Chernobyl haunts the Norwegian uplands
Tougher controls on the slaughter of sheep have been imposed in Norway after they were found to be contaminated with unusually high levels of radioactivity from the Chernobyl disaster in 1986.
The Norwegian Radiation Protection Authority (NRPA) says the problem has arisen because the sheep have feasted on an unusually large crop of mushrooms, which were more plentiful than usual because of wet weather. Previous research has shown that fungi take up more radioactivity from the soil than grasses or other plants.
There are 36 areas of upland Norway where Chernobyl contamination still requires controls on sheep. According to the NRPA, levels of caesium-137 from the Chernobyl disaster reached 7000 becquerels per kilogram in sheep this year, more than twice maximum levels in previous years.
Farmers can reduce the level of radioactivity in sheep by giving them non-contaminated food for a month before slaughter. For some farmers, this period will now have to be doubled to reduce caesium-137 levels to below Norway's safety limit of 600 bq/kg.
Per Strand, the NRPA's head of environmental radioactivity, stresses that the precautions mean that lamb on the market is safe to eat. He says, though, that the discovery of such high levels of radioactivity so long after the Chernobyl accident came as a surprise.
"No one at the time expected contamination to be so high more than 20 years after the event," he says.
From issue 2575 of New Scientist magazine, 28 October 2006, page 7
Nuclear security special: Disaster waiting to happen
Enough uranium for thousands of bombs, in decaying facilities, amid doubtful security - and this is in the US.
Spontaneous combustion is not high on most people's list of worries, but when it happens to materials at one of the world's oldest and largest storage centres for weapons-grade uranium, it is a different matter.
On 22 September, the plastic wrapping around some uranium at the Y-12 National Security Complex in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, burst into flames as a technician was removing it inside a glovebox. Exposed to air, the uranium had heated up and ignited the plastic.
The fire took place in a large wooden warehouse built in 1944 to help the Manhattan Project, set up to develop nuclear weapons. The warehouse is one of the facility's main stores for its 400 tonnes of highly enriched uranium, and is now officially rated as a fire hazard, according to an assessment in 1996 by the US Department of Energy (DoE).
In this case the incident was contained, but a major ...
The complete article is 1521 words long.
image - http://www.worldprocessor.com/images/chernobyl.jpg
A short memory may not be an appropriate tool for dealing with unclear energy and the millions of years of toxic damage to our world that is its legacy. Nuclear power isn't a viable option to economic growth or saving the planet - see http://gonow.to/freeenergy for some solutions. The second page even holds disposal solutions!
Reactors are for reactionaries. It's the third millennium - let's consign these poisonous, antiquated steam engines (Yes - that's what they actually are - the use radioactive materials to boil water. How high-tech! What vision!) to the past where they belong. All they're good for is making nuclear weapons and 'depleted' munitions.
Let's listen to wisdom for a change. Leave it in the ground where it belongs. And if you reaally don't know - see http://www.ericblumrich.com/pl_lo.html now!
- R. Ayana
For further enlightenment see –
The Her(m)etic Hermit - http://hermetic.blog.com
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