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The News That Matters about the Nuclear Industry

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

Opposition toTennessee Valley Authority’s plan for Small Nuclear Reactors (SMRs)

Environmental groups challenge TVA nuclear reactor plan, Miami Herald, 25 June 17 The Associated Press  OAK RIDGE, TENN. 

Environmental groups are challenging the Tennessee Valley Authority’s proposal to use a Tennessee nuclear reactor design site abandoned in the 1970s to develop new small modular reactors.

According to the Chattanooga Times Free Press , the Southern Alliance for Clean Power, the Union of Concerned Scientists and the Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League have challenged the Oak Ridge project’s site application. They say the reactors remain untested, unsafe and unneeded.

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission is reviewing the application to determine if the site works for two or more reactors generating up to 800 megawatts of nuclear power.

Sara Barczak, the high risk energy choices program director with the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy, compared the project to the Clinch River Breeder Reactor project that was planned for the site in the 1970s, but was scrapped amid escalating prices for the technology.

“We are very concerned that history is once again repeating itself,” Barczak said. “And we are concerned that billions of dollars could be spent on a technology that is unproven, untested and significantly more expensive than other types of power technology that are available to TVA.”…….. http://www.miamiherald.com/news/business/article158140124.html

June 26, 2017 Posted by | opposition to nuclear, technology, USA | Leave a comment

Protestors targeting Britain’s nuclear bomb bases

Herald 25th June 2017, Nuclear bomb bases on the Clyde are being targeted with blockades,
break-ins and a series of other protests next month. The campaign group,
Trident Ploughshares, is organising a disarmament camp at an ancient oak
woodland it owns near the UK’s nuclear weapons store at Coulport on Loch
Long from 8-16 July. The protest is timed to coincide with the close of
United Nations (UN) negotiations between 130 countries on a treaty banning
nuclear weapons. The UK government, along with other nuclear weapons
states, has boycotted the talks in New York.
http://www.heraldscotland.com/news/15369495.Blockades_to_target_Clyde_nuke_bases/

June 26, 2017 Posted by | opposition to nuclear, UK, weapons and war | Leave a comment

UK conference held : No Need for Nuclear: The Renewables are Here

Youth & Student CND 19th June 2017, On the Saturday just gone, 17th June, while the rest of London sweltered at
the mercy of the hottest weekend so far this year, enthusiasts, activists,
and journalists alike, descended from across the world to Conway Hall,
Holborn,to take part in the first nuclear power conference in 30 years, No
Need for Nuclear: The Renewables are Here hosted by the Campaign for
Nuclear Disarmament. With over 150 attendees of all ages, and 17 speakers
comprised of distinguished academics, MPs and industry representatives, the
conference was deemed a great success. The conference was graced with a
keynote address from Caroline Lucas MP, all the way from New York where the
UN disarmament meetings are taking place. The conference was broken into 4
sections: What’s wrong with Nuclear power? and The Politics of Nuclear
Power followed by UK Energy Demand, Energy Supply, and The Renewables after
lunch.  http://www.yscnd.org/uk/what-you-missed-at-the-noneedfornuclear-conference/

June 21, 2017 Posted by | opposition to nuclear, UK | Leave a comment

New Yorlk March for nuclear ban treaty included Atomic bomb survivors

A-bomb victims join NYC rally for ban on nuke weapons at U.N. http://www.asahi.com/ajw/articles/AJ201706180031.html, By KEITA MANO/ Staff Writer June 18, 2017, NEW YORK–Shouting “No More Hiroshima, No More Nagasaki,” hundreds of demonstrators marched through a downpour in New York City on June 17, calling for a treaty to ban nuclear weapons under negotiations at the United Nations.

Atomic bomb survivors and others took turns giving speeches when they arrived at the square near the United Nations headquarters. The 1.5-kilometer march was organized by the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom.

Elayne Whyte, Costa Rica’s ambassador who is chairing the negotiations, pledged to strive toward the establishment of the treaty, while expressing gratitude toward the 3 million signatures collected in a campaign by atomic bomb survivors to highlight the importance of the U.N. talks.

Hibakusha survivors from Hiroshima and Nagasaki traveled to New York to coincide with the negotiations and handed the signatures to Whyte at the U.N. headquarters the previous day.

Toshiyuki Mimaki, 75, a hibakusha from Hiroshima, said he was touched by the participation of so many people in the march.

“Despite the heavy rain, a large number of people came and shouted Hiroshima and Nagasaki together,” said Mimaki. “I am so happy and grateful.”

Rallies were also held across Japan on June 17 to coincide with the New York City march.

June 19, 2017 Posted by | opposition to nuclear, USA | Leave a comment

Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament widens its scope, to promote renewable energy

The Canary 14th June 2017, The Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND) has criticised what it calls the
“ill-advised” appointment by Theresa May of Michael Gove as Environment
Secretary. Its condemnation comes ahead of a conference on renewable
energy. And The Canary spoke exclusively to CND General Secretary Kate
Hudson about climate change, renewables and the future under a potential
Conservative-led government.

The CND was formed in 1957, with the specific goal of campaigning for an end to nuclear weapons. But over the years, the
group has broadened its remit, and on Saturday 17 June it will be holding a
conference on renewable energy. Entitled No need for nuclear: the
renewables are here, it will be tackling: What’s wrong with nuclear
power; The politics of nuclear power; Energy demand and energy efficiency;

The scope of renewables in the UK. Hudson told The Canary, tackling nuclear
power is nothing new for the CND. In fact, she says the group has been
addressing renewables for “decades”: CND is best known for being
anti-nuclear weapons but for some decades now we have also had an
anti-nuclear power stance. The technologies are inextricably linked and the
radiation impacts are of shared devastation. Nuclear power is dirty,
dangerous, expensive and absolutely unnecessary. Renewables now demonstrate
that final point beyond all question. The idea that nuclear power is worth
the risk is finished. Many countries already recognise that and it’s time
for the UK to kick its nuclear addiction in the interests of people and
planet. https://www.thecanary.co/2017/06/14/major-campaign-group-slammed-ill-advised-appointment-climate-change-skeptic-government/

June 19, 2017 Posted by | opposition to nuclear, UK | Leave a comment

Womens’ March To Ban The Bomb

In one of its final acts of 2016, the United Nations General Assembly adopted with overwhelming support a landmark resolution to begin negotiations on a treaty prohibiting nuclear weapons. This historic decision heralds an end to two decades of paralysis in multilateral nuclear disarmament efforts.

Throughout June and July of 2017, governments will negotiate a ban on nuclear weapons at the United Nations. WILPF and our coalition are hitting the streets to celebrate and also demand a good treaty that prohibits these weapons of mass destruction once and for all!

The Women’s March to Ban the Bomb is a women-led initiative building on the momentum of movements at the forefront of the resistance, including the Women’s March on Washington. It will bring together people of all genders, sexual orientations, ages, races, abilities, nationalities, cultures, faiths, political affiliations and backgrounds to march and rally at 12 PM – 3PM Saturday, June 17th 2017 in New York City! https://www.womenbanthebomb.org/

June 16, 2017 Posted by | 2 WORLD, opposition to nuclear | Leave a comment

Nuclear energy will be defunct before Sizewell C nuclear power station ever comes on line

East Anglian Daily Times 9th June 2017, A high-profile baroness and environmental campaigner has labelled Suffolk’s new nuclear proposals “incredibly disastrous”. Jenny Jones, Baroness of Moulsecoomb, made the comments at a recent meeting attended by more than 100 people in Woodbridge at which Sizewell C faced criticism from campaigners, academics and Suffolk residents.

Discussions ranged from climate change, alternative energy options and more. Baroness Jones, a Green Party representative in the House of Lords, chaired the meeting, which was intended to raise public awareness about the possible effects of Sizewell. She said nuclear power was “so incredibly disastrous”, highlighting its impact on economic and social justice as well as the environment. “Nuclear energy will be defunct by the time it comes online,” she said.
http://www.eadt.co.uk/business/baroness-jenny-jones-slams-disastrous-nuclear-proposals-at-woodbridge-conference-suffolk-sizewell-and-the-environment-1-5054946

June 12, 2017 Posted by | opposition to nuclear, UK | Leave a comment

A victory for Indian farmers, as nuclear power proposal shifted from coastal district of Gujarat

Gujarat’s Mithivirdi nuclear plant to be shifted to AP http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/economy/policy/gujarats-mithivirdi-nuclear-plant-to-be-shifted-to-ap/article9717922.ece RUTAM VORA, Thanks to farmers’ protest, MoEF asks Green Tribunal to shift project site AHMEDABAD, JUNE 1:  

A decade-long legal battle to save their fertile land from being used for the country’s largest nuclear power plant ended in a victory for farmers from Saurashtra’s Bhavnagar district.

The Ministry of Environment and Forest (MoEF) recently informed the National Green Tribunal (NGT) to shift the proposed 6,000 megaWatt (MW) nuclear plant — the first under the Indo-US civil nuclear pact of 2008 — from the coastal district of Gujarat to Kavvada in Andhra Pradesh “on account of delay in land acquisition at Chhaya-Mithivirdi site”.

The plant was to be set up by state-owned Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd (NPCIL) with technical support from Toshiba Corp’s Westinghouse Electric Company (WEC), which will build six nuclear reactors at the new site.

On May 18, MoEF said that in view of shifting of the said project the proposal for environment clearance (EC) before it has been delisted.

The villagers had approached NGT on March 3, 2015, challenging the coastal regulatory zone (CRZ) clearance given to NPCIL for the project. NGT’s Western Zone Bench, comprising Justice UD Salvi and Ranjan Chatterjee as expert member, disposed of the petition post the MoEF submission regarding shifting the site for the project.

India has planned to increase its nuclear power generation capacity from the existing 6,780 MW to 63,000 MW by 2032.

It is learnt that farmers in Andhra Pradesh have agreed to give away their lands for Westinghouse Electric’s AP-1000 pressurised water reactors. The project will initially require about 800 hectares of land in the eastern coastal district of Srikakulam.

In Gujarat’s Mithivirdi, however, farmers are celebrating. “A get-together has been planned on June 2 to celebrate the victory. The project would have directly affected about 340 farmer families and about 2,000 people indirectly associated with farm-related activities,” said Shaktisinh Gohi, one of the petitioners.

Gohil stated that NPCIL wanted about 777 hectares of land for the project from three to four villages around Mithivirdi. On March 5, 2013, before the company was granted CRZ clearance for the site, there were about 7,000 villagers who staged a walk-out from the Environmental Public Hearing as a mark of protest. Farmer leaders have been “sensitising” people about the risks of a nuclear reactor in the vicinity by distributing materials and showcasing films of the nuclear disasters in parts of the world.

“Our protests and arguments were backed by academic and scientific facts. We fought a very well-organised battle to get rid of this project. ,” said Rohit Prajapati, another petitioner.

June 2, 2017 Posted by | India, opposition to nuclear | Leave a comment

South Africa’s anti nuclear movement renews its campaign

Group that ended Eskom’s nuclear bid plans next move  http://www.fin24.com/Economy/Eskom/group-that-ended-eskoms-nuclear-bid-plans-next-move-20170528   Matthew le Cordeur   May 28 2017 Cape Town – The Southern African Faith Communities’ Environment Institute (Safcei) has moved on from its court victory over government and Eskom in April, which set aside the nuclear procurement programme.

High court ruling on nuclear was a victory for SA – Liziwe McDaid

A month after winning the court bid, Safcei spokesperson Liz McDaid said the victory opened space for other civil society organisations to come together to keep the nuclear programme from moving forward.

McDaid, who was engaging with stakeholders in Khayelitsha last week, told Fin24 that the court victory was a major boost in bringing other stakeholders together.

“For civil society, this has opened a space,” she said. “It has meant that organisations involved in child care, youth work (and) social justice have realised what the impact of such a deal could have on their work.

“Right now, it’s up to civil society to consolidate that gain, to spread that message and to mobilise going forward.”

McDaid said Safcei would focus its attention on the Department of Energy’s draft integrated resource plan and energy plan, which is currently undergoing stakeholder engagement and public hearings.

“One of our critical areas is the electricity plan, which was five years out of date,” she said. “We want to make sure that process runs properly and that renewable energy is given its proper place, because we want to see South Africa move into the future.

“The future energy is definitely renewable and not nuclear,” she said. Continue reading

May 31, 2017 Posted by | opposition to nuclear, South Africa | Leave a comment

Nuclear power in South Korea is forcefully opposed by Catholics

South Korean Catholics rally against use of nuclear power, .- South Korean Catholics are opposing both the country’s reliance on nuclear power and the U.S. missile defense system recently established to pressure the North out of future weapon tests.

A major leader of the anti-nuclear movement, Father Moon Paul Kyu-Hyn, said “getting rid of nuclear power is the only way to survive, to save ourselves, and save the world,” according to Public Radio International.

A missile defense system has caused tensions between the U.S. and China as well as between China and South Korea. The country’s new president, Moon Jae-in, has emphasized his goal to solve the issues in the Korean Peninsula.

Father Moon expressed his disappointed in the new Terminal High Altitude Area Defense or THAAD, which became operational on May 2 in the Korean Peninsula. An agreement to install the system was established between the United States and South Korea’s former president, recently incarcerated for political corruption.

“THAAD is a weapon of war. You can’t be for peace if you’re preparing for war,” said Father Moon, an activist who spent three years in jail for illegally crossing over into North Korea in 1989.

He is now leading the charge on the anti-nuclear demonstrations participated by the clergy and lay people, who are opposed the expansion of nuclear power in all of Korea and the rest of the world. The group recently gathered in downtown Seoul to collect a million signatures for support against nuclear energy.

Nearly a third of the country’s electrical consumption relies on nuclear power from over 20 nuclear reactors. Moon Jae-in, who was confirmed president this week, promised to halt expansion of nuclear power and focus on clean energy during a campaign speech in April.

The push to remove nuclear power has increased in South Korea since three plants in Fukushima had a meltdown in 2011 caused by a Tsunami along the shores of Japan. The meltdown forced over 100,000 people to be evacuated from their homes, and the government is still cautious to allow everyone to return due to fears of radiation poison.

In an interview with Public Radio International, Father Cho Hyun-chul, a theology professor at Sogang University in Seoul, said if there is a similar accident revolving South Korea’s power plants then there would be “no room for us to live here. There is no more safe land.”

He continued to say that the destruction nuclear power can cause is “directly against God’s intention,” and the movement is stressing the need to care for the environment – a need heavily emphasized by Pope Francis especially in his encyclical Laudato Si.

The Pope recognized the “tremendous power” nuclear energy has gifted to humanity, but he also spoke against its dangers to the environment and the risk of being used improperly. He said a global consensus to focus on clean and renewable energy is essential for sustaining the earth.

“Such a consensus could lead, for example, to planning a sustainable and diversified agriculture, developing renewable and less polluting forms of energy,” Pope Francis wrote in Laudato Si.

According to Reuters, President Moon promised to ease away from nuclear energy in a campaign speech in April. The head for the president’s team on energy policy said South Korea “should move away from coal and nuclear power, and shift to clean or renewable energy-based platforms,” and that he would stop the plans to construct two new reactors in the south of the country.

May 17, 2017 Posted by | opposition to nuclear, Religion and ethics, South Korea | 1 Comment

South Afric a’s formidable anti nuclear women ready to take on the government again

As for the tremendous display of “girl power”, the women are adamant that there are many men that they could not have done it without. There is, however, an immense sense of pride in what they’ve achieved. Let this victory serve as a reminder to anyone who tries to pull the wool over South Africans’ eyes again, that if you strike a woman, you strike a rock
A chat with the ladies who said no to nuclear
Meet the women who stopped the nuclear dealhttp://www.news24.com/Opinions/IN-FOCUS/in-focus-i-meet-the-women-who-stopped-the-nuclear-deal-20170508 Alet Janse van Rensburg, Kate Davies. Liz McDaid. Vainola Makan. Siphokazi Pangalele. Lydia Mogane. Makoma Lekalakala. Natasha Adonis.

These are some of the women whose names will go down in history for saving South Africa (for now, at least) from a disastrous nuclear deal with Russia that would’ve cost us trillions and most likely bankrupted the country.

For more than two years they lived and breathed the nuclear deal, getting up while it’s still dark to attend meetings, and going to bed after midnight to organise pickets, protests, public meetings and petitions. None of them would even attempt to calculate how much time went into the effort.

Yet, true to form, none of them wants the credit for the court victory that nullified the nuclear deal. “It was easy. It was easy to identify with because it was about our children’s future and our children’s children’s future,” says Makan (50), an activist from Right to Know (R2K) in Cape Town.

“You want to see your grandchildren live in a world free from these bad things. The legacy you leave for the next generation is what drives you. Maybe women are closer to that, bearing the burden of child birth,” says McDaid (55), spokesperson for the Southern African Faith Communities’ Environment Institute (Safcei).

Davies (65), founder of Safcei, agrees that although the campaign against the nuclear deal was never meant to be a women’s effort, it certainly was driven by a group of very dedicated women.

“I come from a generation that had a lot of women who were involved in the Black Sash in our lives,” she says. “I myself was a young member of the Black Sash and so that kind of silent protest came naturally to me – something I fear the younger generations don’t know.”

It all started in 2014 when Earthlife Africa uncovered that South Africa signed a deal with Russia that nobody knew about to procure nuclear energy. Earthlife Africa started a legal process with Safcei. Kate started a vigil outside Parliament every Wednesday for when the ministers would arrive.

This vigil only ended last week after the Cape High Court ruled that all nuclear agreements made so far were unlawful and should be set aside.

“For more than two years we stood there every week to speak truth to power. Sometimes there were two people in the wind and rain. Sometimes there were 20 or 50 people. Sometimes it was only Kate. That was about knowing we could win, but that it’s a long haul and that we just had to keep going step by step,” says McDaid.

Initially the focus was on nuclear energy as an environmental issue.

“We were worried about the footprint of different energy types and the impact of high energy prices on the poor. That’s why we started asking how government makes decisions about our energy needs and that’s when we started realising that the decision making processes weren’t happening as they were supposed to,” says McDaid.

“When you look at the CSIR and the research that has been done, it’s very clear that nuclear is not needed for our energy future. So then the question becomes, why are we pushing for it? The obvious answer is that there are corrupt forces at play. From there it was a case of following the money.”

As they prepared for the court case, they started working with other organisations such as R2K, Open Democracy, Section27 and the trade unions. They held a coalition meeting at Community House in Cape Town and more than 20 organisations showed up to find out how they could help. R2K came on board, and started to roll out mass actions, attending parliamentary meetings, organising marches to Parliament and distributing pamphlets and petitions.

“They say when you have faith in little you can be trusted with much. It was only a few of us who stood in Parliament to fight for the cause, but when the 60 000 came, we were confident that we could handle it and we had faith in our message,” says Makan.

They also realised early on that they would need the public to buy into the process and needed a media expert, so they roped in the expertise of Adonis (41), who runs her own PR firm in Cape Town.

“I wasn’t interested in the nuclear deal or anything before I came on board,” she says. “I think one of the core problems was that it was out there, but people weren’t paying attention. So we had to get the average South African – who was me – to notice the campaign.”

When they heard they won the case last Friday (with costs!), they were ecstatic.

“The process was vindicated. The legal process was won and we had the hearts and the minds of the people behind us. In the lead up with the firing of Pravin Gordhan we had people in the streets and with Ahmed Kathrada’s memorial nuclear was a central theme. So legally, politically and in terms of the minds of people we were vindicated,” says Makan.

“We know that they’re still not going to do things on a moral basis. But politically, because of the balance of forces, and because we are going to continue to work against any deal, it will be much harder for them to do a deal with Russia.”

What is clear is that going forward any attempt to go through with the nuclear deal will have to include a public participation process and now that the public is thoroughly informed, it will be much harder for them to push the deal through.

According to Earthlife Africa’s Makoma Lekalakala, while the court victory was expected, it only ruled on the unlawful procedure followed to procure nuclear and not the actual issue of nuclear energy. That is something that will have to be addressed going forward.

“We are for a greater investment in renewable energy, as it’s much cheaper and cleaner for the environment,” she says.

The others agree.

“We will have to educate the public. Going forward we will continue to encourage South Africans to be active citizens. It doesn’t matter if you’re a cleaner at a factory, or a street sweeper or a CEO, you have the right to say something about how things are being done in your country. The Constitution gives you that right,” says Adonis.

And while the victory in court was a major achievement for the team, it was a victory for every South African citizen.

“This judgement shows you that you can win and that you can make a difference and that the country will not be sold to the highest bidder. The people can govern,” says McDaid.

As for the tremendous display of “girl power”, the women are adamant that there are many men that they could not have done it without. There is, however, an immense sense of pride in what they’ve achieved. Let this victory serve as a reminder to anyone who tries to pull the wool over South Africans’ eyes again, that if you strike a woman, you strike a rock

May 15, 2017 Posted by | opposition to nuclear, PERSONAL STORIES, politics, South Africa | Leave a comment

Indigenous protest against uranium mill in South East Utah

Marcus Atkinson, of Australia, is touring the U.S. promoting a film opposing uranium mining in his country and heard about the White Mesa protest.

“We would like to use this case in our next film to raise international awareness that uranium is too dangerous and is not the answer to our energy needs,” he said.

Ute protesters march to Utah uranium mill, Ute Mountain Utes concerned about health impacts from White Mesa mill, The Journal, By Jim Mimiaga Journal Staff Writer  May 13, 2017 White Mesa, Utah – About 80 protesters opposed to the White Mesa uranium mill in southeast Utah marched three miles along U.S. Highway 191 to the mill’s entrance Saturday.

The protest was organized by members of Ute Mountain Ute tribe, which has a small reservation community three miles from the mill. The mill, which is owned by Energy Fuels, of Toronto, is the only conventional uranium mill operating in the country.

Protesters carried anti-nuclear signs, including “No Uranium, Protect Sacred Lands,” “Water is Life,” and “No Toxic Waste.”

They are concerned about the mill’s potential health impacts on air and water quality, and they object to containment cells at the mill that accept radioactive waste from around the country.

“The dust blowing from uranium ore piles is a concern. Our water comes from wells that are not far from those waste cells. Those things are a big worry for the community,” said Antonio Cly, 22, of the Ute Mountain tribe. He is studying the mill as a student at the University of Utah.

Thelma Whiskers, a Ute elder and founder of the White Mesa Concerned Community group, said her family has been fighting the mill all their lives, and the march was a way to raise awareness of the issues to pass on to the younger generation. Continue reading

May 15, 2017 Posted by | opposition to nuclear, Uranium, USA | Leave a comment

Catholics lead in South Korean movement against nuclear power


South Korean Catholics take the lead in protesting against nuclear power, PRI, May 11, 2017, By Matthew Bell Standing up to his own government is nothing new for Moon Kyu-hyun. The 70-year-old Jesuit priest from South Korea made international news back in 1989, when he crossed the border into North Korea illegally.

The Catholic priest’s unsanctioned trip was a political act of defiance against South Korea’s strict National Security Law, which prohibited people in the South from almost any contact with North Korea.

The Rev. Moon was promptly arrested when he returned to the South. And he ended up spending three and a half years in prison.

“Peace and hope is what life is all about,” Moon says, reflecting on lessons learned during his time in jail.

In that same spirit, Moon — whose Christian name is Paul — is part of a group of Catholic clergy taking the lead in a growing anti-nuclear movement in South Korea.  Moon says he is opposed to nuclear weapons, including the North Korean nuclear program that’s been a big part of rising tensions in northeast Asia. But he’s also against recent US actions on the Korean peninsula.

“THAAD is a weapon of war. You can’t be for peace if you’re preparing for war,” Moon says, referring to the anti-missile system recently deployed by the US military in South Korea.

Beyond the nuclear security issue though, Moon and other Catholic leaders are pressuring the South Korean government to rethink the country’s dependence on nuclear power. That is no small order, as this is a country that relies on more than two dozen nuclear power plants for about a third of its electricity.

“Getting rid of nuclear power is the only way to survive, to save ourselves, and save the world,” Moon says during a recent anti-nuclear demonstration in downtown Seoul, where Catholic priests and nuns announced an effort to collect a million signatures in support of their campaign…….

“It’s directly against God’s intention,” Cho says. All Christians, he adds, “believe that God created the universe, and there is the divine order.” Cho says the threat posed by nuclear energy goes against that divine order……..

Catholics here have also forged a somewhat surprising alliance. Japan and Korea have a long and troubled history, to put it mildly. But every year since 2012, Kim Hyun-joo has been part of a group of Korean Catholics who meet up with Japanese Catholics to work together on anti-nuclear protest activities. Kim is an anti-nuclear activist with the Society of Jesus in Seoul……..

Catholic leaders in Korea are following the example of Pope Francis. They say the environment is now a top priority, although they acknowledge the campaign against nuclear power is a going to be a long, uphill struggle……..

the best news for Catholic anti-nuclear activists came when Moon, during the campaign, pledged to cut back drastically on the government’s plans to expand the nuclear power industry. https://www.pri.org/stories/2017-05-11/south-korean-catholics-take-lead-protesting-against-nuclear-power

May 12, 2017 Posted by | opposition to nuclear, Religion and ethics, South Korea | Leave a comment

Cities of Marysville and St. Clair oppose Lake Huron nuclear waste dump

Marysville, St. Clair restate opposition to Lake Huron nuclear waste dump, By Jim Bloch For The Voice, May 7, 2017 At the urging of Michigan state Sen. Phil Pavlov, the cities of Marysville and St. Clair have passed updated resolutions opposing the efforts of Ontario Power Generation to build a Deep Geological Repository for low- and medium-level nuclear waste on the shore of Lake Huron in Kincardine, Ontario, Canada.

The Marysville City Council unanimously approved a new resolution of opposition to the dump at its regular meeting on April 24. St. Clair followed suit on May 1.

“In 2015, you took the bold action of passing a resolution opposing the proposed nuclear waste dump less than one mile from the shorelines of Lake Huron in Canada,” Pavlov wrote to each city council. “Unfortunately, our fight is not over.”

 Pavlov noted that townships, cities and counties representing 23 million citizens in Michigan, Illinois, Indiana, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, New York, Ohio and Ontario have passed 187 resolutions opposing the nuclear waste dump.

“In spite of our majority opposition, Ontario Power Generation is continuing to pursue their dangerous plan to bury over seven million cubic feet of nuclear waste directly across the lake from the residents of St. Clair, Sanilac and Huron counties,” Pavlov said. “To even consider constructing a permanent nuclear waste disposal site near our valuable Great Lakes is dumbfounding.”

City Manager Randy Fernandez and Mayor Dan Damman spoke against the waste repository, proposed to be excavated about six-tenths of a mile from the lake at a depth of 2,200 feet.

“It’s mind-boggling that this is still a topic of concern,” said Damman. “I’m a full proponent of this resolution.”

The measure passed in Marysville 7-0.

The resolution noted that some of the waste “will remain toxic for over 100,000 years.”

The Great Lakes contain 20 percent of the world’s surface fresh water and 95 percent of the fresh water in the United States “vital to human and environmental health.”

“Under the 2012 Protocol Amending the Agreement between Canada and the United States of American on Great Lakes Water Quality, the governments of the U.S. and Canada acknowledge the importance of anticipating, preventing and responding to threats to the waters of the Great Lakes,” the resolution reads.

The two governments “share a responsibility to protect the Great Lakes from contamination from various sources of pollution, including the potential leakage of radioactivity from an underground nuclear waste repository.”…….http://www.voicenews.com/news/marysville-st-clair-restate-opposition-to-lake-huron-nuclear-waste/article_46cae100-3364-11e7-b0e2-973cbaf143db.html

May 10, 2017 Posted by | Canada, opposition to nuclear | Leave a comment