Nuclear Hotseat #179: BREAKING: 2nd USS Reagan Death + US Nuke Accident Updates – WIPP, Metropolis

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BREAKING:

Second death in the USS Reagan/Operation Tomadachi case.  Exclusive interview w/Charles Bonner, attorney for the sailors in the $1 Billion lawsuit against TEPCO, General Electric, EBASCO, Toshiba and Hitachi.

INTERVIEWS:

  • Don Hancock, Executive Director of Southwest Research and Information Center, again updates us on the most recent radiation release at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant, or WIPP site, in Carlsbad, NM.

    Not certain if this is sardonic or ironic.  Maybe both?
    Not certain if this is sardonic or ironic. Maybe both?
    • Gail Snyder, Board President of Chicago-based Nuclear Energy Information Service, provides the most recent information and analysis of the uranium hexafluoride leak at Honeywell’s Metropolis, IL facility. (See video below.)

NUMNUTZ OF THE WEEK:

US House of Representatives by voice vote led by Georgia’s Rep. Paul Broun passes bill to authorize Dept. of Energy (DOE) to do research on “WHETHER” low-dose ionizing radiation poses a risk.  How is this even a question?!?!?  Even worse, it appears to be a set-up to gut BEIR VII (Biological Effects of Ionizing Radiation), the proof of the risk, as creating an “unnecessary economic burdens” that are “detrimental to the health of Americans.”  Through the looking glass, Alice!

 

Nuclear Hotseat #178: Fukushima Kids, Moms & Thyroids – Filmmaker Ian Thomas Ash, Voices from Japan w/Beverly Findlay-Kaneko

Fukushima children show their radiation dosimeters.
Fukushima children show their radiation dosimeters.

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(Note: I’m learning a new system for uploading the audios and have not yet learned how to put the player up.  Will work to have it accomplished by next week’s show.)

INTERVIEW:

Japan-based Filmmaker Ian Thomas Ash talks about how he came to shoot his documentary, “A-2-B-C” on radiation risks to children and damage to their thyroids following the start of the Fukushima nuclear disaster.


VOICES FROM JAPAN:

Voices from Japan Co-Producer Beverly Findlay-Kaneko voices her husband, U. G.  Kaneko, in a report on his most recent trip to Fukushima and an update on the radiation dangers from waste “removal” and incineration.

Man walks by "temporary" storage area for radioactive decontamination waste in Fukushima.  ©2014, Yugi Kaneko
Man walks by “temporary” storage area for radioactive decontamination waste in Fukushima. ©2014, U.G. Kaneko


NUMNUTZ OF THE WEEK:

Disaster drill disaster!  Niigata calls off 2014 evacuation drill because 2013 evacuation drill had people evacuating directly into the hypothetical plume.  This year, they can’t even decide when to distribute Potassium Iodide, let alone who should get it!  How about RIGHT NOW and EVERYBODY IN JAPAN?

STORIES:

  • WIPP exhaust fan restart whips radionuclides into Carlsbad, NM, radiation spikes.  Don Hancock of Southwest Information and Resource Center predicted this exact scenario on Nuclear Hotseat #174, Oct. 21, 2014.  (Hancock will be interviewed on next week’s show.)
  • Honeywell’s Metropolis, Illinois uranium conversion facility accident downgraded by NRC to Alert status as intended restart stalls out.
  • Massive radiation spike at Fukushima continues; levels up over 1,000% in just 10 days.

LINKS:

  • Beautiful poem by “Sasukensuke” (her Twitter handle), posted under the title, The Sorrow of Living in Fukushima.”  (Thanks to Nelson Surjon and www.Evacuate-Fukushima.com.)
Fukushima schoolgirl walks past incineration facility for radioactive waste.
Fukushima schoolgirl walks past storage facility for “decontaminated” radioactive waste.  ©Copyright 2014, U.G. Kaneko

Nuclear Hotseat #177: Fukushima Update – Arnie Gundersen

 

Fairewinds Energy Education's Arnie Gunderson w/Nuclear Hotseat Producer/Host, Libbe HaLevy
Fairewinds Energy Education’s Arnie Gunderson w/Nuclear Hotseat Producer/Host, Libbe HaLevy

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INTERVIEW:
Arnie Gundersen of Fairewinds Energy Education (Fairewinds.com),
Nuclear Hotseat’s favorite nuclear engineer, gives a concise, clear interpretation of what’s behind TEPCO’s recent announcements regarding water radiation levels, the removal of fuel rods from the fuel pool at Unit 4, and the hole in the roof of Unit 1; manipulation of Japanese doctors to eliminate evidence of radiation-related diseases in Fukushima’s survivors; and an elegantly brilliant way to deprive the nuclear industry of its peak energy profits, thus hastening its demise.

Fukushima Unit 3 Explosion, March 14, 2011
Fukushima Unit 3 Explosion, March 14, 2011

SPECIAL – Nuclear Hotseat’s UK Correspondent, Shaun McGee, reports on manipulations by the  government regarding the British Nuclear Test Veterans Case, as well as actions taken against well-known opponents to nuclear, Prof. Christopher Busby and Dr. Ian Fairleigh.  Exclusive to Nuclear Hotseat.

NUMNUTZ OF THE WEEK:

The United States absolutely denied that there was a need for testing for radiation in food after Fukushima… except when it came to the delegates to the 2012 Republican and Democratic Conventions! 

Republican Convention in Tampa, FL, 2012: Population of the Next Big Nuclear Epidemiological Study!
Republican Convention in Tampa, FL, 2012: Population cohort for the Next Big Nuclear Epidemiological Study!

PLUS:

  • NYTimes publishes nuke industry-inspired propaganda article AGAINST testing for thyroid cancer because too many cases of it have been found!
  • Radiation found in Pacific Ocean off the west coast of North America: Vancouver, BC; Eureka in Northern California; Orange County in Southern California;
  • Prof. Chris Busby hacked after supporting the military personnel in the British Nuclear Test Veterans Case.

Nuclear Hotseat #176: USS Reagan Sailors’ Lawsuit v. TEPCO Clears Judicial Hurdle, Expands!

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INTERVIEW:

Attorneys for the USS Reagan sailors hit by Fukushima radiation won big in court last week: Judge Janis Sammartino ruled that the $1 billion lawsuit against TEPCO for health damages and medical treatment CAN not only move forward, it adds as defendants General Electric, EBASCO, Toshiba and Hitachi – the companies that designed and built the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear reactors.  Nuclear Hotseat talks with attorneys Paul Garner and Charles Bonner.

At USS Reagan hearing August 25, 2014: (l to r) Nuclear Hotseat's Libbe HaLevy; attorney Charles Bonner; Summer Simmons; USS Reagan sailor (retired) Steve Simmons; attorney Paul Garner
At USS Reagan hearing August 25, 2014: (l to r) Nuclear Hotseat’s Libbe HaLevy; attorney Charles Bonner; Summer Simmons; USS Reagan sailor (retired) Steve Simmons; attorney Paul Garner


NUMNUTZ OF THE WEEK: 

What does the calendar have to do with whether nuclear waste cleared from Fukushima Prefecture’s schools can be disposed of as… well, nuclear waste?

Radwaste from Fukushima schools can't be disposed of as... well, radwaste!
Radwaste from Fukushima schools can’t be disposed of as… well, radwaste!

PLUS:

  • Fukushima doctors threatened w/loss of right to practice if they tell patients their illnesses are in any way related to radiation;
  • TEPCO‘s obscene first-half profits don’t stop the company from dunning Fukushima students who left evacuation for college;
  • Radioactive Tyvek protective suits equal to the contents of 70 25-meter swimming pools piling up at Fukushima:
Mountain of radioactive used Tyvek protective suits at Fukushima - all dressed down and nowhere to go
Mountain of radioactive used Tyvek protective suits at Fukushima – all dressed down and nowhere to go!
  • Lawsuits!  9 enviro groups, NRDC challenge NRC’s “extended waste storage rule;” 3 states (NY, VT, CT) launch legal challenge to same NRC ruling; and lawsuit filed by 3 northwest enviro groups over water pollution caused by Columbia Generating Station on Hanford site in Washington state.
  • 40 civil society organizations from eight countries challenge conclusions of United Nation’s UNSCEAR report on radiation exposure after Fukushima;
  • Radiation exposure linked to aggressive thyroid cancers in new international study; CLICK HERE.

Nuclear Hotseat #175: SPECIAL – Trial of the 4 Grandmothers for Pilgrim Nuke Protest + Halloween (What’s Scarier than Nuclear?))

 

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SPECIAL:  Full coverage of last week’s trial of the Four Grandmothers, Cape Cod Downwinders who were arrested for trespass for their Mother’s Day, 2014 protest at the Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station in Plymouth, Massachusetts.  Hear from Downwinders co-founder Diane Turco; first-time-ever activist Mary Conathan (71); and attorney Bruce Taub.  Talk about speaking Truth to Power!

Dr. Helen Caldicott (l) and Cape Cod Downwinders co-founder Diane Turco
Dr. Helen Caldicott (l) and Cape Cod Downwinders co-founder Diane Turco

 

HALLOWEEN FEATURE:

What could be scarier than nuclear?  Activists from both coasts share their most frightening thoughts about the industry that brought us Fukushima, Chernobyl, Three Mile Island and a whole lot more!

nrc-jpg1

NUMNUTZ OF THE WEEK:

The United States and Russia finally find something to agree upon and work together towards… more nuclear insanity.

PLUS:

  • Nuclear emergency at Honeywell’s Illinois Uranium Processing Plant leaks uranium hexafluoride into environment.
  • Volcano experts warn that Mount Ioyama has started experiencing tremors… only 40 miles (65 km) from the Sendai nuclear power facility – and of course Japan wants to start restarting its nukes with Sendai.
  • Fukushima radiation rises to 800-900 times the previous peak, with no end in sight.
  • Major turbine troubles at Kudankulam keeps the brand-spanking-new nuke facility offline since September.

LINKS:

Nuclear Hotseat #174: MacFarlane Bails NRC, WIPP Rad-Fan Restart, Food Safety for Japanese Imports

"Does This Soup Look Ambivalent?" at Frieze Art Faire in London
“Does This Soup Taste Ambivalent?” at Frieze Art Fair in London

 

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INTERVIEWS:

At Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP Site) near Carlsbad, NM, Department of Energy restarts exhaust fan exposed to Plutonium and Americium during February 14, 2014 radiation leak; Don Hancock of Southwest Resource and Information Center provides us with an update and insights.

One From the Vault:  Nuclear Hotseat #7, July 26, 2011
Jon Solomon of Eden Foods explains the quick action taken by the company to determine food safety of all products imported from Japan in the immediate aftermath of the start of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster.  Still a model for protection of workers and consumers that deserves to be emulated by all food providers and manufacturers doing business with Japan.

NUMNUTZ OF THE WEEK:
Nuclear tourism at the point where it all started! 
What’s the worst that could happen…?  Oh, that!  Learn about guided tours from ground zero of the nuclear age, where once a year you can take the spouse and kids to see where everything changed in the flash of eternity.

PLUS:

  • BREAKING:  Alison MacFarlane resigns as Chair of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, effective December 31, 2014.  Alison leaves Wonderland; can a book be far behind?
  • BREAKING:  She’s in!  She’s out!  She’s in again – and now she stays!  Dr. Helen Caldicott will testify on Wednesday, October 22, on behalf of the Four Grandmothers: Cape Cod Downwinders arrested on Mother’s Day for attempting to plant flowers of protest at Pilgrim Nuclear Power Plant.  Who wants a transcript?
Dr. Helen Caldicott, about to testify on behalf of the Four Grandmothers for protesting Pilgrim Nuclear Power Plant on Mother's Day
Dr. Helen Caldicott, about to testify on behalf of the Four Grandmothers for protesting at Pilgrim Nuclear Power Plant on Mother’s Day
  • Special report from London on Frieze Art Fair and the soup-from-Fukushima art installation, “Does this Soup Taste Ambivalent?”
  • French nuke giant Areva’s CEO Luc Oursel takes leave of absence for health reasons “…in order to pursue treatment.”  Might the nuke-pusher have contracted cancer, the #1 side effect of nuclear radiation?  Could this be karma… or irony?
  • New Canadian nuclear safety regs mandate stores of Potassium Iodide stockpiled, enough to treat everyone living within 50 miles of a nuclear reactor — at the same time the country is trying to convince us that it’s perfectly safe to site a nuclear waste repository less than a mile from the shore of Lake Huron.  Disconnect, anyone?
  • San Onofre warning siren retired; don’t they realize that nuclear waste is dangerous and needs a warning, too?
Sayonara, San Onofre siren.
Sayonara, San Onofre sirens.

LINKS:

Nuclear Hotseat #173: USS Reagan Homeporting – Japan or USA? Masahiko Goto, Carol Jahnkow


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INTERVIEWS: 

Two views across the Pacific on homeporting issues for the USS Ronald Reagan, which sailed into the worst of the Fukushima Daiichi radiation plume beginning the day after the earthquake and tsunami set off the nuclear disaster.  Is the ship still radioactive?  What happened to the debris from the purported “clean-up?”  And why would the town of Yokusuka, the proposed new location for the Reagan, put up with two floating nuclear reactors from a contaminated ship in its harbor?

  • Mr. Masahiko Goto, attorney for the Japanese coalition trying to block the homeporting of the Reagan in Yokusuka as of Summer, 2015, on the current battle and his planned trip to visit the Reagan lawsuit attorneys and activists in California.
  • Carol Jahnkow, a 30-year veteran activist on and now Director Emerita of the Peace Resource Center of San Diego, provides historic perspective and context for understanding issues with our atomic-powered fleet.
Carol Jahnkow (r) and Libbe HaLevy at San Onofre Demo, March 11, 2012
Carol Jahnkow (r) and Nuclear Hotseat Producer/Host Libbe HaLevy at San Onofre Demo, March 11, 2012


NUMNUTZ OF THE WEEK:

Japan goes full NIMBY as Prime Minister Abe-baby’s  government tries to get cities currently storing contaminated waste from Fukushima to hold onto it for just a wee bit more time than the originally promised three years of “interim” storage.

Some of the Numnutz radwaste from Fukushima - NIMBY!Doesn’t look very “interim” to me… 

PLUS:

  • Typhoon Vongfong threatens Fukushima Daiichi with record rain, storm surges and possible tornadoes, as last week’s Typhoon Phanfone caused radiation surges of up to 10 times previous records.  
  • California’s “top energy cop” Michael Peevey resigns from Public Utilities Commission… but not before he still gets a chance to swing San Onofre decision in favor of a Southern California Edison bailout;
  • New nuke languaging “spin speak” outed by Beyond Nuclear;
  • and Ralph Nader taps Michael Mariotte of NIRS for a Lifetime Achievement Award.  Mazel tov, Michael!

Nuclear Hotseat #172: Dr. Helen Caldicott, “Crisis Without End”

 rudolph-red-nosed-reindeer-7049705Rudolph’s not the only reindeer glowing in Norway…

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INTERVIEW:
Dr. Helen Caldicott – Nobel Peace Prize nominee, founder of Physicians for Social Responsibility, pediatrician, veteran anti-nuclear activist and author – discusses her latest book,
“Crisis Without End” about Fukushima’s medical and ecological consequences, and her upcoming
2015 Symposium on Nuclear Weapons.

Dr. Helen Caldicott w/Nuclear Hotseat's Libbe HaLevy Dr. Helen Caldicott (r) with Nuclear Hotseat’s Libbe HaLevy at the 2013 Symposium on the Medical and Ecological Consequences of the Fukushima Nuclear Disaster

NUMNUTZ OF THE WEEK:  Two core graphite bricks are cracked, but hey, that’s “expected” in the lifetime of the Hunterston B nuke facility in Scotland.  So is its lifetime over?  Hah!  This is nuclear!  They just upped the number of “expected” cracks and call it safe.  Numnutz, indeed!

PLUS:

  • “Enormous orange flash” over Iranian military facility suspected of harboring secret nuke program; was it nuclear?
  • Japan’s typhoon Phanfone sets off alarms, triggers leaks at Fukushima Units 1 & 3;
  • Congress wakes up to join Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe to oppose Ontario’s proposed nuclear waste site less than a mile from Lake Huron;
  • Judge upholds 20-year ban on new uranium mines near Grand Canyon;
  • Department of Energy blows deadline to start emptying leaking nuke waste storage tank at Hanford site in Washington, so the state gives ‘em another 18 months before the start… and still, the stuff keeps leaking!
  • Sweden phasing out all nuclear if coalition of ruling Social Democrats and Green Party have their way;
  • Radioactivity in Norway’s reindeer hits new high; Rudolph not the only one who’s glowing.

Nuclear Hotseat #171: Southwest Radiation Leak Update – Hancock on WIPP, Hadden on WCS

WARNING!  IT'S US!

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INTERVIEWS:

Focus on the American southwest and the fallout from the Valentine’s Day  radwaste container explosion at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant, or WIPP site in Carlsbad, New Mexico.

  • Don Hancock, Executive Director of Southwest Information and Resource Center, corrects some misinformation about radiation levels surrounding the site, then gives his take on the “plans” to fix the problem and the recent shake-up at Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) that removed four managers in charge of transuranic waste — meaning the stuff that exploded at WIPP– from their positions.
  • Karen Hadden, Executive Director of the Sustainable Energy and Economic Development or SEED Coalition  in Texas, brings us up to date on water woes and contamination possibilities at the Waste Control Specialists (WCS) storage facility in Andrews Texas.  This is where the waste from Los Alamos National Laboratory that could not be sent to WIPP ended up.

NUMNUTZ OF THE WEEK:

  • Yes, it’s soup… but is it art?  Is it mmm mmm good or death warmed over?  Deadly Japanese hospitality offered at the Frieze Art Fair in London when conceptual artists United Brothers – originally from Iwaki in Fukushima – fly their mother in to make free soup out of Fukushima vegetables.  Isn’t there a zombie movie that starts like this?

PLUS:

  • Fuel rods losing uranium pellets at North Anna in Virginia
  • Radiation hot spots found on ocean floor within 25 kilometers/15 miles of Fukushima
  • Exelon asks Illinois for a mere $580 million to keep its nuclear reactors running
  • Pakistan wants a larger place at the international nuclear table – what could go wrong?

Nuclear Hotseat #170: Climate Change March Special w/Michael Mariotte, Gail Payne, Dr. Sheila Parks

 

Leona Morgan (L) and Japanese activist Yuko Tonohira (R) at the NYC Climate Change Rally, 9/21/14
Leona Morgan (C) and Japanese activist Yuko Tonohira (R) at the NYC Climate Change Rally, 9/21/14

 

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INTERVIEWS:

Special report last Sunday’s massive, historic Climate Change Rally in NYC:

  • Michael Mariotte, the President of Nuclear Information and Resource Service, or NIRS, provided key national organizing that helped deliver thousands of anti-nuke demonstrators to the event;
  • Gail Payne not only marched, she designed those terrific posters featuring King CONG – “CONG” standing for Coal, Oil, Nuclear and Gas;

Climate Change Rally poster

  • Boston’s Sheila Parks provides an inspiring, personal vision of what the march meant to her.
Dr. Sheila Parks in her stylish tyvek hazmat suit.
Dr. Sheila Parks in her stylish tyvek hazmat suit.

MICHAEL BRUNE/SIERRA CLUB PETITION THAT ACTUALLY MENTIONS NUCLEAR!  PLEASE SIGN AND SHARE! 

NUMNUTZ OF THE WEEK:  The nuclear industry decodes its own bad language in dealing with banks and financial institutions.  They just gave us the script to use when we talk with these potential funders of nuclear expansion to make them think twice and decide against it!

PLUS:

  • More WIPP woes in Carlsbad, NM, as and additional drum of radioactive waste may have leaked at the only US facility for underground storage of nuclear debris.
  • Radiation in Fukushima groundwater now 25,000 times higher than when 2014 began… and believed to be seeping its way towards Tokyo.
  • Hanford-area birth defects (anencephaly, spina bifida) spike in alarming cluster as Washington State report on 1968-80 study of birth defects in children of Hanford workers “mysteriously” disappears from the state’s website.
  • Read Hanford report on bizarre deaths after radiation exposure
  • Watch Seattle KING 5 report Hanford whistleblower “illegally fired” for voicing safety concerns
  • Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe-baby actually says that Japan will not restart its closed nucler power plants “unless safety is restored 100 percent.”  I guess that means they will NEVER be restarting!  (Of course, it all hinges on Abe’s definition of “safety.”)

LINKS:

Anti-Nuclear News, Expert Interviews, Radiation Protection, Activist Opportunities