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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. We also cover nuclear weapons issues on our international site, Beyond Nuclear International.

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Thursday
Feb012018

EPA orders cleanup at St. Louis nuclear waste site

As reported by the Washington Post.

Culminating a 27-year process, EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt has agreed to a $237 million partial clean up of the West Lake Landfill radioactive waste dump, rather than a complete clean up estimated to cost $700 million. The article does not report on where the radioactive contamination will be transferred to.

Dawn Chapman, co-founder of the West Lake Landfill neighborhood watch-dog group Just Moms STL northwest of St. Louis, MO, is quoted in the article:

“We were hoping for full, 100 percent excavation. But we know that would be difficult to accomplish,” said Dawn Chapman, co-founder of Just Moms, an activist group that has long pushed for an extensive excavation and relocation of families near the landfill.

She said her group views Thursday’s decision as a hard-fought victory, but one that is far from guaranteed, given that the public comment and cleanup process is likely to unfold over years. “We have to stay here and watch it and see it through,” she said. “I look ahead, and I see these other big battles coming. We’re not going to blink, because you can’t … We will continue to fight to get even more [radioactive waste] removed.”

Kay Drey, president of the board of Beyond Nuclear and a decades long watch-dog on the West Lake Landfill, located in the Missouri River floodplain just upstream from major metropolitan drinking water supply intakes, attended the early morning announcement of the EPA's decision. The radioactive waste is the oldest of the Atomic Age, originating from Belgian Congo uranium ore processed in St. Louis for use in the Manhattan Project race for the nuclear bomb in WWII.

EPA's announcement comes just 11 days before HBO premieres a major new documentary about the West Lake Landfill saga entitled "Atomic Homefront."

Wednesday
Jan312018

In Memoriam: Dr. Victor W. Sidel, PSR Founding Member

January 31, 2018

Victor W. Sidel, MD, a visionary medical leader and founding member of Physicians for Social Responsibility (PSR), died on January 30, 2018 in Greenwood Village, Colorado. Dr. Sidel's 60 years of advocacy invigorated the American medical and public health communities for the cause of peace and nuclear disarmament.

Dr. Sidel founded PSR in 1961 after meeting Dr. Bernard Lown, a cardiologist at Harvard University. He inspired physicians and health professionals to take responsibility to prevent nuclear war. In a 2013 interview with Social Medicine, Dr. Sidel said, "I want to prevent the wounds, not simply treat them." Dr. Sidel contributed to a series of articles on the medical consequences of nuclear war that were published in the New England Journal of Medicine in 1962. These articles spurred the formation of PSR chapters across the country.

Drs. Jack Geiger, Victor Sidel, and Sidney Alexander at the 1985 Nobel Prize ceremony

Later, Dr. Sidel became a co-president of PSR's global affiliate, International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW), recipient of the 1985 Nobel Peace Prize for achieving the Limited Nuclear Test Ban Treaty. Dr. Sidel also served as president of the American Public Health Association (APHA) during the height of the nuclear freeze movement. When Dr. Sidel was APHA president, he established precedent by calling the prevention of nuclear war a public health priority during the APHA annual meeting.

Dr. Sidel was the author of numerous books and articles about the human consequences of war, international health, and the impact of poverty and deprivation on health and well-being. He was coeditor with Dr. Barry Levy of War and Public Health, Terrorism and Public Health, and Social Injustice and Public Health, all published by Oxford University Press.

Dr. Sidel was chair of the Department of Social Medicine at Montefiore Medical Center in the Bronx, New York from 1969-1985. He then became Distinguished University Professor of Social Medicine at Montefiore and the Albert Einstein College of Medicine.

Graveside services will be held at Temple Ohabei Shalom Cemetery, 147 Wordsworth Street, East Boston, Massachusetts on February 4, 2018 at 11:30 a.m.

In lieu of flowers, remembrances may be made to Physicians for Social Responsibility (PSR) or to International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW).

Tuesday
Jan302018

Documentary film "Atomic Homefront" premieres on HBO Mon., Feb. 12

Just Moms STL founders Dawn Chapman and Karen Nichols with their children and neighbors, protesting the radioactive contamination of their community in St. Louis in 2015.As reported on the film's website, where you can watch the trailer and a few clips.

Watch for screenings at cinemas near you (including Annapolis, MD on 2/11; St. Petersburg, FL on 2/22; and at the Washington, DC Environmental Film Festival sometime between 3/15-25, TBA).

Learn more about the film at "Atomic Homefront's" website.

(Beyond Nuclear board president Kay Drey of University City, MO has been a decades-long watchdog on the radioactive West Lake Landfill near St. Louis. Beyond Nuclear board member Lucas Hixon has published primary research on the radioactive contamination dumped there, and its escape into surrounding residential neighborhoods. Enter <West Lake Landfill> into this website's search field, for scores of posts about these Manhattan Project radioactive wastes, some of the very oldest of the Atomic Age, dumped illegally in the Missouri River floodplain, upstream of major metropolitan drinking water supplies.)

Monday
Jan292018

Prevent War with North Korea: Build on the Olympic Truce

Action alert from Joseph Gerson of the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) re: "Peace and Economic Security":

The Olympic Truce, engineered by South Korean President Moon Jae-in and North Korea's Kim Jung-un, has for the moment sidelined President Trump's threats of war and given us the "gift of time" to build on it for broader diplomacy, for peace, not catastrophic war, in Korea.

Please take a look at my friend and colleague Kevin Martin's article about the Olympic Truce and steps that you can take with AFSC, Peace Action and a host of other organizations to build on this opportunity. Click here to find related resources.

For peace and survival,

Joseph

READ ARTICLE

Thursday
Jan252018

Nuclear Age Peace Foundation Alert: Take Action. This is not a drill.

Take Action for Peace on the Korean Peninsula

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Hawaii Missile Alert

"THIS IS NOT A DRILL." Fortunately for humanity and the people of Hawaii, those five words were part of a false alarm warning of an incoming ballistic missile attack. But with tensions between the U.S. and North Korea higher than they've been in decades, we must act now to reduce the dangers and achieve a lasting peace on the Korean Peninsula.

Here are three things that you can do right now to help:

1. Tell your senators and representative to co-sponsor legislation that would prevent a military strike against North Korea without congressional authorization. These bills, H.R.4837 and S.2016, urgently need more co-sponsors. Click here to encourage your elected officials to join this common sense legislation.

2. Sign the People's Peace Treaty with North Korea. The Korean War ended in 1953 with an Armistice Agreement. Today, 65 years later, there is still no peace treaty. Sign the People's Peace Treaty as your personal declaration of peace!

3. Support the Olympic Truce. From Ancient Greece to today, the Olympic Truce has aimed to ensure safe passage for athletes and spectators during the Olympic Games. As the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, South Korea, draw near, we must ensure that peace prevails on the Korean Peninsula. We encourage you to gather with friends over the next couple of weeks and watch the film "Games of Their Lives," about the 1966 North Korean World Cup soccer team and the unifying power of sports.

Earlier today, the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists moved their Doomsday Clock up to two minutes until midnight. We all must act to bring humanity back from the brink.