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Nuclear Guardianship

Photograph: Peter Jolly

Nuclear Guardianship is a citizen commitment to present and future generations to keep radioactive materials out of the biosphere. Recognizing the extreme damage these materials inflict on all life-forms and their genetic codes, Nuclear Guardianship requires:

  • interim containment of radioactive materials in accessible, monitored storage, so that leaks can be repaired, and future technologies for reducing and containing their radioactivity can be applied;
  • stringent limits on transport of radioactive materials, to avoid contaminating new sites, and to minimize spills and accidents;
  • cessation of the production of nuclear weapons and nuclear energy;
  • transmission to future generations of the knowledge necessary for their self-protection and ongoing guardianship through time.

Nov. 17, 2015 - America's Nuclear Legacy- More than 6,000 Nuclear Dumps...and Counting (Fairewinds)

The Nuclear Guardianship Project is a citizens' educational effort aimed at developing the political, technical and moral understandings required for the responsible care of radioactive materials.


Click on the Rocky Flats banner for a listing of their Presentation Series. "We seek to implement Nuclear Guardianship at the plutonium-contaminated site of the former Rocky Flats nuclear bomb plant. This innovative effort will simultaneously provide a model for long-term ecological caretaking of radioactively contaminated sites elsewhere while challenging the government plan to turn Rocky Flats into a wildlife refuge open for public recreation. The project provides a case study in shifting from the polluting risk-based culture we have inherited to a culture of ecological responsibility that is more democratic and healthier."


Quarter Century of Chernobyl Event

Quarter Century of Chernobyl

New Perspectives - First Hand Accounts - Insights for Japan

April 10th at 4 pm in the Fellowship Hall Moderated by Joanna Macy

Three brave activists from Russia speak out:


Natalia Manzurova

cleanup engineer at Chernobyl for 5 years and international advocate for radiation victims


Natalia Mironova

world renowned organizer at forefront of nuclear debates, won Supreme Court case against government of Russia

Tatiana Mukhamedyarova

outspoken voice on radiation exposure with the Movement for Nuclear Safety

Plus: US Premiere of Chernobyl4Ever, a film featuring young people living near Chernobyl

Organized by the Center for Safe Energy and co-sponsored by Tri-Valley CAREs (Communities Against a Radioactive Environment), Plutonium-Free Future, and the Social Justice Committee of BFUU. Wheelchair accessible.

Full Speaker bios:

Dr. Natalia Mironova is a prominent leader in the human rights and anti-nuclear environmental movement in Russia. She founded the Movement for Nuclear Safety and was one of the first organizers to press for government openness on pre-Chernobyl nuclear catastrophes. Through her work in regional Parliament, she made public information on the 500,000 victims affected by the activities of the first plutonium production in Russia and on the catastrophes in the Mayak plutonium production plant. As a Member of the Supreme Environmental Council of the Russian State Parliament from 1997-2006, she organized broad public discussions for federal referendums on radioactive waste issues. In 2002, Natalia won in the Supreme Court case against the Government of Russia to stop the import of 370 tons of Hungarian spent fuel for storage and reprocessing in Russia. An author of several books and over 70 articles, she has examined the roots of nuclear proliferation and the role of non-governmental organizations in abolishing Weapons of Mass Destruction, particularly nuclear.

Natalia Manzurova was a lead engineer in cleaning up the consequences of the accident at the Chernobyl atomic power station for over 5 years. Three years after returning from Chernobyl, her work as an engineer at a Russian nuclear facility was interrupted by a serious illness caused by radiation. In 1997 she organized the Chernobyl Union non-profit to defend the rights of the victims of radiation exposure. She also works at the Planet of Hope NGO to advocate for the rights of people exposed to radiation such as liquidators of radiation accidents and catastrophes, nuclear weapons testers, people living in radiation areas, and workers in nuclear facilities. Natalia is the author of numerous articles on radiation ecology, and she speaks at international scientific conferences and collaborates with international environmental and human rights organizations on radiation issues.

Tatiana Mukhamedyarova has been an outspoken voice in making public the horrible consequences of the nuclear accidents in her native region of Chelyabinsk, Russia. A member of the Movement for Nuclear Safety since 1992, she has worked with Russian and foreign journalists to cover the fate of the victims of radiation exposure. She took part in US-Russia negotiations on nuclear issues and participated in international conferences against atomic bombs in Japan to draw attention to the victims of nuclear production. She also worked with the Women of Europe for a Common Future non-profit organization on radiation and chemical pollution and sustainable development.


Ode to my DNA, by Chelsea Collonge

Present in every living thing
You direct my growth from cell to breath
Too small for radar
your words encode my body
my tangible presence
You connect me with all life
bonobo chimpanzee to California poppy
yet make me unique
wheat-colored hair
swollen joints
Oh spiral fishing line
you connect my parents
to their maybe-grandchildren
Lie snug in my egg cell
in the pink pillow of my womb
All this wonder wound tight
in your bouncy spring

I fear for you
bringer of order yet so mutable
and like radiation, invisible
Another Chernobyl
bunker busting nukes
or even the cell phone in my pocket
could scramble you wisdom
make my babies born with open skulls
or heart defects like the kids of Belarus
Seaborg invented it here on Berkeley campus
manufactured to kill enemies, it can extinct whole species
with its gamma-attack on the genetic code of life
You created us DNA
Don't let us destroy you
Encode new proteins
for a brain that thinks ahead
a heart that respects life
Help us evolve

By Chelsea Collonge


Nuclear Weaponry DU

Facts on Uranium Weapons

International Appeal to Ban Use of Depleted Uranium Weapons


"Heat not a furnace for your foe so hot that it do singe yourself." William Shakespeare

The United States and Britain rely heavily on weapons made with depleted uranium (DU) to penetrate tanks and other armored vehicles and structures. Veterans groups in the US, UK, Italy and Spain consider such weapons harmful to military personnel using them and demand study and treatment of veterans exposed to DU. A worldwide movement is growing to ban the use of uranium weapons as inhumane and dangerous to civilian populations for thousands of generations.

What Is Depleted Uranium?

  • Depleted Uranium (DU) is a radioactive and toxic by-product of the process that separates uranium for use in nuclear power plants and nuclear weapons. DU makes up 99% of the natural uranium ore. Since it is bulky and hazardous to store, it is available to the Pentagon at very low cost. While its radiation level is lower than natural uranium, it emits alpha radiation for billions of years (radioactive half-life is 4.5 billion years).

  • DU is an extremely heavy metal, 1.7 times more dense than lead, with unusual ability to shield or penetrate other metals. It burns easily, creating super-high temperatures (5400 degrees F) and filling the surrounding air with sub-micron ceramic particles that remain radioactive and easily breathed and ingested for billions of years.

How is DU Being Used?

Read more...


Nuclear Guardianship Ethic

(created ca. 1990, revised July 2011)

1. Each generation shall endeavor to preserve the foundations of life and well-being for those who come after. To produce and abandon substances that damage following generations is morally unacceptable.

2. Given the extreme toxicity and longevity of radioactive materials, their production must cease. The development of safe, renewable energy sources and non-violent means of conflict resolution is essential to the health and survival of life on Earth. Radioactive materials are not to be regarded as an economic or military resource.

3. We accept responsibility for the radioactive materials mined and produced for our alleged benefit.

4. Future generations have the right to know about their nuclear legacy and the dangers it brings.

5. Future generations have the right to protect themselves from these dangers. Therefore, it is our responsibility to pass on the information they will need, such as the nature and effects of radiation, and methods for monitoring and containing it. We acknowledge that deep burial of radioactive materials precludes these possibilities and risks widespread contamination.

6. Transport of radioactive materials, with its inevitable risks of accidents and spills, should be undertaken only when storage conditions at the site of production pose a greater hazard than transportation.

7. Research and development of technologies for the least hazardous long-term treatment and placement of nuclear materials should receive high priority in public attention and funding.

8. Education of the public about the character, source, and containment of radioactive materials is essential for the health of present and future generations. This education should promote understanding of the interconnectedness of all life forms and a grasp of the extraordinary time spans for which containment is required.

9. The formation of policies for managing radioactive materials requires full participation of the public. For this purpose, the public must have ready access to complete and comprehensible information.

10. The vigilance necessary for ongoing containment of radioactive materials requires a moral commitment. This commitment is within our capacity, and can be developed and sustained by drawing on the cultural and spiritual resources of our human heritage.

The Nuclear Guardianship Ethic is proposed as an evolving expression of values to guide decision-making on the management of radioactive materials.


Peoples Policy on Nuclear Waste


The amount and danger of long-lasting environmental poisons produced in recent decades is unprecedented in human history. Since the beginning of the nuclear age, policy regarding all levels of radioactive waste has been set by the nuclear industry, the military and governments. Monetary gain, secrecy and militarism have consistently taken precedent over concerns about intergenerational equity, environmental and public health and spiritual well-being.

Any policy regarding nuclear waste must begin with an immediate halt to its production.

Future survival requires that we take full responsibility for nuclear waste and keep it within our sphere of control. Policy decisions must consider the health, safety and habitat of ALL living things and recognize the need for this most dangerous substance to be completely isolated from the environment for as long as it remains hazardous.
Presently, there is no scientifically sound, environmentally just or democratically defined solution to the disposal or storage of radioactive waste. Yet each day approximately ten tons of high-level radioactive waste (HLRW) is generated, which is one million times more radioactive than the original fuel. It is insanity to continue to use nuclear reactor technology that benefits only one or two generations while creating poisons that will threaten the next 12,000.
In the United States, the nuclear power and weapons industry and government agencies have consistently evaded responsibility for the development of safe methods of nuclear waste storage and containment. The federal Nuclear Waste Policy Act is a reckless pursuit of an "out of sight, out of mind" approach that ignores concerns and recommendations from both the scientific community and the public.

Read more...


"Bella" Collectively written, beginning with an idea from Skye Faris

Why does this story need to be told? by Skye Faris

Nuclear reactors--in research laboratories and power and weapons plants--have since the 1950s been accumulating ever-increasing stores of very radioactive equipment, materials, and especially "used" fuel rods which are too radioactively hot for further use in reactors. There is still no societal consensus about long-term storage for these dangerous materials.

In 1983, Joanna Macy had a vision of Nuclear Guardianship communities which would provide above-ground monitored storage, training and education about the full story of the nuclear fuel cycle, as well as a moratorium on the production of nuclear weapons and energy. Society has not really connected with this vision.

The vision of Joanna and friends gives us hope that a solution is possible. I offer these one-act plays, set in the future, to encourage us to ponder and explore the vision... adding to it, making it real.

Skye Faris

526 Doyle Mountain Road, RR4

Killaloe, Ontario K0J2A0

BELLA (.pdf download with music,.doc download)

Collectively written, beginning with an idea from Skye Faris
Based on the work of Joanna Macy and friends


AQUARIA: Member of a Guardian Community, a woman in her late 30's, early 40's

BELLA: A young woman

TRO: BELLA's father

Scene: a meeting room, some time in the near future, at the first Nuclear Guardian Community built after the signing of the Nuclear Moratorium. The atmosphere is one of peace and dedication to good works, not unlike that of a community garden or a monastery. In the soft light of this relaxing place,

AQUARIA is sweeping the floor and singing to herself in rhythm with the motions of the broom:

O, you who come after,
Help us remember:
We are your ancestors,
We are of you.
Fill us with gladness
For the work that we do.

AQUARIA finishes singing the verse and proceeds with her work, now humming the tune. There is an insistent knock on the door. She opens it, and BELLA rushes in.

AQUARIA: Good morning.

BELLA: [going to the window] Are we safe here?

Read more...