Trump's nuclear war policy, and how to reverse it

From Unfold Zero today:

The United States Defence Department (DoD) released the new U.S. Nuclear Posture today, following a review of nuclear doctrine to reflect the new priorities and perspectives of President Trump.

The new posture highlights the 'need' for strengthened nuclear deterrence capabilities to 'counter' threats from Russia, China, North Korea and other adversaries of the United States.

It outlines the Trump administration’s plans to develop new low-yield so-called “tactical” nuclear weapons and reintroduce old, Cold War weapons systems. It also increases the role of nuclear weapons in U.S. security, elevating the threats of a nuclear war. And it expands current plans to modernise the nuclear arsenal, increasing the already bloated nuclear weapons budget ($60 billion per year).

U.S. Senator Ed Markey, Co-President of Parliamentarians for Nuclear Nonproliferation and Disarmament, has called the new nuclear posture a 'road-map to nuclear war.'

leaked draft of the nuclear posture published by the Huffington Post on January 11 was one of the reasons the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists decided to move the hands of the Doomsday Clock to 2 Minutes to Midnight on January 25.

What you can do to reverse this 'road-map to nuclear war'

US residents:

  1. Call on your legislator to support the Markey/Lieu legislation which would prevent the President from unilaterally using nuclear weapons without authorisation from the US Congress;
  2. Call on your legislator to support the SANE Act (Smarter Approach to Nuclear Expenditure), introduced by Senator Markey and Representative Blumenauer, which would slash the bloated nuclear weapons budget and re-invest these resources in climate protection, health, education, job creation, renewable energy and national infrastructure. 
  3. Call on your candidates for the 2018 city, state and federal elections to endorse the Peace Legislators Pledge, which commits candidates to support the peaceful resolution of international conflicts and the abolition of all weapons of mass destruction;

Residents of other countries 

  1. Call on your Prime Minister/President or Foreign Minister to attend the High-Level Conference on Nuclear Disarmament at the United Nations from May 14-16, and use the occasion to urge the U.S. and other nuclear-armed States to 'step back from the nuclear brink.' Click here for a sample letter and contact details for world leaders and their UN ambassadors.
  2. Call on your government to end public investments in corporations manufacturing nuclear weapons and their delivery systems. See Move the Nuclear Weapons Money


  1. Join us in New York for the UN High-Level Conference on Nuclear Disarmamentand the public event Count the Nuclear Weapons Money;
  2. Check that you are not Banking on the Bomb;
  3. Invite your mayor, parliamentarian and/or local religious leader to endorse A Nuclear-Weapon-Free World: Our Common Good, which we will present to world leaders at the UN to support nuclear risk-reduction and disarmament measures.

Oyster Creek to close this year but it should have shut in 2011

Beyond Nuclear today issued a press release welcoming a decision by Exelon to again move the shutdown date for its Oyster Creek, NJ reactor sooner, but decrying the absence of safety enforcement that should have seen the plant close as soon as the Fukushima-Daiichi nuclear power plant disaster began in Japan, on March 11, 2011. 

“While we welcome Exelon’s announcement that it will close its Oyster Creek Nuclear Generating Station in October 2018, this should have happened immediately after the March 11, 2011 Fukushima-Daiichi nuclear disaster in Japan,” said Paul Gunter, Director of the Reactor Oversight Project at Beyond Nuclear, a leading national anti-nuclear watchdog group.  

Exelon announced today that it would shut the reactor more than a year earlier than its December 2019 closure date, but the company has not given an explanation for its decision. However, an Exelon press release alludes to “managing costs.” Oyster Creek is the first and the oldest Fukushima-design nuclear reactor in the world, a GE Mark I boiling water reactor. 

“It’s clear that Oyster Creek and the entire, aging U.S. nuclear reactor fleet is hemorrhaging financially,” Gunter said. “The fact that the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission and the nuclear industry continue to prioritize financial margins over public safety margins is a growing concern, especially at the remaining 29 Fukushima style reactors still operating in the U.S.,” Gunter continued. 

“None of our country’s Fukushima-design reactors should have operated for even one more day once we saw the catastrophic events publicly unfold worldwide at Fukushima,” Gunter said.

Read the full press release.


Help stop another nuclear restart in Japan

Green Action Japan has started a petition to stop the planned restart of the Ohi nuclear power plant. As the petition states:

"The Japanese national government wants everything "back to normal" by the 2020 Olympics: Fukushima accident evacuees back to the Fukushima region, nuclear power plants restarted--everything back to pre-Fukushima days."

The reality is very different, with the Fukushima site still leaking deadly radioactivity and a country riddled with earthquake faults and volcanoes but a government eager to restart its nuclear reactors.

The Ohi plant -- in Fukui Prefecture which has the highest concentration of nuclear power plants in the world -- is just 37 miles from the historic city of Kyoto. The Governor and Mayor of Kyoto have petitioned the national government for the right to say yes/no to restart, to have control over Kyoto's fate. Their plea has been answered with silence.

Please help Koyoto, Japan and the world, by signing the Green Action petition today. 


To learn more, watch this video.



EPA orders partial cleanup at St. Louis nuclear waste site

As reported by the Washington Post.

Culminating a 27-year process, EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt has agreed to a $236 million partial clean up of the West Lake Landfill radioactive waste dump, rather than a complete clean up estimated to cost $700 million. (Actually, considering the wastes were illegally dumped there in the early 1970s, it's been a nearly half-century process; and considering the wastes are from the earliest days of the Manhattan Project, it's been more than a 75-year process!) The article does not report on where the radioactive contamination will be transferred to.

Dawn Chapman, co-founder of the West Lake Landfill neighborhood watch-dog group Just Moms STL northwest of St. Louis, MO, is quoted in the article:

“We were hoping for full, 100 percent excavation. But we know that would be difficult to accomplish,” said Dawn Chapman, co-founder of Just Moms, an activist group that has long pushed for an extensive excavation and relocation of families near the landfill.

She said her group views Thursday’s decision as a hard-fought victory, but one that is far from guaranteed, given that the public comment and cleanup process is likely to unfold over years. “We have to stay here and watch it and see it through,” she said. “I look ahead, and I see these other big battles coming. We’re not going to blink, because you can’t … We will continue to fight to get even more [radioactive waste] removed.”

Kay Drey, president of the board of Beyond Nuclear and a decades long watch-dog on the West Lake Landfill, located in the Missouri River floodplain just upstream from major metropolitan drinking water supply intakes, attended the early morning announcement of the EPA's decision. The radioactive waste is the oldest of the Atomic Age, originating from Belgian Congo uranium ore processed in St. Louis for use in the Manhattan Project race for the nuclear bomb in WWII. (The race was one-sided, as the U.S. learned in June 1944, when it confirmed Nazi Germany had abandoned its own nuclear weapons development program.)

EPA's announcement comes just 11 days before HBO premieres a major new documentary about the West Lake Landfill saga entitled "Atomic Homefront."


Karl Grossman receives Long Island Sierra Club's recognition as "Journalist of the Year"

Beyond Nuclear board member Karl Grossman was honored by the Sierra Club Long Island Chapter as “Journalist of the Year” for 2017. Karl is widely recognized for his investigative journalism on the real costs and danger of nuclear power and particularly the risks to Planet Earth that come with “Nukes in Space.”

Read more…