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Archive for March, 2011

Fukushima Reactors Catastrophe: Radiation Exposure, Lies and Cover-up

Global Research, March 26, 2011

Should the public discover the true health cost[s] of nuclear pollution, a cry would rise from all parts of the world and people would refuse to cooperate passively with their own death.” Dr. Rosalie Bertell. “No Immediate Danger,” xiii.

I write this article not just as a long-time environmental writer and author, but also as a survivor of the horrific 2003 1-million-acre Southern California FIRESTORM that took many lives (both human and millions of animals) during the three-and-a-half-weeks of out-of-control blazes and 400-foot-high walls of flames throughout San Diego and Orange counties. This nightmare blanketed a vast area from over the border into Tijuana up to just south of Los Angeles. Many “back county” areas and national and state parks were also destroyed. Hundreds of thousands of us could not evacuate because planes were grounded and the flames crossed over many freeways. Death and destruction continued for many years after. Many of my friends have died since then, due to fire-related illnesses, as the entire area was blanketed with a spew of toxins. As with the tragedy of September 11th, when Christy Todd Whitman said New York’s air was okay, our local “public” officials refused to monitor the air. Finally, unable to breathe, even with a high-tech respirator, I called the county with warnings. San Diego air “quality” samples were posted for only three days and then conveniently disappeared. Toxins were off the scale.

We had just 15 minutes to evacuate, when the helicopter flew overhead at 7 a.m. My entire neighborhood of 2,000 was destroyed, as well as 90 percent of all the wildlife! It was deliberately torched, and people and animals died. When we were finally allowed “home,” all that was left was burn, ash, skeletons of trees, and hot soil. I know what it means, day-to-day, to just barely survive a countywide catastrophe. I know what deep trauma is all about. I know how everyone in charge lies and deceives those of us in extremis. I know that when a place in the US is declared a “Federal Disaster” area, this quite literally means: “tough, you are on your own. There will be no help.” My heart aches for the people in Japan who are directly in harm’s way, while their government continues to make nuclear corporate profits the priority over the safety of millions of Japanese. It is criminal; and it happens all over.

During and for years after the FIRESTORM, public officials lied and deceived us. Insurance companies refused to honor thousands of policies, and many of us had to take them to court…but even the “justice” system is rigged. From the mayor and fire officials to the governor and a so-called “Blue Ribbon Commission,” the 14 arson fires and their causes were all covered-up. No one was held accountable. No one told us the truth. Further, we barely had any real help in clean-up or recovery –even if we had insurance. Knee-deep in warm ash, I shoveled it myself over seven-and-a-half months, with only 5 days of help. Thousands of us had to do it ourselves…even to getting our own Relief Center set up –again, because officials gave us the run-around.

A week-and-a-half into the Fukushima nuclear disaster, this is what is happening:

1. There are 4 reactors in various stages of collapse, releasing untold amount of dangerous radiation. Two more reactors may also be at risk.

2. The public generally has not been told that, in addition, there are 40 years of spent fuel rods on this already contaminated site. See:

www.infowars.com/alert-fukushima-coverup-40-years-of-spent-nuclear-rods-blown-sky-high

3. Other fuel rods are fully exposed (meaning, unknown amounts of release of radiation) because they are no longer covered with the necessary 45-feet of water.

4. Last week the US refused to post online whatever radiation levels they were monitoring as radiation hits the West Coast and comes East. Then there were several reports that their monitors [all of them?] went off line, or crashed. It is doubtful that any official will report the truth. See:

www.washingtonsblog.com/2011/03/you-can-view-official-epa-radiation.html

The lies, criminality, and cover-up continue. This is how a totally broken system “works.” See:

www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=23676

and

http://www.infowars.com/pentagon-cover-up-of-data-on-fukushima-disaster

Categories: News of the moment

Sam West speaking at the London TUC rally, 26/3/11

Sam is an actor/director/activist. Also son of Prunella Scales and Timothy West.

Samuel Alexander Joseph West (born 19 June 1966) is an English actor and theatre director. He is perhaps best known for his role in Howards End and his work on stage. He recently starred in the award-winning play ENRON.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Samuel_West

Video Here:-

The Robin Hood Tax How it Works:-

Categories: News of the moment

Nightmare for residents trapped in Spanish ghost towns

guardian.co.uk, Monday 28 March 2011     Aditya Chakrabortty

Half-finished developments languishing amid dust and weeds reveal the scale of a burst property bubble Spain will take years to recover from. Full Article Here:-

Mallorca houseA house under construction in Andratx on the south-west coast of the Spanish island of Mallorca before the financial crisis hit the industry hard. Photograph: Dani Cardona/Reuters

Sightseers come to Spain for the Alhambra, the Gaudis, the beaches. But Spaniards talk about a new set of landmarks, a kind of tourist anti-attraction. You can find them clustered on the outskirts of big cities and around holiday resorts, in Madrid and Valencia. They are half-completed housing estates, often vast areas of empty flats and foundations and property-developers’ hubris. Now they are nearly deserted. The Spanish call them ciudades fantasma: ghost towns.

Anyone who wants to understand the challenges facing Spain – and by implication the rest of the eurozone – should visit one. Take the route I did, to a place called Valdeluz in Guadalajara. It’s easy enough: board the fancy high-speed train from central Madrid to Barcelona and get off half an hour later. If my experience is anything to go by, only a handful of passengers will spill out on to what is a nearly new station. And there, beyond the bored security guards and the metal railings is … nothing. Another platform for cheap commuter trains, completed but never used, and then acres of red dust and weeds.

Valdeluz was meant to be a dormitory town, with 9,500 houses for nearly 30,000 residents. But the lead developer hit the rocks a couple of years ago, with only around 1,500 units completed and 700 people moved in.

Joaquín Ormazábal is one of those Valdeluz residents. Forty-four years old and separated from his partner, he bought a three-bed flat in the development four years ago for €240,000 (£211,000). Four years later, it’s now worth less than €140,000.

Categories: News of the moment

In 2004, Leuren Moret warned in the Japan Times of the exact type of nuclear catastrophe that Japan is now experiencing.

Japanese Seismologist in 2004 on Risk of Nuclear Accident: “It’s Like a Kamikaze Terrorist Wrapped in Bombs Just Waiting to Explode”

 

In 2004, Leuren Moret warned in the Japan Times of the exact type of nuclear catastrophe that Japan is now experiencing:

Of all the places in all the world where no one in their right mind would build scores of nuclear power plants, Japan would be pretty near the top of the list.

***

Japan sits on top of four tectonic plates, at the edge of the subduction zone, and is in one of the most tectonically active regions of the world.

***

Nonetheless, like many countries around the world — where General Electric and Westinghouse designs are used in 85 percent of all commercial reactors — Japan has turned to nuclear power as a major energy source

***

Many of those reactors have been negligently sited on active faults, particularly in the subduction zone along the Pacific coast, where major earthquakes of magnitude 7-8 or more on the Richter scale occur frequently. The periodicity of major earthquakes in Japan is less than 10 years. There is almost no geologic setting in the world more dangerous for nuclear power than Japan — the third-ranked country in the world for nuclear reactors.

“I think the situation right now is very scary,” says Katsuhiko Ishibashi, a seismologist and professor at Kobe University. “It’s like a kamikaze terrorist wrapped in bombs just waiting to explode.”

***

On July 7 last year, the same day of my visit to Hamaoka, Ishibashi warned of the danger of an earthquake-induced nuclear disaster, not only to Japan but globally, at an International Union of Geodesy and Geophysics conference held in Sapporo. He said: “The seismic designs of nuclear facilities are based on standards that are too old from the viewpoint of modern seismology and are insufficient. The authorities must admit the possibility that an earthquake-nuclear disaster could happen and weigh the risks objectively.”

***

I realized that Japan has no real nuclear-disaster plan in the event that an earthquake damaged a reactor’s water-cooling system and triggered a reactor meltdown.

Additionally, but not even mentioned by ERC officials, there is an extreme danger of an earthquake causing a loss of water coolant in the pools where spent fuel rods are kept. As reported last year in the journal Science and Global Security, based on a 2001 study by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, if the heat-removing function of those pools is seriously compromised — by, for example, the water in them draining out — and the fuel rods heat up enough to combust, the radiation inside them will then be released into the atmosphere. This may create a nuclear disaster even greater than Chernobyl.

Categories: News of the moment

Battle to control Fukushima plant seen far from over

March 30, 2011 1 comment

Article Here:-

By Kiyoshi Takenaka and Yoko Kubota

TOKYO, March 28 (Reuters) – Japan appeared resigned on Monday to a long fight to contain the world’s most dangerous atomic crisis in 25 years after high radiation levels complicated work at its crippled nuclear plant.

Engineers have been battling to control the six-reactor Fukushima complex since it was damaged by a March 11 earthquake and tsunami that also left more than 27,000 people dead or missing across Japan’s devastated northeast.

A magnitude 6.5 earthquake rocked the region on Monday, the latest in a series of aftershocks, and officials warned it would trigger a 50-cm (two feet) tsunami wave.

Radiation at the nuclear plant has soared in recent days. Latest readings on Sunday showed contamination 100,000 times normal in water at reactor No. 2 and 1,850 times normal in the nearby sea.

Those were the most alarming levels since the crisis began.

“I think maybe the situation is much more serious than we were led to believe,” said one expert, Najmedin Meshkati, of the University of Southern California, adding it may take weeks to stabilise the situation and the United Nations should step in.

“This is far beyond what one nation can handle – it needs to be bumped up to the U.N. Security Council. In my humble opinion, this is more important than the Libya no fly zone.”

 

Plant operator Tokyo Electric Power Co. has conceded it faces a protracted and uncertain operation to contain overheating fuel rods and avert a meltdown.

“Regrettably, we don’t have a concrete schedule at the moment to enable us to say in how many months or years (the crisis will be over),” TEPCO vice-president Sakae Muto said in the latest of round-the-clock briefings the company holds.

Categories: News of the moment

Pakistan’s secret dirty war

March 30, 2011 1 comment

guardian.co.uk, Tuesday 29 March 2011    Declan Walsh

In Balochistan, mutilated corpses bearing the signs of torture keep turning up, among them lawyers, students and farm workers. Why is no one investigating and what have they got to do with the bloody battle for Pakistan’s largest province? Full Article Here:-

Lala Bibi with her father and son

Lala Bibi with her father and son Saeed Ahmed – and photographs of her murdered son Najibullah and his cousin, who was also abducted. Photograph: Declan Walsh for the Guardian 

The bodies surface quietly, like corks bobbing up in the dark. They come in twos and threes, a few times a week, dumped on desolate mountains or empty city roads, bearing the scars of great cruelty. Arms and legs are snapped; faces are bruised and swollen. Flesh is sliced with knives or punctured with drills; genitals are singed with electric prods. In some cases the bodies are unrecognisable, sprinkled with lime or chewed by wild animals. All have a gunshot wound in the head.

This gruesome parade of corpses has been surfacing in Balochistan, Pakistan‘s largest province, since last July. Several human rights groups, including Amnesty International, have accounted for more than 100 bodies – lawyers, students, taxi drivers, farm workers. Most have been tortured. The last three were discovered on Sunday.

If you have not heard of this epic killing spree, though, don’t worry: neither have most Pakistanis. Newspaper reports from Balochistan are buried quietly on the inside pages, cloaked in euphemisms or, quite often, not published at all.

The forces of law and order also seem to be curiously indifferent to the plight of the dead men. Not a single person has been arrested or prosecuted; in fact, police investigators openly admit they are not even looking for anyone. The stunning lack of interest in Pakistan’s greatest murder mystery in decades becomes more understandable, however, when it emerges that the prime suspect is not some shady gang of sadistic serial killers, but the country’s powerful military and its unaccountable intelligence men.

This is Pakistan’s dirty little war. While foreign attention is focused on the Taliban, a deadly secondary conflict is bubbling in Balochistan, a sprawling, mineral-rich province along the western borders with Afghanistan and Iran. On one side is a scrappy coalition of guerrillas fighting for independence from Pakistan; on the other is a powerful army that seeks to quash their insurgency with maximum prejudice. The revolt, which has been rumbling for more than six years, is spiced by foreign interests and intrigues – US spy bases, Chinese business, vast underground reserves of copper, oil and gold.

Categories: News of the moment

French ‘Spiderman’ scales world’s tallest building

guardian.co.uk, Monday 28 March 2011   Associated Press in Dubai

Daredevil Alain Robert – who has taken on more than 70 skyscrapers – climbs 2,717ft Burj Khalifa in Dubai. Article Here:-

French Alain Robert climbs tower of Burj Khalifa

Robert – who usually climbs unaided – is using a rope and a harness to comply with organisers’ safety requirements. Photograph: Ali Haider/EPA

Just before sunset, a French skyscraper climber who calls himself “Spiderman” started to pull his way up the side of the world’s tallest tower in Dubai.

Before he began to scale the 2,717ft (828m) Burj Khalifa in the United Arab Emirates, Alain Robert said he expected it to take about six or seven hours. As night fell, a row of powerful spotlights shone on the side of the tower, so spectators could see Robert in action.

After just over six hours Robert was waving down from more than half a mile in the air having even navigated the tapered spire that extends beyond the top floors of the structure. “Spiderman” had done it again.

Unlike on many previous climbs, the 48-year-old daredevil used a rope and harness to comply with organisers’ requirements. An ambulance – with a stretcher at the ready – was parked alongside other emergency vehicles at the bottom of the tapering metal and glass tower. It proved an unnecessary precaution.

Robert has climbed more than 70 skyscrapers, including the Empire State Building, Chicago’s Willis Tower and the Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur. In 2004 he conquered Taiwan’s Taipei 101, which, before the Burj opened in January last year, was the world’s tallest building.

The tower, owned by Emaar Properties, has 160 habitable storeys. An observation deck is located on the 124th floor.

Strapped to a safety harness tethered more than 100 storeys up, Robert began his climb up the glass-covered Burj around 6pm on Monday. He hoisted himself up along a central column, mostly free of decorative rows of pipes that could slow his ascent.

Robert moved methodically and swiftly along the polished metal facade. He did not appear to use the rope to pull himself up, but instead gripped the glass and narrow metal ridges like a rock climber with his feet and bare hands.

Hundreds of spectators, their necks craned, crowded plazas outside shopping centres and restaurants at the tower’s base.

Robert stayed in a Dubai hotel before the climb, doing press-ups, pull-ups and stretches, and loading up on carbohydrates, in a room overlooking the target of his latest adventure.

Categories: News of the moment