Beyond Nuclear letter to the editor in the Washington Post: The looming danger of nuclear weapons

Letter to the Editor, Washington Post:

While the United States and Russia possess more than 90 percent of the world’s nuclear weapons, the fact that seven other nations have nuclear weapons, albeit in smaller quantities, is highly significant.  

The report “Nuclear Famine: Two Billion People at Risk?” by Ira Helfand warns that even “a limited, regional nuclear war between India and Pakistan would cause significant climate disruption worldwide.” The resulting global cooling would significantly affect “agriculture, food supplies, and human nutrition” and could result in billions of deaths.

Even North Korea’s handful of nuclear weapons is dangerously destabilizing [“Former U.S. officials plan talks with N. Koreans,” front page, Feb. 20]. The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists’ Doomsday Clock is at two and a half minutes to midnight, due in large part to President Trump’s provocative statements. It’s high time to take President John F. Kennedy’s 1961 warning to heart: “The weapons of war must be abolished before they abolish us.”

Kevin Kamps, Takoma Park

The writer is a radioactive waste specialist for Beyond Nuclear.


280 Groups Oppose Western Governors' Association's Efforts to Weaken Endangered Species Act

As reported by a Center for Biological Diversity (CBD) press release, Beyond Nuclear joined with CBD, the Endangered Species Coalition, Humane Society of the United States, and 276 other organizations, opposing the Western Governors' Association's efforts to weaken Endangered Species Act. See a copy of the coalition's letter to National Governors' Association head, Terry McAuliffe (Democrat-Virginia), and the other 49 governors, here.

A current example of Beyond Nuclear's work to protect endangered/threatened species is its intervention, along with coalition partners in southeast Michigan, against the proposed new Fermi 3 atomic reactor on the Great Lakes shoreline. The coalition, represented by attorney Terry Lodge of Toledo, OH, pursued an endangered species contention against Fermi 3 from 2008 until 2014, attempting to protect the threatened Eastern Fox Snake (an indigenous contstrictor). Unfortunately, the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission Atomic Safety and Licensing Board ultimately ruled against the contention, effectively greenlighting the destruction of the Eastern Fox Snake species Great Lakes coastal wetland habtitat at the Fermi 3 site -- only one of four such habitats that still exist.

But the coalition is still challenging Fermi 3's NRC rubber-stamped construction and operation license, at the second highest court in the land, just below the U.S. Supreme Court -- the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. A part of that appeal involves the proposed new transmission line corridor connected to Fermi 3, challenging its exclusion from NRC's Environmental Impact Statement. That transmission line corridor, if built, would destroy critical habitat, including forested wetlands, where Eastern Fox Snakes can also live. More.


Help stop high-level radioactive waste environmental injustice, comment on Feb. 23

Please note: shut down reactor sites are not shown; also, truck shipments would require a license amendment to be approved by NRC, as WCS's current application is for rail (and related barge) shipments[Take part in the Feb. 23 NRC meeting if you still can. But even if you can't, you can still submit written comments until March 13. See below about that.]

Waste Control Specialists (WCS) in West Texas has applied to the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) for a license to construct and operate a "centralized interim storage facility" for 40,000 metric tons of commercial irradiated nuclear fuel, more than half of what exists in the U.S.

The "host" county, Andrews, has a large Latin American population, as well as many low income residents; so too does Eunice, New Mexico, just four miles from WCS across the state border.

This de facto permanent parking lot dump would launch 4,000 high-risk Mobile Chernobyl train car shipments, traveling through most states (see map, above left; click here for a larger version).

A significant number would initially travel by barge on surface waters -- Floating Fukushimas on lakes, rivers, and seacoasts -- just to reach the nearest rail head. Dirty Bomb on Wheels security risks would abound.

On Thurs., Feb. 23, from 1-4pm Eastern, NRC will hold an environmental scoping public comment opportunity, accessible by call-in teleconference and/or Webinar (in-person attendance is also an option for those near enough NRC's HQ in Rockville, MD).

NRC's Webinar link will go live in real time. The toll free call-in/teleconference number is (800) 619-9084; Passcode 3009542.

Beyond Nuclear has assembled sample comments you can use to prepare your own, for oral submission at next week's meeting, whether in-person or via Webcast/call-in, and/or for written submission by the March 13th deadline, via email, online Web form, or snail mail. Please take part, make comments, and spread the word! More

Beyond Nuclear on Thom Hartmann's "The Big Picture": "Fukushima Is Still Melting Down..."

(11 minute long interview posted online)

Fukushima Is Still Melting Down...

Big Picture Interview: Kevin Kamps, Beyond Nuclear. Almost 6 years after a massive meltdown - radiation levels at the crippled Fukushima Daiichi power plant in Japan are as dangerously high as ever. So is nuclear power ever worth the risk?


WASTE: US Congress Weighs in on Canadian Great Lakes Repository Plan

A February 10, 2017 article entitled "WASTE: US Congress Weighs in on Canadian Great Lakes Repository Plan," published in Nuclear Intelligence Weekly's (NIW) Vol. 11, No. 6 by NIW reporters James Irwin in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, and Stephanie Cooke in Washington, D.C., U.S.A., quotes former former Ontario Power Generation (OPG) scientist and whistle-blower Dr. Frank Greening, as well as Dr. Gordon Edwards of Canadian Coalition for Nuclear Responsibility. See the full article, reposted here with permission from NIW.