Belarusian Nuke Plant Could Face Baltic Blockade http://www.tol.org/client/article/26725-nuclear-belarus-astravets-latvia-lithuania.html Lithuania seeks allies for plan to stop electricity generated by plant from entering European power market. 24 February 2017
The three Baltic states may be close to agreement on blocking electricity from Belarus’s unfinished Astravets nuclear plant from crossing their borders.
Lithuania has decided to prevent electricity from the plant from entering its market, and Estonia supports the policy, the Baltic Course reports.
Lithuania has been the fiercest opponent of the plant, which is being built at a site only 50 kilometers from Vilnius, and has been unhappy with Latvia’s less stringent approach. Riga’s stance seems to have hardened, after its economy minister, Arvils Aseradens, met with Lithuanian Energy Minister Zygimantas Vaiciunas.
According to Vaiciunas, his counterpart agreed to evaluate the technical and economic consequences of the proposed ban on Astravets-generated electricity, LSM reports. So far Latvia has only insisted the highest security standards be implemented at the plant, which is scheduled to go online in 2019.
As the plans circulated online, opposition to the plan appeared to be mounting in the wake of Chinese public reaction to rising radiation levels at the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant in Japan.
“Last year, 100,000 people took to the streets of Lianyungang in protest against a nuclear power plant there, and they successfully blocked [its] construction”
The growing concerns over China’s nuclear power program came as the Hong Kong-listed arm of a state-owned nuclear power company announced further delays to controversial reactors at Taishan in the southern province of Guangdong.
Plans to Build Four New Nuclear Power Plants in China’s Henan Spark Outcry, Radio Free Asia, 21 Feb 17 Reported by Ding Wenqi for RFA’s Mandarin Service, and by Goh Fung for the Cantonese Service. Translated and edited by Luisetta Mudie. Plans by authorities in the central province of Henan to move ahead with four new nuclear power stations in the wake of the Fukushima disaster have sparked growing public fears in China.
In a directive dated Jan. 25, the provincial government was ordered to move ahead with the implementation of power generation plans that include new nuclear reactors at Nanyang, Xinyang, Luoyang and Pingdingshan, according to a statement on its official website.
“[We must make] steady progress with preliminary work for nuclear power projects,” the statements said. “We must complete onsite protection work for nuclear power projects at Nanyang, Xinyang and the other nuclear power projects,” it said. “We should proceed with the planning and construction of inland nuclear power projects on behalf of our country, and strive to continue to be included in the national nuclear long-term development plan,” the directive said.
It called on government departments to “strengthen public awareness of nuclear power projects, nuclear power project planning and construction to create a good atmosphere.”
As the plans circulated online, opposition to the plan appeared to be mounting in the wake of Chinese public reaction to rising radiation levels at the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant in Japan.
“An old issue in Japan has sent ripples across the East China Sea to shake China,” the Global Times newspaper, the sister paper of ruling Chinese Communist Party mouthpiece The People’s Daily, reported.
“The news has been traveling fast on the Chinese internet … Many Chinese became worried, some even canceling their trips to Japan,” the paper said.
A resident surnamed Li of Henan’s Anyang city told RFA that the news is causing great concern among local people.
“I am extremely worried about this; they definitely shouldn’t go ahead with building them,” Li said. “I heard the pollution from nuclear plants is very serious.”
“I expect there to be a public outcry in Anyang and in Henan about the plans to build nuclear power stations.”
While one resident of Luoyang said they hadn’t heard of the plans, another Henan resident Yang Chunxia, hit out at the plans online.
“Last year, 100,000 people took to the streets of Lianyungang in protest against a nuclear power plant there, and they successfully blocked [its] construction,” Yang wrote.
“The whole of Eastern Europe was polluted by the Chernobyl nuclear disaster in 1983,” the user added. “Now, they’ve got their eye on Henan. What will Henan people do about it? Please, everyone who lives in Henan, please pass this on!”
Meanwhile, authorities in Anyang detained local resident Wang Shoufeng for five days’ administrative detention for “making things up to disrupt public order” after he posted on social media in a similar vein.
Wang told RFA on Tuesday that he was innocent.
“I don’t believe that I did anything to disrupt public order,” he said. “A lot of people here in Henan want the government to go public with the information on this, and clarify whether they are planning to go ahead with it.”
“We want to understand everything about this and to catch the attention of as many people as possible.”
Wang’s friend Feng Lei said local people have a right to know about the dangers of nuclear power.
“They had that huge nuclear leak in Japan, and people here in Henan want a safe environment for their children and grandchildren to live in,” Feng said.
“They will be pushing for that.”
Repeated calls to the Henan provincial government offices rang unanswered during office hours on Tuesday.
Calls to scrap nuclear deal during #SONA2017, SONA / 9 February 2017, SAMKELO MTSHALI, Durban – Civil society organisations and other critics of government’s proposed multibillion-rand nuclear plan called on President Jacob Zuma to scrap it during his State of the Nation address tonight.
The South Durban Community Environmental Alliance (SDCEA) picketed outside City Hall on Wednesday and handed over a memorandum to the eThekwini Municipality, detailing their opposition to the nuclear plan.
Today in Cape Town the Right2Know Campaign is expected to add its voice to growing criticism of plans to build nuclear power stations in South Africa. Desmond D’Sa, SDCEA chairperson, said the deal had been shrouded in secrecy and accused the government of not consulting with communities.
“Ultimately it’s the poor and working class of this country who will have added pressure to pay for these nuclear power stations that cost so much money. “This money should instead be used for better access to healthcare facilities, education and other basic necessities,” D’Sa said.
He pointed out that a single nuclear powered plant would take close to a decade to build. With government planning on building six to eight, it would take about 30 to 40 years before all were completed. “If you take half the money of the nuclear deal, R500billion, and invest it in setting up companies in renewable energy projects , you could create over a million jobs ,” said D’Sa.
He said setting up these companies in townships such as uMlazi, KwaMashu, Soweto, Alexandra, Gugulethu and Langa would go a long way in addressing the high rate of unemployment, which stands at 26.6%.
He said this was the route countries like India, the US and China had followed.
“Nuclear energy is harmful……..
Carina Conradie, of the Right2Know Campaign, said they were concerned about the affordability of the nuclear deal because nuclear energy was one of the most expensive forms of energy. “Wind and solar energy are much better and cost-effective alternatives to nuclear energy,” she said.
Questioning the legitimacy of the deal, Conradie said: “There have been reports of secret deals with Russia and even the procurement process was not above board; it was shrouded in secrecy.”
She said they had strategically planned their demonstrations around Sona 2017 because it was important the issue remained at the forefront of the public’s thoughts and on the tip of their tongues.
This would ensure there was growing opposition to the deal by educating people on its perils…….http://www.iol.co.za/news/special-features/sona/calls-to-scrap-nuclear-deal-during-sona2017-7681658
Five anti-Trident protesters found guilty after blockading nuclear bomb factory The group argued they were putting their religious beliefs into action BY blockading the AWE Burghfield The Independent Jon Stone Political Correspondent @joncstone 27 Jan 17, Five anti-Trident protesters have been found guilty of blockading a nuclear weapons manufacturing facility – days after new concerns were raised about the safety of Britain’s Trident nuclear missiles.
The protesters, who barred the entrance to Burghfield Atomic Weapons Establishment in Berkshire in June of last year, were from the Christian group Put Down the Sword / Trident Ploughshares.
Trident mounted nuclear warheads are assembled at Burghfield, which has been the site of repeated demonstrations for a number of years. The MoD said work on the missile system was disrupted by the protests……
The activists’ defence team argued that they were acting in accordance with their religious beliefs, which they said were protected by the Human Rights Act.However district judge Khan said that he did not agree that “that the actions of the defendants were a manifestation of a religious belief” and in any case that “these rights have to yield to the primary right of passing and re-passing the highway” outside the base…….
A joint statement from the defendants said: “We stand by what we said in court: Trident is an illegal and immoral waste of money, a crime against humanity and God.
“The prosecution said we could just have joined in a prayer vigil to the side of the road, instead of lying in it; we said our consciences wouldn’t allow that. We believe prayer is important but sometimes our faith compels us to put our whole bodies in the way of injustice and violence.“The Bible says religious acts are meaningless unless we also stand up for the poor and needy; we are called to bring a just peace with hope for all. We will continue to seek peace, and to take the consequences of doing so. It’s a small price to pay for the chance to challenge an evil like nuclear weapons.”http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/trident-burghfield-reading-nuclear-missiles-bomb-factory-base-protests-guilty-a7549261.html
Anglesey nuclear reactor consultation attacked BBC News, 27 Jan 17 Anti-nuclear campaigners have accused Natural Resources Wales of carrying out an “insulting” consultation over designs for a new reactor on Anglesey.
Hitachi-GE wants to build a new type of reactor at Wylfa, with a UK stakeholder meeting over the design held in Birmingham last month.
Wylfa opponents say a similar meeting run by NRW is not public – and only open to invited guests.
But NRW said it is holding a series of public drop-in sessions on the island.
However, the campaign group People Against Wylfa B (Pawb) described the individual meeting “for a small number of invitees” being held at the old Wylfa power plant site next Monday as “an affront to democracy”.
“This is totally unacceptable. On a matter as important as this, it is an insult to the people of Ynys Môn (Anglesey) and north Wales,” said Dylan Morgan, from Pawb.
“To add insult to injury, it is intended to hold the meeting in a room on the Wylfa Magnox site which is far from being a neutral venue and reinforces the perception that Natural Resources Wales and the Welsh Government are dancing to the nuclear industry’s tune.”
The environmental agency described the meeting in question as a “technical” briefing for those unable to attend the Birmingham event, with about 100 invited to attend.
The UK Government is currently carrying out consultations on what is known as the generic design assessment for the type of nuclear reactor that could be built at a new Wylfa power plant.
A UK first
The Japanese-American nuclear partners want to bring a new advanced boiling water reactor to the site and to the site at Oldbury in Gloucestershire.
It would be the first of its kind in the UK. A decision on the design is expected to be taken by UK ministers in December this year.
Pawb has now written to the Welsh Government’s Environment Secretary Leslie Griffiths, asking her to intervene as the minister responsible for overseeing the work of NRW.
“We call on you to instruct Natural Resources Wales to rearrange a public meeting in a neutral, convenient and central location in Ynys Môn,” stated Pawb.
“A meeting held to discuss the generic design assessment of the Hitachi ABWR has to be advertised openly and widely and not ‘to a small number of invitees’.”…….. http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-wales-38760203
King CONG vs. Solartopia, The Progressive December 5, 2016, Harvey Wasserman “………Some 10,000 arrests of citizens engaged in civil disobedience have put the Diablo nuclear reactors at ground zero in the worldwide No Nukes campaign. But the epic battle goes far beyond atomic power. It is a monumental showdown over who will own our global energy supply, and how this will impact the future of our planet.
On one side is King CONG (Coal, Oil, Nukes, and Gas), the corporate megalith that’s unbalancing our weather and dominating our governments in the name of centralized, for-profit control of our economic future. On the other is a nonviolent grassroots campaign determined to reshape our power supply to operate in harmony with nature, to serve the communities and individuals who consume and increasingly produce that energy, and to build the foundation of a sustainable eco-democracy…….
with this dangerous and dirty power have come Earth-friendly alternatives, ignited in part by the grassroots movements of the 1960s. E.F. Schumacher’s Small Is Beautiful became the bible of a back-to-the-land movement that took a new generation of veteran activists into the countryside.
Dozens of nonviolent confrontations erupted, with thousands of arrests. In June 1978, nine months before the partial meltdown at Three Mile Island, the grassroots Clamshell Alliance drew 20,000 participants to a rally at New Hampshire’s Seabrook site. And Amory Lovins’s pathbreaking article, “Energy Strategy: The Road Not Taken,” posited a whole new energy future, grounded in photovoltaic and wind technologies, along with breakthroughs in conservation and efficiency, and a paradigm of decentralized, community-owned power.
As rising concerns about global warming forced a hard look at fossil fuels, the fading nuclear power industry suddenly had a new selling point. Climate expert James Hansen, former Environmental Protection Agency chief Christine Todd Whitman, and Whole Earth Catalog founder Stewart Brand began advocating atomic energy as an answer to CO2 emissions. The corporate media began breathlessly reporting a “nuclear renaissance” allegedly led by hordes of environmentalists.
But the launch of Peaceful Atom 2.0 has fallen flat.
As I recently detailed in an online article for The Progressive, atomic energy adds to rather than reduces global warming. All reactors emit Carbon-14. The fuel they burn demands substantial CO2 emissions in the mining, milling, and enrichment processes. Nuclear engineer Arnie Gundersen has compiled a wide range of studies concluding new reactor construction would significantly worsen the climate crisis.
Moreover, attempts to recycle spent reactor fuel or weapons material have failed, as have attempts to establish a workable nuclear-waste management protocol. For decades, reactor proponents have argued that the barriers to radioactive waste storage are political rather than technical. But after six decades, no country has unveiled a proven long-term storage strategy for high-level waste.
For all the millions spent on it, the nuclear renaissance has failed to yield a single new reactor order. New projects in France, Finland, South Carolina, and Georgia are costing billions extra, with opening dates years behind schedule. Five projects pushed by the Washington Public Power System caused the biggest municipal bankruptcy in U.S. history. No major long-standing green groups have joined the tiny crew of self-proclaimed “pro-nuke environmentalists.” Wall Street is backing away.
Even the split atom’s most ardent advocates are hard-pressed to argue any new reactors will be built in the United States, or more than a scattered few anywhere else but China, where the debate still rages and the outcome is uncertain……..
Where once it demanded deregulation and a competitive market, the nuclear industry now wants re-regulation and guaranteed profits no matter how badly it performs.
The grassroots pushback has been fierce. Proposed bailouts have been defeated in Illinois and are under attack in New York and Ohio. A groundbreaking agreement involving green and union groups has set deadlines for shutting the Diablo reactors, with local activists demanding a quicker timetable. Increasingly worried about meltdowns and explosions, grassroots campaigns to close old reactors are ramping up throughout the United States and Europe. Citizen action in Japan has prevented the reopening of nearly all nuclear plants since Fukushima.
Envisioning the “nuclear interruption” behind us, visionaries like Lovins see a decentralized “Solartopian” system with supply owned and operated at the grassroots………
[In Germany] the transition is succeeding faster and more profitably than its staunchest supporters imagined. Wind and solar have blasted ahead. Green energy prices have dropped and Germans are enthusiastically lining up to put power plants on their rooftops. Sales of solar panels have skyrocketed, with an ever-growing percentage of supply coming from stand-alone buildings and community projects. The grid has been flooded with cheap, green juice, crowding out the existing nukes and fossil burners, cutting the legs out from under the old system.
In many ways it’s the investor-owner utilities’ worst nightmare,………
The revolution has spread to the transportation sector, where electric cars are now plugging into outlets powered by solar panels on homes, offices, commercial buildings, and factories. Like nuclear power, the gas-driven automobile may be on its way to extinction.
Nationwide, more than 200,000 Americans now work in the solar industry, including more than 75,000 in California alone. By contrast, only about 100,000 people work in the U.S. nuclear industry. Some 88,000 Americans now work in the wind industry, compared to about 83,000 in coal mines, with that number also dropping steadily.
Once the shining hope of the corporate power industry, atomic energy’s demise represents more than just the failure of a technology. It’s the prime indicator of an epic shift away from corporate control of a grid-based energy supply, toward a green power web owned and operated by the public.
As homeowners, building managers, factories, and communities develop an ever-firmer grip on a grassroots homegrown power supply, the arc of our 128-year energy war leans toward Solartopia.
Harvey Wasserman’s Solartopia! Our Green-Powered Earth is at solartopia.org. His Green Power & Wellness Show is at prn.fm. He edits nukefree.org. http://www.progressive.org/news/2016/12/189107/king-cong-vs-solartopia
Bradwell Notes NuClear News No 91, Jan 2017 Maldon District and Essex County Council are paving the way for Bradwell’s Chinese-built nuclear plant by offering free Mandarin lessons to councillors. Professor Andy Blowers, chairman of the Blackwater Against New Nuclear Group (BANNG), said “it may be that neither council possesses expertise in understanding what is proposed. And learning Mandarin will not compensate for that.” (1)
BANNG has been opposing new nuclear development at Bradwell for the last 8 years, on the grounds that the low-lying site is totally unsuitable for such development and, now, also because of concerns, shared with others, regarding security issues and Chinese involvement in such sensitive UK infrastructure. Professor Andy Blowers said: “There is a long process ahead before any new nuclear power station can be built at Bradwell. The rigorous Generic Design Assessment has not yet commenced and then there will be a planning process in which Maldon District and Essex County Councils will be consultees. By celebrating in any way, the County Council potentially compromises its disinterested role as a consulted planning authority. The suggestion that there is something to celebrate could give the impression that a new Chinese power station will simply be waved through”. (2)
Meanwhile the NDA’s policy of spreading nuclear waste around the country to save money continues. Essex County Council has voted to lift restrictions imposed only 4 years ago and to allow Magnox, operators of the Bradwell site, to transfer Intermediate-Level Waste (ILW) from Dungeness and Sizewell to the Bradwell Interim Storage Facility (ISF). The restriction had decreed that only Bradwell-generated waste could be stored there. Bradwell will now become a regional nuclear waste store for the indefinite future and a precedent for the import of further wastes may have been set. The planning approval means that the long-held principle of selfsufficiency, whereby each site hosts its own wastes, is contravened. (3)
In a surprise move EDF and Chinese nuclear company CGN have consulted Mersea Island residents over the proposed new nuclear power station at Bradwell. The previous official position was that Mersea Island was in the wrong planning area (despite being much closer to and directly downwind from the site). If people want to share their views on the project they can do so via the website: http://www.bradwellb.co.uk (4)
Sizewell C EDF Energy has launched its stage2 public consultation on the proposals for two EPRs to be built at Sizewell. The consultation is open until 3 February 2017. (1)
Community leaders who met to discuss the proposals agreed that the developers need to offer a better deal for Suffolk. Nearly 80 town and parish representatives along with members of the Joint Local Authority Group (JLAG) concluded that EDF Energy’s stage two consultation for Sizewell C has failed to make enough progress from its proposals four years ago. The key concerns raised at the summit focussed on the proposed accommodation campus, whose location near Therberton is feared to lack the required infrastructure to transport up to 2,400 workers to and from the construction site. Other issues included EDF’s alleged failure to “fully understand the communities of east Suffolk” and their concerns. The summit also heard that EDF’s proposals to have 35 metre high “spoil heaps” would have a significant impact on those living and visiting the area and it was not yet clear what mitigation would be provided. Transport routes for construction material were also said to be unclear, with EDF urged to provide more detail about how much would be brought in by road, sea and rail. (2) http://www.no2nuclearpower.org.uk/nuclearnews/NuClearNewsNo91.pdf
How a high school student helped block Quebec’s uranium industry Financial Post, Damon van der Linde, Dec. 15, 2016, MISTISSINI, Que. — Hunting grouse on a snowy road that cuts through the forest north of his home in the Cree community of Mistissini, Justice Debassige reflects on why, as a 17-year-old high school student in 2012, he started a petition against a uranium exploration project 215 kilometres away.
“I read research on how it damages the land and the water, so that was what drew me in,” he said, while searching for birds down the road towards the now-shuttered site owned by Boucherville, Que.-based Strateco Resources Inc. “It’s something to really think about when we’re out here.”
Debassige said he couldn’t have imagined at the time that his petition would be the catalyst for a complete moratorium against exploration of the radioactive mineral across Quebec, result in a $200-million lawsuit by Strateco Resources against the government and pit the federal nuclear safety agency against a provincial environmental commission.
But it did, and The Matoush Project — named after the Cree family that traditionally use the land for hunting, fishing and trapping — in northern Quebec’s Otish Mountains has lost its glow…….
Debassige and two other classmates collected about 200 signatures from students and staff in opposition to the project, which caught the attention of Shawn Iserhoff, Mistissini’s youth chief at the time. He raised the concerns with the Mistissini Band Council and in the spring of 2012, Strateco arranged two days of hearings in the community………
“The traditional Cree way of life is based on the land,” said Thomas Coon, former president of the Cree Trapper’s Association, in an office that has a map showing how the entire vast territory is covered by family trap lines that are passed down through generations.
“As much as possible we try to avoid any dangerous, damaging project. With uranium, it’s damage that can never be repaired.”…….
As Strateco’s stock plummeted, anti-uranium activism grew in both the Cree and environment organizations. A group of Cree youth garnered media attention in late 2014 by walking 850 kilometres from Mistissini to Montreal and the movement also drew support from the global anti-nuclear activists. ……. the MiningWatch Canada advocacy group argues uranium’s current lack of social acceptability is based on the long-term risks of storing millions of tonnes of the radioactive mining waste.
“If the industry can show that they can handle the waste with a risk factor that is acceptable, maybe the social acceptability will change in the future, but at the moment it’s not there,” said Ugo Lapointe, spokesperson for MiningWatch in Quebec………
Debassige, now 22, won a Nuclear-Free Future Award in 2015 on behalf of the Mistissini youth for his efforts against uranium development on Cree land. Today, bringing home two birds he shot for his family’s dinner, he still doesn’t think the potential economic benefits of uranium mining are worth risking what he and his community already have.
“There’s vast open space where I can possibly one day teach my children what my father taught me: how to survive out on the land,” he said. “We’re connected to the land spiritually, physically, mentally and emotionally.”
Anti-nuclear group applauds closing of Palisades nuclear plant Entergy Corp., has announced in a news release Thursday, Dec. 8, that the Palisades nuclear power plant in Covert Township will close in 2018. (Mark Bugnaski / MLive.com) By December 08, 2016 COVERT, MI — Kevin Kamps, a representative of the anti-nuclear group Beyond Nuclear, has long called for the closure of the Palisades nuclear power plant near South Haven.
It appears that Kamps will soon have his wish.
Entergy Corp., the plant’s owner, announced the facility’s impending closure in a news release Thursday, Dec. 8. The plant will receive its final load of fuel in 2017 and close permanently on Oct. 1, 2018, according to the company.
Kamps praised the announcement in a news release issued Thursday.
“Entergy’s announcement today that it will permanently shut down the Palisades atomic reactor by Oct. 1, 2018 is most welcome to the large number of Michiganders, and beyond, who have fought so hard, for so long, to get it shut down,” he said……
Kamps pointed to the fact that the plant’s reactor is one of the most “embrittled” nationwide, arguing that keeping it open until 2018 poses serious risks.
“Nearly two more years of operation is a frightening prospect for a catastrophic release of hazardous radioactivity due to pressurized thermal shock fracture of the vessel,” he said. “The good news is that, after permanent shutdown and removal of irradiated nuclear fuel from the reactor core, no more meltdown can happen, and no more high-level radioactive waste will be made.”
The “embrittled” reactor puts it at risk of cracking, prompting the NRC in 2014 to begin a three-year review of results of tests on the reactor.
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission determined that the plant operated safely in 2015, but it was under increased NRC oversight for the first three quarters of 2015 due to its failure to accurately calculate radiation doses to workers during an activity in 2014. ……..
U.S. Rep. Fred Upton, R-St. Joseph, urged the community to not turn its back on those employees in the coming years.
The plant’s closure will not noticeably impact the power grid, according to Consumers Energy.
After the plant closes for good in 2018, Kamps said area residents and environmental watchdogs should remain vigilant as the facility and dismantled and any lingering contamination is addressed. http://www.mlive.com/news/kalamazoo/index.ssf/2016/12/anti-nuclear_group_applauds_cl.html
Signature campaign against nuclear energy http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-national/tp-tamilnadu/signature-campaign-against-nuclear-energy/article9342726.ece C. JAISANKAR, 15 Nov 16 The People’s Movement Against Nuclear Energy (PMANE) on Sunday called upon the youngsters to speak up against nuclear energy.
Speaking at an awareness programme after launching the signature campaign against nuclear energy here, Suba. Udayakumar, PMANE coordinator, said that several countries including the United States, France and Japan had given up the policy of installing new nuclear plants several years ago following Chernobyl and Fukushima nuclear disasters.
They had realised the dangers of nuclear plants to humans and environment.
However, the Central government was continuing to promote nuclear energy. It has planned to set up more nuclear plants at Kudankulam without addressing the apprehensions of people. It showed that the government was not bothered to listen to the genuine grievances of people, he said.
Sundarrajan, coordinator, Poovulagin Nanbargal, said that the government had not come out with a proper plan to dispose the waste being generated from nuclear plants. It was high time to create awareness among the people on the ill effects of nuclear plants. The people, particularly youngsters, should come forward to join the movement against nuclear energy, he added.
Anti-nuclear scientist group aims to boost influence amid growing defense research fears http://mainichi.jp/english/articles/20161113/p2a/00m/0na/004000c November 13, 2016 (Mainichi Japan) Japanese scientists are trying to make Pugwash Japan, the domestic arm of the Pugwash Conferences on Science and World Affairs — an international organization working toward the abolition of nuclear arms and war — more active and influential amid concerns that the defense industry and scientific community are growing increasingly closer.
The Pugwash Conferences on Science and World Affairs held its first world meeting in the small fishing village of Pugwash, Canada, in 1957 during the nuclear arms race of the Cold War, and has since worked on and advocated for the elimination of nuclear arms and weapons of mass destruction. Japanese physicist and 1949 Nobel Prize laureate Hideki Yukawa had actively participated in Pugwash meetings, including the first session, and Japan has hosted international Pugwash conferences, but the number of Japanese scientists involved in the movement has been dropping in recent years.
Since individual scientists join the conference based on their own qualifications, Japanese scientists who took part in past international meetings launched Pugwash Japan to spread the message. The Japan group decided in September to relaunch a better-organized Pugwash Japan with a code of conduct and membership system after an international Pugwash general conference was held in the city of Nagasaki in November last year. The group’s aim is to open the door wider to those who are interested in the group’s activities and strengthen its influence in policy making.
The newly reformed Pugwash Japan, headed by nuclear engineering professor Tatsujiro Suzuki at Nagasaki University, will hold its first general meeting in Tokyo on Nov. 27. It will have some 40 members, with Keio University professor emeritus Michiji Konuma — who worked with Yukawa — on the steering committee, and 16 advisers such as engineer Hiroyuki Yoshikawa, a special adviser to the Japan Science and Technology Agency and former chairman of the Science Council of Japan, and University of Tokyo professor emeritus Seigo Hirowatari.
Member scientists are set to discuss concerns regarding defense research in Japan and the challenges to nuclear disarmament that remain following U.S. President Barack Obama’s historic visit to Hiroshima. To ensure unrestrained discussion, the meeting will be closed to the public, but results of the debate will be incorporated into the statements it releases to the public. The organization is also considering holding symposiums for the general public.
Pugwash Japan chairman Suzuki said he hopes that the group provides scientists with an opportunity for open-minded discussion based on the two pillars of the Pugwash Conference — social responsibility of scientists and dialogue across divides. He added, “We’re concerned about the current tendency for everything to lean toward national security and hope that our discussions that will lead to policy proposals.”
Please sign and share widely
To the Honorable Prime Minister Narendra Modi,
We are women living in Fukushima prefecture, where a massive accident unparalleled in history occurred on March 11, 2011, at Tokyo Electric Power Company’s Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station.
As a result of this accident our lives changed dramatically. Among us, there are those who lost their homes, those who lost their jobs, those who lost their hometowns and friends, those who lost their future, those who lost their joy in life, and those who lost their very lives. All of this was taken by the nuclear accident.
Even now, some five and a half years after this accident, the accident is still unresolved. We live surrounded by radioactive debris which emanated from the reactor. Even as our government pushes us to return to our homelands, many people think of their children’s health, and they feel that they cannot return to their original homes. At the current stage, in Fukushima prefecture alone, some 174 children have been found to have contracted thyroid cancer. We are deeply worried about the wide-ranging health hazards that will appear in the years to come.
Presently court proceedings to determine legal responsibility for the nuclear accident itself have not yet been opened, and the accident’s cause, the question of human error, the question of whether the accident was handled appropriately, have not yet been clarified. Now, the problem of restarting nuclear power plants across Japan has surfaced, and battles are being fought through the courts to keep these plants from restarting. As with Takahama Nuclear Power Station, some nuclear plants’ operation has been suspended.
Under these circumstances, the fact that Japan is attempting to sell nuclear power plants to other countries, is embarrassing and most unfortunate. When we consider that a similar type accident might happen at one of India’s nuclear power plants, we are filled with concern. That is, as women who experienced firsthand the suffering that the Fukushima accident has brought, we do not wish anyone in the world to have the same experience we did.
Mr. Modi, we would like to invite you to visit Fukushima and see its condition firsthand. The destroyed reactor, the towns where people can no longer live that have become like abandoned towns, the mountains of radioactive rubble, the towering incinerators, and children who can no longer play freely outside. After you have seen the reality of Fukushima, then we urge you to think carefully about the nuclear cooperation agreement.Nuclear power plants will not bring happiness to your citizens. We who experienced the injury of the nuclear accident, we came to understand this through our own bodies and lives.
Mr. Modi, for the Indian people and the future of India, please do not sign the India-Japan Nuclear Cooperation Agreement. We beseech you to make a wise judgment.
Fukushima Women Against Nukes
Fukushima Women Against Nukes is a network of women that started in September 2012, using various direct actions such as sit-ins, demonstrations as well as petitioning TEPCO and others to demand justice for everything that the Fukushima Daiichi disaster has taken away from them. They are also strongly opposed to restarting any of Japan’s nuclear reactors and are working for a nuclear free world (website: http://onna100nin.seesaa.net)
Message from Lalita Ramdas, Coalition for Nuclear Disarmament and Peace
I have just read this deeply moving and passionate appeal written by the women of Fukushima, clearly calling the attention of the world, especially the people of Asia, and particularly our Prime Minister as he prepares to visit Japan later this week, and according to media reports, sign the India-Japan Nuclear Agreement.
I was in Fukushima earlier this year. It was one of the most educative experiences of my life. We visited shattered homes and families, were witness to miles of devastated landscape, thousands and thousands of black bags containing radioactive materials where there should have been fields and crops. I met and spoke to many of the women who have signed on to this letter ……women and mothers deeply impacted and anxious on behalf of the kind of future this scenario offers for their children and grandchildren.
As the women who wrote this letter urge, before our Prime Minister signs the nuclear deal with Japan, he also needs to see this reality, to talk with the people who are still suffering from the devastation and see the human and economic costs of the accident at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in 2011, in order to understand exactly what could happen to his own people if he moves ahead with his nuclear program.
The message from the people of Fukushima is powerful, one which none of us, especially our government, can afford to ignore. I hope that the Indian media publicizes it widely.
Activists recount pioneering win over nuclear power on Sonoma Coast ROBERT DIGITALE THE PRESS DEMOCRAT | October 29, 2016
The anti-nuclear activists standing in the rain Saturday morning at Bodega Head displayed some similarities to a pair of cyclists pedaling south a few miles away on Highway 1: Both parties were resolute, exposed and increasingly getting drenched.
The activists had come to Bodega Bay to remember two long-ago battles against nuclear power and to consider how their future struggles could affect global efforts to safely reduce greenhouse gases and limit climate change. One past struggle resulted in a striking victory, forcing the Pacific Gas & Electric Co. in 1964 to halt plans for a proposed nuclear plant on the very spot the soggy activists stood: Bodega Head. That triumph has long been described as a major advancement for what became California’s environmental movement, a force that, among other things, passed a voter initiative to preserve the state’s coastline.
However, the second campaign failed in the early 1980s to stop the construction of the Diablo Canyon nuclear plant near San Luis Obispo. That plant, which opened in 1985 and is now the sole operating nuclear facility in California, was slated this summer for closure by 2025, when its permits expire.
One aim for Saturday’s gathering was “for the Bodega generation to talk to the Diablo generation,” said Mark Evanoff, one of the event’s organizers……….
Looking forward to Diablo’s planned closure, two speakers Saturday told the audience that California must show the world it can shut down a nuclear plant without turning to coal, oil or natural gas to meet the state’s energy needs.
By doing so, “we really pierce a big hole in the argument” of those climate change advocates who suggest that perhaps nuclear power should remain part of the solution to ending reliance on fossil fuels, said Carl Ziechella, a senior policy advocate in Sacramento with the National Resources Defense Council……..
On Saturday, the veterans were reminded that the Bodega Head battle was begun mostly by county residents, who then were able to link up with key outside allies…….. http://www.pressdemocrat.com/news/6241381-181/activists-recount-pioneering-win-over?artslide=0
Wylfa Newydd protesters brand nuclear power ‘dangerous and dirty’, Daily Post, 28 Oct 16
People Against Wylfa B say it’s ‘ironic’ the Japanese company behind the new plant are not building in their own country. Nuclear is an “old fashioned, dangerous and dirty technology” according to a group opposed to a new plant being built on Anglesey.
Pawb (People Against Wylfa B) have responded to Horizon Nuclear Power’s latest consultation by questioning the Japanese firm’s commitment to construct the £12bn power station in view of no new nuclear plants being planned in Japan……..
Last year, the Prime Minister of Japan at the time of the disaster, Naoto Kan, visited Anglesey and urged residents to oppose the Wylfa plant.
Dylan Morgan, a founding member of Pawb, said Hitachi, who own Horizon, are being “totally irresponsible” in persisting with its nuclear “obsession”. He added: “The technology is old fashioned, dirty, dangerous and very expensive.
“It’s ironic that a Japanese company are so adamant that a reactor is built here in Wales, when they can’t do so in their own country.
“Due to the high levels of heat and radioactivity, the waste will have to be stored on site for decades.”…..http://www.dailypost.co.uk/news/north-wales-news/wylfa-newydd-protesters-brand-nuclear-12093470
The groups are concerned that the “interim” storage facility may become the de facto permanent home
for the highly toxic waste……. taxpayers footing the entire bill, those that generated the waste would have no incentive to ensure its safe disposal in a permanent geologic repository.
‘storage sites’ likely would create a de facto high level national waste sacrifice zone.
Four Groups Urge NRC To Halt Review Of License Application For High-level Nuclear Waste Dump In Texas https://www.yahoo.com/news/four-groups-urge-nrc-halt-review-license-application-143000265.html WASHINGTON and AUSTIN, Texas, Oct. 27, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ –– Opposed to an industry scheme that risks a proposed short-term nuclear waste storage site becoming a permanent site while sticking taxpayers for the bill, four leading national and Texas groups — Beyond Nuclear, Nuclear Information and Resource Service (NIRS), Public Citizen, and the Texas-based Sustainable Energy & Economic Development (SEED) Coalition — are calling on the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) to follow the law and terminate its review of the license application for the controversial plan by Waste Control Specialists (WCS) to construct an interim high-level nuclear waste dump in Andrews County, TX.
WCS seeks a permit to build and operate the supposedly short-term storage facility for up to 40,000 metric tons of highly dangerous nuclear waste in Andrews County, but only if the U.S. government first assumes responsibility for the waste and further agrees to ship it to the Texas site by rail. The license application is for the first 5,000 metric tons but the company’s promotional materials show they are planning on expanding the site to accommodate more than half of the estimated 75,000 metric tons of commercial nuclear waste currently in the U.S.
The groups are concerned that the “interim” storage facility may become the de facto permanent home for the highly toxic waste. Given the long battle over Yucca Mountain, the groups have zero confidence that Congress or federal regulators would have the stomach for fighting to move the nuclear waste a second time from WCS or any other “interim” site. And, with utilities totally off the hook and taxpayers footing the entire bill, those that generated the waste would have no incentive to ensure its safe disposal in a permanent geologic repository.
Available online at http://pubc.it/2eMSaXM, the letter from the four groups to the NRC’s top executive argues that the WCS proposal would require the NRC to break federal law, which bars the U.S. government from assuming responsibility for interim waste storage in the absence of a federal repository for permanent disposal. They contend that, until a long-term geological repository is ready, federal law forces utilities to solve their own interim storage problems, including bearing the economic burden for facility construction and operation, and liability for accidents.
The groups’ letter demands that NRC immediately drop its review of the WCS application, including its plans to embark on an environmental study.
High-level radioactive wastes are irradiated nuclear fuel rods, and short-term exposure at close range, with no shielding, can cause immediate death. Lesser exposure can cause death or cancer for over a million years. It is so dangerous that Congress required that it be buried deep underground in geologically isolated repository for millennia. This danger also prompted federal lawmakers to prohibit putting taxpayers on the hook for “interim” solutions that could become de facto permanent surface storage sites.
According to the groups, there is no safety imperative for moving the waste to a consolidated storage facility. The safety and security of our toxic nuclear waste stockpile, not financial gain for this private entity, should drive NRC waste storage activity. Rather than reviewing this premature and illegitimate proposal the NRC should focus its efforts on safeguarding the onsite storage of waste at nuclear facilities across the country.
“By requiring a permanent deep geological repository to be operating beforecentralized interim storage could be opened, Congress wanted to prevent the very real danger of a de facto permanent parking lot dump – a nuclear waste storage site that would be designed for the short-term but be there forever,” said Kevin Kamps, radioactive waste specialist, Beyond Nuclear. He added: “WCS is a cynical shell game and taxpayers are sure to lose. Congress was right that liability for the costs of storing commercial irradiated nuclear fuel belongs with the generators and should not be shifted onto the backs of the American public.”
Diane D’Arrigo, radioactive waste project director, Nuclear Information and Resource Service (NIRS), said: “Moving nuclear power waste over roads, rails and waterways to a supposedly temporary site puts us all at risk and creates only an illusion of a solution.”
Karen Hadden, executive director, SEED Coalition, added: “Due to risks of radioactive contamination from leaks or accidents or potential terrorist actions, nuclear waste should only be moved once, and only when a deep underground permanent repository is in place that could safely isolate the dangerous waste for the million years that it will remain hazardous.”
Tom “Smitty” Smith, director of the Public Citizen Texas office, said: “Texans do not consent to the risky plan to store high-level radioactive waste at private sites on an open pad above ground in Texas. Another company near Hobbs New Mexico – less than 50 miles away — is expected to file an application to open a storage site that would accept the rest of the nation’s high level nuclear waste. These twin ‘storage sites’ likely would create a de facto high level national waste sacrifice zone. This proposal invites disaster because the private owners will be cutting costs at every turn to maximize profits. If there was radioactive contamination our land, air, water, and human health could be harmed for millennia.”