#Nuclear Obfuscation?

West coast people might be wondering about this horrible headline from Counterpunch:
A Global Threat

Fukushima Fallout Damaged the Thyroids of California Babies

by CHRIS BUSBY

A new study of the effects of tiny quantities of radioactive fallout from Fukushima on the health of babies born in California shows a significant excess of hypothyroidism caused by the radioactive contamination travelling 5,000 miles across the Pacific. The article will be published next week in the peer-reviewed journal Open Journal of Pediatrics.

 

Counter that with this and one can see how people might be torn:

Ontario nuclear reactor shutdown triggers medical isotope shortage

HELEN BRANSWELL

TORONTO — The Canadian Press

An unplanned shutdown of the aging Chalk River nuclear reactor has the country on the verge of a major shortage of medical isotopes, the president of the Canadian Association of Nuclear Medicine said Friday.

Dr. Norman Laurin said the forced shutdown of production at the Chalk River facility comes at a time when two of the world’s three other major producers of medical isotopes are also out of operation.

 

The Doctor incorrectly identifies the problem as being the shutdowns.  A thorough reading of the Canadian Coalition for Nuclear Responsibility’s documents suggests that the  larger problem is AECL.  Before nuclear fission was discovered, there were other ways to make the radioisotopes necessary for imaging.

…radio-isotopes have been used in nuclear medicine, industry and scientific research, for a very long time, starting around 1900 — half a century before the first nuclear reactors were built.

At first, the radio-isotopes utilized were naturally-occurring ones such as radium-226, radium-224, radon-222, polonium-210, tritium (hydrogen-3), carbon-14, et cetera. Even today, “radium needles” and “radon seeds” are used to shrink cancerous tumours, and polonium-210 is used in industrial devices to eliminate static electricity. These naturally occurring radioactive substances have nothing to do with the operation of nuclear reactors.

Later, in the 1940s, when the first particle accelerators were built (beginning with the cyclotron of Ernest Lawrence in California) a host of artificial radio-isotopes became available — produced not by the fissioning of uranium, not by neutron bombardment inside a nuclear reactor, but simply by colliding a beam of accelerated subatomic particles with various target materials.

And as Politics’n’Poetry has discussed in the past, other new, non-nuclear ways have since been developed.  But the  nuclear industry’s stranglehold on the market prevails.

Politics’n’Poetry has discussed the Chalk River facility in the past.  Visitors may want to refresh their memories regarding it.  Of particular interest is the paper presented  by Dr. Gordon Edwards to the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission, the body that licenses reactors.  Have these been addressed?  Ask your MP.

It seems there’s a shortage of isotopes every time the aging facility has to shut down.  Isn’t it time to invest in alternatives?

 

WTF? A Poem?

WTF?

A bunch of racist sexist homophobic nutbarsGOP nazis
spreading shit like this is somehow okay
in the land of the free, home of the brave?

Prenatal Nondiscrimination Act (PRENDA) pretends
to prevent race-based abortions, steals from
the civil rights legacy to curb choice

and slams Planned Parenthood in its bid
to serve adherents of white supremacist ideas.

How interesting that Malcolm X and MLK
supported women’s reproductive freedom.

 

c. 2012-02-06 Politics’n’Poetry

More Nuke News

Not a lot of people liking President O’s greenwashing of nukes.  This most excellent article in the Guardian dispels the myth that nukes are green.

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.

The uranium-enrichment process also emits greenhouse gases and is highly wasteful. Eighty percent of the ore that goes through the enrichment process ends up as waste. And this is to say nothing of the lye, sulfuric acid, and other caustic agents that must be used to turn the uranium into reactor-ready fuel.

While on the surface, the steam billowing from the cooling tower of a nuclear reactor is less harmful than the toxic smoke that spews from a coal plant, nuclear reactors still create byproducts that are dangerous to human health and welfare. There’s also the huge problem of radioactive nuclear waste, which can stay hot for hundreds of thousands of years. Storing the radioactive waste isn’t just a security threat; there’s potential for radioactive chemicals to leak, as they are in Vermont and at other aging reactors around the country.

It’s clear to me that the US Prezzie doesn’t read P’n’P.  Perhaps you could invite him to do so via this handy form?

The folks at nuclear news have that article available, as well as a fantastic sidebar, The Very Secret Costs of Nuclear Power.  From their site:

Well it is impossible for anyone to estimate the real costs of nuclear power, as only a narrow range of costs are discussed, even where the nuclear industry is supposedly privately owned.

1. The nuclear weapons industry is so connected with nuclear power, and the costs on the nuclear weapons industry are huge.

2. Where the nuclear industry is state owned – e.g. in France, Russia, China, South Korea, taxation, and the costs of electricity are manipulated, and figures given out for nuclear costs are not really reliable.

Secrecy about the nuclear industry is essential anyway, for security reasons. But it is also convenient, as no-one really knows how much it costs for state-owned nuclear facilities to manage nuclear waste. Well, there are ‘cheap’ options used, as we learn from time, with nuclear waste dumping occurring secretly, and without regard for the environment or the people, (usually poor communities, indigenous and rural people.) Eventually someone has to pay for the long-term costs.

Back at home, the nukers are bragging about their exploration in Quebec’s Otish Mountains.

Ditem Explorations /quotes/comstock/11v!dit (CA:DIT 0.08, 0.00, 0.00%) is pleased to report that the 2010 exploration program on the Company’s Otish Mountains uranium property in Quebec is underway. A fully operational camp has been established to accommodate geophysical and drilling crews. Drilling on the first hole began yesterday.

They don’t get that they’re involved in ecological racism. And that sux!  The Quebec no-nukers have been working tirelessly to put an end to nuking the environment.  Check it out.  And here’s a thorough piece from the Dominion about the nuke activity in northern Quebec.

One further focus for criticism is the province’s much-hyped development strategy, known as the “Plan Nord,” which involves targeting government money at selected infrastructure projects favouring principally the resource extraction sector in northern Quebec. According to research conducted by The Dominion, last year’s provincial budget earmarked $130 million for extending Highway 167 by 268km into the Otish Mountains, northeast of the James Bay Cree town of Mistissini. It is in an area without residential communities, but where Vancouver-based Strateco Resources has discovered some of Quebec’s most concentrated uranium deposits.

Finally, here’s another story about Canada’s outrageous and extravagant spending on AECL flowing from the Chalk River Fiasco.

As a result, Ottawa allocated $824-million in the current fiscal year to the problem-plagued nuclear flagship as the government prepares to restructure it and sell its commercial division, according to supplemental estimates released late yesterday.

That’s a 50-per-cent increase from federal spending on AECL in the prior fiscal year. In today’s budget, Finance Minister Jim Flaherty will likely provide hundreds of millions more to support AECL’s operating budget and design work on the advanced Candu reactor and refurbish Chalk River laboratories.

Our tax dollars are being sunk into what the PM himself called a “sinkhole” so that the feds can sell it for next to nothing?  WTF?  It seems that PMS definitely needs to hear from you on this ridiculous, costly venture!  Imagine, were that kind of money to be spent on real green technology…

A stream of nuke news

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?

More newsHuffPo points to a Mother Jones piece questioning Obama’s recent support for the nuke industry.

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?

Oy!

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…

Words of Caution to SK Taxpayers

Again, a little something from the Inbox for you, dear Reader.  What I can’t figure out is why the Canadian Tax Payers Federation isn’t in a big huff about all this!

Tax-payers are already paying, or will pay for:
– the research and other costs of developing the tar sands (roads,
infrastructure, etc.)
– the water reservoirs (dams) needed for the nuclear reactors (billions of dollars)
– most of the costs of a nuclear reactor (billions of dollars)
– all the costs of the power transmission lines (billions of dollars)
– radioactive waste disposal costs (billions of dollars for eternity) and
– we are paying for lobbyists in Washington.

Taxpayers should be aware of how much money we are, or will be, contributing to the nuclear and to the tar sands companies – – unless we take a stand. The best place to take a stand is on whether or not we want nuclear reactors here. It is not us that needs them as an energy source. If we don’t want nuclear reactors and we stop them, the huge energy source needed for tar sands development does not exist – – unless the Government is willing to use up natural gas supplies for tar sands processing. That would mean running us out of a relatively clean energy source to develop a very dirty energy source, and notwithstanding the fact that most of the infrastructure for heating our homes is for natural gas. The reactors have to have access to large volumes of water. We stopped (at least temporarily) the construction of the HighGate Dam on the North Saskatchewan River near the Battlefords. We would have paid billions of dollars for the HighGate Dam or “reservoirs” as the Government likes to call them.

The assumption of the Government is that these projects are going to proceed:

Wall Heads to Washington

Tuesday, 03 March 2009

The province will have some representation at an Energy Council in the US this week.

Premier Brad Wall will be giving a major speech at the council, which goes from tomorrow until Saturday. Wall plans to talk about carbon capture and clean investments in the province, as well as nuclear opportunities.

March 8, 2009 FINANCIAL POST

http://www.canada.com/Sask+premier+pushes+clean+energy+technology/1366452/story.html

… Wall spent part of his trip to Washington scouting D.C. lobby firms, with the intention of hiring one to protect the province’s interests on Capitol Hill.

“We hope to get a firm that’s not just got some ability to open some political doors. We need to continue to open financial doors and attract capital to the province,” he said.

“They would be boots on the ground in the Capitol.”

During meetings with several prominent U.S. lawmakers – including senators Joe Lieberman and Lindsey Graham – Wall also discussed Saskatchewan’s interest in developing small nuclear reactor technology as a way to replace the burning of natural gas in the production of oilsands oil.

“There are challenges and risk to these technologies, but we will cause ourselves innumerable more problems if our default position is to do nothing,” Wall said.

Of course, certain risks come with having a higher profile in Washington – especially regarding energy and the environment.

Alberta had early success promoting itself as a safe and secure source of foreign oil, but is now struggling to combat anti-oilsands sentiment among U.S. lawmakers under pressure from the environmental lobby.”

Nuclear Waste Has No Place to Go

Nuclear Waste Has No Place to Go | CommonDreams.org

Published on Wednesday, March 11, 2009 by the Chicago Tribune
Nuclear Waste Has No Place to Go
Obama budget kills Nevada storage site for used radioactive fuel rods piling up near power plants

by Michael Hawthorne

In a pool of water just a football field away from Lake Michigan, about 1,000 tons of highly radioactive fuel from the scuttled Zion Nuclear Power Station is waiting for someplace else to spend a few thousand years.

[Zion Nuclear Power Station in Illinois has been shuttered for years, but its waste lives on. The lack of a permanent solution for such waste poses a serious challenge to the industry’s plans to build more reactors. (David Trotman-Wilkins / Chicago Tribune)]Zion Nuclear Power Station in Illinois has been shuttered for years, but its waste lives on. The lack of a permanent solution for such waste poses a serious challenge to the industry’s plans to build more reactors. (David Trotman-Wilkins / Chicago Tribune)
The wait just got longer.

President Barack Obama’s proposed budget all but kills the Yucca Mountain project, the controversial site where the U.S. nuclear industry’s spent fuel rods were supposed to end up in permanent storage deep below the Nevada desert. There are no other plans in the works, meaning the waste for now will remain next to Zion and 104 other reactors scattered across the country.

Obama has said too many questions remain about whether storing waste at Yucca Mountain is safe, and his decision fulfills a campaign promise. But it also renews nagging questions about what to do with the radioactive waste steadily accumulating in 35 states.

With seven nuclear plant sites, Illinois relies more heavily on nuclear power and has a larger stockpile of spent fuel than any other state. Besides Zion near Lake Michigan, plants storing waste are sited along the Illinois, Rock and Mississippi Rivers.

Customers of ComEd and other nuclear utilities have shelled out $10 billion to develop the Yucca Mountain site in spare-change-size charges tacked on to electric bills. Most of that money will have been wasted, and experts forecast that billions more will be spent on damage suits from utilities that counted on the federal government to come up with a burial ground.

Reversing course from previous administrations satisfies critics in Nevada, including Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, but triggers another round of maneuvering and regional bickering in Congress.

“We are drifting toward a permanent policy of keeping extremely toxic waste next to the Great Lakes, and that cannot stand,” said U.S. Rep. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.).

More than 57,000 tons of spent fuel rods already are stored next to reactors, just a few yards away from containment buildings where they once generated nuclear-heated steam to drive massive electrical turbines. More than 7,100 tons are stored in Illinois, including at the Zion facility in Chicago’s northern suburbs.

The lack of a permanent solution poses a serious challenge to the industry’s plans to build more than 30 new reactors. Existing nuclear plants already produce 2,000 tons of the long-lived waste each year, most of which is moved into pools of chilled water that allow the spent-but still highly lethal-uranium-235 to slowly and safely decay.

But containment pools never were intended to store all of the spent fuel that a reactor creates. The idea was that the cool water would stabilize the enriched uranium until it could be sent to a reprocessing plant or stored in a centralized location.

Instead it keeps piling up. And though industry officials insist the waste is safely stored in fenced-off buildings lined with concrete and lead, concerns remain that a leak or a terrorist attack could create an environmental catastrophe.

As power companies run out of space in their containment pools, they increasingly are storing the waste above ground in concrete and metal casks; the Zion plant’s spent fuel rods eventually are to be moved into casks a little farther away from Lake Michigan.

“We continue to ask the federal government to provide a clear solution for what the long-term storage of spent fuel will be,” said Marshall Murphy, spokesman for Exelon Nuclear, which owns Illinois’ plants.

Until now, the solution was Yucca Mountain, a dusty mountain of volcanic rock about 100 miles northwest of Las Vegas that Congress chose in the late 1980s as a permanent repository. Federal officials spent the last two decades-and billions of dollars-preparing to bury spent fuel in a series of fortified tunnels drilled into the mountain.

Without further funding the project will wind up as a very expensive hole in the ground.

The repository’s apparent demise is part science and part politics. Recent studies have shown that water flows through the mountain much faster than previously thought, raising concerns that radioactive leaks could contaminate drinking water supplies. More than anything else, though, the project is opposed by two powerful politicians: Reid and Obama, who is calling for more study to find a better solution.

Chicago-based Exelon Corp., the parent company of ComEd and Exelon Nuclear, is seeking to extend the life of its reactors, most of which were built in the 1970s. It also wants to build a new reactor at the Clinton Power Station south of Bloomington. Company officials have said that won’t be possible without an alternative to Yucca.
Copyright © 2009, Chicago Tribune

Mohawk Grandmothers Attacked at Canada-US Border Crossing

From the Inbox via Canadians for Aboriginal Justice on Facebook

NE ELDER SAVED BY A HEART ATTACK – ANOTHER ELDER MISSING IN ACTION:

MOHAWK GRANDMOTHERS ATTACKED AT CANADA-US BORDER CROSSING ON UNCEDED
HAUDENOSAUNEE LAND
Monday, June 16, 2008

Mohawk Elder and Grandmother, Kahentinetha Horn suffered a heart attack, Saturday, June 14, 2008 during a vicious, unprovoked assault by OPP (Ontario Provincial Police) and border agents at Cornwall, in Akwesasne community. She had been beaten and handcuffed when she collapsed. Earlier when she was pulled over, Kahentinetha immediately contacted her brother, a lawyer, on her cellphone. The entire incident was being filmed as her brother rushed to the scene just in time to call an ambulance for her.

Meanwhile, Elder and Grandmother Katenies of Akwesasne was beaten and taken prisoner to an as yet undisclosed location. We are very concerned about her safety. We demand to know of her whereabouts and that she be released immediately.

A few months ago, Julian Fantino put out the word, warning Kahentinetha not to set foot in Ontario or else… She is the publisher of MNN (Mohawk Native News) and regular internet reports that are very critical of police and government actions toward Indigenous people. Her articles often clearly state the legalities/realities of the situation that Canada is a corporation
plundering unceded Turtle Island. The land and resources belong to the
Ongwehoneh people. Canada’s huge debt to us will bankrupt them forever.

The other day, while Stephen Harper was making a public apology to
Indigenous for the crimes of the residential schools, he was also
preparing to send the army in at 6 nations. Brantford city mayor has
requested it, stating his city police cannot handle another ‘Mohawk
uprising’, in other words, peaceful protests against housing development where non resident, nonNatives attack the protesters while the police watch. The Ontario Conservatives call for military intervention every day.

On Saturday, border agents were pulling over every Native person.
Kahentinetha and Katenies were traveling in Akwesasne in the course of
their regular activities and were caught up in the dragnet. Did Fantino
set up a trap for the two outspoken, Mohawk grandmothers? We suspect that Kahentinetha would have been killed at a secret location had she not had a heart attack and been taken to hospital.

Immediately following this incident, many Mohawks and supporters started to gather at Akwesasne. Kahentinetha and Katenies’ attackers want them to accept being Canadian or else they will kill them and anyone else who resists colonization. This low level warfare is playing out on the ‘border’ between Canada and the US, an imaginary line drawn right through the Mohawk community of Akwesasne and through Haudenosaunee territory which is a vast area on BOTH sides of the Great Lakes.

This Great Lakes area is also a proposed center for the New World Order. Many
military plans are underway including nuclear submarines in the Great
Lakes and JTF2, Aerospace Warfare Center and NATO FOB (Forward Operating Base) at a new base being built at Trenton, near Tyendinaga Mohawk community. Tyendinaga was attacked by OPP/SWAT in April when Mohawks protested housing development there.

If Canadians are so damned sorry about the abuse of Native people, why is this still happening? Why do people remain silent when Mohawk elders and grandmothers are attacked like this? We are under constant surveillance and threats and attacks while our land continues to be plundered and pillaged. Was this a failed assassination attempt ordered by Julian Fantino, commissioner of OPP and head of the biggest gang in the area?

We must demand answers and get answers. This attempted genocide must cease. We will never give up.
Call or write to politicians, media, action lists including international.
Get the word out now!!!
——————–

To reply to this message, follow the link below:
http://www.facebook.com/n/?inbox/readmessage.php&t=1021320142357

US Nuke Regulator Destroying Safety Review Documents

This just in from US activists:

Beyond Nuclear Bulletin
May 21, 2008
Top Stories

Nuclear Regulatory Commission Destroying Safety Review Documents
Background: The Office of the Inspector General for the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission has discovered that the NRC safety review staff routinely destroys supporting documents after conducting safety reviews as part of the license renewal application process. The report comes after the NRC safety review staff was also caught by OIG last September plagiarizing industry safety reports included in license renewal applications and passing them off as their own so-called independent analysis. In both cases, the OIG concluded it was difficult to verify the accuracy and integrity of the NRC “independent” safety reports.
Our View: These revelations support, if not confirm, our suspicions that the NRC chooses to extend the licenses of aging reactors using nothing more than a large rubber stamp. The NRC destroyed the paper trail that would show how the agency decided that an aging reactor was safe enough to re-license for another 20 years. The public therefore has no way of knowing whether the agency actually conducted an independent safety analysis or whether it simply took the self-interested nuclear industry’s word that the reactors are safe. Finally, this practice of plagiarism and destruction of safety analyses is very likely illegal. There are agency directives that mandate retention of federal records.
What You Can Do: Check the NRC website to see if your local nuclear reactor is currently re-licensed or in the process. You can inform your community and call into question the legitimacy of reactor re-licensing process by writing letters to the editor. Contact your Congressional representatives asking that NRC destruction of federal records relating to public health and safety be made part of upcoming Congressional Hearings before the US House of Representatives Committee on Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations.

Help Stop the Single Biggest Nuclear Industry Money Grab in U.S. History
Background: Debate on the Senate floor on the Lieberman-Warner climate change bill (S. 2191, the “America’s Climate Security Act of 2007”) should begin June 2nd. The word “nuclear” is nowhere in the bill, but last year’s version of the bill that passed the Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee contained over $500 billion in thinly veiled nuclear power subsidies. Amory Lovins of the Rocky Mountain Institute recently estimated the nuclear power industry’s taxpayer subsidies over the past 50 years at more than half a trillion dollars. Therefore, the Lieberman-Warner bill would double the amount of taxpayer subsidies that the nuclear power industry has received in its entire history. Although EPW Chairwoman, Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA), blocked additional pro-nuclear amendments in Committee last fall, Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT) and pro-nuclear Republican senators, including presidential hopeful John McCain (R-AZ), will likely attempt to insert pro-nuclear amendments into the current bill.
Our View: Handing over hundreds – or even just tens – of billions of dollars of taxpayer subsidies to the already heavily subsidized nuclear power industry would amount to giving it the keys to the U.S. Treasury. Having failed to solve its waste, safety, security and proliferation problems for 50 years, it’s time for nuclear power to exit the stage. It is neither self-sufficient financially, nor useful in addressing climate change since reactors are too expensive and take too long to build. Subsidies are badly needed instead for real climate change solutions including energy efficiency and renewable sources of electricity like wind and solar power.
What You Can Do: Call your two U.S. Senators today via the Capitol Switchboard, (202) 224-3121. Urge them to block any climate change bill or amendments that would provide subsidies to the nuclear power industry. Request meetings with your two Senators (or their staff) while they are back home for the Memorial Day recess next week. And organize media activities. These could include a media event demonstrating community opposition to nuclear power subsidies, and submitting letters to the editor or opinion-editorials to your local newspapers.

Of Note

The French Nuclear Medusa: The Nuclear Regulatory Commission will investigate an apparent violation of its transportation regulations after the French nuclear company, AREVA shipped used equipment to the Watts Bar nuclear plant in Tennessee that measured higher than permissible levels of radioactivity. According to an NRC press release, its inspector determined that AREVA’s procedures for decontaminating and packaging the equipment were not adequate to ensure external radiation would not exceed regulatory requirements. This comes on the heels of a similar shipping violation through Virginia in February when AREVA again transported equipment almost 400 miles that measured beyond regulatory limits for radiation.

(The French Nuclear Medusa, or La Meduse Française Nucléaire, will be an occasional feature of the Beyond Nuclear Bulletin (BNB) revealing the latest tentacled maneuverings by the French nuclear complex to gain a global stranglehold on nuclear energy. “Meduse” is French for jellyfish.)

Beyond Nuclear and the New Nuclear Winter: The Cold War is over but could a nuclear winter still happen? And what if a nuclear war occurred not between the U.S. and Russia but between India and Pakistan? Could a limited exchange cause a nuclear winter? The answer to the first question is still “yes.” And the answer to the last is “not quite.” However, the consequence of an India-Pakistan exchange could still be mass starvation and the collapse of global agriculture, similar to the effects of a nuclear winter. These are the conclusions of new research developed by a team of renowned scientists, some of whom worked with Carl Sagan on the original nuclear winter findings.
What You Can Do: You can bring these scientists to your community. Please contact Beyond Nuclear for details. In an exciting, multi-media presentation, the nuclear winter scientists and Beyond Nuclear first explain the problems that could lead to a near or actual nuclear winter, then offer solutions to avoid this unthinkable tragedy. Contact Beyond Nuclear today to bring the Nuclear Winter Tour to your community. Write:info@beyondnuclear.org or call: 301.270.2209 and ask for development director, Linda Gunter. Let’s work to prevent this tragedy while we can.

Please donate to Beyond Nuclear. Won’t you please consider becoming a monthly recurring donor? You can set up your profile and monthly giving here. All gifts are tax-deductible. Or you can mail a check to: Beyond Nuclear at NPRI, 6930 Carroll Avenue, Suite 400, Takoma Park, MD 20912.

-end-

Beyond Nuclear aims to educate and activate the public about the connections between nuclear power and nuclear weapons and the need to abandon both to safeguard our future. Beyond Nuclear advocates for an energy future that is sustainable, benign and democratic. Beyond Nuclear staff can be reached at: 301.270.2209. Or view our Web site at:www.beyondnuclear.org

Beyond Nuclear at NPRI
6930 Carroll Avenue, Suite 400
Takoma Park, MD 20912
Tel: 301.270.2209 Fax: 301.270.4000
Email: info@beyondnuclear.org
Web: http://www.beyondnuclear.org

Confirmed: The SPP is a plan by and for the corporate masters

See short update, below.

Thanks for passing this nugget along, Larry! Not only is it a non-democratic document created in secrecy but it is now confirmed to be created and implemented for business, which we all knew, anyway. But still, it’s nice to have that validation, innit?

CLC/CTC > It’s time to move from candid admission to a people’s agenda

April 23, 2008

All cosmetic gloss of democracy vanished at the New Orleans Summit when the president of Mexico most candidly summarized his day by saying: “This morning, the Business Leaders gave us a specific agenda to follow . . . We are here to support them through.” [emphasis mine]

If anyone out there still had doubts about the true nature of the Security Prosperity Partnership (SPP), this honest confession sets the record straight. The Prime Minister of Canada, the President of the United States and the President of Mexico take their orders from big business. The results: the well-being of working families in our three countries and Canadian control of Canada’s petroleum resources, are on the chopping block. Harper, Bush and Calderón are business’ agents.

UPDATE: Those who need to learn a bit more about the SPP ought to take a look at Creekside, where Alison, the Goddess of Opposition to the SPP, has posted repeatedly about its failings.

The Joint Statement by the leaders is here: and the juicy piece, from which the above is taken, is here.

Navajo Nation Still Suffering from Previous Uranium Mining Activities

Thanks to Bill C. for making sure an update to this landed in my Inbox.

NEWS FROM THE NAVAJO NATION
OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT & VICE PRESIDENT

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 30, 2008

NAVAJO PRESIDENT JOE SHIRLEY, JR., TELLS CONGRESSIONAL SUBCOMMITTEE
NATION WILL NOT WATCH ANOTHER GENERATION HARMED BY URANIUM MINING

http://summerrayneoakes.blogspot.com/2008/04/navajo-nation-says-no-to-uranium-mining.html

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. – Navajo Nation President Joe Shirley, Jr., told a
Congressional subcommittee here Friday that the Navajo Nation remains
opposed to uranium mining on or near its land, and will take whatever action
necessary to prevent it.

“It is unconscionable to me that the federal government would consider
allowing uranium mining to be restarted anywhere near the Navajo Nation when
we are still suffering from previous mining activities,” he said. “In
response to attempts to renew uranium mining, the Navajo Nation Council
passed, and I signed into law, the Diné Natural Resources Protection Act.
This law places a ban on all uranium mining both within the Navajo Nation
boundary, and within Navajo Indian Country.”

Testifying at a joint oversight hearing before the Subcommittee on National
Parks, Forests and Public Lands at the Flagstaff City Council Chambers,
President Shirley said Navajos “do not want to not sit by, ignorant of the
effects of uranium mining, only to watch another generation of mothers and
fathers die.”

“We are doing everything we can to speak out and do something about it,” he
said. “We do not want a new generation of babies born with birth defects. We
will not allow our people to live with cancers and other disorders as
faceless companies make profits only to declare bankruptcy and then walk
away from the damage they have caused, regardless of the bond they have in
place.”

The hearing was held to gather testimony on “Community Impacts of Proposed
Uranium Mining Near Grand Canyon National Park.” In December 2007, the U.S.
Forest Service authorized VANE Minerals, LLC, to conduct exploratory
drilling for uranium three miles south of Grand Canyon National Park. The
Park Service used Categorical Exclusion Category 8 to approve the drilling,
which covers short-term investigations and which had limited public
involvement. Consultation with tribes amounted to sending a letter.

On March 6, Subcommittee Chairman Congressman Raul Grijalva wrote to U.S.
Agriculture Secretary Ed Schafer to ask that the Forest Service re-initiate
the process “to ensure a more rigorous public involvement and environmental
analysis process.”

About 200 people filled the council chamber at the Flagstaff City Hall. Also
presenting testimony during the first morning panel with President Shirley
was Kaibab Paiute Tribal Chairwoman Ono Segundo and Havasupai Tribal
Chairman Don Watahomigie. Both also testified that their tribes are opposed
to renewed uranium mining in and around the Grand Canyon region.

Appearing with Congressman Grijalva was Arizona Congressman Ed Pastor and
California Congresswoman Grace Napolitano.

President Shirley said that as the Cold War raged more than 50 years ago,
the United States government began a massive effort to mine and process
uranium ore for use in the country’s nuclear weapons programs. Much of that
uranium was mined on or near Navajo lands by Navajo hands.

“Today, the legacy of uranium mining continues to devastate both the people
and the land,” he said. “The workers, their families, and their neighbors
suffer increased incidences of cancers and other medical disorders caused by
their exposure to uranium. Fathers and sons who went to work in the mines
and the processing facilities brought uranium dust into their homes to
unknowingly expose their families to radiation.”

“The mines, many simply abandoned, have left open open scars in the ground
with leaking radioactive waste. The companies that processed the uranium
ore dumped their waste in open – and in some cases unauthorized – pits,
exposing both the soil and the water to radiation.”

Asked by Congressman Pastor whether the Navajo Nation sees any benefits to
come from uranium mining, President Shirley the opposite has been true in
the past.

“Many of my people have died. Many of my medicine people have died,
Congressman,” he said. “And as a result, our culture has gone away, some of
it. Some of the medicine people with the knowledge they have, when they go
on, it’s just like a library has gone on. You lose a lot of culture. That
has happened to my people.”

He said the tragedy of uranium’s legacy extends not only to those who worked
in the mines but to those who worked and lived near the mines that also
experienced devastating illnesses. Decades later, families who live in those
same areas continue to experience health problems.

“The remnants of uranium activity continue to pollute our land, our water,
and our lives,” he said. “It would be unforgivable to allow this cycle to
continue for another generation.”

He explained that in recent years, many companies have approached the Navajo
Nation with promises of riches.

“They have promised us newer and cleaner methods of mining that they say
will not harm the land, the water, or the people,” he said. “We have
repeatedly declined their offers.”

He said the Nation has been told that in situ leach mining is a process that
injects a solution into the ground to separate the ore from the surrounding
rock.

“These companies claim the process is harmless,” President Shirley said.
“The science on this process is, at best, inconclusive, and, at worst,
points to increased radioactive contaminants in the groundwater after the
mining operations cease.”

He said he cannot believe the claims of safety “when history and science
establish a different record.”

“The Navajo people have been consistently lied to by companies and
government officials concerning the effects of various mining activities.
Unfortunately, the true cost of these activities is understood only later
when the companies have stolen away with their profits leaving the Navajo
people to bear the health burdens.”

Asked by whether he was contacted by the Forest Service about allowing VANE
to conduct exploratory drilling near the Grand Canyon, President Shirley
said no. He added that any Navajo official or division director who may have
been contacted would have given the Forest Service the same answer.

“Every testimony coming from the Navajo Nation, whether it’s through me, any
of our council delegates, any of our legislators, it’s no, we do not want
the further mining of the uranium ore on Navajoland or on land contiguous to
Navajoland,” he said. “So if there’s any conversation that took place with
any of the U.S. Forest representatives, that’s what they’ve heard.”

“We just don’t want it,” he said. “We have a law in place, and that’s the
Diné Natural Resources Protection Act that says no way will we allow, no way
will the Navajo Nation or any of its departments or any of its staff allow
the further mining of uranium ore on Navajo land.”

CONTACT
George Hardeen, Communications Director
Office of the President & Vice President
The Navajo Nation
DESK 928-871-7917
CELL 928-309-8532
pressoffice@opvp.org