|TIME TO END THIS EXPERIMENT-GONE-WRONG AND MOVE ON|
A Legacy of Contamination - Poisoning the People
...................................................- Contaminating the Environment
Nuclear Power Waste - Burying
..........................m............- Recycling into Home Products
The Myth of Safety
No Solution to Climate Change
|NUCLEAR POWER continues to slowly poison us and the environment while the industry does everything to hide the truth and sell this "monster technology" as clean, cheap, safe and an answer to climate change.
The air we breathe, the water we drink, the food we eat and even products in our homes are being contaminated and a large number of people are being exposed to emissions from nuclear plants, all in order to keep alive an outmoded industry that is unjustifiable on economic, social and environmental grounds.
We are living a cancer epidemic where one in every two men and one in every three women die of cancer.
Radioactivity released from explosions in the 50s - 60s and the current slow release of harmful plutonium and radionuclides from over 442 nuclear reactors world-wide definitely has something to do with it. See map of world's reactors below
|Millions of children world-wide are born sick with radiation-related problems. Future generations will certainly have nothing to thank us for...
The only way forward is to invest into renewable, alternative and benign technologies such as wind and solar-generated power and accept that nuclear power was a mistake, we must now move on...
It is far too costly, dirty and dangerous. It goes against nature and is killing us and the environment day in, day out.
The NUCLEAR INDUSTRY has so far provided us with;
- expensive electricity
- a mounting legacy of radioactive waste and contaminated sites that will need to be managed for thousands of years,
- a growing stockpile of dangerous plutonium,
serious contamination of the environment,
- an unknown number, thought to be ever-increasing, of human casualties both from weapons testing and continuous slow release of dangerous low-level radiation,
- a living on a razor’s edge until the next huge and inevitable accident happens
|A LEGACY OF CONTAMINATION|
|Poisoning the People
More than 1,200 million people have been killed, maimed or diseased by nuclear power since its inception and more than 10 million victims a year will continue to die if this carnage is allowed to continue. Is this not totally unacceptable?
Nuclear weapons testing alone has led to nearly 376 million cancers, 235 million genetic defects, 587 million teratogenic effects totalling approximately 1,200 million people affected by the nuclear industry.(Rosalie Bertell, President of International Institute of concern for Public Health and Editor in chief of International Perspectives in Public Health.)
The industry’s figures massively underestimate and play down the real cost of nuclear power, in an attempt to hide its victims from the world and maintain an increasingly dubious industry.
Did you know that radiation, even at low levels, provenly leads to:
- a series of different cancers including leukaemia
- genetic damage
- killing of brain cells, causing both an underdeveloped brain (microcephaly) and mental retardation.
- serious congenital anomalies (when embryos in the womb are exposed to radiation) such as malformations and permanent damage to the brain, mental deficiency, skull deformities, cleft palate, spina bifida, club-feet, genital deformities, growth-retardation and childhood cancer and has been linked to other diseases such as sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).
The incubation time for cancer is five to 50 years following exposure to radiation. It is important to note that children, old people and immuno-compromised individuals are many times more sensitive to the malignant effects of radiation than other people.
Nuclear material includes hundreds of radioactive elements that have different biological impacts in the human body, the most important being cancer and genetic diseases. Click here to read about four of the most dangerous elements made in nuclear power plants and their effects as described by Dr. Helen Caldicott president of the Nuclear Policy Research Institute.
!Did you know? - after the second world war there was a systematic irradiation of the planet as superpowers raced to make ever more powerful nuclear bombs and demonstrate these to each other in open air.
From 1954 to 1963 there was an “orgy of testing” which led radioactive fallout to become distributed all over the planet’s surface.
Childhood cancer and leukaemia rates began to rise as a direct result. Fallout increased child mortality all over the world. In the UK, infant deaths were caused by genetic damage and development defects, mainly in heart development.
We are now experiencing increased rates of cancer as the legacy of the fallout doses from '54 to '63.
A scary example - after detonation of a hydrogen bomb at the Bikini Atoll in the Pacific (1954) women in the region experienced about five years of sterility. Once they regained fertility they experienced faulty pregnancies, miscarriages, stillbirths and damage to their offspring.
20 years after the fallout we are facing a cancer epidemic. Governments try to deny its existence and blame smoking or excessive sunbathing as major causes.
We know that one of the major factors involved, is the exposure to radioactivity which like carcinogenic chemicals is everywhere in our environment.
In the 70s releases into the atmosphere from nuclear power stations took over as the source of radiation exposure to the world population.
Low-dose radiation is far more dangerous than accounted for by the industry. It is far dirtier and more dangerous than what the industry likes to make us think.
Thousands of women die each year of breast cancer (30,000 women in the UK, 130,000 in Europe and about 51,000 in North America). Cancer is killing one man out of two and one woman out of three.
Yet everything is done to avoid taking the essential measures required to address the real causes of this disease simply in order to avoid closing down the nuclear industry.
In promoting this outrage government leaders are colluding in the murder of thousands of people a year in the UK alone.
!Did you know that? Sellafield (a UK nuclear reprocessing plant) has become synonymous with childhood leukaemia, there is a persistent cluster of leukaemia in the area where the incidence of this terrible disease is 10 times the national average.
At Dounreay in Scotland it is 8 times and Frances’ La Hague it is 15 times.
Plutonium from Sellafield has been found in children’s teeth, lymphnodes of cadavers and sheep droppings from all over the UK.
In Harwell and Aldermaston near Oxford there are abnormal levels of leukaemia mortality.
In Barsebaeck in Sweden there are significant local excesses of leukaemia and other cancers by 2-5-fold.
Contaminating the Environment
The legacy of Sellafield’s waste is widespread and terrifying with plutonium particles finding their way into house-dust, eggs, garden vegetables and all forms of marine life.
Reprocessing spent fuel over the past 40 years, at Sellafield in Cumbria and similar plants at Cap de la Hague over the Channel in Normandy, has led to the spread of radioactive material, such as tritium and carbon-14 into the Irish Sea and in waters around the Channel Islands. Many, including the Irish government, believe significant increases in childhood cancers around Sellafield and Down’s syndrome in Ireland, have resulted from radioactive contamination.
Over 2 million gallons of radioactive liquid are still routinely discharged from Sellafield every day, adding to a historic legacy that cannot be cleaned up, and which will pose a threat for hundreds of thousands of years to come.
Some of this becomes trapped in the sediment while the rest disperses to the wider oceans and can be measured as far afield as Canada and Greenland.
Irish sea lobster has been found with a high level of technetium99, 40 times the EU safety level.
Currently, in Western Europe, with numerous nuclear power plants, rivers are used for disposing of the cooling water from the reactors of nuclear power plants, as well as being used for drinking water. The cooling water becomes highly-tritium radioactive.
The French reprocessing plant at La Hague spews 230 million litres of radioactive waste into the English Channel every year.
In Mayak in Russia from 1949-1956 high-level liquid wastes from its reprocessing plants were poured into the Techa River. An estimated 8,000 people have died as a consequence and 7,500 have been evacuated.
The area around Aldermaston is known to be highly contaminated but recent information suggests it is even worse. Some tests carried out with dust filters registered activities over 100 times higher than low-level radioactive waste which, by law, must be sent to Sellafield for safe storage.
In 22 sites across the UK, waste is in danger of leaking and in some instances could even go critical and explode.
The people of Reading, Basingstoke, Newbury and probably everywhere in the UK are inhaling this contaminated air daily.
One also has to remember the effects of nuclear weapons on the environment if used.
Nuclear weapons cause severe damage to the environment and it is suspected that no other weapon is capable of causing environmental damage on a similar scale.
In 1987 the World Commission on the Environment and Development described the likely consequences of nuclear war as: "making other threats to the environment pale into insignificance.
One hydrogen bomb can have an explosive power greater than all the explosives used in wars since the invention of gunpowder.
In addition to the destructive effects of blast and heat, immensely magnified by these weapons, they introduce a new lethal agent -ionising radiation- that extends lethal effects over both space and time."
A nuclear winter would arise as a result of hundreds of millions of tons of soot in the atmosphere from fires in cities, in forests and in the countryside, caused by nuclear weapons.
The smoke cloud and debris from multiple explosions could blot out sunlight, leading to crop failures throughout the world and starvation.
|NUCLEAR POWER WASTE|
|!Did you know that? - the industry doesn’t know what to do with its waste?
The nuclear industry’s waste problem has never been solved and is worsening rapidly.
No industry has shown to be able to deal with the highly dangerous wastes that are an inevitable consequence of the nuclear fuel cycle.
Member of Parliament Mr Michael Meacher asked “Do we really want to generate more nuclear reactors producing even more waste when we don't know what to do with all the waste that is building up?”
According to a 16/5/05 BBC report there are 10,000 tonnes of high and intermediate level radioactive waste in the U.K., 90% of which is stored at Cumbria's Sellafield nuclear plant, until another solution can be found. This is set to grow to half a million tonnes of nuclear waste by the end of this century even without any new plants being built.
There are currently three options to deal with radioactive waste; to bury or dump it deep underground, reprocessing into new fuels like MOX (mixed oxide fuel) and the recycling of radioactive waste into everyday products.
None of these is safe or deals in any real way with solving the problem of what to do with all the existing waste which will remain poisonous for thousands of years.
None of the proposals of how to deal with waste listed below are scientifically or morally justified and there should be a strong public opposition so that governments are unable to endorse them.
There is clearly no sustainable solution for radioactive waste, so no new waste should be created.
The industry has always said that it can bury and safely dispose of nuclear waste but it can’t and never has been able to.
Burying it deep out of sight into the ground is obviously not the right line of thought for a healthy, clean, safe and viable environment for our future generations and the safe-guarding of our planet.
Britain’s first nuclear shaft at Dounreay exploded in 1977 and no country has ever succeeded in building a waste dump for long-lived nuclear wastes since.
Dumping is even rejected by governments that are generally supportive of the nuclear industry as the whole concept is a failure.
Dumps will all eventually leak and contaminate local drinking water, milk and crops.
Plans to build a new dump at Sellafield were rejected in 1997 by the then Secretary of State, John Gummer. No one knows what to do with waste and foreign waste in the UK for example, may need to be sent back to sender.
The average life of a nuclear fuel rod is four years, after which time waste products have built up making it less efficient. Reprocessing is the chemical operation which separates the useful fuel for recycling from the waste.
There are only two commercial reprocessing plants in the world - Sellafield in the UK and Cogema in France. Sellafield's reprocessing centre receives waste nuclear fuel from 34 plants around the world.
Recycling of used and highly radioactive material such as is carried out at Sellafield is a failure.
The remaining 95% lies unused and unwanted at various sites. The same goes for re-use of plutonium.
Recycling into Home Products
This is the latest and most frightening idea of how to tackle the nuclear waste problem.
Re-classifying low-level waste and selling it for recycling. It would avoid the financial and political embarrassment of storage as well as making considerable amounts of money in the process.
The potential damage such products would bring onto human health are frightening.
We will all within a few years be exposed to low-level nuclear waste in our houses, offices and everyday environments.
Anything form saucepans to steel girders could be made from nuclear waste, exposing us all to horrific risks, but solving a serious problem for the nuclear industry.
The Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution has concluded that “there should be no commitment to a large programme of nuclear fission power until it has been demonstrated beyond reasonable doubt that a method exists to ensure the safe containment of long-lived, highly radioactive waste for the indefinite future.”
|THE MYTH OF SAFETY|
|The real bottom line is that nuclear power, wherever it is in the world, whatever the safety standards imposed, and whatever reassurances its advocates give, is an inherently unsafe technology. Its history so far amply demonstrates this simple fact. The only truly safe option is to shut it down permanently.
Evidence has been piling up for years that there is no safe dose of radioactivity.
The Nuclear establishment continues to assure us that nuclear radiation is quite safe except for at very high doses but this is not so.
Low-level radiation also kills. Particles of radioactive dust can get into the body by inhalation into the lungs and through the lung into the lymphatic system or also by ingestion leading to cancer.
Even under normal operation the industry is constantly contaminating our environment.
And then, of course there are risks of major accidents,
There have been enough accidents to blow apart the myth that nuclear power is safe.
The nuclear industry is plagued with accidents, disasters and near-misses. Some of these accidents have come to light but a good percentage are covered up.
Sloppy maintenance in the nuclear industry raises serious concerns.
Radioactive material leaked unnoticed for eight months, from August 2004 until April 2005, from a fractured pipe at the British Nuclear Fuels reprocessing plant at Sellafield. No one noticed concentrated nitric acid, containing 20 tonnes of uranium and 160 kilograms of plutonium spewing onto the concrete floor.
In addition to reactor explosions and problems with waster dumps, accidental radioactive releases into the atmosphere have been a regular feature of the nuclear age. These only in the UK would amount to as much release from one of the worst accidents.
The accident described below, that of Chernobyl in Russia in 1986, has been the worst in nuclear history but there have been many more accidents including a large fire at Windscale (now re-named Sellafield) in the UK which is said to have resulted in as many as 1000 deaths,
Chernobyl - 1986 is a constant reminder of the risks we are taking by keeping the industry alive. A safety test conducted by the workers caused the accident. They got it wrong, and within a few seconds the power soared uncontrollably and they had a slow, but fatal, atomic bomb in their hands.
The effects of Chernobyl were enormous and turned a large part of the Soviet Union into radioactive wasteland. But it did not stop there as radioisotopes travelled around the world and contaminated milk in areas as far away as the USA.
There is evidence that the fallout caused a significant increase in stillbirths and in infant mortality. The rate of malignant tumours went up by 13 times, other tumours by 2.4 times, endocrynous system diseases by 4.5 times etc.
The releases from Chernobyl took their toll globally as it has been shown by genetic fingerprinting tests that Chernobyl has caused a doubling of genetic damage. All this resulted from explosions in one reactor. There were two other working reactors on site, we are lucky that the original explosion did not reach these otherwise it would have been a virtual holocaust.
We also have to consider danger from theft, terrorism and war including nuclear materials
|NO SOLUTION TO CLIMATE CHANGE|
|The nuclear industry and some governments are now selling nuclear power as the solution to the problems brought on by climate change.
It is being promoted as the answer to the growing global energy crisis, apparently providing an attractive alternative to fossil fuels, while also reducing their damaging influence on global climate.
The industry’s recent attempt to reinvent itself and portray nuclear power as the saviour of the planet is based on a myriad of false assumptions.
Selling points for nuclear power as a supreme solution to global warming include the fact that reactors do not emit carbon dioxide or methane. What is omitted is that fossil fuels are needed both when extracting uranium and building power plants.
Nuclear power actually requires large amounts of fossil fuel, carbon dioxide-producing energy, used in the mining of uranium, its milling and enrichment; in the building of nuclear plants and reactors, the transport and storage of large quantities of highly dangerous radioactive waste for millennia; and in the decommissioning and final dismantling of nuclear plants.
Once high-grade ores are exhausted, and lower grades used, the carbon dioxide emissions from nuclear power will increase until more energy is used than produced.
Nuclear power also emits other greenhouse gases besides carbon dioxide with far stronger global warming consequences, such as CFCs.
Nuclear power only produces electricity and can only possibly displace electricity plants, not the bulk of CO2 emissions which come from cars, trucks, factory smokestacks and home furnaces.
It has been shown that energy conservation strategies are far more effective in reducing carbon dioxide emissions than constructing power stations of whatever type.
When looking at the costs of nuclear versus improved energy efficiency it has been found that every dollar invested in energy efficiency displaces 6.8 times more carbon than the same investment in nuclear power.
Investments in nuclear power divert funds away from efficiency and the pursuit of a nuclear response to greenhouse warming would effectively exacerbate the problem.
Huge sums of public money have already been spent subsidising research which could have been better spent on the offshore wind industry, solar photovoltaics, energy efficiency and tackling fuel poverty.
There are explicit requirements in the Kyoto protocol to pursue “advanced and innovative environmentally sound technologies”.
To consider a revival in the nuclear industry would be a dangerous distraction from the real issues of climate change.
Moreover, current uranium reserves, according to 2003 data from the World Nuclear Association, are about 3.5 million tonnes, enough to last 50 years but only at present consumption rates.
If large numbers of nuclear reactors were to be built to satisfy our ever-increasing demand for electricity, reserves of high-grade ore would be rapidly exhausted.
Uranium resources would only satisfy global demand for decades and then the world would be left with huge quantities of radioactive waste with no source of energy to sequester it safely.
If, as the nuclear industry suggests, nuclear power were to replace fossil fuels on a large scale, it would be necessary to build 2000 large, 1000-megawatt reactors. Considering that no new nuclear plant has been ordered in the US since 1978, this proposal is less than practical.
According to detailed research published in 2005, if all the world’s electricity, currently 55 exajoules (1018 joules) or 15,000 terawatt(1012 watts)-hours, could be generated by nuclear reactors, the world’s known uranium reserves would last only 3.5 years, if full dismantling costs of nuclear plants are included.
A sustainable energy system would not bring about irreversible effects in the environment.
Why waste diminishing fossil fuel resources, and huge sums of money, on more nuclear plants, using diminishing uranium resources which can provide only temporarily a fraction of our energy needs AND leave massive amounts of long-lasting toxic waste for future generations to deal with which cannot be successfully sequestered for eons from the environment?
|NOT CHEAP ENERGY AS PORTRAYED|
|There is a great discrepancy between the predicted costs of nuclear power some 30 years ago and the reality today is telling.
Were it not for massive subsidies ...
The true economies of the nuclear industry are never fully accounted for.
Take the US, the cost of uranium enrichment is subsidised by the US government. The true cost of the industry's liability in the case of an accident in the US is estimated to be $US560billion ($726billion), but the industry pays only $US9.1billion - 98per cent of the insurance liability is covered by the US federal government.
The cost of decommissioning all the existing US nuclear reactors is estimated to be $US33billion. These costs - plus the enormous expense involved in the storage of radioactive waste for a quarter of a million years - are not now included in the economic assessments of nuclear electricity.
COVER UPS a dirty industry
Nuclear and military establishments, and their friends in the radiation risk agencies have since the 50s involved themselves in lies, cover-ups, whitewash, disinformation and plain skulduggery. An example in Britain is that of a nuclear accident at Greenham Common that had been carefully covered up by successive British and American administrations.
The most interesting question is how the human race has been systematically poisoned for half a century by cancer-producing radioisotopes released from every nuclear site in the world without the medical establishment cottoning on.
Studies need to be peer-reviewed by experts in the field to be published in journals and become considered science. As these experts tend to be funded either by the nuclear industry or the State, these referees tend to exclude information which threatens their beliefs and by consequence it is nearly impossible to publish papers arguing that radiation is dangerous.
Is it not terrifying how governments want to continue using this
dead-end technology rather than investing into cleaner and safer alternatives?
Is the increase in numbers of cancers and deaths wherever radiation has escaped
not enough to prove how unsafe this technology is? With so many stations operating
world-wide is it not just a question of time for the next Chernobyl, or worse, disaster
to happen? The fact that nobody knows what to do with the waste just shows how
little control we have over the materials and their reactions and we seem to
want to ignore that there is no acceptable solution for dealing with waste.
Leaving such a hot potato for our children is shameful...
Surely we can do better than this?
Join us in trying to inform as many people about the perils of the nuclear industry and help support organisations (dealing with the horrific consequences of this technology or that are fighting to make nuclear power an option of the past) when you buy Eko Noiz anti-nuclear designs like these shown below which will forward a donation off your purchase to them.
We donate to CND when you purchase tee shirts with the above nuclear designs