CCAM NEWS 2006

Part 3

Connecticut Coalition Against the Millstone Nuclear Power Reactor

Social Activist William Sloane Coffin Dies

By DAVID FUNKHOUSER
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 Iraq.
"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 in Vietnam.
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 day.
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 strip.
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 Action).
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


New noises force halt to Vermont Yankee power boost
By David Gram, Associated Press Writer | April 6, 2006 MONTPELIER, Vt.

The Vermont 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 is completed."
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

CONNECTICUT COALITION AGAINST MILLSTONE
www.MothballMillstone.org

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 website.
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 3.7.1.2, 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 3.7.1.2 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 higher-than-"normal" readings.
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 requested material.
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.
Sincerely,
Nancy Burton
147 Cross Highway
Redding Ridge CT 06876
Tel. 203-938-3952



4/4/06 Email from NRC's OPA's Neil Sheehan:
Ms. Burton,

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.

Neil Sheehan
NRC Public Affairs Officer, Region I

>>> <NancyBurtonCT@aol.com> 04/04/06 11:01 AM >>>

CONNECTICUT COALITION AGAINST MILLSTONE
_www.MothballMillstrone.org_ (http://www.mothballmillstrone.org/)
April 4, 2006
Dear Mr. Sheehan:
We await your response to our email sent yesterday. (Please see below.)
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 pump
during this fourth day of unplanned shutdown.
Thank you for your attention.
Sincerely,
Nancy Burton

CONNECTICUT COALITION AGAINST MILLSTONE
_www.MothballMillstrone.org_ (http://www.mothballmillstrone.org/)
April 3, 2006
Dear Mr. Sheehan:

Please advise when the NRC began permitting Millstone to repair the
auxiliary feedwater pump while operating at 100 per cent power. Did this waiver of
safety standards require a license amendment? If so, please provide the ADAMS
accession numbers for the pertinent license application documents. Please
provide us with the text of Millstone's Technical Specifications (3.7.1.2).

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 neither
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 which
appeared to be smoke emanating from Millstone at approximately 3 PM on
SATURDAY, April 1, the previous day. Her Rad Alert measurements were taken on
Saturday, not Sunday. Therefore, we remain concerned about the elevated readings
of radiation detected on Saturday. When we requested further information about
the radiation releases from Dominion's spokesperson Peter Hyde, on Sunday,
April 2, 2006, he told us to read the next day's The New London Day
newspaper. Unfortunately, The Day reported on April 3, 2006 as follows:

"Releases of radioactivity were minimal, within federal guidelines and
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 for
reactor shutdowns, when you could not have known what levels of strontium-90 -
or strontium-89 or the noble gases for that matter - had been released when
you provided the news media with that comment.

Sincerely,
Nancy Burton

4/3/06 Email from NRC's OPA's Neil Sheehan:
Ms. Burton,

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 (3.7.1.2) 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.

Neil Sheehan
NRC Public Affairs Officer, Region I

>>> <NancyBurtonCT@aol.com> 04/03/06 10:05 AM >>>
CONNECTICUT COALITION AGAINST MILLSTONE
_www.mothballmillstone.org_ (http://www.mothballmillstone.org)
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 of noise,
smoke and heightened radiation levels emanating from the Millstone Nuclear Power
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 on
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 S.
Blumenthal of this condition on March 29, 2006, either before his appearance
at the Coalition's "Millstone Insecurity" rally at which he appeared at 2 PM
at the entranceway to Millstone or his subsequent appearance and presentation
to a delegation of the NRC at 3 PM at the Millstone onsite training building.
For the record, The Connecticut Coalition Against Millstone was not notified
of this condition although it was known to Dominion that residents from the
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 such as
occurred at Millstone Unit 2 as above identified.
Thank you for your assistance.
Sincerely,
Nancy Burton
147 Cross Highway
Redding Ridge CT 06876
Tel. 203-938-3952

Millstone Insecurity Day 3/29/06

Mr. Blumenthal addresses the NRC at Millstone 3/29/06


News 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 We Trust"

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 bottom line."

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


April 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 assures us?
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?

CHILD 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

Save 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 - closeip@yahoo.com
"Helen Caldicott has been my inspiration to speak out." —MERYL STREEP
"Dr. Helen Caldicott has the rare ability to combine science with passion, logic with love, and urgency with humor." —NAOMI KLEIN


Tuesday March 28, 2006 marks the 27th
anniversary of the partial meltdown at Three Mile Island.

"Three 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
Pennsylvania.

The documentary challenges the claim of the
nuclear industry
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
the accident.

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
discloses.


Opposition Leader in Belarus Faces Criminal Charge

By C. J. CHIVERS Published: March 26, 2006 MOSCOW, March 26 —

A detained 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 Monday.
"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 admires.
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 support.
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.


Depleted 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 Agency.
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 of Halliburton.
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 Environment Agency.
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 Gas Protocol.
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, and remediation.
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 the atmosphere.
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 uranium exposure.
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 exposure.
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 buccaneer.
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 boot."
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 ore.
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."

By C. J. CHIVERS Published: March 26, 2006 MINSK, Belarus, March 25

Riot 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! 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 its brutality.
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 penalties.
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 in 1918.
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 own people.
"This is where our money goes," said Galina Apalko, 23, a student, before being chased back half a block by a rushing line of police.
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 power."
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 said.
"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."


 

Japanese 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 said.
The Kanazawa District Court in northwestern Japan ordered the shutdown of the newly operating No. 2 Shika reactor, court official Akihiko Yasuno said.
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 immediately appeal.
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 told reporters.
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 were injured.



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 years."
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 square.
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.


Public Protest Squelching in Belarus
By STEVEN 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.
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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 aides said.
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 defiance.
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.


Indian Point threat worries officials By Fred Lucas THE NEWS-TIMES 2006-03-21
The federal government plans to launch a five-month investigation into
accidental releases of radioactive water at a New York state nuclear power
plant that's fewer than 40 miles from greater Danbury.
Monday's announcement comes as Connecticut and New York lawmakers are
calling for a wide-ranging safety study at the Indian Point plant. Members
of Congress want the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission to assess the
plant's evacuation plan, construction, maintenance and operational safety.
Their bill would also require the Federal Emergency Management Agency to
explain why it approved an evacuation plan that only covers residents who
live within 10 miles of the plant. At least one study indicated that a
severe radiation release could lead to thousands of deaths in a 50-mile
radius.

U.S. Rep. Christopher Shays, R-4th Dist., has joined U.S. Rep. Sue Kelly,
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 Point's proximity
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 years,
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 that
have occurred in recent months. The water contained tritium, a radioactive
material that in high doses can cause cancer. But in this case, the NRC has
said, there wasn't enough radiation to pose a health threat, even though
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 will be
written before the year's end.
The NRC announcement seems unlikely to derail the congressional push for a
wide-ranging safety evaluation. Such an effort would cost the plant and
taxpayers millions of dollars, said James Steets, a spokesman for Entergy
Nuclear Northeast, which owns the Indian Point facility in Buchanan, N.Y. He
said the wide-ranging study is unnecessary.
"There is no hesitation on our part to participate and support this other
than the time and resources it would cost," Steets said. "This plant has
already demonstrated in many evaluations over the years that we meet every
requirement."
Steets acknowledged the ground water leaks near the plant, but he said the
small amounts of radiation posed no health threat. "The radioactivity on
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 have
been problems at times, all 14 warning sirens worked during a test last
week, he said.
Further, Steets said the plant has rapidly increased security since the
Sept. 11 terror attacks. Even if there was an incident, he said it's highly
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 in
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 – live
within a 50-mile radius of Indian Point plant. A severe radiation release
carried by the wind could result in 44,000 deaths in the short term and
518,000 over a longer period within that 50 mile radius, according to the
Washington-based Union of Concerned Scientists and the New York
environmental group Riverkeeper. Both groups oppose nuclear power plants.
Though Connecticut officials have estimated the number of state resident who
could be harmed, they won't release that information, said Wayne Sandford,
deputy commissioner of the state Department of Emergency Management and
Homeland Security.
"It would depend on what is happening," Sandford said of the state's
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 the size
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 the
plant in January 2007.
"With radioactive material leaking out of Indian Point toward the Hudson
River and the plant continuing to experience a wide array of other safety
issues, it is quite clear that an Independent Safety Assessment is very much
needed," U.S. Rep. Maurice Hinchey, D-N.Y., the bill's lead sponsor said in
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:
http://www.closeindianpoint.org
http://mothballmillstone.org


Belarus 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 on Saturday.
Alexander Milinkevich was addressing a few thousand protesters who had gathered in a Minsk square to complain of vote-rigging in Sunday's poll.
Ambassadors from 11 EU countries went to the square earlier to show support.
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.
'Last chance'
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
Alexander Lukashenko
Profile: Lukashenko
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.
'Absurd' complaints
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.


Sunday 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 under water.
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,” he said.
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 Greenpeace.
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 Westminst
er, 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 in Scotland.
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.


 


Alice in Nuclear Blunderland
08 March 2006

More nuclear power = less nuclear weapons? Only if you're as mad as a hatter.

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 hesitation.
"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," he sputtered.
George W. TweedleDum suddenly appeared. "Personically, I'd like to see less nuclear weapons in the world. Which is why I'm building more."
"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 power technology?"
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 thing?"
"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, Non..."
"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 double standard."
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 Hatter.
"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?"


Chernobyl 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 scarred.
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?
Take action
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.