From the Media Co-op, Uranium’s Chilling Effects
Not only is Dale Smith a soft-spoken fisherman and wild rice grower, he is also a dedicated community activist who is taking two of the world’s largest uranium mining companies to court. Smith recently filed a lawsuit together with 38 people and organizations to fight back against a $200 million agreement that he says will effectively muzzle opposition to future uranium mines.
“What I’m seeing and experiencing now is that there’s a silencing,” Smith, a lifelong Métis resident of the northern village of Pinehouse, told The Dominion. “I don’t think people really truly understand the significance of what happened to my community.”
The uranium industry is rapidly expanding its sphere of control in northern Saskatchewan, and the impacts of its widening footprint aren’t limited to the lands and waters. Residents of affected communities are speaking out against an increasing corporate influence that is altering local governance and diminishing opportunities for critical public participation.
Pinehouse residents became very active when the threat of the community becoming a nuclear waste disposal site became real. The Committee for Future Generations worked hard to involve citizens and the greater public in their struggle to exclude Pinehouse from the list of possible locations. And they succeeded. But the Town of Creighton saw the matter in a different light and welcomed the possibility of more jobs in the area. It is on the shortlist.
Regardless where the Nuclear Waste Management Organization decides to dump the waste the question remains, can it be done safely over the course of the waste’s lifetime, which far surpasses the life of any one generation of humans.
From the Committee for Future Generation’s research files regarding the hazards of Nuclear Waste:
Hazards of Nuclear Waste
A pro-nuke video featuring “former” anti-nuclear activists is making the rounds.
Pittsylvania Co., VA– Two local groups aimed at bringing uranium mining to Pittsylvania County will be showing a movie this weekend to inform the public of its benefits.
Read about it here.
PANDORA’S PROMISE asks whether the one technology we fear most could save our planet from a climate catastrophe, while providing the energy needed to lift billions of people in the developing world out of poverty. In his controversial new film, Stone tells the intensely personal stories of environmentalists and energy experts who have undergone a radical conversion from being fiercely anti to strongly pro-nuclear energy, risking their careers and reputations in the process. Stone exposes this controversy within the environmental movement head-on with stories of defection by heavy weights including Stewart Brand, Richard Rhodes, Gwyneth Cravens, Mark Lynas and Michael Shellenberger. Undaunted and fearlessly independent, PANDORA’S PROMISE is a landmark work that is forever changing the conversation about the myths and science behind this deeply emotional and polarizing issue.
Pro-nuke film reviewers love it.
Bored by the tranche of lefty-liberal journalistic documentaries which attempt to uncover the manifold ills of the modern world and bring sickening tyrants to justice? If so, Robert Stone’s Pandora’s Promise could be the documentary you. It’s not a film which tells us something we already know from reading the newspapers in an emotive and informative way, it’s a film which dares to challenge ingrained perceptions and offers radical new perspectives on a taboo subject.
Pandora’s Promise, is a new pro-nuclear propaganda documentary released theatrically in the US in July 2013. It is funded in part by individuals with a vested interest in seeing the development of new reactors and is seemingly a vehicle by which to raise the profile of the anti-environmental Oakland think tank, The Breakthrough Institute, whose personnel feature prominently in the film. Despite the film’s premise and early claim that it features “a growing number of leading former anti-nuclear activists” who now support nuclear energy, no one in the film ever led the anti-nuclear movement. Nor was any credible, independent scientific or medical professional with expertise in the areas covered in the film consulted or featured. Beyond Nuclear has bird-dogged the film from the beginning, and has produced numerous critiques. We have also published a definitive report – Pandora’s False Promises: Busting the pro-nuclear propaganda – and a two-page synopsis. These documents address virtually all of the myths, lies and omissions typically found in pro-nuclear rhetoric and are intended to address these long after Pandora’s Promise fades into deserved oblivion.
The good news is that when CNN aired it, few watched.
CNN’s airing last night of the documentary Pandora’s Promise delivered a wet 345,000 total viewers in its 9-11 PM time slot and just 145,000 among adults 25-54. The heavily promoted Robert Stone-directed film was way, way down from the 1.36 million that CNN Films’ Blackfish drew in total viewers in the same slot two weeks beforehand.
It seems folks are more interested in films about killer whales than pro-nuclear propaganda. Thank goodness!
May the film fade into obscurity…
Even with the irresponsible Fords hogging the headlines with their right winginess, Toronto City Council managed to do something good! From Stop the Great Lakes Nuclear Dump
City of Toronto Joins Call to Stop Proposed Nuclear Waste Dump beside the Great Lakes
TORONTO, ONTARIO November 14, 2013—A growing number of communities, organizations and citizens are opposing Ontario Power Generation’s plan to build an underground nuclear waste dump (a Deep Geological Repository) approximately 1km from the shore of Lake Huron. Public hearings on the matter were closed on October 30, 2013 by a Joint Review Panel and a Federal government decision is expected in 2014.
Today the City of Toronto unanimously passed Councillor Mike Layton’s motion for a resolution opposing OPG’s proposed nuclear waste repository. Toronto joins Mississauga, Oakville, London, Hamilton and many others organizations, citizens and communities in Ontario, Michigan and Ohio in formally opposing OPG’s plan. ‘It is vitally important to human health, the environment and to the Great Lakes economy that the Great Lakes be protected from the threats of any potential radioactive contamination’ said Councillor Layton, the initiator of the motion. The Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Cities Initiative, an organization of over 100 Canadian and American cities, including Toronto, is formally opposing OPG’s plan. ‘Today the City of Toronto took action to protect the drinking water of our citizens as well as the 40 million people living in the Great Lakes region. We would strongly encourage OPG to explore alternative sites outside of the Great Lakes Basin’ said Councillor Crawford.
Michigan State Senator Hoon-Yung Hopgood and Representative Sarah Roberts, who are rallying the public and Michigan politicians to oppose the nuclear dump, note ‘Placing a permanent nuclear waste burial facility so close to Lake Huron is ill-advised. If a radioactive leak were to occur, it could be devastating to our economies and to our valuable drinking water sources.’
U.S. Congressmen Dan Kildee, Sander Levin, Gary Peters and John Dingell have written a letter to the Joint Review Panel expressing serious concern. U.S. Senators Carl Levin and Debbie Stabenow also have urged US Secretary of State John Kerry to ‘encourage the Canadian government to reconsider placing a nuclear waste dump near the shores of Lake Huron.’
‘We are delighted that Canada’s largest city is showing leadership and taking action to protect this irreplaceable fresh water resource’ said Beverly Fernandez, Spokesperson of Stop The Great Lakes Nuclear Dump, a non-profit citizens group that launched a campaign to raise awareness about OPG’s plan and a petition that now has almost 42,000 signatures opposing OPG’s proposal. ‘It absolutely defies common sense to bury the most toxic waste humans have ever produced, that remains lethal and dangerous for 100,000 years, approximately 1 km from the drinking water of 40 million people in two countries,’ Fernandez said.
Stop The Great Lakes Nuclear Dump is a non-profit organization comprised of concerned Canadians who believe that the protection of the Great Lakes from buried radioactive nuclear waste is responsible stewardship, and is of national and international importance. In order to protect our precious natural resource, the Great Lakes, our group believes that radioactive nuclear waste should not be buried anywhere in the Great Lakes Basin. We are urging citizens to sign our online petition and to send a message to the Minister of the Environment to stand up for the protection of the Great Lakes.
From: Indigenous Action Media
Indigenous Elders and Medicine Peoples Council Statement on Fukushima
View the original statement with signatures here (PDF): COUNCIL_FUKUSHIMA_STATEMENT_OCT_2013.
This statement reflects the wisdom of the Spiritual People of the Earth, of North and South America, working in unity to restore peace, harmony and balance for our collective future and for all living beings. This statement is written in black and white with a foreign language that is not our own and does not convey the full depth of our concerns.
The Creator created the People of the Earth into the Land at the beginning of
Creation and gave us a way of life. This way of life has been passed down
generation-to-generation since the beginning. We have not honored this way of
life through our own actions and we must live these original instructions in order
to restore universal balance and harmony. We are a part of Creation;
thus, if we break the Laws of Creation, we destroy ourselves.
We, the Original Caretakers of Mother Earth, have no choice but to follow and uphold
the Original Instructions, which sustains the continuity of Life. We recognize our
umbilical connection to Mother Earth and understand that she is the source of life, not a
resource to be exploited. We speak on behalf of all Creation today, to communicate an
urgent message that man has gone too far, placing us in the state of survival. We warned
that one day you would not be able to control what you have created. That day is here.
Not heeding warnings from both Nature and the People of the Earth keeps us on the path
of self destruction. This self destructive path has led to the Fukushima nuclear crisis, Gulf
oil spill, tar sands devastation, pipeline failures, impacts of carbon dioxide emissions and
the destruction of ground water through hydraulic fracking, just to name a few. In
addition, these activities and development continue to cause the deterioration and
destruction of sacred places and sacred waters that are vital for Life.
Powerful technologies are out of control and are threatening the future of all life
The Fukushima nuclear crisis alone is a threat to the future of humanity. Yet, our concern
goes far beyond this single threat. Our concern is with the cumulative and
compounding devastation that is being wrought by the actions of human beings around
the world. It is the combination of resource extraction, genetically modified organisms,
moral failures, pollution, introduction of invasive species and much much more that are
threatening the future of life on Earth. The compounding of bad decisions and their
corresponding actions are extremely short-sighted. They do not consider the future
generations and they do not respect or honor the Creator’s Natural Law. We strongly
urge for the governmental authorities to respond with an open invitation to work and
consult with us to solve the world’s problems, without war. We must stop waging war
against Mother Earth, and ourselves.
We acknowledge that all of these devastating actions originated in human beings who are
living without regard for the Earth as the source of life. They have strayed from the
Original Instructions by casting aside the Creator’s Natural Law. It is now critical for
humanity to acknowledge that we have created a path to self destruction. We must restore
the Original Instructions in our lives to halt this devastation.
The sanctity of the Original Instructions has been violated. As a result, the Spiritual
People of the Earth were called ceremonially to come together at the home of the Sacred
White Buffalo Calf Pipe Bundle. These Spiritual Leaders and those that carry great
responsibility for their people from both North and South America came together with the
sacred fire for four days at the end of September 2013 to fulfill their sacred
responsibilities. During this time it was revealed that the spirit of destruction gained its’
strength by our spiritually disconnected actions. We are all responsible in varying
degrees for calling forth this spirit of destruction, thus we are all bound to begin
restoring what we have damaged by helping one another recover our sacred
responsibility to the Earth. We, the Original Caretakers of Mother Earth, offer our
spiritual insight, wisdom and vision to the global community to help guide the actions
needed to overcome the current threats to all life.
We only have to look at our own bodies to recognize the sacred purpose
of water on Mother Earth. We respect and honor our spiritual relationship
with the lifeblood of Mother Earth. One does not sell or contaminate their
mother’s blood. These capitalistic actions must stop and we must recover
our sacred relationship with the Spirit of Water
The People of the Earth understand that the Fukushima nuclear crisis continues to
threaten the future of all life. We understand the full implications of this crisis even with
the suppression of information and the filtering of truth by the corporate owned media
and Nation States. We strongly urge the media, corporations and Nation States to
acknowledge and convey the true facts that threaten us, so that the international
community may work together to resolve this crisis, based on the foundation of Truth.
We urge the international community, government of Japan and TEPCO to unify efforts
to stabilize and re-mediate the nuclear threat posed at the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear
power plant. To ensure that the Japanese government and TEPCO are supported with
qualified personnel and information, we urge the inclusion of today’s nuclear experts
from around the world to collaborate, advise and provide technical assistance to prevent
further radioactive contamination or worse, a nuclear explosion that may have
The foundation for peace will be strengthened by restoring the Original Instructions in ourselves
Prophecies have been shared and sacred instructions were given. We, the People of the
Earth, were instructed that the original wisdom must be shared again when imbalance
and disharmony are upon Mother Earth. In 1994 the sacred white buffalo, the giver of
the sacred pipe, returned to the Lakota, Dakota and Nakota people bringing forth the
sacred message that the winds of change are here. Since that time many more
messengers in the form of white animals have come, telling us to wake up my children. It
is time. So listen for the sacred instruction.
All Life is sacred. We come into Life as sacred beings. When we abuse the
sacredness of Life we affect all Creation
We urge all Nations and human beings around the world to work with us, the Original
Caretakers of Mother Earth, to restore the Original Instructions and uphold the
Creator’s Natural Law as a foundation for all decision making, from this point forward.
Our collective future as human beings is in our hands, we must address the Fukushima
nuclear crisis and all actions that may violate the Creator’s Natural Law. We have
reached the crossroads of life and the end of our existence. We will avert this potentially
catastrophic nuclear disaster by coming together with good minds and prayer as a global
community of all faiths.
We are the People of the Earth united under the Creator’s Law with a sacred covenant to
protect and a responsibility to extend Life for all future generations. We are expressing
deep concern for our shared future and urge everyone to awaken spiritually. We must
work in unity to help Mother Earth heal so that she can bring back balance and harmony
for all her children.
Representatives of the Council
Chief Arvol Looking Horse
19th Generation Keeper of the Sacred White Buffalo Calf Pipe
The Great Sioux Nation
Bobby C. Billie
Clan Leader and Spiritual Leader
Council of the Original Miccosukee
Simanolee Nation Aboriginal Peoples
Faith Spotted Eagle, Tunkan Inajin Win
Brave Heart Society Grandmother/Headswoman & Ihanktonwan Treaty Council
Ihanktonwan Dakota from the Oceti Sakowin
You can read the piece that landed in my Inbox this a.m., below. To summarize, “The Government of Saskatchewan has demonstrated its commitment to oil sands exploration and development.”
Some additional info:
—– Original Message —–
From: Oilsands Quest Inc.
Sent: Friday, July 15, 2011 6:22 AM
Subject: Oilsands Quest receives approval for 15-year leases for Axe Lake lands
Oilsands Quest receives approval for 15-year leases for Axe Lake lands
CALGARY, July 15, 2011 /CNW/ – Oilsands Quest Inc. (NYSE Amex:BQI) (“OQI” or “the Company”).
Oilsands Quest is pleased to announce that it has received approval from the Government of Saskatchewan to convert portions of the Axe Lake permits to 15-year leases. These leases, the first oil sands leases in Saskatchewan, are one of the key elements the Company needs in place to proceed to development of a commercial oil sands production facility.
“These leases mark a key milestone in our path forward,” said Garth Wong, Chief Executive Officer of Oilsands Quest. “In the past, some potential investors have expressed concern about the short term permits under which the Axe Lake lands were held. The 15-year leases will give us the certainty of land tenure we need to underpin commercial development at Axe Lake. The Government of Saskatchewan has demonstrated its commitment to oil sands exploration and development, and we appreciate its confidence that Oilsands Quest will be able to deliver on the value of these assets both for our investors and for the people of Saskatchewan.”
The two leases, OSA00001 and 0SA00002 will be governed under the terms of the Petroleum and Natural Gas Regulations, 1969 and will expire on March 31, 2027.
Please see http://www.oilsandsquest.com/our_projects/july15-2011-map.html to view a map showing Oilsands Quest’s land leases and permits.
About Oilsands Quest
Oilsands Quest Inc. (www.oilsandsquest.com) is exploring and developing oil sands permits and licences, located in Saskatchewan and Alberta, and developing Saskatchewan’s first commercial oil sands discovery. It is leading the establishment of the province of Saskatchewan’s emerging oil sands industry.
For further information:
Investor Line: 1-877-718-8941
Lots of stuff going on since I last posted here. Besides the Rider’s being in the Western Semi-final today, I mean. 😉
Dr. Jim Harding, ardent no-nukes activist and author, has started a website
to provide an archive of material related to the nuclear industry, renewable energy and other issues related to sustainable development.
The great part is that he’s also doing a blog, filling us in on things such as proposed uranium mines, watershed gatherings in the north and the need for a nuclear waste ban in Saskatchewan, to name a few.
The most recent, the call for the nuke waste ban has come about again because there’s talk about trekking spent radioactive waste from Ontario and into northern Saskatchewan for permanent storage. Besides this being yet another case of ecological racism, it’s yet another case of Chernobyl on Wheels. Tens of thousands of Europeans persistently lined the shipments’ route to express their outrage over the issue.
What happened is that once people became educated about the issue, they became outraged. And in searching for a way to express it, they organized themselves. It’s what Saskatchewan residents did when the Wall government tried to shove the Uranium Development Partnership upon us. A result of that was citizens coming together to form The Coalition for a Clean Green Saskatchewan, a province-wide combination of citizens and organizations working together for, as the name says, a clean and green future for our province.
After a lull, the group is preparing to take on the next challenge to the goal of a green future, the transport and storage of nuclear waste. Various documents are moving about, being shared across the province, the continent and around the world as the industry moves forward in its greed.
The most recent document to cross my desk is one by the Assembly of First Nations. The Nuclear Fuel Waste Dialogue: Recommendations to the Nuclear Waste Management Organization was prepared following consultations and discussions with First Nations communities. I’m certain it will prove to be a very useful document for it’s something to which governments, citizens and First Nations communities can point and refer in their discernment and educational processes regarding the storage of nuclear waste on their lands.
So, lots going on. Lots to do. More later.
Grab a coffee or tea. Find a snack. Lots of linky news today so this could take a while!
First up: A Calgary nuke company, Kirrin Resources, is not going to expand its exploration for uranium in Quebec. That’s good news for Quebec’s citizens. Not so good for Saskatchewan though. A few days ago, the company said they’re moving into Saskatchewan.
Kirrin Resources Inc. said it will enter into a 70-30 joint venture with Majesta Resources Inc. on the 36,287-hectare Key Lake Southwest property after agreeing to a deal worth roughly $3.3 million.
Next? A guy who thinks he knows something about nuclear reactors because he once worked at one, is now a nuke promoter. Read it and weep.
The IFR uses higher energy neutrons — “fast” neutrons — to cause the fuel atoms to split and release their energy. This particular kind of fast reactor can use all the various isotopes of uranium in its fuel load. Therefore, costly enrichment procedures are not needed to make reactor fuel. This reactor also can use the various trans-uranic elements as fuel. This is important. All of the extremely long-lived fission byproducts of pressurized water reactors just happen to be fuel material for this fast neutron reactor.
The non-usable material in used-up IFR fuel has a half life of about 500 years. This is still a long period of time but much more manageable than a period of billions of years. Further, the volume or mass of this material will be considerably less.
It gets better.
Better? Ya, right! Where do they find these guys? How much do they pay them?
The Obama administration has embarked on a high-stakes gamble: devoting billions of dollars to an expansion of nuclear power in the hope of winning Republican votes for a climate bill. But in its eagerness to drum up bipartisan support for one of the hardest sells on Obama’s policy agenda, is the administration turning a blind eye to the financial risk?
Bradford, the former nuclear regulator, observes that if the Georgia reactors alone defaulted, taxpayers could be left with a bill of as much as $8.3 billion. “If the Tea Party folks ever figure that out, the [DOE] building is going to be three floors deep in tea bags,” he says. “This administration desperately needs someone to point out that this emperor isn’t wearing any clothes.”
Citizens in the USA ain’t necessarily buying Obama’s nuke dreams. A US blogger, Greenhoof, calls Obama’s nuke promotion a “greenwashing.” That’s a good word, one I need to consider using more often. S/he tells it like it is:
President Obama has justified his proposed $55 billion in taxpayer-backed loan guarantees for new nuclear reactors by misrepresenting nuclear reactors as the largest “carbon-free” energy source in the United States. That’s like saying McDonald’s should be put in charge of a nationwide obesity campaign because it’s the largest restaurant in the U.S. that sells salads.
The argument that nuclear is “carbon-free” conveniently omits the entire process of mining uranium, which produces greenhouse gases, along with other pollutants. In Virginia, where a study has just been commissioned to determine its safety, uranium is mined in open pits. This destroys topsoil and increases runoff, which contaminates drinking water with cancer-causing toxins.
More stuff: Here’s a little tidbit from Australia, another uranium-producing nation with a strong no-nukes movement.
James Neal Blue who helped devise the Predator unmanned aircraft that are in use in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, is the director of a company that bought the Four Mile uranium mine in Australia. Blue is the chairman of Quasar Resources, which is affiliated with General Atomics, a major United States weapons and nuclear energy corporation. General Atomics reportedly holds $700 million in Pentagon contracts. The Four Mile mine is located next to the Beverly Uranium mine, with is owned by another affiliate of General Atomics.
I guess all those pro-nukers like to play in one big tub, eh? Here’s more on that Ozzie deal.
More CA news: A Canadian reporter did the math on the Canadian government’s contribution to the nuclear industry and it’s not good! “Over two years, we’re talking more than $1.1 billion” being spent, about half of it going to the AECL. Remember the Chalk River Fiasco?
Finally, this, from Kazakhstan:
Leading energy and mining firms from Russia, China, Japan, France and Canada have already invested billions here. Kazakhstan, meanwhile, is seeking to leverage its ore into a larger role in the global nuclear industry and has taken a stake in the U.S.-based nuclear giant Westinghouse.
Only the nation’s fledgling environmental movement has dared object, pointing out that Kazakhstan has yet to recover from its days as the Soviet Union’s main atomic test site.
The Soviets conducted 456 nuclear blasts in northeastern Kazakhstan, more than anyone else anywhere in the world. Much of the region remains contaminated, residents suffer elevated rates of cancer and other radiation-related illnesses, and babies continue to be born with deformities.
“Nothing good can come of the world’s push for nuclear energy, and we should understand this better because of our past,” said Mels Eleusizov, a veteran environmentalist who complains that the uranium industry is shrouded in secrecy, with no independent monitoring.
Indeed, nothing good can come from nukes and nukers, no matter how you wash it.
Sorry for the length. Lots going on these days…