NUCLEAR POLLUTION-April 22 is Earth Day
Think you are worried about climate change? How about the earth warming with greenhouse gases and less water to share? Have you heard that Water Wars are being predicted as part of the future?
Well, how about a proliferation of nuclear weapons tests, spewing radioactive material into the air – the air we breathe, that comes out of the air when it rains, attaches to dust and blows with the winds. Then it falls over all our land where we grow crops and into the seas where fish ingest it – and we eat the fish.
And what about those older nuclear plants? The Fukushima nuclear disaster showed that a nuclear plant cannot invariably withstand an earthquake. Their nuclear rods became jammed and overheated to meltdown point. While many say the plant couldn’t explode – look at the pictures. If that is not a total explosive disaster, then what is?
Fukushima after meltdown & explosion
The Chernobyl disaster was a catastrophic nuclear accident that occurred on 26 April 1986 at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant in Ukraine (Ukrainian SSR), which was under the jurisdiction of Moscow. An explosion and fire released large quantities of radioactive contamination into the atmosphere, which spread over Western USSR and Europe. It is considered the worst nuclear power accident in history
And the radioactive material went EVERYWHERE- to circulate around the earth, through winds and water.
40% of the population of the United States is said to reside within 50 miles of a nuclear reactor. The world has now been exposed to 3 major nuclear disasters – 3 mile Island in the United States (that reactor never operated again), Chernobyl (it is contaminated, deserted, and a total disaster), and Fukushima (still not stabilized and could become worse). Then there are the minor disasters – Hanford, Washington has 240 square miles of contamination that will take billions of dollars and multi, multi years to clean up, if it even can be. The United States government had to be sued to admit there was even a problem – such as excessive deaths from cancer in the area.
Would you drive a 40 year old car 24 hours a day, non-stop? San Onofre, Ca. managed to get a new system put into its old plant. That system didn’t go through a required change check, and now is closed down because it did not work properly, there was excessive vibration in the pipes, and finally was leaking radioactive materials. The owners are looking to the utility consumers to pay big bucks for all the mistakes and down time. If the reactor starts back up with the poorly designed system that was installed, it has been predicted that it could have a major accident while running.
One of the most contaminated towns in the world is challenging what we think we know about the dangers of radioactivity. No one has lived longer on contaminated terrain than people in the village of Muslumovo in the southern Russian Urals located downstream from the Maiak plutonium plant, built 1948 to produce soviet bomb cores.
The Techa River in Russia became a flowing radioactive reservoir in 1949 when engineers at the plutonium plant ran out of underground storage containers for high-level radioactive waste. A Dixie cup of this waste could kill everyone in a large ballroom. Compelled by the arms race, the plant director ordered it dumped in the Techa River. The men running the plant didn’t tell anyone about this decision. The 28,000 Russian, Bashkir, and Tatar farmers living on the river—drinking, cooking, and bathing with river water—had no idea. In the 1950s and ’60s special forces resettled most of the 16 contaminated villages on the Techa, but a few villages were too large and expensive to move, so they stayed. Muslumovo is one.
Plutonium plant doctors came up with a new disease, diagnosed, so far, only in the Russian Urals—chronic radiation syndrome (CRS), caused by extended exposure to low doses of radioactive isotopes. The first young plant workers diagnosed with the syndrome complained of headaches, sharp pains in bones and joints, and a constant weariness. One memoirist described the terrible ache of CRS as a pain that made him “want to crawl up the walls.” They lost weight. Their gait slowed. They suffered severe anemia, wheezed heavily, and started to show signs of heart disease.(1)
We have not found a place that is deemed safe to store the nuclear waste that is being produced.. And it is obvious that these few incidents discussed here are just a small smattering of what has happened in the past and what is going on today. Please visit my page of pictures to get a better idea of some of the past nuclear folly we have participated in: http://pinterest.com/barbarabillig/nuclear-catastrophes/ .
So why do we proceed with building and repairing of nuclear plants? Who benefits from all this? The big buck business players who are guaranteed a return on their invested dollars which is paid for by the consumers of electricity as approved by their government. Not many people that start up a business are guaranteed a return, but utility companies are. Current interest rates at the bank are about 1% (if that). Utility companies are guaranteed a certain return by their respective governments that allows them to bill the consumers something in the neighborhood of 5 to 10 percent return on their investment.
It is unkind that the consumers are paying exorbitant prices for their utilities, but to get nuclear pollution along with that is totally intolerable. And so are the nuclear tests that spread nuclear pollution, the nuclear submarines that now lie broken at the bottom of the oceans, the nuclear wastes that leak out of facilities, and on and on.
Some are calling it a War without a war.
April 22 is Earth Day. Think what you can do to help the earth and its inhabitants to survive in a better world. I have pledged to donate 50% of the proceeds from the sale of my EBook to charity in the year 2013 to benefit the victims of Fukushima, who are largely forgotten and ignored. The purchase of this fiction novel of survival, “The Nuclear Catastrophe” is only 99 cents.
This novel may be purchased at: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B004WDRWXY
Please visit my web page to vote for the charity of your choice. http://mysite.verizon.net/resrrmof/
Thank you. Barbara Billig
(1)http://www.slate.com/articles/health_and_science/medical_examiner/2013/04/nuclear_contamination_in_former_ussr_radioactivity_in_muslomovo_on_techa.html (excerpt by Kate Brown)