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Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Nuclear waste images.

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Nuclear Waste: The Perfect Plague

In the 1300?s an epidemic known as the bubonic plague spread throughout Europe. This epidemic later known as the Black Plague has been historically recorded as one of the worst pandemics in human history. It is was so deadly that once infected only 1/3 survived and those who didn’t died within a couple of weeks. During its peak years from 1346-1351 this disease wiped out more than 50 million people, about 1/3-1/2 of the European population.
The Origins of the Black Plague
The Black Plague was highly contagious, it was caused by bacteria carried in rats and fleas. Back then with poor hygiene and sanitation being bitten by a flea was not a difficult thing. The bacteria apparently originated in Central Asia was characterized by causing infection and swelling of the lymph nodes. It devastated the victim’s immune system causing great pain, nausea, vomit and in the worst case death
Medieval illustration showing the symptoms of the Black Plague

The Black Plague was a thing of the past, nowadays there are barely traces of the disease and if an outbreak occurred, antibiotics have been developed enough to cure almost 90% of the cases. Compared to the past where there were no antibiotics dying from the Black Death was a sure thing.
The Nuclear Plague
Developments in medicine and better sanitation practices have eradicated the Black Plague from the phase of the planet, the battle against this medieval monster was won hundreds of years ago. However nowadays we are facing a bigger threat. It is disguised in the form of an energy fuel and they call nuclear energy.
Many technocrats have tagged nuclear energy as a blessing of modern technology, the triumph of man by harnessing power of the universe. Nuclear energy might be a blessing in the sense of its apparent energy yield, but the thing technocrats stress the least about it is what is left after the consumption of nuclear fuel. What is left is a monstrous byproduct much more worse than the Black Plague that almost exterminated medieval Europe.

The byproduct generated from the fission of nuclear fuel in the form of uranium or plutonium creates what is called nuclear waste. This waste comes in huge variety of extremely radioactive material with half-lives ranging from 8 days to hundreds of thousands of years. In other words their radioactivity takes a really, really long time to decay, thousands of times our human life-times. These fission products if released to the environment will last a long time, and the worst part is that it is almost impossible to decontaminate them.
Nuclear byproducts in Fukushima
In the case of Fukushima radiation has been released in various types. One of them is in the form of rays, the most dangerous being gamma and beta rays. This type of radiation travels like light and once obstructed it can be contained or avoided. Gamma rays are the strongest ray type radiation and it can be blocked by thick concrete/metal or dissipated by distance. This type of radiation is probably the least dangerous if you are hundreds of kilometers away from the source in this case the Fukushima reactors.
The other type of radiation that has been emanating since day one in Fukushima is the particulate radiation. This type of radiation is generated through the vaporization of radioactive substances and radioactive water and it travels in the form of airborne microscopic particles. It is like a radioactive dust, but thousands of times smaller and invisible to the human eye.
Particulate radiation can be easily stopped, just like you can prevent dust at home by covering your furniture or PC. However there is a huge downside, in the case of Fukushima tons of cubic meters of particulate radiation have been released into the environment. All of it invisible and impossible to trace have spread through the neighboring land, water bodies and nature. “Fortunately”, thanks to the favoring wind currents most of it has been blown into the ocean, becoming a different type of problem, pollution of the seawater and fish. But not all the time the wind blows east sometimes it blows inland and that is when these particles start polluting the land, water and the food chain.
The particulate radiation released in Fukushima has been mainly,
  • Iodine-131 8 day half-life
  • Cesium-137 30 year half-life
  • Strontium-90 30 year half-life
  • Plutonium-239 25,000 years half-life
These are just some of the many radioactive byproducts a nuclear fission can generate in a reactor, I just named the most popular ones and the ones the media have mostly focused on. All of them with different half-lives but with one thing in common, deadly toxicity, all of them are associated with cancer.
How particulate radiation spreads like a disease
The radioactive byproducts mentioned above have been released into the environment since the first explosion in Fukushima. Iodine-131 and Cesium-137 have been already detected in tap water, vegetables and milk. That means that they have already reached the bottom of the food chained and have found their way up into human consumption. The government has officially announced the detection of these products and has stated that the level are still “safe”. However, with radiation it is always difficult to draw a line between safe and unsafe, since it is difficult to determine the dangers of such byproducts in the short term.
Since the development of a cancer tumor through radiation exposure can take years to appear. So in the short term at the announced levels the risk of cancer is very low, however it is difficult to determine it in the long term. Once a radioactive particle reaches the human body it remains there and as long as it is radioactive it will contaminate the human cells permanently, creating a small ring of destruction around its path. This is the seed for a cancer tumor. The cellular destruction by a radioactive particle is so microscopic and insignificant at the beginning that it is impossible to identify. The damage is occurring at such a small scale that it remains unnoticeable for years until it breeds a tumor big enough to become a problem.
Just like the Black Plague bacteria radiation particles act in the same way, they enter the body unadvertised and begin spreading the damage throughout the body. The Black Plague manifest itself in days with strong symptoms like nausea, vomit and swelling, advising its presence. This can give enough notice to act and combat it through antibiotics. However, radioactive particles do not manifest any symptoms through out years only when they breed a tumor big enough to become a health risk, and usually it is too late to react.
Particulate radiation the perfect plague
I found that comparing particulate radiation with one of the worst diseases in mankind was not that outrageous, since Chernobyl has been a perfect example of how particulate radiation has spread like a disease killing thousands, and allegedly being the cause of cancer in millions throughout Europe, although the link has not been “officially” proven. Just by curiosity I decided to check cancer trends in Europe, breast and leukemia for example, spiked after 1995 and have more incidence in countries closer to Ukraine, coincidence?
                                                                                    Depiction of a food web with humans on the top of it.

Different from a biological disease, particulate radiation or radioactive waste acts in the same way as an infectious plague in that it sickens the body and spreads like a disease through food and water, contaminating the whole food chain. The only difference is that it does not reproduce by itself, however it is bred in nuclear reactors through nuclear fission. No wonder why the call certain type of reactors, breeders.
These are the things that make nuclear waste products the perfect plague:
  • Invisible to the human eye and almost impossible to trace
  • It contaminates the whole food chain
  • It comes in the guise of clean and cheap energy deception
  • So far impossible to fully decontaminate from the environment
  • It lasts for thousands of years some of them alleged to last millions years, however this last fact has not yet been proven by human experimentation.
I think the above points just make nuclear waste the big winner and although not of biological origin it can be compared in scale of damage and negative influence in society as a perfect plague.
Having an energy that produces a dangerous waste that is much more powerful and deadly than the worst plague that humanity has experienced is just insane. It is like if in the middle ages people decided to use instead of horses, lions and tigers as means of transportation just because they felt these were stronger and faster.
Nuclear energy is just an example of the irrationality of humanity, no power yield in the universe can justify the immense risks and dangers of this energy, and these are the dangers we have confirmed with the disaster we are experiencing now in Fukushima.


Paths of radiation to the body.

Paths of Radiation to the Body

No plan to dump Kudankulam nuclear waste in Kolar Gold Fields: Minister

The Centre today made it clear there was no plan to dump uranium waste from the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant in defunct gold mines at Kolar Gold Fields (KGF) in Karnataka.
Amid media reports that Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd has decided to dump the uranium waste in KGF, Minister of State in the PMO V. Narayanasamy said the waste will not be taken to KGF.
He also noted that the chances of getting nuclear waste from the Kudankulam plant in Tamil Nadu were very less.
“I had spoken about this matter to Central Minister K. H. Muniyappa (who hails from Kolar district) and also discussed with senior officials of my department. On behalf of the department, I strongly say that the uranium waste will not be taken there” he told presspersons at the airport here.
Life came to a standstill in Kolar Gold Fields yesterday following a bandh call given by various political parties to protest the Centre’s reported move.

No plan to dump nuclear waste at Kolar: Narayanasamy

Nuclear waste from the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project (KNPP) will not be stored in Kolar Gold Fields (KGF) in Karnataka, said Union minister of state in the Prime Minister's Office V Narayanasamy in Chennai on Sturday.

Queried by reporters about Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd. (NPCIL) planning to store the nuclear waste from KNPP in KGF, Narayanasamy refuted claims that the waste would be sent to Kolar Gold Fields.

Citing discussions with KH Muniyappa, member of the Lok Sabha representing Kolar, and also with officials of his department, Narayanasamy stressed that nuclear waste would not be taken to Kolar.
The People's Movement Against Nuclear Energy (PMANE), which is protesting the setting up of two 1,000 MW nuclear power units at Kudankulam in Tirunelveli district in Tamil Nadu, around 650 km from in Chennai, has charged that the Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) has not shared basic information on storage of spent fuel from KNPP at KGF.

HindustanTimes Mon,26 Nov 2012

No plan to dump nuclear waste from Kudankulam plant in Kolar Gold Fields: Narayanasamy

CHENNAI: The Centre today made it clear there was no plan to dump Uranium waste from the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant in defunct gold mines at Kolar Gold Fields (KGF) in Karnataka.
Amid media reports that Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd has decided to dump the uranium waste in KGF, minister of state in PMO V Narayanasamy said the waste will not be taken to KGF

Nuclear waste dumping scare shuts down KGF

Bandh call: Agitators burning tyres at Sooraj Mull Circle in KGF on Friday | Express Photo

The bandh  called by all political parties except the Congress in KGF in the wake of reports that  nuclear waste from Koodankulam would be dumped in the abandoned mines was total on Friday.
All commercial establishments, markets, theatres and educational institutions remained closed, and autorickshaws and buses were off the road. The Bar Association members boycotted court proceedings. The bandh was prompted by reports in a section of media that an affidavit filed by the Centre in the Supreme Court on Thursday said nuclear waste could be dumped in KGF mines. The report, however, was denied by the Department of Atomic Energy on Thursday.
Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar said in Mysore on Friday that the state would not allow any such move.
He said the Centre had not intimated the state about such a decision. The state would apprise the Centre of the adverse impact of dumping nuclear waste on KGF region and convey its opposition, he said

BJP opposes nuclear waste dump at KGF

The submission by the Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL) to the Supreme Court to bury the spent fuel from Kudankulam nuclear power plant in Tamil Nadu at the now defunct Kolar Gold Fields (KGF), has become a major political issue.

The ruling BJP has opposed the idea and Karnataka Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar made it clear that his Government will not allow KGF to become another more dumpyard. Shettar expressed strong objections to the Centre’s decision and blamed the Union Government for not sharing any information.
Meanwhile, a delegation led by Bangalore south MP and senior BJP leader Ananth Kumar met the Karnataka Governor HR Bhardwaj, on Saturday and submitted a memorandum to stop dumping of nuclear fuel waste at KGF. He said, “The people of Karnataka and the ruling BJP will not allow dumping of spent fuel from Kudankulam nuclear power plant in deep mines of KGF, as proposed by the Centre.” The Centre has filed an affidavit before the Supreme Court that the nuclear waste will be dumped at KGF. This can be dangerous and hazardous to the people and livestock in the area,” he added. He said the BJP urged Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to categorically assure that KGF was not used as a ‘dumping ground’.
“We will raise the issue in Parliament on Monday and prevail upon the Union Government. It is unfortunate that Union Ministers from Karnataka except KH Muniyappa had not bothered to react to the issue,” he remarked. However, the Union Minister from Karnataka M Muniyappa, who hails from KGF, said in New Delhi that he met the Prime Minister who told him that there was no proposal to dump nuclear waste in KGF. Deputy Chief Minister and BJP State Preident K S Eshwarappa, who was also in the delegation, condemned the Centre's move and said the people of Karnataka, will launch a struggle to safeguard their land from being made a nuclear waste dump. In fact, on Wednesday the NPCIL has submitted to the Supreme Court that no danger would be caused by 'spent fuel' after being discharged from the nuclear reactor. Solicitor General Rohinton Nariman, in a submission made before the bench of Justices KS Radhakrishnan and Dipak Misra said, “Spent nuclear fuel was the 'used' fuel after desired energy had been extracted.
The said ‘spent fuel’ after being discharged was being re-used to produce electricity through recycling technology,” he said.

Sunday, 25 November 2012 13:32