Archive for March 18th, 2011

March 18, 2011

Japan’s Nuclear Disaster – radioactive clouds hitting USA today, Britain in 2 weeks. Biggest nuclear disaster the world has known.

MailOnline (primary news and photo source: overheating fuel rods in the Fukushima plant reactors are now exposed to the air as meltdown continues. This means that deadly plutonium and cesium is being belched out in the atmosphere.  According to experts, the clouds will reach Britain in two weeks and the clouds are due to hit the USA today and in due course, all of Europe will be affected.

Thousands are fleeing Japan and are appearing at the country’s airport to go to whichever destination that offers them safety from the radioactive plumes engulfing the country.

RT.COM: reports that it would appear that the Japanese government are misleading the public as to the extent of the catastrophe.  Uzi Even, a chemistry professor from Tel Aviv University, says that the ‘worst scenario’ has happened:-

All reactors were damaged in the earthquake. The containment vessels are breaking down and they will continue breaking down…..The question now is: what will happen to the content of these reactors, these highly radioactive isotopes? Especially worrying is the presence of plutonium in these reactors. It is something which has not happened in Chernobyl – it did not contain plutonium, which is very, very poisonous. Contamination by plutonium is very difficult to handle. On the other hand, unlike what happened in Chernobyl, there is no graphite in the reactors that can burn and send the contamination into the air and hence disperse to a wide area. So, contamination is there. It is spreading slowly. Hopefully, it will be carried to the sea, but no one can guarantee that…All the reactors are dead; all the rescue efforts are in vain“.

MailOnline photos showing reactor No. 4 in meltdown process

Exposed: this shots shows a gaping hole in the building of reactor number four. The green crane, circled, is normally used to move spent fuel rods into a 45ft storage pond, just out of shot. But the pool has now boiled dry The photo shows the hole in the containment building of reactor number 4.  The cooling pool is now as now dry and the spent rods are on fire and releasing radiation into the atmosphere.  Radioactive particles from the troubled plant in Japan have been found on planes arriving in the U.S. from Japan. 

Radiation from the plant is predicted to arrive at America’s western seafront today and then move on to Europe. Although officials are stressing that the clouds will be too low to affect human life seriously, experts are saying that all radioactivity is dangerous to human health and suitable precautions must be taken.

There is now a 12-mile restriction zone around the plant and more than 140,000 people who live in the plant’s vicinity have been advised not to go out.
Destroyed: A satellite image of the Fukushima nuclear station shows the destroyed reactor buildings and radioactive steam rising form the plantMailOnline: Image of the Fukushima nuclear station showing the destroyed container and radioactive steam emerging from the the plant. 

Wreckage: Radioactive steam rises from reactor number three of the Fukushima nuclear plant. It was severely damaged by an explosionMailOnline: Radioactive steam coming from reactor number three. 

[Nuclear Disaster Contributor]

March 18, 2011

UN approves ‘no fly’ zone for Libya. Germany, India, China, Brazil and Russia abstain

BBC News: This week the UN Security Council has approved a resolution that authorises a ‘no-fly zone’ and “all necessary measures” for the protection of civilians in Libya bar an invasion of the country.

The resolution enables air strikes on Libyan ground troops or permits the attack on Libyan war ships  where they are attacking civilians.

The countries that did not back the resolution were: China, Brazil, India, Germany and Russia and were reported to have been thanked by the Libyan regime leader, Col. Gaddaffi.

BBC News: Saudi Arabia King to address Nation over protests in the country

The Saudi King is due to address the nation this Friday in the wake of demonstrations in the country focussed on human rights and corruption issues.

[Middle East Contributor]

March 18, 2011

US Spy program to be used in Facebook, Twitter and other social media

Guardian reports that the USA‘s military has commissioned the development of software for it to influence users of social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter by using false online identities for the purpose of disseminating pro-American propaganda.

A Californian corporation has been given a $2.76 million contract with United States Central Command (Centcom), an organisations that supervises US armed operations in the Middle East and Central Asia to develop the program.

The software will create the “online persona management service” which will allow the US military to operate multiple identities worldwide.  Whilst the technology is not ‘brand new’ as similar systems are in existence and are widely used by US law enforcement and surveillance agencies, it is the first time that the US government has openly acknowledged the strategy.

For example, the program, Operation Earnest Voice (OEV), had been put in to place as in Iraq as a psychological warfare tool to disrupt al-Qaida‘s operations against coalition forces there. It is now reported to be a $200M program which is being used to thwart jihadists in Pakistan, Afghanistan and the Middle East.

[War on Terror Contributor]

March 18, 2011

Lessons from Japan, France’s nuclear energy program – a European timebomb

Nuclear energy gives France 80% of its energy needs and allows the country to be the world’s largest exporter of electricity. Additionally, its 58 nuclear reactors make it the second largest producer of nuclear energy in the world, the largest being the USA.

Nuclear Risk for neighbouring European countries

With one to two reactors in Japan having the potential to cause a level of radioactivity contamination that will certainly seriously affect not only all of Japan but also its neighbours, it is beyond imagination to consider what would happen to the countries of Europe that neighbour France – Britain, Belgium, Germany, Italy, Switzerland, etc., if a natural, or unnatural disaster (eg., terrorist attack) were to afflict the country’s nuclear facilities.

Overheating problems with France’s nuclear power systems

Only recently, in 2005, France’s Electricite de France (EDF), the government-controlled energy group controlling all of the country’s nuclear plants warned that it would be forced to disconnect one of its plants located in southeast France on the Rhone River as the temperature of the water leaving the reactor’s coolers had gone beyond 25 degrees centigrade which is the maximum safety limit for the country.  With high temperatures being the norm during France’s summer time, France will have had many ‘pre-nuclear’ accidents since 2005.  According to  Stephane Lhomme of Sortir du Nucléare, a French anti-nuclear organisation, “France finds itself in a situation of pre-nuclear accident,” – that was in 2005.

In as far back as 2003, summer temperatures had caused the Fessenheim nuclear plant to reach more than 50% centrigrade and then, manual cooling of the reactor’s external walls had been ordered. Other nuclear plants in France had merely dumped the heated water into the country’s rivers with scant regard to aquatic life as opposed to shutting down the plants.   According to newspaper reports, the southwestern nuclear plant situated in Blayais had made around 50 such dumpings in 2003.

Money v risk – for France, risk wins

With a 80% reliance on nuclear energy and an aggressive program for advancing and building new technology for nuclear power production, France, resultantly, as the world’s largest net electricity exporter is doing very nicely thank you very much at its neighbour’s expense.  For France, electricity is its fourth largest export and its main customers are the UK and Italy.

European ‘risk’ levy on France for nuclear danger for neighbours

As events unravel in Japan and the world is waking up to the unimaginable dangers posed by the utilisation of nuclear power, the question is why should one country in Europe, France, profit so vastly from creating a danger that not only risks the lives and health of its own citizens, but those of all countries in Europe?  Many action groups are now asking for France to be made to pay a levy which will go towards an insurance policy for its compensation to the EU and other neighbouring countries that are likely to be affected if a nuclear disaster happens on its shores.  However, for many, consigning nuclear energy to the dustbin of bad ideas would be a better option.

Research sources: –

[Energy Risk Contributor]