The News That Matters about the Nuclear Industry Fukushima Chernobyl Mayak Three Mile Island Atomic Testing Radiation Isotope

Decorum be damned. Top science editor spits the dummy with Trump

September 17, 2020 Posted by | media, USA | Leave a comment

Relicensing Turkey Point nuclear station – a striking example of a dangerous action in climate change times

Even more bizarre, under current regulations, nuclear operators can take up to 60 years to decommission a closed plant. Decommissioning is the process by which a nuclear reactor is dismantled to the point that it no longer requires radiation protection measures. In the case of Turkey Point, if the reactors stay online beyond 2050, decommissioning could extend into the next century, when sea level rise due to climate change is predicted to inundate southern Florida.
Nuclear plants and climate change don’t mix. While proponents of nuclear energy often argue that nuclear power is a necessary tool against the climate crisis, nuclear power itself is at risk from climate change.
In this process, major safety and environmental issues have been declared off limits by a regulatory sleight of hand known as the Generic Environmental Impact Statement. In 1996, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission drafted a generic analysis of those environmental impacts it deemed would be the same for every nuclear reactor license renewal. Because the commission determined that this statement addresses a set of designated “generic” impacts, and put the result of that analysis in law, individual applicants for renewed nuclear reactor licenses are not required to address those safety and environmental issues. Rather, applicants only need to supplement that generic impact statement with an analysis of issues categorically designated “site-specific.”  
With climate change, aging nuclear plants need closer scrutiny. Turkey Point shows why. By   Caroline Reiser , September 14, 2020

Last December, two nuclear reactors at Florida’s Turkey Point Nuclear Generating Station, located 25 miles south of Miami, became the first reactors in the world to receive regulatory approval to remain operational for up to 80 years, meaning reactors that first came online in the 1970s could keep running beyond 2050.

The ages of the Turkey Point reactors are not unusual; of the 95 reactors currently licensed to operate in the United States, only five are less than 30 years old, while more than half are 40 or more years old. The Turkey Point reactors are a bellwether, just the first of possibly many aging nuclear reactors that will seek permission to stay online well into the middle of the century. Not long after the December decision, in March 2020, the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission granted two more reactors, located in Pennsylvania, the same extensions that it gave Turkey Point.

In pursing these extensions, the US commercial nuclear industry and its supporters collide with the realities of the aging US nuclear fleet and climate science projections. Existing safety and environmental requirements fail to provide the oversight necessary to ensure communities and the environment are protected. As nuclear reactors receive permission to operate for twice as long as originally envisaged, and in a world that, because of climate change, is drastically different from the one they were built for, the insufficiency of the existing regulatory framework is daunting.

A 40-year lifespan? At the beginning of its commercial nuclear power program, the United States designed and licensed reactors with a 40-year projected lifetime. Once the 40-year license is set to expire, regulations require the reactor owner to apply for a renewed license in order to continue operating for an additional 20 years. What the regulations don’t make clear, however, is the number of times a reactor license can be renewed. What Turkey Point received last year was not its first, but its second extension—what regulators call a subsequent renewed license. Continue reading

September 15, 2020 Posted by | climate change, investigative journalism, Reference, safety, USA | Leave a comment

American TV news covers wildfires, but mostly is careful not to mention climate change

Most wildfire coverage on American TV news fails to mention link to climate crisis
A media watchdog analysis found that just 15% of broadcast news segments over a September weekend made the connection to climate breakdown,     Lois Beckett in Los Angeles and Maanvi Singh in San Francisco

Most news coverage of the wildfires raging in California, Washington and Oregon on American TV channels made no mention of the connection between the historic fires and climate crisis, according to a new analysis from Media Matters

Reviewing coverage aired over the 5-8 September holiday weekend, the progressive media watchdog group found that only 15% of corporate TV news segments on the fires mentioned the climate crisis. A separate analysis found that during the entire month of August only 4% of broadcast news wildfire coverage mentioned climate crisis.

Wildfires are raging in states across the American west, burning record acreage in California, Washington and Oregon. The wave of fires was first sparked and stoked by a spate of unusual weather in August, including rare lightning storms that hit parts of California that were vulnerable to fire because drought and heat had dried out vegetation. The fires came before low-elevation, coastal parts of the state reached peak fire season in the autumn when fierce offshore winds have driven the biggest fires in recent years.

The fires that hit Oregon in recent days were stoked by dry conditions and rare easterly winds.

Although untangling the weather conditions from climate crisis is complicated, it’s clear that overall, in recent years “fire risk is increasing dramatically because of climate change”, said Chris Field, who directs the Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment. Global heating has given rise to drier, hotter conditions and more frequent, extreme droughts that have left the landscape tinder-dry and prone to explosive blazes.

Although California’s landscape has long been prone to fire, climate crisis has “put pressure on the entire system”, Field said, throwing it out of balance and giving rise to more extreme, catastrophic events. The current fires expanding with such explosive force have burned more acreage within a few weeks than what has burned in previous years.

A consensus of research has made clear that extreme heat and drought fueled by global heating has left the American west tinder-dry and especially vulnerable to runaway fires. A 2019 study found that from 1972 to 2018, California saw a five-fold increase in the areas that burned annually. Another study estimates that without human-caused climate crisis, the area that burned between 1984 and 2015 would have been half of what it actually was. And a research paper published last month suggests that the number of autumn days with “extreme fire weather” – when the risk of wildfires is extremely high – has more than doubled over the past two decades. “Our climate model analyses suggest that continued climate change will further amplify the number of days with extreme fire weather by the end of this century,” the researchers write, “though a pathway consistent with the UN Paris commitments would substantially curb that increase.”

Climate crisis is not the only factor driving the barrage of blazes across the region. Ironically, a century of suppressing fires – extinguishing the natural, necessary fires in western forests and other wildlands to protect homes and timber – has led to an accumulation of fire-fueling vegetation. “A deficit of fire, concatenated with the effects of climate change have led us here,” said Don Hankins, a fire ecologist at California State University, Chico.

Media Matters singled out two TV news journalists who are regularly talking about the role of climate crisis: the CBS meteorologist and climate specialist Jeff Berardelli and NBC’s Al Roker.

The Media Matters analysis also noted that so far, 2020 has been the third year in a row during which corporate broadcast TV news discussed the impacts of climate crisis in fewer than 5% of wildfire segments.

September 14, 2020 Posted by | climate change, media, USA | Leave a comment

Climate protestors stop Rupert Murdoch’s press in Britain

Rupert Murdoch’s British papers delayed as climate protesters stop the presses, SMH  6 Sept, 20,   London: Distribution of several British newspapers was disrupted on Saturday after climate change activists blockaded printworks used by Rupert Murdoch’s News UK, publisher of The Times and The Sun, drawing condemnation from Prime Minister Boris Johnson.Extinction Rebellion said nearly 80 people had blocked roads leading to two printworks, at Broxbourne in Hertfordshire, north east of London, and at Knowsley, near Liverpool. Hertfordshire police said they made 42 arrests and Merseyside police made 30.

The Murdoch-owned Newsprinters works also print the Daily Mail, the Daily Telegraph and the Financial Times. Campaigners said they had taken the action to highlight what they regard as the newspapers’ failure to accurately report on climate change. ……….

The blockade was part of more than a week of protests by Extinction Rebellion, which says an emergency response and mass move away from polluting industries and behaviours is needed to avert a looming climate cataclysm.

On Saturday it also protested in central London, including holding a “die-in” in front of Buckingham Palace, where demonstrators lay under white sheets to represent corpses. ……..

September 7, 2020 Posted by | climate change, media, UK | Leave a comment

The Assange extradition hearing – a continued travesty of justice

Assange Travesty Continues

August 30, 2020   by craig     The travesty that is Julian Assange’s extradition hearing resumes fully on 7 September at the Old Bailey. I shall be abandoning my own legal team and going down to London to cover it again in full, for an expected three weeks. How this is going to work at the Old Bailey, I do not know. Covid restrictions presumably mean that the numbers in the public gallery will be tiny. As of now, there is no arrangement for Julian’s friends and family in place. It looks like 4am queuing is in prospect.

By 7 September it will be six months since I applied to resume my membership of the National Union of Journalists. I STILL have not the slightest idea who objected, or what the grounds were for objection. I have not heard from the NUJ for months. A senior official of an international journalists’ organisation has told us that he inquired, and learnt that the NUJ national executive has considered my application and set up a sub-committee to report. But if so, why is this secret, why have I not been informed, and why am I not allowed to know what the objection is? I find this all very sinister. At this stage it is not paranoid to wonder whose hand is behind this.

The practical effect of this is that without NUJ membership I cannot access a Press card, and avail myself of whatever media arrangements are in place for the Assange hearing (just as I was kept out of most of the Salmond trial). I have now reached the stage where I would like to take legal action against the NUJ, but the finances are beyond me. I am not going to ask you to donate because we are going to need all our resources for the contempt case against me, which the Crown drags out.

I shall be writing next week about my own case and that hearing earlier this week. I would just note now that the “virtual hearing” is entirely unsatisfactory and unfair on defendants. There was at least one occasion when my QC agreed with a suggestion of the judge when I would have instructed them not to had I been, as I should normally have been, seated near them in court and able to instruct.

Unlike our adversaries including the Integrity Initiative, the 77th Brigade, Bellingcat, the Atlantic Council and hundreds of other warmongering propaganda operations, this blog has no source of state, corporate or institutional finance whatsoever. It runs entirely on voluntary subscriptions from its readers – many of whom do not necessarily agree with the every article, but welcome the alternative voice, insider information and debate.

August 31, 2020 Posted by | Legal, media, UK | Leave a comment

How Facebook fosters climate denial

‘Everybody’s entitled to their opinion – but not their own facts’: The spread of climate denial on FacebookThe arguments are that people can’t trust scientists, models, climate data. It’s all about building doubt and undermining public trust in climate science’, Independent Louise Boyle, New York @LouiseB_NY, 24 July 20, 

An article linking climate change to Earth’s solar orbit went viral last year, racking up 4.2million views on social media and widely shared on Facebook. It was the most-engaged with climate story in 2019, according to Brandwatch.

There was just one problem. It wasn’t true.

Facebook removed the article from Natural News, a far-right conspiracy outlet with 3 million followers, after it was reported.

But the spread of misinformation on the climate crisis by groups who reject climate science continues on Facebook and other social media platforms.

While tech giants have taken steps to remove, or label as false, potentially harmful misinformation on the Covid-19 pandemic, there has been a seeming acceptance of those who spread false theories on the climate crisis.

In August, an op-ed by two members of the CO2 Coalition, a pro-fossil fuel nonprofit with close ties to the Trump administration, was published in the Washington Examiner and subsequently posted to the group’s Facebook page.

The article, which claimed climate models are inaccurate and climate change has been greatly exaggerated, was initially tagged as “false” by five scientists from independent fact-checkers Climate Feedback who said it used “cherry-picked” evidence and deemed its scientific credibility “very low”.

Facebook doesn’t check content but outsources to dozens of third-party groups. A fact-checker’s false designation pushes a story lower in News Feed and significantly reduces the number of people who see it, according to Facebook policies.

The CO2 Coalition did not take the fact-checkers’ decision lying down, branding Climate Feedback “alarmists” and writing an open letter to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg. They succeeded in having the false label removed.

Andy Stone, Facebook’s policy communications director, told the New York Times last week that all opinion content on the platform, including op-eds, has been exempt from fact-checking since 2016…………

July 25, 2020 Posted by | climate change, media, secrets,lies and civil liberties, spinbuster | Leave a comment

Environmentalists, political groups, companies demand that Facebook crack down on climate denialism

Everybody’s entitled to their opinion – but not their own facts’: The spread of climate denial on Facebook

‘The arguments are that people can’t trust scientists, models, climate data. It’s all about building doubt and undermining public trust in climate science’   Independent, Louise Boyle, New York @LouiseB_NY, 24 July, 20.

July 25, 2020 Posted by | climate change, media, USA | Leave a comment

Virtual tours planned at Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum and the Nagasaki Atomic Bomb Museum

Virtual tours planned at atomic bomb museums,  21 Jul 20, Two Japanese museums dedicated to documenting the 1945 atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki plan to offer virtual tours online in cooperation with an international NGO devoted to the elimination of nuclear weapons.They are planning the events as the number of international visitors to these museums has dropped sharply due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Kawasaki Akira, a member from the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, or ICAN, unveiled the plan online on Monday.

The exhibits at the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum and the Nagasaki Atomic Bomb Museum will be shown live on Instagram. Volunteers and researchers from universities will explain the displays in English.

The Hiroshima museum will hold the virtual tour on Wednesday for about 30 minutes after closing time, between 6:30 p.m. and 7p.m. Japan time.

The Nagasaki museum will hold it on Friday for about 30 minutes before opening time, between 8:00 a.m. and 8:30 a.m. Japan time.

Kawasaki said his group and the museums want to do everything possible online as various activities have been canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

He said he wants to offer young people abroad an opportunity to find out about the damage and aftereffects of the atomic bombings of the two cities.

July 25, 2020 Posted by | history, Japan, media, weapons and war | Leave a comment is proud to work, along with Democracy Now and others, towards exposing and closing the nuclear industry

From the team at nuclear-news, 14 July 20, Some effective campaigns that we supported that gave positive results

1/ Got Halden Test Reactor and its nearby medical/test reactor (also in Norway) closed.

2/ Helped inform Mainland Chinese anti nuclears of dodgy nuclear industry tricks and scams (while it lasted) and promote the closure of at least 2 planned reactors

3/ Highlight the “Normal” releases from reactors (especially in Europe) which has no doubt been supportive of EU anti nuclear sentiment in the EU Commission and Parliament

4/ Helped highlight the issues in Fukushima prefecture including Typhoon damage to the nuclear waste badly stored there.

5/ Backed up many articles that have been removed from MSM websites. So useful to researchers (The wayback machine is being targeted for closure due to DMCA issues) so it makes sense that they want to close all blogs that also back up the articles for researchers.

6/ Supported many independent orgs/NGO`s and helped get their message out (ie CRIIRAD, Bellona etc) and that really damaged the nuclear industry and their messaging strategies.

Basically we have all kicked Corprate butt and the blog should be getting much more reach but since 2017 we got filtered (with Democracy Now as well as many other left wing outlets). We shall have to see if this is the first move in a take down bid by the nuclear industry and their PR buddies.

July 14, 2020 Posted by | Christina's notes, media | Leave a comment

Fermi 2 nuclear station struggles with large COVID-19 outbreak among workers.

Beyond Nuclear 14th May 2020, Fermi 2 struggles with large COVID-19 outbreak among workers. The large numbers of coronavirus test positives at Fermi nuclear power plant (the article reports more than 200 cases, but May 13 Facebook postings by Fermi employees have put the number as already grown worse, now at more than 300) is likely among the worst known (yet unreported, in the Michigan or U.S. national news media) at any single institution or workplace in Michigan.
It also is perhaps the most known (yet unreported, in the Michigan or U.S. national news media) number of cases at any U.S. nuclear facility, whether nuclear power plant or weapons complex site (although the Vogtle nuclear power plant in Georgia is also reporting more than 200 cases).

May 18, 2020 Posted by | health, media, USA | Leave a comment

A potential US extradition of Assange poses existential threats to democracy.

In his fight against extradition to the US, where he faces 175 years in prison and being subjected to harsh conditions under “Special Administrative Measures”, Assange is rendered defenseless. He is in effective solitary confinement, being psychologically tortured inside London’s maximum-security prison. With the British government’s refusal to release him temporarily into home detention, despite his deteriorating health and weak lung condition developed as consequences of long detention, Assange is now put at risk of contracting coronavirus. This threatens his life.

Now, as the world stands still and becomes silent in our collective self-quarantine, Assange’s words spoken years ago in defense of a free internet call for our attention from behind the walls of Belmarsh prison:

“Nuclear war, climate change or global pandemics are existential threats that we can work through with discussion and thought. Discourse is humanity’s immune system for existential threats. Diseases that infect the immune system are usually fatal. In this case, at a planetary scale.”

Assange’s US extradition, Threat to Future of Internet and Democracy, CounterPunch by NOZOMI HAYASE 8 May 20 On Monday May 4, the British Court decided that the extradition hearing for WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange, scheduled for May 18, would be moved to September. This four month delay was made after Assange’s defense lawyer argued the difficulty of his receiving a fair hearing due to restrictions posed by the Covid-19 lockdown. Monday’s hearing at Westminster Magistrates’ Court proceeded without enabling the phone link for press and observers waiting on the line, and without Assange who was not well enough to appear via videolink.

Sunday May 3rd marked World Press Freedom Day. As people around the globe celebrated with online debates and workshops, Assange was being held on remand in London’s Belmarsh prison for publishing classified documents which exposed US war crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan. On this day, annually observed by the United Nations to remind the governments of the importance of free press, Amnesty International renewed its call for the US to drop the charges against this imprisoned journalist.

The US case to extradite Assange is one of the most important press freedom cases of this century. The indictment against him under the Espionage Act is an unprecedented attack on journalism. This is a war on free speech that has escalated in recent years turning the Internet into a battleground.

Privatized censorship Continue reading

May 9, 2020 Posted by | media, secrets,lies and civil liberties, UK | Leave a comment

“Mrs America”- Phyllis Schlafly determined fan of nuclear weapons, like today’s pro nuclear women in public life

April 30, 2020 Posted by | media, USA | Leave a comment

“Balance” a dangerous practice – journalists presenting as equal -Trump’s and scientists’ opinion on coronavirus science

Presenting Trump and Science as Equals Isn’t Balanced, It’s Dangerous, FAIR, , 23 Mar 20, With more than 32,000 COVID-19 infections and 400 deaths in the US to date, and Surgeon General Jerome Adams predicting that “this week, it’s going to get bad,” as hospitals prepare for the eventuality of rationing treatment for patients least likely to survive, the president of the United States hit his caps lock key and typed out a tweet:

March 24, 2020 Posted by | health, media, politics, USA | Leave a comment

The vital importance of media accuracy at this critical time

It’s Vitally Important for Media to Get Facts Right in a Life-or-Death Crisis

JIM NAURECKAS MARCH 20, 2020 THE FRONT PAGE of the New York Times (late) print edition for March 20, 2020, bore a large map of the United States, illustrating reported cases of Covid-19 by state and county, as of March 19, 4 p.m. EDT. Readers in the paper’s home city might have been particularly interested in the count for the state of New York—which, according to the map, was up to 5,200+ cases:
Curiously, the morning that paper was delivered, the online version of the map, with the supposedly latest figures, had cases in New York State at 4,100+—1,100 fewer, a reduction of almost 20%—with no explanation for the discrepancy. (Illustrating the exponential growth of the outbreak, by the afternoon of March 20, the online map had 7,100+ cases for New York State.)
I bring this up not because it’s easy to keep track of ever-changing numbers in an epidemic, but because it’s so vital to provide accurate information, particularly about the outbreak’s growth, and especially when you are an outlet that officials and opinion-shapers are likely to look to for guidance when making decisions and recommendations about the drastic measures needed to halt the coronavirus.
A less excusable example of an influential media voice failing to get the story straight was Jennifer Rubin‘s March 18 Washington Post column, which rightfully lambasted President Donald Trump for fatally bungling the response to the pandemic. But in that column, Rubin did her own bungling, writing:
Trump did not show any real recognition of the magnitude of the problem until his administration got hold of a study from Britain. “The Imperial College London group reported that if nothing was done by governments and individuals and the pandemic remained uncontrolled, 510,000 would die in Britain and 2.2 million in the United States over the course of the outbreak,” the Post reports. Even if we now institute uniform, serious measures to mitigate the spread of the virus, we would “reduce mortality by half, to 260,000 people in the United Kingdom and 1.1 million in the United States.”
By Rubin’s account, we’re doomed to a seven-figure casualty toll, no matter what we do. But that is not what the Post news article she’s citing said. Immediately after the passage she quotes—but interrupted by a photograph—the story continues:
Finally, if the British government quickly went all-out to suppress viral spread — aiming to reverse epidemic growth and reduce the case load to a low level — then the number of dead in the country could drop to below 20,000. To do this, the researchers said, Britain would have to enforce social distancing for the entire population, isolate all cases, demand quarantines of entire households where anyone is sick, and close all schools and universities — and do this not for weeks but for 12 to 18 months, until a vaccine is available.
From 260,000 to 20,000 is, obviously, a substantial drop; if the same reduction in deaths is envisioned for the United States, that would bring the toll down below 85,000. To exaggerate the cost in human lives of what your source offers as the best-case scenario by 1,200% is simply irresponsible.
And it should be recognized that her source, the Washington Post news article by William Booth (3/17/20), itself misrepresents the Imperial College study in a crucial way. It did not envision the government going “all-out to suppress viral spread”; you’ll note that its description of proposed actions does not include banning large public gatherings, or shutting down public spaces like restaurants, bars, cinemas and theaters, as New York City announced it would do on March 15. And it certainly does not contemplate all nonessential employees staying home, as one in five Americans had been told to do by March 20. (See FAIR.org3/17/20.)
Could these more strenuous interventions reduce the death toll below 85,000? Could they bring hope for a return to a semblance of normalcy sooner than a year or 18 months? It seems likely, but the Post report suggested that the comparatively modest restrictions modeled by the Imperial College are the best we can do.
Given that this study seems to have a profound impact on official crisis planning on both sides of the Atlantic, journalists seem to have had considerable trouble reading and comprehending what it is and isn’t saying. A New York Times article (3/17/20) devoted to the report, by Mark Landler and Stephen Castle, described the relatively gentle virus-fighting steps modeled by the Imperial College as “radical lockdown policies” and “far stricter lockdowns,” though they don’t envision locking down anyone. They were far less sweeping than the shelter-in-place order that had been issued for seven Bay Area counties the day before (Mercury News3/16/20).
It is crucial that the public understand that what seems to be the single-most important document guiding official decision-making, and the source for the dismaying projection that coronavirus-related restrictions may have to remain in place as long as 18 months, depends on the unstated assumption that the most vigorous actions taken to fight the epidemic have to allow business to continue as close to usual as possible. In this, the Imperial College, which as its name suggests is very close to the British government, appears to be guided by the same philosophy that informs a remarkable Wall Street Journal editorial (3/19/20):

This won’t be popular to read in some quarters, but federal and state officials need to start adjusting their anti-virus strategy now to avoid an economic recession that will dwarf the harm from 2008–2009…. Barring [a quick vaccine], our leaders and our society will very soon need to shift their virus-fighting strategy to something that is sustainable…. America urgently needs a pandemic strategy that is more economically and socially sustainable than the current national lockdown.

In other words, saving lives is all well and good, but we’ve got businesses to run. If that’s the attitude behind the report that underlies the thinking of top US and British officials, citizens need to know that—and they won’t learn it from inaccurate reporting.

March 21, 2020 Posted by | 2 WORLD, health, media | Leave a comment

Donald Trump threatens to get rid of National Public Radio

January 27, 2020 Posted by | civil liberties, media | Leave a comment