Thursday, July 24, 2014

The Problems of Bioaccumulation and Synergy

I've written extensively about the problem of bio-accumulation that occurs as toxins in the environment are stored within the body.

Please see this post for details

The combined effects of "low-levels" of stored toxins are never studied in the tests conducted for FDA and EPA approval processes.

Yet, chemical synergies can threaten health and reproduction. Add radioactive decay to the mix and you have a recipe for species collapse.

We see this process occurring with bees, as this insightful editorial notes:

Mark Winston (2014, July 14) Our Bees, Ourselves: Bees and Colony Collapse. The New York Times,

[Excerpted]....But in the midst of crisis can come learning. Honeybee collapse has much to teach us about how humans can avoid a similar fate, brought on by the increasingly severe environmental perturbations that challenge modern society.
Honeybee collapse has been particularly vexing because there is no one cause, but rather a thousand little cuts. The main elements include the compounding impact of pesticides applied to fields, as well as pesticides applied directly into hives to control mites; fungal, bacterial and viral pests and diseases; nutritional deficiencies caused by vast acreages of single-crop fields that lack diverse flowering plants; and, in the United States, commercial beekeeping itself, which disrupts colonies by

moving most bees around the country multiple times each year to pollinate crops.

The real issue, though, is not the volume of problems, but the interactions among them. Here we find a core lesson from the bees that we ignore at our peril: the concept of synergy, where one plus one equals three, or four, or more ....[end]

Majia here: This article does not address radionuclides, but I suspect that fallout in California may be responsible for accelerating the rate of decline of bees there in 2013:

I discussed the accelerating bee colony collapse in CA in 2013 here:

See also:

How long before we are next?

It seems unlikely there is a species on the planet so intent on its own destruction and so blind to its means.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Workplace Secrecy Agreement at Hanford

Higham, S. & K. Belval. (2014, June 29).Workplace secrecy agreements appear to violate federal whistleblower laws (2014, June 29). The Washington Post,
[Excerpted] In November 2012, the U.S. Department of Energy asked contract employees at the Hanford plutonium processing plant in Washington state to take an unusual oath.

The DOE wanted them to sign nondisclosure agreements that prevented them from reporting wrongdoing at the nation’s most contaminated nuclear facility without getting approval from an agency supervisor. The agreements also barred them from using any information for financial gain, a possible violation of federal whistleblower laws, which allow employees to collect reward money for reporting wrongdoing.
The Washington Post interviewed Donna Busche, who managed environmental and nuclear safety at  the Hanford waste treatment facility for federal contractors. She was fired after whistleblowing about safety issues. She had signed Hanford's non-disclosure agreement, which she described as a "gag order": “The message was pretty clear: ‘Don’t say anything to anyone, or else.’ ”

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Daiichi Today

Thanks for everyone's comments about what is happening at Daiichi. I'm sorry I haven't had time to respond individually. I'm pressing against a July 30 deadline for our edited book, Fukushima: Dispossession or DeNuclearization. My editing skills are being tried and I've discovered my ambivalent relationship with the comma. 

Back to the webcam. It just doesn't look like fog to me so I'm concerned, especially given that TEPCO recently acknowledged it had a cooling problem with unit 5 (see Simply Information for details