Archive for August, 2013

Perhaps the Speech that sealed Martin Luther King’s Death

Saturday, August 24th, 2013
A Time to Break Silence –Beyond Vietnam
Delivered one year to the day of his assassination

audio and written transcript of the speech at the link below

By Rev. Martin Luther King

Jim Albertini Malu ‘Aina Center For Non-violent Education & Action P.O. Box AB Ola’a (Kurtistown) Hawai’i 96760 Phone 808-966-7622 Email Visit us on the web at

What about Government War Crimes?

Wednesday, August 21st, 2013

Travesty of Justice

Army private Bradley Manning sentenced to 35 years in prison for whistleblowing

Ben Wizner, director of the American Civil Liberties Union’s Speech, Privacy & Technology Project:

When a soldier who shared information with the press and public is punished far more harshly than others who tortured prisoners and killed civilians, something is seriously wrong with our justice system.

Statement by the Center for Constitutional Rights:

We are outraged that a whistleblower and a patriot has been sentenced on a conviction under the Espionage Act. The government has stretched this archaic and discredited law to send an unmistakable warning to potential whistleblowers and journalists willing to publish their information. We can only hope that Manning’s courage will continue to inspire others who witness state crimes to speak up.

Statement by Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, in part:

The only just outcome in Mr Manning’s case is his unconditional release, compensation for the unlawful treatment he has undergone, and a serious commitment to investigating the wrongdoing his alleged disclosures have brought to light.

Widney Brown, Senior Director of International Law and Policy at Amnesty International:

Bradley Manning acted on the belief that he could spark a meaningful public debate on the costs of war, and specifically on the conduct of the US military in Iraq and Afghanistan. His revelations included reports on battlefield detentions and previously unseen footage of journalists and other civilians being killed in US helicopter attacks, information which should always have been subject to public scrutiny.

Public advocate Ralph Nader posted this message on his Facebook page:

Clemency is the next call for Bradley Manning by his legions of supporters from all political backgrounds. He has suffered enough.

It is dangerous to be right in matters on which the established authorities are wrong.” -Voltaire

Free Bradley Manning!

Blowing the Whistle on War Crimes is NOT a Crime!

1. Mourn all victims of violence. 2. Reject war as a solution. 3. Defend civil liberties. 4. Oppose all discrimination, anti-Islamic, anti-Semitic, anti-Hawaiian, etc. 5. Seek peace through justice in Hawai`i and around the world.
Malu `Aina Center for Non-violent Education & Action P.O. Box AB Kurtistown, Hawai`i 96760.
Phone (808) 966-7622.  Email

Hilo Peace Vigil leaflet (August 23, 2013– 622nd week) – Friday 3:30-5PM downtown Post Office

Great protest at HELCO today: No More Geothermal

Monday, August 19th, 2013

Aug. 19, 2013 No More Geothermal protest at HELCO, Hilo, Hawaii

A videographer walked the line and counted 442 people standing in protest on both sides of the street fronting HELCO today from 10AM- till noon today.  I haven’t seen that many Puna folks out since the rainforest protest in 1990.   It was a lively gathering, including drumming, chants, and lots of creative signs. People actually marched more than 20 miles from Pahoa to Hilo over 3 days, including many senior citizens. The final leg today had about 200 coming in from Panaewa/Puainako.  Organizers did a great job.  They delivered a petition to HELCO CEO Jay Ignacio with over 3400 signatures.  This was a big event for Hilo.  The response from cars passing by was enthusiastic.  HELCO is not loved.  There should be coverage in the Trib tomorrow.  HELCO and the powers that be better take this seriously.  If they push forward with more geothermal there is likely to be large scale non-violent civil disobedience, similar to what helped stop the destruction of the Wao Kele O Puna rainforest by 500MW of geothermal energy planned there.

“We want Hawaii Electric Light Company (HELCO) to stop its contract for new geothermal development on the Island of Hawaii, because the contract was excluded from the utility company’s recent public planning effort, and previous geothermal sites on this island have been notoriously unsafe, unclean, and poorly regulated.’

Petition Background

Prior geothermal activity in the Pohoiki area of the Island of Hawai`i has caused serious community harm, resulting in successful lawsuits by more than 100 residents. Hawaii Electric Light Company’s present effort to contract for new geothermal development without considering the community’s concerns is unreasonable and should be stopped.

For further information please visit

Jim Albertini Malu ‘Aina Center For Non-violent Education & Action P.O. Box AB Ola’a (Kurtistown) Hawai’i 96760 Phone 808-966-7622 Email

March on HELCO to Protect Puna from More Geothermal Development

Friday, August 16th, 2013
March on HELCO
Sponsored by Puna Pono Alliance:

The March on HELCO will start at 10:00 am this Saturday, August 17th in front of Pahoa High School.   Then proceed along the Mauka side of Highway 130 to the Shower Dr./Pohaku Drive where there will be a campsite.  8.5miles

On the second day of the March on HELCO, Sunday August 18th we will start walking along the Mauka side of Highway 130 toward Kea’au.  We will be walking on the Mauka side of the Highway to Puainako Street where there will be a campsite. 9.4miles
On the last day of the March on HELCO Monday August 19th at 10:00 am we will walk down Highway 11 toward to HELCO Offices a 1200 Kilauea Avenue in Hilo Hawaii.  (across from the Hilo Shopping Center).
There are plans to have a sign waving demonstration  already in progress so we will be walking to join them and gather in front of HELCO to present our petition asking HELCO to please stop the RFP. 2.2 miles.
Come join your neighbors for ‘some or all the march’ and help protect Puna from More Geothermal Development
Marchers – Your gear and supplies will be transported to the camp site by the Transportation Committee Members.  The Camp site will be prepared and broken down by the Camp Site Committee Members.
Food will be provided by the food committee with your generous donations.
Hope to see you there and we could use all the help you can give.  Please contact Steve Sparks at
(808) 339 1193 or
The March is pet free and drug and alcohol free.
We will rally at Helco at 11am to hand the petition to HELCO CEO J Ignacio ….please be there to show Puna Cares and wants a clean green Puna for our children and grand children.

Global Fukushima Nightmare!

Friday, August 16th, 2013

Insight: After disaster, the deadliest part of Japan‘s nuclear clean-up By Aaron Sheldrick and Antoni Slodkowski

TOKYO | Tue Aug 13, 2013 10:16pm EDT

Above the Fold content, 8/14

(Reuters) – The operator of Japan’s crippled Fukushima nuclear plant is preparing to remove 400 tons of highly irradiated spent fuel from a damaged reactor building, a dangerous operation that has never been attempted before on this scale.

Containing radiation equivalent to 14,000 times the amount released in the atomic bomb attack on Hiroshima 68 years ago, more than 1,300 used fuel rod assemblies packed tightly together need to be removed from a building that is vulnerable to collapse, should another large earthquake hit the area.

Tokyo Electric Power Co (Tepco) is already in a losing battle to stop radioactive water overflowing from another part of the facility, and experts question whether it will be able to pull off the removal of all the assemblies successfully.

“They are going to have difficulty in removing a significant number of the rods,” said Arnie Gundersen, a veteran U.S. nuclear engineer and director of Fairewinds Energy Education, who used to build fuel assemblies.

The operation, beginning this November at the plant’s Reactor No. 4, is fraught with danger, including the possibility of a large release of radiation if a fuel assembly breaks, gets stuck or gets too close to an adjacent bundle, said Gundersen and other nuclear experts.

That could lead to a worse disaster than the March 2011 nuclear crisis at the Fukushima plant, the world’s most serious since Chernobyl in 1986.

No one knows how bad it can get, but independent consultants Mycle Schneider and Antony Froggatt said recently in their World Nuclear Industry Status Report 2013: “Full release from the Unit-4 spent fuel pool, without any containment or control, could cause by far the most serious radiological disaster to date.”

Tepco has already removed two unused fuel assemblies from the pool in a test operation last year, but these rods are less dangerous than the spent bundles. Extracting spent fuel is a normal part of operations at a nuclear plant, but safely plucking them from a badly damaged reactor is unprecedented.

“To jump to the conclusion that it is going to work just fine for the rest of them is quite a leap of logic,” said Gundersen.

The utility says it recognizes the operation will be difficult but believes it can carry it out safely.

Nonetheless, Tepco inspires little confidence. Sharply criticized for failing to protect the Fukushima plant against natural disasters, its handling of the crisis since then has also been lambasted.

Last week, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe ordered the government to take a more active role in controlling the overflow of radioactive water being flushed over the melted reactors in Units 1, 2 and 3 at the plant.


The fuel assemblies are in the cooling pool of the No. 4 reactor, and Tepco has erected a giantsteel frame over the top of the building after removing debris left behind by an explosion that rocked the unit during the 2011 disaster.

The structure will house the cranes that will carry out the delicate task of extracting fuel assemblies that may be damaged by the quake, the explosion or corrosion from salt water that was poured into the pool when fresh supplies ran out during the crisis.

The process will begin in November and Tepco expects to take about a year removing the assemblies, spokesman Yoshikazu Nagai told Reuters by e-mail. It’s just one installment in the decommissioning process for the plant forecast to take about 40 years and cost $11 billion.

Each fuel rod assembly weighs about 300 kilograms (660 pounds) and is 4.5 meters (15 feet) long. There are 1,331 of the spent fuel assemblies and a further 202 unused assemblies are also stored in the pool, Nagai said.

Almost 550 assemblies had been removed from the reactor core just before the quake and tsunami set off the crisis. These are the most dangerous because they have only been cooling in the pool for two and a half years.

“The No. 4 unit was not operating at the time of the accident, so its fuel had been moved to the pool from the reactor, and if you calculate the amount of cesium 137 in the pool, the amount is equivalent to 14,000 Hiroshima atomic bombs,” said Hiroaki Koide, assistant professor at Kyoto University Research Reactor Institute.

Spent fuel rods also contain plutonium, one of the most toxic substances in the universe, that gets formed during the later stages of a reactor core’s operation.


“There is a risk of an inadvertent criticality if the bundles are distorted and get too close to each other,” Gundersen said.

He was referring to an atomic chain reaction that left unchecked could result in a large release of radiation and heat that the fuel pool cooling system isn’t designed to absorb.

“The problem with a fuel pool criticality is that you can’t stop it. There are no control rods to control it,” Gundersen said. “The spent fuel pool cooling system is designed only to remove decay heat, not heat from an ongoing nuclear reaction.”

The rods are also vulnerable to fire should they be exposed to air, Gundersen said.

The fuel assemblies are situated in a 10 meter by 12 meter concrete pool, the base of which is 18 meters above ground level. The fuel rods are covered by 7 meters of water, Nagai said.

The pool was exposed to the air after an explosion a few days after the quake and tsunami blew off the roof. The cranes and equipment normally used to extract used fuel from the reactor’s core were also destroyed.

Tepco has shored up the building, which may have tilted and was bulging after the explosion, a source of global concern that has been raised in the U.S. Congress.

The utility says the building can withstand shaking similar to the quake in 2011 and carries out regular structural checks, but the company has a credibility problem. Last month, it admitted that contaminated water was leaking into the Pacific Ocean after months of denial.

The fuel assemblies have to be first pulled from the racks they are stored in, then inserted into a heavy steel chamber. This operation takes place under water before the chamber, which shields the radiation pulsating from the rods, can be removed from the pool and lowered to ground level.

The chamber is then transported to the plant’s common storage pool in an undamaged building where the assemblies will be stored.

Tepco confirmed the Reactor No. 4 fuel pool contains debris during an investigation into the chamber earlier this month.

Removing the rods from the pool is a delicate task normally assisted by computers, according to Toshio Kimura, a former Tepco technician, who worked at Fukushima Daiichi for 11 years.

“Previously it was a computer-controlled process that memorized the exact locations of the rods down to the millimeter and now they don’t have that. It has to be done manually so there is a high risk that they will drop and break one of the fuel rods,” Kimura said.

Under normal circumstances, the operation to remove all the fuel would take about 100 days. Tepco initially planned to take two years before reducing the schedule to one year in recognition of the urgency. But that may be an optimistic estimate.

“I think it’ll probably be longer than they think and they’re probably going to run into some issues,” said Murray Jennex, an associate professor at San Diego State University who is an expert on nuclear containment and worked at the San Onofre nuclear plant in California.

“I don’t know if anyone has looked into the experience of Chernobyl, building a concrete sarcophagus, but they don’t seem to last well with all that contamination.”

Corrosion from the salt water will have also weakened the building and equipment, he said.

And if an another strong earthquake strikes before the fuel is fully removed that topples the building or punctures the pool and allow the water to drain, a spent fuel fire releasing more radiation than during the initial disaster is possible, threatening about Tokyo 200 kilometers (125 miles) away.

When asked what was the worst possible scenario, Tepco is planning for, Nagai said: “We are now considering risks and countermeasures.”

(Corrects spelling of Hiroshima in second paragraph.)

(Additional reporting by James Topham and Mari Saito; Writing by Aaron Sheldrick; Editing by Raju Gopalakrishnan)