Archive for November, 2010

Facts on airport radiation scanners

November 30, 2010

Nov. 25, 2010 “……….There are two types of Whole Body Imaging (WBI) technologies in place. They are backscatter and millimeter-wave. (more…)

Nuclear marketing failing, as problems increase, and renewables come online

November 22, 2010

The other serious problem faced by the marketers of nuclear energy is competition from renewable energy, which now has several mainstream technologies with huge growth rates, annual investments and job creation.

Nuclear Power – not the solution as a clean power source – Science Show – 23 October 2010 Mark Diesendorf: Over the past decade, the global nuclear power industry has ceased to grow, with the number of shut-downs exceeding the number of start-ups of new power stations. (more…)

Global problem of nuclear wastes

November 22, 2010

the growing scope and international success of CASTOR protests proves that the problem of nuclear waste, and nuclear energy as a whole, is global in its nature.
Thousands attend unprecedented anti-nuclear protests in Germany: Local action achieves global impact. Bellona, 19 Nov 10, GORBLEN, Germany – The largest and longest in a series of direct anti-nuclear protest actions, CASTOR 2010 started on November 5 in France and ended five days later in Gorleben, Germany – bringing with it a surge of voters’ distrust toward the Angela Merkel government, a halt order that stopped a planned spent nuclear fuel (SNF) transport from Germany to Russia, and a hike in nuclear waste transport costs incurred by Lower Saxony, to a record € 25 million per one delivery.

CASTOR 2010: The largest, longest protest ever

And those were just some of the results of this unprecedented action.

Called CASTOR, to reflect the trade name used for a brand of dry storage casks for high-level radioactive waste – CASTOR stands for “cask for storage and transport of radioactive material” – this direct action was organised to protest the transportation to, and placing into storage in a special facility near the German city of Gorleben, of high-level radioactive waste resulting from spent nuclear fuel generated at German nuclear power plants.

The waste is what remains after plutonium and other elements are extracted from the SNF at the reprocessing plant La Hague in France. Almost each year, this waste is returned after reprocessing to Germany, covering a transport route of nearly 600 kilometres long until it reaches its final destination in Gorleben.

This year, the action in Gorleben gathered a record number of participants – the most it has attracted throughout the movement’s history. Long before the action began, the organisers became concerned that reaching the gathering points and finding accommodation would become a problem for some of the participants.

According to the organisers, a network of anti-nuclear campaigners called X tausendmal quer campaign, around 50,000 people took part in a November 6 rally in Dannenberg in Lower Saxony, near a site where the SNF en route was being transshipped from a train and into lorries. This was three times as many participants as in a previous action in 2008.

The German police said in an official statement that the total number of rally participants was estimated at 25,000 people. Additionally, 560 tractors were used during the action, the police said………….

“CASTOR is, first and foremost, a powerful German movement, supported strongly by local farmers, who this year drove some 600 tractors out to the blockade,” Jan Van de Putte, a nuclear campaign coordinator and radiation expert with Greenpeace International, told Bellona. “This time, all of the villages and settlements of the region took part in the protests, and these were people of all ages – from the very small to those in their eighties.”

Over the past several years, numerous German organisations and parties have also been joining local residents for the CASTOR protests: trade unions, social democrats, the Green Party, the Red Cross, feminist and youth NGOs, as well as activists and organisations from abroad – including those from Russia and Belarus.

“This year, the resistance movement featured a close cooperation between the Germans and the French, one that involved the French and German offices of Greenpeace; the French Association for the Phase-out of Nuclear Energy ‘Sortir du nucléaire’ mobilised itself to participate in the action in Germany,” Van de Putte said. “Activists from all over the world were there for CASTOR 2010, including from Australia.”….

Think globally!

Though local, the CASTOR protests have always resonated strongly on the national level. For instance, it was because of the mass protests near Gorleben in 1997 that a moratorium on waste transports to Gorleben was instituted, which lasted until 2001. The Germans also credit the 1997 protests with the 2000 passing of a law that envisages a phase-out of nuclear energy in Germany and step-by-step shutdown of all German nuclear power plants by 2022.

But the growing scope and international success of CASTOR protests proves that the problem of nuclear waste, and nuclear energy as a whole, is global in its nature.


Thousands attend unprecedented anti-nuclear protests in Germany: Local action achieves global impact – Bellona