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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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Monday
Nov272017

Michael Flynn’s role in Mideast nuclear project could compound legal issues

As reported by Michael Kranish, Tom Hamburger, and Carol D. Leonnig in the Washington Post.

As the article reports:

Flynn, who was fired by President Barack Obama from his post as director of the Defense Intelligence Agency in 2014, became involved in ACU’s project in 2015, as part of a group of former top military and diplomatic officials and nuclear experts the company assembled to help push its plan.

The idea: to build several dozen “proliferation-proof” nuclear power plants across Persian Gulf states. The plan relied heavily on Russian interests, which would help build the plants, as well as possibly take possession of spent fuel that could be used to build a nuclear weapon, according to people familiar with the project.

ACU’s managing director, Alex Copson, had been promoting variations of building nuclear facilities with Russian help for more than two decades, according to news reports. Copson did not respond to requests for comment, and ACU’s counsel, Don Gross, declined to comment.

But such a claim of nuclear weapons "proliferation-proof" atomic reators is a hollow, PR ploy. It flies in the face of basic physics.

As the prescient 2006 book, Insurmountable Risks: The Dangers of Using Nuclear Power to Combat Global Climate Change, by IEER's (Institute for Energy and Environmental Research) senior scientist, Dr. Brice Smith, made clear, nuclear weapons proliferation is an inevitable risk of nuclear power's expansion to regions like the Middle East (see Chapter 3, "Megawatts and Mushroom Clouds").

Wednesday
Oct042017

Stop uranium mining in Tanzania

Sometimes the best way to spread the message and communicate the injustice of the nuclear industry is through music. Here are Hatutaki-Wakazi feat and Sophie & the Harmonies on uranium mining plans in Tanzania.

Thursday
Sep072017

The high price for activism in Africa

In a reminder of how dangerous it is to oppose the nuclear power industry in some countries comes disturbing news from Tanzania. Tundu Lissu, an outspoken lawyer, human rights activist, opposition member of the Tanzanian Parliament, and a critic of extractive industries, was shot and wounded in Dodoma on September 7 when returning home from a session of parliament.

Gunter Wippel, a leading advocate against uranium mining and who administers the international Uranium Network, met Lissu on several occasions. He writes: “Tundu, whom I had met during our first information tour on the issue of uranium mining, attended and spoke out at several occasions at our conferences and supported our partners in Tanzania critical of uranium mining repeatedly. 

“He was supposed to attend next week's conference "Human Rights, Future Generations and Crimes of the Nuclear Age" in Basel, Switzerland.” 

Conflicting reports have Lissu in critical and in stable condition. It is unclear at the moment why he was shot and who by but he is a vocal opponent of Tanzanian president, John Magufuli. 

More

Thursday
Aug102017

No future for nuclear is not breaking news: it was ever thus

The fact that the alleged nuclear revival has evaporated into the ether is being trumpeted as breaking news. But there was never a nuclear revival -- only "plans" and "aspirations" built on quicksand. The collapse of the South Carolina nuclear new build project at V.C. Summer had been seen coming since it's first glimmer on paper -- by groups such as Southern Alliance For Clean Energy, relegated, as are many of us, to anti-nuclear Cassandras.

The same reactor design -- the untested AP 1000 -- is planned for a site next to the Sellafield reprocessing faciity in the UK. But with the implosion of Toshiba under the weight of the Westinghouse financial collapse, that project is under serious threat. The site is owned and operated by the rashly named consortium, NuGen. But as the sign at the site indicates, there is nothing happening there right now as NuGen partners scamper for the exits and the South Koreans -- who have forsaken nuclear power at home -- mull sticking it on others overseas. If the South Koreans switch out the AP 1000 for their own reactor design at the Moorside NuGen site, it will become very old Gen indeed, with likely many more years of delay. By that time, nuclear energy will have become 100% redundant, as renewables, combined with energy efficiency, will have completely taken over.

As Martin Forwood of Cumbrians Opposed to a Radioactive Environment commented in a recent press release: "The latest news of the plug being pulled on the half-built AP1000 reactors in the US and the fall from grace on the Tokyo Stock Exchange of NuGen’s sole investor Toshiba will further add to the increasing uncertainties swirling around in the Moorside mists”. 

Wednesday
Jul052017

Save the tigers used as cover story to green light uranium exploration

Writes Survival International: "Officials in India are threatening to evict a tribe from a tiger reserve in the name of conservation – but have just approved uranium exploration in the same reserve. The move has angered campaigners, who accuse the authorities of hypocrisy.

The Chenchu tribe in Amrabad tiger reserve have pleaded to be allowed to stay on the land which they have been dependent on and managed for millennia.

Indian authorities justify their forced evictions of tribal people – which are illegal according to national and international law – on the grounds that any human presence in the reserves is harmful to tigers. However, in many tiger reserves in India, fee-paying tourists are allowed to visit in large numbers, and road-building, mineral exploration and even mining have all taken place." More