Carcinogens emitted from Canada’s main fossil fuel hub, study says

By Neela Banerjee
October 25, 2013, 4:58 p.m.

WASHINGTON — A new study has detected air pollutants, including carcinogens, in areas downwind of Canada’s main fossil fuel hub in Alberta at levels rivaling those of major metropolises such as Beijing and Mexico City.

The study by researchers from UC Irvine and the University of Michigan also found a high incidence of blood cancers such as leukemia and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma among men in the area, compared with the rest of Alberta and Canada.

“When you get cancers that can be caused by the carcinogens we are seeing, that is reason for concern,” said Isobel J. Simpson, a lead author of the study and a researcher at UC Irvine’s chemistry department.

The Alberta government said the study provides an inaccurate picture of pollution in the so-called Industrial Heartland, a three-county area where oil, chemicals and oil sands crude are processed.

“Based on the results of our monitoring, we see no evidence to suggest that people in the Industrial Heartland region are exposed to levels of the chemicals indicated in the paper,” said Nikki Booth, spokeswoman for Alberta Environment and Sustainable Resource Development, the provincial regulator.

The issue has drawn attention because most of the oil produced in Canada is shipped to the United States.

Three previous studies since 2009 have detected carcinogens in Alberta’s rivers and lakes, near where oil sands are mined. The latest study focuses on a site where oil sands are processed, along with other fossil fuels.

The Industrial Heartland, northeast of the provincial capital, Edmonton, is surrounded largely by farmland. The Shell Scotford complex includes a refinery and a facility that processes 225,000 barrels a day of bitumen, a tarry substance that is extracted from northeastern Alberta’s oil sands, diluted with chemicals and piped to the United States.

The study released this week is based on air samples taken over two days in 2010 around 10 facilities. Researchers measured volatile organic compounds, or VOCs, organic chemical mixtures created by certain industrial processes and consumption of fossil fuels, among other things.

VOCs contribute to climate change and formation of smog. They also contain cancer-causing substances such as benzene and 1,3-butadiene.

Tests showed that airborne concentrations of 1,3-butadiene were 322 times greater downwind of the industrial area than upwind. Similarly, downwind concentrations of benzene were 51 times greater.

The researchers said the compounds were consistent with emissions from the nearby facilities.

Simpson said funding allowed for only two days of sampling and the population that showed higher cancer rates was small. The researchers recommended better monitoring of air pollution and health, and suggested that facilities reduce emissions of known carcinogens.

“We don’t want this to be study after study after study with no action,” Simpson said. “There’s enough here to recommend reducing carcinogens in this area.”

neela.banerjee@latimes.com
Copyright © 2013, Los Angeles Times

โรงไฟฟ้าถ่านหินเขาหินซ้อนไม่ผ่าน EHIA แต่ชุมชนยังไม่วางใจ

ข่าวไทยรัฐ

ชาวบ้านเฮ!! โรงไฟฟ้าถ่านหินเขาหินซ้อนไม่ผ่าน EHIA แต่ยังไม่วางใจ เหตุโครงการยังไม่ถูกเลิกเด็ดขาด ชี้กติกา EHIA ต้องแก้ไขเพราะไม่เป็นธรรม ถือเป็นชัยชนะครั้งสำคัญของชาวฉะเชิงเทราที่ต้องต่อสู้คัดค้านโรงไฟฟ้าถ่านหินเขาหินซ้อนมากว่า 2 ปี…

เมื่อวันที่ 19 ต.ค. คณะกรรมการผู้ชำนาญการพิจารณารายงานวิเคราะห์ผลกระทบสิ่งแวดล้อมและสุขภาพ (EHIA) มีมติไม่อนุมัติ โครงการโรงไฟฟ้าถ่านหินเขาหินซ้อนของ บริษัทเนชั่นแนล เพาเวอร์ ซัพพลาย จำกัด (มหาชน) ในเครืออุตสาหกรรมกระดาษดับเบิ้ลเอ รอบที่สองหลังจากที่ก่อนหน้านี้เมื่อปีที่แล้วบริษัทเคยมีการเสนอรายงาน EHIA ไปแล้วและไม่ได้รับการอนุมัติ

นายกัญจน์ ทัตติยะกุล ตัวแทนเครือข่ายติดตามผลกระทบโรงไฟฟ้าถ่านหินเขาหินซ้อน อ.พนมสารคาม จ.ฉะเชิงเทรา ซึ่งเป็นผู้เริ่มทำการรณรงค์คัดค้านโครงการโรงไฟฟ้าถ่านหินเขาหินซ้อน บน Change.org กล่าวว่า รู้สึกดีใจมากหลังที่โครงการโรงไฟฟ้าถ่านหินเขาหินซ้อนไม่ผ่าน EHIA ถือเป็นชัยชนะของชุมชนที่ได้ทำงานกันมาอย่างหนัก โดยมีการเก็บข้อมูลต่างๆ ในเรื่องผลกระทบต่อพื้นที่แหล่งผลิตอาหารมานานกว่า 2 ปี และยังได้มีการยื่นรายชื่อประชาชนกว่า 6,000 คนที่ลงชื่อ ให้คชก. พิจารณาด้วยว่ามีคนทั่วประเทศคัดค้านโครงการนี้ ซึ่งชัยชนะครั้งนี้ทำให้ชาวบ้านรู้สึกโล่งใจและมีกำลังใจในการทำข้อมูลต่างๆมากขึ้น

“ชัยชนะครั้งนี้เกิดจากความร่วมมือร่วมใจของทุกคนที่ทำงานในพื้นที่ จนเราสามารถล้มโครงการไฟฟ้าถ่านหินได้สำเร็จ แต่ยังไม่สามารถวางใจได้ เพราะโครงการยังไม่ถูกยกเลิก เชื่อว่าหากเรื่องเงียบเมื่อไหร่ บริษัทดังกล่าวก็จะเสนอโครงการได้อีก และมีโอกาสพลิกผันเป็นอื่นได้ เพราะมีปัจจัยแทรกจึงอยากให้ทุกคนช่วยกันติดตาม” นายกัญจน์กล่าว เพราะถ้าโครงการผ่านแล้วก็สามารถสร้างได้เลย เพราะไม่มีการระบุเด็ดขาดว่า หากไม่ผ่านการอนุมัติต้องยกเลิกโครงการทันที อีกทั้งขั้นตอนการพิจารณาก็ไม่มีเป็นธรรมเพราะเป็นการตัดสินอนาคตของชุมชนไป อยู่กับการตัดสินใจของคนนอกพื้นที่โดยไม่มีตัวแทนชุมชนเลย ดังนั้นต้องมีแก้ไขกฎเกณฑ์เหล่านี้ให้มีความเป็นธรรมมากขึ้น

น.ส.สุภาภรณ์ มาลัยลอย เลขาธิการโครงการนิติธรรมสิ่งแวดล้อม (ENLAW) กล่าวว่า ระบบการพิจารณา EHIA ถือว่ามีปัญหา เพราะคณะกรรมการชำนาญการพิจารณา (คชก.) ไม่ฟันธงว่าสมควรสร้างหรือไม่ ซึ่งหากเป็นแบบนี้บริษัทที่ทำโครงการก็สามารถเสนอ EHIA กี่รอบก็ได้จนกว่าโครงการจะผ่าน ซึ่งไม่ควรเป็นแบบนั้น แต่ควรฟันธงให้ยกเลิกโครงการไปเลย เพราะจะส่งผลกระทบต่อประชาชนและสิ่งแวดล้อมอย่างรุนแรง เหือนกรณีการขุดเหมืองแร่ ที่สมุย ที่คชก.สั่งยกเลิกเพราะเห็นว่าโครงการนี้จะส่งผลกระทบต่อสิ่งแวดล้อมและทำลายทัศนียภาพ ความเป็นอยู่ของชุมชน ทำให้บริษัทไปฟ้องศาลปกครอง และศาลปกครองสูงสุด ก็มีความว่าเป็นอำนาจที่ คชก. ทำได้ เพราะโครงการดังกล่าวไม่เหมาะสมกับพื้นที่จริงๆ เพราะฉะนั้น คชก.ต้องฟันธงให้ชัดเจน เพื่อไม่ให้ชาวบ้านต้องเหนื่อยแบบที่เป็นอยู่ที่ต้องหวาดผวากับ EHIA ตลอด.

A slight catch: Thailand’s overfishing crisis

As overfishing empties Thailand’s seas, Kit Gillet meets some of those desperate to take what is left and a local who is fighting back. Pictures by Luke Duggleby
overfishing

DAWN SEES TRAWLER FISHERMEN IN PHUKET SORT THE PREVIOUS NIGHT’S CATCH.

POST MAGAZINE
19 OCT 2013

It’s almost midnight, 10 kilometres off the west coast of Thailand, and Thamarat Sachanyarat has been circling for hours, carefully watching the swirling patterns on his boat’s sonar. Peering closely at the monitor with failing eyes, the 54-year-old sighs and pushes the throttle, moving his wooden fishing boat on to a different patch of sea.

All around, the lights of dozens of other boats can be seen in the pitch-black night, each crew in pursuit of a resource that is fast shrinking in the face of massive overfishing.

“We are all worried about overfishing. My grandfather would use a torch and shine it into the sea, and the fish would come to the surface. It was like the sea was full,” says Thamarat, wistfully.

He uses high-powered lights to draw the fish to the surface, to be scooped up in giant nets that take a dozen or more crew members to haul aboard. It is a decidedly commercial operation; if he and his crew don’t return with at least 1,500kg from each trip, they lose money.

Thailand is the world’s third-largest exporter of fish and fishery products, with exports valued at about US$7 billion in 2010. Between 2002 and 2011 exports almost doubled. Only China and Norway export more.

Taking into account the sheer volume of fishing that has taken place off Thailand over the past few decades, improved technology that until recently increased the size of catches, and what most consider to be an impotent regulatory system, it appears the nation’s waters are reaching a critical time, with some species nearing the point of no return.

“The Gulf of Thailand is one of the most exploited seas in the world when it comes to fishing. Compared to a few decades ago, in the Gulf of Thailand there are pretty much no fish,” says Sirasa Kantaratanakul, oceans campaigner for Greenpeace in Thailand.

Thamarat and his crew fish the Andaman Sea rather than the Gulf of Thailand, but here, too, fish populations are feeling the effects of heavy overfishing.

To improve his catch rate, 10 years ago Thamarat bought his first sonar, one with a range of 150 metres. Late last year he was forced to upgrade to one with a range of 750 metres: “Now it is a race to get to the fish, so the boat with the biggest sonar normally wins,” he says.

According to official statistics, from a peak of almost 300kg/hour in the 1960s, Thai fishing boats are catching just 18kg/hour today on average, despite the advances in technology.

“There has been enormous decline in the area since the 1960s, with entire species wiped out,” says Boris Worm, a marine research ecologist and associate professor at Dalhousie University, in Nova Scotia, Canada.

IN THE NIVAT FISHING PORT, outside the southern city of Phuket, several dozen commercial fishing trawlers are moored up tightly along the docks. Members of the mostly Myanmese crews are washing fish guts from their bodies and rearranging the nets and equipment on deck after having returned hours earlier from a night or two at sea. One captain is blessing his boat, knelt over and placing flowers around the bow as an offering in the hope of clear weather and a good catch.

Even in the heat of the afternoon the dock is alive with activity, as hundreds of tons of fish are sorted and weighed by mostly young women, their children sitting or playing nearby, before being sold to waiting merchants. Crates of iced fish are piled high as men and women gather around wooden benches to bid on lots.

Around one bench a well-dressed Myanmese merchant wearing a thick gold chain around his neck has just outbid several others for 10,000kg of fish, which he plans to send to markets in Malaysia, paying 40 baht (HK$9.89) a kilogram.

“Five years ago it was 20 baht a kilo; it’s doubled in price,” he tells me. Trucks are waiting outside to take the fish onwards.

Nearby, Prawat Ungrangsee, a middle-aged fish merchant whose family own one of the largest fleets of refrigerated trucks in the south of Thailand, is counting his shipments.

“Most of the big fish are gone,” he says. “We used to have over 30 trucks a day just for tuna from the seas around Thailand, Vietnam and Cambodia – now we have maybe five to 10 trucks, and that all comes from Indonesia.

“There are so many big boats now yet it takes them much longer to fill their holds. Until recently fishermen used to be able to fill their boats in a night or two, now they need to spend several days out at a time to catch enough fish.”

Aware of the situation, Thai authorities have tried to limit fishing and establish non-take areas – it is now forbidden for boats to fish within three kilometres of the shore (five kilometres for the larger boats), where nurseries have been set up – but the regulation system is seen as weak and open to abuse.

“There are laws but they aren’t enforced,” Sirasa says. “You get fined 5,000 baht for fishing within three kilometres of the coast, but this is like a grain of sand for the larger fishers; they might as well just pay up before they head out for the night.”

Weak governance has also made it easy for boat owners to bypass regulations against illegal, unreported or unregistered fishing vessels.

“In 1979, Thailand said it would allow no new trawlers, but boat owners simply put many boats under one registration or switch the registration to newer, bigger boats and the government does nothing,” Sirasa says. “And then, every 10 years or so, the government has a general amnesty – it’s the fourth already; 2,107 vessels have been given amnesty this time. Last time it was about 4,000 vessels. Would you obey a law if, one day, you knew you would be pardoned anyway?”

IN RECENT DECADES, overfishing and the growth of the export industry have been particularly devastating for the small coastal communities that have relied on fishing for generations because they cannot simply pick up and move on when the waters are exhausted.

In 2004, the World Bank published a report that found small-scale Thai fishermen in general earn less than half the national average and often live in communities that lack basic infrastructure, such as roads and electricity.

A few hundred kilometres up the coast from Phuket, in the small wooden fishing village of Pahklongkleaw, Bunlong Jannoi has little to do. Dressed in a torn polo shirt and rolled-up jeans, the 38-year-old sits on the small dock surrounded by empty fishing boats. He used to fish for squid and anchovies, using a small, one-man boat that is moored nearby, but he hasn’t gone out for many months because “there are no fish”.

“In the past, we always had fish but the trawlers came through, took the fish, destroyed the sediment and soil, and now everything is gone. Even before that there were less and less for us to catch.”

The people in Pahklongkleaw live basic lives and have few material possessions beyond their small family boats.

“My family has always fished,” says 56-year-old Sumrauy Wansanit, sitting nearby. “But right now there are no crabs or anything else to catch so I’ve not been out for weeks.”

Bunlong has been fishing since he was a child – “I’ve only ever been a fisherman,” he says – but with savings running low, he doesn’t know how much longer he can go without work or what else he could do. He plans to try another part of the coast, where, he’s heard, the trawlers haven’t done as much damage.

“I have no wife or sons, so at least I don’t need to worry about their futures,” he says with a sad smile.

Around the dock other members of the community are busy constructing FADs (fish aggregating devices), tying coconut tree fronds to blocks of concrete that will be sunk two or three kilometres off the coast to serve as new feeding grounds for small and juvenile fish. The FADs create artificial environments that the villagers hope will rejuvenate their waters.

They have tried to do this before, however, but commercial fishing boats entered the “protected” waters to fish, taking advantage of the community’s efforts to restock the sea and often destroying the FADs in the process.

“Everyone just takes and takes,” says Piya Tasyam, a fisherman turned activist from the nearby village of Toong Noi. “And what really hurts is that the government never helps.”

Piya left school to become a full-time fisherman when he was 12. Now 42, he is slim and handsome, and exudes a natural leadership and intense earnestness when he talks.

Less than 100 metres from the sea, Piya’s house abuts a small channel where the village fishing fleet is moored. It is a comfortable and modern home, which he shares with his wife and three youngest children.

Standing on the platform of his fishing vessel, he shows me the difference between the nets village fishermen deploy and those used by some of the more immoral commercial crews.

“Look at the mesh of our nets and theirs and you can see how we are different to these fishers. Nothing can get through their net; they take everything out of the water,” he says, holding a piece of net that, when pulled tight, is almost a solid sheet of material.

Nets like these are illegal – they remove small species and young and undeveloped fish from the seas, thereby stopping ecosystems from regenerating – but, again, enforcement of the regulations is lax.

Piya has, in recent years, been leading efforts to forcibly protect local waters from outside fishermen, especially those on commercial trawlers. Twelve villages in the province, including his own, are now part of a network that aims to fend off illicit fishing boats.

Off the coast of Toong Noi, a picturesque village of 1,000 residents fringed by coconut trees and water, a half-submerged vessel lies testament to their militancy. Last December, Piya and some of the other village fishermen caught the boat fishing too close to shore and, by hooking its nets, forced it towards land. When the police came they found a gun, according to Piya, and the boat was impounded. As it was being maneouvred away to where it would be held, the local fishermen refused to show the captain how to navigate through the shallows and it was caught on a rocky breaker. The locals now laugh at it as they pass by.

“First we tell them to stop,” Piya says of trespassing boats. “If they don’t, I drop my anchor on their nets. I tell them that if they refuse to come ashore, we will drag them in.” The alternative for the interloping captains is to cut and abandon their nets: a costly exercise.

In a ThaiPBS documentary aired last year, Piya is seen radioing in to the police, telling them: “I’ve caught an illegal fishing boat, are you coming or not?”

Such an approach is not without risk. Some of the boat owners sue, claiming that Piya and others are robbing them and stealing their nets, while others threaten violence (in August, Piya was beaten after trying to raise awareness of illegal fishing operations in the area).

“Those in business still see money, so they take [fish] out whatever the long-term cost. When there is nothing left they will switch to something else, but people in small communities know the ocean is not just money, it is their lives,” he says. “What will happen in the future if nothing changes? The whole industry will collapse.”

In recent decades the Thai government has been promoting fish farms and other types of aquaculture (in 2010, aquaculture production in Thailand totalled about 1.4 million metric tonnes, versus 3.3 million tonnes of captured fish). The problem, however, is that aquaculture doesn’t seem to be a long-term alternative for Thailand, partly because trash fish (consisting of by-catch and undersized juveniles) caught from the sea are sold cheaply and used as feed in the fish farms.

“People think aquaculture is a good thing but it is not sustainable because it still takes from the sea,” says Sirasa.

In the small clam-fishing village of Kan Kradai, in the central province of Prachuap Khiri Khan, villagers are gathered in an informal circle to talk about the growing realities of the emptying seas. On the walls of the open, wooden hut are pictures of many of the species that have traditionally been found in the waters off Thailand. Villagers say many of those fish are no longer around.

“We also used to fish too much, but we see now that it won’t last,” says 38-year-old Sompong Parnnoi.

Huad Chidetrakulsangtong, an elderly fisherman missing his teeth and dressed in a dirty vest, says: “Our resources are being used up too fast. Technology and innovation are the real problems.”

No one in the circle has the answers, but what they do know is that everyone, especially the government, needs to do more to protect the seas before it is too late.

BACK ON THE BOAT OFF the coast of Phuket, Thamarat and his 20-man crew continue to search for their big catch. As the hours pass, however, it becomes clear that it is not going to happen tonight, as cast after cast comes in small and hours are spent circling, with Thamarat and his 22-year-old son watching the sonar for elusive signs of large shoals.

When we get back to the dock the following morning, their catch is just 500kg, most of it anchovies, which bring in just 15 baht a kilogram.

“I’ve been fishing since I was 10, first on my father’s boat and then my own – but I might be the last generation if the catches keep going like this,” says Thamarat.

Radioactive Water From Fukushima Is Systematically Poisoning The Entire Pacific Ocean

August 9, 2013   EnvironmentNews ArticlesSpecial InterestsToxinsUS News,World News

 radioactive-water

Right now, a massive amount of highly radioactive water is escaping into the Pacific Ocean from the ruins of the destroyed Fukushima nuclear facility in Japan.  This has been going on all day, every day for more than two years.  The enormous amounts of tritium, cesium and strontium that are being released are being carried by wind, rain and ocean currents all over the northern Hemisphere.  And of course the west coast of the United States is being hit particularly hard.  When you drink water or eat seafood that has been contaminated with these radioactive particles, they can stick around for a very long time.  Over the coming years, this ongoing disaster could potentially affect the health of millions upon millions of people living in the northern hemisphere, and the sad thing is that a lot of those people will never even know the true cause of their health problems.

For a long time, the Japanese government has been trusting Tepco to handle this crisis, but now it has become abundantly clear that Tepco has no idea what they are doing.  In fact, the flow of radioactive water has gotten so bad that authorities in Japan are now calling it an “emergency”

Highly radioactive water seeping into the ocean from Japan’s crippled Fukushima nuclear plant is creating an “emergency” that the operator is struggling to contain, an official from the country’s nuclear watchdog said on Monday.

This contaminated groundwater has breached an underground barrier, is rising toward the surface and is exceeding legal limits of radioactive discharge, Shinji Kinjo, head of a Nuclear Regulatory Authority (NRA) task force, told Reuters.

The amount of water that we are talking about is absolutely enormous.  According to Yahoo, 400 metric tons of water is being pumped into the basements of destroyed buildings at Fukushima every single day…

The utility pumps out some 400 metric tons a day of groundwater flowing from the hills above the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant into the basements of the destroyed buildings, which mixes with highly irradiated water that is used to cool the reactors in a stable state below 100 degrees Celsius.

Tepco is trying to prevent groundwater from reaching the plant by building a “bypass” but recent spikes of radioactive elements in sea water has prompted the utility to reverse months of denials and finally admit that tainted water is reaching the sea.

And of course all of that water has to go somewhere.  For a long time Tepco tried to deny that it was getting into the ocean, but now they are finally admitting that it is

Tepco said on Friday that a cumulative 20 trillion to 40 trillion becquerels of radioactive tritium had probably leaked into the sea since the disaster. The company said this was within legal limits.

Tritium is far less harmful than cesium and strontium, which have also been released from the plant. Tepco is scheduled to test strontium levels next.

40 trillion becquerels of radioactive tritium have gotten into the Pacific Ocean?

And that is what they are publicly admitting.  The reality is probably far worse.

And all of that tritium is going to be around for a very long time.  You see, the truth is that tritium has a half-life of about 12 years.

But strontium is even worse.  Strontium can cause bone cancer and it has a half-life of close to 29 years.

And now Tepco is admitting that extremely dangerous levels of strontium have been escaping from Fukushima and getting into the underground water.  And of course the underground water flows out into the Pacific Ocean…

Tepco said in late June that it had detected the highly toxic strontium-90, a by-product of nuclear fission that can cause bone cancer if ingested, at levels 30 times the permitted rate.

The substances, which were released by the meltdowns of reactors at the plant in the aftermath of the huge tsunami of March 2011, were not absorbed by soil and have made their way into underground water.

Subsoil water usually flows out to sea, meaning these two substances could normally make their way into the ocean, possibly affecting marine life and ultimately impacting humans who eat sea creatures.

Cesium has an even longer half-life than strontium does.  It has a half life of about 30 years, and according to samples that were taken about a month ago levels of cesium at Fukushima have been spiking dramatically…

Samples taken on Monday showed levels of possibly cancer-causing caesium-134 were more than 90 times higher than they were on Friday, at 9000 becquerels per litre, Tokyo Electric Power (Tepco) revealed.

Levels of caesium-137 stood at 18 000 becquerels per litre, 86 times higher than at the end of last week, the utility said.

“We still don’t know why the level of radiation surged, but we are continuing efforts to avert further expansion of contamination,” a Tepco spokesperson stated.

When cesium gets into your body, it can do a tremendous amount of damage.  The following is an excerpt from a NewScientist article that described what happens when cesium and iodine enter the human body…

Moreover the human body absorbs iodine and caesium readily. “Essentially all the iodine or caesium inhaled or swallowed crosses into the blood,” says Keith Baverstock, former head of radiation protection for the World Health Organization’s European office, who has studied Chernobyl’s health effects.

Iodine is rapidly absorbed by the thyroid, and leaves only as it decays radioactively, with a half-life of eight days. Caesium is absorbed by muscles, where its half-life of 30 years means that it remains until it is excreted by the body. It takes between 10 and 100 days to excrete half of what has been consumed.

And it is important to keep in mind that it has been estimated that eachspent fuel pool at the Fukushima nuclear complex could have 24,000 times the amount of cesium that was produced by the nuclear bomb that the U.S. dropped on Hiroshima at the end of World War 2.

Overall, the Fukushima nuclear facility originally contained a whopping1760 tons of nuclear material.

That is a massive amount of nuclear material.  Chernobyl only contained 180 tons.

And of course the crisis at Fukushima could be made even worse at any moment by a major earthquake.  In fact, a magnitude 6.0 earthquake hit northern Japan on Sunday.

This is a nightmare that has no end.  Every single day, massive amounts of highly radioactive water from Fukushima is systematically poisoning the entire Pacific Ocean.  The damage that is being done is absolutely incalculable.

Please share this article with as many people as you can.  The mainstream media does not seem to want to talk about this, but it is a matter that is extremely important to every man, woman and child living in the northern hemisphere of our planet.

Michael T. Snyder is a graduate of the McIntire School of Commerce at the University of Virginia and has a law degree and an LLM from the University of Florida Law School. He is an attorney that has worked for some of the largest and most prominent law firms in Washington D.C. and who now spends his time researching and writing and trying to wake the American people up. You can follow his work on The Economic Collapse blogEnd of the American Dream and The Truth Wins. His new novel entitled “The Beginning Of The End” is now available on Amazon.com.

นิวเคลียร์ไป ถ่านหินมา : ความมืดบอดของชนชั้นนำผู้วางแผนพลังงานไทย

อ่านข่าวแล้วเศร้า หดหู่ใจ เมื่อกระทรวงพลังงานและชนชั้นนำผู้วางแผนพลังงานของประเทศไทยทั้งหลายบอกว่าจะเพิ่มสัดส่วนการผลิตไฟฟ้าจากถ่านหินจากเดิม 4,400 เมกะวัตต์ ในแผนพัฒนากำลังผลิตไฟฟ้าเป็น 10,000 เมกะวัตต์ และเป็นไปได้ที่จะถอดเอาการผลิตไฟฟ้าจากนิวเคลียร์ออกไป

ที่ผมรู้สึกเศร้าใจก็เพราะตอบตัวเองไม่ได้ว่า ทำไมพวกเขาจึงคิดได้เพียงแค่นี้

พวกเขาในที่นี้ ผมหมายถึง คนใหญ่คนโตที่อยู่ใน กฟผ. สนพ. และกระทรวงพลังงาน ผู้ซึ่งเป็นผู้ยึดกุมการวางแผนพลังงานระดับชาติ

จินตนาการของพวกเขาหายไปไหน พวกเขาแกล้งโง่หรือว่าโง่จริงๆ

แน่นอนว่า การถอดนิวเคลียร์ออกจากแผนพีดีพี เป็นเรื่องที่ชมเชย แต่ต้องดูให้เห็นทั้งหมด

เพราะมันคือ “หนีเสือปะจระเข้”

ถ้าประเทศไทยจะผลิตไฟฟ้าจากถ่านหินรวมกันเป็นจำนวน 10,000 เมกะวัตต์ เราต้องมีโรงไฟฟ้าถ่านหินใหม่ราว 140 โรง ขึ้นเป็นดอกเห็ดทั่วประเทศ โดยอ้างว่าไม่มีปัญหาเพราะมันคือถ่านหินสะอาด และประเทศอื่นๆ ในเอเชียที่เจริญแล้วก็มีการผลิตไฟฟ้าจากถ่านหินในสัดส่วนที่สูง

นี่คือแผนที่สกปรกไม่ต่างจากถ่านหิน

แม้ว่าแผนสกปรกดังกล่าวนี้จะยังไม่ผ่านความเห็นชอบใดๆ แต่ก็พอเดาได้ว่าอะไรจะเกิดขึ้นลางๆ กับอนาคตพลังงานของไทย และโดยเฉพาะอย่างยิ่งชุมชนท้องถิ่นจำนวนมหาศาลที่จะตกอยู่ในเงื้อมเงาทะมึนของอุตสาหกรรมถ่านหิน

นี่คือชนชั้นนำผู้วางแผนนโยบายพลังงานแห่งชาติ พวกเขาสิ้นคิด ไร้ซึ่งจินตนาการ และช่างโง่เขลาและมืดบอดเสียนี่กระไร

ระดับกัมมันตรังสีในทะเลที่ฟูกูชิมาเพิ่มสูงขึ้น

รายงานข่าวจากกรุงโตเกียว ญี่ปุ่น จากการระบุของบริษัท TEPCO พบว่า น้ำทะเลรอบพื้นที่โรงไฟฟ้านิวเคลียร์ฟูกูชิมามีระดับของซีเซียม-134 และซีเซียม-137 เพิ่มขึ้นมากกว่าระดับที่กำหนดไว้(ตามฎหมาย) โดยอ่านค่าซีเซียม-134 ณ จุดที่ใกล้กับเตาปฏิกรณ์หมายเลข 2 ได้ 830 เบคเคอเรลต่อลิตร เทียบกับข้อกำหนดตามกฎหมายที่ 90 เบคเคอเรลต่อลิตร ทั้งซีเซียม-134 และซีเซียม-137 เป็นอันตรายต่อมนุษย์

โฆษกของ TEPCO กล่าวว่า การเก็บตัวอย่างน้ำทะเลครั้งล่าสุดพบว่า น้ำทะเลปนเปื้อนสารตริเตียมและสตรอนเตียมในระดับสูง เขาบอกว่าไม่มีข้อมูลอะไรใหม่เกี่ยวกับสภาพของคนงานฟูกูชิมา 6 คน ได้สัมผัสน้ำที่ปนเปื้อนรังสีอันเป็นมาจากความผิดพลาดของมนุษย์