Demonstrators to rally for nuclear abolition The Wisconsin Gazette Monday, 20 April 2015 Thousands of protesters are set to gather in New York City this week to demand a nuclear-free world in advance of the five-year Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty Review Conference.
Activists, scholars and students with anti-nuclear, peace and environmental justice movements will call on the NPT Review Conference meeting at the United Nations to mandate the commencement of “good faith negotiations” for the complete elimination of the world’s nuclear arsenals, as required by the treaty.
Activist events include an international conference April 24-25 at the Cooper Union featuring speakers from more than a dozen countries.
On April 26, a mass rally will take place in Union Square, followed by a march to Dag Hammarskjold Plaza, where millions of petition signatures will be presented to UN and NPT officials.
The rally will launch a “Global Wave,” with participants symbolically waving goodbye to nuclear weapons. The Global Wave will travel west, by time zone, with public events scheduled in Papeete, Manila, Amman, Bethlehem, Stockholm, Paris, London, Sao Paulo and points in-between.
An interfaith service will precede the rally.
Joseph Gerson, disarmament coordinator at the American Friends Service Committee and one of the events’ lead organizers, is working with activists from Tokyo to Toronto and Berlin to Brazil.
He said, “More than a thousand Japanese activists, including 50 Hiroshima and Nagasaki A-bomb survivors, will be joining us in this 70th anniversary year of the U.S. atomic bombings. Their suitcases will be filled with 7,000,000 petition signatures calling for the abolition of nuclear weapons.”
In the United States, peace walks originating in Tennessee, at the Oak Ridge nuclear weapons production facility, California and New England, will converge in New York, with groups journeying on peace trains from Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Connecticut, and coming on buses from as far away as Chicago and Massachusetts.
A “Bike for Peace” ride from Washington, D.C., will arrive in New York City on April 24.
Organizers say nuclear disarmament is now more important than ever………http://www.wisconsingazette.com/trending/demonstrators-to-rally-for-nuclear-abolition.html
I am asking you to wave goodbye to these weapons, though I cannot do so myself. But I can raise my voice, and my paintbrush, and I will do that until the day I die, to ensure that the world sees what has happened in my country and my community, and more importantly, to make sure that this never happens again, in rich countries or in poor countries or in any other hidden place on earth. Children like me were hidden for long enough. I want to use my voice to tell you about us, now, and use my brush to show you the beauty and heartbreak of my landscape
Eliminating the World’s Nuclear Weapons by Bicycle Silk Road Reporters, by Karipbek Kuyukov 23 Apr 15 On April 21, another push – many miles worth, in fact – was added to the growing worldwide drive to rid the planet of nuclear weapons as the Bike Away the Atomic Bomb riders begin their journey from Washington, D.C. to New York to call for real action to be taken at the UN Nonproliferation Treaty Review Conference in New York on April 27. I won’t be riding with them. I couldn’t hold the handlebars, or anything else, for that matter: when I was born, outside the now-closed Semipalatinsk Nuclear Test Site in eastern Kazakhstan, it was without arms.
I’m not unusual, where I come from. Forty years of nuclear testing and hundreds of nuclear explosions have blighted swathes of the beautiful steppe there and shattered the surrounding communities, as their effects began to be seen in birth defects and diseases, which continue to this day. The UN estimates that 1.5 million people in Kazakhstan have been affected by the Soviet Union’s nuclear test programme. There are many people like me.
I am determined to be the last.
In a sense, I am lucky: Nursultan Nazarbayev, the president of Kazakhstan, shut down the poisonous Semipalatinsk test site in 1991, in defiance of the government in Moscow, and upon independence set about dismantling Kazakhstan’s formidable nuclear arsenal. Ukraine, Belarus and South Africa join Kazakhstan among the list of countries to renounce their nuclear weapons.
But I and they are also citizens of the world, and while our countries may be free of nuclear weapons, we remain vulnerable as long as the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty remains a dream. We have been waiting since 1996 for this ban to become a reality, and I call on China, Egypt, India, Iran, Israel, North Korea, Pakistan and the United States to finally sign and/or ratify this treaty. They must ensure that not one more person suffers from the consequences of nuclear testing and nuclear weapons use in the future.
I may not be able to ride with them, but I will be joining Mayors for Peace, Bike for Peace and The ATOM Project in Washington D.C. before the bikers start this new leg of our journey toward nuclear sanity. We are joining Global Wave 2015 in its schedule of coordinated public actions urging humanity – and particularly the decision-makers at the UN conference – to wave goodbye to nuclear weapons.
Tore Nærland, co-founder of Bike for Peace, and Thore Vestby, mayor of Frogn, Norway, who is also vice president of Mayors for Peace and a member of Parliamentarians for Nuclear Nonproliferation and Disarmament are among those who will be riding for four days from Washington to New York.
For this tour, Vestby says, he has a specific message: That nuclear weapons cannot be used, because of their enormous humanitarian and environmental consequences, and are therefore useless………
I am asking you to wave goodbye to these weapons, though I cannot do so myself. But I can raise my voice, and my paintbrush, and I will do that until the day I die, to ensure that the world sees what has happened in my country and my community, and more importantly, to make sure that this never happens again, in rich countries or in poor countries or in any other hidden place on earth. Children like me were hidden for long enough. I want to use my voice to tell you about us, now, and use my brush to show you the beauty and heartbreak of my landscape……… The author is the honorary ambassador of The ATOM Project. http://www.silkroadreporters.com/2015/04/23/eliminating-the-worlds-nuclear-weapons-by-bicycle/
Why Austria traditionally opposes nuclear power https://www.dailystar.com.lb/Opinion/Commentary/2015/Apr-22/295256-why-austria-traditionally-opposes-nuclear-power.ashx Andreas Molin The Daily Star Last October, the European Union approved a controversial subsidy deal to allow billions of pounds of state aid for Hinkley Point C, a new nuclear reactor planned for the United Kingdom. Austria’s intention to launch a legal challenge against this decision has provoked controversial comments in international media. So, why does Austria care about a nuclear power plant being built in the U.K., and what are the real issues at stake?
Austria has been deeply skeptical about nuclear power for decades. Recall that in a 1978 referendum, the Austrian electorate decided not to start the operation of the nuclear Zwentendorf power plant. After the catastrophic events in Chernobyl in 1986, the opposition to and concerns about nuclear power became deeply rooted in the Austrian population, at all levels of society. (Austria was among those countries in Central Europe that were most affected by the disaster.)
Information regarding the safety of nuclear power plants of Russian design, which became public after 1989, reinforced these apprehensions, leading to explicit government policy in 1990.
A joint publication by the Heads of the European Radiological protection Competent Authorities and the Western European Nuclear Regulators Association released in October 2014 clearly states “that the possibility of severe accidents … cannot be completely ruled out. Such accidents could be as severe as the Fukushima one, affect more than one European country and require rapid protective actions in several of them.”
The transboundary nature of the risks associated with nuclear power dictates that the legitimate interests of Austrian citizens are represented in relation to all nuclear projects and installations.
As a matter of principle, Austria does not consider nuclear power to be compatible with the concept of sustainable development. Therefore, it does not consider reliance on nuclear power to be a viable option to combat the greenhouse effect. Sustainable development, if fully applied to the energy sector, would require substantial increases in energy efficiency and energy saving as well as a switch to renewable sources of energy.
It has been argued that the Austrian government’s long-standing position on this subject, supported by numerous resolutions in parliament, is at the core of the intended legal challenge. But that is not the case. Austria fully respects every country’s sovereign right to decide on its national energy mix.
The Austrian objection stems from concern about the provision of British aid for the project, and the extent to which it would comply with common European state aid and competition rules. The current European Environmental and Energy State Aid Guidelines allow, under strictly defined circumstances, for state aid to renewable energy projects, but there are no such rules for nuclear power projects. Therefore, an assessment has to be made on the basis of general EU competition law.
As a general rule, the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union prohibits state aid, while it leaves some room for certain policy objectives for which state aid can be considered compatible with the internal market.
European Commission guidelines and decision practice, as well as the European Court of Justice’s jurisdiction, have developed a set of principles that put these exemptions to the general rule into concrete terms. As the planned state aid for Hinkley Point C differs tremendously from all of these principles, it seems inevitable that the European Commission’s decision will be challenged.
The commission seems to be relying heavily on the idea of market failure, for instance, to justify its decision. This cannot be accepted: If the market fails to finance an unsustainable project, it is simply doing its job.
In essence, the arguments raised in order to justify this state aid could apply to any other large-scale power project as well. State aid for the Hinkley Point C nuclear power plant could therefore not only serve as a model for further nuclear new build projects, but also lead to a run on state aid throughout the entire EU energy sector.
Against this background, Austria felt it had no option but to challenge this state aid decision in the courts of the European Union. This action is not aimed at any particular EU member state, but rather seeks to defend a common competition regime, which this decision could render meaningless.
Andreas Molin is the director of the Austrian Federal Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, Environment and Water Management. He is the Austrian representative in the Steering Committee for Nuclear Energy of the Nuclear Energy Agency of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development and has served as vice chairman of the European Nuclear Safety Regulators Group(ENSREG) since 2011. This commentary originally appeared at TheMark News (www.themarknews.com).
EDF should ‘cuts its losses’ as Hinkley plans come under threat, Western Morning News 18 Apr 15 Campaigners are calling on energy investors to “cut their losses” on plans for a new reactor at Hinkley Point after a “very serious” fault was discovered in a similar French scheme.
Members of the Stop Hinkley group say project backers EDF should “give up” on plans for two new nuclear reactors at the Somerset plant and pursue a more “sensible” sustainable energy strategy. The comments come as French officials revealed details of an anomaly that occurred during the construction of an identical EPR power plant in Normandy.
EDF Energy, which will own and operate the Hinkley plant, said further investigations would be carried out on the development as soon as possible.
But the revelation has given rise to concerns about the future of Britain’s power supply, as Hinkley was expected to generate roughly 16% of the country’s electricity by the mid-2020s.
The problem with the new reactor at Flamanville is understood to surround the quality of the steel used to construct a casing around the reactor, known as the pressure vessel. Pierre-Franck Chevet, head of France’s nuclear safety inspectorate, said it was potentially “very serious” as it involved “a crucial part” of the reactor.
He added that the same manufacturing techniques had been used for the identical casings intended for Hinkley Point, which “have already been manufactured”.
Plans to develop a new generation of British reactors at Hinkley go back to the last Labour government in January 2008. The EPR reactors chosen for the site use pressurised water and are built to resist the impact of a commercial airline crash……..
Alan Jeffery, spokesman for Stop Hinkley, suggested the company should abandon its plans for the Somerset plant and start pursuing alternative options for the Westcountry.
“EDF Energy should cut its losses and give up on Hinkley C now, so that the South West can get on with developing a sensible sustainable energy strategy,” he said.
“To tackle climate change effectively we need to get started on energy efficiency and renewable energy programmes now, not waiting around for the nuclear industry to sort out its problems first.
“We don’t need this massive project that is going to leave us with a legacy of highly dangerous nuclear waste and radioactive emissions into our environment.” http://www.westernmorningnews.co.uk/EDF-cuts-losses-Hinkley-plans-come-threat/story-26353282-detail/story.html#ixzz3XnLzU0Nw
Mayors make case against FPL nuclear expansion BY JENNY STALETOVICH JSTALETOVICH@MIAMIHERALD.COM 17 Apr 15
The mayors — Tomas Regalado of Miami,, Philip Stoddard of South Miami and Cindy Lerner of Pinecrest — held a joint conference with one clear goal: Boost opposition to a controversial expansion that will be the subject of two public hearings federal regulators have scheduled next week in Miami-Dade.
“We are looking at a population base within 50 miles of 2.5 million people,’’ said Lerner. “Who in their right mind would put two new nuclear plants at sea level with storm surge?” Continue reading
Protests as Turkey builds first nuclear power plant, DW 14 Apr 15 Turkey launched construction of its first nuclear power plant on Tuesday, which the government hopes will open a new era of greater energy self-sufficiency. But the ceremony faced protests from environmentalists. Dozens of environmental protesters converged on the iron gates of the site in Akkuyu, on the shores of the Mediterranean, as the launch ceremony ended.
Video footage showed that they managed to lock official delegations, security officers and journalists inside the site. The protesters were only dispersed when a water cannon was used against them.
The government is hailing the power station – which will have four power units with a capacity of 1200 MW each – as a major development for the country – ……..
The Akkuyu plant has become a major issue for environmentalists, who have raised concerns about safety issues and the decision to build the power station in an area rich in wildlife.
Environmental campaign group Greenpeace in January lodged a complaint in court against the awarding of an environmental impact license to the plant and says it should not be built.
“Turkey is not ready to build nuclear reactors – the country is still missing the key pieces of necessary legislation,” Jan Beranek, the director of Greenpeace Mediterranean, told news agency AFP.
He said that the seismic assessment had been “totally inadequate” and accused the authorities of ignoring issues related to radioactive spent fuel which risked being transported through Istanbul on the Bosphorus Strait.
“There is no need for the country to set on a path of unpredictable nuclear hazards and this outdated, yet very expensive technology,” he added. http://www.dw.de/protests-as-turkey-builds-first-nuclear-power-plant/a-18383884
It’s time for Britain to move on from nuclear weapons http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2015/apr/11/letters-trident-not-desirable
Pinning our security on a nuclear deterrent encourages others to do the same The election campaign to date suggests that decommissioning Trident nuclear weapons is a dangerous, minority demand led by the SNP, the Greens and Plaid Cymru. Yet poll after poll reveals that it is in fact a majority popular demand throughout the UK. One poll recently revealed that 81% of 500 general election candidates are opposed to renewal. There are increasingly obvious reasons why we think it’s time to move on from Trident.
Pinning our security on a nuclear deterrent encourages others to do the same. The UK should become the first permanent member of the UN Security Council to give up all its nuclear weapons, transforming the nuclear club from within. Instead of protecting us, hosting nuclear weapons makes us a target for the disaffected. And any accident would lead to a humanitarian disaster. Having nuclear weapons diverts resources and attention from tackling our most urgent security problems, including climate and environmental destruction.
Finally, continuing to invest in nuclear weapons is actively depleting military and other effective defences we might need in the 21st century. We should invest military spending on conflict prevention. By moving on from Trident, we can more effectively serve the needs and the potential of our country and a changing world.
www.moveontrident.org ; Helena Kennedy QC; Young Fathers, Mercury prizewinners; Prof Peter Higgs, 2014 Nobel prize for physics; Vivienne Westwood, designer and activist; Frankie Boyle, comedian; Neal Lawson, Compass; Gabrielle Rifkind, Oxford Research Group; Konnie Huq, presenter; Massive Attack; Sir Michael Atiyah, ex-president of the Royal Society; Marina Cantacuzino, founder of The Forgiveness Project; Jonathon Porritt, Forum for the Future; Robin McAlpine, director, Common Weal; Kamila Shamsie, writer; Lindsey Coulson, actress
A Slim Majority of Americans Say They Support Nuclear Energy Public approval has steadily dropped over the last five years, greentech media Julia Pyper April 10, 2015 Nuclear energy is losing popularity. A recent Gallup poll found that a slim majority of Americans — 51 percent — say they favor nuclear energy for electricity generation in the United States, while 43 percent say they oppose it. This year’s support levels are among the weakest Gallup has recorded in the last two decades. With a 46 percent approval rating, 2001 was the only year support sank lower.
Public approval of nuclear energy peaked in 2010 at 62 percent, shortly after President Barack Obama announced $8 billion in federal loan guarantees for the construction of two nuclear reactors in Georgia. The new, roughly 1,200 megawatt nuclear reactors at the Alvin W. Vogtle Electric Generating Plant, are the first to be built in the U.S. in three decades.
Over the last five years, support for nuclear energy has fallen by more than 10 percentage points………
The new Gallup poll similarly found a preference for renewable energy alternatives to nuclear power. The vast majority of respondents — 79 percent — called for a greater emphasis on solar power. Wind was close behind at 70 percent.
Thirty-five percent of Americans think the U.S. should put more emphasis on nuclear power, while 33 percent favor less emphasis and 28 percent say the emphasis should remain unchanged. Only coal had less support, with 43 percent of respondents saying coal should have less emphasis as a domestic energy resource……..http://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/read/a-slim-majority-of-americans-say-they-support-nuclear-energy
On March 3, the towns of Creighton, Saskatchewan and Schreiber, Ontario were dropped from considerationby the Nuclear Waste Management Organization (NWMO) to host a facility for highly radioactive used nuclear fuel.
Since 2010 the NWMO has been actively seeking a location to build what it calls a ‘long-term management site’ for the storage of used nuclear fuel. While there were originally 22 communities on the NWMO’s list of potential hosts, only nine remain, all in Ontario, as candidates for a high-level waste site for used nuclear fuel.
While community activists celebrate being dropped from the lists, concerns about nuclear waste transportation remain. Local politicians are also quick to note a potential economic loss for their communities.
‘Geological complexities’ arise when there’s opposition Continue reading
Expansion of Four Utah Uranium Mines Halted, Center for Biological Diversity, http://www.biologicaldiversity.org/news/press_releases/2015/uranium-mines-03-26-2015.html 28 Mar 15
MOAB, Utah— In response to formal objections by Uranium Watch and other conservation groups, the Manti-La Sal National Forest on Tuesday halted plans to allow the uranium industry to expand the La Sal Mines Complex — a complex of four old uranium mines located in La Sal, Utah. Continue reading
The powerful Nuclear Waste Management Organization with all their money and all their experts could not beat back the duty we have to protect our future generations”
there has been strong Indigenous opposition in Ontario for years. Both the Nishnawbe Aski Nation (NAN), representing 49 First Nations in northern Ontario, and the Anishinabek Nation, representing 39 member First Nations across Ontario, have formally declared their opposition to nuclear waste in all of their traditional territories……
“This is what happens when people stick together and fight for what they believe in,” said Fred Pederson, a Pinehouse resident and member of the Committee for Future Generations Continue reading
Japan Anti-nuclear activists want formal public hearings on risks of restarting reactors in Fukui Prefecture
Activists seek public hearings in Shiga on Takahama reactor restarts http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2015/03/26/national/activists-seek-public-hearings-in-shiga-on-takahama-reactor-restarts/#.VRS6i_yUcnk BY ERIC JOHNSTON STAFF WRITER MAR 26, 2015
Representatives of the Citizens’ Commission on Nuclear Energy, a group of scholars, engineers, lawyers, and activists, met with Gov. Taizo Mikazuki, who was elected on an anti-nuclear platform in July 2014, to discuss concerns over the restart of the No. 3 and 4 reactors at Kansai Electric Power Co.’s Takahama plant and what impact a disaster would have on the prefecture.
“It’s important to have a place where Shiga residents can discuss the technical, economic, and social problems related to the restart of the Takahama reactors and a disaster response system in case of an accident,” said Hitoshi Yoshioka, chairman of the citizens’ commission and a professor at Kyushu University.
Parts of the northern Shiga city of Takashima, which has a population of 52,400, lie within 30 km of the Takahama reactors. The prefecture has long been concerned about the central government’s disaster response plans and wants to be consulted by both Kepco and the central government about the restarts.
In addition, the group called on the governor to seek a wide variety of expert advice about the cost of restarts, and to consult economists who are skeptical of claims by the pro-nuclear camp about the economic and financial benefits of restarts.
Mikazuki, they said, expressed a desire to sponsor a public hearing, probably sometime after local elections in April. Both the governor and his predecessor have long worried about the impact of an accident on Lake Biwa, which provides water to about 14 million Kansai residents.
By Diet Simon, 17 Mar 15 About 12,000 anti-nuclear activists demonstrated in recent days in more than 200 German towns in commemoration of the Fukushima catastrophe four years ago and against the current nuclear situation in Germany.
There were pickets, and rallies in Neckarwestheim, Düsseldorf, Berlin und Dannenberg. The demos focused on the aging nuclear power station in Germany, waste issues and the evil methods energy companies are employing to dodge their responsibilities.
Obviously not as many people took to the streets as immediately following the Fukushima catastrophe, so the more than 200 events were all the more noteworthy. Countless local newspapers reported on them. It was a successful reminder of the nuclear dangers, pulling the issue back into public focus.
Tenacity is a special strength of the German anti-nuclear movement.
Staring Thursday this week (19 March) many selected German cinemas will show an antinuclear film, „Die Reise zum sichersten Ort der Erde“ (The journey to the safest place on earth) dealing with the unsolved problem of disposing nuclear waste.
Many activists have talked to their local cinemas to run it so as to reach the biggest possible public (schedule of showings). Most found that it needed just a phone call or a face-to-face conversation to persuade cinema operators to show it.
As part of special screenings experts discuss with audiences about the film and its pressing question, where to with our life-threatening waste.
The film will also screen at the Environmental Filmfestival in Washington DC, from 17 to 29 March.
Some media comment: “A film about insanity” (Grit Lemke, DOK Leipzig); “Unideological and with unshakeable belief in a public who can think for themselves” (Saiten Ostschweizer Kulturmagazin); “A magnificent documentary film” (Susan Boos, Die Wochenzeitung); “Most watchable” (Susanna Petrin, Aargauer Zeitung); “Excellent documentation” (Blick);
“Looking away is forbidden” (Hans Nüsseler, Swiss television).
The film’s website: http://www.diereisezumsicherstenortdererde.ch/de/
45,000 people join anti-nuclear rallies in Taiwan, Straits Times, MAR 14, 2015 TAIPEI (AFP) – Thousands of people took to the streets in Taiwan on Saturday to call for the island to scrap its use of nuclear energy and to voice opposition to controversial plans to ship nuclear waste abroad, organisers said.
Protesters in central Taipei waved placards and dressed in T-shirts emblazoned with slogans including “Goodbye to nuclear energy” and “We don’t need nuclear power”, just days after Japan marked the fourth anniversary of an undersea earthquake which triggered a massive tsunami and nuclear disaster.
Taiwan’s government has faced growing public pressure over its unpopular nuclear energy facilities……….
We urge the government to reform its energy policy and focus on green energy and saving energy,” said one of the rally’s organisers Tsui Shu-hsin.
“Politicians should listen to the voices of the people… so Taiwan can become nuclear-free.” The government says that Taiwan will run out of energy if it ditches nuclear power, which currently supplies about 20 per cent of the island’s electricity.
The Taipei rally drew around 30,000 people, while two other rallies held simultaneously across the island had a combined turnout of 15,000, according to estimates by organisers. Police estimates were not immediately available.
Organisers were also collecting signatures in a bid to stop a plan by the state-run Taiwan Power Co to process its nuclear waste abroad, which they said was aimed at extending the operations of two plants which are approaching capacity.
The plants, which currently store the spent fuel rods, were launched in 1978 and 1981 and will each be decommissioned once they have been operational for 40 years.
“Taiwan is earthquake-prone like Japan and it is smaller so nuclear facilities are much closer to our homes,” said Wu Bor-chyun, a banker who was living in Japan at the time of the 2011 nuclear accident.
“Nuclear power is not safe and it is very costly. Taiwan should heed the lessons in Japan.”http://www.straitstimes.com/news/asia/east-asia/story/45000-people-join-anti-nuclear-rallies-taiwan-20150314#sthash.Y0GCWbnB.dpuf
Deserted Fukushima town to remove pro-nuclear signs 7 News, Tokyo (AFP) 10 Mar 15 – A Japanese town that was evacuated after the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster has decided to remove street signs trumpeting the benefits of atomic power, an official said Tuesday.Deserted Futaba town, which plays host to the crippled Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant, is set to earmark cash to remove huge signboards erected in 1988 and 1991, a town official told AFP.
“Nuclear power: the energy for a bright future,” says one sign written in the style of a haiku poem at the entrance to the town. “Nuclear power: for development of our homeland, a prosperous future,” reads the other.
Futaba’s 6,300 residents were ordered to flee their homes in the days after reactors began melting down at Fukushima when an enormous tsunami swamped their cooling systems.
They are still unable to return because of fears over elevated levels of radiation that leaked from the plant, and many remain in poorly-constructed temporary homes…….
0,000 people remain displaced because of the no-go zone around the plant.
Scientists warn that it may be many years until it is safe to return and say that some areas may have to be abandoned forever.
Campaign groups say unemployment is high and levels of depression and other illness are far above normal in displaced communities. https://au.news.yahoo.com/world/a/26585240/deserted-fukushima-town-to-remove-pro-nuclear-signs/
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