Archive for February, 2011

Radioactivity of Uranium

February 28, 2011

The first thing needed for a clear understanding of the radioactivity is a curie to millicurie convertor:

The second thing needed is an authoritative text which describes the nature of uranium, its chemical characteristics and its radiological characteristics. Such a text is provided by the US Agency for Toxic Substances & Disease Registry. The text, “TOXICOLOGICAL PROFILE FOR URANIUM”, which is a 462 page pdf document, is available for free download at:

How radioactive is Uranium? On text page 242 (pdf page 262) we read that “Although the element uranium was discovered in 1789 by Klaproth, who named it “uranium” after the newly discovered planet Uranus,
it was not until 1896 that Becquerel discovered that uranium is radioactive.

There are 22 known isotopes of uranium, only 3 of which occur naturally (Parrington et al. 1996).
These three isotopes, 234U, 235U, and 238U, have relative mass abundances within the earth’s undisturbed
crustal rock of 0.005%, 0.72%, and 99.275%, respectively. One gram of natural uranium having this
relative isotopic abundance has an activity of 0.67 μCi. Of this 0.67 μCi, 48.9% of the activity is
attributable to 234U, 2.2% of the activity is attributable to 235U, and 48.9% of the activity is attributable to
238U (Lide 1994). This ratio is for undisturbed crystal rock only. Although the relative mass abundance of
234U is only 0.005%, it accounts for exactly one-half of the total activity. The relative isotopic abundances
given above can be altered to some extent by natural processes that are not fully understood, but which can
cause different ratios in air, water and soil as demonstrated in EPA reports (EPA 1994a).” (Source:ATSDR, Tox. Profile Uranium).

Natural uranium having the isotopic make up given above, has a rate of radioactivity of 0.67 μCuries, that is, microcuries.
1 Curie = 1,000,000 microcuries.
As we have seen in an earlier post 1 Curie is the radioactivity possessed by 1 gram of radium.
We also saw that 1 Curie equals the disintegration of 37,000,000,000 atomic nuclei per second.

Both radium and uranium emit alpha radiation. 1 curie equals the release of 37,000,000,000 alpha particles per second. 1 gram of radium produces this radioactivity. In contrast, converting millicuries to Curies, we see 1 gram of uranium achieves a radioactivity rate of 0.00000067 Curies.

Radium however is a decay product of uranium. It will be present with uranium in a uranium ore body. In an ore body the radiation rate emitted by uranium decay (progeny) products far exceeds the radiation rate of uranium itself. Although Becquerel discovered that uranium was radioactive in 1896, it took a number of years to convince many of his peers of the fact.

A clue as to the origins surrounding the disagreements of the safety of pure uranium – used for example as military shells and aircraft ballast, and still, as a form of yellow colouring in some ceramic pottery – can be traced back to this initial controversy. It can also be traced back to the poor public understanding of the distinction between the harm presented byuranium outside of the body as opposed to uranium particles lodged within the body. It further relates to the chemical toxicity of uranium – a heavy metal. It probably also relates to the form of uranium – soluable uranium or far less soluable uranium in its “heat treated” hardened state, the state depleted uranium dust takes on as a result of the high temperatures experienced by a fired DU shell.

And it further relates to the isotope of uranium being studied at the time. As we have seen above,
“Although the relative mass abundance of 234U is only 0.005%, it accounts for exactly one-half
of the total activity.” of a mass of natural uranium. 235U is the fissionable isotope of natural uranium.

Depleted Uranium is usually defined as uranium depleted of the fissile 235U. DU is the “waste” from the uranium enrichment process.

Wikipedia at states:

“Depleted uranium contains much less U-234 (around 0.001% [2]) which makes the radioactivity of depleted uranium about one-half of that of natural uranium. Natural uranium has an “equilibrium” concentration of U-234 at the point where an equal number of decays of U-238 and U-234 will occur. Depleted uranium also contains less U-235, but in spite of its half-life that is much shorter than the one of U-238, the concentration of U-235 in natural uranium is low enough (about 0.7%) so that the U-235 depletion does not result in a significant reduction in radioactivity.” This wiki article cites the UN WHO Media Centre on line article “Depleted Uranium” available at This publication states: “Depleted uranium

* The uranium remaining after removal of the enriched fraction contains about 99.8% 238U, 0.2% 235U and 0.001% 234U by mass; this is referred to as depleted uranium or DU.
* The main difference between DU and natural uranium is that the former contains at least three times less 235U than the latter.
* DU, consequently, is weakly radioactive and a radiation dose from it would be about 60% of that from purified natural uranium with the same mass.
* The behaviour of DU in the body is identical to that of natural uranium.
* Spent uranium fuel from nuclear reactors is sometimes reprocessed in plants for natural uranium enrichment. Some reactor-created radioisotopes can consequently contaminate the reprocessing equipment and the DU. Under these conditions another uranium isotope, 236U, may be present in the DU together with very small amounts of the transuranic elements plutonium, americium and neptunium and the fission product technetium-99. However, the additional radiation dose following intake of DU into the human body from these isotopes would be less than 1%.”

Fissile vs fissionable
Note that the uranium isotope 235U is fissile not because of its radioactivity rate but because of the neutrons it possesses. It is not as radioactive as 234U. Depleted uranium is generally composed of 234U and 238U. 238U is fissionable but, unlike the fissile 235U it cannot sustain a chain reaction.
(When hit by a neutron possessing a specific energy, 235U will break apart or fission. When 235U breaks apart, it releases more than 2 neutrons, and thus is able a sustain a chain reaction in a suitable pile of 235U. Each atom which breaks apart releases 200 million electron volts of energy.)

WISE, a voluntary organisation, provides a simple camparison chart of the natural Uranium iosotopes this at this website:
This chart gives:
U234 = 231.3MBq/gram (MegaBequerel) or 231,300,000 Bq/gram or 0.006251351 curies/gram
U235 = 80,011Bq/g or 0.000002162 curies/gram
U238 = 12,445Bq/g or 0.000000336 curies/gram
(using the Becquerel to Curies conversion table at )

The relative radioactivity rates of uranium compared to the decay products may have led to the
idea that the radioactivity of uranium is harmless. As we shall see this is a false position.

Radium is a decay product of uranium. It is plain to see that uranium mining removes uranium ore from the
ground, on site processing removes most the uranium and leaves behind in concentrated form uranium progeny
(decay products) such as radium in tailings dumps and dams on the surface. What was once shielded in an ore body
is now available to the biosphere. Radon gas, a decay product of radium, vents directly into the air from the tailings heaps
and dams left by uranium mining.

The reader may have seen photographs and video of uranium workers dressed in dust proof suites and wearing respirator face masks, busily handling drums of uranium yellow cake. (
face masks

It is therefore self evident that industry applies occupational health and safety regimes in such workplaces. (The requirement to wear protection varies from task to task). Uranium is not harmless. This begs the question as to why it is that uranium tailings dumps and dams are left open to the environment. Uranium tailings have a complex nature. It consistes of the highly radioactive uranium decay (progeny) substances. These all have rates of radioactivity hundreds and thousands of times greater than that of uranium. Why don’t workers in protective gear have to process this dangerous waste into safe storage containers?
Why is it left in the open to blow in the wind and vent into the air?
If uranium mine waste was stored in containers, where would the containers be stored? How long would the containers
before leaking? How much would safe storage cost to the nuclear military/industrial complex?
Tailings Dams at the Olympic Dam uranium mine
Olympic Dam mine in South Australia contains the world’s largest uranium deposit. 10 million tonnes of radioactive tailings are brought to the surface every year. The mine operations consumes 35 million litres of water a day., taken free of charge from the Great Artesian Basin.
(Source: Still frame from “A Hard Rain”, David Bradbury, Frontlilne Films )

Next: Radiological and Toxicological Hazards of internalised Uranium.

Szilard’s chain reaction patents 440,023 & 630,726 lodged 1934

February 28, 2011

The titles of these British patents are:

Provisional Specification No. 7840 1934
Improvements in or relating to the Transmutation of Chemical Elements

Accepted Dec 12 1935.

Provisional Specification No. 19157 1934
Accepted March 30, 1936 (but withheld from publication under Section 30 of the Patent and Designs Acts 1907 to 1932)
Date of publication 1949.

An explanation of these patents can be found within the power point presentation available for download at (Entitled “Environmental Impacts of Nuclear Technologies.” Author: Bill Menke, October 19, 2005.) This documents reproduces part of the patent 630,726, In this Szilard explains what his chain reaction does:
“A neutron chain reaction generates power and produces radio-active isotopes. The reaction takes place in mass (3), Fig 1, comprising indium, and beryllium, bromine or uranium.” (Source: “Environmental Impacts of Nuclear Technologies.” Author: Bill Menke, October 19, 2005, as above.)

For an illustration of a chain reaction producing more neutrons than it consumes, and producing more energy than it consumes, see plate 15 of Menke’s power point display. A chain reaction in this case relies upon an arrangement of uranium atoms undergoing fission. Neutron release, and resultant energy release rapidly accelerates.

Szilard was of the view that the liberation of neutrons via bombardment of select substances by chain reaction would produce power and radioactive substances. He saw this in 1934. Fission was not discovered until Dec 1938 and was first reported in publications in 1939 (Hahn et al).

The chain reaction and fission are two separate events. However, the chain reaction enables uranium fission to be designed so as to produce either a bomb or a reactor.

Szilard had a theoretical understanding of what substances might work to release energy and produce radioactive substances via chain reaction. The funds he needed to confirm his theory were not available to him. By 1936 Szilard became so concerned about the possiblity of Nazi scientists understanding his patents and using them to construct an atomic bomb, that he asked the British Patent Office to withdrew the patents and to assign them to the Royal Navy in secret. This was done. The patents were not published until 1949. In the meantime, the patents were passed to the University of California, San Diego. They reside in archives there today.

With the publication of Hahn et al’s paper in Germany in 1939, Szilard knew with certainty uranium would work. He moved from England to the USA and began working with Fermi. They soon confirmed the work of Hahn, and at Columbia University they began designing the special graphite/uranium lattice needed to produce a controlled chain reaction of pure natural uranium (natural isotope mix, that is unenriched.) located within a lattice of very pure graphite.

By 1941 the existence of Plutonium, element 94, had been confirmed by Seaborg. Ernest Lawrence reported this the President’s Uranium Committe/S1 and announced that a “second route to the bomb” have been opened.

The President ordered the funding of a uranium reactor, which, using Szilard’s “Improved Method for the Transmutation of the Chemical Elements” would transmute uranium into neptunium which decays to Plutonium. The plutonium bomb did not need the very costly and slow process of uranium enrichment that the uranium bomb needed.

Under the control of the Manhattan Project, a project code named “The Metallurgical Laboratory” was commenced at Chicago University. Its aim was to produce plutonium using the Szilard method, Szilard and Fermi were moved to Chicago from Columbia University. General Groves confiscated all royalties payable to Szilard for the use of his method. Groves considered Szilard to be a dangerous man, and had the FBI investigate him. The Szilard-Fermi uranium reactor became operational on 2 December 1942. Full scale production of plutonium commenced with the construction of Hansford and Oak Ridge reactors. The sole job was to produce plutonium from uranium using the Szliard chain reaction transmution method using a lattice arrangement of uranium and graphite. (Smyth, 1945 reproduced at:

In 1945 Szilard learned that the plutonium bomb and the uranium bomb would be used against Japan despite the fact that Germany was by then defeat and it was known for sure that the Nazis did not possess an atomic bomb. The British had known this since 1943. (Kramer).

In response Szilard started a petition to protest against the use of the nuclear weapons.

In August 1945 the city of Hiroshima was destroyed by a uranium bomb and Nagasaki was destroyed by a plutonium.
Both relied on fission and chain reaction. The plutonium could not have been constructed if Szilard’s method of transmuting uranium into plutonium in a reactor had not been used.

After spending truly awesome sums of money to build the first stockpile of atomic weapons, the USA found itself with the design of the Fermi-Szilard reactor. As well as producing radioactive substances, it produced heat. Using this heat to boil water to produce steam, electricitiy was generated. Groves had the excuse with which to claim reactors are “civilian”. Their construction in the US however was not rapid, industry being suspicious of the dangers. It took special protections, subsidies, ongoing support, and laws limiting the liability of commerical reactor operators before many were built.

Today Indian authorities complain that people in India demonstrate and protest against reactors being built because of the intevention of “Foreign Powers”.

In the context of modern India, reactors are the original idea of the Hungarian scientist, Leo Szilard, aided by the Italian Enrico Fermi, working in the USA with massive war time funding. Reactors definately are a foriegn idea. As a consequence, the origin of nuclear protest happened not in India, but in the United States. One of the first nuclear protestors was Leo Szilard himself in 1945.

In the beginning, if was the scientists who led the anti-nuclear protest movement. And this continued in an organised fashion for many decades.

Though the original generation of nuclear scientists are now all, by and large, passed away, a general theme holds true.

Nuclear reactors are the product of the 1930s. That’s when Szilard first patented his method.
He knew that the process would produce many radioactive substances. He knew that the process would produce energy sufficient to make massive bombs. His project was commandeered by the Manhattan Project.

In today’s world, if renewable energy became subject to the funding of its own “Manhattan Project”, reactors would be revealed to be as dangerous and out of date as they really plainly already are.

Australia can be run on the electricity generated by solar/thermal power stations. There is no need for nuke plants unless a nations also wants nuclear weapons. A world constantly at war provides endless excuses for the construction of nuclear plants.

They are dual use. You cannot have plutonium bombs without nuclear reactors.

The Indian authorities knew this very well. Which is why they continue to build reactors despite the protests of ordinary Indians.

When Szilard drafted the letter to Roosevelt Einstien signed, he specifically warned that the vast quantities of radioactive substances produced by fission would not stay confined to any military target.

Easy. Just wipe out the women and children as well as the 30% who were legal targets under the rules of war.
Call the enite city criminal, but never oneself.

Blaming the locals in India is just the Indian government doing the same thing. Groves did the same thing to
Leo Szilard when Leo protested at the death of innocents.
Einstien’s FBI interview. A failed attempt by Groves to find a reason to imprison Szilard.

Reactors demolish civil liberty world wide and in all epochs.

Next post :

How radioactive is uranium?
Are the fission products more or less radioactive than uranium?
What happens when uranium is left in the ground.
Police Minister Kevin Foley’s last stand.

Jaitapur Nuclear protests: Chavan’s claims

February 27, 2011

As we have seen in the previous post, Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan blamed local resistence to the construction of a nuclear power plant at Jaitapur, India, on “foriegn powers”. He mocked local people who did not want to surrender their land and who had health concerns. He referred experts in Mumbai from the field of nuclear energy and cancer who Chavan claimed would have :dispelled the local concern.

Strontium 89 is one fission product that is constantly emitted by operating nuclear reactors. Recognised as being highly carcinogenic in the 1940s (Scott, Oral History Project, University of California Berkeley), trials using rodents conducted in the modern era show that 33 out of 40 rats injected with the substance develop bone cancer within 9 months. (General Electric Corp, data sheet, Strontium 89 Chloride, Metastron). The first cancer specialist to use Sr89 as a cancer treatment was Dr Pecher in 1940. It is potently radioactive, many more times than Sr90. Sr89 is produced in greater amounts during uranium and plutonium fission than Sr90. (Glasstone) Both behave the same chemically in the body. Strontium is treated as if it were calcium by the body. The greater the individual’s biological demand for calcium, the greater the uptake of strontium through the gut where a dietary calcium lacking exists. Although Project Sunshine purported to show Sr90 to be safe (?)(the Beagle and monkey trials), the General Electric data originated after 1993 reflect the findings of Pecher 1939-1941. As confirmed by Scott. Sr89 has a half life of about 52 days. However, given that reactors vent it day and night, local contamination can be expected to occur. Along with other fission products.

I’d like to include the following, which I wrote for another purpose a little while ago:

“Culture, Diet and Targeted Radio Strontium Uptake
In 1953 Dr Libby (as we recall, a witness to Dr Pecher’s work of the 1940s)
“found the Sr/Ca ratio in milk from 10 farms to be 15% of that of the alfalfa on
which the cows were feeding (range 9-36%, with the spread probably
attributable to sampling errors of various sorts).” [1] The field finding is in
keeping with the laboratory results of strontium secretion into milk as reported
by Erf and Pecher in 1940. The Gabriel report acknowledges dairy milk as the
main source of calcium in the American diet. Thirteen years after Dr.
Pecher’s originally published data, the AEC were busy secretly conducting
field trials based upon them.

An AEC funded paper reported that : “In the United States, it has been
estimated that from 70 to 80% of the calcium in the human diet originates
from milk or milk products. Fortunately, considerable discrimination against
strontium in favor of calcium occurs in the passage of these alkaline earths
from the diet of the dairy animal to the milk. Were it not for this differential
metabolism, the Sr 90 content of the human population would be about five
times higher than otherwise.” [2]

A comparison between Western and Non Western diets often reveals
differences in sources of calcium. In 1962, “Science” published an Atomic
Energy Commission sponsored article entitled “Strontium-90 in Man V” which
states: “Cities in the Southern Hemisphere showed levels in bone about half
those for cities of Western culture in the Northern Hemisphere in 1960, yet the
fallout in the Southern Hemisphere is only one-fourth that in the Northern
Hemisphere. This is attributed to differences in diet, with a higher milk
component in the Northern Hemisphere”. [3]

The human bones from the Southern Hemisphere held far more radio
strontium than expected on the basis of fallout accumulation alone. Diet was
known to be the cause of this increased uptake of radio strontium. The AEC
identified the lack of concentrated calcium in the diet to be the cause of the
higher southern hemispheric radio strontium uptake.

A comparison of the radio strontium uptakes found in the diets of vegetarians
and non vegetarians provides a measure of the relative protections offered by
the dietary variants . Such a comparison was undertaken in India in 2000.
The results show: “..the internal dose due to intake of 90Sr through diet was
0.42 μSv per year for the vegetarian population and 0.32 μSv per year for the
non-vegetarian population.”
[4] The results show a higher radio strontium
uptake for vegetarians. The Sr90 levels reflect the remanent of that deposited
by atomic testing.Kulp was funded by the AEC. Given this official awareness of the greater
internal exposure to radio strontium caused by a lack of concentrated calcium
in the diet – i.e. bovine dairy products especially milk, it is appropriate to ask if
any steps were taken to protect the most vulnerable. Hahn identified radio
strontium as a fission product in 1938. Dr. Pecher had described its biological
transport and metabolism and bodily deposition in detail by 1940. The post
World War 2 Project Sunshine was not nutritional medicine. It was a weapon
effects and targeting study.

[1] “Report on Project Gabriel”, AEC, July 1954, pp 13.
[2] Wasserman, R. H., et. al., “Comparative Metabolism of Calcium and
Strontium in Lactation”, Journal of Dairy Science Vol. 41 No. 6 812-821, 1958.
[3] Kulp, J.L., and Schulert, A.R., Strontium 90 in Man V, Science 18 May
1962: Vol. 136. no. 3516, pp. 619 – 632
[4] Narayana, Y., et al “Prominent artificial radionuclide activity in the
environment of coastal Karnataka on the southwest coast of India”. 2000 J.
Radiol. Prot. 20 295-300)

[5] US Nuclear Information Centre, citing the US National Institute of Health,
[6] Pecher, C., et. al., “Biological Investigation with Radioactive Calcium and
Strontium, Preliminary Report on the Use of Radioactive Strontium in the
Treatment of Metastatic Bone Cancer”, University of California Publications in
Pharmacology Volume 2 No 11, pp. 133, October 23, 1942, University of

Plenty of Foriegn learned papers for Chavan to rant and rave about there. How dare in particular
Narayana report increased vulnerablity of vegetarians to radio strontium uptake in
coastal Karnataka on the southwest coast of India in the year 2000. Narayana is Indian.

And of course, the vulnerability of Indian vegetarians is relative. Indian meat eaters also had a strontium burden.
As for Chavan’s cancer expers, who purportly state safety, well, I have cited Scott and Pecher as two cancer specialists
who, in relation to Sr89 have disagreed since the days before fission was discovered. There’s more than one way to
produce Sr89. Showing that even nuclear medicine only needs cycltrons, not reactors.

I wonder where the Indian government puts its nuclear waste. A bit out of my area, but hey, its worth asking the question.

The full text of Narayana’s paper is available as a free pdf from the Journal of Radiological Protection Website here:;jsessionid=D161D41C397BAC5B27A0656C5763CC12.c2

Probably a bit technical for Mr Chavan. He pays his own experts apparently so that he does have to think too much about what he’s inflicting upon people.

Mr Chavan can obtain the other documents I cite here from the US DOE Opennet Office and website. He can obtain the Sr89 cancer data direct from General Electric.

The idea that people who are anti nuke are untrained in radiological safety is false. Most often its that’s true of pro-nukers who have been taught how to think independently.

Chavan seems a bit of a despot. The basis of the chain reaction and the basic concept of the reactor was patented by Szilard in the 1930s. He patented the method as an improved method for the chemical transmutation of chemical elements. That is, he was attempting to improve on the methods for the production of radioactive substances which at that time relied upon Cockcroft Walton machines and cyclotrons. That the Szilard method of making radioactive chemicals also produced heat resulted in the military under Groves pushing for the use of reactors as energy generating devices. It does not curtail the production of radioactive poisons though. As energy sources, reactors have fatal flaws. One of them is that, even at the best of times, they vent their poisons to the biosphere.
India, like every other nuclear nation, first built a reactor to build a bomb.
They are a horse and carriage. After his work with the Manhattan Project, at the end of World War 2 Szilard turned his back on reactors and became a biologist. He never touched physics again.

Anyhow, let’s give Y Narayana the last word about the very best case:

“Studies on radiation level and radionuclide distribution in the environment of coastal Karnataka were undertaken to provide baseline data for the future assessment of the impact of the nuclear and thermal power stations that are being set up in the region and to understand the behaviour of radionuclides in the environment. As part of the programme the concentrations of two important artificial radionuclides, namely 90Sr and 137Cs, have been measured in a number of environmental samples. The concentration of 90Sr is very low in most of the samples. Among the samples analysed for the concentration of 137Cs, soil samples showed elevated levels of activity in some sampling stations. Among the vegetables, brinjal (Solanum melongena. L) showed considerable activity. The internal dose due to intake of 90Sr through diet was 0.42 µSv year-1 for the vegetarian population and 0.32 µSv year-1 for the non-vegetarian population. The internal dose due to dietary intake of 137Cs was found to be 0.34 µSv year-1 and 0.26 µSv year-1 respectively for the vegetarian and non-vegetarian population. The results are discussed in the light of the literature values reported for other environs of India and abroad and appropriate inferences are drawn.
Issue 3 (September 2000)
Received 1 September 1999 , accepted for publication 25 April 2000 in final form 12 April 2000
Journal of Radiological Protection
Y Narayana, H M Somashekarappa, N Karunakara, D N Avadhani, H M Mahesh and K Siddappa

No radioactive form of strontium exists in nature. Any amount is too much. It did not exist in the environment prior to 1945. Why is it permitted at all now? The fission isotope Sr89 is a controlled substance internationally and in the medical form is not permitted in any quantity to be released. Why should the military/industrial form be released in any amount?

If an oncologist released medical Sr89 out of his/her window in fractiions of the amounts released by nuclear industry, the doctor would be arrested. The nukers on the other hand get free insurance, limited liability and billions in governmebt subsidies globally.

Next : Szilard’s Patents 440,023 & 630,726, 1934: How to make radioactive poisons.
Old technology.

Jaitapur Nuclear protests: Chavan blames ‘foreign powers’

February 27, 2011

Swatee Kher Tags : Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan, Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd (NPCIL), India-France venture Posted: Sun Feb 27 2011, 00:46 hrs

Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan on Saturday blamed “foreign powers” for some of the opposition against the Jaitapur nuclear power project and urged locals protesting against the India-France venture not to be swayed by “politically motivated misconceptions”.

The Jaitapur project is the first deal to be signed after India and the US clinched the civilian nuclear co-operation deal which allowed India access to the global nuclear market. The Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd (NPCIL) has signed an MoU with France’s Areva for building two 1,650 MW nuclear reactors at Jaitapur, located on a coastal site in Ratnagiri district.

The project is being opposed by some locals, backed by environmental activists, who say that the nuclear plant will damage the fragile Konkan ecology and hurt their livelihood. Although the government has issued notices to acquire the 968 hectares of land needed for the project in five villages, most of the villagers have refused to accept the compensation and surrender their land.

Chavan sought to allay the fears of the locals since taking over as Chief Minister and made his first visit to the area on Saturday along with Industries Minister and local strongman Narayan Rane. The two leaders brushed aside the opposition to the project as “misconceptions”, “politically motivated” and fuelled by “outsiders”. Speaking about the need for industrialisation and electricity, Chavan said that some foreign powers did not wish India to develop, although he did not name who these powers were.

“There are some foreign powers who do not wish to see India progress but India will overcome that. You should not be swayed by outsiders. You will have different views but don’t be influenced by misconception and wrong information,” Chavan told a public rally. “There was no need to hold the discussion in Mumbai or come here after the environmental clearance — land acquisition process had been completed. You are being misled and influenced by outsiders and people with political motivations.”

Chavan also took a dig at the protesting crowd, asking them why they had chosen to stay away from the open house in Mumbai where experts from the field of nuclear energy and cancer would have dispelled their misconceptions. He said that there was no credence in the concerns expressed about health, fishing, radiation and water temperature.
“We will not let the project happen. If he wants to say that the memoranda presented by us are false, we are ready to prove that they are true. We will discuss our concerns with the government,” said Pravin Gavankar, of the Janhit Seva Samiti.
end quote.

*Hmm, let’s see what information can be rustled up from AEC documents relating to Sr90 in Coastal areas of India and the vulnerability this presents to vegetarians in the area.

Watch this space. Seems one of the foriegn sources of information Chavan is complaining is the repository of information held by the US DOE.

Ill quote from it next post.

High Strontium* Power Generation. (*and the rest)

February 27, 2011

“Physics and Engineering
Chair S. Kant Vajpayee,
University of Southern Mississippi
Vice Chair M. Amin Haque,
Alcorn State University


Amin Haque*, Dainel Muhammad, and Deidre Walker, Alcorn State University, Lorman, MS 39096

The purpose of this research was to correlate levels of nuclear radiation and radioactivity in ASU environment with possible radioactive releases from Grand Gulf Nuclear Plant (GGNP) operation. Experience shows that operation of nuclear plants add radioactivity to the environment. In the Chernobyl meltdown, large quantities of potential hazardous fission products were released from the core of the reactor. Some common radionuclides which can be released during routine operations of a nuclear plant are Sr89, Sr90, Csl37, I131, Ra226, H3, C14, Mn54, Ba/Ln140, and Kr 85 Also, corrosion products, such as Co58, Co60, Mn54, Fe54, and Cr51 are formed due to irradiation of steel materials, and these produce radiation. Nuclear radiations are hazardous to our health and a threat to our existence. The immediate detection of any release of radionuclides from a nuclear plant is very important. We used three types of survey meters, one sensitive mainly to -radiation at very low level, the second sensitive to -radiation at intermediate level, and the third sensitive mainly to and , and to less extent to -radiation. The -radiation level was found to be 5 µR/H to 11.67 µR/H, 15 µR/H to 65 µR/H and the combined , , and radiation level 15 µR/H to 29 µR/H, respectively. The normal background range is 10 to 20 µR/H. The equipment used were old and the accuracy of their calibration was uncertain. ”
Undated. circa 2003
End quote.

No other form of power production produces fission products. Many of these are constantly vented. Refuelling results in large increases in radioactive gas release. These produce radioactive decay products such as those mentioned above.
Contrast the above findings of airborne fission product emissions at a University near a nuclear reactor with the statements of the NRC and the officially recorded reactor emissions here:
“Typically, the levels of Sr 89/90 are so low, in many cases below the measuring device’s detection limit, that they are not seen in the waste stream at the plant. If they are not detectable at the plant in the waste stream, then they will not be seen in the environment. Radionuclides can enter the environment either through gaseous releases or liquid releases. All releases are quantified and most are typically monitored.” Scott Burnell, US Nuclear Regulatory Commission, email to me, 26.1.06.

Alcorn University must have just been having an unlucky day.

However, seems like a good idea to look at the state of awareness of nuclear power impacts in India.
See next post.


February 25, 2011

6930 Carroll Avenue, #340, Takoma Park, MD 20912; 301-270-6477;;


February 25, 2011

Dear Friends,

Thank you to the more than 170 organizations that signed the group letter to the Prime Minister of Japan and key Cabinet officials urging the government to reject proposed loans to build two new nuclear reactors in south Texas.

More than 135 U.S. groups signed, along with 21 Japanese organizations and groups from 13 other countries. This was true international cooperation!

The letter and press release can be found on the front page of NIRS website. While NIRS has sent the release to more than 1500 media contacts worldwide, we ask groups that signed to download the press release and send it to your local media as well as post it on your own blogs, websites, etc.

Meanwhile, we are still collecting signatures on the similar petition to the Prime Minister and Cabinet. If you haven’t signed it yet, please do so now. We are expecting to send in the petition, accompanied by a new press release, late next week, so there is still time to sign and help spread the word to your friends and colleagues.

We will also be getting this petition directly to the Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC)–the government’s export-import bank that is considering this loan. JBIC is also going to be asked to fund other nuclear projects around the world.

This is just the beginning of a major international campaign to stop all government bank funding of nuclear projects. It’s not just Japan, it’s also ex-im banks in France, the U.S., Korea and elsewhere. Nuclear power exists only because of the forced support by taxpayers across the world. It’s time to put the risk back where it belongs: squarely on the shoulders of the utilities and reactor manufacturers that want this dangerous and dirty technology. If they’re not willing to take the risk–and they’re not; well, tough, neither are we.

We hope you’ll help us continue and expand this campaign with a small tax-deductible contribution, either on our donation page or by sending a check to us at NIRS, 6930 Carroll Avenue, #340, Takoma Park, MD 20912. We especially hope you’ll consider setting up a small monthly recurring donation: it’s easy to do on our donation page, you can end it at any time, and it really helps!

Thanks for all you do,

Michael Mariotte
Executive Director
Nuclear Information and Resource Service

P.S. By the way, did you know you can now share any and every page on our website on Facebook, Twitter and other networking sites? If you see a factsheet, press release, study or anything else you like, be sure to share it widely. Just use the icons on the top right of every page!

Nerve Gas at Maralinga

February 25, 2011

Index of documents held by Ann Munslow-Davies for research into the Australian/ British nuclear tests
From website:
Note: These documents are scannned JPEG & GIF images so you will need a browser capable of displaying images. Some image files have been found to be very large and/or corrupted. This will be corrected as time permits – last updated 30/12/01. Contact can be made by email to

“Ann recently attended the forum called by the Department of Veterans Affairs to discuss the mortality and cancer incidence among veterans and as a result has been appointed to the scientific advisory comittee. The Department of Veterans Affairs has published a preliminary nominal role on their website.” *

See gifs “decon1 etc” at bottom of page.

These will be posted here as I upload them.


Unit 731 Photographs by Alan Queale, BCOF 1946 on

February 23, 2011

Australian War Memorial link to photographs and text:

Photo 147268
Kure, Japan. 1949. Portrait of Lieutenant Queale, Officer Commanding, Military History Section, BCOF. Use link to see photograph.

Image copyright: Copyright expired – public domain
ID number 132152
Photographer Queale, Alan
Object type Black & white
Physical description Black & white
Collection Photograph
Ceramic containers, formerly used for processing mustard gas and lewisite, Okunoshima, 3 August 1946 131732

Press Reports of Feb 2011 repeatedly state Unit 731 was “shadowy” and unknown and has been for decades. This is false. US and BCOF forces were thoroughly familar with Unit 731 activities.

Location of Unit 731 Poison Gas Island in reference to Hiroshima. The site escaped any war damage. It presented a purely military target.

An accurate report from Taiwan:

Academic email re Unit 731

February 23, 2011

I recieved this communication today:

I know you’ve seen this, Paul, but to me the most disturbing thing is not the history of this part of Japan’s WW II war machine, but the coverup by Tokyo University and the Japanese courts refusing to order compensation to victims.

Once again we witness the immorality of “university” administrators and professors – who knew about this but preferred their status over human rights – in the present – not just the past.

Universities are in fact the “brains” behind the system in power – in our modern world. Harvard and MIT quite open examples of this (from Kissinger through to Summers).
When one publishes, of course, these people do start to show interest – as it threatens their complacency.

Also, when you have a public that is largely uneducated (they get high school degrees but many can’t or don’t read – much less think), those in power can do what they like – and pay off the university people who produce the “information” that supports their positions.

Japanese academia is hopelessly corrupt and useless – this latest story being just one very obvious example. Ironically, next to that same university (Tokyo U.) is the Mitsubishi archives – where researchers who want to investigate what that company was really doing in WW II are barred from entry. Not those who praise the company, of course.

That’s why, to me, Wikileaks is perhaps the most important development in terms of information in this century so far. And not surprisingly, the elites of the world have branded them criminals and are hunting them down.

Libya burns with a madman and his mercenaries killing unarmed demonstrators, while the UN and European leaders say that it is not yet time to have “sanctions.” Libya is a prime source of arms sales for the West, so does follow logic.

Well, the main thing we can do is continue to research, to write, and get what we find out into the public. end quote. The unnamed Academic.

Confining the press reports of Unit 731 to germ warfare ignores the other half of the activities. Which included chemical weapons trials on humans and the use of chemical shells in China.

Australian Nuclear Veteran Association Fundraiser

February 23, 2011