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Friday
Feb162018

Quake near Seabrook nuclear plant where concrete is already cracked

An earthquake centered close to the Seabrook nuclear generating station on the New Hampshire sea coast should be a “wake-up call,” Beyond Nuclear's Paul Gunter told the Boston Herald. Gunter was a founder of the country's first anti-nuclear power group, the Clamshell Alliance, which oposed the construction of the Seabrook plant.

Local activist group C-10 (Citizens Within The Ten-Mile Radius) has raised the alarm about the fact that the nuclear power plant’s structures are under active attack by an expansive chemical reaction known as Alkali-Silica Reaction (ASR) that is progressively weakening the reactor by micro-fracturing of concrete increasingly saturated with groundwater intrusion. The US Nuclear Regulatory Commission, while aware of the problem, has failed to act. Since there is no remedy for ASR, C-10 and Beyond Nuclear want Seabrook shut down.

“Even these small earthquakes are a wake-up call to look at the broader issues of vulnerability at the plant and the inherent danger of the operation,” Gunter told the Herald. “These are legitimate reasons to question the continued operation of Seabrook Station.”

The NRC's Atomic Safety and Licensing Board has granted C-10’s petition to intervene in a regulatory hearing regarding the Seabrook nuclear power plant’s safety and operating license.

Pictured are Sarah Doenmez, Pat Skibee and Chris Nord of C-10 during testimony via video conference.

Tuesday
Feb132018

Watch Atomic Homefront, for free!

 

The remarkable and moving documentary, Atomic Homefront, just aired on HBO. The network is making it available via streaming at this link for free. In 1942, the U.S. government chose downtown St. Louis as a processing center of uranium for the first atomic bombs, then, over the next 25 years, dumped the radioactive waste it produced at sites throughout the city’s northern and western suburbs and eventually into the West Lake Landfill. In addition to the radioactive contamination found in creeks, parks and even people’s homes, a creeping fire at the landfill threatens the nuclear waste still buried there. Shocked by these revelations, a group of mostly women start asking questions and demanding answers and meetings, but are typically stonewalled and patronized by government agencies and corporate spokespeople. There are many tears shed in this film, both from anger and sadness, and with good reason, as children die and others recall lost loved ones. Beyond Nuclear board member, Kay Drey, and her remarkable archive of documents about the St. Louis atomic waste — the oldest of the Atomic Age — are featured in the film. A clip of President Jimmy Carter declaring “there must never be another Love Canal” is a grim reminder that, in these St. Louis communities, there most certainly is. Watch the film.

Thursday
Feb082018

Traditional owners lose appeal against Australian uranium mine but will fight on

A Supreme Court decision in Australia today, rejected an appeal against a January 2016 ministerial decision that gave the green light for a Cameco uranium mine at Yeelirrie in Western Australia.

Aboriginal leaders and the Conservation Council of Western Australia (CCWA) have fought long and hard to defeat the mine project which would, among other things, cause the extinction of important subterreanean fauna in the area.

Outside the courthouse, Vicky Abdullah expressed her disappointment but also the community's resolution not to give up.

"We have fought long and hard to protect Yeelirrie and stop the uranium project," she said. "It's a bad decision, but it's not the end decision."

Said CCWA executive director, Piers Verstegen: "It's absolutely not the end of the road for Yeelirrie or the other uranium mines that are being strongly contested here in Western Australia."

A federal decision remains pending. The three women conducted a montlong "walkabout" protest last August to protect the mine, joined by other protesters including from overseas.

Supreme Court Action to Stop Yeelirrie uranium mine from WANFA on Vimeo.

Tuesday
Feb062018

Bankrupt Westinghouse selling its nuclear wares to India

Beyond Nuclear and DiaNuke today issued a joint press release condemning a visit by Westinghouse executives to India this week. The bankrupt American company is desperate to retain a place in the collapsing nuclear power market and is taking advantage of an anti-democratic and conciliatory Indian government which attempts to silence and suppress protest while indulging in a nuclear shopping spree. Here are the opening paragraphs of our press release followed by a link to read more.

TAKOMA PARK, MD, February 6, 2018 --The bankrupt American nuclear company, Westinghouse, which has been offloaded by its parent company Toshiba as a disastrous financial liability, will send its executives to India this week in an attempt to resuscitate its planned six-reactor project in the village of Kovvada in Andhra Pradesh on the country’s eastern coast. 

But, say two groups who are critics of the project, Westinghouse has no business preying upon communities in India by pushing its untested nuclear technology on an unwilling population. The Westinghouse nuclear project has been vehemently resisted by locals, who see it as a threat to their environment, health, livelihood and traditional lifestyle.  

The financially destitute company wants to supply India with six 1,208 MW reactor units of its AP1000 design. But, the AP1000 design is untested and has run into regulatory issues, massive cost and time over-runs and serious safety questions in the US, UK, China and other countries.  

“This project is an all-round disaster-in-the-making, as it threatens to destroy the fragile ecology of India’s eastern coast, and endanger the safety of people in densely populated areas,” said Kumar Sundaram of DiaNuke, an India-based international organization that looks at the interconnectedness between nuclear issues and other struggles for justice, equality, dignity, transparency and democracy.

“It will disenfranchise thousands of people in local communities by depriving them of traditional livelihoods and sustainable lifestyles which they have maintained for centuries,” he said.

Read the full press release.

Friday
Feb022018

Trump's nuclear war policy, and how to reverse it

From Unfold Zero today:

The United States Defence Department (DoD) released the new U.S. Nuclear Posture today, following a review of nuclear doctrine to reflect the new priorities and perspectives of President Trump.

The new posture highlights the 'need' for strengthened nuclear deterrence capabilities to 'counter' threats from Russia, China, North Korea and other adversaries of the United States.

It outlines the Trump administration’s plans to develop new low-yield so-called “tactical” nuclear weapons and reintroduce old, Cold War weapons systems. It also increases the role of nuclear weapons in U.S. security, elevating the threats of a nuclear war. And it expands current plans to modernise the nuclear arsenal, increasing the already bloated nuclear weapons budget ($60 billion per year).

U.S. Senator Ed Markey, Co-President of Parliamentarians for Nuclear Nonproliferation and Disarmament, has called the new nuclear posture a 'road-map to nuclear war.'

leaked draft of the nuclear posture published by the Huffington Post on January 11 was one of the reasons the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists decided to move the hands of the Doomsday Clock to 2 Minutes to Midnight on January 25.

What you can do to reverse this 'road-map to nuclear war'

US residents:

  1. Call on your legislator to support the Markey/Lieu legislation which would prevent the President from unilaterally using nuclear weapons without authorisation from the US Congress;
  2. Call on your legislator to support the SANE Act (Smarter Approach to Nuclear Expenditure), introduced by Senator Markey and Representative Blumenauer, which would slash the bloated nuclear weapons budget and re-invest these resources in climate protection, health, education, job creation, renewable energy and national infrastructure. 
  3. Call on your candidates for the 2018 city, state and federal elections to endorse the Peace Legislators Pledge, which commits candidates to support the peaceful resolution of international conflicts and the abolition of all weapons of mass destruction;

Residents of other countries 

  1. Call on your Prime Minister/President or Foreign Minister to attend the High-Level Conference on Nuclear Disarmament at the United Nations from May 14-16, and use the occasion to urge the U.S. and other nuclear-armed States to 'step back from the nuclear brink.' Click here for a sample letter and contact details for world leaders and their UN ambassadors.
  2. Call on your government to end public investments in corporations manufacturing nuclear weapons and their delivery systems. See Move the Nuclear Weapons Money

Everyone

  1. Join us in New York for the UN High-Level Conference on Nuclear Disarmamentand the public event Count the Nuclear Weapons Money;
  2. Check that you are not Banking on the Bomb;
  3. Invite your mayor, parliamentarian and/or local religious leader to endorse A Nuclear-Weapon-Free World: Our Common Good, which we will present to world leaders at the UN to support nuclear risk-reduction and disarmament measures.