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The United Nations is to adopt advice on radiation that clarifies what can be said about its health effects on individuals and large populations. A preliminary report has also found no observable health effects from last year's nuclear accident in Fukushima.  

Date: Monday, 10 December 2012
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The oceans have been formed from countless storms and the flow of vast quantities of water and sludge. The Amazon alone pours out billions of tonnes of chemicals every year, including carcinogens such as beryllium, cadmium, nickel and uranium. The inventory of arsenic in the world’s waters, in particular, is several billion tonnes and this is a worse carcinogen in water than plutonium. Natural uranium and radium in the seas amount to around 5 billion and 34 million tonnes respectively. On land, in the top 500 metres of UK rocks there are nearly a billion tonnes of uranium and 300 tonnes of radium, which are being steadily leached into the sea. In coal-fired power, wastes have been casually spread in enormous heaps from mine spoil and coal refining; ‘fly’ ash from burning coal (containing uranium and its decay products) is collected in lagoons and made into blocks for building construction. Radioactive waste would therefore be an insignificant extra hazard if dispersed in the sea or on the land surface. However, international opposition on political grounds would probably cause a long delay before there was general agreement on such direct dumping.

Date: Tuesday, 27 October 2009
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