It is now 2.5 minutes to midnight. Words matter when Trump speaks of nuclear weapons, climate.

Thank you to Scott Stapf of the Hastings Group's Tweet, calling attention to the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists' (BAS) historic announcement regarding its iconic Dooms Day Clock -- by setting the Clock at two and a half minutes to midnight, BAS has pegged the current danger to people and the planet -- from nuclear weapons, climate change, and other technological threats such as cyber attacks -- at the same level as 1953, when the U.S. and U.S.S.R. first began exchanging hydrogen bomb test blasts, in the earliest days of the Cold War nuclear arms race.

Watch the BAS press conference, held today at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C.

Note that one BAS speaker pointed to cyber attacks impacting the grid -- and highlighting the potentially catastrophic risks to nuclear power plants as a case in point (atomic reactors, and their high-level radioactive waste storage pools, depend on the electric grid for its primary source of electricity to run safety and cooling systems), another BAS speaker gave nuclear power as a hopeful example of positive technological development that could make the world a better place. Beyond Nuclear very much disagrees with the latter assertion, of course.

The Washington Post has reported on this story. Two of the BAS speakers at the press conference above, Lawrence M. Krauss and David Titley, have published an op-ed at the New York Times entitled "Thanks to Trump, the Doomsday Clock Advances toward Midnight."

(There are those who think the BAS Doomsday Clock is too optimistic. See the film Thirty Seconds to Midnight -- The Final Wake Up Call, posted online at YouTube. It features Dr. Helen Caldicott, Beyond Nuclear's founding president.) More.


Nuclear Free Future: Loss of Institutional Control

As featured on Nuclear-Free Future on Channel 17/Town Hall Meeting TV in Burlington, VT. (Watch the recording of the 30-minute episode, "Loss of Institutional Control," here.)

Host Margaret Harrington speaks with Kevin Kamps, Radioactive Waste Watchdog at Beyond Nuclear, about nuclear weapons and nuclear power issues facing the Trump Administration.

Kevin Kamps zeroes in on issues faced by the Trump administration regarding nuclear weapons and nuclear power in the United States and globally. There is the 75 year buildup of nuclear waste which is the legacy of the Cold War. That is stored at WIPP, the Waste Isolation Pilot Program in Carlsbad, New Mexico. There is the Savannah River Site in South Carolina, where radioactive turtles and alligators swim in waters that flow into drinking water sources. There are irradiated nuclear fuel containers at every atomic reactor site in the United States. Then there is the disaster zone of Fukushima Daiichi, Japan where nuclear waste sits in plastic garbage bags.


Nuclear fiddling while the planet burns

Our Counterpunch column is a warning that our money will be squandered on pipe dreams and pipelines. The nuclear pipedream has gone on for decades and still there are NO Gen IV or Small Modular Reactors out there. We must act now on climate change and redirect funding to renewables.

"There is a climate crisis upon us. Polar ice is melting. Sea level rise is happening. Time is running out. Emergency solutions are the only option — energy supplies that can come on fast and sustainably.

Sadly, some in the U.S. Congress would rather bury their heads in radioactive quicksand, sinking our money into nuclear energy research at national laboratories that have sought but failed to find illusory atomic answers for decades.

The House and Senate are re-introducing near identical versions of the “Nuclear Energy Innovation Capabilities Act of 2017,” which promises to throw our money down the nuclear rabbit hole rather than direct major funding to renewable energy solutions that are already addressing climate change quickly and effectively but should be supported and accelerated before it’s too late."

Read the full opinion column.


Will Rick Perry Privatize America's Nuclear Waste Storage?

As reported at Mother Jones. See Beyond Nuclear's exposé on Energy Secretary-nominee Rick Perry's blatant conflict of interest with Waste Control Specialists, LLC, published at Counterpunch. Take action ASAP -- sign multiple petitions, and contact your two U.S. Senators, urging them to block Perry's confirmation! Also, submit comments to the U.S. Department of Energy, opposing private permanent parking lot dumps for high-level radioactive waste!


Beyond Nuclear and allies petition NRC to halt nuclear plants with potentially defective parts

Beyond Nuclear, a national anti-nuclear advocacy group, along with co-petitioners from around the United States, have requested that the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) take emergency enforcement action at U.S nuclear power plants that AREVA notified may be operating with potentially defective large components. The parts were manufactured and imported from France’s Le Creusot Forge and are at the center of an international nuclear safety controversy. 

The 17 affected units at U.S. nuclear power plant sites were confirmed by AREVA to the NRC in an attachment to a December 15, 2016 letter.  

The at-risk reactors and components are: Reactor Pressure Vessels: Prairie Island 1 & 2 (MN) (pictured); Replacement Reactor Pressure Vessel Heads: Arkansas Nuclear One 2 (AR), Beaver Valley 1 (PA), North Anna 1 & 2 (VA), and Surry 1 (VA); Steam Generators: Beaver Valley 1 (PA), Comanche Peak 1 (TX), V.C. Summer (SC), Farley 1 & 2 (AL), South Texas 1 & 2 (TX), Sequoyah 1 (TN) and Watts Bar 1 (TN), and; Reactor Steam Pressurizers: Millstone 2 (CT) and Saint Lucie 1 (FL). 

The groups’ petition to the agency requests that power operations at the 17 affected U.S. reactors be suspended pending thorough inspection and material testing of the at-risk components.  The request follows on the public release of a December 7, 2016 Areva communication to the NRC and its listed U.S. customers notifying them of potential defective components and non-compliance from the Le Creusot Forge.