Emergency radiation testing used at Democrat and Republican conventions after Fukushima; Also for Obama Inauguration — Seafood, meat, vegetables, milk, water checked for nuclear waste, while top officials agree to publicly downplay crisis — 80% of milk samples by Orlando, FL had ‘significant’ Cs-137

Published: November 5th, 2014 at 3:00 pm ET


New York State Department of Health’s Wadsworth Center, Aug. 2012 (emphasis added): The Wadsworth Center, which has already tested milk samples in preparation for the upcoming national political conventions, has now been asked to test additional samples of other foods from the sites during the conventions. In August and September, during the conventions… labs will test water, lettuce, orange juice and shrimp for radiological contamination. The labs will also be testing for… radiation in various meat products… These surveillance activities are part of the Food Emergency Response Network‘s (FERN) ongoing preparations for the Republican Convention… and the Democratic Convention… The labs will be testing foriodine-131 [Half life = 8 days], cesium-137 and other… sources of radiation. Should any contaminants be identified… laboratories across the nation could be called on to test large quantities of samples… Wadsworth’s initial role in the role in the political convention preparation exercises was to measure evidence of radioactive isotopes Iodine-131 and Cesium-137 in milk prior to the conventions.

NY Dept. of Health & Dept. of Environmental Health Sciences, Apr 30, 2014: New York State is located over 10,000 km from [Fukushima]… Yet even at this distance, our laboratory easily identified 131I and 134, 137Cs [and] was among the laboratories which received an assignment to protect food during the Democratic and Republican political conventions in the U.S. in 2012… the laboratory tested 20 milk samples from Florida. Phase II consisted of radiological food testing at the Republican National Convention held in Tampa… as well as the Democratic National Convention… [We] tested 33 samples of lettuce and meatIn addition, the laboratory was involved in radiological testing of food for the Presidential Inauguration in January, 2013… for fission products of interest: 103,106Ru, 131I, and 134,137Cs… 137Cs [was detected] in 9 out of 20 milk samples from Florida… These levels… do not pose any significant health hazard… The contribution from 137Cs in Florida milk is significant… The presence of cesium in Florida milk was found to be a remnant from nuclear fallout following atmospheric testing [Note that Florida had the highest level of radioactive material from Fukushima measured anywhere in world outside Japan].

Nuclear expert Arnie Gundersen interview by SolarIMG: I know someone very highly placed in the State Dept., and the US government has come up with a decision… at the highest levels… to downplay Fukushima… Hillary Clinton signed a pact… saying she agreed there are no problems with Japanese food… So we are not sampling this material as it comes into the country, because our government has made a decision to downplay it.

See also: [intlink id=”forbescom-leading-biophysicist-casts-critical-light-govt-reassurances-americans-never-risk-fukushima-fallout” type=”post”]{{empty}}[/intlink]

Published: November 5th, 2014 at 3:00 pm ET


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265 comments to Emergency radiation testing used at Democrat and Republican conventions after Fukushima; Also for Obama Inauguration — Seafood, meat, vegetables, milk, water checked for nuclear waste, while top officials agree to publicly downplay crisis — 80% of milk samples by Orlando, FL had ‘significant’ Cs-137

  • rogerthat


    M5.3 Quake in Ocean just east of Fukushima Nuclear Disaster site
    November 7th, 2014

    According to the US Geological Survey, a magnitude 5.3 earthquake struck in the Pacific Ocean just east of the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant Disaster Site at 6:54 PM tonight:

    M 5.3 – 109km SE of Ishinomaki, Japan

    2014-11-07 18:54:22 UTC-05:00
    37.830°N 142.306°E


  • rogerthat


    Swedish Company Uses Corporate Sovereignty Clause To Demand 4.7 Billion Euros From German Public

    via techdirt

    A couple of months ago we mentioned the long-running legal battle involving the Swedish energy company, Vattenfall, which is suing Germany using corporate sovereignty provisions in the Energy Charter Treaty after the German state decided to phase out nuclear power stations.

    The rumored figure we mentioned then was the already-generous €3.7 billion; but it has just been revealed that Vattenfall is actually demanding even more — €4.7 billion, to be precise. We know this is the real figure, because it was mentioned by Germany’s Minister of the Economy, Sigmar Gabriel (original in German.)

    This fact may help to explain persistent reports that Germany will not agree to the inclusion of an investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) chapter in either TAFTA/TTIP or CETA (the Canada-EU trade agreement). Germany is already experiencing first-hand the dangers of such corporate sovereignty provisions, and clearly wants to avoid suffering any more on this front.

    The latest information, reported by the German news magazine Der Spiegel, points out that two other energy companies, RWE and E.on, are unable to sue in the same way as Vattenfall, because they are German companies, and the ISDS option is only available to foreign investors. This underlines the fact that, far from creating a level playing-field, corporate …

  • rogerthat


    Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists
    Yucca Mountain redux


    (A physicist, Victor Gilinsky is an independent consultant and formerly advised Nevada on matters related to the proposed nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain. His expertise spans a broad…}

    The Republican takeover of the Senate and consequent sidelining of the Democratic majority leader, Nevada Sen. Harry Reid, will undoubtedly increase calls for reviving the Energy Department’s proposed nuclear waste repository at Nevada’s Yucca Mountain.

    The project got a big boost from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) staff when it recently concluded that the Energy Department has “demonstrated compliance with NRC regulatory requirements” limiting long-term radioactive leakage from the proposed repository. This result produced headlines like this one, which ran in the New York Times in October: “Calls to use Yucca Mountain as a nuclear waste site, now deemed safe.”

    US Rep. John M. Shimkus, Republican of Illinois, said, “Today’s report confirms what we’ve expected all along: Nuclear waste stored under that mountain, in that desert, surrounded by federal land, will be safe and secure for at least a million years.” But the hosannas are premature. The NRC staff did not explain, and…

    • rogerthat

      … and no one in the media seems to have caught on, that its favorable conclusion reflected the Energy Department’s pie-in-the-sky design for Yucca Mountain—not the repository as it is likely to be configured. The likely repository configuration doesn’t come close to meeting NRC requirements.

      The key design element in question is something the Energy Department calls a “drip shield.” This is a kind of massive, corrosion-resistant titanium alloy mailbox that is supposed to sit over each of the thousands of waste canisters in Yucca Mountain’s underground tunnels. In NRC’s definition, it is designed “to prevent seepage water from directly dripping onto the waste package outer surface.”

      The name drip shield itself is a giveaway that there is a water problem at Yucca Mountain.

      There is indeed a lot more water, and it is flowing faster, than the Energy Department imagined when it picked the site, which is why it added the drip shield to the original design.

      Without the titanium shields, dripping water would corrode the waste canisters placed in the repository and release radioactive waste, and the moving underground water would carry it to the nearby environment.

      Using the corrosion data in the Energy Department’s license application, one can calculate that this corrosion would take not the “million years” cited by Mr. Shimkus, but about 1,000 years…

      • rogerthat

        … Although the Energy Department has included the drip shields as part of the repository design, and NRC has accepted them for license-review purposes, the Energy Department doesn’t actually plan to install the shields until at least 100 years after the waste goes in.

        Presumably, this delay is based on financial considerations; installing the shields early in the project would add hugely to the repository’s cost and thus threaten its funding prospects in Congress.

        If you look more closely into the situation, you can’t escape the conclusion that it is highly implausible that the drip shields will ever be installed. In fact, as a practical matter, it may not even be physically possible to install them.

        According to Energy Department’s plan, after the radioactive waste canisters are placed in the repository tunnels, the site would receive minimal attention for many decades.

        After a hundred years or so, before the repository was permanently closed, the Energy Department would install the protective drip shields. So it says. Because of the radioactive underground environment, it would take highly specialized robotic equipment to install the shields with the required precision. None of this equipment has been designed, or even thought through…

        • rogerthat

          … Realistically, a century into the project, the underground tunnels would have deteriorated considerably and collapsed in part. Dust would sharply limit visibility. The tunnels would have to be cleared of rubble for a remotely operated underground rail system to transport robotic equipment and the five-ton drip shields to the waste canisters.

          The shields would then have to be installed end-to-end, so as to form a continuous metal cover inside the tunnels, obviously a delicate, complex, and extremely expensive operation.

          Is it reasonable to believe that after 100 years, with the nuclear waste in the repository long out of the public mind, that Congress would appropriate enormous sums of money for the Energy Department to go back into the tunnels to install the shields?

          Can we really rely on an agency that hasn’t yet cleaned up a nationwide radioactive mess that dates from World War II to keep a promise that it will do something a century into the future?

          Will there even be an Energy Department in 100 years?…

  • rogerthat

    … Naturally, because it would be fatal to the project, the Energy Department does not display a computer simulation that shows what happens at Yucca Mountain without drip shields.

    More surprising, the NRC has not asked for such a simulation.

    The result for the no-drip-shield situation can, however, be extrapolated from simulations that the Energy Department has run for other contingencies. The former head scientist for the Yucca Mountain project confirmed to me in 2008 that the extrapolation result obtained in this way is correct. (Disclosure: I was then working for the State of Nevada, which of course opposed the project.)

    The Energy Department argued, however, that such a calculation was irrelevant, because the NRC cannot, in its review of the Yucca Mountain project, look past the promise of its "sister agency" that it would install the crucial drip shields.

    That argument seems to have worked in keeping simulations of the behavior of a no-drip-shield Yucca Mountain out of NRC proceedings, and out of the public eye…

  • rogerthat

    … A truly independent regulatory agency—one truly representing the public interest—would not have been silent on the low likelihood that drip shields will ever be installed and would have insisted on getting the Energy Department’s calculations on what happens if the drip shields don’t get installed.

    What it comes down to is this: The NRC is going along with a shell game to advance the political fortunes of the Yucca Mountain project.

  • rogerthat


    Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists

    Frances Crowe, 95-year-old antinuclear activist

    In this interview, legendary activist Frances Crowe looks back on 70 years of protesting against the use of nuclear weapons and nuclear energy. She describes the impact that the news of the dropping of the atomic bomb on Hiroshima had on the American public in 1945—and how she and her husband, a radiologist and physician who had educated her on the effects of radiation poisoning, then decided to take a stand against its use.

    Among other acts of civil disobedience, she went on to spend a month in federal prison after spray-painting “Thou Shalt Not Kill” on the casings of missile tubes at a nuclear submarine base in Rhode Island.

    This grandmother of five has been arrested nine times for trespassing at the Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Station and was arrested again on January 14, two months shy of her 95th birthday.

    On the eve of the publication of her book, Finding My Radical Soul, Crowe tells about growing up in the Midwest during an era of Progressive politics, her evolution as a protestor, the limits of civil disobedience, what drove her and her husband—and what continues to drive her today.

  • rogerthat


    11/03/2014 – 15:20
    Why America should move toward dry cask consolidated interim storage of used nuclear fuel

    Robert Rosner Rebecca Lordan

  • rogerthat


    BEIR VIII Scoping Meeting
    On 17 November 2014, the Nuclear and Radiation Studies Board of the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) will be hosting a meeting to assist with scoping the next Biological Effects of Ionizing Radiation (BEIR) report—the BEIR VIII report—on health risks from exposure to low levels of ionizing radiation.

    The meeting is open to the public in its entirety and will be held at the National Academy of Sciences, located at 2101 Constitution Ave NW, Washington, DC. Registration and additional information about the meeting is available on the NAS website.
    Seating is limited so register soon if you plan to attend.

  • rogerthat


    ‘Public will pay the price for Treasury underestimating nuclear costs’ – Ritchie
    Posted by Paul Malone
    Nov 5

    SDLP MP for South Down Margaret Ritchie has expressed concern that the UK government did not provide comprehensive information to the European Commission regarding the cost of the new nuclear power site at Hinkley….

    ''It is astonishing that the UK government did not include the cost of waste storage or the decommissioning of the plant in the total cost.

    “The Department of Energy and Climate Change currently pumps almost half of its annual budget into decommissioning Sellafield yet are happy to ignore this significant economic burden of nuclear energy from their current calculations.

    “This wilful ignorance typifies the UK government’s approach to nuclear energy and it is the public who will end up paying for it…''

  • rogerthat


    Sellafield looks to strengthen demolition supply chain
    by Murray Pollok – 06 Nov 2014

    Sellafield wants to attract more and new players to the massive decommissioning and demolition of the Sellafield nuclear power plant in the UK…

    Work on the massive decommissioning and demolition project has been underway for several decades and is not scheduled to be fully complete by 2120 – more than 100 years from now. “We have made huge strides already”, he told the delegates, “but there are still huge things to be done.”

    Mr Hunt said the total cost of the project would be around £25-30 billion…

  • rogerthat


    Meanwhile, down at the nuclear power plant, something’s going wrong
    JOHN LA FORGE | co-director, Nukewatch

    Weakening radiation standards, a cap on accident liability, reactor propaganda versus improvements, old units running past expiration dates, revving the engines beyond design specs — you’d think we were itching for a meltdown.

    The Environmental Protection Agency has recommended increased radiation exposure limits following major releases. It would save the industry a bundle to permit large human exposures, rather than shut down rickety reactors.

    The EPA proposal is a knock-off prompted by Fukushima, because after the triple meltdown started three years ago, Japan increased — by 20 times — the allowable radiation exposures deemed tolerable for humans. Prior to the meltdowns of March 2011, Japan allowed one milliSievert of radiation per year in an individual’s personal space. Now, the limit is 20 milliSieverts per year. This is not safe, it’s just allowable — or, rather, affordable, since the cost of decontaminating 1,000 square miles of Japan to the stricter standard could bust the bank.

    The Price Anderson Act provides U.S. reactor owners with a liability cap and a taxpayer bailout in the event of serious radiation releases. The law relieves utilities of hundreds of billions in financial risk posed by…

    • rogerthat

      … posed by our ongoing meltdown roulette game. The owners won’t be bankrupted by the next loss-of-coolant disaster, but the U.S. might.

      Fukushima has spewed more long-lived radioactive chemicals to the air, the soil and the ocean than any catastrophe in history. But the corporate/government chant heard round the world is: “The dose is low, there’s no immediate danger.” Promoters of nuclear power repeat this mantra at every opportunity, hoping to dodge Germany’s answer to Fukushima — a permanent reactor phase-out — and it has nearly drowned out all warnings of radiation’s health and environmental effects.

      Physicians for Social Responsibility produced the report “Health risks of the releases of radioactivity from the Fukushima reactors: Are they a concern for residents of the U.S.?” International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War issued, in June 2014, “Critical Analysis of the UNSCEAR (United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation) Report.” Also, there is the November 2012 “Report of the U.N. Special Rapporteur on the right to health within the context of the nuclear accident at Fukushima,” and Greenpeace’s two major reports, “Lessons from Fukushima,” and “Fukushima Fallout.”

      The feds would rather you read the U.N. Scientific Committee’s executive summary, which claims Fukushima’s effects are “unlikely to be observable.” This conclusion was made before any research was done…

      • rogerthat

        … The chances of radiation disasters will increase further if the Nuclear Regulatory Commission allows U.S. reactors to run for 80 years. This is what Duke Power, Dominion Power and Exelon suggest for seven of their 40-year-old rattletraps now operating in Pennsylvania, Virginia and South Carolina.

        These seven reactors were designed and licensed to be shut down in the current decade. However, since 1991 the nuclear industry has been granted 70 “license extensions,” which have generally added 20 years. Now the owners want to push their units an extra 40 years (or until the American Fukushima, whichever comes first).

        Former NRC Commissioner George Apostolakis wasn’t apoplectic when the commission considered the idea, but, according to The New York Times, he said, “I don’t know how we would explain to the public that these designs, 90-year-old designs, 100-year-old designs, are still safe to operate.” The NRC has yet to rule on the 80-year option, but it’s never denied a single license extension request.

        Captured by the industry it’s supposed to govern, the NRC has approved 149 reactor “power uprate” applications and has denied exactly one. Power uprates boost the output of old reactors beyond what their original licenses permit. It’s done by packing reactor cores with extra fuel rods and, feeling lucky, running them harder.

        Chillingly, 23 operating U.S. reactors are duplicates of the Fukushima-type General Electric Mark 1. Fifteen of these clunkers have been…

        • rogerthat

          … a second power uprate. Susquehanna’s two 31-year-old Fukushima clones in Pennsylvania were granted a hair-raising three power uprates.

          With the radiation industry and the NRC working to deny or delay post-Fukushima safety improvements, how do you feel about reactor operators stomping the accelerator while they run their geriatric uranium jalopies toward the cliff?

          John LaForge is co-director of Nukewatch, a nuclear watchdog and environmental justice group in northern Wisconsin, edits its quarterly newsletter, and writes for PeaceVoice.

          • Ya der rogerthat, Soup up them clunkers, throw some nitrous on them, MOX too! PRofits before everything!

            Nuker lying on his deathbed, from leukemia at age of 57….sheesh, I sure wish I could have got some more profits, my precious, my precious

            • rogerthat

              hi stock, la forge is fun, but 1000 square miles of contaminated land is a bit shy of the mark, i think. As far as I know, 20,000 to 30,000 square kilometres is a conservative estimate.

  • rogerthat


    Not unclear on nuclear
    Hindustan Times
    Nov 9

    The Narendra Modi government has surprised many by articulating its position on nuclear power. Speaking at the World Economic Forum, Piyush Goyal, minister for power, coal and new and renewable energy, said the government “would like to be cautious that we are not saddled with something only under the garb of clean energy or alternative energy—something which the West has discarded and is sought to be brought to India”.

    This is a striking departure from the UPA government’s position which unequivocally embraced nuclear power and planned to increase its contribution to India’s power generation basket from 2.8% to 9% over the next 25 years.

    Mr Goyal’s statement does not suggest that India is walking away from nuclear power just yet; he himself said the sector had potential, but maintained the government was considering all options. The minister’s candid statement must be welcomed on several counts. It can first be read as a gesture that concedes the difficulty in unlocking the issue of the nuclear liability legislation which has stalled progress in the sector for years.

    As Mr Goyal indicated, several countries are conflicted about the use of nuclear power…

  • rogerthat

    … Australia, for instance, exports uranium but has no nuclear power facilities. Germany shut down seven nuclear plants after the Fukushima disaster and will phase out nuclear power completely by 2022.

    The minister did not spell out other areas of concern but they will have featured in government deliberations. Nuclear power is expensive and there are many who contend that the money can be more productively deployed in other sectors including for solar and wind power which sorely need more investment. Then there is the thorny problem about land acquisition.

    Thanks to sustained antic-nuclear campaigns over the decades that point to the dangers of nuclear waste and radiation, it is very easy to rally popular opinion against nuclear power. Agitations against plants at Jaitapur and Kudankulam bear that out clearly.

    A progressive expansion of nuclear power is likely to generate unrest. The Modi government is likely to take unpopular decisions on land acquisition. Mr Goyal’s remarks point to a more calibrated approach.

  • rogerthat

    Meanwhile, in a different world:
    (the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining)


    IOM3 Home › Materials World Magazine
    New in nuclear

    Safety, uranium and Greenland were just three of the topics served up at the World Nuclear Association Symposium, in London. Eoin Redahan reports.

    Radiating calm?
    It would be fair to say that some of the delegates were irked about the Fukushima fallout. The round table of speakers felt that a belt-and-braces approach has kept many Japanese people from returning to their homes, three-and-a-half years after the disaster.

    The residual radiation in the area, they said, is negligible – certainly no worse than some brief exposure to the sun on a given day.

    ‘I live in Tooting,’ Malcolm Grimston, of Imperial College London, said. ‘My life expectancy is nine months less than my parents’ (who live in a rural area) because of where I live. But the UK Government hasn’t evacuated me.’

    Their point was that by erring on the side of caution, the displaced are being hurt. There is a drain on physical and mental wellbeing that comes from being denied access to your home for several years.

    Willie Harris, of Exelon Nuclear, in Chicago, asked why you would protect someone from something you consider to be safe, before questioning once again the very term radiation protection…

  • rogerthat

    … The residual radiation in the area, they said, is negligible – certainly no worse than some brief exposure to the sun on a given day…

    – well, this is good news ha ha ha, toot toot toot

  • rogerthat

    Also from a different world:


    Radioactive Waste: Meeting the Challenge – Science and Technology for Safe and Sustainable Solutions
    September 2014
    17th Scientific Forum During 58th Session of IAEA General Conference

    Vienna, Austria

    by IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano
    Thank you, Melinda.

    Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,

    I am very pleased to welcome you to the 2014 IAEA Scientific Forum. It is a well-established tradition at the IAEA to hold a Scientific Forum every year during the General Conference, devoted to a specific technical area of the Agency's work.

    In the last few years, we have focussed on nuclear techniques related to cancer, food, water, and the protection of the environment.

    It has been 14 years since the Scientific Forum last considered the management of radioactive waste. I thought it important to return to this subject because the peaceful use of nuclear science and technology has grown steadily in that time, as has the amount of radioactive material that needs to be managed safely.

    There is a widespread misperception about radioactive waste, which is that solutions for managing it safely and effectively simply do not exist. That is not correct. Well-established technologies do exist to address this issue…

    • rogerthat

      … Ladies and Gentlemen,

      As I said, well-established technologies do exist.


      This is a source holder, which contained a sealed radioactive source previously used in a moisture gauge – a device widely used in construction.


      And this stainless steel capsule is used for conditioning disused sealed radioactive sources. These sources would have been used in cancer treatment or a variety of industrial applications, such as radiography. The capsules are placed in appropriate containers to safely transport, store and eventually dispose of the radioactive material.

      These are just some examples of the many tried and proven technologies that exist for developing safe radioactive waste management solutions.

      Of course, much more complicated technology is required to deal with high-level waste or spent fuel. And it is true that geological disposal of high-level waste, and of spent nuclear fuel declared as waste, has not yet been licensed anywhere in the world.

      However, serious work has been done on this and several countries are at, or near, the licensing stage. …

  • rogerthat


    Radioactive Coast – our probe reveals alarming amount of toxic waste dumped at sea

  • rogerthat


    Published on Nov 9, 2014
    Fukushima Nuclear plant live camera video 3min/1h(x20)
    長編版(15分)/Long ver(15min): http://j.mp/1spOiti

    – the hot and steamy fuku blues, Nov 10 mid-afternoon version

  • rogerthat


    Lessons from Fukushima Nov 5, 2014
    November 9, 2014

    Aid workers from the world’s biggest humanitarian organization gathered recently in Fukushima. They wanted to gain firsthand knowledge on how people worldwide should prepare for nuclear disasters …

    -short video clip

  • sayonara kitty sayonara kitty

    rogerthat… that webcam link is bazzaar!!

    • rogerthat

      you're talking about the fuku cam? i wonder how long it's going to run? maybe for as long as the meltdowns continue, or forever, whichever comes first lol. the atmosphere's there, the scene is set, just add music and it's an instant movie

      • Sickputer

        Re: webcam coverage by Tepco

        SP: Ah yes, Tepco's grainy webcam coverage using about the worst quality cameras since Edison cranked his first machine.

        Even with their $50 webcams they turned them off numerous times during high crisis events.

        Still, there have been many hours of amazing China Syndrome footage. Scary from 6,000 miles away… It must be a thousand times more frightening in Japan proper.

  • medonakrain

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