MAINSTREAM MEDIA ARTICLES ABOUT FUKUSHIMA, HANFORD, WIPP, ETC, EVER MENTION THESE OTHER DANGEROUS PRODUCTS LEAKED DAILY BY NUCLEAR REACTORS?

BECAUSE, IF THE PUBLIC WAS PROPERLY INFORMED THERE WOULD BE A GREAT OUTCRY TO END "NUCLEAR ENERGY" PLANTS...SOMETHING TOO COSTLY FOR 'BIG NUKE' TO THINK ABOUT.
THEIR PROFITS TAKE PRECEDENT OVER OUR HEALTH, AS ALWAYS.


British Studies:


3. Barcinski, MA, et al - 1975. Cytogenic investigation in a Brazilian population living in an area of high natural radioactivity. A. J. Human Genet, 27:802-806.

200 villagers exposed to excess gamma and alpha radiation from monazite sands (thorium) - 640 milirems/year compared with a control group from a similar village - exposed group showed increase in chromosomal aberrations.


Contents:

A. FINDINGS AROUND MAJOR NUCLEAR FACILITIES - COMMUNITY STUDIES

B. STUDIES OF FALLOUT FROM NUCLEAR WEAPONS TESTS

C. STUDIES OF NATURAL BACKGROUND RADIATION

D. STUDIES OF URANIUM MINERS AND MEDICAL IRRADIATION

E. STUDIES OF NUCLEAR WORKERS


[Prepared by
Childhood Cancer Research Institute

P.O. Box 309
Worcester, MA 01602]


1. Hatch et al. Background Gamma Radiation and Childhood Cancers Within Ten Miles of a --US Nuclear Plant. International Journal of Epidemiology, Vol. 19, No. 3, 1990.

Investigators found a positive correlation between background gamma radiation and childhood cancers in census tracts within ten miles of the Three Mile Island Nuclear Facility. For childhood cancers, as a whole, incidence rates relate significantly to background radiation; the association is strongest in children ages 10-14 years. Their data indicate a 50% increase in risk of cancer for children under 15 with ever 0.1 mgy (10 millirem) increase in estimated annual background gamma ray dose rate.

2. Knox, Stewart, Gilman and Kneale. Background Radiation and Childhood Cancers. J. Radiol. Prot. 1988, Vol. 8, No. 1 9-18.

These investigators matched outdoor levels of terrestrial gamma radiation with local childhood cancer rates for every 10 KM square in Great Britain. A statistically significant positive correlation was found between exposures to background radiation levels and rates of childhood cancer mortality.
The finding suggests that radiation might be a primary cause in the majority of all childhood cancers. Increases in overall fetal radiation exposures, from whatever cause, would then be expected to result in a near proportional increase in the subsequent cancer rate. Average absorbed fetal dose is .22 mGy (20 millrems).


--MacMahon, Brian. Prenatal X-Ray Exposure and Childhood Cancer. Journal of the National Cancer Institute, 28:1173-1191, 1962.

Study Type - Case-Control

The higher frequency of prenatal x-ray in the cancer cases than in the sample was statistically significant. After correction for birth order and other complicating variables, it was estimated that cancer mortality (including leukemia mortality) was about 40% higher in the x-rayed than in the un-x-rayed members of the study population. This relationship held for each of the three major diagnostic categories--leukemia, neoplasms of the central nervous system, and other neoplasms.

--Morgenstern, H. et al., Epidemiologic Study to Determine Possible Adverse Effects to Rocketdyne/Atomics International Workers from Exposure to Ionizing Radiation., June 1997, Final Report to the Public Health Institute, Berkeley, CA

Study Type: Cohort

These investigators found that among 4,607 workers exposed to external radiation at doses higher than 20 rem (200 mSv), they had an increased risk of dying from cancers of the blood and lymph system. As dose increased, these workers had an increased risk of dying from all cancers. For workers monitored for internal radiation exposures, those receiving doses of 3 rem (30 mSv) or more, there was an increased risk for cancers of the blood and lymph system as well as mouth, throat, esophagus and stomach cancers. (Final Report to Public Health Institute, Berkeley, CA, June 1997)

--Wing S. et al. (1991). Mortality among Workers at Oak Ridge National Laboratory: Evidence of Radiation Effects in Follow-up Through 1984. JAMA 265 (11):1397- 1402

Study Type: Cohort

Findings: Wing studied workers from 1943-1972 (8,318 population with 1,524 deaths) His major findings include leukemia mortality 33% higher in the all -worker cohort and 63% higher in the “white male cohort” with median cumulative doses of 140 millirems Data suggest a radiation effect for lung cancer for non-monitored workers.

See also:
--Wilkinson and Dreyer (Epid.1991:2) reviewed 7 studies of nuclear workers(1.4 million person years) and found an of excess leukemia to workers from occupational exposures to very low doses of radiation (1 to 5 rem).



PILGRIM -STUDIES OF RADIATION LINKED DISEASE

Infant Deaths
- Sternglass, 1986: A Massachusetts state task force found an unexplained 38% "spike" in the infant death rate (IDR) in Boston from 1981 to 1982. This was the first increase in the IDR in 9 years, and the largest in 17 years. A June, 1986, study by Dr. Ernest Sternglass, professor emeritus of radiation physics at the University of Pittsburgh, School of Medicine, connected the increase with large radioactive releases from Pilgrim during June, 1982.

Myelogenous Leukemia – Cobb, 1987: An epidemiological analysis of five towns around Pilgrim shows a 60 percent increase in leukemia rate, excluding leukemias not caused by radiation exposure. - Dr. Sidney Cobb, et.al., Lancet, 1987. The rate of myelogenous leukemia (the type most likely to be triggered by exposure to radiation) among males in the 5 towns around the Pilgrim reactor was found to be 2 1/2 times greater than the statewide average. - Dr. Sydney Cobb, et al., "Leukemia in Five Massachusetts Coastal Towns", Abstract for the American Epidemiologic Society, March 18, 1987; and, Clapp RW, Cobb S, Chan CK, Walker B Leukemia near Massachusetts Nuclear Power Plant, letter. Lancet 1987; 2:1324-5.

Adult Leukemia - Massachusetts Department of Health, 1990: Adults living and working within ten miles of the Pilgrim reactor had a fourfold increased risk of contracting leukemia between the years of 1978 and 1983 when compared with people living more than 20 miles away, according to a 1990 study by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health. The report stated "a dose-response relationship was observed in that the relative risk of leukemia increased as the potential for exposure to plant emissions also increased." - Morris MS, Knorr RS, Southeastern Massachusetts Health Study 1978-1986, Massachusetts Department of Health, Southeastern Massachusetts Health Study, Oct., 1990. Archives of Environmental Health, Vol. 51, p266, 1996, July-Aug. #4).


Radioactive Releases Occur Routinely. Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station, like all reactors, releases large numbers of radioisotopes/radiation into the air and water as part of “normal” operations.

Entergy (Licensee) Charged With Tracking Their Own Releases.
WOULD ENTERGY LIE?
ABSOLUTELY!

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission relies upon self-reporting and computer modeling from reactor operators to track radioactive releases and their projected dispersion. A significant portion of the environmental monitoring data is extrapolated – virtual, not real. What is put into the computer model, assumptions, will determine the answer that comes out.

Public Left in Dark:
Due to inadequacies in the monitoring equipment and self-reporting, neither the public nor federal and state authorities know how much is actually emitted.

We need: State-of-the-art radiation monitors computer linked to state and local authorities at all points where radiation is released from Pilgrim and at appropriate off-site locations; we need environmental sampling performed honestly with indicator and control stations appropriately placed.

The uncertainties associated with this method are that in general isotopes emit a spectrum of radiation frequencies, and in a case where there are a large number of unknown isotopes present in the sample, the energy peaks can overlap for different species and it may not be possible to assay many isotopes with any accuracy.

Another problem that can occur is that the efficiency of the charcoal absorber is strongly a function of relative humidity, so in cases of high humidity, the amount of a given isotope present in the charcoal may not at all reflect the concentrations in the sampled effluent. Detectors used to perform these measurements have non-uniform responses to different energy peaks, and calibration of these sensitive instruments should be conducted frequently.

Finally, the raw measurements from these instruments are entered into equations to ESTIMATE actual release rates, so the associated uncertainties may be quite high.


Are there monitors at all exit points?

Unknown:
For example, the public was assured when the reactor went on line in 1972 that there were radiation detectors located at every exit point from the plant to measure gaseous radioactive effluents.
However, it was not true. Citizens brought to the NRC’s attention in 1991 (NRC Report, 50-293/92-02,sec. 2.3) that the nine vents in the Turbine Building did NOT have either monitors or filters and vented to the atmosphere during the 20 years since Pilgrim went on line.

Permissible Releases Do Not Mean Safe.
Government regulations allow “permissible” levels of contamination. However, since there is no safe threshold to exposure to radiation, permissible does not mean safe.

NRC’s allowable radioactive release dose from a nuclear reactor to members of the public is 100 millirem per year to the total body.

The National Academy of Sciences Biological Effects of Radiation (BEIR VII) Report published June 2005 reported that the lifetime fatal cancer risk for 100 mrem/yr is (1) in (175) and the cancer incidence risk is (1) in (100).

Pilgrim claims to release a tiny fraction of the permissible dose; if true, why does industry fight changing the standard to a far lower number to better protect public health?


Radioactive Releases Occur Routinely. It doesn’t take an accident at Pilgrim to release radioactivity into our air, water, and soil.

As a matter of routine operation, radiation is released from Pilgrim in the form of liquid, gaseous, and solid radioactive wastes. Solid radioactive wastes include anything from laundry (considered low-level waste) to spent fuel rods (considered high-level waste.)


OVER 100 DIFFERENT ISOTOPES AND ALL ARE KNOWN CARCINOGENS!

Radioactivity released includes over 100 different isotopes only produced in reactors and atomic bombs, including Strontium-89, Strontium-90, Cesium-137, and Iodine-131. Humans ingest them either by inhalation or ingestion, through food.

Each radionuclide seeks different parts of the human body; iodine seeks out the thyroid gland, strontium clumps to the bone and teeth (like calcium), and cesium is distributed throughout the soft tissues.

All are carcinogenic.

Each decays at varying rates; for example, iodine-131 has a half-life of eight days, and remains in the body only a few weeks. Strontium-90 has a half-life of 28.7 years, and thus remains in bone and teeth for many years.

These radionuclides are different from “background” radiation found in nature in cosmic rays and the earth's surface. Background radiation, while still harmful, does not specifically attack the thyroid gland, bones, or other organs.

Accidents Can Happen/Releases Have Been High.

For example, we know that Pilgrim had extremely high emissions due to defective fuel, mechanical problems and lack of filtration.

These problems culminated in June 1982 when Pilgrim blew its filters and released contaminated resin material into our neighborhoods.

The licensee’s own Environmental Radiation Reports for 1982 showed for example, Cesium -137, (1,000,000) times higher than expected in milk tested at the indicator sampling farm 12 miles west of the reactor and no elevation at the control station, 22 miles away; Cesium-137 again (1,000,000) higher in vegetation samples from indicator farms .7 miles and 1.5 miles from the reactor.

Elevated releases have been reported in subsequent years. Typically the licensee has blamed the increase on “atmospheric fallout” that ignores a critical fact – no similar increases were experienced at the control stations.

How fallout, like a smart bomb, was able to find Pilgrim’s indicator locations while simultaneously missing the control stations is beyond comprehension.
As you will read below, higher off site radiation detected is now “explained away” or hidden from the public by: not only continuing to blame nuclear weapons testing; but by locating many “control stations” very close to the reactor, in Duxbury and Kingston Bays and Plymouth Harbor – really, we know that they are indicator stations.

Pilgrim’s Environmental Radiation Reports
[As previously stated] Licensee Charged With Tracking Their Own Releases. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission relies upon self-reporting and computer modeling from reactor operators to track radioactive releases and their projected dispersion. A significant portion of the environmental monitoring data is extrapolated – virtual, not real. What is put into the computer model, assumptions, will effect the answer that comes out

Radioactive Releases Are NOT Fully Accounted For by the Licensee. Radioactive releases from Pilgrim’s routine operation often are not fully detected or reported. Accidental releases may not be completely verified or documented.

Finding Effluent Reports

Links:

Effluent reports on the web http://hps.ne.uiuc.edu/natcenviro/databases.htm

Classification System for Radioactive Waste: Radioactive waste from a nuclear reactor is classified as “high” or “low” depending on where it comes from - not based upon how poisonous it is or for how long it will remain toxic. This is misleading; waste should be classified based on its toxicity and longevity. "High-level" radioactive waste refers simply to irradiated fuel assemblies. So-called "low level" radioactive waste is everything else; however some of it is intensely radioactive, can deliver a lethal dose, and remains very dangerous for a long time.

“High level” Radioactive Waste - Spent Fuel Assemblies

BLUE RIBBON COMMISSION (BRC) ON Nuclear Waste

Draft Report out for comment

Boston Meeting ---October 12, 2011 --- at Harvard Medical School Conference Center – 77 Louis Pasteur, Longwood – Boston


Draft Report – Meeting Particulars on BRC’s website at:

http://brc.gov/index.php?q=announcement/brc-releases-their-draft-full-commission-report


BRC Report has seven key elements: What’s missing?
1. A new, consent-based approach to siting future nuclear waste management facilities.

2. A new organization dedicated solely to implementing the waste management program and empowered with the authority and resources to succeed.

3. Access to the funds nuclear utility ratepayers are providing for the purpose of nuclear waste management.

4. Prompt efforts to develop one or more geologic disposal facilities.

5. Prompt efforts to develop one or more consolidated interim storage facilities.

6. Support for continued U.S. innovation in nuclear energy technology and for workforce development.

7. Active U.S. leadership in international efforts to address safety, waste management, nonproliferation, and security concerns

HOW ABOUT SECURING ALL RADIOACTIVE WASTE?

Radioactive wastes are at risk of accidents, attacks, and leaks.

WHILE THE COMMISSION MET YEARS AGO AND OUR FATES ARE SEALED, I LEFT THIS IN SO READERS CAN SEE THE CONCERNS AND REMEMBER THEM FOR "NEXT TIME".

Please urge the Blue Ribbon Commission on America's Nuclear Future to recommend to Congress, the Energy Secretary, and the President hardened on-site storage as a vital interim measure of homeland security and public health and environmental protection.

Please take action. Cut and paste the sample "BRC public comment" below into an email, and email it in to: CommissionDFO@nuclear.energy.gov. Be sure to sign it with a full contact address. Feel free to change it however you see fit, by adding your own thoughts and concerns. Thanks!

BRC public comment [Sample provided by Beyond Nuclear]:

"Dear Members of the Blue Ribbon Commission on America's Nuclear Future,

High-level radioactive wastes are at risk of accidents, attacks, and leaks. In your final report due out by January 29, 2012, please recommend to Congress, the Energy Secretary, and the President that hardened on-site storage be required as a vital interim measure of homeland security and public health, safety, and environmental protection.

The on-going Fukushima nuclear catastrophe in Japan has dramatically shown the risks of storing highly radioactive irradiated nuclear fuel in indoor water pools. Pool cooling water circulation systems were damaged or destroyed by the ravages of the earthquake, tsunami, reactor meltdowns, and explosions that began on March 11th.

For months now, desperate and dangerous efforts to cool the high-level radioactive wastes have continued, including failed helicopter water drops, and refilling the pools from afar with fire engines, riot control water cannons, and other pumps. The thermally hot wastes have then boiled the water away, forcing the ad hoc efforts to be repeated. If the pools boil dry, the wastes could catch fire and unleash catastrophic amounts of hazardous radioactivity directly into the environment, to blow downwind, flow downstream, and contaminate the food chain over a vast region.

Such an accident could happen here. So too could a terrorist attack. A number of pools have already sprung leaks. Many individual pools in the U.S. hold more waste than all 4 units at Fukushima Daiichi put together!

For a decade, hundreds of environmental groups have been calling for hardened on-site storage, as an interim alternative to pool risks, as well as to current “overflow parking,” outdoor dry casks at reactor sites, themselves vulnerable to accidents, attacks, and eventual leaks.

In your final report due out before January 29, 2012, I strongly urge you to recommend hardened on-site storage as a vital matter of homeland security, as well as public health, safety, and environmental protection.

Sincerely,

Article originally appeared on Beyond Nuclear (http://www.beyondnuclear.org/).

Spent fuel Rods

Pilgrim’s Spent Fuel Pool is enormous.

Risk: Spent Fuel Security/ Accident

Finances: Who will Pay for Safer Dry Storage?

Transportation: Shipping Pilgrim’s Spent Fuel Assemblies to an off-site repository when one becomes available is also very risky.


“Low Level” Radioactive Waste (LLRW)

So called “low level” radioactive waste
at Pilgrim, for example, includes: the control rods, resins, sludge, filters, and will include the entire nuclear power reactor - if and when it is dismantled. The waste contains highly toxic and long-lived radioactive materials.

Pilgrim generates a very large quantity of LLRW; in fact, it is the largest generator of radioactive waste by far in the Commonwealth.

Barnwell, S.C. closed to Massachusetts nuclear generators on June 20, 2008.
Massachusetts is not a member of any compact; in order to join one, Massachusetts would have to agree to be a host community. Massachusetts indicated clearly in the mid 1990’s that it would not be a host community. Therefore LLRW must be stored onsite, along with the tons of high level waste.

Texas may open a repository for LLRW but there are no guarantees. If Texas does open a site, there is no assurance that non-Texas Compact members will be able to send their waste there, and even if allowed whether fees would be prohibitive.

No sites have been developed anywhere in the country despite millions of dollars spent on failed attempts.

Waste Classifications

"Low-Level" Radioactive Waste is one of the most misleading terms ever created.
In the U.S., it is all nuclear waste that is not legally high-level waste, some transuranic waste, or mill tailings. It includes:

Reactors: Irradiated Components and Piping: reactor hardware and pipes that are in continual contact with highly radioactive water for the 20 to 30 years the reactor operates. The metal becomes "activated" or radioactive itself from bombardment by neutrons that are released when energy is produced. Also called Irradiated Primary System Components.

Control Rods: from the core of nuclear power plants--rods that regulate and stop the nuclear reactions in the reactor core.

Poison Curtains: which absorb neutrons from the water in the reactor core and irradiated fuel (high level waste) pool.

Resins, Sludges, Filters and Evaporator Bottoms: from cleansing the water that circulates around the irradiated fuel in the reactor vessel and in the fuel pool, which holds the irradiated fuel when it is removed from the core.

Entire Nuclear Power Plants if and when they are dismantled.
This includes, for example, from a typical 1,000 megawatt nuclear reactor building floor: over 13,000 tons of contaminated concrete and over 1,400 tons of contaminated reinforcing steel bar.

Medical and Scientific Research: The highly radioactive and long-lived reactor wastes are included in the "low-level" waste category along with the much less concentrated and generally much shorter-lived wastes from medical treatment and diagnosis and some types of scientific research.

High-Level Radioactive Waste is the irradiated fuel from the cores of nuclear reactors, the liquid and sludge wastes that are left over after irradiated fuel has been reprocessed (a procedure used to extract uranium and plutonium), the solid that would result from efforts to solidify that liquid and sludge from reprocessing.

Transuranic Waste is material contaminated with radioactive elements heavier than uranium, such as plutonium, neptunium, americium and curium. These elements have extremely long hazardous lives--hundreds of thousands to millions of years and emit alpha radiation a type of radiation that is especially dangerous if inhaled or swallowed.
Note: Some transuranic waste is allowed in the "low-level" radioactive waste category. In 1983, when the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) adopted regulations on land disposal of radioactive waste (lOCFR61), it increased the allowable concentration of transuranics in "low-level" radioactive waste.

Uranium Mill tailings, resulting from mining and milling uranium for weapons and commercial reactors, are not usually included in the "low-level" waste category, but may be handled with it in some states. The large volumes of these wastes, which will emit radiation for centuries, pose serious health problems.

RADIOACTIVE CONCENTRATION vs. VOLUME


The nuclear industry and government commonly describe "low-level" waste in terms of volume although there can be a tremendous concentration of radioactivity in a small package and a small concentration in a big package. The amount of radioactivity, measured in CURIES, indicates how much radioactive energy is being emitted by the waste. (1 Curie = 37,000,000,000 or 37 Billion disintegrations or radioactive emissions per second from a radioactive material.)

The medical waste from diagnosis and treatment shipped in one year from most states usually gives off a fraction of one curie of radiation. In contrast, each nuclear reactor generates hundreds and thousands of curies in "low-level" waste every year.

Nuclear reactor waste is concentrated:
Solidified liquid emits about 2 curies per cubic meter; Filter/Demineralizer sludges emit about 10 curies per cubic meter; Cartridge filters emit about 20 curies per cubic meter; Demineralizer resins emit about 160 curies per cubic meter. Primary Components average 1000 to 5000 curies per cubic meter.

All of this material is legally considered low-level.


HALF-LIFE and HAZARDOUS LIFE

Radioactive elements decay by emitting energy in the form of radioactive particles and rays. As radiation is given off, other elements (some radioactive and some stable) are formed.

The Half-Life is the time it takes for HALF of the radioactive element to decay (give off half of its radioactivity). Different radioactive elements have different half-lives.

The Hazardous Life of a radioactive element is about 10 or 20 Half-Lives. (It is best to measure the amount of radiation after 10 or 20 half-lives before releasing waste from active controls.)

Reactor waste remains hazardous for a very long time.
Most medical waste from treatment and diagnosis is hazardous for a very short time. Research and industrial waste can contain small amounts of some long-lived radioactive materials.

Among the radioactive elements commonly found in nuclear reactor "low-level" waste are: Tritium, with a half-life of 12 years and a hazardous life of 120-240 years; Iodine-131, half-life of 8 days, hazardous life of 80-160 days; Strontium-90, half life of 28 years, hazardous life of 280-560 years; Nickel-59, half life of 76,000 years, hazardous life of 760,000-1,520,000 years, and Iodine-129, half-life of sixteen million years, hazardous life of160-320 million years.

By contrast, common medical waste elements include Technetium-99m, with a half-life of 6 hours and a hazardous life of 2.5-5 days; Galium-67, half-life of 78 hours and hazardous life of 1-2 months; and Iodine-131, with its half-life of 8 days and hazardous life of 80-160 days.

The vast majority of medical waste is hazardous for less than 8 months. Yet, it is in the same category as reactor waste that will be hazardous for hundreds of thousands to millions of years.

Clearly, the definition of "low-level radioactive waste" must be changed.

It would make sense to redefine the more concentrated and/or longer-lived waste as high-level. Active re-containerization and operational control must be provided for the entire hazardous life of the waste, yet the NRC requires only 100 years of passive institutional control. Thus, waste hazardous longer than 100 years could be forgotten. Retrievability is essential.

PLANNED LEAKAGE AND "ACCEPTABLE" RISK

Waste containers and forms will not last as long as some waste remains hazardous. Therefore, waste should be placed in a manner which will facilitate recontainerization and make continued isolation from the environment possible in the future. If the waste is "disposed of" as the NRC currently requires, it will not be isolated from the environment. "Planned leakage will occur at (what NRC considers) an "acceptable" leak rate leading to "acceptable" public radiation exposures and health risks. The allowable leak rates and exposure levels are determined by federal agencies, not those experiencing the risk.

To avoid leakage, above-ground, engineered storage at or near the source of generation could allow responsible routine monitoring and repair.

STATES' AUTHORITY

States have the right and responsibility to protect their citizens' health.

In 1980, Congress gave states the responsibility for "low-level" radioactive waste. How and whether states choose to take on that responsibility will be reflected indefinitely into the future.

NO STATE IS PROTECTING ANY OF US.
WE ARE UNWITTING HUMAN GUINEA PIGS.
SINCE THE ONSET OF THE SEARCH FOR ATOMIC POWER, THE BOMB, THE CAPACITY TO DESTROY ONE ANOTHER BY NUCLEAR BLAST, WE HAVE BEEN AND CONTINUE TO BE GUINEA PIGS.
WE AGREE TO IT BY OUR SILENCE.





____________________
SOME RESOURCES:

--Institute of Energy and Environmental Research Publication: High Level Dollars, Low Level Sense http://www.ieer.org/pubs/highlvl4.html

--Nuclear Information and Resource Service http://www.nirs.org/radwaste/llw/llwhome.htm

--Massachusetts Department of Public Health, Radiation Control Program http://www.mass.gov/?pageID=eohhs2terminal&L=5&L0=Home&L1=Government&L2=Departments+and+Divisions&L3=Department+of+Public+Health&L4=Programs+and+Services+K+-+S&sid=Eeohhs2&b=terminalcontent&f=dph_environmental_radiationcontrol_g_about&csid=Eeohhs2


TO UNDERSTAND THE LICENSE RENEWAL PROCESS; CHECK ON THE STATUS OF CURRENT APPLICATIONS; AND LEARN HOW TO PARTICIPATE VISIT THE NRC'S WEBSITE http://www.nrc.gov/reactors/operating/licensing/renewal.html


· Filings are organized under Board Orders, Commission Orders, Pilgrim Exhibits, Pilgrim Misc., Pilgrim Pleadings (Motions, Responses), Pilgrim Transcripts by year submitted

Nuclear Information and Resource Service, 1424 16th Street, NW, #404, Washington, DC 20036. Phone: 202-328-0002. Fax: 202-462-2183. E-mail: nirsnet@nirs.org. Web: www.nirs.org
SEE ALSO:
"Licensed to Kill: How the nuclear power industry destroys endangered marine wildlife and ocean habitat to save money" (PDF). Nuclear Information and Resource Service. 



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