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Pledge for the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons

ICAN Parliamentary Pledge    http://www.icanw.org/projects/pledge/   Parliamentarians played a major role in realizing the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. Now we are seeking their help to promote the signature and ratification of the treaty by all nations. The Parliamentary Pledge is a commitment by parliamentarians around the world to work for their government to join the treaty.

Download the Pledge →

Pledge for the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons
We, the undersigned parliamentarians,warmly welcome the adoption of the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons on 7 July 2017 as a significant step towards the realization of a nuclear-weapon-free world.

We share the deep concern expressed in the preamble about the catastrophic humanitarian consequences that would result from any use of nuclear weapons and we recognize the consequent need to eliminate these inhumane and abhorrent weapons.

As parliamentarians, we pledge to work for the signature and ratification of this landmark treaty by our respective countries, as we consider the abolition of nuclear weapons to be a global public good of the highest order and an essential step to promote the security and well-being of all peoples.

August 18, 2017 Posted by | ACTION, opposition to nuclear | Leave a comment

USA’s nuclear power industry is not sustainable, and critics have known this for a long time

What Is the Future of US Nuclear Power Industry?  VOA 15, Aug 17  As America’s nuclear power industry continues to suffer major economic difficulties, some are questioning whether it can – or should – survive.

The latest setback came July 31, when state power companies in South Carolina halted construction of two reactors. After spending about $9 billion, the companies decided that increasing costs and repeated building delays did not make the project worth finishing…..

Industry groups had hoped the South Carolina reactors would mark a new beginning for U.S. nuclear power and show the benefits of the latest technology….o…nly two new nuclear reactors are currently being built in the United States – both of them in Georgia. The reactors were the first large nuclear plants to be started in the United States in more than 30 years. And the future of those reactors is uncertain.

The project – currently about half-finished – has also suffered major cost overruns and delays. For now, the company’s parent, Japan-based Toshiba, has promised to provide at least $3.7 billion to finish the project……

opponents say they’ve been hearing the same arguments in support of nuclear power for decades.

Paul Gunter is a longtime anti-nuclear activist. He co-founded the Clamshell Alliancein 1976. The group was formed to oppose the Seabrook Station nuclear plant in New Hampshire. He and hundreds of other protesters were arrested during non-violent demonstrations against the project. Gunter says his main opposition was that the licensing approval process was corrupt.

“For example, you couldn’t raise the issue of, what are you going to do with all the nuclear waste from Seabrook? And that question was not allowed in the licensing proceeding.”

Seabrook Station was eventually completed at a cost of about $7 billion and began operations in 1990. The Clamshell Alliance helped shape America’s anti-nuclear movement for many years to come.

Another defining moment came after the Three Mile Island plant accident in Pennsylvania in 1979 – the worst nuclear disaster in U.S. history. A series of mechanical and human mistakes sent one of the reactors into a partial meltdown, sending large amounts of radiation into the surrounding area.

Gunter says even before that accident, there were clear signs the nuclear industry would not be economically sustainable. Today, he says neither state utility providers nor large energy companies are willing to put up money for risky nuclear projects.

“So the only way that you can revive nuclear power is going to be through socializing its financing through the rate payer and the taxpayer. But at this point, we’re seeing the rate payer become the irate payer – when you waste billions and billions of dollars and decades on a predictable outcome.”…

August 16, 2017 Posted by | history, opposition to nuclear, USA | Leave a comment

Argentinia’s Catholic Bishops announce opposition to construction of nuclear power station

Catholic Culture 11th Aug 2017, The bishops of Patagonia, the southernmost region of Argentina, have
announced their opposition to the construction of a Beijing-financed
nuclear power plant at an unannounced location in Rio Negro Province. A
nuclear power plant “produces dangerous refuse which remains radioactive
for a long period of time and implicates a very high cost,” the bishops
stated.   http://www.catholicculture.org/news/headlines/index.cfm?storyid=32338

August 14, 2017 Posted by | opposition to nuclear, Religion and ethics, SOUTH AMERICA | Leave a comment

Canadian protest against plan for radioactive waste dump close to Ottawa River


Daily Observer 7th Aug 2017, On Sunday
 afternoon, a flotilla of more than 30 watercraft – from kayaks
to flat bottomed tour boats – carrying 150 people assembled offshore of
Chalk River Laboratories to deliver a message to Canadian Nuclear
Laboratories: a resounding no to the proposed near surface disposal
facility.
 The facility is meant to dispose of up to one million cubic
metres of low level radioactive material at a site located about a
kilometre from the Ottawa River.
The flotilla, organized by the Old Fort William Cottagers’ Association, started up the Ottawa River from Fort
William and collected local residents, operating their own watercraft,
along the route before stopping at the mid-point of the river, across from
the CNL operated site. Once assembled, the protesters, many carrying
homemade signs, listened to some words of encouragement from the flotilla’s
organizers and a special guest, the leader of Quebec’s Green Party.
http://www.thedailyobserver.ca/2017/08/07/protest-takes-to-the-river

August 9, 2017 Posted by | Canada, opposition to nuclear | Leave a comment

On Hiroshima Day, Greenpeace Japan strengthens its support for the UN nuclear weapons ban

“I want you to feel the presence of not only the future generations, who will benefit from your negotiations to ban nuclear weapons, but to feel a cloud of witnesses from Hiroshima and Nagasaki.”

“We have no doubt that this treaty can – and will – change the world.” – Setsuko Thurlow, a Hiroshima atomic bomb victim

The elimination of nuclear weapons has been the cause that Greenpeace campaigned so passionately and heavily for since 1971.

72 years after Hiroshima, where is Japan’s commitment to end nuclear weapons? http://www.greenpeace.org/international/en/news/Blogs/nuclear-reaction/72-years-hiroshima-nagasaki-anniversary/blog/59983/  by Yuko Yoneda – 4 August, 2017  

Even with the passing of the UN’s Nuclear Weapons Ban Treaty, Japan still remains an outlier, betraying the hopes of atomic bomb survivors from Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

It started with just 12 of them. With a bold mission, this group of activists set sail to Amchitka island off Alaska to protest the detonation of an underground US nuclear test. It was September 1971, and though the mission was initially unsuccessful, it was the beginning of what became Greenpeace, and just one of the many issues – the elimination of nuclear weapons – that the environmental organisation would campaign endlessly against.

Fast forward to 2017, and what was once a hard-fought battle and one of Greenpeace’s legacy issues, has now become a successful defeat. On 7 July, the United Nations adopted the “Nuclear Weapons Treaty” with an overwhelming majority – an epoch-making agreement that prohibits not only the development, experiment, manufacture, possession, and use of nuclear weapons, but also the “threat to use”. Nuclear and chemical weapons, and anti-personnel landmines and cluster bombs were also banned. The Treaty will be open for signature by states on September 20th.

To our disappointment, however, Japan did not join the 122 countries, or two-thirds of the United Nations member countries, that stood up to stop nuclear weapons. The peculiar absence of Japan, whose preamble explicitly recognizes “unacceptable suffering of and harm caused to the victims of the use of nuclear weapons (Hibakusha) as well as those affected by the testing of nuclear weapons” begs explanation.  

The Government of Japan expressed a concern that the Treaty that was negotiated only among non-nuclear weapon states could create “a more decisive divide” between the states with and without nuclear weapons. From a standpoint of realpolitik of the Cold War era, Japan is under an American nuclear umbrella, and as such, would violate a Treaty prohibiting the “threat to use” if it were to be a signatory. Therefore Japan sides with the nuclear weapons states (the US, Russia, China, France, UK, India, Pakistan, Israel, North Korea) and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) countries that rely on the US nuclear umbrella.

The adoption of this historic Treaty by an overwhelming majority of the UN membership, nonetheless, represents a hard-won victory for people such as the Hibakusha (Japanese word for the surviving victims of the 1945 atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki), victims of American nuclear tests and their descendents, and grassroots activists who worked tirelessly against the European nuclear deployment and uranium mining in Australia. The Treaty is a long lasting legacy of their testimonies, protests and actions of the past decades, and keeps a hope alive for realization of the nuclear free world.

Setsuko Thurlow, a Hiroshima atomic bomb victim who now lives in Canada, told delegates of the Treaty negotiations:

“I want you to feel the presence of not only the future generations, who will benefit from your negotiations to ban nuclear weapons, but to feel a cloud of witnesses from Hiroshima and Nagasaki.”

“We have no doubt that this treaty can – and will – change the world.”

On the 72nd anniversary of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings, we stand in solidarity with the survivors and those across the world who have campaigned against nuclear weaponry and call for Japan to join the Treaty. The elimination of nuclear weapons has been the cause that Greenpeace campaigned so passionately and heavily for since 1971. As the only country in the world hit by a nuclear attack, Japan’s commitment to the Treaty would not only be a long-fought win for the country’s tainted history, but also an important step towards a future world that is ultimately safe and nuclear free.

Yuko Yoneda is the Executive Director at Greenpeace Japan.

 

August 5, 2017 Posted by | Japan, opposition to nuclear | 2 Comments

Unexpected release from gaol of 2 UK peace campaigners

 Morning Star 27th July 2017, TWO peace campaigners were released from prison in Scotland yesterday after
an unexpected U-turn by prosecutors who dropped bail demands that they stay
away from protests at nuclear bases.

Angie Zelter, 66, and Brian Quail, 79, both members of the nuclear disarmament campaign group Trident
Ploughshares, were arrested on July 13 during a protest outside the Royal
Naval Armaments Depot at Coulport, where Trident nuclear warheads are
stored.

The pair returned to the justice of peace court — the Scottish
equivalent of a magistrates’ court — in Dumbarton yesterday for an
intermediate hearing on the charges they face. In a surprise move, the
procurator fiscal (public prosecutor) withdrew the demand for the
undertaking to stay away from the two bases and they were given bail.

The pair headed straight to Faslane nuclear submarine base north-west of
Glasgow for another protest after their release. Jane Tallents of Trident
Ploughshares said: “Their principled action was to refuse to say they
would not protest. “The procurator just dropped the insistence on the
condition. http://www.morningstaronline.co.uk/a-d0bc-Anti-nuclear-campaigners-out-of-prison-after-bail-restrictions-lifted

July 28, 2017 Posted by | opposition to nuclear, UK | Leave a comment

Trident Ploughshares founder Angie Zelter in court, following anti nuclear protest

Morning Star 25th July 2017, AN ANTI-NUCLEAR protester being held in a Scottish jail will have her
appeal against special bail conditions heard today. Edinburgh’s Sheriff
Appeal Court will hear the case of Trident Ploughshares founder Angie
Zelter, 66, who was arrested after a blockade of the Coulport nuclear base
on Loch Long earlier this month. Ms Zelter, who was arrested with five
other activists, remains in prison after refusing to undertake not to go
within 100 metres of the Scottish nuclear weapons bases at Coulport and
Faslane. Seventy-nine-year-old retired teacher Brian Quail also refused to
accept the condition and remains in custody. At an initial hearing in
Dumbarton, Ms Zelter argued that, while she has no intention of lying in
the road again, she has every right to protest at the bases. Ms Zelter said
that the Trident nuclear weapons system is illegal as it is an
indiscriminate weapon that, if used, would cause the deaths of millions of
civilians.  http://www.morningstaronline.co.uk/a-881a-Anti-nuclear-protester-appeals-bail-conditions

July 28, 2017 Posted by | opposition to nuclear, UK | Leave a comment

On Mandela Day, South Africa’s anti nuclear movement pledges to stop the government’s nuclear plans

Anti-nuclear groups will do ‘everything possible’ to stop government’s plans, https://www.businesslive.co.za/bd/national/2017-07-18-anti-nuclear-groups-will-do-8216everything-possible8217-to-stop-government8217s-plans/ 18 JULY 2017 – 17:19 BEKEZELA PHAKATHI Anti-nuclear lobby groups say they will do all that is possible, including turning to the courts and mass protests, to stop the government’s nuclear plans.

On Tuesday, groups belonging to #StopCorruptNuclearSA spent 67 minutes as part of Mandela Day, occupying bridges on highways in Cape Town to protest government’s ongoing pursuit of nuclear power, which they say represents SA’s “most urgent threat”.

Last month, President Jacob Zuma said in Parliament that the government was still intent on pursuing the nuclear new-build programme at a pace and scale the country could afford. He said the nuclear programme remained firmly part of the energy mix SA was pursuing to ensure energy security. The mix includes hydro, solar, coal, wind and gas.

Kate Davies, one of the founding members of the Southern African Faith Communities’ Environment Institute (SAFCEI) which forms part of the anti-nuclear lobby, told Business Day that the groups would do everything to stop government from continuing with the nuclear programme. “We firmly believe that it is a great mistake for our country to pursue nuclear. We simply cannot afford it … We are also hearing that Eskom is already bankrupt … hopefully, sense will prevail. We are waiting and watching, and we remind civil society to be vigilant,” said Davies.

She said the secret nature of the programme meant it was open to corruption at a scale worse than the arms deal and that the government should rather focus on renewables, which have been proven to be cheaper and safer than nuclear. Furthermore, she said, demand for electricity was decreasing as consumers find smarter ways to use power and the current consumption patterns meant the country did not need nuclear.

Vainola Makan, from Right2Know Campaign, which is also part of the anti-nuclear lobby, said: “Citizens face a major issue with government at the moment, in that our government continues to purposefully exclude South Africans from important decisions.”

The High Court in Cape Town recently set aside the two determinations issued by former energy minister, Tina Joemat-Pettersson, that laid the basis for the nuclear procurement. It found that the determinations relating to the construction of nuclear plants with a capacity of 9,600MW were unconstitutional and invalid.

The court also declared the nuclear co-operation agreement between the South African and Russian governments to be unconstitutional and unlawful. The case was brought against the government by Earthlife Africa and SAFCEI.

Following the ruling, Energy Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi said the government was reviewing its nuclear agreements with many countries.

Last month, Zuma said it was important to note that the High Court found fault with the process followed, especially in tabling the intergovernmental agreements in preparation for the nuclear new-build programme. The judgment, said Zuma, did not deal with substantive matters pertaining to the country’s future energy programmes.

July 18, 2017 Posted by | opposition to nuclear, South Africa | Leave a comment

Villagers protest, and stop drilling work for proposed nuclear power plant in Chutka, India

Drilling work for proposed nuclear power plant Chutka stopped after villagers protest, Villagers in tribal dominated Mandla district’s Chutka staged a protest on Saturday, refusing to allow drilling for soil samples for the proposed nuclear power plant in the area  BHOPAL Hindustan Times,  Jul 16, 2017 17 Villagers in tribal dominated Mandla district’s Chutka staged a protest on Saturday, refusing to allow drilling for soil samples for the proposed nuclear power plant in the area. They said their demands and concerns have not been addressed by the authorities. Mandla is 382 kms from Bhopal.

Union environment ministry’s forest advisory committee (FAC) recommended forest clearance for Chutka nuclear project in Mandla after discussing the diversion of 119.46 hectares of forest land in Mandla in its meeting on May 16 this year. In 2015 the state cabinet had approved allotment of 41 acres of land for the Chutka project.

The 1,400 megawatt project being set up by Nuclear Power Corporation of India in collaboration with the Madhya Pradesh Power Generation Company will come up at village Chutka in Narayan Ganj tehsil of Mandla district. Over 400 families will be displaced by the project.

People of the four villages in Mandla district, predominantly tribals, have been protesting against the project since it was cleared by Centre in 2009. Most of them were displaced by the Bargi Dam in 1984……

Environmental expert Soumya Dutta who has visited Chutka many times, told HT that there was no rationale for the proposed nuclear power plant as MP was already a power surplus state.

“Given the scenario of power generation and power demand at present, there is no need for nuclear power plant in MP. Besides, if a village Gram Sabha (of Kunda) has not approved the project, the government has to constitutionally accept it…

July 17, 2017 Posted by | India, opposition to nuclear | Leave a comment

Request for Saanich, Canada to keep its nuclear-free status

Saanich to hear request from anti-nuclear group, Victoria News ,  Jul 16th, 2017 Council Monday will consider a request to re-affirm Saanich’s status as a zone free of nuclear weapons.

The request comes from the Vancouver Island Peace and Disarmament Network, which describes itself as an “open coalition of peace keepers representing diverse views and approaches to peace and disarmament with a focus on on Canada’s role domestically and internationally.”

The group recently participated in last month’s Ban the Bomb rally held out the provincial legislature.

Saanich’s status as a zone free of nuclear weapons dates back to the final years of the Cold War between the United States and the former Soviet Union when council passed a motion in 1983 that declared Saanich “a nuclear weapons free zone and that the production, testing, storage, transportation, processing disposal or use of nuclear weapons or their components not to be undertaken in Saanich.”

Saanich passed the request following a request from among others Project Ploughshares, a Canadian non-governmental organization formed in 1976…..https://www.vicnews.com/news/saanich-to-hear-request-from-anti-nuclear-group/

July 17, 2017 Posted by | Canada, opposition to nuclear | Leave a comment

Veteran British anti nuclear campaigners gaoled

The National 14th July 2017, PROTESTING pensioners Brian Quail and Angela Zelter are languishing in jail
after refusing to accept a court order banning them from campaigning
outside a nuclear arms base.

Quail, a 79-year-old retired Latin teacher is
being kept in HMP Low Moss, while 66-year-old Zelter has been remanded in
Corton Vale. The two were arrested by police after taking part in a
blockade of the nuclear warhead store at Coulport on Loch Long as part of
the Trident Ploughshares campaign.

The veteran campaigners, and three
others who had taken part in the blockade, were offered bail at Dumbarton
Justice of the Peace Court on Wednesday, but only if they agreed to not go
“within 100m of the perimeter fence or shoreline of HMS Naval Base Clyde,
Faslane”.http://www.thenational.scot/news/15412112.Pensioners_face_THREE_WEEKS_of_jail_time_for_peacefully_protesting_nuclear_weapons/

July 17, 2017 Posted by | opposition to nuclear | Leave a comment

International Nuclear Free Future Award (NFFA) goes to Cumbrian group monitoring Sellafield

CORE 7th July 2017 CORE’s Janine Allis-Smith and Martin Forwood who have campaigned on  Sellafield commercial operations since the 1980’s have been notified that they have won the international Nuclear Free Future Award (NFFA) for 2017
under the Education category.

Cited for their three decades of work ‘unmasking ‘ and disseminating information on operations at the West
Cumbrian site to a world-wide audience – and with CORE described as ‘an indispensable pillar of the British anti-nuclear movement’ – the award which carries a cash endowment of $10,000 will be made in Basel, Switzerland in September.

Commenting on the unexpected award the campaigners said today: ‘We are honoured to have received NFFA’s Education Award for 2017 and humbled to be joining the list of diverse and distinguished winners of the past. Since the 1980’s when Sellafield was preparing to double its commercial reprocessing activities, we have focused not only on acting locally but also being the ‘eyes and ears’ for the many interested parties world-wide on Sellafield and its many detrimentswhich include site accidents, environmental contamination, health risks, plutonium stockpiles and nuclear transports.
http://corecumbria.co.uk/news/anti-nuclear-campaigners-from-local-group-core-win-international-award/

July 10, 2017 Posted by | opposition to nuclear, UK | Leave a comment

Nevada ready for the legal battle against Yucca Mountain nuclear waste dump plan

Nevada poised to fight Yucca Mountain nuclear waste dump https://lasvegassun.com/news/2017/jul/05/nevada-poised-to-fight-yucca-mountain-nuclear-wast/, By Cy Ryan (contact), July 5, 2017 | CARSON CITY — Nevada is poised to thwart a federally proposed high-level nuclear waste dump at Yucca Mountain, but there could be battles ahead in Congress, a lawyer leading the fight said.

 “We are in good shape,” said Marta Adams, a private attorney hired to fight the legal battle, told the state Board of Examiners today. Experts were ready to testify at any hearings by the federal Nuclear Regulatory Commission, she said.

Adams fought against the Yucca Mountain project for 20 years with the Nevada Attorney General’s Office before she retired. She received a $300,000 contract as a private attorney to continue the battle, and that amount was raised to $450,000 a year by the Board of Examiners. This is federal money.

President Donald Trump’s administration has included $120 million in its budget for the Federal Regulatory Commission to restart hearings on licensing Yucca Mountain.

Gov. Brian Sandoval, chairman of the Board of Examiners, said the federal government was trying to do “an end run” around the authority of the state. He said the site sits atop an aquifer, and the stored radioactive material could get into the water.

Adams said the Nuclear Regulatory Commission is not as ready as it thinks it is to begin the licensing process, with hearings that could last five years. She said the Nevada Legislature stands behind the state’s opposition.

July 7, 2017 Posted by | opposition to nuclear, USA | Leave a comment

Activists halted nuclear waste ship for several hours

Nuclear ship proceeds despite protests, Herald Sun ,Wolfgang Jung and Stephen Wolf, Deutsche Presse Agentur June 29, 2017  A transport ship loaded with highly radioactive nuclear waste has continued its journey along a German river after being halted by protesters.

Four activists from the German environmental group Robin Wood abseiled from a bridge over the Neckar river in the town of Bad Wimpfen in southwest Germany, unfurling a banner reading, “Prevent, don’t put off.”

The stunt halted for several hours the first-ever river transport of atomic waste in Germany while specially trained forces attempted to remove them from the bridge…….http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/breaking-news/nuclear-ship-proceeds-despite-protests/news-story/baef982d1bccf91bafd6fe21e909e660

June 30, 2017 Posted by | France, opposition to nuclear | Leave a comment

Three European nations spanned in human chain demanding closure of Belgian nuclear reactors

Human chain against aging nuclear plants spans three countries http://www.dw.com/en/human-chain-against-aging-nuclear-plants-spans-three-countries/a-39408428  Thousands have protested to demand the closure of two nuclear reactors in Belgium over safety concerns. Demonstrators formed a human chain that stretched from Germany, through the Netherlands and into Belgium. Organizers claimed that some 50,000 protesters took part in the demonstration on Sunday, forming a human chain that stretched from Aachen, Germany, to Liege, Belgium, and Maastricht, the Netherlands.

The chain also passed close the Tihange nuclear power plant some 20 kilometers (12.4 miles) southwest of Liege. The Tihange 2 and Doel 3 reactors have been the subject of safety concerns about microcracks in their structures.

Doel lies in northern Belgium, close to the port city of Antwerp, about halfway between Brussels and Amsterdam. Numerous safety incidents, mostly low-level, have been reported from the two reactors which have each been in operation for more than 30 years.

Protesters who massed in Germany, the Netherlands and Belgium complain they are living with excessive risk

German Environment Minister Barbara Hendricks last year urged Belgium to take the two reactors offline until open safety questions were cleared up. However, the request was dismissed by Belgium’s nuclear regulator.

Aachen takes legal action

The city of Aachen and some 100 communities in the border region are currently suing the operators of Tihange 2.

Sunday’s demonstration was organized by numerous environmental organizations in all three countries and spearheaded by Belgian actor and director Bouli Lanners. The mayors of Aachen and Cologne also lent their weight to the protest.

“It is the strongest message the region could send,” said the administrative head of the Aachen city region, Helmut Etschenberg. “We no longer want to live with the element of uncertainty that is Tihange 2 and we will keep on and on.”

As well as demanding the closure of the plant, demonstrators are calling for an end to deliveries of fuel elements to the two power stations from Germany’s Lingen nuclear power plant, in the state of Lower Saxony.Such is the level of concern about Belgium’s aging reactors in Germany that the state of North Rhine-Westphalia has stocked up with iodine tablets in an effort to limit human exposure to radiation. 

June 27, 2017 Posted by | EUROPE, opposition to nuclear | Leave a comment