Posted by: Michael D. Austin | February 18, 2013

Nuclear Power as a Discarded, Deadly Plaything

Nuclear "storage" at Hanford, WA. Photo Planetsave.com.

Nuclear “storage” at Hanford, WA. Photo Planetsave.com.

From the Christian Science Monitor on 2-16-13:

Hanford nuclear tank in Washington State is leaking liquids:

OLYMPIA, Wash.

The long-delayed cleanup of the nation’s most contaminated nuclear site became the subject of more bad news Friday, when Washington Gov. Jay Inslee announced that a radioactive waste tank there is leaking.

The news raises concerns about the integrity of similar tanks at south-central Washington’s Hanford nuclear reservation and puts added pressure on the federal government to resolve construction problems with the plant being built to alleviate environmental and safety risks from the waste.

The tanks, which are already long past their intended 20-year life span, hold millions of gallons of a highly radioactive stew left from decades of plutonium production for nuclear weapons…” Read the rest here.

From Stephan A. Schwartz’ SchwartzReport is this note about this Christian Science Monitor article:

These tanks of nuclear waste are dotted across America. They are, as the report explains, often long past their planned lifespan because the governmental agencies delegated to oversee the nuclear industry failed in their duties and were captured by the industry. The potential for disaster grows day-by-day. And when one remembers that this stuff has to be maintained in impeccable continuity for 25,000 years, the absurdity of nuclear power becomes obvious.”

This again puts what we *think* has happened – and is still happening at Fukushima in the proper perspective. Or Chernobyl, or Three Mile Island, or Los Angeles’ San Fernando Valley at the Santa Susana Field Lab. At Santa Susana, the Los Angeles Times reported that a single nuclear accident released 240 times more radioactivity than did 1979′s Three Mile Island. Now ask yourself if you believe the most toxic and long-lived substance known, nuclear materials, will be safe or sane to handle for tens of thousands of years.

Bear in mind that medicines prescribed by medical doctors work in your body at a concentration of as little as 0.035 parts per billion (ppb), as does NuvaRing. One part per billion is equivalent to, “…one pancake in stack of pancakes, 4,000 miles high.”

One dose of albuterol delivered at 2.1 ppb stops an asthma attack. Paxil and Cialis are active at 30 ppb. This is reported in Environmental Working Group’s video, “Ten Americans.” The video is also funny in addition to sobering. Low exposures to now common, toxic chemicals matter. The less common nuclear chemicals are even more toxic and the dangerous levels of exposure are even lower, and they are measured in different units. The diseases caused by nuclear accidents often take generations to appear, and they affect every living thing on Earth. The environmental destruction caused by nuclear accidents is incalculable.

If you’d like more background on the toxic doses needed to cause disease or birth defects from nuclear materials, I’d recommend looking at physician Helen Caldicott’s site, Nuclear Free Planet. Look up the word, “dose,” and see what results are returned for you.

The next time a government or utility or company tells you nuclear is safe, you’ll know better.


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