Friday, April 17, 2009

Reason #34525 why I Hate the EPA

It only took 13 years to rectify the problem...

State agency offices pollute creek in Vancouver

VANCOUVER, Wash. -- Thirteen years after Washington state's environmental agency found a creek severely polluted, the contamination has been traced back to the agency's regional office.

City workers discovered this week that a sewer line from the building housing the regional offices of the state Department of Ecology and Department of Fish and Game, and a small U.S. Army Corps of Engineers contingent, was mistakenly connected to a storm water runoff system, rather than a municipal sewer main.

As a result, sewage from the building has been entering Burnt Bridge Creek and eventually Vancouver Lake for an unknown number of years.

Workers in the leased offices were stunned when they got the word Wednesday, The Columbian newspaper reported.

"As a person who loves her area and the environment, it was like, 'Holy crap, let's get this taken care of,'" said Laura Sauermilch, a spill response specialist.

Jay J. Manning, Ecology director in Olympia, said the discovery was "embarrassing and upsetting."

Employees immediately closed the men's and women's restrooms, and portable toilets and hand-washing stations were brought to the site.

City officials have agreed to fix the problem at the building owner's expense by next week.

In 1996, the Ecology Department determined that Burnt Bridge Creek was severely polluted with fecal coliform bacteria.

For 2 1/2 years, city workers have been using a probe mounted with a small television camera to survey 300 miles of underground storm water pipes. Municipal public works director Brian Carlson said this is the first time an old sanitary sewer has been found mistakenly hooked into a storm water pipe.

"The irony is not lost on us," Carlson said.

State officials believe the problem dates from the opening of the building in the early 1970s as a garden center for a Fred Meyer outlet across the street. The garden center was closed in the mid-1990s and in 1997 the building was reopened with offices for 80 Fish and Wildlife employees, 14 from Ecology and three from the Army engineers.

Melinda Merrill, a Fred Meyer spokeswoman in neighboring Portland, Ore., said the retailer intends to cooperate in sharing information but no longer owns the property.

Local and state agencies have yet to sort out questions of legal liability and potential penalties, said Kim Schmanke, an Ecology spokeswoman in Lacey.

The current owner, Watumull Properties of Honolulu, just wants it fixed.

"I'm just horrified," said J.D. Watumull, company vice president. "We're just trying to get it rectified and back to the way it was."

Thursday, November 13, 2008

UN: Clouds of pollution threaten glaciers, health

By TINI TRAN and JOHN HEILPRIN, Associated Press Writers

BEIJING – A dirty brown haze sometimes more than a mile thick is darkening skies not only over vast areas of Asia, but also in the Middle East, southern Africa and the Amazon Basin, changing weather patterns around the world and threatening health and food supplies, the U.N. reported Thursday.

The huge smog-like plumes, caused mainly by the burning of fossil fuels and firewood, are known as "atmospheric brown clouds."

When mixed with emissions of carbon dioxide and other gases blamed for warming the earth's atmosphere like a greenhouse, they are the newest threat to the global environment, according to a report commissioned by the U.N. Environment Program.

"All of this points to an even greater and urgent need to look at emissions across the planet," said Achim Steiner, head of Kenya-based UNEP, which funded the report with backing from Italy, Sweden and the United States.

Brown clouds are caused by an unhealthy mix of particles, ozone and other chemicals that come from cars, coal-fired power plants, burning fields and wood-burning stoves. First identified by the report's lead researcher in 1990, the clouds were depicted Thursday as being more widespread and causing more environmental damage than previously known.

Perhaps most widely recognized as the haze this past summer over Beijing's Olympics, the clouds have been found to be more than a mile thick around glaciers in the Himalaya and Hindu Kush mountain ranges. They hide the sun and absorb radiation, leading to new worries not only about global climate change but also about extreme weather conditions.

"All these have led to negative effects on water resources and crop yields," the report says.

Health problems associated with particulate pollution, such as cardiovascular and respiratory diseases, are linked to nearly 350,000 premature deaths in China and India every year, said Henning Rohde, a University of Stockholm scientist who worked on the study.

Soot levels in the air were reported to have risen alarmingly in 13 megacities: Bangkok, Beijing, Cairo, Dhaka, Karachi, Kolkata, Lagos, Mumbai, New Delhi, Seoul, Shanghai, Shenzhen and Tehran.

Brown clouds were also cited as dimming the light by as much as 25 percent in some places including Karachi, New Delhi, Shanghai and Beijing.

The phenomenon complicates the climate change scenario, because the brown clouds also help cool the earth's surface and mask the impact of global warming by an average of 40 percent, according to the report.

Though it has been studied closely in Asia, the latest findings, conducted by an international collaboration of scientists, reveal that the brown cloud phenomenon is not unique to Asia, with pollution hotspots seen in North America, Europe, South Africa and South America.

More specifically, researchers found, brown clouds are forming over eastern China; northeastern Pakistan, India, Bangladesh and Myanmar; Cambodia, Indonesia, Thailand, and Vietnam; sub-Saharan Africa southward into Angola, Zambia and Zimbabwe; and the Amazon Basin in South America.

The enormous cloud masses can move across continents within three to four days. Although they also form over the eastern U.S. and Europe, winter snow and rain tend to lessen the impact in those areas.

An international response is needed to deal with "the twin threats of greenhouse gases and brown clouds and the unsustainable development that underpins both," said the lead researcher, Veerabhadran Ramanathan, a professor of climate and ocean sciences at the University of California in San Diego.

One of the most serious problems, Ramanathan said, is retreat of the glaciers in the Himalaya and Hindu Kush and in Tibet. The glaciers feed most Asian rivers and "have serious implications for the water and food security of Asia," he said.

Monsoon rains over India and southeast Asia decreased between 5 and 7 percent overall since the 1950s, the report says, naming brown clouds and global warming as a possible cause. Likewise, they may have contributed to the melting of China's glaciers, which have shrunk 5 percent since the 1950s. The volume of China's nearly 47,000 glaciers has fallen by 3,000 square kilometers (1,158.31 square miles) in the past 25 years, according to the Chinese Academy of Sciences.

Soot winds up on the surface of the glaciers that feed the Ganges, Indus, Yangtze and Yellow rivers, which makes the glaciers absorb more sunlight and melt more quickly and also pollutes the rivers, the researchers say.

But the U.N., which began studying the problem six years ago, still finds "significant uncertainty" in understanding how brown clouds affect conditions regionally, Ramanathan cautioned.


Saturday, November 8, 2008

France's Nuclear Waste Crisis... DON'T ALLOW THIS TO HAPPEN IN THE U.S.

When people debate about nuclear energy, the point that other countries like France have "successfully" harnessed nuclear power always arises BUT the pro-nuclear party NEVER mentions the nuclear waste crisis France has and will continue to face...

The nuclear waste crisis in France
briefing document May 30th 2006

Since the origins of the French nuclear industry some 50 years ago, the management of nuclear waste has been largely neglected. Even today, large quantities of waste remain in unconditioned and unstable form, inventories of historical dump sites are lacking or were lost and one of the largest dump sites in the world near the La Hague reprocessing plant is leaking into the underground water. Now evidence is emerging that a new nuclear dump site in the Champagne region of France is leaking radioactivity into the ground water threatening contamination of tritium and at a later stage other radionuclides.

The French nuclear waste authority ANDRA has only a partial inventory of the multitude of existing waste categories, as large quantities have not yet been declared by the main waste producers EDF and Cogema, including spent nuclear fuel or waste from the uranium enrichment industry. Even French government regulators are expressing their concerns over the conditions at both dump sites.

New nuclear projects threaten to make a crisis into an even greater nuclear catastrophe...

The nuclear power and reprocessing industry have created large volumes of waste, of which many are stored in an unstable condition. They have also illegally dumped tens of thousands of cubic meters of waste in France, without an option to ever take them back. The European liberalization of the electricity market and the partial privatization of EdF have raised the question of who is going to pay. In 2004, in a first case, EdF has reached an agreement to transfer the financial liabilities for the waste it generated at the Marcoule reprocessing plant, in return for a one-off payment likely to be more than a billion of euros lower than the real disposal cost.

A deal heavily criticized by the French Court of Auditors and currently under investigation by the European Commission for illegal state aid. For almost 20 years, Greenpeace has consistently and successfully challenged these dangerous practices. A major breakthrough has been to halt reprocessing contracts of foreign clients with Cogema-La Hague, thereby effectively reducing the discharges of liquid radioactive waste and the transports of highly radioactive waste.

Furthermore, in a landmark ruling, the French Supreme Court in December 2005 condemned Cogema for illegal storage of foreign reprocessing waste in France. But still the nuclear waste crisis in France is growing. The French parliament is currently debating a revision of the nuclear waste legislation. This risks maintaining current practices of EdF and foreign electricity companies to dump the liability of their nuclear waste on French citizens, while maximizing their privatized benefits. As no solution has been found for a sound management of nuclear waste, problems are meanwhile transferred to future generations. This is the real crisis of nuclear waste.

View the article in its entirety here.

Radioactive Waste Leaks Into Aquifer In France

Radioactive waste leaks into aquifer
By Wendy Frew Environment Reporter
May 24, 2006

RADIOACTIVE waste from a storage site in Normandy, France, is leaking into groundwater used by dairy cattle, says a report by a French laboratory, ACRO.

The aquifers showed levels of radioactivity, on average, more than seven times the European safety limit, said the report, published yesterday. Scientists from ACRO and Greenpeace have surveyed the contamination leaking from the low- and intermediate-level nuclear waste disposal plant at La Hague.

In the aquifer near the site, radioactivity was 90 times above the safety limit during 2005, the report said.

Greenpeace said the report followed news that a proposed Electricite de France nuclear reactor was unable to withstand the impact of a commercial aircraft.

The nuclear waste contaminating the Normandy environment was produced by reactors operated by Electricite de France and overseas customers of the reprocessing company.

Greenpeace has criticised the French Government for not seriously dealing with what it says is France's nuclear waste crisis.

The director of ACRO, Dr David Boiley, said mismanagement was damaging the environment.

"Repeated incidents have led to a constant release and, as a consequence, the groundwater and many outlets are highly contaminated with tritium [a radioactive form of hydrogen]," Dr Boiley said.

"We must note that for a long time there has been a lack of information regarding this chronic pollution, and even now a precise assessment of its impacts still needs to be done," he said.

"As far as the future situation, it could worsen in the long run because there is no guarantee that the wrappings of the older wastes, which also contain more hazardous elements, will last for long periods of time."

Saturday, November 1, 2008

What You Don't Learn In History Class: Nuclear Blasts In Mississippi


Nuclear Blasts in Mississippi
Written by: Stephen Cresswell

At 10:00 a.m. on October 22, 1964, the United States government detonated an underground nuclear device in Lamar County, in south Mississippi. Residents there felt three separate shocks, and watched as the soil rose and behaved like ocean waves. Hunting dogs howled in terror, and two miles from the test site the blast shook pecans off the pecan trees. This nuclear test, and the one that followed two years later at the same Mississippi site, were the only nuclear explosions on U.S. soil east of the Rocky Mountain states.

Atomic bombs were in the news in October 1964. Only one week before the Mississippi nuclear test, newspapers had reported that Communist China had detonated its first atomic bomb. For residents in Lamar County, however, no news story was watched more closely than the plans for nuclear testing in Mississippi.
Background of Nuclear Testing

The world’s first nuclear test came during World War II at Alamogordo, a remote location in the New Mexico desert on July 16, 1945. Three weeks after this successful test, the United States dropped two nuclear bombs on Japan, one over Hiroshima and one over Nagasaki, killing some 220,000 residents of those cities and leading to Japan’s surrender. President Harry S. Truman defended his decision to use nuclear bombs by saying that he hoped the bombs would convince Japan to surrender.

Ironically, after World War II was over, the United States became allied with its former World War II enemies, but became locked in a bitter Cold War with its former World War II ally, the Soviet Union. Four years after America’s first testing of a nuclear device, the Soviets tested their first bomb. In the coming years, the United States built some 70,000 nuclear warheads, and the Soviet Union vowed to build a similar number. By the time of the nuclear testing in Mississippi in 1964, Great Britain, France, and China had joined “the nuclear club.”

As a part of the rivalry between Communist and non-Communist nations during the Cold War, nuclear experts developed new types of nuclear weapons, and insisted that it was necessary to test these new designs. Many citizens around the world, however, expressed concern that such testing would lead to medically harmful “fallout” — radioactive particles that would drift to earth and enter people’s bodies, potentially causing leukemia and other diseases. In 1963, the United States, Great Britain, and the Soviet Union signed a Partial Test Ban Treaty, agreeing not to test nuclear devices in the atmosphere or under water. The treaty did not address underground testing, because of disagreements and uncertainty over how to verify that nations were not testing weapons underground.
Project Dribble

A number of nuclear testing experts said it was not a good idea to prohibit underground testing, because some nations might cheat by secretly testing nuclear weapons underground. In most cases, seismographs (the device used to measure earthquakes) could detect underground nuclear tests. The United States wanted to know more about underground testing and how it could be detected, and designed Project Dribble, which included the two Mississippi detonations, to investigate the possibility that cheating nations could hide their underground tests in some way.

Nuclear scientists investigated several potential test sites in Mississippi, but finally selected a site just north of Baxterville in Lamar County, about 28 miles southwest of Hattiesburg. Geologically, the area was called the Tatum Salt Dome, a vast supply of dense salt located about 1,000 feet below ground level. Salt domes deep beneath the surface of south central Mississippi are the dried remains of a sea that covered much of the state in the Mesozoic Era. The plan was to detonate one nuclear bomb about 2,700 feet down, in solid salt. This would be the 1964 blast, code-named Project Salmon. It was believed Project Salmon would blast a huge cavity in the salt. Then the second blast, Project Sterling, would involve detonating a smaller nuclear bomb inside the cavity left in the salt by Project Salmon. Scientists believed that because the bomb would be detonated in a cavity rather than in solid rock, the shock waves would be muffled and the test might not be detectable by seismographs and other measuring devices.

So in 1964 officials of the Atomic Energy Commission came to Mississippi and began preparing the Tatum Salt Dome site for Project Salmon. A hundred Lamar County residents found work at the site, primarily driving trucks and heavy equipment, or providing food for the project employees. The nuclear test was scheduled for September 22, 1964, but the wind direction was not right until October 22. On that date about 400 residents were evacuated from the area, and were paid $10 per adult and $5 per child for their inconvenience. The zone from which citizens were evacuated stretched five miles downwind of ground zero, and about half that distance in directions that were not downwind of the test. Click here to see the Mississippi segment from the Peter Kuran film “Atomic Journeys.” (YouTube site accessed July 2008.)

Most residents later reported that the shock of the explosion was much stronger than they had been led to believe. The editor of the Hattiesburg American, although almost thirty miles away, reported that he felt the newspaper building sway for nearly three minutes. At the test site, creeks ran black with silt-laden water, and by seven days after the blast, more than 400 nearby residents had filed damage claims with the government, reporting that their homes had been damaged or that their water wells had gone dry.

Horace Burge lived about two miles from the site of the explosion, and returned home to his three-room house to discover considerable damage caused by the blast. The fireplace and chimney were badly damaged, and bricks littered his living room. Broken dishes and jars were all over his kitchen floor, and the shelves fell down inside his refrigerator and broke several glass containers. His electric stove was covered with ash and pieces of concrete. The pipes under his kitchen sink had burst, leading to flooding inside the house.

Within days, the United States government began reimbursing local residents for the damage done to their homes. After the blast, reporters from the Hattiesburg American interviewed many local residents who said they didn’t want this nuclear testing to be done in their neighborhoods, but who added that there was nothing they could do about it. In an editorial, the Hattiesburg American lectured its readers that such tests were necessary for the future security of the United States.

After seismic analysis, the government scientists reported that Project Salmon had been a success, with the bomb delivering the same force as 5,000 tons of TNT. The Project Salmon blast was about one-third as powerful as the bomb that destroyed Hiroshima in 1945. The bomb blasted a void in the salt as predicted, a spherical cavity that was about 110 feet in diameter.

The Project Sterling blast, on December 3, 1966, was considerably weaker than the blast two years earlier, as it was intended to be. Instead of the force of 5,000 tons of TNT that Project Salmon had developed, Project Sterling’s bomb had the force of 350 tons of TNT. Observers two miles away from the blast reported they barely felt a bump. Like Project Salmon, Project Sterling was labeled a success. Because it was detonated in a cavity in the salt, its force, as measured by seismographs, was about 100 times weaker than would have been expected with the same sized bomb placed in solid rock or salt. Thus U.S. government officials reported that Mississippi’s two nuclear blasts, as a part of Project Dribble, helped prove that in fact the seismic effect of a nuclear blast could be greatly reduced if such a blast were set off in a large cave. This suggested it might be possible for a nation to cheat on a future nuclear test ban by hiding a nuclear test. It also helped teach atomic scientists how to detect and measure such hidden blasts.

Though Mississippi’s part in nuclear testing was over by 1966, the Tatum Salt Dome site did see two additional tests by the Atomic Energy Commission as a part of Project Miracle Play. Project Miracle Play was similar to Project Dribble in that it too was designed to detect underground testing, but this time the two blasts were conventional bombs instead of nuclear. Mississippi’s two explosions in Project Miracle Play in 1969 and 1970 were fueled by a mixture of oxygen and methane.
After the 1960s

Since the 1960s, much has changed. The United States has reduced its nuclear stockpile considerably, to about 10,000 warheads, and Britain and France have also reduced their stockpiles. The Cold War has ended, and few nations remain Communist. The former Soviet Union split apart, and the nation of Russia inherited the nuclear warheads that formerly belonged to the Soviet Union. These Russian nuclear stockpiles are considerably smaller than those during the height of the Cold War. The United States has not tested a nuclear weapon since 1992, and the other major nations of the world have also gone years without nuclear testing, or planning any nuclear tests for the future.

On the other hand, the United States expresses concern that nations such as Iran might soon develop and test nuclear weapons, or that a terrorist group might turn to nuclear warfare, including possibly a conventional bomb that would spread radioactive material. Further, North Korea claims to have detonated a nuclear bomb in 2006, though some claim this small explosion was not really a successful nuclear test. And, in July 2008, the International Atomic Energy Agency reported that North Korea had shut down its nuclear weapons-making nuclear reactor. Aside from the possibility that the enemies of the United States might obtain nuclear weapons, many citizens express concern that even if new nations, or groups, do not develop nuclear weapons, the world will always be in danger of nuclear explosions because 36,000 atomic bombs still exist.
Health and safety at Tatum Salt Dome

With any nuclear test there is the danger of health problems developing among the people and other living things near the test site. At the Mississippi nuclear test site, one fear in 1964 was that these underground explosions would “blow out” during the tests, sending dirt, gasses, and radioactive material high into the air. Government officials said this was unlikely, pointing out that the 2,700-foot shaft had been filled with gravel and an enormous concrete plug. After the 1964 blast, scientists reassured Mississippians by reporting that all radiation had been contained underground. They said the soil, water, and air in the area was not made radioactive.

Unfortunately, the site did become contaminated after the blast. Two months after the 1964 test, nuclear researchers drilled a hole down into the void left by the blast in order to lower instruments into the cavity. In drilling the hole, the drill bit brought radioactive soil and water up to the surface. The same thing happened in 1966. Several times the U.S. government came in to attempt to clean up the Tatum Salt Dome site.

In 1972, buildings at the site were bulldozed and sent to the government’s Nevada Test Site, where considerable radioactive material was already in storage. Most of the other radioactive material at the Tatum Salt Dome site (primarily soil, rock, and water) were put back down into the test cavity, where it remains today in solid or sludge form. Some of the radioactive liquids were injected into “Aquifer Number 5,” a vein of salty water located about 2,500 feet underground at the Tatum Salt Dome site. U.S. government officials erected a large stone monument at the site, with a brass plaque warning future generations not to drill or dig in the vicinity of this test site.

Some Lamar County residents complained of lingering health effects in the decades after the blast. Some argued that the number of cancer deaths in the Tatum Salt Dome area is higher than national averages. Federal officials maintain that there is no health risk associated with living near the Tatum Salt Dome site, but the government did pay at least one former Mississippi employee of Project Dribble for unspecified health damages. Around 2000, the government built a water pipeline to help residents near the Tatum Salt Dome get drinking water from far away from the test site, in hopes of calming residents’ fears about their drinking water.
On to the future

Most Lamar County residents have already forgotten Mississippi’s two nuclear explosions, and younger citizens of Mississippi typically have never heard of Project Dribble. The debate about the future of nuclear weapons, though, will continue. Many people will argue that nuclear weapons are an important part of a diversified defense strategy for the nations that possess them, while others believe that nuclear weapons make the world a very unsafe place, with the potential to wreak tremendous harm to the environment and to end human society as we know it.

Stephen Cresswell, Ph.D., is professor of history at West Virginia Wesleyan College and the author of an earlier Mississippi History Now article, “Was Mississippi a Part of Progressivism?” He is the author of Rednecks, Redeemers, and Race: Mississippi after Reconstruction, 1877-1917, a book in the Mississippi Historical Society’s Mississippi Heritage Series.

Posted August 2008

Source (original article includes the author's sources): THIS ARTICLE WAS ALSO INCLUDED ON DATELINE WASHINGTON.


In southern Mississippi two underground atomic explosions during the mid-1960s occurred near the town of Hattiesburg. A decade and a half later, an Associated Press dispatch noted, Governor Cliff Finch urged families nearby to evacuate "after the University of Mississippi reported that scientists had found radioactive and deformed toads, frogs, and a lizard above the Tatum Salt Dome, a shelf of salt used in the 1960s for nuclear explosions." Tests of one frog detected radioactivity one thousand times normal.[138] -From the book "Killing Our Own" By Harvey Wasserman & Norman Solomon

China: Nuclear device exploded in Sichuan (underground installation; during May 12 earthquake)

Posted on Monday, June 02, 2008 8:57:38 PM by TigerLikesRooster:

Nuclear device exploded in Sichuan
By Boxun

Jun 1, 2008 - 6:46:34 PM

Lu Shishen, who reported the cover up of the earthquake forecast, said that there was a strong nuclear explosion in Sichuan during the earthquake.

Xinhua reported yesterday that an explosion of “volcano was observed in the earthquake”, people said that concrete debris was burst out of the crack during the quake.

Experts tested the debris and found it is radioactive, according to Lu Shishen’s report.

Full report in Chinese:


Thursday, October 30, 2008

Hey, Californians, time to stop watering the sidewalk!!

Calif. to cut water deliveries to cities, farms
By SAMANTHA YOUNG, Associated Press Writer

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – California said Thursday that it plans to cut water deliveries to their second-lowest level ever next year, raising the prospect of rationing for cities and less planting by farmers.

The Department of Water Resources projects that it will deliver just 15 percent of the amount that local water agencies throughout California request every year.

Since the first State Water Project deliveries were made in 1962, the only time less water was promised was in 1993, but heavy precipitation that year ultimately allowed agencies to receive their full requests.

The reservoirs that are most crucial to the state's water delivery system are at their lowest levels since 1977, after two years of dry weather and court-ordered restrictions on water pumping out of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. This year, water agencies received just 35 percent of the water they requested.

It's facts like these that make me angry whenever I see a sprinkler head spouting water all over the sidewalk or on the street instead of on the grass. Californians waste more water than they can afford.

Here are some tips on how you can make a difference by being more water conscious. Access to clean water may not be limited in your state now, so let's keep it that way!! These tips are EASY to follow and make a BIG difference.

1. Turn off the faucet while you are brushing your teeth.
2. Take shorter showers.
3. Don't use the hose to "sweep" your patio... that's what a broom is for.
4. Fix all leaky faucets or fixtures.
5. Soap up your dishes without the water running then rinse them.
6. Put a brick or large stone in the water chamber of your toilet. It'll reduce the amount of water your toilet uses.
7. If you absolutely HAVE to water your grass, do so at night so the water won't evaporate during the day.
8. Collect rain water to water plants.
9. Take showers instead of baths.
10. Educate others on how they can also conserve water. It's simple. The more people who are more water conscious, the more water we save!!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

You Have A Voice So Use It.

I'm on the late bus but I just found out that New Jersey Governor Corzine wants to build another nuclear power plant in New Jersey so like every concerned 20-something New Jerseyian (HA!) I just took the time to write the following email to Corzine:

Governor Corzine,

I'm writing to you because I do not think you understand the hazardous implications of nuclear power. Nuclear power is the most unsafe, COSTLY form of power. As of 1995, the nuclear power plant in Toms River, NJ leaked 421 tons of radioactive waste. This plant continues to contaminate our water supply. Do you have plans or intentions of cleaning this hazardous site?

Nuclear waste never goes away nor is there any "safe" way to store the waste. Nuclear power plants contaminate our water supply and land, cause and give off radiation which is a known carcinogen. I know you think nuclear power is the answer to lower CO2 emissions but radiation as is FAR worse than carbon dioxide.

I urge you to research the dangers of nuclear power. It's not a coincidence that cancer, mercury poisoning and autoimmune disease rates are higher near nuclear power plants. Please help protect New Jersey's health.

Hopefully, one day the government will embrace CLEAN technology like solar and wind instead of adding to our arsenal of nuclear waste.

I hope this message did not fall on deaf ears,

Jena Ardell
NOTE: You can also contact Governor Corzine by writing to the Office of the Governor, P.O. Box 001, Trenton, New Jersey 08625-0001, or by calling (609) 777-2500.

If you are also concerned about the dangers of nuclear energy now is the time to allow decision makers to hear your voice. Please write a similar message to your governor, explaining the dangers of nuclear power. Be sure to let him or her know how much money your state WON'T be saving between the cost to build the plant, train and hire workers, mantain the plant and the costly cleanup that will be necessary after one or more of the reactors leak (and trust me, they all leak) radioactive waste into your water supply.

An email or letter takes only minutes to write and your opinion is important, especially if it has the power to make someone rethink their actions. Your health is at stake.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

McCain proposes 100 new plants in the U.S.

Published: June 23, 2008 12:00AM

Nearly three decades after the Three Mile Island disaster, Sen. John McCain is proposing an American nuclear renaissance.

As part of a weeklong focus on energy security, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee said Wednesday that he wants 45 new nuclear plants to be built in the United States by 2030 and another 55 in later years.

Currently, there are 104 reactors in this country, and they supply a fifth of the nation’s electricity; many of the new plants proposed by McCain would replace existing ones. That’s because no new nuclear plants have been built in the United States since the 1970s, and many of the facilities still operating are nearing the end of their useful lives.

As are a growing number of Americans, McCain embraces nuclear power as a clean, safe alternative to traditional energy sources that emit greenhouse gases. It’s an unqualified enthusiasm that brings to mind Homer Simpson’s memorable prayer thanking God “for nuclear power: the cleanest, safest energy there is. Except for solar, which is just a pipe dream.”

If McCain is elected president, he will attempt to end a long-standing American aversion to nuclear generated power, which sets this country apart from the rest of the world.

In contrast with the United States, France gets nearly 80 percent of its power from nuclear plants and has a robust building program, as do Japan and Finland. Britain is encouraging companies to build new reactors, and Italy recently lifted the ban on nuclear plants it imposed after the Chernobyl meltdown in the former Soviet Union two decades ago. Across the world, more than 100 new plants are either in the planning or construction stages, roughly half of them in rapidly developing nations such as China and India.

The United States should be in no rush to join the parade. Despite McCain’s glowing assessment and the urgent need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, nuclear power still has serious shortcomings.

Modern nuclear plants are certainly safer than their Chernobyl-era predecessors, but accidents remain a problem. The Union of Concerned Scientists recently reported that 41 U.S. reactors have been shut down at least 51 times for more than a year because of safety problems.

While security has been improved since Sept. 11, nuclear plants remain worrisome targets for terrorists. They are also sources of waste that can be used to create weapons-grade plutonium.

Meanwhile, the question of how to dispose of the radioactive waste from existing U.S. reactors, much less the new facilities proposed by McCain, remains unanswered. Radioactive waste from nuclear plants can remain highly toxic for thousands of years, and no permanent storage facilities have been built in the United States — or anywhere else in the world. Congress long has struggled to build a U.S. disposal site at Yucca Mountain in Nevada, but relentless opposition by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid promises to delay its opening for another decade — and perhaps longer.

It’s also unclear that nuclear power can play a timely role in fighting climate change. Because many of the new nuclear plants proposed by McCain would replace existing ones, it would take many more than the 45 new plants that he proposes by 2030, or the 100 he proposes in the long term, to achieve major reductions in emissions of greenhouse gases.

Nuclear plants also take large amounts of time and money to build. Current licensing and testing requirements would delay construction for at least five years, and new nuclear plants require investments of between $5 billion and $10 billion — investments that Wall Street is unlikely to make without huge federal taxpayer subsidies.

McCain’s Democratic opponent, Sen. Barack Obama, has a more realistic and safer view of nuclear power. While he acknowledges nuclear power may prove necessary to meet aggressive climate goals, he says it should not be expanded until the challenges of cost, safety, disposal and nuclear proliferation have been addressed.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008


Florida Power & Light Co. shut down a nuclear unit at its Turkey Point plant near Miami Friday because of a small leak of reactor coolant.

It was turned off "to repair a connection between two small pipes that lead to a valve. The valve is used for equipment testing when the unit is offline for refueling," said FPL spokesman Mayco Villafana.

~view the original post here

a reply from a medical doctor:

Another example of the safety of nuclear power. The company monitors operations properly, As we all know there has never been an accident that has endangered human lives, including 3 mile island. Nuclear is the finest example of alternate energy sources that already supplies 20% of our electricity and solves the greenhouse gas process, since it doesn't give off any, and at the same time puts a stop to our rediculous money transfer relations with the oil producers.
Three cheers for the company!

my response:

Not to point fingers, but ARE YOU SERIOUS?! nuclear power is the most dangerous form of energy. Do some research and you will find an alarming amount of nuclear reactors that continue leak radioactive waste into our water supply... the contamination is NEVER FULLY CLEANED UP (thank your government) and the contamination CONTINUES to cause cancer many years after a plant is shut down.

I urge you to research the Hanford Site (The reactors have leaked so much radioactivity into the air, land and water that the contamination caused by the Three Mile Island nuclear accident seems trivial by comparison); Santa Susana; Three Mile Island and Cherynoble.