United States scientist sacked for opposition to nuclear weapons


This video from Japan about nuclear destruction is called George Takei Remembers Hiroshima.

By Tom Hall in the USA:

US researcher victimized over article opposing nuclear weapons

5 August 2014

The Los Alamos National Laboratory fired James E. Doyle, a respected nuclear security expert, in early July after more than a year of persecution stemming from a scholarly article he had published calling for nuclear disarmament, according to an account published Thursday by the Center for Public Integrity.

The fact that a US government laboratory victimized a researcher for expressing opposition to nuclear weapons, a view shared by the overwhelming majority of the world’s population, testifies to the crisis-ridden character of American foreign policy. In case after case around the world, the US is attempting to shore up its declining supremacy through increasingly reckless and brazen acts of aggression, up to and including stoking conflict with Russia and China, both nuclear powers.

Located in New Mexico, the Los Alamos National Laboratory is a Department of Energy facility that researches and develops nuclear weapons. It is one of the largest research facilities in the world and has an annual budget of over $2 billion. Doyle had worked for 17 years as a contractor in the lab’s Nuclear Nonproliferation Division.

In February 2013, Doyle published a front-page article in Survival, the journal of the UK-based think tank International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS). Titled “Why Eliminate Nuclear Weapons?”, the piece argued that nuclear deterrence was a “myth” that damaged the ability of world governments to “meet the mutual global challenges of the twenty-first century.”

Doyle’s article dismantles the various official legends surrounding nuclear weapons. He disputes the shopworn assertion that the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki by the United States in World War II saved tens of thousands of lives by precluding an invasion of the Japanese mainland, citing the “emerging view among historians that the entry of the Soviet Union into the Pacific War on 9 August 1945 was more decisive in Japan’s decision to surrender than the threat of further atomic bombings.”

Moreover, Doyle points to the various near-misses during the Cold War, as well as the recklessness of American and Soviet politicians and military leaders during the Cuban missile crisis, as contradicting the theory that nuclear deterrence “induces caution during crises, [making] leaders more risk-adverse.” From this he concludes, “It is clearly unreasonable to assert that evidence supports the claim that nuclear deterrence was the major cause of war-avoidance [in the post-war era]. This assertion is a belief, unsupported by anything approaching a strong, clear body of historically documented evidence.” He ends by appealing to the “international community” to eliminate nuclear weapons by 2045, the 100-year anniversary of the atomic bombings of Japan.

Doyle submitted his article, prepared over months in his spare time, for review by the laboratory’s censors, although he was not required to do so. While his supervisors encouraged him to adopt a more “moderate” stance to avoid hurting the interests of the laboratory, they did not raise any concerns about classified information and did not attempt to prevent him from publishing the article.

Less than a week after publication, however, Doyle’s superiors declared that the article contained classified information. As part of a phony investigation, they demanded that Doyle hand over copies of every article he had ever published.

Demonstrating the politically motivated character of the investigation, Los Alamos’ Chief Classification Officer Daniel Gerth overruled three subordinates who advised him that they had found no classified material in the article. Despite making no effort to remove the article from circulation, which is still freely available on the IISS’s website, security officials at the laboratory demanded access to Doyle’s home computer in order to delete Doyle’s personal copies of the article from his hard drive.

The Laboratory administration suspended Doyle’s security clearance for one month. In addition, they suspended, rather than revoked, Doyle’s access to information on foreign nuclear programs, a method of proceeding that prevented him from appealing their action. Such information was crucial to Doyle’s work as a nuclear nonproliferation expert. Finally, on July 8, 2014, the Laboratory fired him.

There are indications that the campaign against Doyle originated from sections of Congress. The Center for Public Integrity cites Doyle’s former supervisor, Scott Gibbs, as saying that the lab’s government relations office in Washington had told him that Doyle’s article had upset someone on the House Armed Services Committee. Gibbs refused to comment further, and Washington officials contacted by the Center for Public Integrity declined to confirm or deny Gibb’s allegations.

However, the fact that all four of the complaints lodged by Doyle with numerous government agencies were summarily dismissed despite the obviously political character of the case suggests widespread collusion to punish Doyle for his remarks.

Doyle is a solidly establishment figure. Before working 17 years at Los Alamos, he wrote the Department of Energy’s plan for securing nuclear material in Russia in the aftermath of the collapse of the Soviet Union. He is a well-known researcher in nuclear non-proliferation and wrote a textbook on the subject that is used in more than 30 universities around the world. Indeed, his article opposes nuclear proliferation from the standpoint of safeguarding American “national security” and quotes Ronald Reagan and Barack Obama.

Yet clearly he is aware of the suicidal implications of contemporary American foreign policy and brought those concerns to the public at large in his article. This was considered a red line by sections of the US security apparatus.

The article clearly touched a nerve in government circles when it declared, “Current US nuclear posture with respect to Russia seems to be completely out of step with declared policy. In 1994, Russia and the United States reached a bilateral de-targeting agreement…but if Russia is not presumed to be a potential adversary, [the] fundamental features of the current US nuclear force structure and operating posture make little sense.” Although he holds back from any conclusions, the evidence Doyle offers makes clear that the real aim of US nuclear policy is maintaining an aggressive war footing, primarily against Russia, with an eye toward asserting its dominance over every area of the globe.

The government is clearly fearful of the examples set by Edward Snowden and Chelsea Manning. Because of the immense dangers involved and the complete lack of any support for these policies among the population, the ruling elite cannot tolerate any dissension in the ranks of the military-industrial complex.

The author also recommends:

Are you ready for nuclear war?
[30 July 2014]

Child poverty in the USA


This video from the USA is called New Mexico Ranks 49th in Kids Count Data Book.

By Andre Damon:

Nearly one quarter of US children in poverty

23 July 2014

Nearly one in four children in the United States lives in a family below the federal poverty line, according to figures presented in a new report by the Annie E. Casey Foundation.

A total of 16.3 million children live in poverty, and 45 percent of children in the US live in households whose incomes fall below 200 percent of the federal poverty line.

The annual report, titled the Kids Count Data Book, compiles data on children’s economic well-being, education, health, and family support. It concludes that, “inequities among children remain deep and stubbornly persistent.”

The report is an indictment of the state of American society nearly six years after the onset of the financial crisis in 2008.

A majority of children in Buffalo, New York, the state’s second largest city, live below the federal poverty line, according to the most recent US Census statistics. In 2013, the city’s child poverty rate stood at 50.6 percent, a 5.6 percent increase over the abysmal 45 percent rate in 2012. Buffalo ranks third in the number of children living in poverty, behind Detroit (59 percent) and Cleveland (54 percent): here.

Nearly one in four US children lives in poverty, the highest level in 20 years, with a similar proportion not getting enough food to eat. These were among the findings of an article published last week in the medical journal JAMA Pediatrics, entitled Seen but Not Heard: Children and US Federal Policy on Health and Health Care: here.

Ancient New Mexico turquoise archaeological discoveries


This 16 March 2014 video from the USA says about itself:

This video is about the exhibit Turquoise, Water, Sky at the Museum of Indian Arts and Culture in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

By Joseph Castro, Live Science Contributor in the USA:

Massive Turquoise Trade Network of Ancient Pueblos Revealed

April 09, 2014 08:35am ET

About a millennium ago, the ancestral Pueblo Indians in the Chaco Canyon in northwestern New Mexico obtained their precious turquoise using a large trade network spanning several states, new research reveals.

In the new study, researchers traced Chaco Canyon turquoise artifacts back to resource areas in Colorado, Nevada and southeastern California. The results definitively show, for the first time, that the ancestral Puebloans — best known for their multistoried adobe houses — in the San Juan Basin area of New Mexico did not get all of their turquoise from a nearby mining site, as was previously believed.

What’s more, the study reveals the Puebloan people in the Moapa Valley of southern Nevada obtained some of their turquoise from as far away as Colorado and New Mexico, suggesting the trade network ran in both directions. [See Photos of Chaco Canyon and Turquoise Artifacts]

“People usually think of the Chaco Canyon as this big center [for turquoise],” said study lead author Sharon Hull, an anthropologist at the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg, Canada. “But we show that people were bringing the turquoise back and forth between the western and eastern sites.”

Sourcing turquoise artifacts

Over the years, archaeologists have found more than 200,000 turquoise pieces at various sites in the Chaco Canyon. The gems, which were often embedded into jewelry and figurines, were very important to the Puebloan culture, and akin to modern-day diamonds, Hull told Live Science.

Initially, scientists thought the gems came from the nearest turquoise deposit more than 124 miles (200 kilometers) away — the Cerrillos Hills Mining District near present-day Santa Fe, N.M. But the discovery of other extensively mined turquoise deposits throughout the southwestern United States led some scientists to believe the Chaco residents acquired some of their gems through long-distance trade networks. However, the evidence was mostly circumstantial, as chemical analyses weren’t able to link the artifacts with specific mining sites.

Hull and her colleagues began their study by creating a comparative database, consisting of 800 isotope analyses from 22 resource areas in the western United States and northern Mexico. (Isotopes are atoms of the same element with different numbers of neutrons.)

“To establish a successful database, you have to find discriminators that have less variation within a mine than between mines,” Hull said. “Copper isotopes don’t work and hydrogen isotopes don’t work. But between the two, you have an isotope overlap that is pretty distinct for each resource.” If the copper-to-hydrogen isotope ratio for a turquoise artifact matches the distinctive ratio of a mine, it would mean the artifact came from that specific turquoise deposit.

Next, the team analyzed the ratios of copper to hydrogen isotopes of 74 turquoise artifacts from Puebloan sites in the San Juan Basin, southern Utah and the Moapa Valley in Nevada. After comparing the artifacts’ isotope ratios with those of the turquoise mines, they were able to accurately identify the geological source of 42 artifacts.

The researchers expect to be able to source the rest of the artifacts as they add more data from other turquoise mines to their database.

A massive trade network

Specifically, the team found that artifacts from the Chaco Canyon came from turquoise deposits in Colorado and New Mexico, as well as resource areas in southwestern California and Nevada. Interestingly, the people from different sites used different turquoise procurement strategies. [In Photos: Archaeology Around the World]

For example, the inhabitants of Pueblo Bonito, the largest great house in the canyon, heavily favored nearby resource areas, while people from some of the smaller Chaco sites got all of their turquoise from deposits in the far west (at least according to the artifacts the researchers could source). This suggests the people of Pueblo Bonito mined the nearby deposits themselves and either monopolized the mines or, more likely, had unique knowledge about the deposit locations.

“The last time I went to Cerrillos Hills, we had to walk quite a ways to get to it,” Hull said. “I remember thinking that if you didn’t know where this place was, you just wouldn’t be able to find it.”

The team saw similar turquoise procurement patterns for other Puebloan sites in the San Juan Basin area — the people of Aztec Ruin got much of their turquois from nearby deposits, whereas the inhabitants of Salmon Ruin sought out turquoise from the west. Additionally, they found the Puebloans in Eagle’s Watch in southern Utah and the Moapa Valley in southern Nevada procured their turquoise from deposits both near and far.

These findings show that the long-distance trade routes of the Puebloan people weren’t used to only move goods — particularly turquoise — in one direction, Hull said.

The team is now looking to further map the movement of the blue-green mineral across the southwestern United States, in hopes of learning more about the individual groups that coveted turquoise and were involved in the massive trade network. They also want to use their new technique to investigate the geological source of turquoise artifacts in other countries, such as Mexico, Chile and Argentina.

The study will be published in May in the Journal of Archaeological Science.

A maternal dynasty ruled one of the earliest and most mysterious civilizations in the Americas, centered in New Mexico’s Chaco Canyon, for more than three centuries, researchers say: here.

New Mexico dinosaurs, new study


This video is called Theropod cladogram.

From PLOS ONE:

Small Theropod Teeth from the Late Cretaceous of the San Juan Basin, Northwestern New Mexico and Their Implications for Understanding Latest Cretaceous Dinosaur Evolution

Thomas E. Williamson, Stephen L. Brusatte

Published: April 07, 2014

Abstract

Studying the evolution and biogeographic distribution of dinosaurs during the latest Cretaceous is critical for better understanding the end-Cretaceous extinction event that killed off all non-avian dinosaurs. Western North America contains among the best records of Late Cretaceous terrestrial vertebrates in the world, but is biased against small-bodied dinosaurs.

Isolated teeth are the primary evidence for understanding the diversity and evolution of small-bodied theropod dinosaurs during the Late Cretaceous, but few such specimens have been well documented from outside of the northern Rockies, making it difficult to assess Late Cretaceous dinosaur diversity and biogeographic patterns.

We describe small theropod teeth from the San Juan Basin of northwestern New Mexico. These specimens were collected from strata spanning Santonian – Maastrichtian. We grouped isolated theropod teeth into several morphotypes, which we assigned to higher-level theropod clades based on possession of phylogenetic synapomorphies. We then used principal components analysis and discriminant function analyses to gauge whether the San Juan Basin teeth overlap with, or are quantitatively distinct from, similar tooth morphotypes from other geographic areas.

The San Juan Basin contains a diverse record of small theropods. Late Campanian assemblages differ from approximately co-eval assemblages of the northern Rockies in being less diverse with only rare representatives of troodontids and a Dromaeosaurus-like taxon. We also provide evidence that erect and recurved morphs of a Richardoestesia-like taxon represent a single heterodont species.

A late Maastrichtian assemblage is dominated by a distinct troodontid. The differences between northern and southern faunas based on isolated theropod teeth provide evidence for provinciality in the late Campanian and the late Maastrichtian of North America. However, there is no indication that major components of small-bodied theropod diversity were lost during the Maastrichtian in New Mexico. The same pattern [is] seen in northern faunas, which may provide evidence for an abrupt dinosaur extinction.

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Good American aplomado falcon news


This video from the USA says about itself:

16 March 2009

This is a video of Aplomado Falcons that have been reintroduced in south-eastern New Mexico. This is an educational video to familiarize people with the movements of the falcons and the type of preferred habitat. The recovery project is a group effort involving the US Fish and Wildlife Service, The Peregrine Fund, Turner Endangered Species Fund and other organizations.

From BirdNote in the USA:

Aplomado Falcon

Species Recovery Projects Are Working!

Aplomado Falcons were once widespread residents of the American Southwest, but by the 1950s, they’d disappeared entirely from the region. Loss of habitat, loss of prey, and pesticides all played a role.

But in the 1980s, a group called The Peregrine Fund began breeding captive Aplomado Falcons. Over the next 25 years, 1,500 fledglings were set free in South Texas. At the same time, conservation pacts with private landowners provided more than two million acres of habitat. Learn more in Related Resources below.

More United States child poverty


This video from the USA says about itself:

Kids Count Report: NM is 50

June 24, 2013

New Mexico families got the bad news. Our state is at the bottom of the list when it comes to the well-being of our kids.

By Debra Watson in the USA:

US child poverty surged in 2011

13 July 2013

The number of children living in families with incomes below the official poverty level rose to 16.4 million in 2011, according to the annual Kids Count report from the Annie E. Casey Foundation released this month. This is an increase of one full percentage point in one year, up to 23 percent from 22 percent (15.7 million) in 2010. More than one in four children under five—26 percent—were officially poor in 2011.

The increase of 700,000 children in poverty in the US between 2010 and 2011 was almost as high as the one million increase the year before.

Data from the foundation’s report last year indicated child poverty had already soared upward by nearly 30 percent from 2000 to 2010. The number of children living in poverty in the US went up by 4.2 million between 2000 and 2011.

“Kids Count Databook 2013” compares the change in several factors of child well being between 2005 and 2011 in order to compare pre- and post-Great Recession measures. Between 2005 and 2011 child poverty increased by 3 million children.

The official poverty level of $22,811 for a family of two adults and two children leaves out nearly half the families that suffer from deprivation. According to the foundation: “families need an income of roughly twice the official poverty level to meet their basic needs, including housing, food, transportation, health care and child care.” Nearly half of all children, 45 percent, live in low-income families that earn less than twice the poverty threshold.

Recent Census data shows that 48.5 million people, 16% of the population, are living in poverty: here.

Sixteenth-century painting bought by museum


Episode from the conquest of America, by Jan Mostaert

Translated from NOS TV in the Netherlands:

Thursday 4 Jul 2013, 12:55

The Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam has bought a painting by Jan Mostaert. It is the Episode from the Conquest of America. The canvas was painted around the year 1535, some forty years after Columbus discovered America.

The museum does not disclose how much it paid for this work by the Haarlem painter.

Episode from the Conquest of America was part of the Goudstikker Collection, which was confiscated by the nazis during World War II. After the war, the painting was acquired by the Dutch government and hung in the Frans Hals Museum. In 2006 it was returned to the heirs of art dealer Goudstikker.

People can see this work by Jan Mostaert from today on in the Rijksmuseum.

According to Wikipedia, this painting probably depicts conflict between Spanish conquistador Coronado and the people of the Zuni pueblos in New Mexico.

Mexican wolves in Arizona, New Mexico


This video from the USA says about itself:

Mexican Wolf – Canis lupus baileyi

May 12, 2013

After being wiped out in the United States, Mexican wolves were bred in captivity and reintroduced to the wild in Arizona beginning in 1998. They are still very rare in the wild. The Mexican wolf is the most endangered type of wolf in the world.

From Wildlife Extra:

Two pairs of wolves released in Arizona and New Mexico

Wolves released into Gila Wilderness & Apache National Forest

May 2013. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) and the Arizona Game and Fish Department (AGFD) have released a pair of Mexican wolves into the Blue Range Wolf Recovery Area of Arizona.

Second pair

In a separate action, the Service also released a second pair of Mexican wolves into the wolf recovery area in New Mexico. Both pairs, selected to increase genetic diversity of the wild wolf population, were previously held at the Service’s Sevilleta Wolf Management Facility where they had undergone an acclimation process to determine their suitability for release.

“We continue to be committed to strategic releases that improve genetic diversity, increase the number of breeding wolves, and offset illegal mortalities in the Blue Range Wolf Recovery Area,” said Benjamin Tuggle, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Southwest Regional Director.

“The strategically-planned release of the wolf pair into Arizona is to improve the genetic integrity of the wolf population. The release approaches being used are tailored to encourage these wolves to acclimate and behave as wild wolves. Our experience shows that wild-born, wild-raised wolves have a much better chance at success,” says Director Larry Voyles, AGFD.

Soft release

In Arizona, the Interagency Field Team (IFT) conducted a “soft release” of Mexican wolves F1126 and M1051 (F indicates female and M indicates male) near the Corduroy Creek release site on the Alpine Ranger District in the Apache National Forest.

“We considered several factors in the selection of the release site, including appropriate prey density, distance from occupied residences, seasonal absence of livestock grazing, and occurrence of established wolf packs in the area,” says Chris Bagnoli, the AGFD’s IFT leader. “This particular site was also chosen in close coordination with the public and with approval from the Forest Service.”

The Arizona pair was placed into an enclosure and will be held for a time to acclimate them to their surroundings. They will be released into the primary recovery zone because F1126 does not have previous wild experience. This will be an initial release of F1126 and a translocation of M1051.

Gila wilderness

The Service, in cooperation with the IFT, also conducted a “modified soft release” of Mexican wolves F1108 and M1133 into New Mexico. These wolves will be translocated to an enclosure in the Gila Wilderness. The enclosure is designed so that the wolves can chew through and self-release any time after being placed there. Both F1108 and M1133 have previous wild experience, and so are able to be translocated into the secondary recovery zone in compliance with the existing federal 10(j) rule covering the reintroduction project.

Supplementary feeding

For both the Arizona and New Mexico wolf pairs, the IFT anticipates the wolves will begin utilizing the area around the release sites. The IFT will provide supplemental food while the wolves learn to catch and kill native prey, such as deer and elk, on their own. The supplemental feeding will assist in anchoring the wolves to the area.

75 wolves in the wild

The IFT estimates the population of Mexican wolves in the wild to be a minimum of 75 animals, as determined by their most recent annual survey conducted in January 2013, up from a count of 58 last year.

The Reintroduction Project partners are AGFD, White Mountain Apache Tribe, USDA Forest Service and USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service – Wildlife Services, several participating counties in Arizona, the Eastern Arizona Counties Organization, and the Service.

At last count, only 83 Mexican gray wolves persisted in the wild. The wild population is at tremendous risk due to its small size and genetics. In spite of all your phone calls and emails, on Feb. 3, the Arizona Legislature’s Committee on Government and Environment passed legislation and a resolution to push this tiny, critically endangered population of wolves even closer to extinction: here.

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US American horses exported for meat


This video from the USA says about itself:

1 Dec 2011

The last equine slaugherhouse in the United States finally shut down, but American horses continue to go to slaughter across our southern and northern borders in record numbers.

From Alternet in the USA:

By Andrew Wasley

The Brutal and Secretive Trade of American Horses Killed For Their Meat

Few Americans are aware that our country’s horses are being exported and slaughtered abroad to supply other nations’ taste for a meat that’s shunned at home.

March 15, 2013

This article was published in partnership with GlobalPossibilities.org.

Herded down a concrete shute, the horses — black and brown and grey; fat, healthy, thin, lame — have little idea of the fate that awaits them. But one by one, the horses are separated from those behind, a metal trapdoor swinging down to confine each to a metal box. There’s blood and filth on the walls and floor. Flies buzz.

A man leans over the horse — the animal freezes at first, then jerks forward slightly, obviously terrified — and stabs a knife forcefully into the top of the horse’s head. The horse crumples to the ground and the man stabs it again. The side of the box opens, discharging the body onto a stained floor. A metal chain is hooked around a hoof, the horse swings up and onto a moving production line. Men set upon each body as they come through, slicing away skin and tissue and butchering the exposed flesh.

The footage illustrating this grisly scene in a Mexican abattoir offers a rare glimpse into a brutal and secretive trade that few Americans are aware of — the export and slaughter of homegrown US horses to supply a meat that’s shunned at home but popular with diners overseas. Each year, thousands of horses — abandoned pets, ex-racehorses, farm animals — are rounded up and trucked across the country south into Mexico, or north into Canada, for killing and processing and dispatching abroad, many to Europe, a major hub of horsemeat consumption.

It’s a murky and often-informal business, with numerous buyers, sellers and middlemen in on the game. And it’s part of a much bigger, international trade in horses and horsemeat now in the spotlight in the wake of the European horsemeat scandal. This was initially triggered by the discovery of equine meat in “beef” burgers on sale in Ireland and the UK, and has now widened to include numerous meat products.

Seizing their chance, long-time critics of the horsemeat industry have stepped up efforts to close the trade down, citing appalling horse suffering and health risks to humans through controversial drugs entering the food chain.

For welfare campaigners, the cruelty begins well before the slaughterhouse. Most horses destined for the international meat market begin their journey being trucked to auction houses across the US. From there, they are transported on to feedlots, and then exported across the border to slaughter facilities in Mexico or Canada. Activists say that horses are frequently crammed into vehicles — many not suitable for carrying livestock — and forced to endure lengthy journeys without adequate food, water and rest, leading to injuries and exhaustion.

Poor conditions at feedlots have also been highlighted. The pressure group Animals Angels last year investigated a major livestock auction and horse feedlot in New Mexico, and claimed to have found “multiple horses in a bad condition… emaciated, [with] untreated wounds, open cuts, lame, [with] eye injuries.”

Graphic pictures show a number of other horses sprawled on the ground, apparently too sick to get up, and an aborted foal abandoned in the dust. Conditions were so bad that investigators say they pleaded with the auction authorities to euthanise a number of the horses.

Cheryl Jacobson, from the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), says such scenes are all too common in the US horse trade — and blames lenient penalties for fostering a culture of poor treatment: “As at [the New Mexico auction] we’ve seen that if they get caught for animal welfare problems the costs incurred are still not [a deterrent], it’s still worthwhile.”

Radioactive cows of Fukushima, Japan


This video is called Radioactive Beef & Seafood headed to USA: Fukushima update 10/14/12.

From Discovery News:

Radioactive Cattle Found Near Fukushima

Jan 30, 2013 08:01 AM ET // by Tim Wall

Thousands of cows were abandoned in the evacuated zone around the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant after the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami that devastated the Tōhoku region of Japan and released radioactive materials from the plant.

Now, nearly two years after the disaster, those abandoned cattle were found to be contaminated with radioactive elements. Traces of radioactive cesium, silver and tellurium were found in the 79 cattle analyzed by a scientific team led by Tohoku University engineer Tomokazu Fukuda and published in the journal PLOS ONE.

Fetuses and calves had radioactive materials concentrations up to 1.5 times higher than the adults. The calves had been born, and the fetuses conceived, after the disaster.

In the event of a nuclear Armageddon, don’t eat the steak. Radioactive elements collected most heavily in the cattle’s skeletal muscle.

The cattle showed differences in radioactivity depending on what they had been eating. One group of cows had been kept in a pen and fed grass that hadn’t been contaminated in the Fukushima disaster. These cattle were less radioactive than cattle that had been allowed to graze freely in the area within 20 kilometers of the nuclear plant.

None of the cattle showed outward signs of mutation.

The Japanese cattle aren’t the first bovines to be inadvertently irradiated. During some of the very first tests of the atomic bomb at the Trinity site in New Mexico, cattle were accidentally exposed to radioactive fallout. Those cows were also studied to help scientists (and potential nuclear doomsday survivors) understand how the steak and milk suppliers might stand up to radiation.

Fukushima cows find new purpose in radiation study — CBC News: here.

Tepco: Possible water leak at Fukushima plant during typhoon — The Asahi Shimbun: here.

In Fukushima, a bitter legacy of radiation, trauma and fear — Yale Environment 360: here.