Tuesday, December 25, 2018

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NIRS organizes, mobilizes and empowers people in the U.S. and across the world to build a safe, clean and affordable nuclear-free carbon-free energy future for our planet.

NIRS was founded in 1978 to be the national information and networking center for people and environmental activists concerned about nuclear power, radioactive waste, radiation and sustainable energy issues.

That's still our core function, but we have moved on both programmatically and geographically. Our focus now is to organize, mobilize and empower people across the globe to help build a clean, safe, affordable, nuclear-free carbon-free energy future.



Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Public has till Jan. 9 to comment on DOE proposal to abandon high-level radioactive wastes in situ | Beyond Nuclear - Radioactive Waste What's New

In response to a request by 76 environmental groups, including Beyond Nuclear, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has granted until January 9, 2019 for the public to commenton the agency's proposal to deregulate high-level radioactive wastes, and allow for their abandonment in situ, at such places as Hanford Nuclear (Weapons) Reservation on the Columbia River in Washington State, the West Valley reprocessing facility upstream of the Great Lakes in New York, etc.

For more LINKS., including instructions on how to submit comments, CLICK HERE
• see DOE's Federal Register Notice • Sample comments you can use to prepare your own will be posted here, at the top of Beyond Nuclear's Radioactive Waste website section, ASAP.

Public has till Jan. 9 to comment on DOE proposal to abandon high-level radioactive wastes in situ

Nuclear Fox Hervé Courtois of Rainbow Warriors on #Fukushima & TEPCO Lies | Nuclear Hotseat

Nuclear Fox Hervé Courtois & Nuclear Hotseat’s Libbe HaLevy @ the Window Rock of Window Rock, AZ
/ attending the International Uranium Film Festival


This Week’s Featured Interview:

  • Nuclear Fox – Hervé Courtois of France, aka D’un Renard, or “The Fox” – has been a steadfast provider of reliable nuclear  news, especially from Fukushima, since the first months after the disaster began in 2011.  After many years of trying, at the International Uranium Film Festival, Libbe HaLevy succeeded in cornering him for an interview on why he became so involved with providing nuclear news, and what keeps him going.  Here are his links:

Numnutz of the Week (for Outstanding Nuclear Boneheadedness):

Nuclear disaster?  Radiation?  Contamination of Japanese food?  Fukushima sake in Manhattan?  I’ll drink to that!  (… or NOT…)

Activist Links:

  • Public Comment needed on Department of Energy’s proposal to abandon high-level radioactive wastes in situ –  meaning right where it is now, on site at reactors and on already contaminated lands.
  • LA Times article on Marco Kaltofen: “Hidden Danger: Radioactive Dust is Found in Communities Around Nuclear Weapons”
  • For the dust testing protocols after the Woolsey Fire, CLICK HERE.Key facts to remember:
    • Protect yourself from the dust and dirt with a mask and clothing that can be easily washed or even thrown away.
    • Do NOT simply send in to Fairewinds; you MUST get approval and registration with them or your sample will be disposed of without being opened.
    • The results will take at least 5 months, if not longer, to show up.  This is because of the intensity of the testing program and the number of steps that must be taken.   BE PATIENT.  When you get the data, it will be solid and scientific.

LISTEN NOW > Nuclear Fox Hervé Courtois of Rainbow Warriors on #Fukushima & TEPCO Lies | Nuclear Hotseat

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Rudolph the radioactive reindeer | Beyond Nuclear International

by Linda Pentz Gunter

Fallout from Soviet atomic bomb tests over the Arctic Ocean, compounded by the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear power plant explosion, have left reindeer too radioactive to eat, even today. That may be good news for the reindeer, sort of. But it’s bad news for the indigenous Laplanders in Finland and Sami herders in Norway, who carry high levels of radiation in their own bodies as well as in the reindeer on which they depend for sustenance and sales.

Reindeer carry heavy radioactive doses, mainly of cesium-137, because they devour lichen, moss and fungi, which bioaccumulate radioactive deposits from fallout. Norway’s radioactive contamination is primarily from Chernobyl, made worse because it was snowing heavily at the time of the April 26 accident…

more: Rudolph the radioactive reindeer | Beyond Nuclear International

Thursday, December 13, 2018

Hidden danger: Radioactive dust is found in communities around nuclear weapons sites - Los Angeles Times

Marco Kaltofen, whose studies suggest greater hazards than were previously known from radioactivity surrounding federal nuclear sites. (Tom Carpenter / Hanford Challenge)

At the dawn of the nuclear age, the Franklin D. Roosevelt administration placed the nation’s major nuclear weapons production and research facilities in large, isolated reservations to shield them from foreign spies — and to protect the American public from the still unknown risks of radioactivity.

By the late 1980s, near the end of the Cold War, federal lands in South Carolina, Tennessee, New Mexico, Colorado, Ohio and Washington state, among other places, were so polluted with radionuclides that the land was deemed permanently unsuitable for human habitation.

That much has long been accepted as a price for the nation’s nuclear deterrent. But a far more complex problem could emerge if recent research is correct.

Studies by a Massachusetts scientist say that invisible radioactive particles of plutonium, thorium and uranium are showing up in household dust, automotive air cleaners and along hiking trails outside the factories and laboratories that for half a century contributed to the nation’s stockpile of nuclear weapons…

more: Hidden danger: Radioactive dust is found in communities around nuclear weapons sites - Los Angeles Times

Friday, December 7, 2018

No Uranium Mining On Sacred Land: Big Win For Pine Ridge Reservation

The Oglala Sioux Tribe and activists scored a win, when federal administrative judges ruled that Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) staff has failed to take “a hard look” at cultural resources in recommending renewal of a uranium mining license for Crow Butte Mine, near here. The decision delays permitting.
The tribe, intervening in the license renewal application for the mine in Dawes County, Nebraska, adjacent to the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, argued that the staff recommended approval in violation of its rights under the National Historic Preservation Act and National Environmental Protection Act, or NEPA. 

Resolving in favor of the tribe’s argument, an oversight panel established by the Atomic Licensing and Safety Board ruled: “The NRC staff has not met its identification obligations” under the two laws, “nor has the NRC staff, in its environmental assessment, undertaken a hard look under NEPA at cultural resources within the license area.”

more: White Wolf : No Uranium Mining On Sacred Land: Big Win For Pine Ridge Reservation

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

More Nuclear Energy Is Not The Solution To Our Climate Crisis

Faced with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s latest report, some environmental leaders are all too ready to toss a lifeline to aging, uneconomic nuclear power plants. The Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS), long venerated as America’s most rigorous nuclear watchdog group, joined this chorus in early November.
The UCS report, “The Nuclear Dilemma,” proposes that we single out “safe” but financially ailing nuclear plants and subsidize their operations, so that they might remain open — thus avoiding additional carbon emissions from coal or natural gas plants that might replace them. America gets about 20 percent of its electricity from nuclear power, but only 17 of the 99 reactors that generate this power are unprofitable, according to UCS. Those reactors account for just 3 percent of overall U.S. power generation, though UCS says the share of unprofitable nuclear plants could grow in future years if the price of natural gas drops or the costs of maintaining older nuclear facilities rise.
What do we gain by breathing some extra life into these plants? Proponents say “zero-carbon emissions.” That’s if we choose to ignore the emissions associated with mining and processing uranium, building nuclear power stations, managing nuclear waste, and — on those rare but horrific occasions — dealing with the consequences of a major nuclear disaster.

Bailing out old, financially shaky nuclear plants is a short-sighted response to a huge challenge that requires much bigger, much more transformative thinking. Instead, we ought to invest big in our leading zero-carbon alternatives — solar and wind — which offer far cheaper electricity and, unlike nuclear, have life-cycle costs that have steadily dropped over the past several years…

more: More Nuclear Energy Is Not The Solution To Our Climate Crisis

NIRS Publishes White Paper on Reactor Shutdowns and Phaseout Plans | NIRS

NIRS published a white paper on strategies states can use to manage shutdowns of nuclear reactors responsibly and cost-effectively. Nuclear Reactor Closures: Practical, Cost-Effective Solutions for Communities and the Climate, takes lessons learned from reactor closures and state subsidy programs. It proposes proactive, cost-effective ways for states to plan for shutdowns, while protecting workers and local communities through economic transition and accelerating renewable energy growth and greenhouse gas reductions.

NIRS Publishes White Paper on Reactor Shutdowns and Phaseout Plans | NIRS


Monday, December 3, 2018

Should We Subsidize Nuclear Power to Fight Climate Change? - Scientific American Blog Network

That’s what some are advocating, but the arguments in favor of doing so are flawed

Last month, the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) put out a reportentitled The Nuclear Power Dilemma: Declining Profits, Plant Closures, and the Threat of Rising Carbon Emissions that calls for offering subsidies to unprofitable nuclear power plants. Not surprisingly, it has been widely welcomed by nuclear advocates, who interpret the report as essentially saying “yes to nuclear power” in order to reduce carbon emissions.
But that interpretation misses the many important but less prominent insights in the UCS report… read more

Conclusion: "All these factors undermine the report’s central assumption that nuclear plants will be replaced by fossil fueled plants. To be fair, the UCS report does call for periodically assessing whether continued support is necessary and cost effective. But such support might already not be cost effective. All told, the economic basis for subsidies is uncertain at best; more likely, it is flawed. Either way, it may be best to get onward with the transition from fossil fuels and nuclear power to renewables."

Should We Subsidize Nuclear Power to Fight Climate Change? - Scientific American Blog Network


When nuclear power started to develop into an ever more important source of electric energy during the second half of the twentieth century, there grew widespread optimism regarding the potential of this seemingly unlimited, clean and, in the long run, economic resource. The unresolved problem of how to dispose of nuclear waste—which degrades very slowly, with a half-life of up to 15.7 million years—existed from the beginning but was widely ignored. Instead, much hope was placed in finding a solution to this problem—a solution that, up to this date, still does not exist.
Those who were skeptical of nuclear power were proven right by the accidents of Three Mile Island in 1979, Chernobyl in 1986, and Fukushima in 2011. The latter two incidents in particular encouraged demands for a nuclear power phase-out and led to the establishment of phase-out plans in several countries, including Germany. When the urgency of climate change, along with the necessity of rapid decarbonization, became more evident, many scientists and activists alike pleaded for the use of nuclear power as a transitional technology. They argued that the use of nuclear power could help to avoid shortages in energy supplies caused by the relative unreliability of renewables like wind and solar energy.
In this important new study, Tim Judson, Executive Director of the Nuclear Information and Resource Service (NIRS) and renowned nuclear power expert, does away with persistent myths about the importance of nuclear power. Starting not from an abstract position but by considering real-world events, the author demonstrates the very concrete challenges that the production of nuclear power poses for the environment as well as for our economy.
In addition to the long-lasting environmental impacts of nuclear power production, Judson pays attention to how it affects communities—and in particular poor communities of color—through the mining and processing of uranium as well as the disposal of nuclear waste. While mainly focusing on the production and use of nuclear power in the US, as well as possible phase-out scenarios, this study can easily be applied to other contexts around the world. Informed by global trends in climate change, this study is of utmost urgency in showing us a path toward a nuclear-free, sustainable future.
Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung—New York Office introduces this study as an opportunity to carefully investigate the possible potential as well as the dangers of nuclear power, and the question of its suitability as a transitional technology.