Sign petition to stop uranium mines in New Mexico

Former uranium mine worker and Navajo leader, Larry J. King (pictured), has gathered 10,000+ signatures and growing on a petition to stop new uranium mines that will contaminate Navajo drinking water supplies. Hydro Resources requested a permit 23 years ago to mine from an aquifer at four sites in two New Mexico towns: Church Rock and neighboring Crownpoint. It has since received permits from the EPA, the NRC and the state. The Easterm Navajo Dine Against Uranium Mining has been fighting the plan since 1994. The site is on private land but within the Navajo community. The Navajo Nation has banned uranium mining on its own lands. Mining from the aquifer for uranium will pollute the water under the two towns and make it undrinkable. Chuch Rock does not use the aquifer currently but views it as a future water source. Read more and please sign the petition to the Environmental Protection Agency which is revisiting its decision to grant Hydro Resources a permit.


Beyond Nuclear meets with NRC Chair Jaczko at Palisades; campaign mounts to block Commissioner Svinicki's re-appointment to NRC 

There is a proud tradition of resistance to the Palisades atomic reactor. In this photo, Michael Keegan, Alice Hirt, and Kevin Kamps, board members of Don't Waste Michigan, call for Palisades' shutdown at the August 2000 Nuclear-Free Great Lakes Action Camp, with Lake Michigan and the reactor's cooling tower steam visible in the background.U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) Chairman Gregory Jaczko, who announced his intention to resign earlier this week, has reached out to Beyond Nuclear to help set up a meeting with concerned citizens and environmental groups in South Haven, Michigan this Friday after he tours the problem-plagued Palisades atomic reactor on the Lake Michigan shore. Beyond Nuclear's Kevin Kamps worked with Don't Waste Michigan's Alice Hirt to assemble a coalition including Clean Water Action, Coalition for a Nuclear-Free Great Lakes, Michigan Environmental Council (itself a coalition of over 70 organizations), Michigan Land Trustees, and Nuclear Energy Information Service, as well as numerous concerned local residents, to meet with NRC Chairman Jaczko. Jaczko plans to hold a 12:30 p.m. press conference at the Beach Haven Event Center in South Haven Township, MI, to be followed by the meeting with the environmental coalition at 1 p.m. Jaczko announced the upcoming visit on Monday, the same day as his resignation announcement, according to AP. However, NRC's website shows no such press release.

At the same time, a nationwide campaign to block the re-nomination and re-confirmation of Republican NRC Commissioner Kristine Svinicki is growing. Such Democratic U.S. Senate leaders as Harry Reid (D-NV), Senate Majority Leader, Barbara Boxer (D-CA), chairwoman of the Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee (which must confirm NRC nominees), and Bernie Sanders (I-VT, EPW Committee Member outspoken in his call for Vermont Yankee atomic reactor's shutdown), have expressed grave misgivings about NRC Commissioner Svinicki's voting record during her first term as an NRC Commissioner. Svinicki almost always votes in favor of nuclear industry interests, while Chairman Jaczko has often found himself the lone dissenting vote in favor of public safety. The Sierra Club has issued an action alert to block Svinicki's confirmation, as has NIRS. Please take action: call both of your U.S. Senators right away via the U.S. Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121, and urge them to do everything in their power to block NRC Commissioner Svinikci's confirmation!

Meanwhile, the Hill newspaper reports that President Obama has nominated Allison Macfarlane not only as a new NRC Commissioner, but also to serve as NRC's replacement for Jaczko as Chairman. Macfarlane's nomination now needs to be confirmed by the Democratic controlled U.S. Senate, beginning with the Environment and Public Works Committee chaired by Barbara Boxer (D-CA). U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) has issued a statement. Click here for more information.


Angst or Arithmetic? Why Germans are so skeptical about nuclear energy

The first in a six-part series from the HeinrichBöll Foundation, deals with the roots of nuclear energy's unpopularity in Germany. It begins:

"The fact that Germany, in the aftermath of the 2011 Fukushima disaster, redoubled its efforts to phase out nuclear energy has nothing to do with hysteria or postwar angst. on the contrary, a majority of Germans, including much of the political class, has been unconvinced of its merits since the early 1980s; the source of this anti- atom consensus lies not in emotional populism but rather in the persuasive, fact- based arguments of a powerful, grassroots social movement that has long included nuclear physicists and other bona fide experts." By Paul Hockenos. Read the full report here.

This paper is part one of a six-part series on the German Energy Transition. The authors are experts on different issues such as renewable energies, rural communities, social movements, and nuclear power. 


Elephants and others threatened by uranium mine at World Heritage site

In June, the World Heritage Committee of UNESCO, meeting in Russia, will decide whether to change the boundaries of the precious Selous Game Reserve in Tanzania, a World Heritage Site, in order to allow a uranium mine. The Reserve is one of the largest remaining wilderness areas in Africa, harboring the largest elephant population on the continent.

The planned Mkuju River uranium mine, if allowed, would deal a major blow to the ecology of the region and have a devastating impact on economic and social fronts.

Please sign the petition we are co-sponsoring with the Uranium Network to urge the UNESCO World Heritage committee to keep the boundaries unchanged and discourage the Government of Tanzania from licensing the Mkuju River Uranium mine. Your emails will go directly to key committee members.

To learn more, read documentation sent to the Committee by the Uranium Network.


Kevin Kamps speaks with Peace Education Center, Lansing, MI

A May 2, 2012 conversation with Kevin Kamps from Beyond Nuclear, about the damage at Fukishima Daiichi.