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Schoolchildren around the world “on strike” demanding action on climate change

‘Fridays for future’ marches for climate change going global | DW News

It’s our time to rise up’: youth climate strikes held in 100 countries Sandra LavilleMatthew Taylorand Daniel Hurst, Sat 16 Mar 2019 

School and university students continue Friday protests to call for political action on crisis  From Australia to America, children put down their books on Friday to march for change in the first global climate strike.

The event was embraced in the developing nations of India and Uganda and in the Philippines and Nepal – countries acutely impacted by climate change – as tens of thousands of schoolchildren and students in more than 100 countries went on “strike”, demanding the political elite urgently address what they say is a climate emergency. Continue reading

March 16, 2019 Posted by | 2 WORLD, children, climate change | Leave a comment

Nebraska nuclear station is threatened by flooding, as Missouri River continued to rise

Deadly, Historic Midwest Flooding Threatens Ericson Dam, Nuclear Plant in Nebraska, By Pam Wright and Ron Brackett,  15 Mar 19, 

At a Glance

  • New evacuations were ordered overnight in Minnesota and Wisconsin.
  • A Nebraska farmer was killed trying to rescue a stranded motorist.
  • A Nebraska nuclear plant is threatened.
  • A ‘compromised’ dam forced evacuations along the Niobrara River.
  • A third of the 24,000 residents in Norfolk, Nebraska, were ordered to evacuate Thursday.
  • Flooding in parts of the Midwest has left one man dead threatens a Nebraska dam and nuclear power plant as heavy rains mixed with a melting snowpack swell waterways to historic levels……..
  • In Nebraska, a utility company was placing sandbags around a threatened nuclear power plant Thursday as the Missouri River continued to rise, the Omaha World-Journal reports.

    Mark Becker, spokesman for the Nebraska Public Power District, told the newspaper that should the river hit the level of 45.5 feet as projected by the National Weather Services this weekend, the Cooper Nuclear Station, which accounts for 35 percent of NPPD’s power, will have to be shut down…………

March 16, 2019 Posted by | climate change, USA | Leave a comment

Nuclear industry pushes for weaker regulations:NRC Board dominated by Trump appointees

Nuclear industry pushing for fewer inspections at plants

The board of the agency charged with enforcing regulations on commercially operated nuclear plants is dominated by Trump appointees. NBC News, March 16, 2019,  By Associated Press

WASHINGTON — The nuclear power industry is pushing the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to cut back on inspections at nuclear power plants and throttle back what it tells the public about plant problems. The agency, whose board is dominated by Trump appointees, is listening.

Commission staffers are weighing some of the industry’s requests as part of a sweeping review of how the agency enforces regulations governing the country’s 98 commercially operating nuclear plants. Recommendations are due to the five-member NRC board in June.

Annie Caputo, a former nuclear-energy lobbyist now serving as one of four board members appointed or reappointed by President Donald Trump, told an industry meeting this week that she was “open to self-assessments” by nuclear plant operators, who are proposing that self-reporting by operators take the place of some NRC inspections. …….

the prospect of the Trump administration’s regulation-cutting mission reaching the NRC alarms some independent industry watchdogs, who say the words “nuclear safety” and “deregulation” don’t go together……..

“For an industry that is increasingly under financial decline … to take regulatory authority away from the NRC puts us on a collision course,” said Paul Gunter, of the anti-nuclear group Beyond Nuclear. With what? “With a nuclear accident,” Gunter said………..

Trump has said he wants to help both the coal and nuclear power industries. So far, it’s the more politically influential coal industry that’s gotten significant action on the regulatory rollbacks that it sought from the Environmental Protection Agency and other agencies.

In January, Trump appointees to the NRC disappointed environmental groups by voting down a staff proposal that nuclear plants be required to substantially — and expensively — harden themselves against major floods and other natural disasters. The proposal was meant to be a main NRC response to the Fukushima nuclear plant disaster after Japan’s 9.0 earthquake and tsunami in 2011………

March 16, 2019 Posted by | safety, USA | Leave a comment

150,000 climate strikers at 60 locations across Australia in schoolchildren’s pprotest

Students strike to demand climate action | ABC News

Climate strikes attract 150,000 supporters,, 16 Mar 19,   About 150,000 people took part in climate strikes across the country on Friday, with students planning more rallies if their demands for more action aren’t met. About 150,000 students, parents and activists have taken to the streets to protest over the federal government’s inaction on climate change.

Strikes were held across the country on Friday at 60 locations, as part of a global effort to shine a light on climate change.

The protests were estimated to be 10 times the size of those held in November. The students have three demands: stop the Adani coal mine in central Queensland, no new coal or gas, and 100 per cent renewables by 2030.

More strikes will be planned if the students don’t see the action they want from the government.

“If the politicians are just going to throw our futures away there’s nothing we can do but be out here and say: we’re not going to let you do that,” 15-year-old Olivia Boddington told AAP at a climate strike in Canberra.

“We’re not going to just go away.”

Huge crowds gathered across the country on Friday, including at Sydney’s Town Hall Square, outside Melbourne’s Old Treasury Building and in Brisbane’s CBD.

The movement was inspired by Swedish teen Greta Thunberg, who has been striking for climate action since last August.

The 16-year-old’s activism has earned her a Nobel Peace Prize nomination.

Senior cabinet minister Christopher Pyne criticised the students for striking, saying the move will damage their education.

However, Labor national president Wayne Swan defended student activism.

March 16, 2019 Posted by | AUSTRALIA, climate change | Leave a comment

Scotland’s First Minister refused to meet Australian Aboriginal nuclear waste protestor – for political reasons

Gaffe reveals why Sturgeon refused to meet nuclear waste protestor  James McEnaney on March 14, 2019 The Scottish Government has mistakenly revealed that Nicola Sturgeon refused to meet an Aboriginal nuclear waste protestor in an attempt to avoid political damage – not because she was too busy, as her officials said. 

Internal emails uncovered by The Ferret reveal that the First Minister was advised to turn down a request for a meeting in 2018 so as not to become a “focus for criticism”. But officials said the public reason given for her refusal would be “on the standard basis of diary pressures”.

Campaigners reacted with sadness, saying that the Scottish Government’s “ears are closed”. The government stressed that it had “very limited scope” to address the issues raised.

Nuclear fuel was sent from an Australian research reactor to Dounreay on the north coast of Scotland for reprocessing in the 1990s. The resulting radioactive waste, amounting to 51 cemented drums, was originally due to be returned to Australia for disposal.

But under the terms of a waste substitution deal in 2014, Scottish and UK governments agreed that the drums should stay at Dounreay. Instead, the plan is to send four containers of “radiologically equivalent” waste to Australia from the Sellafield nuclear complex in Cumbria.

Two sites have been identified for a planned store for the waste in south Australia – Wallerberdina Station, near Hawker, and Kimber – both of which face opposition from indigenous communities. The Ferret reported in February that Scottish ministers had been advised that they had powers to prevent the waste being exported to protect human rights.

March 16, 2019 Posted by | AUSTRALIA, politics, politics international, UK | Leave a comment

Teenage Climate Activist Greta Thunberg Has Been Nominated for Nobel Peace Prize Adam Vaughan

Greta Thunberg, the 16-year-old from Sweden who started a global movement of schoolchildren striking to demand climate change action, has been nominated for the Nobel peace prize.

The nomination comes a day before thousands of pupils worldwide are expected to walk out of school in more than 1,600 towns and cities across more than 100 countries.

If she won, Thunberg would be the youngest person to become a Nobel peace prize laureate, a title Malala Yousafzai took as a 17-year-old in 2014 for her work on the right to education.

Climate winner

It would also be only the second time an individual had won for work on climate change. The first was former US vice-president Al Gore, who was awarded the prize in 2007 alongside the UN climate science group, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

Thunberg tweeted that she was: “Honoured and very grateful for this nomination.”

The nomination was made by Freddy André Øvstegård, a member of the Norwegian parliament, and two colleagues in the Socialist Left Party.

March 16, 2019 Posted by | 2 WORLD, climate change | Leave a comment

Senators want probe of Trump admin nuclear energy talks with Saudi Arabia

US senators seek probe of Trump admin nuclear energy talks with Saudi Arabia Democratic US senator and his Republican counterpart on Friday asked Congress’ investigative arm to probe Trump administration talks with Saudi Arabia over sharing nuclear power technology, Reuters reports.

In the latest effort by lawmakers to shed light on the potential deal, Democratic Senator Bob Menendez and Republican Senator Marco Rubio asked the Government Accountability Office, or GAO, to investigate the talks as soon as possible. They also asked the GAO to review executive branch negotiations with Saudi Arabia on nuclear energy since 2009, when Democrat Barack Obama was president.

Rubio and Menendez, members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, want to ensure any agreement “includes rigorous nonproliferation safeguards and other conditions to prevent nuclear cooperation with Saudi Arabia from undermining or threatening regional or international security,” said their letter to the GAO, a copy of which was seen by Reuters.

Saudi Arabia, which is seeking to build at least two nuclear power plants, has been in talks with the United States for years on importing technology.

The OPEC member, which is also in talks with countries including Russia, China and France, has at times resisted US standards on sharing nuclear technology that prevent uranium enrichment and spent fuel repossessing.

Both of those techniques are potential paths to clandestinely making fissile material for nuclear weapons.

Nonproliferation experts worry that if Saudi Arabia is not held to such a “gold standard,” in what is known as a 123 agreement, it could risk a nuclear arms race in the Middle East. The United Arab Emirates, which recently built reactors, could renegotiate its nonproliferation agreements if Saudi Arabia is allowed to bypass the standards.

Concerns in Congress rose last year after Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman told CBS News his kingdom would develop nuclear weapons if archrival Iran did. The killing of journalist and US resident Jamal Khashoggi in a Saudi consulate in Istanbul last year has also sparked backlash against any deal.

US Energy Secretary Rick Perry has had quiet talks with Saudi officials, including his friend, Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih, on nuclear power.

The Department of Energy and the National Security Council did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

The senators said the negotiations are occurring in a “very opaque manner” and that the Trump administration is not keeping their committee informed.

Perry has said he told Saudi Arabia it is important for the kingdom to be seen around the world as strong on nonproliferation. He also said that part of the talks center on making sure any nuclear inspections would not be intrusive for sensitive areas in the kingdom.

Perry told the Financial Times this week that talks with Saudi Arabia were at a pace “closer to one mile an hour than to Mach 1.2.”

Last month, Democratic House members alleged in a report that top White House aides ignored warnings they could be breaking the law as they worked with former U.S. officials in a group called IP3 International to advance a multibillion-dollar plan to build nuclear reactors in the Middle East, including Saudi Arabia.

March 16, 2019 Posted by | politics, USA | Leave a comment

When Saudi Arabia Gets the Bomb – by Charles Pierson (CounterPunch) 20 Feb 2019 — xenagoguevicene

On Tuesday, the House Oversight and Reform Committee revealed that, based on the testimony of “multiple” whistleblowers, the Trump Administration has been attempting to rush through a transfer of “highly sensitive U.S. nuclear technology” to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia without Congressional approval in violation of federal law. Before the Committee’s revelation on Tuesday, […]

via When Saudi Arabia Gets the Bomb – by Charles Pierson (CounterPunch) 20 Feb 2019 — xenagoguevicene

March 16, 2019 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The Globalization of War, America’s “Long War” against Humanity by Michel Chossudovsky — Uprootedpalestinians’s Blog

By Prof Michel Chossudovsky Global Research, March 14, 2019 The Globalization of War is undoubtedly one of the most important books on the contemporary global situation produced in recent years. In his latest masterpiece, Professor Michel Chossudovsky shows how the various conflicts we are witnessing today in Ukraine, Syria, Iraq and Palestine are in fact inter-linked and […]

via The Globalization of War, America’s “Long War” against Humanity by Michel Chossudovsky — Uprootedpalestinians’s Blog

March 16, 2019 Posted by | Uncategorized | 1 Comment

March 15 Energy News — geoharvey

Opinion: ¶ “Fighting Climate Change And Embracing Renewables” • Fighting climate change is no longer an expensive hobby for the rich. Rather, embracing renewables will make everybody richer, says the Danish Minister for Energy, Utilities, and Climate, Lars Christian Lilleholt. Denmark has reduced its emissions a lot as its economy grew. [Open Access Government] Science […]

via March 15 Energy News — geoharvey

March 16, 2019 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The B-52 Bomber: Getting Ready to Carry Nuclear-Armed Cruise Missiles?

The Air Force is now arming its fleet of B-52 Bombers with prototype nuclear-armed cruise missiles to prepare the aircraft for the possibility of launching the Long Range Stand Off (LRSO) weapon. National Interest, 

by Kris Osborn  he Air Force is now arming its fleet of B-52 Bombers with prototype nuclear-armed cruise missiles to prepare the aircraft for the possibility of launching the Long Range Stand Off (LRSO) weapon.

Through a $250 million deal, the Air Force will work with B-52 manufacturer Boeing to build missile carriage hardware and software, and “test” LRSO integration.

The Air Force has been working with industry on prototyping and design work on the emerging Long Range Stand-Off weapon nuclear-armed cruise missile, set to enter into a new phase of construction by 2022, service officials said. Raytheon and Lockheed, are now working on a $900 million Technology Maturation and Risk Reduction deal for the LRSO………

March 16, 2019 Posted by | USA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Continuing concern over thyroid and other cancers, due to Three Mile Island nuclear accident

Thyroid cancer caused by low-level radiation has a different “mutational signal” than most thyroid cancer, Goldenberg said. He and his colleagues used molecular research that had been pioneered after the Chernobyl nuclear disaster to find that genetic marker.  
Three Mile Island and thyroid cancer: Debates continue over health issues after nuclear plant accident

On March 28, 1979, Chris Achenbach-Kimmel was a 14-year-old freshman at Cedar Cliff High School in Camp Hill, Cumberland County. Fourteen miles away, on the Susquehanna River, staff at Three Mile Island Nuclear Generating Station were trying to contain the damage from an accident at one of its reactors.

“I just remember being in class, and just getting the news, and wondering, what does this mean?”……

Her mother kept her and her siblings inside as much as possible. TV news reports echoed through the house as her mother waited for an “all clear” from authorities. ……

For Achenbach-Kimmel, the accident became merely one more high school memory. She graduated in 1982 and went on to a career in occupational therapy.

It wasn’t until her thyroid cancer diagnosis in 2010 that she thought again about Three Mile Island.

“I think as soon as I got over the initial shock, it’s like, oh my gosh, I wonder if these two things are related,” said Achenbach-Kimmel, now a 54-year-old academic fieldwork coordinator at the Elizabethtown College occupational therapy department.

Her doctor wasn’t surprised when Achenbach-Kimmel mentioned TMI.

“She said, ‘oh yeah, we see an increased incidence in the area compared to what my colleagues see around the country.’”

Pennsylvania has had one of the highest thyroid cancer rates in recent years, according to Centers for Disease Control.

For those who grew up in central Pennsylvania, Chris’s story is a common one. People blame TMI for their illnesses, and some doctors accept it could have been the case.

Yet, the nuclear industry’s position has been that there has been no conclusive link between the accident and adverse health effects…….

Dr. David Goldenberg, a surgeon and thyroid researcher, launched the Penn State College of Medicine Study after years of hearing his patients bring up the nuclear plant accident.

……  thyroid cancer caused by low-level radiation has a different “mutational signal” than most thyroid cancer, Goldenberg said. He and his colleagues used molecular research that had been pioneered after the Chernobyl nuclear disaster to find that genetic marker.

The scientists screened out many thyroid cancer patients, limiting their study to 44 people who were born in counties around Three Mile Island, were present during the accident and were treated at Penn State Hershey Medical Center.

“We found a shift, which absolutely can be attributed to exposure to radiation, during the correct time frame of the Three Mile Island accident,” he said, adding that this does not prove that TMI caused the cancer. It just shows a correlation.

Goldenberg is quick to point out the study’s limitations, emphasizing that he’s working on a larger follow-up study. Still, it has put him in the middle of a 40-year-old debate: Did the accident at TMI release more radiation than the government says? Did it harm people?

March 16, 2019 Posted by | health, USA | Leave a comment

Fall in numbers of children in Fukushima municipalities

8 Years On: Number of Kids Dives in Disaster-Hit Fukushima Municipalities Mar 15, 2019  Fukushima, March 15 (Jiji Press)–In 10 Fukushima Prefecture municipalities where elementary and junior high school have reopened after the lifting of nuclear evacuation advisories, the number of students stood at 758 as of May 1, 2018, about 10 pct of the level before the March 2011 disasters.

During protracted evacuations, many child-rearing families rebuilt their lives in new locations, leading to the sharp fall in the number of students in Fukushima.

As a result, the local governments are facing difficulties in school operations.

In the Yamakiya district of the town of Kawamata, the evacuation advisory was removed in March 2017, six years after the nuclear accident at Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc.’s <9501> Fukushima No. 1 plant, heavily damaged by the 9.0-magnitude earthquake and the ensuing tsunami.

Elementary and junior high schools reopened in the town in April 2018, but five six-graders are the only elementary school children. With no freshman joining this spring, the elementary school plans to suspend its operations in April.

March 16, 2019 Posted by | Japan, social effects | Leave a comment

Changes in Congenital Anomaly Incidence in West Coast and Pacific States (USA) after Arrival of Fukushima Fallout  Full-Text HTML Download Download as PDF (Size:336KB) PP. 76-89    [multiple references supplied]


Radioactive fallout after the March 2011 Fukushima nuclear meltdown entered the U.S. environment within days; levels of radioactivity were particularly elevated in the five western states bordering on the Pacific Ocean. The particular sensitivity of the fetus to radiation exposure, and the ability of radioisotopes to attach to cells, tissues, and DNA raise the question of whether fetuses/newborns with birth defects with the greater exposures suffered elevated harm during the period after the meltdown. We compare rates of five congenital anomalies for 2010 and 2011 births from April-November. The increase of 13.00% in the five western states is significantly greater than the 3.77% decrease for all other U.S. states combined (CI 0.030 – 0.205, p < 0.008). Consistent patterns of elevated increases are observed in the west (20 of 21 comparisons, 6 of which are statistically significant/borderline significant), by state, type of birth defect, month of birth, and month of conception. While these five anomalies are relatively uncommon (about 7500 cases per year in the U.S.), sometimes making statistical significance difficult to achieve, the consistency of the results lend strength to the analysis, and suggest fetal harm from Fukushima may have occurred in western U.S. states.

March 16, 2019 Posted by | children, Reference, USA | Leave a comment

Danger in Russia’s nuclear- powered icebreakers parked at Murmansk

Nuclear safety expert says it’s time to consider moving risky icebreaker operations out of Murmansk

Rosatomflot’s service base is not sized for all the planned new nuclear-powered icebreakers, says Andrey Zolotkov, who previously worked as engineer onboard one of the service vessels storing spent nuclear fuel. Barents Observer  By Thomas Nilsen  March 13, 2019 

«So far, so good, but what if something goes wrong one day. Then questions will come in terms of why such operations take place within the city limits of Murmansk,» says Andrey Zolotkov, head of the autonomous non-commercial organization Bellona.

Before he started working for the nuclear safety watchdog group, Zolotkov worked for decades onboard «Imandra», a service ship storing spent nuclear fuel from the fleet of icebreakers. The vessel is berthed at Rosatomflot’s service base less than two kilometers north of the nearest blocks of flats in the Rosta district in Murmansk, a city with 300,000 inhabitants.

There are few cities in the world where more reactors’ maintenance work, change- and storage of uranium fuel, handling and storage of radioactive waste takes place within the boundaries of such big city.

«Look at the bases of the [military] Northern Fleet,» Andrey Zolokov illustrates. «There, all the maintenance and repair work with nuclear submarines take place outside and away from the towns where people are living.»

Every three to four years, the uranium fuel in the reactors of the icebreakers have to be replaced. Such high-risk operations are carried out with the most comprehensive safety precautions in the nuclear industry. Additionally, due to heat and high radiation, the fuel elements have to be temporarily stored for a few years before being transported away by train. At the base in Murmansk, such interim storage takes place onboard the two ships «Imandra» and «Lotta», as well as in spacial designed casks onshore.

An accident with release of radioactivity could reach densely populated areas in Murmansk long before anyone manage to trigger the emergency evacuation alarm.

«Considering the many new icebreakers coming the most risky parts of the nuclear maintenance operation should be moved further away from the city centre,» Andrey Zolotkov argues. He, however, underlines that there has never been any accidents at the service base.

Currently, Russia has four nuclear-powered icebreakers and one container carrier. Rosatomflot is the world’s only fleet of civilian nuclear powered vessels and when not sailing in icy waters, they are all moored at the quays in Murmansk……..

March 16, 2019 Posted by | EUROPE, safety | Leave a comment