I am Eddie Williams perhaps today better known to many as Nighthawk of the Druids. Since my teenage years I have been involved in conservation of nature and resources.
I am founder member and Administrator of Avon Friends of the Earth, founding member and chairman of Regg.org and active in many environmental issues over the years.
As administrator of Avon Friends of the Earth I was involved in many campaigns during my reign in this post. Save the whale, the campaign for lead free air, (yes I am one of those guilty in lobbying for lead free petrol), and Nuclear disarmament, to name but a few of our campaigns. Looking back now I have to say we failed mankind on some of our other campaigns nuclear energy campaigns fell by the wayside as new challenges rose up to greet us. Yes we were a voice after 3 Mile Island,
On March 28, 1979, there was a cooling system malfunction that caused a partial melt-down of the reactor core. This loss of coolant accident resulted in the release of a significant amount of radioactivity, estimated at 43,000 curies (1.59 Pubs) of radioactive krypton gas, but less than 20 curies (740 GBq) of the especially hazardous iodine-131, into the surrounding environment.
The American nuclear power industry claims that there were no deaths, injuries or adverse health effects from the accident. At the time this was correct but a study by Steven Wing of the University of North Carolina found that lung cancer and leukemia rates were 2 to 10 times higher downwind of TMI than upwind The Radiation and Public Health Project reported a spike in infant mortality in the downwind communities two years after the accident.
I hear some say this was a lesson learnt and we havent had an accident since.
On November 21, 2009, a radiation leak occurred inside the containment building of TMI-1 while workers were cutting pipes. Exelon Corporation stated to the public that “A monitor at the temporary opening cut into the containment building wall to allow the new steam generators to be moved inside showed a slight increase in a reading and then returned to normal. Approximately 20 employees were treated for mild radiation exposure. As of November 22, 2009, it is believed that no radiation escaped the containment building and the public is not in any danger.
Perhaps if we had voiced our opinions stronger and the world had spoken out and halted the madness that is the nuclear industry things would have been different today. Well I was one of those voices and I failed mankind but not speaking out louder.
Ok I am British and biased, not so, heres a story about our nuclear industry that like others around the world try to cloud the truth by showcasing the benefits of nuclear power and forgetting other things.
For instance where does the waste go? Well a lot of it is dumped in deep holes the governments of the world do not tell you about.
I wonder if there is one near you.
Ok I promised you a British story here it is.
Sellifield with this quote taken from their site claim to be experts in nuclear industry and do guide tours around their plant showcasing how safe nuclear energy is:
Sellifield Ltd is the company responsible for safely delivering decommissioning, reprocessing, nuclear waste management and fuel manufacturing activities on behalf of the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority.
Now under the ownership of Nuclear Management Partners, Sellifield Ltd has the largest concentration of nuclear expertise in Europe, with over 50 years of experience.
LOL get a 50 year old map of the UK and show me Sellifield on it.
You cannot find it hmmmm?
Try looking for its former name.
In 1957, the graphite moderator of one of the air-cooled plutonium production reactors at Windscale (now Sellifield), had a fire which resulted in the first significant release of radioactive material from a reactor. The reactor served a second purpose at the time – production of Po-210 (polonium) from bismuth. Po-210 was also released. These gas cooled reactors were operated by the British government at the time.
During the incident, radioactive releases included:
- Radionuclide Estimated Range of Release (Curies)
- I-131 16200 – 20000
- Cs-137 600 – 1240
- Sr-89 80-137
- sr-90 6-9
- Po-210 ~ 240
The statement released to the public stated there was no risk to public health.
The plant was cooled down. Factors contributing to the event were:
- Inability to adequately monitor the core for damage
- Use of uranium metal, rather than uranium dioxide, as fuel. The metal has a lower melting point than the oxide.
- Extensive sampling of milk, drinking water, and foods was conducted offsite following the event. The key radionuclides noted in the table above were analyzed.
Major conclusions were:
- The slow burning of the core resulted in the preferential release of radioactive iodine.
- The dose to any individual was greater from consumption of dairy products than from inhalation or direct exposure to the plume.
- Iodine contamination can be estimated from the gamma radiation levels in the area.
- If I-131 levels exceed 0.1 microcuries per liter in milk consumed, a child’s thyroid dose could exceed 20 Rem.
- The tiny village of Seascale just downwind of the plant was given no warnings and no one was evacuated.
- The government banned the use of dairy products from the area and told people all was ok.
The medical and scientific legacies are still being felt to this day, with the UKAEA (United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority) admitting that as many as 100 people may have been fatally affected by the ensuing contamination.
Cancer rates are above national levels still in this are and mutated fish are caught daily.
The Chernobyl accident in 1986 was the result of a flawed reactor design that was operated with inadequately trained personnel.
The Chernobyl accident at Chernobyl, Ukraine, was the worst accident in the history of nuclear energy, worse than all others put together. The following factors made the accident worse than is likely to happen in other plants.
The 16 RBMK reactors, of which the Chernobyl plant was one, are built without containment shells. In other reactors, the containment shell will keep almost all radioactive material from spreading in case of an accident.
RBMK reactors were intended to produce power and also to produce plutonium for military use. This required that it be possible to remove fuel rods for reprocessing by means of a crane on top of the reactor at short intervals in order to get Pu-239 without substantial admixture of Pu-240. These facilities made the reactor too tall for a containment structure used in Western and other Soviet reactors.
The reactor had several other features which were regarded as unsafe in the Soviet Union as well as by experts from other countries. The Soviet Union never exported RBMK reactors.
Positive void coefficient under the conditions of the Chernobyl test. If the water in the reactor boils in some spot a bubble of steam is produced. In PWR and BWR reactors, this reduces reactivity, causing the nuclear reaction to slow down. In RBMK reactors it can cause the nuclear reaction to speed up.
Carbon moderator this can catch fire in case of an accident and did at Chernobyl. Western power reactors and other Russian reactors use water as a moderator.
Making an experiment with the reactor which involved disabling its safety features. This is the single main cause of the accident. The safety features would have safely shut down the reactor if they hadn’t been disabled.
In order to prevent the reactor from shutting itself off from xenon poisoning, the operators pulled the control rods almost all the way out. This caused an enormous increase in the nuclear reaction to many times the reactor’s normal power level. This caused a steam explosion that blew the top off the reactor, probably stopping the nuclear reaction. Then the carbon caught fire and burned for about nine days. This scattered the reactor contents and large amounts of radioactivity. 32 people died in the accident and in efforts to put out the fire. 38 more people died of acute radiation sickness in the following months. There were measurable health effects in Ukraine and Belarus.
The radioactivity spread over northern Europe caused some plants and wild animals to be more radioactive than was legal for human consumption. However, there were no identifiable illnesses outside the Soviet Union. There may be some increase in cancer but this is unlikely to be detectable, because of the large numbers of cancers from other causes.
As I write this Japan is on the verge of a nuclear meltdown.
The following is a news item by Euro news:
Two more explosions at Japan Fukushima Daiichi power plant have raised fears the authorities are unable to control the complex.
Reactors one to four have now suffered blasts raising concerns of a leak in one of the containers.
Japans prime minister has appeared on television apologising for the crisis. He said everything was being done to alleviate the problem while he had enlarged the exclusion zone round the plant to 30 kilometres.
There are six reactors at the Fukushima plant; both one and three have suffered partial fuel meltdowns after a sudden drop in cooling water. Reactors five and six are so far unaffected.
A spokesperson for the plants operators, Tokyo Electric said they have asked the US military for help.
We will continue to add water to the pressure container, but we have asked staff who are not needed for this process to temporarily move to a safe area in the plant, added Kaoru Yoshida.
Workers have remained are being continually checked for radioactive contamination. However radiation nine times normal levels had briefly been detected near Tokyo. The experts say this was due to the aftermath of the fourth explosion.
Copyright 2011 euro news
The tragic illness the majority of the human race is severely infected with.
Not In My Back Yard
As long as this affects other people and other nations why should you care?
Perhaps you are right it is not your problem after all nuclear waste hasnt been dumped near where your children play.
Are you sure you are right the governments of the world are sure as hell never going to tell you.
Japan as I write is on the verge of a nuclear meltdown, this will not only affects every person on the planet but its affects will be felt by your children’s children,
The time is here and now for us to call a halt to the madness of the nuclear industry, money channelled to them could be used to research and developer new forms of alternative technology.
In many parts of the world wind and wave turbines power whole cities.
Why have we not researched this more?
The answer is simple a few at the head of the nuclear industries are making billions, rich powerful people that sway governments to fund them instead of research.
Lobby your MP or state legislator call an end to this use of a technology that produces waste that we cannot dispose of safely.
Call on your governments to spend money on cleaner energy systems.
The choice is yours
GIVE YOUR CHILDREN’S CHILDREN A CLEAN SAFE WORLD
OR A NUCLEAR WASTE TIP.
NIMBY IS IN YOUR BACK YARD AND ITS HERE TO STAY.