Indymedia: 2010 was the year of the anti-nuclear movement in Germany
2010 was the year of the anti-nuclear movement in Germany. Not since the catastrophic Chernobyl meltdown 25 years ago were there as many people on German streets protesting against nuclear power production as in 2010. More than 360,000 objected to the government’s extending the operating lives of atomic power stations. But they went ahead regardless against the will of a majority of the population. Clapped out reactors will be allowed to run for years more, while the nuclear waste mountain grows constantly with no solution in sight. So have we lost? No. Because since the brutal suppression of dissent against a new underground railway station in Stuttgart, and another transport of waste to Gorleben for storage there’s another question in the air: democracy. For how long can a government legitimise itself while consciously acting against its own people? For how long can state powers hold the line when police are pushed on to the defensive by mass protests? And finally even call into question their deployment in the service of those governing? In Gorleben the limits were reached. And that can’t go well for long. The government cannot run this escalation course for much longer and is looking for ways out. Environment minister Röttgen travels to Gorleben and speaks of the “start of a dialogue”. Sweden's Nuclear Reactor Stops Again
Sweden's reactor 3 in Oskarshamn on Wednesday was forced to close down again, the Swedish Daily newspaper Svenska Dagbladet reported. "The third reactor in Oskarshamn's nuclear power plant stopped again at lunch time on Wednesday," the report said. The reactor is the one which has most problems in recent years. It stopped before Christmas and started again after the festival. The problem this time was a reduced pressure in the reactor's inside stop part. It is not clear how serious the problem is, but according to information officer Per Sangrud, it can resume operation again on Saturday. "The investigation into the problem is underway," he said. According to the UN nuclear body IAEA, the Swedish nuclear power plant in 2009 stopped the most times in the world.

Brattleboro Reformer: VY tritium extraction continues
BRATTLEBORO -- Extraction of tritiated water from the ground beneath Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant in Vernon was restarted on Dec. 30. The contaminated water is being extracted from two new wells close to the Connecticut River. "The new wells are located where our hydrological analysis showed tritium was present and heading toward the river," said Larry Smith, Yankee’s director of communications. The extraction was restarted after then Gov.-elect Peter Shumlin toured the plant on Dec. 17 and requested that Entergy, which owns and operates the plant, continue to draw the tritiated water from out of the ground. Prior to Shumlin’s request, the Vermont Department of Health had encouraged continuing groundwater extraction to remove as much tritium contamination as possible.

The Windsor Star: Wind power is healthy
If we take seriously the protection of human health we have to phase out coal and nuclear-powered electricity. Coal kills hundreds of Ontarians and triggers over 120,000 illnesses (e. g., asthma attacks) annually. It is also the most climate-destructive fuel around, emitting twice as much carbon as natural gas does. Whether the issue is respiratory disease or global warming, coal is a catastrophe. But nuclear is extremely unhealthy as well. A scientific review by the Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment found all functioning reactors release radioactive materials on a routine basis. Nuclear proliferators get the last laugh
Seven years after the U.S. government proclaimed victory over the rogue Pakistani scientist A.Q. Khan, the seeds of catastrophe he sowed are still sprouting worldwide. Iran's march toward an atomic bomb? We have Khan's nuclear trafficking network to thank. North Korea's continuing development of nuclear weapons? Again, Khan's doing. Despite putting the world's most dangerous weapons in the hands of the world's most dangerous regimes, not one participant in Khan's network is in jail today. Even the mastermind himself, too powerful for his own government to imprison, was allowed the comfort of house arrest, and now even that has ended. Instead of a strong message of deterrence, shutting down the atomic bazaar resulted in an unseemly mercy for its perpetrators and a new form of cyber proliferation.

Focus Taiwan: Start date for commercial operation of nuclear power plant postponed
Taipei, Jan. 6 (CNA) The date for the fourth nuclear power plant to begin commercial operations will be pushed back another year, mainly due to problems with the plant's instrumentation and control system, the state-owned Taiwan Power Company (Taipower) said Thursday. Work on the No. 1 generator at the plant is almost finished and it is being tested, the company said. The No.1 generator was scheduled to begin commercial operations on Dec. 15, 2011, and the No. 2 generator in December 2012. However, Taipower Chairman Chen Kuei-ming said in a meeting of the Legislative Yuan's Economics Committee that the No. 1 generator probably will not begin commercial operations until late 2012 because there are still some problems with its instrumentation and control system that have not yet been fixed. This marks the fifth time that the date for commercial operation of the fourth nuclear power plant has been postponed. According to Minister of Economic Affairs Shih Yen-shiang, Taipower's expenditure will increase by NT$400 million to NT$600 million for every month that the opening of the plant is delayed. Chen promised that his company will keep the expenditure from the latest delay within NT$10 billion.

Sydney Morning Herald: Yellowcake shipment bogged on the side of the road
THE bogging of a semi-trailer loaded with uranium oxide in Kakadu National Park has highlighted the danger of transporting the dangerous material long distances by road, conservationists say. None of the material, known as yellowcake, that was contained in 200-litre drums in two shipping containers, leaked on Wednesday when the semi-trailer became bogged on the side of the Arnhem Highway. The driver had pulled over to allow a wide-load truck to pass about 20 kilometres from the long-troubled Ranger uranium mine. But Dave Sweeney, nuclear campaigner for the Australian Conservation Foundation, said the incident showed the dangers associated not only with the Ranger mine but also with the federal government's proposal to build the first national nuclear waste dump on a remote cattle station 120 kilometres north of Tennant Creek in central Australia. "This a wake-up call for federal resources minister Martin Ferguson, who appears to be hell-bent on pushing the Muckaty proposal," Mr Sweeney said. Under the proposal, radioactive waste from cities will be transported thousands of kilometres to the dump on Muckaty Station. The waste has been accumulating for more than 50 years.

Yonhap News Agency: U.S. urges North Korea to take irreversible steps for denuclearization
WASHINGTON, Jan. 6 (Yonhap) -- U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton Thursday urged North Korea to stop provocations and take steps toward nuclear dismantlement before the resumption of multilateral nuclear talks suspended for two years over the North's provocations.   "We are determined to move forward, to end the provocative behavior, and to once again focus on the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula," Clinton told reporters after a meeting with Japanese Foreign Minister Seiji Maehara. Clinton was referring to North Korea's shelling of a front-line island and sinking of a South Korean warship last year, which have raised tensions in the Korean Penunsila to the highest level in decades. Mark Toner, deputy spokesman for the State Department, reinforced Clinton's theme. Toner urged the North to "take irreversible steps to denuclearize, as well as living up to its commitments in the 2005 joint communique," saying, "We're not going to have talks for talks' sake." North Korea earlier this week called for unconditional dialogue with South Korea.