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Friday
Sep092011

Yucca dump's permanent cancellation one major step closer to finalization

The western face of Yucca Mountain, as seen through the frame of a sacred Western Shoshone Indian ceremonial sweat lodge. Photo by Gabriela Bulisova, 2004.As reported by KTVN of Reno, Nevada, today the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission -- by the narrowest of margins -- approved an order mandating that its Atomic Safety and Licensing Board conclude and close out all Yucca Mountain repository proceedings by the end of the fiscal year -- September 30, 2011. This is a major victory for opponents of the Yucca dump, as celebrated by U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (Democrat-Nevada), who has devoted his quarter century long Senate career to blocking the dump. Yucca Mountain, a sacred site belonging to the Western Shoshone Indian Nation as acknowledged by the Treaty of Ruby Valley, signed by the U.S. government in 1863, has been the sole target of the nuclear establishment for a national high-level radioactive waste dump since the "Screw Nevada" bill of 1987. More than $10 billion of ratepayer and taxpayer money has been wasted on the project.

Friday
Sep092011

Radiation in sea at Fukushima triple earlier estimates

From NHK: "A group of Japanese researchers say that a total of 15,000 terabecquerels of radioactive substances is estimated to have been released from the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant into the sea. Researchers at the Japan Atomic Energy Agency, Kyoto University and other institutes made the calculation of radioactivity released from late March through April. The combined amount of iodine-131 and cesium-137 is more than triple the figure of 4,720 terabecquerels earlier estimated by Tokyo Electric Power Company, the plant operator. The utility only calculated the radioactivity from substances released from the plant into the sea in April and May. The researchers say the estimated amount of radioactivity includes a large amount that was first released into the air but entered the sea after coming down in the rain. They say they need to determine the total amount of radioactivity released from the crippled Fukushima Daiichi plant in order to accurately assess the impact of the disaster on the sea."

Thursday
Sep082011

Fukushima eye witnesses and activists from Japan to speak in New York

A farming family from the now radioactively contaminated Fukushima region along with one American and three leading anti-nuclear campaigners from Japan, will be in New York City on September 21 and 22. The group will deliver eye-witness accounts about the health impacts and continued contamination produced by the Fukushima-Daiichi reactor units that suffered catastrophic damage on March 11, 2011 and the similar risk of a Fukushima-type nuclear accident in the US.

A public forum, open to the press, will be held on Thursday, September 22, from 12-2pm at the American Friends Service Committee’s Meetinghouse at 15 Rutherford Place,  between 15th and 16th Streets, and 2nd and 3rd Avenues in New York City. Please see the flyer for more details.

Monday
Sep052011

Beyond Nuclear on CNN regarding earthquake's impact on dry storage casks at North Anna

On September 1st, CNN correspondent Brian Todd interviewed Beyond Nuclear's Kevin Kamps after the revelation by Dominion Nuclear -- 8 days after the 5.8 magnitude quake that was epicentered just miles from its North Anna nuclear power plant -- that vertical dry casks had shifted up to 4 inches, and horizontal dry casks had suffered surface damage. As documented in CNN's transcript, Kevin said: "[We are] Very concerned because this material is ultra-hazardous inside. This is high-level radioactive waste. If you lose radiation shielding, you can deliver a fatal dose in a few minutes' time to a person at close range." Unfortunately, James Acton, Associate at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, largely downplayed the risks of dry cask storage (however, the same group also invited the CEO of Areva Nuclear to keynote its nuclear weapons non-proliferation conference a few years ago, despite France's willingness to sell atomic technology even to the likes of Khaddafi in Libya). Beyond Nuclear, and nearly 200 additional environmental groups, has called for hardened on-site storage as a needed safety and security upgrade on risky pool and dry cask storage, vulnerable to accidents from natural disasters or operator errors, or even terrorist attacks.

Sunday
Sep042011

Fukushima eye witnesses and activists to speak in New York

A delegation of Japanese activists and a family who experienced the Fukushima nuclear disaster first hand will be in New York City to address the public, the press and UN representatives on Thursday, September 22. Please see our flyer for more. The group brings the message of the button at left: Nuclear Power? No Thanks and will call on the UN to renounce its promotion of nuclear energy.