Activist William Sloane Coffin Dies
Courant Staff Writer
April 13 2006
The Rev. William Sloane Coffin, whose activism in the causes of
peace and social justice led some to call him the conscience of
a nation, died quietly Wednesday at his home in rural Strafford,
Vt. He was 81.
As the chaplain at Yale University in the 1960s and '70s, Coffin
earned a national reputation marching for civil rights in the South
and encouraging young men to turn in their draft cards to protest
the Vietnam War.
His moral authority and skill as a preacher influenced a generation
of scholars and activists. He continued to fight for social justice
throughout his life and was an outspoken opponent of the war in
"You know the axis of evil is not Iraq, Iran and North Korea,"
he told an audience at Yale in 2002. "It is environmental degradation,
pandemic poverty and a world awash in arms."
"This man was a giant," said William "Scotty"
McLennan, the dean of religious life at Stanford University and
a 1970 graduate of Yale. "He is the university chaplain of
record. His influence was very wide, very deep and very long-lasting.
And he's certainly the best white preacher I've ever heard."
"Coffin was the most important voice of liberal Protestantism
in the latter 20th century, except for Martin Luther King Jr.,"
said Warren Goldstein, chairman of the University of Hartford's
history department and author of a 2004 biography of Coffin. "The
secret of his success was that he preached a Christianity that was
open, non-doctrinal, witty, quotable and full of joy."
Coffin had congestive heart failure. He died in the company of his
third wife, Randy, and daughter, Amy Coffin. "Bill was sitting
out in the sun talking to them perfectly fine, and he literally
just stopped," said his niece, Sarah Coffin O'Connor of New
York City. "It was all very peaceful and straightforward."
"It's all still a big shock to us all," said O'Connor,
who was a student at Yale when Coffin was chaplain. Coffin has one
other surviving child, David. Another son, Alex, died in an automobile
accident in 1983.
Coffin was born into a wealthy and prominent family in New York
City. He attended Phillips Andover Academy and was a classmate of
George H.W. Bush both there and later at Yale. He served as a paratrooper
during World War II, and as Gen. George Patton's Russian translator
and a liaison officer to the Red Army after the war.
He graduated from Yale and entered the Union Theological Seminary,
once headed by his uncle, Henry Sloane Coffin, one of the nation's
most prominent ministers. When the Korean War began he signed on
with the CIA. In Germany, he trained anti-Soviet Russians to infiltrate
Eastern Europe to try to foment democratic opposition, a project
he described as "a great disaster."
He grew disillusioned with the CIA - and his country - for its participation
in overturning governments in Iran and Guatemala, and for its role
He earned a degree from the Yale Divinity School and was ordained
a Presbyterian minister in 1956, and two years later was named Yale's
chaplain, a post he held until 1975.
Coffin led groups of students to the South on summer "Freedom
Rides" to work for racial equality and civil rights. He was
a regular speaker at the massive anti-war demonstrations of the
Along with other prominent radicals, he was convicted in 1968 of
conspiring to help young men dodge the draft, though that judgment
was overturned on appeal.
Coffin and McLennan both served as models for the Rev. Scot Slone,
the social-activist minister of Garry Trudeau's Doonesbury comic
McLennan met Coffin when he was a freshman at Yale in 1966.
"He had had a huge influence on myself and others in trying
to think about the social justice concerns of our day in connection
with religion," McLennan said. Coffin inspired him to attend
divinity school while he was studying at Harvard Law School, and
then set up a legal ministry in a low-income neighborhood in Boston.
Coffin was known as a formidable speaker, in particular for what
McLennan called "Coffinisms - ways of turning phrases."
He offered a couple of examples: "He who stands for nothing
falls for anything" and, "It's not because you have value
that you are loved, but because you are loved that you have value."
Coffin became senior minister at the prominent Riverside Church
in New York City in 1977 and took on the causes of gay rights and
nuclear disarmament. In 1987, he left Riverside to lead SANE/FREEZE,
an organization working toward disarmament (and now known as Peace
Coffin continued to speak out long after his retirement in the early
1990s. In an August 2004 interview on the PBS program Religion and
Ethics Newsweekly, he told journalist Bob Abernethy:
"It's clear to me, two things: that almost every square inch
of the Earth's surface is soaked with the tears and blood of the
innocent, and it's not God's doing. It's our doing. That's human
malpractice. Don't chalk it up to God. Every time people say, when
they see the innocent suffering, every time they lift their eyes
to heaven and say, `God, how could you let this happen?' it's well
to remember that exactly at that moment God is asking exactly the
same question of us: `How could you let this happen?' So you have
to take responsibility."
Copyright 2006, Hartford Courant
noises force halt to Vermont Yankee power boost
By David Gram, Associated Press Writer | April 6,
2006 MONTPELIER, Vt.
Yankee nuclear plant on Thursday again halted the process of trying
to increase it's power output by 20 percent after instruments picked
up new indications of strain on a key plant component.
The plant was halfway through the third stage of the increase --
each stage equal to 5 percent of its previous power level -- when
acoustic gauges picked up a sound "that requires additional
data gathering and analysis prior to further power increases,"
Vermont Yankee said in a statement.
Thursday's development marked the second time technicians at the
34-year-old reactor have had to pause in the power increase process.
A similar sound picked up at 105 percent of original power in early
March caused it to stop at that level and conduct four weeks of
computer modeling and reviews to determine it was safe to proceed
to the next level.
The acoustic gauges are designed to give indications of strains
on the plant's steam dryer, a large structure at the top of the
reactor that removes water from steam before it is sent to the turbines
that spin to make electricity.
The new sound, picked up when the plant reached 112.5 percent of
its original power level, was of a slightly higher frequency than
the one recorded at the 105 percent, Williams said.
The plant's statement said that, "Further analyses will be
used to verify that the acoustic signals measured at this power
level will have no short- or long-term impact on the reliability
of the steam dryer at the next higher power level."
Plant officials said, and a spokesman for the federal Nuclear Regulatory
Commission agreed, that Vermont Yankee is using conservative standards
for what level of acoustic gauge measurements trigger a pause in
the power increase.
"By holding at this power level, we are ensuring we maintain
ample margins to ensure plant reliability," said Jay Thayer,
site vice president for Entergy Nuclear, the plant's owner.
"The power ascension process continues to be deliberate, measured
and controlled," Thayer added. "We will maintain the plant
output at the current power plateau until the additional analysis
The plant's statement said that likely will take at least several
days as engineers from Vermont Yankee and from General Electric,
which built the plant, review data and then share their findings
with the NRC.
Williams said the gauges are designed to measure the pressure of
steam traveling through pipes connected to the reactor. Steam passing
across the top of a T in the piping, across the hole formed by the
intersecting pipe, creates a sound in a manner similar to what happens
when a flutist blows across the hole in the instrument's mouthpiece.
Williams said the acoustic gauges are very sensitive, and that he
could not say whether the sound would be audible to the human ear.
He said the sound picked up Thursday had a pitch of about 142 hertz;
that's about an octave and a half below the 440 hertz A to which
most orchestras tune. © Copyright 2005 The New York Times Company
COALITION AGAINST MILLSTONE
April 5, 2006
Dear Mr. Price:
We are very concerned that Millstone Unit 2 reactor remains shut
down for the fifth consecutive day today in an unplanned outage,
according to postings on the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission
We have been informed by the NRC that you operated Millstone Unit
2 on Wednesday, March 29, 2006 at 100 per cent power while a broken
vital safety backup pump - of 1970 vintage - was being repaired.
Complications which developed during the repair required you to
shut Millstone Unit 2 and remove it from the grid within 72 hours
after the condition was discovered if you were unable to correct
the problem within that time period in accordance with Technical
Specification 184.108.40.206, according to the NRC.
As you know, the Attorney General of the State of Connecticut was
a scheduled speaker at a meeting you arranged at Millstone at 3
P.M., at which time an NRC delegation presented its assessment of
Millstone 2005 operations. We understand from the NRC's Office of
Public Affairs that Mr. Blumenthal was not cautioned that at the
time of his presentation - or his appearance at a rally at the entranceway
to Millstone staged by the Connecticut Coalition Against Millstone
at 2 P.M. on March 29, 2006 - that you had made the decision to
operate Millstone at full power without an operable auxiliary pump
in a key safety system. To the contrary, you made every effort to
lead the NRC and the audience assembled at the annual assessment
presentation to believe that Millstone was being operated consistent
with high safety standards. To the contrary, you were operating
Millstone on a collision course with disaster.
The NRC has referred our request to it for a copy of Technical Specification
220.127.116.11 to you. (Please refer to our prior correspondence with the
NRC OPA, below.) We herewith request a copy. If the "72-hour"
rule resulted from a license amendment - thereby permitting such
a repair while the reactor was operating at 100 per cent power -
please provide us with the pertinent license amendment application.
We are also deeply concerned with regard to radiation releases to
the environment which occurred while Unit 2 was being shut down.
We were first alerted to a problem at Millstone on Sunday, April
2, 2006 when we received a call from a Waterford resident who had
heard unusual noises emanating from Millstone two miles from her
home the previous afternoon. When she activated her portable radiation
detector, it measured higher-than-"normal" readings. She
took it upon herself to drive to a vantage in Waterford to observe
the plant. From the vantage point of Pleasure Beach, she observed
what appeared to be smoke and/or billowing steam emanating from
Unit 2. She took photographs. Her radiation detector measured similar
We alerted Dominion by calling the security office. The security
officer on hand told us nothing was out of order at Millstone. He
referred us to Peter Hyde, Dominion's spokesperson. Mr. Hyde told
us that Unit 2 had been shut down. However, he denied that there
had been a smoke or steam release. He told us that if we wished
further information, we should read The New London Day's account
of the event in the following day's issue. We alerted The Day to
the report of noise, smoke and elevated radiation levels. The Day's
reporter, who had been "briefed" by Mr. Hyde, told us
that the Waterford resident had not heard noise and had not seen
smoke or steam. How she knew this when she had not been present,
we do not know. The reporter told us that Mr. Hyde had told her
that no steam was released during the shutdown, but that steam generated
during the unplanned shutdown was diverted to an internal repository.
This statement was contradicted by Neil Sheehan, in an email on
April 4, 2006, which acknowledged the obvious release of steam at
the same time frame as the observation by the Waterford resident.
(Please refer to the email correspondence below.)
We attach The New London Day account of the incident which was published
the following day, April 3, 2006. (See below.) Mr. Hyde was apparently
the only source for the article. Unfortunately, although the Day
reporter did speak with the Waterford resident who reiterated her
perceptions of noise, smoke and elevated radiation levels, the reporter
did not place a call, we suggested she do, to Judi Friedman, leader
of PACE (People's Action for Clean Energy), who maintains a statewide
network of citizen radiation monitors. Ms. Friedman informed us
that she had recorded similar levels of radiation in Kiev, Ukraine
- a Chernobyl-contaminated city - and the Nevada Atomic Bomb test
Site - but not elsewhere in Connecticut.
We have asked the NRC to provide us with computer print-outs of
"real-time" radiological effluent releases which have
occurred during this event. The NRC has declined to do so and suggested
we request the information from you directly. We do so herewith.
We are especially concerned that both Mr. Hyde and the NRC's spokesperson
apparently told the news media on April 2, 2006 - The Day's article
was picked up by The Associated Press and widely disseminated -
that "Releases of radioactivity were minimal, within federal
guidelines and typical for reactor shutdowns."
After a year of denial, the NRC finally admitted at the March 29,
2006 annual assessment meeting that Dominion is excused from onsite
monitoring for strontium-90 radiation airborne releases and that
it is permitted to rely on measurements taken from goat milk. The
NRC's Paul Krohn admitted during the 6 PM meeting at the Waterford
Town Hall on March 29, 2006 that "real-time" measurements
of strontium-90 airborne releases are not even technically possible.
Therefore, when Dominion and the NRC made public pronouncements
about the levels of radiation released during this incident, they
misspoke because they could not have known at that time the extent
of strontium-90 releases, among other releases, such as noble gases.
We believe that Dominion's comments to the news media misled the
community regarding its radiation releases to the air which we all
breathe. As you know, the National Academy of Sciences, in its report
entitled "Health Risks from Exposure to Low Levels of Ionizing
Radiation" ("BEIR VII Phase II") released in March
2006 concludes that there is no safe level of exposure to low-level
ionizing radiation and that children are most vulnerable.
We are reminded that The Day published an article entitled "Millstone
2 Wasn't Able to Restart Until Sunday" on February 28, 2006
(copy attached below), exposing the fact that Mr. Hyde had informed
the news media that Dominion had restarted Unit 2 following another
unplanned shutdown, when in fact efforts to restart were terminated
when smoke and sparks issued from the reactor's turbine.
We are also reminded of the NRC's public pronouncement of "very
low" radiation releases during a Unit 3 unplanned shutdown
event last December - long before goat-milk sampling could be undertaken.
"Radiation Leak at Millstone Called 'Very Low'" on December
6, 2005 (see copy below).
We welcome your forthright response to this letter and copies of
Finally, we request your apologies to the public you invited to
your nuclear facility on March 29, 2006 while keeping them in the
dark as to the developing crisis with the Unit 2 auxiliary pump.
147 Cross Highway
Redding Ridge CT 06876
4/4/06 Email from NRC's OPA's Neil Sheehan:
It is not uncommon for nuclear power plants to perform maintenance
while the units remain in operation. The component in question was
an auxiliary feedwater pump, but it is just one of multiple safety
systems. You would have to request a copy of the Technical Specification
document from Dominion.
The NRC Resident Inspectors monitored the Millstone Unit 2 shutdown
throughout Friday (3/31) and Saturday (4/1). Much of this time was
spent in the control room, with the inspectors performing direct
observations. No radiation alarms were received during the shutdown.
As a further verification, the inspectors reviewed the control room
log and looked at plant computer system records for the Unit 2 main
stack radiation monitor. These indicated no radiation alarms were
received and there were no indications of a release on the Unit
2 stack particulate monitor.
Relative to smoke emanating from Millstone at 3 p.m., this coincided
with a shift of decay heat removal from the turbine condenser to
venting steam from the steam generators to the atmosphere at about
2 p.m. This was non-radioactive steam. There are radiation monitors
on the steam lines and no alarms were received. Using the steam
generators to remove decay heat by venting steam to the atmosphere
is a normal and often used method to provide reactor cooling and
does not constitute a radiation release.
The effluent stream monitors at Millstone (e.g. gas, liquid) are
calibrated to detect beta, gamma, and alpha activity from radioactive
isotopes regardless of the specific element from which the activity
originated. Strontium-90 is monitored in the food chain (i.e., goat
milk) since it provides heightened sensitivity to that isotope getting
into the environment. The idea is that living organisms (i.e., a
goat or cow) act as a concentrator of the activity, so they provide
the most sensitive means of detecting any release.
NRC Public Affairs Officer, Region I
>>> <NancyBurtonCT@aol.com> 04/04/06 11:01 AM >>>
CONNECTICUT COALITION AGAINST MILLSTONE
April 4, 2006
Dear Mr. Sheehan:
We await your response to our email sent yesterday. (Please see
We note that Unit 2 is still down today, according to the NRC website.
Please update us on the status of Unit 2 and the repair to the auxiliary
during this fourth day of unplanned shutdown.
Thank you for your attention.
CONNECTICUT COALITION AGAINST MILLSTONE
April 3, 2006
Dear Mr. Sheehan:
Please advise when the NRC began permitting Millstone to repair
auxiliary feedwater pump while operating at 100 per cent power.
Did this waiver of
safety standards require a license amendment? If so, please provide
accession numbers for the pertinent license application documents.
provide us with the text of Millstone's Technical Specifications
Your email stated:
"After receiving a call from our Operations Center yesterday
that you had
expressed concern about "smoke" and "heightened levels
of radioactivity" coming
from the plant, I checked with the technical staff and learned that
of those conditions existed."
Actually, we reported to the NRC on SUNDAY, APRIL 2, 2006, that
we had just
learned from a credible source in the community that she had observed
appeared to be smoke emanating from Millstone at approximately 3
SATURDAY, April 1, the previous day. Her Rad Alert measurements
were taken on
Saturday, not Sunday. Therefore, we remain concerned about the elevated
of radiation detected on Saturday. When we requested further information
the radiation releases from Dominion's spokesperson Peter Hyde,
April 2, 2006, he told us to read the next day's The New London
newspaper. Unfortunately, The Day reported on April 3, 2006 as follows:
"Releases of radioactivity were minimal, within federal guidelines
typical for reactor shutdowns, Sheehan and Hyde said."
As you know, the NRC admitted publicly at the March 29, 2006 annual
assessment meetings that Dominion is permitted to monitor its strontium-90
releases in goat milk samples rather than radiation detection devices
at the plant
's radiation stack, and that no real-time monitoring of strontium-90
releases is even possible. Please therefore explain your statement
to The Day that
radiation releases were minimal, within federal guildlines and typical
reactor shutdowns, when you could not have known what levels of
or strontium-89 or the noble gases for that matter - had been released
you provided the news media with that comment.
4/3/06 Email from NRC's OPA's Neil Sheehan:
The Millstone Unit 2 reactor shut down on Saturday when it was determined
repairs to a turbine-driven auxiliary feedwater pump could not be
completed within the required 72-hour time period for that component.
The shutdown went smoothly. After receiving a call from our Operations
Center yesterday that you had expressed concern about "smoke"
and "heightened levels of radioactivity" coming from the
plant, I checked with the technical staff and learned that neither
of those conditions existed. Therefore, there was nothing to report
to you. We fully expected to provide you with information regarding
the plant shutdown today. As a general rule, we respond to media
inquiries during off-hours, not calls from private citizens.
No radiation alarms sounded during the shutdown. We had inspectors
on-site throughout the weekend who were able to confirm this. If
you are interested in obtaining printouts of any radiation effluent
releases, you would have to make that request to Dominion.
The pump was out of service and being worked on last Wednesday at
the time of Mr. Blumenthal's visit to Millstone. The problem involving
the bearing was not discovered until the company performed post-maintenance
testing on the pump on Thursday. A nuclear power plant is a large
industrial complex involving countless safety systems, structures
and components. It would not be practical to discuss maintenance
involving each of those items during the course of one of our Annual
Assessment meetings. We would be glad to discuss exactly what happened
with regard to the pump, as well as the sequence of events, with
the Attorney General at any time. We greatly appreciated him taking
the time to speak at our meeting last week.
A section of the plant's Technical Specifications (18.104.22.168) requires
that the reactor be shut down if the turbine-driven auxiliary feedwater
pump cannot be returned to service within 72 hours. When it became
clear that wasn't going to occur, the plant properly made the decision
to take the unit out of service.
NRC Public Affairs Officer, Region I
>>> <NancyBurtonCT@aol.com> 04/03/06 10:05 AM >>>
CONNECTICUT COALITION AGAINST MILLSTONE
April 3, 2006
Dear NRC Office of Public Affairs:
Please respond to these queries at your first opportunity:
1. Please advise why you did not respond to our query to NRC
headquarters yesterday at approximately 11 AM (which query was referred
to the NRC
Office of Public Affairs) when we reported a community-based report
smoke and heightened radiation levels emanating from the Millstone
Plant on Saturday, April 1, 2006 at approximately 3 PM.
2. Please provide us with a real-time computer printout of radiation
effluent releases from Millstone airborne pathways from the moment
Wednesday, March 29, 2006, when Dominion Nuclear Connecticut, Inc.
first became aware
of a defect in the auxiliary feedwater terry turbine driven pump
(according to news media reports) and the present time.
3. Please advise whether the NRC notified Attorney General Richard
Blumenthal of this condition on March 29, 2006, either before his
at the Coalition's "Millstone Insecurity" rally at which
he appeared at 2 PM
at the entranceway to Millstone or his subsequent appearance and
to a delegation of the NRC at 3 PM at the Millstone onsite training
For the record, The Connecticut Coalition Against Millstone was
of this condition although it was known to Dominion that residents
area had been invited to attend the Coalition's rally at the Millstone
entranceway at 2 PM on March 29, 2006.
4. Please identify which provision of the Code of Federal Regulations
mandates a shutdown of a nuclear recator within 72 hours of an event
occurred at Millstone Unit 2 as above identified.
Thank you for your assistance.
147 Cross Highway
Redding Ridge CT 06876
Insecurity Day 3/29/06
Blumenthal addresses the NRC at Millstone 3/29/06
from Ed Markey
United States Congress Massachusetts Seventh District
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT: Tara McGuinness
April 4, 2006 (202) 225-2836
REP. MARKEY DECRIES NUKE INDUSTRY PRESSURE ON NRC
The Bush Administration Homeland Security Motto: "In Industry
WASHINGTON, DC - Representative Edward J. Markey (D-MA), a senior
Member of the House Energy and Commerce and Homeland Security Committees,
issued the following statement in response to reports that the Government
Accountability Office (GAO) determined that the Nuclear Regulatory
Commission (NRC) altered its security regulations for nuclear reactors
in response to industry pressure. Specifically, the GAO concluded
that the NRC removed several weapons from its list of weapons and
reduced the size of the truck bomb nuclear reactors were supposed
to be able to defend against as a result of industry claims that
it couldn't afford to protect against terrorist attacks using them.
"When it comes to homeland security, the Bush Administration
motto is "In Industry We Trust," said Rep. Markey. "This
report comes as no surprise - the Nuclear Regulatory Commission
has neglected to protect citizens living near nuclear reactors and
instead has catered entirely to the nuclear industry's corporate
Representative Markey has long expressed concern that the nuclear
industry has undue influence on the NRC:
In 2005, Rep. Markey requested that the NRC Inspector General conduct
an investigation into the NRC's inappropriate use of secrecy designations
to bar independent experts and members of the public from obtaining
access to security information and information related to other
NRC proceedings, while it allows the nuclear industry complete and
unfettered access to the same information.
Rep. Markey has written the NRC regarding its decisions to hold
secret meetings with the nuclear industry to discuss potential regulatory
changes while it bars non-industry experts from obtaining access
to information they need to prepare materials to oppose a licensee
application. Evidently, non-industry experts are almost never granted
'need to know' (the extra information access status required by
the NRC) even when they possess the necessary security clearances.
Moreover, in the rare event that they are granted, the process takes
an inordinately long time, and these individuals must continually
demonstrate a 'need to know' for each document they request access
to. In contrast, nuclear industry members are reportedly able to
receive the 'need to know' by merely submitting their names and
social security numbers to the NRC.
In the late 1990s, after the NRC backed down from an ill-advised
plan to eliminate its force-on-force security exercise program,
it planned to allow the nuclear industry to design, implement and
evaluate security exercises at nuclear reactors. Rep. Markey has
been a long-time opponent of this plan, and has written numerous
oversight letters and offered legislative remedies to ensure that
the NRC remains in charge of this important function - most recently
in the Energy bill, in which his provisions were enacted. The Congressman
has also voiced his strong opposition to the decision by the NRC
to allow the Nuclear Energy Institute (NEI, the nuclear industry's
lobbying organization) to contract with Wackenhut, a private security
company, during the force-on-force security exercises at nuclear
reactors, since the Nuclear Energy Institute, the lobbying arm of
the nuclear energy industry (NEI) has an inherent conflict-of-interests
and since Wackenhut provides security services for about half the
nation's nuclear reactors and could therefore not objectively evaluate
itself. During last year's debate on the House Energy and Water
Appropriations bill, Rep. Markey offered an amendment that prohibits
the NRC from using funds to contract with or reimburse nuclear reactor
licensees or the NEI for matters relating to nuclear site security.
The amendment was agreed to by a voice vote.
On December 9, 2002 Rep. Markey wrote to the NRC regarding reports
of secret meetings that occurred between the Commission and the
NEI to discuss potential upgrades to security at nuclear reactors
(while non-industry security experts were essentially barred from
participating in the process).
· Rep. Markey was informed that at a January 12, 2005 meeting
at the NRC, Commission staff indicated that that the agency is considering
altering its definition of "proprietary information" to
include material that is currently releasable to the public so it
can be withheld in the future. This material would be shared within
the industry, but not with the public.
The NRC barred access to portions of the materials on its website
on more than one occasion in order to remove documents that posed
a security concern, but has allowed its proceedings to go on even
though some non-industry stakeholders were unable to obtain access
to documents needed to participate.
For more information on Rep. Markey's work on the security of nuclear
facilities check out: http://markey.house.gov
Fools: The joke's on us!
April Fools Day 2006 is the 5th anniversary of Dominion's takeover
of Millstone from Northeast Utilities.
Is Millstone running safely like they promised us?
Answer: Is a nuclear power plant whose security system is deliberately
disabled most of the time as a cost-cutting measure safe?
Is Dominion fostering a safety conscious work environment?
Answer: Is reducing the employee concerns staff from 30 to 1 and
firing a senior employee concerns staff member for reporting that
Millstone security is farcical and violates federal standards the
way to foster a safety conscious work environment?
Is Dominion producing clean energy at Millstone like its management
Answer: Is an electric plant that pollutes the Long Island Sound
with toxic waste and radioactive byproducts a clean energy source?
Is Dominion safegiarding the environment for future generations?
Answer: Is the continuous generation of dirty-bomb grade radioactive
waste a gift that will improve the lives of our grandchildren?
Is Dominion protecting the health of its workers?
Answer: If Dominion fires an employee for reporting his concerns
about the escalating cancer rate among Millstone employees is it
protecting the health of its workers?
Is Dominion protecting the health of the community?
Answer: If a company falsely denies it poisons goat milk with strontium-90,
exposure to which causes leukemia and bone cancer, is it protecting
the health of the community?
Is Dominion properly maintaining the aging Millstone?
Answer: Is repairing a broken circuit box with duck tape rather
than proper welding - leading to a fire which disabled the entire
site security system and forced a sitewide evacuation order - an
example of proper maintenance?
Is Dominion cultivating good will in the community?
Answer: Is a company that repeatedly lies about its radioactive
releases to the air and water a good neighbor?
If the answer to all of the above is "No," isn't it time
we booted Dominion out of town and shut down the Millstone menace?
CANCER NEAR INDIAN POINT PLANT RISES AFTER STRONTIUM-90 EXPOSURE
- health risk linked to same chemical found in groundwater
Trenton NJ, March 28 – Cancer in children living near the
Indian Point nuclear plant rose just four years after increases
in radioactive Strontium-90 in bodies of local children were found,
according to a new medical journal article released today.
The trend in average Sr-90 levels in 239 baby teeth of Putnam, Rockland,
and Westchester County children was similar to that of cancer incidence
in local children under age ten. The study, published in the most
recent issue of the International Journal of Health Services, follows
the recent discovery of Sr-90 in groundwater near Indian Point.
Levels of the chemical, found in wells dug while searching for a
leak from the plant, are as much as three times above the federal
limit for drinking water.
“The study of Strontium-90 in baby teeth is evidence that
what was found in groundwater is also escaping into the environment
and may be harming local children” says Joseph Mangano of
the Radiation and Public Health Project (RPHP) and author of the
study. This is the 22nd medical journal article published by Mangano
and his RPHP colleagues.
Sr-90 is a chemical produced only in nuclear reactors and weapons
explosions. It enters the body through breathing and the food chain,
and attaches to bone and teeth, where it remains for many years.
Sr-90 is radioactive and cancer-causing, and is especially harmful
to infants and children.
Some critics of the RPHP tooth study have maintained that all Sr-90
in the body of children is leftover fallout from above-ground atomic
weapons tests in Nevada, which ended in 1963. But Mangano points
out that average Sr-90 in baby teeth near Indian Point is 36% greater
than other New York State teeth, further from the plant. Moreover,
the average level rose 56% from the late 1980s to the late 1990s.
Both findings strongly suggest that most Sr-90 in baby teeth represents
Indian Point releases, not old bomb fallout.
In 2001, Westchester County legislators appropriated $25,000 to
RPHP to support the study of Sr-90 in baby teeth, the only study
of radiation in bodies of Americans living near nuclear plants.
The article was presented at a press conference at the New Jersey
state capitol in Trenton today. Rising childhood cancer rates just
four to five years after increased Sr-90 in baby teeth were also
documented near the Oyster Creek plant in central New Jersey and
the Brookhaven National Laboratories in Long Island.
Advisory Board Research Associates
Rosalie Bertell, PhD, GNSH William Reid, MD
Samuel S. Epstein, MD Agnes Reynolds, RN
John Gofman, MD, PhD Janette Sherman, MD
the Date! Sunday, September 17, 2:30 p.m.
Dr. Helen Caldicott: Nuclear Power is Not the Answer to Global Warming!
Don’t miss this rare opportunity to hear Dr. Helen Caldicott!
A nominee for the Nobel Peace Prize, she is a world-renowned anti-nuclear
activist and founder of Physicians for Social Responsibility.
Sponsored by IPSEC (Indian Point Safe Energy Coalition)
Details to follow.
For information about the event or about co-sponsorship, contact:
1-888-474-8848 or email - email@example.com
"Helen Caldicott has been my inspiration to speak out."
"Dr. Helen Caldicott has the rare ability to combine science
with passion, logic with love, and urgency with humor." —NAOMI
March 28, 2006 marks the 27th
anniversary of the partial meltdown at Three Mile Island.
Mile Island Revisited," directed by
Steve Jambeck, will be aired on
Free Speech TV Tuesday at 3 a.m., 6 a.m., 10
a.m., 3 p.m., 5 p.m. and 10
p.m. Free Speech TV broadcasts via the Dish
Satellite Network (Channel
9415) and on 156 cable TV stations in 33 states
reaching 25 million homes.
For more information visit: www.envirovideo.com
The award-winning EnviroVideo documentary "Three
Mile Island Revisited"
will be aired on Free Speech TV through the day
Tuesday, March 28 ---the
27th anniversary of the major accident at the
nuclear plant in
The documentary challenges the claim of the
and government that "no one died" as a result of
the core meltdown at Three
Mile Island. Utilizing the testimony of area
residents and scientific
findings, it reveals that deaths, especially
from cancer, and birth defects
in children, were widespread in years following
Indeed, states the documentary's narrator and
writer, Karl Grossman,
speaking in front of the nuclear facility, the
area around it became a
"valley of death" following the accident. The
plant's owner quietly
settled damage cases with persons seriously
impacted by the accident, it
Leader in Belarus Faces Criminal Charge
By C. J. CHIVERS Published: March 26, 2006 MOSCOW,
March 26 —
opposition leader in Belarus faced a criminal charge today and was
denied prison visits by a doctor and a lawyer, his wife said. Minsk,
the capital, fell quiet following a violent police crackdown against
antigovernment demonstrators on Saturday.
Aleksandr V. Kazulin, who had challenged the authoritarian president,
Aleksandr G. Lukashenko, in an election earlier this month, was seized
on Saturday when riot police with batons attacked a column of peaceful
protesters who were marching to a prison where opposition members
have been jailed.
He was being held today at a detention center well outside of Minsk,
on a charge of hooliganism, his wife, Irina Kazulin, said. The charge
can carry penalties ranging from a fine to several years in prison.
Ms. Kazulin said she visited the jail but was not allowed to see her
husband or speak with him by phone. She said she demanded that he
be examined by a doctor and allowed to consult with a lawyer, but
was told by a prison official that there would be no visits before
"Human rights do not work on Sunday on Belarus," she said
bitterly, in a telephone interview. She said she was not sure whether
her husband had been injured.
Opposition members said that at least three people were in serious
medical condition with either skull fractures or spinal injuries after
being beaten by the police when the march was broken up.
One man with skull injury had been hovering near death, but had survived
thus far, said Aleksei Shein, a spokesman for Aleksandr Milinkevich,
the principal challenger to Mr. Lukashenko.
"Thank God this man is still alive," Mr. Shein said of the
injured demonstrator, who was one of at least two men seen lying immobile
on the street after lines of officers from SOBR, a special rapid-reaction
force that has been widely accused of extensive human rights abuses,
attacked the marchers.
The march was the third opposition event of the day. Police forcibly
blocked demonstrators from reaching a rally planned for October Square,
punching and kicking many of them as they tried to push through police
lines or block traffic, and ultimately clearing the sidewalks with
advancing formations that pummeled people in their path.
A peaceful rally then assembled at Yanka Kupala park, which the police
videotaped but did not break up. At Mr. Kazulin's urging, several
hundred of those demonstrators left for a march to the prison, during
which the worst violence of the day occurred.
Austria, which holds the rotating presidency of the European Union,
said in a statement today that the union "is appalled by the
violence used against demonstrators" and called for the release
of Mr. Kazulin and the other protesters.
Such statements by the West, made throughout the week, have had little
visible effect on the Belarussian government, which retains many of
the features of the Soviet police state that Mr. Lukashenko apparently
Mr. Lukashenko, whose landslide reelection on March 19 has been declared
invalid by the West because of wide-scale rigging and abuses of state
power, has resorted to police sweeps, mass arrests and violence to
try quell the unrest. Russia, his closest ally, has offered him unequivocal
For the first time during Mr. Lukashenko's 12 years of rule, however,
demonstrators have defied the police and vowed to carry out more peaceful
actions in the face of arrests, state violence and expulsions from
universities or jobs. Another rally is planned for April 26.
The authorities have not released arrest figures or provided information
about the injured, making it difficult to know the extent of the arrests
or the conditions or even the identities of some of the detained.
Among those thought to be held are a small number of journalists from
Russia, Canada and Western Europe, as well as foreign demonstrators,
including Ukrainians, Poles and at least one man from Ireland, who
was interviewed at a small protest camp on Friday shortly before riot
police smashed the camp and arrested the demonstrators there.
Uranium Contaminates Europe By
Lauren Moret 27 February, 2006 Uruknet
"Did the use of Uranium weapons in Gulf War II result in contamination
of Europe? Evidence from the measurements of the Atomic Weapons Establishment
(AWE), Aldermaston, Berkshire, UK," reported the Sunday Times
Online (February 19, 2006) in a shocking scientific study authored
by British scientists Dr. Chris Busby and Saoirse Morgan.
The highest levels of depleted uranium ever measured in the atmosphere
in Britain, were transported on air currents from the Middle East
and Central Asia; of special significance were those from the Tora
Bora bombing in Afghanistan in 2001, and the "Shock & Awe"
bombing during Gulf War II in Iraq in 2003.
Out of concern for the public, the official British government air
monitoring facility, known as the Atomic Weapons Establishment (AWE),
at Aldermaston, was established years ago to measure radioactive emissions
from British nuclear power plants and atomic weapons facilities.
The British government facility (AWE) was taken over 3 years ago by
Halliburton, which refused at first to release air monitoring data
to Dr. Busby, as required by law.
An international expert on low level radiation, Busby serves as an
official advisor on several British government committees, and co-authored
an independent report on low level radiation with 45 scientists, the
European Committee on Radiation Risk (ECRR), for the European Parliament.
He was able to get Aldermaston air monitoring data from Halliburton
/AWE by filing a Freedom of Information request using a new British
law which became effective January 1, 2005; but the data for 2003
was missing. He obtained the 2003 data from the Defence Procurement
The fact that the air monitoring data was circulated by Halliburton/
AWE to the Defence Procurement Agency, implies that it was considered
to be relevant, and that Dr. Busby was stonewalled because Halliburton/
AWE clearly recognized that it was a serious enough matter to justify
a government interpretation of the results, and official decisions
had to be made about what the data would show and its political implications
for the military.
In a similar circumstance, in 1992, Major Doug Rokke, the Director
of the U.S. Army Depleted Uranium Cleanup Project after Gulf War I,
was ordered by a U.S. Army General officer to write a no-bid contract
"Depleted Uranium, Contaminated Equipment, and Facilities Recovery
Plan Outline" for the procedures for cleaning up Kuwait, including
depleted uranium, for Kellogg, Brown and Root (KBR), a subsidiary
The contract/proposal was passed through Madeleine Albright, the Secretary
of State, to the Emirate of Kuwait, who considered the terms and then
hired KBR for the cleanup.
Aldermaston is one of many nuclear facilities throughout Europe that
regularly monitor atmospheric radiation levels, transported by atmospheric
sand and dust storms, or air currents, from radiation sources in North
Africa, the Middle East and Central Asia.
After the "Shock and Awe" campaign in Iraq in 2003, very
fine particles of depleted uranium were captured with larger sand
and dust particles in filters in Britain.
These particles traveled in 7-9 days from Iraqi battlefields as far
as 2400 miles away.
The radiation measured in the atmosphere quadrupled within a few weeks
after the beginning of the 2003 campaign, and at one of the 5 monitoring
locations, the levels twice required an official alert to the British
In addition to depleted uranium data gathered in previous studies
on Kosovo and Bosnia by Dr. Busby, the Aldermaston air monitoring
data provided a continuous record of depleted uranium levels in Britain
from the other recent wars.
Extensive video news footage of the 2003 Iraq war, including Fallujah
in 2004, provided irrefutable documented evidence that the US has
unethically and illegally used depleted uranium munitions on cities
and other civilian populations.
These military actions are in direct violation of not only the international
conventions, but also violate US military law because the US is a
signatory to The Hague and Geneva Conventions and the 1925 Geneva
Depleted uranium weaponry meets the definition of a Weapon of Mass
Destruction (WMD) in two out of three categories under US Code TITLE
50, CHAPTER 40 Sec. 2302.
After action mandates have also been violated such as US Army Regulation
AR 700-48 and TB 9-1300-278 which requires treatment of radiation
poisoning for all casualties, including enemy soldiers and civilians,
Dr. Busby's request for this data through Halliburton from AWE, and
subsequently provided by the Defence Procurement Agency, was necessary
to establish verification of Iraq's 2003 depleted uranium levels in
These facts demonstrate why Halliburton (AWE) refused to release the
2003 data to him, and it obviously establishes that weaponized depleted
uranium is an indiscriminate weapon being distributed all over the
world in a very short period of time, immediately after its use.
The recent documentary film BEYOND TREASON details the horrific effects
of depleted uranium exposure on American troops and Iraqi civilians
in the Gulf region in 1991; not to speak of those civilians continuing
to live in permanently contaminated and thus uninhabitable regions.
Global increases since 1991 of melanoma, infant mortality, and frog
die-offs can only be explained by an environmental contaminant. Alarming
global increases in diabetes, with high correlation to depleted uranium
wars in Iraq, Bosnia/Kosovo, and Afghanistan, demonstrate that diabetes
is a sensitive indicator and a rapid response to internal depleted
Americans in 2003 reported visiting Iraqi relatives in Baghdad who
were suffering from an epidemic of diabetes.
After returning to the US following 2-3 weeks in Iraq, they discovered
within a few months that they too had diabetes.
Japanese human shields and journalists who worked in Iraq during the
2003 war are sick and now have symptoms typical of depleted uranium
Likewise, after the US Navy, several years ago, moved depleted uranium
bombing and gunnery ranges from Vieques Island in Puerto Rico to Australia,
health effects there are already being reported.
The documentary film BLOWIN' IN THE WIND, has an interview with a
family with two normal teenage daughters, living near the bombing
range where depleted uranium weaponry is now being used.
The parents showed photos of their baby born recently with severe
birth defects. The baby looked like Iraqi deformed babies, and like
many of the Iraqi babies, died 5 days after birth.
Other than anonymous British government officials denying that Iraq
was the source of the depleted uranium measured at Aldermaston by
AWE, and some unnamed 'establishment scientists' blaming it on local
sources or natural uranium in the Iraq environment, there is no one,
as of this writing, willing to lend their name or office to refuting
this damning evidence reported by Dr. Busby.
All of the anonymous statements used by the media thus far are contradicted
by the factual evidence found in the filters, which was all transported
from the same region.
The natural abundance of uranium in the crust of the earth is 2.4
parts per million, which would not become concentrated to the high
levels measured in Britain during a long journey from the Middle East.
These particles traveling over thousands of miles would dilute the
concentration rather than increase it.
There are no known natural uranium deposits in Iraq which make it
impossible for these anonymous claims to have scientific credibility.
Unnamed government sources blamed local sources in Britain such as
nuclear power plants; however that would also leave evidence of fission
products in the filters which were not in evidence.
The lowest levels measured at monitoring stations around Aldermaston
were at the facility, which means it could not be a possible source.
Atomic weapons facilities would be more likely to produce plutonium
contamination, also not reported as a co-contaminant at Aldermaston.
In other words, all factual evidence considered, the question must
be asked, what were the media's anonymous experts and government officials
basing their claims on?
Dr. Keith Baverstock exposed a World Health Organization (WHO) cover-up
on depleted uranium in an Aljazeera article, "Washington's Secret
Nuclear War" posted on September 14, 2004. It was the most popular
article ever posted on the Aljazeera English language website.
Baverstock leaked an official WHO report that he wrote, to the media
several years ago after the WHO refused to publish it. He warned in
the report about the mobility of, and environmental contamination
from, tiny depleted uranium particles formed from US munitions.
Busby's ECRR report challenged the International Committee on Radiation
Protection (ICRP) standards for radiation risk, and reported that
the mutagenic effects of radiation determined by Chernobyl studies
are actually 1000 times higher than the ICRP risk model predicts.
The ECRR report also establishes that the ICRP risk model, based on
external exposure of Hiroshima and Nagasaki victims, and the ECRR
risk model, based on internal exposure, are mutually exclusive models.
In other words, the ICRP risk model based on external exposure cannot
be used to estimate internal exposure risk.
The report also states that a separate study is needed for depleted
uranium exposure risks, because it may be far more toxic than nuclear
weapons or nuclear power plant exposures. In July of 2005, the National
Academy of Sciences reported in their new BEIR VII report on low level
radiation, that there is "no safe level of exposure".
The report also finally admitted that very low levels are more harmful
per unit of radiation than higher levels of exposure, also known as
the "supralinear" effect.
This is extremely alarming information on low level radiation risk,
since the AWE data from Aldermaston confirms that rapid global transport
of depleted uranium dust is occurring.
Dr. Katsuma Yagasaki, a Japanese physicist at the University of the
Ryukyus in Okinawa, has estimated that the atomicity equivalent of
at least 400,000 Nagasaki bombs has been released into the global
atmosphere since 1991, from the use of depleted uranium munitions.
It is completely mixed in the atmosphere in one year. The "smog
of war" from Gulf War I was found in glaciers and ice sheets
globally a year later.
Even more alarming is the non-specific catalytic or enzyme effect
from internal exposures to nanoparticles of depleted uranium. Soldiers
on depleted uranium battlefields have reported that, after noticing
a metallic taste in their mouths, within 24-48 hours of exposure they
became sick with Gulf War syndrome symptoms.
Who is profiting from this global uranium nightmare? Dr. Jay Gould
revealed in his book THE ENEMY WITHIN, that the British Royal family
privately owns investments in uranium holdings worth over $6 billion
through Rio Tinto Mines.
The mining company was formed for the British Royal family in the
late 1950's by Roland Walter "Tiny" Rowland, the Queen's
Born in 1917 through illegitimate German parentage, and before changing
his name, Roland Walter Fuhrhop was a passionate member of the Nazi
youth movement by 1933, and a classmate described him as "...an
ardent supporter of Hitler and an arrogant, nasty piece of work to
His meteoric rise and protection by intel agencies and the British
Crown are an indication of what an asset he has been for decades to
the Queen, as Africa's most powerful Western businessman.
Africa and Australia are two of the main sources of uranium in the
world. The Rothschilds control uranium supplies and prices globally,
and one serves as the Queen's business manager.
Filmmaker David Bradbury made BLOWIN' IN THE WIND to expose depleted
uranium bombing and gunnery range activities contaminating pristine
areas of eastern Australia, and to expose plans to extract over $36
billion in uranium from mines in the interior over the next 6 years.
Halliburton has finished construction of a 1000 mile railway from
the mining area to a port on the north coast of Australia to transport
The Queen's favorite American buccaneers, Cheney, Halliburton, and
the Bush family, are tied to her through uranium mining and the shared
use of illegal depleted uranium munitions in the Middle East, Central
Asia and Kosovo/Bosnia.
The major roles that such diverse individuals and groups as the Carlyle
Group, George Herbert Walker Bush, former Carlyle CEO Frank Calucci,
the University of California managed nuclear weapons labs at Los Alamos
and Livermore, and US and international pension fund investments have
played in proliferating depleted uranium weapons is not well known
or in most instances even recognized, inside or outside the country.
God Save The Queen from the guilt of her complicity in turning Planet
Earth into a "Death Star."
C. J. CHIVERS Published: March 26, 2006 MINSK, Belarus, March 25
police dispersed a fresh challenge to President Aleksandr G. Lukashenko
on Saturday, blocking thousands of antigovernment demonstrators from
reaching the central square in the capital and later arresting a top
opposition leader. The opposition leader, Aleksandr Kazulin, was seized
as he was leading a march on a prison where opposition members are
held. Police shoved and beat many of the protesters while they walked
on the streets and arrested at least one other opposition organizer.Before
the police seized Mr. Kazulin, who had challenged Mr. Lukashenko in
the recent election, the two sides had been jostling throughout the
day to show their strength, and the first hour brought a surprising
show of opposition resolve.
In spite of arrests throughout the week and a police crackdown that
seized many of the most active members of the opposition, at least
6,000 people appeared at noon in central Minsk, where they were met
by phalanxes of riot police with clubs. Some demonstrators carried
flowers. They chanted: "Truth! Truth! Truth!" and "Freedom!
After being blocked from October Square during a tense hour of confrontations
with formations of riot police, the crowd dispersed and reassembled
at a nearby Yanka Kupala Park, where another opposition leader said
they would not cease in their campaign of civil disobedience against
Mr. Lukashenko and his autocratic government.
"What is going on in Belarus can be compared to the storm of
a fortress," said Aleksandr Milinkevich, the principal challenger
to Mr. Lukashenko in an election earlier this month. "This was
the first storm. We will use peaceful methods. We will surround that
fortress and we will not retreat."
In time, he said, "We will turn that fortress upside down."
Later, demonstrators marched on a prison where hundreds of recently
arrested opposition members are held, and were dispersed by police
using stun grenades, participants said. Mr. Kazulin was arrested by
a team of special forces officers who rushed him and snatched him
from the crowd, witnesses said. The police also arrested Mr. Milinkevich's
spokesman in a separate confrontation. The unauthorized rallies continued
a week of small but intensive public defiance against Mr. Lukashenko,
who is often called Europe's last dictator and whose police state,
an island of Soviet nostalgia and Communist ideology, is feared for
Mr. Lukashenko was re-elected on March 19 in a vote the West and the
opposition regard as rigged, and the United States has called for
a new vote and said it will impose penalties against Mr. Lukashenko
and his top officials. The European Union has also said it will seek
For the first time in 12 years of Mr. Lukashenko's rule, people have
carried out sustained demonstrations against him, including four nights
of continuous protests on October Square, before riot police conducted
a mass arrest of hundreds of demonstrators early on Friday morning.
Mr. Milinkevich had called for another demonstration on Saturday,
an unofficial holiday celebrating a brief period of Belarussian independence
The turnout on Saturday in the face of police violence suggested that
the opposition had far more support than Mr. Lukashenko had conceded
in his derisive public remarks.
The protesters, who have modeled their effort in part after freedom
movements against Communist or post-Soviet governments in Poland,
Serbia, Georgia, Ukraine and elsewhere, were young and old, men and
women. They called loudly for a new way of life, free of state repression
and with integration with the West, which Mr. Lukashenko loathes.
In a move reminiscent of Soviet times, the authorities said that protesters
were not allowed to walk on October Square because the ice on the
skating rink there was being removed for spring. The demonstrators
rejected this as another official lie.
They massed on the sidewalks near the square, waved flowers and banned
Belarussian flags, and shouted at the police: "Shame! Shame!
Shame!" As their numbers grew they began to push, at one point
forcing a line of police half a block backward, and almost reaching
the square's edge.
But the police reinforced themselves swiftly, and thick lines of officers
jogged into place and stopped the advance. The demonstrators also
briefly blocked traffic two times at one of Minsk's main intersections,
but were forced away within minutes by police charges.
More police reinforcements arrived, and began plunging into the crowd
in platoon formations, separating it into smaller groups that were
then forced to move away.
Many of the demonstrators in the front rows were beaten, punched or
kicked, but the officers did not seem as interested in arresting them
as they were in clearing them from the Independence Avenue, one of
Minsk's principal streets. Once the crowd backed away the officers
did not pursue it. As the demonstrators gave ground, they jeered at
the dense formations of officers, clad in black, on whom they said
the government had spent extravagant sums to protect itself from its
"This is where our money goes," said Galina Apalko, 23,
a student, before being chased back half a block by a rushing line
Another protester cursed them as they rushed past her.
"These special forces — they are black cockroaches,"
said one elderly pensioner, who gave only her first name, Maria. "They
are hirelings. My parents were oppressed. I am oppressed. I hate this
As has been the case all week, state television belittled the opposition
and the demonstrators, saying they were agents of foreign governments.
"Today, the ex-candidates who lost the elections call on a storm
of state offices, the forced seizure of power and a push to bloodshed
in the streets of Minsk," the presenter an BT television station
"As it became known to us from informed circles, the organization
of riots in the streets of Minsk is taking place in accordance with
the instructions received from the European Union."
Nuclear Reactor Ordered Shut Down Mar 24
10:41 AM US/Eastern
By CHISAKI WATANABE Associated Press Writer TOKYO
A court Friday ordered the shutdown of Japan's second-largest nuclear
reactor in response to a lawsuit by residents who feared it could
leak dangerous radiation during a powerful earthquake, an official
The Kanazawa District Court in northwestern Japan ordered the shutdown
of the newly operating No. 2 Shika reactor, court official Akihiko
Judge Kenichi Ido ruled that the reactor, operated by Hokuriku Electric
Power Co., could expose residents to radioactivity should a powerful
earthquake occur, Yasuno said. He gave no other details.
The reactor began commercial operations last week after getting approval
from the government's nuclear safety agency. The company said it would
The plaintiffs said they were gratified by the decision, which reflects
persistent concerns about nuclear power safety in Japan. The industry
has been beset for years with accidents, cover-ups and public opposition.
"I think today's ruling will bring to light whether power reactors
used in Japan can withstand earthquakes, and if the government's quake
safety guidelines are good enough," plaintiff Tetsuya Tanaka
Kanazawa is about 180 miles northwest of Tokyo.
The 135 plaintiffs filed the lawsuit in May 2005 claiming they would
be in constant danger because the reactor is near a faultline that
a government committee has said a quake with a magnitude of 7.6 could
strike, Kyodo News agency reported.
The plaintiffs said that the No. 2 reactor was built based on outdated
earthquake guidelines drawn up 20 years ago, according to Kyodo.
The power company has said it took all necessary measures to ensure
the plant's safety, and that the reactor is needed to guarantee a
steady supply of electricity, Kyodo said.
The report said the government's nuclear safety commission found the
reactor met standards for quake resistance, but that the commission
is reviewing quake resistance guidelines for nuclear power reactors
built to withstand a 6.5-magnitude quake.
Resource-poor Japan is heavily dependent on its nuclear program, with
the country's 55 nuclear reactors supplying about a third of its electricity,
according to the Natural Resources and Energy Agency.
The government has said it wants to build 11 new plants and raise
electricity output from nuclear power to nearly 40 percent of the
national supply by 2010. But the public has been increasingly wary
of reactor safety.
In 2004, five workers were killed when a corroded pipe at a reactor
in western Japan ruptured and sprayed them with boiling water and
steam in the country's worst nuclear plant accident. No radiation
escaped from that reactor, which has since resumed operations.
Earlier this week, fire broke out at a nuclear plant's waste incinerator
in western Japan, but officials said no radiation leaked. Two workers
By C. J. CHIVERS Published:
March 23, 2006
MINSK, Belarus, March 22 — By midnight, as the temperature dropped
ever lower and morning twilight was still five hours off, the core
of Belarus's public opposition assumed its shape in the darkness.
European Pressphoto Agency/Andrei Liankevich
Demonstrators in Minsk continued Wednesday to protest the election
victory of Aleksandr G. Lukashenko.
VITALY KOROTYSH A leader of the continuing antigovernment rally in
Minsk, Mr. Korotysh, 22, said, "If necessary it will stand for
It was about 300 people, arms interlocked and forming a small, dense
square, stomping on the frozen ground under a police cadre's contemptuous
gaze. Behind them, inside their human box, another group of demonstrators
held their banned flags overhead, a thicket of banners over 20 small
tents. At any moment, the demonstrators said, they expected the police
to rush forward, beat them with clubs and drag them off to the detention
cells. And then their protest would end in blood.
All of them said they were ready. "They may attack and beat us
and inflict great trauma," said Stepan Svidersky, 18, a student.
"But we have already achieved a result: We have shown our country
that we are not afraid to stand against arbitrary rule."
Since a rigged presidential election on March 19, the capital of Belarus
has seen a protest like none in 12 years of President Aleksandr G.
Lukashenko's autocratic grip. For four consecutive days, protesters
have defied warnings of arrest and bloodshed and stood in a corner
of October Square to demand a new race.
Their numbers rise to several thousand each evening, as they form
a rally and impromptu dance party on the edge of an ice rink, and
then dwindle, hour by hour, until midnight, when this core stands
through the night, in two lines, to hold the place for the next day.
It is a frigid, risky vigil, given the Belarussian weather and the
government's history of reflexive brutality against those who dare
to stand and call for better lives than Mr. Lukashenko's island of
Soviet nostalgia and corruption has been able, or willing, to provide.
Mostly they are young men in their 20's. A few look too young to shave.
But since Tuesday night, when the opposition's leaders began to disagree
about how best to proceed in their effort to unseat a president they
do not recognize, this all-night core has become an independent force
in a quixotic struggle.
Their influence emerged when one of Mr. Lukashenko's two principal
challengers, Aleksandr V. Kazulin, urged the protesters to disband
Tuesday night and save themselves before the police crackdown.
"There is no sense in keeping them on the square," Mr. Kazulin
said. "We should think about our children, protect them, and
not keep them in front of us."
The protesters refused to go. And they rejected the label of "children,"
applied to them by Mr. Kazulin, as well as by Mr. Lukashenko, as they
crowded together in the plummeting cold. They formed their two lines,
one facing out of the camp, to warn of any advance by the police,
the other facing inward, to keep an eye on the behavior of the demonstrators,
ensuring that no provocateurs had slipped inside.
After midnight, they occupied a portion of Belarus, a country of 10
million people the size of Kansas, that was no larger than a 50-yard
It was a country within. They danced on its cold stone. They handed
out tea. They said they would not give it up.
"We consider this camp to be the only means to defend our position,"
Vitaly Korotysh, 22, one of the coordinators of the rally, said at
3:30 a.m. "If necessary it will stand for years. And if they
break it up, I think on the next day the people will be back."
It is too soon to know whether this is foolishness or resolve.
But their position has been supported by Aleksandr Milinkevich, the
second-place finisher in the election, with 6 percent of the vote,
far behind the incumbent's 82.6 percent, which the protesters see
as a cynical fraud.
Mr. Milinkevich has said he will be with the demonstrators until the
end, whatever shape events may take. It all could end with a dwindling
of interest, he said, or in state violence. But inevitably, he said,
the feelings here will grow.
"We live in a country of total fear, and very few people are
brave enough to come out like this," he said, standing in front
of the ranks at 4 a.m., as the temperature dropped to 10 degrees.
"This action destroys fear inside the country because it tells
people it is possible to fight for your own destiny."
The protesters see little chance of changes in government anytime
soon. To the extent that this is a revolution, Mr. Milinkevich often
says, it is a revolution not on the streets but in the mind.
Protest Squelching in Belarus
LEE MYERS and C. J. CHIVERS
Published: March 21, 2006
MINSK, Belarus, March 21 — The authorities arrested dozens of
protesters today, including prominent opposition figures, in an effort
to squelch public protests over the declared victory of President
Aleksandr G. Lukashenko in Sunday's presidential election.
Skip to next paragraph
Enlarge This Image
James Hill for The New York Times
Opposition demonstrators jumped and danced to keep warm at the small
tent settlement in central Minsk as they continued to protest the
official results of Sunday presidential elections.
Protesters gathered for a third day in October Square here after a
couple of hundred of them defied official warnings and camped out
on the square overnight, unmolested by the police.
The arrests, however, appeared to have their intended effect as the
size of the protests dwindled considerably after as many as 10,000
assembled on Sunday night in one of the largest public expressions
of dissent since Mr. Lukashenko took office in 1994. By this evening,
by contrast, only 2,000 to 3,000 appeared, undeterred by the snow,
wind and subfreezing temperatures.
Anatoly V. Lebedko, an opposition leader and ally of the main opposition
challenger, Aleksandr Milinkevich, was arrested early this morning
near the square. He appeared in court later today and was sentenced
to 15 days in jail for having organized an unsanctioned protest, his
The total number of arrests remained unclear, and the Interior Ministry
did not respond to requests for information. But Mr. Milinkevich said
that 108 protesters had been arrested overnight and today.
Among other prominent leaders were Aleksandr Dobrovolsky and Alyaksei
Yanukevich, both close advisers to Mr. Milinkevich. Their fate remained
unclear tonight. Mr. Milinkevich's two sons were detained early today
while trying to bring food and clothes to those camped overnight,
but quickly released.
"What the authorities are trying to do is arrest them one by
one so there is no forceful attempt to clear the square while the
television cameras are here," another Milinkevich adviser, Viktor
Ivashkevich, said in an interview at the square today, where the spirited,
if dwindling, crowd continued to wave flags and play music, demanding
that Mr. Lukashenko go.
Mr. Lukashenko's election to a third, five-year term has been condemned
as illegitimate in Europe and the United States but defended by Russia,
this country's largest neighbor and ally. Mr. Lukashenko, who the
government says received 82 percent of the vote, has responded with
In an appearance on Monday, he dismissed criticism that the police
were going after campaign workers — including as many as 300
who were arrested in the days before the vote — and said the
authorities had an obligation to arrest anyone who violated the law.
"The law is the law for everybody," he said.
Mr. Lukashenko said his government had allowed the opposition a chance
to demonstrate, even though he called their assembly a provocation,
but the arrests seemed to indicate that his patience was wearing thin.
The police, in uniform and plain clothes, arrested many protesters
as they came to or left the square, including Mr. Lebedko and Mr.
Dobrovolsky, who were stopped as they tried to return early today,
said a deputy of theirs, Lyudmilla Gryaznova, who was with them.
Mr. Milinkevich, who, officially, received only 6 percent of the vote,
urged the protesters to continue. But in a reflection of his concern
over the risk of his own arrest, he emphasized that he was not organizing
the protesters. Even among his staff, there were signs of divisions
over whether he should encourage the protesters to hold the square,
risking a confrontation with the police.
"We stayed here all night," Mr. Milinkevich told the protesters
this afternoon, after moving through the makeshift camp, which consisted
of a dozen tents pitched on the cold, hard tiles. "It was the
night of the birth of democracy in Belarus. It is a demonstration
that we are people."
This evening, he urged people to gather each evening and again en
masse on Saturday, the anniversary of the declaration of a short-lived
independent Republic of Belarus in 1918 that is celebrated by nationalists
here, but not by Mr. Lukashenko's government.
"Call your friends, neighbors," Mr. Milinkevich said. "We
want to show on the 25th that we are a force and that we will win."
Christine Hauser contributed reporting from New York for this article.
Point threat worries officials By Fred Lucas
THE NEWS-TIMES 2006-03-21
The federal government plans to launch a five-month investigation
accidental releases of radioactive water at a New York state nuclear
plant that's fewer than 40 miles from greater Danbury.
Monday's announcement comes as Connecticut and New York lawmakers
calling for a wide-ranging safety study at the Indian Point plant.
of Congress want the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission to assess
plant's evacuation plan, construction, maintenance and operational
Their bill would also require the Federal Emergency Management Agency
explain why it approved an evacuation plan that only covers residents
live within 10 miles of the plant. At least one study indicated that
severe radiation release could lead to thousands of deaths in a 50-mile
U.S. Rep. Christopher Shays, R-4th Dist., has joined U.S. Rep. Sue
R-N.Y., who represents Brewster and Southeast, and two other New York
congressmen in sponsoring the legislation.
"Nuclear power plants – including Indian Point –
are vulnerable to terrorist
attack," Shays said in a written statement. "Given Indian
to highly populated areas, it's critical the Nuclear Regulatory Commission
go to great lengths to ensure the facility is safe."
Indian Point has been a lightning rod for controversy for about 30
mainly because it is one of only a few nuclear plants in heavily populated
areas. The plant is 35 miles north of midtown Manhattan.
On Monday, the NRC mentioned only the investigation into water leaks
have occurred in recent months. The water contained tritium, a radioactive
material that in high doses can cause cancer. But in this case, the
said, there wasn't enough radiation to pose a health threat, even
some of the water seemed to be seeping into the Hudson River.
Still, 11 NRC experts and one representative of New York state government
will conduct a review, which will be completed by Aug. 31. A report
written before the year's end.
The NRC announcement seems unlikely to derail the congressional push
wide-ranging safety evaluation. Such an effort would cost the plant
taxpayers millions of dollars, said James Steets, a spokesman for
Nuclear Northeast, which owns the Indian Point facility in Buchanan,
said the wide-ranging study is unnecessary.
"There is no hesitation on our part to participate and support
than the time and resources it would cost," Steets said. "This
already demonstrated in many evaluations over the years that we meet
Steets acknowledged the ground water leaks near the plant, but he
small amounts of radiation posed no health threat. "The radioactivity
site was just one-tenth of one percent," he said. "It can't
get into the
drinking water and if it did, it's so low that it wouldn't be a hazard."
Street also defended warning alarm tests at the facility. Though there
been problems at times, all 14 warning sirens worked during a test
week, he said.
Further, Steets said the plant has rapidly increased security since
Sept. 11 terror attacks. Even if there was an incident, he said it's
unlikely it would affect anyone outside the immediate area.
"A 10-mile evacuation zone is adequate. It's most likely (there
would be no
danger) two miles from the plant," he said. "There is no
reason for anybody
in Connecticut to ever evacuate during an incident."
But Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal, who wrote a letter
January to the state's congressional delegation urging the safety
evaluation, said the plant is clearly a threat.
"We need a plan for the worst-case scenario instead of the least-dangerous
scenario," said Blumenthal. "This plant is almost unique
in that it is in a
densely populated area and near the world's most populous city."
About 20 million people – including many greater Danbury residents
within a 50-mile radius of Indian Point plant. A severe radiation
carried by the wind could result in 44,000 deaths in the short term
518,000 over a longer period within that 50 mile radius, according
Washington-based Union of Concerned Scientists and the New York
environmental group Riverkeeper. Both groups oppose nuclear power
Though Connecticut officials have estimated the number of state resident
could be harmed, they won't release that information, said Wayne Sandford,
deputy commissioner of the state Department of Emergency Management
"It would depend on what is happening," Sandford said of
possible response to an accident. "If it's a multi-town area,
we have buses
available for evacuations."
Factors would also depend on the direction the wind is blowing and
of the radiation release.
"If the wind is blowing northeast, it would go toward Danbury,"
he said. "If
it blows straight east, it would hit Ridgefield. "
The congressional proposal calls for the federal study to be completed
within six months after it is enacted into law. That's because Entergy
Nuclear Northeast is expected to submit its application for relicensing
plant in January 2007.
"With radioactive material leaking out of Indian Point toward
River and the plant continuing to experience a wide array of other
issues, it is quite clear that an Independent Safety Assessment is
needed," U.S. Rep. Maurice Hinchey, D-N.Y., the bill's lead sponsor
a written statement.
"Indian Point is not functioning properly," he said, "and
the health of area
residents and the integrity of the environment are being compromised."
Contact Fred Lucas
at flucas@ newstimes.com
or at (203) 731-3358.Useful links:
poll rallies 'must go on'
Icy conditions did not deter hundreds of opposition activists
Belarus' main opposition leader has urged his supporters to keep up
daily protests against the election result, calling for a major rally
Alexander Milinkevich was addressing a few thousand protesters who
had gathered in a Minsk square to complain of vote-rigging in Sunday's
Ambassadors from 11 EU countries went to the square earlier to show
British ambassador Brian Bennett said Europe was dissatified over
what had been a "fraudulent vote".
The protesters accuse President Alexander Lukashenko of rigging the
presidential poll and want a new vote.
The EU and US have condemned the poll as flawed and the EU has said
it may impose sanctions. But Russia says the poll was fair.
Results announced on Monday gave Mr Lukashenko 82.6% of the vote,
securing his third term in office.
Electoral officials said the runner-up Mr Milinkevich polled 6%.
ArrestsMr Milinkevich said he was going to spend another night with
his supporters camped out in the square.
He called for a big show of strength in the Belarussian capital on
Saturday - the anniversary of the declaration of independence of the
short-lived Belarussian republic in 1918.
"We will come here every day until 25 March to speak about freedom.
Bring your friends and acquaintances. We will gather many people,"
the head of the United Civil Party said.
He spoke by the light of TV cameras after the lighting in October
Square was shut off.
The opposition said on Tuesday that four activists had been arrested
during the protest.
In a small-scale echo of Ukraine's "Orange Revolution",
protesters have put up 17 tents in the square. They have put candles
and food on plastic sheets and have been playing music from loudspeakers.
Despite the unashamed foreign attempts to dictate to us and colossal
external pressure, they have failed to break us
Opposition turns to internet
They said they would continue their protest in sub-zero temperatures
until a new election was called - but such an outcome is unlikely,
the BBC's Steve Rosenberg reports from Minsk.
One young man in the square told the BBC "this is the last chance
to change the situation".
"Many people helped us, they brought hot water, hot tea and some
meals... it's a bid for freedom and the people standing here don't
want to be slaves," he said.
Protests began on Sunday evening as the polls closed, with some 10,000
people gathering in October Square.
Thousands turned out again on Monday night, but numbers later dwindled
to several hundred.
Mr Lukashenko has said he believes voters have made their choice and
that any attempts to launch a revolution have failed.
In a television appearance on Monday, the president insisted the poll
was fair and democratic and called the complaints "absurd".
However, the OSCE, Europe's main election monitoring body, said the
process had been "severely flawed", with harassment of opposition
activists, biased media coverage and obstruction of independent monitors.
The US, which has previously labelled Mr Lukashenko a dictator, says
it does not accept the result.
But a rival observer mission, from the Russian-led Commonwealth of
Independent States, said the election was open and transparent.
Herald - 19 March 2006
Dounreay nuclear store is leaking
By Rob Edwards, Environment EditorAN old nuclear waste store at Dounreay
has sprung a leak and contaminated the ground with radioactivity,
sparking an investigation by a government watchdog.
A 35-foot deep concrete silo at the Caithness site has been used to
dispose of solids and sludges from reactors and processing plants
for 27 years. It now contains 650 cubic metres of radioactive waste
But the UK Atomic Energy Authority (UKAEA) has found evidence of a
defect in a manhole used when monitoring a loop of water that runs
around the silo. The water in the loop has become contaminated with
radioactivity and some has escaped into the ground.
The UKAEA was unable to rule out “historical leakage”
of radioactivity from the silo to the surrounding loop. The loop has
been emptied and monitoring stepped up. The problem was reported to
the Scottish Environment Protection Agency.
The UKAEA said the silo, built in the 1960s, failed to meet modern
standards for storing medium-level waste. Under the site’s decommissioning
programme it was due to start being emptied in 2019, though this could
be brought forward.
Dounreay’s spokesman Colin Punler said the level of radioactivity
in the surrounding loop was a million times lower than in the silo.
“The measures now in place provide additional reassurance about
the safe containment of the wastes, pending its retrieval,”
But environmentalists highlighted the difficulties of dealing with
the radioactive waste left by more than half a century of nuclear
power and weapons. “This illustrates the dilemmas we are bound
to be faced with in future,” said Pete Roche, a consultant to
The UKAEA has had difficulty convincing local residents of the need
for a new waste store at Dounreay, Roche said. “The idea that
we should now consider creating yet more waste by building new reactors
is complete lunacy.”
The Scottish Executive, along with Westminster,
last month launched a consultation on its proposals for dealing with
the nuclear industry’s low-level waste. A massive 20 million
cubic metres of contaminated soil and rubble is expected to be produced
by the decommissioning of 30 civil and military nuclear sites across
the UK .
Among the options are burying the waste where it arose or disposing
of it in newly-constructed facilities at existing nuclear sites. This
means Dounreay, Hunterston, Torness, Chapelcross, Faslane and Rosyth
Gordon MacKerron, chairman of the government’s advisory Committee
on Radioactive Waste Management, said it was possible that low-level
waste would be disposed of locally because of the “enormous
aversion” to transporting it around the country.
The committee is currently finalising its recommendations to ministers
on how to get rid of an additional 400,000 cubic metres of high and
medium-level nuclear waste.
in Nuclear Blunderland
08 March 2006
More nuclear power = less nuclear weapons? Only if you're as mad as
Vienna, Austria — Editor's note: In preparing this article about
the meeting of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in Vienna,
we read the news stories from all of the most reputable sources, we
read the reports from all of the best institutions, we read the statements
from all of the governments and agencies, but nowhere could we find
a reasonable, rational, or plausible explanation of what was happening.
We decided the only answer was the absurd.
Ever since Alice had slipped down the Rabbit Hole, the news had been
getting curiouser and curiouser. She found herself at a very large table
where the March Hare, a dormouse, a hippopotamus, and the Mad Hatter
were having tea.
The Hatter was telling a story about how George W. TweedleDum had just
got back from a trip to India, where he was promising to give away shiny
new nuclear technology. At the same time, TweedleDee had been getting
very red-faced at the United Nations about some shiny new nuclear technology
in Iran that he wanted taken away. He broke off his story to wave an
empty teapot at Alice.
"Would you like less tea, my dear?"
"Don't you mean more tea?" asked Alice politely.
"No no no no. We don't have any "more tea" we only have
"less tea." And it's very rude to ask for what we don't have.
Now, would you like some more Peaceful Nuclear Technology and Less Nuclear
Weapons to go with that?"
"Umm, yes please" said Alice, thinking this must be the correct
answer and not wanting to upset the Hatter again.
"There you go again, asking for what we can't possibly give you!"
cried the Hatter, springing to his feet.
"How about some safe, clean nuclear power instead?" offered
the dormouse helpfully.
"That sounds quite nice, I suppose," said Alice with some
"Wrong answer! No such thing!" the Hatter shouted with glee,
politely adding "One lump or two?"
Alice was quite put out. "Isn't it rude to offer something you
don't have?" asked Alice. "And even ruder to offer something
that doesn't exist? What kind of a tea party is this?"
"Why this is an IAEA Board of Governors meeting, my dear, and we're
having an NP Tea Party!" said the March Hare, glancing nervously
at a very large watch which was chiming the hour by barking loudly.
"An NP Tea Party? What's that?"
"It's all very simple," said the Hatter as he handed out slices
of cake and then went around smacking everyone's hand when they started
eating it, "the NPT is a treaty in which the parties that have
nuclear weapons agree to get rid of their nuclear weapons in exchange
for the parties that don't have nuclear weapons promising not to get
nuclear weapons. As part of the incentive for not getting nuclear weapons
they're rewarded with the means to make nuclear weapons. Slice of Cake?"
Alice eyed the yellow cake suspiciously. She heard a distant voice shouting
"Off with their heads!"
"Now, at the moment we're discussing the case of Iran, which has
signed the treaty and promised not to build nuclear weapons and so has
been rewarded with the means to make nuclear weapons. But there are
some people at this party who think that they're actually using those
means to make nuclear weapons as a means to make nuclear weapons."
"Which they've said they don't want..." said Alice.
"Oh yes, but as you of all people should know, my dear, saying
what we mean isn't always the same as meaning what we say. Saying that
they aren't making nuclear weapons is just what you'd expect them to
do if they were making nuclear weapons. Proof enough."
The Hatter took a slice of cake and pushed it into the face of the Hippo,
who already had his mouth full. "You shouldn't eat so much cake,"
George W. TweedleDum suddenly appeared. "Personically, I'd like
to see less nuclear weapons in the world. Which is why I'm building
"THAT's the spirit!" cried the Hatter.
"But I don't understand!" cried Alice. "If you can use
nuclear power technology to make nuclear weapons, and you want to get
rid of the nuclear weapons, shouldn't you stop handing out the nuclear
George W. TweedleDum patted Alice on the head. "You are an absurd
little creature, aren't you? Hatter, why don't you explanify the Treaty
"The TREATY thing, yes yes, mustn't forget that!" cried the
Hatter as he absent-mindedly dipped the dormouse in his tea.
"Now you see on the one hand, Iran has signed the Non-treaty on
Weapons Proliferation, and the Treaty on the Proliferation of Non-weapons
Nuclear, and the Proliferation of Treaties on the Proliferation of Weapons,
"Which are all the same thing," said the dormouse, yawning.
"So if THEY try to get nuclear weapons, that's quite illegal and
we must send them to the Queen of Hearts' Security Council for punishment."
"India, on the other hand," said the Hatter holding up a second
hand and dropping the teapot on the dormouse's head, "has never
signed the treaty, so their nuclear weapons are perfectly OK and they
should be rewarded with more nuclear technology."
"Pakistan, on the third hand," and oddly the Hatter actually
produce a third hand at this point, " has never signed the treaty,
but we're not so sure about them, so we're NOT going to reward them
with more nuclear technology."
George W. TweedleDum smiled broadly. "The lessonification here
is never, never sign a treaty. That's my motto. Lot of bother. I promise
to keep my nuclear weapons and everybody else has to get rid of theirs
unless I say they can keep them. That's my kind of Treaty. I believe
in maintaining high standards. I believe in maintaining high standards."
"You said that twice." said the Hatter.
"He has to say it twice," said the dormouse. "It's a
The Hatter now declared it was time for a vote. "Now, who thinks
we should send Iran to the Queen of Hearts? ("Off with their heads!
came the cry from the garden next door again...) Everyone looked at
the Hippo. The hippo started to raise his foot, and everyone in the
party started to raise their hands. Or paws. Then the hippo put his
foot down, and everyone in the party did the same. Then George W. TweedleDum
took a large hatpin and quietly stuck it into the rather large backside
of the Hippo, who jumped into the air with his foot raised, and everyone
in the party followed suit."
"There then, it's settled, off to the Queen of Hearts with them!"
sang the Hatter.
"Is that what you call democracy?" asked Alice curiously.
"Well it looks like democracy, but in reality the Hippo decides,
and the Hippo just does what TweedleDum tells him to do" said the
"Oh. I see," said Alice. "I suppose then it's not really
a democracy at all, is it?"
"Well it's just a very different kind of democracy, my dear. Some
people call it a Hippocracy. Cake?"
certificate No 000358 27 February 2006
Being a victim of the Chernobyl disaster means more than just a number.
Often it's a lifetime of suffering due to a dirty, dangerous industry
still being promoted with your tax money.
This is Annya.
She is more than just a number.
Annya was born in 1990 in Zakopytye, a village highly contaminated by
the Chernobyl nuclear meltdown of 1986. A cancerous brain tumour at
the age of four marked the end of Annya's childhood and the beginning
of a life of pain and illness. Annya, now 15 and bed-ridden, has spent
her life in and out of hospital, between tumours and life support. Every
15 minutes of every night, she must be turned in order to prevent further
pain and bedsores.
Twenty years after the Chernobyl disaster, Annya, and her parents battle
everyday with the cruel and personal legacy of Chernobyl. Their home
village of Zakopytye, irradiated and uninhabitable, was razed and buried
years ago. Gomel, the region where they live now, is economically and
socially depressed, and work is hard to find.
Annya's is just one story. In the Ukraine, Russia, Belarus and beyond,
there are 100,000's of people who lost a chance of a normal life to
nuclear disaster on a quiet spring night in 1986. Thousands of stories.
Thousands of certificates. Thousands of lives forever and irreparably
Nuclear technology is inherently dangerous. Today, thankfully, it is
also unnecessary. Our energy needs can be met with safe and efficient
renewable energy technologies. So, why are so many politicians peddling
nuclear power at the very time we need it least, when we have safe and
sustainable sources available to power the world?
And why does the UN, through its International Atomic Energy Agency
(IAEA) continue to promote the nuclear technology that creates the very
materials used to make the nuclear weapons it is mandated to stop? Is
it the role of a UN agency, funded by your taxes, to advance the profits
of the nuclear industry? Do we not have the right to expect the IAEA
to focus only on the values and principles of the UN - peace, security,
and human rights - and not on private industry's profits?
In some ways, sadly, Annya is just a number. She is one of hundreds
of thousands of victims living the devastating aftermath of Chernobyl.
For Annya and for the thousands of children like her, you need to speak
out and say NO more nuclear, NO more Chernobyls. If you don't, who will?
Call on UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan and IAEA Director-General ElBharadei
to stop its promotion of a dirty, dangerous industry and focus its resources
exclusively on its critical mission of disarmament and world peace.