Archive for the ‘Action’ Category

Mar
03
    
March Actions

May
10
    
Into Eternity film

Into Eternity is a new compelling Danish film about the construction of the world’s first permanent repository for high level radioactive waste, in Finland. Once sealed, the facility is never to be opened and needs to last for 100,000 years. But can we ensure that? Once you see the trailer at: http://www.intoeternitythemovie.com, you may well find yourself asking what you can do to shut down nuclear reactors that keep producing more hazardous waste.

Two showings in the Connecticut River Valley:

  • Thursday May 12th, 6:30 PM     Greenfield MA

Greenfield Comm. College Main Campus, Main Building 3rd floor, Stinchfield Hall  Admission: Contributions greatly appreciated

  • Thursday May 19th, 7:00PM    Brattleboro VT

Latchis Theater, 50 Main Street Brattleboro, VT   Admission:   Adults $7.50  Seniors $5.00

There will be a time for questions & answers after the film showings. Literature and resource people from Safe & Green Campaign, New England Coalition, and CLAM will be present.

Sponsors:   CLAM (http://clamshellalliance.net),

New England Coalition on Nuclear Pollution (http://www.necnp.org)

 

Safe & Green Campaign (http://www.safeandgreencampaign.org)

Marlboro Productions (http://www.marlboroproductions.com)

GCC Renewable Energy Program* (http://web.gcc.mass.edu/renewable-energy) * For May 12th event.

Into Eternity was written & directed by Michael Madsen from Denmark, produced by Magic Hour Films and distributed by International Film Circuit Inc. The movie is 75 minutes long, in English, Finnish and Swedish with English subtitles.

SYNOPSIS:

“This place is not a place of honour. No esteemed deeds are commemorated here. This is not a place for you. What is here is dangerous and repulsive. The danger will still be present in your time, as it is in ours.”

These are the sentences that future man will meet if he finds and opens the gigantic network of underground tunnels which are presently being hewn out of the bedrock in Finland.  The tunnels will be filled with high-level radioactive waste, which must be kept isolated from human beings and other live organisms for at least 100.000 years into the future so as not to render large areas uninhabitable.

Not only must the facility last 10 times longer than any manmade construction ever, it must also be able to resist all thinkable climate changes, erosion, and evolution. The real challenge, however, is to secure the facility from human intrusion.  To succeed with that is vital in order to keep future man safe and prevent the waste from escaping into the biosphere. When the waste has been deposited, the facility will be sealed off, never to be opened again. But can we ensure that? How is it possible to warn future man of the waste we left behind? How do we prevent them from thinking they have found the pyramids of our time, mystical burial grounds, hidden treasures? Which languages and signs will they understand, and if they understand, will they respect our instructions? Hopefully these questions will have found answers before the facility is finished 120 years from now.

Apr
19
    
The Wolf in Zero Carbon Clothing

The Wolf in Zero Carbon Clothing

H. Patricia Hynes*

Published by Environmental Health Policy Institute, Physicians for Social Responsibility

January 2011

An historic crossover took place in North Carolina in 2010: the cost of electricity per kilowatt hour generated from photovoltaics (PV), after steadily falling for decades, rivaled that of nuclear power. After 2010, PV electricity is projected to be less expensive in the state than that of nuclear, with a trend of rapidly divergent costs between the two energy sources.

Why is this significant for climate change and energy policy choices? Policy talk about a “nuclear renaissance” abounds nationally and internationally, given the growing specter of climate change. Nuclear power is touted as a zero carbon energy source and then bundled in with renewable energy technologies as the suite of clean energy technologies we must pursue to eliminate climate-change driving CO2 emissions.

But nuclear energy is a wolf in zero carbon clothing whose environmental health, international security, and economic impacts outweigh its energy benefits. In its life cycle, nuclear power generates radioactive tailings at mine and mill sites and creates spent nuclear fuel with no disposal solution. Nuclear power plants routinely release small amounts of radioactive isotopes during operation, and they can release large amounts during accidents. For this latter reason, a 2003 expert panel of the National Academy of Sciences recommended that potassium iodide pills be provided to everyone 40 and younger who live near a nuclear power plant. to protect against exposure to radioactive iodine. In this era of unconventional war, power plants are vulnerable to sabotage and attack; and existing evacuation plans in case of nuclear power plant accident are widely known to be unrealistic paper exercises. Energy reliance on water-intensive technologies is a fateful relationship, as illustrated in the summer 2003, heat wave that gripped half of Europe and caused a record number of deaths. The prolonged heat wave triggered a water shortage resulting in insufficient water for electricity production for air conditioning. Hydropower production declined and nuclear power plants shut down causing industrial activity shutdowns, computers crashes, and harvest failures. Finally, nuclear power reactors generate the fissile materials enriched to fuel nuclear bombs and inevitably create the risk of nuclear weapons development.

What, then, are the possibilities for a carbon-free future? For one, the U.S. can emulate the commitment to conservation, mandatory green building design, renewable energy technologies and fuel efficient practices in Europe which has reduced the average carbon use per capita to one-half that of the average American. Carbon-Free and Nuclear-Free: A Roadmap for U.S. Energy Policy, a study from the Nuclear Policy Research Institute and the Institute for Energy and Environmental Research, lays out a carbon-free and nuclear-free roadmap for U.S. energy policy. In it, Arjun Makhijani analyzes more than 25 available and nearly available renewable technologies, green building design, high efficiency vehicles and fuels for readiness for large-scale use, next steps for large-scale implementation, and CO2 abatement costs. The overarching finding is that “a zero-CO2 energy economy can be achieved within the next thirty to fifty years without the use of nuclear power.” Further, their study found that eliminating CO2 emissions can be achieved with “available or foreseeable technologies,” at affordable cost, without buying carbon credits from other countries, and with phasing out oil imports within 25 years.

Author’s Note

In 1980 I designed a passive solar house, based on my environmental engineering masters’ thesis. My builder was eager to learn solar design and went on to build dozens of similar houses over the next year. Federal and state tax credits for solar heating stimulated local industry and jobs, including small building businesses, a rooftop solar hot water heater build/install industry, and so on. By the end of 1981, solar tax credits were eliminated by the Reagan administration, demand for solar house design declined, new niche solar companies closed up shop, R&D funding for renewables dried up, and reliance on fossil fuels and nuclear energy was re-instated as the direction of US energy policy. Conclusion: federal and state policy is a determining factor in sustainable energy and our climate future, together with social demand and business initiatives.

Apr
05
    
Nuclear Power Crisis 2011: Citizens Appeal

Nuclear Power Crisis 2011: Citizens Appeal

I set my pen to paper with a heavy heart as events unfold in Japan at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plants. This is the third nuclear power catastrophe since I put on a backpack and walked down the access road at the site of the proposed Seabrook Nuclear power station on April 30, 1977.

Three Mile Island, a reactor that had been on line 13 months, melted down in 1979.
If there had not been citizen action focused on calling nuclear technology into question that accident would have passed by unnoticed, as had other serious accidents in prior years.

The early days of the nuclear age were a time of conflict. My generation grew up during the war on Vietnam and has grown middle-aged and even old, watching conflicts harden in a nation that is fully committed to an unparalleled competitive materialism that walks hand in hand with the preparation for and waging of wars.

Atoms for peace grew out of the development of nuclear weapons, two of which were dropped by the U.S. on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, at the end of WWII. The U.S. has maintained a “first-strike” policy of threatening to use nuclear weapons again ever since.

We have lived our lives objecting and dissenting to these values and the policies that come from them, engaging in all kinds of struggles to raise families, withstand the sorrows that come into any lifetime, as well appreciate the beauty and joy of life. Many of us who were involved with the Clamshell Alliance in the late 1970’s have maintained bonds of love and friendship with each other, born of the utopian moment we created and experienced in 1977.

When we walked onto the Seabrook site it was for love of the human family and planet Earth. We spawned a movement across the United States. It was a movement that focused locally on nuclear power plants under construction; that organized regionally around the inadequate evacuation plans being rubber-stamped by government officials on behalf of the nuclear industry; and called into question our country’s policies on energy production and use and nuclear weapons at the national and international level.

The Clamshell Alliance was a meteor, shining a bright light onto these inadequate and corrupt policies, that placed blind faith in the human ability to control a dangerous technology with the capacity to poison the air, the water, the food chain, and the bodies of living things of which we humans are only one link in the chain of life – for eternity.
A technology that produces poisons that last forever should not be pursued. Decades after our protests, there is still no solution for high-level radioactive waste, despite frothy promises and appropriations of billions of dollars. There is no workable solution.

In 1986 the accident at the relatively new nuclear plant at Chernobyl spread radiation contamination across the globe. Contrary to the lies told by industry and governments, a million people died and people are still dying from cancers as a result of that accident. The lies are told to forestall and prevent redress of grievance because if it is not acknowledged that people are getting cancer and dying because of nuclear accidents, no particular party is responsible. The people who are sick will die and any controversy will die with them.

And now there is Fukushima. These plants are older, there are many spent fuel rods stored on the site in pools of water. It is not yet completely clear what parts of these plants are damaged, where the radioactive water is coming from, how to manage the radioactive water and how this catastrophe will end or even if it will end.

We are facing the possibility of not one nuclear meltdown but several at Fukushima. The consequences of this disaster will be with humanity long past our lifetimes and past our children’s lifetimes as well.

Therefore, we, who sign this statement, call upon our fellow citizens, politicians, and the global community to take action to shut down all existing nuclear plants and to dry cask the highly radioactive waste that has accumulated over the decades and to renounce all threats of using nuclear weapons.

There is no safe dose of radiation, a tiny radioactive particle lodged in your body can cause tissue damage and cancer decades after exposure. There is no fix and there never was. For life and planet Earth, No Nukes!

Drafted by Thea Paneth, Rank and File Clam 1977 Occupation and Arlington United for Justice with Peace in honor of Guy Chichester 1935-2009 Clamshell Alliance co founder, a great humanitarian, environmentalist and patriot who spoke truth to power and practiced what he preached always standing for the principle that people are more important than profits and that planet Earth is our beloved home to be treated with love and care.
And signing on in support:
Cole Harrison, Dover Armory, ’77
Phil Stone, Esq.
Russell Puschak, Worcester Quahog Affinity Group, 1977
Kate Gardner
Girvani Leerer, Berkeley, CA
Sharon Tracy, New Salem, MA
Court Dorsey
Adam Auster
Mary Cupp
Arnie Alpert, Canterbury, NH
Judy Elliott, Canterbury, NH
Renny Cushing, Clamshell Alliance co-founder
David Slesinger, Baltimore, MD ’77 Clam
Tina McGee, Marlborough, NH
Tom Wyatt, Worcester Quahog Affinity Group, 1977
Berri Kramer, 1977 occupier, Heartwood College of Art, President, Kennebunk, Me
Jeanine Burns, R.N.
Damon Thomas, Portsmouth, NH
Patricia Green, Canaan NH, Seabrook, Clamshell veteran
Donlon Wade, Canaan, NH, Seabrook, Clamshell veteran
Duncan McFarland
Paul Shannon
Lynn R. Chong
Lois Mastrangelo
Harvey Wasserman (Sluggo)
Cheryl Fox, Rank and File Clam; office staff, Clamshell Alliance 1977-1978
Brenda Loew
Roy Morrison
George Forte, Boston Clam
Michael Canney, Alachua, FL, Clamshell participant 1977-1980 – still fighting the nukes in FL
Joseph Gerson
Marilyn Levin
Dorian Brooks, Arlington United for Justice with Peace
Barbara Boltz, Arlington United for Justice with Peace
Lily Heckard, Arlington United for Justice with Peace
Lucy Auster, 1977 Occupation
Randy Kehler, Colrain, MA, Safe and Green Campaign
Steve Stodola, Arlington United for Justice with Peace
Maria Simoneau
Shelagh Foreman
Kirk Stone
David Bonner, Lexington, MA
Noble Larson, Arlington United for Justice with Peace
Jane Brown, Worcester Quahog Affinity Group 1977
Chris Nauman, Arlington United for Justice with Peace
Diane Clancy, Coordinator of Training Committee, Clamshell
Names recorded in order received

ADD YOUR NAME IN THE COMMENTS TO SIGN ON THIS PETITION