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Former Idaho governor sues U.S. Department of Energy over Freedom of Information

Andrus files suit over nuclear fuel http://www.mtexpress.com/news/environment/andrus-files-suit-over-nuclear-fuel/article_8a0e394c-6879-11e5-a133-2fd9ff4be90a.html, 2 Oct 15 
Former governor cites Freedom of Information Act Former Idaho Gov. Cecil Andrus has filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Energy to force it to comply with the Freedom of Information Act and publicly share information relating to proposed shipments of commercial spent nuclear fuel to the Idaho National Laboratory.

The suit was filed Tuesday in federal district court in Idaho on Andrus’ behalf by the Boise-based environmental law firm Advocates for the West.

Gov. Butch Otter announced in January that he would grant a one-time waiver to the 1995 Batt agreement to allow the proposed shipments if the DOE can restart a problem-plagued liquid-waste processing plant at INL, east of Arco. He said permission to ship the fuel for research at INL can be used as an incentive to get the liquid waste out of the state faster.

But nuclear activists contend the two proposed shipments of 25 fuel rods, weighing about 100 pounds per shipment, are part of a plan to open the door to ship about 20 metric tons of spent commercial nuclear fuel into the state.

In a news release, Advocates for the West said the lawsuit comes after months of effort by Andrus to require DOE to provide information to Idaho citizens about its request for the waiver.    “Without DOE leveling with Idaho about both near-term and longer-range plans, we simply have no ability to assess the wisdom of what they are planning for the state,” Andrus said. “I suspect they know what they are planning will be very controversial, and for that reason they want to keep it secret. That is simply unacceptable.”

Andrus requested information about the waiver and proposed shipments in January. Advocates for the West said DOE provided documents containing dozens of redacted pages. In a letter dated July 10, the agency justified its refusal to provide other documents by saying they fell under exemptions contained in the Freedom of Information Act, including those related to proprietary information of private companies and attorney-client privilege.

Advocates for the West said virtually all the information DOE supplied was already in the public record, including newspaper accounts of the agency’s request for a waiver from state officials.

Andrus appealed the decision to withhold the information, and that appeal was also denied.

“The DOE has left us little choice but to ask the federal courts to enforce the law,” Andrus said. “A fundamental tenet of the American system of government is openness and transparency. The people have both a right and an obligation to know what their government is doing. That is why we feel it is so important to bring this information to light.”

Andrus said that without a permanent national repository for the highly radioactive material, Idaho will for the foreseeable future become that repository. Email the writer: gmoore@mtexpress.com

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October 2, 2015 Posted by | Legal, USA | Leave a comment

Shock: UK’s new Labour leader doesn’t want to annihilate millions of people!

Corbyn, JeremyThere must be something wrong with Jeremy Corbyn if he doesn’t want to cause a nuclear holocaust, Independent, It’s such a shame Labour didn’t elect somebody more moderate who would be willing to press the button, such as Kim Jong-un Mark Steel  @mrmarksteel  1 October 2015

It’s such a shame Labour didn’t elect somebody more moderate who would be willing to press the button, such as Kim Jong-un …. Corbyn revealed himself as a danger to us all by saying quietly “no”, in response to a calm and measured radio presenter yelling “Would you be prepared to press the button?” at him.

This should be a test in institutions for the criminally insane, to check whether an inmate should be released back into the community. If they suggest that, on balance, they wouldn’t obliterate a geopolitical region in radioactive firestorms slaughtering millions of civilians and rendering a continent uninhabitable for 50 billion years, they should go back in a straitjacket like Hannibal Lecter. Only when they’ve learned to shout “I WANT TO PRESS THE BUTTON AND MAKE EVERYONE’S SKIN DISSOLVE” should they be let free to mix safely with their fellow citizens……….

the main reason we must keep making weapons that could blow up the planet is to preserve jobs. The Conservative Party is especially anxious about this, which you can understand, because for the past 40 years it thought about little else apart from making sure everyone has a job.

When the minimum wage was suggested, the Conservatives opposed it because it would cost hundreds of thousands of jobs. They were the same with the fox-hunting ban, which they said would cost thousands of jobs. It’s the same with Trident; if there was a nuclear war there would be loads of work to be had sweeping up, so we’d all feel the benefit…

They care so much about jobs they’re prepared to pay £100bn for Trident, so you’d think for that amount of subsidy, they could be paid to carry out any number of useful acts, such as teaching wasps to dance, turning old nuclear warheads into luxury apartments for Russian businessmen……. http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/there-must-be-something-wrong-with-jeremy-corbyn-if-he-doesnt-want-to-cause-a-nuclear-holocaust-a6675931.html

October 2, 2015 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

Spain’s solar thermal stations – 24 hour electricity provided

Even after dark, vast Spanish solar plant harnesses sun’s power

GUADIX, SPAIN | BY MARCELO DEL POZO  Reporting by Alister Doyle; Editing by Frances Kerry , 1 OCT 15 In December this year the UN Climate Conference takes place in Paris. Ahead of the summit, we will release a series of stories, titled “Earthprints,” that show the ability of humans to impact change on the landscape of the planet. From sprawling urban growth to the construction of new islands, each site has profoundly changed in the last 30 years. Each story has accompanying NASA satellite images that show the scale of the change. (here)

Near the town of Guadix, where summer temperatures often top 40 degrees Celsius (104 Fahrenheit), the main sound at the site is a whirring of motors to keep the mirrors – mounted on giant steel frames – tracking the sun as the Earth turns.

The Andasol plant, whose name combines the local Andalucia region with the Spanish word for sun – “sol”, provides electricity for up to about 500,000 people from about 620,000 curved mirrors.

solar thermal Andasol Spain

The glass alone would cover 1.5 square km (0.6 square miles) – the size of about 210 soccer pitches. Installed electricity generating capacity at this semi-desert site is about 150 megawatts.

There is little sign of life here, at an altitude of 1,100 meters (3,600 feet) near the snow-capped Sierra Nevada range. Some hardy red and yellow flowers grow around the fringes, a few pigeons flap past and workers say that the odd fox lopes by at night.

The environmental benefits of clean energy are judged to outweigh the scar to the landscape from the mirrors, which are visible from space. The land is infertile, there is little wildlife and few people live nearby. The biggest regional city, Granada, with about 240,000 people, is 70 km (45 miles) away.

Andasol was Europe’s first “parabolic trough solar power plant” when its first section opened in 2009 – California has the biggest.

Sunlight bounces off the mirrors to heat a synthetic oil in a tube to a blazing 400 degrees C (752 F). That energy is in turn used to drive a turbine, generating electricity.

At Andasol, some energy also goes into a “heat reservoir” – a tank containing thousands of tonnes of molten salt that can drive the turbines after sundown, or when it is overcast, for about 7.5 hours.

That gets round the main drawback for solar power – the sun does not always shine. The system is very different from better-known rooftop solar panels that transform sunlight directly into electricity……..

Solar power has massive potential – one U.N. study estimated the world’s electricity needs could be generated by harvesting solar power from an area of the Sahara 800 km (500 miles) by 800 km.

And in 2014, a report by the International Energy Agency said the sun could – with a radical shift in investments – be the world’s largest source of electricity by 2050, ahead of fossil fuels, wind, hydro and nuclear.

Capacity just from solar thermal plants like Andasol could expand to 1,000 gigawatts a year from 4 gigawatts at the end of 2013, the agency said…….. http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/10/01/us-climatechange-summit-earthprints-spai-idUSKCN0RV43O20151001

October 2, 2015 Posted by | renewable, Spain | Leave a comment

Pacific islands’ climate change refugees – a warning from Fiji’s Prime Minister

Fiji PM Warns Of Syria-Style Refugee Crisis If Rich Nations Don’t Do More On Climate,Thom Mitchell,  New Matilda, 2 Oct 15  Frank Bainimarama has taken aim at advanced nations for ignoring the plight of Pacific Islanders in pursuit of short-term economic growth. Thom Mitchell reports.

The Fijian Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama has hit out at developing nations for their “unacceptable” progress in reducing carbon emissions as part of a speech to the United Nations General Assembly, in which he warned of a humanitarian refugee crisis on the scale of the current migration out of Syria if more is not done.

The talks come as Foreign Minister Julie Bishop seeks a place for Australia on the UN Security and Human Rights Councils, but Bainimarama warned that developed nations like Australia are not listening to the voice of Pacific Island nations, whose human rights are threatened by rising seas and hostile weather patterns.

“It is simply not acceptable for advanced economies to build a high standard of living on the degradation of the earth and the seas,” Bainimarama said.

The choices we face may be politically difficult in the short run, but the consequences we are already seeing – environmental degradation, unbearable heat, drought, powerful tropical storms and unpredictable weather patterns – are simply unacceptable,” he said.

“[Fiji] plans to move some 45 villages to higher ground, and we have already started.

“We have committed to resettle people from other low-lying, South Pacific Island States that face the prospect of being swallowed up by the rising ocean and falling inexorably to oblivion.

“Should that happen, the people of those Island States would be refugees as desperate and lost as the hundreds of thousands fleeing conflict in Syria and Iraq,” he said.

As New Matilda reported in June, experts in migration law, like those at the University of New South Wales’Kaldor Centre for International Refugee Law, are already warning that the “disasters on steroids” climate change will bring is likely to create a need for special refugee visas.

It is clear by now that international pledges nations have made through the United Nations climate change process will not be enough to keep the global rise in temperature to less than two degrees, which is the level accepted as ‘safe’ by Australia and around 200 other nations: https://newmatilda.com/2015/10/01/fiji-pm-warns-syria-style-refugee-crisis-if-rich-nations-dont-do-more-climate#sthash.hk0kghO3.dpuf

October 2, 2015 Posted by | 2 WORLD, climate change, OCEANIA | Leave a comment

Al Gore is revving up his climate action army

Gore,-Al-climateAl Gore spreads environmental gospel before climate talks, AFP News30 Sept 15  Nobel Peace Prize winner Al Gore is busily training an army of organizers to go out and spread his environmental gospel ahead of key climate talks in Paris later this year.

The modern world is collapsing around us and we must change our ways, according to the former US vice president, who has led the training of more than 5,000 people in the last 18 months.

At each session, he delivers an updated version of his Academy Award-winning documentary “An Inconvenient Truth,” using the latest news footage and startling videos to show how the very fossil fuels that have powered so much innovation are leading to the demise of society.

Air so hot it melts airport runways, floodwaters that crumble roads and bridges, methane that blows terrifying holes in Siberia and air pollution so thick it has shortened life expectancy in China by several years featured prominently during his three-hour presentation in Miami this week.

“The world that we have built was built for different conditions,” Gore told about 1,000 people who came from 80 countries to attend the three-day climate training session.

At times, he lamented killer heat waves, parching drought, a media that doesn’t connect the dots between extreme weather and global warming, and what he called “crazy short-term thinking” among politicians who deny that climate change is occurring.

“Don’t let anybody tell you that we are going to get on rocket ships and go to Mars and live in hermetically sealed buildings. We couldn’t even evacuate the city of New Orleans when a hurricane hit there,” he said.

In Florida, where sea level rise threatens the drinking water, the tourist-friendly beaches and billions of dollars in infrastructure, Gore arrived just as Monday’s super moon coincided with high tide, flooding some streets in Miami.

“The scientists have long since told us we have to change,” Gore said.

“But now, Mother Nature is saying it with water in the streets in this city.”

– Spreading the word –

The Climate Leadership Reality Corps Training aims to teach people to give similar but shorter presentations in their own communities, each lasting around 20 minutes, so that they can educate others and encourage conservation and renewable energies………..http://www.afp.com/en/news/al-gore-spreads-environmental-gospel-climate-talks

October 2, 2015 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

#ClimateChange in California Passes a Tipping Point

GarryRogers Nature Conservation

“Thresholds matter when it comes to climate change. A small increase in temperature can have a huge impact on natural systems and human infrastructure designed to cope with current weather patterns and extremes. Only a few inches of extra rain can top a levee protecting against flood. Only a degree of warming can be the difference between ice-up and navigable water, between snow pack and bare ground.”

“Climate change has intensified the California drought by fueling record-breaking temperatures that evaporate critically important snowpack, convert snowfall into rain, and dry out soils. This last winter in California was the warmest in 119 years of record keeping, smashing the prior record by an unprecedented margin. Weather records tend to be broken when a temporary trend driven by natural variability runs in the same direction as the long-term trend driven by climate change, in this case towards warmer temperatures. Drought in California has…

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October 2, 2015 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Majority of American Voters Oppose the Trans-Pacific Partnership (September 24-27, 2015 Survey)

Mining Awareness +

GlobalTradeWatch, TPP Leesburg Rally, September 9, 2012, Creative Commons-Flickr
GlobalTradeWatch, TPP Leesburg Rally, September 9, 2012, Creative Commons-Flickr

From Coalition for Better Trade, Sept. 30, 2015:

MAJORITY OF AMERICAN VOTERS OPPOSE THE TRANS-PACIFIC PARTNERSHIP

Opposition cuts across demographic groups; includes majorities of women and men, voters over and under 50, college and non-college educated voters, and independents.

WASHINGTON, DC – In a recently released poll from the Coalition for Better Trade, a clear majority of voters who can offer an opinion about the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership Trade Agreement (TPP) say they oppose the deal. Of those voters who offered an opinion of TPP, 60 percent were opposed to the deal, and 30 percent were in favor. This deal is currently being negotiated by the Administration in Atlanta.

Almost half of those polled (47 percent) did not know enough about the TPP deal to offer an opinion. But among those that did, their opinion was clear. Opposition also cut across…

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October 2, 2015 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Ukraine’s Nuclear Truth: No Free Speech

censorshipflag-Ukraine     Ukraine’s Nuclear Truth: No Free Speech

Nuclear safety activists in Kiev are facing defamation charges in court, for doing nothing more than telling the truth about Ukraine’s nuclear reactors.

If you live in a neighbouring country like Bulgaria, Hungary, Romania, Slovakia, Poland, etc. you have a legal right to have your say about Ukraine’s nuclear plans. But the government in Kiev wants to ignore you, just like it doesn’t want to listen to activists at home.

Ukraine’s government is planning to extend the operations of its ageing and unsafe nuclear reactors. The lawsuit against Bankwatch’s member group National Ecological Centre of Ukraine (NECU) is an attempt to silence criticism and avoid public scrutiny.

UKRAINE’S NEIGHBOURS HAVE A RIGHT TO BE INVOLVED IN THIS DECISION.

Ukraine is obliged through international conventions to inform and consult its neighbouring countries about its plans. This hasn’t happened so far.

BUT WE WON’T BE SILENCED OR IGNORED!

Organisations in five EU countries have joined the campaign to demand that citizens in Ukraine’s neighbourhood are fully informed about these risky nuclear plans and have a say in the process.

SIGN UP TO BE PART OF OUR CAMPAIGN.

HELP CONVINCE UKRAINE TO RESPECT ITS CITIZENS AND ITS NEIGHBOURS.”
http://bankwatch.org/nucleartruth#more (CC-BY-SA-3.0, Bankwatch.org; Emphasis our own.) Sign for updates-more at link

The Chernobyl disaster taught that most of Europe is a “neighbouring country” in the event of an Ukrainian nuclear accident. In the UK and Norway, far, far away from the Ukraine, livestock-reindeer remain dangerously contaminated with both intermediate (Caesium 137) and long-lived radionuclides. http://www.environment.no/Goals-and-indicators/Goals-and-indicators/Radioactive-pollution/Limit-radiation/Geographical-distribution-of-caesium-137-in-soils-in-Norway-/Caesium-137-in-wild-reindeer-/ Impacts in Europe were splotchy in nature. Radioactive fallout impact from nuclear accidents depends on factors such as wind-direction, rain, and geography (e.g. mountains).

Under the Espoo-Aarhus Conventions there is to be meaningful participation within the Ukraine, and in potentially impacted (transboundary) countries, for environmental impacts.

Maybe we should start speaking of death-extensions of ageing nuclear reactors, rather than life-extensions?

 

October 2, 2015 Posted by | opposition to nuclear, secrets,lies and civil liberties, Ukraine | 1 Comment

Massive Protest Planned Against New Atomic Weapons In Germany

flag_germanyUS Nuclear Weapons In Europe: Massive Protest Planned Against New Atomic Weapons In Germany, IBT,  By  @Charress c.harress@ibtimes.com on October 01 2015 Nearly 100,000 people in Germany have signed a petition protesting a plan to introduce U.S. nuclear weapons on German soil. The U.S. military was supposed to place new weapons in the country toward the end of 2015, but a statement from officials said that the transfer would likely take place closer to 2020.

However, this has not stopped the mass petition from moving forward, according to report by Russian state news site Sputnik. “Since this is about strengthening offensive weapons, we call on the federal government, the Parliament, the chancellor and the federal president to stop nuclear armaments on German soil,” the petition said……

nuclear-missile-ready

The U.S. continues to maintain nuclear carrying facilities in Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands, Italy and Turkey through a NATO sharing program. Host countries make decisions on weapons policy, maintain equipment required for the use of nuclear weapons and carry out consultations. France and the United Kingdom are the only countries in Europe that maintain state-owned nuclear arsenals.

In March 2010, a majority of German MPs decided that the government should “urge American allies to withdraw US nuclear weapons from Germany.” But instead of eliminating the weapons, the U.S. made plans to deploy 20 more, according to Sputnik. http://www.ibtimes.com/us-nuclear-weapons-europe-massive-protest-planned-against-new-atomic-weapons-germany-2122692

October 2, 2015 Posted by | Germany, opposition to nuclear | Leave a comment

Jeremy Corbyn opposes renewal of Trident nuclear weapons programme

submarine-missileflag-UKJeremy Corbyn row after ‘I’d not fire nuclear weapons’ comment, BBC News 30 September 2015  Jeremy Corbyn has faced criticism from senior Labour colleagues for saying he would not fire Britain’s nuclear weapons if he were prime minister.

Shadow defence secretary Maria Eagle said the words were “not helpful”, while shadow foreign secretary Hilary Benn said Mr Corbyn should abide by the party’s decision on renewing Trident.

Mr Corbyn said nuclear weapons “didn’t do the USA much good on 9/11”.

He added that he was elected leader on a platform opposing Trident renewal.

Prime Minister David Cameron said Mr Corbyn’s comments showed Labour could not be trusted with Britain’s national security.

Following the shadow cabinet criticism of his comments, Mr Corbyn was asked by the BBC’s John Pienaar what the point of the Labour defence policy debate and review was.

He said: “The point of a policy debate is to try and bring people with me.”

n his conference address on Tuesday, Mr Corbyn said his landslide leadership win gave a “mandate” for his views on disarmament of Britain’s nuclear weapons.

On Wednesday’s BBC Radio 4 Today programme he said: “I am opposed to the use of nuclear weapons. I am opposed to the holding of nuclear weapons. I want to see a nuclear-free world. I believe it is possible.

“I do not think we should be renewing Trident… I think we should be promoting an international nuclear weapons convention which would lead to a nuclear-free world.”…….http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-politics-34399565?SThisFB

October 2, 2015 Posted by | politics, UK, weapons and war | Leave a comment

PICAT – A Public Interest Case Against Trident, co-ordinated by Trident Ploughshares

text-Please-Noteflag-UKThe Citizen Challenge to UK’s Nuclear Weapons. Campaigners Aim to Prosecute British State http://www.globalresearch.ca/the-citizen-challenge-to-uks-nuclear-weapons-campaigners-aim-to-prosecute-british-state/5479142 By Action AWE Global Research, October 01, 2015 On 1st October campaigners will begin a new and ambitious project to institute a citizen’s prosecution of the Government and specifically the Secretary of State for Defence for breaching international law by its active deployment of the Trident nuclear weapon system.

peace cPICAT is co-ordinated by Trident Ploughshares and will involve groups across England and Wales in a series of steps which will hopefully lead to the Attorney General’s consent for the case to go before the courts.

Groups will begin by seeking an assurance from the Secretary of State for Defence that the UK’s nuclear weapons will not be used, or their use threatened, in such a way as to cause wholesale loss of civilian life and damage to the environment.

In the case of no response or an unsatisfactory one groups will then approach their local magistrates to lay a Criminal Information (1). If consent for the case is not forthcoming from the Attorney General the campaign will then consider approaching the International Criminal Court.

Veteran peace campaigner Angie Zelter (2), who has developed the project along with international lawyer Robbie Manson (3), said:

The government has consistently refused to give evidence to prove how Trident or any replacement could ever be used lawfully. This campaign is an attempt to find a court willing to examine objectively if the threat to use Trident
is in fact criminal as so many of us think it is. It is a matter of vital public interest.

The UK, along with the other nuclear weapon states, is becoming increasingly isolated from the growing global momentum to outlaw nuclear weapons, as expressed in the Humanitarian Pledge, which has already attracted the signatures of 117 nations.(4)

Robbie Manson said:

I remain very firmly of the view that it is both an immensely worthy and worthwhile cause to pursue these matters, even in court, and with vigour given the enormity of the humanitarian need, political significance and the scale of the diplomatic hypocrisy upon which our political masters rely for the achievement of their designs.

The project is supported by an impressive list of expert witnesses (5), including Phil Webber, Chair of Scientists for Global Responsibility, Professor Paul Rogers, Department of Peace Studies at the University of Bradford, and John Ainslie of Scottish CND.

Contacts: Continue reading

October 2, 2015 Posted by | opposition to nuclear, UK | Leave a comment

Let’s not forget the scientifically proven good side of nuclear war

Why no Trident? The benefits of a nuclear apocalypse http://www.theguardian.com/science/brain-flapping/2015/oct/01/nuclear-war-trident-corbyn-benefits#comment-60607599

apocalypse

Jeremy Corbyn has recently been criticised for saying he would never use nuclear weapons. Quite right! This stance clearly overlooks the many scientifically-proven benefits of plunging the world into a fiery radioactive hell, Guardian, , 1 Oct 15,  Jeremy Corbyn has said in an interview that, if he were prime minister, he wouldrefuse to use the UK’s Trident nuclear weapons system. This has caused muchdebate and controversy. And rightly so! This naive and blinkered stance clearly doesn’t take into account the many scientifically-proven benefits of widespread global nuclear destruction so would deny people the many advantageous offered by a world scoured of life and civilisation. Such as:

An end to economic uncertainty

Keynesian economics argues that military spending is good for the economy. There are even more modern arguments that state the current economic troubles afflicting human society are the result of long periods of relative peace. Logically, the best way to remedy this would be with a war to end all wars.

Investors are unlikely to be pessimistic regarding stability of Chinese manufacturing when they’re too busy scrabbling in the dirt to find gnarled roots to eat, and the surviving members of society all automatically become highly skilled and valued workers due to the whole “everyone else is dead” thing. There would be plenty of work to go around too, what with having to rebuild houses, roads, farms, sewers, the power grid and the rest of our infrastructure.

It would even put an end to things like the current debacle around junior doctor’s contracts. Doctors will be too preoccupied dealing with the endless victims of burns and radiation to sleep, let alone quibble over their hours.

No more immigration problems  Continue reading

October 2, 2015 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

Alternative Nobel Prize goes to Marshall Island’s nuclear challenger

Alternative Nobel PrizeMarshall Islands official who challenged China and other nuclear powers wins ‘Alternative Nobel Prize’https://www.hongkongfp.com/2015/10/01/marshall-islands-official-who-challenged-china-and-other-nuclear-powers-wins-alternative-nobel-prize/ 1 October 2015 17:50 Karen Cheung 

A Pacific island state foreign minister who challenged the world’s nuclear powers through unprecedented legal action has won the 2015 Right Livelihood Award. The winner was announced in Stockholm at the Swedish Foreign Office International Press Centre on Thursday.

The award, which is also known as the Alternative Nobel Prize, was given to Tony de Brum and the people of the Marshall Islands.

Mr de Brum, Foreign Minister of the Marshall Islands, sought to hold all nine nuclear states responsible for their failure to abide by the provisions of the 1968 Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and customary international law by filing lawsuits in the International Court of Justice in 2014. Under the NPT, the weapon states pledged to disarm while non-weapon states promised to not acquire nuclear weapons.

The small island nation, which – for 12 years – was a testing ground for US nuclear bombs, argued that it was “justified in taking the action because of the harm it suffered as a result of the nuclear arms race”, according to the Guardian.

As a result of the “Nuclear Zero lawsuits”, India, Pakistan and the UK have accepted the courts’ jurisdiction to hear the matter and are in the midst of court proceedings that may last two to three years. In the cases, the Marshall Islands have asked the Court to hold the states in breach of their obligations related to nuclear disarmament and to force them to comply, thus putting the weapons under strict and effective international control.

“Our people have suffered the catastrophic and irreparable damage of these weapons, and we vow to fight so that no one else on earth will ever again experience these atrocities,” de Brum said. “The continued existence of nuclear weapons and the terrible risk they pose to the world threaten us all.”

In addition to his efforts regarding nuclear disarmament, de Brum has led the drafting of the Marshall Islands’ constitution and advocated for its full independence before the UN Security Council, eventually resulting in the signing of the Compact of Free Association between Marshall Islands and the US in 1986. He has also sought to fight climate change by advocating for binding measures to be adopted in the UN Climate Change Conference in Paris in December 2015.

The Awards were founded in 1980 and “honour courageous and effective solutions to secure human rights and respond to global crises”.

The award was given to ex-Guardian editor Alan Rusbridger and whistleblower Edward Snowden in 2014 “for his courage and skill in revealing the unprecedented extent of state surveillance violating basic democratic processes and constitutional rights.”

Other award laureates this year include Canada’s Sheila Watt-Cloutier for work in the Arctic, Uganda’s Kasha Jacqueline Nabagesera for her advocacy on LGBTI rights, and Italy’s Gino Strada for his medical services to war victims.

October 2, 2015 Posted by | Legal, OCEANIA, opposition to nuclear | Leave a comment

European court upholds Sweden’s right to tax nuclear power stations

judge-1flag-EUCourt leaves Swedish nuclear tax unchanged, World Nuclear News, 1 Oct 15  Sweden can continue to tax nuclear power production following a ruling in the government’s favour by Europe’s highest court. The European Court of Justice’s seventh chamber decided that the tax does not fall within the scope of two European Council Directives and is therefore a national, rather than European Commission, matter.

OKG AB first contested the levy in 2009 in the Swedish courts, which in October 2013 sought the EU’s preliminary ruling. The company, which turns 50 this year, owns and operates three nuclear power units – Oskarshamn 1, 2 and 3 – which together account for 10% of total electricity generation in Sweden.

The company announced yesterday that it will hold an extraordinary shareholders’ meeting on 14 October to reach a decision on closing units 1 and 2. German EOn and Finnish Fortum own, respectively, 54.5% and 45.5% of the shares in OKG.

According to lobby group Swedenergy, a ruling in the company’s favour could have removed an annual cost of about 4.6 billion kronor ($540 million) for the country’s nuclear industry since the Swedish government increased the tax by 17% from 1 August.

The court document, published today on its website, says that levying a tax on the thermal power of nuclear reactors is not within the scope of Council Directive 2003/96/EC of 27 October 2003 that restructures the Community framework for the taxation of energy products and electricity. Nor is the tax an excise duty for the purposes of Council Directive 92/12/EEC of 25 February 1992 on general arrangements for, and the holding and movement of, products subject to excise duty……http://www.world-nuclear-news.org/NP-Court-leaves-Swedish-nuclear-tax-unchanged-1101501.html

October 2, 2015 Posted by | EUROPE, Legal, Sweden | Leave a comment

Storage of radioactive debris on beach near San Onofre nuclear facility!

san-onofre-deadfNBC: Radioactive debris on beach at California nuclear plant — Magazine: Bombshell report reveals radiation cover-up — Experts: “Unbelievable what they’re doing there”… “We still don’t know how high those levels were” (VIDEO)http://enenews.com/nbc-radioactive-debris-beach-california-nuclear-plant-magazine-bombshell-report-reveals-radiation-cover-experts-unbelievable-theyre-doing-dont-high-levels-video?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+ENENews+%28Energy+News%29


East County Magazine, Sep 26, 2015 (emphasis added): NBC TV Investigation Finds Evidence Of Radioactive Debris On Beach At San Onofre — An investigation by KNSD-TV Channel 7 , the NBC affiliate in San Diego, has dropped a bombshell regarding efforts to cover-up lax handling of nuclear waste and radiation leaks at the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Stations… NBC’s investigation found high radiation levels endangered Southern California employees in trailers, including radiation levels so alarming that  Nuclear Regulatory inspectors at times refused to perform routine radiation surveys… Hundreds of pieces of contaminated radioactive equipment were stored on both sides of Interstate 5, which bisects the San Onofre nuclear waste dump now under construction… Nuclear power expert Joe Hopenfeld told NBC 7 that San Onofre was “very, very sloppy, very very careless in handling radioactive material.”… Some have reportedly been pressured to sign non-disclosure agreements to prevent negative information from being made public… NBC reported that SDG&E did not respond to its requests for comments, nor did the Marines… Due to secrecy shrouding the San Onofre high nuclear readings… [Charles Langley is a former public advocate at the Utility Consumers’ Action Network who was terminated for being a whistleblower] observes, “We still don’t know how high those radiation levels were. And if Edison gets its way, we will never know… The answer is probably worse than we think.”

NBC San Diego, Sep 23, 2015: Documents Detail How Nuclear Material Was Handled at San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station… The documents were released to individuals involved with the secret negotiations about the current condition and future handling of the 25-acre property… According to the source, the team representing the utilities has told all involved they want nondisclosure agreements signed so no one can go public with any information disclosed during the negotiations [and] the utilities are reluctant to provide full disclosure on what has occurred on the property since they took possession of it… Joe Hopenfeld, an expert on the nuclear power industry, said, “It was unbelievable what they were doing there“… The report says it was determined the cubicle was “responsible for most of the radiation measured on the beach.”… The other document NBC 7 Investigates received is dated April 10, 2014… This document was provided by the utilities to “identify those locations at the Mesa that were affected by the inappropriate presence of radioactive materials.”… After reading in the report about a steam generator system pipe that was “hot,” Hopenfeld said, “You have hot spots, you don’t know what they are.”… “This is an indication of the mentality and the culture at the time at SONGS,” he said. [Former San Onofre Safety Officer Vinrod Arora ] said the plant grounds should be thoroughly inspected by an independent third party and not by SCE or SDGE or any of their subcontractors. “Be very careful of the goods they accept from Edison with the blessings of the NRC,” Arora warned. The concern, he said, is not just for the land but for those that might someday use it.

Watch the NBC broadcast here

October 2, 2015 Posted by | secrets,lies and civil liberties, USA, wastes | Leave a comment