Nuclear-Free Future Awards identify key areas of need

Beyond Nuclear was once again a co-sponsor of the Nuclear-Free Future Awards, this time held in Johannesburg, South Africa, November 16-20.  It was perhaps the most eclectic and international of all Award gatherings in recent years and “official” events such as the Awards, the Think Nuclear-Free Symposium, and a downtown anti-nuclear rally, included, and were interspersed with much joyful singing, dancing and embracing.

The 2016 winners were: Arif Ali Cangi (Turkey), Resistance; Bruno Chareyron (France), Education; Samson Tsegaye Lemma (Ethiopia) Solutions; and Susi Snyder (Netherlands/USA) and Alfred Sepepe (South Africa) for Special Recognition. Click on each winner’s name for more information on their work and the award.

Some important themes emerged from the Think Nuclear-Free Symposium, some of which are listed below. For more, see the Nuclear-Free Future Award home page.

Some prevailing themes from the Symposium.

  •  There are lies told from the beginning to the end of the uranium fuel chain story, by governments and industry. These lies and the corruption must be constantly exposed. There is a huge need for accountability and transparency.
  •  It is essential to get accurate, scientific information directly to communities.The information needs to be simple, properly and fully documented, and translated into relevant languages. 
  • It is important to train people to use radiation monitors so that communities can measure radiation levels themselves rather than be subjected to the lies of industry and government; understand what the levels mean; and know which protective steps they can and should take.
  • In order to get information to rural or remote communities, a mobile information and training unit could be optimal, since many people cannot travel to a training event or conference.
  •  How we message is also important. Rather than talking about impact, talk about consequences and appeal to the heart. This means telling personal stories and having compelling messengers who have lived the nuclear experience whether nuclear weapons (such as Hibakusha) or nuclear power/uranium mining.
  • How we look at the issue and frame it can make a difference in reaching people. The anti-nuclear weapons community is emphasizing that this is a humanitarian issue and a public health issue.

Will Trump weaponize space?

Beyond Nuclear board member, Karl Grossman, writing in Counterpunch today, says it's likely. 

"It is highly likely that the Trump administration will move to have the U.S. deploy weapons in space. If this happens, it will be profoundly destabilizing, setting off an arms race and, also likely, leading to war in space.

For decades there’s been interest by U.S. administrations—the Reagan administration with its “Star Wars” plan a leading example—in placing weapons in space. But that has alternated with some administrations more-or-less opposed, the Obama administration an example.

Still, no matter the administration, since work at the United Nations began in 1985 on a treaty seeking, as its title declares, the Prevention of an Arms Race in Outer Space, the U.S. has not supported it. Canada, Russia and China have been leaders in urging passage of this PAROS treaty, and there has been virtually universal backing from nations around the world. But by balking, U.S. administration after administration has prevented its passage."

Read the full article.


Lessons from Seabrook nuclear fight remain to be learned

Beyond Nuclear's Paul Gunter (left), also a founder of the Clamshell Alliance that opposed construction of the Seabrook, NH nuclear power reactors, gave some insight to the Cape Cod Times on why the dangers persist -- particularly at the Pilgrim, MA nuclear reactor, the same design as those that blew up and melted down at Fukushima Daiichi, Japan. Read the full article.


New Beyond Nuclear palm card explains radiation risks to women and children

Every nuclear power plant routinely releases radioactive contaminants — gases, liquids and particles — during its daily operation and during refueling. It does not take an accident. Exposure to these releases is dangerous to human health, and especially during childhood and pregnancy. Many who live close to nuclear power plants -- especially women and children -- are under-informed or unaware of the risks these nuclear power plants pose to their health. Our new Beyond Nuclear Palm Card (also available in Fact Sheet format) is designed to help activists and others inform our most vulnerable. We encourage you to print and distribute them widely.


Why Rauner should veto Exelon's bailout

An op-ed has been published by Crain's, written by Dave Lundy, director of the Best Coalition. Best Coalition is described as a diverse group of consumer, business and energy interests.