• Conditions with reactors 1 & 2 have moderated, with no appreciable changes in pressures or temperatures since Monday. Temperatures and pressures for reactor #3 have increased, so the TEPCO operators have increased feed-water flow from 7 to 9 tons per hour.
  • Seawater contamination levels for Iodine and Cesium at the MEXT off-shore locations are no longer detectable, so regular postings have ended. All but two TEPCO near-shore sampling points are below health standards or not detectable. The two others are below 0.1 bq/cc.
  • JAIF reports TEPCO is developing a device to decontaminate the seawater contained inside their Daiichi break-wall and silt dams. They will fill a “container” with a zeolite absorptive material, then pump the contaminated waters through it. Inlet and outlet flows will be sampled to see how effective it is. If it works adequately, other similar devices will be made to increase the decontamination rate.
  • Kyodo news has reported that TEPCO plans on starting a process of “full restoration of a reactor’s cooling system” on Sunday. No details were given.
  • Kyodo News also reports that the government actions taken for public protection during the first few days of the emergency, were based on potential “worst case scenarios” and not on actual monitored measurements of airborne contamination levels or radiation fields. The government continues to assume the worst case scenario in all continuing protective actions. They say that over-estimating is better than under-estimating.
  • The Greenpeace “flagship”, Rainbow Warrior, tried to enter the waters off Fukushima Daiichi on Monday, but were stopped by the Japanese. They cannot come past the 12 mile (20 kilometer) distance of the no-entry zone. They were told they were allowed to check fish and seaweed beyond twelve miles, but no closer. They will not be allowed to check anywhere else within the 12 mile international limit, without a permit. Greenpeace is outraged, of course, because the water is so deep at 12 miles that there is no food fishing or seaweed harvesting. They want to test the near-shore food fish and seaweeds used to allegedly provide independent analysis on the radiologicalsafety of the food. Thwarted, the Rainbow Warrior has gone to Tokyo harbor to anchor and try and get permission. The Japanese say they are not letting any other ships inside the 20 km. no-entry zone around Daiichi, so they have no intention of accommodating Greenpeace. (NHK News and Greenpeace)

The War Against The Atom intensifies…

A May 1 opinion-editorial in the NY Times has brought an infamous prophet of nuclear energy doom back to the public stage; Dr. Helen Caldicott from Australia. Her editorial, Unsafe at Any Dose, re-cycles her unwavering position that there is no safe level of radiation exposure, as well as her same open-ended allegations and appeals to fear of the unknown that have marked her irresponsible rantings since Three Mile Island. She once again unites the Hiroshima bombing with nuclear reactor accidents, which does little more than continue the mental damage of the Hiroshima Syndrome.

Helen Caldicott is the philosophical mind behind, and progenitor of Physicians for Social Responsibility. Sounds impressive, doesn’t it? However, their membership numbers but a tiny fraction of one percent of all physicians. Regardless, their position on nuclear energy is historically biased, bigoted, and irrational. To them, there is nothing good about atomic energy. Nothing! Their proliferate contribution to the Hiroshima Syndrome since TMI cannot be over-stated. They should be called Physicians for Psychological Irresponsibility!

Caldicott is perhaps the most arrogant and irresponsible of their anti-nuclear lot, attacking the most renowned and responsible scientific organizations in the world as being involved in some ridiculous sort of conspiracy (e.g. WHO). She even has the audacity to call for physicians of the world to unite against physicists in order to stop nuclear energy. She’s gone totally off the reservation on this one! Caldicott may have medical credentials, but she is nothing more than a street-corner doomsday prophet…and should be treated as such. She’s a rhetorical con-artist, at best.

Caldicott bases most of her “new” tactics on the arbitrary Linear, No Threshold corollary that radiation damage accumulates over the years, and the body does not in any way repair the damage. In addition, she has now decided to blame all birth defects and miscarriages that have been accumulated in Belarus and the Ukraine since Chernobyl, on the accident itself. None have originated from the myriad of birth defect and miscarriage causes that have nothing to do with radiation exposure, of course. They are all because of the reactor accident. Utterly preposterous! This is obvious scape-goatism, and has no place in rational debate. Further, she now broadcasts that radiation damage can have a 60 year latency period, and be passed on from generation to generation before the inevitable cancer occurs. In other words, our grandchildren will get it if we don’t? She even asserts that nuclear power plants contribute “substantially” to global warming! Does Caldicott’s unethical grandiloquence know no bounds?

What’s even more insidious, she routinely takes references completely out of context in order to try and “prove” her manic biases. For example, Caldicott makes it sound as if the New York Academy of Sciences condones the Yablokov 985,000 Chernobyl cancer death theory, because they supposedly printed a copy of his book in their Journal. She fails to mention the disclaimer posted by the Academy which says, in part, “The Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences issue ‘Chernobyl: Consequences of the Catastrophe for People and the Environment’, therefore, does not present new, unpublished work, nor is it a work commissioned by the New York Academy of Sciences. The expressed views of the authors, or by advocacy groups or individuals with specific opinions about the Annals Chernobyl volume, are their own. Although the New York Academy of Sciences believes it has a responsibility to provide open forums for discussion of scientific questions, the Academy has no intent to influence legislation by providing such forums.” What? The Yablokov piece wasn’t sanctioned by the Academy in the first place? Clearly, Caldicott intentionally misrepresents one of the most august scientific bodies in America. Helen Caldicott has done this sort of thing for three decades, and she seems to have no desire to stop. She has gained her modicum of international fame, and she basks in it’s egoistic glow.

The above may be bad enough, but to this writer’s view, she steps way over the line by suggesting that Hershey’s Chocolate might contain TMI radiation and cause cancer! OK…so I’m a chocoholic! I’ll admit it. But, taking a swipe at the hallowed halls of Hershey’s…that’s inexcusable!

Regardless, read the editorial yourself…. http://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/01/opinion/01caldicott.html

…or for some additional evidence, check this one out… http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2011/apr/11/nuclear-apologists-radiation