Eisenhower quelled Japanese fears about nuclear weapons with "atoms for peace"

Eisenhower delivering "Atoms for Peace" speech at UNHow could it be that the only nation ever attacked with nuclear weapons would choose to embrace atomic energy just a decade later? The Japan Times Online has reported, based upon declassified U.S. federal government documents from the Eisenhower administration, that the American promotion of nuclear power in Japan in the mid-1950s was aimed at quelling Japanese fears about, and protests against, U.S. nuclear weapons testing in the Pacific region. The Eisenhower State Department recognized the Japanese outrage about the exposure of Japanese fishermen aboard the Lucky Dragon No. 5, downwind of the Bikini Atoll hydrogen bomb test in 1954, as the most severe strain between the U.S. and Japan since the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki 9 years earlier. President Eisenhower feared Japan's loss from the U.S. camp to the U.S.S.R.'s influence, and his State Dept. secretly recommended "It is important to our relations with Japan that we seek to remove the strong Japanese notion that atomic and nuclear energy is primarily destructive. We should accordingly attempt at an early point to include Japan in bilateral and multilateral actions intended to develop peaceful uses of atomic energy."

Eisenhower had delivered his famous (or is infamous a more appropriate word, given what it has led to?) "Atoms for Peace" speech at the United Nations General Assembly on December 8, 1953 (see photo at left). Dr. Arjun Makhijani and Scott Saleska, in their 1999 book The Nuclear Power Deception, documented that "Atoms for Peace" was a public relations ploy to calm American fears about the nuclear arms race, and justify the expansion of atomic enterprises in the name of societal benefit, when in fact the effort was more geared to U.S. nuclear weapons production, as well as to court foreign governments in the Cold War competition with the Soviets.


Yet another Iranian scientist linked to country's atomic program assassinated

BBC has reported that for the second time in less than two years, another Iranian scientist purportedly linked to the country's nuclear program has been assassinated. The Iranian regime blamed the Israeli Mossad for the 2010 assassination. The Iranian regime claims its uranium enrichment program is for electricity production. Iran, as a signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), does have the legal right to develop atomic power. However, the U.S., Israeli, French, and certain other governments accuse the Iranian regime of instead pursuing expanded and accelerated uranium enrichment for nuclear weapons production purposes. Of course, the U.S., Israel, and France already have nuclear weapons arsenals of their own.


NRC keeps flooded Ft. Calhoun on close-watch list

The Wall Street Journal reports that due to past violations involving flood protections and automatic shutdown systems, the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) will keep Fort Calhoun nuclear power plant in Nebraska on a close-watch list. Most of the plant is under two feet of flood waters on the historically flooded Missouri River. There is currently about a ten foot safety margin between the flood waters and what the nuclear power plant is prepared to withstand -- but only because NRC busted them for their inadequate preparations late last year. "They are receiving heightened oversight because of inadequate procedures to protect their intake structure and auxiliary building from a flood...and other past performance issues," NRC spokesman Victor Dricks said.


"Flirting with Catastrophe: Atomic Power in a Destabilized Climate"

An op-ed by Beyond Nuclear's Kevin Kamps has been published by Counterpunch. Prompted by historic floods in Nebraska threatening atomic reactors on the Missouri River, as well as historic wildfires in New Mexico threatening plutonium-contaminated wastes at the Los Alamos nuclear weapons lab, it describes how the location of atomic reactors on seacoasts, rivers, and the Great Lakes makes them vulnerable to worsening severe weather caused by the accelerating climate crisis. Beyond Nuclear has prepared two backgrounders on this issue: "Far from 'solving global warming,' atomic energy is too risky to operate in a destablizied climate," and "Climate chaos and nuclear power." Previously, Beyond Nuclear's Paul Gunter also wrote "Natural Disasters and Safety Risks at Nuclear Power Stations." The vulnerable locations of the 104 operating U.S. atomic reactors are mapped in Beyond Nuclear's pamphlet "Routine Radioactive Releases from Nuclear Power Plants in the United States: What are the Dangers?"

A recent op-ed in the New York Times by Heidi Cullen of Climate Central, "Sizzle Factor for a Restless Climate," reveals that extreme weather such as the current heat wave across most of the United States will become the norm if we don't solve the climate crisis. IEER's Insurmountable Risks: The Dangers of Using Nuclear Power to Combat Global Climate Change, written five years ago by Dr. Brice Smith, debunked the Nuclear Energy Institute's false myth that nuclear power is any kind of solution to the climate crisis.

Adding a one-two punch at Counterpunch, Beyond Nuclear board member Karl Grossman also published an article entitled "What Could Truly End the Space Program: A Nuclear Disaster Overhead" in the same weekend edition.


EU aims to bury high-level radioactive waste in "deep geologic repositories"

Reuters has reported that the European Union has set a deadline of 2015 for its 14 member states with nuclear power industries -- comprising a total of 143 atomic reactors -- to come up with plans for "deep geologic disposal" sites for burial of their high-level radioactive wastes. However, the EU admits it will take as long as 40 years to construct those repositories. Deutsche Welle also reported on this story, including on the loophole in the new EU directive that will still allow high-level radioactive waste exports to foreign countries for reprocessing, so long as those countries also have deep geologic repositories.