Human Rights

The entire nuclear fuel chain involves the release of radioactivity, contamination of the environment and damage to human health. Most often, communities of color, indigenous peoples or those of low-income are targeted to bear the brunt of these impacts, particularly the damaging health and environmental effects of uranium mining. The nuclear power industry inevitably violates human rights.



"Uranium? Leave It In the Ground!" film showing & discussion, Nov. 16


10,000 abandoned uranium mines in U.S. and other little known facts

Clean Up The Mines has produced a shocking fact sheet about the conditions at and around the 10,000 abandoned uranium mines in the U.S. Findings include the fact that 10 million people still live within 50 miles of these abandoned mines, 75% of which are on federal and tribal lands. No existing federal laws require cleanup of the hazardous sites. Corporations invariably walk away when mines close, leaving the public to bear the toxic legacy and fund any attempts at cleanup. Uranium mines have contaminated drinking water wells and radioactive dust blows in the wind, deadly in inhaled.


Beyond Nuclear/PSR speaking tour across MI a big success!

Alfred Meyer, PSR board memberAlfred Meyer (photo, left), national board member of Physicians for Responsibility (PSR), spoke throughout Michigan on a tour organized by Beyond Nuclear from Feb. 12-17. His presentations of "Nuclear Power: What You Need to Know about Price, Pollution and Proliferation" were dedicated to the memory of Dr. Jeff Patterson, PSR's Past-President.

Mr. Meyer has worked in recent years, as at the UN, to advance the human rights aspects of releases of hazardous radioactivity into the living environment.

Alfred's first stop on Feb. 12, at Grand Rapids' Fountain Street Church, drew 35 attendees, despite the wintry weather. Corinne Carey of Don't Waste MI video-recorded the talk, and will post it to cable access t.v. in the near future.

Alfred had a productive day in Kalamazoo on Feb. 13th. His presentation at Western Michigan University (WMU) was attended by over 50 people, and garnered an extended interview by Gordon Evans on WMUK Radio, as well as an article by Yvonne Zipp in the Kalamazoo Gazette. Alfred also spoke at a press conference held at WMU's impressive solar panel array, launching a campus climate campaign to divest the university from fossil fuel investments. Alfred was also interviewed by Dr. Don Cooney, WMU Social Work professor and Kalamazoo City Commissioner, and Dr. Ron Kramer, WMU criminology prof., on "Critical Issues: Alternative Views" t.v. program. The interview will be aired on Kalamazoo cable access in the near future, as well as posted to YouTube.

The tour stop in South Haven (4 miles from Entergy's Palisades atomic reactor) on Feb. 14 drew 25 attendees, despite it being Valentine's Day. Kraig Schultz of Michigan Safe Energy Future--Shoreline Chapter video-recorded the talk, and will post the recording to the MSEF YouTube channel in the near future.

Ferndale in Metro Detroit on Feb. 15 drew 75 attendees. Damon J. Hartley of the Peoples Tribune did a write up and took lots of photos.

Monroe's event (within the 10-mile Emergency Planning Zone from the GE BWR Mark I, Fermi 2, as well as the proposed Fermi 3) on Feb. 16, drew 30 attendees, and garnered coverage in the Monroe News (text, PDF). The Ann Arbor (home base for PSR's new MI chapter) event on Feb. 17 also drew an audience despite an impending winter storm.

Beyond Nuclear has been honored and privileged to work with the following groups to make this speaking tour a success: Michigan Physicians for Social Responsibility; Sierra Club; Fountain Street Church; WMU Lee Honors College; WMU Environmental Studies program; WMU Institute of Government and Politics; Michigan Safe Energy Future (both Kalamazoo and South Haven chapters); Don't Waste Michigan; Ferndale Public Library; Alliance to Halt Fermi 3; Ellis Library; Don't Waste Michigan; Coalition for a Nuclear-Free Great Lakes; and the Ecology Center.


Nuclear power's human rights violations at PowerShift 2013

Beyond Nuclear has organized a workshop panel at PowerShift 2013, to be held in Pittsburgh next weekend. Entitled "Nuclear power's human rights impacts," the panel will include Beyond Nuclear's Kevin Kamps as moderator, and panelists Leona Morgan and Yuko Tonopira.

From uranium mining to milling, processing, enrichment, and fuel fabrication, to atomic reactor operations and radioactive waste dumping, nuclear power massively violates human rights, often of low income and people of color communities, especially indigenous peoples.  This panel will feature spokespersons of communities directly impacted, and what can be done to help them resist. This panel will be framed in the context of a United Nations Special Rapporteur’s report on the human rights impacts of the Fukushima nuclear catastrophe, and how its findings can be used to protect the lives, health, and rights of vulnerable populations worldwide, such as children, pregnant women, and the elderly.

Leona Morgan serves with the MASE Coalition (Multicultural Alliance for a Safe Environment), as well as WMAN (Western Mining Action Network)/CARD (Citizens for Alternatives to Radioactive Dumping). She will discuss uranium mining impacts on indigenous nations in the southwestern U.S.

Yuko Tonopira serves with Todos Somos Japon. She will discuss the impacts of the Fukushima nuclear catastrophe on more than 150,000 evacuees from the region, as well as on the workers at the severely radioactively contaminated Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant site.

This environmental justice workshop will take place on Sunday from 11:30 AM to 12:30 PM.

Beyond Nuclear will also have an information table on Saturday, from 11 AM to 5 PM, and will take part in Monday's Day of Action.

Beyond Nuclear took part in the 2009 and 2011 PowerShifts held in Washington, D.C. In February 2009, Beyond Nuclear organized a panel of indigenous people from across the world who resist uranium mining.

Beyond Nuclear just updated its pamphlet about uranium mining's impacts on human rights.


Revised and updated pamphlet on uranium mining

We have revised and updated our pamphlet - Uranium Mining: The impact on people, our health, and the environment. We encourage you to download, reprint and distribute our pamphlets widely. If you would like to order printed copies, please contact us at: 301.270.2209 or enquire via email at: All of our pamphlets can be found on our website under the Pamphlets tab.