International Appeal Against India-Japan Nuclear Agreement

It is tragic that Japan, the only country that has been the victim of nuclear bombs, is actively promoting nuclear weapons and nuclear power plants in a region already fraught with conflicts and sectarianism.

Shinzo Abe’s deal would potentiate ecocide in India.

Shinzo Abe’s deal would unleash nuclear horror on the hapless farmers of India.

Shinzo Abe’s deal preys on the government of India, a country that has a pathetic record on safety, a spineless nuclear regulator, and has bulldozed local communities’ protests against nuclear power plants.

Shinzo Abe’s deal legitimizes India’s nuclear weapons and boosts India’s weapons capacity, fueling the arms race in South Asia.

International Appeal Against India-Japan Nuclear Agreement
Coalition for Nuclear Disarmament and Peace (CNDP)

Petitioning Prime Minister of Japan Mr. Shinzo Abe,

We strongly protest the proposed India-Japan nuclear agreement, which is reportedly going to be signed during your upcoming visit to New Delhi on December 11-13. This nuclear agreement does not only represent an unacceptable zeal to promote nuclear lobbies on the part of Mr. Abe, despite the deepening crisis in Fukushima, but also gives a new lease of life to the nuclear industry facing a terminal crisis in the post-Fukushima world.

Sign this petition!
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Shut Down Indian Point Coalition

Shut Down Indian Point Coalition
This week 44 organizations called on NYC Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito and Environmental Chair Costa Constantinides, as well as the other members of the Council, to co-sponsor Res. #694 to shut down Indian Point.

See letter and packet here.

We have learned that the Speaker needs to hear from organizations that there are lots of people who want Resolution 694 brought to a hearing and
a vote.

Please call the Speaker’s Legislative Assistant Robert Newman today at 212-788-2210 and ask that the Speaker bring the resolution to the floor for a hearing and vote as soon as possible.… Read More

March and April of 2016 will mark the 5th and 30th anniversaries of the Fukushima-Daiichi and Chernobyl nuclear power plant catastrophes. Normally, spring is the time when we celebrate the coming of another chance to harvest the benefits of nature, but for the people affected by these disasters, these months […]

The post Svetlana Alexievich: The lesson of Chernobyl has not been learned appeared first on

…read moreRead More

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You don’t have to be a math wizard to understand the Obama administration’s just announced $4.15 trillion budget proposal for the 2017 fiscal year, but it helps.

It also helps if you like gerunds, since pretty much every header in the administration’s Budget document is about “building,” “investing,” “reflecting,” “partnering” etc.

But the most essential talent is being able to decipher the rather vague and allusory subtexts contained in the narrative. This is the key to figuring out what is actually being funded. And, as they say in New York, “good luck with that one, pal.”

Cut to page 19 of the Office of Management and Budget’s Fiscal Year 2017 Budget document. Here we find “clean energy,” a phrase no longer to be trusted at face value, having been purloined into meaning at times something quite the reverse. For example, nuclear energy tends to hide beneath the “clean energy” mantel, muddling the message and undermining cause for optimism.

While it may be true that the nuclear power fuel chain does not produce the kind of dirt that can be swept under rugs, the nuclear industry has metaphorically done exactly that by presenting itself as a “clean” energy technology. There is nothing particularly clean about an industry that contaminates the air, land and waterways with heavy metals and with radioactive isotopes that, among other things, give kids living nearby leukemia.

But let’s gerund away anyway and see what lurks beneath the section entitled, “Doubling the Investment in Clean Energy R&D.” Here we learn that the U.S. Government indeed intends to double its current $6.4 billion investment in clean energy for 2016 to arrive at $12.8 billion by 2021. A hefty chunk — $7.7 billion — will be given as discretionary funding to the Department of Energy in 2017 alone for “clean energy R&D.”

But for what, exactly? “About 76 percent of the funding is directed to DOE for critical clean energy development activities, including over $2 billion for energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies,” the Budget document reads. Just two billion dollars for energy efficiency and renewable energy combined? That leaves $5.7 billion for something else that the DOE considers “clean energy.” One of those claimants undoubtedly is nuclear power.

More clues to the likely destination of this unassigned mystery money can be found in a later section where the Budget document reveals that the $7.7 billion is actually earmarked as funding for the “first step toward the Mission Innovation doubling goal.”

The White House describes Mission Innovation, which was announced during the Paris climate talks last December, as an “all-in, all-sector approach,” which is basically the same old “all of the above” foolish compromise on energy policy that the Obama administration has held to from the beginning.

Since this strategy is roundly contradicted by what is actually happening across the country — wind and solar energy installation outpacing natural gas while coal fades and nuclear plants close — there is only one logical explanation for this “fair …read moreRead More

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Renewables are not only the environmental answer to climate change, they are the economic answer too.

This is a short piece about a much longer piece that you will want to take a bit of time to read.

Actually, it is unfair to describe it as a “piece.” It’s a study, by Mark Cooper, who for years has been writing extensively about the transition to a clean energy future from an economist’s perspective.

Cooper examines three recent studies taking different approaches to achieving deep decarbonization of our electrical system, two that reject nuclear power as part of the means of attaining massive carbon reductions and one that accepts nuclear power and fossil fuels with carbon capture and storage (CCS) as pieces of the approach. He then lays over that two recent studies of the economics of electricity generation, along with the political structure for attaining carbon reductions established by the COP 21 climate agreement, to reach his conclusions.

The central finding is this: the best way to achieve a carbon-free future from an environmental perspective is also the best way from an economics perspective. And the best way means rejecting nuclear power entirely.

In other words, a nuclear-free, carbon-free approach to a clean energy future is not only environmentally preferable–avoiding radioactive waste generation, environmental damage from uranium mining and the rest of the nuclear fuel chain, proliferation concerns, and the constant threat of more Chernobyls and Fukushimas, and so on–it is cheaper as well.

You probably already knew this–at least in your gut. Now you have the facts and figures to back it up.

Titled The Economic And Institutional Foundations Of The Paris Agreement On Climate Change: The Political Economy Of Roadmaps To A Sustainable Electricity Future, the paper is academic-oriented, with 63 footnotes, and can be at times rather dense. While not light reading, it is readable and well-supported.

Cooper places these findings in the context of the COP 21 agreement and argues that the nuclear-free, carbon-free approach (though he never uses that tagline) fits in perfectly with the agreement. Moreover, as the agreement stresses the urgency of addressing climate change and reducing carbon emissions, so does Cooper argue that from a purely economics perspective nuclear power cannot possibly meet that urgency. Therefore, expending resources on nuclear power (and CCS) would be counterproductive at reducing carbon emissions.

We’ve been saying that for years. Our thanks to Mark Cooper for providing the numbers, analysis and context that conclusively demonstrates that and points the way to our clean energy future.

You can download the study for free here:

Michael Mariotte

February 11, 2016


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Author’s note: I wrote this blog post with knowledge of the ongoing

Portrait of Marie Curie, and her two daughters, Eve and Irene, 1908. Irene experimented with radioactive materials like her parents and died at 58. Eva was a writer and pianist and died at 102.

Humans have known of natural radioactivity since about the turn of the 20th century when Marie Curie carried around vials of radioactive substances in her pocket, admiring the glow-in-the-dark “fairy lights” they would give off. Long-term exposure to these “fairly lights” made Curie chronically ill, physically scarred, and nearly blind from cataracts. At the age of 66, she succumbed to a radiation-induced disease (either leukemia or aplastic anemia, sources differ), as did her daughter and son-in-law. Despite being deeply troubled by deaths of colleagues and radiation workers, the Curies never really admitted radioactivity played a role in their diseases; Marie even recommended sickened radium dial painters eat calf’s liver to combat anemia. Daughter Eva, who outlived her sister by 50 years, died at 102 and recognized the role radiation played in the shortened lives of her female kin.

This denial of the dangers of radioactivity has carried through to the present day. When the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued its first-ever radiation exposure standards in 1977, the US was only 20 years into the atomic energy age, barely long enough to see many of the health impacts radioactivity may have had. Man-made radioactivity had been around for about 40 years with the building of the bomb, well before EPA was established, but well after some very nasty health effects from larger doses were recognized. Now, in 2015, EPA is considering revising its radiation standards – the first major revision since 1977.

EPA is responsible for regulating radioactive emissions that migrate off of a site that releases such material. These off site releases can expose members of the public and their environment. Revision of these nearly 40-year old standards should be a good thing; adding protection for women who are 50 % more sensitive to radioactivity than men; and providing proper protection for pregnancy and childhood development —life stages that are particularly, in some cases uniquely, sensitive to exposure to radioactivity. But old habits, and nuclear industry interference, die hard.


If you can’t get rid of the radioactivity, you should just ignore that it exists

Atomic energy produces and releases a number of radioactive isotopes during normal reactor operation. Two such isotopes are carbon-14 (radioactive carbon) released as carbon dioxide and methane; and tritium, which is radioactive hydrogen. These two isotopes are the focus of this piece, although there are many other isotopes of concern. The National Academy of Sciences states “carbon-14 may be a significant contributor to dose from nuclear plant releases, especially in recent years”. Tritium is leaking regularly in unknown amounts from most of the US nuclear power reactors in addition to being …read moreRead More