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Thursday, February 4, 2010

Feb. 4 - A Quarter of U.S. Nuclear Plants Leaking

Dear Friends,

Lets all glow in the dark - That way we'll be easier to find ;-)

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2010/02/01/national/main6163433.shtml

Be Well.

David

A Quarter of U.S. Nuclear Plants Leaking

27 of 104 Plants Leak Radioactive Tritium, a Carcinogen, Raising Concerns About Nation's Aging Plants

The cooling towers of Three Mile Island's Unit 1 Nuclear Power Plant pour steam into the sky in Middletown, Pa., in this March 17, 2009 file photo. Radioactive tritium, a carcinogen, now taints at least 27 of the nation's 104 nuclear reactors — raising concerns about how it is escaping from the aging nuclear plants.

The cooling towers of Three Mile Island's Unit 1 Nuclear Power Plant pour steam into the sky in Middletown, Pa., in this March 17, 2009 file photo. Radioactive tritium, a carcinogen, now taints at least 27 of the nation's 104 nuclear reactors — raising concerns about how it is escaping from the aging nuclear plants. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
(AP) Radioactive tritium, a carcinogen discovered in potentially dangerous levels in groundwater at the Vermont Yankee nuclear plant, now taints at least 27 of the nation's 104 nuclear reactors — raising concerns about how it is escaping from the aging nuclear plants.

The leaks — many from deteriorating underground pipes — come as the nuclear industry is seeking and obtaining federal license renewals, casting itself as a clean-green alternative to power plants that burn fossil fuels.

Tritium, found in nature in tiny amounts and a product of nuclear fusion, has been linked to cancer if ingested, inhaled or absorbed through the skin in large amounts.

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission said Monday that new tests at a monitoring well on Vermont Yankee's site in Vernon registered 70,500 picocuries per liter, more than three times the federal safety standard of 20,000 picocuries per liter.

That is the highest reading yet at the Vermont Yankee plant, where the original discovery last month drew sharp criticism by Gov. Jim Douglas and others. Officials of the New Orleans-based Entergy Corp., which owns the plant in Vernon in Vermont's southeast corner, have admitted misleading state regulators and lawmakers by saying the plant did not have the kind of underground pipes that could leak tritium into groundwater.

"What has happened at Vermont Yankee is a breach of trust that cannot be tolerated," said Republican Gov. Jim Douglas, who until now has been a strong supporter of the state's lone nuclear plant.

Vermont Yankee has said no tritium has been found in area drinking water supplies or in the Connecticut River and that earlier, lesser tritium levels discovered last month were of no health concern. Messages left for a plant spokesman Monday were not immediately returned.

President Barack Obama, in his State of the Union address last week, called for "building a new generation of safe, clean nuclear power plants in this country." His 2011 budget request to Congress on Monday called for $54 billion in additional loan guarantees for nuclear power.

The 104 nuclear reactors operating in 31 states provide only 20 percent of the nation's electricity. But they are responsible for 70 percent of the power from non-greenhouse gas producing sources, including wind, solar and hydroelectric dams.

Vermont Yankee is just the latest of dozens of U.S. nuclear plants, many built in the 1960s and '70s, to be found with leaking tritium.

The Braidwood nuclear station in Illinois was found in the 1990s to be leaking millions of gallons of tritium-laced water, some of which contaminated residential water wells. Plant owner Exelon Corp. ended up paying for a new municipal water system.

After Braidwood, the nuclear industry stepped up voluntary checking for tritium in groundwater at plants around the country, testing that revealed the Vermont Yankee problem, plant officials said.

In New Jersey last year, tritium was reported leaking a second time from the Oyster Creek plant in Ocean County, just days after Exelon won NRC approval for a 20-year license extension there. The Pilgrim plant in Plymouth, Mass., like Vermont Yankee, owned by Entergy, reported low levels of tritium on the ground in 2007. The Vermont leak has prompted a Plymouth-area citizens group to demand more test wells at the Massachusetts plant.

NRC spokesman Neil Sheehan says leaks have occurred at least 27 of the nation's 104 commercial reactors at 65 plant sites. He said the list likely does not include every plant where tritium has leaked.

The leaks have several causes; underground pipes corroding and the leaking of spent fuel storage pools are the most common. The source of the leak or leaks at Vermont Yankee has not been found; at Oyster Creek, corroded underground pipes were implicated.

Many radiological health scientists agree with the Environmental Protection Agency that tritium, like other radioactive isotopes, can cause cancer.

That worries Vermont public officials and lawmakers. Rep. Tony Klein, chairman of the Natural Resources and Energy Committee in the Vermont House, said he fears public officials may be downplaying the risk.

"When you have public officials that the public depends on for their health and welfare making casual statements that a radioactive substance is not harmful to you, I think that's ludicrous," Klein said.

There's disagreement on the severity of the risk.

"Somebody would have to be drinking a lot of water and it would have to be really concentrated in there for it to do any harm at all," said Jacqueline Williams, a radiation biologist at the University of Rochester Medical Center in New York state.

But in 2005, the National Academy of Sciences concluded after an exhaustive study that even the tiniest amount of ionizing radiation increases the risk of cancer.

"The scientific research base shows that there is no threshold of exposure below which low levels of ionizing radiation can be demonstrated to be harmless or beneficial," Richard R. Monson, associate dean for professional education and professor of epidemiology at the Harvard School of Public Health, said when the NAS released its study.

Paul Gunter of the Maryland-based anti-nuclear group Beyond Nuclear, said in many instances, it's impossible to know how much tritium is getting into the environment.

"These are uncontrolled, unmonitored releases from these plants," he said.

Steve Kerekes, spokesman for the Nuclear Energy Institute, an industry group, said the public shouldn't be unduly worried.

"These are industrial facilities, and any industrial facility from time to time is going to have equipment problems or challenges," Kerekes said. "Not every operational issue rises to the level of being a safety issue."

Vermont, with a strong anti-nuclear movement, is the only state in the country where the Legislature decides whether to relicense a nuclear plant. Vermont Yankee's current 40-year license is up in 2012, and Entergy is asking for 20 more years.

© MMX The Associated Press.

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esoteric



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How to Digitally Record/Video a UFO sighting:


Como registar digitalmente ou gravar um vídeo de um avistamento de um UFO:




Stabilize the camera on a tripod. If there is no tripod, then set it on top of a stable, flat surface. If that is not possible lean against a wall to stabilize your body and prevent the camera from filming in a shaky, unsteady manner.

Estabilize a camera com um tripé. Se não tiver um tripé, então coloque-a em cima de uma superfície estável. Se não for possível, então encoste-se a uma parede para estabilizar o corpo e evitar que a camera registe de maneira tremida e instável.

Provide visual reference points for comparison. This includes the horizon, treetops, lampposts, houses, and geographical landmarks (i.e., Horsetooth Reservoir, Mt. Adams, etc.) Provide this in the video whenever is appropriate and doesn’t detract from what your focus is, the UFO.

Forneça pontos visuais de referência para comparação. Isso inclui o horizonte, cimo das árvores, postes de iluminação, pontos de referência geográficos (como o Reservatório de Horsetooth, Mone Adams, etc) Forneça esses pontos no vídeo sempre que for apropriado e não se distraia do que é o seu foco, o UFO/a Nave.

Narrate your videotape. Provide details of the date, time, location, and direction (N,S,E,W) you are looking in. Provide your observations on the weather, including approximate temperature, windspeed, any visible cloud cover or noticeable weather anomalies or events. Narrate on the shape, size, color, movements, approximate altitude of the UFO, etc and what it appears to be doing. Also include any unusual physical, psychological or emotional sensations you might have. Narrate any visual reference points on camera so they correlate with what the viewer will see, and thereby will be better able to understand.

Faça a narração do vídeo. Forneça pormenores sobre a data, hora, local e direcção (Norte, Sul, Este, Oeste) que está a observar. Faça observações sobre as condições atmosféricas, incluindo a temperatura aproximada, velocidade do vento, quantidade de nuvens, anomalias ou acontecimentos meteorológicos evidentes. Descreva a forma, o tamanho, a cor, os movimentos, a altitude aproximada onde se encontra o UFO/nave, etc e o que aparenta estar a fazer. Inclua também quaisquer aspectos pouco habituais de sensações físicas, psicológicas ou emocionais que possa ter. Faça a narração de todos os pontos de referência visual que o espectador irá ver e que, deste modo, será capaz de compreender melhor.

Be persistent and consistent. Return to the scene to videotape and record at this same location. If you have been successful once, the UFO sightings may be occurring in this region regularly, perhaps for specific reasons unknown, and you may be successful again. You may also wish to return to the same location at a different time of day (daylight hours) for better orientation and reference. Film just a minute or two under “normal” circumstances for comparison. Write down what you remember immediately after. As soon as you are done recording the experience/event, immediately write down your impressions, memories, thoughts, emotions, etc. so it is on the record in writing. If there were other witnesses, have them independently record their own impressions, thoughts, etc. Include in this exercise any drawings, sketches, or diagrams. Make sure you date and sign your documentation.

Seja persistente e não contraditório. Volte ao local da cena e registe o mesmo local. Se foi bem sucedido uma vez, pode ser que nessa região ocorram avistamentos de UFOs/naves com regularidade, talvez por razões específicas desconhecidas, e talvez possa ser novamente bem sucedido. Pode também desejar voltar ao mesmo lugar a horas diferentes do dia (durante as horas de luz)para ter uma orientação e referência melhor. Filme apenas um ,inuto ou dois em circunstâncias “normais” para ter um termo de comparação. Escreva tudo o que viu imediatamente após o acontecimento. Logo após ter feito o registo da experiência/acontecimento, escreva imediatamente as impressões, memórias, pensamentos, emoções, etc para que fiquem registadas por escrito. Se houver outras testemunhas, peça-lhes para registar independentemente as suas próprias impressões, pensamentos, etc. Inclua quaisquer desenhos, esbolos, diagramas. Certifique-se que data e assina o seu documento/testemunho.

Always be prepared. Have a digital camera or better yet a video camera with you, charged and ready to go, at all times. Make sure you know how to use your camera (and your cell phone video/photo camera) quickly and properly. These events can occur suddenly, unexpectedly, and often quite randomly, so you will need to be prepared.

Esteja sempre preparado, Tenha sempre uma camera digital, melhor ainda, uma camera vídeo consigo, carregada e pronta a usar sempre que necessário. Certifique-se que sabe como lidar com a sua camera (ou com o seu celular/camera fotográfica) rápida e adequadamente. Esses acontecimentos podem acontecer súbita e inesperadamente e, por vezes, acidentalmente, por isso, necessita estar preparado.

Look up. Be prepared. Report. Share.

Olhe para cima, Esteja preparado, Relate, Partilhe.

MUFON.COM

ESOTERIC



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