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Nuclear Weapons

Beyond Nuclear advocates for the elimination of all nuclear weapons and argues that removing them can only make us safer, not more vulnerable. The expansion of commercial nuclear power across the globe only increases the chance that more nuclear weapons will be built and is counterproductive to disarmament.

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Thursday
Jun042015

"West Lake Landfill Encloses a Unique Danger"

Photo of Bridgeton Landfill Aug. 19, 2013 showing black liner material to be covered. (Photo: dnr.mo.gov/bridgeton/)Kevin Killeen of KMOX/CBS St. Louis has interviewed Beyond Nuclear's Radioactive Waste Watchdog, Kevin Kamps, about the nuclear weapons radioactive wastes illegally dumped in the West Lake Landfill in metro St. Louis, MO:

A radioactive waste watchdog from Maryland is calling for the total removal of nuclear waste from the West Lake Landfill in Bridgeton, Mo. Kevin Kamps, with the group Beyond Nuclear says other towns have nuclear dumps, but St. Louis has something worse.

“In this particular case you have a radioactive waste dump with an underground fire adjacent to it in an urban area on major drinking water supplies,” Kamps says. “So obviously it has to be moved.”

Kamps says the dump, which is 20 miles west of downtown St. Louis, is the only nuclear dump threatened by an underground garbage fire.

“There are millions of people in this area who are at risk,” Kamps says. “Air born released of radioactive hazards, water born releases of radioactive hazards and that’s why it has to be dug up and disposed of in a more secure setting.”

He urged citizens to write their congressman or senator saying you want the Westlake nuclear waste taken away.

Kamps specializes in high-level waste management and transportation for Beyond Nuclear, an environmental company who’s goal is to raise awareness and limit the countries nuclear waste levels.

In March 2015, Beyond Nuclear board member Kay Drey and colleagues in St. Louis published a pamphlet entitled   "Remove the radioactive wastes NOW! Protect Metro St. Louis' water and air from West Lake Landfill's radioactive contamination!" It includes a map, showing that the radioactive wastes at West Lake Landfill are upstream of the drinking water intakes for North County and the City of St. Louis, on the Missouri and Mississippi Rivers. The pamphlet urges readers to "Please go to www.moenviron.org to sign a letter asking U.S. Senators Claire McCaskill and Roy Blunt and Congress members William Lacy Clay and Ann Wagner to work to transfer responsibility for West Lake’s radioactive wastes to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers."

Thursday
May212015

Michael J. Keegan receives ANA & Beyond Nuclear "Judith Johnsrud Unsung Hero Award" at DC Days

Michael J. Keegan (right) receives Judith Johnsrud Unsung Hero Award from Beyond Nuclear's Kevin Kamps. Photo by Glenn Carroll of Nukewatch South.On May 18, the Alliance for Nuclear Accountability (ANA) and Beyond Nuclear named Michael J. Keegan of Monroe, MI the 2015 Judith Johnsrud Unsung Hero, "for demonstrating tireless dedication and stubborn determination, undeterred by lack of recognition, resources, or short-term success, in his creative, visionary work for a Nuclear-Free Great Lakes." The award ceremony took place as part of ANA's annual D.C. Days Capitol Hill reception, held at Rayburn House Office Building.

The award was named after Beyond Nuclear founding board member, Dr. Judith H. Johnsrud, who passed on in 2014. Judy's anti-nuclear activism began in 1967, when she blocked Project Ketch, a scheme to explode a thousand H bombs underground in Pennsylvania, to carve natural gas storage. Her resistance to nuclear power included intervening against Three Mile Island, long before the meltdown. In 2012, the Sierra Club honored Judy with a lifetime achievement award for her half-century of anti-nuclear activism. (See Beyond Nuclear's tribute to Judy on p. 6 of its TMI 35th anniversary newsletter.)

The criteria for this award include: a clear dedication to the issue; hard-working and self-sacrificing; determined, fearless spirit when confronted with challenges and setbacks; unsung. No one fits this bill better than Michael J. Keegan. More.

Tuesday
May122015

Beyond Nuclear on Thom Hartman's "The Big Picture" re: Chinese proliferation concerns

Thom Hartmann, host of "The Big Picture"Thom Hartmann, host of "The Big Picture," had Beyond Nuclear's Kevin Kamps on to discuss the Obama administration's attempt to extend approval nuclear power commerce with China, despite congressional concerns about dual-use technology that could be transferred to China's nuclear submarines, as well as "vertical" and "horizontal" proliferation concerns from reprocessing plutonium (adding to China's own nuclear arsenal, or the spread of nuclear weaponry to other countries or terrorist groups, respectively).

(Thom and Kevin also discussed the transformer fires at Entergy Nuclear's Indian Point nuclear power plant, and consequent oil spill into the Hudson River upstream from New York City.)

(See the segment from the 46:00 minute mark to the 52:15 minute mark.)

Friday
May082015

Appeals court overturns convictions and vacates sentences of Oak Ridge 3

The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals handed down a decision in favor of the Megan Rice, Michael Walli and Greg Boertje-Obed (pictured) who were convicted in 2013 of sabotage for their July 28, 2012 Transform Now Plowshares protest of nuclear weapons production at the Y12 Nuclear Weapons Complex in Oak Ridge, Tennessee.

“The purpose of the action of Michael, Megan and Greg was to call attention to the ongoing production of thermonuclear weapons components at the bomb plant in Oak Ridge and, more specifically, to oppose plans to build a new, multi-billion dollar bomb plant—the Uranium Processing Facility—at Y12,” said Ralph Hutchison, coordinator of the Oak Ridge Environmental Peace Alliance. “They were nonviolent protestors in the tradition of Gandhi, not saboteurs. We are pleased the Sixth Circuit appreciated the difference.”

The court ruled 2-1 in a decision handed down on May 8, 2015, that the government failed to prove the Transform Now Plowshares activists intended to “injure the national defense,” a requirement for conviction under the sabotage act.  Disposing of the government’ arguments one by one, the court finally states simply: “The defendants’ convictions under §2155(a) must be reversed.”

Michael Walli is currently serving his sentence at McKean federal prison in Bradford, PA; Greg Boertje-Obed is in Leavenworth, KS; Megan Rice is in federal prison in Brooklyn, NY. Her release date is currently in mid-November, 2015. More.

Thursday
Apr302015

Mobilizing for the abolition nuclear weapons and atomic power

As we approach the 70th commemoration of the U.S. atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki this August 6th and 9th, those nations that openly and clandestinely possess nuclear weapons have failed to take treaty obligations seriously bringing the entire planet closer to nuclear destruction by accident, insanity or a deliberate act of war.  We can no longer afford to leave the future of planet Earth in the hands of governments, military and dirty, dangerous and dangerous energy industrialists.

This is the central message of The Peace & Planet Mobilization for a Nuclear Free Peaceful, Just and Sustainable World which was convened in New York City on April 24 through April 26, 2015. The weekend conference event culminated Monday in a march of nearly 8,000 participants to the United Nations to deliver 8 million signatures to the United Nations calling for “No More Nukes.”

The international event, sponsored by Peace Action, The American Friends Service Committee and the Western States Legal Foundation, drew more than 300 groups from around the world under the single umbrella with a message to the United Nations’ Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) Review Conference that we must end the Nuclear Age before it ends civilization.

Conference plenary speakers included Daniel Ellsberg, the publisher of the Pentagon Papers, Professor Zia Mann, Princeton University and Director of Project On Science and Global Security, and Setsuko Thurlow, a Hiroshima bombing survivor and Nobel Peace Prize Nominee for 2015.  

Beyond Nuclear’s Kevin Kamps was interviewed on the organization’s commitment to end “The Dangers of Nuclear Escalation.”

Beyond Nuclear has joined nearly 100 other organizations in endorsing "The Nuclear Danger Today: Existing Nuclear Arsenals are the Greatest Nuclear Threat," a group sign on statement drafted by Andrew Lichterman of the Western States Legal Foundation. On May 1, a session of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference at UN headquarters in New York will be dedicated to civil society statements, including this one.