Arctic, Arctic Ocean, Barents Sea, Chelyabinsk, Chernobyl, Cold War, Finland, Indigenous peoples, John F. Kennedy, Kara Sea, Kola Peninsula, Murmansk, Novaya Zemlya, nuclear waste dump, Nuclear Waste Processing, nuclear weapons, nuclear weapons moratorium, nuclear weapons test ban, nuclear weapons testing, radioactive fallout, Radioactive Reindeer, Reindeer, River Techa, Russia, Sami, Sami People, Santa Clause Village, US
“The Arctic Circle cuts right through Santa Claus Village. A white line denoting the Arctic Circle (at its position in 1865) is painted across the park. Visitors officially enter the Arctic area when they cross the line.” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Santa_Claus_Village
Tsar Bomba and Santa Claus Village Locations Exported from Wikipedia. Tsar Bomba site is on Novaya Zemlya. The third location is the site of Russia’s new radioactive waste processing facility.
Around 18 above ground nuclear weapons were tested in Novaya Zemlya from September 1st 1961, when Russia first broke the moratorium on nuclear weapons testing, until Tsar Bomba was exploded on October 30, 1961. Many others were tested in Kazakhstan: “Over its history as a nuclear test site, Novaya Zemlya hosted 224 nuclear detonations with a total explosive energy equivalent to 265 megatons of TNT. For comparison, all explosives used in World War II, including the detonations of two US nuclear bombs, amounted to only two megatons.” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Novaya_Zemlya
On October 28th, 1961, two days before Russia exploded the largest nuclear weapon ever exploded in the atmosphere, Tsar Bomba, US President John F. Kennedy wrote a letter assuring an 8 year old girl that Santa was ok. It seems that the little girl was very much onto something in worrying about the impacts of Russian Above Ground Nuclear Weapons Testing on Santa and his Reindeer. Russia has just completed a nuclear waste processing facility at Saida-Bay near Murmansk, and plans an Arctic nuclear waste repository in melting permafrost at Novaya Zemlya. How much additional radiation will these emit into Arctic air and water? Much of the original lethal radioactive fallout and waste still remains, because radionuclides are the gift that keeps on giving disease and death often for hundreds, thousands, and even millions of years.
Rae Ellen Bichell interviewed a Finnish expert and asked about the spikes in radioactive cesium in reindeer in the early 1960s and again in the mid 1980s: “… What happened there? Why were the reindeer suddenly more radioactive at those times?”
Ari-Pekka Leppänen of STUK responded:
“The early 1960s spike was due to the largest nuclear weapon ever exploded in the atmosphere, which was the Tsar Bomba. It was exploded on the island of Novaya Zemlya in the High Arctic, which is about 500 or 600 kilometers away from Lapland. One of the plumes from that explosion traveled via surface winds into Lapland, another plume went straight up into the atmosphere and spread across the world and pretty much rained down all over the northern hemisphere. And since the arctic areas are sensitive to pollutants due to the short food chains and harsh climate, the plants they gather very efficiently whatever nutrients or whatever pollution they can get their hands into. So that’s why the reindeer are very sensitive to pollutants. And that’s why you see the 1965 peak. Then in 1986 there was the Chernobyl accident. Luckily, Finnish Lapland got very “little” fallout, but still it’s a very efficient…the ecosystem is so fragile and an efficient collector of contamination. And that’s why you can see the 1986 peak so well.” From Ari-Pekka Leppänen of STUK office interview with Rae Ellen Bichell. Read the entire interview here: https://raeellenbichell.wordpress.com/2013/01/14/hot-air-episode-6/ (NB; Cesium 134 has a half-life of 2 years and Cesium 137 a half-life of 30 years. Thus, Cs 134 will be around for decades and Cs 137 for centuries.)
While Chernobyl is in the Ukraine, the Ukraine was still part of Russia (USSR) at the time. Chernobyl was a USSR design: “The 1986 Chernobyl nuclear disaster caused nuclear fallout in the sensitive Arctic ecosystems and poisoned fish, meat and berries. Lichens and mosses are two of the main forms of vegetation in the Arctic and are highly susceptible to airborne pollutants and heavy metals. Since many do not have roots, they absorb nutrients, and toxic compounds, through their leaves. The lichens accumulated airborne radiation, and 73,000 reindeer had to be destroyed as “unfit” for human consumption in Sweden alone. The government promised Sami indemnification, which was not acted upon by government.
Radioactive wastes and spent nuclear fuel have been stored in the waters off the Kola Peninsula, including locations that are only “two kilometers” from places where Sami live. There are a minimum of five “dumps” where spent nuclear fuel and other radioactive waste are being deposited in the Kola Peninsula, often with little concern for the surrounding environment or population.“. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sami_people
Even Radioactive waste from inland Russia worked its way to the Arctic:
“In the 1950’s, the effluent from the nuclear-weapons factory near Chelyabinsk was dumped into the River Techa. It ended up in the Arctic Ocean. Between 1964 and 1986, some 7,000 tons of solid radioactive waste and 1,600 cubic meters of liquid waste was pitched into the Kara and Barents Seas from the base in Murmasnk which serviced the Soviet fleet of nuclear powered naval and merchant ships. Likewise, nuclear reactors from at least 18 nuclear submarines and icebreakers were dumped in the Barents sea, and an entire nuclear sub was deliberately sunk after an accident in May 1968. Another nuclear submarine, the Komsomolets, sank 300 miles of Norway with the loss of 42 sailors. It went down with two nuclear warheads. Finally, the Russians were dumping unprossed nuclear waste into The Sea of Japan. As late as October 1993, the Russians confirmed that one of their ships discharged 900 tons of radioactive water from scrapped nuclear submarines.” http://www1.american.edu/ted/arctic.htm
Related: http://www.spiegel.de/international/spiegel/cold-war-legacies-nuclear-waste-in-the-russian-arctic-a-390715.html http://nuclear-news.net/2015/08/31/barents-sea-the-arctics-radioactive-legacy-of-soviet-nuclear-weapons-testing/
Within the last month there is news of a Russian radioactive waste processing facility and radioactive waste dump. Presumably the “processing” will emit lethal radionuclides into air and water. The Arctic is already a sink for radioactive pollution. Radionuclides from French and British reprocessing facilities end up in the Arctic (as will some Fukushima radioactive pollution): https://miningawareness.wordpress.com/2015/09/19/the-arctic-is-a-sink-for-radioactive-pollution-transported-from-far-away/
“Approves radioactive waste disposal in melting permafrost
Regional Government of Arkhangelsk Oblast says yes to Novaya Zemlya waste dump.” By Thomas Nilsen, December 22, 2015 http://thebarentsobserver.com/ecology/2015/12/approves-radioactive-waste-disposal-melting-permafrost
“World’s northernmost radioactive waste plant opens
By Thomas Nilsen, November 25, 2015 http://thebarentsobserver.com/ecology/2015/11/radioactive-waste-plant-opens-saida-bay
Europe and the US help-have helped Russia with its nuclear waste so Russia has more money to make more nuclear waste! Russian State owned Rosatom exports nuclear reactors around the world.
As quoted in “Nuclear waste cooperation will continue, but not for new waste” by Thomas Nilsen: “It is timely to look into what we are going to spend Norwegian money on. Russia must take responsibility,” says Norway’s Foreign Minister Børge Brende commenting on the increase in radioactive waste to be accumulated as Russia’s nuclear submarine construction hit post-Soviet peak” http://barentsobserver.com/en/security/2015/02/nuclear-waste-cooperation-will-continue-not-new-waste-06-02
John Fitzgerald Kennedy was Very Concerned About the Impacts of Above Ground Nuclear Weapons Testing
“The number of children and grandchildren with cancer in their bones, with leukemia in their blood, or with poison in their lungs might seem statistically small to some, in comparison with natural health hazards. But this is not a natural health hazard—and it is not a statistical issue. The loss of even one human life, or the malformation of even one baby—who may be born long after we are gone—should be of concern to us all. Our children and grandchildren are not merely statistics toward which we can be indifferent.” John Fitzgerald Kennedy, July 26th, 1963 http://youtu.be/-fx6LMeWW_M (See minutes 12 -14. We have no control of ad which appears, and were unable to find an ad free video)
“The administration of John F. Kennedy would continue the test ban negotiations, but with even greater pressures to resume testing. Like Eisenhower, Kennedy had to face pressure from the Pentagon and the nuclear weapons laboratories, on the one hand, and international political pressure favoring a test ban on the other hand. Khrushchev was also under pressure from the Soviet military to break the moratorium and he made the first move on 1 September 1961. The moratorium collapsed during an unfolding U.S.-Soviet crisis over the status of West Berlin and the resumption of testing contributed to the tensions. Kennedy followed with underground testing in mid-September 1961, but delayed atmospheric testing until the spring of 1962. Both sides tested more than 200 weapons during 1961 and 1962.” http://nsarchive.gwu.edu/NSAEBB/NSAEBB94/I
“Tsar Bomba (Russian: Царь-бомба; “Tsar-bomb”) is the nickname for the AN602 hydrogen bomb, the most powerful nuclear weapon ever detonated. Its test on October 30, 1961, remains the most powerful man-made explosion in human history. It was also referred to as Kuz’kina Mat’ (Russian: Кузькина мать, Kuzma’s mother), referring to Nikita Khrushchev’s promise to show the United States a “Kuz’kina Mat'” at the 1960 United Nations General Assembly. Developed by the Soviet Union, the bomb had the yield of 50 megaton TNT (210 PJ). Only one bomb of this type was ever officially built and it was detonated in the Novaya Zemlya archipelago, at Sukhoy Nos.“. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tsar_Bomba
“Atmospheric 14C, New Zealand and Austria. The New Zealand curve is representative for the Southern Hemisphere, the Austrian curve is representative for the Northern Hemisphere. Atmospheric nuclear weapon tests almost doubled the concentration of 14C in the Northern Hemisphere.”
“The above-ground nuclear tests that occurred in several countries between 1955 and 1980 dramatically increased the amount of carbon-14 in the atmosphere and subsequently in the biosphere; after the tests ended, the atmospheric concentration of the isotope began to decrease.” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carbon-14#
“One side-effect of the change in atmospheric carbon-14 is that this has enabled some options (e.g. bomb-pulse dating) for determining the birth year of an individual, in particular, the amount of carbon-14 in tooth enamel,or the carbon-14 concentration in the lens of the eye.“https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carbon-14#
“In 1959, radioactive deposits were found in wheat and milk in the northern United States. As scientists and the public gradually became aware of the dangers of radioactive fallout, they began to raise their voices against nuclear testing. Leaders and diplomats of several countries sought to address the issue… John F. Kennedy had supported a ban on nuclear weapons testing since 1956. He believed a ban would prevent other countries from obtaining nuclear weapons, and took a strong stand on the issue in the 1960 presidential campaign. Once elected, President Kennedy pledged not to resume testing in the air and promised to pursue all diplomatic efforts for a test ban treaty before resuming underground testing. He envisioned the test ban as a first step to nuclear disarmament… President Kennedy’s political and military advisors feared that the Soviet Union had continued secret underground testing and made gains in nuclear technology. They pressured Kennedy to resume testing. And, according to a Gallup poll in July 1961, the public approved of testing by a margin of two-to-one. In August 1961, the Soviet Union announced its intention to resume atmospheric testing, and over the next three months it conducted 31 nuclear tests. It exploded the largest nuclear bomb in history—58 megatons—4,000 times more powerful than the bomb dropped on Hiroshima.
Discouraged and dismayed by the Soviet tests, President Kennedy pursued diplomatic efforts before allowing renewed testing by the United States. In his address to the United Nations on September 25, 1961, he challenged the Soviet Union “not to an arms race, but to a peace race.” President Kennedy was unsuccessful in his efforts to reach a diplomatic agreement and reluctantly announced the resumption of atmospheric testing. American testing resumed on April 25, 1962.” http://www.jfklibrary.org/JFK/JFK-in-History/Nuclear-Test-Ban-Treaty.aspx
Nuclear Weapons Tests http://youtu.be/LLCF7vPanrY
You may learn that you were lucky to be born:
“Infant mortality in the U.S. after atmospheric nuclear weapons testing“by Alfred Körblein, July 2015
“The trend of infant mortality rates in the US, 1936-2005, is investigated for deviations from a monotonously declining trend after the atmospheric nuclear weapons tests in the 1950s and 1960s. The deviations are modeled by one or more bell-shaped excess terms. The peak deviation is found in 1965, two years after the maximum of fallout from atmospheric nuclear weapon tests. The excess mortality is more pronounced for the non-white population than for the white population and is driven by an increase in neonatal mortality. The number of excess infant deaths is estimated at some 680,000. A rise of fetal mortality adds about 340,000 excess fetal deaths.” Article submitted as a comment against US proposal to increase public radiation exposure to 100 mSv: http://www.regulations.gov/contentStreamer?documentId=NRC-2015-0057-0128&attachmentNumber=1&disposition=attachment&contentType=pdf
JFK Letter to a Bright and Concerned Little Girl
From State Department Alert re Russian Plans for Tsar Bomba:
Entire document here: http://nsarchive.gwu.edu/NSAEBB/NSAEBB94/tb36.pdf
Note the dates on the two letters.
Emphasis added throughout post.