published by WISE News Communique on May 10, 1991
Polish Ecological Club fire A letter to various environmental groups from the 5000-member Polish Ecological Club reports that a fire has destroyed much of the Club's office: "Almost all our possessions, including the library...(were) devoured by fire." PEC's chair, Adam Gula, reports that the Club has moved to new quarters, but needs to replace the collection of western environ-mental literature that has made its work in Poland so important. Contributions can be sent to: Polish Ecological Club, Malopolska Branch, Pl. Szczepanski 5, VIII p., 31-011, Krakow, Poland.
Contaminated shipping flask. A flask containing 40 irradiated elements of Highly Enriched Uranium fuel which had been shipped from India was found to be contaminated by radioactivity when examined at Dounreay early in February. The contamination was discovered after the fuel had traveled nearly 10,000 km on an ordinary cargo ship, was driven by truck the length of Britain, and lay at Dounreay for three days without any monitoring for radioactivity. The fuel was shipped from a small research reactor in Bombay on the cargo ship Vishva Parijat on 24 December 1990. (This was the ship that passed through the Gulf area two days after the Gulf War began, although authorities claimed it had traveled through the area before hostilities broke out. See WISE News Communique 346.3471). Indian authorities had inspected the flask according to IAEA regulations and certified it as "clean" before it left their reactor. The flask arrived at the English port of Felixstowe on 30 Jan. 1991. There it was unloaded onto a new transporter and driven through England and Scotland to Dounreay where it arrived on 1 Feb. It lay at Dounreay until 4 Feb., when it was monitored for radiation and found to be contaminated. The transporters at Dounreay and the one still at Felixstowe were also found to be contaminated. The isotopes found were cesium and cerium. Dounreay has not given out information on the levels, but says there was no health risk. NENIG Briefing 45 (Shetland) 15 Mar. 1991
Hospital accident/Spain. Months after a serious radiation accident in a Spanish hospital, details are finally becoming available, although much is still unknown. Apparently the problem was with the bending magnet of the hospital's linear accelerator, a machine used for radiation therapy on cancer patients. The problem apparently occurred between 10 and 20 December at a hospital in Zaragoza, a city in northern Spain. During that period, when 27 patients received radiation therapy for tumors of the head, neck, breast, or groin, the radiation intensity was far greater than intended. The first signs of patient overexposures were noted on 26 December. Seven of the patients have already died. Although no specific dates on the deaths are available, it is believed they occurred between late December and late February. Much data reportedly is being withheld by the Spanish government while an investigation is conducted by the Radiation Emergency Assistance Center/Training Site (REAC/TS) of Oak Ridge, Tennessee (US). The Spanish accident is similar to ones which occurred in the US and Canada during the 1980s, when another version of the linear accelerator over-exposed patients because of problems with computer software. The accelerator in Spain was manufactured by General Electric, and the problem there may be associated with maintenance and attempted repairs on the machine. Asked if the same type of machine is used in the US, Dr. Bob Ricks of REAC/TS said he was unsure because he did not know the model involved. The REAC/TS director, however, said all linear accelerators used in hospitals work on the same principle and, thus, there is some potential for problems. News Sentinel (US), 27 Mar. 1991 (via Atoms & Waste)
Xenon-133 release/US. The Waterford-3 nuclear power plant in Louisiana experienced an accidental release to the public of xenon-133 gas on 28 March. The gas has a half life of 5.5 days. Atoms & Waste (US), 2 Apr. 1991, p.5
Contaminated steam release/ US. On 18 March at the New York Power Authority's Fitzpatrick reactor, an auxiliary steam boiler was contaminated by the plant's liquid LLRW evaporation system and an unmonitored release of concentrated steam went on for 6 1/2 hours. The plant was just starting up and was at only 3.5% power at the time. The release probably would have stayed on plant building roofs, except that it was raining, so the contamination went down storm drains and directly into Lake Ontario. Initial contamination levels were unknown by the NRC, but were found to exceed Technical Specification limits where the drains emptied into the lake. The drains were not fully plugged for another 4 1/2 hours. Atoms & Waste (US), 2 Apr. 1991, p.6; The Nuclear Monitor(US), 8 Apr. 1991, p.5
Cylinder becomes "missile"/US. Workers at the River Bend reactor in Louisiana received a surprise in late February when the piping connection to a Halon cylinder they were routinely testing was suddenly damaged, for unknown reasons, and the cylinder, according to the NRC, became "a missile". This "missile" hit the "restroom/shower" area of the plant, and did "structural damage" to the restroom. Unfortunately, one worker was seriously injured, and five others were sent to the hospital. The Nuclear Monitor(US), 11 March 1991, p.5
Radon release contaminates workers' clothes/US. Clothing of ten workers at the Department of Energy's Feed Materials Production Center (FMPC) near Fernald, Ohio, was contaminated when an unusual combination of atmospheric conditions resulted in increased levels of on-site radon. The radon release from FMPC K-65 silos occurred late 12 February to early 13 February. No skin contamination was detected on the workers. According to DOE, a temperature inversion resulted in radon accumulation at the ground level. Under normal conditions a radon release would disperse in the air. Nuclear Fuel (US), 18 Feb. 1991, p.15
UF6 leak/US. On 18 December, an accidental burst of uranium hexa-flouride (UF6) that NRC officials said lasted "about five seconds" sent one worker to the hospital with chemical burns and triggered a neighborhood alarm at ABB Combustion Engineering's Hematite fuel fabrication plant in Missouri. For several hours, roads were closed and two nearby homes were evacuated. According to NRC reports, the event began about 7 pm when a quality control worker, taking samples from a recent shipment of 7,000-pound UF6 cylinders, removed the flask into which a sample was being drawn before closing a shutoff valve. Alarms went off as "a cloud of material" was released before another worker shut the valve but nothing went off-site. Nuclear Fuel, 24 Dec. 1990, p.6
Bacteria at waste sites. Evidence is growing that deep inside rock sediments, both on land and under sea, there are flourishing communities of bacteria. Until now it has been assumed (by some, anyway that sites deep underground provide a stable environment for buried radioactive and other toxic waste. "Now you can't just assume that there won't be bacteria there", says researcher David Balkwill of Florida State University (US). Until we know more about life underground it is impossible to prove that buried waste is safe. SCRAM (Scotland), Feb/Mar 1991,p.5
Waste off coast of San Francisco. From 1946 to 1970, the US dumped an estimated 47,500 barrels of radioactive waste into the ocean in the Gulf of the Farallones, 50 km west of San Francisco. The wastes were from the Manhattan Project, the US navy, and two nuclear laboratories at the University of California. In 1981, the area was designated a National Marine Sanctuary. The US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has committed US $900,000 to investigate the consequences of the dumping. Some of the barrels are known to be seriously corroded. Edmonton Journal (Canada), 20 Jan. 1991, p.B9.
Discarded waste discovered(UK). The owner of a warehouse in Ipswich found a load of chemicals, including uranium rods, cyanide and sulphuric acid, apparently abandoned and close together in packaging unsuitable for long-term storage. The police, Sizewell scientists, the Colchester Royal Army Ordnance Corps bomb disposal unit, the Health and Safety Executive, two district councils, the Ipswich Borough Council, the Fire Service, the National Rivers Authority and Anglian Water had all been called at some point since January to deal with the issue. Apparently, however, none of them knew what all the chemicals involved were, including corrosives and oxidizing agents. The laboratory chemicals supplier, Metrocare, was (eventually) found to be responsible for the waste and ordered to remove it. The company now faces liquidation. Still not known: Where did the substances come from? For whom were they destined? Why were they left untended? "New Reactions", the newsletter of the East Anglian Alliance Against Nuclear Power, notes that while the presence of uranium is the most shocking find, it is the cyanide and sulfuric acid, stored close together, which presented the most immediate threat. If the acid had leaked out of the drums and reacted with the cyanide, it could have produced hydrogen cyanide gas. A fatal mistake. New Reactions (UK), Mar/Apr 1991
Work at US N-dump site stopped. A Texas District Court judge has ordered the state to stop all work on the "low-level" radioactive waste dump site at Fort Hancock and to restore the site to its pre-testing conditions by 1 July. The opinion by District Judge Bill Moody agreed with El Paso County that Texas had violated its own regulations in choosing the site and that the site is unsafe because it is close to earthquake fault lines and an aquifer that provides drinking water to much of west Texas. "To place these types of facilities directly on top of the sole source of this area's future water supply is an act of total disregard for the people of this area. The potential risk clearly outweighs any government interest the authority could claim," said the judge. The decision also referred to historical and archaeological concerns and described Moody's tour of the site: "...its still beauty, its vastness, and the potential to study its historical significance are of great importance. Again and again the echoing question of why here, rang through my ears as I stood atop the Diablo Rim looking into that beautiful West Texas sunset. Clearly any proud Texan, if they stood there, would be moved to say, 'this is not the proper place, this is unjust'; the splendor of this land and these people should not be risked merely because the time to choose a site is running short or the Authority has already spent millions to qualify this site." Texas attorney general Dan Morales says that an appeal is likely. Judge Moody also forbid the state from choosing any site until it has completed "adequate disposal site selection studies" and prepared an "adequate environmental impact evaluation." He has required the state to provide him and the county of El Paso with monthly compliance reports. The Nuclear Monitor (US), 11 February 1991, p.1
Sioux petition refused. A petition filed by the Mdewakanton Sioux tribe, which sought to intervene in the Prairie Island spent fuel storage project in Minnesota, US was refused by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. However, a coalition, which now includes Sierra Club and Greenpeace, expects to urge the state's Public Utility Commission to deny a Certificate of Need for the project. The Sioux tribe, whose land borders the plant, is concerned about the health effects of having a storage facility nearby. Much of their concern takes into account an Oak Ridge study (in the March "Journal of the American Medical Association") which shows a 5% cancer increase for every rem of low-level radiation. Utility attorneys were visibly shaken when the issue was raised in a negotiating session. Atoms and Waste (US), 2 April 1991, p.5.
US medical facilities warned about dumping radioactive waste. The NRC has told medical facilities to be more careful about dumping radioactive waste into local landfills and incinerators. The warning came after complaints from Browning Ferris Industries (BFI), the country's second largest solid waste disposal firm, that radiation monitors at its facilities have been set off by medical waste. The NRC cited five cases where radioactive medical waste was intercepted when delivered to landfills and incinerators. In one case, in South Carolina, the unnamed dumpers were fined and forbidden access to state dumping facilities. The NRC recommends that medical facilities consider establishing their own monitoring systems "to monitor all outgoing shipments". The Nuclear Monitor (US), 25 Mar. 1991, p.3
Waste intercepted/US. Although not related to medical waste, yet another case of radioactive material was intercepted on its way to an unlicensed facility in the US in early March. The Keywell Company, a scrap metal processor in Baltimore, Maryland, notified the NRC that scrap metal from the nearby state of Virginia set off radiation alarms at its facility. The levels, measured at 0.3 millirems/hour, were enough to exceed even the NRC's most permissive annual below regulatory concern standards for a single waste stream within two days. The scrap was returned to Virginia, where it apparently will remain until sent to a licensed "low-level" radioactive waste dump. What isn't known, of course, is how many shipments of contaminated materials and waste are not intercepted before entering US solid waste and recycling facilities... The Nuclear Monitor (US), 25 Mar. 1991, p.3
And at yet another US dump... two contaminated filters from the cooling water system of Unit at Arkansas Nuclear One were "mistakenly" sent to the Russellville, Arkansas landfill in February. When the mistake was discovered, utility workers combed through the landfill and found one of the filters. However, despite closing the landfill to enable a search for the second filter, it still hasn't turned up... The Nuclear Monitor (US), 11 Mar. 1991, p.4
More on Chernobyl-contaminated food imports. Two additions to the list of contami-nated food imports published in the last WISE NC (see Chernobyl Special Edition, NC 349/350) have come in. The first report concerns contaminated meat Brazil wants to send back to Europe. The 7000 tonnes of meat is, according to the "authorities", fit for consumption, but the fear and resistance against it is widespread in Brazil. The meat has been stored in Porte Alegre (Brazil) for four years. Strahlentelex (FRG), 7 Feb. 1991
Starving people dig up contaminated meat. The second addition is especially depressing. Last year Zambia received tins of contaminated meat from Czecho-Slovakia as a "gift". After being found to be contaminated, the 2,880 tins were buried 3.5 meters underground and covered with concrete in the village of Chongwe, east of the capital Lusaka. Since then, hungry villagers have been making desperate efforts to get to the meat. A Belgium paper reported in February of this year that they finally succeeded in digging it up and consuming it. Gazet van Antwerpen (Belgium), 8 Feb. 1991
Confirmation of Chernobyl rumor. Almost five years after the accident at Chernobyl a per-sistent rumor has been confirmed by Soviet scientists. The Soviet airforce artificially produced rain from radioactive clouds drifting toward Moscow in May 1986. The population of the region in the Russian Republic where the rain fell was not warned that the rain was full of radioactive contaminants. The story was con-firmed at the April Chernobyl congress in Berlin, Germany. taz (FRG), 16 April 1991
N-reactor at Tonga? Is the unfortunate Pacific Isle of Tonga (between Australia and Tahiti) heading for a nuclear future? If it's up to King Taufa Abau Tupou IV's son Tupouto, the answer is yes! Tupouto says that he has been studying nuclear technology for a few years now and he wants to build a small reactor. "There is no need to be worried about nuclear waste," he says, "because we send the radioactive waste to other countries were it could be used again in bigger reactors." The man certainly has creative ideas. A few years ago he was planning an oil storage facility in a volcano, and after that failed he thought Tonga should be an exporting country of Teddy bears. taz (FRG), 13 March 1991
U-explortion in Pacific. Meanwhile, 480 km east of Tonga, on the Pacific Island of Niue, a drilling program costing US $1 million is about to begin. The purpose? The chief executive of Roycol, a Sydney-based corporation, says uranium is the primary target, but there are also hopes of locating possible polymetallic deposits. Roycol has bought exploration rights over the entire island through a deal with Avian Mining Pty Ltd. Avian, in 1969, set out to explore the South and Central Pacific regions, principally for phosphate, but found at Niue extremely high background radiation levels (60 times higher than generally found in Australia). Roycol, it seems, expects the island's residents to be grateful for any "viable" mineral discovery, as it could provide a boost to its subsistence economy. The island, only 260 square km, is dependent on regular cash support from the New Zealand government. The Australian, 11 Feb. 1991
Rossing U-mine wins contract. Namibia's Rossing Uranium has concluded a major long-term contract for the supply of 5,200 short tons of uranium oxide to the French nuclear power industry. It is the first contract for the company since Namibia's independence in March 1990. The British-based mining concern, RTZ Corp., holds a 46.5% equity interest in the company. The uranium is to be delivered to Total Compagnie Nucleaire, itself a 10% shareholder in Rossing, and will then be sold to the French state-owned utility Electricite de France. The contract, which starts in 1995 and runs to 2002, is expected to restore output at the mine to nearly full capacity. Rossing is the world's biggest low-cost uranium producer and has a full-rated capacity of 4,500 tonnes/ year but has been operating at 75% of capacity since the late 1980s. This, says "Mining Journal", reflects the fact that most of the long-term supply contracts originally signed with utilities in the UK, France, West Germany and elsewhere during the 1970s had expired, as well as the impact of US economic sanctions against South Africa and Namibia under the 1986 Anti-Apartheid Act. Negotiations are currently underway with other potential customers. On the political level, the company has established a close working relationship with the new Swapoled government. The government has agreed on joint promotion of the mine, and Rossing's managing director was the only representative of the Namibian private sector to be included in President Nujona's delegation to the US in June of last year. Mining Journal (UK), 14 Sept. 1990
Algeria/China cooperate on N-power. As a reaction to an article in "The Washington Post" newspaper (US), in which Algeria was accused of developing a nuclear weapons program with China's help, the official Algerian press agency said on 14 April that there is no such program. The agency did admit that there is cooperation between Algeria and China, but the program, it said, is purely for the development of 'peaceful' nuclear power. taz (FRG), 15 April 1991
Karlsruhe decommissioning, FRG. In 1960 a small scale reprocessing plant was planned at the nuclear research institute at Karls-ruhe as a prototype for a commercial reprocessing plant. In 1971 the plant went into operation. However, when the electricity companies decided in 1989 that the reprocessing plant at Wackersdorf would not be completed and German fuel rods would be reprocessed at la Hague and Sellafield, that meant the end of the Karlsruhe facility in 1990. During the 20 years of its operation, 1.2 tonnes of plutonium were separated, leaving 70 cubic meters of liquid high level radio-active waste stored on site. That waste is to be transported to Mol (Belgium) where the German reprocessing firm, DWK, has an installation. There the waste is to be vitrified and stored. Estimated costs for decommissioning and cleaning up the Karlsruhe site are, according to the head of the company, 1.9 billion DM (approximately US $1.3 billion). Some 400 workers will busy with taking care of the mess over the next 10 to 15 years. taz (FRG), 25 March 1991
Norway buys back heavy water from Israel. Israel, after 31 years, has sold about half of the amount of heavy water it bought from Norway back to that country for 10 million Kroner (US $1.8). This is the result of three years of negotiations between the two countries. Norway, in its turn, is no longer insisting on inspections by the International Atomic Energy Agency to determine Israel's use of the heavy water. In the past such inspections have always been refused by Israel. Norway had first insisted on the IAEA inspections in 1986, after US publications established a direct link between the heavy water and Israel's nuclear weapons program. The purchase agreement between the two countries had included Norway's right to demand inspections of Israeli installations using the heavy water, but when it tried to exercise this right, Israel refused to cooperate. There are still at least 8 tonnes of the Norwegian heavy water at Israel's Dimona facility. The heavy water is useless to Norway, which has no possibility to use it. taz (FRG), 5 March 1991
Moscow threatens to end N-Korean U-supply. During a visit to Tokyo, Vitaly Ignatenko (presidential spokesperson in the USSR) warned North Korea that if it doesn't allow inspections from the IAEA the Soviet Union would stop supplying uranium to that country, as well as end nuclear cooperation. North Korea has signed the Non-Proliferation Treat, but has so forbidden inspections at its installations. Dirk Bannink (NL)
Safety warning for US irradiators. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has sent a new information notice to its large irradiators warning that serious accidents are possible, and, in fact, frequent at such facilities. According to the NRC, the notice "is intended to remind recipients of the potential for large irradiators to deliver life-threatening radiation doses when safety and security systems are bypassed or preventative maintenance programs are ignored." But the notice included no new safety requirements, and required no action or written response from licensees. Included with the notice were two gruesome accounts of recent accidents in Israel and El Salvador. In Israel, an irradiator operator attempted to solve a problem by disconnecting the alarm system and entering the radiation room without checking his (broken) Geiger counter. After about a minute in the radiation room he felt a burning sensation in his eyes. Subsequent estimates indicated the operator had received about 1,000 to 1,500 rads during the less than two minutes he was in the room. The operator died 36 days later. In El Salvador, an operator similarly attempted to solve a problem by entering the radiation room. In this case, he believed that, because the equipment was shut off, there would be no radiation. He also asked two other workers to help him. The workers were quite surprised to see, after moving some boxes, that the pool was glowing blue. The first worker became ill within minutes of leaving the room, and died 197 days later. The second worker was treated for acute radiation exposure, and both legs were amputated. The third worker was less severely exposed, but remained on sick leave for 199 days. The information notice also included an account of an investigation of an unnamed US facility where the NRC found the plant had failed "to promptly and effectively repair the lock on the personnel-access door to the irradiator cell"; had modified a procedure without obtaining NRC approval; and had deliberately bypassed "administrative procedures and safety interlock and physical barriers to gain entry to the irradiator cell by climbing over the irradiator cell access door." The NRC added that "senior licensee management knew of the violations and made incomplete and inaccurate statements to the NRC" about them. The company was fined only US $13,000. Mean-while, the NRC is considering regulatory changes to make it easier to license large irradiators, and to possibly permit their siting in urban areas (see WISE News Communique 346.3460). The Nuclear Monitor, 8 Apr. 1991, p.2
US operators fail tests. Requalification exams given in March for operators at the WPPSS-2 reactor resulted in the failure of three of the four crews tested. Eight of the 21 individuals who were tested failed the exams. In-terestingly, the NRC and the WPPSS could not even agree on who had passed and who had failed. WPPSS quickly put together four crews composed of people who had passed the exam, but had not necessarily worked together. One of these crews then flunked another test, making them ineligible to operate the reactor. WPPSS decided to use three shifts, rather than four, to keep the reactor operating until it closes for refueling on 14 April. As of late March, the plant was operating at 100% power. The Nuclear Monitor, 8 April 1991, p.5
Lower emission standards? The US Environ-mental Protection Agency is proposing to allow nuclear power plants and other NRC licensees to operate without meeting the EPA air standards for radioactive air emissions. The utilities and government claim that nuclear power plants generally release radioactivity into the air and environs that exposes members of the public to up to 5 millirems Effective Dose Equivalent (EDE) in biological damage, per year. EPA's air standard would allow air emissions to expose people to about 10 millirems EDE/ year. If EPA's air standard is dropped, EPA's uranium fuel cycle standard (a separate regulation) would limit nuclear power plants to releases resulting in 25 millirems/person/year. NRC's radiation standards limit public exposures from nuclear power plants to the EPA uranium fuel cycle facility limit of 25 millirems per year but compliance is supposedly proven by meeting a level of 10 millirems/year (no more than three of which are to come from iodine releases) but this is only a design criteria, not an actual measured release. These calculations are estimates of biological damage to cells from ionizing radiation. The determination is based on unverified and unenforceable assumptions of radioactivity moving through the environment and the body. As such, violation of "millirem" limits is difficult if not impossible to prove. NIRS, Radiation Alert, 26 March 1991
New license for HMI reactor/FRG. The new Environment senator in Berlin, Volker Hassemer, has given the research reactor at the Hahn Meitner Institute permission to restart. The reactor was stopped last year by Green senator Schreyer, but she was not re-elected in December. The license had originally been with-drawn because there was no suitable solution for disposal of the radio-active waste generated by the reactor. According to Hassemer (CDU -- conservative party), the fuel rods will be stored at Dounreay (Scotland) until 1996, to possibly be reprocessed there after 1994, if HMI finds no other solution. After reprocessing, the waste would be stored at Dounreay until, somewhere in Germany, a place is found to store it. (See also Resources.) taz (FRG), 16 Mar. 1991
Hares stress reactor security/Sweden. Hares (yes, wild rabbits) are causing no end of trouble for the security service at the Oskarshamn nuclear power station in Sweden. The hares have been digging under the security fence and regularly causing the alarm to go off. During the three month period of December 1990 to February 1991, there was an average of ten alarms per night. The nuclear company has requested government permission to kill the lovable little animals. Nuclear opponents elsewhere might want to consider breeding them. Dagens Nyheter (Sweden), 17 Mar. 1991
May 13-17: International Conference on Energy and Environment, Riga, Latvia. Organizers include: Latvian Environ-mental Protection Committee, Latvian Environmental Protection Club, The Latvian Green Party, Latvia Ministry of Energy, AEE (Latvia), AEE (Sweden), Academy of Science of the Republic of Latvia, Riga Technical University, University of Latvia, Latvian Union of Power Engineers, and the Latvian Union of Scientists. For searching out prospects for environ-mentally sound energy for Latvia and other over-industrialized national economies, at the same time analyzing and putting into proper perspective: energy efficiency and the national economy; environmental and socioeconomic consequences of energy production and transmission; economic aspects of energy conservation; feasibility of reducing harmful environ-mental impacts of conventional power sources and possibilities for guaranteeing the safety of nuclear power plants; feasibility study for using alternative energy sources. To be held at the Conference Center of the Academy of Sciences of Latvia in Jurmala, 20 km from Riga. Conference languages: Latvian, English, Russian. Registra-tion fee: US$450. Contacts: Andra Jesinska, tel: 0132-325867; telex: 161137 ARS SU; fax: 0132- 328880. Viktors Zebergs, tel: 0132- 558692. Tija Karkle, VAK, tel/fax: 0132-612850. Mailing address: Latvenergo, Ganibu 12, 226810 Riga, Latvia.
June 13-15: 13th Joint Meeting of the Oslo and Paris Commissions, The Hague, Netherlands. (See Action on waste dumping needed, in this issue.)
"Questions regarding the Hahn-Meitner-Institute research reactor spent fuel", by Kathleen M. Tucker, Attorney At Law, for Institut Für Energi und Umweltforshung. This 12-page document from January 1990 explains a number of aspects of foreign research reactor spent fuel sent to the US, including waste produced and military connections. Contact: Kathleen M. Tucker, 615 Kennebee Avenue, Takoma Park, MD 20912, U.S. A. Tel. 301-585-7672.
The International Politics of nuclear waste, by Andrew blowers, David Lowry and Barry D. Solomon, MacMillan Press, April 1991. The prospect of nuclear waste on their doorstep has roused quiet, often remote, communities to lobby, march and mount blockades in protest. The nuclear industry has been challenged where it is most vulnerable: its lack of publicity and acceptable solutions to the problem of nuclear waste. Based on original source material, participation in events and visits to nuclear communities in several countries, the book gives a unique and compelling account of the problem. Illustrated throughout with diagrams and pictures, the book surveys its origins and describes the dramatic battles over the dumps. It compares the search for 'nuclear oases' across five countries and provides a theoretical explanation for the differences. A way forward is suggested for a problem that has no ultimate solution. About the authors: Andrew Blowers is Professor of Social Sciences at the Open University, and Pro-Vice-Chancellor responsible for academic policy since 1988. His book include the Limits of Power, Something in the Airs, and Nuclear Power in Crisis. David Lowry is a visiting Research Fellow at the Energy and Environmental Research Unit of the Open University, and Director of the European Proliferation Information Centre in London. His publications include "Issues in the Sizewell B inquiry" and Science and Mythology in the making of Defence Policy. He has been a regular contributor to WISE for over 8 years. Barry D. Solomon is an economist for the Global climate Change Program at the US EPA, where he examines solutions to the 'Greenhouse Effect". He is also co-editor of Geographical dimensions of Energy. His 1988 article on 'Sitting Patterns of Nuclear Waste Repositories' with Fred Shelly won the "Journal of Geography" award. To order: Macmillan Publihers Ltd. Education, Professional & Reference Division Houndmills, Basingstoke, Hampshire RG21, 2XS, UK. Hardcover, UK 45 pounds, order number 384PP 0-33-49363-X; paperback, UK 17,50 pounds, 384 PP 0-333-49364-8. Include 1.50 for postage and packing.
Radioactive Waste: Politics and Technology, by Frans Berkhout, Univ. of Lancaster, Feb. 1991, 272 pp. Providing a detailed historical account of the policy and practice of radwaste management in Britain, the Federal Republic of Germany and Sweden, this is a comprehensive analysis of nuclear strategy, the politics of nuclear power and the shifting emphasis of government regulation. To order: Michael Addison, Promotion Department, Routledge, 11 New Fetter Lane, London EC4B 4FH, UK. Hardback, UK 35 pounds, order number 0-415-05492-3; paperback, 14.99 pounds, 0-415-05493-1.