The promise of offshore wind

As Karl Grossman, Beyond Nuclear board member, writes this week in Counterpunch, offshore wind holds great promise for addressing carbon emissions. In the US, it has gotten off to a very late start, however, held back not only by the big polluters, but by environmental concerns. However, what has been noticeable in the wind industry (both on- and off-shore) is a concerted effort to mitigate any environmental harm. There is constant research -- and progress -- on this in the wind industry. This stands in stark contrast to the nuclear and fossil fuel industries, which do everything possible to circumvent environmental concerns and even laws. In the case of the nuclear industry, this is achieved with the willing compliance of its lapdog regulator.

Grossman reports on how New York State is now making strides in offshore wind, led by its governor, Andrew Cuomo. However, as Grossman adeptly points out later in his article, Cuomo has not been so sound on nuclear power, pushing a massive bailout that will raise electricity rates.

"New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo has signed off on the largest offshore wind agreement—so far—off the United States," Grossman writes. 

"What has been named the Empire Wind Project—to consist of 88 wind turbines if 10 megawatt turbines are used—would rise in the ocean south of New York City, adjacent Nassau County and western Suffolk County on Long Island. The turbines would be between 14 and 30 miles from shore. It would be built by Equinor, a company headquartered in Norway.

"The second is called the Sunrise Wind Project and start 30 miles east of Montauk Point in eastern Suffolk County on Long Island. It would have 82 wind turbines if 10 megawatt turbines are used. It would be built by Orsted, a Danish company, in partnership with Eversource, the largest energy supplier in New England. Read Karl Grossman's column in full. 


Remembering Hiroshima and Nagasaki

“Seventy-four years ago, everything here in Hiroshima was completely destroyed by the atomic bomb and so were the people living here.” These were the opening words of Hidehiko Yuzaki, the Governor of Hiroshima Prefecture, when he spoke at the city’s memorial site on August 6. “Underneath the lush greenery here in Peace Memorial Park, and below the riverbed, lie the bones of many innocent people whose bodies were burned away in a moment and whose souls are grieving forever,” he said. Around the world, many who hope — and work — for peace, marked that day, and August 9, 74 years since Nagasaki was also destroyed by a second US atomic bomb. In New York, a group of peace and anti-nuclear activists gathered in front of the Consulate General of Japan in New York with a bouquet of flowers to express their “sincere regrets and apologies for our nation’s atomic bombings in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan.”

Together they, and many other groups and individuals from around the world, including Beyond Nuclear, signed an “open letter” to the people of Japan, advocating for the abolition of nuclear weapons globally, and for Japan, especially, “to be the first country in the U.S. nuclear alliance to give up the U.S. nuclear umbrella by swiftly signing, ratifying and playing a leadership role in pro­moting the (UN)(Treaty (on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.) More


Help us educate Congress on nuclear power!

Congress is on recess until September 9 and Beyond Nuclear is encouraging its members to meet with their elected officials to talk about nuclear power. The presence of Representatives and Senators in their home districts gives our members the ideal opportunity to follow up on our own political education work, reinforcing the depth of support among their voters for an end to the use of nuclear power.

Our focus is on two key issues — climate change and keeping nuclear power out of the solutions; and the much greater harm caused to women and children from exposure to radioactive releases, whether routine or as a result of a nuclear power plant accident.

Beyond Nuclear staff members visited Capitol Hill this summer and circulated our handbook, Climate Change and Why Nuclear Power Can’t Fix It; and the summary fact sheet, to all new House members and every member who signed the Green New Deal. We want to make sure that when the Green New Deal is finalized, nuclear power isn’t in it. While its primary authors appear to agree, there are many in Congress — on both sides of the aisle — who think keeping nuclear plants open and even allocating funding for new ones — is a good idea. We all need to work together to enlighten them!

We also shared our handbook Radiation and Harm to Human Health, and accompanying fact sheet with every female member of the U.S. House and Senate. There is far too little information available that shows how much more harmful — and indeed dangerous — nuclear power operations are to the health of women, especially pregnant women and their babies and young children. Women in Congress need to know this and should never endorse nuclear power!

We are asking you, our members, to follow up with those we already lobbied (and of course others, too) by arranging a visit to their home office. We have put together some talking points on the climate crisis and on women and children, in case you need them as a supplement to the handouts and booklets.

You can see who we visited here: Every female member of the House and Senate; and the list of House members who received our climate change information.

Please let them know that, as their constituent, you want them to keep nuclear power out of climate solutions and out of any Green New Deal. Please help them understand the true risks of nuclear power — especially to women and children.

And finally, if you are willing to help us with our hashtag campaign  — #NukeFreeGND — feel free to download our sign and take a selfie during your visit. We’ll run it on our Twitter page. And thank you!

(Headline photo: Martin Falbisoner/Wikicommons)


Physicians for Social Responsibility lists dozens of Hiroshima and Nagasaki atomic bombing commemorations nationwide

Check for a commemoration event near you, take part, and spread the word to your friends, family, colleagues, and neighbors.


US and Russia officially withdraw from INF Treaty

An important treaty signed in 1987, and that for the first time saw an actual reduction in the nuclear arsenals of the US and the then Soviet Union, has now officially ended. Today, the threatened withdrawal from the INF (Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces) Treaty by US president, Donald Trump, and Russian president, Vladimir Putin, became official. Now, the danger of a new arms race on European and Asia soil, once again looms.

The INF Treaty required the US and Russia to eliminate and permanently forswear nuclear and conventional ground-launched ballistic and cruise missiles with ranges of 500 to 5,500 kilometers. It was signed by then presidents Reagan and Gorbachev (pictured). The INF suspension opens the door for intermediate-range, ground-based nuclear-armed missiles returning to Europe and for US deployment of such missiles in Asia. 

There has been universal opposition to the ending of the INF Treaty among arms control, non-proliferation and peace groups, including Beyond Nuclear. We appeared on The Big Picture decrying this decision, along with the continued intention to spend $494 billion dollars over the next ten years "upgrading and refurbising" the US nuclear weapons arsenal -- code for replacing old missiles, bombers and submarines with new ones.

The timing could not be any more significant, given the cancelation happened within days of the remembrance events for the horrific and needless US atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in Japan.