Sandra Arzola was relaxing in her West Chicago home one weekend in 1995, when she heard a knock at the door. Recently married, she shared the gray duplex with her husband, mom and sister, and family members were constantly coming and going. But when Sandra answered the door that day, what she learned would change how she looked at her home and suburban community forever. At the door was a woman representing Envirocon, an environmental cleanup company. There was thorium on the family’s property, the woman said, and if it was OK with them, workers were coming to remove it. It was the first time Sandra had heard of thorium. “It took me by left field,” she said. “But [the representative] made it sound like everything was going to be fine.”
In March, President Biden and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen announced a joint task force with the goal of getting Europe off Russian gas and onto more of America’s fracked gas. Most Russian gas reaches Europe via pipeline, so getting U.S. gas to Europe will involve liquifying it and then shipping it across the Atlantic. And as shipments of liquified natural gas (LNG) from the United States increase, so too do the threats from an unwelcome intruder inherently part of America’s natural gas mix — radioactivity. That’s because government figures indicate that much of the gas that will be shipped to Europe may come from the Marcellus and Utica, black shale formations in Ohio, West Virginia, and Pennsylvania.
Activists and scientists have found alarming levels of radioactivity in samples collected along the road and soils outside Austin Master Services, an oilfield waste processing facility with a history of sloppy practices in eastern Ohio. The facility is located just down the street from a high school football stadium and less than 1,000 feet from a set of city drinking water wells, raising public health concerns from a nuclear forensics scientist about the extent of possible radioactive contamination. Last November, members of two advocacy groups, Concerned Ohio River Residents and Mountain Watershed Association, collected soil samples from outside the Martins Ferry, Ohio facility of Austin Master Services, a Pottstown, Pennsylvania-based company that operates in 10 states.
How far is your house or apartment from a major highway, or railroad line? Do you want to play Russian roulette with radioactive waste in transit for 40 years? Last month US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) staff quietly reported preparing for tens of thousands of cross-country shipments of high-level radioactive waste from nuclear reactors to the desert Southwest. The oft-disparaged US infrastructure of decrepit of roads, faulty bridges, rickety rails, and rusty barges may not be ready for such an onrush of immensely heavy rad waste casks. Diane D’Arrigo, of Nuclear Information and Resource Service in Maryland, and Leona Morgan, with Nuclear Issues Study Group in New Mexico, report for NIRS that the transports would carry “the hottest, most concentrated atomic waste from the nuclear fuel chain, misleadingly dubbed “spent nuclear fuel.
Churchrock – Larry King, president of Churchrock Chapter and a former uranium worker, doesn’t stand a snowball’s chance in the melting Arctic of receiving federal benefits afforded sick Navajos who worked in the uranium industry before 1971. King isn’t the only one. Linda Evers of Milan, co-founder of the Post-’71 Uranium Workers Committee, and the group’s members also can forget about help with their medical bills unless Congress changes qualifications for the 1990 program. This weekend, the first day dawned in the countdown to July 10, 2022, when, according to statute, the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act Trust Fund “terminates,” along with the authority of the U.S. Attorney General to administer the law, according to the Department of Justice.
In towns and cities across northern Appalachia industrial and manufacturing jobs have emptied out and men and women hungry for work have been drawn by the beckoning call of the oil and gas industry. Over the past decade that industry has tapped vigorously into the Marcellus and Utica, two massively rich gas layers that underlie the region. But these workers don’t always end up drilling for oil and pulling pipe, wellhead jobs stamped with a certain gritty glamour upon the American imagination. They often end up at a far seedier and even less regulated end of the oilfield, working in the largely unknown underworld of radioactive oilfield waste. Scooping it up and hauling it hither and thither in trucks.
What happened at Fukushima Japan 10 years ago, on March 11th, was one of the very worst nuclear power catastrophes in history that was caused when a 9.0 earthquake generated a 45-foot-tall tsunami that slammed into the six-reactor complex. Long story short, over the course of the next several days, three of the reactors melted down. They had been operating on March 11th and they were not able to cool them because the earthquake had destroyed the electric grid, which was the primary source of electricity to run safety and cooling systems. And the tsunami wave had destroyed the emergency backup diesel generators, as well as the seaside cooling water pumps. So, there was no ability to cool the reactors and they melted down. Fortunately, the other three reactors on site were not operating that day or that would have likely led to six meltdowns.
Hawaii - Marshall Islanders living on O'ahu joined members of Veterans For Peace, Hawai'i Peace & Justice and Refuse Fascism on Monday, March 1st at Magic Island in Honolulu to remember the 1954 U.S. detonation of the “Castle Bravo” nuclear bomb on Bikini Atoll. After sharing words and song, five Bikinians went sailing on the historic Golden Rule anti-nuclear sailboat, a project of Veterans For Peace. The Honolulu remembrance was part of the Golden Rule Project’s educational program about the growing danger of nuclear war, and the great damage that has already been done by nuclear weapons. At 15 megatons, 1,000 times the magnitude of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki nuclear weapons, the Castle Bravo bomb vaporized three islands and contaminated many others.
The Golden Rule is a project of Veterans For Peace. They aim to advance Veterans For Peace opposition to nuclear weapons and war, and to do so in a dramatic fashion. They have recovered and restored the original peace ship, the Golden Rule, that set sail in 1958 to stop nuclear testing in the atmosphere, and which inspired the many peace makers and peace ships that followed. The reborn Golden Rule is sailing once more, to show that nuclear abolition is possible, and that bravery and tenacity can overcome militarism. The Golden Rule was the very first of the environmental and peace vessels to go to sea. In 1958, a crew of anti-nuclear weapons activists set sail aboard her in an attempt to interpose themselves and the boat between the U.S. Government and its atmospheric testing of nuclear weapons in the Marshall Islands in the Pacific Ocean.
On March 1, 1954, the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission and the Department of Defense exploded a huge thermonuclear bomb on Bikini Atoll in the Marshall Islands, where they had been testing bombs since 1946. Between 1946 and 1958, the United States detonated 67 nuclear bombs in the Marshall Islands — vaporizing entire islands and exiling hundreds of people from their homes. One peculiar legacy of the U.S. nuclear testing was the introduction of the “bikini” swimsuit, named after the first two nuclear tests on Bikini atoll. French fashion designer Louis Reard hoped his new swimsuit sensation would cause the same reaction as when people first saw the mushroom clouds of atomic bombs. Other legacies of this nuclear destruction are not so pleasant to look at.
Tokyo - Japanese fish industry representatives on Thursday urged the government not to allow the release at sea of tonnes of contaminated water from the Fukushima nuclear plant, saying it would undo years of work to restore their reputation. Tokyo Electric has collected more than a million tonnes of contaminated water since the plant was crippled by an earthquake and tsunami in 2011. The water is stored in huge tanks that crowd the site and it says it will run out of storage room by 2022.
Hiroshima, Japan - Kunihiko Iida wants the world to know that the atomic bombs the United States dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki 75 years ago next month are still claiming lives and causing suffering. Iida was 3 years old in August 1945. His father had died in battle; he was living with his mother and her parents in a house 900 meters from Hiroshima’s hypocenter, the spot right beneath the detonation. The blast crumpled the house. The family fled the city, but Iida’s mother and older sister soon died from their injuries, a fact the little boy didn’t grasp.
Cyprus has launched an awareness campaign to educate the public on how to reduce wireless radiation exposures. The campaign includes large scale signs on pubic buses with the slogan “Don’t Irradiate Me: Learn How to Protect Me” along with posters, brochures, and videos translated into both Greek and English. The Campaign of the Cyprus Committee on Environment and Children’s Health is under the auspices of the Minister of Health Mr. C. Ioannou and in cooperation with the Cyprus Office of the Commissioner of Environment and the Press and Information Office, and with the participation of the Archbıshop Makarıos III Hospital.
By Dahr Jamail for TruthOut. When Japan's Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant suffered a triple-core meltdown in March 2011 as the result of devastating earthquake, most people had no idea this was only the beginning of a nuclear disaster that has arguably become the single worst industrial accident in human history. Keeping the three core meltdowns cool has been an ongoing challenge that has yet to be met. As fresh water is pumped over the cores, it is then stored on site in massive tanks. The Tokyo Electric Power company (TEPCO), the operator of the plant, then has to figure out what to do with that water. Recently, TEPCO announced that it would dump 770,000 tons of radioactive tritium water into the Pacific Ocean.
By Derrick Broze for Activist Post - On Friday, a Ninth Circuit panel of judges ruled in favor of a Berkeley, California law which requires retailers to display warnings about the possibility of health risks from cellphones. The 2 to 1 decision rejects a legal challenge from the Cellular Telephone Industries Association (CTIA), a wireless industry trade group who challenged Berkeley’s so-called “Right To Know” ordinance in June 2015. The group claimed the law violates the First Amendment by forcing retailers to spread a message that they say is misleading. Circuit Judge William Fletcher disagreed, writing that because Berkeley’s cellphone warning is “purely factual” and is offering protection of public safety, it does not violate the First Amendment. “Berkeley’s compelled disclosure does no more than to alert consumers to the safety disclosures that the FCC requires, and to direct consumers to federally compelled instructions in their user manuals providing specific information about how to avoid excessive exposure,” Fletcher wrote. “Far from conflicting with federal law and policy, the Berkeley ordinance complements and reinforces it.”