Saturday, July 28, 2018

Mobile Chernobyl: Part II of Tin Can Alley

This week the House of Representatives rammed through the 2019 National Defense Authorization Act, (with 139 Democrats' aproval)  which, besides green lighting a new, submarine-launched nuclear warhead, approves $717 billion for such hardware as 13 new Navy warships, and the purchase of 77 F-35s, and not coincidentally, the government will have to borrow nearly $1 trillion this year. But not to worry: you are expected to pay for it: you and all future generations.

Said the Intercept: “Its seems strange…that Democrats…say Trump is an authoritarian, lawless traitor, but…keep voting to increase his war powers, military budget, and detention and spying authorities.”

Meanwhile, chugging away,  nuclear plants continue to supply the needed plutonium to obliterate the life on Earth and so doing keep piling up more nuclear waste, some 100,000 metric tons of it and counting. 

But the climate has a nasty way of non-cooperation: in particular, with high temperatures this week in much of France, some of its nuclear reactors cannot be cooled. Rivers have become too warm, and EDF has had to cut energy output.


And now before a complaisant congress is a proposal to truck all that waste throughout the United States to two temporary dump sites in Texas and New Mexico. Moving it would have to continue for the next 40 years, there’s that much nuclear waste piled up. To quote the Nuclear Information and Resource Service: “Thousands of casks of this waste would move on our roads, rails and waterways! It could take 40-50 years to move the waste once but then it would all presumably move again to a different permanent site, [one] as yet to be found…So this could be the start of a virtually endless campaign of moving insanely radioactive nuclear waste back and forth across the country.”


So please, dear reader, especially if you prefer not to read the fine print below, before doing anything else,  please send your comment (already written out for you ) to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission right now. The deadline is July 30th.  


NIRS lists 9 reasons to oppose the dump

1. The plan cannot go through unless you and every other taxpayer in the United States, including those not yet born agree to assume ownership for this waste, and pay to transport it. U.S. federal laws forbid such an arrangement.

2. Tetra Tech, the contractor Holtec chose to make the Environmental Impact Report, has a track record of falsifying radiation monitoring data, hiring unqualified workers to conduct scanning and clean ups; and suppressing reports for 20 years namey the Navy’s Hunters Point site which has been converted to San Francisco housing!

3. Proposed storage site in  Texas is home to agriculture, dairy farms. And New Mexico, already victim of the 94 million-gallon “spill”  by Kerr McGee into the Rio Puerco, is a minority state, and has experienced environmental racism for decades.

4. Canisters as reported in last week’s Tin Can Alley are less than an inch thick, cannot be monitored for leaks, and do not in any way conform to safety requirements in the case of fire, road accidents, or extended submersion in water. Contact with water leading to erosion will ultimately cause leaks, resulting in a nuclear explosion.

Break down of rail (red) and highway transportation

5. Some of these canisters contain high burn up fuel.

6. As of now the nuclear regulatory commission has been unable to report as to the distantly located emergency response teams, upon which these sites will rely.

7. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission  tends to ignore such factors as high temperatures, salty dry climates, potential flash floods, lightning, blocked vents, and other factors contributing to un predictable conditions.

8. So-called “interim” storage could well become permanent.

9. Consolidating this waste raises the specter of reprocessing to extract the plutonium required  to manufacture nuclear weapons leading to weapons proliferation.

But there is a tenth reason: One site, Yucca Mountain, on Western Shoshone land, is located in the basement of a mountain slowly swimming westward. It consists of 10% water, and its drip has been shown to corrode metal within 20 minutes.

Please send your comment (see above) to The Nuclear Regulatory Commission at

Read a book I wish I had authored myself: John D’Agata: About a Mountain.


U.S. Court of appeals rules in favor the Oglala Sioux, protecting the Black Hills from uranium mining.   

Federal Judge Peter Missette allows emoluments lawsuit, challenging Trump’s refusal to divest assets, to proceed.

By releasing a man awaiting a retrial without bond, Judge Wm. Hooks of Cook country may have set a precedent.

Court orders NYPD to record all citizen encounters.
North Dakota attorney general sues Dakota Access pipeline, charging it never acquired legal ownership of the land.

Necessity defense allowed in Resist Spectra/Enbridge AIM pipeline case.

A new Cuban constitution revises the legal definition of marriage.

Four years after he murdered Eric Garner, NYPD officer is finally facing charges.

Judge Dana Sabraw orders temporary halt to deportation of reunited migrant families.

Polk County District Judge Karen Romano issues temporary injunction barring the state from implementing some of the provisions of Iowa’s new voter ID law, restoring the absentee early voting period and blocking certain ID requirements.

A three-member panel of the 7th Court of Appeals in Indiana determines that the requirement forcing any woman considering an abortion to undergo an ultrasound 18 hours before the procedure imposes an unconstitutional undue burden on women.

Federal Judge, Jesse Furman allows legal challenge to Trump’s citizen question on the census to go forward.

U.S. District Judge Paul Crotty frees pizza man jailed by ICE.

Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals denies Trump administration’s attempt to dismiss suit by 21 kids suing the U.S. government over climate change.


RAICES rejects $250,000 Salesforce Corporation donation over company’s border agency ties.

In Iowa, the “No Respect” added to the U.S. Army billboard urges people to oppose the active war zone at Drone Command Center next to Des Moines International Airport.

White House stenographer quits because “Trump is lying to the American people.”

Jailhouse Lawyers Speak issues call for National prison strike August 21 to protest prison slave labor.

Lod stages unique Jewish-Arab LGBTQ Pride event.

Children march through San Francisco Streets and other cities, demanding adults protect them from a future of climate chaos.

Volos, Greece, resorts to barter to by-pass use of Euro.

In Sweden, Elin Ersson, a college student, stopped a deportation to Afghanistan by holding up an international flight.

Ahed Tamimi and her mother, Nariman, are released from Israeli prison where Tamimi was held for slapping an Israeli soldier.

“I am a child”: 100 kids and their advocates fill Senate office building demanding family unification.


Famed Seattle fish market sold to longtime employees rather than highest bidder.

Forbes reports that Vermont’s Putney Food coop produces more revenue per square foot than fancy chains like Whole Foods.

Starbucks announces it will open it’s first “signing store” where employees must be proficient in sign language. (Yes, but what minimum wage will it pay them ?)

NFL rethinks its anthem policy after Miami Dolphins try to punish protesting players.

New Zealand offers paid leave to domestic violence survivors.


UNESCO designates 24 new biosphere reserves.

Estimating that its mean ban will save 16.7 billion gallons of water, WeWork, a London company,  goes meat free.

31 new solar power plants bring 1 gigawatt of renewable power to Portugal.

Thanks to 100% wind and solar, Republican Georgetown TX mayor Dale Ross announces his town has some of the lowest energy costs in Central Texas.

After a long list of violations, Oregon shuts down Lost Valley mega-dairy factory farm for good.

With tailpipe emissions the largest source of pollutants, California school districts order all-electric buses.

After first approving  a plan charging ratepayers billions of dollars for the emergency closing of San Onofre nuclear plant, California Public Utilities Commission trims $750 million from customer bills.

In a grid modernization plan, Dominion of Virginia hopes to target  3 GW of wind and solar.

Andrew Wheeler, acting administrator of the EPA announces that he won’t follow Pruit’s order giving super polluting trucks a temporary pass.


Aware that it’s not a lack of food keeping  people hungry, Atlanta’s Goodr  partners with restaurants  to  deliver their unused food—already up to 900,000 pounds— to the hungry while allowing restaurants to reduce their trash bills and increase their tax write-offs.


Joint Sanders-Occasion-Cortez Kansas rally is so mobbed, it has to relocate to much larger quarters.

Democrats demand records for Kavanaugh, Trump’s Supreme Court nominee before starting the confirmation process. (Duh.)

House progressives, putting common good above billionaires, introduce “People’s Budget.”

California dental and medical associations announce that they will pursue a statewide sofa tax initiative on the 2020 ballot.

So far this year, North Carolina has not been guilty of voter caging.

Recalling Trump’s infamous remarks during his presidential campaign, Massachusetts’ “Nasty Women” Act, will officially stop a Roe v. Wade reversal from automatically banning abortion in the state.


Immigrant parents charged up to $8 a minute to call their kids.

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