Sunday, July 22, 2018

Tin Can Alley

A recent Irish Examiner study reports that villages in the Ukraine 125 miles away from Chernobyl are still suffering from fallout after 30 years. In Japan, seven years after the nuclear triple-meltdown, the government is forcing those it was obliged to relocate, back into Fukushima areas that will remain contaminated for at least that many years. Radiation is not good for you.

Meanwhile in the dis-United States, despite a raft of nuclear plant closures, the nuclear industry is doing everything within its power to insure that a similar catastrophe will occur here. Southern California Edison corporation offers one of many shining examples.

Nuclear fuel pool
Billed as “Energy for What’s Ahead.” we can only hope that what’s ahead may not be as grim as its nuclear waste policies seem to indicate, particularly with its plans for the nuclear plant closure at San Onofre. First some background. As fuel rods become “spent” causing them actually to heat up, they are transferred routinely to “spent” fuel pools to cool off. These buildings are not “hardened.” A recent Greenpeace stunt successfully crashed a drone dressed as superman into a nuclear plant in France. Nor are they protected by back up generators in the case of a power failure such as happened at Fukushima, where both internal and external power sources failed.

Now, especially in  the context of reopened governmental discussions regarding the storage of nuclear waste, and with the boondoggle of Yucca Mountain re-opened, Edison has contracted with Holtec Corporation to supply canisters for dry storage. It sounds, on the surface like it might be a good idea,, except that at San Onofre, such canisters are exposed and subject to the corrosion of salt air, and are located some 100 feet above sea level, in an area vulnerable to tsunami surges. Unlike the storage casks employed in Europe where cask walls are about one 11 to 19 inches thick,  Holtec’s canisters are 5/8 of an inch thick. And they are vulnerable to cracking.

Cracking, you say, cracking can be fixed. True if the cracking can be located, but these canisters cannot be inspected, and when 5% air enters them, the fuel will explode; if rain water seeps into them, their contents will go critical—i.e. initiate a nuclear explosion, the kind that generates fallout. The kind that kills. Each can is supposed to hold a Chernobyl disaster in the words of Donna Gilmore, from the group of activists spearheading efforts to hold Southern California Edison responsible, a company with a track record about as integral as Swiss cheese.

Meantime, don’t forget: the Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s salaries are paid by the industry. And with Holtec’s environmentally unjust proposal for tons of radioactive irradiated nuclear fuel to be “temporarily” stored in southwest New Mexico, high risk, high-level radioactive waste barge shipments could begin on Lake Michigan and many other surface and coastal waters  across the country and high-level radioactive waste truck and train shipments could begin in most states, many major cities, and the vast majority of U.S. congressional districts 

Why address what is assuredly the existential challenge of our time on Earth? 
Because it is never too late to pay attention, massive attention because that’s what it takes to save ourselves from another Chernobyl.  It is never too late to re-awaken a movement, the anti-nuclear movement, which in the ‘80s was capable of turning out hundreds of thousands. It’s important to remember that the economic rationale
for such an exorbitant form of energy was to develop weapons-grade plutonium. Any energy it might supply for home use is merely a by-product of a war-making, planet-devastating military project. 

The time is now. Especially now, with the surge—finally—of such popular movements as #IdleNoMore, #BlackLivesMatter,, #EndICE and #SaveRoevsWade, why is the idea—not the rhetoric—but the idea of Peace in Our Time, even as it comes to us in words from Helsinki, why is Peace and the always elusive Peace Economy such a bad idea?

For what you can do to help, please go to and share this information and fact sheet.

Sign The Nation open letter at Roots Action:


Greenpeace crashes  Superman-shaped  drone into France’s Bugey nuclear plant.

Ex-PM Koizumi invites Ozawa, a former political rival, to call for ending nuclear power in Japan.

In opposition to the objectionable dump site on Western Shoshone land at Yucca Mountain, Beyond Nuclear leads a standing room only briefing in the U.S. Congress on the need for hardened on-site nuclear waste  storage.

Peace activists gain entry to Buchel, a German air base, that holds U.S. nuclear bombs.

More than 80 activists from Livermore and surrounding towns challenge Air District’s preliminary OK of Livermore Lab’s permit to detonate bomb tests with high explosive contaminants at an outdoor firing table.”


Vermont nurses strike for better patient care.

In Khan al Ahmar, Sara abu Dahouk s was release and school opened as scheduled as mandated by Israel’s High Court.

Thousands protest Israeli apartheid bill in TelAviv.

In L.A. bank employees and activists celebrate the passage of an amended bank resolution requiring any bank doing business with the City must disclose its sales goals and reveal any predatory business practices.

Activists are arrested after shutting down ICE facilities in the cities of San Francisco and Miami.

Members of Department of Homeland Security quit over morally repugnant family separation policies.

Hand in Hand, a national network of employers of nannies, house cleaners and personal attendants, brings an additional constituency to Trumps ”zero tolerance” policy.

#TimetoboycottAmazon as Bezos workers mark #PrimeDay with strikes against low pay and brutal working conditions.

Episcopal Church votes to set up a human rights divestment screen to shed investments in companies involved in human rights violations in Israel.

GOP withdraws nomination of racist Judge Ryan W. Bounds.


Marking “Zero Hour,” young activists kick off three days of marches and demonstrations around the globe to safeguard our planet for both its current and future generations.

Greenpeace slathers Barclay’s London headquarters with faux tar sand spill.

Ecuador’s highest court upholds $9.5 billion ruling against Chevron Corporation.

Four largest tech companies announce 100% renewable energy commitments.

Exxon Mobil leaves conservative advocacy group ALEC.

New York City Council votes on bill to limit the damages of environmental racism.

Juan and Julia Jimenez and their children have restored the ecosystem in their coffee farm in Cajamarca, Peru, and made it more resilient to the impacts of climate change.  


In Khan al Ahmar, Sara abu Dahouk s was release and school opened as scheduled as mandated by Israel’s High Court.

The International Criminal Court judges order outreach to victims of war crimes in Palestine. 

Women’s Rights

India rules marriage of child brides is illegal and that sex with child brides is always illegal.

Turkish wedding photographer stops a child bride marriage he was hired to shoot.

Gov. John Carney of Delaware signs bill requiring all health plans to start providing birth control with zero co-pays.

Indian working class women are finally allowed to sit down and take breaks during the work day.


Philadelphia Judge Petrese Tucker uphold adoption by same-sex couples as non-discriminatory.

Milwaukee enters a settlement agreement to end stop and frisk that resulted in decade-long harassment and racial/ethnic profiling of black and Latino people citywide.


FCC Chair Pai sinks the proposed merger of  Sinclair and Tribune Media because of activist pressure.

Rep. Mike Coffman of CO becomes first House Republican to back reinstating FCC protections.

EU hits Google with $5 billion antitrust fine, demanding it be broken up for monopolistic practices.


District Judge Dana Sabraw temporarily halts deportation  of separated families.

Kansas congregations pledge to shield immigrants facing deportation, “even if it means arrest.”

Otros Dreams en Accion, a grass-roots Mexican group, works with deported and returning migrants from the U.S.

Primaries & politics

Over 62 House Democrats launch a Medicare for all Caucus to thunderous applause.

Progressive candidate Kevin de Leon receives endorsement from California Democrats.

Non-citizens legally register to vote in San Francisco school elections (because it directly affects their children).

Measure to Balkanize California into three states is removed from the November ballot by the state Supreme Court.

California Jovanka Beckles’ run for AD 15 is endorsed by Dan Kalb and Judy Appel.

California Young Executive Board endorses and  overwhelmingly passes Igor Tregub’s #HousingNow-Yes, on Prop 10 (Costa Hawkins).


World cup star Kylian Mbappé donates all his earnings to help children with disabilities.

Chutzpah (for laughs)

Candelas Glows, a group dealing with problems at Rocky Flats, announced that local developers partnering with government are trying to sell the public on a plutonium –contaminated site re-imaged as a wildlife refuge.

Pentagon reaches back ten years to take money back from veterans.

So you’ve ruined a town and poisoned their children, why not bill them for your legal costs?

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