Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Human Engineered Radioactive Beach Sand & Ocean Sediment Contaminate Sea for Decades

Happy Halloween. Here is some scary news for you concerning the legacy of the cult of death that continues to control international conceptions and deployments of security.

A new study described at Phy.Org reports that radioactivity "lingers" in Marshall Island seafloor sediment from 1946-1958 nuclear bomb tests, particularly plutonium:
Radioactivity lingers from 1946-1958 nuclear bomb tests (October 31, 2017 ), https://phys.org/news/2017-10-radioactivity-lingers-nuclear.html

… The levels of plutonium are 100 or more times higher in lagoon waters compared to the surrounding Pacific Ocean and about two times higher for a radioactive form of cesium. Despite these enrichments, they do not exceed U.S. and international water quality standards set to protect human health, the scientists reported Oct. 30, 2017, in the journal Science of the Total Environment.

….Using isotopes of plutonium that act like a fingerprint to pinpoint sources, the WHOI scientists found that the seafloor sediments around Runit Island seem to be contributing about half of the plutonium to the lagoon

… The WHOI research team also compared the radioactive contamination at the Marshall Islands to the contamination found today near Fukushima in Japan in the aftermath of the Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Plant disaster. "In contrast to Fukushima, where cesium is the most abundant radionuclide of concern, in these atolls, the focus should be on plutonium, given its significantly high levels," said WHOI radiochemist Ken Buesseler.
Whereas plutonium is the greatest stated concern in the Marshall Islands, radiocesium is the greatest stated concern in Fukushima beach sands, which were also recently reported as contaminated:
Scientists find new source of radioactivity from Fukushima disaster (October 2, 2017 ). PhysOrg, https://phys.org/news/2017-10-scientists-source-radioactivity-fukushima-disaster.html#nRlv

Scientists have found a previously unsuspected place where radioactive material from the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant disaster has accumulated—in sands and brackish groundwater beneath beaches up to 60 miles away. The sands took up and retained radioactive cesium originating from the disaster in 2011 and have been slowly releasing it back to the ocean.

"No one is either exposed to, or drinks, these waters, and thus public health is not of primary concern here," the scientists said in a study published October 2 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. But "this new and unanticipated pathway for the storage and release of radionuclides to the ocean should be taken into account in the management of coastal areas where nuclear power plants are situated."
I wonder how radioactive beach sands are near the San Onofre and Diablo Canyon nuclear power plants in California?

The solution to this problem for the cult of death is to raise the permissible dose, which has recently occurred in the form of the EPA's new radiological guidance.

The cult of death responsible for this state of affairs should be replaced by a cult of life that acknowledges interdependence and precarity.


Monday, October 30, 2017

Kobe Steel's Nuclear Tentacles

A few days ago I posted questions concerning the recent revelations of fraud in Kobe steel certification and the nuclear supply chain:
Was Flawed Kobe Steel Used in Construction of Japan's Troubled Rokkasho Plant? http://majiasblog.blogspot.com/2017/10/was-flawed-kobe-steel-used-in.html  
More on Kobe Steel Scandal and Unanswered Questions About Nuclear Supply Chains http://majiasblog.blogspot.com/2017/10/more-on-kobe-steel-scandal-and.htm
Now Shaun Bernie has an excellent article in the Asia Times addressing these questions about the steel in the nuclear supply chain:
Bernie, Shaun (2017, October 30). Kobe Steel’s Nuclear Tentacles. The Asia Times, http://www.atimes.com/article/nuclear-tentacles-kobe-steel/

The global nuclear industry developed over the past fifty years dependent upon vast quantities of steel components supplied by a relatively small number of specialized manufacturers. One of them is Kobe Steel Ltd. The steelmaker, a pillar of corporate Japan, is embroiled in the early days of disclosure of falsification of steel manufacturing data that extends to products used in planes and trains, to motor vehicles and spacecraft. And nuclear power plants.

Kobe Steel and its broad collection of subsidiaries have supplied products to the nuclear industry both in Japan and around the world since the 1960’s.

It’s a fair bet that every one of the 60 nuclear reactors operated in Japan since 1966 had some component supplied by Kobe Steel.
Greenpeace provides more details on the supply chain here:
Greenpeace (2017, October) The Kobe Steel Group Supply Chain to the Nuclear Industry And Safety Implications http://www.greenpeace.org/japan/Global/japan/pdf/Kobesteel_20171024.pdf
Strongly recommended readings.

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Propaganda Near and Far

History is always socially constructed, with its facts, narratives, and implied value orientations contingent upon the the orator's perspective.

The dominant or official historical narrative tends to reflect the perspective of those who control decision-making in the society. But there are always alternative historical narratives, which have the capacity to circulate widely and mobilize individuals into communities who share suspicion of official chronologies, "facts," and values.

The materialities of the world we inhabit - the physical, biological, and social-structural environments - also signify positively or negatively in relation to our narrations, reinforcing or challenging narrative codings.

For example, the narrative of technological utopianism is losing ground as the material wreckage of the twentieth century signifies negation of utopian promise:
Warning of 'ecological Armageddon' after dramatic plunge in insect numbers . The Guardian, https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/oct/18/warning-of-ecological-armageddon-after-dramatic-plunge-in-insect-numbers 
Three-quarters of flying insects in nature reserves across Germany have vanished in 25 years, with serious implications for all life on Earth, scientists say
Even the materiality of human bodies signifies negation of the prospect of technology-driven human evolution as sperm counts plummet and sperm quality degrades:
Hagai Levine, Niels Jørgensen, Anderson Martino-Andrade, Jaime Mendiola, Dan Weksler-Derri, Irina Mindlis, Rachel Pinotti, and Shanna H. Swan (2017). Temporal trends in sperm count: a systematic review and meta-regression analysis. Human Reproduction Update, pp. 1–14, 2017. doi:10.1093/humupd/dmx022
Fading meta-narratives, however, die hard.

Nuclear security is the perfect case example of a fading but entrenched dominant narrative as problems of spent fuel storage, radioactive contamination, catastrophic accidents, and endless costs belie the mid-twentieth century promise of endless energy too cheap to meter. The rising spectacle of nuclear war demonstrates the nuclear security's narrative utter psychotic detachment from the materialities of the world upon which we depend.

However, dominant narratives, once engineered, are difficult to displace because they are materialized in institutional missions, expertise, and professional practices.

Propaganda is an-often deployed strategy aimed at remedying a collapsing dominant narrative.

Propaganda's intention is deception, for the purposes of control. To deceive means to actively mislead, to resort to falsehoods (Merriam-Webster).

Deception can be deployed for many reasons but with propaganda the intention of deception is control.

Propaganda is actually a sign of a failing meta-narrative, because it must blatantly deny or re-construct widely or expert agreed-upon social facts.

Propaganda deploys multiple strategies in campaigns to deceive for the purposes of control, including among them simple repitition of information whose truth-value is being strategically engineered, as explained here by the BBC:
Tom Stafford (26 October 2016 ). How liars create the ‘illusion of truth’ The BBC, http://www.bbc.com/future/story/20161026-how-liars-create-the-illusion-of-truth

“Repeat a lie often enough and it becomes the truth”, is a law of propaganda often attributed to the Nazi Joseph Goebbels. Among psychologists something like this known as the "illusion of truth" effect. Here's how a typical experiment on the effect works: participants rate how true trivia items are, things like "A prune is a dried plum". Sometimes these items are true (like that one), but sometimes participants see a parallel version which isn't true (something like "A date is a dried plum").

After a break – of minutes or even weeks – the participants do the procedure again, but this time some of the items they rate are new, and some they saw before in the first phase. The key finding is that people tend to rate items they've seen before as more likely to be true, regardless of whether they are true or not, and seemingly for the sole reason that they are more familiar.
Propagandists always share a certainty in their narrations that rely on the marginalization and/or de-valuation of alternative narrations.

The repetition of known falsehoods is most efficacious when resistant narratives are fractured divisively and when their circulations are limited  and/or fail to take hold.

I have watched propaganda operate to produce dominant narrations of events and phenomena that are international, national, and local in their dissemination.

Typically, deceptions are disclosed in oppositional narrations, but the shift in truth regime can take decades, sometimes longer.

There is a visceral reaction experienced by those who recognize propaganda, derived from their understanding that although the full truth (alethia) of a phenomenon is unknowable, alternative narratives far better align with consensual understandings and institutionalized social facts.

The visceral reaction is most acute when the propaganda is both toxic, implicitly degrading the dignity and viability of forms of life, and when propagandists monopolize control over decision-making and/or resources.

I am sick with the propaganda. I am sick that so much of this propaganda is toxic in nature, DE-valuing life in aim or effect. I am sick that too many decision makers near and far are the most invested propagandists.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Precarious Becomings

Precarious Becomings is the title of my new book project on autism, which I've been collecting data for, but haven't yet begun writing.

What I mean to argue is that the becomings - the biological, cultural, and social unfoldings of human beings -- are precarious; that is, they are both uncertain and vulnerable.

Precarity is an ontological condition of life because life is utterly dependent upon sustaining systems that enable growth and comportment in particular ways, analogized as a kind of biological-cultural-social tropism.

Systems self-organize, but their modes of self-organization (i.e., abstract principles representing patterns of relationships) are themselves precarious becomings, as principles of order can optimize diverse life or constrain and/or prevent it.

It is clear to me that self-organization of life on planet earth is breaking down. I provide an account of why in my most recent book Crisis communication, liberal democracy and ecological sustainability.
Here is an excerpt from that book, updated with some new research findings -- findings that many might perceive as extending well beyond the subject of autism, but I believe are integrally related to it:

In 2013, an international panel of marine scientists urged that immediate efforts be taken to mitigate severe ocean degradation.[i] Ocean degradation is killing off marine species at alarming rates.[ii] Ocean degradation results from human activities, including direct habitat destruction, industrial emissions and effluents, and catastrophic accidents such as Fukushima and the BP oil spill, among myriad other human externalizations.

Humans may very well have engineered a mass extinction event, argued a coalition of scientists in “Has the Earth’s Sixth Mass Extinction Already Arrived?” published in the prestigious journal, Nature.[iii] Biodiversity is currently collapsing at a rate comparable to previous mass extinctions, causing some scientists to predict that 75 percent of species will be gone over the next few centuries if present trends continue.[iv] More specifically, “the average rate of vertebrate species loss over the last century is up to 100 times higher than the background rate.”[v]

Most recently, a study published in PLOS One found more than a 75% decline of flying insects in Western Europe over a 27 year period:

Caspar A. Hallmann , Martin Sorg, Eelke Jongejans, Henk Siepel, Nick Hofland, Heinz Schwan, Werner Stenmans, Andreas Müller, Hubert Sumser, Thomas Hörren, Dave Goulson, Hans de Kroon (2017, October 18). More than 75 percent decline over 27 years in total flying insect biomass in protected areas. PLOS One, 12(10): e0185809. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0185809

The mass extinctions could potentially include humans given their amazing capacity to engineer risk while denying their exponential depletion and/or contamination of vital resources. New research documenting dramatic declines in men's sperm count and quality global illustrates both our precarity and our self-delusion:
Hagai Levine, Niels Jørgensen, Anderson Martino-Andrade, Jaime Mendiola, Dan Weksler-Derri, Irina Mindlis, Rachel Pinotti, and Shanna H. Swan (2017). Temporal trends in sperm count: a systematic review and meta-regression analysis. Human Reproduction Update, pp. 1–14, 2017. doi:10.1093/humupd/dmx022

Chuan Huang, Baishun Li, Kongrong Xu, Dan Liu, Jing Hu, Yang Yang, HongChuan Nie, Liqing Fan, Wenbing Zhu, ( ). Decline in semen quality among 30,636 young Chinese men from 2001 to 2015Fertility and Sterility, 107(1), 83–88.e2 DOI:
Life is precarious. We better recognize that before its too late. Unfortunately, in the US there is a decided shift toward dis-organization, as I discussed recently in my review of the EPA's new radiation protection guidance ( HERE ).


[i] “Latest Review of Science Reveals Ocean in Critical State from Cumulative Impacts,” International Programme on the State of the Ocean, October 3, 2013, accessed October 3, 2013, http://www.stateoftheocean.org/research.cfm.

[ii] Douglas J. McCauley, Malin L. Pinsky, Stephen Palumbi, James Estes, Francois Joyce and Robert R. Warner, “Marine Defaunation: Animal loss in the Global Ocean,” Science 347 (2015): accessed November 2, 2015, doi: 10.1126/science.1255641.

[iii] Anthony D. Barnowsky, Nicholas Matzke, Susumu Tomiya, Guinevere O. U. Wogan, Brian Schwartz, Tiago B. Quental, Charles Marshall, Jenny L. McGuire, Emily L. Lindsey, Kaitlin C. Maguire, Ben Mersey and Elizabeth A. Ferrer, “Has the Earth’s Sixth Mass Extinction Already Arrived,” Nature 471 (2011): 51–57, accessed November 10, 2011, doi:10.1038/nature09678.

[iv] Richard Monastersky, “First Atomic Blast Proposed as Start of Anthropocene,” Nature (January 16, 2015): Accessed January 20, 2015, doi:10.1038/nature.2015.16739.

[v] Gerardo Ceballos, Paul R. Ehrlich, Anthony D. Barnosky, Andrés García, Robert M. Pringle and Todd M. Palmer, “Accelerated Modern Human–Induced Species Losses: Entering the Sixth Mass Extinction,” Science Advances 1 (2015): accessed June 23, 2015, doi: 10.1126/sciadv.1400253.

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Nuclear Risk Landscapes and the Circulations of their Effluents Missing from Accounts of Global Environmental Collapse

The US has Hanford, among other iconic sites, and the UK has Sellafield. These sites are extreme "risk landscapes" as described by Blowers in his "Nuclear Wastelands"
Blowers, Andrew (2017, August). Nuclear’s wastelands part 1 – landscapes of the legacy of nuclear power. Town & Country, 303-308, p. 304.
This recent "chemical alert" at Sellafield illustrates the catastrophic risks encoded in nuclear risk landscapes:

Chemical alert brings Bomb Squad to Sellafield’s confined Separation Area (21, October 2017)

Sellafield Ltd was forced to put out a press statement in the early hours of this morning (Saturday 21st October) to calm fears of a potential chemical explosion in a laboratory on site. This followed an audit being carried out by the Company which yesterday had identified a number of canisters containing ‘non-nuclear’ chemical solvent which had been stored in the laboratory for 25 years.

Whilst refusing to identify it, Sellafield Ltd confirmed that the chemical – an industrial solvent no longer used on site – once crystalized, had the potential to become unstable and pose a significant fire hazard if exposed to air.
Sellafield Ltd confirmed to CORE today that the unnamed laboratory was located in the site’s Separation Area. Denying that any workers had been evacuated from the Sellafield site, the Company confirmed that a cordon had been set up some 100 metres around the laboratory and workers had been evacuated from buildings within the cordon. 
The Separation Area, shown within the Sellafield site, is home to facilities built for Windscale’s military operations 50 years ago. As some of the oldest buildings on the site, the Area includes the highly hazardous Legacy Ponds and Silos, old reprocessing plant – all now under various stages of decommissioning – as well as the currently operating Magnox reprocessing plant, the array of High Level Waste tanks and the Vitrification Plant. The confined space between buildings continues to cause additional difficulties for decommissioning and other work.
Lack of regard for environmental and health consequences results in indelible scarring of systems necessary for human survival.

Accordingly, I am reminded of the recent study on the collapse of insect populations in Germany, documented here:
Caspar A. Hallmann , Martin Sorg, Eelke Jongejans, Henk Siepel, Nick Hofland, Heinz Schwan, Werner Stenmans, Andreas Müller, Hubert Sumser, Thomas Hörren, Dave Goulson, Hans de Kroon (2017, October 18). More than 75 percent decline over 27 years in total flying insect biomass in protected areas. PLOS One, 12(10): e0185809. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0185809
And described accessibly here:
Gretchen Vogel (October 18, 2017). Germany’s insects are disappearing. Science, http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2017/10/germany-s-insects-are-disappearing 
In just 3 decades, insect populations in German nature reserves have plummeted by more than 75%, according to a new study. The reasons for the decline aren’t clear, but the pattern is consistent over a swath of western and northern Germany, from the region around Bonn and Cologne to the countryside south of Berlin. For 27 years, members of the Krefeld Entomological Society near Dusseldorf have monitored flying insect populations—everything from parasitic wasps to hoverflies and wild bees—in dozens of nature reserves. In recent years, they noticed a steep decline in their catch, with biomass dropping by some 82% in the summer when insect populations peak. Their attempts to match the decline with changes in weather, landscapes, and plant coverage—in collaboration with scientists in the Netherlands and the United Kingdom—don’t explain the loss, they report today in PLOS ONE. The scientists speculate that intensive agriculture surrounding the nature reserves has played a role, but they don’t have data on factors such as pesticide use in neighboring fields. The decline is likely having wide-ranging effects on plants and other animals, such as insect-eating birds. The researchers say that better monitoring of these crucial, but overlooked, members of ecosystems is urgently needed...
Also see:
Gretchen Vogel (may 10, 2017). Where have all the insects gone? Science. doi:10.1126/science.aal1160 http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2017/05/where-have-all-insects-gone
...Now, a new set of long-term data is coming to light, this time from a dedicated group of mostly amateur entomologists who have tracked insect abundance at more than 100 nature reserves in western Europe since the 1980s.

Over that time the group, the Krefeld Entomological Society, has seen the yearly insect catches fluctuate, as expected. But in 2013 they spotted something alarming. When they returned to one of their earliest trapping sites from 1989, the total mass of their catch had fallen by nearly 80%. Perhaps it was a particularly bad year, they thought, so they set up the traps again in 2014. The numbers were just as low. Through more direct comparisons, the group—which had preserved thousands of samples over 3 decades—found dramatic declines across more than a dozen other sites.
What is missing from these accounts of collapsing eco-systems is the role of nuclear risk landscapes and the circulations of their global effluents.

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Why is Enenews Down?

Some readers here may have frequented the anti-nuclear, aggregator website, Enenews.com.

Enenews was a news aggregator site that appeared online during the early days of the Fukushima Daiichi disaster. It appears to have been finally taken down from the web this last week.

I found Enenews particularly significant because it hosted the most frequented English-language discussion of Fukushima cam imagery. As of June 2016, Enenews was ranked 153,579 in Japan and 69,699 in the US by Alexa.

Enenews’ first post was dated March 23, 2011.[i] On May 22, 2011, the “general discussion” forum was established, with the second post on this forum alerting readers to a video from the online TEPCO webcam that had been saved and uploaded to YouTube.[ii] Enenews established a dedicated webcam discussion forum June 26, 2011 to facilitate conversation about the cams.[iii]

In a research paper I recently completed I argue pessimistically that webcam watching had no discernable impact on mainstream news or political discussion of conditions at the plant beyond the few references cited above, as of 2016.

Webcam watchers’ sustained failure to problematize cold shutdown outside of online platforms eroded participation in webcam watching and sharing. In 2015, it became impossible to post new comments sequentially on the webcam forum because of technological glitches, effectively ending four years of protracted discussion at Enenews. Webcam watching participation and discussion dropped off significantly as a result, although a few watchers continue to record observations on personal blogs and at a new, less-trafficked platform (http://caferadlab.com/forum-5.html). Interest in webcam screenshots rises after periodic reports of earthquakes centered near the plant.

I stopped frequenting Enenews regularly when the webcam discussion forum failed, checking in only periodically to read comments in the discussion forum.  The quality of comments in the various discussion forums had become rather stale, but most recently I observed some very HIGH QUALITY discussion and hypothesizing regarding radiation's biological effects on this discussion forum, which can only be accessed through the Wayback Machine now:
Hidden Fukushima nuclear waste being released into ocean — ‘Surprisingly’ high levels of radiation now detected along Pacific coast and in groundwater far from reactors — Expert: No one expected this — “Alarming example of how radiation has spread”
I cannot but wonder whether this high quality discussion is what led to the abrupt mid-month shut-down of Enenews:

    • CodeShutdown
heres a question; is ONE atom of cesium137 per cell a concern? Can it do anything at all to speak of? Pretty sure it isnt radiating until it decays and then its a quick trip or two to barium stability. One atom.
According to an estimate made by engineers at Washington University, there are around 100,000,000,000,000 or 100 trillion atoms in a human cell. Could ONE atom of cesium do anything to disrupt 100 trillion atoms?

Its a key question, and one must know the answer to successfully argue against Woods Hole's continued statement that Fukushima radiation is of no concern.
Ive been giving answers for a long time! Now I want to hear some answers from other people

      • waitinanquakin
oh well -
…the amount of energy absorbed by a mass of cells is not what determines biological effect. What matters is the spacial concentration of ionizing events in relation to cellular molecular components hit. Internal emitters are densely ionizing.

You know what this also means? The ICRP model is a FAILED model in relation to describing the effects of internally ingested LLR.
The model has been myopically designed not to recognise the effects of low level radiological exposure, and only cancer and directly observable birth defects of living newborns, despite the a plethora of other illnesses may result from organic molecular damage. The evidence of numerous studies bears this out. (Thank you white wolf)

        • CodeShutdown
or-well steps to the plate! Good job too

I ask about one atom for a reason. Is one atom densely ionizing? I mean forget about low and high energy tracks…just the radiation from one atom. I would say no, its not a high density radiation source…its not doing much of anything until it cant take the unstable thoughts and then it goes to barium then stable, 90% of the time. One atom is not a constant source of becquerels.

If my little stab at it was correct, we are at a biologically significant dose of Cs137 with an average of one atom per cell. A near fatal dose is about 130 atoms per cell (whole body average). Compare to K-40; we have about six million radioactive potassium atoms (k-40) per cell! (unless I messed up the numbers!)

This is the foundation that lets Beusseler say there is no harm from the fallout…"our radioactive ocean" is the Woods Hole and NOAA theme to placate the public. The scientific and legal base is the ICRP dose model. You might guess I have some thoughts about this low dose conundrum.


October 5, 2017 at 11:31 pm Log in to Reply

I think its key to realize that just adding free radical de activators is not the be all and end all of why herbs and vit c and stuff can combat cancer from low level radiation. Gerson found that the cell voltage had to be high to combat cancer…but later research found that the intercellular communication that relies on the ion channels, the bioelectric fields has a primary role. Cancer isnt a single cell disease. Low level radiation is not a DNA double strand break problem for the most part. Added free radical load has an effect but what it is EXACTLY? It is the cascade of effects, resulting in a breakdown of intercellular communications which ultimately leads to a metasticized cancer.

The fact that chitin and other endogenous material have this ion exchange property that bioaccumulates radiation of high specific activity seems like a VERY good line of research.

You see, the high specific activity shouldnt come into play if the cesium is evenly distributed at the atomic level (not totally true, but for the point). One atom out of six million. But if the cesium accumulates into hot regions of fungi, or amino acid neurotransmitters, or parasites, then the inter-cellular communication system is disrupted. Kill the parasites, the fungi (not very easy!!), get the heavy metals out, fortify the body with its required nutrition and low level radiation will not have the cancerous effect.

I recommend using the wayback machine to go back and read the commentary on this excellent forum discussion.


[i] Smoke/steam rising from all 4 reactor units — Workers evacuated (VIDEO). (2011, March 23). Enenews. Available from, http://enenews.com/nhk-at-7pm-et-smokesteam-rising-from-all-4-reactor-units-workers-evacuated-video.

[ii] FORUM: Discussion Thread for May 26 - June 1, 2011 (2011, May 26). Enenews. Available from, http://enenews.com/energynews-energetic-thoughts/comment-page-1#comments. The specific comment link is http://enenews.com/energynews-energetic-thoughts/comment-page-1#comment-71092.

[iii] Fukushima webcam discussion thread June 26, 2011 – December 14, 2011. (2011, June 26). Enenews. Available from, http://enenews.com/fukushima-webcam-discussion-thread/comment-page-1#comments, accessed June 27, 2011.