The upcoming summit meeting of G8 powers is expected to sharpen the focus on peaceful development of nuclear energy by supporting a dramatic expansion in the number of nuclear plants in order to respond to recent developments in the rise of oil. There is also a growing belief nuclear energy is a viable tool in confronting issues of global warming. As part of the new strategy, it is expected the International Atomic Energy Agency(IAEA) will assume a more aggressive role in monitoring nuclear development all over the world.
The IAEA currently is struggling to persuade Iran to cooperate and allow it to monitor nuclear development activities within that nation. But, nuclear energy can only be one aspect of any global fight to deal with global warming. China and India are rapidly assuming a negative role in global emissions and must be persuaded to halt some of their habits of not controlling emissions. There is need for a comprehensive plan of action which includes both existing and potentially new developments which can break dependency on oil and make the world safer regarding global warming.
A European Union project being carried on by the GSF Research Center for Health and Environment has been examining radiation in several areas of Russia caused by discharge of hazardous wastes. The Southern Urals Radiation Research team is conducting extensive tests and reviewing death and health records of Russian workers exposed to high levels of radiation. They are reaching an unusual conclusion which will create considerable controversy within the scientific community and for those who oppose construction of nuclear plants. For example, in studying health records of Russian workers at a particular plant it was discovered of the 6,293 men in the study, only 301 died of lung cancer and of those only 100 died from exposure to radiation. They also found normal mortality rates among farm families who lived downstream from nuclear plants which discharged hazardous wastes into the rivers.
The new study undoubtedly raises questions and issues which will excite or anger people. This writer lacks sufficient scientific knowledge to make any judgment on the conclusions of the study.