Taiwan anti-nuclear activist starts hunger strike The West Australian, Taipei (AFP) 22 April 14 - Former Taiwanese opposition leader and anti-nuclear activist Lin Yi-hsiung Tuesday launched an indefinite hunger strike in protest at a nearly completed nuclear facility, while some of his supporters clashed with police.”It’s very meaningful to be doing something good for Taiwan — I feel very calm,” Lin told a crowd of reporters and supporters before he began the hunger strike.
He added he had been forced into the situation because the authorities had ignored public opinion on nuclear power. He said the majority of people in Taiwan were against a fourth nuclear power plant.
Lin, who led the main opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) from 1998-2000, has devoted himself to battling the island’s nuclear power policy in the past two decades.
“If anything unfortunate should happen to me, I want my family and friends to know that (those in power) murdered me,” the 72-year-old said before entering a church in Taipei to begin his indefinite fasting.
Outside parliament, dozens of protesters briefly clashed with the police as they attempted to surround the building in a show of support for Lin. They unfurled a large yellow banner reading “Salute chairman Lin Yi-hsiung, stop building fourth nuclear (plant)”, and held placards calling for the project to be terminated.
“If Lin Yi-hsiung loses his life, it is the evil government who have caused it,” said the group’s leader Tsai Ting-kuei………
Japan’s Profound Ambivalence Over Nuclear Energy , TIME, Per Liljas, 14 April 14 Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has unveiled a pro-nuclear blueprint for the country’s energy future around the three-year mark of the disaster at Fukushima, a move that most Japanese appear to disagree with, even those who returned to Fukushima to rebuild their lives ……On a national level, too, there is a lack of consensus. Produce from Fukushima, even from villages unconnected to the disaster, does not inspire confidence among consumers despite official O.K.s. And nobody can agree on the future of Japan’s nuclear-energy sector…….“They want to restart the reactors because of money, but it’s irresponsible, Japan is too unsafe to have nuclear power,” says activist Kaori Echigo, before taking to a podium in front of the parliament building in Tokyo and leading a crowd in the chanting of anti-nuclear slogans. The crowd at these gatherings, which have been held weekly since the disaster, has dwindled to a few hundred. But the last time a reactor was restarted, in 2012, thousands came onto the streets—as they are likely to do again if Abe goes ahead with his plan.
A poll by the Tokyo Shimbun newspaper last month found that 69% of respondents wanted nuclear power to be phased out. That number could rise even higher if Japan makes it through another summer without blackouts…….Spread out through the village are fields covered with black plastic bags, each one filled with contaminated topsoil that has been collected from the surroundings. Watanabe says she feels life is coming back to Tamura when she sees children in the streets, but then remembers that they are only allowed half an hour’s outdoor playtime per day because of radiation fears.
“I don’t want my grandchildren to grow up here,” she says. “I don’t know which health problems they may get.” Even that old saw about marrying somebody from Tamura means nothing now. “I want my grandchildren to get married” Watanabe adds, “and I don’t know which suitors would ever come here.” http://time.com/59096/fukushima-nuclear-daiichi-japan-tamura/
Ex-mayor of nation’s nuclear birthplace comes out swinging against atomic power Japan Times, BY KEIJI HIRANO, 13 April 14, KYODO THE FORMER MAYOR OF A VILLAGE THAT HAD A PIONEERING ROLE IN THE NATION’S NUCLEAR DEVELOPMENT EXPRESSED HIS OPPOSITION SUNDAY TO THE COUNTRY CONTINUING TO LOOK TO NUCLEAR POWER AS AN ENERGY SOURCE.
“It has been said that a local community can enjoy benefits by hosting a nuclear power plant, but it is just an illusion,” Tatsuya Murakami, who served as mayor of Tokaimura, Ibaraki Prefecture, for 16 years until his retirement last September, told a public gathering in Tokyo.
Around one-third of the village’s general account budget was from nuclear facilities located there while he was mayor, “but the ‘nuclear money’ has made our industrial structure disproportionately depend on nuclear-related businesses,” he said. “As a result, we have failed to cultivate other businesses.”
The village’s shipment of manufactured goods stands at only ¥30 billion, compared with that of Myoko, Niigata Prefecture, with a population almost the same as Tokaimura’s, at ¥140 billion, according to Murakami.
“The nuclear operators are just like lords of the community, and people seek cozy ties with them. To criticize the lords is taboo,” Murakami said as he talked about the situation in the village where nation’s first research reactor achieved criticality in 1957.
His comments came after the government of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe decided Friday on a national energy policy that supports the use of nuclear power now and in the future, retracting a nuclear phaseout goal introduced by the previous Democratic Party of Japan-led government in the wake of the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster.
Murakami has served as a co-representative of the Mayors for a Nuclear Free Japan, which comprises around 90 former and incumbent mayors supporting the nuclear phaseout policy. Incumbent mayors include those of major cities, such as Sapporo, Aomori and Nagoya………
Six months after retiring, Murakami now gives lectures several times a month around the nation to encourage people to raise their voices against nuclear power.
“I had been thinking about how to reconstruct our village in the wake of the nation’s first criticality accident in 1999,” which killed two workers at a nuclear fuel processor and exposed hundreds of residents to radiation, he said. “We were thrust into notoriety — Tokaimura was contaminated with radiation and the villagers were not being chosen as marital partners.
“I believe now that a local municipality should break away from the old mindset focusing only on economic development,” he said. “Rather, we need to create a sustainable society, taking good care of the environment as well as ourselves.”http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2014/04/13/national/ex-mayor-of-nations-nuclear-birthplace-comes-out-swinging-against-atomic-power/
Younger people ‘more anti-nuclear’ Courier UK By PRESS ASSOCIATION, 8 April 2014 “…….Voters aged 18-35 in the UK are more likely to oppose the like-for-like renewal of Trident – Britain’s nuclear weapons system – than their older peers, the survey carried out by ComRes on behalf of WMD Awareness found.
The findings come just two years before the Government is due to decide whether to renew the fleet of submarines that will carry the UK’s nuclear weapons.
It is the first time this decision will be made since the 1980s, when Trident replaced the previous Polaris system.
The research, based on responses from 4,207 people across Britain, found younger voters are not engaged in this issue, with only one in fifteen thinking the UK Government should prioritise spending on defence over the next 10 years.
It found that 19% of people aged 18-35 believe the UK nuclear weapon system should be renewed to maintain its current size and capacity, compared to 33% of people aged 36 and older.
51% agree that the UK nuclear weapon system should be disbanded or reduced in size and capacity, while 54% think nuclear weapons for defence purposes are too expensive for governments to maintain.
The research found 47% of people aged 18-35 disagree that nuclear weapons protect the countries which possess them from modern day threats such as terrorism.
A third (34%) believe renewing Trident is going to cost up to £5 billion, when it is actually estimated to cost up to £100 billion, according to WMD Awareness.
Young Ambassadors for WMD Awareness, who carried out the research, have responded to the findings by launching Talking Trident, a national debate to raise awareness of the issues surrounding defence and Trident renewal ahead of the Main Gate decision in 2016.
Hannah Cornford, ambassador lead at WMD Awareness, said: “Renewing Trident is the largest and most expensive British investment project.
“Yet, while support for Trident was widespread in the 1980s, our research shows that, for those born after the Cold War, spending on defence comes last on their list of government priorities.”
Madeline Held, Chair of Nuclear Education Trust, said: “The Talking Trident debate is a welcome development in stimulating a much needed discussion around nuclear weapons in the UK.
“The Nuclear Education Trust believes there should be a much deeper and wider public and parliamentary debate about whether to retain and modernise the UK’s nuclear weapons, especially given their expense at a time of austerity; the risk of accidents, and the fact that the majority of the UK’s European neighbours do not possess nuclear weapons to guarantee their security.”…… http://www.thecourier.co.uk/news/politics/younger-people-more-anti-nuclear-1.307616
In the Wake of Fukushima: Japan’s Nuclear Energy Policy Impasse 60% of Japan’s 48 viable nuclear reactors,are not as yet being considered for application to the Nuclear Regulation Agency (NRA) for restart By Andrew Dewit Global Research, April 07, 2014
Asia-Pacific Journal “………..The most recent Japanese opinion poll on nuclear restarts is the March 18 survey by the Asahi Shimbun. It indicates that 59% of the Japanese public oppose restarts of any nuclear capacity, whereas only 28% support restarts. The poll’s results not only confirm that the opposition to nuclear is holding; it also shows a great sensitivity to risk. According to the poll, a mere 12% of the Japanese public have either no or only minimal concern regarding the risk of further nuclear accidents at facilities other than the infamous Fukushima Daiichi. By contrast, 50% have a fair degree of concern, and 36% have a very high degree of concern. In addition, the poll shows that only 4% of respondents regard the lack of nuclear waste disposal facilities as of no or only minimal concern. By contrast, 19% believe it is to some extent a problem. And a massive 76% regard it as a serious problem.7
Nationwide, there are 135 local communities that lie within 30 kilometers of a reactor, and 21 prefectures that are host to one or more reactors. The news service Kyodo Tsushin surveyed these 156 local governments in mid- to late-February of 2014, and found that only 13 were ready to agree to restarts without conditions. A further 24 would agree to restarts, but with conditions. Of the remainder, 32 declared their opposition to restarts, 66 replied that they could not decide, and 21 offered no reply at all.8 The NRA decided on March 13 to prioritize Kyushu Electric’s Sendai rectors 1 and 2 (in Kagoshima Prefecture) for restart.9 But that decision itself came under criticism, due to perceptions of undue haste amid suggestions that seismically active zones are nearby………. http://www.globalresearch.ca/in-the-wake-of-fukushima-japans-energy-policy-impasse/5376899?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=in-the-wake-of-fukushima-japans-energy-policy-impasse
It’s the latest break-in by the environmental group to highlight alleged security weaknesses at atomic facilities.
The activists broke into the Fessenheim plant and hung a banner reading ‘Stop risking Europe’ on the side of one of its reactors.
They did this ‘to denounce the risk of French nuclear power for the whole of Europe,’ the group said in a statement on Tuesday…….
Police detained 56 activists, he said, but 20 remained on top of the dome of one of the reactors as a police helicopter hovered above.
France, the world’s most nuclear-dependent country, operates 58 reactors and has been a leading international proponent of atomic energy.
But in a deal with the Greens before the 2012 parliamentary and presidential elections, President Francois Hollande’s Socialist party promised to cut reliance on nuclear energy from more than 75 per cent to 50 per cent by shutting 24 reactors by 2025.
Hollande has pledged to close Fessenheim, which was commissioned in 1977, by the end of 2016.
The plant, located on the banks of the Rhine, is close to the Swiss and German borders and is considered vulnerable to seismic activity and flooding.
The Greenpeace protest stunt comes ahead of a meeting by European leaders to discuss the future of the continent’s energy policy.
Greenpeace wants Hollande and German Chancellor Angela Merkel to push Europe towards a real energy transition, complaining that France relies too much on nuclear power, and Germany on coal, for electricity supplies. http://www.skynews.com.au/world/article.aspx?id=959316
Nuclear foes rally in U.S. cities on 3/11 anniversary Japan Times KYODO NEW YORK 12 Mar 14,“…..Green association forged KYODO A group of 38 local green power advocacy groups plan to set up a national association by June in an effort to break away from nuclear power generation.
The association will provide a forum for sharing information about members’ experiences in setting up community-based renewable power plants, the founders said Tuesday in Tokyo.
Members also plan to create a system for issuing certificates indicating the origin of electricity ahead of the 2016 liberalization of the retail electricity market, which will allow households to choose suppliers. Noting their wish not to have another nuclear disaster, the founders said they hope to assist companies and individuals to overcome challenges in developing locally driven power plants. http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2014/03/12/national/nuclear-foes-rally-in-u-s-cities-on-311-anniversary/#.UyII_j9dV9U
Amid fierce political opposition, US uranium miner suspends mine plans Mining.com, Ana Komnenic | December 15, 2013 A uranium miner has given up on mining one of the world’s largest known uranium deposits in Virginia – for now.
Virginia Uranium has plans to develop the Coles Hill deposit in Pittsylvania County.According to the Associated Press, the site contains an estimated 119-million-pounds of uranium.
But Virginia has a decades-long ban on uranium mining and the Gov.-elect Terry McAuliffe has fiercely opposed attempts to change this legislation and said he would veto any pro-uranium bills.Faced with this major political hurdle, Virginia Uranium told the Associated Press on Saturday that it would “not back the introduction of uranium mining legislation in the 2014 session of the General Assembly.”
The company cited the Governor-Elect’s opposition as a “significant challenge” to the project……
Environmental group Sierra Club has applauded McAuliffe for his opposition, publishing an article this week thanking the Governor.
Earlier this year McAuliffe stated that he was “not comfortable” enough with the science to say that he believed his community would be safe.
“I’m afraid it would get into the drinking water,” he said……http://www.mining.com/amid-fierce-political-opposition-us-uranium-miner-gives-up-on-one-of-the-worlds-largest-uranium-deposits-66417/
Saugeen Ojibwe and U.S. Politicians Oppose Nuclear Waste Burial Near Lake Huron, Indian Country, Martha Troian12/12/13
A controversial proposal to bury nuclear waste a half mile from Lake Huron’s shoreline in Ontario is proceeding over indigenous objections in a plan that has repercussions on both sides of the U.S.–Canada border.
Opposition to the plan, which would inter low- and intermediate-level radioactive waste about 2,230 feet underground in solid rock, is sparking opposition from Indigenous Peoples and U.S. politicians alike. …… Continue reading
Keamari Town’s nuclear power projects irk fishermen http://tribune.com.pk/story/638482/energy-leap-keamari-towns-nuclear-power-projects-irk-fishermen/ By PPI November 29, 2013 KARACHI:
The Pakistan Fisherfolk Forum (PFF) is unhappy with the two newly inaugurated Karachi nuclear power projects, K-1 and K-2, along the coastal area of the city in Keamari Town.
The officials are of the view that the authorities should have reviewed its environmental and social effects before their launch. In a statement issued on Thursday, the PFF said that the area community should have been taken into confidence with regards to their security to avoid any loss because of the installation of these power plants.
The statement said the projects were located close to the fault line while the people had been facing frequent warnings and threats of cyclone and tsunami. In case of this happening, it could be disastrous for not only the communities but also marine ecology. The project site has already been declared disaster prone, and there was no justification of environmental safety and community protection, it said. Continue reading
Medha Patkar raises pitch against proposed nuclear plant in AP Zee News, November 27, 2013, Srikakulam (AP): Activist Medha Patkar has opposed a nuclear power plant coming up at Kovvada village in Srikakulam district of Andhra Pradesh.
She was addressing a meeting of local fishermen who are opposing the project, fearing displacement.
“The government’s move of ordering acquisition of about 2,000 acres of land for the nuclear plant is nothing but violation of human rights,” she alleged.
Local leaders have alleged that around 9,000 local fishermen families will lose their livelihood if the project comes up. ……….http://zeenews.india.com/news/andhra-pradesh/medha-patkar-raises-pitch-against-proposed-nuclear-plant-in-ap_892835.html
Japan Ex-Leaders Join Calls Against Nuclear Power TOKYO November 12, 2013 (AP) abc news, By ELAINE KURTENBACH AP Business Writer, Associated Press writer Mari Yamaguchi contributed to this report.
Former Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi said Tuesday that the current prime minister, Shinzo Abe, should take advantage of his high public support and sway in parliament to “do the right thing.”
“Prime Minister Abe should use the power given to him to do what the majority of the people want,” Koizumi said in a speech at the Japan Press Club. “It can be achieved. Why miss this chance?”
Koizumi, who supported nuclear power during his 2001-2006 term in office, said that with Japan’s nuclear plants all offline for safety checks it would be easiest to begin the phase-out soon…….
Polls have shown the majority of the public, jittery over radiation risks, prefers to shift away from the nuclear plants that provided nearly a third of Japan’s power generation capacity before the accident at the Fukushima Dai-Ichi nuclear plant, the worst since the Chernobyl disaster in 1986.
Even within Abe’s Liberal Democratic Party, opinions over the future for nuclear power are divided.
Japan’s rapid turnover in leadership over the past two decades means there are plenty of former prime ministers. At least three, including Koizumi, have said they support ending use of nuclear power.
Their support could help reinvigorate the anti-nuclear movement, which has lost some of its vitality nearly three years after the Fukushima accident.
Another former prime minister, Morihiro Hosokawa, said in an interview published in the Tokyo Shimbun on Tuesday that he also favors an end to reliance on nuclear power.
“I can’t understand why they want restarts of the nuclear plants when there is no place to discard the nuclear waste,” said Hosokawa, who served as prime minister for eight months in 1993-94. “It would be a crime against future generations for our generation to restart nuclear plants without resolving this issue,” he said.
Koizumi likewise emphasized his concern over nuclear waste disposal, especially in a densely populated, land-scarce country like Japan.
Experts have questioned whether earthquake-prone Japan can safely store nuclear waste under any scenario.
“I think it is too optimistic and irresponsible to assume we can find a final radioactive waste storage site in Japan, after the accident,” he said.
Even burying it underground for 100,000 years could expose future generations to harmful radiation, he said.
“What language should we use to convey the hazards to those people in the future?” he said…….. http://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/japan-leaders-join-calls-nuclear-power-20859089
Dundrennan depleted uranium protest staged http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-south-scotland-24835544 6 Nov 13 The last DU tests were carried out at Dundrennan five years ago Campaigners have held a “mass walk-on” at the Dundrennan range in protest at the test firing of depleted uranium (DU) weapons into the Solway Firth.
It was part of an international day of action and followed concerns about serious health issues resulting from the use of such weapons in war zones.
The last DU tests at the south of Scotland range were in 2008. Earlier this year the Ministry of Defence said it had no plans to restart firing in the area.
One of the campaigners, Rachel Thompson, said the protest had been well supported from across Scotland and beyond. “We have found that depleted uranium is one of those issues people really do care about,” she said.
“They knew when they started that Scottish people did not want this to happen.” She said the protest wanted to make the link between that objection and the consequences of the use of such weapons in Iraq.
Jordanians fret over ‘dangerous’ nuclear plan Phys Org, 6 Nov 13, by Kamal Taha Jordan’s plan to build its first nuclear plant with Russian help has stirred fresh fears and suspicions as experts called for the “dangerous” and “illogical” project to be abandoned. The government announced late last month that two Russian firms will build and operate a $10-billion (7-billion-euro) nuclear plant, including two 1,000-megawatt reactors.
The plant, to be completed in 2023, will be built in Amra, a desert area north of the capital, the government said.
Energy-poor Jordan says it wants to develop nuclear power to meet its growing needs and to fire desalination plants to overcome its crippling water shortage.
But activists and environmentalists warn that the project is too risky. Continue reading
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