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ARTICLE ARCHIVE

Nuclear Power

Nuclear power cannot address climate change effectively or in time. Reactors have long, unpredictable construction times are expensive - at least $12 billion or higher per reactor. Furthermore, reactors are sitting-duck targets vulnerable to attack and routinely release - as well as leak - radioactivity. There is so solution to the problem of radioactive waste.

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Monday
Feb192018

Nuclear power could END this history of southwest Michigan

In an article by Alexandra Newman in the St. Joe-Benton Harbor Herald-Palladium entitled "How nuclear power became a Southwest Michigan powerhouse," the following section quotes Beyond Nuclear's Kevin Kamps (who is from s.w. MI, and has served as a board member of the statewide anti-nuclear group Don't Waste MI since 1992, representing his hometown Kalamazoo chapter):

A history of opposition

Kevin Kamps, of the anti-nuclear group Beyond Nuclear, said long before he joined the anti-nuclear effort in 1992, grassroots activists were fighting against Palisades and Cook.

“I had mentors that opposed, at least Palisades, before construction even began,” he said. “Sandy Adams told me of her times gathering signatures on petitions and a local man, Maynard Koffman, started very early opposing the plant. You hear a lot of stories like that.”

Kamps said Mary Sinclair, who died in 2011, was a prominent anti-nuclear activist in the state who got her start opposing nuclear power when original owner Consumers Power announced its intention to build the Palisades plant.

Kamps said people like him still fight against nuclear power because of all the risks involved. He claims, for example, that Palisades has one of the most embrittled reactors in the country; Cook’s design is weak and small, making it uncertain that if an accident happened, whether the containment system would actually contain it; they both have very problematic dry cask storage systems; and they pose huge risks to Lake Michigan.

“What these risks represent is the ending of history in Southwest Michigan if areas have to be evacuated because of some sort of accident,” Kamps said. “It has only happened a handful of times, but it does happen. They’re playing nuclear Russian roulette. Energy can be created in much safer ways.”

Friday
Feb022018

NUKE POWER SHUTDOWNS are getting us closer to Solartopia

Solartopia Green Power and Wellness Hour - 02.02.18

NUKE POWER SHUTDOWNS are getting us closer to Solartopia.  We join TIM JUDSON and KEVIN KAMPS to explore the growing parade of atomic power plants being closed for reasons of economics, old age and grid limitations in light of the massive influx of renewable energy.

Coming from the NUCLEAR INFORMATION & RESOURCE SERVICE & BEYOND NUCLEAR, we explore the situations at DIABLO CANYON in California, at PERRY, DAVIS-BESSE & BEAVER VALLEY in Ohio & Pennsylvania, and at four reactors in upstate New York being bailed out by Gov. Andrew Cuomo.  NIRS has joined a lawsuit to prevent those bailouts which has just gotten favorable news from a state court.

We also talk about the extreme danger of nukes being built in CHINA and the horrors of FUKUSHIMA, 3 MILE ISLAND, CHERNOBYL and other catastrophes of the atomic age.

With the onrush of renewables, there is hope for a green-powered Earth, and the path is being cleared by these truly great activists.  Don’t miss what they say.

Listen to the audio recording, here.

Thursday
Feb012018

Power’s Prophet: Remembering Gene Sharp

As Stephen Zunes' remembrance in The Progressive states, "[Gene] Sharp’s writings were employed by modern U.S. progressive movements from the anti-nuclear movement of the 1970s through the Occupy movement earlier this decade."

As Democracy Now! reported on Jan. 31st:

Nonviolent Resistance Advocate Gene Sharp Dies at 90

And Gene Sharp, a lifelong advocate of nonviolent resistance, has died at the age of 90. Sharp was most famous for his extensive writings on nonviolent struggle, which include the influential book “From Dictatorship to Democracy: A Conceptual Framework for Liberation.” He was also the founder of the Albert Einstein Institution, which is dedicated to advancing the study of nonviolent action. This is Gene Sharp accepting the Right Livelihood Award in 2012.

Gene Sharp: “Nonviolent struggle, or nonviolent action, includes three categories of methods, specific means of acting. One, the methods of nonviolent protest, that are symbolic activities, such as marching down the street or displaying certain colors. But this technique, if it has only that, wouldn’t be worth much. It also includes the much more powerful methods of noncooperation, such as social boycotts, economic boycotts, labor strikes, political boycotts, civil disobedience. And thirdly, the methods of nonviolent intervention and disruption, such as sit-ins, fasts and the creation of new institutions.”

Gene Sharp died Sunday at the age of 90 in his home in Boston.

The Washington Post also published an obituary.

Wednesday
Jan242018

An in-depth look at the danger of the United States’ aging nuclear power plants

Beyond Nuclear joined Los Alamos Study Group on Sputnik Radio's program "Loud & Clear," hosted by Brian Becker and John Kiriakou.

Here is "Loud & Clear's" write up:

Brian and John talk about the grave dangers posed by America’s aging nuclear power plants in a 30-minute excerpt from an interview with nuclear experts. Greg Mello, the executive director of the Los Alamos Study Group, and Kevin Kamps, the Radioactive Waste Watchdog at the organization Beyond Nuclear, join the show.

Listen to the audio recording here.

(Earlier in the hour, "Loud & Clear's" hosts interviewed Dan Ellsberg on his new book, The Doomsday Machine: Confessions of a Nuclear War Planner.)

Thursday
Jan112018

California’s last nuclear plant to close after unanimous vote by regulators

As reported by David R. Baker in the San Francisco Chronicle.

San Luis Obispo Mothers for Peace (MPF) issued the following initial reaction to the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) decision on the closure of Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant:

Initial reaction of San Luis Obispo Mothers for Peace (MFP) to the January 11, 2018 vote of the CPUC on the Joint Proposal to close the Diablo Canyon nuclear plant.

Contact:         Jane Swanson, Spokesperson, San Luis Obispo Mothers for Peace

                        (805) 440-1359

                        janeslo@icloud.com

San Luis Obispo Mothers for Peace (MFP) welcomes today’s unanimous decision on the closure of the Diablo Canyon nuclear plant. MFP attorney Sabrina Venskus summarized the organization’s reaction.

"The Commission made a well-reasoned and fair decision in this case. We are pleased that the Commission acknowledged that earlier closure of Diablo may be warranted, and has built into its Final Decision the possibility of challenging the continued operation of Diablo well before the anticipated 2024/2025 shutdown."

The Decision keeps open the door for an earlier closure date in response to evidence submitted by Mothers for Peace and an allied organization, Women’s Energy Matters. Expert witnesses showed that replacement of Diablo’s electricity output by renewable sources might well be possible as soon as 2020. The Decision authorizes the Commission to reconsider PG&E's requested 2024/2025 retirement dates should "facts change in a manner that indicates Diablo Canyon should be retired earlier."   The Decision states that, "Because there is a possibility that Diablo Canyon may cease operations earlier than 2024 and 2025, PG&E should prepare for that contingency."

A more complete press release from MFP with links to relevant documents will follow later in the day. [See MFP's full press release, posted below as an Update.]

Arnie Gundersen, Chief Engineer at Fairewinds Energy Education, stated in response to the news:

Don’t pop the champagne yet.  It ain’t over till its over!  Remember construction started in the late 1960’s but the forty year NRC license started in 1985 when they finally went on line!  Pray that this 55 y/o [year old] reactor holds together for six more years!  I was retained by Mothers for Peace as part of these hearings.  My report is quite damning and is available at this link:    http://www.fairewinds.org/nuclear-energy-education//arnie-gundersen-fairewinds-associates-testimony-to-the-cpuc-31-1-17?rq=mothers%20for%20peace     Bottom line:  PGE’s deferred maintenance is hideous, seismic issues are real, and the reactor vessel is seriously embrittled.  Best case is that it breaks and can’t be affordably restarted.  Worst case is a meltdown.  Pray for the next six years!

Friends of the Earth (FOE), was originally founded by David Brower in the 1960s to oppose the construction and operation of Diablo Canyon. FOE played a lead role in hammering out the Diablo Canyon shutdown agreement with Pacific Gas & Electric and other partners from labor and the environmental movement.

Damon Moglen, Senior Strategic Advisor at Friends of the Earth, issued the following statement:

The commission’s decision to support closing Diablo Canyon gives California a historic opportunity to create a blueprint for closing nuclear and fossil fuel plants across the country.

With the plans in motion to close the plant, the commission needs to begin the process of replacing Diablo Canyon with clean, renewable sources of energy. Further, the commission missed an opportunity to ensure that the plant’s workers and local community would receive the support they need to make this transition successful.

While state leaders talk about taking action on climate change, today’s decision by the commission fell short of putting those values into action. We will continue to work to assure that Diablo Canyon is replaced by greenhouse gas-free renewable energy, and that we treat the workers and local communities with the respect that such a historic decision demands. [See the full FOE press release here.]

Beyond Nuclear, alongside Nuclear Information and Resource Service (NIRS), will co-present on radioactive waste issues at a MFP educational event in San Luis Obispo, CA on Jan. 19, 2018.