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The Nuclear Free Local Authorities (NFLA) dismiss the need for Sizewell C nuclear station, and call for renewables

  Councils call for fresh look at nuclear power as current policy ‘flawed’, East Anglian Daily Times, 24 March 2019, Richard Cornwell

Campaigners fighting proposals for new-build nuclear power plants have dismissed the need for Sizewell C – and called on the Government to reassess future electricity usage and generation.

The Nuclear Free Local Authorities (NFLA) group, which represents 40 councils across the country, believes renewable energy alternatives, with energy efficiency and energy storage, are more effective options.

The group points to the recent scrapping of the Sellafield Moorside development, and the decision to halt the Wylfa B and Oldbury B projects as evidence of the state of the new-build programme.

NFLA steering committee and English Forum chairman David Blackburn said: “In our submission, NFLA shows in detail why the Government’s ongoing support for new nuclear is flawed and that there is no need for such reactors at a time when the renewable sector is rapidly moving forward.

“Sizewell C also has some serious issues over the waste it would produce remaining on site for many decades, and the serious accident scenarios international agencies have

developed suggesting much more alarming consequences than EDF foresee.

“If the local councils in Suffolk are not particularly impressed with EDF’s current proposals, then there is indeed much work for it to do. NFLA see no ‘need’ for new nuclear at a time of major changes to future energy use.”

New research on nuclear accidents shows that a Chernobyl level incident at Sizewell C could require large areas of southern and central England to be evacuated.

NFLA claims electricity generation has fallen 16% in the past 14 years despite a 10% rise in population. ……..

People wanting to respond to the consultation can complete a questionnaire at or email comments to or by post to Freepost SZC Consultation.


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

Proposed nuclear power station at Indian village – a  serious threat to living beings 

Nuclear power serious threat to living beings Hans News Service 18 March 2019 

HIGHLIGHTS The proposed Nuclear Power Plant (NPP) at Kovvada village in Ranastalam mandal is a serious threat to all living beings in the surrounding 250 kilometers radius of north coastal AP districts and south Odisha state, said Anti-Nuclear Committee national member Dr Vivek Mantory.

Srikakulam: The proposed Nuclear Power Plant (NPP) at Kovvada village in Ranastalam mandal is a serious threat to all living beings in the surrounding 250 kilometers radius of north coastal AP districts and south Odisha state, said Anti-Nuclear Committee national member Dr Vivek Mantory. Addressing a seminar on ‘Nuclear power plant at Ranastalam’ on Sunday, held under the aegis of CITU, he came down heavily on both the Central and State governments’ for neglecting the interest of people living in the area and for violation of environmental laws.
Stating that the establishment of nuclear power was a costly affair than any other power like wind, hydro, coal-based thermal power and solar power, he said all the developed and advanced countries like the USA, Russia, Japan and other nations were backed away from the nuclear power. He wondered as to why India is showing much interest without thinking safety measures and preventive technology. CITU State vice-president D Govinda Rao, district president K Srinivas and members of other unions also participated. Residents of NPP affected villages also present in the seminar.

March 18, 2019 Posted by | India, opposition to nuclear | Leave a comment

Petition against Sizewell nuclear project – an “overwhelming” case against it

BBC 12th March 2019   A 1,500-strong petition opposing plans for a new nuclear plant has been
delivered to a county council leader. EDF Energy hopes to build the £16bn
Sizewell C on the Suffolk coast, next to the existing Sizewell B.

The petition was handed to Suffolk County Council’s Conservative leader Matthew
Hicks ahead of the authority’s cabinet meeting.

Campaign group Together Against Sizewell C (TASC) said the case against the development was
“overwhelming”. Chairman Pete Wilkinson said it would force “10 to 12 years
of crippling social and environmental disruption on the county”. “It will
fundamentally change the way of life in this region, cause people to lose
their homes, destroy an area of outstanding natural beauty and leave us
with another legacy of lethal radioactive waste,” he said.

March 14, 2019 Posted by | opposition to nuclear, UK | Leave a comment

Ceredigion County Council has reiterated a long-standing nuclear-free commitment.

Ceredigion could be considered for potential nuclear waste storage site, Tivyside Advertiser, By Dave Parkinson 6 Mar 19, WITH parts of Wales being considered as possible sites to bury radioactive waste, Ceredigion County Council has reiterated a long-standing nuclear-free commitment.

A motion was approved by the council in July, 2006 which made a commitment that the council would be a nuclear free local authority. Another commitment was made to support sustainable alternatives to nuclear power.

Cllr Ellen ap Gwynn proposed the motion in 2006 and is now the leader of the council. She said: “Nothing has changed in the council’s approach to nuclear power. It’s clear to us that most Ceredigion residents don’t want nuclear sites in the county……..

Radioactive Waste Management (RWM) – set up by the UK Government – is on the look-out for a suitable site in which to dispose of radioactive waste.

England and Wales have been divided into sub-regions which could potentially house an underground geological disposal facility (GDF).

Geological disposal involves placing waste in sealed vaults and tunnels deep underground, beneath several hundred metres of solid rock…….

RWM is now seeking “willing communities” to come forward if they are interested in being considered for the GDF. …….

Anyone interested in finding out more can attend one of two public meetings. They will take place in Swansea on Tuesday, March 12, and in Llandudno on Thursday, March 14.

For more details visit or

March 7, 2019 Posted by | opposition to nuclear, UK | Leave a comment

Fukushima’s mountains of radioactive soil – community opposition to recycling it

Fierce opposition to recycling radioactive soil from Fukushima, THE ASAHI SHIMBUN, February 26, 2019 How to dispose of mountains of soil contaminated by radiation from the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster poses a massive headache for the central government.

Officials had long insisted that contaminated surface soil removed after the triple meltdown at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant would eventually be stored outside of Fukushima Prefecture.

According to one estimate, the total volume of such soil will reach 14 million cubic meters by fiscal 2021. Local entities outside of Fukushima are understandably hesitant about serving as host to such vast quantities of possibly hazardous dirt.

Officials in Tokyo are now hoping to sway local governments to act as hosts by proposing reuse of the contaminated soil for public works projects under certain conditions.

One requirement would be that soil radiation levels below 8,000 becquerels per kilogram, the standard used by the government in classifying whether the waste material requires special treatment, could be used for various construction projects.

This poses a dilemma for Fukushima Prefecture, which fears local residents will be stuck with the problem despite repeated pledges by the government to move all contaminated soil from the prefecture.

Work got under way four years ago to move contaminated soil to intermediate storage facilities in Fukushima Prefecture. As of Feb. 19, the volume of soil transported to those facilities totaled 2.35 million cubic meters.

Initially, the government set a target date of March 2045 for moving all of the contaminated soil outside of Fukushima to a permanent storage facility.

However, discussions have yet to begin on where to build the structure.

Koji Yamada, an Environment Ministry official who has been involved in the issue, conceded it will not be easy to find a candidate municipality for the facility.

“We are now at the stage of trying to obtain understanding from a national perspective,” he said.

Ministry officials say that reusing contaminated soil to reduce the volume that eventually will have to be moved to the final storage facility could win favor from some municipalities.

A panel of experts set up by the Environment Ministry agreed in June 2016 that moving the entire volume of contaminated soil to a final storage facility is unrealistic.

The panel suggested that reducing the volume of contaminated soil by reusing portions deemed safe under radiation standards now in place seemed to offer the best option in finding a candidate site for the final storage facility.

It also proposed ways in which the soil could be reused; for example, in public works projects where the commissioning authority was clearly a responsible body.

The panel also proposed using the soil for the foundations of roads and embankments. It said sufficient quantities were available to ensure stable maintenance over many years.

When the panel met again last December, the members were briefed on the best-case scenario for the development of technology to reduce radiation levels in the soil. The most optimistic forecast was that as much as 99 percent of the debris could eventually be reused.

Under that scenario, only 30,000 cubic meters, or about 0.2 percent of the total volume, would have to be moved to the final storage facility to be buried there.

While Environment Ministry officials say that reusable treated soil would be considered for locations both within and outside Fukushima Prefecture, the only specific proposals made to date have been limited to three municipalities in Fukushima.

Local residents in two of those municipalities, one of which is Nihonmatsu, have mounted petition drives and other activities to block the reuse of contaminated soil in their areas. They contend that allowing such plans to go ahead would be at odds with government promises to store the soil outside of the prefecture.

The fact remains that the bulk of the contaminated soil is stored in Fukushima Prefecture. However, seven other prefectures also have a combined 330,000 cubic meters stored at various locations, such as parks and farmland.

Since August 2018, the Environment Ministry has been trying to determine whether using contaminated soil for land reclamation projects would prove detrimental to the health of local residents.

It has conducted field trials in Nasu, Tochigi Prefecture, and on the grounds of a facility operated by the Japan Atomic Energy Agency in Tokai, Ibaraki Prefecture.

But Nasu resident Masato Tashiro, who has been following the issue, was highly critical of the six-month period authorized to confirm the safety of such soil.

“That is way too short to make such a judgment, considering the fact the soil will be buried for such a long time,” Tashiro said. “Residents fear their health may be impaired over the long-term.”

(This article was written by Teru Okumura and Shintaro Egawa.)

February 28, 2019 Posted by | Japan, opposition to nuclear, wastes | Leave a comment

Remembering the success of an indigenous fight against nuclear waste dumping

Fight against nuclear waste dump remembered at Ward Valley Spiritual Gathering By GENTRY MEDRANO Director, Fort Mojave Indian Tribe Public Relations Department, 25 Feb 19, 

    NEEDLES — The Fort Mojave Indian Tribe hosted the 21st annual Ward Valley Spiritual Gathering on Feb. 16.

FMIT, along with supporters from the other five tribes along the Colorado River and environmental activists and allies, gathered to commemorate a 113-day occupation that led to defeating a proposal for a nuclear waste dump at Ward Valley.

In addition to honoring the individuals and organizations for the hard work, courage and dedication they brought to the successful occupation, the event was also a remembrance filled with songs from the Fort Mojave Tribal Band, traditional Bird Singing and Dancing, a Spirit Run, tributes, recognition and a history of Ward Valley.

In 1998 the occupation of the proposed dump site by the five river tribes: the Fort Mojave, Chemehuevi, Quechan, Cocopah and Colorado River Indian Tribes; along with environmental activists, took place at the Ward Valley site to fight and stop the proposed dump.

The resistance efforts prevented law enforcement from the Bureau of Land Management from entering the site, effectively stopping any test drilling or development.

Protesting that the waste dump would have desecrated sacred land, the tribes and activists prevailed when the U.S. Department of the Interior rescinded an eviction notice and canceled the test drilling.

The Interior Department terminated all actions regarding the Ward Valley dump proposal on Nov. 2, 1999, ending the fight with victory for the tribes and activists.

Ward Valley is about 25 miles west of Needles along Interstate 40 at Water Road

February 25, 2019 Posted by | indigenous issues, opposition to nuclear, Religion and ethics, USA, wastes | Leave a comment

Packed church in East Suffolk hears residents’ opposition to Sizewell C nuclear project

East Anglian Daily Times 23rd Feb 2019 Suffolk residents pack out Theberton church to have their say on Sizewell
C. Worried residents from across east Suffolk voiced their dismay about plans for Sizewell C at a public meeting near the proposed site on Saturday morning. Residents have long been concerned that the plan will have
long-lasting effects on the areas environment and tourist industry, while other issues such as roads, traffic and an anti-nuclear attitude were also voiced in the meeting organised by Theberton and Eastbridge Action Group on
Sizewell (TEAGS).

TEAGS representative Charles McDowell said that “The link road they have proposed will cut parishes in two, breaks up fields and makes them inviable for farming. “It makes you wonder if they [EDF] are out for revenge against the people of Theberton.” The power station’s proximity to nationally renowned nature reserve, RSPB Minsmere ruffled feathers with residents concerned for the safety of the birds, and in turn the effect a downturn would have on the local tourism economy, worth £250 million.

Adam Rowlands, the RSPB’s Suffolk area manager, said: “In terms of flora and fauna in the area, this is a matter of international importance.” Another resident said that the plans could see a ‘decimated natural environment’ left for his children and grandchildren.

County councillor Guy McGregor, who was responsible for the council’s previous response to the plan, said that although it would see opportunities for employment, the problems outweighed the benefits, highlighting the ‘constant stream’ of heavy goods vehicles that would create traffic and pollution. EDF’s plans could see up to 1,500 HGVs on
the county’s roads, in addition to the extra traffic that would be created by the construction of a new build town or campus which would house 2,400 workers at Eastbridge.

Richard Smith – who is now the county councillor leading negotiations with EDF – praised the efforts of TEAGS
and residents, saying: “There is no better way for a community to voice its concerns like how you have. It sends a huge message to EDF.” Mr Smith did warn however that the authority has ‘no direct power’, but urged residents to continue their campaign.

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

Three Green MP’s arrested after anti-nuclear protest at Belgian military base

Green MEPs held after anti-nuclear protest at Belgian military base, Guardian, Arthur Neslen in Brussels,  20 Feb 2019

UK’s Molly Scott Cato among those held after action over stockpiling of US nuclear bombs Three Green MEPs – including one from the UK – have been arrested after breaking into a Belgian military airbase to protest against its stockpiling of American B61 nuclear bombs.

The MEPs – Molly Scott Cato, Michèle Rivasi and Tilly Metz – unfurled a banner on a runway for F-16 fighter jets at the Kleine Brogel base in the east of the country calling for a nuclear-free Europe, before being taken into custody.

Another Green MEP, Thomas Waitz, was arrested in a demonstration outside the base, along with 11 other activists from the Belgian peace group Agir pour la Paix (Act for Peace), three of whom also scaled a 3.5-metre fence to get into the base.

The direct action protest follows the US withdrawal from the intermediate-range nuclear forces (INF) treaty earlier this month.

About 150 US nuclear weapons are thought to be scattered across Europe in Belgium, Germany, Italy and the Netherlands, compared with more than 7,000 at the peak of the cold war.

But campaigners fear this number could rapidly rise in any new arms race, and say each B61 has an explosive yield of up to 340 kilotons, 23 times more powerful than the bomb that devastated Hiroshima……..

Michèle Rivasi, the vice-chair of the Green party in the European parliamentsaid on Tuesday that: ““We are demanding the withdrawal of nuclear bombs at Kleine Brogel and also from Italy, Germany and the Netherlands. We urge all EU member states to sign and ratify the treaty prohibiting nuclear weapons. Our first objective is a Europe without nuclear arms.”.” …..

February 21, 2019 Posted by | EUROPE, opposition to nuclear | Leave a comment

Council in Wales strongly opposes nuclear waste burial proposals

Council leader voices ‘strong opposition’ to nuclear waste burial proposals are taking place in Wales next month as part of the search for a site in which to bury the country’s most dangerous radioactive waste,  Elizabeth BradfieldLocal Democracy Reporter, 18 Feb 19, 

The leader of Neath Port Talbot Council has said the local authority will not engage “at any level” when it comes to an upcoming consultation on possible sites where nuclear waste can be buried.

Meetings are taking place in Wales next month as part of the search for a site in which to bury the country’s most dangerous radioactive waste.

The UK Government wants to bury the lethal stockpile that has been accumulating from nuclear power stations over the last 60 years.

People in two areas – Swansea and Llandudno – are to be consulted as part of the hunt for a “willing host community”.

There are also consultations in eight parts of England.

At a full council meeting on Wednesday, February 14, council leader Rob Jones said: “There have been a number of articles in the media this week concerning public meetings to be organised, apparently, by an agency of the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority to consult on the possibility of sites being identified for the disposal of nuclear waste.

“I want to make it absolutely crystal clear that Neath Port Talbot Council will not be engaging in this process at any level.

“The Welsh Government has made it clear that they would only support such a proposal if the community concerned was willing.

“Well, ours is not as far as I’m concerned and that is the end of the matter.

“Moreover, in the unlikely event that a credible proposal emerged in any adjacent area, we would very strongly oppose that as well.”

The waste is currently stored in 20 sites around the country in specially-engineered containers but this is not seen as a long-term solution.

It is expected that the process of selecting an underground site and going through the planning and construction process will take decades with any chosen site first receiving waste in the 2040s.

The government website says that communities willing to take part on the consultation will receive £1m a year initially and up to £2.5m a year if boreholes are drilled.

A website has been set up by the UK Government to inform the public

February 19, 2019 Posted by | opposition to nuclear, UK, wastes | Leave a comment

‘Plutonium-fuelled ‘madness” – the idea of Britain’s nuclear waste transported for burial in Northern Ireland


‘Plutonium-fuelled madness, 8 February 2019 

Moving away from Brexit, The Daily Mirror says fears are mounting across Northern Ireland that tourist hotspots may be turned into a “dumping ground” for nuclear waste. It says spots across Northern Ireland, including the Mourne Mountains, the Causeway Glens, the Sperrins and Lough Neagh are being examined by a government firm hoping to find a permanent place for the UK’s radioactive material.

Shauna Corr reports that thousands have signed a petition against a Geological Disposal Facility in the Mournes, while Newry Mourne and Down Council has voted to write to Westminster saying it will never consent to a site in the area.

Friends of the Earth’s Declan Allison tells the paper: “We’ve heard some terrible ideas before but this is plutonium-fuelled madness.

“Shipping radioactive waste across the Irish Sea, then driving it along country roads, to store underground for hundreds of thousands of years sounds like a plan conceived in a radiation-addled brain.”

February 9, 2019 Posted by | Ireland, opposition to nuclear | Leave a comment

Anniversary of the momentous Cumbria County Council “no to a GDF” decisio

Council halted the search for a site to bury the nation’s nuclear waste
in Cumbria. In a impassioned speech, Council Leader, and now Cumbria Trust
Director, Eddie Martin refused to let the Managing Radioactive Waste (MRWS)
search process continue, recognising the overwhelming level of local
opposition and Cumbria’s unsuitable geology, amongst a number of other

Copeland borough council’s strategic nuclear and energy board
have already started to hold meetings behind closed doors to discuss
joining the new process. As well as sidelining the county council, the new
process also ignores public opinion. The first and only opportunity the
public will have to stop the undemocratic process is after 20 years, during
which time the area will be subjected to intrusive investigations and
significant blight.

February 2, 2019 Posted by | opposition to nuclear, UK | Leave a comment

Scotland kow tows to UK and Australian govts – rejects courageous Aboriginal appeal against nuclear waste transport

Last ditch aborigine appeal to Scotland to stop nuclear waste transfers to Australia,    By Martin Williams  29 Jan 19, SOME of the Aborigines who live in and around a sacred burial place in South Australia can still remember the clouds of poison that were the result of Britain’s nuclear bomb tests in the 1950s.

Many of the indigenous population claimed they were exposed to radiation as a result of the post-war atomic weapons tests in the desert and received compensation from the Australian government.

But a new kind of radiation could be heading to the remote sacred area of Wallerberdina – nuclear waste. The concerns are centred over a spot 280 miles north of Adelaide, which has become a potential location for Australia’s first nuclear dump.

The movement of waste is part of a deal that returns spent fuel processed at the nuclear facility currently being decommissioned to its country of origin.

Despite campaigners’ efforts it has emerged that David Peattie, chief executive of the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA), has insisted that there can be no change.

And now Aboriginal elder Regina McKenzie has made a last-ditch direct appeal to the First Minister for help to halt Dounreay’s dumping plans, calling for her “not to be part of the cultural genocide of Australian Aboriginal people”.

Mr Peattie said in a letter to UK campaigners who are fighting against the dumping: “The NDA does not have an option of retaining the waste in the UK.”

The Dounreay Waste Substitution Policy, agreed in 2012, sees waste from Australia, Belgium, Germany and Italy processed at the Scottish facility to make it safe for storage being returned to its country of origin.

The UK Government has previously confirmed that “a very small quantity of Australian-owned radioactive waste” is currently stored in the country.

Scottish Government policy allows for the substitution of the Dounreay nuclear waste with a “radiologically equivalent” amount of materials from Sellafield in Cumbria.

The proposed dump site is next to an indigenous protected area where Aborigines are still allowed to hunt, and is part of the traditional home of the Adnyamathanha people, one of several hundred indigenous groups in Australia. And Ms McKenzie, an Adnyamathanha woman who lives at Yappala in South Australia and leading campaigner against any dump, has told the Nicola Sturgeon in a letter that the substitution policy is “culturally inappropriate”.

Ms McKenzie, who has been trying to get a meeting with the First Minister since the start of last year, said: “Adnyamathanha people have lived and practised culture in our country since the beginning of time. We understand and have connections with our land in a way the Australian Government does not. It is our duty to care for our country, song/storylines for future generations.

“We know we have friends in Scotland and in the UK. My great grandfather was Joseph Thomas McKenzie from Aberdeen, so we have a great respect for our Scottish heritage. We ask that you do all in your power to cancel the agreement made with the British Government and send a message of support to our people that Scotland stands with us in our fight to protect our country.

“We have previously offered to crowdfund money to travel to Scotland to raise our concerns with you in person, and we extend the offer for you to visit us here on our country at the sacred women’s waterhole Pungka Pudinah so you can hear why we must protect our country, for all of our futures.

She has said the UK should not make the mistakes they did when the nuclear tests were conducted between 1956 and 1963 at Maralinga, part of the Woomera Prohibited Area in South Australia.

“Please do not be a part in cultural genocide of Australian Aboriginal people, the past atrocities that were practiced on all the nations of Aboriginal people, must be something of the past and not committed further,” she told Ms Sturgeon.

“This waste facility is just that, cultural genocide, it will stop future generations’ access to a significant site.

“Again I ask please listen with your ears and heart, be a voice for my people and help stop cultural genocide on a minority group only trying to keep our culture strong and survive.”

The local Aboriginal people claimed they were poisoned by the tests and, in 1994, the Australian Government reached a compensation settlement with Maralinga Tjarutja of $13.5 million in settlement of all claims in relation to the nuclear testing.

Despite the governments of Australia and the UK paying for two decontamination programmes, eight years ago concerns were expressed that some areas of the Maralinga test sites are still contaminated 10 years after being declared “clean”.

Campaigner Gary Cushway, a dual Australian-British citizen living in Glasgow, said the new appeal came after the reached deadlock on any movement in ditching the substitution policy. He said: “My argument remains the same, that the material shouldn’t be returned, at least until the final destination is known.”

the Aborigines from supporters in the UK was turned down by the First Minister. Rory Hedderly, the diary team manager, wrote back: “Unfortunately, due to considerable diary pressures, the First Minister is unable to meet with Ms McKenzie at this time.”

A Scottish Government spokesman said: “The Scottish Government believes any concerns expressed by indigenous people must be addressed and we sympathise with concerns relating to the location of the planned radioactive waste facility in Australia.

“However, this issue is a matter for the Australian authorities, who are responsible for waste arising from historic reprocessing of Australian spent fuels, carried out under contract at Dounreay.”

January 29, 2019 Posted by | AUSTRALIA, indigenous issues, opposition to nuclear, politics international, UK | Leave a comment

Hibakusha and anti-nuclear activists versus the corporate nuclear goliaths 


Ground Zecorporatero Nagasaki: Living the nuclear past – and future, Asia Times, By SUSAN SOUTHARD JANUARY 18, 2019  A David-and-Goliath nuclear world

“………..I returned to Nagasaki in November to participate in the city’s sixth Global Citizens Assembly for the Elimination of Nuclear Weapons. Specifically, I was invited to present on a panel tasked with exploring ways to carry forward the hibakusha stories.

What made the conference unique was the participation of both  hibakusha and other citizens of Nagasaki, including high-school and university students, scholars, activists, artists, musicians, writers and interpreters. All of them were intent on exploring new ways to communicate stories of survival, from August 1945 to now, experiences that should remind us why the vision of a world without nuclear weapons matters.

Both panelists and participants again confronted the intensity of nuclear war. As hibakusha Kado Takashi, 83, prepared to stand before the assembly and tell his story for the very first time, he turned to me and pounded his heart with his hands to show me how terrified he was. Then, summoning his courage, he began to speak.

Yamanishi Sawa, 17, tenderly told her grandmother’s story of survival and her own tale of teenage activism both at her school and in meetings with anti-nuclear activists in Geneva, Switzerland. Everyday citizens adopted the stories of hibakusha no longer with us, using the survivors’ own words to recall the hell – and humanity – of nuclearized Nagasaki.

All of this, and more, reminded us of what those survivors have long known but the rest of the world seldom stops to grasp: that there’s nothing abstract about nuclear war and that nuclear weapons can never be instruments of peace.

They know what the world’s top nuclear physicists (and the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists with its doomsday clock) have been telling us for decades: Whether by intentional use, human error, technological failure, or an act of terrorism, our world remains at high risk of a nuclear conflagration that could leave Hiroshima and Nagasaki in the shade. Rather than a great-power war, even a regional nuclear conflict between, say, India and Pakistan could create a planetary “nuclear winter” that might, in the end, kill up to a billion people.

Keep in mind, as these Nagasaki activists do, that today there are nearly 15,000 weapons in the nuclear arsenals of nine countries. Of these, almost 4,000 are actively deployed across the globe. Theoretically, they are meant to deter another country from launching a nuclear attack, but the success of such deterrence policies relies, in part, on both technological invulnerability and relatively rational decision-makers. Need more be said in the age of Trump, Kim Jong Un, and others?

Most important, for nuclear deterrence to work, a nation must be committed to – and believed by other nations to be committed to – the mass murder, injury and irradiation of huge civilian populations. We rarely consider what this really means.

It was difficult to tell an audience like the one in Nagasaki that many Americans still wholeheartedly support both the atomic bombings of Japan and their country’s continuing development of its nuclear arsenal. To mitigate this discouraging truth, I cited something Wada Koichi told me years ago.

Now 91, Wada was inside Nagasaki’s streetcar terminal when the bomb brought the building crashing down on top of him and his coworkers. If you can call anything about surviving nuclear war lucky, he was one of the lucky ones. He suffered only minor injuries and mild radiation sickness, and all of his family members survived.

The rest of them evacuated Nagasaki after the bombing, but he stayed to work, day after day, on rescue and recovery teams. He watched his best friend die, lighting the match to the boy’s makeshift funeral pyre. In November 1945, when seven streetcars resumed operation on a few routes in the city, he drove the fourth one, thrilled to be a part of

Nagasaki’s recovery.

Sixty years after the bombing, Wada would awaken every morning at 5am, open his bedroom window, and look out on to the Urakami Valley, marveling at how the city had been rebuilt from those atomic ruins. “One person can’t do anything,” he told me, “but if many people gather together, they can accomplish unimaginable things. If it’s possible to rebuild this city out of nothing, why isn’t it possible for us to eliminate war and nuclear weapons, to create peace? We can’t not do it!”

Before I left Nagasaki, I visited the hypocenter memorial and looked up into the blue sky at the spot where, I imagined, the atomic bomb had exploded, changing human history forever. I spent 12 years writing  Nagasaki: Life After Nuclear War, and the stories of that city and its hibakusha remain part of every breath I take.

The hibakusha of Nagasaki and Hiroshima and the other anti-nuclear activists across the globe – including members of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, which won the 2018 Nobel Peace Prize for their work in passing the Treaty for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons – are the Davids of our world. They face the Goliaths – those nuclear-weapons states that cling to arsenals capable of destroying humanity.

In the face of such resolute, immensely powerful Goliaths, the Davids are the next generation of energetic, passionate, creative thinkers who single-mindedly refuse to let us forget or rationalize Nagasaki and Hiroshima, and who believe in a world of mutually supported international safety without nuclear weapons.

On behalf of Wada Koichi, all hibakusha past and present, and the entire human race, my bet is on them.

This article appeared previously at TomDispatchRead the original here.


January 19, 2019 Posted by | 2 WORLD, Arclight's Vision, opposition to nuclear | Leave a comment

‘There should be no nuclear in climate financing’ Jan 19

Prize-winning South African activist Makoma Lekalakala’s successful legal battle to stop a secret nuclear power deal in her homeland won her international acclaim. She tells DW about defending the environment in court.

DW: What have you been campaigning for?

Makoma Lekalakala: My major campaigning issue, it’s mitigation against climate change and with a specific focus on electricity generation in the country [South Africa] — it’s almost 90 percent from coal. And we know that coal is a major contributor of greenhouse gas emissions, so our campaign has been for a just transition towards a low carbon development.

We’re demanding a greater investment in renewable energy technologies, particularly that we can have a decentralized electricity system where solar and wind would play a major role.

The technology, we need a lot of investment in that so that we can be able to eradicate energy poverty. Local people can have their own socially-owned and community-owned renewable energy projects and co-operatives so that they can have access to electricity.

For us to be able to do that, a just transition for us would mean phasing out coal electricity generation and having no nuclear at all as part of the energy mix, and having wind and solar being increased as part of our energy mix.

Our main mission is for me to ensure that, or to advocate that, there should be no nuclear in climate financing.

Why are you against nuclear power?

Earth Life is an anti-nuclear organization, because we believe that nuclear, it’s not safe. It’s an old technology that comes from the war era and it’s not even safe for us to be able to use for various reasons. It’s not economic, it’s quite expensive, it’s not safe, it’s quite dangerous.

We can remember all the accidents that have taken place, from Fukushima, from Three Mile Island, and nuclear also leaves a legacy of radioactiveness for hundreds and hundreds of years to come.

South Africa has got a principal policy on having an energy mix as part of the energy supply of the country. However, that legislation and regulations imply that if we have an energy mix we should also decide what kind of energy we would want to be part of the mix.

What we have in South Africa, which is written in the legislation, is that the energy choice should be least cost. That is having less externalized costs to the environment, to the atmosphere.

This is not the case around nuclear. And what we’ve seen is that the government also had flouted regulations and legislation by forcing some Africans to accept nuclear power.

Can you tell us more about your legal battle against the controversial secret nuclear power deal between South Africa and Russia? 

In 2015 October, Earth Life Africa filed papers against the state president, against the Department of Energy, against the National Energy Regulator of South Africa, because we felt that these three institutions were supposed to be able to forward the information that was public information. It was suspected that the political elites in the country were actually the drivers of the nuclear deal.

We went to the court based on the legislative and regulatory processes in the country that were flouted, not followed, because all the other agreements were done in secret. That’s how the nuclear industry operates.

So we were vindicated that all the processes in the constitution, our regulations, were not followed at all in favor of the Russians to get to build or to construct the nuclear reactors.

One of the main issues why we opposed, or why we are opposing nuclear energy, is that we don’t want to turn our country, our continent and the world as a radioactive zone where life cannot exist.

What are the main environmental issues in South Africa?

The main environmental issue in South Africa, it’s pollution. As we speak now, South Africans, particularly in hotspot pollution areas, are unable to breathe. In Mpumalanga, where there’s almost about 11 coal-fired power stations and coal mines, this is an area that is very highly polluted and it’s one of the most polluted areas in the world.

Makoma Lekalakala is director of Earthlife Africa’s Johannesburg branch, an environmental non-profit organization. Together with Liziwe McDaid, she won the Goldman Environmental Prize for 2018 for stopping a controversial nuclear power deal between South Africa and Russia.

This interview was conducted by Louise Osborne and edited by Melanie Hall.

January 15, 2019 Posted by | opposition to nuclear, South Africa | Leave a comment

People Against Wylfa B (PAWB) has warned for years of the coming financial failure of Wylfa nuclear project

Wales Online 11th Jan 2019 , The campaigning group People Against Wylfa B (PAWB) said in a statement: “Should the news be confirmed at a meeting of the Hitachi Board next week
then it will be a relief for all of us who worry about the future of our
island, our country, our language, our environment and indeed renewable

PAWB has warned for years that the costs associated with the Wylfa
project would be likely to prove fatal to the project, but we were ignored.
“Consequently, millions of taxpayers’ money from the island, Wales and
the UK was invested to back Wylfa B. In addition huge political capital has
been invested, and there has been a failure to have a mature public
discussion about the project other than in terms of cash and jobs.

“The legacy of this, if the reports from Japan prove to be true, is that over a
decade has been wasted on Wylfa, with very little alternative economic
planning in evidence. Our young people have been promised jobs on very
shaky foundations. “Good land has been destroyed to create infrastructure
to back the project. It is time for politicians and officials from the UK
Government, the Welsh Government and Anglesey to admit that they were
wrong. “Wales is rich in natural resources which can be used to create a
vibrant and sustainable energy future, and above all else create more jobs
in less time than Wylfa would have done.”

January 14, 2019 Posted by | opposition to nuclear, UK | Leave a comment