17 May 2008

Ontario First nation opposes uranium mining (important lesson !)

First nation opposes uranium mining


15 May 1007

Serpent River First Nation (SRFN) is opposed to uranium mining in the area.

SRFN Chief Isadore Day says at a community meeting on April 28, they reached a consensus opposing development.

He says about 60 SRFN residents attended the meeting out of its population of 340.

They have also been informing off-reserve band members.

"This was not a knee-jerk thing. This has taken place over quite some time."

However, Day says their opposition has less to do with Pele Mountain Resources, the junior mining company hoping to eventually open a uranium mine in Elliot Lake, and more with the slow movement of government regarding resources on traditional SRFN territory (the Serpent River watershed).

"It's not directed at Pele. This would be with any developer within the traditional territory.

"This is an issue between two nations, SRFN and the Crown."

At the heart, is SRFN has not had any input into, nor has it been consulted by the Crown when it came to mining in the past and now with exploration. That should be taken care of first. The regulations need to include First Nation consultations, says Day.

"There has to be an extraordinary level of participation at the outset of any exploration."

SRFN came up with the resolution because such projects are moving too fast with regards to the government and the private sector, but too slow when it comes to the Crown and First Nation.

"It poses real challenges between industry and First Nations when government moves slower in First Nation negotiations than it does when pushing through proponent approvals," Day says.

However, he admits that the government has many First Nations to deal with.

The resolution opposes any development, including cottage lots, forestry, quarries, hydro power and mining on traditional SRFN territory that has a negative impact on the "environment, social, economic and culture for its citizens and future generations."

Forestry is also a big concern, says Day.

The resolution opposes mining exploration in the traditional territory until revisions are made "to the Ontario Mining Act that would recognize the rights and responsibilities of First Nations in making decisions."

It also states any consultation or attempts to accommodate the First Nation during any development must take into consideration the Huron Robinson Treaty of 1850, and that the chiefs in the treaty's area need to be consulted.

Article ID# 1028417

16 May 2008

How To Prepare for Radiation Emergencies, by KLK

How To Prepare for Radiation Emergencies, by KLK

(on the survival blog)

Scenario 1
You are sitting at your retreat, enjoying the scenery, when you hear on the radio that there has just been a nuclear weapon that has detonated in a contiguous State . You decide to run into your shelter. After a few days in there, you start to wonder when it might be safe to come out. You also wonder if you would have been better off evacuating and getting as far away from the radiation source as possible.

A radiation disaster is a scenario for which we must be prepared. It may be from a radiological source, such as a nuclear reactor accident, or from nuclear devices, such as a nuclear weapon.
Much of what we know about radiation exposure comes from accidents such as Chernobyl [nuclear power plant disaster] and [the bombing of] Hiroshima [and Nagasaki]. With the nuclear reactor accident in Chernobyl (1986), 70% of the contamination fell on 26% of Belarus. 400,000 people were evacuated and 50,000 km squared was restricted and removed from use. The isotopes included Cs137, Cs134, Sr90, I131, and Pu239, with an estimated 114 Million Curies entering the environment. Untoward effects from this accident included 31 initial deaths, 300 injuries and hospitalizations, 150,000 abortions, $ 3 billion spent in emergency response, $500 million spent to compensate Italian farmers, 10,000 reindeer slaughtered, and an increase in cancer (mostly thyroid cancer, many years after the incident).

It is estimated that if a large US city (population 1 million) was hit by a 10-Kiloton (KT) nuclear device, that it would produce the following casualties:

>13,000 prompt fatalities
Approximately 114,000 expectant fatalities (>830 cSv)
Approximately 90,000 requiring ICU support (530-830 cSv)
Approximately 141,000 requiring either ICU or minimum care ward (300-530 cSv)
Approximately 150,000 requiring a minimum care ward (150-300 cSv)
Approximately 159,000 requiring outpatient therapy (70-150cSv)
Approximately 128,000 requiring health monitoring (25-70cSv)
Approximately 212,000 worried [but] well (<25>

The healthcare system is not ready or able to cope with this magnitude of casualties. That brings us to: What should you do?
The mechanism of injury from a nuclear device is 3 fold: blast, heat and radiation. Assuming a 10-KT burst, people within a 0.55 km radius of the explosion fall within a “blast injury circle” and have a high immediate fatality rate. People within a 0.9 km radius of the explosion fall within a “prompt radiation circle”, and people within a 2.1 km radius fall within the “thermal circle” and suffer 2nd degree burns. If you are outside of these 3 circles, you may suffer from radiation fallout. The amount of fallout you are exposed to is determined by 3 factors: length of time exposed, distance from the original explosion, and how much shielding there is between you and the radioactive source.

To minimize radiation exposure, you will want to reduce your time exposed, increase your distance from the source and have as much shielding as possible. This can lead to a dilemma if faced with this scenario: should you evacuate your retreat (increase your distance from the source), or should you stay and go into your shelter (increase your shielding)? The answer to this question will depend on whether or not you have a shelter, how far away from the initial source you are, the strength of the nuclear device, and the weather conditions. Even if you have a shelter, you may be forced to evacuate due to your proximity to the radiation source (Remember Chernobyl where 50,000 square kilometers were deemed unusable). It can take many months and sometimes years to clean up after a Radiation Event. Most people don’t have shelters that will sustain them for that long. Unfortunately, if faced with this scenario, you will have limited time to make your decision, for if you decide to evacuate you will want to do it immediately to reduce your exposure time, and before the roads get jammed with people. Thus, it would be useful to know a few basic equations to help you make your decision.

Radiation exposure follows the inverse square law- exposure reduction is proportional to the inverse square of the distance. Radiation is measured in Gray. If the source produces 10 Gy/hour at 1 meter, the exposure will be 2.5 Gy/hour at 2 meters (10 divided by 2 squared). The worst case scenario could produce up to 50-100 Gy/hour at the site of the explosion. With this information, you can calculate your exposure based on how far away you are from the radiation source. You must also keep in mind the weather conditions. If your calculation reveals a total body dose of <0.7>

Scenario 2
You decided to stay at your retreat with some type of shelter, but after 12 hours a family member starts vomiting. Should you take them to the hospital which you know will be full of victims or should you stay isolated?
The key to treating radiation victims is knowing what dose of radiation they received. All medical decisions are based on the dose estimate.
There are many ways to determine dose of exposure, most of which require a hospital visit and laboratory tests. Without access to prompt healthcare, the easiest way to determine dose is to record the time from radiation exposure until the time the victim starts vomiting. Then use the information below to estimate the dose the victim received (measured in Gray):

Time To Onset of Vomiting Post Accident/Terrorist Act

Hours to Vomiting Estimated Dose (Gray)
20 0.1
7 0.5
5 1
2 5
1 10
0.8 20
0.5 50
0.3 100

Use that number for the following interventions:
If they received a dose of <>not be significantly affected by the radiation and they do not need to be hospitalized.

If they received a dose of 0.7-5 Gy, their lymphocytes (cells in the blood that fight infection) will dramatically decrease. This happens within the first 1-2 days and puts them at a very high risk of infection. Their hemoglobin and red blood cells will also decrease at 30 days after exposure and they will become very anemic. With good supportive care, the blood counts will recover by 60 days post exposure. Treatment includes IV fluids, antibiotics and colony stimulating factors. These are the people who benefit the most from being admitted to the hospital because they need the colony stimulating factors (which are not able to be stored at a retreat). My advice would be to take them into the hospital. If this is not feasible, they must be quarantined for at least 60 days. If they do not get an infection, there is a good chance they will live.

If they were exposed to a dose of 6-15 Gy, the predominant effect will be on their gastrointestinal system- this means profuse, bloody diarrhea and dehydration, starting at 5-7 days post exposure. It is also often associated with severe nausea/vomiting and fever. Treatment includes specific antibiotics, GI nutrition, IV fluids and early cytokine therapy for 5 or more weeks. These people will also benefit from hospitalization if feasible. Survival is possible, but unlikely.

If they were exposed to > 15 Gy, the effect will be on their cardiovascular system and central nervous system. This leads to brain swelling and death within 2-3 days. It is associated with a 100% mortality rate and the best care would be to provide them with pastoral care and to keep them comfortable. There is nothing medically that can be done to save their life.

Scenario 3
You decide to make a trip into town to pick up some supplies. It’s around 10 a.m. and you are walking down the street. All of a sudden you hear a loud explosion and see pieces of shrapnel flying. There are casualties all around you from the scrap metal. You are thankful that none of it hit you. Then you hear someone yell “It was a Dirty Bomb!” You think to yourself, “A Dirty Bomb! What should I do?”
A “Dirty Bomb” is a radiological dispersion device which combines a conventional explosive with a radioactive material. It is not a nuclear weapon, nor a weapon of mass destruction; however, it is a weapon of mass disruption. The impact depends on the type of explosive, amount and type of radioactive material and the weather conditions.

Immediate deaths or serious injuries would likely result from the explosion itself. It is unlikely that the radioactive material would kill anyone. The radioactive material would be dispersed into the air and reduced to relatively low concentrations. Low level exposure to radioactive contamination could slightly increase your long term risk of cancer (mostly thyroid cancer). There would be significant impact by causing fear, panic and disruption. Clean up would be costly and could take many months.

Consider this example: In Goiania, Brazil, 1987, 1375 Ci of Cs-137 spread throughout a neighborhood. It was an accident (not a terrorist event), and yet it caused mass panic and fear. Ultimately, 112,000 people were screened, out of which 249 had detectable contamination. Four victims died within four weeks and 20 were hospitalized. Site remediation took months to complete (Oct 1987-March 1988). Can you imagine the impact if it had been a planned event?

Dirty bombs can expose one to radiation both externally and internally. Internal contamination can occur through inhalation (nose, mouth) or absorption (wound in the skin). The radiation is typically deposited in the thyroid, liver, lung and bone. It is not acutely life threatening.

When dealing with a victim of radiation contamination, act as if they were contaminated with raw sewage. Protect yourself with clothes, mask, and gloves and use standard medical emergency procedures (Airway/Breathing/Circulation). Decontaminate after the victim is stabilized. Removing their clothing and washing with soap and water is 95%+ effective at decontaminating. Treat with fluids, anti-emetics (anti-nausea), anti-diarrheals and pain medication.

There are also blocking and diluting agents, but these are isotope specific:
For Radioactive Iodine (I-131), use Potassium Iodide (KI) - must be given within 4 hours after the exposure, see the dosing chart below
For Strontium-85 and Strontium-90, use calcium, aluminum, barium
For Tritium, use ordinary water (force fluids for 3 days)
For the Transuramics (Plutonium, Americium, Curium, Californium), use DTPA 1 gram intravenously (must be given within 24 hours after the exposure)
For Cesium, use Prussian Blue 1 gram orally three times a day for three weeks

There are two problems with the blocking agents: First, you often don’t know what the isotope identity is until after it is too late to administer the blocking agent. There is no easy way to determine which isotopes were included in the bomb and you will need to rely on medical personnel to provide you with this information. Secondly, most of the blocking agents are not readily available. The only exception is KI, which is easily purchased through many of the SurvivalBlog advertisers. You are fortunate if you have DTPA or Prussian Blue stored away, but most people don’t.

In the absence of knowing what isotopes were in the dirty bomb, my advice would be to have as much fluid as possible (to dilute tritium). I would also take KI if you have some. If I-131 was in the bomb, the KI will protect your thyroid gland (and possible cancer later in life). It must be taken within 4 hours after the exposure. If I-131 was not in the explosive, the KI is safe with minimal side effects. If you decide to take some, use the following dosing chart:
Adults 18 and older: 130 mg of KI
Pregnant/Lactating females: 130 mg KI
Children age 3-18 years: 65 mg KI
1 month-3 years: 32 mg KI
Birth-1 month: 16 mg KI

In summary, the radiological/nuclear threat is real! Mass casualties in your area are possible, but radiation injury is treatable.

JWR Adds: Some readers might not be familiar with the term Gray--the standard unit of measurement for radiation exposure, that replaced REM (Roentgen Equivalent, Man), and RAD (Radiation Absorbed Dose). For us Bomb Shelter Era dinosaurs, conversion from Grays are as follows.

1 Gy equals 100 rad
1 mGy equals 100 mrad
1 Sv equals 100 rem
1 mSv equals 100 mrem

Stocking up on KI tablets is inexpensive, so every family should keep a supply on hand. In 1985, I was stationed in West Germany and was briefly down-wind of Chernobyl. At the time I wished that I had some KI available! Anyone that lives in an urban area should have a Nuk-Alert "key fob" radiation detector. That way you won't have to wait for word from someone else to determine whether or not a nearby bomb explosion was a dirty bomb. Nuk-Alerts are available from several SurvivalBlog advertisers.

14 May 2008

Torture Policies Undermine 9/11 Case, Jason Leopold on the 20th highjacker case

Torture Policies Undermine 9/11 Case

By Jason Leopold

May 15, 2008

The Pentagon’s decision to drop war-crimes charges against Mohammed al-Qahtani, the alleged “20th hijacker” in the 9/11 attacks, again underscores the consequences of the Bush administration’s descent into torture and other abusive treatment of “war on terror” detainees.

If al-Qahtani’s case had gone forward, the U.S. government would have been forced to reveal its own violations of the Geneva Convention, anti-torture statutes and the laws of war, according to lawyers representing al-Qahtani.

“All of the [incriminating] statements Mohammad al-Qahtani made or is alleged to have made were the result of torture or made under the threat of torture and that is in my view why the government decided to dismiss his case at this point,” said Vince Warren, executive director of the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) in New York.

CCR has been representing Mohammed al-Qahtani since 2005 and has led the legal battle for the human rights of detainees incarcerated at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, for the last six years.

The harsh treatment of al-Qahtani was catalogued in an 84-page log of his interrogation that was leaked in 2006. The so-called “torture log” shows that beginning in November 2002 and continuing well into January 2003, al-Qahtani was subjected to sleep deprivation, interrogated in 20-hour stretches, poked with IV’s, and left to urinate on himself.

On Dec. 11, 2002, interrogators began to apply what they called the “pride and ego down approach,” subjecting him to religious and sexual humiliation, making him bark like a dog, and calling him “a pig” as he was made to pick up piles of trash with his hands cuffed.

According to one entry for Dec. 13, 2002, the interrogators sought to “escalate the detainee’s emotions.”

“A mask was made from an MRE [meals ready to eat] box with a smiley face on it and placed on the detainee’s head for a few moments. A latex glove was inflated and labeled the ‘sissy slap’ glove. This glove was touched to the detainee’s face periodically after explaining the terminology to him.

“The mask was placed back on the detainee’s head. While wearing the mask, the team began dance instruction with the detainee. The detainee became agitated and began shouting. The mask was removed and detainee was allowed to sit. Detainee shouted and addressed lead [interrogator] as ‘the oldest Christian here’ and wanted to know why lead allowed the detainee to be treated this way.”

The log contains numerous entries describing al-Qahtani’s reaction to the interrogations, as he cried, shook, moaned, yelled, prayed, cried out for Allah, trembled uncontrollably and asserted his innocence.

Psychological Trauma

According to a report by CCR attorneys, “on one occasion described in the interrogation log, Mr. al-Qahtani was rushed to a military base hospital when his heart rate fell dangerously low during a period of extreme sleep deprivation, physical stress and psychological trauma.

“The military flew in a radiologist from the U.S. Naval Station in Puerto Rico to evaluate the computed tomography (‘CT’ or ‘CAT’) scan. After being permitted to sleep a full night, medical personnel cleared Mr. al-Qahtani for further interrogation the next day. During his transportation from the hospital, Mr. al-Qahtani was interrogated in the ambulance.”

Legal experts, who have followed the al-Qahtani case since his capture in December 2001, say a core problem for the Pentagon was that the evidence against al-Qahtani was derived substantially from admissions that he made while under harsh interrogation.

There was also circumstantial evidence related to al-Qahtani’s attempt to enter the United States before the 9/11 attacks. An immigration official turned him back and U.S. government officials claim that action forced the 9/11 hijackers to proceed with only 19 participants.

Last February, the Pentagon announced its intention to pursue the death penalty against al-Qahtani and five other men for their alleged involvement in the 9/11 attacks.

But on May 9, the Pentagon dismissed the case against al-Qahtani without explanation – and without prejudice, meaning that the charges could be reinstated at a later date. Though the charges were dropped, he will remain detained indefinitely at Guantanamo.

Al-Qahtani is believed to be one of the first detainees subjected to harsh questioning after the Justice Department issued a legal opinion in August 2002 permitting U.S. government interrogators to sidestep the Geneva Convention and use cruel and humiliating techniques, from forced nudity to stress positions to waterboarding, to extract information.

The Geneva Convention bars abusive or demeaning treatment of captives. However, John Yoo, then a senior lawyer in the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel, concluded that the Geneva Convention did not apply to alleged members of al-Qaeda.

As reported previously, specific interrogation methods used against al-Qahtani were approved by former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld in a December 2002 action memorandum.

Months of Torture

Gitanjali S. Gutierrez, an attorney with CCR and the lead attorney defending al-Qahtani, said in a sworn declaration that his client, imprisoned at Guantanamo, was subjected to months of torture based on verbal and written authorizations from Rumsfeld.

“Mr. al-Qahtani was subjected to a regime of aggressive interrogation techniques, known as the ‘First Special Interrogation Plan,’" Gutierrez said. “Those techniques were implemented under the supervision and guidance of Secretary Rumsfeld and the commander of Guantánamo, Major General Geoffrey Miller.

"These methods included, but were not limited to, 48 days of severe sleep deprivation and 20-hour interrogations, forced nudity, sexual humiliation, religious humiliation, physical force, prolonged stress positions and prolonged sensory over-stimulation, and threats with military dogs.”

Gutierrez’s claims about the type of interrogation al-Qahtani endured have since been borne out by the release of hundreds of pages of internal Pentagon documents, which described interrogation methods at Guantanamo, as well as by the findings of two independent reports on prisoner abuse.

Rumsfeld’s action memo was criticized by Alberto Mora, the former general counsel of the Navy.

“The interrogation techniques approved by the Secretary [of Defense] should not have been authorized because some (but not all) of them, whether applied singly or in combination, could produce effects reaching the level of torture, a degree of mistreatment not otherwise proscribed by the memo because it did not articulate any bright-line standard for prohibited detainee treatment, a necessary element in any such document,” Mora wrote in a 14-page letter to the Navy’s inspector general.

Additionally, a Dec. 20, 2005, Army Inspector General Report relating to the capture and interrogation of al-Qahtani included a sworn statement by Lt. Gen. Randall M. Schmidt, who said Secretary Rumsfeld was “personally involved” in the interrogation of al-Qahtani and spoke “weekly” with Maj. Gen. Miller about the status of the interrogations between late 2002 and early 2003.

Last February, the Justice Department's Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR) confirmed that it had launched a formal investigation to determine, among other issues, whether department attorneys provided the White House with poor legal advice when it said interrogators could use harsh interrogation methods against detainees.

CCR’s Warren said a trial of al-Qahtani would have forced the government to disclose how it obtained information from the defendant about alleged terrorist plans and the inner workings of al-Qaeda.

“We were pursuing the case that the government got evidence through torture,” Warren said. “The government would have to talk about how the information was obtained. That would never be able to survive in court because the torture log is clear that Mr. al-Qahtani provided information because he was being tortured.”

Warren said he wants the Pentagon to release al-Qahtani and have him sent to Saudi Arabia “where they have a system in place to maintain custody of any former Guantanamo detainee who presents a danger, as well as a strong rehabilitation program supervising those that are released.”

“It’s unlikely he would face torture or abuse on the magnitude Mr. al-Qahtani faced at Gitmo,” Warren said.

Jason Leopold has launched a new Web site, The Public Record, at www.pubrecord.org

worth tracking the companies !!

6,700 tons of sand containing traces of depleted uranium from Kuwait to US


Contaminated sand slated for Idaho dump site

Nearly 80 rail cars loaded with contaminated sand from Kuwait are headed toward a dump in southwestern Idaho.

American Ecology Corp. is shipping about 6,700 tons of sand containing traces of depleted uranium and lead to a hazardous waste disposal site 70 miles southeast of Boise. The sand arrived by ship at Longview, Wash., this week and company officials say loads are scheduled to begin arriving in Idaho by rail in two weeks.

Transfer of the sand to the United States was first reported this week by The Daily News in Longview.

The company has previously disposed of low-level radioactive waste and hazardous materials from U.S. military bases overseas at facilities in Idaho, Nevada and Texas, said American Ecology spokesman Chad Hyslop, who is based in Boise.

"As you can imagine, the host countries of those bases don't want the waste in their country," Hyslop said.