A powerful message from Fukushima mother, Sachiko Sato

“Please do not repeat the tragedy of Fukushima! After Three Mile Island and Chernobyl, people used to say that such an accident would not happen in Fukushima.  But it happened. If we do not stop nuclear power, another accident will definitely happen again. And if another accident happens, children will be the first victims. My children and I are suffering. We cannot live in our house, which we love. We live everyday with fear that we may get ill one day. It is heart breaking to see children who can no longer laugh from their heart since 3.11. Do not victimize children simply because you want to generate power. For whom is economic development, if children must be its victims? Let Fukushima be the last one to suffer from such a tragedy. Aren’t children the treasure of any country? Is it not the minimum responsibility of adults to protect the children? If we cannot protect our children, there is no meaning for us adults to exist. We do not need nuclear reactors anywhere on this planet. Because everywhere on the earth, there are children living. Let us all protect the children of the world."

Sachiko was speaking through a megaphone (photo above left) to Japanese Prime Minister Noda, as well as UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon, both of whom had just exited their limousines a half block away, during a protest rally co-sponsored by Beyond Nuclear at the UN Plaza in New York City, September 2011. You can download the PDF of her statement - in English and the original Japanese, here.


Fourteen arrested in nonviolent direct action at Plymouth, MA nuke

The Cape Downwinders organized a nonviolent civil disobedience on May 20, 2012  to protest the continued operation of the Pilgrim nuclear generating station in Plymouth, Massachusetts,. Fourteen citizens were arrested for refusing to leave the private property of the Fukushima-design GE Mark I boiling water reactor 38 miles southeast of Boston.They were charged with a misdeameanor charge of "criminal trespass." The affinity group was delivering the group's letter to the nuclear power facility operator, Entergy.  Entergy has been the focus of nonviolent direct actions for the continued operation of the Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant and massive public demonstrations around its Indian Point nuclear generating station in Buchannan, NY reactor just 25 miles north of New York City.


Beyond Nuclear board of directors member Dr. Judith Johnsrud honored by Sierra Club for lifetime of anti-nuclear leadership

Dr. Judith Johnsrud enjoying the decorative quilt presented to her in honor of her 50 years of anti-nuclear leadershipOn Friday, May 4th, at its national "No Nukes" grassroots gathering of activists from across North America, the Sierra Club honored Dr. Judith Johnsrud, a founding board of directors member of Beyond Nuclear, for her half-century of anti-nuclear activism and environmental leadership at the grassroots, national, and even international levels. Judy was honored by her life partner, Leon Glicenstein, event co-organizer Diane D'Arrigo of Nuclear Information and Resource Service, as well as the President of the Board of Directors of Sierra Club, Robin Mann. A film of Judy speaking on the hazards of radioactivity was shown, and a beautiful decorative quilt bearing the message "JUDITH: PROTECTING LIFE FOREVER" was presented to Judy (see photo, left). Members of the audience, numbering 85 activists from across the U.S. and Canada, were invited to share stories about Judy. Some of these friends and colleagues had worked with Judy for decades, but even some individuals who had not met Judy before were moved to thank her for her lifetime of work to protect the planet and all its inhabitants. At the conclusion of the ceremony, Judy said simply "I am grateful to you all," as well as saying -- with characteristic humbleness -- that she didn't deserve it (with which everyone in attendance wholeheartedly disagreed!)

At a Sierra Club sponsored workshop at the Pennsylvania Renewable Energy Festival in 2007, Judy presented a list of numerous major anti-nuclear victories which she and grassroots environmental allies have succeeded in winning over the decades (characteristically, she also included the losses suffered, including the construction and operation of the Three Mile Island nuclear power plant, which led to its meltdown in 1979). Judy has also prepared a history of the Environmental Coalition on Nuclear Power, which she has led for decades, providing more details on those hard won victories and bitter defeats.

In concluding her remarkable history of ECNP, Judy wrote: "These are only some of ECNP's current activities. Although nuclear power is patently failing, and in a rational world would never have been developed, constant vigilance by citizen activists like all of you will continue to be essential far into the future.  But by far the greatest benefit from the existence of this Coalition has been the opportunity to develop deep, lasting friendships, and the privilege of meeting and working with its members, friends and colleagues -- surely high among the world's finest people." Certainly, Judy is one of the brightest lights among these "world's finest people," and the Sierra Club's No Nukes grassroots, and assembled friends and colleagues privileged to have worked with her over the past 50 years, honored her for that.


Nuclear Regulatory Coup

Commission Chairman Gregory Jaczko is resigning from NRC as the nuclear industry plots a complete take over of the agency's "regulation".  Here is the Chairman's statement.   The Huffington Post got out an early account of  the success of mounting industry pressure to oust the Chairman.


Environmental coalition defends contentions against Fermi 3 new reactor

NRC file graphic of ESBWRA coalition of environmental groups, represented by Toledo-based attorney Terry Lodge and coordinated by Don't Waste Michigan board member Michael Keegan, yesterday filed rebuttals to attacks by Detroit Edison (DTE). DTE had filed a motion calling upon the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) Atomic Safety (sic) and Licensing Board (ASLB) to order summary dismissal of environmental and safety contentions opposed to a proposed new atomic reactor (Unit 3) at Fermi nuclear power plant near Monroe, Michigan. Fermi 3 would be a so-called General Electric-Hitachi "Economic Simplified Boiling Water Reactor" (ESBWR, see graphic at left). Fermi 3 is the last remaining ESBWR proposal in the U.S. -- several others have been abandoned by a number of other nuclear utilities.

The environmental coalition (which, in addition to Don't Waste Michigan, also includes Beyond Nuclear, Citizens for Alternatives to Chemical Contamination, Citizens Environment Alliance of Southwestern Ontario, and Sierra Club Michigan Chapter), had won admission for hearing on an environmental contention alleging that Fermi 3 would worsen harmful toxic algae blooms in Lake Erie's shallow Western Basin (Contention #6), as well on a safety contention alleging that Fermi 3's quality assurance (QA) program has been woefully inadequate, or even at times nearly non-existent (Contention #15). Fairewinds Associates, Inc. of Vermont's nuclear engineer, Arnie Gundersen, serves as the environmental coalition's expert witness on quality assurance. Fairewinds' President and Founder, Margaret Gundersen, prepared a declaration stating that Fairewinds stands by its allegations that Fermi 3 violates basic quality assurances regulations, and that this licensing proceeding's deadlines for intervenor response are arbitrary and impossible to meet -- especially when DTE conceals vast amounts of QA information behind a cloak of "proprietary" secrecy.

The coalition's filings yesterday included: Intervenors' response in opposition to MSD (Motion for Summary Disposition) of Contention 15 (QA); Intervenors' statement of material facts in opposition to SD (Summary Disposition) of Contetion 15 (QA); Second Declaration of Arnold Gundersen (QA); Intervenors' response in opposition and statement of material facts in opposition to MSD of Contention 6 (toxic algae); Intervenors' motion for leave to supplement opposition to MSD of Contention 15 (QA), with attached affidavit of Margaret Gundersen.