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Wednesday
Mar162016

Supreme Court Nominee, Merrick Garland, ruled Yucca dump's revival "the doing of a useless act"

Appeals court judge Merrick Garland is nominated for Supreme Court justice at the Rose Garden on Wednesday. Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images As reported by Nina Totenberg on National Public Radio, President Obama has nominated U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit Chief Judge, Merrick Garland (photo, left), to fill the vacancy on the U.S. Supreme Court left by the death of Antonin Scalia.

As reported by NPR, Garland has been a "persuasive voice for liberals" on environmental issues. In summer 2013, he penned a dissenting position when two Republican judges out-voted him, ordering the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission to revive its licensing proceeding for the Yucca Mountain high-level radioactive waste dump proposal, even though there was very little remaining funding to do so. Garland called it "the doing of a useless act." More.

Sunday
Mar132016

India’s Former Nuclear Regulator Says, Govt. Might Be Hiding A Serious Accident Underway In Gujarat

As reported at Countercurrents.org by Kumar Sundaram, senior researcher with Coalition for Nuclear Disarmament and Peace (CNDP) and Editor of DiaNUke.or, a "small Loss-of-Coolant Accident (LOCA)" may be underway at the Kakrapar Nuclear Power Station (photo, left{ in Gujarat, India. Ironically enough, the incident began on March 11th, the fifth anniversary of the beginning of the Fukushima nuclear catastrophe in Japan.

The retired chief of India’s nuclear regulator, Dr. A. Gopalakrishnan, has made the dire warning, after piecing together information from various sources. The article includes an extended commentary by Gopalakrishnan, including this disclaimer:

Let me caution the reader that the above conjecture is based on bits and pieces of reliable and not so reliable information gathered from different people close to the accident details and in positions of authority. Future detailed evaluation may or may not prove my entire set of conclusions or part of them to be not well-founded. But , technical experts are compelled to put out such conjectures because of the total lack of transparency of the Indian cilvilian nuclear power sector and the atomic energy commission (AEC) , the Dept. of Atomic Energy (DAE) , the NPCIL [Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited] and the AERB [Atomic Energy Regulatory Board].

Friday
Mar112016

CTV interviews Beyond Nuclear on "5 years since Fukushima disaster: 100 thousand people still displaced"

Canadian television channel CTV interviewed Beyond Nuclear's Radioactive Waste Watchdog, Kevin Kamps, regarding the ongoing Fukushima nuclear catastrophe, including what it means for the Pacific coastline of North America. Every day, 300 tons (300,000 liters, or 80,000 gallons) of radioactively contaminated groundwater flows, uncontrolled, into the Pacific Ocean. About a year ago, this ongoing plume of radioactive contamination began lapping up on the shoreline of North America.

Friday
Mar112016

Thom Hartmann's "Conversations with Great Minds," featuring Beyond Nuclear

Thom Hartmann, The Big PictureThom Hartmann (photo, left) hosted Beyond Nuclear's Reactor Oversight Project Director, Paul Gunter, and Radioactive Waste Watchdog, Kevin Kamps, for an installment of "Conversations with Great Minds" on his "The Big Picture" television program. (Their interview goes from the 30-minute mark till the end of the program.) They discussed the Fukushima nuclear catastrophe, five years on, in light of the bigger picture regarding nuclear power, across the U.S. and around the world.

(Clarifications and corrections: It is reported that there are now 750,000 tons, or more than 200 million gallons, of highly radioactive waste water stored at Fukushima Daiichi. Also, while the Japanese government's "permissible" level of radioactive cesium contamination in solid food was 500 Bq/kg for a short time after the Fukushima catastrophe began, it was then lowered, due to public pressure, to 100 Bq/kg several years ago. The U.S. standard, by way of comparison, is 1,200 Bq/kg -- twelve times weaker than Japan's, one of the weakest/worst such standards in the world. Canada's runs a close second, at 1,000 Bq/kg.)

Thursday
Mar102016

Beyond Nuclear warns U.S. is unprotected from Fukushima-style nuclear disaster 5 years after meltdowns in Japan

Beyond Nuclear, in a press release today, decried the absence of reasonable plans to prevent and protect against a nuclear disaster in the U.S., five years after the March 11, 2011 triple meltdowns began at the Fukushima-Daiichi nuclear power plant in Japan.

More than 32 million Japanese have been exposed to Fukushima's radioactive fallout. Close to 160,000 people were forced to evacuate, many of whom are being urged to return under threat of loss of compensation - into areas the government claims to have “cleaned up”.  Costs have ballooned to at least $100 billion and will soar higher once economic losses, compensation and decommissioning costs are factored in. 

In the U.S., 30 GE Mark I and Mark II boiling water reactors identical in design to those at Fukushima, are still in operation.  While the GE model is considered the most vulnerable to catastrophic failure, every operating U.S. reactor poses a risk.  Beyond Nuclear launched its Freeze our Fukushimas campaign shortly after the Japan disaster to get the GE reactors shut down. 

“Not only is there no Plan B for what to do if and when a Fukushima-style disaster happens in the U.S., there is no Plan A to prevent one either,” said Cindy Folkers, Radiation and Health Specialist at Beyond Nuclear.  Public health is woefully under-protected she said. Read the full press release. 

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