BEYOND NUCLEAR PUBLICATIONS
Search
JOIN OUR NETWORK

     

     

 

 

ARTICLE ARCHIVE


Wednesday
Sep042019

ATTEND, COMMENT: Decommissioning Meetings across the country

NRC announced 11 public meetings (this link also has details on past meetings) regarding establishment of local community advisory boards (CABs). These meetings run from August through October, 2019 and are in places where reactors are being decommissioned. NRC will accept written comments through mid-November 2019 if you cannot attend a meeting in person.

The next group of meetings will be in New England if you want to attend in person:

September 10 (Vermont Yankee)

September 11 (Pilgrim)

Click links for times and locations.

COMMENT electronically using the questionnaire NRC has provided. You may also complete a paper copy of the questionnaire then scan and email to NRC NEIMA108.Resource@nrc.gov, or mail a hardcopy of the questionnaire to Kim Conway, U.S. NRC, 11545 Rockville Pike, Mail Stop T-5 A10, Rockville, MD 20852. Deadline for written comments in mid-November, 2019.

More than 200 environmental organizations have endorsed Hardened On-Site Storage (HOSS), a highly radioactive irradiated nuclear fuel management alternative, during decommissioning. More

Tuesday
Sep032019

Washington Post slams Sanders's anti-nuclear stance. Beyond Nuclear responds

On August 25, 2019, the Washington Post published an editorial condemning Independent Vermont senator, Bernie Sanders, also a Democratic presidential candidate, for, among other things, excluding nuclear power from his version of the Green New Deal. 

Specifically, Sanders had declared in his $16.3 trillion climate plan: 

Phase out the use of non-sustainable sources. This plan will stop the building of new nuclear power plants and find a real solution to our existing nuclear waste problem. It will also enact a moratorium on nuclear power plant license renewals in the United States to protect surrounding communities. We know that the toxic waste byproducts of nuclear plants are not worth the risks of the technology’s benefit, especially in light of lessons learned from the Fukushima meltdown and the Chernobyl disaster. To get to our goal of 100 percent sustainable energy, we will not rely on any false solutions like nuclear, geoengineering, carbon capture and sequestration, or trash incinerators.”

We took issue with the Washington Post’s claim that Sanders’s exclusion of nuclear power made his proposal “unnecessarily expensive,” especially given the fact that nuclear power is, itself, wildly expensive and relies for its continued existence on massive subsidies. 

Indeed, a 2019 German study from DIW — High-priced and dangerous: nuclear power is not an option for the climate-friendly energy mix — shows that every single nuclear power plant ever built was financially unsuccessful. As the study states, “the authors carried out a descriptive empirical analysis of all 674 nuclear reactors used to produce electricity that have been built since 1951.” They found that the average 1,000MW nuclear power plant showed an economic loss of $5.2 billion.

The Post published our letter. As not everyone can open Washington Post links, which are sometimes unavailable to non-subscribers, we are providing a link to a PDF version. Here also is a PDF of the original Washington Post editorial.

In the letter, we mention Plant Vogtle 3 and 4, the only new nuclear power reactors currently under construction in the US, and with a still uncertain outcome. All other proposed new nuclear reactors (under the always falsely advertised “Nuclear Renaissance”) have been canceled. The Vogtle costs have continued to balloon -- up from the original 14 billion U.S. dollars (equal to around 6,200 U.S. dollars per kW) in 2013 to an estimated 29 billion U.S. dollars in 2017 (equal to around 9,400 U.S. dollars per kW). (For a comprehensive look at the delays, cost over-runs and prospects for completion, see this article from GreenTechMedia).

Consequently, the nuclear forces have abandoned the “renaissance” strategy, and are now focused on keeping the still operating, old, dangerous and degraded nuclear power plant fleet alive. That’s why Sanders’s insistence on a nuclear license renewal moratorium is so welcome and important.

(Headline photo by Michelle Prevost made available by photogism is licensed under CC BY 2.0 )

Monday
Sep022019

FRANCES CROWE, In Memoriam: March 15, 1919 - August 27, 2019

Frances Crowe. Photo by Robbie Leppzer, used with permission.By Robbie Leppzer
Frances was a stellar light in western Massachusetts, inspiring thousands of people to become social justice and peace activists.

 

I feel very honored and personally inspired to have known Frances for over 40 years.

 

I first met Frances when I was 18 as a college student at Hampshire College in 1976.  Within a month of arriving in the Pioneer Valley, I was in Frances’ car driving to a peace demonstration in Washington, DC.

 

In May 1977, I filmed my first interview with Frances at the mass civil disobedience protest on the construction site of a nuclear reactor in Seabrook, New Hampshire, for my first documentary, SEABROOK 1977.  
Frances Crowe was featured prominently in my latest documentary, POWER STRUGGLE (www.PowerStruggleMovie.com), which chronicles the successful grassroots citizens’ effort to close the Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant in Vermont. 

 

In March 2019, when Frances celebrated her 100th birthday, she was joined by hundreds of people marching through the streets of Northampton, MA. I made a short film about this joyous day, FRANCES TURNS 100. 

 

On August 29, Amy Goodman, host of DEMOCRACY NOW, a global daily television and radio news program, featured an in-depth tribute to Frances, which featured extensive scenes of Frances protesting at the Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant from POWER STRUGGLE, along with a 2005 interview with Frances conducted by Amy. It was a very moving tribute. 

 

Later this fall, I will be posting at the POWER STRUGGLE website a video of a discussion panel that I moderated with Frances, along with Marcia Gagliardi and Hattie Nestel of the Shut It Down Affinity Group, talking about their experiences as activists in the Vermont Yankee struggle. This took place at the Northampton Center For The Arts in June 2019.

As Frances says about her life of activism in POWER STRUGGLE, “You can't do it alone. You need community to do this, so that you can support one another and move ahead together.”

โ€‹

While Frances will be sorely missed, her legacy of activism lives on the countless people she inspired to join movements for grassroots social change.

โ€‹

In particular, I feel heartened that Frances’ activism — and those of other activists from Vermont and western Massachusetts who participated in the struggle to close down the Vermont Yankee nuclear reactor — will continue to inspire people who see POWER STRUGGLE, as this film chronicles a rare victory of grassroots activists who actually won.  

โ€‹

Robbie Leppzer is director of the feature-length documentary film POWER STRUGGLE. For more information or to watch a film trailer, visit: www.PowerStruggleMovie.com. To view the selected short videos mentioned above, visit: www.powerstrugglemovie.com/frances-crowe. 
Friday
Aug302019

Free Speech TV announces network premiere of Crimes Against The Future

Crimes Against The Future, a wide-ranging environmental documentary, will have its U.S. national broadcast premiere on Wednesday, September 4th, at 7 p.m. EST, on Free Speech TV. There will also be a global streaming simulcast on freespeech.org

Directed and produced by award-winner Frank Melli and hosted by the award-winning Karl Grossman (Enviro Close-Up), Crimes Against The Future investigates the environmental and human rights crimes currently being committed, and putting it into perspective for what it means for future generations.

Ranging from climate change to the dangers of nuclear power, this documentary methodically and expertly defines our moral imperative to act now! With special appearances by Bianca Jagger of the Bianca Jagger Human Rights Foundation; science broadcaster Dr. David Suzuki; Dr. Helen Caldicott, a founder of Physicians for Social Responsibility; best-selling author, Dr. Michio Kaku, City University of New York professor of theoretical physics; Derek Osborn, president of Stakeholders Forum; Randy Hayes of Foundation of Earth; Hunter Lovins of Natural Capital Solutions; Brice Lalonde, former environmental minister of France; and environmental journalist Barbara Y.E. Pyle; Crimes Against The Future defines our moral imperative to act now!

Broadcast Schedule (EST)

Sep 04, 2019     7PM EST

Sep 09, 2019     3AM EST

Sep 11, 2019     5AM EST

Sep 14, 2019     3PM EST

Sep 15, 2019     6PM EST

Sep 28, 2019     11PM EST

A Call To Arms: Be A Part Of The Solution

As a supplement to the Crimes Against The Future documentary, we also put together an ACTION TOOLKIT with recommendations on what people can do to help stop these crimes against the future.

The ACTION TOOLKIT condenses years of experience and expertise into an actionable document that provides the means for CEO's, local governments, organizations and citizens to get involved and make a difference towards a sustainable planet.

Link to ACTION TOOLKIT:

https://mellipro.wixsite.com/melliproductions/crimes-against-the-future

About Free Speech TV

Free Speech TV is a national, independent, nonprofit news network committed to advancing progressive social change. As the alternative to media networks owned by billionaires, governments, and corporations, Free Speech TV elevates unique perspectives through daily news programs, independent documentaries and special events coverage.

Free Speech TV reaches more than 38 million households nationally on DISH (channel 9415), DIRECTV (348), Sling TV, and over 150 community cable affiliates. Free Speech TV streams live 24/7 at freespeech.org, is available on-demand and streaming on Roku and Apple TV, and maintains an active presence on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram. Free Speech TV believes a more just and democratic world is possible when the media empowers people with the information they need to fight for what matters.  

Thursday
Aug292019

Frances Crowe, Anti-Nuclear Activist Extraordinaire, Passes on at 100

Frances Crowe. Photo by Robbie Leppzer. Used with permission.The sub-headline of France Crowe's obituary in the New York Times reads: "The bombing of Hiroshima led her to devote her life to antiwar protests. She was arrested often, but when asked how often, she said, 'Not enough.'" (As Democracy Now! has reported, Frances passed on, on August 27, 2019 in Northampton, MA, surrounded by family and friends.)

That question was asked to her by an Associated Press reporter, so her answer was published in newspapers across the country, on March 22, 2012. That was the first day of the Vermont Yankee (VY) atomic reactor's broadly resisted 20-year license extension. Well over a thousand protestors marched through the streets of Brattleboro, to Energy Nuclear's HQ in Vernon. 136 were arrested there that day -- including Frances Crowe (93 years old at the time) and numerous of her activist-sisters in the "Shut It Down!" affinity group, wearing their "uniform" (matching, but each one unique!), handmade, rainbow batik tee shirts. (See photo, above left.) It was but one of countless times Frances was arrested at VY.

Two and a half years later, at 12:24pm on December 29, 2014, VY shut down for good, despite its 20-year license extension, bowing to public pressure. Frances was a co-leader of the shutdown campaign.

Her inspirational role in the VY shutdown movement is reflected, and now memorialized, in Robbie Leppzer's documentary film, Power Struggle.

But as documented in Leppzer's film Seabrook 1977, Crowe played a key role there too, during those early Clamshell Alliance actions.

Re: Crowe's part at the early Seabrook protests, anti-nuke photographer Lionel Delevingne's book To the Village Square, From Montague to Fukushima: 1975-2014 is co-dedicated to her: "Dedicated to Steve Turner and Frances Crowe, who have inspired me since Day One, and to the children of the world, the reason for this book."

Delevingne quotes Crowe on page 33:

"Others joined us until we were 2,000 strong from 30 states -- proud, scared, giddy, determined, and righteous. Each of us passionate enough about the wrongness of nuclear power to risk arrest. Some of us passionate enough to change our lives."

--France Crowe, who describes herself as an 'antiwar activist since Hiroshima, working to stop nuclear weapons and nuclear power as a first step.'

But Seabrook and Vermont Yankee only bookend Frances's anti-nuclear power activism. There was also her anti-nuclear weapons activism, her anti-war/pro-peace work, and her efforts in many other justice and environmental causes, that endured for many decades. To learn more about Frances's remarkable life, check out her memoir, entitled Finding My Radical Soul.

The icing on her 100th birthday cake, and many decades of activism, came in March 2019.

As reported in the New York Times obituary:

As she looked forward to her 100th birthday, she told The Times: “I don’t want a party. I want an action that will accomplish something.”

On the day she turned 100 — March 15, 2019 — hundreds of well-wishers swarmed into downtown Northampton. She led a celebratory march in her wheelchair; marchers carried signs supporting the Green New Deal and calling for an end to gun violence and war.

Frances had requested that a hundred others with homemade signs about issues they care about join her. Hundreds came!

It has been an honor and privilege for Beyond Nuclear to call Frances a colleague and a friend. Undoubtedly, her legacy will continue to inspire countless people, including very young activists to whom she has now passed the torch.

[See also a tribute written by filmmaker Robbie Leppzer.]