Archive for April, 2011

On the Royal Wedding

By on 04/29/2011 in Uncategorized with 3 Comments

The Royal Wedding is over, and Britain can go back to its routine celebrity obsessions and police excesses. I’ll be raising a glass to Ian Bone, whose hit “Better Dead than Wed” dates from the last royal wedding, of which I was reminded by Red Pepper magazine. Best lines:

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Geoffrey Sea’s Nuclear Bulletin #22 – The Word is Bail

By on 04/28/2011 in Uncategorized with 1 Comment

Nuclear Bulletin #22
27 iv 2011

The Word is Bail.

A summation of events since Bulletin 21 is in order: Japan has extended the evacuation zone and imposed tough measures against violators, prompting tensions with evacuees who assumed such removal would be temporary. Japan upgraded the catastrophe to Category 7, the same as Chernobyl, while credibly reporting that the total amount of material released was about one tenth the radioactivity released at Chernobyl. Given the much greater concentration of releases in nearby territory in Japan, this highlights my prior point that the long-range fallout effects of Fukushima will be minuscule compared to Chernobyl. Correspondingly, the on-site and near-site effects will be of similar magnitude, and numerous reports of radiation sickness among the workforce are beginning to appear.

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FYI: Mothers’ Pesticide Exposure Harms Children

By on 04/25/2011 in Uncategorized with No Comments

See the report from NPR, and the original article from Environmental Health Perspectives.

San Francisco, CA

By on 04/21/2011 in Events with No Comments

Bridging U.S. Food Democracy to Int’l Food Sovereignty: Key challenges & promising developments – a conversation with Robert Gottlieb and Marcia Ishii-Eiteman. May 9, Monday, May 9th
7 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
The Women’s Building (Audre Lourde room)
3543 18th st., San Francisco, CA

FYI: Guidelines for Colonialism

By on 04/20/2011 in Uncategorized with 2 Comments

Land, poverty and commerce have a website- On it, you’ll be able to register for the World Bank’s conference on these very subjects, and see the latest iteration of the Bank’s Responsible Agricultural Investment principles – a set of rules that’ll make colonial land-grabbing exercises feel much better. Read more here, as well as an analysis of the Bank’s approach to land grabbing here.

FYI: US government subsidizes Monsanto’s profits – in Brazil

By on 04/13/2011 in Uncategorized with 1 Comment

Brilliant analysis from Emelie Peine on transnational companies’ ability to play governments against each other, here.

Geoffrey Sea’s Nuclear Bulletin #21 – The “Radiation” Debate

By on 04/11/2011 in Uncategorized with 4 Comments
6 iv 2011–While a real calamity unfolds in Japan, Western attention is being unconscionably diverted to a “debate” about low-level radiation effects, a debate that corresponds to no real scientific dispute, but instead relates only to the peculiar politics of the so-called “anti-nuclear” movement.

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Geoffrey Sea’s Nuclear Bulletin #20 – The Leak Shall Inherit the Earth

By on 04/11/2011 in Uncategorized with No Comments
1 iv 2011, 11:00 PM BST—Events in Fukushima Prefecture have settled into unsettledness, with a very long-term process of pumping out vast quantities radioactive water, removing it to tanks under construction, flushing the cores with new fresh water, eventual removal of spent fuel rods, and then long-term entombment. TEPCO has announced final decommissioning of all six units, quashing speculation that two units someday might be placed back in service. The Japanese government has said it will seek control of TEPCO through stock purchases, facilitated by the fact that the stock has lost 80% of its value. This also seems directed at quelling public rumors and fears that TEPCO is not pursuing the public interest.

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Geoffrey Sea’s Nuclear Bulletin #19 – Keystone Cops of High Technology

By on 04/11/2011 in Uncategorized with No Comments
Nuclear bulletin #19
In the 1986 film version of The Transformers, when the protagonist is first confronted by a gargantuan biotronic “autobot” of obvious alien origin, he exclaims, “Must be Japanese!”

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Geoffrey Sea’s Nuclear Bulletin #18 – Nuclear Basics

By on 04/11/2011 in Uncategorized with No Comments

It has been requested that I review some physics and chemistry basics to help sort out what’s what.

Typical light-water reactor fuel is 3% enriched meaning that it is comprised of 3% Uranium-235 and 97% Uranium-238, whereas natural uranium is only .7% U-235. Hence the requirement for uranium enrichment, which was, for the Japanese reactors in question, done in the United States by and large. (Some recent fuel may include old Soviet weapons uranium that was downblended in Russia and sold through the American company USEC.)

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