Tag Archives: plant

Villagers raise protest heat

1 Apr

 

Trinidad and Tobago— Almost three weeks after discussing his concerns with several top Government Ministers, including Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar, about the proposed construction of a US$430 million CariSal Unlimited chlor-alkali/calcium chloride plant, environmental activist, Dr Wayne Kublalsingh, together with a small contingent of villagers, yesterday called on Government to explain why preliminary work had started at the Claxton Bay site.

Speaking to reporters after villagers staged a fiery and noisy placard demonstration in Pt Lisas, near an entrance road to the intended site, Kublalsingh said the activist group would also be having a “teleconference” meeting with the Inter-American Development Bank (IADB) which is funding the project) to discuss their concerns.

“We have a meeting next two weeks with the IADB. They are going to do some teleconferencing with us, they want to hear our concerns.

“So basically right now we have their loan for this project locked up,” Kublalsingh said.

“The reason why they can’t do anything at the moment is because they don’t have any money for it, so basically they did this (clear the site), was to save this institute because if they had waited any longer after March 17, they would have lost the certificate (of environmental clearance), and they would have had to reapply, so they just did a dig up here just for show, but they can’t do anything now.”

The villagers, some of whom bore placards which read “CariSal too Close and Save our Children”, burnt several tyres in an asphalt and dirt road leading to the proposed plant site.

To read full article go to source as cross-posted from here

Article by Richardson Dhalai

Protests Rising on Environmental Concern in China

20 Sep

By Bill Savadove

A major anti-pollution protest has forced the Chinese government to take swift action for the second time in as many months, spurred by a rising environment movement that is spreading online.

More than 500 residents living near a plant making solar panels protested for three days last week in the eastern city of Haining, forcing authorities to temporarily shut the factory, which belongs to the US-listed Jinko Solar.

The incident came just over a month after authorities in the northeastern city of Dalian agreed to relocate a chemical plant following similar protests, underscoring official concern over mounting public anger about pollution.

“Citizens, particularly a rising Chinese middle class, have become more aware about how deep the impact of environmental issues is to their health,” said Phelim Kine, senior Asia researcher for New York-based Human Rights Watch.

“They are no longer willing to take it passively.”

Protests against pollution are not new to China, as breakneck economic growth over the past three decades has caused severe degradation of air, land and water.

But the growth of social networking, in particular Twitter-like “weibo” or microblogs, has helped spread the word about environmental issues and mobilize protests against perceived polluters.

Wong Yiu-chung, a politics professor at Hong Kong’s Lingnan University, said the shutdown of plants in Haining and Dalian was directly linked to the rising power of the Internet.

To read full article go to source as cross-posted from here

Earthquake reignites debate over safety of nuclear power

24 Aug

cross-posted from The Hill

by Andrew Restuccia

Virginia’s largest earthquake in more than a century shook the East Coast on Tuesday and is likely to revive a long-standing debate about the safety of the country’s nuclear power plants.

The 5.8 magnitude earthquake caused the shutdown of two nuclear reactors at the North Anna Power Station in Louisa County, Va. The plant, which is located less than 20 miles from the epicenter of the quake, lost offsite power and was running its cooling systems on diesel generators Tuesday.

While there were no reports of damage at the North Anna reactors and plant operator Dominion said the cooling systems were working properly, nuclear opponents quickly pounced on the incident Tuesday.

They say the incident shows that U.S. nuclear reactors are vulnerable to major natural disasters and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission should move quickly to implement a series of sweeping regulatory changes recommended by a federal task force last month.

“The earthquake near the North Anna reactors clearly underscores the need for the rapid implementation of the recommendations of the NRC’s Fukushima task force,” said Tom Clements, southeastern nuclear campaign coordinator at Friends of the Earth, a group that has long been critical of nuclear power.

“This event affirms that reactors located outside active earthquake zones are also at risk and that increased steps to protect against earthquakes must be implemented at all sites. It is time to push aside industry and NRC foot-dragging and strengthen nuclear reactor safety regulations.”

Paul Gunter, director of reactor oversight at the group Beyond Nuclear, echoed Clements sentiments.

“Once again, Mother Nature is warning us that nuclear power is the most brittle of electrical power systems,” Gunter said.

The earthquake comes at a sensitive time for the NRC and the nuclear industry, which is dealing with the fallout from the March disaster at Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi power plant.

A task force mandated by President Obama in the aftermath of the Japanese disaster said in a report released last month that the NRC should make wide-ranging improvements to the its “existing patchwork of regulatory requirements and other safety initiatives.”

Read the rest of the article here.

Global Protests Against Burmese Military Actions At Dams

1 Jul

By Katy Yan and Grace Mang

Cross-posted from here

Kachins protest at the Chinese consulate in San Francisco

Last Friday, hundreds of people in the US, Denmark, United Kingdom, Malaysia, and elsewhere gathered to protest the recent deadly clashes between Burmese authorities and ethnic militias in Burma’s northern Kachin State. Standing before Burmese and Chinese embassies, Kachins held up signs calling for an end to the violence and a halt to dam building by Chinese companies  in Kachin State.

Fighting broke out in early June between the Burma Army and the Kachin Independence Organization (KIO) at the Dapein No. 1 and 2 dams, which are being constructed by China’s state-owned Datang Company, breaking a 17-year ceasefire. Scores of people have died and as many as 13,000 refugees have fled their homes, with many crossing into China. As of last Wednesday, about 18 women have been reported gang-raped by Burma Army soldiers in Kachin State, according to the Kachin Women’s Association Thailand.

 

Fishing on the Irrawaddy near the Myitsone Dam (Burma Rivers Network)

Chinese power companies and contractors are building a series of dams in northern Burma to supply electricity to China. The biggest and most controversial of these dams is the Myitsone Dam, a massive 3,600MW hydropower plant being built by China Power Investment and situated in an area of great cultural and ecological significance. The environmental impact assessment on this first dam on the Irrawaddy also expressed grave concerns.

In March, the KIO sent an open letter to the Chinese government calling for a halt to the project. It warned that, given the forced displacement, lack of transparency, and unequal distribution of benefits, this and other dam projects in Burma were likely to foster popular resentment, creating a risky situation for Chinese companies so close to its borders.

Chinese dams fueling conflicts in Kachin State (Kachins in California)

According to the Burma Rivers Network, the current conflict is “closely related to the dams. The government has sent in troops because it wants to gain control of a region that hosts major Chinese investments in hydropower.” Kachin State has till now been largely controlled by Kachin forces. 

Strong local resistance has also occurred in northern Shan State in an area where Burma, the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand, and a number of Chinese companies (China’s Sinohydro, China Three Gorges Group Corporation, and China Southern Power Grid) are planning a series of dams for the Salween River.

China now finds itself caught in the middle due to its desire for secure energy supplies from Burma and its fear of escalating conflict around its hydropower projects so close to its borders.

 

Japan to Release Radioactive Water into the Sea from Fukushima Nuclear Plant

4 Apr

Cross posted from NDT Television

On Monday, Tokyo Electric Power said it will release more than ten thousand tons of contaminated water from its crippled Fukushima nuclear plant.

The water will be released into the sea to free up more storage space for water that has much higher levels of radioactivity.

The water to be released is about one hundred times more radioactive than legal limits.

Japan’s Chief Cabinet Secretary says there is no other choice.

[Yukio Edano, Chief Cabinet Secretary]:
“We came to this conclusion because even though it is water containing radioactive particles, it is inevitable that we release it in to the sea.”

Japan’s Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency says the decision was taken because it was not harmful to humans and done in order to avert an even bigger danger.

[Hidehiko Nishiyama, Nuclear & Industrial Safety Agcy.]:
“As it is not harmful to people’s health and as it is necessary to avert an even bigger danger, we decided it was inevitable.”

Japanese engineers have been scrambling to prevent a meltdown since an earthquake and tsunami on March 11.

Letter Bomb Explodes at Swiss Nuclear Industry Office

3 Apr

March, 2011 cover of radical ecological Italian magazine Terra Selvaggia, attributed to the eco-anarchist group Il Silvestre


A letter bomb exploded at the offices of Swissnuclear in the northern town of Olten a spokesperson for the Swiss police said. “At about 8.15 am, while opening the letter, it exploded,” and injured two people.

A statement from the Italian Informal Anarchist Federation was found in the remains of the boobytrapped letter, Swiss federal prosecutor Carlo Bulletti said, quoted by the Swiss news agency ATS on Friday.

Authorities said the letter written in Italian was postmarked from abroad and referred to three eco-anarchists, Costantino Ragusa, Silvia Guerini, and Luca Bernasconi, connected with the group Il Silvestre detained in Switzerland in connection with an attempted bombing at the Swiss headquarters of IBM in Zurich. Il Silvestre opposes nanotechnology, biotechnology, the state and the military and publishes the magazine Terra Selvaggia.

On the same day, an Italian military officer was injured in an army barracks in the Italian port of Livorno by a letter bomb apparently sent by the same anarchist group.

The FAI has also claimed responsibility for a letter bomb sent to a Greek top security prison where a number of anarchists are incarcerated, Greek police said on Friday.

Thursday’s incident occurred near a Greenpeace demonstration outside the headquarters of Swiss power firm Alpiq, not far from the Swissnuclear office.

The group cancelled its demonstration following the explosion, distancing itself from the action.

“We distance ourselves with the greatest firmness from this explosion. Greenpeace has nothing to do with this attack,” Florian Kasser, who heads Greenpeace’s energy campaign in Switzerland, told AFP.

In a statement, Greenpeace said the demonstration was being held to demand Alpiq formally withdraw a request to build new nuclear power plants in Switzerland, which has suspended plans to replace its ageing reactors following Japan’s nuclear disaster.

In an interview with a Swiss newspaper, Heinz Karrer, who heads Swiss energy group Axpo, acknowledged that “at the moment, it is unthinkable to talk about another new nuclear power plant.”

Bulgarians Protest Russian-Backed Nuke Proposal

31 Mar

Hundreds of people joined an anti-nuclear protest in Sofia on Wednesday, calling for the government to drop plans for a new Russia-backed nuclear plant after the radiation disaster in Japan. About 300 protestors -- some wearing gas masks and radiation suits -- gathered outside the government headquarters to shout "No to Belene!" against the planned 2,000 megawatt facility on the Danube in northern Bulgaria. Many people at the rally had yellow radiation signs stamped on their jackets and carried slogans reading "Stop the Nuclear Bomb in Belene." In a declaration distributed to journalists, the organisers warned that "the Fukushima disaster showed that the nuclear industry had not learned the lessons of (the world?s worst nuclear accident in) Chernobyl."