You are here

action day

Events in Paris

The United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP 21) will be held in Paris from 30 November to 11 December 2015. But that’s not the only thing happening in Paris in those two weeks. Following the attacks in Paris of November 13th, the French government has prohibited mass mobilisation. It is terrible what has happened, but this is not the time to silence the voice of the people. We will be present.
Below a list of the activities the Don’t Nuke the Climate campaign will be offering.

Benefit concert to support disaster relief efforts in Japan and non-nuclear groups worldwide

Nuclear Monitor Issue: 

An impressive line-up of artists are coming together for a special benefit event on August 7 in Mountain View, California, USA. Amongst them names as Crosby, Stills & Nash, Jackson Browne, Bonnie Raitt, Jason Mraz, The Doobie Brothers, Tom Morello, John Hall, Kitaro, Jonathan Wilson, Sweet Honey in the Rock.

Proceeds from the concert will be distributed to Musicians United for Safe Energy (MUSE) to support Japan disaster relief efforts, and organizations worldwide working to promote safe, alternative, non-nuclear energy. “The disaster in Fukushima is not only a disaster for Japan. It is a global disaster. We come together now across cultural boundaries, political and generational boundaries, to call for changes in the way we use energy, and in the ways we conduct the search for solutions to the problems facing humanity,” says Jackson Browne. “We join with the people of Japan, and people everywhere who believe in a non-nuclear future.”

It was shortly after the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami that triggered multiple meltdowns at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant in Japan that the decision was made to coordinate a benefit. Shoreline Amphitheatre was chosen because of its close proximity to the Pacific Rim, Northern California’s history and deep association with Japan—and because nuclear reactors on the California coast store spent fuel rods in the same manner as at Fukushima. The concert date falls between the anniversaries of atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima (August 6, 1945) and Nagasaki (August 9, 1945).

“The MUSE concert will not only be a great show, it will hopefully entice the public to become better informed of the tremendous dangers of nuclear power,” says Graham Nash. “We have to keep real and true information flowing so that people can act on it.”

“We’re so lucky to have been able to bring back some of the original MUSE team to collaborate with some new and younger artists for MUSE 2, so that we can immediately help with the Japan relief effort and raise funds and awareness for the no nukes issue,” says Bonnie Raitt. “I'm excited to be a part of this important and truly collaborative effort. It’s going to be a very special, one of a kind event.”

Pat Simmons, of The Doobie Brothers, who performed at the original MUSE shows adds, "We are so proud to be reuniting with so many of our talented friends, who share our concern for the safety, and sustainable future of our fragile planet. Current events have brought us to a turning point in our human existence. It's time to consider alternatives to the present course of energy production that have been forced upon us by an aggressive corporate power structure. We join together to generate funds to help our Japanese friends, as they recover from the devastation that they have had to endure, due to man's careless use of nuclear energy, and nature's unpredictability. Through these efforts we also hope to raise public awareness of the challenges we are faced with, and the important responsibilities we share in moving us towards a safer, nuclear free future."

The concert stage will be powered by an integrated system of clean, alternative energy sources, using solar, biodiesel, and wind technologies. One goal is that the concert will inspire musicians in other areas to organize shows that both employ and promote safe energy alternatives, and that raise funds for disaster relief efforts and for groups—local, regional, national, and international alike—advocating non-nuclear programs and initiatives.

“As Japan struggles to subdue meltdowns at Fukushima, and Ft. Calhoun Nuclear in Nebraska struggles to keep its reactor and spent fuel above the Missouri's floodwaters, we once again face a crucial choice,” says John Hall. “Will we, as a country, invest in clean, renewable sources of energy, or will we continue to use taxpayer dollars to indemnify and subsidize the dirty, deadly old technologies that are making our planet unlivable?”

"Even though the news cycle has moved on from the Fukushima disaster, this is another massive world energy disaster from which there will be long-term effects,” adds Jason Mraz. “I am thrilled to be a part of this amazing show that will not only help those in Japan, but that will also call attention to the urgent need to embrace safe, clean energy alternatives."

Japanese musician and multi-instrumentalist, Kitaro, joined the bill as a way to give thanks “for all of the support for Japan from the world, and to all of the Japanese, who are helping each other.” He adds, “It is time to consider the change to alternative clean energy instead of nuclear power.”

For more information, please visit: and

Three meltdown at Fukushima; evidence severe damage before tsunami hit reactors

Nuclear Monitor Issue: 
WISE Amsterdam

Despite the lack of coverage in the international media, the situation at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant in Japan remains, in the words of the International Atomic Energy Agency’s weekly bulletin, “very serious”. Meanwhile, it's becoming more and more clear that, contrary to earlier assumptions, the reactors were damaged by the earthquake rather than the tsunami, although the earthquake "did not exceed design base values significantly".

According to the Tepco 6-9 months scheme to stabilize the Fukushima Daiichi reactors, announced on April 17, the utility expected a sustained drop in radiation levels at the entire plant by July. Following that, a cold shutdown of reactors No. 1, 2 and 3 may take place as early as October, the utility announced then.

But that was predicated on the notion that it could efficiently cool the fuel in several reactors – a harder task if water is leaking out. The company had long suspected that the containment vessels at two other reactors were breached and leaking, but it had hoped the No. 1 reactor was intact and therefore easiest to bring under control.

Tepco was able to better access the reactor on May 12, because workers had recently been able to get close enough to fix a water gauge. It showed that the water level in the reactor was much lower than expected despite the infusion of tons of water. Previous readings had shown the water level to be at 1.6 meters below the top of the fuel rods in the reactor core. As it turned out, these measurements were false. The actual water level was five meters below the top of the fuel rods, leaving them fully exposed.

Tepco has been pumping water into the pressure vessels of reactors 1, 2 and 3 for weeks in a bid to lower temperatures. The low level of water in reactor 1 indicates that the molten fuel might have created a hole in the bottom of the steel pressure vessel. Tepco general manager Junichi Matsumoto told a press conference: “There must be a large leak... The fuel pellets likely melted and fell, and in the process may have damaged... the pressure vessel itself and created a hole.”

The discovery that the pressure vessel is leaking certainly complicates efforts to permanently stabilise the reactor and prevent the further spread of radiation.

Earthquake main reason for failures?
Meanwhile, evidence is growing that Unit 1’s meltdown was initiated by the earthquake and only exacerbated by the ensuing tsunami. Bloomberg reports that a radiation alarm inside Unit 1 went off before the tsunami even arrived, indicating coolant already had been lost and fuel melting had begun. If true, this could also require a re-assessment of how quickly reactors can melt down. Tepco said May 16, that radiation levels inside Unit 1 were measured at 300 MilliSieverts/hour within hours of the earthquake - meaning that fuel melting already had begun. For melting to have begun that early, coolant must have been lost almost immediately. It’s now believed that fuel melted and dropped to the bottom of the containment - melting a hole into it, within 16 hours. Most likely, a major pipe carrying cooling water to the core was damaged by the earthquake, which should lead to a new evaluation of the ability of key reactor components to withstand seismic events.

According to Arnie Gunderson (a former nuclear industry senior vice president, and energy advisor with 39-years of nuclear power engineering experience) of Fairewind Associates, who is citing a report by Siemens, Unit 4's fuel pool cracked from the earthquake, not from the tsunami.

The Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency has so far said (as has the international nuclear industry) that the reactor withstood shaking but tsunami of an unexpected scale caused power loss, which led to an explosion.

On May 16, Tepco disclosed internal documents and data indicating the isolation condenser may have been manually shut down around 3 p.m. March 11 following the massive quake at 2:46 p.m. The plant was hit by tsunami around 3:30 p.m.  The isolation condenser is designed to inject water into the reactor for at least eight hours after the main coolant system loses power, as happened March 11. "It is possible that a worker may have manually closed the valve (of the isolation condenser) to prevent a rapid decrease in temperature, as is stipulated by a reactor operating guideline," Tepco spokesman Hajime Motojuku told The Japan Times. A worker may have stopped the condenser to keep cold water from coming into contact with the hot steel of the reactor to prevent it from being damaged.

However, nuclear reactors are designed to withstand this procedure in case of an emergency, said Hiromi Ogawa, a former nuclear plant engineer at Toshiba Corp. According to Tepco, the isolation condenser's valve was confirmed open at 6:10 p.m. March 11 but it is unknown whether it was open between 3 p.m. and 6:10 p.m. The valve was confirmed closed at 6:25 p.m. and confirmed open again at 9:30 p.m. Finally, the condenser was shut down due to a pump malfunction at 1:48 a.m. March 12, roughly eight hours after the tsunami, matching the battery life of the isolation condenser.

Radiation leak before Tsunami?
Only a few days after the revelations about the failure of the cooling before the tsunami hit the plant, another revelation, with possible grave consequences, hit the media.

A radiation monitoring post on the perimeter of the Daiichi plant about 1.5 kilometers from the No. 1 reactor went off at 3:29 p.m., minutes before the station was overwhelmed by the tsunami that knocked out backup power that kept reactor cooling systems running, according to documents supplied by the company. The monitor was set to go off at high levels of radiation, an official said.

“We are still investigating whether the monitoring post was working properly,” said Teruaki Kobayashi, the company’s head of nuclear facility management. “There is a possibility that radiation leaked before the tsunami arrived.” Kobayashi said he didn’t have the exact radiation reading that would trigger the sensor.

Until recently Tepco said the plant stood up to the magnitude-9 quake and was crippled by the tsunami that followed.  This early radiation alarm has implications for other reactors in Japan, one of the most earthquake prone countries in the world, because safety upgrades ordered by the government since March 11 have focused on the threat from tsunamis, rather than earthquakes.

So it's becoming more and more clear that, contrary to earlier assumptions, the reactors were already severely damaged by the earthquake before the tsunami hit the reactors. And that is despite the fact that the earthquake "did not exceed design base values significantly", according to an important Dutch nuclear lobbyist of the Technical University Delft Jan Leen Kloosterman, before news of damage before the tsunami even hit the reactors became public. He put it this way in a meeting on May 13: "If seismic data can be confirmed, practically all damage at Fukushima-Daiichi would have to be contributed to the tsunami." That would suit  them well. Gunderson: "This wasn't, at Fukushima, that big an earthquake. It was, out at sea a nine, but by the time it got to Fukushima, they should have been able to ride out that storm, at least the seizmic issues of it. But what that says is that what we have been relying on in analyzing these plants may not be working. Two out of the four plants developed cracks from an earthquake and they should have been able to get through this."

On May 24, Tepco confirmed finally what everybody except Tepco and the international pro-nuclear community already knew: that fresh data from Units 2 and 3 indicate that fuel rods in those reactors are “in a similar state as that in reactor number 1”. That is: fallen into a lump at the bottom of the pressure vessel. Three melt downs confirmed.

More evacuations; and more to come?
More than 2 months after March 11, residents of Kawamatamachi and Iitatemura, both in Fukushima Prefecture, began evacuating on May 15, to avoid high-level radiation. Farewell ceremonies were held in both municipalities. About 1,200 residents in Kawamatamachi will evacuate from their homes. In Iitatemura, about 4,500 residents will move from the village to accommodations in Fukushima city, such as housing for local government officials and hot spring hotels. Most of Iitatemura is located more than 30 kilometers from the Fukushima No. 1 power plant.

Around 70,000 people, including 9,500 children aged up to 14, live in  the area, "the most contaminated territory outside the evacuation zone," according to a report by France's Institute for Radiological Protection and Nuclear  Safety (IRSN). Updating its assessment of the March 11 disaster, IRSN highlighted an area northwest of the plant that lies beyond the 20-km zone whose inhabitants have already been evacuated. Radioactivity levels in this area range from several hundred  becquerels per square meter to thousands or even several million becquerels per square meter, the IRSN report, issued May 23, said. "These are people who are still to be evacuated, in addition to those who were evacuated during the emergency phase in March," Didier Champion, IRSN’s environment director, told AFP.

Internal contamination after visiting Fukushima
The engineering details of the Fukushima tragedy are beginning to be admitted publicly, while the biomedical details are still being glossed over. With fuel melting, vastly greater amounts of radio-active materials are released from the core than occur with the lesser types of fuel damage that had been postulated earlier.

Dozens of different species of radioactive materials were released in the form of vapours or particulates, susceptible for inhalation or ingestion by humans and animals, likely to be tracked into homes, schools and offices after being deposited in clothing, skin or hair.

The discovery that almost 5000 nuclear workers have now shown signs of internal radioactive contamination after simply visiting the Fukushima site guarantees that Japanese citizens of all ages from the nearby areas have also experienced some degree of internal deposition of radioactive materials in their bodies.  Nursing mothers are now showing measurable amounts of radioactive contamination from Fukushima in their milk.

The decision of the Japanese government to allow children in dozens of schools to be exposed to levels of atomic radiation up to 20 millisieverts per year is irresponsible and deserves to be denounced. Not only are children much more susceptible to the harmful effects of radiation exposure than adults, but they are much more likely to track radioactive contaminants into their homes and schools in the form of dirt and dust, soiled hands and fingernails, and dirty play-clothes.

June 11: Global Day of Action
Meanwhile, anti-nuclear protest continue. On  May 23, furious parents from the Fukushima region and hundreds of their supporters rallied in Tokyo against revised nuclear safety standards in schools (see also Nuclear Monitor 726). Japanese children can now be exposed to 20 times the radiation that was permissible before the March 11 earthquake and tsunami that caused  meltdowns at Fukushima Daiichi. Around 400 protesters, many from areas around the stricken plant, flocked to the education and science ministry to demand a rethink on the new limit, which allows exposure of up to 20 millisieverts a year. A group of Fukushima residents submitted a letter for the education minister demanding the ministry do all it can to lower radiation levels at schools and offer financial support.

Many citizens and groups in Japan have started organizing June 11 actions like demonstrations or parades. The day marks three months after the Fukushima nuclear disaster triggered by the earthquake and tsunami. The plants are still spewing radioactive materials. No one wants such dirty electricity harmful to human and nature.

“Join Japanese groups on June 11th with million-people action throughout the world and let our voice be heard. We need your support to spread our message and hear from as many people on Earth as possible. We appreciate it if you decide to organize your own demonstrations, parades, gatherings, or anything on June 11th or 12th.

Our solidarity, if you are in Japan, in Asia, in Europe, in Americas, or anywhere in this world, will soon end this dark age of nuclear power generation”.

Please, endorse the June 11 actions and list your own action at:
Endorsing groups or organizations will be publicized on the website.

Sources: Mainichi Daily News, 15 & 21 May 2011 / Godon Edwards CCNR, 24 May 2011 / AFP, 24 May 2011 / Japan Times, 17 May / Bloomberg, 12 & 19 May 2011 / Japan Today, 24 May 2011 / / Daily Yomiuri Online, 16 May 2011 / NIRS updates / Jan Leen Kloosterman, presentation Fukushima 2011 on 13 May, The Hague, Netherlands, available at: (in English)

Contact: Citizens' Nuclear Information Center (CNIC), Akebonobashi Co-op 2F-B, 8-5, Sumiyoshi-cho, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo, 162-0065, Japan
Tel: +81-3-3357-3800


Fukushima’s temporarily sarcophagus. According to an article in the Daily Mail (U.K.) polyester tents will be placed over the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear reactors in a bid to try and contain the escape of radioactive substances into the atmosphere. In June Tepco will start work on installing the first cover at the Daiichi No.1 reactor. The Japanese government plans to erect a steel framework and place a giant polyester tent-like cover around the reactor building - similar covers will be placed around units 3 and 4.  Work on the huge protective tents is expected to be completed by the end of the year.



December 8: nuclear phase out day

Nuclear Monitor Issue: 
Kazuhide Fukada

December 8 is “Phase Out Nuclear Energy Day” in Japan. The “Phase Out Nuclear Energy Day” campaign, which now includes a wide range of people, is supporting campaigns around country and wants to remain rooted in people’s daily lives.

“Phase Out Nuclear Energy Day” Organizing Committee - In September this year a few people formed a “virtual group” to initiate a “Phase Out Nuclear Energy Day” campaign. They created an email list and drafted a statement about the nature and purpose of the campaign and publicized it through “Twitter” and “Mixi”. Supporters began to join the email list and a poster and Blog were created to gather supporters, further publicize the campaign and generate “phase out nuclear energy” actions all over Japan around the December 8 date. The campaign, which now includes a wide range of people, wants to remain rooted in people’s daily lives.

The “virtual” group is limiting its aim for this year to getting “Phase Out Nuclear Energy Day” known. We do not plan to organize a major event ourselves this year, but we are supporting other events (see below).

Why December 8?
December 8 is the fifteenth anniversary of the sodium leak and fire at the Monju Prototype Fast Breeder Reactor in Tsuruga City, Fukui Prefecture. About a month later Shigeo Nishimura, deputy general manager of PNC's general affairs department and one of the team leaders of the in-house team tasked with looking into the cover-up, jumped to his death from a hotel in Tokyo and many details of the accident remain unclear to this day.

What is clear, however, is that plutonium-fueled, sodium-cooled Monju is an exceptionally complicated and dangerous nuclear reactor, subjecting the public to even greater risks than “normal” light water reactors and exacerbating the problem of nuclear proliferation.

Believing that the Monju accident should have been the end of nuclear power in Japan, we chose December 8 as “Phase Out Nuclear Energy Day” to simultaneously commemorate the Monju accident, call for the closure of Monju and call for a total phase out of nuclear power.

Why phase-out nuclear energy?
Unfortunately, in spite of strong opposition, Monju was restarted in May this year. There has been a series of problems, culminating in an accident on August 26 in which a 3-ton fuel-loading device dropped into the reactor when it was being removed. Monju has been out of action since then.

Monju is part of Japan’s failed nuclear fuel cycle program. The Rokkasho Reprocessing Plant, another core nuclear fuel cycle facility, is also in serious trouble. Commercial operations were officially postponed for the eighteenth time in September.

In earthquake-prone Japan, nuclear power is the most unsuitable way of generating electricity. There are now 54 nuclear power plants operating in Japan (not including Monju). Besides the danger of accidents, the warm water released from nuclear power plants damages the marine environment and radioactivity released into the environment during the course of regular operations bio-accumulates in the food chain and exposes human beings to radiation.

Nuclear energy is unable to contribute to solving the problem of global warming. Rather it exacerbates the problem. There is an urgent need for the whole of Japan to shift to renewable forms of energy.

Specific actions
The “Phase Out Nuclear Energy Day” campaign is supporting campaigns around Japan, including the 28-year opposition of the people of the island of Iwaishima to Chugoku Electric Power Company’s plan to construct the Kaminoseki Nuclear Power Plant in Yamaguchi Prefecture. We are sponsoring a film screening and public meeting on December 4 in Yamaguchi City.

Our Japanese blog is on the following link

Source: Mari Hoshikawa, Member of the “Phase Out Nuclear Energy Day” Organizing Committee
Contact: Kazuhide Fukada


Radwaste action day & virtual march on Washington

Nuclear Monitor Issue: 
Mary Olson, NIRS

Reflecting the global extent of the impact of radioactive waste from industrial scale nuclear energy and weapons production, grassroots activists have joined together in coordinated action to send this message: Stop Making More Radioactive Waste; there are better options for electric power production and conflict resolution. September 29 was chosen because on that day in 1957, a liquid radwaste tank in Russia exploded causing widespread contamination.

This September 29, day of coordinated action wa the first in a string planned for the coming years. The next day of coordinated action is scheduled for April 26, 2011 -25 years since one of the reactors at Chernobyl exploded and burned for 14 days, spreading plumes of radioactivity around the globe.

Radioactive Waste Day Events took place across the US, Canada, in Sweden, Russia, Finland, England, Australia and South Africa.

Virtual March on Washington
Inspired by the actions of September 29, for the April Action Day NIRS is sponsoring an International Virtual March on Washington! No matter where you live in the world, you can take part, and it's easy and fun! Here's how:

  1. Download and print one of the signs shown on the website (see below), or make one of your own;
  2. Hold your sign in front of you and have your partner or a friend take your photo.
  3. Then give the sign to your friend and take a photo of her.
  4. Then e-mail both photos (or as many photos of as many friends as you have!) to

NIRS will add every photo they receive into the slideshow (watch it, it’s fun) and put together a photo petition to present to the Department of Energy's Blue Ribbon Commission on America's Nuclear Future in April! Think of it as a virtual march on Washington -a way you can have your say to this Commission that seems far more interested in finding ways to make more lethal radioactive waste than in finding solutions to the waste problem we already have.

Source and contact: NIRS, Mary Olson, PO Box 7586 Suite 300 North, Asheville, NC 28802, United States
Tel: +1 828-242-5621

NIRS South East

In brief

Nuclear Monitor Issue: 

Flamanville-3 two years behind schedule. The construction of the second EPR at Flamville (France) faces the  same problems as the first in Olkiluoto (Finland). Flamanville-3 is now two years behind schedule and at least 1 billion euro (US$ 1.3 billion) over budget, EDF Group announced on 30 July. The company said “the target for beginning marketable output” from the French utility’s first Areva EPR “is now set at 2014, with construction costs now re-estimated at around 5 billion euro. The original date for operation was June 2012 and the most recent cost estimate was 4 billion euro, although the original estimate was 3.3 billion euro.

The delay at Flamanville-3 was confirmed as part of the release of information on EDF’s first-half 2010 financial results. EDF reported that first-half net income of 1.659 billion euro was down 46.9% from 3.123 billion the same time last year. First-half 2010 earnings before interest and taxes were 5.289 billion euro, down from 6.784 billion in first-half 2009, although revenues rose, EDF said.
Nucleonics Week, 5 August 2010

Canada: contaminated turbines to Sweden? Bruce Power plans to ship 16 radioactive steam generators through the Great Lakes and the Saint Lawrence River, and across the Atlantic Ocean to Sweden, later this year. Each generator weighs 110 metric tons and contains over 50 trillion becquerels of long-lived man-made radioactive materials, including five isotopes of plutonium. In Sweden, Studsvik plans to melt up to 90 percent of the radiation-laced metal and sell it as 'clean' scrap intended for unrestricted use. In this way, some of the radioactivity will be dispersed into the air (atmospheric emissions), some will be dispersed into the Baltic Sea (liquid effluents), and some will be incorporated into consumer products of all kinds -- razor blades, hair dryers, paper clips, you name it. The remaining 10 percent will be shipped back to Bruce Power for storage as radioactive waste.

Bowing to public pressure, the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission recently agreed to a one-day public hearing in Ottawa on September 29 on this issue.
Gordon Edwards, CCNR, 6 August 2010 / Press release Great Lakes United, 18 August 2010

China: Criticality for fast reactor. The Chinese Experimental Fast Reactor (CEFR) achieved sustained fission for the first time on July 21, according to the owner the China Institute of Atomic Energy (CIEA). The reactor will go on to reach a thermal capacity of 60 MW and produce 20 MW in electrical power for the grid. The first sodium-cooled fast reactor in the country, it was built by Russia's OKBM Afrikantov in collaboration with OKB Gidropress, NIKIET and Kurchatov Institute.

Beyond this pilot plant, China once planned a 600 MWe commercial scale version by 2020 and a 1500 MWe version in 2030 but these ambitious ideas have been overtaken by the import of ready-developed Russian designs. In October last year an agreement was signed by CIAE and China Nuclear Energy Industry Corporation (CNEIC) with AtomStroyExport to start pre-project and design works for a commercial nuclear power plant with two BN-800 reactors with construction to start in August 2011, probably at a coastal site.
World Nuclear News, 22 July 2010

Funny. Or not…? From a local Cumbrian (U.K.) newspaper: "The issue of councilors declaring an interest during debates about the nuclear industry is again causing concern due to the amount of time it takes. At August 17th full council meeting at Millom, numerous members of Copeland Council were obliged to stand and declare a prejudicial interest in an agenda item about nuclear new builds. Coun Henry Wormstrup, who has become increasingly frustrated by the practice, said the current system needed reform due to the number of councilors employed by or linked to the industry."
Whitehaven News, 18 August 2010

Danger of tritium underestimated. The health risks of tritium may be undervalued because its possible damage to DNA may lead to genetic mutations, says an expert who participated in a White Paper published by the French Institute of Radiation Protection and Nuclear Monitoring (IRSN) on nuclear safety. This radioactive isotope of hydrogen was released in the past by atmospheric testing of atomic weapons and is now produced by nuclear reactors and the reprocessing of nuclear fuels. Its radiotoxicity is low and the impact of its waste, gaseous or liquid, is considered unimportant. However, the IRSN is calling for "further studies" including on "possible hereditary effects". The IRSN added that further research was necessary which was "representative of the actual conditions of exposure."
Le Monde (Fra.) 8 July 2010

Any plutonium in the basement? In Tbilisi, the capital of the former Soviet Republic Georgia, a container with plutonium was found at a depot of the now defunct Isotope Institute. The plutonium had not been registered with any state entity. Employees of the former institute told the Georgian Public Broadcaster that they had no idea that plutonium was stored at the depot. The plutonium-beryllium was discovered inside a “special container stored in wax and lead, which was quite safe and presented no danger for the environment,” according to Giorgi Nabakhtiani, a nuclear expert with Georgia's Environmental Protection and Natural Resources Ministry.

"Georgia plans to inform the International Atomic Energy Agency about the unregistered plutonium." Not mentioned is how many plutonium is in the container, although Nabakhtiani said that the laboratory did not contain enough plutonium-beryllium for use in a radiological "dirty bomb."; 30 July 2010 / Bloomberg, 2 August 2010

Energy Solutions opts not to store Italian nuclear waste in Utah, US. U.S. company Energy Solutions will no longer pursue agreements to dispose of Italian nuclear waste in the state of Utah. The Salt Lake City based company told Utah US Representatives of their plans not to store the imported material at the Clive Facility, 75 miles west of metropolitan Salt Lake City in the Tooele Valley. The company maintains it is not bowing to public pressure, but is making a solid business decision. Environmentalists are calling this a huge victory for the people of Utah.

Energy Solutions was hoping to import 20,000 tons of low level waste from Italy that would have been processed in Tennessee, and then the remaining 1,600 tons would have been held in storage in Utah. The company is hoping to consult with Italian nuclear power authorities to reach an agreement on opening a facility in Italy instead.
Fox13News, Salt Lake Tribune, Associated Press, 14 July 2010

Dangerous censorship. Russian authorities removed information on forest fires in radioactive contaminated regions from internet. Removing of important information may help officials to escape from responsibilities, but can not help to improve situation with forest fire.

On Augusts 13, the head of Russian Emergency Ministry Sergey Shoigu publicly demanded to stop the rumours about radiation danger as a result of forest fires in the region of Bryansk. Immediately after this statement, the governmental organization "Roslesozaschita", responsible for protecting forests, removed information about forest fire in radioactively contaminated zones in the west of Russia from its website. A week earlier, on August 6, "Roslesozaschita" officially announced that since June it registered 507 forest fires in regions partly radioactive contaminated. Moreover, the organization strongly recommended the authorities to inform local population about radiation danger. Also, "Roslesozaschita" it published a list of radioactively contaminated forests on fire (for instance 401 fires in the Chelyabinsk region)

"The Emergency Ministry and "Rosalesozaschita" are acting against Russian Constitution when removing information on fires in radioactively contaminated zones from public use. It is very well known that many fires already happened there and that radiation could be re-distributed into new areas. Instead of censorship, authorities must fully inform Russian citizens and other countries about radioactive danger in Chelyabinsk, Bryansk and other regions," said Vladimir Slivyak, co-chairman for the Russian environmental group Ecodefense.
Press-release Ecodefense, 14 August 2010

Sutyagin Freed in "Spy" Swap. After serving more than ten years of a 15 year sentence for espionage, Russian arms researcher Igor Sutyagin was freed on July 9 in what is being reported as the largest spy swap between the United States and Russia since the end of the Cold War. Sutyagin was not a spy, but reportedly shared sensitive information about Russian nuclear weapons from public sources with a London firm. His research drew the unwelcome attention of the FSB, Russia¹s secret police successor to the Soviet KGB. His case was taken up by human rights organizations, and the U.S. State Department declared he was a political prisoner. As part of the deal for his release, Sutyagin signed a confession. The Guardian (UK) reports that "Sutyagin's family said he maintained his innocence but agreed to the deal rather than face another four and half years in the 'harsh regime' of the penal colony at Kholmogory near Arkhangelsk." Sutyagin, a father of two girls, had been in prison since in arrest on October 27, 1999.
Nuclear Resister, 9 July 2010

Global Day of Action on Radioactive Waste.
US groups are calling for a radioactive waste action day on September 29, and would like it to be an international day of action! Aim is to push-back on new proposals that would expand radioactive waste production in both the civilian and military sectors

September 29 is the anniversary date for the worst radioactive waste accident (that we know of). In 1957 a tank of liquid, highly radioactive waste left from reprocessing nuclear fuel, exploded in a region of the Soviet Union called Kyshtym in the Ural Mountains of Siberia. The accident was kept secret for several decades, but we now know that it was at a secret nuclear reprocessing site called Mayak. This accident resulted in a regional disaster and a radioactive cloud that contaminated more than 300  square miles…many people received very high radiation exposures, some suffered acute radiation syndrome. Because of secrecy in the nuclear establishment it is not clear what exactly happened but estimates are at least 200 people died of “excess” cancer and scores of villages and towns were permanently abandoned due to the sever radioactive contamination.

Please sign up if you plan to participate so we can have a “master list” of coordinated action – and we can send you any materials we generate…

Contact: Mary Olson, Nuclear Information and Resource Service Southeast Office, PO Box 7586, Asheville, North Carolina  28802  USA.
Or: Kevin Kamps. Radioactive Waste Watchdog, Beyond Nuclear. 6930 Carroll Avenue, Suite 400, Takoma Park, Maryland 20912, USA