Sunday, May 15, 2005

Nuclear "safety 'failures.'" Burma blaming US?, Coup plotters back in S. Africa, "500 bodies laid out after Uzbek unrest"

THE nuclear complex at Dounreay has suffered more than 250 safety “failures” in the past six years, according to documents released by the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (Sepa).
Many of the leaks, spills and equipment breakdowns have never been reported before, and raise concerns that Dounreay’s operator, the UK Atomic Energy Authority (UKAEA), has failed to overcome the poor safety practices of the past.
In response to a request under the Freedom of Information Act, Sepa has provided the Sunday Herald with a 26-page list summarising every incident at Dounreay. It reveals that, since 1999, there have been an average of 40 problems a year, with the highest number, 53, in 2004.
They include the radioactive contamination of whelks, winkles, rabbits, concrete, soil, water, air and beaches. Samplers monitoring for tritium and other radioactive emissions have frequently been reported as being faulty.
There are repeated violations of safety conditions, leaking waste tanks, lost radioactive waste and power cuts. Some records of discharges have been wrong for months.
As many as 18 incidents are listed in the first three months of 2005. They include an “abnormal” radioactive discharge from a stack, the contamination of grass with caesium-137, and a spill of radioactive caustic soda.

The above is from Scotland's Sunday Herald, Rob Edwards' "Revealed: the safety ‘failures’ at Dounreay." Read it and note it. And then take a moment to imagine how embarrassing it must be to be the New York Times today. Is that egg on their face? Or just shame? Having pimped for the "cause" of bringing nukes to America this morning ( Felicity Barringer's front page "Old Foes Soften to New Reactors"-- see this morning's entry) Edwards' exclusive report couldn't have come at a worse time. Of course, like the Downing Street memo, the New York Times will no doubt never tell their readers about this story.

The New York Times wants you to believe that there's mega shift taking place where "several" "environmentalists" are backing nuclear power and they offer up three. "Breaking with the ranks," these three. Three out of how many millions worldwide? A statistically insignificant Gang of Three and it's front paged without hearing from any of the "ranks" just the tiny threesome that's "broken" from them. Safe and clean, "several" want to tell you and the Times wants to trumpet. Once again, timing proves to go against the New York Times.

Provided you go beyond that paper for all your information. Which we're doing and, yes, we're in the midst of our "what's being reported outside the U.S." roundup.

From Australia's ABC, Tori e-mails to highlight "Burma blames 'superpower' for bombings:"

Burma's military junta has raised the death toll from last week's bombings to 19, and says the attackers had received training and financing from a "superpower nation".
In their first public comments on the probe into the May 7 bombings, officials said the bombers used sophisticated explosives unavailable in Burma and had been trained by "foreign experts" in rebel-controlled areas near the Thai border.
"It is crystal clear that the terrorists ... and the time bombs originated from training conducted with foreign experts at a place in a neighbouring country by a world famous organisation of a certain superpower nation," Information Minister Brigadier General Kyaw Hsan told reporters.
He did not elaborate, but the junta has previously accused the United States of meddling in its affairs.

Also from Australia's ABC, we'll note "Coup 'plotters' back in S Africa:"

Zimbabwean authorities have released a group of South Africans jailed a year ago on suspicion of planning a coup in the West African nation of Equatorial Guinea.
The group, known as the Zim 62, has arrived back in South Africa after a year in a Zimbabwean prison.

[. . .]
Sir Mark Thatcher, son of former British Prime Minister, Margaret has admitted funding the group, but there has been no admission that a coup was planned.

From Ireland's I.E., Dominick e-mails "500 bodies laid out after Uzbek unrest:"

About 500 bodies have been laid out in rows at a school in the eastern Uzbek city where troops fired on protesters to put down an uprising, a doctor in the town said today, corroborating witness accounts of hundreds killed in the fighting.
Relatives were arriving at School No. 15 to identify the dead, said the doctor. Another 2,000 people were wounded in the clashes on Friday, said the doctor.
[. . .]
The violence was Uzbekistan's worst since gaining independence following the 1991 collapse of the Soviet Union.

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