Ten Most Radioactive Places on Earth Mapped Out

Do you know the dirty side of the nuclear industry?  After researching this article by brainz.org, we were shocked to find out how truly awful our radioactive waste problem is and how it is going to be hurting us all, for a long time to come.  Please take the time to read the links below, share this with your friends, and discuss solutions to these problems.  ~ Climate Viewer News

This list is not a definitive TOP TEN, it is simply ten very disgusting examples of nuclear warfare against the citizens of this world. CV News is attempting to compile a top twenty list, help us out by submitting your “most radioactive” links here.

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More news on radioactive waste can be found on our RadChick Radiation Research and Mitigation page.

While the 2011 earthquake and worries surrounding Fukushima have brought the threat of radioactivity back into the public consciousness, many people still don’t realize that radioactive contamination is a worldwide danger. Radionuclides are in the top six toxic threats as listed in the 2010 report by The Blacksmith Institute, an NGO dedicated to tackling pollution. You might be surprised by the locations of some of the world’s most radioactive places — and thus the number of people living in fear of the effects radiation could have on them and their children.

10. Hanford, USA

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The Hanford Site, in Washington, was an integral part of the US atomic bomb project, manufacturing plutonium for the first nuclear bomb and “Fat Man,” used at Nagasaki. As the Cold War waged on, it ramped up production, supplying plutonium for most of America’s 60,000 nuclear weapons. Although decommissioned, it still holds two thirds of the volume of the country’s high-level radioactive waste — about 53 million gallons of liquid waste, 25 million cubic feet of solid waste and 200 square miles of contaminated groundwater underneath the area, making it the most contaminated site in the US. The environmental devastation of this area makes it clear that the threat of radioactivity is not simply something that will arrive in a missile attack, but could be lurking in the heart of your own country. More information available at the Hanford Site, Department of Energy website.

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Hanford related disaster alerts:

 

9. The Mediterranean

For years, there have been allegations that the Ndrangheta syndicate of the Italian mafia has been using the seas as a convenient location in which to dump hazardous waste — including radioactive waste — charging for the service and pocketing the profits. An Italian NGO, Legambiente, suspects that about 40 ships loaded with toxic and radioactive waste have disappeared in Mediterranean waters since 1994. If true, these allegations paint a worrying picture of an unknown amount of nuclear waste in the Mediterranean whose true danger will only become clear when the hundreds of barrels degrade or somehow otherwise break open. The beauty of the Mediterranean Sea may well be concealing an environmental catastrophe in the making.

For years, there have been allegations that the Ndrangheta syndicate of the Italian mafia has been using the seas as a convenient location in which to dump hazardous waste — including radioactive waste — charging for the service and pocketing the profits. An Italian NGO, Legambiente, suspects that about 40 ships loaded with toxic and radioactive waste have disappeared in Mediterranean waters since 1994. If true, these allegations paint a worrying picture of an unknown amount of nuclear waste in the Mediterranean whose true danger will only become clear when the hundreds of barrels degrade or somehow otherwise break open. The beauty of the Mediterranean Sea may well be concealing an environmental catastrophe in the making.

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8. The Somalian Coast

The Italian mafia organization just mentioned has not just stayed in its own region when it comes to this sinister business. There are also allegations that Somalian waters and soil, unprotected by government, have been used for the sinking or burial of nuclear waste and toxic metals — including 600 barrels of toxic and nuclear waste, as well as radioactive hospital waste. Indeed, the United Nations’ Environment Program believes that the rusting barrels of waste washed up on the Somalian coastline during the 2004 Tsunami were dumped as far back as the 1990s. The country is already an anarchic wasteland, and the effects of this waste on the impoverished population could be as bad if not worse than what they have already experienced.

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7. Mayak Chemical Combine, Russia

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The industrial complex of Mayak, in Russia’s north-east, has had a nuclear plant for decades, and in 1957 was the site of one of the world’s worst nuclear accidents. Up to 100 tons of radioactive waste were released by an explosion, contaminating a massive area. The explosion was kept under wraps until the 1980s. Starting in the 1950s, waste from the plant was dumped in the surrounding area and into Lake Karachay. This has led to contamination of the water supply that thousands rely on daily. Experts believe that Karachay may be the most radioactive place in the world, and over 400,000 people have been exposed to radiation from the plant as a result of the various serious incidents that have occurred — including fires and deadly dust storms. The natural beauty of Lake Karachay belies its deadly pollutants, with the radiation levels where radioactive waste flows into its waters enough to give a man a fatal dose within an hour.

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6. Sellafield, UK

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Located on the west coast of England, Sellafield was originally a plutonium production facility for nuclear bombs, but then moved into commercial territory. Since the start of its operation, hundreds of accidents have occurred at the plant, and around two thirds of the buildings themselves are now classified as nuclear waste. The plant releases some 8 million liters of contaminated waste into the sea on a daily basis, making the Irish Sea the most radioactive sea in the world. England is known for its green fields and rolling landscapes, but nestled in the heart of this industrialized nation is a toxic, accident-prone facility, spewing dangerous waste into the oceans of the world.

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5. Siberian Chemical Combine

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Mayak is not the only contaminated site in Russia; Siberia is home to a chemical facility that contains over four decades’ worth of nuclear waste. Liquid waste is stored in uncovered pools and poorly maintained containers hold over 125,000 tons of solid waste, while underground storage has the potential to leak to groundwater. Wind and rain have spread the contamination to wildlife and the surrounding area. And various minor accidents have led to plutonium going missing and explosions spreading radiation. While the snowy landscape may look pristine and immaculate, the facts make clear the true level of pollution to be found here.

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4. The Polygon, Kazakhstan

Kazakhstan

Once the location for the Soviet Union’s nuclear weapons testing, this area is now part of modern-day Kazakhstan. The site was earmarked for the Soviet atomic bomb project due to its “uninhabited” status — despite the fact that 700,000 people lived in the area. The facility was where the USSR detonated its first nuclear bomb and is the record-holder for the place with the largest concentration of nuclear explosions in the world: 456 tests over 40 years from 1949 to 1989. While the testing carried out at the facility — and its impact in terms of radiation exposure — were kept under wraps by the Soviets until the facility closed in 1991, scientists estimate that 200,000 people have had their health directly affected by the radiation. The desire to destroy foreign nations has led to the specter of nuclear contamination hanging over the heads of those who were once citizens of the USSR.

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3. Mailuu-Suu, Kyrgyzstan

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Considered one of the top ten most polluted sites on Earth by the 2006 Blacksmith Institute report, the radiation at Mailuu-Suu comes not from nuclear bombs or power plants, but from mining for the materials needed in the processes they entail. The area was home to a uranium mining and processing facility and is now left with 36 dumps of uranium waste — over 1.96 million cubic meters. The region is also prone to seismic activity, and any disruption of the containment could expose the material or cause some of the waste to fall into rivers, contaminating water used by hundreds of thousands of people. These people may not ever suffer the perils of nuclear attack, but nonetheless they have good reason to live in fear of radioactive fallout every time the earth shakes.

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2. Chernobyl, Ukraine

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Home to one of the world’s worst and most infamous nuclear accidents, Chernobyl is still heavily contaminated, despite the fact that a small number of people are now allowed into the area for a limited amount of time. The notorious accident caused over 6 million people to be exposed to radiation, and estimates as to the number of deaths that will eventually occur due to the Chernobyl accident range from 4,000 to as high as 93,000. The accident released 100 times more radiation than the Nagasaki and Hiroshima bombs. Belarus absorbed 70 percent of the radiation, and its citizens have been dealing with increased cancer incidence ever since. Even today, the word Chernobyl conjures up horrifying images of human suffering.

The Exclusion Zone covers an area of approximately 2,600 km2 in Ukraine immediately surrounding the Chernobyl nuclear power plant where radioactive contamination from fallout is highest and public access and inhabitation are restricted.

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1. Fukushima, Japan

The 2011 earthquake and tsunami was a tragedy that destroyed homes and lives, but the effects of the Fukushima nuclear power plant may be the most long-lasting danger. The worst nuclear accident since Chernobyl, the incident caused meltdown of three of the six reactors, leaking radiation into the surrounding area and the sea, such that radiative material has been detected as far as 200 miles from the plant. As the incident and its ramifications are still unfolding, the true scale of the environmental impact is still unknown. The world may still be feeling the effects of this disaster for generations to come.

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* Research based on this brainz.org article,
with images, links, and maps by Jim Lee of ClimateViewer News.

See all of these locations and more:

Please be sure to check out our ClimateViewer features:

 

Source: CV news

Image credit: theboldcorsicanflame

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Herculaneum Time Capsule: Ancient Scrolls Reveal Their Long-Hidden Secrets

MessageToEagle.com – On the morning of August 24, 79 AD, Mount Vesuvius erupted and broke its centuries-long silence. Its great cloud of hot ash, stones and poisonous gases completely buried the whole Roman city of Pompeii and for more than seventeen centuries, it would remain lost, forgotten, sealed and preserved in a time capsule.
Vesuvius also completely buried another Roman town – Herculaneum, on the coast of south-west Italy.

The origin of Herculaneum is not clear. The city’s name is based on the demi-god Hercules, who founded the city, according to legend. It may have been a Greek settlement but the early town also shows evidence of Etruscan influence. Herculaneum is another time capsule keeping old secrets buried under volcanic ash and stones.

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The papyri were blackened cylinders (pictured below) more akin to ‘lumps of coal’ and at first they were a mystery to the excavators. On examining some broken fragments, however, it was discovered that the cylinders were indeed scrolls containing Greek text written on scorched papyrus. Credits: Photography by Brian Donovan, The University of Auckland – Centre for Academic Development. Herculaneum Conservation Project

Because the large depth of covering deposits discouraged looting more artefacts have survived. Excavations have recovered fabrics and even food, but also rolls of papyrus.

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In 79 AD, Vesuvius erupted and completely buried the Roman cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum, on the coast of south-west Italy. For long, both cities have remained forgotten, sealed and preserved in a time capsule.

“The British Museum’s 2013 show of artefacts from the Roman cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum, buried in ash during an explosive eruption of Mount Vesuvius, was a sell-out. But could even greater treasures – including lost works of classical literature – still lie underground?

For centuries scholars have been hunting for the lost works of ancient Greek and Latin literature. In the Renaissance, books were found in monastic libraries. In the late 19th Century papyrus scrolls were found in the sands of Egypt. But only in Herculaneum in southern Italy has an entire library from the ancient Mediterranean been discovered in situ,” wrote BBC.

But Herculaneum has proved very difficult to excavate, buried as it is beneath approximately 20 meters of concrete-like material, the hardened volcanic mud which covered it for almost 2,000 years.

In 1752 workers tunneling into a large, wealthy villa (later known as “Villa of the Papyri”) discovered a large number of what appeared to be sticks of charcoal, some of them bundled together.

Upon closer inspection, these sticks proved to be rolls of the ancient writing material papyrus. Numerous attempts to open these rolls and read their contents failed, due to their extreme fragility and the fact that they were burnt by the ca. 300 degree Celsius volcanic flow, compressed by the weight of rubble and mud, and congealed by water,” we read on The Philodemus Project’s website.

Eventually several hundred of the rolls were partly cut apart and partly unrolled.

A conservator from the Vatican, Father Antonio Piaggio (1713-1796), devised a machine to delicately open the scrolls. But it was slow work – the first one took around four years to unroll. And the scrolls tended to go to pieces.

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The Villa of the Papyri at Herculaneum contained many papyrus scrolls, carbonized in the eruption but otherwise still intact.

The fragments pulled off by Piaggio’s machine were fragile and hard to read. “They are as black as burnt newspaper,” says Dr Dirk Obbink, an American-born papyrologist, classicist, specializing in the history of religion and its texts and a lecturer in Papyrology at Oxford University.
Under normal light the charred paper looks “a shiny black” says Obbink, while “the ink is a dull black and sort of iridesces”.

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The villa, believed to have been owned by the father-in-law of Julius Caesar, Lucius Calpurnius Piso Caesoninus, stretched for more than 250m along the shoreline. It would appear that it was originally built in the first century BC, as a formal atrium villa, subsequently extended. Only eight columns of the portico have been excavated, but judging from the plan of the house there must have been four additional columns to the east of the entrance. Copyright: Photography by Brian Donovan, The University of Auckland – Centre for Academic Development. Copyright © 2001-2009, Herculaneum Conservation Project.

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Herculaneum Papyrus 1428: Philodemus, On Piety

Reading it is “not very pleasant”, he adds. In fact, when Obbink first began working on them in the 1980s the difficulty of the fragments was a shock. On some pieces, the eye can make out nothing. On others, by working with microscopes and continually moving the fragments to catch the light in different ways, some few letters can be made out.

In 1999, scientists from Brigham Young University in the US examined the papyrus using infrared light. Deep in the infrared range, at a wavelength of 700-900 nanometres, it was possible to achieve a good contrast between the paper and the ink. Letters began to jump out of the ancient papyrus. Instead of black ink on black paper, it was now possible to see black lines on a pale grey background.

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A complete unopened scroll from Herculaneum

In 2008, a further advance was made through multi-spectral imaging. Instead of taking a single (“monospectral”) image of a fragment of papyrus under infrared light (at typically 800 nanometres) the new technology takes 16 different images of each fragment at different light levels and then creates a composite image.

With this technique Obbink is seeking not only to clarify the older infrared images but also to look again fragments that previously defied all attempts to read them. The detail of the new images is so good that the handwriting on the different fragments can be easily compared, which should help reconstruct the lost texts out of the various orphan fragments. “The whole thing needs to be redone,” says Obbink.

But many of the texts that have emerged so far are written by a follower of Epicurus (341 BC – 270 BC), the philosopher and poet Philodemus of Gadara (c.110-c.40/35BC).

Not all of the unique library of the Villa of the Papyri in Herculaneum have been unrolled. The damage – caused by the eruption lasted 18 hours – destroyed the artefacts. Could it be possible to read them in some way, for example – virtually?

In 2009 two unopened scrolls from Herculaneum belonging to the Institut de France in Paris were placed in a Computerised Tomography (CT) scanner, normally used for medical imaging. The machine, which can distinguish different kinds of bodily tissue and produce a detailed image of a human’s internal organs could potentially be used to reveal the internal surfaces of the scroll.

“We were able to unwrap a number of sections from the scroll and flatten them into 2D images – and on those sections you can clearly see the structure of the papyrus: fibers, sand,” says Dr Brent Seales, a computer science professor at the University of Kentucky, who led the effort.

Totally, about 2,000 scrolls have been recovered from the villa, of which almost 1,700 have been unrolled.

“The villa remains one of the great buildings of the ancient world and it should certainly be excavated,” according to Robert Fowler, professor of Greek and dean of arts at Bristol University.Fowler.

With certainty, there is much more hidden underground.

This article was originally published by Message To Eagle. See full article and related links: http://www.messagetoeagle.com/scrollsherculaneum.php

With the courtesy of Message To Eagle.

In a “Rainbow” Universe Time May Have No Beginning

If different wavelengths of light experience spacetime differently, the big bang may never have happened

By Clara Moskowitz

20131210-152230.jpgWhat if the universe had no beginning, and time stretched back infinitely without a big bang to start things off? That’s one possible consequence of an idea called “rainbow gravity,” so-named because it posits that gravity’s effects on spacetime are felt differently by different wavelengths of light, aka different colors in the rainbow.

Rainbow gravity was first proposed 10 years ago as a possible step toward repairing the rifts between the theories of general relativity (covering the very big) and quantum mechanics (concerning the realm of the very small). The idea is not a complete theory for describing quantum effects on gravity, and is not widely accepted. Nevertheless, physicists have now applied the concept to the question of how the universe began, and found that if rainbow gravity is correct, spacetime may have a drastically different origin story than the widely accepted picture of the big bang.

According to Einstein’s general relativity, massive objects warp spacetime so that anything traveling through it, including light, takes a curving path. Standard physics says this path shouldn’t depend on the energy of the particles moving through spacetime, but in rainbow gravity, it does. “Particles with different energies will actually see different spacetimes, different gravitational fields,” says Adel Awad of the Center for Theoretical Physics at Zewail City of Science and Technology in Egypt, who led the new research, published in October in the Journal of Cosmology and Astroparticle Physics. The color of light is determined by its frequency, and because different frequencies correspond to different energies, light particles (photons) of different colors would travel on slightly different paths though spacetime, according to their energy.

The effects would usually be tiny, so that we wouldn’t notice the difference in most observations of stars, galaxies and other cosmic phenomena. But with extreme energies, in the case of particles emitted by stellar explosions called gamma-ray bursts, for instance, the change might be detectable. In such situations photons of different wavelengths released by the same gamma-ray burst would reach Earth at slightly different times, after traveling somewhat altered courses through billions of light-years of time and space. “So far we have no conclusive evidence that this is going on,” says Giovanni Amelino-Camelia, a physicist at the Sapienza University of Rome who has researched the possibility of such signals. Modern observatories, however, are just now gaining the sensitivity needed to measure these effects, and should improve in coming years.

The extreme energies needed to bring out strong consequences from rainbow gravity, although rare now, were dominant in the dense early universe, and could mean things got started in a radically different fashion than we tend to think. Awad and his colleagues found two possible beginnings to the universe based on slightly different interpretations of the ramifications of rainbow gravity. In one scenario, if you retrace time backward, the universe gets denser and denser, approaching an infinite density but never quite reaching it. In the other picture the universe reaches an extremely high, but finite, density as you look back in time and then plateaus. In neither case is there a singularity—a point in time when the universe is infinitely dense—or in other words, a big bang. “This was, of course, an interesting result, because in most cosmological models, we have singularities,” Awad says. The result suggests perhaps the universe had no beginning at all, and that time can be traced back infinitely far.

Whereas it is too soon to know if these scenarios might describe the truth, they are intriguing. “This paper and a few other papers show there could be a rightful place in cosmology for this idea [of rainbow gravity], which is encouraging to me,” says Amelino-Camelia, who was not involved in the study, but has researched frameworks for pursuing a quantum theory of gravity. “In quantum gravity we are finding more and more examples where there is this feature which you may call rainbow gravity. It is something that is increasingly compelling.”

Yet the concept has its critics. “It’s a model that I do not believe has anything to do with reality,” says Sabine Hossenfelder of the Nordic Institute for Theoretical Physics. This idea is not the only way to do away with the big bang singularity, she adds. “The problem isn’t to remove the singularity, the problem is to modify general relativity in a consistent way, so that one still reproduces all its achievements and that of the Standard Model [of particle physics] in addition.”

Lee Smolin of the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics in Ontario, who first suggested the idea of rainbow gravity along with Joao Magueijo of Imperial College London, says that, in his mind, rainbow gravity has been subsumed in a larger idea called relative locality. According to relative locality, observers in different locations across spacetime will not agree on where events take place—in other words, location is relative. “Relative locality is a deeper way of understanding the same idea” as rainbow gravity, Smolin says. The new paper by Awad and his colleagues “is interesting,” he adds, “but before really believing the result, I would want to redo it within the framework of relative locality. There are going to be problems with locality the way it’s written that the authors might not be aware of.”

In the coming years researchers hope to analyze gamma-ray bursts and other cosmic phenomena for signs of rainbow gravity effects. If they are found, it could mean the universe has a more “colorful” history than we knew.

Source: Scientific American

Image credit: Finearts

Seven Volcanoes In Six Different Countries All Start Erupting Within A Few Hours Of Each Other

Something is moving.

After a few weeks ago a new island appeared off the coast of Pakistan after an earthquake, there’s now a new island in the Pacific after a submarine volcano eruption off Nishino-Shima Island in Japan. It is the first eruption after 40 years. The eruption was noticed by the Japanese Navy when boiling lava went into the sea water and provoked plumes of steam and ash.

But this was only the first of a chain of volcano events around the globe which occurred one after the other within a few hours.

The Colima volcano in Mexico, almost 7000 miles away from Japan, erupted for the first time after a long period of relative calm, blowing a steam and ash cloud two miles up into the sky. The grumbling of the mountain was heard in towns that were miles away.

A smaller ash cloud was provoked by the following eruption of the Fire Mountain in Guatemala. The ash fell over nearby towns, and the explosions and shock waves of the event were felt until towns over 6 miles away.

The Yasur volcano in Vanuato has given only small explosions so far, but the farmers complain that the continuous ash falling on the nearby land might give damage to the farming soil.

A massive eruption has occurred from Mount Etna, in Sicily in Italy. The current eruption has been going on for days and is getting stronger as time moves on. Flights had to be canceled because of high ash clouds. The town of Zafferana at the foothills of the Etna has experienced some damage, and the lava flow is the biggest in years. Many people left their houses in panic.

The next volcano to erupt was Mount Sinabung the high ash cloud of which is giving residents a hard time. The volcano had awakened in 2010 for the first time after hundreds of years. 6000 people were evacuated yesterday as scientists feared a major eruption when the volcano started rumbling.

Mount Merapi on the island of Java, in Indonesia, started awakening yesterday. Luckily, nobody was harmed – people still recover from the loss of hundreds of people during the eruption in 2010.

ImageVolcanic activity worldwide. Status: November 22, 2013. Source: Humanitarian Early Warning Service.

The almost contemporary eruption of so many volcanos around the globe gives way to some concern: something is moving. It has to be pointed out though that some scientists believe that solar flares may trigger earthquakes and movements of the tectonic plates which might give way to volcano eruptions. The sun has been quite active in the last 4 weeks after it had been much too quiet in the 11th year of the actual solar cycle.

More activity is being noticed in many other places worldwide. How special the quantity of volcanic activity is and whether you’re in a potentially hazardous place you can find out at the Humanitarian Early Warning Service site.

Some people believe that all these events are connected to the possibly painful beginning of a new era that would have started on the famous end-time date 21/12/2012. If and why these are truth-based or unfounded assumptions will be laid out in an article we’re going to publish for the first anniversary of the Mayan end date – December 21, 2013.

Stay tuned for space weather news in the next days.

For updates and real-time news of volcano events check the USGS volcano watch site.

Written by: Mystica

Image credit: http://halofanon.wikia.com/wiki/File:1288514330_1440x900_buring-volcano-eruption.jpg