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Tahitians remember atomic bomb tests and withdraw from France’s propaganda memorial project

Marchers in Tahiti ‘mourn’ French nuclear weapons test legacy  https://asiapacificreport.nz/2019/07/05/marches-in-tahiti-mourn-french-nuclear-weapons-test-legacy/, By PMC Editor -July 5, 2019 , By RNZ Pacific

An estimated 2000 people have joined a march in French Polynesia this week to mark the 53rd anniversary of France’s first atomic weapons test in the Pacific.

The first test was on July 2, 1966, after nuclear testing was moved from Algeria to the Tuamotus.

Organisers of the Association 193 described it as a “sad date that plunged the Polynesia people into mourning forever”. The test on Moruroa atoll was the first of 193 which were carried out over three decades until 1996.

The march was to the Place Pouvanaa a Oopa honouring a Tahitian leader.

The march and rally were called by test veterans’ groups and the Maohi Protestant church to also highlight the test victims’ difficulties in getting compensation for ill health.

After changes to the French compensation law, the nuclear-free organisation Moruroa e Tatou wants it to be scrapped as it now compensates no-one. The Association 193 said it was withdrawing from the project of the French state and the French Polynesian government to build a memorial site in Papeete, saying it will only serve as propaganda.

Apart from reparations for the victims, the organisation wants studies to be carried out into the genetic impact of radiation exposure.

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July 15, 2019 Posted by | France, Legal, OCEANIA, opposition to nuclear, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Unrepentant, Catholic anti-nuclear activists face gaol for breaking into a nuclear base

July 13, 2019 Posted by | legal, opposition to nuclear, Religion and ethics, USA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

In the 1980s Hungarian villagers defeated a nuclear waste dump plan. Can they do it again?

July 13, 2019 Posted by | EUROPE, opposition to nuclear, wastes | Leave a comment

City councillors call for New York City to divest from companies involved in the production of nuclear weapons

Nuclear Weapons Money 27th June 2019 Move the Nuclear Weapons Money welcomes the initiative of New York CityCouncil members Daniel Dromm, Helen Rosenthal and Ben Kallos to call on New York City to divest from companies involved in the production of nuclear
weapons, and to reaffirm New York City as a Nuclear Weapons Free Zone.

On June 26, the city councillors introduced Resolution 976 calling on the City
Council to make such a policy decision, and Initiative 1621 under which the
City would establish an advisory committee to examine nuclear disarmament
and issues related to recognizing and reaffirming New York city as a
nuclear weapons-free zone.

The council declared New York to be a
Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone in 1983 with the adoption of Resolution 364 which
prohibits the production, transport, placement or deployment of nuclear
weapons within the territorial limits of New York City, and the adoption of
Resolution 568 which declared that no ship be permitted to bring nuclear
missiles into the harbour of New York.

http://www.nuclearweaponsmoney.org/news/nycdivestment/

July 8, 2019 Posted by | opposition to nuclear, USA | 1 Comment

Together Against Sizewell C: the battle to save UK’s Suffolk coast from nuclear development

The nuclear fight for Sizewell on Suffolk’s coast, BBC, 7 July 2019  

Joan Girling has been fighting the nuclear industry most of her adult life.

She was at school when the new Magnox reactor was begun on the Suffolk coast at Sizewell in the 1960s.

Her father told her it was a “necessary evil”.

But when she moved to Leiston, just a few miles from the nuclear power station, and work began on Sizewell B in the 1980s, she could no longer ignore it………

in 1989 the Central Electricity Generating Board (CEGB) proposed a Sizewell C and Joan decided she had to do something.

At a fractious meeting at the Leiston Film Theatre in the High Street opposite the fish and chip shop, she founded Community Against Sizewell C.

Joan and an array of other anti-nuclear groups won that fight. Sizewell C was cancelled. The plan was resurrected in 1993 and Joan helped fight and win that one as a local councillor. But she has no illusions about what swung the argument.

“It was the finances that didn’t work out for them, ” she says resignedly. “Not the environment. It’s always finance that has the final say.” ……..

EDF and Sizewell C

The CEGB is now long gone. Today it is the giant French energy group EDF who wants to build Sizewell C. The protestors now call themselves Together Against Sizewell C (TASC).

In the next few weeks the plans will go to the Planning Inspectorate and then on to Secretary of State. If it is approved Joan expects ten years or more of construction, millions of tonnes of aggregate roaring in by road or rail, spoil heaps and a campus of more than 6,000 workers, on what she calls “my beloved coast.”………

Sizewell and Hinkley would  be a blueprint for a nuclear future.

Joan sighs at the thought: “No, nuclear plant, never, not one, has come in on time and on budget.”

Protected areas

Sizewell is hemmed in with every kind of protected area. Philip Ridley, Head of Planning and Coastal Management at East Suffolk Council, admits: “If you were looking for a place to build a nuclear power station you could not have chosen a more environmentally sensitive spot.”

The whole coast is an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB). The shingle beach is a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI). Sizewell Marshes, just behind the plant is a Special Protected Area (SPA). The Leiston Sandlings to the south are another SPA. There’s even an ancient monument nearby, Leiston Abbey.

Minsmere

But it is hard to compromise on Minsmere, a Special Area of Conservation (SAC) and an SSSI. The thousand hectares of marsh, less than a mile to the north, is the pride of the RSPB, where in 1947 the avocet, now the emblem of the charity, started breeding again for the first time in 100 years. It is home to 5,800 plant and animal species, marsh harriers, otters, water voles and bearded tits.

Adam Rowlands, Minsmere senior site manager, says: “For the RSPB, the scale of risk is higher than anything else we have ever been faced with before.

“The proposed footprint extends into the marshes behind the site which is managed by the Suffolk Wildlife Trust, and we are concerned at the loss of habitat over the ten years of construction due to noise and light and disturbances, and also the effects on the water table.”

At the moment Minsmere’s water levels are delicately controlled by sluices. Mr Rowlands says any unexpected rise or fall of a few centimetres could flood nests and destroy habitats.

It’s not just the fresh water inland but the salt water of the North Sea that worries the RSPB.

It is an unpredictable and mobile coastline. The RSPB fears that higher sea defences and a concrete landing strip for barges could drastically alter the shoreline – and Minsmere.

Consultations

In response EDF has issued lengthy consultation papers. The local Suffolk Wildlife Trust’s response to the latest and most detailed one is littered with references to “inadequate assessment”.

What’s more, there are fears EDF will only release a full assessment immediately before the plans go before the Planning Inspectorate, giving local groups little time to respond…….https://www.bbc.com/news/business-48828820

July 8, 2019 Posted by | environment, opposition to nuclear, UK | Leave a comment

In USA Catholic priests, some in gaol, some facing gaol – for dramatic opposition to nuclear weapons

June 17, 2019 Posted by | opposition to nuclear, USA | Leave a comment

Shelby Surdyk, Alaska’s nuclear disarmament youth campaigner

From NYC to Sitka, this Alaskan is taking on nuclear disarmament https://www.ktoo.org/2019/06/13/alaskans-chip-away-at-nuclear-disarmament/  

By Sheli DeLaney, KRNN,  June 13, 2019   On Wednesday’s Juneau Afternoon, the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weaponswas a topic of discussion as host Sheli DeLaney sat down with nuclear disarmament advocate Shelby Surdyk.Nuclear disarmament became Surdyk’s cause when she was in high school in Skagway and met a new teacher who had previously taught at the U.S. military base on Kwajalein Island in the Marshall Islands. The central Pacific Ocean nation was the site of U.S. nuclear testing between 1946 and 1958.

The teacher educated students about the history and impact that nuclear weapons testing had on the Marshallese people, and their story left a lasting impression on Surdyk.

“I think that once you become connected to people whose lives have been touched by nuclear weapons testing, it’s a path you can’t turn back from,” she said.

Today, Surdyk is the project manager for HOPE: Alaska’s Youth Congress for the Global Elimination of Nuclear Weapons, a five-day conference for high school students to be held in Sitka in April 2020. The idea for the youth congress was introduced by Veterans for Peace, an organization that opposes the proliferation of nuclear weapons as part of their philosophy.

Surdyk recently attended the 2019 NPT PrepCom, a conference held at the United Nations headquarters in New York City this spring. She will be speaking about her experience over a brown-bag lunch hosted by Veterans for Peace this Friday at noon at the Juneau Arts and Culture Center.

June 15, 2019 Posted by | opposition to nuclear, PERSONAL STORIES, USA | Leave a comment

30 years ago, voters forced shutdown of Rancho Seco nuclear plant in Sacramento County

30 years ago, voters forced shutdown of Rancho Seco nuclear plant in Sacramento County, Sacramento Bee,  Mila Jasper.June 6 is the 75th anniversary of D-Day, but in Sacramento, the date has another important meaning.Thursday is the 30th anniversary of the vote that permanently closed down the Rancho Seco nuclear power plant in southern Sacramento County. With the defeat of Measure K, Sacramento became the first community in the world to close a nuclear plant by public vote.

Phil Angelides, the former state treasurer, was a local businessman in Sacramento at the time, and he was involved in the movement to close Rancho Seco.

“The plant was an enormous liability for Sacramento,” Angelides said. “It was first generation plant technology, it just didn’t function.”

Angelides said Rancho Seco was preventing Sacramento from developing a diversified, forward-looking energy portfolio capable of sustaining the region’s growth because of how costly and inefficient the plant was.

The Sacramento Municipal Utility District opened the Rancho Seco power plant, about a 30-minute drive from downtown Sacramento, for commercial operation in 1975, but for years it was plagued by a series of outages.

In 1985, operators lost control of the plant during an “overcooling” event, which forced an automatic shutdown. The resulting 27-month outage cost SMUD $400 million, according to a report from the Union of Concerned Scientists.

SMUD also paid $745,000 in federal fines for various violations related to the facility through 1989, The Sacramento Bee reported.

Outcry against Rancho Seco unfolded when the safety of nuclear energy was in question. In 1979, the Three Mile Island nuclear power plant near Harrisburg, Pa. suffered a partial meltdown, and in 1986, the accident at Chernobyl became the worst nuclear disaster in human history……..

Just days after the Three Mile Island disaster, people climbed over the fence at Rancho Seco during a protest demonstration.

More than 100 other demonstrators cheered with cries of “shut down now, no meltdown later” as 13 protestors climbed the main gate of the plant. The 13 people were arrested for trespassing, and some demonstrators vowed to go on a hunger strike until the 13 were released from jail………

After the plant shut down, SMUD diversified its energy supply and increased investment in energy efficiency programs that have resulted in customer savings of more than $600 million, SMUD officials said.

While the plant was still running, SMUD built one of the first utility-scale solar plants at Rancho Seco, which was decommissioned and replaced in 2016. The solar array powers downtown buildings like the state Capitol and the Golden 1 Center.

SMUD is now constructing the Rancho Seco Solar 2 project, a second array of solar panels that will be the largest facility in the county when it comes online. Construction is scheduled to start in August……..

Still, the shutdown process for the plant was long and arduous. It took 20 years for the plant to be fully decommissioned by the federal government, costing ratepayers $500 million, The Bee reported.

Disposal of the radioactive waste at the plant hasn’t yet been settled, either. SMUD spends $5 million per year to provide security and oversee proper storage of spent uranium.

The materials have been in dry storage at Rancho Seco since decommission and will remain there until the federal government can come up with a solution, according to SMUD.

Rep. Doris Matsui, D-Sacramento, on Thursday introduced a bill that would initiate a program for both decommissioned plants like Rancho Seco and active plants to store spent nuclear fuel in a consolidated program at the Department of Energy. https://www.sacbee.com/news/local/article231253743.html

June 8, 2019 Posted by | opposition to nuclear, USA | Leave a comment

Despite misogyny, women continue to fight the reckless spending on nuclear weapons

May 25, 2019 Posted by | opposition to nuclear, USA, weapons and war, Women | Leave a comment

Hibakusha: Nagasaki activist, 79, looks to entrust nuclear movement to next generation

May 23, 2019 Posted by | Japan, opposition to nuclear, PERSONAL STORIES, Reference, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Pike County residents protest nuclear facility after Uranium detected at school

https://myfox28columbus.com/news/local/pike-county-residents-protest-nuclear-facility-after-uranium-detected-at-school, by Rachael Penton, May 22nd 2019  PIKE COUNTY, Ohio (WSYX/WTTE) 

 Marilyn Ison goes to the doctor next week to find out if the nodules on her thyroid are cancerous, but on Tuesday, she protested against the Pike County nuclear waste facility outside the YMCA.

Inside the YMCA, a bi-annual Department of Energy open house is happening, where people can learn more about the project.

Ison’s mother has cancer, as do many other friends and family, but she says it’s the children she’s here for today.

“I’m scared for all the kids. I’m the voice of the kids,” Ison said. “They can’t speak for themselves (or) the kids inside that are scared. And they are, they know.”

Ison says her grand kids attend Zahn’s Corner Middle School that closed early for the year after enriched uranium was detected. She says it’s simply not fair to Pike county’s kids, so she’s protesting.

“I never feared that,” she said. “I feared a tornado but not radioactive waste in my school and home and my friend’s dying.”

Crystal Glass came out to protest with her family in matching t-shirts.

“It’s just what we want- don’t dump on us,” Glass said. “Don’t dump on our future.”

Glass grew up next to the nuclear facility and went to Zahn’s Corner, and was diagnosed with a tumor at age 14 and cancer 20 years later.

“We’ve been sick for a long time and it seems like nothing is happening.”

Now she too is worried her kids will one day suffer, and hopes the 

recent publicity and Tuesday’s protest will get someone’s attention.

“I’m most concerned about the people that live around the plant,” Glass said. “At what point do they realize they’re so sick in that area? Why don’t the buy them out? They can’t afford to move.”

 

May 23, 2019 Posted by | opposition to nuclear, PERSONAL STORIES, USA | Leave a comment

Opposition to nuclear waste in Nevada, but some impoverished communities see $$

May 18, 2019 Posted by | opposition to nuclear, USA | Leave a comment

Professor Kazuhiko Kobayashi at Sellafield, warns on nuclear radiation and danger to children

Radiation Free Lakeland 12th May 2019 Professor Kazuhiko Kobayashi has done ground breaking work with theUniversity of Tokyo on the impact of climate change on rice nutrition. This is important work and it has been widely featured in national and
international media.

Kazuhiko’s real passion however is to warn people
about the worst criminality against humankind: nuclear power and nuclear
weapons.

Kazuhiko organises respite for children and families who have been
impacted by the ongoing Fukushima disaster.

Members of Radiation Free Lakeland met up with Kazuhiko last autumn to show him the Sellafield area and he told us that there is money for climate research but not so much for
research into the impacts of radiation on our food and health. He is a kind
gentle man and he was visibly shocked to see the scale of Sellafield.

Kazuhiko broke down in tears within the shadow of Sellafield, at the
impacts the nuclear industry is having on our children’s health. His
passionate opposition to nuclear power and weapons, his work for change and
to help those impacted, is an inspiration.

https://mariannewildart.wordpress.com/2019/05/12/worst-criminality-against-humankind-report-from-fukushima-by-kazuhiko-kobayashi/

May 14, 2019 Posted by | Japan, opposition to nuclear | Leave a comment

Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak reiterates Nevada opposition to Yucca nuclear storage

May 2, 2019 Posted by | opposition to nuclear, politics, wastes | Leave a comment

Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND) holds public meeting in Burnley

April 25, 2019 Posted by | opposition to nuclear, UK | Leave a comment