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Thursday
Jan242013

AN URGENT APPEAL TO SUPPORT GREEN ACTION JAPAN!

During the critical first days and months of the Fukushima nuclear catastrophe in Japan, many of us turned immediately to Aileen Mioko Smith (pictured far left with Sachiko Sato and Kaori Izumi) and her organization, Green Action-Japan. Through her depth of knowledge on the nuclear issue, organizing skills, and essential translations between English and Japanese, Aileen played a crucial role in globally networking the U.S. and Japanese anti-nuclear movements. 

Today, Green Action-Japan needs your financial help to keep its important work ongoing. 

Without Aileen’s relentless efforts for more than a decade to delay the use of plutonium (MOX) fuel, the three reactors that melted down at Fukushima could have been loaded with 33% plutonium cores, significantly worsening the radiological catastrophe that has unfolded. (Only Unit 3 had loaded MOX fuel, at a 6% level.) Aileen has also helped oppose the Rokkasho reprocessing facility and the Monju breeder reactor. 

Please make a generous donation via Green Action’s Paypal button today. Green Action-Japan and Aileen Mioko Smith play an essential role in connecting our campaigns and sharing knowledge, information that will help us end the Nuclear Age. Please donate here: http://www.greenaction-japan.org/modules/entop2/

Thursday
Jan242013

House Republican leaders demand Yucca dump be included in irradiated nuclear fuel centralized interim storage bill

Yucca Mountain, as viewed through the frame of a Western Shoshone Indian ceremonial sweat lodge. Photo by Gabriela Bulisova.As reported by Nuclear Power International/Power Engineering, as well as the Wall Street Journal, U.S. Rep. John Shimkus (R-IL), Chairman of the Environment and the Economy Subcommittee of the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee, holds that the formerly proposed dumpsite targeted at Yucca Mountain, Nevada must be included in any irradiated nuclear fuel centralized interim storage legislation.

Shimkus, as well as U.S. Rep. Fred Upton (R-MI), have long been outspoken champions pushing for the Yucca dump, as well as many other nuclear power industry "wish list" lobbying priorities. Upton, for example, sponsored "Mobile Chernobyl" bills each and every session from 1995 to 2000, which would have established centralized interim storage at Yucca, long before countless scientific studies were completed, or permanent disposal authorized at the site. Yucca is located on Western Shoshone Indian land (see photo, left), as acknowledged by the U.S. federal government when it signed the "peace and friendship" Treaty of Ruby Valley in 1863.

On Jan. 11th, in response to U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Secretary Steven Chu's "Strategy for the Management and Disposal of Used Nuclear Fuel and High-Level Radioactive Waste," Reps. Upton and Shimkus issued a joint statement calling for the resumption of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission's (NRC) Yucca dump licensing proceeding.

However, U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), as the senior member of the united, bipartisan Nevada congressional delegation, has devoted his political career to successfully stopping the Yucca dump. President Barack Obama agrees, and DOE Secretary Chu has zeroed out the funding for the Yucca Mountain Project for several years running now. Secretary Chu has also moved to withdraw DOE's application from NRC's moribund licensing proceeding.

Thursday
Jan242013

U.S. Rep. Markey actively exercises oversight on nuclear power and nuclear weapons

U.S. Rep. Ed Markey (D-MA)U.S. Representative Ed Markey (D-MA, pictured left), a 37-year nuclear watchdog in Congress, has been busy this year. Rep. Markey serves as Ranking Member of the U.S. House Natural Resources Committee, and as a senior member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee.

On Jan. 11th, Markey wrote to U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu -- and his office issued a press release -- expressing deep concerns and asking pointed questions about the U.S. Department of Energy's proposals to "recycle" large quantities of radioactive scrap metal into consumer products.

On Jan. 14th, Rep. Markey again wrote Secretary Chu, questioning the wisdom of DOE's dirty, dangerous, and expensive proposal to "recycle" surplus weapons plutonium into MOX (Mixed-Oxide, uranium-plutonium) reactor fuel.

And on Jan. 18th, Rep. Markey urged Secretary Chu to maintain the construction ban at the Hanford nuclear weapons complex in Washington State, in order to avoid hydrogen explosions and dangerous nuclear accidents.

Rep. Markey has announced his campaign for U.S. Senate, to fill the seat vacated by U.S. Sen. John Kerry (D-MA), who has been nominated by President Obama for Secretary of State.

Wednesday
Jan232013

Pandora's False Promises - the latest pro-nuclear propaganda movie

"Pandora's Promise", a pro-nuclear documentary by Robert Stone (pictured) that studiously avoids any "inconvenient truths" that might derail his arguments, has screened at Sundance and is making the festival rounds before a theatrical release this summer. Heavily funded, and with backing from The Breakthrough Institute, whose Michael Schellenberger also appears in the film, Stone joins the ranks of other well-funded nuclear deniers. Stone, whose avowed impetus for the film turns out to be a myth (that ALL France's radioactive waste is stored under one floor at La Hague) even asserts that nuclear energy "is probably the most environmentally benign energy source we have." Central to the film is the Integral Fast Reactor, which Stone claims was the erroneously canceled cure-all reactor design that could save us from climate change. It's not clear whether Stone was well and truly hoodwinked or whether he just "took the money." At any rate, Beyond Nuclear is engaged in efforts to set the record straight and to help our fellow environmentalists refute this film.

Beyond Nuclear has prepared a two-page handout and a more detailed fact sheet with citations setting the record straight on the plutonium-breeding, sodium-cooled IFR. Please download and use the pieces as talking points. Coming soon is a longer rebuttal piece in which we bust the many myths in this film. Finally, we will have a Pandora's People piece, revealing that, while the filmmakers tout their protagonists (or "cast" as they are tellingly referred to) as "leading former anti-nuclear activists," none of them qualifies as such and arguably, are far from even well-versed in the subject. Watch this space for more. And please consider screening The Atomic States of America which tells a very different, fact-based story about the real health impacts of nuclear power operation. Use the BEYONDNUCLEAR code for a 20% screening fee discount.

Wednesday
Jan232013

Kendra Ulrich, FOE nuclear campaigner, joins Beyond Nuclear board of directors

We are excited to announce that Kendra Ulrich, nuclear campaigner at Friends of the Earth (FOE), has agreed to serve on our board of directors. She joins Kay Drey, Lou Friedman, Karl Grossman, Dr. Judith Johnsrud, and Judith Kaufman on the Beyond Nuclear board. Kendra's close collaboration with Beyond Nuclear is nothing new, however. During her graduate studies, she served an internship at Beyond Nuclear, as Outreach Coordinator for our Freeze Our Fukushimas campaign, implementing a pilot project. On the first day of Vermont Yankee's controversial license extension, she and Beyond Nuclear's Paul Gunter helped form the "New England Natural Guard" affinity group, which carried out a non-violent civil disobedience action at Entergy Nuclear's national HQ in New Orleans. And in December, she presented at the "Mountain of Radioactive Waste 70 Years High: Ending the Nuclear Age" conference, co-sponsored by Beyond Nuclear, FOE, and NEIS in Chicago. Kendra is currently helping lead FOE's campaign focusing on the problem-plagued San Onofre Unit 2 & 3 reactors, part of FOE's Climate and Energy Project. More.