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.



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.


Entergy's Palisades spills 70 gallons of oil on the edge of Lake Michigan

NRC file photo of Entergy's Palisades atomic reactor, as well as the Great Lake and surrounding countryside it puts at riskDespite the industry's claim that nuclear power is "clean energy," Entergy's Palisades atomic reactor has just spilled "approximately 70 gallons" of oil onto the ground, adjacent to the waters of Lake Michigan. As a headwaters for the Great Lakes, Lake Michigan supplies drinking water to 40 million people in eight U.S. states, two Canadian provinces, and a large number of Native American First Nations.

The Kalamazoo Gazette has reported on this oil leak. This latest incident at Palisades was made public by an Event Notification posted at the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission's website.

The oil spill comes a year and two days after Palisades leaked 82.1 gallons of radioactive water directly into Lake Michigan. The radioactive spill prompted a protest vigil at Palisades' front entrace, organized by Beyond Nuclear and local concerned citizens' groups, after U.S. Congressman Fred Upton (R-MI), Chair of the powerful House Committee on Energy and Commerce (whose district "hosts" Palisades), as well as NRC Commissioner Svinicki, failed to even acknowledge requests for meetings after their hastily arranged emergency tour of the problem-plagued plant.

Palisades' oil spill also comes less than two months after British Petroleum spilled 1,638 gallons of Canadian tar sands crude oil into Lake Michigan at its refinery in Whiting, IN, and less than four years after the largest inland oil spill in U.S. history, upstream of Lake Michigan: 1.4 million gallons of Canadian tar sands crude, from Enbridge's Line 6B oil pipeline, into the Kalamazoo River at Marshall, MI. To protect irreplacable surface waters like Lake Michigan, Beyond Nuclear stands in solidarity with anti-dirty energy allies against oil pipelines.

The very title of a May 7, 2014 U.S. Department of Transportation Inspector General report shows there is much to be concerned about: PHMSA's State Pipeline Safety Program Lacks Effective Management and Oversight. Before becoming PHMSA's Administrator, Cynthia L. Quaterman, she had represented oil companies, including Enbridge, as a legal counsel.

There were widespread calls for PHMSA Administrator Quaterman to block a permit for Bruce Nuclear to ship, by boat, radioactive steam generators on the Great Lakes, but she did not do so. However, it took Mohawk First Nation pledges to block the boats on the Saint Lawrence River before Bruce Nuclear stopped pushing the proposal.


Massive anti-nuclear movement in Taiwan wins temporary suspension against two proposed new reactors

"Nuclear Power? No Thanks!" in Mandarin Chinese, the language spoken in TaiwanAs reported by the New York Times, the massive anti-nuclear movement of Taiwan is building on the momentum of its recent success.

Construction on two new General Electric-Hitachi Advanced Boiling Water Reactors (ABWRs) at Taiwan's proposed Fourth Nuclear Power Plant (also known as the Lungmen Nuclear Power Plant) has been temporarily suspended. However, the pro-nuclear prime minister has made clear suspension does not necessarily mean cancellation.

(ABWRs were also targeted at South Texas Project in the U.S., Units 3 & 4 in addition to two pressurized water reactors already operating there. However, the proposed new reactors were cancelled in the aftermath of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear catastrophe. The American firm, NRG of New Jersey, pulled out, leaving its Japanese partners -- including the now infamous Tokyo Electric Power Compay -- holding the bag. Under the Atomic Energy Act of 1954, foreign firms cannot own a majority share in U.S. nuclear power plants.)

As with two of the other nuclear power plants in Taiwan, Lungmen would also be located on the northern end of the island. However, Lungmen is located much closer to Taiwan's capital and population center, Taipei.

Along with certain of Japan's, Taiwan's nuclear power plants are on a short-list of the atomic reactors most at risk from earthquakes in the entire world.

Taiwan's anti-nuclear protests have at times seen hundreds of thousands take to the streets. Last month, 50,000 rallied in Taipei. Follow on rallies were dispersed by crowd control water cannons (just as German police have used to clear roads of thousands or even tens of thousands of non-violent protestors near Gorleben, to force delivery of high-level radioactive waste shipments to Germany's highly controversial interim storage site for commercial irradiated nuclear fuel). Ironically enough, anti-riot water cannons were also used at Fukushima Daiichi, Japan in March 2011, in a desperate ad hoc attempt to resupply vital cooling water to high-level radioactive waste storage pools.

As reported by the Taipei Times, the recent anti-nuclear protests in Taiwan included a hunger strike by former Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) chairman Lin I-hsiung (林義雄), which lasted eight days.

A referendum has been proposed to resolve the fate of Lungmen Nuclear Power Plant. However, pro-nuclear politicians have manipulated the process, making the current hurdles impossibly high in the referendum process, to the significant disadvantage of the anti-nuclear movement.

As soon as the Lungmen nuclear power plant is permanently cancelled, anti-nuclear organizers plan to press for the closure of the six reactors at Taiwan's other three nuclear power plants.

(By the way, "Nuclear Power? No Thanks!" buttons and stickers in Mandarin Chinese (see image, above left), and many other languages -- including English -- can be ordered from World Information Service on Energy in Amsterdam's webstore!)


"A Rhetorical Outburst: Canadian ‘Experts’ Comfy with Radioactive Pollution of Great Lakes"

John LaForge of Nukewatch in Luck, WIJohn LaForge of Nukewatch Wisconsin has published an article at CounterPunch entitled "A Rhetorical Outburst: Canadian ‘Experts’ Comfy with Radioactive Pollution of Great Lakes."

It is John's response to an "expert report" done in support of Ontario Power Generation's (OPG) proposal to bury all of the province's so-called "low" and "intermediate" level radioactive wastes, from 20 reactors, less than a mile from the waters of Lake Huron. The dump would be immediately adjacent to OPG's Bruce Nuclear Generating Station, with eight operable atomic reactors, one of the single biggest nuclear power plants in the world.

40 million American, Canadian, and Native American First Nations residents drink from Great Lakes waters, which comprise more than 20% of the entire world's surface fresh water, and more than 90% of North America's.

John writes: "The ‘expert’ group’s report says it’s possible that as much as 1,000 cubic meters a year of water contaminated with radiation might leach from the dump, but calls such pollution 'highly improbable.' (Emphasis on 'predicted' and 'improbably' here: The US government’s 650-meter-deep Waste Isolation Pilot Project in New Mexico was predicted to contain radiation for 10,000 years. It failed badly on Feb. 14, after only 15.)"

In September 2013, John testified before the Canadian federal Joint Review Panel tasked with overseeing OPG's environmental assessment on OPG's proposed "Deep Geologic Repository," or DGR. (Critics have dubbed it the Deep Underground Dump, or DUD). He cited a 2008 OPG promotional brochure, which rhetorically asked “Will the [dump] contaminate the water?” then answered: “…even if the entire waste volume were to be dissolved into Lake Huron, the corresponding drinking water dose would be a factor of 100 below the regulatory criteria initially, and decreasing with time.”

This fatuous assertion prompted John to ask in his testimony: “Why would the government spend $1 billion on a dump when it is safe to throw all the radioactive waste in the water?”

As John writes, "Now, what I thought of then as a rhetorical outburst has become 'expert' opinion."

John and Beyond Nuclear's Kevin Kamps will co-present "Nuclear Power Is Not the Answer," their annual workshop at the Midwest Renewable Energy Association fair held on summer solstice weekend in central WI.


HBO's VICE: "Genetic Passport," about Soviet nuclear weapons testing in Kazakhstan

HBO's investigative report series VICE traveled to Kazakhstan to report on the serious consequences to human health and the human gene pool from nuclear weapons testing by the USSR upwind of inhabited areas. See the reporter's debrief here.

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