Published On: Thu, Mar 16th, 2017

Wooly mammoth

dekker_0Baleen whale and wooly mammoth fossil bones, dredges from the bottom of the Wester Schelde, the Netherlands, are radioactive.   Supposedly, leaks of fuel rod material of the nuclear plants at Borssele( Netherlands)  and Doel ( Belgium)  caused the radioactivity.

Research, published 31 December 2016, (Deinsea, Journal of Natural History: Meyer, van der Graaf, Post) concluded that “the isotopic ration of 235U/238U is typical for natural Uranium and distinctly different from the Uranium composite in fuel rods of nuclear power plants.” The researchers also stated that “there is no risk for the public or the museum staff where the fossils are stored.”

Scientific research could not support the rumors of leaks at Borssele or Doel that caused fossil bones to be radioactive. The rumors were fake news, produced by action groups.

Action groups have consistently exaggerated the dangers of nuclear energy and presented energy plants as if they were nuclear weapon devices, at a hair-trigger ready to explode. This notion is proven to be false.

The Three Mile Island in the accident in Dauphine County, Pennsylvania,  USA, was a partial nuclear meltdown that occurred on March 28, 1979, in reactor number 2.  The accident had no casualties.

The Chernobyl meltdown of 26 April 1986, dominates in the media as the most disastrous nuclear power plant accident in history. Media predicted fatalities of 500,000 to 1,000,000 from radiation exposure within the next 20 years. Now, 30 years later, the total count is less than 150, including those who died on the site, in 1986.

Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster in Japan of 2011, had no casualties.

Ignorance, fear and political ideology are the drivers behind the false and exaggerated accident reporting. Populist politicians eagerly create mass hysteria at every tit-bit of nuclear energy news, real or fake.

The consequences are extremely damaging for the future of our society and economy. Nuclear power has proven to be incredibly cheap, reliable and most of all, very safe. The use of Thorium instead of Uranium in the new generation of nuclear plants as fuel eliminates most of the waste problem and is cheaply available everywhere. Norway, Canada, China are now the forerunner of this development.

Only one conclusion remains, the energy crisis is a human-made problem, the product of greedy carbon fuel speculators, and demagogic politicians.

Wooly mammoth became extinct, nearly 4,000 years ago.  Why so many fled to the Wester Schelde estuary, only to die, is up for speculations by biologists and geologists. But that their fossil bones will play a role in educating the public about natural radiation is sure.

By Jacob Gelt Dekker
Opinion columnist for Curaçao Chronicle

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