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Thursday
Jun232011

"Fukushima Disaster Failures Kept Behind Closed Doors at UN Atomic Meeting"

IAEA HQ in Vienna, Austria, scene of the secretive June 20 to 24 meetingsAs Bloomberg reports, despite the “ 'blindingly obvious' need for greater transparency," the International Atomic Energy Agency has invoked secrecy surrounding its June 20 to 24 review of the Fukushima nuclear catastrophe, effectively delaying any safety significant lessons learned for application at atomic reactors around the world, as well as societal decision making about the future of nuclear power. IAEA spokeswoman Gill Tudor explained that the Fukushima catastrophe evaluation meetings will be closed “because of the highly detailed and technical nature of the drafting work.” Members of the public and journalists are barred from attending the invitation-only sessions. This utter lack of transparency flies in the face of the Japanese government's own report to the IAEA, dated June 7th, calling for and commiting to maximum transparency in the ongoing aftermath of the Fukushima nuclear catastrophe.

 

Thursday
Jun232011

Musicians United for Safe Energy anti-nuclear concert to benefit Japanese recovery efforts in aftermath of Fukushima catastrophe

Musicians United for Safe Energy (MUSE), founded in 1979 in the aftermath of the Three Mile Island meltdown, is reuniting for an August 7th concert in Mountain View, CA to benefit Japanese disaster recovery in the aftermath of the Fukushima nuclear catastrophe. The line up thus far includes: Crosby, Stills and Nash; Jackson Browne; Bonnie Raitt; Jason Mraz; Tom Morello; Kitaro; Sweet Honey in the Rock; and Jonathon Wilson. MUSE has published a poster and a media release about the concert. The Guacamole Fund and Nukefree.org are helping with the concert. The 1979 MUSE concerts at Madison Square Garden played to sold out crowds for a week; a free concert was then performed outdoors at Battery Park in New York City for a huge crowd.

Wednesday
Jun222011

Global support for nuclear plummets - lower than coal

In the wake of new nuclear power plant build rebukes in both Germany and Italy, a new poll conducted by international research company Ipsos for Reuters News finds that global support for nuclear energy has dropped quickly to 38% (down 16 points from 54%) to now become lower than support for coal (48%)—fuelled by a 26% jump in new opponents to nuclear power (above 50% in India, China, Japan and South Korea) who indicate that the recent crisis in Japan caused their decision. Ipsos also released a detailed power point presentation of their findings. The survey of nearly 19,000 people in 24 countries also showed that nearly three-quarters of people think nuclear energy is only a limited and soon obsolete form of energy. Solar energy topped the charts with 97% of respondents strongly favoring it, closely followed by 93% for wind power.

 

Wednesday
Jun222011

Tritium leaks at 48 US nuclear power plant sites, AP reports

An important exposé by Jeff Donn of the Associated Press on June 21 that shows that "radioactive tritium has leaked from three-quarters of U.S. commercial nuclear power sites, often into groundwater from corroded, buried piping." The story confirms the findings in our 2010 report, Leak First, Fix Later. Beyond Nuclear also contributed background on the story. Some leaks migrated off site and at three sites — two in Illinois and one in Minnesota — leaks have contaminated drinking wells of nearby homes, the AP report shows. Read the full AP investigation.

Appendix A of the Beyond Nuclear report "Leak First, Fix Later" lists the radioactive leak events at each of the US nuclear power plants through April 2010.

Tuesday
Jun212011

Support the Beyond Nuclear Petition to NRC to suspend operation of 23 Fukushima-style reactors in the United States

Become a co-petitioner to NRC and support the Beyond Nuclear call for the suspension of the 23 Fukushima-style reactors operating in the United States.

Co-petition with Beyond Nuclear's April 13, 2011 call upon NRC to suspend the operation of the 23 GE Mark I Boiling Water Reactors in the US and:

1) Convene public meetings in each of the Mark I Emergency Planning Zones to take public comment for incorporation into President Obama's charted review by NRC on the wisdom of continued operation of the dangerous Fukushima-style nuclear reactors here in the US;

2) Revoke a 1989 approval of an experimental venting system installed on the deeply flawed US Mark I reactor containment system as was also installed on the Fukushima nuclear power plants and failed to prevent the meltdowns of the three Japanese reactors operating at the time of the earthquake and tsunmai. Ask NRC to require all US Mark I operators to submit a license amendment request for any further modifications to the weak containment design in a process that is accorded full public hearing rights and;

3) Require Mark I operators to install emergency backup power to assure cooling of hundreds of tons of radioactive waste in storage pools located on top of each reactor builidng outside of containment in the event of loss of offsite power. NRC should further require operators to offload high-level radioactive waste (irradiated nuclear fuel assemblies) from these vulnerable densely packed storage pools to hardened onsite storage in dry casks.

Note: The Beyond Nuclear petition was amended with the US NRC on June 8, 2011 to include Brunswick Units 1 & 2 (NC). The April 13 petition identified that the Brunswick Mark I containment structures were not identical to the other 21 US Mark I units, but subsequently identified to have installed the same controversial venting system. Therefore, the two Brunswick units have been added to the call for a suspension of operations for a total of twenty-three (23).