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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
Mar252010

Irish Greens decry nuclear build

Edie's reports that Irish Green party politician Mark Dearey has called for a debate over plans to build a string of next generation nuclear power stations along Britain's west coast amid concerns over possible design faults. Senator Dearey, speaking in the Irish parliament called for a house debate and investigation by the nuclear safety watchdog the UK Nuclear Installations Inspectorate into "the assertion that this reactor design is fundamentally unsafe". The minister spoke after French anti-nuclear campaigners claimed to have unearthed confidential documents leaked by an insider at French electricity company EDF showing tests on third-generation reactors show defects that could lead to "Chernobyl-type accident". 

Sunday
Jan312010

Push in Ontario for strengthened tritium drinking water health protection standards

Rosalie Bertell is a Grey Nun of the Sacred Heart and Ph.D. in Biometrics. She has been awarded 1986 Right Livelihood (altnerative Nobel Peace Prize) -- and many other environmental and human rights awards -- for her lifelong work to protect human health against the hazards of ionizing radiation and toxic chemicals. On March 1, 2008, Dr. Bertell provided testimony to the Ontario Drinking Water Advisory Council on behalf of the International Institute of Concern for Public Health which she founded. She called for a dramatic strengthening of health protection standards regarding radioactive tritium in drinking water. The Ontario Drinking Water Advisory Council seems to have listened, for in May 2009 it advised the provincial government of Ontario to lower "permissible" levels of tritium in drinking water down from 7,000 becquerels per liter (189,000 picocuries per liter) to 20 becquerels per liter (540 picocuries per liter), a 350-fold strengthening of Ontario health protection standards, and a nearly 40-fold strengthening upon current U.S. Environmental Protection Agency drinking water standards (which allow for 20,000 picocuries per liter of tritium in drinking water).

Saturday
Dec262009

Canadian nuclear plant spills tritium and hydrazine into Lake Ontario

The Toronto Star has reported that the Darlington nuclear power plant, site of 4 CANDU reactors, accidentally released over 50,000 gallons of water contaminated with radioactive tritium and toxic hydrazine into Lake Ontario. Predicatbly, the Ontario nuclear utility has downplayed any health risks. But documents on Beyond Nuclear's and NIRS' websites show that tritium, whether released into the environment "routinely" as part of daily operations, or accidentally via spills or leaks, cannot only cause cancer, but other maladies such as birth defects and genetic damage. For its part, hydrazine is so toxic that the U.S. military justified its shooting down of a listless satellite in order to prevent the toxin on board from reaching the Earth's surface, as reported by National Public Radio in early 2008.

Monday
Nov162009

12 reasons why the U.K. government should rethink nuclear expansion plans

The U.K. government has confirmed its intentions to build 15 new reactors at 10 sites, just as Électricité de France announced that it expects the British to subsidize its new construction across the U.K. Jeremy Leggett, writing in The Guardian, offers 12 compelling arguments against importing French nuclear technology and expanding nuclear power in Britain. (Social entrepreneur Jeremy Leggett is founder and Chairman of Solarcentury, the UK's largest solar solutions company, and SolarAid, a charity set up with Solarcentury profits. He is author of The Carbon War and Half Gone.)

Tuesday
Sep222009

Scottish reactor leaks low-level waste

Environmentalists in Scotland sounded the warning once more about the nuclear industry's incompetence when it was found that the Hunterston B reactor had leaked so-called low-level radioactive waste into the Firth of Clyde. Lang Banks, a spokesperson for the World Wildlife Fund said: ". . .the history of nuclear power plants is littered with final warnings . . . Nuclear power is a dirty, dangerous and expensive energy source. The sooner Scotland is nuclear-free the better.’’