Daily Archives: January 1, 2014

The Year in Science: God, Genomes, and Galaxies


Climate change vastly worse than previously thought


A new study published in Nature suggests that climate change is even worse than scientists had previously anticipated,upgrading the forecast from “dangerous” to “catastrophic.” According to the study’s authors, temperatures are currently snared in an upward spiral: As earth gets hotter, the heat prevents sunlight-reflecting clouds from forming, trapping more heat and further exacerbating the problem. The result could be a temperature climb of 7.2 degrees Fahrenheit by 2100.

E120, e130,

The Year in Technology: Follow the @Money

E120, e145,

‘Snowden should have been Time’s Person of 2013’ – former CIA officer

E120, media, e145,

Fukushima 2013 by Helen Caldicott

M o’rourke

Published on Oct 7, 2013

An operation with potentially “apocalyptic” consequences is expected start — “as early as November 8″ — at Fukushima’s damaged and sinking Reactor 4, when plant operator TEPCO will attempt to remove over 1300 spent fuel rods holding the radiation equivalent of 14,000 Hiroshima bombs from a spent fuel storage tank perched on the reactor’s upper floor.

Fukushima Reactor 4

While the Reactor 4 building itself did not suffer a meltdown, it did suffer a hydrogen explosion, is now tipping and sinking and has zero ability to withstand another seismic event.

The Japan Times explained:

To remove the rods, TEPCO has erected a 273-ton mobile crane above the building that will be operated remotely from a separate room.

[…] spent fuel rods will be pulled from the racks they are stored in and inserted one by one into a heavy steel chamber while the assemblies are still under water. Once the chamber is removed from the pool and lowered to the ground, it will be transported to another pool in an undamaged building on the site for storage.

Under normal circumstances, such an operation would take little more than three months, but TEPCO is hoping to complete the complicated task within fiscal 2014.

“In the worst-case scenario,” RT adds,

the pool could come crashing to the ground, dumping the rods together into a pile that could fission and cause an explosion many times worse than in March 2011.

Wasserman says that the plan is so risky it requires a global take-over, an urging Gunter also shared, stating that the “dangerous task should not be left to TEPCO but quickly involve the oversight and management of independent international experts.”

Wasserman told Common Dreams that

The bring-down of the fuel rods from Fukushima Unit 4 may be the most dangerous engineering task ever undertaken. Every indication is that TEPCO is completely incapable of doing it safely, or of reliably informing the global community as to what’s actually happening. There is no reason to believe the Japanese government could do much better. This is a job that should only be undertaken by a dedicated team of the world’s very best scientists and engineers, with access to all the funding that could be needed.

The potential radiation releases in this situation can only be described as apocalyptic. The cesium alone would match the fallout of 14,000 Hiroshima bombs. If the job is botched, radiation releases could force the evacuation of all humans from the site, and could cause electronic equipment to fail. Humankind would be forced to stand helplessly by as billions of curies of deadly radiation pour into the air and the ocean.

As dire as Wasserman’s warning sounds, it is echoed by fallout researcher Christina Consolo, who told RT that the worst case scenario could be “a true apocalypse.” Gunter’s warning was dire as well.

“Time is of the essence as we remain concerned that another earthquake could still topple the damaged reactor building and the nuclear waste storage pond up in its attic,” he continued. “This could literally re-ignite the nuclear accident in the open atmosphere and inflame it into hemispheric proportions,” said Gunter.

Wasserman says that given the gravity of the situation, the eyes of the world should be upon Fukushima:

This is a question that transcends being anti-nuclear. The fate of the earth is at stake here and the whole world must be watching every move at that site from now on. With 11,000 fuel rods scattered around the place, as a ceaseless flow of contaminated water poisoning our oceans, our very survival is on the line.

Global Climate Change http://courses.dce.harvard.edu/~envre130
Environmental Justice http://courses.dce.harvard.edu/~envre145
Environment Ethics http://courses.dce.harvard.edu/~envre120

Dr. Helen Caldicott: The Medical Implications of Fukushima, Nuclear Power and Nuclear Proliferation


Published on Apr 12, 2012

Dr. Helen Caldicott delivered this lecture on March 23, 2012 in Santa Barbara, California. Dr. Caldicott is a member of the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation’s Advisory Council. For more information, visit www.wagingpeace.org.

Global Climate Change http://courses.dce.harvard.edu/~envre130
Environmental Justice http://courses.dce.harvard.edu/~envre145
Environment Ethics http://courses.dce.harvard.edu/~envre120

Fukushima is the WORST nuclear disaster in world history

Tieu Vu

Published on Jun 15, 2013

The Japanese government is trying to calm fears about radiation levels and food safety in the region around the heavily damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power facility, even as it has raised the severity rating of the crisis to the highest possible level. “Radiation is continuing to leak out of the reactors, the situation is not stable at all,” says Dr. Michio Kaku, professor of theoretical physics at the City University Of New York and the City College of New York, in an interview on Democracy Now! April 13. “The slightest disturbance could set off a full scale melt down at three nuclear power stations—far beyond what we saw at Chernobyl.”

Fukushima radiation contamination level is about 50 times worse than Chernobyl, but Japanese government still encouraged people to live in highly radioactive areas. For example:

Fukushima disaster contamination map

Kashiwa-city, Fukushima measures at 450,000 Bq/k = 2,9250,000 Bq/m2.
Iwaki-city, Ohisamachi 489,326 Bq/kg

Measurement of various location in Fukushima (Please refer the image map above)
757,000 Bq/kg
3,148,238 Bq/kg
3,430,900 Bq/kg
1,080,000 Bq/kg
1,320,000 Bq/kg
5,570,000 Bq/kg
5,700,000 Bq/kg
5,633,824 Bq/kg

Even Tokyo is very contaminated.
Harajuku, Tokyo 20,000 Bq/kg
Imperial Palace, Tokyo 110,000 Bq/kg

Also, an area in Minamisoma-city was measured at 0,95 mSv/h by an independent journalist Rei Shiva. This is an astounding radiation level. (Please see the Chart of radiation doses above)

In Fukushima 35%, Kanagawa 40%, Tokyo 30% of children have so far developed thyroid abnormalities, all within 1.5 years and time it took for children to develop such symptoms is much shorter than what happened in Chernobyl.

Most people seems to believe what the Japanese government and TEPCO say, but there are cover-ups after cover-ups. They even manipulate the radiation monitoring level so that people might feel safe. To justify my comment, please also have a look at the video below. The monitoring data is cleary wrong as it is static or lowered as much as 60% less!

Environmental Justice http://courses.dce.harvard.edu/~envre145
Environment Ethics http://courses.dce.harvard.edu/~envre120

FUKUSHIMA,And The End of Humanity.Michio Kaku

M o’rourke

Published on Jul 18, 2013

As the prestigious scientific journal Nature notes:
Shortly after a massive tsunami struck the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant on 11 March, an unmanned monitoring station on the outskirts of Takasaki, Japan, logged a rise in radiation levels. Within 72 hours, scientists had analysed samples taken from the air and transmitted their analysis to Vienna, Austria — the headquarters of the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO), an international body set up to monitor nuclear weapons tests.
It was just the start of a flood of data collected about the accident by the CTBTO’s global network of 63 radiation monitoring stations. In the following weeks, the data were shared with governments around the world, but not with academics or the public.
The attempted cover up of the severity of the Fukushima disaster is nothing new. Governments have been covering up nuclear meltdowns for 50 years, and the basic design for nuclear reactors was not chosen for safety, but because it worked on Navy submarines … and produced plutonium for the military.
(Indeed, the government’s response to every crisis appears to be to try to cover it up; and see this.)
Today, Yomiuri Shinbun reports (Google translation) that the U.S. knew within days that Fukushima had melted down:

The subject of evacuating the US citizens was raised in the early hours on March 16 (local time). The US … already knew about the unusually high temperature of the reactors from the Global Hawk data, and determined that “the fuel has already melted”.
The US high-ranking officials wanted to evacuate the US citizens [Tokyo] but the local officials including Maher objected, as “it would severely undermine the US-Japan alliance”
(The Global Hawk is an unmanned aerial aircraft).

Environmental Justice http://courses.dce.harvard.edu/~envre145
Environment Ethics http://courses.dce.harvard.edu/~envre120

12/31/13: The Defining Challenges Of Our Time – Bill McKibben

The Big Picture RT

Published on Dec 31, 2013

For tonight’s special New Year’s Eve show Thom looks back at 2013 and looks ahead to 2014 with interviews with Environmentalist Bill McKibben, Economist Richard Wolff, Media Critic Jeff Cohen and Teamsters’ President James Hoffa. Happy New Year from Thom and everyone on The Big Picture staff!

For full program see:

Global Climate Change http://courses.dce.harvard.edu/~envre130
Environmental Justice http://courses.dce.harvard.edu/~envre145
Environment Ethics http://courses.dce.harvard.edu/~envre120

Delhi households to receive free tap water

Al Jazeera English
Every household in the Indian state of Delhi is set to receive 670 litres of free water every day.The scheme was a key election promise of the new chief

Environmental Justice http://courses.dce.harvard.edu/~envre145
Environment Ethics http://courses.dce.harvard.edu/~envre120