AP has reported that leaked U.S. diplomatic memos have revealed that in late 2009, 11.5 pounds of highly enriched uranium (HEU) at a nuclear facility in Libya were guarded by only a single armed guard for about a month. The critical mass for 85% HEU is about 110 pounds, meaning that the Libyan HEU would have provided 10% of the HEU needed for a nuclear weapon. In addition to the inadequate security, the U.S. diplomatic memos fretted about a loading crane that could have been used to steal the casks containing the HEU, and warned that the HEU could leak out of its containers within a few months.
"Chernobyl: Consequences of the Catastrophe for People and the Environment" available online for free
Chernobyl: Consequences of the Catastrophe for People and the Environment, Dec. 2009, 335 pages, published by the New York Academy of Sciences (NYAS), is viewable online at no charge in PDF format. Go to: http://www.nyas.org/Publications/Annals/Detail.aspx?cid=f3f3bd16-51ba-4d7b-a086-753f44b3bfc1. Then click on “Full Text.” Then, under “Annals Access,” next to “Nonmembers,” click on “View Annals TOC free.” This will allow you, chapter by chapter, to download and/or view the entire text of the book, for free. As the 25th commemoration of the Chernobyl nuclear catastrophe approaches (April 26, 2011), this vital book could not be more timely. It is written by Alexey V. Yablokov of the Center for Russian Environmental Policy in Moscow, Russia; Vassily B. Nesterenko, and Alexey V. Nesterenko, of the Institute of Radiation Safety in Minsk, Belarus. Janette D. Sherman-Nevinger of the Environmental Institute at Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo, Michigan, U.S.A. has served as the Consulting Editor. Please help spread the word about this significant scientific study, and its availability online at no charge. Its hardcopy sale price from the NYAS has been a whopping $150 for nonmembers – out of reach, of course, for most all-volunteer anti-nuclear groups. Besides that, NYAS only printed 700 hardcopies of the book to begin with. Now, no copies are left, and it is unknown if more will be printed.
The Honorable Russ Feingold, Democratic U.S. Senator from Wisconsin, is receiving thanks for his long leadership on nuclear weapons and nuclear power issues. On Wed., Dec. 1st, Sen. Feingold is the guest of honor at a U.S. Capitol reception hosted by the arms control and non-proliferation community, to thank him for his leadership against nuclear weapons risks (also to be honored are U.S. Sen. Byron Dorgan, Democrat of North Dakota, and U.S. Representative John Spratt, Democrat of South Carolina). In addition, Sen. Feingold was just thanked by Beyond Nuclear's Kevin Kamps in an op-ed, published in the Madison, WI Cap Times, for his leadership in opposing the risks of radioactive waste transporation on the Great Lakes, as well as radioactive waste "recycling" into consumer products. Sen. Feingold, who has served Wisconsin for 18 years in the U.S. Senate, just lost his re-election bid on Nov. 2nd. He and his stellar staff will be sorely missed.
Beyond Nuclear representative Paul Gunter went before a federal licensing board of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) to argue that rather than relicense New Hampshire’s Seabrook nuke for another 20 years, it can be replaced by wind power that is under development 10 to 50 miles out into the Gulf of Maine for five gigawatts of renewable baseload electricity by 2030. It is outrageous enough that NextEra Seabrook Nuclear LLC (aka Florida Power & Light) is submitting a license extension application 20-years before the current license even expires also in 2030.
In fact, NextEra is using the opportunity as an end run around the environmentally friendly renewable energy renaissance rapidly dawning offshore in the deep water of the Atlantic Ocean.
Beyond Nuclear makes the legal case that NextEra’s application violates national environmental policy law by significantly misleading the federal government with a self-serving evaluation and dismissal of the neighboring wind alternative which in fact will render the continued harmful operation of Seabrook obsolete.
Coincidently on December 1, 2010, the National Wildlife Federation released its own report “Offshore Wind in the Atlantic, Growing Momentum for Jobs, Clean Air and Job Protection” further validating Beyond Nuclear’s challenge to bring a halt to an unreasonable and dangerous extension of the nuclear age.
The latest major release of classified U.S. diplomatic cables by the whistleblower site, WikiLeaks underscores the argument we have been making; that the desire for nuclear power development in the Middle East is a covert strategy to develop – or to appear capable of developing – nuclear weapons. According to sources cited in the Financial Times, the sudden and recent interest in nuclear power by Arab states such as the United Arab Emirates, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and Egypt is founded less on the need for electricity but more likely intended as “a message to Tehran.” That message was further articulated in a cable from the U.S. Embassy in Riyadh which reported that Saudi Arabian “King Abdullah had warned the Americans that if Iran developed nuclear weapons ‘everyone in the region would do the same, including Saudi Arabia’". The cable also stated that Saudi Ambassador to the US Adel al-Jubeir, "recalled the King's frequent exhortations to the US to attack Iran and so put an end to its nuclear weapons program. 'He told you to cut off the head of the snake,' he recalled to the Chargé [Charge D'Affaires] adding that working with the US to roll back Iranian influence in Iraq is a strategic priority for the King and his government." The US embassy cables can be browsed on a special website set up by The Guardian (UK).