Wednesday, August 21, 2013

18 Signs That Global Financial Markets Are Entering A Horrifying Death Spiral

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You can see it coming, can't you?  The yield on 10 year U.S. Treasuries is skyrocketing, the S&P 500 has been down for 9 of the last 11 trading days and troubling economic news is pouring in from all over the planet.  The much anticipated "financial correction" is rapidly approaching, and investors are starting to race for the exits.  We have not seen so many financial trouble signs all come together at one time like this since just prior to the last major financial crisis.  It is almost as if a "perfect storm" is brewing, and a lot of the "smart money" has already gotten out of stocks and bonds.  Could it be possible that we are heading toward another nightmarish financial crisis?  Could we see a repeat of 2008 or potentially even something worse?  Of course a lot of people believe that we will never see another major financial crisis like we experienced in 2008 ever again.  A lot of people think that this type of "doom and gloom" talk is foolish.  It is those kinds of people that did not see the last financial crash coming and that are choosing not to prepare for the next one even though the warning signs are exceedingly clear.  Let us hope for the best, but let us also prepare for the worst, and right now things do not look good at all.  The following are 18 signs that global financial markets are entering a horrifying death spiral...
#1 The yield on 10 year U.S. Treasuries has risen for 5 of the past 6 days, and it briefly touchedthe 2.90% level on Monday.
#2 Rapidly rising interest rates are spooking investors and causing them to pull money out of bonds at a very rapid pace...
Investors have yanked nearly $20 billion from bond mutual funds and exchange traded funds so far in August. That's the fourth highest pullback ever, according to TrimTabs data. In June, investors took out $69.1 billion -- the highest on record.
#3 The sell-off of U.S. Treasuries is being led by foreigners.  In particular, China and Japan have been particularly aggressive in selling off bonds...
China and Japan led an exodus from U.S. Treasuries in June after the first signals the U.S. central bank was preparing to wind back its stimulus, with data showing they accounted for almost all of a record $40.8 billion of net foreign selling of Treasuries.
The sales were part of $66.9 billion of net sales by foreigners of long-term U.S. securities in June, a fifth straight month of outflows and the largest since August 2007, U.S. Treasury Department data showed on Thursday.
China, the largest foreign creditor, reduced its Treasury holdings to $1.2758 trillion, and Japan trimmed its holdings for a third straight month to $1.0834 trillion. Combined, they accounted for about $40 billion in net Treasury outflows.
#4 Thanks to rapidly rising bond yields, some of the largest exchange-traded bond funds are getting absolutely hammered right now...
• The $18 billion iShares iBoxx $ Investment Grade Corporate Bond fund (ticker: LQD) has fallen 7.94% since May 2, according to S&P Capital IQ. That's including reinvested interest from the fund's bond holdings.
• The 3.7 billion iShares Barclays 20+ Year Treasury Bond (TLT) has plunged 15.9% the same period. Longer-term bonds typically get hit harder when rates rise than shorter-term bonds. For example, the iShares Barclays 3-7 Year Treasury Bond fund (IEI) has fallen 3.2% since May 2.
• PowerShares Emerging Markets Sovereign Debt (PCY), which invests in government bonds issued in developing countries, has fallen 12.7%. The fund has $1.8 billion in assets.
#5 In recent weeks we have witnessed the largest cluster of Hindenburg Omens that we have seen since prior to the last financial crisis.
#6 George Soros has bet a tremendous amount of money that the S&P 500 is going to be heading down.
#7 At this point, the S&P 500 has fallen for 9 out of the last 11 trading days.
#8 Margin debt has spiked to extremely dangerous levels.  This is a pattern that we also saw just before the last financial crash and just before the dotcom bubble burst...
The exuberant mood comes as margin debt on Wall Street hovers near $377bn, just below its all-time high and well above peaks before the dotcom crash and the Lehman crisis.
“Investors have rarely been more levered than today,” said Deutsche Bank, warning that the spike in margin debt is a “red flag” and should be watched closely.
#9 The growth rate of new commercial bank loans and leases is now the slowest that it has beensince the end of the last financial crisis.
#10 According to a shocking new report, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are masking "billions of dollars" in losses.  Will they need to be bailed out again just like they were during the last financial crisis?
#11 Wal-Mart reported very disappointing sales numbers for the second quarter.  Sales at stores open at least a year were down 0.3%.  This is a continuation of a trend that has been building for years.
#12 U.S. consumer bankruptcies just experienced their largest quarterly increase in three years.
#13 The velocity of money in the United States has hit another stunning new low.
#14 The massive civil unrest in Egypt threatens to disrupt the steady flow of oil out of the Middle East...
After last week’s bloody crackdown by the Egyptian army, fears of a disruption of oil supplies to the West have boosted the oil price. Brent crude prices were propelled to a four-month high of $111.23 on Thursday. If the turmoil gets worse – or unrest spreads to other countries – the risk premium currently factored into the price of crude is likely to increase further.
#15 European stocks just experienced their biggest decline in six weeks.
#16 The Japanese national debt recently crossed the quadrillion yen mark, and many are expecting the Japanese financial system to start melting down at any time.
#17 In Indonesia, the stock market is "cratering".
#18 In India, the yield on their 10 year government bonds has skyrocketed from 7.1 percent in May to 9.25 percent now.
As the coming months unfold, keep a close eye on the "too big to fail" banks both in Europe and in the United States.  When the next great financial crisis strikes, they will play a starring role once again.  They have been incredibly reckless, and as James Rickards told Greg Hunter during an interview the other day, we are in much worse shape to deal with a major banking crisis than we were back in 2008...
What’s going to cause the next crisis?  Rickards says, “The problem in 2008 was too-big-to-fail banks.  Well, those banks are now bigger.  Their derivative books are bigger.  In other words, everything that was wrong in 2008 is worse today.” Rickards goes on to warn, “The last time, in 2008 when the crisis started, the Fed’s balance sheet was $800 billion.  Today, the Fed’s balance sheet is $3.3 trillion and increasing at $1 trillion a year.”  Rickards contends, “You’re going to have a banking crisis worse than the last one because the banking system is bigger without the resources because the Fed is tapped out.”  As far as the Fed ending the money printing, Rickards predicts, “My view is they won’t.  The economy is fundamentally weak.  We have 50 million on food stamps, 24 million unemployed and 11 million on disability, and all these numbers are going up.”
We never even came close to recovering from the last financial crisis and the last recession.
Now the next major wave of the economic collapse is coming up quickly.
I hope that you are taking this time to prepare for the approaching storm, because it is going to be very painful.

 

Five years after the financial crash, global economy continues to weaken

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In the immediate aftermath of the September 2008 eruption of the global financial crisis, the claim was made that so-called “emerging markets,” including China, India and Brazil, would be able to decouple from the major capitalist economies and provide a new foundation for growth in the world economy as a whole.
That piece of economic fiction has been exposed. Not only are the “emerging markets” unable to provide a boost to growth, they are rapidly becoming a new source of global instability.
Last week, the Wall Street Journal cited a report from Bridgewater, the world’s largest hedge fund, which noted that the major economies, including the US, Europe and Japan, were now adding more to world economic growth than the emerging nations.
That result, however, does not point to a revival in the advanced countries. Rather, it signifies the weakening of the global economy as a whole. Growth rates in all the major economies remain well below the levels attained in 2007-2008, with no prospect of the pre-crisis rates ever being seen again.
A survey of economists released by the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia found that they expected the US economy to grow by only 1.5 percent in 2013, well down from their prediction of 2.0 percent in May. Growth will not pick up in the longer term, according to a report by a leading JPMorgan economist, which found that the potential growth rate for the US economy, which used to be 3.5 percent, had halved.
The situation is even worse elsewhere. Europe continues to stagnate, with the euro zone economies growing by only 0.3 percent in the June quarter, which translates to an annualised rate of 1.1 percent. The return to positive growth, after six consecutive quarters of contraction, by no means signifies that Europe has “turned the corner.” The euro zone economy as a whole is still 3 percent smaller than it was in 2008. Most analysts consider that an annual growth rate of at least 2-3 percent over the next three years is needed to start to bring down unemployment, and there is no prospect of that.
The Wall Street Journal commented that it was “hard to see how Europe can reach escape velocity.” The newspaper continued: “Among the brakes on the recovery: continuing austerity, lack of affordable bank loans, rising unemployment and weak household incomes, and lack of investment by companies that are still operating well below capacity.”
The Bank of Japan’s program of doubling the money supply appears to have given Japan’s economy something of a boost, with growth in the third quarter coming in at an annualised rate of 2.6 percent. But this was well below predictions of a 3.6 percent increase.
The main factor in the weakening contribution of “emerging markets” to global growth is the slowdown in China. The official growth prediction for this year is 7.5 percent, the lowest increase since 1990. But there are warnings that it could be lower.
Falling Chinese growth is having a significant impact on the economies of South East Asia as well as on raw material suppliers such as Brazil and Australia.
Two years ago, Brazil, which exports soya beans and iron ore to China, grew at a rate of 7.6 per cent. This year predicted growth is just 2.3 percent.
Australia, which is a major supplier of iron ore, is being heavily impacted by the winding down of the Chinese investment infrastructure, with official Treasury forecasts pointing to a significant downturn in Australia’s terms of trade--the ratio of export to import prices. The Rudd Labor government has stated that the “China boom,” which drove major investments in iron ore projects, is over.
Lower growth is not the only problem. There are increasing concerns that high debt levels in China--the result of the credit and fiscal stimulus put in place after the global financial crisis of 2008-2009--could set off a financial crisis.
The Financial Times reported last week that, according to Fitch Ratings analyst Charlene Chu, a study of China’s so-called shadow banking sector had revealed that the country’s total debt could be as much as 200 percent of gross domestic product. Chu warned that the banking sector as a whole was more exposed to shadow banking loans than most people realised. She estimates that the assets of the Chinese banking system expanded by $14 trillion between 2008 and 2013, equivalent to the size of the entire US banking system.
Official figures show that non-performing loans held by Chinese banks rose by $2 billion in the second quarter, the seventh quarterly rise in a row.
The growing financial problems of India--another economy that used to be regarded as a potential centre for global growth--could well be a sign of what is to come elsewhere. There are fears that its worsening economic slowdown--with economic growth predicted to come in at only 5 percent this year, half of its level three years ago--could be increasing the debt burden of some of the country’s biggest industrial companies.
The Indian financial system is being hit by a capital flight which last week saw the reimposition of capital controls in a bid to try to halt the fall in the value of the rupee.
The Indian economy is being hit by what the Financial Times described as a “toxic combination of a falling rupee, a sharp slowdown in growth, swollen current account and budget deficits and persistently high inflation.”
India is not the only emerging economy that faces growing financial problems. The expectation that the US Federal Reserve will soon begin to “taper” its purchases of US Treasury bonds, the centrepiece of the program of “quantitative easing,” possibly as early as next month, has triggered capital outflows from other regions as well. Besides India, Indonesia, which has also been touted as a new growth centre, is experiencing growing financial problems.
Markets across Asia experienced falls last week amid fear that that Fed “tapering,” which will lift interest rates in the US, could see the movement of capital back into American financial assets. The danger is that the present capital outflow could turn into a flood once “tapering” begins.
In 1997-98, the collapse in the value of the Thai baht sparked the collapse of a financial bubble across Asia, the regional economic consequences of which were equivalent to the impact of the Great Depression in the major capitalist economies.
Given the growing dependence of the world economy on “emerging markets” in recent years and the ever closer integration of financial markets, the consequences of another financial crisis will be even more serious.

More Than Two Years After The Meltdown, The Situation At Fukushima Remains Frighteningly Out Of Control

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fukushima
REUTERS/Kyodo
An aerial view shows workers wearing protective suits and masks work at a construction site (C) of the shore barrier to stop radioactive water from leaking into the sea, at the tsunami-crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in Fukushima, in this photo taken by Kyodo, August 9, 2013.
A string of new incidents at Fukushima show that more than two years after a tsunami crippled the nuclear facility, it remains a toxic time bomb, one that the Japanese believe plant owner TEPCO to be utterly incapable of managing. 
The Wall Street Journal's Mari Iwata reported last night that 10 workers at Fukushima received high levels of radiation exposure after being sprayed at a misting station.
That amount of contamination is five times the maximum level Tepco has set as its limit, but none of the workers appear to have inhaled radioactive particles, or reported any illness, [Japan's Nuclear Regulatory Agency] said.
TEPCO says the incident poses no threat to the surrounding area as the plant's water supply is cut off from the region's, and that the water itself did not appear to be contaminated, but that they had not yet pinpointed the source of the stray radiation.
According to NPR's Geoff Brumfiel, the area around the plant is already a dead zone, and the ocean is likely to dilute much of the harmful impact of the leaks.
But the revelations have shattered the already brittle notion that TEPCO  had a handle on the situation.
The FT's Jonathan Soble reported last month that it was clear TEPCO was withholding the true extent of the newly revealed leaks.
Government officials and local fishermen criticized Tokyo Electric Power on Tuesday after it admitted the existence of the leak for the first time, weeks after regulators spotted the problem and days after the utility’s own analysis confirmed it.
"The data disclosure was very slow, and that is extremely regrettable,” Toshimitsu Motegi, industry minister, told reporters.
Yoshihide Suga, the chief cabinet secretary, also said Tepco should have responded more quickly.
This shouldn't come as much of a surprise given the company (as well as the government itself) faced similar charges of foot-dragging in the aftermath of the March 2011 meltdown itself.
TEPCO has effectively been neutered as a going concern by the incident. Estimates put the cost of the cleanup at $11 billion over 40 years.
For a visual demonstration of this, here's their stock chart over the past few years:
But Japan's Asahi Shimbun newspaper blasted the idea that the company should be allowed to restart one of its nuclear reactors to raise funds:
TEPCO is planning to seek permission to restart its Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear power plant in Niigata Prefecture in accordance with the existing rehabilitation plan. This is an outrageous idea, given what is happening in Fukushima. It beggars belief that TEPCO is even considering it. 
An insolvent Fukushima is a problem that goes beyond corporate interests, the paper notes:
TEPCO is confronted by massive burdens that far exceed its capability. If the situation is left unattended, it could have a negative effect on the reconstruction of stricken areas and the power supply to the Tokyo metropolitan area.
Believe it or not, the situation could actually get even worse.
As in worse than the original accident itself — and possibly worse than Chernobyl.
Later this year, TEPCO will attempt to remove 1,300 highly irradiated spent fuel rod bundles weighing 400 tons of "highly irradiated spent fuel" according to Reuters.
Here's what happens if it's botched:
The operation, beginning this November at the plant's Reactor No. 4, is fraught with danger, including the possibility of a large release of radiation if a fuel assembly breaks, gets stuck or gets too close to an adjacent bundle, said Gundersen and other nuclear experts.
That could lead to a worse disaster than the March 2011 nuclear crisis at the Fukushima plant, the world's most serious since Chernobyl in 1986.
No one knows how bad it can get, but independent consultants Mycle Schneider and Antony Froggatt said recently in their World Nuclear Industry Status Report 2013: "Full release from the Unit-4 spent fuel pool, without any containment or control, could cause by far the most serious radiological disaster to date."
Somehow, those risks outweigh — or maybe simply equal — the impetus for the operation in the first place: Reactor No.4 remains highly unstable, and if another quake hits everything gets fried anyway.
So far, the death toll from the meltdown itself (as opposed to the tsunami) remains a matter of debate. A May U.N. report said no one had died or even yet fallen ill, though Slate has explained that we still don't even have a precise mortality count from Chernobyl (it's hard to distinguish between exposure-induced and naturally occurring cancer).  A Stanford study says it could ultimately lead to 1,300 cancer deaths.
But mortality is likely to be compounded by the fact that Japan released record amounts of CO2 last year after it temporarily shuttered most of its other nuclear plants (which are carbon neutral).
This thing just keep going.

Washington’s Drive For Hegemony Is A Drive To War

It was five years ago that the president of Georgia, Mikheil Saakashvilli, who was installed in power by the Washington supported “Rose Revolution,” launched a military invasion of South Ossetia, a break-away province under its own government. The Georgian attack killed Russian peace-keeping troops and numerous Ossetians.
The Russian military response overwhelmed the US trained and equipped Georgian army in 5 days to the embarrassment of Saakashvilli and his Washington sponsors.
Washington began the training and equipping of the Georgian military in 2002, and continues to conduct joint military exercises with Georgia. In March and April of this year the US again conducted joint military exercises with Georgia. Washington is pushing to have Georgia admitted as a member of NATO.
Most analysts regard it as unlikely that Saakashvilli on his own would violate the peace agreement and attack Russian troops. Certainly Saakashvilli would have cleared the aggression with his Washington sponsor.
Saakashvilli’s attempt to recover the territories was an opportunity for Washington to test Russia. Washington saw the attack as a way of embarrassing the Russian government and as a way of testing Russia’s response and military in action. If Russia did not respond, the government would be embarrassed by its failure to protect its interests and the lives of those Russia regards as citizens. If Russia did respond, Russia could be denounced, as it was by President George Bush, as a bully that invaded a “democratic country” with a Washington-installed president. Especially interesting to Washington was the ability to observe the Russian military’s tactics and operational capabilities.
North Ossetia is part of Russia. South Ossetia extends into Georgia. In 1801 Ossetia and Georgia became part of Russia and subsequently were part of the Soviet Union. Under Russian law former Soviet citizens have the right to be Russian citizens. Russia permitted Georgia to become independent, but South Ossetia and Abkhazia broke away from Georgia in the 1990s.
If Washington succeeds in installing Georgia into NATO, then an attempt by Georgia to recover what it regards as lost territories would escalate the conflict. An attack by Georgia would comprise an attack by the US and NATO against Russia. Despite the risk to Europe of being pulled into a war with Russia, this month the chief of Denmark’s Home Guard was in Georgia on Washington’s mission discussing cooperation between the defense ministries of Denmark and Georgia on regional security issues.
Georgia lies to the East of the Black Sea. What “regional security issues” does Georgia have with Denmark and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization? NATO was established to defend Western Europe against Soviet attack.
Finland and Sweden remained neutral during the Cold War, but both are now being recruited by NATO. NATO lost its purpose with the collapse of the Soviet Union. Yet, it has been greatly expanded and now includes former constituent parts of the Soviet Empire. NATO has become a cover for US military aggression and supplies troops for Washington’s wars. Georgia’s troops are fighting for Washington in Afghanistan and fought for Washington in Iraq.
Washington kept NATO alive and made it into a mercenary army that serves Washington’s world empire.
In a provocation to both Russia and China, the US is currently conducting military exercises in Mongolia. Troops from Korea and Tajikistan, formerly part of the Soviet Union, are also participating. Washington calls such operations “building interoperability between peacekeeping nations.” Obviously, foreign military forces are being incorporated into the Empire’s army.
Are Americans aware that Washington is conducting military exercises all over the world, is surrounding Russia and China with military bases, and now has an Africa Command? Have Congress and the American people signed off on Amerika Uber Alles? Shouldn’t Washington and the military/security complex be reined in before Washington’s aggression triggers a nuclear war?

Fukushima: Uncontainable

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Japan's apocalypse continues. Emergency conditions persist. No end in sight looms. Fukushima's radioactive discharges can't be stopped. They continue. They're uncontainable. 

At issue is by far the worst environmental disaster in history. It's multiples worse than Chernobyl. It's an unprecedented catastrophe. It's reason enough to abolish nuclear power. 

According to Japan's Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, about 300 tons of radioactive groundwater flow into the Pacific daily. 

It's done so since Japan's March earthquake and tsunami triggered Fukushima's meltdown.

Tokyo Electric (TEPCO) says water's getting over and around "chemical walls." It can't be stopped. Three Fukushima reactors suffered meltdowns. A fourth was badly damaged.

The worst fear remains. Unit Four's structural integrity was seriously undermined. It contains hundreds of tons of highly radioactive water.

If an earthquake or other natural disaster occurs, its fuel rods almost certainly will catch fire. Radioactive emissions will follow. They'll compound what's already disastrous. 

Emissions will continue longterm. They'll circle the planet. They cause catastrophic harm.

Since March 2011, Tepco estimates around 20 to 40 trillion radioactive tritium becquerels leaked into the Pacific. So have large cesium and strontium discharges. They continue. They're much more dangerous.

According to nuclear expert Arnie Gunderson, "(t)he horse is already out of the barn." Leakage continues since earthquake and tsunami struck.

Radioactive water contaminates the Pacific. Gunderson's "experience with underground water is that - if it is serious at the ocean, it is more serious" on land.

Japanese officials proposed erecting a barrier. At issue is preventing water from reaching the Pacific. Whatever's done "is two years too late and will be too late by the time" construction's finished, said Gunderson.

A barrier's not the solution. It causes another problem. "If the water can't go anywhere into the Pacific Ocean, it is going to build up onsite, which means that the nuclear reactors themselves will become unstable." 

"The water can pull underneath the nuclear buildings and if there is an earthquake, in fact the nuclear buildings could topple. So, by solving one problem, they are creating another problem."

Gunderson believes contaminated water will keep discharging for at least 20 to 30 years. It's the most radioactive water he ever experienced.

Cost is another issue. Cleanup involves around half a trillion dollars, says Gunderson. Most important is human health. 

Epidemic cancer levels are certain. And not just in Japan. In early July, Fukushima's former chief operator, Masao Yoshida, died of esophogeal cancer.

He was 58. Tepco lied saying his death was unrelated to radiation exposure. Japanese children are experiencing a shocking 40% rise in thyroid irregularities.

Experts expect much higher numbers ahead. Fukushima's an ongoing disaster. It persists. It's not ending. It'll continue for decades.

According to Institute for Energy and Environmental Research (IEER) president Arjun Makhijani:

"Fukushima continues to be an emergency without end - vast amounts of radioactivity, including strontium-90 in the groundwater, evidence of leaks into the sea, the prospect of contaminated seafood." 

"Strontium-90, being a calcium analog, bioaccumulates in the food chain. It is likely to be a seaside nightmare for decades."

It's much more dangerous than cesium 137 and 134. It's at levels 30 times higher.

"So to give you an idea of the level of contamination, if somebody drank that water for a year, they would almost certainly get cancer."

"So that's one problem. The other is the defenses to hold back this water from the sea seem to be overcome." 

"So now the contaminated waters, 70,000, 80,000 gallons, are flowing into the sea every day."

"(S)ome of it will disperse and dilute. Some of it goes into the sediment, and some of it is taken up by the life in the sea."

"And the unfortunate thing about strontium especially is that it bioaccumulates in algae. It bioaccumulates in fish." 

"It targets the bone, because it's like calcium. And so this is a problem. We don't have measurements far out to sea."

"The Woods Hole Institute has done some surveys. And they were surprised by how much continuing radioactivity they found, but no clear explanation yet."

The effect on human health's expected to be devastating. It's already bad. It's getting progressively worse. The genie's out of the bottle. No end in sight looms.

Strontium-90 and cesium are both perilous. "(S)ince strontium-90 is more mobile and also more dangerous biologically, (it) behaves like calcium, so it goes to the bone." 

"It also bioaccumulates in the base of the food chain and algae. Ultimately because it does bioaccumulate and there is quite a lot of strontium, you could have a large part of the food chain near Fukushima being contaminated."

If pregnant women ingest contaminated water, fish or other food, "the outcomes could be worse than cancer because then you’re talking about a much more compromised child in the sense of having a compromised immune system - it makes you more vulnerable to all kinds of diseases."

Makhijani doesn't know how Tepco can handle the problem. It's uncontrollable.

"It's very, very unclear to me how they are going to be able to get at this molten fuel, extract it from the bottoms of these highly damaged buildings and package it for safer or less dangerous storage or disposal."

"This is an accident that's shockingly not stopping." It's certain to worsen. It's unchartered territory.

It affects the region. It's humanity's worst environmental nightmare. Nuclear rain affects North America and Europe. 

Obama's an unabashed nuclear power promoter. He wants more reactors built. He wants licenses for aging poorly maintained plants with poor safety records extended. He wants them operating unregulated. 

He's recklessly endangering Americans. He talks clean energy alternatives. Policy measures spurn them. He fronts for corporate favorites. 

He's captive to a destructive industry. He risks a Fukushima-type disaster on US soil. He risks millions of American lives. He's mindless of potential dangers.

Nuclear power's inherently unsafe. Einstein called it a hellova way to boil water. It does so through massive heat. It turns it into steam. It powers an electricity generating turbine.

According to anti-nuclear activist Karl Grossman:

Avoiding potentially catastrophic accidents "requires perfection and no acts of God." Humans and technology aren't perfect. Natural and other disasters happen.

"We can't eliminate them. But we can - and must - eliminate atomic energy." Otherwise it'll eliminate us.

Nuclear expert Helen Caldicott's clear and unequivocal, saying:

"As a physician, I contend that nuclear technology threatens life on our planet with extinction." 

"If present trends continue, the air we breathe, the food we eat, and the water we drink will soon be contaminated with enough radioactive pollutants to pose a potential health hazard far greater than any plague humanity has ever experienced." 

It doesn't get any clearer than that.

A Final Comment

Coverup and denial followed Chernobyl's disaster. Helen Caldicott called doing so "the most monstrous coverup in the history of medicine."

The death toll was many multiples greater than reported. Estimates range up to a million or more. 

The New York Academy of Sciences (NYAS) translated thousands of Russian articles and papers. It added "revised and updated contributions." 

"Written by leading authorities from Eastern Europe, the volume outlines the history of the health and environmental consequences of the Chernobyl disaster," NYAS said.

"According to the authors, official discussions from the (IAEA) and associated (UN) agencies (e.g. the Chernobyl reports) have largely downplayed or ignored many of the findings reported in the Eastern European scientific literature and consequently have erred by not including these assessments."

Fukushima far exceeds Chernobyl. Millions of lives are threatened. Perhaps future independent studies will explain. They'll be too little to late to help victims.