Wednesday 1 July 2015

French Protestors are blocking the Ministry of the economy
in order to urge the Government to invest in Renewables and divest from Nuclear

Tuesday 2 June 2015

The mixed outlook for new nuclear power plants

June 2, 2015 by  Leave a Comment
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Two Pressurized Water Reactors under construction at Kudankulam nuclear power plant, India (photo: IAEA, 2013)
Two Pressurized Water Reactors under construction at Kudankulam nuclear power plant, India (photo: IAEA, 2013)
Nuclear power has had a makeover. What was once seen as a futuristic source of limitless energy has been reframed as a response to global warming, an ideal solution for countries looking for a continuous source of low-carbon power. Nuclear advocates claim that nuclear power capacity is expanding, but according to Paul Dorfman, Honorary Senior Research Associate at the Energy Institute at University College London, in reality the global picture is mixed at best.
At the moment 31 different nations operate nuclear power plants (see page 14 here, with a total of 388 reactors, and before Fukushima, most planned nuclear power plant projects were in Asia and Eastern Europe, extending a trend from earlier years.
Industry lobbyists the World Nuclear Association suggests that nuclear power capacity worldwide is increasing steadily, with more than 60 reactors under construction in 13 countries. They say that eight countries are either planning to build for the first time (Belarus and United Arab Emirates), have signed contracts (Lithuania and Turkey), or have some plans to build (Bangladesh, Jordan, Poland, and Vietnam).
In contrast, the more independent World Nuclear Industry Status Report describes a declining trend, with annual nuclear electricity generation reaching a maximum of 266 GW in 2006 and dropping to 235 GW in 2013 – with 50 fewer operating reactors than the peak in 2002, and total installed capacity comparable to levels last seen two decades ago. This decline is also confirmed in BP’s recent Energy Outlook.
Paul Dorfman graphic 1
Oil and coal are set to decline but renewables not nuclear will take up the slack. BP energy outlook 2035
In terms of new build, 67 reactors are under construction worldwide with a total capacity of 64 GW. For the nuclear industry this at first sounds promising, but then “under construction” doesn’t necessarily mean it will be finished any time soon – work first began on one reactor opened in Argentina last year back in 1981.
It’s true to say that the risk to people, the environment and to the future of nuclear energy from another major incident is still very real, and reactor accidents from “beyond design-base” cascading events, such as the Fukushima disaster and all other major nuclear accidents, are the single largest financial risk – far outweighing the combined effect of market, credit, construction and operational risks. The thing is, in trying to “design out” these accidents, reactors have become much more expensive, complex, and hence, difficult to build on time and on budget.
Of the 67 currently being built, eight reactors have been under construction for more than 20 years, another for 12 years; and at least 49 have significant delays. For the remaining 18 reactor units, either construction began within the past five years or the reactors haven’t reached projected start-up dates, with construction projects in Finland and France very many years behind schedule.
Average construction times are increasing:
Paul Dorfman graphic 2
Note: bubble size is equivalent to the number of units started up in the given year. MSC based on IAEA-PRIS 2014
The Russian state nuclear corporation Rosatom is building in Russia, China, and Belarus, and claims more than 20 export reactor orders in Iran, Turkey, Vietnam, Bangladesh, Jordan, Hungary, Finland, Egypt, India and South Africa. But there are questions about whether it’s got the finances and supply chain resources to carry out more than a small fraction of these – most depend on Russian finance, hit hard by the recent downturn, and Rosatom is already facing delays in its homeland due to lack of resources.
Meanwhile, the World Nuclear Status Report shows that China has 28 reactors under construction – 42% of the world’s total new-build – with 21 reactors (17 GW) in operation, which in 2013 provided 2.1% of the country’s electricity. If all their reactors under construction come online before 2020, this would bring the total to 49 reactors. To put this into perspective, in 2013 alone, China installed 12 GW of solar, a threefold increase over 2012.
And recent events have challenged China’s plans for nuclear. There’s been the usual construction delays, cost increases, doubts over the siting of reactors in provinces inland, and questions over safety and regulatory oversight – and, remarkably, just last month, significant faults were found in the reactor pressure vessels already installed in the Areva EPRs at Taishan 1 and 2.
Paul Dorfman graphic 3
Nuclear Reactors listed as World Nuclear Industry Status Report/IAEA-PRIS, MSC, 2014
While nuclear carries very real technical and regulatory risk – construction cost represents a key challenge. New builds will only go ahead after government guarantees public subsidies, including long-term power purchase agreements. This is because the private sector can’t afford to build new nuclear plants themselves. The reality is that nuclear new builds are high-value, high-risk projects with a marked tendency for significant delay and delay claims, cost growth and investor risk.
For example, in Finland, their nuclear corporation TVO is pressing a €2.7 billion compensation claim for delays to the Olkiluoto EPR nuclear power plant. Perhaps amusingly, the French nuclear corporation Areva is in turn demanding €3.5 billion from TVO. The project’s turn-key price was €3 billion in 2005 and the current estimated price stands at €8.5 billion, with a construction time of 13 years and rising. And just recently, TVO has dashed Areva hopes of building any more EPRs in Finland.
So the general post-Fukushima situation in the EU implies there will be limited construction in the coming decade. Although new builds are still planned in Finland, France and the UK – Italy and Switzerland have cancelled plans for new reactors, Belgium has confirmed a nuclear phase-out, and eight EU countries have signed a declaration that nuclear power is incompatible with the concept of sustainable development.
At the heart of the nuclear question are differing views on value for money, foresight and responsibility. Huge long-term investments are needed and it’s clear there are critical social, environmental and economic decisions to be made.
Germany, Europe’s dominant electricity user, has made its choice. Its decision to phase out nuclear power by 2022 and to instead invest in renewables, efficiency measures, grid infrastructure and energy storage, will prove significant for both European and international energy policy.
Editor’s Note
This article was first published on The Conversation and is republished here with permission from the author.

Friday 1 May 2015

Forest fire threatens Ukraine's Chernobyl nuclear zone

Date: 29-Apr-15
Country: UKRAINE
Author: Natalia Zinets and Alessandra Prentice

Forest fire threatens Ukraine's Chernobyl nuclear zone Photo: Andrew
An aerial view through a window of a helicopter shows fire and smoke from
buildings of an abandoned village are on fire in northern Ukraine, April
28, 2015.
Photo: Andrew Kravchenko/Pool

Emergency services were battling on Tuesday to prevent Ukraine's largest
forest fire since 1992 from spreading towards the abandoned Chernobyl
nuclear power plant, Prime Minister Arseny Yatseniuk said.

Earlier, the interior ministry had warned that high winds were blowing the
fire in northern Ukraine towards Chernobyl, where in 1986 a reactor fire
led to the world's worst nuclear disaster.

A 30 km (18.6 miles) exclusion zone remains in place around the plant,
which remains contaminated by radioactive particles.

"The situation is being controlled, but this is the biggest fire since
1992. We've not had this scale of fire," Ukraine's Interfax news agency
reported Yatseniuk as telling journalists.

"It is around 20 kilometers (from the fire) to the plant. Our emergency
services are actively working there to prevent the fire spreading
further," he said.

In February, international experts warned that a large amount of dangerous
isotopes remained in the forests near Chernobyl, which could be spread by
forest fires.

"Wildfires ... pose a high risk of redistributing radioactivity,"
according to a paper published in Ecological Monographs, titled 'Fire
evolution in the radioactive forests of Ukraine and Belarus: future risks
for the population and the environment.'

Chernobyl's Reactor 4, the epicenter of the 1986 blast, is covered with a
concrete casement that the Ukrainian authorities plan to replace by 2016.

To read the Ecological Monographs paper: here

(Editing by Mark Trevelyan, Larry King)

Wednesday 29 April 2015

Fukushima's affect on Canadian coast

Dana Durnford’s Post-Fukushima Odyssey: Documenting Ecocide on Canada’s
West Coast

By Robert Snefjella

21 April, 2015

Dana Durnford’s odyssey, in 2014 and 2015,  has been to
document what has happened and is happening since Fukushima to wild life,
plant and animal, in the waters and tidal zone and pools on the West Coast
of Canada. His boat is a little Zodiac water craft, almost impossible to
sink, but no comfort inn. He has sailed it largely alone, with his
intrepid old dog Zoey, for months and for many hundreds of kilometers
along the shores of British Columbia and its islands and out to the Queen
Charlotte Islands.

Resourceful and brave and determined is Dana, as he struggles and endures
many troubles and hardships. For an able bodied person to undertake what
Dana has done would be heroic. Dana is physically handicapped from an
accident and relies on a wheelchair and crutches.

Dana has taken many thousands of photographs, and has been interviewed
weekly many times by Jeff Rense on his radio show at These are
archived at

Dana also reports via his website

Dana is plain spoken and usually low key, sometimes nearly inaudibly so,
as he brings us news of the Pacific Ocean’s palliative condition. Even
Dana’s angry comments seem muted by his grief and disbelief, as he
describes his voyage and his observations and shares his thoughts. His web
site already has much photographic and other information, and his current
journey will add many thousands more.

Dana’s observations underline that we have reached the end, a dead end, at
least for civilization on its contemporary terminally dysfunctional basis,
and announces a time of grievous troubles for much of life as we have
known it.

From his website:

   Fukushima will kill the entire Pacific Ocean

   October 9, 2014

   Day 18 on the beaches we hit Pine Island off the north east of
Vancouver Island and several other islands in a 75 km 7 hour trip. We
stayed out till dark it took about 80 minutes to ride back with a full
moon behind the heavy rain clouds. We still only found just a small
handful of kelp and algae out of 600 known species. We have to hunt to
find any species to take a picture of. The chances of finding the same
species anywhere else is tiny we still have not seen any sea cucumbers
or sea squirts or sea fans or large snails or rocks full of snails and
limpets etc etc or life in tidal pools. Underwater life is clinging
for the time being but we are not even trying to stop fukushima….

   Out of 70 species of sea anemones we have found 5 species collectively
throughout the coast lines but only two species on these islands today
and they are very few and very random.

   We see all along Vancouver Island coast line only 5 species of star
fish out of 64 known local species that were everywhere pre Fukushima.
Did you know Fukushima really happened and the Jet Streams are real,
yea go figure. Did you know that three reactors are bleeding and
hemorrhaging into the pacific ocean 24/7 – 365 days a year and that
the media and nuclear crazy apologist use numbers from a single
release from a single reactor and have never included the ongoing
massive plumes pouring into the sea every freaking day and into the
jet stream from three 100% melt downs and melt outs all day every day

   In BC life accumulates [that is, used to, until Fukushima: RS] in
every millimeter of its 26,000 km shore line, after all it was the
nursery of the ocean. The B.C. entire coast line’s biodiversity is
well known because all universities have [been] categorizing and
counting the species around BC coast line for decades, many times

   I only wonder … what point of extinction will it take before the world

Part transcript of March 9th, 2015 Rense radio interview:

   Jeff Rense: “Okay, and we’re going to go up this half hour, somewhere
along the wilds of the coast of British Columbia to talk to another
remarkable man who has put his life on the line over and over again to
try to bring the truth about what’s happening to our west coast
whether you be Canadian or American, and that the government will not
tell us…. “

   Dana: [describing the coastline of Canada] “… less than a hundred
species, total, throughout the entire coastline, out of …”

   Jeff: “Out of 6500 that ought to be there.”

   Dana: “The visible ones and another 5500 or so of invertebrates….

   ….the divers a couple of days ago found starfish legs and there was
two of them [divers] and they were horrified, because, and rightly so,
but I mean the whole sea floor was covered in, in ah, star fish legs,
a lot of leather starfish, in particular, and just the legs, didn’t
find the bodies, just the legs everywhere, and they’re pretty
convinced that it’s radiation ….

   .... no snails to be found anywhere whatsoever, I couldn’t even find

   …. normally you would find millions and millions and millions [of
snails] on each beech and on the rocks and all the mussels were
missing and the algae [is missing and] a lot of them look’s like
they’re petrified, but they all look really, really bad, they look
really unhealthy, and once again the rocks are bare everywhere else.

   …. folks don’t understand, in that entire day of hunting at the low
tide zone I could put everything I found in the back of a pickup
truck, and that, you should be able to do that on any beach, let alone
the entire, you know mile after mile after mile, ah we’re coming to an
anniversary of the fourth year, I guess you could call it that.

   …. and there was around 50 eagles, that’s the most eagles I’ve seen at
any given time since August … to see 50 eagles was really impressive.
That was a spectacular event. I stopped and got pictures of it. And it
looked like they were feeding and this is something we haven’t seen
along the entire coastline. We should see that every mile. And I
covered, a few weeks back, I covered over 700 nautical miles and never
seen a single flock and there should have been 700 flocks or more if
not five times that, because that’s how this coastline used to be,
always, no matter where you went, so all of that is missing, there’s
just a handful of any species out of 160 odd migratory and 148
residential, there’s only a handful throughout the entire coastline
and you’re only finding them in tiny groups so we’re in a lot of

   [Dana’s effort is …]…. so stressful at night time, just trying to come
to a stop and have a meal and get some sleep and not drag anchor all
night wrong, and have the waves pound you all day and all night,
relentless, but … my brain will not let me stop it until we complete
it, because it has to get done and nobody else is going to do it. And
if we don’t get the job done [recording the situation on the British
Columbia coastline] we’ll regret that for ever.

   …. but they [Canadian Coast Guard] came all the way into the beach
just to yell out and ask me what I was up to. So I told him …. I said
I’m checking for damage from the radiation fallout from Japan and he
said you finding any? I said “Everything is missing!” I said “Are you
blind?!” I named out the species to him and I think I scared the
daylights out of him cause they went away but … I was pretty angry…. I
was heartbroken, I was on this beach after beach after beach and this
little group of islands this morning, it’s blowing really hard, and
I’m got up tight to an island, and I went to the island and got up on
the beach cause you couldn’t do anything else, and it’s stunning that
I couldn’t find anything in the microscopic world or the small world

From March 16th, 2015 interview on Rense radio.

   Jeff: “…. Mr. Dana Durnford is there, our special guest, who god knows
where he is, where are you?”

   Dana: “Hi Jeff, yes, I’m back in Queen Charlotte City.

   Been a rough ride. Today was a very rough one, so both of the boat
motors went down on me today, in rough water….

   …. an interesting thing is yesterday I went out at high tide and that
high tide strip is really visible. The ocean comes right up to the
rain forest here on the coastline and so it’s only like a foot, two
foot, at the really highest tide, with a full moon, there will be like
a 2 foot gap there. Now yesterday there was probably a four foot gap
there and you still couldn’t see any kind of life whatsoever at that
high tide line, and that ought to be the best part of it. That’s very
telling, because that should be full of the fauna, the flora, the sea
anemones and all kinds of little critters that live in that particular
zone. That’s a very unique strip along British Columbia that is
actually missing. And that was the big thing about getting out here to
see, to really say, okay, look, it’s actually missing here too. Cause
people won’t believe it until you actually show it to them. You
actually basically have to go look and get pictures of it and actually
show the people before they’ll ultimately believe you, I know that in
my soul, and so that’s why I do the things I do because I know that if
we don’t get that data you can’t have a lucid conversation with
anybody, but if you got the data they ain’t got no wiggle room, and
they’re gonna have to pay attention and they got no way of just
disregarding what you say.”

From February 23rd, 2015 interview on Rense radio:

   Dana: “….it’s just impossible to imagine that a couple of years ago
you could break your neck trying to go ashore at the low tide line and
anywhere in British Columbia, this is what I specialize in, these low
tide zones, and now you can go ashore anywhere in British Columbia,
there’s nothing to worry about, ….[whereas previously, due to all the
kelp and algae] you would slip and slide, dangerous, extremely
dangerous, very slippery, unimaginable, nobody could make it up the
high tide line, at low tide, without really hurting their elbows, or
knees, or twisting an ankle, or really being an acrobat, and now
anybody can walk ashore. It’s inconceivable! It’s just devastating to
the entire eco-system. It’s the nursery of the ocean. It’s all
missing!: The very nursery of the ocean itself. And the biggest carbon
sequesterer of the ocean is the phytoplankton. And that’s missing. And
that was also the biggest oxygen producer obviously. And the basis of
the food chain. But it was also the biggest carbon sequesterer on the
planet. And so to blame everything on carbon, but there’s nothing
there to sequester, like it’s normally been doing throughout whoever
knows how long this process has been going on. And so that is all
missing. And all I’m trying to, when I say things like they can’t hide
it much longer, I truly mean they can’t hide it much longer. I can’t
see how they can. They can lie about it all they want for a short
period of time, but it’s going to be impossible to ignore a dead
ocean…Like I can’t ignore what I’m seeing out there. It’s enough to
make you cry. I kid you not.

   This is being completed on April 16th, 2015. Over the last couple of
weeks, which is far beyond late - after the most despicable dishonesty
about, and censorship of, information about Fukushima, a bit more of
the disturbing light of reality regarding Fukushima is escaping into
view via more or less ‘official’ Japanese spokesmen. The problems at
Fukushima are declared “insurmountable”, the technology to fix the
situation is declared not to exist. And as Jeff Rense has pointed out,
talk of “decommissioning” the Fukushima reactors is propaganda
nonsense. Decommissioning is the daunting challenge which can be
attempted pertaining to, typically, aged reactors that exist in
something of their original form: Much of the plutonium etc of
Fukushima has evacuated the scene of the crime, to join the global
environment, and extremely radioactive cauldrons of unknown location,
and quantity, and makeup, remains. (1)

The official response, globally, has been to tell lies and to censor.

The massive damage to life within and adjoining the Pacific Ocean – on the
West Coast of North America, an ecocide - has been demoted to an
egregiously distorted footnote. Fukushima is an extreme assault on the
blueprint for life of much of the planet.

This is screaming proof of the pathology, and the terminal dysfunction, of
our current culture, and especially of our basic institutions of
government, and mass communications. We are being fatally misled.

Now, very, very late, Fukushima remains a salvage-what-we-can-operation of
the most extreme urgency, and requires our utmost honest and intelligent
fullness of attention and discourse. WAKE UP!

Note: (1) For research connections and pertinent comments on plutonium in
the Pacific see

For a recent (April 11th, 2015 missive from Dana Durnford see

Robert Snefjella is a retired organic farmer living in Ontario, Canada. He
can be reached at

Tuesday 21 April 2015

Uranium Mining in Canada

Canada last week, April 2015

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi signed a deal
with Prime Minister Stephen Harper in Ottawa to confirm the export of
3,220 tonnes of uranium from northern Saskatchewan to India, a country
that has never signed the United Nations Nuclear Non-Proliferation
Treaty (NPT). That very day in Quebec City, Indigenous activists from
all over the world working to end uranium mining were meeting with
allies at the World Uranium Symposium. The symposium brought together
200 activists and organisers, physicians, environmentalists, and
researchers from the natural and social sciences, all working with the
intent to dismantle the nuclear industry and the huge costs associated
with it. 
Polls suggest that Canadians oppose a nuclear deal with
New Delhi, perhaps out of fear of the proliferation of nuclear weapons.
But Indigenous activists reminded the symposium that the most obvious
costs were already being felt by their communities, even without the
immediate threat of nuclear war. Uranium mining, nuclear power
generation, and nuclear waste all result in grievous harm to ecological
and human health that lasts for countless generations.
Additionally, the social cost is high, in the public subsidies necessary to keep
nuclear energy viable, in the diversion of immense amounts of water
resources for nuclear industry use, and in the high carbon costs
associated with mining, transport, and storage of uranium, which makes
nuclear power a dubious choice to fight climate change. The only
tangible benefit to Harper's deal with India is the profit distributed
to shareholders of Cameco, the company responsible for uranium mining in
northern Saskatchewan. Attendees from Saskatchewan's Committee for
Future Generations suggested that the complicity between government and
industry has led to a health system that refuses to acknowledge problems
related to the industry. Saskatchewan environmentalist and former MLA
Peter Prebble recalled that when it started in 1952, uranium mining was
established in the province to provide plutonium for the nuclear arms
industry of the USA, and baseline health studies were never
While Harper appeases his constituents, the agreement must also be viewed in
the context of longstanding grassroots resistance in India to nuclear
plants, most famously at the plant in Kudankulam in Tamil Nadu, where
the full repressive force of the Indian state has been deployed against
anti-nuclear activists. Similar popular resistance occurs in Maharashtra
at the Jaitapur plant. India's civil nuclear programme has also been
placed under scrutiny through the country's mechanism for public
interest litigation. Indian researchers attending the Symposium affirmed
that lax industry regulations are a concern, with companies preying on
the poor. But Modi too is pandering to those who can extract profit in
the short-term from the building and maintenance of nuclear power
plants, rather than those who will deal with its long-term
Prime Minister Harper stated that the moratorium on export of nuclear
industry materials to India, which has been in effect ever since New
Delhi used Canadian technology to develop a nuclear bomb in the 1970s,
had exerted an unnecessary pall over the collaboration possible between
the two countries. While diversion of uranium into military purposes
remains a concern, the Symposium did note that the most pressing threat
for nuclear war remained in the stockpiles of nuclear weapons still held
by the five traditional nuclear powers, the vast majority of them in
the United States and Russia, and called for complete disarmament. The
symposium's declaration also notes the dangers associated with uranium
in all phases of its extraction and use; from mining, processing,
civilian and military use, and storage. It calls for a worldwide ban on
the exploration and use of uranium, especially in that such activities
violate the rights of Indigenous peoples to free, prior and informed
consent for activities on their territories. It insists that
accountability for those harmed by uranium should last generations into
the future while the mineral remains radioactive. That this list
of demands has to be stated at all may seem depressing. But there is
hope. World experts such as Mycle Schneider reported to the Symposium
that the world's generation of nuclear power is decreasing, dropping in
2012 by 12 per cent over the historic maximum in 2006. Additionally, the
world's largest builder of reactors, French state-controlled company
AREVA, lost up to 88 per cent of its share value between 2008 and 2012.
Germany is now creating more jobs in renewable energy than in nuclear
and coal energy production.' The declaration also highlights that
Quebec is now also home to some of the most promising work against
uranium exploitation. The Cree Nation of Eeyou Itschee has stood in
solidarity with its citizens in Mistissini who have resisted uranium
exploration near their community, with Cree youth walking 850 km across
Quebec last year to demonstrate their opposition to the plan. Their work
has galvanised opposition around uranium mining, with the Inuit of
Nunavik in northern Quebec, the Assembly of First Nations of Quebec and
Labrador which includes 10 Indigenous nations across 43 communities, and
over 300 municipalities in Quebec rejecting uranium mines. Meanwhile,
Saskatchewan's premier Brad Wall has welcomed the deal with India,
stating that the 4,000 workers, including many Indigenous employees,
stand to benefit from the deal. The struggle against uranium is
not over, not across Canada, not in India, nor elsewhere. An
immigrant who made Montreal home, Baijayanta Mukhopadhyay is currently a
rural family doctor in northern Ontario. He is an organizer with the
Canadian chapter of the People's Health Movement and a
co-representative for the North America region on its global steering council.  
Lori Hanson is on the global steering council of the People's Health
Movement. She is a professor in community health and epidemiology and
lives in Saskatoon. Declaration of the World Uranium
Symposium 2015 Quebec City, Canada | April 16 2015
To endorse this resolution go to the link below: 

the participants of the World Uranium Symposium 2015, coming from 20
countries on five continents, having gathered in Quebec City, Canada,
the traditional territory of
the Huron-Wendat Nation, in April

2015; Acknowledging
that in 1943 Quebec City was the site where the United States, the United
Kingdom, and Canada entered into a formal cooperation agreement to
develop the first atomic bombs, resulting in the bombing of Hiroshima
and Nagasaki in 1945; Respecting the moratorium imposed by the
Cree Nation of Eeyou Istchee in Northern Quebec on all
uranium-related activities on their lands, as well as the broad
consensus against uranium development by the Assembly of First
Nations of Quebec and
Labrador, the Inuit of Nunavik and over 300

municipalities across the province of

Recognizing the

growing awareness that nuclear power is not a cost-effective,

or safe response to climate change, and applauding the enormous
of the use of renewable energy and the significant strides

made in recent years to
phase out nuclear power;


the need for sustainable development and responsible


the unique health, environmental and social dangers present at all
of the nuclear chain, from the exploration, mining and milling

of uranium, to nuclear
power generation, the development of nuclear

weapons and the storage of radioactive

Recognizing that

the risk of contamination resulting from the extraction, use and

of radioactive substances presents a unique and grave threat to all
creatures, their environments and watersheds, transcending all

political and geographic
boundaries and enduring for eons to



that there are stores of radioactive waste throughout the world that
not been effectively isolated;

Recognizing that there is

compelling scientific evidence that there is no safe dose of

to radioactive emissions, and that even small doses can present health
to miners and local populations, animals and plant



that more must be done to understand, recognize and acknowledge the

scope and extent of all social, health and environmental short and long
term impacts
of uranium and nuclear-related activities on human

life, wildlife and plant life;

Recognizing both that the

technological development of nuclear energy opens the door
to the

development of nuclear weapons against which there is no effective
and that nuclear power generation facilities present a

serious threat in and of

Insisting that nuclear

regulating bodies be independent and work solely in the best

of people, animals and plant life;

Recalling the tragedies at

Three-Mile Island, Chernobyl, Fukushima Daiichi and many
other places

around the world;

Convinced that all non-military end-uses of

uranium, including medical uses, can be
readily satisfied in an

alternative manner;

Insisting that nuclear weapons and those

using depleted uranium be criminalized and
that all signatories be

held accountable to the obligations set out in the


by the nuclear destruction of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, alarmed by

and proliferation of nuclear arsenals, and convinced that the
consequences of nuclear detonations can be avoided only

when all nuclear weapons
and the systems that manufacture them have

been eliminated;

Affirming that it is in the interest of the

survival of humanity and of life on this planet
that nuclear weapons

are never used again, under any circumstances;

Recognizing that

those most immediately affected by uranium and nuclear related

often lack proper capacity and resources and that, as a result, such
infringe their fundamental human rights to life and

security of the person;

Affirming our commitment to the

principles of sustainable and equitable development,
and respect for

the fundamental human rights of all individuals and peoples for all

Acknowledging that unique and irreplaceable cultures and

landscapes have been and
continue to be endangered by uranium and

nuclear related activities;

Acknowledging that the world’s

Indigenous Peoples have disproportionately borne the
harmful burdens

of the global uranium industry, nuclear activities (including

and the dumping of radioactive waste;

Recalling that the United

Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples
affirms the

rights of the world’s Indigenous Peoples to self-determination, and

social and environmental integrity which includes free, prior and
consent achieved through an independent, fair, transparent

and impartial process, and
recognizing that the survival and

well-being of Indigenous Peoples depends on full
respect for these

fundamental and inalienable rights;

Determined to reduce the

burden on future generations resulting from the extraction
and use of

radioactive substances;

Dedicating ourselves to a nuclear-free



1. We reaffirm the

Declaration of the World Uranium Hearing in Salzburg, Austria in

of the Indigenous World Uranium Summit in Window Rock, Navajo Nation,

in 2006, and of the IPPNW-World Conference in Basel, Switzerland in
Uranium and all radioactive substances must remain in their

natural location.

2. We demand a worldwide ban on uranium

exploration, mining, milling and
processing, as well as the

reprocessing of nuclear waste, and the irresponsible
management of

radioactive waste;

3. We call on all states, authorities and

Peoples to recognize and respect the rights of
Indigenous Peoples

including the right to self-determination and to free prior and

consent achieved through an independent, fair, transparent and
process, and to cease the pursuit of uranium- and

nuclear-related activities on
Indigenous Peoples’ lands in violation

of these rights;

4. We urge all states, authorities and Peoples

to provide full, fair and equitable redress
to all those harmed by

uranium- and nuclear-related activities and to ensure that

responsible are held accountable for their actions and failures;


We demand that all states, authorities and Peoples phase out and
eliminate nuclear
power generation and use, and dedicate themselves

to the development and use of
intelligent energy services based on

sustainable, safe and renewable energy resources;

6. We call on

all states, authorities and Peoples to strengthen their commitments

non-proliferation and disarmament, to eliminate all existing nuclear
to cease any and all development of nuclear weapon

technologies, and to support and
advance a legal treaty to ban all

nuclear weapons;

7. We call on all states, authorities and

Peoples to ensure that all existing radioactive
products, material

and structures from all phases of the nuclear weapons and power

are secured and managed in accordance with the best and safest
technology for the people, animals and plant life.


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Sunday 19 April 2015

Rise in wildfires may resurrect 

Chernobyl's radiation

Fallout from the world's worst nuclear accident just won't go away. Radioactive clouds may once again spread
over Europe, as rising fires release radiation locked up in the upper layers of soil in the dense forests near
Chernobyl in Ukraine and Belarus
Forest fires there have already been re-distributing that radioactivity over Europe. But the situation is set to
worsen with climate change, political instability – and a bizarre effect of radiation on dead leaves.
After a reactor at the Chernobyl nuclear plant exploded in 1986, people were evacuated from 4800 square
kilometres of the most heavily contaminated areas in Ukraine and neighbouring Belarus.
This "exclusion zone" became ahaven for wildlife and a dense boreal forest.
Nikolaos Evangeliou at the Norwegian Institute for Air Research and colleagues have analysed the impact of
forest fires in the region, and calculated their future frequency and intensity. To do so they fed satellite
images of real fires in 2002, 2008 and 2010, and measurements of radioactive caesium-137 deposited
on the area, to models of air movements and fires.
They estimate that of the 85 petabecquerels of radioactive caesium released by the Chernobyl accident,
between 2 and 8 PBq still lurk in the upper layer of soil in the exclusion zone. In another ecosystem this
might gradually fall with erosion or the removal of vegetation. But in these abandoned forests,
says Evangeliou, "trees pick up the radioactive ions, then dead leaves return it to the soil".

Radioactive smoke

The team calculates that the three fires released from 2 to 8 per cent of the caesium, some 0.5 PBq,
in smoke. This was distributed over eastern Europe, and detected as far south as Turkey and as far west
as Italy and Scandinavia.
"The simulation probably underestimates the potential risks," says Ian Fairlie, former head of the
UK government's radiation risk committee, who has studied the health impacts of Chernobyl.
That's because the estimate depends on the half-life the team assumed for Cs-137, he says,
and some investigators believe it is longer.
The team's calculated release would have given people in the nearby Ukrainian capital, Kiev, an average
dose of 10 microsieverts of radiation – 1 per cent of the permitted yearly dose. "This is very small," says
Tim Mousseau of the University of South Carolina at Columbia, a co-author of the study. "But these fires
serve as a warning of where these contaminants can go. Should there be a larger fire, quite a bit more
could end up on populated areas."
And the average dose isn't the problem. Some people will get much more, as fires dump radioactive
strontium, plutonium and americium as well as caesium unevenly, and as some foods concentrate these
heavy metals, for example caesium in mushrooms. "The internal dose from ingestion can be significant,"
says Mousseau. The resulting cancers might be hard to spot among many other less-exposed people.
"But they will be very significant for those who experience them."
Increased forest fires seem likely. The area is due to get drier, according to the Intergovernmental
Panel on Climate Change. The team found thatdroughts are already worsening forest fires in both area
and intensity, and those are predicted to worsen.
This may be down to a range of factors, including lack of management of the forests. Most forests are
managed by removing dead trees, clearing roads or cutting fire breaks but this isn't being done here.
Moreover, dead vegetation that fuels fires is accumulating at a rate that has doubled since 1986, the team says.

Insect killer?

This is partly because the radiation itself seems to inhibit the decay of leaf litter, perhaps because it kills
key insects or microorganisms. "We brought litter from an uncontaminated zone into a contaminated
area and found it decayed only half as fast," says Evangeliou.
The models predict peaks of forest fires between 2023 and 2036. By 2060, fires might continue, but much
of the radioactive fallout will have decayed away.
To cap it all, once a fire starts, local fire-fighters in Ukraine have seven times fewer crews and equipment per
1000 hectares than elsewhere in the country – a situation unlikely to improve given the ongoing conflict.
The UN Environment Programme is installing video surveillance for fires, but much of the forest is
inaccessible or slow to reach due to blocked roads. "It's like a jungle in there," says Evangeliou.
"This is clearly an important problem and one that applies also to Fukushima, where a significant amount
of forest land has been contaminated," says Keith Baverstock of the University of Eastern Finland in Kuopio,
formerly head of radiation protection at the World Health Organization's European office. "They have a very
valid point. The lack of management of forests, the apparently slower decay of vegetation exposed to
radiation, climate change leading to drought and the expansion of forested areas all contribute to increasing
the risk of forest fire and therefore further dispersal of long-lived radioactive nuclides."
The actual amount of radioactivity redistributed by the recent fires is about a tenth of what was deposited
on Europe in 1986, and its health effects are still a matter of debate among epidemiologists.
But long-lived emitters of radioactivity persist and accumulate, so any dose is bad news, says Mousseau.
"A growing body of information supports the idea that there is no threshold below which they have no effect."
Journal reference: Ecological Monographs, DOI: 10.1890/14-1227.1