Victory! Virginia keeps the ban on uranium mining!

A proposal to end Virginia’s 31-year ban on uranium mining suffered a major defeat on January 31 before a state Senate panel. Lacking the votes to win, Sen. John Watkins, R-Powhatan, withdrew his bill in the Agriculture Committee. That killed the measure for the 2013 session. Mining opponents claimed victory, saying any effort to lift the mining ban is probably dead this year — and maybe well beyond. The Keep the Ban movement brought together environmental organizations, the Virginia Farm Bureau, the Virginia chapter of the NAACP and, most recently, the Pittsylvania County Board of Supervisors. Virginia has a 30-year ban on uranium mining. The uranium industry made making a well-financed push to repeal the ban in order to mine and process uranium, starting in Southside Virginia. Drinking water, human health, farmland, property values, wildlife and tourism across Virginia were at risk. Virginia Uranium, the company that planned to mine the Coles Hill site, will not likely go quietly, but the proposal is once again stymied for the time being.


Victory! No radioactive waste dump in Cumbria, UK

The land of Peter Rabbit, Mrs. Tiggy-Winkle and friends has thankfully been reprieved. From the BBC: Plans to look for a site for a £12bn ($19 billion) underground nuclear waste store in Cumbria have been rejected. Cumbria County Council vetoed an advanced "stage four" search for a site for the radioactive waste facility. The stage included detailed geological investigations and discussions over the social and economic implications. The Department for Energy and Climate Change said it was "disappointed" but the no vote would not "undermine" the long-term disposal of nuclear waste.
There were huge cheers from environmental campaigners outside the council chamber in Carlisle when the decision was announced. 

"The Atomic Age" as viewed by a Hiroshima survivor

Setsuko Thurlow was 13 years old when the first atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima, Japan on August 6, 1945.

Here is her plenary speech at our confernce "A Mountain of Waste Seventy Years High" on the seventy-year commemoration of the first experimental atomic criticality as performed by Enrico Fermi in an atomic pile assembled on a squash court under Stagg Field at the University of Chicago on December 2, 1942 as part of the United States atomic bomb program, the Manhattan Project. 

The December 1-2, 2012 conference at the University of Chicago was sponsored by Nuclear Energy Information Service, Beyond Nuclear and Friends of the Earth.



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:


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.