Friday, December 9, 2016

Leaked NRC Memo Documents Problems at Pilgrim Nulcear Plant

BOSTON GLOBE: Andersen, Travis, Pilgrim nuclear plant staff said to be ‘overwhelmed’, Boston Globe, Dec 8, 2016.

[excerpted] Staff at the Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station appear to be “overwhelmed” and struggling to improve performance at the facility, which has a poor safety record and is set to close in less than three years, according to an internal memo from a federal regulator made public on Tuesday.

The memo, authored by Donald Jackson of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, indicated that inspectors had found a “safety culture problem’’ during their ongoing review, along with problems with maintenance, engineering, and the reliability of equipment at the 44-year-old plant.

Jackson’s memo was inadvertently sent to an environmental advocate, who forwarded the message to the Cape Cod Times. The newspaper posted the memo online Tuesday....

Americans' Lifespan is Shrinking: Experts Blame Victims

Yesterday, news circulated that Americans' death rate was rising ever so slightly. The article from the Wall Street Journal covered this news reports as follows:
Betsy McKay and Ron Winslow. December 8, 2016. Heart Disease Pushes Up Death Rate. The Wall Street Journal, A3.
Americans are dying from heart disease at a faster rate, stalling four decades of gains against the nation’s leading killer and driving up the US mortality rate overall. The death rate from heart disease rose 0.9% last year, according to US mortality data released Thursday by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. The death rate rose 3% for stroke, the fifth leading cause of death. Both changes, which researchers tie in large part to the rise in obesity and diabetes, helped push life expectancy down by one-tenth of a percentage point, to 78.8 years, according to the CDC…. Now the agency says the overall death rate rose 1.2% in 2015, to 733.1 per 100,000 people, the first significant increase in mortality overall in the US since 1999….
Did you read that the death rate for stroke rose 3%? That is a significant increase! Note that the article attributes the cause of the rising death rate to a condition ultimately framed as a LIFESTYLE choice (i.e., obesity).

What is "funny" about this report is that it is essentially replicating the results reported in 2015 of a rising death rate in middle-aged white populations. At that time, the rise in deaths was attributed to abuse of prescription/illegal drugs and alcohol:
Kimberly Leonard, "What Reports About White People Dying Missed," US News November 13, 2015,
Written by Princeton economists Anne Case and Angus Deaton, the report found mortality rates for whites began rising in 1999 and continued to do so through 2013. The rise was driven by drug and alcohol overdoses, suicide, chronic liver disease and cirrhosis.... The authors presented their data without directly stating the root cause for the destructive behaviors they identified as driving the trend, though they noted the prevalence of opioid use the U.S. has seen. They noted as well that a large group of people report difficulties with pain, which can lead them to take prescription painkillers or place them at risk of suicide. Prescription drugs, conversely, can make pain worse as their effects begin to diminish, and also have the potential to invoke suicidal thoughts. They additionally can be a gateway to illegal drugs such as heroin.
So, in the 2015 account, Americans were reported as dying at a higher rate from their bad habits. They were also reported as dying more from pregnancy.

CNN reported in 2015 that maternal mortality starting rising in the US in 2011:
Kelly Wallace, "Why is the maternal mortality rate going up in the United States?" CNN, December 11, 2015,
An increasing mortality rate for American mothers in 2015? How could that be?  First, the numbers: More than 25 years ago, in 1987, there were 7.2 deaths of mothers per 100,000 live births in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In 2011, that number more than doubled, jumping to 17.8 deaths per 100,000 births.
In sum, the media attributed Americans' shortening lifespan to lifestyle conditions that ultimately can be linked back to the individual: diet, consumption of dangerous drugs/alcohol, and pregnancy.

In contrast, news in the UK attributed the rising death rate in that country to "austerity":
Austerity causes biggest rise in England’s death rate since WWII – health expert. RT, February 16, 2016, Published time: 16 Feb, 2016 15:23

Preliminary figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) indicate mortality rates in 2015 rose by 5.4 percent on 2014 - an increase of nearly 27,000 deaths, bringing the total to 528,340.  Death rates in England and Wales had been falling since the 1970s, but this trend reversed in 2011 when mortality rates started rising.Health advisers are now saying the rising death rate could be caused by cuts to vital social services
The rising rate of autism in California and New Jersey over the last couple of years are not attributed to any particular cause and are not connected in the mainstream media to the rising death rates cited above:
Reese, Phillip. July 18 2016. Autism rates in California public schools jumped 7 percent in 2016. Sacramento Bee,
The increase was especially sharp among kindergartners, where autism cases grew by 17 percent last year [2015]. More than one of every 65 kindergartners in California public schools is classified as autistic.

Autism New Jersey. March 31, 2016. Prevalence Rate in New Jersey Rises to 1 in 41: National Rate Remains Unchanged at 1 in 68.

March 31, 2016 --New Jersey again has the highest rates of those states evaluated: with 1 in 41 children (2.5% of children). This percentage is higher than the average percentage identified with ASD (1.5%) in all communities in the United States where CDC tracked ASD in 2012. The New Jersey rate marks an increase of 12% from the previous 1 in 45 statistic released two years ago.

I believe that the Fukushima nuclear disaster may be contributing (not exclusively causing but contributing) to rising rates of autism, stroke, and cardiovascular disease.
(see my discussion of autism here:
and my autism conference paper
The role of Fukushima fallout and other environmental causes of autism and the rising death rates in the US and UK are entirely OBSCURED by mainstream media accounts that BLAME THE INDIVIDUAL for poor LIFESTYLE choices.

I can imagine a dystopic future with dramatically declining longevity and health described in mainstream media by health "experts" as resulting directly from individuals' poor lifestyle choices.

We are almost there already....


King Salmon Missing

Speculation on Hermit Crabs in San Diego:

Cockroaches MIA:

Sea lion Deaths:
Stranded Sea Lions in Southern California and Fukushima Fallout

Bees and others:

North American Monarch Colonies Hit Record Low this year March 2013

Pacific Ocean tipping points

Bioaccumulation: Cesium is One Among the 1000 Radi...

Majia's Blog: Contaminated Water at Fukushima Daiichi ...

Majia's Blog: Will Fukushima Daiichi Kill Vast Swathes of ...

Majia's Blog: Endless Atmospheric and Ocean Emissions

How much Fukushima Fuel is in the Ocean

Majia's Blog: Ocean Releases

Majia's Blog: Humanity's End Foretold in Destruction of Oceans

Majia's Blog: Compromised Oceans Mean Compromised People

Majia's Blog: Fukushima Radiation Plumes in the Ocean Headed to ...

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Will Native Americans Be Re-Victimized?

All I can hope is that this is just some crazy idea being fielded that will quickly fall to the wayside:
Valerie Volcovici (December 5, 2016). Trump advisors aim to privatize oil-rich Indian reservations. Reuters,

Native American reservations cover just 2 percent of the United States, but they may contain about a fifth of the nation’s oil and gas, along with vast coal reserves. Now, a group of advisors to President-elect Donald Trump on Native American issues wants to free those resources from what they call a suffocating federal bureaucracy that holds title to 56 million acres of tribal lands, two chairmen of the coalition told Reuters in exclusive interviews.

The group proposes to put those lands into private ownership - a politically explosive idea that could upend more than century of policy designed to preserve Indian tribes on U.S.-owned reservations, which are governed by tribal leaders as sovereign nations.
Bad feeling growing...

Fukushima Webcam 1: Is that Steam?

TEPCO reported that cooling to unit 3 was interrupted on December 5:
Associated Press. December 5, 2016. Fukushima reactor briefly loses cooling during inspection. The Asahi Shimbun,
One of the melted reactors at tsunami-hit Fukushima nuclear power plant had a temporary loss of cooling when a worker accidentally bumped a switch while passing through a narrow aisle of switch panels during an inspection and turned off the pumping system.  The plant operator, Tokyo Electric Power Co., said cooling for the No. 3 reactor, one of the three reactors that melted following the 2011 earthquake and tsunami, was out for nearly one hour Monday until a backup pump kicked in.
Here is a screenshot from TEPCO webcam 1 that shows a plume of something coming up from unit 3. That something was perhaps a little worse than ordinary on December 5 but it hasn't looked good since the ice wall was reported as failing.

I noticed what may possibly be steam around unit 1. Its hard to tell from these screenshots: