Top Nuclear Stories for 2012

International Stories







Anti-nuclear bigotry of Western allies
US unleashes computer (Stuxnet) virus into Iran’s enrichment system



  • 1st Anniversary of Fukushima News Coverage
  • Japan’s Diet releases independent investigation of Fukushima (regulators owned by industry)
  • Concern about Unit 4 spent fuel pond collapse
  • LDP wins election – reversing push to keep reactors closed nationwide
  • Radiation Impacts – Media censorship worldwide
  • Weekly Protests in front of PM offices
  • National debate over future of nuclear power – most opposed to reopenin
  • New Radiation Proof Robot for Fukushima Gets Stage Fright (freezes)


Middle East

US kills UN meeting to create a Nuclear Free Zone in Middle East
Nuclear development slows down across middle east



UN – global promotion of expanded use of electricity in 3rd world countries

United Kingdom

Vietnam – Continues push with help of Japan to plan for nuclear reactor development


US Stories


  • Obama Blue Ribbon Commission’s N-waste solution: Same Old Same Old
  • Plan to construct an interim High Level Waste (HLW) facility at Skull Valley Utah collapses
  • Renewable energy becomes largest source of new energy production in the USA
  • Whistleblower warns of disastrous potential of flooding at reactors
  • Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s (NRC) Chair Jaczko forced to resign
  • Climate Change warnings: Hurricane Sandy and Oyster Creek flooding
  • Federal court rules against NRC on failure to evaluate HLW onsite storage
  • Continued construction of new fuel cycle infrastructures from mining, MOX and centrifuges
  • Controversial fracking of Natural Gas is pricing nuclear power out of the market
  • The danger to nuclear reactors from Computer Viruses (Stuxnet), where attackers could end up taking down the grid, or cause a nuclear meltdown.
  • General Electric Mark 1 nuclear reactors contain beyond life expectancy, antiquated electronic components, as disclosed by the NRC at Browns Ferry Alabama.
  • Department of Energy (DOE) is attempting to dump radioactively contaminated metals into the consumer market.
  • Peace Activists break through (DOE) security systems at Y-12 facility at Oak Ridge Tennessee
  • Utilities nationwide could be forced to cover Crystal River containment crisis

Alabama – Local Tennessee River Valley group, BEST/MATRR, calls for radionuclide emissions from nuclear reactors to be marked by dye markers at the point of emission.

Alabama – GE defective component caused a control room fire at the Browns Ferry #1 reactor control room in January of 2012.

California – San Onofre Steam Generator failures and year long battle to keep reactors closed
California – Diablo Canyon Sonic 3d Testing push by PG&E stopped by public
California – DOE cleanup scandals and NIF development delays

Florida – Duke and FPL merger scandal
Florida – Crystal River containment repairs could cost up to $3.4 billion to fix

Idaho – Green River nuclear facility continues to push ahead gaining major water rights on Colorado tributary

Iowa – Construction Work in Progress legislation fails to pass

Georgia – Vogtle construction delays and cost over runs grow

Maryland – Dominion/EDF merger failure

New York – Battle to close Indian Point continues

Vermont – Legal battle and protests to close Vermont Yankee continue

Virginia – Push to start uranium mining

Wisconsin – Kewaunee Power Station to close due to cheap Natural Gas

The editor: The New Year is traditionally a time to reflect back on the last year, and make resolutions for the one to come.  I used to put one of these annual reviews together for many years, but had stopped by 2010 due to health problems and what appeared to be a growing disinterest in the issue.  I nearly didn’t do it this time for the same reason.  2012 started out with a major burst in global interest, but ended with the painful election news out of in Japan.  To say the least, it has been an incredibly busy and important year.

This issue is a tough one.  I can remember the days when any news was incredibly rare, especially prior to the days of information overload and the internet.  Back then, it was clear that the mainstream media was all about promoting nuclear energy as its chief weapon was its refusal to cover its own failures or the scope of opposition that exists worldwide.  This kind of outright censorship among other tactics of misinformation has long played a major role in attempts to demoralize opposition campaigns.

Reflections – I’m sorry that I personally didn’t stand up firmer last year in warning of the dangers of information overload and what has happened with Facebook.  At its peak, I was registering over 5,000 posts a month on the largest site, with others not far behind.  How could anyone in their right mind not burnout over time with such a huge bombardment of content!  One of those groups, which had over 7,000 members is now down to a few people.  Some of us should have known better and been calling for a shift in how online technology like Facebook could have, and should have been used.  The nuclear issue is not the only problem we face as individuals and as societies around the world.

Organizing for a Nuclear Free Earth

Its not easy to motivate just anyone in such an era when the nuclear industry itself can rely on immense amounts of institutional support to promote itself.  Since when have we ever seen a single historic review of the role anti-nuclear battles, either won or lost by a single media outlet, unless you consider Wikipedia.

It has long been known that its very hard to merely be against something, no matter what the reason, especially when the other side has billions of dollars at its disposal.  We know that the industry believes that it is merely has to wait out this negative trend in public opinion, having spent record sums to make sure politicians worldwide know the score etc.

When the long term goal is large and global consequences beyond comprehension, sometimes it helps to set up a series of short term goals.  The so-called “renaissance” is clearly dead for now, but as climate change issues grow, we can expect a messianic resurgence of greedy chatter.   If only it wasn’t true that we are now facing several decades of old reactors, each with thousands of miles of aging wires and plumbing systems, corroding steal barriers and growing economic pressures to cut corners, that include tactics to hide the unsolved waste issues or cleanup problems globally caused by ever more intrusive mining techniques.  We know their grand plan.  The US and the global banking community have all been engaged in the agenda of creating a new era of mega nuclear companies that would be too big to fail.

Most of the largest environmental groups in the US have long been bought off on this issue.  Maybe its time to focus on cleaning out the corrupt internal politics of membership based groups that are now more concerned with their bottom line than what’s happening to the planet.

For the longest time we’ve had a hard time convincing others about this issue because of the short term mindset that forces us all to prioritize.  As Fukushima recedes into the past as will concerns,  it will be up to those of us that know better to take the wisdom and skills forward.  This isn’t just about being able to flip a switch so that you can watch your favorite TV show anymore.


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