Monthly Archives: July 2011

Nixing Nukes Now – From ‘Renaissance’ to Shutdown

[A version of this article is published in the current edition of Positive News US under the headline “US Heeds the Wake-Up Call.” Photo:]

By Mary Beth Brangan and James Heddle
EON, The Ecological Options Network

Steps Toward a Nuclear Free World
In the wake of the Fukushima disaster, which is already worse than Chernobyl and Three Mile Island combined, and which will continue to spew deadly radioactive particles around the planet for the unforeseeable future, a number of signs have emerged that many people have heeded this 2-by-4 wake up blow between the collective eyebrows.

This is very good news for long-time global anti-nuclear activists since there’s been relatively little attention to the nuclear issue in the last two decades. People have forgotten, and the young don’t know, our powerful anti-nuclear past. The lesson: Resistance IS Fertile!

Coalitions like the Clamshell Alliance in the northeast U.S, the Abalone Alliance in California, the International Nuclear Weapons Free Zone and the Nuclear Free & Independent Pacific Movement made huge strides in the 80’s and early 90’s pushing back the ravenous two-headed industry of nuclear power and nuclear weapons.

Coalitions formed that blocked 100 planned nuclear power plants along the US west coast. California, roughly the same size as Japan, was slated to have the same number of nuclear reactors as Japan now has, 54. Spirited opposition from many thousands blocked all but a handful. Reactors in Sacramento were actually voted to be closed down and were replaced by solar panels. Humboldt County’s nuclear plant was also closed. Primitive radioactive waste dumps were also blocked – forcing the nuclear industry to keep waste where it was produced rather than encouraging more production, contaminating more precious land and water and avoiding transportation of hazardous radioactive waste through small towns and large cities. These successes, plus inherent financial liability, kept the thousand nuclear power plants planned for the rest of the U.S. to 104.

Fukushima has wakened people once again to the insidious destruction from long-lived radioactive particles and the permanent DNA mutations that nuclear pollution causes.

In the U.S., the ante is being raised in Vermont, New York, California and in other states, where fierce grassroots battles now rage to shut aging reactors, many of which are on earthquake faults and virtually identical to those now spewing at Fukushima. Activists are using a combination of tactics from rallies to legal suits. Current California Congressional candidate Norman Soloman, is the first to call for the complete shutdown of California’s nuclear power plants.

Instead of the ‘Nuclear Renaissance’ predicted by nuclear proponents, Beyond lists pages of examples of what it calls a ‘Nuclear Retreat.’

[Vermont Yankee photo: Associated Press]

Just a few examples:
*Vermont: Vermont Yankee – Communities throughout Vermont, their Federal legislators, plus the state legislators are opposed to continuing the operation of the decomposing Vermont Yankee plant – the same GE Mark I reactor model as in Fukushima. A heated struggle is in process.

*California: There are two nuclear power stations located on the coast, with a combined total of 5 reactors, all on active earthquake faults.
Diablo Canyon – Plant operator PG&E – who’s safety record is atrocious – has applied for early re-licensing of Diablo’s 2 aging reactors. Citizens’ groups like Women’s Energy Matters and Mothers for Peace are calling for immediate decommissioning. State legislators are calling for more seismic studies before the requested re-licensing is considered.
San Onofre – between L.A. and San Diego sits directly on the beach and close to two earthquake faults. Current California Congressional candidate Norman Soloman, is calling for the complete shutdown of California’s nuclear power plants.

*New York: Indian Point – New York residents are pointing out the impossibility of evacuating the NY metropolitan area’s 50 million population near Long Island’s Indian Point nuclear reactors in the wake of a disaster and are calling for a shutdown. Gov. Cuomo has ordered it closed.

*Texas: Twin new reactor projects due to start construction in 2012 at the South Texas Nuclear Project have been put on hold. Now this project looks very doubtful because embattled Japanese utility, Tepco, was to be an investor in the project along with NRG Energy, the majority owner, which was even looking for loans from the Japanese government. Tepco is now facing a $15 Billion dollar loss and its Fukushima disaster has caused a major disruption in the Japanese economy far beyond the earthquake and tsunami damage.

A Global ‘Market Trend?’
As long-time nuclear critic Harvey Wasserman, editor of reports, “A Japanese-financed project for Texas and a French one in Maryland are all but dead…. The pressures on old and new US reactors, and the collapse of the industry in Germany and Japan, appear on the brink of pushing a failed technology into the scrap heap of history.”

May 31, 2011. Eight European Union countries (Austria, Greece, Ireland, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Malta and Portugal) have created a new anti-nuclear bloc within the EU. from

The Fukushima disaster is a wake-up call to join our individual talents and energies to local, national and international pushback efforts for a nuclear free world.

The evolutionary wind is at our backs. Fukushima’s toxic radionuclides, disproving false claims of nuclear safety, are in the air. Join the fun – let’s create a nuclear-free world! Remember, history shows – Resistance IS Fertile.

For more info:,,,, Union of Concerned Scientists, , Western States Legal Foundation, Tri-Valley CAREs, Women’s Energy Matters, Mothers for Peace

To help keep EON’s work going, please check out all the support options on our Donation Page or you can also send a check made out to EON to EON, POB 1047, Bolinas, CA

, Mothers for Peace

A PATTERN EMERGES – Who's in Charge Here?

“We are the Borg/AT&T/PG&E. Resistance is Futile!”

by Jim Heddle & MB Brangan – EON
[Originally published in the Bolinas Hearsay News and the West Marin Citizen. We share it with a wider readership here because we believe the local is the global – especially when it comes to the corporate/government driven proliferating electro-magnetic and nuclear radiation pollution of the world environment. Whether its toxic trespass with wireless pollution and pesticide spraying, or monitoring the radioactive fallout from Fukushima,
our West Marin issues mirror the planetary challenges facing our species.

AT&T’s cell phone antennas on your firehouse whether you want them or not.

PG&E’s wireless, dirty electricity-causing, so-called ‘smart’ meters on your house and all your neighbors’ houses whether you want them or not.

A ‘nuclear renaissance,’ the rollback of collective bargaining, the corporate takeover of cash-strapped municipalities, bailouts and bonuses for Wall Street, foreclosures and unemployment for Main Street – whether you want them or not.

Corporate ‘personhood’ and ‘free speech’ for corporations in the form of unlimited election spending – whether you want it or not.

The world’s largest military budget, a permanent war economy for an un-ending global war, tax breaks for the richest 1 per cent, corporate tax evasion and cuts in social security and medicare whether you want them or not.

Do we begin to see a pattern here?

Corporate power is well advanced in the process of seizing control of governmental institutions and agencies, media, labor and immigration law, education and health care, trampling democratic rights and choice in the process.

Smart ALEC
This is no easily-dismissed ‘conspiracy theory.’ It’s the explicitly stated agenda of corporate-funded outfits like the American Legislative Exchange Council ( For more see AlecExposed, the Nation and

Funded by among others, our Tea Party-funding friends the Koch Brothers, ALEC is devoted to ‘limited government, free markets and federalism’ – code words for deregulation, privatization of public assets, roll-back of labor rights and corporate rule at every level from national to state to local.

ALEC’s M.O. is to craft off-the-shelf, boiler-plate legislation that sympathetic lawmakers can attempt to implement simultaneously en masse in as many jurisdictions as possible. Witness the recent coordinated deployment of anti-collective bargaining laws in Wisconsin, Indiana, Michigan and elsewhere, or the push to spread Arizona-style, draconian, racist, anti-immigrant laws in other states across the country. Pretty smart strategy, eh? About as smart as ‘SmartMeters.’

According to Wikipedia, “Among other activities, the group assists its members in developing “model laws” for state legislatures and serves as an easy-networking tool for fellow legislators to research how certain policy projects and problems have been handled in other states. ALEC has approximately 2,000 legislative members representing all 50 states, as well as more than 85 members of Congress and 14 sitting or former Governors who are considered “ALEC alumni”. While the alumni elected to the United States Congress and as Governors are almost exclusively Republican … around one third of ALEC’s legislative members are members of the Democratic Party.”

800 sample laws of ALEC were recently leaked. The full archive of ALEC documents is now available at a new website,, thanks to the Center for Media and Democracy, which has provided useful tools to turn this knowledge into power.

Local is Global
Seen from this perspective, the onslaught of telecom and for-profit utility monopoly’s expansionist business plans on local jurisdictions like Bolinas is clearly part of a nation-wide pattern of creeping attempts at corporate domination.

Tiny local bodies – such as our so-far heroic and steadfast local Fire Boards are hard-pressed to resist such powerful pressures.

That’s why it’s vitally important for all Bolinas citizens concerned about these issues of public health, safety and sovereignty to show up at the July 25th Bolinas Fire Board meeting, make your views heard, and support our elected representatives in making a decision about AT&T’s antenna build-out plan that embodies the collective will of our well-informed and fiercely caring community.

Let’s embolden by example other local jurisdictions facing the same anti-democratic, corporate pressures. This is a significant historical moment. If not now, when? If not here, where? If not us, who? Our little village is a microcosm of the collision of corporate overreach and local pushback.

Remember how they wanted to build 100 nuke plants on the Northwest coast? Public resistance stopped ‘em.

Remember how they wanted to aerial-spray toxic pesticides over all of northern California? Public resistance stopped ‘em…so far.

Remember how PG&E said local jurisdictions have no choice about allowing wireless ‘smart’ meters? So far, at least 45 local governing bodies (and counting) have disagreed. Bolinas was one of the first.

California’s ‘smart meter’ pushback is now a major focus of industry concern. PG&E even says what happens here has global energy policy implications.

So let’s continue our assertion of our rights. Grassroots democracy works…IF we make it so.

We know from experience that: Resistance is Fertile!

To help keep EON’s work going, please check out all the support options on our Donation Page or you can also send a check made out to EON to EON, POB 1047, Bolinas, CA

Outrage & Denial – Nuke Update 7-24-11

Official Bias and Incompetence Fuel Citizen Anger
Public fear, consternation and pushback spreads as corporate and regulatory denial, foot-dragging and refusals to monitor and test for fallout levels characterize this week’s post-Fukushima developments in Japan and the U.S.

Japanese government killing its own people in Fukushima

Ex Japanese Nuclear Regulator Blames Radioactive Animal Feed on “Black Rain”
by Fairewinds Associates

Japan to recommend new evacuations around nuclear plant

Japanese authorities said Thursday that they would recommend the evacuation of hot spots near the nuclear power plant damaged in the March earthquake and tsunami.
The locations, to be announced in the next few days, were outside the 20-kilometre evacuation zone but had seen spikes in radiation levels that could expose people to more than the recommended maximum of 20 millisieverts per year, government spokesman Yukio Edano was quoted as saying in news reports.

NYTimes: In the Wake of Fukushima – Editorial
…If nuclear power is to have a future in this country, Americans have to have confidence that regulators and the industry are learning the lessons of Fukushima and taking all steps necessary to ensure safety.

Split Within Nuclear Regulatory Agency
WASHINGTON — A majority of the five-member Nuclear Regulatory Commission is signaling that it wants to move slowly on at least some new recommendations from its staff on how to reduce the chance of a Fukushima-type accident at an American reactor despite calls by its chairman for swift action.

To help keep EON’s work going, please check out all the support options on our Donation Page or you can also send a check made out to EON to EON, POB 1047, Bolinas, CA

CHERNOBYL to FUKUSHIMA – Lessons to be Learned

A video series in five parts. [Scroll down to view.]

From Russia With Love
In the wake of Fukushima three women with profound personal knowledge of the social, economic, medical, biological and environmental impacts of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster came to the U.S. to share their experiences and insights in a national speaking tour sponsored by Beyond Nuclear.

The delegation included:
Natalia Miranova – world renowned organizer at forefront of nuclear debates, won Supreme Court case against government of Russia.
Natalia Manzurova – cleanup engineer at Chernobyl for five years and international advocate for radiation victims.
Tatiana Mukhamedyarova – outspoken voice on radiation exposure with the Movement for Nuclear Safety.

[ For personal video interviews with each of these women, please see our previous post: Chernobyl Consciousness – Three Womans’ Stories
For more videos on this topic please see:
KEEPERS of the DEADLY FIRE – An interview with Nuclear Guardianship Project Founder Joanna Macy.
FUKUSHIMA FALLOUT – Lessons from Chernobyl with Dr. Dave DeSante
DVD copies available on request: 415-868-1900 ]

The delegation’s presentation at San Fransisco State University, organized by Department of American Indian Studies Lecturer Philip Klasky, was co-sponsored by his Department as well as the Department of Anthropology, the Environmental Studies Program and the Earth Island Institute’s Center for Safe Energy.

Other speakers included, Philip Klasky, Dr. Carlos Davidson of the Environmental Studies Program, Andrew Lichterman from the Western States Legal Foundation and Ernest Goitein, a nuclear engineer.

Part 1 – The Planetary Context
Philip Klasky, Lecturer in American Indian Studies and Dr. Carlos Davidson, Director of the SFSU Environmental Studies Program, lay out the cultural, environmental and historical context of nuclear technology.

Part 2 – Lessons Ignored
World renowned sociologist and anti-nuclear organizer Dr. Natalia Miranova presents the scientific, ecological and social implications of the Chernobyl and Fukushimsa disasters.

Part 3 – A Radiation Biologist’s Story
Radiation biologist Natalia Manzurova tells of her experience as a Chernobyl ‘clean up liquidator’ – translated by psychologist Tatiana Mukhamedyarova.

Part 4 – The Role of Social Movements
Attorney Andrew Lichterman of the Western States Legal Foundation discusses the difficulties of obtaining accurate information about the emerging impacts of Fukushima and the role of social movements in combating the madness of nuclear power and weapons proliferation.

Part 5 – Q&A
In the conclusion, panelists, including world renowned sociologist and anti-nuclear organizer Dr. Natalia Miranova; radiation biologist Natalia Manzurova; attorney Andrew Lichterman and nuclear engineer Ernest Goitein respond to comments and questions from the audience.

To help keep EON’s work going, please check out all the support options on our Donation Page or you can also send a check made out to EON to EON, POB 1047, Bolinas, CA