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International

Beyond Nuclear, while U.S. based, recognizes that the issue of nuclear power, particularly in relation to climate change and reactor expansion, has become an international issue. Multi-national corporations, often with foreign ownership, have taken over every facet of the nuclear fuel chain, from uranium mining to waste disposition. Beyond Nuclear is currently engaged in supportive efforts in a number of different countries.

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Tuesday
Apr262016

TRT World's The Newsmakers: 30 Years Since Chernobyl

As featured on TRT World's "The Newsmakers": Thirty years since the Chernobyl nuclear meltdown, The Newsmakers asks Kevin Kamps [of Beyond Nuclear in Washington, D.C., U.S.A.] and Jonathan Cobb [of the World Nuclear Association in London, U.K.] what lessons have been learnt from the world's worst civil nuclear disaster. [Watch the segment, from the beginning of the recording to the 14 minute 12 second mark.]

Kevin cited Arnie Gundersen of Fairewinds Energy Education's clever line, as reported at Forbes:

“We all know that the wind doesn’t blow consistently and the sun doesn’t shine every day,” he said, “but the nuclear industry would have you believe that humankind is smart enough to develop techniques to store nuclear waste for a quarter of a million years, but at the same time human kind is so dumb we can’t figure out a way to store solar electricity overnight. To me that doesn’t make sense.”

Trying to downplay nuclear power risks, as compared to other electricity generation risks, Cobb cited a hydro-dam break in China that killed a large number of people by drowning, and then disease.

But Cobb failed to mention the risks of a dam breach at the Oconee nuclear power plant in Seneca, SC. As reported by Tom Zeller, Jr., in the Huffington Post, two U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission whistleblowers have revealed, if the upstream dam fails, whether due to an earthquake, terrorist attack, etc., three reactors could be submerged under 16 feet of water, plunging Oconee into a Fukushima-like catastrophe.

Gundersen warned about such "inland tsunami" risks at Fort Calhoun nuclear power plant in Nebraska, during historic flooding on the Missouri River in 2011.

Thursday
Mar312016

Nuclear Power Plants Are Pre-Deployed Weapons of Mass Destruction

We should close them all. Now.

So begins an article by investigative journalist Karl Grossman published at CommonDreams.

Karl, a Beyond Nuclear board member, reports on the March 31-April 1 Nuclear Security Summit in Washington, D.C. in light of the shocking revelations from Belgium that point to ISIS intentions to either acquire dirty bomb radioactive materials, or else attack nuclear power plants directly.

He cites the analysis by Bennett Ramberg, showing that the proposed spread of nuclear power throughout the volatile Middle East region is an invitation to disaster.

More.

Tuesday
Mar222016

Belgium 'beefs up security' at nuclear plants

The Tihange nuclear facility last week.Credit Julien Warnand/European Pressphoto AgencyAs reported by Agence France-Presse:

Brussels (AFP) - Belgium security forces tightened security at nuclear plants across the country after deadly attacks in the capital city of Brussels, the Belga news agency said.

"Surveillance is stepped up with added security measures at nuclear plants," the agency reported.

"Vehicles are being checked with police and army on site," the agency added.

In February, investigators probing the Paris attacks found video footage of a senior Belgian nuclear official at the property of a key suspect. (emphasis added)

The New York Times  reported on the February revelation.

And the New York Times reported today that both the Tihange (photo, above) and Doel nuclear power plants in Belgium evacuated all non-essential workers as a security precaution, in the aftermath of the attacks. However, the reactors were allowed to continue operating, rather than shutting down as a security precaution.

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
Feb192016

Beyond Nuclear thankful for indefinite delay on Great Lakes nuclear waste dump, vows to redouble efforts to nip the "DUD" in the bud

The Great Lakes serve as the drinking water supply for 40 million people in eight U.S. states, two Canadian provinces, and a large number of Native American First Nations.The Honourable Catherine McKenna, Canada's federal Environment Minister, has announced a major delay in the approval process for Ontario Power Generation's request to construct and operate a radioactive waste dump on the shoreline of the Great Lakes. Previously, Minister McKenna had set a March 1st deadline for making the final decision on whether or not to endorse a Joint Review Panel Environmental Assessment Report recommendation to allow the DGR (Deep Geologic Repository) to proceed, despite the high risks and countless uncertainties. Minister McKenna has ordered OPG to provide an estimate, by April 18th, as to how long it will need to provide the extensive additional information requested. The consequent delay in this proceeding could prove lengthy.

Beyond Nuclear, which has long helped lead the growing international national grassroots environmental opposition to the dump (which we prefer to call the DUD -- for Deep Underground Dump -- a phrase coined by Dave Martin of Greenpeace Canada), welcomed the announced delay. Beyond Nuclear released this response to Minister McKenna's announcement.

However, our coalition must remain vigilant, and use this opportunity to stop the DUD once and for all. And then move on to deepening and expanding our work to address the many other radioactive risks faced by the Great Lakes, including at the targeted DUD site itself: the Bruce Nuclear Generating Station, the largest nuclear power plant on Earth, in terms of number of reactors. More.