Radioactive Waste

Fukushima fallout fears over Japan farms

New research has found that radioactive material in parts of north-eastern Japan exceeds levels considered safe for farming.

The findings provide the first comprehensive estimates of contamination across Japan following the nuclear accident in 2011.

Food production is likely to be affected, the researchers suggest.

The results are reported in the Proceedings of National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) journal.

In the wake of the accident at Japan's Fukushima nuclear power plant, radioactive isotopes were blown over Japan and its coastal waters.

Fears that agricultural land would be contaminated prompted research into whether Japanese vegetables and meat were safe to eat.... Read more »

What are officials hiding about Fukushima?

After the Chernobyl nuclear disaster in 1986, Soviet officials were vilified for hiding the impacts from the public.

But when Japan’s Fukushima nuclear accident took place last March, public officials in Japan and Canada alike jumped straight into Chernobyl-style damage-control mode, dismissing any worries about impacts.

Now evidence has emerged that the radiation in Canada was worse than Canadian officials ever let on.

A Health Canada monitoring station in Calgary detected radioactive material in rainwater that exceeded Canadian guidelines during the month of March, according to Health Canada data obtained by the Georgia Straight.

Canadian government officials didn’t disclose the high radiation readings to the public. Instead, they repeatedly insisted that fallout drifting to Canada was negligible and posed no health concerns.

... Read more »

Radioactive xenon detected at crippled Fukushima plant sparks fears of resumed nuclear fission

A radioactive gas has been detected at Japan's crippled Fukushima nuclear plant, the facility's operator says.

Tepco said xenon had been found in reactor two, which was previously thought to be near a stable shutdown.

There has been no increase in temperature or pressure, but the discovery may indicate a problem with the reactor.

Boric acid - used to suppress nuclear reactions - has been injected as a precaution.

Ever since the meltdowns in March triggered by the huge earthquake and tsunami, engineers have been working to bring the Fukushima reactors under control.

The government and Tepco - the Tokyo Electric Power Company - have said they are on track to achieve a stable shutdown by the end of the year.... Read more »

Environmentalists go to court to halt new Ontario nuclear reactors

TORONTO —Environmental groups have asked a federal court to stop government agencies from approving construction of new nuclear reactors at Darlington until an environmental assessment is fully completed and shows the project won’t negatively impact the environment or human health as required by law.

“The Fukushima nuclear disaster has been a global wake-up call on the risks posed by nuclear power, but here in Canada our authorities have pretended these risks don’t exist.  In light of Fukushima, Canadian environmental protection laws must be respected before the next Ontario government can proceed with new reactors," said Shawn-Patrick Stensil, a nuclear analyst with Greenpeace.  ... Read more »

Ontario's plans to store nuclear waste under Lake Huron have Michigan upset

Where does all that nuclear waste go? Unlike in the 1980's when nuclear waste was dumped into oceans, now the preferred method is to bury it somewhere deep. The problem that is no community wants it in their neighbourhood.

One option that has been ignored by goverment and the nuclear industry is above-ground Monitored Retrievable Storage. Instead, the cheapest method - burying the waste deep in old mines - seems to be the only method considered. Not surprisingly, this method saves nuclear companies billions of dollars, not to mention "out of sight, out the mind". ... Read more »

            

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