Saturday, 2 April 2011

Everything you always wanted to know about nuclear energy but were afraid to ask

Nuclear power is a military spin-off. During World War II the Germans tried to build a nuclear bomb. Hitler's 'secret weapon' it was called. But, fortunately for London and Gibraltar, Germany surrendered before the project could be completed. This meant that the Americans were to be the first to build nuclear bombs. The USA subsequently dropped two on Japan killing an estimated 180,000 people. Japan then surrendered and that was the end of World War II.

Britain, France, USA and USSR opened the first nuclear plants in the 1950's. By 1980 there were 36 countries building or operating nuclear power stations. The people in these countries, and indeed in the rest of the world, were not asked if they wanted them or not. This is still the case.

A nuclear plant works like this: Energy is produced in the core when uranium atoms split spontaneously. This is called fission. The fission produces heat which drives electrical turbines. At the same time the fission releases radiation. Radiation can cause many nasty diseases including cancer. It can, needless to say, also contaminate food and water.

Fission creates enormous heat. Nuclear reactors must therefore be cooled efficiently. If the cooling system in a reactor fails the core of the reactor overheats and melts. Total meltdown is when the core finally burns into the Earth.

The nuclear plant produces radioactive waste. Plutonium 239 has a half-life of 24,000 years. That means that 1,200 generations of our descendants will have to guard our radioactive waste.

Accidents at nuclear plants are sometimes not widely reported or are kept secret. This is to give the public the misleading impression that nuclear energy is a safe product.

In 1969 there was partial core meltdown at Lucens (Switzerland) during start-up following an 'incident'. The reactor was closed and permanently sealed.

In 1979 there was a 40% core meltdown at Three Mile Island (USA). This was due to a cooling system failure.

In 1986 there was an explosion at Chernobyl (Ukraine). A radioactive cloud spread over Europe. 135,000 people were evacuated from a 30km area around the plant. At least 24,000 received serious radiation. Many children continue to be born with deformities and diseases. Professor Christopher Busby states that 1,000,000 people have died from the Chernobyl radiation leak.

Also in 1986 a Soviet submarine sank with 15 strategic nuclear missiles and two reactors on board.

In Scotland near one US Navy submarine base the number of deaths and cases of lukeamia in persons under 25 is 5 times the national average.

Between 1969 and 1979 (in the USA alone) there were 20,000 'incidents' at nuclear plants. At least 169 of these nuclear 'incidents' had the potential to become a major catastrophe. More than half of the world's nuclear plants are used to supply power to submarines and warships around the globe. At any time, 30% of the world's nuclear weapons are on the sea.

Greenpeace has calculated that if there were a serious accident at a British nuclear power station, over 100,000 people could develop cancers, most agricultural land would be contaminated, and the national economy would be seriously damaged.

In Kent or Suffolk the number of people who would have to be evacuated would be the equivalent to the population of London. Greenpeace does not believe that the Government could cope with such an emergency.

Meanwhile, as I write this short piece, my radio informs me that TEPCO has announced the discovery of the 'possible' source of the radioactive leakage into the ocean. A 20 cm crack has been found. TEPCO will now cover the crack with cement. This amazing bit of progress has taken TEPCO a mere 3 weeks. We can only hope they find the other holes, for there will be other holes, with rather more alacrity.

I urge you to look at the radiation clouds (link above) as they affect the Northern Hemisphere. Go through them one by one. ZAMG's iodio-131 Northern Hemisphere window is a good place to start.

On the Bard on the Run blog I've today posted a link to a new green energy source!

Be careful out there.

And if you have 5 minutes please listen carefully to Professor Christopher Busby via my RT (Russian Television) link (above right). Click on the RT News video: Full Meltdown in Full Swing.

More gloomy news for Japan is that the wind, after blowing favourably from the west for 3 weeks and thereby sending most of the radioactivity in the direction of the Pacific Ocean, is now blowing from the north.

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