Wednesday, 18 June 2014

Doctors Against Forced Organ Harvesting. A petition to the UN. China's secret state transplant business.

One of the most important petitions I think I have ever come across is the petition to the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, calling for the immediate end of forced organ harvesting from Falun Gong Practitioners in China.
Incidentally, this isn't just Falun Gong practitioners being persecuted, but other groups including Uighurs, Tibetans and house Christians.
The petition is open for you to add your support until November 30th 2014.  To quote from the DAFOH website, "Between July and December 2013, nearly a million and a half people from 50 different countries and regions signed the petition to call for an end to this unprecedented evil.  On December 13th the EU adopted an urgent resolution on organ harvesting in China."
There is a lot more information and the link to the petition on the DAFOH home page. There is also a very good video.
In May, the International Conference on Organ Transplantation took place in London and  Falon Gong practitioners in the UK gathered outside the conference venue in Westminster to raise public awareness of the way organ transplant operations are carried out in China and to collect signatures for the petition.
As well as the Doctors Against Forced Organ Harvesting website, there is more information and up to date news at the website of the International Coalition to End Organ Pillaging in China.  I would urge anyone who would like to really understand the issue and not be placated by official statements, to visit their news and articles section... I found them all to be very helpful... but especially the public lecture, given in the University of Toronto by David Matas, a lawyer who knows a great deal about  human rights violations in different countries, including China. The lecture is entitled "Flip flopping in China over sourcing organs from prisoners".
Thank you.

Sunday, 15 June 2014

You have to be joking..... You're not!

Thanks to an article by Alan Simpson, Labour MP for Nottingham South from 1992-2010, and published recently in the Morning Star, I discovered that EDF proposes to have company volunteers who will... 'go out into the community and schools to tell the story.'
Yes, on the streets... Hundreds of them, jogging.  "Their stated objective will be to 'normalise nuclear to consumers.' " He also, in the same article, explains briefly how the nuclear power industry uses Public Relations in relation to MPs. and it's a bit of an eye opener.
Frankly, the idea of hundreds of EDF volunteers jogging round the streets trying to normalise nuclear, strikes me as quite funny.  The company volunteers going into schools, does not.
A quick Google search for the EDF website, revealed that they have been offering the "Pod", a free programme for greener schools,...  to our educational establishments and according to the Met Office figures, posted I guess some time ago, this has been ongoing since 2008 and had more than 14,300 schools involved and over 3.7 million school children involved.  If you are wondering what the Met Office has to do with EDF, well, the web page I found had it neatly subtitled, "Education >> Collaboration >>  Working with EDF Energy."
Don't get me wrong, some of the things that they do are really good and they are "collaborating" with some excellent organisations. It reminds me of Monsanto's and Bayer's funding towards "National Pollinator Week" in the USA from June 16th to 22nd. The Organic Consumers Association would  appreciate it if you would share their article
 It also reminds me, perhaps unfairly, but then that's the way my memory works, of some research that the NIS (Nuclear Information Service) and Medact did over a two year period and made public in February. They found that over fifty British universities, that's over a third of British universities, receive funding from the Atomic Weapons Establishment, AWE. Although much of the work supported by AWE is "Blue sky" research and not aimed at any special application, some of it is considered to have"dual use" potential. This is the link:
In a following short blog post, which I found very helpful, they examined  AWE's own comments, which led them to this conclusion, "AWE aren't funding research in universities for philanthropic purposes: they're doing it because they think the results will be of use to Britain's nuclear weapons programme."
This means, the way I see it,  that even if you think you are going to be doing research purely for the good of humanity, there could be a horrible twist to it.  You can find out which universities are involved from the article and I shall be blogging about this again later!

Meanwhile back at EDF and their company volunteers, who, I gather, will be taking  "Talk Service " into schools:
"The concept is simple. Use the best advocates – our people – to talk to colleges, schools and other organisations in the communities where we work. The aim is to create open and honest dialogue and to help people understand more about the industry."
 Really? Well, if that's the case, perhaps it would be only fair, and in accordance with a balanced education, if the schools invited someone from CND or Greenpeace, or the local groups campaigning against new nuclear power plants or nuclear waste, to come along and give their views at the same time. Not, by the way, a troll in anti-nuclear clothing, but a genuine, clear thinking, moral activist.
Are children in Britain today taught to think for themselves, or is it "Don't rock the boat, we have to keep the sponsors happy." ?
Happily, across the Irish Sea, which is apparently the most radioactively polluted in the world, there are school students who seem to be very aware of the problems.  I don't think that EDF would cut any ice with the then 14 to 17 year olds who made "Nuclear Winter" an animated film which was given a special recognition award at the recent International Uranium Film Festival in Rio de Janeiro. 
"A ship dumps its cargo of nuclear waste in the Artic, stirring something strange up from the depths".
Wow! (Scroll down a few films to find it... but worth the trip.)

Friday, 30 May 2014

Rio's International Uranium Film Festival 2014 announces winners.

Thirteen atomic documentaries and movies from eleven countries were awarded five Yellow Oscars and eight Special Recognitions at a ceremony held in the Modern Art Museum Cinematique. What an array of films to choose from, though; more than sixty movies, documentaries and animations from over twenty countries! This is the link to the winners:
The good news, for me, is that although the festival is over, the films are archived and you can find trailers and whole films under 'past IUFF's' and look at them again, at the website of the International Uranium Film Festival. The festival also travels to different countries around the world. I'd love to write about them all tonight, but at least I can reference them and write about them in future posts. It's one thing saying " Do you remember that bit in the film where...." and another to be able to say "Here's the link to..." and let people who may never have seen it, understand what is so important about it.
So "Thank you" to the directors of the film festival and their team and "Thank you" again to all the people who made the films.
A complete "First" for me was the use of sand animation in a beautiful tribute to the children of Chornobyl by Kseniya Simonova, called "Eternal Tears"
As a child she grew up in a seaside resort in the south of Ukraine on the Black sea, where children came from Chornobyl  after the accident....but let her tell you about it, herself, in this moving little film.
What struck me as especially poignant, although she didn't mention it, was that the the clouds of radio-active contamination from the accident would probably have blown over the very place she was living as they crossed the Black Sea on their way to Turkey and other European countries.

Sunday, 18 May 2014

Common knowledge

On May 15th, in Rio de Janeiro  hundreds of people took part in a march against the alleged corruption surrounding the building and re-vamping of the world cup football stadiums and against their huge cost, in a country where the money could have been spent on services to the people. There were protests in other cities as well.
I like the fact that the Brazilian people, who are famous as a nation of football lovers, have the courage and insight to stand up for what is really important.
Not far away, in the same city, in the Modern Art Museum, Flamengo Park, more uncomfortable truths were being aired on the second day of  the International Uranium Film Festival.
This festival is unique, gathering together films from around the world by filmmakers who have the courage to make films about the nuclear industry process from uranium mining, to atomic bombs and nuclear waste. These films are often made with risk to the film makers themselves.  They can show the real picture of what people are suffering .. they tell the truth about wind-born radioactive particles and the contaminated food chain... Sometimes the films are short animations and darkly humorous; sometimes they are fictional; sometimes, documentary. 
Somewhere, they take the facts from being common knowledge to a small community of people to becoming open knowledge in the global community. When you know that the water you have to give your children to drink is contaminated, you probably want the rest of the world to know why.
I strongly recommend reading the descriptions of the films, the directors' statements and watching some of the films or the trailers, which there are links to.  The progamme and notes made compulsive reading for me and left me humbler and wiser.  This is the link 
or go directly to the festival's brilliant website  and follow their direct link to the programme.


Sunday, 4 May 2014

Brilliant short trailer for International Uranium Film Festival - Worth going viral.

This is a link to the trailer for the International Uranium Film Festival. I think it is absolutely brilliant! (It's very short). 
The festival is held in Rio de Janeiro a few weeks before the FIFA world cup football.
Also  promoted on Nuclear-News

Saturday, 3 May 2014

Red sand from the Sahara

A few weeks ago a mixture of fine red sand and dust blew into Britain  from the Sahara.  It travelled thousands of miles before it landed and, within a few days, there were people complaining of grit in their eyes and warnings were put out for anyone with respiratory difficulties. Schools in affected areas were advised to keep children indoors during lunch and playtime.
Apparently, once lifted from the ground by strong winds, clouds of dust can reach very high altitudes and be transported worldwide, covering thousands of miles.  The U.K. met office gave an elegant description and put up a short video of the route the dust took..
I read that dust from the Sahara has been blown as far as Florida, five thousands miles away.
As usual, this set me thinking.
We know that the sand was there, because we could see it, feel it, cough it, sneeze it. It was definitely there. We also know that one of the ways radioactive particles can travel is in dust blown into the air and carried in the same way as the sand. We can't see them and we may not know that they are doing us any harm until years later, but there they are, hitching a lift in a dust storm and no passport control can keep them out.
This week Mochizuki posted in Fukushima Diary that 10,000,000 Bq of Cesium-134/137 are emitted from 4 crippled reactors every single hour
 I don't think that the radioactivity is just going to stay around Fukushima. Meanwhile, you can understand why some parents who actually live in the area are unhappy about letting their children play outside.
How do you find out about what's really happening to people affected by the nuclear power chain?  One way is from films. From May 14th  to May25th, the International Uranium Film Festival in Rio De Janeiro is showing films chosen from all those submitted, at the Modern Art Museum. 
It's the place to go, but if like me, you can't get there, the festival has a  great website and, from past experience, once the films go up, you can learn a lot about them. They also have a good archive of films, and one of them is Abita  a short animated film about children who can't play outside because of the radioactive contamination. It's about their dreams and realities and you can watch it at this link.:  
Abita is a beautifully told story, full of poetry and imagery. I just wish it hadn't had to be made.

Tuesday, 1 April 2014

The EU consultation on state aid for the proposed new nuclear power plant, Hinkley Point C. Quick copy and paste submission. Closed 7/4/2014

 The consultation closed 7/4/2014.  THANK YOU to everyone who wrote in.

This is the submission done by Global 2000 ,which they say you are welcome to copy and paste  - Just add your name, email  address and the date at the end.  Send to  
You don't have to send it all and if there are any other points you want to raise, the scruffily put together facts in my last blog might be useful. There are some good links there too.

To: EU Commission - Directorate-General for Competition

Subject: Hinkley Point C
I am very concerned about the current plans of the UK government to make a new nuclear power plant possible by granting enormous support for it.
We would like to encourage the EU Commission to stick to its clear analysis, because we as CITIZENS/ NGOS/ BUSINESS in the UK do not want to be forced into paying a fixed high electricity price to EDF for several decades, with no chance of the possibly of making use of lower electricity prices.
It does not seem fair to me, that one type of energy receives this amount of support in addition to the fact that EDF would get this size of contract without even having had to win a tender, because EDF simply received this deal competition-free.
The supplier AREVA became known in the past years for having severe problems with the construction of its “flagship reactor” EPR on time: The ongoing cost increases! Delay of completion is ongoing both at Olkiluoto and Flamanville, so it cannot be expected that EDF would complete the EPR reactors at Hinkley according to schedule. The delay at the Finnish site Olkiluoto is already 5 years, Areva was reported as having left the construction site a month ago, so no new reliable date is known.
There are many more possibilities to secure the electricity supply for the UK. It does not enhance energy diversity and independent supply if the enormous amount of up to £17 billion in public subsidies is spent on two units of EPR.
We are convinced that the state aid for Hinkley Point C would be at the expense of other energy forms in the UK, because the money set aside for the support of low-carbon projects up to 2020 (counterparty body) will be spent mostly on the new NPP.
The Carbon Connect report[1] shows that the investors can expect bigger returns on the Hinkley project than with comparable projects thus proving that the Hinkley Point C project would not only receive state-aid, but to such a high level, that it is over-compensation.  Furthermore the EU Commission made clear that the existence of market failure need be doubted, because in Finland and in France the reactors were ordered without granting state aid as is now planned for Hinkley.   The UK government’s plan for the next NPP, is utterly incomprehensible to us, because the EU Commission characterized the chosen financing model (CfD – Contracts for Difference) with the following words:
…the CfD is conceived to entirely eliminate market risks from the commercial activity of electricity generation, for a period of time, the initial 35 years of operations of the plant.”
This is an extreme preference for one type of electricity generation, one specific project of one specific investor, which we believe the EU Commission will not see as compatible with the rules of the Common market.
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