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The Most Fascistic Industry

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Fukushima Explosion

This past year, since Fukushima, I've learned a lot about the nuclear power industry. Like many I was lulled over the decades since Chernobyl into thinking they might be doing it safer nowadays, purely by reason that there hadn't been a major meltdown to point at. Well Japan's devastation is our wake-up call. This was a General Electric manufactured reactor, of which there are more than 20 similar units operating right here, right now.

Local communities reject these ticking time bombs, reactors designed for several decades use, which are then re-licensed to operate for several more decades beyond their specifications. The motivation for this re-licensing is clearly monetary and not safety related. The plants are literally crumbling and critical cooling pipes are worn so thin as to be the width of a sheet of paper. Numerous plant failures are expected by many observers in the coming few years. But as local entities and state governments vote to stop these hazards and shut them down, the federal government claims authority over "safety" (sic) and simply ignores the demands of the people living at the grounds zero. This is a fascistic system, a private/government partnership that ignores the valid concerns of citizens to force unwanted risk onto them. Citizens are no longer empowered to accept or reject the real risks to property, life and health that they must live under. This is fascism, as it has been from the start, since 1957 anyway.

More recently, the federal Environmental Protection Agency tipped its hand last year by shutting down monitoring of radiation contamination post-Fukushima. The agency scaled back its testing of milk, air and water -- and it never even bothered to test fish -- so that it would only test every three months, and only at 30 sites nationwide. This clear abdication of responsibility happened as the radiation contamination to the United States was becoming more severe. Fukushima was still belching radioisotopes into the atmosphere in the Terrabecquerel range, and radiation had been detected at numerous monitoring sites. Still the EPA under Obama (care) decided to cut back its front line protection of the American public by inexplicably stopping crucial monitoring of radiation in our environment, rather than increasing it as any responsible party would need to do.

Now, as of February 2012, there is still radioactivity in the milk. The University of California Berkely Department of Nuclear Engineering has been on the case, even though the EPA itself has shown itself to be another industry lapdog.

Last year, the EPA's RadNet monitoring site went out of its way to claim:

"These types of findings are to be expected in the coming days and are far below levels of public health concern."
That word "concern" is what concerned the political operators at the EPA the most. They use it multiple times with one message only: don't be concerned, there's nothing to see here. But, that's not actually true.

A year later, we still have cesium-134 and cesium-137 in the milk. UC Berkeley measures it at 150% of the legal level. At 4.5 picocuries per liter, the February 2012 milk samples have exceeded the EPA's own legal threshold of 3 picocuries / liter, making the current milk radioactively contaminated by their own definition. Note also, that milk is but one transmission path for radiation to enter the body, and radiation is passed along in the air, water and food as well.

Is this information given to the public by EPA and a milk recall performed with massive testing and analysis performed to safeguard the nation and its children from further exposure? Not at all. It's a boutique internet piece of infotainment, relegated to the blogosphere. The milk you consume may contribute to killing you one day; I just thought you should know. Sorry you had to hear about it from me.

Radiation trapped within cells can cause "cellular disruption" leading to the death of the cell, or worse, to unchecked cellular reproduction: cancer. "Nuclear radiation is the most carcinogenic thing that exists, and it cannot be kept under control, as the Fukushima tragedy proved," said the head of the Italian Association of Medical Oncology, Carmelo Iacono.

The next move, in a fascistic system, is to simply raise the acceptable level and to pretend that the powerless (that's us) don't have a valid concern, and so will be ignored. The nuclear apologist crowd uses this argument consistently; you see there are no long-term detrimental health effects from radiation, and if you believe otherwise you must be an ignoramus who doesn't understand. The Japanese simply raised the acceptable radition dose to their children 20 fold in the wake of Fukushima. By the stroke of a pen, it was no longer 1mSv / year but 20 mSv/ year. Numbers are so malleable, who cares what they are, right?

My piece last year concerning the Future Children of Fukushima included research from Dr. Yuri Bandashevsky. After confronting the health devastation in the Chernobyl region, Bandashevsky rigorously measured and analyzed the children there. Measurements were performed in Becquerels of radioactivity per unit body weight of the patients. Dr. Bandashevsky came to the conclusion that, "children having 5 Bq/kg more than 80% are healthy, while having 11 Bq/kg only 35% of children are healthy." Numbers matter.

In addition, Bandashevsky and others investigated specific diseases and congenital malformations in newborns. The researchers on the ground in the Chernobyl region challenged the models used by the IAEA to determine negative health impacts from radiation. More than 5,000 studies challenge the methodology and bias of the entrenched nuclear industry and its protectors in the book Chernobyl, Consequences of the Catastrophe for People and the Environment, (2009, New York Academy of Sciences).

Obama's energy department has pushed for $36Bn in loan guarantees to force new nuclear timebombs onto more communities. Is this the primary motivation for the EPA to downplay the contamination from Fukushima, and to make their concern principally about people's "concern"?

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has long been in bed with the industry. An Al Jazeera report, Danger Zone: Ageing Nuclear Reactors, showed an insider account of regulators simply accepting whatever the plant operators told them without the need to verify claims, because plant operators simply aren't supposed to lie to regulators. We've seen regulations at the NRC repeatedly weakened and watered down upon request by plant owners, such that the public safety concern is not taken into account in any capacity. This is done behind the scenes out of sight of the public. We've seen evacuation zones that are completely inadequate and unrealistic, and clearly exposed as such. When Fukushima hit, the president of the United States warned Americans in Japan to evacuate to 50 miles from the plant. That number however is not what's used here at nuclear plants. Plant's evacuation plans are required to have a 10 mile radius, not 50. How did such a glaring oversight get past the president's handlers?

Clearly some are living in a fictional construct about the alleged safety of nuclear plants. This fiction began when our friend the atom was sold to the nation as a cure-all. It remains strong due to the prevalance of industry propaganda and bribery of officials. It is easy to expose the fiction, but the wall of propaganda prevents a coherent message from getting through to the mass audience. Propaganda, that cornerstone of a fascistic system, is heavily in use.

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Mr. Science and I got a divorce in 1948, after yea... by Ned Lud on Friday, Mar 16, 2012 at 6:45:01 AM
to eliminate competition based on the claim that a... by Mark Adams JD/MBA on Saturday, Mar 17, 2012 at 11:26:31 AM
How right you are Mark.  The problem we face ... by AAA AAA on Saturday, Mar 17, 2012 at 1:01:09 PM
Sure the nuclear power industry is fascist, but no... by Robert James on Friday, Mar 16, 2012 at 12:16:11 PM
That's why I chose the word.  The banksters a... by Joe Giambrone on Friday, Mar 16, 2012 at 2:19:16 PM
This is, by far and away, the most perfidious defe... by Ted Andromidas on Friday, Mar 16, 2012 at 12:35:27 PM
Sorry, your rant is misplaced and a bit on the rid... by Joe Giambrone on Friday, Mar 16, 2012 at 2:05:30 PM
There is a growing interest in  Thorium ... by sebra leaves on Friday, Mar 16, 2012 at 1:01:24 PM
Thorium reactors are nuclear reactors and a major ... by Joe Giambrone on Friday, Mar 16, 2012 at 2:07:55 PM
Oh good grief (read as major expletive), why would... by Joan Mootry on Friday, Mar 16, 2012 at 4:27:42 PM
"Nuclear power plants boil water..." .... and, for... by Michael Rose on Saturday, Mar 17, 2012 at 3:51:55 PM
maximize profits for big corporations, why don't w... by Mark Adams JD/MBA on Saturday, Mar 17, 2012 at 11:35:40 AM
Do you think nuclear plants are cost effective?Do ... by Skeptic1 on Saturday, Mar 17, 2012 at 3:46:23 PM
I live in a unregulated power state (Texas). ... by Skeptic1 on Saturday, Mar 17, 2012 at 3:51:00 PM
Fukushima, is GE's deal, a US invention for death ... by Patrick McGean on Friday, Mar 16, 2012 at 1:01:53 PM
This is off the wall advice, and not a realistic r... by Joe Giambrone on Friday, Mar 16, 2012 at 2:12:22 PM
And then, you might realize that neither of them w... by Skeptic1 on Saturday, Mar 17, 2012 at 2:34:23 AM
Skeptic, I don't know where you're coming from, or... by Joe Giambrone on Saturday, Mar 17, 2012 at 1:32:26 PM
You do know that I read my first book on atomic en... by Skeptic1 on Saturday, Mar 17, 2012 at 3:27:55 PM
"You do know that I..."No I don't know that at all... by Joe Giambrone on Saturday, Mar 17, 2012 at 4:24:13 PM
Sorry sir, but my education is a documented fact.&... by Skeptic1 on Saturday, Mar 17, 2012 at 5:15:45 PM
I now actually believe you are an engineer "type" ... by Joan Mootry on Saturday, Mar 17, 2012 at 6:36:34 PM
If you really want to see what is harming the plan... by Skeptic1 on Sunday, Mar 18, 2012 at 4:13:03 AM
Mr. 'a few hours short' sounds like a few hours sh... by AAA AAA on Saturday, Mar 17, 2012 at 8:08:22 PM
But you can only cram in so many courses in if you... by Skeptic1 on Tuesday, Mar 20, 2012 at 2:20:55 AM
But as soon as you answer the legitimate question ... by AAA AAA on Tuesday, Mar 20, 2012 at 6:41:04 AM
You are really getting funny..  I am not miss... by Skeptic1 on Tuesday, Mar 20, 2012 at 2:43:34 PM
It is you that brought up your education.  It... by AAA AAA on Tuesday, Mar 20, 2012 at 4:34:12 PM
Certainly one can have multiple degrees.  A p... by Skeptic1 on Wednesday, Mar 21, 2012 at 12:41:01 AM
What I don't understand is why you are telling me ... by AAA AAA on Wednesday, Mar 21, 2012 at 2:56:12 PM
I think you might be better off to worry about the... by Skeptic1 on Saturday, Mar 17, 2012 at 2:38:04 AM
and if you want to know who that really is, see th... by Mark Adams JD/MBA on Saturday, Mar 17, 2012 at 11:59:51 AM
I always love to read the comments of an American ... by AAA AAA on Saturday, Mar 17, 2012 at 2:33:24 PM
But apparently you aren't aware enough to realize ... by Skeptic1 on Saturday, Mar 17, 2012 at 3:36:47 PM
You can stop wasting your time on me as well.... by Joe Giambrone on Saturday, Mar 17, 2012 at 4:25:49 PM
... to us all is ignorance.... by AAA AAA on Saturday, Mar 17, 2012 at 8:15:01 PM
The Military Industry, Prison Industry, Pharmaceut... by Ty on Saturday, Mar 17, 2012 at 9:43:19 AM
Subject, is the entire genre of "Energy". It is ru... by steve windisch on Saturday, Mar 17, 2012 at 11:26:09 AM
I believe the two nuke power plants on the Enterpr... by Skeptic1 on Saturday, Mar 17, 2012 at 6:24:19 PM
Your examples bury your own case further.The enter... by Joe Giambrone on Saturday, Mar 17, 2012 at 7:13:30 PM
I would really be interested in where the iodine a... by Skeptic1 on Sunday, Mar 18, 2012 at 3:56:48 AM
No picture is worth 500 of your words, but here's&... by GLloyd Rowsey on Saturday, Mar 17, 2012 at 6:59:33 PM
Cooling water is used to cool a nuke plant.  ... by Skeptic1 on Sunday, Mar 18, 2012 at 3:59:53 AM
The vapor in the photo may not (or may) contain ra... by Joe Giambrone on Sunday, Mar 18, 2012 at 3:33:41 PM
He/She will say just about anything at this point.... by Joe Giambrone on Sunday, Mar 18, 2012 at 3:26:52 PM
Welll then my local natural gas powered generating... by Skeptic1 on Monday, Mar 19, 2012 at 3:24:13 AM
These mindless knee-jerk ignorant responses, that ... by Joe Giambrone on Monday, Mar 19, 2012 at 10:41:40 AM
to see how sceptic1 was doing and I am happy that ... by Mark Sashine on Monday, Mar 19, 2012 at 12:59:26 PM
They say there are people who are able to walk bar... by Ned Lud on Monday, Mar 19, 2012 at 1:27:09 PM
As an engineer I benefited very much from the expe... by Mark Sashine on Monday, Mar 19, 2012 at 1:30:05 PM
If the actual disasters don't dissuade you from a ... by Joe Giambrone on Monday, Mar 19, 2012 at 1:37:20 PM
I am working on one such system now. I know a lot ... by Mark Sashine on Monday, Mar 19, 2012 at 1:43:23 PM
Chernobyl Gallery (Real Horrors)... by Joe Giambrone on Monday, Mar 19, 2012 at 2:08:26 PM
and we have no reason to like it.  But  ... by Mark Sashine on Monday, Mar 19, 2012 at 5:00:29 PM
Ignorance and arrogance are like lovers... never f... by AAA AAA on Monday, Mar 19, 2012 at 1:10:27 PM
For instance "then perhaps the very real threat of... by Skeptic1 on Tuesday, Mar 20, 2012 at 1:11:11 AM
Ok, I am still in business, 32 years in engineerin... by Mark Sashine on Tuesday, Mar 20, 2012 at 8:31:09 AM
Mark said:  32 years in engineering, PhD, PE,... by Skeptic1 on Wednesday, Mar 21, 2012 at 12:52:13 AM
I really don't care if malice was the intent or no... by Skeptic1 on Tuesday, Mar 20, 2012 at 2:57:52 PM
You apparently did not  learn much. Because e... by Mark Sashine on Tuesday, Mar 20, 2012 at 4:34:51 PM
You really seem to have a problem with insisting o... by Skeptic1 on Tuesday, Mar 20, 2012 at 5:12:29 PM
from a article on CNN yesterday:  it is worth... by Skeptic1 on Wednesday, Mar 21, 2012 at 3:19:29 PM