For a little bird, bee or butterfly trying to make it in the world, which is the worse place to land: Fukushima or Chernobyl? On the one hand, there’s the risk from the release of radioactive materials that occurred in Japan just over a year ago. On the other, there’s the threat of mutations from accumulated environmental contamination over the past quarter-century from the Chernobyl accident in Ukraine. New York Times
Animals are affected by the operation of nuclear power - but are the most ignored of all the nuclear industry's victims. Whether sucked into reactor intake systems, or pulverized at the discharge, aquatic animals and their habitats are routinely harmed and destroyed by the routine operation of reactors. (For more, see our Licensed to Kill page).
As reported by Treehugger and the Herald-News, the Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) has reported the discovery of radioactive stainless steel dog bowls at a Petco store in Chicago. It is feared that several radioactively contaminated bowls had been sold. IEMA and the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission are supposedly trying to track down those purchased bowls, and IEMA warns shoppers who have purchased stainless steel dog bowls at IL Petcos to contact the store where they purchased the bowl as a precaution. The bowls are reportedly contaminated with radioactive Cobalt-60. Although IEMA was quick to trot out the deceptive "no immediate health risk" line (used by nuclear establishment spokespeople during the Three Mile Island meltdown, as documented by Rosalie Bertell, the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear catastrophe, etc.), as syndicated pet columnist Steve Dale asks, what about pets which have eaten or drank from the contaminated bowls?! Also, no information has been provided on the source of the contamination. However, the nuclear power industry and its friends in government have long attempted to "de-regulate" "low-level" radioactive wastes, which they consider "below regulatory concern." These radioactive wastes, such as radioactive metals, can then be "recycled" into consumer items -- such as dog bowls, or anything made of metal.
Leon Glicenstein, a life-long friend and supporter of Dr. Judith H. Johnsrud, has written an article for the Sierra Club Pennsylvania Chapter's Summer 2012 newsletter The Sylvanian about the national Sierra Club and the Sierra Club "No Nukes Activist Team" recognition ceremony, held May 4th in Takoma Park, Maryland, honoring Judy's half-century of anti-nuclear leadership not only locally, regionally, and nationally, but even globally. Judy, an expert on nuclear power, radioactive waste, and radiation's impacts on the environment, is a founding board member of Beyond Nuclear. Included in Leon's article is a partial list of anti-nuclear victories Judy helped win in her home state of Pennsylvania alone.
Beyond Nuclear posted a tribute to Judy shortly after the ceremony, which includes more photos of the presentation of her quilt (see photo, left), as well as links to writings by Judy, such as her brief history of the Environmental Coalition on Nuclear Pollution, which she founded and led for many decades.
Beyond Nuclear and its environmental coalition allies intervening against the proposed Fermi 3 atomic reactor have defended their threatened Eastern Fox Snake contention against a motion for summary disposition filed by nuclear utility Detroit Edison.The filing, submitted by the coalition's attorney Terry Lodge, challenged DTE's proposed mitigation plans, as well as the Michigan Department of Natural Resources' (MDNR) woefully inadequate enforcement of threatened and endangered species protections. DTE's plan for replacement habitat for land ruined by Fermi 3's construction and operation is a former farm field immediately under its Monroe Power Plant, one of the largest coal burners in North America (3,000 Megawatts-electric), meaning the land is likely contaminated with acids, radioactivity, mercury, and other toxic chemicals fallout.
Even the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) Atomic Safety (sic) and Licensing Board (ASLB) has agreed with the intervenors that harm to the Eastern Fox Snake species will be inflicted by the 1,000 acre (29.4 mile long, 300 foot wide) transmission line corridor to be built, which neither DTE nor NRC have adequately addressed. And the State of Michigan has de-funded MDNR endangered species regulatory activities, meaning no staff are available to review DTE's proposals, nor to monitor its mitigation activities.
The intervenors issued a press release. Don't Waste Michigan's Michael Keegan of Monroe, MI, was quoted as saying "DTE, don't tread on me! No irradiation without representation!" The other coalition groups include Citizens for Alternatives to Chemical Contamination, Citizens Environmental Alliance of Southwestern Ontario, and the Sierra Club Michigan Chapter.
In June, the World Heritage Committee of UNESCO, meeting in Russia, will decide whether to change the boundaries of the precious Selous Game Reserve in Tanzania, a World Heritage Site, in order to allow a uranium mine. The Reserve is one of the largest remaining wilderness areas in Africa, harboring the largest elephant population on the continent.
The planned Mkuju River uranium mine, if allowed, would deal a major blow to the ecology of the region and have a devastating impact on economic and social fronts.
Please sign the petition we are co-sponsoring with the Uranium Network to urge the UNESCO World Heritage committee to keep the boundaries unchanged and discourage the Government of Tanzania from licensing the Mkuju River Uranium mine. Your emails will go directly to key committee members.
To learn more, read documentation sent to the Committee by the Uranium Network.