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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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Friday
Sep112009

German government under Kohl doctored report to downplay waste site risks

Documents recently uncovered reveal that former German Chancellor Helmut Kohl doctored a report in order to play down the risks of a proposed nuclear waste storage site in Gorleben in Lower Saxony. Der Spiegel reported this week that the Kophl government covered up warnings found in the report that radioactive material could seep into groundwater. Gorleben has been the object of frequent protests by anti-nuclear demonstrators. Last week, 50,000 people marched in Berlin against nuclear power. A similar salt-based waste dump site in Asse, Germany, a former salt mine, is the most contaminated legacy of Germany’s nuclear power industry.

Thursday
Sep032009

German reactor accident worse than first admitted

The Krummel reactor near Hamburg, Germany was shut down on July 4, 2009 following a transformer fire caused by an electrical short circuit. The reactor had been running for only two weeks after a previous fire in the other transformer in 2007 had closed the plant for two years and cost Vattenfall, its Swedish owner, $420 million in repairs and upgrades. Vattenfall officials reluctantly disclosed that this time the SCRAM was complicated by damage to "perhaps a few fuel elements" but would not elaborate other than to say all safety systems operated and there was no radiation leak. Der Spiegel reports that evidence of sharp metal shavings and other foreign objects left behind from repairs inside the reactor vessel are evidence of the company's even more problematic carelessness and mismanagement. If you can understand German (and even if you can't), please enjoy the Greenpeace video on the Vattenfal reactor situation.

Sunday
Jul122009

Cover up of leaks at U.K. reactor could have led to radioactive fire

Watch the outstanding Channel 4 British television report about the radioactive leaks at the Sizewell A reactor and the close call that was averted by luck, then covered up for two years.

Sunday
Jul122009

Canadian report recommends stricter radiation protection standard for water as tritium scandal widens 

A May 21, 2009 report by a Canadian government agency task force has recommended stricter regulation on the release of tritium from nuclear reactors just as a slew of tritium leaks have been reported at U.S. reactors. Tritium, (a radioactive form of hydrogen), is clinically proven to cause cancer, birth defects and genetic damage with no known safe threshold dose. The Canadian report recommends the "safe" level be dramatically reduced to 500 picoCuries per liter. Current U.S. standards vary. Under Nuclear Regulatory Commission standards, the "safe" dose is one million picoCuries per liter, compared to the Environmental Protection Agency's 20,000 and the State of California's 400.  

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