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300+ Groups Urge Climate Scientist Dr. Hansen to Rethink Support of Nuclear Power

Civil Society Institute | January 9, 2014 9:43 am

A total of 311 U.S. and international environmental and clean energy groups said yesterday that, while they respect the climate change work of Dr. James Hansen and three of his academic colleagues, they take strong exception to the notion that nuclear power is the solution to global warming.

Instead of embracing nuclear power, we request that you join us in supporting an electric grid dominated by energy efficiency, renewable, distributed power and storage technologies.
Instead of embracing nuclear power, we request that you join us in supporting an electric grid dominated by energy efficiency, renewable, distributed power and storage technologies.

The joint letter from more than 300 groups—including 237 from 46 U.S. states and the District of Columbia and 74 from 44 other nations around the globe, including those on the ground dealing with the aftermath of the Fukushima nuclear reactor disaster—is being issued in response to a Nov. 3, 2013 statement from Dr. James Hansen and three of his academic colleagues, Ken Caldeira, Kerry Emanuel and Tom Wigley. In that statement Hansen and the others voiced their advocacy for nuclear power, an industry plagued by financial, technical and safety issues for more than 50 years.

In yesterday’s statement organized by the Civil Society Institute (CSI) and the Nuclear Information and Resource Service (NIRS), 311 organizations are urging Dr. Hansen and his colleagues to publicly debate the question of climate change and nuclear power.

The statement reads in part:

Instead of embracing nuclear power, we request that you join us in supporting an electric grid dominated by energy efficiency, renewable, distributed power and storage technologies. We ask you to join us in supporting the phase-out of nuclear power as Germany and other countries are pursuing. It is simply not feasible for nuclear power to be a part of a sustainable, safe and affordable future for humankind. We would be pleased to meet with you directly to further discuss these issues, to bring the relevant research on renewable energy and grid integration to a dialog with you. Again, we thank you for your service and contribution to our country’s understanding about climate change.

The full text of yesterday’s statement is available online.

“We can admire the important work of Dr. Hansen on climate change, which is his area of expertise, while disagreeing with his advocacy of nuclear power,” said CSI Senior Energy Analyst Grant Smith. “In the face of a clear need for swift action on climate change, there is nothing about nuclear power that resembles a solution that can be put into place quickly, much less in a safe and affordable fashion.

“Indeed, Dr. Hansen and his colleagues tout so-called ‘advanced’ nuclear technology, which is nothing more than regurgitated attempts by the industry to bring tried-and-failed alternative designs such as expensive and dangerous breeder reactors to commercialization. We have clean, affordable, safe, reliable and proven solutions available to us. These safe and clean sources can be brought to scale creating an electric grid that relies much more heavily on increased energy efficiency, variable wind and solar photovoltaic (PV), distributed power, demand response and storage technologies. This energy path can reduce greenhouse gas emissions much more quickly, cost-effectively and safely than any nuclear option. The markets are responding and there is clear evidence that they are catalyzing an unprecedented technological revolution in the power sector.”

“What we are saying is that Dr. Hansen has things exactly half right: We need to take action now to mitigate climate change,” said NIRS President Michael Mariotte. “Where we are taking issue is with the other half: the mistaken idea that nuclear power is some kind of panacea for all that ails our climate. In fact, nuclear power is the slowest, most expensive, and most dangerous climate ‘solution’ available. Our sincere hope is that Dr. Hansen will heed the input of literally hundreds of knowledgeable energy and environmental groups around the world. The joint letter puts it best with these words: ‘It is simply not feasible for nuclear power to be a part of a sustainable, safe and affordable future for humankind.’”

The Jan. 8 statement from the more than 300 signers reads in part:

Nuclear power is not a financially viable option. Since its inception it has required taxpayer subsidies and publicly financed indemnity against accidents. New construction requires billions in public subsidies to attract private capital and, once under construction, severe cost overruns are all but inevitable. As for operational safety, the history of nuclear power plants in the U.S. is fraught with near misses, as documented by the Union of Concerned Scientists, and creates another financial and safety quagmire—high-level nuclear waste. Internationally, we’ve experienced two catastrophic accidents for a technology deemed to be virtually ‘fail safe’.

As for ‘advanced’ nuclear designs endorsed in your letter, they have been tried and failed or are mere blueprints without realistic hope, in the near term, if ever, to be commercialized. The promise and potential impact you lend breeder reactor technology in your letter is misplaced. Globally, $100 billion over sixty years have been squandered to bring the technology to commercialization without success. The liquid sodium-based cooling system is highly dangerous as proven in Japan and the U.S. And the technology has proven to be highly unreliable.

Equally detrimental in cost and environmental impact is reprocessing of nuclear waste. In France, the poster child for nuclear energy, reprocessing results in a marginal increase in energetic use of uranium while largely increasing the volume of all levels of radioactive waste. Indeed, the process generates large volumes of radioactive liquid waste annually that is dumped into the English Channel and has increased electric costs to consumers significantly. Not to mention the well-recognized proliferation risks of adopting a plutonium-based energy system.

As to the issue of what represents the best path forward to deal with climate change, the Jan. 8 statement notes:

We disagree with your assessment of renewable power and energy efficiency. They can and are being brought to scale globally. Moreover, they can be deployed much more quickly than nuclear power. For instance, in the U.S. from 2002 to 2012 over 50,000 megawatts of wind were deployed. Not one megawatt of power from new nuclear reactors was deployed, despite subsidies estimated to be worth more than the value of the power new reactors would have produced. Similarly, it took 40 years globally to deploy 50,000 megawatts of solar PV and, recently, only two and a half years to deploy an equal amount. By some estimates, another 100,000 MW will be built by the end of 2015. Already, renewables and distributed power have overtaken nuclear power in terms of megawatt hour generation worldwide.

The fact of the matter is, many Wall Street analysts predict that solar PV and wind will have reached grid parity by the end of the decade. Wind in certain parts of the Midwest is already cheaper than natural gas on the wholesale level. Energy efficiency continues to outperform all technologies on a cost basis. While the cost of these technologies continues to decline and enjoy further technological advancement, the cost of nuclear power continues to increase and construction timeframes remain excessive. And we emphasize again that no technological breakthrough to reduce its costs or enhance its operation will occur in the foreseeable future.

Visit EcoWatch’s NUCLEAR page for more related news on this topic.

Cesium-137 is a threat to human health

The human body thinks Cesium-137 that it finds in food you eat is POTASSIUM. So if you NEED POTASSIUM at the time you eat that food, you will incorporate a future cancer into your tissues. If you do not need it, you MIGHT be able to excrete it before it becomes part of you. California is considering fertilizing large vegetable crop areas that are becoming increasingly contaminated with ce-137 with Potassium Cholride (KCl). The reason for this is that plants supposedly will take up the KCL instead of the ce-137. We'll see.

Over the long term, the big threat to human health is cesium-137, which has a half-life of 30 years.
At that rate of disintegration, John Emsley wrote in “Nature’s Building Blocks” (Oxford, 2001), “it takes over 200 years to reduce it to 1 percent of its former level.”

It is cesium-137 that still contaminates much of the land in Ukraine around the Chernobyl reactor.

Cesium-137 mixes easily with water and is chemically similar to potassium. It thus mimics how potassium gets metabolized in the body and can enter through many foods, including milk.

The Environmental Protection Agency says that … once dispersed in the environment … cesium-137 “is impossible to avoid.”

Cesium-137 is light enough to be carried by the wind a substantial distance. And it is being carried by ocean currents towards the West Coast of North America.

Fortunately – while little-known in the medical community – other harmless minerals can help “saturate” our bodies so as to minimize the uptake of other harmful types of radiation.

The U.S. Department of Defense’s Army Medical Department Center and School explained in its book Medical Consequences of Radiological and Nuclear Weapons (Chapter 4):

--- Quote ---One of the keys to a successful treatment outcome is to reduce or eliminate the uptake of internalized radionuclides before they can reach the critical organ.

The terms “blocking” or “diluting” agent can, in most cases, be used interchangeably. These compounds reduce the uptake of a radionuclide by saturating binding sites with a stable, nonradioactive element, thereby diluting the deleterious effect of the radioisotope.

For example, potassium iodide is the FDA-recommended treatment to prevent radioactive iodine from being sequestered in the thyroid…. Nonradioactive strontium compounds may also be used to block the uptake of radioactive strontium.

In addition, elements with chemical properties similar to the internalized radio-nuclide are often used as blocking agents. For example, calcium, and to a lesser extent phosphorus, can be used to block uptake of radioactive strontium.

--- End quote ---

Agelbert NOTE: I don't trust the U.S. Army's DEFINITION of "successful" treatment against radiation. Do you?

I agree there ARE blocking agents and they CAN limit our exposure somewhat. We are Guinea pigs and will have to find out the hard way how much we can block these radioactive poisons. The USA was contaminated with Ce-137 during the above ground nuclear explosion period of several decades.

Deposition maps were made. They are OUT OF DATE as of Chernobyl, never mind Fukushima! We need new maps. Don't hold your breath waiting for out gooberment to have them made...

Institute for Energy and Environmental Research, © 2014
Fact Sheet on Fallout Report and Related Maps

States containing counties with the highest Cs-137 deposition include:
Arkansas   Iowa   Oregon   Utah      California   Missouri   Pennsylvania   Vermont      Idaho   New Hampshire   South Dakota   Washington Indiana   North Carolina   Tennessee   Wyoming   

Counties in other states throughout the eastern half of the United States received substantial Cs-137 deposition. A larger number of states have counties that received substantial thyroid doses of radioactive iodine from NTS tests.

The CDC/NCI study included tests conducted between 1951 and 1962. This means that:

Chinese tests were not included (1964 to 1980)

French atmospheric tests after 1962 were not included. Hence all French atmospheric tests in the Pacific were not included. (France conducted atmospheric tests from 1960 until 1974.)

The pre-1951 tests in the Marshall Islands and the Soviet Union, the 1945 New Mexico test, and the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings were not included.

Ventings from underground tests in the United States or the Soviet Union were not included.  >:( :P

Calculations for Alaska and Hawaii have not been done. Alaska may have had quite a bit of fallout from Novaya Zemlya. Hawaii may have had fallout from the Marshall Islands tests. These two states need to be included in future work. They were not included because of the limitations of this feasibility stage of the study. These two states would involve different sets of data. Fallout would also be expected in other places, for instance Canada.

This is ONE of several FALLOUT maps you can view at the link:

Cesium-137 deposition density due to global fallout

Fallout Maps (provided to IEER by CDC in February 2002)

Locations of sites having greater than one megaton total tests conducted prior to 1963

Preliminary estimates of total radiation dose to red bone marrow of children born 1 January 1951

from Nevada Test Site and global fallout for all radionuclides

Total (external + internal) dose to red bone marrow of an adult from global fallout

Total (external + internal) dose to red bone marrow of an adult from Nevada Test Site tests

Cesium-137 deposition density due to global fallout

Cesium-137 deposition density due to Nevada Test Site tests

48 contiguous states only, based on cumulative exposures between 1951 and 2000, does not account for all nuclear tests as explained above ↩ Return
Estimated by IEER by assuming a 5% mortality rate from thyroid cancer. ↩ Return
Rounded best estimate of 11,000-212,000 estimated range, obtained by taking geometric mean. ↩ Return
From radionuclides such as carbon-14, tritium, cesium-137.
Rounded to one or two significant figures as indicated.


A "study" on some poor beagles: (neoplasms are growths)


Chronic Exposure or Carcinogenicity/ The toxicity of cesium-137 in the beagle dog was investigated... as part of programs to evaluate the biological effects of both radionuclides in atomic bomb fallout and internally deposited fission-product radionuclides. ...

63 dogs in three age groups (15 juveniles, 142-151 days old; 38 young adults, 388-427 days old; and 10 middle-aged dogs, 1387-2060 days old) were given cesium-137 intravenously at levels (61-162 MBq/kg) near those expected to be lethal within 30 days after injection. There were 17 control dogs from the same colony.

Twenty-three of the dogs injected with cesium-137, including all middle-aged dogs, died within 52 days after injection due to hematopoietic cell damage resulting in severe pancytopenia that led to fatal hemorrhage and/or septicemia. The other significant early effect was damage to the germinal epithelium of the seminiferous tubules of all male dogs. ...

The most significant non-neoplastic late effects in the cesium-137-injected dogs... were atrophy of the germinal epithelium of seminiferous tubules with azoospermia, and a significant dose-dependent decrease in survival. ...Numerous neoplasms occurred at many different sites in the dogs injected with cesium-137... .

Two differences in the findings of the two studies were that

(1) there was an increased risk for malignant thyroid neoplasms in /one group of/ ... male dogs injected with cesium-137, but not the... dogs /in the other study/ and

(2) there was an increased relative risk for benign neoplasms excluding mammary neoplasms in /one group of/... dogs injected with cesium-137, but not /in the other group/. ...In both groups, there were dose-related increased incidences of malignant neoplasms, malignant neoplasms excluding mammary neoplasms, all sarcomas considered as a group, all non-mammary carcinomas considered as a group and malignant liver neoplasms.

In summary, the similarity of the findings between the two studies and the dose-response relationships for survival and for large groupings of neoplasms suggests that these results are consistent findings in cesium-137-injected dogs and might be dose-related late effects in humans exposed to sufficient amounts of internally deposited cesium-137. /Cesium-137/
[Nikula KJ et al; Radiat Res 146 (5): 536-47 (1996)] **PEER REVIEWED** PubMed Abstract
--- End quote ---

Agelbert NOTE: "MIGHT be dose-related in humans exposed" is SCIENTIST SPEAK for covering their asses about the TRUTH that humans are every bit as dose dependent as the dogs are. 

We are going need a LOT of Ce-137 absorbing mushrooms if the KCL doesn't cut it.

The human body is 0.4% potassium. That may not seem like a lot but it is in every single cell we have, SO, if ce-137 sneaks in, it will destroy DNA all over the place.

Check out how IMPORTANT to our body POTASSIUM is and how the food that has it that we need will uptake ce-137 as easily as WE DO thinking it is Potassium! That means mutations in the food and in us out the YING YANG, get it?

--- Quote ---
Potassium is a mineral that is needed for your body to work properly. It is a type of electrolyte.


Potassium is a very important mineral to the human body.

Your body needs potassium to:
•Build proteins
•Break down and use carbohydrates
•Build muscle
•Maintain normal body growth
•Control the electrical activity of the heart
•Control the acid-base balance

Food Sources

Many foods contain potassium. All meats (red meat and chicken) and fish such as salmon, cod, flounder, and sardines are good sources of potassium. Soy products and veggie burgers are also good sources of potassium.

Vegetables including broccoli, peas, lima beans, tomatoes, potatoes (especially their skins), sweet potatoes, and winter squashes are all good sources of potassium.

Fruits that contain significant sources of potassium include citrus fruits, cantaloupe, bananas, kiwi, prunes, and apricots. Dried apricots contain more potassium than fresh apricots.

Milk and yogurt, as well as nuts, are also excellent sources of potassium.

People with kidney problems, especially those on dialysis, should not eat too many potassium-rich foods. The doctor or nurse will recommend a special diet.

Side Effects

Having too much or too little potassium in the body can have very serious consequences.

A low blood level of potassium is called hypokalemia. It can cause weak muscles, abnormal heart rhythms, and a slight rise in blood pressure. You may have hypokalemia if you:
•Take diuretics (water pills) for the treatment of high blood pressure or heart failure
•Take too many laxatives
•Have severe or prolonged vomiting and diarrhea
•Have certain kidney or adrenal gland disorders

Too much potassium in the blood is known as hyperkalemia. It may cause abnormal and dangerous heart rhythms. Some common causes include:
•Poor kidney function
•Heart medicines called angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors and angiotensin 2 receptor blockers (ARBs)
•Potassium-sparing diuretics (water pills) such as spironolactone or amiloride
•Severe infection


The Food and Nutrition Center of the Institute of Medicine has established the following recommended dietary intakes for potassium:

•0 - 6 months: 0.4 grams a day (g/day)
•7 - 12 months: 0.7 g/day

Children and Adolescents
•1 - 3 years: 3 g/day
•4 - 8 years: 3.8 g/day
•9 - 13 years: 4.5 g/day
•14 - 18 years: 4.7 g/day

•Age 19 and older: 4.7 g/day

--- End quote ---

A terrific and typically well researched article. Right on time as well. Wondering whether I should purchase a geiger counter. Have already ordered some KI for my family...

Thanks Surly,
The Geiger counter will expose the heavy contamination but the becquerel count on food like fish or produce can be high enough to damage health without registering on the Geiger counter.  :P

Remember KI works only to block the radioactive iodine. For some reason, it doesn't seem to block the Ce-137 even though it has K in it. The KCL fertilizer is supposed to keep plants we eat from taking up Ce-137 into their tissues. Apparantly the K in KCL is more bioactive for uptake than the K in KI.

And then there are those mushrooms Paul Stamets mentions that suck up Ce-137 into their tissues at the Chernobyl area that should help.   

How Mushrooms Can Clean Up Radioactive Contamination - An 8 Step Plan

Paul Stamets |  Saturday, 16th April 2011 

Paul Stamets, the master of mycorrhiza, describes how to isolate the radioactive material at Fukushima, specifically Cesium 137, and reduce its impact on the surrounding land and its wildlife and people.

Gomphidius glutinosus

Many people have written me and asked more or less the same question: "What would you do to help heal the Japanese landscape around the failing nuclear reactors?"

The enormity and unprecedented nature of this combined natural and human-made disaster will require a massive and completely novel approach to management and remediation. And with this comes a never before seen opportunity for collaboration, research and wisdom.

The nuclear fallout will make continued human habitation in close proximity to the reactors untenable. The earthquake and tsunami created enormous debris fields near the nuclear reactors. Since much of this debris is wood, and many fungi useful in mycoremediation are wood decomposers and build the foundation of forest ecosystems, I have the following suggestions:

1. Evacuate the region around the reactors.

2. Establish a high-level, diversified remediation team including foresters, mycologists, nuclear and radiation experts, government officials, and citizens.

3. Establish a fenced off Nuclear Forest Recovery Zone.

4. Chip the wood debris from the destroyed buildings and trees and spread throughout areas suffering from high levels of radioactive contamination.

5. Mulch the landscape with the chipped wood debris to a minimum depth of 12-24 inches.

6. Plant native deciduous and conifer trees, along with hyper-accumulating mycorrhizal mushrooms, particularly Gomphidius glutinosus, Craterellus tubaeformis, and Laccaria amethystina (all native to pines). G. glutinosus has been reported to absorb – via the mycelium – and concentrate radioactive Cesium 137 more than 10,000-fold over ambient background levels. Many other mycorrhizal mushroom species also hyper-accumulate.

7. Wait until mushrooms form and then harvest them under Radioactive HAZMAT protocols.

8. Continuously remove the mushrooms, which have now concentrated the radioactivity, particularly Cesium 137, to an incinerator. Burning the mushroom will result in radioactive ash. This ash can be further refined and the resulting concentrates vitrified (placed into glass) or stored using other state-of-the-art storage technologies.

By sampling other mushroom-forming fungi for their selective ability to hyper-accumulate radioactivity, we can learn a great deal while helping the ecosystem recover. Not only will some mushroom species hyper-accumulate radioactive compounds, but research has also shown that some mycorrhizal fungi bind and sequester radioactive elements so they remain immobilized for extended periods of time. Surprisingly, we learned from the Chernobyl disaster that many species of melanin-producing fungi have their growth stimulated by radiation.

The knowledge gained through this collaborative process would not only benefit the areas affected by the current crisis, but would also help with preparedness and future remediation responses.

How long would this remediation effort take? I have no clear idea but suggest this may require decades. However, a forested national park could emerge –The Nuclear Forest Recovery Zone – and eventually benefit future generations with its many ecological and cultural attributes.

I do not know of any other practical remedy. I do know that we have an unprecedented opportunity to work together toward solutions that make sense.

For references consult my latest book, Mycelium Running: How Mushrooms Can Help Save the World (Ten Speed Press, Berkeley or Click this link to see a video too! Utilizing search engines of the scientific literature will also reveal more corroborative references.

Paul Stamets  

How Mushrooms Can Clean Up Radioactive Contamination - An 8 Step Plan

CIIRAD was created in 1986 because the government of France claimed that there was no contamination in France from Chernobyl.

Since then that contamination, the contamination from 20 closed uranium mines tapped out in France and the horrendous uranium mine contamination going on to this date in Australia (and every place else on earth that there are uranium mines) has been discovered by this bold, truthful organization.

Watch this video and learn all you have never been told about the TRUTH about Uranium mining contamination of the environment even before this poison gets to the nuclear power plant.

The tailings at them mines are hundreds of times greater in mass than the yellow cake produced. They are also 80% as radioactive as they were before U-308 was pulled out of them. As usual, the mining companies refuse to remediate the land, as they are allegedly required to do by law, while claiming there is NO contamination or hazard to the environment from the tailings.


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