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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
Apr122012

"Fighting the Legacy of Enrico Fermi"

NRC file photo of Fermi 2Michael Leonardi of Occupy Toledo has published an essay in Counterpunch, re-run at Ecowatch, about the resistance to the Fermi nuclear power plant on the Lake Erie shoreline near Monroe, MI. Leonardi links to Beyond Nuclear's involvement in "Freeze Our Fukushimas" efforts to shutdown Fermi 2 (see photo, left), the largest Fukushima Daiichi twin GE Mark I reactor in the world, with around 550 tons of high-level radioactive waste stuck in its storage pool, more than Fukushima Daiichi Units 1 to 4 put together.

Leonardi also mentions the struggle to nip the proposed new "Fermi 3" reactor, a GE-Hitachi "Economic Simplified Boiling Water Reactor" (ESBWR), in the bud. Beyond Nuclear's website hosts the compiled submissions by the the environmental coalition resisting Fermi 3, submitted in response to the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission's Draft Environmental Impact Statement. Beyond Nuclear, along with Citizens for Alternatives to Chemical Contamination, Citizens Environment Alliance of Southwestern Ontario (CEA), Don't Waste Michigan, and the Sierra Club Michigan Chapter -- represented by Toledo attorney Terry Lodge -- continue to officially intervene against Fermi 3 in the NRC's Atomic Safety (sic) and Licensing Board proceeding.

The Fermi nuclear power plant represents an international risk, as reflected by CEA's involvement: Ontario is a short 8 miles away from Fermi, across Lake Erie. In addition, the Walpole Island First Nation is only 50 miles away.

Tuesday
Apr102012

Toledo Blade editorializes in support of consideration of renewables as alternative to Davis-Besse license extension

The Toledo Blade, which in the past has often taken pro-nuclear editorial positions, has nonetheless come out in support of a binational environmental coalition's contention that renewables, such as wind and solar power, should be considered as an alternative to a 20 year license extension at the problem-plagued Davis-Besse atomic reactor, with its cracked containment. Beyond Nuclear authored a wind power contention in Dec., 2010 that won admission from the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission's (NRC) Atomic Safety and Licensing Board (ASLB) for a hearing on the merits; the ASLB likewise admitted a solar photovoltaic (PV) contention authored by the environmental coalition's expert witness, Dr. Al Compaan, an emeritus professor and former chair of the University of Toledo physics dept., a PV inventer. However, the full five member NRC Commission recently sided with FirstEnergy Nuclear Operating Company's appeal of the ASLB rulings, and overrode them, rejecting any consideration of renewable alternatives. The NRC Commission did the same thing at Seabrook, NH, where Beyond Nuclear authored a contention that offshore wind power in the Gulf of Maine could replace that atomic reactor's electrical output. Terry Lodge of Toledo is the attorney representing the environmental coalitions in both proceedings.

Citizens Environment Alliance of Southwestern Ontario is a member of the environmental coalition opposing the Davis-Besse license extension, just as it is opposing the Fermi 3 new reactor proposal in southeast Michigan. Both the Davis-Besse and Fermi nuclear power plants are located on the Lake Erie shore, not far from the Canadian border.

Sunday
Apr012012

"Fukushima...radiation so high -- even robots not safe"

Beyond Nuclear's Kevin Kamps appeared on Thom Hartmann's "The Big Picture" last Thursday, discussing a recent U.S. Geological Survey report on Fukushima fallout across the U.S., as well as the latest revelations of fatal radiation dose levels inside Fukushima Daiichi Unit 2.

Earlier that same day, Kevin also debated Victor Murogov, the Head of the International Nuclear Education Center and Professor at the National Research Nuclear University in Moscow. The debate was aired on the Voice of Russia Radio. The discussion revolved around the Nuclear Security Summit in Seoul, South Korea, which President Obama attended last week.

Wednesday
Mar282012

U.S. NRC violates its own environmental protection mandate: 5 Commissioners reject renewables alternative at Davis-Besse atomic reactor on Great Lakes border with Canada

U.S. NRC file photo of Davis-Besse, located in Oak Harbor, OH on the Lake Erie shore, across from Ontario, Canada On the eve of the 33rd annual commemoration of the Three Mile Island meltdown, the five NRC Commissioners voted unanimously yesterday to reject an environmental coalition's contention that wind power and solar power could readily replace the 908 Megawatts-electric from Davis-Besse, instead of FirstEnergy's proposed 20 year license extension at the problem-plagued atomic reactor with a cracked concrete containment. The environmental coalition put out a media release, and plans to appeal to the federal courts at the first opportunity.

NRC's Atomic Safety (sic) and Licensing Board (ASLB) presiding over the Davis-Besse license extension proceeding has ordered pre-hearing oral arguments about the latest, cracked concrete containment contention. The oral arguments will take place on Friday, May 18th, beginning at 9 a.m. in the Common Pleas Courtroom at the Ottawa County Courthouse, 315 Madison Street, Port Clinton, Ohio -- about ten miles from Davis-Besse.

The Citizens Environment Alliance of Southwestern Ontario has made the intervening environmental coalition bi-national in nature.

Wednesday
Mar072012

Activists tell Quebec premier to remember Fukushima and shut their nuke

Watch a video of a Greenpeace Canada action here.

Dr. Gordon Edwards, President of the Canadian Coalition for Nuclear Responsibility, and Canadian co-chair of the Great Lakes United Nuclear-Free/Green Energy Task Force, has written up a short backgrounder on how hugely expensive it would be to "refurbish" Gentilly, the atomic reactor in Quebec located on the St. Lawrence River, through which the waters of the Great Lakes ultimately flow into the Atlantic Ocean. A political cartoon in a Quebec newspaper jokes about the Greenpeace occupation of the Quebec premier's office. Dr. Edwards explains and translates: the premier says to the Greenpeace occupiers, "It's gonna be safe! Gentilly-2 will be rebuilt by Quebec engineers using Quebec concrete!" [But] his assistant, aware of all the scandalous infrastructure problems in Montreal, with bridges falling apart and concrete overpasses collapsing -- including a big chunk of concrete that just fell at the garage of the Olympic Stadium -- says "Psst! This might not be the best time...."