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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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Thursday
Mar262015

"Aileen Mioko Smith: Anti-Nuclear Feminist"

Smith amidst the 2012 "Occupy METI" (Ministry for Economy, Trade, and Industry) anti-nuclear protests in Tokyo in 2012Heidi Hutner, Director of the Stony Brook University Sustainability Program, has honored Aileen Mioko Smith, Executive Director of Green Action in Kyodo, Japan as a "Wonder Woman Who Has Made History," in Ms. Blog's Women's History Month Series.

As the article describes, Smith has decades of anti-nuclear grassroots (and additional environmental and feminist) activism under her belt, including interviewing hundreds of survivors of the Three Mile Island meltdown, collecting four million signatures onto petitions against nuclear power in Japan in the late 1980s, fending off plutonium mixed oxide fuel use in Japanese reactors for decades, and helping lead the remarkably successful nationwide resistance to reactor restarts in Japan in the aftermath of the Fukushima nuclear catastrophe.

Beyond Nuclear is privileged and honored to work closely with Smith, from hosting speaking tour exchanges in Japan and the U.S. (see various web posts in Sept. 2011), to featuring her TMI work (see article on page 4 of our TMI newsletter), to nominating her as a keynote speaker at the August 2011 Musicians United for Safe Energy (MUSE) concert, as well as for a 2014 Nuclear-Free Future Award.

In late 2013, Smith published "The Potential of Japan's Anti-Nuclear Citizens' Movement to End Nuclear Power and Implement Change in Japan's Energy Policy: What Needs to Be Undertaken to Meet this Challenge." For the fourth anniversary of the ongoing Fukushima nuclear catastrophe, Smith published a Power Point presentation entitled "Nuclear Phase Out in Japan."

Wednesday
Mar252015

Nuclear Licensing Board Examines Brittle Vessel Risks at Entergy’s Palisades Atomic Reactor; Critics Call for Permanent Shutdown

NRC file photo of Entergy Nuclear's Palisades atomic reactor on the Lake Michigan shore in Covert, MIAs reported by a press release, a coalition of environmental groups, including Beyond Nuclear, today testified before the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission's (NRC) Atomic Safety and Licensing Board (ASLB), at the agency's HQ in Rockville, Maryland, just outside D.C.

The coalition, represented by Toledo attorney Terry Lodge, defended its intervention against an Entergy License Amendment Request (LAR) to further weaken reactor pressure vessel (RPV) embrittlement/pressurized thermal shock (PTS) safety regulations.

Palisades has the worst-embrittled RPV in the U.S., at risk of a PTS fracture, Loss-of-Coolant-Accident, core meltdown, and catastrophic release of hazardous radioactivity. A bad precedent at Palisades will then be applied by NRC to approve operations at other dangerously brittle pressurized water reactor (PWR) RPVs across the U.S.

The coalition intervened on Dec. 1, 2014. Entergy Nuclear and NRC staff counter-attacked on Jan. 12, 2015. The coalition rebutted the attacks on Jan. 20.

Today's "oral argument pre-hearing" was essentially an ASLB exercise to determine whether the coalition's intervenion is worthy of an evidentiary hearing on the merits of the contention. The ASLB is scheduled to rule on the admissibility of the intervenors' contention within 45 days.

On March 9, the coalition filed a parallel intervention regarding loss of Charpy V-Notch Upper-Shelf Energy in Palisades RPV, another form of age-related degradation.

From 2005 to 2007, a broad environmental coalition sought to block Palisades' 20-year license extension. The coalition's main safety objection was PTS risks. NRC rubber-stamped the extension anyway.

This is an international issue. Palisades threatens the drinking water supply of 40 million people in 8 U.S. states, 2 Canadian provinces, and a large number of Native American First Nations.

Thursday
Mar192015

U.S. jittery over South African nuclear explosives

South Africa has enough highly enriched uranium (HEU) to fuel at leat six atomic bombs but is not about to give it up, according to a major investigative piece in the March 15 Washington Post. The HEU was extracted from the country’s now abandoned nuclear weapons program developed under the apartheid regime, and aided and abetted by the United States which now fears the materials could fall into the wrong hands. The Zuma government is also eager to develop nuclear power. South Africa currently has only one small research reactor at the Pelindaba Nuclear Research Center (pictured) where security breaches have already occurred and where the HEU is housed. More

Friday
Mar132015

"Fukushima...Yet Another Radioactive Leak!"

Thom Hartmann, host of "The Big Picture"On March 12, Thom Hartmann hosted Beyond Nuclear's Radioactive Waste Watchdog, Kevin Kamps, on "The Big Picture" to discuss a massive leak of 750 tons (200,000 gallons) of highly radioactive rainwater at Fukushima Daiichi, Japan. Ironically, the leak was revealed by Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) on March 10th, the eve of the fourth annual commemoration of the beginning of the nuclear catastrophe.

On March 11th itself, Thom also hosted Kevin on his radio show, to give status updates about "4 Years of Fukushima Fallout." (Despite being a radio show, the clip includes a video recording of the interview as well.)

Thursday
Mar122015

"Fukushima four years later..."

Chiho Kaneko, Fairewinds Energy Education board member, along with Alfred Meyer of PSR's national board, and Beyond Nuclear's Kevin Kamps, in the Carbon-Free/Nuclear-Free contingent at the People's Climate March in New York City, Sept. 2014.On March 12, Margaret Prescod hosted Fairewinds Energy Education board member, Chiho Kaneko (photo, left) on Pacifica Radio's "Sojourner Truth," to discuss the status at Fukushima, four years on (listen to the top audio clip).