Saturday, April 29, 2006

Chernobyl Everywhere - Radioactive Earth part 1

This is the first of several articles on my part designed to expose the nuclear power plant industry. It’s my modest contribution to the exposure. The more the merrier, I say.

Many people, including several «environmentalists», claim that nuclear power will save us from Global Warming, which is kind of funny, since that is just yet another example of the cure being worse, far worse, than the disease. I’ve found this to be very common in civilization. The large amounts of human-created radiation and isotopes now soaking the planet are the worst poison mankind has ever conceived.

Greenpeace published the article below in late 1998. It isn’t exaggerated in any way, but rather quite understated. Time, like common sense, has long since given them, and many others, right.

And if you want to know what the British government and the red/green government in Germany have done about the information Greenpeace supplied them with, that one is easy, too.


On the contrary, the nuclear train keeps running day and night, crisscrossing the globe.


Amsterdam, 9 October. - The area around the Sellafield reprocessing plant (UK) is as heavily contaminated with radioactivity as the zone around the stricken Chernobyl reactor in Ukraine. This is the conclusion emerging from the analyses of soil samples from both areas commissioned by Greenpeace to the University of Bremen (1).

Over the past few weeks the University of Bremen analysed the samples taken by Greenpeace in the area around Chernobyl. A comparison with radioactive pollution in the area around the UK reprocessing plant at Sellafield leads to the alarming conclusion that some of the figures for radioactivity at Sellafield are even higher than those for the Chernobyl area.

Sellafield is a slow-motion Chernobyl, an accident played out over the last four decades, said Mike Townsley of Greenpeace International. While an area of 30km radius around Chernobyl is prohibited access for people and any agricultural activity, there are no such restrictions around Sellafield.

Greenpeace will present these results today in Hamburg, to urge the new SPD/Green coalition Government to act now on their long-held policies of opposing continued reprocessing at Sellafield and La Hague in France. The SPD and Greens will meet on Sunday 11 October to discuss their nuclear policy, and it seems possible that they will cancel their second set of contracts for reprocessing. They will also examine ways to cancel the base-load contracts already signed for an initial period of ten years.

The region around the plutonium factory at Sellafield is as similarly contaminated with heavy radioactivity as the area around the calamitous Chernobyl reactor in Ukraine said Heinz Laing of Greenpeace Germany. An end must be put to this now. The nuclear industry and the German Government share the blame for this insidious disaster. Not one gramme more nuclear waste should be allowed to be delivered to Sellafield or La Hague. Deciding to stop this is the least a Red-Green coalition must immediately do.

People living by the reprocessing plant in Sellafield are today filing a suit against the Federal Export Office in Eschborn, which authorises nuclear exports abroad in the name of the Federal Government. The accusation made by the complainants says reprocessing German nuclear waste at Sellafield impairs their right to life and freedom from bodily injury.

On the 20th October, the English and Welsh Environment Agency will meet to consider new authorisations for radioactive discharges from Sellafield. Greenpeace believes that this latest revelation, combined with the commitments made by the UK Government at the OSPAR meeting last July to substantially reduce discharges from reprocessing at Sellafield, should serve as a warning to the Environment Agency that levels of contamination around the Sellafield plant are already so severe that any further contamination presents an unacceptable risk to both current and future generations.

For information:

(1) Pollution with the americium-241 radioactive isotope in a soil sample eight hundred meters from the reactor in the Chernobyl disaster, for example, is around 1,300 becquerels per kilogram. In soil sampled seven miles away from the Sellafield plant, pollution from this isotope is as much as 30,000 becquerels per kilogram. The analyses carried out for Greenpeace by the University of Bremen also found cobalt-60 values of up to 40 becquerels per kilogram, and pollution from caesium-137 in concentrations of up to 9,400 becquerels per kilogramme, seven miles from the UK reprocessing plant. Seven miles from the Chernobyl reactor, on the other hand, fewer than ten becquerels of cobalt-60, and approximately 7,400 becquerels of caesium-137, were measured per kilogram.


Anonymous said...

Did you really expect any government to change this? Are you really surprised at the conditions around a reprocessing plant? Nuclear power is never going to be an answer - only reducing our use/need for power is an answer.


Amos Keppler said...

No, I certainly did't expect them to do that and I'm not surprised, but most people seem to be. Those bothering to comment on it or think about at all, that is.

Most people, even people claiming to think, believe their governments do or want to do what's best for us.

That conviction/imaginary truth seems very strange to me, but that's how it is.

Rigmor said...

This is a very interesting entry. I might have to come back again to your blog...

But this specific entry reminded me 11 November 2005. We woke up, in London, with a dark, gray, odd-looking sky and the smell of smoke was thick in the air. A Texaco oil depot in Hertforshire was on fire, and, apparently, someone had heard the blast all the way down to the Netherlands.

My thoughts then went to nuclear power. Because, aren't we constantly talking about building more nuclear power stations to lower CO2 emissions? And then outsource the responsibility to corporations...? Although we didn't know what had happened what and what had caused it, I was thinking about what would have happened if we did, indeed, build more nuclear power station, outsourced the responsibility and then something went wrong. Who is to say that wouldn't happen?

So I am going off track. Cutting it short; good entry. Like your blog.

Amos Keppler said...

Thanks, Rigmor. You will find a lot here.

So you're a Londoner, too, huh? I've lived there for years. I don't, right now, but I plan on going back soon.

Outsourcing is just yet another BAD modern idea...

Anonymous said...

I don't see how anyone can think that nuclear power is the answer. Nuclear power will be our demise and Greenpeace is simply being dismissed because the government cannot fathom operating without nuclear power.

The fact of the matter is that nuclear power at this point in time, cannot simply cease to exist.

What would be done with the waste? How can these operations be safely dismantled? What about the joblessness? How can we undo the damage that has already been done?

Because these questions can't be simply answered, the government chooses to stay stagnant in it's position to these nuclear disasters.

Anonymous said...

Just to add abit of spice here I would say that though I that there is contamination etc... Greenpeace can be trusted just about as far as the government on giving a fair assesment of the situation.

They are working to their own agenda one that has cost lives (including of people who were trying to help with environmental issues).

From a personal point of view - were chemical processes plants and that are regarded I remember as a child alot of the family dying of cancers of pretty much everything. The saddest thing was that from one accident even the members of the family that did the washing got contaminated and suffered and some of the payouts they got (if any) where like £600 for life and they weren't allowed to go to the press about it.

And contary to what someone said earlier alot of the people do suspect but I know from working class relatives that they are scared of ending up on lists of some sort if they say anything and feel they have no power what so ever and just hope the government is actually looking after them.

Amos Keppler said...

The only thing wrong with Greenpeace is that they aren't going far enough in their criticism.