Germany's renewable energy in the hands of citizens

51% of the renewable energy on the German grid is put there by individuals (like us) and farmers. Individuals and private investors are contributing the equivalent generation capacity in renewables of 20 nuclear power plants. None of it is state owned. More than one million Germans are involved as energy producers or investors in renewable energy production. According to Germany's environment ministry, "New ownership models such as citizens’ wind parks and energy cooperatives show that the Energiewende cannot only bring about environmental protection and economic growth, but also decentralized production structures in the hands of local initiatives."  


A farewell to Alex Karras, athlete, actor, who cared about the environment

Beyond Nuclear extends its condolences to long-time supporter and friend, Susan Clark, whose husband Alex Karras died in the early hours of October 10, age 77. Both actors, Clark and Karras together helped launch Beyond Nuclear and have been generous in sustaining our work. Alex is of course best known for his membership of the Detroit Lions' Fearsome Foursome; his starring roles in films, especially as Mongo in Blazing Saddles; and on television, where he co-starred with Susan in Webster and made frequent appearances on The Tonight Show. A kind, fascinating, multi-dimensional person who cared deeply about the world we are leaving to our children and theirs, Alex was one of the genuine gentle giants. There are numerous tributes and obituaries on line. This one by SBNation's Andrew Sharp, captures some of his spirit well. And listen to NPR's tribute.


Confirmed speakers for "A Mountain of Radioactive Waste 70 Years High," Chicago, Dec. 1-3

A number of experts have confirmed they will speak, including (alphabetical by last name): Kinnette Benedict, Executive Director & Publisher, Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists; Robert Chavez, indigenous youth anti-uranium activist, Okayowingeh (San Juan Pueblo), New Mexico; Diane D'Arrigo, Radioactive Waste Project Director, Nuclear Information and Resource ServiceKay Drey, Beyond Nuclear board member, and nearly four decade long anti-nuclear activist; Norma M. Field, Ph.D., Robert S. Ingersoll Distinguished Service Professor in Japanese Studies in East Asian Languages and Civilizations, University of Chicago; Arnie Gundersen, Chief Engineer, Fairewinds AssociatesPaul Gunter, Reactor Oversight Project Director, Beyond NuclearKristen Iversen, author, Full Body Burden: Growing Up in the Nuclear Shadow of Rocky Flats; Arne Jungjohann, Director for the Environment and Global Dialogue Program of the Washington, D.C. office, Heinrich Boell FoundationKevin Kamps, Radioactive Waste Watchdog, Beyond Nuclear; and Dr. Arjun Makhijani, President, Institute for Energy and Environmental Research, and author, Carbon-Free and Nuclear-Free: A Roadmap for U.S. Energy Policy; Dr. Jeff Patterson, Board of Directors, Physicians for Social Responsibility, Madison, Wisconsin; Kathleen Rude, conducting Active Hope (a workshop to deal with Nuclear Despair, based on the works of Joanna Macy); Kendra Ulrich, Friends of the Earth USA, Washington, DC; Charmaine White Face, Coordinator, Defenders of the Black Hills, Rapid City, South Dakota; and  Akiko YoshidaFriends of the Earth, Tokyo, Japan

In addition, a film has been confirmed to be screened: The Atomic States of America, by Sheena Joyce and Don Argot of 9.14 Pictures in Philadelphia.

Finally, on Monday, December 3rd, an optional field trip to Red Gate Woods is being organized. This is the forest preserve in the southwestern suburbs of Chicago where Fermi's first radioactive wastes of the Atomic Age were buried under a mound of earth, and marked with a simple stone marker. Bicycle and hiking paths pass close by. Previous tours to the site have not registered higher than normal background radioactivity levels, although concerns persist about eventual leakage of radioactivity from the site into the environment. We will be sure to take radiation monitors on our Dec. 3rd field trip, in order to document radioactivity levels, as well as to protect ourselves.


Barry Commoner, scientist and influential environmentalist, dies at 95

Barry Commoner, a visionary scientist and author who helped launch the environmental movement in the United States and whose ideas influenced public thinking about nuclear testing, energy consumption and recycling, died Sept. 30 at a hospital in New York. He was 95 and lived in Brooklyn...

A biologist by training, Dr. Commoner showed that traces of radioactive materials could be found in the teeth of thousands of children. With Nobel laureate Linus Pauling, he circulated a petition in the 1950s calling for an end of atmospheric testing of nuclear weapons. More than 11,000 scientists signed the petition.

He was credited with creating the momentum that led to the passage of the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty between the United States and the Soviet Union in 1963.

Along with “Silent Spring” author Rachel Carson, Sierra Club leader David Brower and scientist-author Aldo Leopold, Dr. Commoner is considered one of the primary founders of the modern environmental movement. The Washington Post


Great Lakes events in resistance to uranium fuel chain, atomic reactor & radioactive waste risks

The Great Lakes comprise 20% of the world's surface fresh water, providing drinking water to 40 million people in the U.S., Canada, and a large number of Native American First NationsFrom the "Nuclear Labyrinth" conference in Huron, OH Oct. 4-6, to an Oct. 11 "Entergy Nuclear Watch" presentation in Kalamazoo, Michigan (bridging resistance from Vermont Yankee to Palisades), to"A Mountain of Radioactive Waste 70 Years High" summit in Chicago Dec. 1-3, strong resistance to the uranium fuel chain in the Great Lakes is building! Beyond Nuclear is proud and honored to be a co-sponsor and active participant in all three events.