Tag Archives: health issues

GREENS OPPOSE PUSH FOR NUCLEAR

GREENS OPPOSE PUSH FOR NUCLEAR

The Green Party of the United States (GPUS) Eco-Action Committee rejects President-elect Barack Obama’s reckless support for new nuclear power plants, as such an agenda poses unacceptable health and environmental risks and would be fiscally irresponsible in the extreme.
All of the processes associated with nuclear power are dangerous, from the mining of uranium to the transportation and disposal of radioactive waste. Uranium mining is implicated in endocrine disorders and cancers among people working in or living near the mines, and clusters of childhood leukemia and other forms of cancer have been found in people living near nuclear power sites even when the plants have not had a major accident. (The number of "minor" accidents, which the Nuclear Regulatory Commission calls "events," is staggering.)

Dr. Helen Caldicott, a physician who has devoted her life to researching the effects of the nuclear power and weapons industry on human health, lists some specific effects of carcinogenic elements associated with nuclear plants and uranium mining: iodine-131 – thyroid cancer; strontium-90 – breast cancer, bone cancer, leukemia; cesium-137 – sarcoma (malignant muscle cancer); plutonium-239 – liver cancer, bone cancer, testicular cancer, lung cancer and birth defects.
More nuclear plants would increase the risk of accidents. Japan has experienced deaths at its new reprocessing plant in Rokkosho, and the Mayak reprocessing plant in Russia has a long history of accidents, including one which killed at least 200 people and exposed hundreds of thousands of others to radiation. These, plus the thousands of deaths and devastation caused by Chernobyl’s meltdown, and the 15-year, billion dollar attempt to clean up the catastrophe at Three Mile Island, are sobering cautions.

Radioactive waste produced by nuclear power plants remains toxic to humans for over 100,000 years. There is no way to store this waste safely. Already, all six of the “low-level” nuclear waste dumps in the U.S. have leaked. The plain fact is, there are no technological quick fixes to isolate nuclear waste from the biosphere for the durations of its hazardous life.  Therefore, rather than producing more, it is essential that the generation of nuclear wastes be halted.
Enormous and long-lasting health and environmental dangers alone make nuclear power unfeasible. Cost in dollars is another factor, with each new nuclear power plant expected to cost at least nine billion dollars.
In a recent paper, “Forget Nuclear,” Amory Lovins, one of the nation’s foremost energy-policy analysts, states that nuclear energy costs twice as much per kilowatt hour to produce as wind and at least seven times the cost of implementing end-use efficiency technologies. He estimates that efficiency alone could reduce energy consumption by three times nuclear power’s market share, and that wind power alone could double the nation’s electricity output.
Because of the high risks and high costs involved, the nuclear power industry has taxpayers subsidize nuclear plants. In 2005, taxpayer subsidies to the industry were raised to 60-90% of the entire projected cost of nuclear projects. Yet, due to regulatory changes made in the 1990s, taxpayers have little say over the licensing of nuclear plants.

Rather than relying on more nuclear power , the Green Party of the United States calls for a moratorium on new nuclear power plants, the early retirement of nuclear power reactors, and the
phase-out of technologies that use or produce nuclear waste, such as nuclear waste incinerators, food irradiators, and all commercial and  military uses of depleted uranium. We also oppose the export of nuclear technologies or their wastes to other nations.

It is possible to achieve energy independence, to effectively address climate change, and to reduce energy consumption by 50% in 20 years through the strategic use of alternative energies such as wind and solar, and through increased efficiency and conservation. (Greens also emphasize taking great care to minimize any negative environmental impacts, even from such "clean" technologies as wind and solar.)

Nuclear power is as inimical to the web of life on Earth as it has ever been.  If the nuclear agenda is allowed to go forward, our continent will be poisoned by radioactivity for hundreds of generations.  We have a grave responsibility to ourselves and the future to reject nuclear power as any part of a sane solution to our energy crisis.   
GPUS Eco-Action Committee Members: 
Wes Rolley CA
Deanna L. Taylor UT
Mato Ska CA
Harold Shepherd UT
Bryce Ruddock WI
Jean McMahon OK
Gini Lester IL
R.J. Korbachs NM
Derek Iverson CA
Gail Enterkin MN
Linda Cree MI
Audrey Clement VA
Douglas Campbell MI
Matt Abel MI

Rocky Mountain Power Doesn’t Like the Suggeston to Ban New Coal-Fired Power Plants

Of course they don’t.  Why would someone who profits off of human needs be FOR something that could potentially diminish their profits?

As a follow up to yesterday’s news that Utah Doctors want to see some action to clean up our air, today’s Deseret News, in
Bad-air warning raises questions, reports that our power company is opposed to that suggestion.

Their [the doctors] position is that bad air along the Wasatch Front amounts to a health crisis that will only grow worse without bold steps. Among steps they propose are a ban on new coal-fired power plants because of mercury the plants release, improved mass transit to reduce vehicles on the road, requiring freeway drivers to slow to 55 miles per hour on smoggy days, and asking school bus drivers not to idle in school yards while waiting for students.

Rocky Mountain Powers’ response:

“If policymakers determine that they do not want electricity generated from coal,” said Rocky Mountain Power spokesman Dave Eskelsen, “we’re going to have to get it somewhere else, and it would be a lot more expensive.”
      What about the physicians’ position that some alternative methods of producing power are no more expensive than coal-burning generators?
Eskelsen said wind power with federal subsidies has come down to a “reasonable range” of dollars spent per kilowatt-hours produced.
But wind is available only about 30 percent of the time at the best sites, he said, and coal- and gas-burning plants produce power more than 85 percent of the time.
      Also, the alternative methods don’t give enough power to meet needs. A large wind turbine installation is about 100 megawatts and some proposals have been made to build wind projects that approach 300 megawatts capacity, he said.
      “But your typical coal-fired power plants are somewhere between 500 and 900 megawatts per unit, and frequently there are several units constructed at each location.”
      Based on projected growth of demand, renewable energy and conservation “are not going to be able to supply the customer in the future,” Eskelsen said.
      “We will need all of the energy efficiency and other demand-side resources we can get, all of the renewable energy we can acquire,” he added. “And we believe that we will still need electricity generation from coal and natural gas.”

From the UT Environmental Quality Dept:
Dianne Nielson, executive director of the Utah Division of Environmental Quality who was present during the Friday briefing, said she appreciates the doctors coming forward and raising their concerns.

Now here’s what I’m talkin’ ’bout:
But cleaner cars and fuels [re: stepping up emissions standards] won’t make much difference as long as the number of motorists increases, she said.
      If mass transit can carry more than the present 2 percent of people who would otherwise drive, “if we can double that, if we can triple that,” pollution would be reduced, Nielson said.

That’s my favorite part of this article. 

REDUCE THE NUMBER OF DRIVERS – USE MASS TRANSIT – WALK, BIKE.  It’s a start to decreasing pollution along the Wasatch Front – and promoting healthier lifestyles.

Milk: It Does a Body Good – but not if the media tells you it doesn’t.

Last Wednesday, KSL Channel 5 posted an Associated Press piece that reported Utah County Issues Health Warning After Severe Food-borne Illness Outbreak.

Here is the article, followed by what happened next:

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Utah County health officials issued a warning against raw milk consumption after seven cases of a severe food-borne illness were linked to products from the same dairy.
Continue reading

New blog carnival – for those affected by HIV/AIDS

Ron of Science and Politics has organized a new blog carnival for those affected by HIV/AIDS:

“I am pleased to announce the initiation of the first International Carnival of Pozitivities, a blog carnival for and by people who are living with HIV/AIDS or their physicians/caregivers. For those not familiar with a blog carnival, it is similar to a roving magazine. People write articles on their own blogs and then submit them to a central location for publication. The host of the carnival changes from month to month and therefore, the location of the “magazine” moves from blog to blog.

The main page for this particular blog carnival is at http://internationalcarnivalofpozitivities.blogspot.com/ and includes a link for submitting any articles you might wish to submit and a sign-up sheet for hosting as well. Since I am initiating this carnival, I will also host the first edition at my own blog, http://www.ronhudson.blogspot.com/ in July.”