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.



Germany's Social Democrats pushing for national referendum on nuclear energy

Germany’s opposition Social Democratic party, in an effort to block the Merkel coalition government's nuclear reactor license renewal policy, is pushing for a national referendum on the future of the country's nuclear power program. A referendum cannot occur until the country’s constitution is amended, as referenda are currently illegal. The move follows a massive demonstration on September 18 in Berlin that saw 100,000 people take to the streets protesting the license renewal of the country's 17 nuclear plants which have been granted 12-year license extensions. In contrast, the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission in the U.S., routinely hands out 20-year license extensions for this country's dangerous and aging reactors.


100,000 rally in Berlin to protest nuclear power

As many as 100,000 anti-nuclear demonstrators took to the streets of Berlin on September 18 to voice their strong opposition to the Merkel government's decision to extend the licenses of the country's operating nuclear power plants. A human chain was formed around the government building and protesters also rallied at the railway station. The previous government had decided  to shut down all nuclear plants by 2021, but Merkel's coalition government plans to extend the deadline by 10-15 years.


Bi-national environmental coalition demands U.S. Dept. of Transportation scrutinize risks of radioactive waste ship on Great Lakes

A U.S.-Canadian environmental coalition has sent a letter to the U.S. Department of Transportation's Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, demanding that it perform a federally required National Environmental Policy Act examination of the risks associated with Bruce Power shipping 16 radioactive steam generators from its 8 reactor nuclear power plant on the Lake Huron shoreline in Ontario, via the remaining Great Lakes, across the Atlantic, to Sweden for melting down and mixing into the consumer product scrap metal recycling stream. The coalition also demands that PHMSA analyze the less dangerous alternative of a longstanding Canadian plan simply to store the steam generators indefinitely onsite. They demand this happen before granting a U.S. DOT permit for the shipment of these radioactive wastes through U.S. waters on the Great Lakes. As described in the coalition's press release, the Great Lakes and Saint Lawrence Cities Initiative has calculated that the radioactive cargo would violate International Atomic Energy Agency safety regulations for the amount of radioactivity allowed on a single ship by 50 times over. The Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission, whose staff has described the shipment as of very low risk, will hold a hearing in Ottawa, Ontario beginning on Sept. 29th to receive public comment from concerned citizens. Over 75 such submissions have been made by groups from the U.S. and Canada, showing how concerned environmentalists are about this radioactive waste shipment on the Great Lakes. Beyond Nuclear has registered to provide oral testimony at the hearing on the comments it has submitted. A full size image of the map showing the route above appeared in the Detroit News on Sept. 11.


German anti-nuclear activists planning huge protest rally

German anti-nuclear activists are preparing for a huge rally on September 18 in Berlin to protest license extensions for Germany's existing nuclear plants. A year ago, a similar rally due tens of thousands or nuclear opponents. The impetus comes as the German government announces a compromise position on license renewals for its 17 nuclear plants, agreeing to a 12-14-year extension rather than 20 but more than the eight-year limit pushed by the environment minister. The rally organizers  - spearheaded by Campact - also organized last April's 75-mile long and 1,200+ human chain to protest license extensions for two of the country's reactors. Hundreds already protested the license extension announcement in Berlin on September 5.


Floating Chernobyls

They would be floating Chernobyls. Russia has embarked on a scheme of building floating nuclear power plants to be moored off its coasts and sold to nations around the world. The Huffington Post. More here on the risks.