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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
Jul072014

"A Scary Super Typhoon Is Bearing Down on Japan…and Its Nuclear Plants"

U.S. Navy Joint Typhoon Warning Center map showing projected path of Super Typhoon NeoguriAs reported by Mother Jones, a "once in decades storm" packing winds stronger than 150 miles per hour, Super Typhoon Neoguri, is taking direct aim at some of Japan's nuclear power plants. The good news is, the reactors have long been shut down. However, irradiated nuclear fuel in need of cooling remains stored on-site. Will "Fukushima lessons learned," and supposed safety regulation upgrades in Japan, be enough to weather yet another monster storm?

Saturday
May242014

HBO's VICE: "Playing with Nuclear Fire," about Fukushima

HBO's investigative reporting series, VICE, took a trip to Fukushima Daiichi to examine untold stories from the nuclear catastrophe. Watch the reporter's debrief here.

Friday
May232014

International coalition defends its challenge against Davis-Besse Shield Building cracks, gaps, and rebar damage

Environmental coalition attorney Terry LodgeAn environmental coalition, represented by attorney Terry Lodge of Toledo (photo, left), has filed a defense of its contention alleging that FirstEnergy Nuclear Operating Company's (FENOC) Davis-Besse atomic reactor on the Lake Erie shore should be denied a 20-year license extension by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC). Most recently, Davis-Besse's concrete containment Shield Building has exhibited ever more severe cracking, steel reinforcement damage, as well as wall gap 80% of the way through its 2.5 foot thickness (an air space, or void, through 24 of 30 inches of the wall). The filing rebuts challenges against the contention by FENOC and NRC Staff.

As official intervenors in the NRC Atomic Safety (sic) and Licensing Board (ASLB) proceeding, the coalition, comprised of Beyond Nuclear, Citizens Environment Coalition of Southwestern Ontario, Don't Waste Michigan, and the Ohio Green Party, has resisted Davis-Besse's 20-year license extension since the end of 2010. Davis-Besse's 40-year operating license expires on Earth Day (April 22), 2017. This is the coalition's sixth contention filed.

Thursday
May222014

Chinese military cyber-attack hacks Westinghouse nuclear secrets; How vulnerable are US reactors to "offensive cyber-inovations"? 

The U.S. Justice Department has indicted five members of China’s Peoples Liberation Army on charges of economic espionage and cyber-theft. The Chinese military officers allegedly hacked into company computers and stole an estimated $100 billion in trade secrets from Westinghouse Nuclear Division and other leading U.S. steel and solar power firms. The federal grand jury indictments against a foreign country on cyber-security charges are unprecedented.  The Pittsburgh, PA-based Westinghouse Nuclear Division was in the middle of a huge nuclear technology transfer for the construction of its AP1000 nuclear power plants in China when it was announced that the Chinese military was at the same time stealing propriety information about the reactor technology and Westinghouse’s negotiation strategies.  At the same time, China is ambitiously establishing itself as a global leader in the marketing of nuclear power technology with its own nuclear reactor design based largely on the AP1000 pressurized water reactor.

The grand jury indictments focus on the cyber-theft of industrial secrets aimed at gaining an international competitive edge over “fair trade” with the U.S.-based companies. However, the discovery raises long standing and on-going national security, public health and safety concerns associated with the potential for large scale military cyber-attacks against vulnerable critical infrastructure, particularly a vast patchwork electrical grid system and inherently dangerous nuclear power plants.  U.S. nuclear power plants initially rely upon the offsite electrical grid to power all of the onsite reactor safety systems.  A standoff cyber-attack not only can shutdown the electrical production from nuclear reactors but target internal components where failure leads to radiological catastrophe. “Offensive cyber-innovations” aimed at destroying nuclear infrastructure and internal systems are not unprecedented. In 2010, the United States and Israel conducted a joint cyber-attack code-named “Olympic Games” where the Stuxnet computer worm disabled Iran’s nuclear program by ruining roughly one-fifth of its German-made uranium enrichment centrifuges.

Monday
May122014

Updated "Southeast MI in the Radioactive Cross Hairs" backgrounder

At the urging of environmental allies in southeast Michigan, Beyond Nuclear in March 2012 prepared a backgrounder on reactor, radioactive waste, and other nuclear risks in the region. The backgrounder has been updated for use at a presentation by Beyond Nuclear's Radioactive Waste Watchdog, Kevin Kamps, to be held at the Huron Valley Sierra Club Chapter meeting in Ann Arbor, MI on May 20th. The backgrounder complements the "Great Lakes Region Nuclear Hot Spots" map, prepared by Anna Tilman at International Coalition of Concern for Public Health last year.

The backgrounder and map include sections on the "low" and "intermediate" level radioactive waste dump targeted at Bruce Nuclear Generating Station in Ontario, on the Lake Huron shoreline, 50 miles from the tip of Michigan's Thumb.