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Wednesday
May012019

POWER STRUGGLE CONTINUES -- Nuclear Power Series on Facebook Live in May

POWER STRUGGLE CONTINUES -- Nuclear Power Series on Facebook Live in May
Free Speech TV will host POWER STRUGGLE CONTINUES, a four-part series of half-hour Facebook Live conversations about nuclear power, safety, waste, and environmental justice, beginning on Wednesday, May 1 at 2 pm ET. New episodes of POWER STRUGGLE CONTINUES will go live on Free Speech TV’s Facebook page (Facebook.com/FreeSpeechTV) at 2 pm ET every Wednesday through May 22.
 
 The Facebook Live series POWER STRUGGLE CONTINUES extends the conversation around and supplements FSTV’s continued on-air broadcasts of POWER STRUGGLE, filmmaker Robbie Leppzer’s timely documentary chronicling a successful grassroots citizens’ effort to shut down an aging nuclear power plant in Vermont. 
 Robbie Leppzer will serve as the moderator for each Facebook Live panel discussion, which will feature candid and far-reaching conversations with activists featured in POWER STRUGGLE, as well as national nuclear safety watchdogs, organizational advocates, and representatives of communities directly impacted by production of nuclear energy.
 
 For more information about the POWER STRUGGLE CONTINUES Facebook Live series, and broadcast times for POWER STRUGGLE, visit:

 

 POWER STRUGGLE is now available on DVD, Blu-ray and Digital.  For more information: https://www.powerstrugglemovie.com/
POWER STRUGGLE CONTINUES: Nuclear Waste (Episode 1) • May 1 at 2pm ET / 11am PT [See recording here.]
Filmmaker Robbie Leppzer examines the long-term public health hazards from high-level radioactive waste generated from nuclear power plants, and specific proposals to site nuclear waste dumps in Latino and indigenous communities in New Mexico, Texas and Nevada. Program guests include: Kevin Kamps, nuclear waste specialist at Beyond Nuclear, Ian Zabarte, Principal Man of the Western Bands of the Shoshone Nation of Indians in Nevada, and Rose Gardner, cofounder of Alliance For Environmental Strategies, based in New Mexico and Texas.
Friday
Apr262019

The Chernobyl nuclear disaster 33 years on

The 33rd “anniversary” of the world’s worst nuclear disaster is upon us as we remember the April 26, 1986 explosion and meltdown at Ukraine’s Chernobyl reactor. Many papers, books, and even a novel have been written about the Chernobyl accident, as well as films, including dramas as well as documentaries.

The lasting legacy of Chernobyl will be with us forever, as damage due to radiation exposure is passed down the generations, and on-going exposures to humans, as well as animals and plants in the Chernobyl Zone, continue to do lasting harm.

On Beyond Nuclear International this week, we feature the firsthand experience of Natalia Manzurova, a Chernobyl “liquidator” who has lived with horrendous health effects ever since. Manzurova, with the help of US activist, Cathie Sullivan, also wrote a book about her ordeal — Hard Duty

And we run a review of Kate Brown’s landmark book, Manual For Survival: A Chernobyl Guide to the Future. Her deep look into the Chernobyl aftermath came out shortly after another definitive analysis, Adam Higginbotham’s book, Midnight in Chernobyl, which examines exactly what happened. And that came out just after Chernobyl: History of a Tragedy by Serhii Plokhy who lived through the disaster as a young university lecturer living 500km downstream from Chernobyl at the time.

Libbe HaLevy’s Nuclear Hotseat this week features an interview with Kate Brown. 

Last year, because there are so many myths in circulation about Chernobyl, Beyond Nuclear released a special edition of its Thunderbird newsletter, Chernobyl:The Facts, to set the record straight.

Scientific illustrator, Cornelia Hesse-Honegger's beautiful but tragically revealing drawings of deformed true bugs hit by Chernobyl fallout, are often displayed as art, but their scientific warnings should be heeded. Many of these ilustrations are collected in scientific studies as well as a spectacular coffee table book.

A new Cuban film, Un Traductor (A Translator) a true life drama about a Havana academic who is brought in to translate for Russian patients and their families flown in from Chernobyl, is featured this week in FilmFest DC and reviewed on BNI.

Dr. Tim Mousseau, a researcher who with various colleagues has done numerous and definitive studies on the impact of Chernobyl (and now Fukushima) on plant and animal life in the region, has a new study out that points to reduced success in breeding among a type of rodent living in contaminated areas of Chernobyl. The more radiation, the greater the impact. Previously, we featured Mousseau’s earlier work which debunks notions that animals around Chernobyl are “thriving.”

There are many more films, plays, books, studies — too many to list here. Some notables include Chernobyl Forever, Chernobyl Heart and numerous others. For a good list of films on the subject of nuclear power, see the Uranium Film Festival list. In some cases, when you click on the title, the complete film is available for viewing.

Tuesday
Apr232019

Beyond Nuclear speaks out against bailouts for dangerously old atomic reactors in Ohio

As posted at Beyond Nuclear's SUBSIDIES website subsection: Testimony of Beyond Nuclear, Before the Ohio House of Representatives – Energy Generation Subcommittee, Committee Meeting on Proposed H.B. No. 6 “Creates Ohio Clean Air Program.”

Beyond Nuclear co-led the environmental coalition legal intervention against Davis-Besse's 20-year license extension, from 2010 to 2016. Despite the high risks, the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission rubber-stamped the 2017 to 2037 license extension anyway.

Despite this, the reactor would likely shut down for good, because it has been losing money for many years, so badly, its owner FirstEnergy is bankrupt. But the long proposed bailouts would keep the high-risk reactor running indefinitely into the future.

Saturday
Apr202019

US nukes aren't ready for climate change and the captured regulator is making sure of that

After Bloomberg ran an indepth story on just how unprepared US nuclear power plants are for the ravages of climate change -- especially sea-level rise -- Common Dreams did a follow-up piece with Beyond Nuclear's Paul Gunter.

Among the shocking findings in the Bloomberg article: "54 of the nuclear plants operating in the U.S. weren’t designed to handle the flood risk they face. Fifty-three weren’t built to withstand their current risk from intense precipitation; 25 didn’t account for current flood projections from streams and rivers; 19 weren’t designed for their expected maximum storm surge. Nineteen face three or more threats that they weren’t designed to handle."

But, as Gunter pointed out, the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission has "inexplicably switched out 'mandatory' requirements with 'voluntary' initiatives." This means that despite "Fukushima Lessons Learned" and other obvious common sense guidelines, the nuclear industry is no longer required by the NRC to take steps to shore up their defences against extreme weather and flooding. Instead, it's all voluntary.

This also extended to the NRC staff being over-ridden by the Republican-dominated Commission when, as Gunter explained it to Common Dreams, the NRC staff unanimously agreed that the agency issue an order to 31 U.S. Fukushima-style GE Mark I and II boiling water reactors requiring operators to install severe accident-capable radiation filters on hardened containment vents." These vents, he explained, "would allow operators to vent the containment of a severe accident's extreme heat, pressure, and explosive gases to save the structure while filtering out the release of harmful radiation."

But in a June 2013 vote, "the commission voted to order the installation of hardened containment vents but without the engineered external radiation filters which industry opposed on cost." While the NRC "suggested that the filters could be taken up later in a rulemaking process for public comment," it "abandoned the measure," said Gunter.

As Dr. Edwin Lyman of the Union of Concerned Scientists told Bloomberg: "The NRC basically did everything the industry wanted." More

Friday
Apr192019

EDF wants to leave faulty Flamanville weldings in place

As we watched the storied Notre-Dame Cathedral burn in Paris this week, one theory about the fire's cause was related to welding. The fire shocked France and the world. So should the admission of 66 defective welds found in key safety areas at the Flamanville nuclear reactor construction site on the French coast. Eight of the welds are inaccessible for repair so EDF has asked for an exemption to avoid replacing them. Flamanville, EDF's flagship EPR, should have been sunk long ago. Instead, like Boeing and its 373 Max, the manufacturer is hoping to dodge disaster by avoiding the cost in time and money for replacement welds. It's an unacceptable risk given the potential consequences if the reactor welds don't hold. Fortunately, no one died at the Notre Dame fire. The same is unlikely to be true should Flamanville complete its construction phase with these known defects left in place. Originally set to open in 2012, Flamanville may well be delayed beyond 2020, depending on an imminently expected decision by the French nuclear safety regulator on whether to replace the faulty welding. Meanwhile the cost of the project has almost quadrupled and this, combined with numerous other safety flaws already uncovered should prompt its immediate cancellation along with the still incomplete EPRs in Finland and the UK. More