Glen Allport's blog

Germany struggles with nuclear waste disposal
After the plan to use an old salt mine for nuclear waste storage was found to be unsafe (as in the United States, where the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant, or WIPP, in a New Mexico salt formation has failed in unexpected fashion), Germany is looking at other locations. German Environment Minister Barbara Hendricks points out that "There is no safe permanent disposal site in existence anywhere in the world," she told reporters. Not only that, she added, Germany has a comparative advantage: since it has a fixed deadline for shutting down its last reactors, authorities can estimate how much waste they will be dealing with. "Those countries that continue to use nuclear power should really be further along."
But nearly everywhere, including in Japan, nuclear power continues as if there WERE some safe way to dispose of the ever-growing mountains of waste. There isn't; not yet and possibly (probably?) not ever. Nuclear power and its long-term consequences may be the single most harmful symptom of Statism and its violations of the Non-Aggression Principle.

Nuclear Testing and the Rise of Global Cancer Rates

The report discussed in this article is not new -- I referenced it in a column years ago -- but the article is a reminder that the report deserves more widespread attention in this age of Fukushima. Other sources give MUCH higher figures for bomb-test-related mortality -- it would hardly be surprising if the government fudged downward its figures for the number of civilians killed in the gov't's pursuit of a weapons program that could end all life on Earth. --  Glen
"A little noticed investigation from 2002 spells out the grim toll. Radioactive fallout from nuclear weapons testing has killed more than 15,000 Americans and caused at least 80,000 cancers.  Ominously, the report concluded that decades of open air nuclear blasts have exposed to radiation nearly everyone who has resided in the United States since 1952.


"The report, conducted by the National Cancer Institute and Centers for Disease Control, is remarkable for several reasons, not least because it represented the first time the US government released an assessment of the spread and consequences to human health of radioactive fallout from nuclear weapons testing. It was also the first time that the government owned up to the fact that a substantial number of cancer deaths have been caused by nuclear testing."

The Kafka-like Persecution of Julian Assange
[Remember when WikiLeaks was new and some libertarians -- including a few at STR -- insisted it was a disinformation / distraction tool of the power elite? Well, Assange is still on the run, in a "can't leave the premises" kind of way, and WikiLeaks continues to oppose and expose the power elite. -- Glen]
"In an era when powerful institutions demonize decent people – and the mainstream media joins in, piling on the abuse – legal proceedings have become another Kafka-esque weapon of coercion. Few cases are more troubling than the persecution of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, as John Pilger describes."

Law changed so nuclear waste dumps can be forced on local communities


Nuclear power is no more workable as a free-market industry in Britain than it is in the U.S., and a new law makes the point by letting the government force communities to host nuclear waste dumps whether they want to or not. 

All of Japan is contaminated; Japan responds by passing state secrets law

This post at at Energy News is from last December, and things have gotten even worse since then, especially after the recent, and epic, typhoon. But things were already horrifying -- and just as the U.S. government and Soviet government lied to their own people about the dangers of nuclear testing and nuclear power, the Japanese government is doing everything it can to hide the fact that ALL of Japan is contaminated, and quite a lot of Japan is SO contaminated that health effects -- thyroid problems, many unusual types of health problems, and even, at this very early stage, increased cancer rates -- are already showing up in the general population. What will happen over the next few decades will be far worse than the effects of Chernobyl, which has already killed about one million people. Below is the headline from the link at top; there are typically several new posts at Energy News every day; if you want to know what's happening with Fukushima and with other radioactive hot-spots (Hanford in Washington state, for instance) -- and you should, you're breathing it in and eating it in your food -- I recommend checking Energy News frequently.
Nuclear engineer Arnie Gundersen: All of Japan is contaminated, gov’t covering up enormous exposures to public; Epidemic is just beginning — Evacuee: We are in fact dying in Fukushima; What happened to us will soon affect all Japanese people (VIDEOS)

New English nuke plant (like every other) can't be built without aggression

In EU approves funding for UK’s first nuclear plant for 20 years, we learn that ". . . the project has been highly criticised due to the government guaranteeing EDF a price per energy unit of more than twice the current wholesale cost in compensation for building the plant." Nuclear power has NEVER been a cost-effective way to generate electricity, and without government coercion (including the 1956 Price-Anderson Act in the US) we would have a LOT less radioactive contamination in the world and much more quickly-growing renewable power generation industries.

Atlas is Shrugging in California

Variety bemoans that "Hollywood Continues to Flee California at Alarming Rate." Of course, it isn't just the movie industry where business is leaving for greener, or at least less kleptocratic, pastures. But Hollywood has always been the one industry best able to dramatize and publicise its own perception of the world, and while producers and film investors aren't being hurt by California's fiscal insanity (because they can, and do, film their productions elsewhere), the Little People -- meaning the Hollywood working class, the thousands of people behind the scenes doing everything from building sets to creating CGI -- are increasingly unemployed, as film-making happens in other states or other countries. 
The same is true for almost every major industry in California, and indeed throughout America. Freedom and prosperity go together, and the United States is rapidly losing ground in both. Not often said is that compassion is ALSO tied to freedom; rarely does one find a compassionate police state. In all, not a positive situation for those of us living in the former Land of the Free.

We don't need no steenking quarks!


There are a number of lesser-known theories (the electric universe, for one) out there which explain the world differently than we're used to hearing. I came across one recently that I enjoyed, described in Jeff Yee's The Particles of the Universe. It's a fun read, and the basic idea is crazy-simple: everything, and I mean EVERYTHING, is made of neutrinos. Simple diagrams show the arrangement of neutrinos that make up an electron, proton, and so on. There's quite a bit more including time itself and the mass of particles (much of which is energy -- E=MC sq, after all -- stored from the time of the Big Bang when neutrinos and electrons and so on were smashing into each other with massive kinetic energy). The images in the Kindle file are low-res, and that makes the text in the images hard to read, but for the most part Yee does a great job of making this astonishingly simple and elegant idea seem sensible and real. Best 99 cents I've spend in a while.

iPhone 6 to Incorporate Protective Radiation Shield [Satire]

With the ongoing Fukushima disaster already poisoning the Pacific and the world as a whole -- and with indications that this assault may soon accelerate dramatically -- anonymous (or perhaps non-existent) industry sources are saying Apple is planning to one-up the competition with a device that will monitor radiation levels, calculate various metrics for biological harm from those levels in real time, and to some extent protect users FROM the radiation by means of a yet-undisclosed technology that may create a "zone of quantum calm" around the user.
These technologies, under the moniker "iLive", will be incorporated into the iPhone 6, sources tell us, scheduled for release late in the Spring of 2014 or sooner if possible. Apple CEO Tim Cook is said to have told the iPhone engineering team that "We want to get this on the market while most of our user base is still alive. The CFO confirmed to me yesterday that our stock price WILL take a major hit if our users are, for the most part, dead or dying."
Exactly how the new technologies will work is a closely guarded secret, but one source suggests tachyon-based targeting of individual beta and gamma particles deployed in a method not unlike that seen in the arcade games Space Invaders and Missile Command. An alternate technology under consideration involves the direct manipulation of space-time, which would simply route incoming radiation around the users but which might cause issues with close interpersonal contact.
[The topic isn't actually funny, but sometimes the only way I can handle something truly horrible is with my warped sense of humor. Now  -- cringe -- back to reality]

The Coercive State has killed us all, continued

In Timeline of a World-Killing Paradigm Shift (May 2012) I argued that the coercive State has already killed the biosphere -- that is, the State has destroyed the Earth, or at least begun the extermination and extinction of most vertebrates and much of the flora on this planet. Much of this harm has been done via malregulation, for example by the US government's legislating away most liability for the corporations running nuclear power plants (the Price-Anderson Act and other vehicles).
    Evidence for this thesis is growing dramatically. Increasing numbers of news stories in recent months have described population crashes and severe health issues of sardines, salmon, turtles, herring, sea lions, seals, polar bears, sea stars (which have actually been dissolving and disintegrating!), and other animal species. These problems are possibly or even probably caused at least in part by radioactive contamination from the Fukushima disaster. Even governments are getting concerned, although we don't hear much about that. Earlier this month, pink salmon were found along the Canadian coast that were canary-yellow colored instead of pink. I am especially concerned about this since the pink color in salmon comes from astaxanthan (link is to a detailed article published today by Dr. Mercola), an amazingly powerful and broadly beneficial carotenoid created by microalgae. Salmon, and krill and pink flamingos for that matter, get their pink coloration by eating the microalgae or other species that feed on it.
     But now salmon (some salmon, at least) are turning up without that lovely pink color and are, instead, bright yellow. Well, for one thing, yuck. But more importantly, what does this mean for the microalgae and for the health of the Pacific in general?
    Another bit of data can be found in this story of an experienced sailor who found 3,000 nautical miles of the Pacific Ocean were almost entirely dead and filled with trash and debris washed out to sea from, it seems certain, Fukushima.
There are about 450 other nuclear plants active today, around 130 formerly-active plants (and their depleted fuel) in mothballs, and another 100 or so on the drawing boards or under construction. 

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