82-year old nun and comrades shut US nuclear weapons facility - force security changes

The general manager of the Oak Ridge, TN nuclear weapons facility was this week "relieved of his duties" after an 82-year old nun, Megan Rice (pictured center), along with Michael Walli (left), 63 and Greg Boertje-Obed, 57, successfully breached security at the plant last week. The three activists cut through perimeter fences to reach the outer wall of a building where highly enriched uranium, a key nuclear bomb component, is stored. They then painted slogans and threw human blood on the wall of the facility, one of numerous buildings in the facility known by the code name Y-12 that it was given during World War Two. The action was reminiscent of the Swords into Plowshares acts of civil disobedience initiated in 1980 by brothers and priests, Philip and Daniel Berrigan. As noted historian, Howard Zinn said: "Democracy requires civil disobedience. Without civil disobedience does not exist."


Activists arrested at Los Alamos lab gates on Hiroshima Day

Six anti-nuclear activists were arrested at around 8 am on August 6 after blocking the road into Los Alamos National Laboratory. The action took place on the 67th anniversary of the nuclear bombing of Hiroshima. At least 50 activists from Trinity Nuclear Abolitionists, (un)Occupy Albuquerque, Occupy Santa Fe, Nuke Free Now and other groups participated in the protest. The action of civil disobedience came a day after a rally in downtown Los Alamos to protest plans for a new plutonium bomb factory there and to remember the dropping of the bombs on Hiroshima (Aug 6) and Nagasaki (Aug 9) 1945.


Hiroshima and Nagasaki remembered at weapons labs protests

Where will you be on Hiroshima (Aug 6) and Nagasaki (Aug 9) Days? There will be events going on near the Los Alamos Lab - - and the Lawrence Livermore Lab - Linda Gunter of Beyond Nuclear will be speaking at the New Mexico events.


Protesters demonstrate against nuclear power plants at Japan's parliament

Tens of thousands of people protested against nuclear power plants outside Japan's parliament on Sunday.

The protesters, including pensioners, were pressed up against a wall of steel thrown around the parliament building. Some broke through the barriers and spilled onto the streets, forcing the police to bring in reinforcements and deploy armoured buses to buttress the main parliament gate.

Energy policy has become a major headache for prime minister, Yoshihiko Noda. Weekly protests outside the PM's office have grown in size in recent months, with ordinary workers and mothers with children joining the crowds. The Guardian

The protest was the latest in a series of peaceful demonstrations on a scale not seen in the nation for decades since the Fukushima crisis gave rise to fears of another nuclear disaster. Associated Press


Is Nuclear Energy Just Mission Impossible?


NRC's file photo of San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station (which Southern California Edison has given the odd acronym "SONGS"), scene of premature failure of safety significant replacement steam generatorsTerry Tamminen, former secretary of the California Environmental Protection Agency, president of Seventh Generation Advisors, and an operating partner at Pegasus Capital Advisors, is also a contributor to CNBC's Guest Blog. He just blogged "Is Nuclear Energy Just Mission Impossible?", alluding to the Hollywood action flicks starring Tom Cruise. Here is an excerpt:

"...The wild card that is common to every nuclear facility and which puts this technology squarely in the mission-impossible category however, is not technology or waste — it’s human error.

The report from Japan last week about the Fukushima nuclear disaster makes that abundantly clear, as would any similar report about Chernobyl, Three Mile Island, or even the thus-far benign closure of Southern California Edison’s San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station, SONGS.

In fact, no one yet knows why pipes at SONGS are leaking radioactive steam, but the fact that engineers did not predict it and that everyone at Edison is surprised by the failure attests to the limits of human calculation — even after [the nuclear power industry's] half-century of experience...

...And when speaking of the cost-benefit analysis of nuclear power, let’s recall that this is the only industry that has a law protecting it from itself.

The Price-Anderson Nuclear Industries Indemnity Act of 1957 caps the liability of power plant owners and their insurance companies for nuclear accidents at $12.6 billion, after which taxpayers are on the hook.

If the market were allowed to function in this case, would any new nuclear power plants be built in America — or existing ones re-licensed — if Price-Anderson were repealed?" More: CNBC