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Safety

Nuclear safety is, of course, an oxymoron. Nuclear reactors are inherently dangerous, vulnerable to accident with the potential for catastrophic consequences to health and the environment if enough radioactivity escapes. The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Congressionally-mandated to protect public safety, is a blatant lapdog bowing to the financial priorities of the nuclear industry.

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Tuesday
May242011

What lessons will the U.S. learn from Fukushima Daiichi's radioactive “tsunami that never seems to roll back”? 

An op-ed in the International Herald Tribune entitled "Fukushima in America" by Nassrine Azimi asks if the U.S. will take heed of the lessons from Japan's historic nuclear weapons and nuclear power catastrophes.

Thursday
May052011

Nature reports that 90 million people live within 30 km danger zone of atomic reactors

The journal Nature reports toat over 90 million people around the world live within 30 km (19 miles) of an atomic reactor. 30 km represents the current radius of the "Dead Zone" drawn around the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in Japan. Of these 90 million people, 16 million are in the U.S.; over nine million each reside in China, Germany and Pakistan; more than five million reside in France, India, and Taiwan. If the radius is expanded to 75 kilometres (47 miles), the number of residents in such nuclear emergency zones increases to almost 500 million. 50 miles is the distance that the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission chairman Greg Jazcko told Congress in mid March that Americans should stay away from the destroyed Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in Japan, just days into the nuclear catastrophe.

Tuesday
Jan252011

Steam leak at Susquehanna shuts nuclear plant

A steam leak at the Susquehanna nuclear power plant near Berwick, PA on January 25. When operators realized the steam leak could not be isolated, they opted to "scram" - or shut down the reactor. The leak occurred in the feedwater heater bay of Unit 1. 

Tuesday
Dec212010

Environmental coalition organizes to resist Davis-Besse license extension

Boric acid-rust "lava" flows from Davis-Besse lid. In 2002 it was revealed that a mere 3/16ths of an inch of metal was preventing a breach and loss-of-coolant-accident.Beyond Nuclear, along with The Green Party of Ohio (ohiogreens.org), the Ohio Sierra Club (ohiosierraclub.org ), Don't Waste Michigan and the Coalition for a Nuclear-Free Great Lakes held a people's hearing in Toledo on Sat., Dec. 18th to oppose the 20 year license extension recently sought by the trouble-plagued Davis-Besse atomic reactor. The event was held at St. Mark's Episcopal Church in Toledo, Ohio. Concerned citizens' comments and testimony were videorecorded, and will be submitted to NRC as official public comment for its environmental scoping on the proposal. Alvin D. Compaan, Distinguished University Professor of Physics, Emeritus, at the University of Toledo, presented on "The case for replacing Davis-Besse with efficiency improvements and renewable energy sources." Kathryn Hoepfl, a University of Toledo undergraduate student of physics, also showed how wind power and solar power can readily replace Davis-Besse's atomic electricity. Other speakers included event organizers Joseph DeMare and Anita Rios of the Green Party of Ohio, Tony Szilagye of the Ohio Sierra Club, Ed McArdle of the Southeast Michigan Group of the Sierra Club, Phyllis Oster (who intervened against Davis-Besse's initial licensing over 30 years ago), David Ellison (a Cleveland architect and Green Party member), Ralph Semrock of SOLTERRA, and Michael Leonardi (a Toledo native who now resides in Italy). Kevin Kamps of Beyond Nuclear presented on his backgrounder, "Davis-Besse: 20 MORE Years of Radioactive Russian Roulette?!", which summarizes the numerous near-disasters there since operations began in 1977. Environmental groups plan to intervene against the license extension by the Dec. 27th deadline. A flyer announced the people's hearing. The Toledo Free Press has editorialized against the Davis-Besse license extension, and Tom Henry of the Toledo Blade attended and wrote an article about the people's hearing.

Thursday
Dec022010

"Chernobyl: Consequences of the Catastrophe for People and the Environment" available online for free

Chernobyl: Consequences of the Catastrophe for People and the Environment, Dec. 2009, 335 pages, published by the New York Academy of Sciences (NYAS), is viewable online at no charge in PDF format. Go to: http://www.nyas.org/Publications/Annals/Detail.aspx?cid=f3f3bd16-51ba-4d7b-a086-753f44b3bfc1. Then click on “Full Text.” Then, under “Annals Access,” next to “Nonmembers,” click on “View Annals TOC free.” This will allow you, chapter by chapter, to download and/or view the entire text of the book, for free. As the 25th commemoration of the Chernobyl nuclear catastrophe approaches (April 26, 2011), this vital book could not be more timely. It is written by Alexey V. Yablokov of the Center for Russian Environmental Policy in Moscow, Russia; Vassily B. Nesterenko, and Alexey V. Nesterenko, of the Institute of Radiation Safety in Minsk, Belarus. Janette D. Sherman-Nevinger of the Environmental Institute at Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo, Michigan, U.S.A. has served as the Consulting Editor. Please help spread the word about this significant scientific study, and its availability online at no charge. Its hardcopy sale price from the NYAS has been a whopping $150 for nonmembers – out of reach, of course, for most all-volunteer anti-nuclear groups. Besides that, NYAS only printed 700 hardcopies of the book to begin with. Now, no copies are left, and it is unknown if more will be printed.