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Animals and Radiation

Animals are particularly susceptible to radiation exposure. New studies around the Chornobyl reactor accident site have found reduced numbers of certain species and impacts to genetics.

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Monday
Jul222013

Riverkeeper, NYS DEC pressure Entergy to install cooling towers

As reported by Riverkeeper, State of New York hearings regarding Entergy's Indian Point nuclear power plant's impacts on the Hudson River are not going well for the troubled company. Entergy proposes installing wedgewire screens to mitigate its impacts on animal life in the Hudson River, but does not own the five acres of river bottom it would need for the proposal. Building the wedgewire screens would destroy river bottom habitat in its own right, and could re-suspend radioactivity from river bottom sediment which Indian Point put there in the first place.

Both Riverkeeper and the State of New York's Department of Environmental Conservation are urging that Entergy should have to install cooling towers, if it carries through with its plans to run the two reactors for 60, rather than 40, years. Hearings on that demand are coming up this fall.

Indian Point withdraws massive amounts of water from the Hudson to cool its reactor operations, then discharges destructive quantities of waste heat into the river. Such operations have significant impacts on the Hudson River's natural ecosystem and its fisheries.

Sunday
Jul142013

"A little Hope" for stopping the Great Lakes radioactive waste DUD!

Stop the Great Lakes Nuclear Dump billboard, seen by hundreds of thousands of Toronto commuters dailyThe struggle against the Canadian nuclear establishment's proposal(s) to bury so-called "low" and "intermediate" level radioactive wastes from 20 reactors across Ontario, and perhaps even high-level radioactive wastes from 22 reactors across Canada, on the Lake Huron shore at or near the Bruce Nuclear Generating Station, can be most daunting. Bruce "hosts" 9 reactors (8 operable reactors, 4 each at Bruce A and Bruce B, plus 1 pilot plant -- Douglas Point -- permanently shutdown), one of the single biggest nuclear power plants in the world. Bruce has also quietly incinerated most or all of Ontario's "low" level radioactive wastes for 40 years, with untold radiological emissions. All this, just 50 miles across Lake Huron from Michigan, and upstream from tens of millions of Americans, Canadians, and First Nations/Native Americans who draw their drinking water from the Great Lakes. In terms of the vast fortunes being made by Bruce Nuclear, as well as the harmful radiological releases occurring and radioactive wastes piling up, Bruce is making a killing, while getting away with murder.

Canadian federal decisionmakers have just closed the opportunity to register to speak out in opposition to the proposed "low" and "intermediate" level radioactive waste DGR (Deep Geologic Repository, or, more aptly, DUD -- Deep Underground Dump), and environmental assessment hearings will be held in September and October. As insane as this proposal is (would YOU bury poison next to your well?!, as the group Stop the Great Lakes Nuclear Dump asks -- see photo, above left), the nuclear utility Ontario Power Generation (OPG), the nuclear utility comprised Nuclear Waste Management Organization (NWMO), and the Canadian Nuclear Safety (sic) Commission (CNSC) are racing, full steam ahead, to bury their forever deadly radioactive wastes within a mile of the Lake Huron shoreline.

But an antidote to such "nuclear madness" (à la Helen Caldicott's classic title) is at hand! In a recently published book, Tom Lawson of Port Hope, Ontario has shown that such insanity canbe stopped dead in its tracks. Crazy Caverns: How one small community challenged a technocrat juggernaut...and won! tells the inspiring story of a years-long struggle to prevent Canadian provincial and federal government decision makers from allowing Eldorado/Cameco's dumping of uranium processing wastes on the Lake Ontario shoreline.Tom has generously made the book available for free online -- simply click on the link to enjoy your free copy!

Tom has dedicated his "little book" to his wife Pat, as well as "to all those who accept responsibility as citizens in a free society, who agree that the best government is the one kept constantly on its toes by ordinary citizens with the courage to trust their common sense rather than the reassurances of the 'experts.' The experts do not know better than we know what is good for us."

Together, Tom and Pat Lawson, and their friends, neighbors, and colleagues in their tiny, picturesque, but badly contaminated community, have resisted the "biased bafflegab" of the "Pirates of Port Hope" headquartered in their town (Eldorado/Cameco, "Canada's National Uranium Company," as dubbed by Robert Bothwell's company-financed, dubious historical celebration of the firm, and the company's governmental henchmen). Together, this "small group of thoughtful, committed citizens" (à la Margaret Mead) did change the world for the better, by blocking the burial of "a million tons of radioactive and toxic waste 'out of sight, out of mind' under Port Hope's downtown waterfront."

Their important victory can inspire us now, as we struggle to resist OPG's, NWMO's, and CNSC's insane proposal(s) on the Lake Huron shore (more recently, incredibly, the vague specter of yet another DUD, this time for radioactive decommissioning wastes, has also reared its ugly head). In fact, Pat Lawson has spoken out strongly in recent years against the Bruce DUD(s), traveling in the nearby Georgian Bay, where her family has roots extending back many decades.

What can YOU do, right now, to help stop the Bruce DUDs?! Start by signing the Stop the Great Lakes Nuclear Dump petition, and urge your friends, family, neighbors, co-workers, etc. to do the same!

Thursday
Jul112013

Beyond Nuclear on Thom Hartmann radio show regarding worsening radioactivity releases at Fukushima Daiichi

On July 11th, Thom Hartmann (photo, left) interviewed Beyond Nuclear's Kevin Kamps on his radio show about the cancer death of Masao Yoshida, Tokyo Electric Power Company's (Tepco) general manager of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, and leader of the "Fukushima 50" who tried, at great personal risk, but unsuccessfully, to prevent the three reactor meltdowns of March 2011. Thom also asked Kevin about reports that radioactivity releases from Fukushima Daiichi have increased nearly 100-fold in recent weeks and months, and what this means in terms of radioactivity hazard for Japanese seafood, rice, and other exports to the United States.

A day earlier, Sam Sachs on RT interviewed Kevin about the same issues.

Thursday
Jun272013

Riverkeeper contests NRC's conclusion that IP's aquatic impacts on Hudson "small"

As reported by POWERnews, in response to the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission's FSEIS (Final Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement) finding that aquatic impacts from 20-year license extensions at Entergy's Indian Point Unit 2 and 3 atomic reactors would be "small":

'...One environmental group, Riverkeeper, has alleged that Indian Point violates the Clean Water Act and has devastating effects on the ecology of the Hudson River. "It leaks radioactive water, discharges heated water that damages river life, and its ineffective cooling water-intake screens do too little to stop the slaughter of more than a billion fish and other river organisms every year," the group says on its website...".

Saturday
Jun082013

Swan SONGS as Edison opts to permanently close San Onofre

Image by J. DeStafano, 2012Southern California Edison has decided to permanently shutter its Units 2 and 3 San Onofre Nuclear Generating Stations (SONGS) reactors in Southern Cal! Congratulations to all who fought so hard for this great victory! Read the Edison press release.

"This is very good news for the people of Southern California," said [a] statement from Friends of the Earth president Erich Pica. "We have long said that these reactors are too dangerous to operate and now Edison has agreed. The people of California now have the opportunity to move away from the failed promise of dirty and dangerous nuclear power and replace it with the safe and clean energy provided by the sun and wind."

And as FOE senior advisor S. David Freeman pointed out on a FOE press conference, San Onofre's closures means that the harmful impacts on aquatic life in the Pacific Ocean from reactor operations (such as thermal, radiological, and toxic chemical) now ends. 

Beyond Nuclear has compiled comprehensive media coverage on, and other reactions to, the San Onofre 2 & 3 closures at its Nuclear Retreat page.