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Fri, 21 Jan 2022
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Oldest US Nuclear Reactor: a 'Disaster' in Waiting?

oyster creek nuke plant
© n/a
Nuclear power plant at Oyster Creek, New Jersey.
Lacey, New Jersey - A sleepy New Jersey town has popped onto people's radar screens because it has the oldest running nuclear power plant in the United States -- and, some say, the most dangerous.

Named for a Revolutionary War general, Lacey is the kind of American town that few from outside the seaside settlement knew much about before the earthquake and tsunami in Japan triggered a nuclear crisis.

Down the road from the 1950s-style diner and across from the bridge that locals use as a fishing pier stands the Oyster Creek nuclear plant.

It uses a GE Mark I Boiling Water reactor identical to those that lost power at Japan's Fukushima plant in the March 11 earthquake and then was struck by a tsunami that knocked out its backup generators, causing reactor cooling functions to fail.

Evil Rays

Global Food Scare Widens from Japan Nuclear Plant

radiation check / Japan
© n/a
Countries across the world shunned Japanese food imports Thursday as radioactive steam leaked from a disaster-struck nuclear plant, straining nerves in Tokyo.

The grim toll of dead and missing from Japan's monster quake and tsunami on March 11 topped 26,000, as hundreds of thousands remained huddled in evacuation shelters and fears grew in the megacity of Tokyo over water safety.

The damage to the Fukushima nuclear plant from the tectonic calamity and a series of explosions has stoked global anxiety. The United States and Hong Kong have already restricted Japanese food, and France wants the EU to do the same.

Russia ordered a halt to food imports from four prefectures -- Fukushima, Gunma, Ibaraki and Tochigi -- near the stricken plant 250 kilometres (155 miles) northeast of Tokyo.

Heart - Black

Iraq - A Nation of Tears


Phoenix

Fire at US underground lab appears under control

Within the next 48 hours a crew is expected to enter the Soudan Underground Laboratory for the first time since a fire broke out last Thursday at the mine that houses it. The facility, which is managed by the University of Minnesota, is home to a number of high-profile physics experiments, including the MINOS neutrino detector and the detector of the Cryogenic Dark Matter Search (CDMS) experiment. The lab lies more than 700 m below ground where the rocks above shield the experiments from unwanted cosmic rays and other disturbances.

Image
© Unknown
Firefighters tackling the blaze at the Soudan Mine, Friday
According to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR), the fire was detected in the mine's main lift shaft around 9 p.m. local time on Thursday (17 March) when nobody was in the mine. By Friday the DNR had established that the fire was blazing inside the shaft between levels 23 and 25 - just two levels above the physics laboratory, which is located 60 m below on the mine's lowest level.

There were also fears that the lab could suffer flood damage after electrical systems automatically shut down, deactivating pumps that were designed to keep groundwater from entering the mine.

After fire-fighting efforts over the weekend, in which thousands of gallons of foam and water were sprayed into the mine, the Minnesota Interagency Fire Center reported on Sunday that the fire was 99% extinguished. Fire officials will only declare the blaze officially "out" once its source has been located and any smouldering ashes or embers have been extinguished.

Evil Rays

Lack of Data from Japan Distresses Nuclear Experts

exposed Fukushima plant workers
© Kyodo, Reuters
Japanese military members prepare to transfer exposed Fukushima plant workers to a hospital, March 25, 2011.
Nuclear scientists and policy experts say the quality and quantity of information coming out of Fukushima has left gaping holes in their understanding of the nuclear disaster nearly two weeks after it began.

How did Japanese workers at the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant jury-rig fire hoses to cool damaged reactors? Is contaminated water from waste pools overflowing into the Pacific Ocean? Exactly who is the national incident commander?

The answers to these and many other questions are unclear to U.S. nuclear scientists and policy experts, who say the quality and quantity of information coming out of Japan has left gaping holes in their understanding of the disaster nearly two weeks after it began.

At the same time, they say, the depth of the crisis has clearly been growing, judging by releases of radioactivity that by some measures have reached half the level of those released in the Chernobyl accident of 1986, according to new analysis by European and American scientists.

Better Earth

Kucinich: Libya isn't in America's vital interests

Democratic Rep. Dennis Kucinich - who says he'll try to defund military action in Libya - tells "Meet the Press" moderator David Gregory that lawmakers must "engage in a discussion about what the consequences are of this kind of intervention."

"We're at a point in human history where it is absolutely essential that we challenge the notion of war." - Dennis Kucinich


Radar

French jets take out Libyan plane

As Gadhafi's forces continue attack, coalition aims to stop flow of weapons, mercenaries

Tripoli, Libya - French fighter jets struck an air base deep inside Libya and downed one of Moammar Gadhafi's planes Thursday, and NATO ships patrolled the coast to block the flow of arms and mercenaries. Other coalition bombers struck artillery, arms depots and parked helicopters, officials said Thursday.

Libyan state television on Thursday showed blackened and mangled bodies that it said were victims of airstrikes in Tripoli, the capital. Rebels have accused Gadhafi's forces of taking bodies from the morgue and pretending they are civilian casualties.

The international military operation against Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi's forces may last days or weeks - but not months, French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe said. But the rebels who largely control Libya's east remain outgunned and disorganized - on Thursday, instead of handing out weapons at a checkpoint, they handed out sneakers to would-be fighters.


The French strikes overnight hit a base about 155 miles south of the Libyan coastline, French military spokesman Thierry Burkhard told reporters in Paris on Thursday without elaborating on the target or possible damage.

Comment: With all the Earth Changes going on one would think that world leaders would be more concerned about helping the countries in dire need. Instead, pathological leaders are creating more war, death and despair.

Want to know why?




Ambulance

USA: Train hits van near Longview, killing 3 and injurying 4th

Image
© Unknown
Longview, Wash. -- A Burlington Northern Santa Fe railroad freight train struck a shuttle van carrying BNSF crew members, killing three people and seriously injuring a fourth inside the van.

Spokesman Gus Melonas said the collision happened late Wednesday afternoon at a private rail crossing in the Longview, Wash., area, as the Seattle-based van was leaving a BNSF railyard to take the crew members to Vancouver.

Authorities say two railroad employees and the contract shuttle van driver were killed immediately. A third railroad employee was airlifted to Oregon Health and Science University. At last check, the lone survivor was listed in critical condition.

The loaded grain train was bound from Crookston, Minn., to Seattle. It did not derail.

Railway officials and local authorities are investigating.

"We've talked to witnesses, we're going to compile all the data and we'll have information on cause at another time," said Captain Darr Kirk, Kelso Police.

Identification on the victims have not been released.

The train crossing was not open to the public, but it was only protected by a stop sign instead of gates.

Ambulance

USA: Big rig dangles off Texas highway overpass

Car wedged underneath; trucker and two car passengers rescued

Fort Worth, Texas - The cab of an 18-wheeler was left dangling over the edge of an elevated highway ramp in Texas on Thursday after an accident.

Fire Department spokesman Tim Hardeman says emergency crews rescued the truck driver from his cab that is dangling off the elevated stretch of the I-20. He was treated at the scene for minor injuries. The rig was not carrying a load, the local newspaper reported.

The Fort Worth Star-Telegram also reported that the man and woman inside a sports car that was wedged beneath the giant semitrailer were cut free after more than three hours.

The were speaking to rescuers during the ordeal and were later taken to a local hospital, but their condition wasn't life threatening, the paper said, citing MedStar, the local emergency medical service.

The cause of the accident, which occurred around 4 a.m. local time, is being investigated. It tied up traffic for hours around the flyover.


X

"The plan was to kill people": US soldier Morlock sentenced to 24 years for killing Afghan civilians

Image
© Lois Silver/Associated Press
In this courtroom sketch made March 23, Spc. Jeremy Morlock, of Wasilla, Alaska, is shown during a court martial at Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Washington state. Morlock pleaded guilty to three counts of murder Wednesday in connection with the killings of three unarmed Afghan men in Kandahar province in 2010.
US Army Spc. Jeremy Morlock pleaded guilty to killing three Afghan civilians as part of a renegade 'kill team' made up of soldiers from the 5th Stryker Brigade.

US Army Spc. Jeremy Morlock, one of 12 soldiers serving in Afghanistan who are under investigation for forming a "kill team" that secretly murdered Afghans, has been sentenced to 24 years in prison.

The 22-year-old Army specialist pleaded guilty to murdering three unarmed Afghan civilians in what US military prosecutors called "acts of unspeakable cruelty." The verdict comes just days after photos of Morlock posing with the corpse of an Afghan boy emerged, and has placed added pressure on the US military's relationship with Afghan civilians.

Appearing before an extraordinary court-martial hearing at the Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Washington, Morlock admitted to plotting the kidnapping and murders of Afghan civilians. He described how the group of accused soldiers planted weapons at crime scenes to make the victims appear to be terrorists.

Comment: Notice military prosecutor Capt. Andre Leblanc's apologetic words: "We don't do this. This is not how we're trained. This is not the Army." And, yet, this is clearly a lie, and soldiers are trained or encouraged to be professional and emotionless killers.

Consider the following from Twilight of the Psychopaths by Dr. Kevin Barrett:
Military institutions are tailor-made for psychopathic killers. The 5% or so of human males who feel no remorse about killing their fellow human beings make the best soldiers. And the 95% who are extremely reluctant to kill make terrible soldiers - unless they are brainwashed with highly sophisticated modern techniques that turn them (temporarily it is hoped) into functional psychopaths.

In On Killing, Lt. Col. Dave Grossman has re-written military history, to highlight what other histories hide: The fact that military science is less about strategy and technology, than about overcoming the instinctive human reluctance to kill members of our own species. The true "Revolution in Military Affairs" was not Donald Rumsfeld's move to high-tech in 2001, but Brigadier Gen. S.L.A. Marshall's discovery in the 1940s that only 15-20% of World War II soldiers along the line of fire would use their weapons: "Those (80-85%) who did not fire did not run or hide (in many cases they were willing to risk great danger to rescue comrades, get ammunition, or run messages), but they simply would not fire their weapons at the enemy, even when faced with repeated waves of banzai charges" (Grossman, p. 4).

Marshall's discovery and subsequent research, proved that in all previous wars, a tiny minority of soldiers - the 5% who are natural-born psychopaths, and perhaps a few temporarily-insane imitators - did almost all the killing.
Normal men just went through the motions and, if at all possible, refused to take the life of an enemy soldier, even if that meant giving up their own. The implication: Wars are ritualized mass murders by psychopaths of non-psychopaths. (This cannot be good for humanity's genetic endowment!)

Marshall's work, brought a Copernican revolution to military science. In the past, everyone believed that the soldier willing to kill for his country was the (heroic) norm, while one who refused to fight was a (cowardly) aberration. The truth, as it turned out, was that the normative soldier hailed from the psychopathic five percent. The sane majority, would rather die than fight.

The implication, too frightening for even the likes of Marshall and Grossman to fully digest, was that the norms for soldiers' behaviour in battle had been set by psychopaths. That meant that psychopaths were in control of the military as an institution. Worse, it meant that psychopaths were in control of society's perception of military affairs. Evidently, psychopaths exercised an enormous amount of power in seemingly sane, normal society.

How could that be? In Political Ponerology, Andrzej Lobaczewski explains that clinical psychopaths enjoy advantages even in non-violent competitions to climb the ranks of social hierarchies. Because they can lie without remorse (and without the telltale physiological stress that is measured by lie detector tests) psychopaths can always say whatever is necessary to get what they want. In court, for example, psychopaths can tell extreme bald-faced lies in a plausible manner, while their sane opponents are handicapped by an emotional predisposition to remain within hailing distance of the truth. Too often, the judge or jury imagines that the truth must be somewhere in the middle, and then issues decisions that benefit the psychopath. As with judges and juries, so too with those charged with decisions concerning who to promote and who not to promote in corporate, military and governmental hierarchies. The result is that all hierarchies inevitably become top-heavy with psychopaths.