Radiation at the shoreline of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power facility has measured several million times the legal limit, just four weeks after the earthquake and tsunami, and days after workers discovered a crack where highly contaminated water was spilling directly into the Pacific Ocean. Experts say radiation dissipates quickly in the vast ocean, but they are unclear what will be the long-term effects of large amounts of contamination. The new levels prompted the Japanese government on Tuesday to create an acceptable radiation standard for fish for the first time. We’re joined by Philip White of the Citizens’ Nuclear Information Center in Tokyo. “Cancers from this real activity will not appear in the first few months or year, but will be late onset phenomenon,” White says. “It will require a lot of monitoring to see with the impact is.”
The disaster at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power facility in Japan has set off a debate in the international community about the future of nuclear energy. There are currently four 440 nuclear reactors operation worldwide, generating about 14 percent of global electricity—and plans for construction of new plants have soared in the last decade, especially in India and China.This was the focus on Monday as the fifth review meeting of the Convention on Nuclear Safety kicked off in Vienna, hosted by the United Nations atomic watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency. We are joined by Philip White of the Tokyo-based Citizens’ Nuclear Information Center and Jan Beránek, the director of Greenpeace International’s nuclear campaign. Baránek argues the IAEA is preventing an honest review by “focusing its efforts on restoring public confidence in nuclear power and helping country’s expand the usage of civilian nuclear reactors to generate electricity.”
Tonight Texas plans to use a new execution drug for the first time on the scheduled execution of death row prisoner Cleve Foster. Like many states, it is experimenting with its lethal injection process due to a shortage of the sedative, sodium thiopental. The new method was shrouded in secrecy until records revealed Texas prison officials chose a replacement execution drug, pentobarbital, without consulting a medical professional, and relied on news articles to help them choose a sedative for the state’s three-drug lethal injection cocktail that is intended to prevent pain, inhibit muscle movement and stop the inmate’s heart. On Friday, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency demanded Kentucky and Tennessee hand over their supply of the drug because of concerns it may have been illegally imported. We speak with Maurie Levin in Austin, she filed suit to get details about Texas’ new execution drug. We’re also joined by Richard Dieter, executive director of the Death Penalty Information Center in Washington, D.C..
Palestinians, artists and peace activists worldwide are mourning the loss of a leading figure in Palestinian creative non-violence resistance. Juliano Mer Khamis, the founder of a theater for Palestinian children, was killed Monday by masked assailants in the West Bank town of Jenin. He had received a number of death threats from extremist Palestinians for his work with the Jenin Freedom Theatre. The theatre has helped Palestinian youths deal with the hardships of life under Israeli occupation by expressing themselves through the arts—film, photography, art and theater. We are joined in Jenin by Nabeel Raee, director of the acting school at the Jenin Freedom Theatre, where he worked closely with Mer-Khamis for many years, and by Constancia "Dinky" Romilly, founder and president of the board of the New York City-based Friends of the Jenin Freedom Theatre, who also worked closely with the program in Jenin.
News & Current Affairs
Apr 05, 2011, 17:26:25
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