Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

Who will rid the nuclear industry of this troublesome nun?

The actions of Sister Rice, a New York native who grew up on a prosperous block in Morningside Heights, and her companions, ages 57 and 63, are a huge embarrassment for President Obama

“It’s the criminality of this 70-year industry,” she said. “We spend more on nuclear arms than on the departments of education, health, transportation, disaster relief and a number of other government agencies that I can’t remember.”

The Nun Who Broke Into the Nuclear Sanctum. NYT,  By WILLIAM J. BROAD   August 10, 2012 She has been arrested 40 or 50 times for acts of civil disobedience and once served six months in prison. In the Nevada desert, she and other peace activists knelt down to block a truck rumbling across the government’s nuclear test site, prompting the authorities to take her into custody.

She gained so much attention that the Energy Department, which maintains the nation’s nuclear arsenal, helped pay for an oral history in which she described her upbringing and the development of her antinuclear views.

Now, Sister Megan Rice, 82, a Roman Catholic nun of the Society  of the Holy Child Jesus, and two male accomplices have carried out what nuclear experts call the biggest security breach in the history of the nation’s atomic complex, making their way to the inner sanctum of the site where the United States keeps crucial nuclear bomb parts and fuel.

“Deadly force is authorized,” signs there  read. “Halt!” Images of skulls emphasize the lethal danger.

With flashlights and bolt cutters, the three pacifists defied barbed
wire as well as armed guards, video cameras and motion sensors at the
Oak Ridge nuclear reservation in Tennessee early on July 28, a
Saturday. They splashed blood on the Highly Enriched Uranium Materials
Facility — a new windowless, half-billion-dollar plant  encircled by
enormous guard towers — and hung banners outside its walls.

“Swords into plowshares,” read one, quoting the Book of Isaiah.
“Spears into pruning hooks.” The plant holds the nation’s main supply
of highly enriched uranium, enough for thousands of nuclear weapons .

The actions of Sister Rice, a New York native who grew up on a
prosperous block in Morningside Heights, and her companions, ages 57
and 63, are a huge embarrassment for President Obama. Since 2010, he
has led a campaign to eliminate or lock down nuclear materials as a
way to fight atomic terrorism. Now, the three — two of whom, including
Sister Rice, are free and are awaiting trial in October — have made
nuclear theft seem only a little more challenging than a romp in the
Tennessee woods.

In interviews this week, Sister Rice discussed her life — somewhat
reluctantly at times — and kept emphasizing what she called “the
issue.”

“It’s the criminality of this 70-year industry,” she said. “We spend more on nuclear arms than on the departments of education, health, transportation, disaster relief and a number of other government agencies that I can’t remember.”

Federal prosecutors, needless to say, take a different view. “This is
a matter of national security,” William C. Killian, a United States
attorney, told reporters outside a Knoxville courtroom. “It is a
significant case.”

Sister Rice is no geopolitical strategist. But her bold acts and
articulate fervor highlight how the antinuclear movement has evolved
since the end of the cold war. ….Sister Rice went to Catholic
schools in Manhattan, became a nun at 18 and received degrees in
biology from Villanova and Boston College, where her studies included
class work at Harvard Medical School on how to use radioactive
tracers. From 1962 to 2004, with occasional breaks, she served her
order as a schoolteacher in Nigeria and Ghana….
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/11/science/behind-nuclear-breach-a-nuns-bold-fervor.html?pagewanted=all

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August 11, 2012 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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