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.



Angst or Arithmetic: why Germans are so skeptical about nuclear energy

The first in a six-part series from the Heinrich Böll Foundation, deals with the roots of nuclear energy's unpopularity in Germany. It begins:

"The fact that Germany, in the aftermath of the 2011 Fukushima disaster, redoubled its efforts to phase out nuclear energy has nothing to do with hysteria or postwar angst. on the contrary, a majority of Germans, including much of the political class, has been unconvinced of its merits since the early 1980s; the source of this anti- atom consensus lies not in emotional populism but rather in the persuasive, fact- based arguments of a powerful, grassroots social movement that has long included nuclear physicists and other bona fide experts." By Paul Hockenos. Read the full report here.

This paper is part one of a six-part series on the German Energy Transition. The authors are experts on different issues such as renewable energies, rural communities, social movements, and nuclear power.  


"A Nuclear Clash Could Starve the World"

Mushroom cloud rising above Hiroshima after U.S. atomic bombing of Japan, August 1945As described in an op-ed posted at CNN, "A Nuclear Clash Could Starve the World," Jayantha Dhanapala and Ira Helfand report on the findings of a new PSR/IPPNW report, NUCLEAR FAMINE: A BILLION PEOPLE AT RISK.

Among the findings: even a limited nuclear war, as between Indian and Pakistan, involving less than half of 1% of the world's nuclear arsenals, would cause climate disruption that could set off a global famine; 100 Hiroshima-sized bombs (see photo, left) exploded in a war between India and Pakistan would lead to the starvation of an estimated 1 billion people, one-sixth of the human race, over the following decade; each U.S. Trident nuclear submarine can destroy 100 cities and produce the global famine described in the study (the United States has 14 Tridents). 

Jayantha Dhanapala is a former ambassador to the United States from Sri Lanka, U.N. under-secretary general for disarmament and chairman of the 1995 Non-Proliferation Treaty Review and Extension Conference. Ira Helfand is the past president of Physicians for Social Responsibility (PSR) and current North American vice president of the International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW).


"Fukushima Daiichi: It May Be Too Late Unless the Military Steps In"

Workers wearing white radiation protection suits beside surface of high-level radioactive waste storage pool at Fukushima DaiichiJapanese diplomat Akio Matsumura has posted a new blog proposing that military intervention be deployed to prevent the worst from happening at Fukushima Daiichi Unit 4 (see photo, left). He proposes that the Japan Self-Defense Forces be deployed to Unit 4 to offload high-level radioactive waste, before another, almost inevitable earthquake topples the building and its irradiated nuclear fuel catches fire. Unit 4's pool holds 8 times the radioactive Cesium-137 released by Chernobyl. But a fire in Unit 4's pool would very likely lead to the evacuation of the entire site, risking 85 times Chernobyl's hazardous Cesium-137 escaping if all 7 of Fukushima Daiichi's pools are allowed to boil dry and catch fire (not to mention what more would happen if its three melted down reactor cores are no longer cooled either). 


Areva found culpable in death of Niger uranium mine worker

French nuclear company, Areva, was found culpable in a court of law last Friday for the death of Serge Venel, a uranium mine worker who toiled from 1978 to 1985 for Areva subsidiary, Cominak, at uranium mines in Akokan, Niger.  Venel died of cancer at 59 and his widow was this week awarded 200,000 Euros ($258,000) in damages with interest, which will likely double the total amount. Inhalation of uranium dust was deemed the cause of Venel's cancer. Areva will almost certainly appeal, but the verdict opens the door to many more suits from plaintiffs previously afraid to attack Areva. (Pictured: a typical dwelling of Areva uranium miner in Niger.)


Brazil says 'no' to new nuclear plants

Brazil will not build new nuclear power plants in the wake of the Fukushima nuclear disaster in Japan. Brazil has two operating reactors with a third under construction at that site. But the government identified "no need" for additional nuclear plants.