Nuclear Hotseat #175: SPECIAL – Trial of the 4 Grandmothers for Pilgrim Nuke Protest + Halloween (What’s Scarier than Nuclear?))

 

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SPECIAL:  Full coverage of last week’s trial of the Four Grandmothers, Cape Cod Downwinders who were arrested for trespass for their Mother’s Day, 2014 protest at the Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station in Plymouth, Massachusetts.  Hear from Downwinders co-founder Diane Turco; first-time-ever activist Mary Conathan (71); and attorney Bruce Taub.  Talk about speaking Truth to Power!

Dr. Helen Caldicott (l) and Cape Cod Downwinders co-founder Diane Turco
Dr. Helen Caldicott (l) and Cape Cod Downwinders co-founder Diane Turco

 

HALLOWEEN FEATURE:

What could be scarier than nuclear?  Activists from both coasts share their most frightening thoughts about the industry that brought us Fukushima, Chernobyl, Three Mile Island and a whole lot more!

nrc-jpg1

NUMNUTZ OF THE WEEK:

The United States and Russia finally find something to agree upon and work together towards… more nuclear insanity.

PLUS:

  • Nuclear emergency at Honeywell’s Illinois Uranium Processing Plant leaks uranium hexafluoride into environment.
  • Volcano experts warn that Mount Ioyama has started experiencing tremors… only 40 miles (65 km) from the Sendai nuclear power facility – and of course Japan wants to start restarting its nukes with Sendai.
  • Fukushima radiation rises to 800-900 times the previous peak, with no end in sight.
  • Major turbine troubles at Kudankulam keeps the brand-spanking-new nuke facility offline since September.

LINKS:

Nuclear Hotseat #174: MacFarlane Bails NRC, WIPP Rad-Fan Restart, Food Safety for Japanese Imports

"Does This Soup Look Ambivalent?" at Frieze Art Faire in London
“Does This Soup Taste Ambivalent?” at Frieze Art Fair in London

 

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INTERVIEWS:

At Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP Site) near Carlsbad, NM, Department of Energy restarts exhaust fan exposed to Plutonium and Americium during February 14, 2014 radiation leak; Don Hancock of Southwest Resource and Information Center provides us with an update and insights.

One From the Vault:  Nuclear Hotseat #7, July 26, 2011
Jon Solomon of Eden Foods explains the quick action taken by the company to determine food safety of all products imported from Japan in the immediate aftermath of the start of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster.  Still a model for protection of workers and consumers that deserves to be emulated by all food providers and manufacturers doing business with Japan.

NUMNUTZ OF THE WEEK:
Nuclear tourism at the point where it all started! 
What’s the worst that could happen…?  Oh, that!  Learn about guided tours from ground zero of the nuclear age, where once a year you can take the spouse and kids to see where everything changed in the flash of eternity.

PLUS:

  • BREAKING:  Alison MacFarlane resigns as Chair of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, effective December 31, 2014.  Alison leaves Wonderland; can a book be far behind?
  • BREAKING:  She’s in!  She’s out!  She’s in again – and now she stays!  Dr. Helen Caldicott will testify on Wednesday, October 22, on behalf of the Four Grandmothers: Cape Cod Downwinders arrested on Mother’s Day for attempting to plant flowers of protest at Pilgrim Nuclear Power Plant.  Who wants a transcript?
Dr. Helen Caldicott, about to testify on behalf of the Four Grandmothers for protesting Pilgrim Nuclear Power Plant on Mother's Day
Dr. Helen Caldicott, about to testify on behalf of the Four Grandmothers for protesting at Pilgrim Nuclear Power Plant on Mother’s Day
  • Special report from London on Frieze Art Fair and the soup-from-Fukushima art installation, “Does this Soup Taste Ambivalent?”
  • French nuke giant Areva’s CEO Luc Oursel takes leave of absence for health reasons “…in order to pursue treatment.”  Might the nuke-pusher have contracted cancer, the #1 side effect of nuclear radiation?  Could this be karma… or irony?
  • New Canadian nuclear safety regs mandate stores of Potassium Iodide stockpiled, enough to treat everyone living within 50 miles of a nuclear reactor — at the same time the country is trying to convince us that it’s perfectly safe to site a nuclear waste repository less than a mile from the shore of Lake Huron.  Disconnect, anyone?
  • San Onofre warning siren retired; don’t they realize that nuclear waste is dangerous and needs a warning, too?
Sayonara, San Onofre siren.
Sayonara, San Onofre sirens.

LINKS:

Nuclear Hotseat #173: USS Reagan Homeporting – Japan or USA? Masahiko Goto, Carol Jahnkow


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INTERVIEWS: 

Two views across the Pacific on homeporting issues for the USS Ronald Reagan, which sailed into the worst of the Fukushima Daiichi radiation plume beginning the day after the earthquake and tsunami set off the nuclear disaster.  Is the ship still radioactive?  What happened to the debris from the purported “clean-up?”  And why would the town of Yokusuka, the proposed new location for the Reagan, put up with two floating nuclear reactors from a contaminated ship in its harbor?

  • Mr. Masahiko Goto, attorney for the Japanese coalition trying to block the homeporting of the Reagan in Yokusuka as of Summer, 2015, on the current battle and his planned trip to visit the Reagan lawsuit attorneys and activists in California.
  • Carol Jahnkow, a 30-year veteran activist on and now Director Emerita of the Peace Resource Center of San Diego, provides historic perspective and context for understanding issues with our atomic-powered fleet.
Carol Jahnkow (r) and Libbe HaLevy at San Onofre Demo, March 11, 2012
Carol Jahnkow (r) and Nuclear Hotseat Producer/Host Libbe HaLevy at San Onofre Demo, March 11, 2012


NUMNUTZ OF THE WEEK:

Japan goes full NIMBY as Prime Minister Abe-baby’s  government tries to get cities currently storing contaminated waste from Fukushima to hold onto it for just a wee bit more time than the originally promised three years of “interim” storage.

Some of the Numnutz radwaste from Fukushima - NIMBY!Doesn’t look very “interim” to me… 

PLUS:

  • Typhoon Vongfong threatens Fukushima Daiichi with record rain, storm surges and possible tornadoes, as last week’s Typhoon Phanfone caused radiation surges of up to 10 times previous records.  
  • California’s “top energy cop” Michael Peevey resigns from Public Utilities Commission… but not before he still gets a chance to swing San Onofre decision in favor of a Southern California Edison bailout;
  • New nuke languaging “spin speak” outed by Beyond Nuclear;
  • and Ralph Nader taps Michael Mariotte of NIRS for a Lifetime Achievement Award.  Mazel tov, Michael!

Nuclear Hotseat #172: Dr. Helen Caldicott, “Crisis Without End”

 rudolph-red-nosed-reindeer-7049705Rudolph’s not the only reindeer glowing in Norway…

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INTERVIEW:
Dr. Helen Caldicott – Nobel Peace Prize nominee, founder of Physicians for Social Responsibility, pediatrician, veteran anti-nuclear activist and author – discusses her latest book,
“Crisis Without End” about Fukushima’s medical and ecological consequences, and her upcoming
2015 Symposium on Nuclear Weapons.

Dr. Helen Caldicott w/Nuclear Hotseat's Libbe HaLevy Dr. Helen Caldicott (r) with Nuclear Hotseat’s Libbe HaLevy at the 2013 Symposium on the Medical and Ecological Consequences of the Fukushima Nuclear Disaster

NUMNUTZ OF THE WEEK:  Two core graphite bricks are cracked, but hey, that’s “expected” in the lifetime of the Hunterston B nuke facility in Scotland.  So is its lifetime over?  Hah!  This is nuclear!  They just upped the number of “expected” cracks and call it safe.  Numnutz, indeed!

PLUS:

  • “Enormous orange flash” over Iranian military facility suspected of harboring secret nuke program; was it nuclear?
  • Japan’s typhoon Phanfone sets off alarms, triggers leaks at Fukushima Units 1 & 3;
  • Congress wakes up to join Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe to oppose Ontario’s proposed nuclear waste site less than a mile from Lake Huron;
  • Judge upholds 20-year ban on new uranium mines near Grand Canyon;
  • Department of Energy blows deadline to start emptying leaking nuke waste storage tank at Hanford site in Washington, so the state gives ‘em another 18 months before the start… and still, the stuff keeps leaking!
  • Sweden phasing out all nuclear if coalition of ruling Social Democrats and Green Party have their way;
  • Radioactivity in Norway’s reindeer hits new high; Rudolph not the only one who’s glowing.

Nuclear Hotseat #171: Southwest Radiation Leak Update – Hancock on WIPP, Hadden on WCS

WARNING!  IT'S US!

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INTERVIEWS:

Focus on the American southwest and the fallout from the Valentine’s Day  radwaste container explosion at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant, or WIPP site in Carlsbad, New Mexico.

  • Don Hancock, Executive Director of Southwest Information and Resource Center, corrects some misinformation about radiation levels surrounding the site, then gives his take on the “plans” to fix the problem and the recent shake-up at Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) that removed four managers in charge of transuranic waste — meaning the stuff that exploded at WIPP– from their positions.
  • Karen Hadden, Executive Director of the Sustainable Energy and Economic Development or SEED Coalition  in Texas, brings us up to date on water woes and contamination possibilities at the Waste Control Specialists (WCS) storage facility in Andrews Texas.  This is where the waste from Los Alamos National Laboratory that could not be sent to WIPP ended up.

NUMNUTZ OF THE WEEK:

  • Yes, it’s soup… but is it art?  Is it mmm mmm good or death warmed over?  Deadly Japanese hospitality offered at the Frieze Art Fair in London when conceptual artists United Brothers – originally from Iwaki in Fukushima – fly their mother in to make free soup out of Fukushima vegetables.  Isn’t there a zombie movie that starts like this?

PLUS:

  • Fuel rods losing uranium pellets at North Anna in Virginia
  • Radiation hot spots found on ocean floor within 25 kilometers/15 miles of Fukushima
  • Exelon asks Illinois for a mere $580 million to keep its nuclear reactors running
  • Pakistan wants a larger place at the international nuclear table – what could go wrong?

Nuclear Hotseat #170: Climate Change March Special w/Michael Mariotte, Gail Payne, Dr. Sheila Parks

 

Leona Morgan (L) and Japanese activist Yuko Tonohira (R) at the NYC Climate Change Rally, 9/21/14
Leona Morgan (C) and Japanese activist Yuko Tonohira (R) at the NYC Climate Change Rally, 9/21/14

 

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INTERVIEWS:

Special report last Sunday’s massive, historic Climate Change Rally in NYC:

  • Michael Mariotte, the President of Nuclear Information and Resource Service, or NIRS, provided key national organizing that helped deliver thousands of anti-nuke demonstrators to the event;
  • Gail Payne not only marched, she designed those terrific posters featuring King CONG – “CONG” standing for Coal, Oil, Nuclear and Gas;

Climate Change Rally poster

  • Boston’s Sheila Parks provides an inspiring, personal vision of what the march meant to her.
Dr. Sheila Parks in her stylish tyvek hazmat suit.
Dr. Sheila Parks in her stylish tyvek hazmat suit.

MICHAEL BRUNE/SIERRA CLUB PETITION THAT ACTUALLY MENTIONS NUCLEAR!  PLEASE SIGN AND SHARE! 

NUMNUTZ OF THE WEEK:  The nuclear industry decodes its own bad language in dealing with banks and financial institutions.  They just gave us the script to use when we talk with these potential funders of nuclear expansion to make them think twice and decide against it!

PLUS:

  • More WIPP woes in Carlsbad, NM, as and additional drum of radioactive waste may have leaked at the only US facility for underground storage of nuclear debris.
  • Radiation in Fukushima groundwater now 25,000 times higher than when 2014 began… and believed to be seeping its way towards Tokyo.
  • Hanford-area birth defects (anencephaly, spina bifida) spike in alarming cluster as Washington State report on 1968-80 study of birth defects in children of Hanford workers “mysteriously” disappears from the state’s website.
  • Read Hanford report on bizarre deaths after radiation exposure
  • Watch Seattle KING 5 report Hanford whistleblower “illegally fired” for voicing safety concerns
  • Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe-baby actually says that Japan will not restart its closed nucler power plants “unless safety is restored 100 percent.”  I guess that means they will NEVER be restarting!  (Of course, it all hinges on Abe’s definition of “safety.”)

LINKS:

Nuclear Hotseat #169: Beverly Findlay-Kaneko on Journalist Iwaji’s Death + Karl Grossman on Nukes in Space

Climate Change Rally poster

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(available as of 9/16/14):

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(available as of 9/16/14)

INTERVIEWS:

Beverly Findlay-Kaneko, Nuclear Hotseat’s “boots on the ground” in Japan, talks extensively about the recent death of Asahi TV news director Masaki Iwaji, whose passing was officially categorized as suicide but  which is believed by many to have been something else.  Beverly also discusses how Japan’s political shift to the right has impacted the anti-nuclear movement there and reflects on time she spent at a mountain retreat with Fukushima mothers and their children.

Award-winning journalist Karl Grossman provides the history of Nukes in Space, from President Ronald Reagan’s “Star Wars” initiative that proposed placing weapons platforms in orbit around Earth to recent breakthroughs in solar-powered interplanetary flight that give lie to the need for anything nuclear in space.  (An excerpt from this interview was used on Nuclear Hotseat #163, the August 5 Hiroshima Day Special.)

ACTIVIST SHOUT-OUT:  Everyone who’s marching in the People’s Climate March on September 21 – safe journey and make the entire climate change/sustainability community understand that NUKES ARE THE WHITE ELEPHANT IN THE CLIMATE CHANGE LIVINGROOM!

Nuclear Hotseat #168: Millstone’s May 25 Radiation Leak w/Nancy Burton

10609631_10202794068561315_6352538062752259647_n

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INTERVIEW:  Nancy Burton, founder of the Connecticut Coalition Against Millstone, on the horrifying history of Connecticut’s aging Millstone nuclear power station, on the ongoing dangers posed by owner/operator Dominion Resources’ bottom line approach to safety, and the unreported radiation release that happened during the double-reactor shutdown on May 25, 2014.
www.MothballMillstone.com

NUMNUTZ OF THE WEEK:  Attempted Ukranian sabotage of Iran’s Russian-built nuclear reactor possibly caused by  after-market nuclear parts from Sandia National Laboratory in New Mexico.  WTF?  

PLUS:

  • New Mexico’s Environmental Department Secretary accuses federal Department of Energy of blocking probe of Feb. 14 accident and radiation leak at WIPP Site in Carlsbad.
  • 55 Greenpeace activists on trial in France for March 18 protest about lack of security at the Fessenheim nuclear facility that resulted in 20 managing to get into the facility and onto the dome of one of the reactors.  Security, anyone?
  • India’s Prime Minister Modi fails to land nuke deal with Japan, but gets a uranium deal from Australia.  Partial victory for India’s Anti-Nuclear Gandhi, Kumar Sundaram.
  • Chernobyl radioactivity found in wild boar in Germany must be destroyed uneaten… or shipped to the United States, which considers its 600 Bequerel per kilogram of radioactivity just fine and safe for Americans to eat, mmm, mmm, good!
Chernobyl's Legacy: German boars found to be too radioactive to be eaten.
Chernobyl’s Legacy: German boar found to be too radioactive to be eaten.
  •  Fukushima radiation detected in West Coast groundwater, meat, fish, milk and vegetation… IN 2011 AND 2012… and they’re just letting us know about it now???

Nuclear Hotseat #167: Beyond Nuclear’s Kevin Kamps on NRC’s Conflict of Interest + WIPP Update

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INTERVIEWS:

  • Kevin Kamps of Beyond Nuclear goes after the Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s latest actions in speeding approval of all nuclear reactor license extensions and  new builds, plus highlights the votes of compromised lame duck (now former) Commissioner Magwood’s blatant, possibly illegal conflict of interest.
    FOR SAMPLE WORDING FROM KEVIN KAMPS TO SEND TO SEN. BARBARA BOXER THAT ASKS HER TO REQUIRE HARDENED ONSITE STORAGE (HOSS) FOR HIGH LEVEL RADIOACTIVE WASTE STORED AT REACTORS, SCROLL DOWN TO THE BOTTOM OF THIS POST.

    The Nuclear Regulatory Commission's 15 oldest reactors, all built for only 40 years of service, now licensed for 20 year extensions and under consideration for an additional 20 years of operation.  Feeling safe yet?
    The Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s 15 oldest reactors, all built for only 40 years of service, now licensed for 20 year extensions and under consideration for an additional 20 years of operation. Feeling safe yet?
  • Don Hancock, Executive Director of Southwest Information and Research Center, updates us on the findings in the radiation leak at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP site) in Carlsbad, New Mexico.  Even the EPA couldn’t ignore the shocking discrepancies in recorded times, radiation data and missing documents.

NUMNUTZ OF THE WEEK:
What – the US doesn’t have enough nuclear waste of its own, it has to import it back from countries that use our technology?!?!?????  Well… yes, and 23,000 liters of the junk is on its way to the Savannah River Site in South Carolina from Canada.

PLUS:

  • TEPCO OOPS – 800+ pound console falls into Fukushima Unit 3 spent fuel pool… during an operation to remove debris from Unit 3 spent fuel pool;
  • 104 Fukushima children now diagnosed with thyroid cancer;
  • Harrowing testimony about the meltdowns as they happened by former Fukushima Chief, the late Masao Yoshida, released to the public in Japanese and English.  (LINK to English translation of nine articles about Yoshida’s testimony:  CLICK HERE)
Masao Yoshida
The late Masao Yoshida, Hero of Fukushima
  • Millstone reactors’ May 25 dual emergency shutdowns DID release radiation to Waterford, CT, area despite operator Dominion’s claims to the contrary;
  • and German activists chain themselves to railroad tracks to stop uranium ore shipment. Rock ‘n roll!

LINKS:

Comparison of Chernobyl and Fukushima radiation impact on animals and plants, published by the Chernobyl Research Initiative: CLICK HERE

WORDING  TO USE WITH SEN. BARBARA BOXER, ASKING HER TO REQUIRE HARDENED ONSITE STORAGE (HOSS) FOR HIGH LEVEL RADIOACTIVE WASTE STORED AT REACTORS – FROM KEVIN KAMPS:

Action Alert: Prevent Radioactive Waste Pool Fires! Stop Mobile Chernboyls! Support Hardened On-Site Storage!

U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) chairs the Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee, with oversight on the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and nuclear power industry.

Please email her via the EPW Committee office web form. Urge Sen. Boxer to require Hardened On-Site Storage (HOSS) for high-level radioactive wastes (HLRWs) stored at reactors. HOSS is endorsed by hundreds of environmental groups representing all 50 states. HLRWs are currently stored in indoor pools, and outdoor dry casks, vulnerable to accidents, attacks, natural disasters, leaks, and catastrophic fires.

If you are a California resident, you can also fill out the web form for Sen. Boxer’s constituent office.

Ironically enough, CA’s other U.S. Senator, Dianne Feinstein, would make these risks worse. Sen. Feinstein chairs the Energy and Water Development Appropriations Subcommittee. In Section 308 of the Fiscal Year 2015 Senate Energy & Water Appropriations Bill, Sen. Feinstein has proposed providing $89 million of taxpayer money towards rushing irradiated nuclear fuel onto the roads, rails, and waterways, bound for “centralized” or “consolidated interim storage” sites. These are more aptly described as de facto permanent parking lot dumps. They are targeted at Native American reservations, already contaminated Department of Energy sites, as well as nuclear power plants. HLRW trucks, trains, and barges risk Mobile Chernobyls, floating Fukushimas, and dirty bombs on wheels, and would bring us no closer to a permanent solution. Email Sen. Feinstein via her constituent web form, and urge her to support HOSS instead.

You can also phone both Senators’ Washington, D.C. Member offices via the U.S. Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121. If you would rather phone or write Sen. Boxer’s in-state office nearest you, see her listings. Sen. Feinstein also lists her local offices, as well.

Nuclear Hotseat #166: EXCLUSIVE – USS Reagan Sailors v. TEPCO – The San Diego Hearing

 JON STEWART TWEET-OF-THE-WEEK:

EPISODE #166 – LISTEN HERE:

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EXCLUSIVE SPECIAL REPORT:  The USS Reagan v. TEPCO Hearing

Nuclear Hotseat’s exclusive coverage of this week’s hearing in Federal Court in the $1 billion lawsuit on behalf of sailors from the USS Ronald Reagan against Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO).  The sailors got hit with lethal levels of radiation while on an humanitarian aid mission to provide post-earthquake/tsunami aid to Japanese victims… and never were warned of the danger they were sailing into by Fukushima-Daiichi plant operator TEPCO.  Interviews with attorneys Charles Bonner (also heard in Nuclear Hotseat #129 & 138) and Paul Garner; USS Reagan veteran Steve Simmons (also heard in Nuclear Hotseat #159 & 161) and his wife Summer Simmons.

ADDRESS FOR JUDGE JANIS L. SAMMARTINO:
Edward J. Schwartz United States Courthouse
221 West Broadway, Suite 4136, Courtroom 4A
San Diego, CA  92101

2014-08-25-11_49_37_small(l to r) Nuclear Hotseat’s Libbe HaLevy, attorney Charles Bonner, Summer Simmons, USS Reagan veteran Steve Simmons, attorney Paul Garner


NUMNUTZ OF THE WEEK: 
Does the nuclear industry actually pay its trolls to remove articles from academic databases and think that’s going to stop us?

A Nuclear Troll, trying to get a clue...
A Nuclear Troll, trying to get a clue…

PLUS: 

  • Change.org petition to pardon three anti-nuclear activists who conducted a peaceful protest of nuclear weapons:  84-year-old Sister Megan Rice, and two US military veterans, 58-year-old Gregory Boertje-Obed and 64-year-old, two-tour Vietnam vet Michael WalliClick Here to Sign.

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