Radioactive Waste Wars Heat Up in the Permian Basin; Article on Mary Osborn
Beyond Nuclear Bulletin
February 22, 2024

Film's Message Applies Today
Fifty years ago, on February 22, 1974, a young man toppled a weather tower erected by a nuclear company planning to build a nuclear reactor in his community of Montague, Massachusetts. In doing so, Sam Lovejoy had broken the law. But, as the historian Howard Zinn testified at Lovejoy’s subsequent trial, when grievances become too deep, people sometimes have to “commit civil disobedience in order to dramatize something that was happening.” A film — Sam Lovejoy’s Nuclear War, viewable free on YouTube — tells his story. You can also hear an interview with Lovejoy on NPR’s Here and Now. Activists continue to draw attention to nuclear dangers and the climate crisis with acts of civil disobedience just as Lovejoy did half a century earlier.

Indigenous Peoples' Human Rights

The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights of the Organization of American States will hold a historic thematic hearing in Washington, D.C. on Wed., Feb. 28 at 11am ET. Members of the Navajo Nation, Ute Nation and Oglala Lakota Nation will testify on the impacts of uranium exploitation on the human rights of Indigenous Peoples in the United States. As the United States doubles down on the misguided notion that nuclear power is a solution to the climate crisis, the uranium development industry is beginning to benefit from generous taxpayer giveaways to the nuclear industry as a whole. The hearing can be attended in person, or viewed at IACHR’s website or YouTube channel.

Three Mile Island Botanist Passed on 2/19
Eric Epstein, executive director of Three Mile Island Alert (TMIA), shared with us the sad news that Mary Osborn has passed on. Mary was a long time member of TMIA. She gathered flowers, leaves and plants that show signs of mutations that reveal the negative impact of radiation on their growth and reproduction since shortly after the 1979 meltdown. Her full collection has been accepted by the Smithsonian Institution to be preserved, digitized, and made available to the public. Mary helped preserve and tell the truth about Three Mile Island, including at numerous conferences across the country (in Harrisburg PA, Chicago IL, and elsewhere), and in major media interviews.
Six years ago, Mary was diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease. She had suffered a stroke, and hadn’t walked in 15 months. Her sister is relieved that Mary’s suffering is over and she’s at peace. Mary’s daughter Leslie is handling the arrangements.


Permian Basin Dumps Under Fire
On Feb. 18, the Wall Street Journal published a lengthy article entitled "The War Over Burying Nuclear Waste in America’s Busiest Oil Field: Plans to store
used nuclear fuel in the Permian Basin could boost the nuclear sector but are opposed by oil-and-gas producers." The article featured a photo of Danny Berry, a rancher very near the Holtec site in New Mexico targeted for the world's largest high-level radioactive waste dump. He and his family are Beyond Nuclear members and supporters, who have provided us with legal standing to challenge the dump in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, with oral arguments on March 5.
And on Feb. 20, the Permian Basin Coalition put out a press release announcing that Andrews County, Texas passed a resolution banning highly-radioactive Greater-Than-Class-C "low-level" radioactive waste. The county has joined the coalition in opposing the plans of Waste Control Specialists and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

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