Friday, April 8, 2011

Nuclear Power = Crime Against Humanity

new dedicated page: whats up: Nuclear Power Crimes Against Humanity & Environment

I have been thinking we need to just make all nuclear reactors and their waste illegal; and to require that all governments and corporations and their officers be made directly liable for the immediate decommissioning of all nuclear power plants, and for the clean up of this eternal quagmire of nuclear waste that they have created.

Dairy farmer Kenichi Hasegawa dumps milk in a corn field in Iitatemura, Fukushima prefecture. Radiation has seeped into vegetables, raw milk, the water supply and seawater since a magnitude-9 quake and killer tsunami crippled the Fukushima Dai-ichi power plant on March 11.

see also: whats up: Nuclear Power Crimes Against Humanity & Environment

Regarding the US FDA’s Comparison of Radiation in Milk to Everyday Exposures: “This is an apples-to-oranges comparison that lacks integrity. There is a big difference between ingesting radioactive material that accumulates in the thyroid and sitting on an airplane. You can’t drink a TV or eat an airplane.” (see below)

The following is a letter by Francis Boyle, an expert in international law.

Nuclear Power Industry is a Crime Against Humanity!

By Francis Boyle
Sunday, 20 March 2011 09:11

Dear Friends: I have now had the opportunity to review my information sources. I have already sent to you the basic thrust of my analysis: Namely, that the Japanese Nuclear Power Industry constitutes a Crime against Humanity as defined by Article 7 of the Rome Statute for the International Criminal Court, to which Japan is a party. The same holds true for the Nuclear Power Industries in all the other countries of the World. You have the text of Rome Statute Article 7 below, which is directly on point.

The Japanese People must now use this legal conclusion to terminate the Nuclear Power Industry in Japan, this ongoing Crime Against Humanity. The same must be done by the other peoples in the world against their own Nuclear Power Industries, including and especially here in the United States, the originator of nuclear energy that was criminally used for the first two times at Hiroshima and Nagasaki against innocent Japanese Civilians, also a Crime Against Humanity. The Japanese people are now being victimized once again by nuclear energy, only this time by your own Government and Business People in the Nuclear Power Industry.

As for the MOX, you know I have worked before with Junko Abe to stop the further deployment of MOX in Japan. MOX contains plutonium, the deadliest substance known to humanity. And there has already been an explosion at Fukushima Reactor No. 3 containing MOX/plutonium. The Japanese People must demand that the Japanese Government and Nuclear Power Industry inform them specifically about the plutonium at Reactor 3. Has the plutonium been released into the atmosphere already? So far they have said nothing about plutonium release. You must obtain this information and monitor it continuously.

Perhaps it might be possible for private scientists and NGOs in Japan to start monitoring for plutonium release—we are starting to do this in the United States, not relying upon the U.S. Government to tell us the truth since they never do so when it comes to Nuclear Power. And you must now consult with private medical doctors and health experts about what to do about any plutonium release and the other radioactive substances that have already been released—cesium, strontium, etc. You must not trust the Japanese Government or the Japanese Nuclear Power Industry to tell you the truth. They are the ones who are responsible for this Crime against Humanity in the first place. The Japanese People must act to save yourselves from your own Government and Nuclear Power Industry.

I hope you find these comments to be useful. You have my permission to use them for a newspaper article.

Yours very truly,
Francis A. Boyle
Professor of International Law
University of Illinois College of Law
Dear Friends:

It is very good to hear from you again. I wish to express my deepest sorrow to the Japanese People for all of their suffering as a result of the earthquake and tsunami. As a young Marine my Father arrived at Nagasaki on September 26, 1945. It must have been an horrific site. I am very saddened to see that the Japanese People are once again being victimized by nuclear energy.

It is early in the morning here. Before I respond to your questions, I want to study and examine my information sources that have come in over the night. Then I can adequately respond to your questions. I will perform this task sometime later today and then get back to you. In the meantime, let me state that the Nuclear Power Industry in Japan currently constitutes a Crime Against Humanity as defined by Article 7 of the Rome Statute for the International Criminal Court, to which Japan is a contracting party:

Article 7
Crimes against humanity

1. For the purpose of this Statute, "crime against humanity" means any of the following acts when committed as part of a widespread or systematic attack directed against any civilian population, with knowledge of the attack:….
(k) Other inhumane acts of a similar character intentionally causing great suffering, or serious injury to body or to mental or physical health.

2. For the purpose of paragraph 1:
(a) "Attack directed against any civilian population" means a course of conduct involving the multiple commission of acts referred to in paragraph 1 against any civilian population, pursuant to or in furtherance of a State or organizational policy to commit such attack; ….

FRANCIS A. BOYLE is a leading American expert in international law. He was responsible for drafting the Biological Weapons Anti-Terrorism Act of 1989, the American implementing legislation for the 1972 Biological Weapons Convention.

He served on the Board of Directors of Amnesty International (1988-1992), and represented Bosnia-Herzegovina at the World Court. He served as legal adviser to the Palestinian Delegation to the Middle East peace negotiations from 1991 to 1993. In 2007, he delivered the Bertrand Russell Peace Lectures. Previous Russell Lecturers have included E.P. Thompson, Elena Bonner, Edward Said, Ramsey Clark, Nobel Peace Prize Winner Joseph Rotblat, Johan Galtung, and Noam Chomsky.

Professor Boyle teaches international law at the University of Illinois, Champaign and is author of, inter alia, The Future of International Law and American Foreign Policy, Foundations of World Order, The Criminality of Nuclear Deterrence, Palestine, Palestinians and International Law, Destroying World Order, Biowarfare & Terrorism. And Tackling America’s Toughest Questions.

He holds a Doctor of Law Magna Cum Laude as well as a Ph.D. in Political Science, both from Harvard University.

NRC Chairman Gregory Jaczko (standing) addressed the IAEA’s 5th Meeting of the Convention on Nuclear Safety, in Vienna, Austria, on the U.S. nuclear regulatory program. He also provided an update on NRC’s response to the events at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plants in a separate session. Other U.S. participants (seated on right) were Bill Borchardt (NRC), James Ellis (Institute for Nuclear Power Operations), and Jack Grobe (NRC).

Article 7: Crimes against humanity
Quoted by Dr. Boyle (above):
1. For the purpose of this Statute, "crime against humanity" means any of the following acts when committed as part of a widespread or systematic attack directed against any civilian population, with knowledge of the attack: (k) Other inhumane acts of a similar character intentionally causing great suffering, or serious injury to body or to mental or physical health.
2. For the purpose of paragraph 1:
(a) "Attack directed against any civilian population" means a course of conduct involving the multiple commission of acts referred to in paragraph 1 against any civilian population, pursuant to or in furtherance of a State or organizational policy to commit such attack; ….

This applies to individuals as well as states and corporations:

Article 25: Individual criminal responsibility

1. The Court shall have jurisdiction over natural persons pursuant to this Statute.

2. A person who commits a crime within the jurisdiction of the Court shall be individually responsible and liable for punishment in accordance with this Statute.

3. In accordance with this Statute, a person shall be criminally responsible and liable for punishment for a crime within the jurisdiction of the Court if that person:

(a) Commits such a crime, whether as an individual, jointly with another or through another person, regardless of whether that other person is criminally responsible;

(b) Orders, solicits or induces the commission of such a crime which in fact occurs or is attempted;

(c) For the purpose of facilitating the commission of such a crime, aids, abets or otherwise assists in its commission or its attempted commission, including providing the means for its commission;

(d) In any other way contributes to the commission or attempted commission of such a crime by a group of persons acting with a common purpose. Such contribution shall be intentional and shall either: (i) Be made with the aim of furthering the criminal activity or criminal purpose of the group, where such activity or purpose involves the commission of a crime within the jurisdiction of the Court; or (ii) Be made in the knowledge of the intention of the group to commit the crime;

4. No provision in this Statute relating to individual criminal responsibility shall affect the responsibility of States under international law.

There are many nuclear power plants in Japan besides Fukushima Daiichi. None of the others are said to be having serious problems, but since the original earthquake and tsunami, and yesterday's earthquake, power supplies for cooling of reactors and fuel ponds have been problematic with some facilities losing offsite power and running on emergency systems, and sometimes with power totally lost.

Nuclear power in Japan @ Wikipedia
There are 55 operating nuclear reactors in Japan with a number of others in construction or being planned. For a list, see List of nuclear reactors or List of power stations in Japan. Following the Fukushima I nuclear accidents Prime Minister Naoto Kan has announced that all 6 of the reactors at the Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant will be decommissioned. The plant operators had previously stated that reactors 1 to 4 would never operate again.

FDA’s Comparison of Radiation in Milk to Everyday Exposures Called ‘Improper’

WASHINGTON, D.C.—A U.S. Food and Drug Administration statement regarding milk contaminated with radiation from Japan failed to accurately inform and educate the public, five watchdog groups and a former senior advisor in the U.S. Department of Energy said today, pointing to the fact that exposure to ingested iodine-131 is substantively different than everyday exposure to radiation in the environment.

On March 30, in response to reports that radioactive iodine-131 has been found in milk in Washington state, FDA senior scientist Patricia Hansen said, “Radiation is all around us in our daily lives, and these findings are a miniscule amount compared to what people experience every day. For example, a person would be exposed to low levels of radiation on a round trip cross country flight, watching television, and even from construction materials.”

“This is an apples-to-oranges comparison that lacks integrity. There is a big difference between ingesting radioactive material that accumulates in the thyroid and sitting on an airplane. You can’t drink a TV or eat an airplane.” (more)

The joint FDA/EPA statement from March 30 is available here:

International Nuclear Law in the Post-Chernobyl Period

Jointly produced with the Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA) of the OECD (2006)
- A publication has been prepared jointly with the Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA) of the OECD, which demonstrates how the accident at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant on 26 April 1986, heightened awareness of the need to improve the international legal regime governing the safe and peaceful uses of nuclear energy. Within six months of the accident, a Convention on Early Notification of a Nuclear Accident and a Convention on Assistance in the Event of a Nuclear Accident or Radiological Emergency were negotiated and adopted under the auspices of the IAEA. In 1994, a Convention designed to achieve and maintain a high-level of nuclear safety worldwide was also adopted, as was a Convention on the Safety of Spent Fuel and Radioactive Waste Management, in 1997. In addition, the existing international regimes governing the liability and compensation for nuclear damage were significantly reinforced and a new global regime was created.

IAEA Briefing on Fukushima Nuclear Accident (8 April 2011, 15:00 UTC)

Summary of Reactor Status

On Friday, 8 April 2011, the IAEA provided the following information on the current status of nuclear safety in Japan:

1. Earthquake of 7 April

The IAEA confirms that an earthquake occurred in Japan at 14:32 UTC, 7 April. The IAEA International Seismic Safety Centre has rated it as a 7.1 magnitude, revised from an initial 7.4 magnitude. The epicenter of the earthquake was 20 km from the Onagawa nuclear power plant and approximately 120 km from the Fukushima Daiichi and Daini nuclear power plants.

The IAEA has been in contact with NISA and can confirm the status of the following nuclear facilities:

Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant
No changes have been observed at the on-site radiation monitoring posts. The injection of water into the reactor pressure vessels of Units 1, 2 and 3 was not interrupted.

Fukushima Daini Nuclear Power Plant
No changes have been observed of the readings at the on-site radiation monitoring posts.

Onagawa Nuclear Power Plant
All reactors have been in cold shutdown since 11 March earthquake.

Two out of the three lines supplying off-site power to the site were lost following the 7 April earthquake. Off-site power continues to be supplied through the third line.

Cooling of the spent fuel pool was temporarily lost, but has subsequently been restored.

No change has been observed in the readings from the on-site radiation monitoring post. The status of the plant is currently being checked.

Tokai Daini Nuclear Power Plant
Tokai Daini nuclear power plant remains in cold shutdown since the 11 March earthquake. No abnormality has been observed.

Higashidori Nuclear Power Plant
The Higashidori nuclear power plant was shut down and in a maintenance outage at the time of the 7 April earthquake. Off-site power was lost temporarily. Emergency power supply to the site operated as expected until off-site power was restored. All the fuel had been removed from the reactor core and stored in the spent fuel pool. Cooling of the spent fuel pool is operational.

Tomari Nuclear Power Plant (in Hokkaido)
At the time of the 7 April earthquake Tomari Unit 1 and Unit 2 were in operation. Following the 7 April earthquake, the Hokkaido Electric Power Company reduced the generating power to 90% of capacity.

Rokkasho Reprocessing Plant
The Rokkasho Reprocessing Plant and uranium enrichment facility lost off-site power. Emergency power supply to the site is operating.

2. Current Situation

Overall, the situation at the Fukushima Daiichi plant remains very serious although there are early signs of recovery in some functions such as electrical power and instrumentation.

As of 6 April, TEPCO started injecting nitrogen gas to Unit 1 containment vessel to reduce the possibility of hydrogen combustion within the containment vessel.

The leakage of highly contaminated water from the 20 cm crack in the cable storage pit of Unit 2 directly to the sea reported on 2 April was stopped by injection of coagulation agents (liquid glass) on 5 April. Additional activities to secure the leak were reported finished on 6 April.

To prevent discharge of contaminated water from the Fukushima Plant to the open sea, construction work was carried out at the breakwater in the southern part of the Plant on 5 April... more >

Japanese civic group members protest against Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) over the nuclear leakage at the comnpany's Fukushima nuclear power plant outside the TEPCO headquarters in Tokyo on March 30. Japan was considering plans to drape shattered nuclear reactor buildings with special covers to limit radiation, and pump contaminated water into a tanker anchored offshore.

Japan to stop pumping radioactive water into sea

(Reuters) - Japan expects to stop pumping radioactive water into the sea from a crippled nuclear plant on Saturday, a day after China expressed concern at the action, reflecting growing international unease at the month-long nuclear crisis.

"The emptying out of the relatively low radiation water is expected to finish tomorrow (Saturday)," a Tokyo Electric Power Co (TEPCO) official said late on Friday. TEPCO is struggling to contain the worst atomic crisis since Chernobyl, with its engineers pumping low-level radioactive seawater, used to cool overheated fuel rods, back into the sea for the past five days due to a lack of storage capacity.

Water leaks at Japan's Onagawa nuclear plant

(Reuters) - Water leaked out of spent fuel pools at the Onagawa nuclear plant in northeast Japan after a strong aftershock rocked the region late on Thursday, but there was no change in the radiation levels outside the plant, operator Tohoku Electric Power Co said on Friday.

It said water sloshed out of spent fuel pools in the plant's No.1, No.2 and No.3 reactors, which had been shut down after the 9.0 magnitude quake on March 11, and had also leaked in three other locations in the No.3 reactor complex.

Analysis: A month on, Japan nuclear crisis still scarring

(Reuters) - One month on, and the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant is still creating lasting scars - Scariest is what cannot be seen in the images of vast destruction from March 11 natural disasters that led to the nuclear crisis -- namely radiation. It could take months or years to learn how damaging the release of dangerous isotopes has been to human health, food supplies, marine life and the surrounding countryside.

The inability of Japanese authorities to regain full control of the plant will make villages nearby uninhabitable for a long time, drive people further away and risk damaging relations with neighboring countries. For the global nuclear industry, the accident following the massive earthquake and tsunami will leave lasting sores. Some projects will be abandoned; some existing plants will close; costs will climb.

...It was not immediately clear how powerless operators were in those first days. But when the details are finally documented, the situation may well be more terrifying than anyone yet realizes... (more)

Skłodowska-Curie died at the Sancellemoz Sanatorium in Passy, in Haute-Savoie, eastern France, from aplastic anemia contracted from exposure to radiation. The damaging effects of ionizing radiation were not then known, and much of her work had been carried out in a shed, without proper safety measures. She had carried test tubes containing radioactive isotopes in her pocket and stored them in her desk drawer, remarking on the pretty blue-green light that the substances gave off in the dark.
Because of their levels of radioactivity, her papers from the 1890s are considered too dangerous to handle. Even her cookbook is highly radioactive. They are kept in lead-lined boxes, and those who wish to consult them must wear protective clothing.

Anti-nuclear movement @Wikipedia

The anti-nuclear movement is a social movement that opposes the use of nuclear technologies. Many direct action groups, environmental groups, and professional organisations have identified themselves with the movement at the local, national, and international level. Major anti-nuclear groups include Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, Friends of the Earth, Greenpeace, International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War, and the Nuclear Information and Resource Service. The initial objective of the movement was nuclear disarmament, though the focus has shifted to include opposition to the use of nuclear power.

Nuclear-free alternatives
See also: Soft energy path, Renewable energy commercialisation, Non-nuclear future, and The Clean Tech Revolution

Anti-nuclear groups generally claim that reliance on nuclear energy can be reduced by adopting energy conservation and energy efficiency measures. Energy efficiency can reduce the consumption of energy while providing the same level of energy "services".

Anti-nuclear groups also favour the use of renewable energy, such as wind power, solar power, geothermal energy and biofuel. According to the International Energy Agency, renewable energy technologies are essential contributors to the energy supply portfolio, as they contribute to world energy security and provide opportunities for mitigating greenhouse gases.

Fossil fuels are being replaced by clean, climate-stabilizing, non-depletable sources of energy:
...the transition from coal, oil, and gas to wind, solar, and geothermal energy is well under way. In the old economy, energy was produced by burning something — oil, coal, or natural gas — leading to the carbon emissions that have come to define our economy. The new energy economy harnesses the energy in wind, the energy coming from the sun, and heat from within the earth itself.

Greenpeace advocates reduction of fossil fuels by 50% by 2050 as well as phasing out nuclear energy, contending that innovative technologies can increase energy efficiency, and suggests that by 2050 the majority of electricity will be generated from renewable sources. The International Energy Agency estimates that nearly 50% of global electricity supplies will need to come from renewable energy sources in order to halve carbon dioxide emissions by 2050 and minimise significant, irreversible climate change impacts.

Friends of the Earth

Radiological Impact of Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Disaster
A petition from Green Action Japan, where you can sign on and show your solidarity with many concerned Japanese citizens.

This petition is from concerned Japanese citizens, who would appreciate an international show of support.

Radiological Impact of Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Disaster

On March 11th, Japan was struck by a devastating earthquake and tsunamis. A nuclear disaster followed.

Please support this petition by Japanese citizens. It was submitted to the Japanese government on March 28th at a meeting backed by 168 citizen organizations. It addresses the radiological impact of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant disaster and the need to extend the exclusion zone around the plant.

Your voices will be delivered to the Japanese government.

What the petition says:

Immediately issue a directive to evacuate and enlarge the evacuation zone.
Calculate and publicize regularly the total cumulative radiation dose local residents receive collectively.
Repeal the upward revision of the maximum permissible radiation dose (250 milliSieverts) for emergency-response workers at the Fukushima plant.
Expand the scope of radiation monitoring and publicize the results.
Undertake immediately a comprehensive survey of the radiation exposure and current state of health of local residents and provide for their long-term health care.
Do not relax the provisional standards governing the maximum permissible levels of radionuclides in food.
Provide compensation for damages to farm and dairy producers and to people who are forced to relocate.
Generally, take all measures necessary to ensure that members of the public do not receive radiation doses greater than 1 milliSievert per annum.

Sign the Petition!

Friends of the Earth is fighting to defend the environment and create a more healthy and just world. We're progressive environmental advocates who pull no punches and speak sometimes uncomfortable truths to power. It's an approach that for four decades has yielded victories protecting our planet and its people. We’re part of Friends of the Earth International, a federation of grassroots groups working in 76 countries on today’s most urgent environmental and social issues.

Our current campaigns focus on promoting clean energy and solutions to climate change, keeping toxic and risky technologies out of the food we eat and products we use, and protecting marine ecosystems and the people who live and work near them.

See also
whats up: Nuclear Power Crimes Against Humanity & Environment
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