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At we have reported extensively on the highly radioactive black stuffbeing found around eastern Japan, as far away as Tokyo. Citizens initially found the substance, usually concentrated in gutters and low spots. Some superficial analysis had been done on the substance, again by citizens. The government has refused to acknowledge the issue or do any publicly acknowledged testing of the substance.

Marco Kalofan, an environmental engineer in the US was able to obtain a sample for detailed analysis. What was found was quite unusual. The substance isn™t a sand but an aggregate of radioactive substances, metals and rare earth materials. The materials for some reason clumped together into an aggregate rather than dispersing as tiny particles.

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The old rusty pipes at Daiichi? They may not last the entire decade TEPCO says they need to cool the melted fuel. The research team looked at various factors involved in the accident and the long term use of out of balance water to cool both the reactors and the spent fuel pools.

TEPCO's best case scenario to remove all the fuel from the spent fuel pools is ten years. Two unused fuel assemblies removed from unit 4's spent fuel pool showed signs of moderate corrosion. Older used assemblies and other parts of the pool may not be even faring that well as various factors such as circulation and sediment cause uneven corrosion within the pool.  

The research found accelerated corrosion from the injected seawater, age of the metal in the reactors (34-42 years) and the ongoing out of range water chemistry. This could cause metal pipes or other critical metal parts to fail in as little as 3 years under certain circumstances.

Since TEPCO can not send human workers deep into the reactors now or at any point in the near future, replacing reactor vessel pipes is not possible. Degraded metal on fuel assemblies or other critical parts of the spent fuel pools could drastically increase the risks and complexity of trying to remove the used fuel from the pools.

While TEPCO has taken steps to lower the salt levels in the water being used to cool the reactors and fuel pools, extremely high salt levels existed for a considerable amount of time. Other factors of the water chemistry remain seriously out of spec adding to the ongoing degradation.

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Soon after the nuclear disaster in Fukushima Japan a plan was put in place to downplay the health risks of radiation exposure. The Fukushima Health Survey, run by a WHO expert  has managed to block children's access to doctors and needed tests. Then the Health Survey turned around and failed to provide any replacement for this.

The Health Survey has been under reporting children's thyroid damage, completely missing cases of considerable thyroid abnormalities and has not provided follow up exams to most of the children identified as needing further testing. Even with the missed abnormalities and an admitted goal to downplay the reality of the disaster, the Health Survey found about 45% of children scanned had thyroid nodules or cysts. The typical thyroid abnormality rate in a child population is between less than 1% and 2%

Parents can't get second opinions or independent tests as the head of the Health Survey managed to get himself installed as the head of the Japan Thyroid Association who promptly sent a letter to doctors telling them to not test, examine or treat children for possible radiation exposure related health problems.

This humanitarian mess not only has ethical and humanitarian implications, it appears to be violating Japan's patient rights laws.

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There has been much confusion related to Walker's sneaky sell off of state power plants since it was discovered. The plants in question are state owned small power plants that supply heat, electricity or cooling to state facilities such as universities, state buildings and prisons.

What has not been common knowledge is why Walker would want to sell off these state assets, even though speculation has been high that this was a give away to Koch Industries.

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Fri Nov 05, 2010 at 07:53 AM PDT

Solve Health Care, Give Them A Choice!

by SDstuck

So the GOP masses want to repeal health care reform. The biggest complaints heard are that they don't want the government mucking in their health care or they think anything besides buying insurance on the free market is "socialist.

Maybe there is a way to give them what they want but still solve the current health care mess for the people who know enough to know that we really need a solution to the health care status quo.

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After last weekends local parades I was shocked to read this diary about the violence against people marching in the Colorado Springs parade.

A local peace marcher that participated in the St. Pat's parade in Sioux Falls, SD had his van vandalized some time Sunday morning. Someone spray painted swastikas on Mike Mills van.

Read the local story here.

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Thu Mar 08, 2007 at 07:40 AM PST

4 abortion bans fail in South Dakota

by SDstuck

Four abortion bans were proposed in South Dakota this legislative session and all failed miserably. This is a watershed moment for South Dakota, a state that has been fighting this issue in the legislature for years. Most people remember last year when the state legislature passed and the Governor signed into law a total ban on all abortions. This law was overturned by the people who voted it down in substantial numbers. When last years total ban was put to a vote anti-abortion groups feared that a loss would set back their cause twenty years. It appears at least in South Dakota to have done something like that.

More after the fold....

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Twenty eight Senators voted to eliminate the minimum wage. Read that again. They voted to ELIMINATE it all together. Most of these are the same people who voted down the minimum wage hike in the Senate. Here's the list of the Senators who want to eliminate the minimum wage.
Senators List

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Reports came out today that there is another abortion ban brewing in South Dakota. This time with exceptions for rape & incest. Right now nobody knows if it will have a health exception.

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