Posts filed under “Energy”

Putting Fukushima In Perspective

There was no background radioactive cesium before above-ground nuclear testing and nuclear accidents started.

Wikipedia provides some details on the distribution of cesium-137 due to human activities:

Small amounts of caesium-134 and caesium-137 were released into the environment during nearly all nuclear weapon tests and some nuclear accidents, most notably the Chernobyl disaster.

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Caesium-137 is unique in that it is totally anthropogenic. Unlike most other radioisotopes, caesium-137 is not produced from its non-radioactive isotope, but from uranium. It did not occur in nature before nuclear weapons testing began. By observing the characteristic gamma rays emitted by this isotope, it is possible to determine whether the contents of a given sealed container were made before or after the advent of atomic bomb explosions. This procedure has been used by researchers to check the authenticity of certain rare wines, most notably the purported “Jefferson bottles”.

As the EPA notes:

Cesium-133 is the only naturally occurring isotope and is non-radioactive; all other isotopes, including cesium-137, are produced by human activity.

What people call “background” radiation is really the amount of radiation deposited into the environment within the last 100 years from nuclear tests and nuclear accidents (and naturally-occurring substances, such as radon).

2,053 nuclear tests occurred between 1945 and 1998:
 

Above-ground nuclear tests – which caused numerous cancers to the “downwinders” – were covered up by the American, French and other governments for decades. See this, this, this, this, this and this.

But the amount of radiation pumped out by Fukushima dwarfs the amount released by the nuclear tests.

As nuclear engineer and former nuclear executive Arnie Gundersen notes, the wave of radioactive cesium from Fukushima which is going to hit the West Coast of North America will be 10 times greater than from the nuclear tests (starting at 55:00).

This graphic from Woods Hole in Massachusetts – one of the world’s top ocean science institutions – shows how much more cesium was dumped into the sea off Japan from Fukushima as compared to nuclear testing and Chernobyl:

(And Fukushima radiation has arrived on the West Coast years earlier than predicted.)

The Canadian government has confirmed in October that Fukushima radiation will exceed “levels higher than maximum fallout” from the nuclear tests.

The party line from the Japanese, Canadian and American governments are that these are safe levels of radiation.   Given that those countries have tried to ban investigative journalism and have tried to cover up the scope of the Fukushima disaster, people may want to investigate for ourselves.

For example, Gundersen notes that the U.S. government flew helicopters with special radiation testing equipment 90 days after the Fukushima meltdown happened.  The government said it was just doing a routine “background radiation” check, but that it was really measuring the amount of “hot particles” in the Seattle area (starting at 27:00). Hot particles are inhaled and become very dangerous “internal emitters”. The government then covered up the results on the basis of “national security”.

As the Washington Department of Health noted at the time:

A helicopter flying over some urban areas of King and Pierce counties will gather radiological readings July 11-28, 2011. [Seattle is in King County.] The U.S. Department of Energy’s Remote Sensing Laboratory Aerial Measurement System will collect baseline levels of radioactive materials.

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Some of the data may be withheld for national security purposes.

Similarly, the Department of Homeland Security and National Nuclear Security Administration sent low-flying helicopters over the San Francisco Bay Area in 2012 to test for radiation. But they have not released the results.

Indeed, residents of Seattle breathed in 5 hot particles each day in April of 2011 … a full 50% of what Tokyo residents were breathing at the time:

 

(the video is from June 2011.)

After all, the reactors at Fukushima literally exploded … and ejected cladding from the reactors and fuel particles. And see this.

Gundersen says that geiger counters don’t measure hot particles. Unless the government or nuclear scientists measure and share their data, we are in the dark as to what’s really going on.

Category: Energy, Really, really bad calls, Think Tank

What is the Impact of Fukushima on Wildlife in American NorthWest?

Seals, Sea Lions, Polar Bears, Bald Eagles, Sea Stars, Turtles, King and Sockeye Salmon, Herring, Anchovies and Sardines In The Western Part of North America All Suffering Mysterious Diseases At the Same Time. Is it Radiation from Fukushima? We’ve previous documented that seals, sea lions, polar bears, sea stars, turtles, sockeye salmon, herring, anchovies and…Read More

Category: Energy, Really, really bad calls, Think Tank

What Are the Risks for Pacific Coast Residents from Fukushima Radiation?

“[The Odds of] Longer Term Chronic Effects, Cancer Or Genetic Effects … Cannot Be Said To Be Zero” It is very difficult to obtain accurate information on the dangers from Fukushima radiation to residents of the West Coast of North America and Hawaii. On the one hand, there is fear-mongering and “we’re all going to…Read More

Category: Energy, Politics, Think Tank

Japan Reacts to Fukushima Crisis By Banning Journalism

Japan – Like the U.S. – Turns to Censorship 2 weeks after the Fukushima accident, we reported that the government responded to the nuclear accident by trying to raise acceptable radiation levels and pretending that radiation is good for us. We noted earlier this month: Japan will likely pass a new anti-whistleblowing law in an…Read More

Category: Energy, Think Tank

Beware of Falling Gas Prices

Source: dshort.com   The American Automobile Association reports that the average price of a gallon of regular gas is $3.19. (The U.S. Energy Information Administration has regular gas at about $3.26). Since peaking at the end of July 2008 at $4.11, then collapsing to $1.65 that December, Gasoline prices have been on a wild ride….Read More

Category: Economy, Energy

Ethanol: Another Chapter in Scamnation

Ethanol: Another Chapter in Scamnation September 15, 2013     Dear readers, this Sunday afternoon I urge you to take a ten minutes to read Gretchen Morgenson and Robert Gebeloff’s front-page piece in today’s New York Times, “Wall St. Exploits Ethanol Credits, and Prices Spike” (http://www.nytimes.com/2013/09/15/business/wall-st-exploits-ethanol-credits-and-prices-spike.html). Morgenson and Gebeloff expose the latest incarnation of the…Read More

Category: Energy, Think Tank

Scientists Gain New Insight Into Climate Change

Frack That “Clean natural gas” from fracking has been touted for years as a cure for global warming. But scientists say that fracking pumps out a lot of methane … into both our drinking water and the environment. Methane is a powerful greenhouse gas: 72 times more potent as a warming source than CO2. As…Read More

Category: Energy, Think Tank

Energy Markets Are Manipulated

Big Banks Manipulated Energy Markets In California and the Midwest … Ripping Off Tens of Millions of Dollars in 9 Months   The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission says that JP Morgan has massively manipulated energy markets in  California and the Midwest, obtaining tens of millions of dollars in overpayments from grid operators between September 2010…Read More

Category: Energy, Think Tank

Reducing Energy Weighting

Reducing Energy Weight David R. Kotok Cumberland Advisors, July 29, 2013     Last week we reduced our energy exposure to underweight. It had been overweight for a while, and we successfully participated in the rebound in natural gas prices and the narrowing of the spread between Brent and WTI (West Texas Intermediate) oil. It…Read More

Category: Asset Allocation, Energy, Think Tank

Nuclear Power in Decline?

Nuclear power is in decline, despite new reactors Source: Economist

Category: Digital Media, Energy