Public Accounts Committee – Thirty-Seventh Report HM Treasury: Whole of Government Accounts 2010-11 HM Treasury: Whole of Government Accounts 2010-11 – Public Accounts Committee Contents
11 April 2013 “…… The C&AG’s report on the 2010-11 WGA shows the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority’s estimated cost of civil nuclear decommissioning increased by around £16 billion to £53 billion between 2007 and 2011. We asked the Treasury how the WGA would be used to influence any decision made in relation to future investments in the nuclear sector. The Treasury acknowledged that not considering these costs when the power stations were built had been a mistake, and considered that the critical issue was to factor in these costs in future, so that the taxpayer would not be burdened with unexpected additional costs of £60 billion.[ http://uk.groups.yahoo.com/group/Claverton/message/10673
Radiation Is Not On People’s Radar, Dr. Mark Sircus, Activist Post, 9 April 13, “……….Iodine in the Air The risks associated with iodine-131 contamination in Europe were not “negligible,” after Fukushima exploded in 2011, according to CRIIRAD, a French research body on radioactivity. They advised at that time for pregnant women and infants against “risky behavior,” such as consuming fresh milk or vegetables with large leaves. In response to thousands of inquiries from citizens concerned about fallout from the Fukushima nuclear disaster in Europe, CRIIRAD has compiled an information package on the risks of radioactive iodine-131 contamination in Europe.
CRIIRAD said it had detected radioactive iodine-131 in rainwater in south-eastern France. In parallel testing, the French Institute for Radiological Protection and Nuclear Safety (IRSN), the national public institution monitoring nuclear and radiological risks, found iodine 131 in milk. In normal times, no trace of iodine-131 should be detectable in rainwater or milk. Radiation monitors in Canada, in Ontario, New Brunswick and British Columbia also detected radioactive iodine.
In the United States the 2011 EPA data showed rising levels of Iodine-131, Cesium-134, and Cesium-137 up to 300% of maximum limits. Hawaii milk samples showed radiation 800% above normal for Cesium-134, 633% for Cesium-137, and 600% for Iodine-131.
One of the reasons the medical establishment is incapable of responding to the nuclear threat and the spreading contamination from Japan (that is circling the globe) is that it is an institution that loves to use radioactive iodine, a substance that causes cancer, to treat cancer
According to a 2011 study published in Cancer researchers are fingering doctors who are treating patients with early-stage, low-risk thyroid cancer using radioactive iodine, which does not increase their chances of surviving but does instead put them at risk for a secondary cancer. “Our study shows that these low-risk patients do not need radioactive iodine,” Dr. Ian Ganly, one of the study’s authors from Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York, told Reuters Health. “Therefore there is no need to expose these patients to any risk from (radioactive iodine) treatment,” he said in an email.
The American Thyroid Association endorses the use of radioactive iodine even though it causes cancer of the salivary gland—where radioactive iodine may accumulate—as well as leukemia. Dr. Ganly said the risk of leukemia increases because radioactive iodine circulates in the blood, thus exposing bone marrow to its tissue-killing effects……
Japan nuclear safety plans too lax for crowded, quake-prone nation, say nuclear experts The Star, By: Mari Yamaguchi The Associated Press,Apr 08 2013 TOKYO
“…….TEPCO is moving tons of highly radioactive water from the temporary tanks to two similar ones nearby to minimize the leak. They are among seven underground tanks of different sizes which employ the same design.
TEPCO admitted Sunday it had dismissed earlier signs of water loss as within a margin of error and waited until a spike in radiation levels around the tanks was detected. Critics suspect cash-strapped TEPCO built poorly designed underground pits instead of safer and more manageable steel tanks to save money. TEPCO has also been criticized for delaying replacement of makeshift equipment, raising questions about whether the plant is really under control.
The underground tanks, several times the size of an Olympic swimming pool and similar to an industrial waste dump, are dug directly into the ground and protected by double-layer polyethylene linings inside an outermost clay-based lining, with a felt padding between each layer. Officials suspect there were ruptures in the linings due to the weight of the water.
Contaminated water at the plant, which suffered multiple meltdowns after the 2011 disaster, has escaped into the sea several times during the crisis. Experts suspect a continuous leak into the ocean through an underground water system, citing high levels of contamination in fish caught in waters just off the plant.
The contaminated water in the tanks is part of more than 270,000 tons of water used to cool melted fuel at the plant’s reactors damaged in the disaster. So much water has been used that TEPCO is struggling to find storage space. The water is also kept in hundreds of steel tanks.
NRA commissioner Toyoshi Fuketa told reporters Monday that the water leak poses a more immediate threat to the plant’s water management than to the environment. He questioned TEPCO’s risk evaluation in the tanks’ design process, but acknowledged that regulators have to allow TEPCO to use the remaining underground tanks for now.
“Although we need more long-term plans, we have to tackle the most immediate problem first. TEPCO’s decommissioning process is a tightrope situation to begin with,” he said. http://www.thestar.com/news/world/2013/04/08/japan_nuclear_safety_plans_too_lax_for_crowded_quakeprone_nation_say_nuclear_experts.html
4-6-13 ”….Caldicott Versus The Nuclear IndustryLong time activist and medical doctor, Helen Caldicott, recently assembled some of the world’s top experts to enlighten us about the situation:
“The Medical and Ecological Consequences of the Fukushima Nuclear Accident,” a two-day conference is now posted onlinehttp://www.totalwebcasting.com/view/?id=hcf#
cesium-137 and radioactive iodine – the two main radioactive substances being spewed by the leaking Japanese nuclear plants – are not naturally-occurring substances, and can become powerful internal emitters which can cause tremendous damage to the health of people who are unfortunate enough to breathe in even a particle of the substances, or ingest them in food or water.
Fake Science Alert: Fukushima Radiation Can’t Be Compared to Bananas or X-Rays http://www.zerohedge.com/contributed/2013-04-01/fake-science-alert-fukushima-radiation-can%E2%80%99t-be-compared-bananas-or-x-rays George Washington 04/01/2013
“….Mixing Apples (External) and Oranges (Internal) Moreover, radioactive particles which end up inside of our lungs or gastrointestinal track, as opposed to radiation which comes to us from outside of our skin are much more dangerous than general exposures to radiation.
The National Research Council’s Committee to Assess the Scientific Information for the Radiation Exposure Screening and Education Program explains:
Radioactivity generates radiation by emitting particles. Radioactive materials outside the the body are called external emitters, and radioactive materials located within the body are called internal emitters.
Internal emitters are much more dangerous than external emitters. Specifically, one is only exposed to radiation as long as he or she is near the external emitter. Read more »
Top Docs’ (Partial) Cure for Nuclear Radiation: Bone-Marrow Drugs http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2013/04/health-department-nuclear/ BY ROBERT BECKHUSEN 04.04.13
Even if a nuclear bomb exploded far enough away for you to survive the blast, the radiation could still kill you. Now the U.S. government wants to find a cure for one the most vexing causes of radioactive death — starting with your bones.
According to a research solicitation released this week by the Department of Health and Human Services, the department is preparing to spend up to $8 million beginning in 2014 to research ways to treat severe thrombocytopenia — or the loss of cell platelets — caused by excessive radiation poisoning of vital blood-producing organs and tissues like bone marrow and the spleen. Once your organs get blasted with radiation from a catastrophic nuclear detonation, you will likely begin to suffer from internal bleeding and get really sick. Then you’ll die.
There’s little anyone can do about it in a timely way. “Currently, there is no approved therapeutic drug in the Strategic National Stockpile for this radiation-induced complication,” the solicitation notes. The only therapies available are injections of more platelets; or a blood transfusion. But the logistics of providing these therapies to thousands of potential nuclear radiation victims — in a mass-casualty attack or accident — is time-consuming and impractical.
The solution, the health department believes, are in “modified first generation thrombopoietin receptor agents,” or proteins that regulate and stimulate platelet growth in bone marrow. Find a way to administer these proteins, and they could lead to “accelerated platelet regeneration and increased survival.” To buy time, the department wants to include “novel cell therapy approaches that mitigate the depth or duration of thrombocytopenia and that would be amenable to the operational and logistical constraints of a mass casualty situation.”
In this case, the department defines “mass casualty situation” to be either a terrorist “incident” or nuclear power plant accident — like the 2011 Fukushima Daiichi meltdowns. That means the platelet-producing proteins have to be administered quickly.
Of particular interest are thrombopoietin drugs that could be injected, swallowed, inhaled or absorbed by the skin. Obviously, the drugs will also have to work safely with groups who face the greatest risks from radiation poisoning: children, pregnant women, the elderly and people with chronic illnesses.
There’s been been a flurry of activity around nuclear disaster research in recent months. In February, the Pentagon’s mad scientists at Darpa published a request for information regarding therapies that could mitigate long-term radiation exposure risks like cancer — and how radiation effects human DNA. The Defense Threat Reduction agency is meanwhile spending up to $6 million in 2013 researching new ways to detect nuclear weapons.
The Health and Human Services solicitation isn’t as far-reaching, not even close, but that’s not surprising. But if the research bears fruit, it could keep your bones strong. Oh, and save you from a very unpleasant death.
The nuclear safety board warned about the risk of explosion to Wyden, who wanted comment on the safety and operation of Hanford’s tanks, technical issues that have been raised about the design of a plant to treat the waste in those tanks, and Hanford’s overall safety culture.
Hanford Nuclear Waste Tanks Could Explode, Agency Warns http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/04/02/hanford-nuclear-waste-could-explode_n_3001134.html?utm_hp_ref=green includes video By SHANNON DININNY 04/02/13 YAKIMA, Wash. — Underground tanks that hold a stew of toxic, radioactive waste at the nation’s most contaminated nuclear site pose a possible risk of explosion, a nuclear safety board said in advance of confirmation hearings for the next leader of the Energy Department.
State and federal officials have long known that hydrogen gas could build up inside the tanks at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation, leading to an explosion that would release radioactive material. The Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board recommended additional monitoring and ventilation of the tanks last fall, and federal officials were working to develop a plan to implement the recommendation.
The board expressed those concerns again Monday to U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., who is chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee and had sought the board’s perspective about cleanup at Hanford. Read more »
When you eat a banana, your body’s level of Potassium-40 doesn’t increase. You just get rid of some excess Potassium-40. The net dose of a banana is zero.
And that’s the difference between a useful educational tool and propaganda.
Fake Science Alert: Fukushima Radiation Can’t Be Compared to Bananas or X-Rays , Zero Hedge, George Washington 04/01/2013 Nuclear apologists pretend that people are exposed to more radiation from bananas than from Fukushima.
But the EPA explains:
The human body is born with potassium-40 [the type of radiation found in bananas] in its tissues and it is the most common radionuclide in human tissues and in food. We evolved in the presence of potassium-40 and our bodies have well-developed repair mechanisms to respond to its effects. The concentration of potassium-40 in the human body is constant and not affected by concentrations in the environment.
The amount of potassium (and therefore of 40K) in the human body is fairly constant because of homeostatsis, so that any excess absorbed from food is quickly compensated by the elimination of an equal amount.
It follows that the additional radiation exposure due to eating a banana lasts only for a few hours after ingestion, namely the time it takes for the normal potassium contents of the body to be restored by the kidneys.
A lot of things you might not suspect of being radioactive are, including Brazil nuts, and your own body. And this fact is sometimes used to downplay the impact of exposure to radiation via medical treatments or accidental intake.
I contacted Geoff Meggitt—a retired health physicist, and former editor of the Journal of Radiological Protection—to find out more.
Meggitt worked for the United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority and its later commercial offshoots for 25 years. He says there’s an enormous variation in the risks associated with swallowing the same amount of different radioactive materials—and even some difference between the same dose, of the same material, but in different chemical forms.
It all depends on two factors:
1) The physical characteristics of the radioactivity—i.e, What’s its half-life? Is the radiation emitted alpha, beta or gamma?
2) The way the the radioactivity travels around and is taken up by the body—i.e., How much is absorbed by the blood stream?
What tissues does this specific isotope tend to accumulate in?
The Potassium-40 in bananas is a particularly poor model isotope to use, Meggitt says, because the potassium content of our bodies seems to be under homeostatic control.When you eat a banana, your body’s level of Potassium-40 doesn’t increase. You just get rid of some excess Potassium-40. The net dose of a banana is zero.
And that’s the difference between a useful educational tool and propaganda. (And I say this as somebody who is emphatically not against nuclear energy.) Bananas aren’t really going to give anyone “a more realistic assessment of actual risk”, they’re just going to further distort the picture…… http://www.zerohedge.com/contributed/2013-04-01/fake-science-alert-fukushima-radiation-can%E2%80%99t-be-compared-bananas-or-x-rays
Fake Science Alert: Fukushima Radiation Can’t Be Compared to Bananas or X-Rays,Zero Hedge, April 2013
“…….Most “Background Radiation” Didn’t Exist Before Nuclear Weapons Testing and Nuclear Reactors
Nuclear apologists also pretend that we get a higher exposure from background radiation (when we fly, for example) and or x-rays then we get from nuclear accidents.
In fact, there was exactly zero background radioactive cesium or iodine before above-ground nuclear testing and nuclear accidents started.
Wikipedia provides some details on the distribution of cesium-137 due to human activities:
Small amounts of caesium-134 and caesium-137 were released into the environment during nearly all nuclear weapon tests and some nuclear accidents, most notably the Chernobyl disaster.
Caesium-137 is unique in that it is totally anthropogenic. Unlike most other radioisotopes, caesium-137 is not produced from its non-radioactive isotope, but from uranium. It did not occur in nature before nuclear weapons testing began. By observing the characteristic gamma rays emitted by this isotope, it is possible to determine whether the contents of a given sealed container were made before or after the advent of atomic bomb explosions. This procedure has been used by researchers to check the authenticity of certain rare wines, most notably the purported “Jefferson bottles”.
As the EPA notes:
Cesium-133 is the only naturally occurring isotope and is non-radioactive; all other isotopes, including cesium-137, are produced by human activity.
Similarly, iodine-131 is not a naturally occurring isotope. As the Encyclopedia Britannica notes: (Fukushima has spewed much more radioactive cesium and iodine than Chernobyl. The amount of radioactive cesium released by Fukushima was some 20-30 times higher than initially admitted. Japanese experts say that Fukushima is currently releasing up to 93 billion becquerels of radioactive cesium into the ocean each day. And the cesium levels hitting the west coast of North America will keep increasing for several years. Fukushima is still spewing radiation into the environment, and the amount of radioactive fuel at Fukushima dwarfs Chernobyl.)
As such, the concept of “background radiation” is largely a misnomer. Most of the radiation we encounter today – especially the most dangerous types – did not even exist in nature before we started tinkering with nuclear weapons and reactors. In a sense, we are all guinea pigs ……. http://www.zerohedge.com/contributed/2013-04-01/fake-science-alert-fukushima-radiation-can%E2%80%99t-be-compared-bananas-or-x-rays
New Texas radiation rule takes effect May 1 By Eric Barnes, AuntMinnie.com staff writer March 28, 2013 – Hoping to avoid the rash of radiation overexposures that shook California radiology like an earthquake a few years back, the state of Texas has decided to implement its own radiation exposure rule beginning May 1.
Unlike the California law, however, Texas will administer its new regime as an administrative directive by the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS).
Texas Administrative Code rule §289.227 includes guidelines for radiation reporting, training personnel, and establishing acceptable dose thresholds, according to department spokesperson Christine Mann.
“The major thing in the new rule would be requiring healthcare providers that perform fluoroscopically guided interventional procedures and CT to develop a radiation protocol committee,” Mann told AuntMinnie.com. “Another change is the requirement for radiation safety awareness — that’s for physicians or those delegated by a physician to perform interventional fluoroscopy or CT, but it doesn’t apply to radiologists or oncologists.”
By May 1, all healthcare providers using fluoroscopy and CT must have a radiation program in place, the department wrote in its announcement of the new program on March 1.
“The program must record patient radiation dose on all CT and fluoroscopy exams ([CT dose index], [dose-length product], and air kerma values), establish and manage radiation dose thresholds on all CT and fluoroscopy procedures, notify patients of dose threshold breech, and provide good radiation safety training to all staff members performing CT and fluoroscopy procedures,” DSHS wrote.
The actual dose for the patients need not be calculated for each procedure, but the radiologist is responsible for maintaining a record of the radiation output information, and using that information to estimate the radiation dose, Mann explained.
“They have to record that and make sure it’s documented in the patient health record,” Mann said. “They have to maintain a record of the radiation output, and then use that data to estimate the radiation dose to the skin if necessary.”
In addition to all CT scans, common fluoroscopy procedures covered by the law include the following (without limitation):
- Transjugular intrahepatic portosystemic shunt (TIPS) creation
- Embolization of any lesion in any location
- Stroke therapy
- Biliary drainage
- Stent-graft placement
- Carotid stent placement
- Angiography and intervention for gastrointestinal hemorrhage
- Radiofrequency ablation
- Complex placement of cardiac electrophysiology devices
- Percutaneous coronary interventions
As for CT, CT dose index volume (CTDIvol) and dose-length product (DLP) are the most common output measures that require reporting under the new regime.
In the event a patient receives an overdose — that is, if the recorded dose output exceeds the threshold established by the protocol committee — the provider is required to report the incident to Texas DSHS according to Texas Administrative Code §289.231(hh) and (ii), Mann toldAuntMinnie.com…… http://www.auntminnie.com/index.aspx?sec=ser&sub=def&pag=dis&ItemID=102964
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