Activist Killed As Nazis Attack Anti-Nuclear Camp

This is a very frightening attempt to shut down dissent on the nuclear issue! It’s dated, but news to me.  From UK Indymedia

Activist Killed As Nazis Attack Anti-Nuclear Camp In Siberia

imc-uk-features | 24.07.2007 23:00 | Ecology | Repression | World

In the early morning of 21st July, neo-nazi skinheads launched a vicious and unprovoked attack on an anti-nuclear protest camp in Angarsk, Siberia, Russia (see map). The nazis violently attacked activists in their sleeping bags and tents with iron rods, knives and air pressure guns. 21 year old Ilya Borodaenko from Nachodka suffered a head-fracture during the attack and later died in hospital from his injuries. At least nine others have been reported to be seriously injured, one of which has had both their legs broken. Tents were set on fire and several belongings were stolen.

Read the full entry.

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Praying for a toxic end?

This editorial in The Times of India says almost everything that no one in power wants to talk about:

Nuclear energy is toxic
21 Nov 2007, 0001 hrs IST,S H VENKATRAMANI

Amidst the chest-thumping over signing the Indo-US nuclear deal, we have turned a blind eye to the dangers of nuclear energy. We are celebrating our success in persuading the US to rescind its earlier sanctions against India.

The deal will give us access to state-of-the-art nuclear reactor technology. But we have forgotten that there is a very thin line separating nuclear reactor technology and nuclear weapons technology. We need to understand the dangers of using nuclear reactors.

Developed countries, particularly the US, are worried about growing international suspicion that North Korea and Iran are close to making their own nuclear bombs. If countries and sovereign governments cannot be trusted with nuclear weapons, we cannot ignore the possible threat of extremists and radical elements accessing nuclear reactor technology and making their own nuclear bombs. The present political crisis in Pakistan, for instance, opens up the possibility of such groups acquiring access to nuclear bombs.

What makes nuclear energy itself so dangerous is that every commercial nuclear reactor produces 400-500 pounds of plutonium in a year, along with other nuclear waste material. Just 10-20 pounds of plutonium is needed to make a bomb. An average nuclear reactor, therefore, produces enough plutonium waste to make 50 nuclear bombs in a year.

Lethally radioactive plutonium thus brings nuclear reactor technology dangerously close to nuclear weapons technology.

 

In Australia, a political candidate is urging voters to:

Pray for more uranium use: Tollner

An election forum in the marginal Top End seat of Solomon has heard that people should be praying Australia sells huge amounts of uranium to China.Incumbent Coalition candidate Dave Tollner used the forum to claim nuclear power is the only way to effectively tackle global warming. He was scathing about any policy that would see Australia reduce its uranium mining.

“We should be praying that China and India take as much of our uranium as possible to reduce their reliance on coal power. The fact is, the only way that we are going to produce ongoing baseload power… is to export as much of our uranium to them as possible.”

Ignorance and greed really do go hand in hand, don’t they?

And, finally, is DU the way out?

Can anything be done to halt the use of these genocidal weapons? Francis Boyle, Professor of International Law at the University of Illinois and author of The Criminality of Nuclear Deterrence, thinks so. He has launched a campaign for a global pact against uranium weapons.

Boyle points out that the 1925 Geneva Protocol prohibits “the use in war of asphyxiating, poisonous or other gases and of all analogous liquids, materials or devices.” Clearly, he says, DU is “analogous” to poison gas.

The government of France is the official depository for the 1925 Geneva Protocol. Boyle contends that rather than aiming for an international treaty prohibiting the use of DU, which would probably take years, pressure should be put on every state to submit a letter to the French government to enforce a ban.

“All that needs to be done is for anti-DU citizens, activists and NGOs in every country to pressure their foreign minister to write to their French counterpart, drawing attention to the Protocol for the Prohibition of the Use in War of Asphyxiating, Poisonous or Other Gases and of Bacteriological Methods of Warfare of 17th June 1925, prohibiting uses as above.”

The letter should add that this Protocol is believed to “already prohibit the use in war of depleted uranium ammunition, uranium armor plate and all other uranium weapons.” A request should be made that the letter be circulated to all other High Contracting Parties to the 1925 Protocol and addressed to:

His Excellency,

The Foreign Minister,

Republic of France,

37, Quai d’Orsay,

75351 Paris, France.

Or Fax: 33-1-43-17-4275.

Professor Boyle points out, “As the Land Mines Treaty demonstrates, it is possible for a coalition of determined activists and NGOs, acting in concert with at least one sympathetic state, to bring into being an international treaty to address humanitarian concerns.”

 

The Minister of Foreign Affairs in Canada is the Honourable Maxime Bernier [Bernier.M@parl.gc.ca].

Nuclear Guardianship: We Need to Know

What we need to know as responsible citizens and what we need our politicians, the law-makers, to know

The Nuclear Guardianship Library

is intended to contribute to the political, technical and moral understandings required to keep radioactive materials from further contaminating the biosphere, in order to protect present and future generations.  We hope to provide opportunities for ongoing, in-depth discussion among citizens, specialists, and policy makers on the responsible care of radioactive materials.

The moral issues remain the same.

 Our most enduring legacy to future generations will be the radioactive materials generated over the last fifty years by nuclear power and weapons production, including structures and equipment contaminated at every step of the fuel cycle as well as all categories of waste. The toxicity of these materials, with their proven capacity to cause cancers, immune diseases, birth disorders, and genetic mutation, constitutes an unprecedented and monumental assault on organic life. To safeguard ourselves and future generations, all these contaminants must be kept out of the biosphere now and for thousands of years.

We who are living now, whether “pro-nuclear” or “anti-nuclear,” need to consider together how we are to isolate the radioactive materials we have produced. We need to consider our responsibility for their ongoing containment, and the immediate steps this guardianship requires of us.

A People’s Policy on Radioactive Waste  (Draft July 23, 2002)

PREAMBLE

The amount and danger of long-lasting environmental poisons produced in recent decades is unprecedented in human history. Since the beginning of the nuclear age, policy regarding all levels of radioactive waste has been set by the nuclear industry, the military and governments. Monetary gain, secrecy and militarism have consistently taken precedent over concerns about intergenerational equity, environmental and public health and spiritual well-being.

Any policy regarding nuclear waste must begin with an immediate halt to its production.

Future survival requires that we take full responsibility for nuclear waste and keep it within our sphere of control. Policy decisions must consider the health, safety and habitat of ALL living things and recognize the need for this most dangerous substance to be completely isolated from the environment for as long as it remains hazardous.

Presently, there is no scientifically sound, environmentally just or democratically defined solution to the disposal or storage of radioactive waste. Yet each day approximately ten tons of high-level radioactive waste (HLRW) is generated, which is one million times more radioactive than the original fuel. It is insanity to continue to use nuclear reactor technology that benefits only one or two generations while creating poisons that will threaten the next 12,000.

Uranium market looking fragile

I just don’t get how people such as David Berman in the Financial Post can actually say, “the world needs uranium, and lots of it” given all we know about its hazards, the fact that the US nuclear weapons arsenal is huge, that there is no proven safe storage for nuclear waste and that it is not a solution for climate change.

 

But look beyond the most recent gyrations, you will find that the entire global uranium market is looking fragile these days, with many stocks down 50%. Production problems aside, investors have a bigger issue to deal with: Is interest in uranium stocks fizzling?

Yesterday, Uranium One Inc. joined the casualty list when it cut its production estimates for 2008 by 38%. The reason relates to delays at its Kazakhstan mines, where there is a shortage of sulphuric acid used for extracting uranium. The stock (UUU/TSX) fell 17.6% to $10.49, bringing its total loss for the year to 34%.

Leonie Soltay, an analyst at Wellington West Capital Markets, put a brave face on the setback, arguing the delayed production is good for uranium prices, since lower production keeps the supply-and-demand dynamics tight. She also pointed out that the company is becoming a must-have name for investors who want unhedged international uranium production.

“We believe any short-term weakness should be treated as a buying opportunity by long-term investors,” Ms. Soltay said in a note to clients, in which she lowered her price target to $13 from $16.

These stock-price reversals seem strange given that the world needs uranium, and lots of it. According to the World Nuclear Association, planned nuclear power reactors have leapt 37% since the start of the year.


And who is planning these reactors? The uranium industry, of course, as part of its 2002 plan for a nuclear renaissance.

Interesting, isn’t it?

No Nukes Rockers Rock On

From the Inbox:

October 22, 2007

No Nukes’ rockers renew fight decades later

WASHINGTON ­ Jackson Browne says he thought his group of politically active musicians “really dealt the nuclear industry a blow” with a series of 1979 concerts opposing nuclear power.

Nearly three decades later, Browne and fellow Rock and Roll Hall of Famers Bonnie Raitt and Graham Nash are in Washington to resume the fight. The three, all founders of the Musicians for Safe Energy group that organized the No Nukes concerts, are delivering petitions to Congress today urging lawmakers not to make it easier to finance nuclear reactors.

In a 21st century update on the concert series, the trio created a website, NukeFree.org, featuring a YouTube video. It asks viewers to sign a petition opposing a provision in an energy bill before Congress that would expand federal loan guarantees for nuclear plants. Raitt isn’t ruling out an encore of the concerts ­ which produced an album and a movie ­ but said the Internet got the word out quickly.

The group says it collected more than 120,000 supporters.

The musicians’ effort comes as the industry is enjoying what Nuclear Energy Institute spokesman John Keeley calls “a renaissance.”

Last month, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission accepted its first application to build a nuclear power plant since 1978, the year before an accident at the Three Mile Island reactor in central Pennsylvania. Three or four more applications to build reactors could be filed by year’s end, says Scott Peterson, a vice president at the Nuclear Energy Institute. He credits a 2005 bill that streamlined the licensing process for reactors and provided loan guarantees.

The musicians were galvanized into action by new energy legislation that House and Senate negotiators are trying to hammer out. A provision backed by Sen. Pete Domenici, R-N.M., would exponentially increase the amount of federally backed loans.

This year, Congress has provided $4 billion for loan guarantees, which Peterson says is enough for one plant. He says the industry requires about $25 billion for reactors now on the drawing board.

Browne is shocked by nuclear’s comeback. “I thought it was a rotting corpse of an industry,” he says.

The Nuclear Energy Institute says 104 reactors in 31 states provide one-fifth of the USA’s electricity without carbon fuels, which contribute to global warming.

Browne says heightened terrorism concerns bolster the argument for looking other sources of power. “The consequences of blowing up a field of wind generators would not be the same as blowing up a train full of nuclear waste,” he says.

The anti-nukes musicians have at least one friend in the corridors of power: Songwriter and guitarist John Hall, who helped found Musicians for Safe Energy, was elected to Congress last year. Hall, D-N.Y., arrived in Washington just in time to perform with his friends at a VIP reception on Capitol Hill Monday night.

On the proposed playlist: “Plutonium is Forever,” a Hall song about the difficulties of disposing of nuclear waste. Browne described it as “rock music for policy wonks.”

Before the show, Browne said Hall’s lack of practice wasn’t a concern “as good a musician as he is.”

_______________________________________________


Canada’s Nuclear Policy Shift

I suspect I’m not the only one who missed this.  Certainly, the mainstream media haven’t picked it up. Or, they choose to ignore it.

But The Hill Times Embassy Magazine reported a couple of weeks ago that, in fact, Canada’s nuclear policy has shifted.

In January 2002, Canada’s policy called for “the complete elimination of nuclear weapons…through steadily advocating national, bilateral and multilateral steps,” Mr. Byers points out in his new book, Intent for a Nation: What is Canada For?

But recently, the same foreign affairs website has been amended to say that Canada’s nuclear weapons policy is now “consistent with our membership in NATO and NORAD, and in a manner sensitive to the broader international security context.” As Mr. Byers rightly points out, this clause strips Canada’s policy of any real meaning.

PMS Harper really is acting as though he has a majority, isn’t he? We need to be asking why the policy was changed and why we weren’t involved in the discussion of it.  Of course, it’s likely because PMS has no backbone when it comes to the lobby of the military-industrial complex and his American Idol, Gee Dubya.

with thanks to those feministas at BnR

Danger Detected at Planned Nuke Waste Site

I guess it’s a good thing they figured it out now before they put the waste in the ground…  I think the most telling piece is the comment that the US DoE didn’t do the proper tech work beforehand…but there’s money for war…

Earthquake danger detected at planned nuclear waste site

The Associated Press

LAS VEGAS | New rock samples show preliminary evidence of an earthquake fault beneath where Yucca Mountain project planners want to handle highly radioactive waste before burial at the planned repository.

A May 21 letter and U.S. Geological Survey maps show a fault beneath where officials hope to build concrete pads to store spent radioactive fuel canisters for cooling before they are entombed in tunnels inside the mountain, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported Monday. The paper said it obtained the documents last week.

“Preliminary data from the recent drilling phase indicate the location of the Bow Ridge fault in northern Midway Valley may be farther east than projected from previous work in the area,” Kenneth Skipper, chief of the USGS Yucca Mountain project branch, said in the letter to Andrew Orrell, senior program manager for the Energy Department lead laboratory.

Bob Loux, head of the Nevada Agency for Nuclear Projects and the state’s chief anti-Yucca administrator, told the Review-Journal the finding meant that project planners might have to revamp plans or show regulators that the so-called aging pad could be fortified to withstand an earthquake.

“It certainly looks like DOE has encountered a surprise out there, and it certainly speaks to the fact they haven’t done the technical work they should have done years ago,” Loux said.

An Energy Department spokesman for the Yucca Mountain project did not immediately respond Monday to a request for comment.