The Most Revolutionary Act

Diverse Ramblings of an American Refugee

Dr Stuart Jeanne Bramhall

Dr Stuart Jeanne Bramhall
New Plymouth, New Zealand
December 02
Retired psychiatrist, activist and author of 2 young adult novels - Battle for Tomorrow and A Rebel Comes of Age - and a free ebook 21st Century Revolution. My 2010 memoir The Most Revolutionary Act: Memoir of an American Refugee describes the circumstances that led me to leave the US in 2002. More information about my books (and me) at

JANUARY 31, 2012 7:59PM

The CEO Who Chained Himself to a Bridge

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Stolen chained to the fence

Stordalen chained to the bridge

(This is the first of two posts about Neptune Network, a group organized by Norwegian business executives, and their campaign to shut down a nuclear reprocessing plant in the UK.)

The man in the photo is Petter Stordalen, and he’s a billionaire Norwegian property developer and the chief executive of Choice Hotels. In 2002, he chained himself to a bridge in Seascale England, demanding that the Sellafield nuclear reprocessing plant be shut down. I try to picture Bill Gates chaining himself to something. Somehow I can’t quite see it.

Stordalen is one of numerous Norwegian business executives in the Neptune Network, which has been fighting for more than a decade to close down Sellafield. Why does the Norwegian government and the Neptune Network want Sellafield shut down? Studies of accidental and “operational” discharges of radioactive gasses and liquids show that air and water currents carry them directly to the west coast of Norway. The latter would definitely bear the brunt of a major accident, which grows more likely every month owing to the plant’s abysmal safety record.

Including, but not limited to

Why Reprocessing Plants Are Especially Dangerous

Sellafield first went on-line as a nuclear power station in the mid-fifties. Its mixed oxide (MOX) processing plant was built in 1996 and went on-line in 2001. Its role as a reprocessing plant means it accepts nuclear waste (spent nuclear fuel rods) from all over the world and reprocesses them for reuse. This entails separating out plutonium and uranium from other fission products. MOX, one of the products that results, is used in thermal and fast breeder reactors. Sellafied’s reprocessing role also means that it accumulates massive amounts of “highly active liquor” (HAL), which requires constant cooling to prevent it from exploding (

The Norwegian government has been extremely concerned about Sellafield becoming a world dumping ground for unwanted nuclear waste. They, along with the government of Ireland (also downwind and downstream from Sellafield), have been pressuring the British government for more than a decade to shut it down.

Even CEOs Have Children

Most Americans have never heard of Sellafield, much less the Neptune Network and the Norwegian business executives turned environmental activists who are fighting to shut it down. The Neptune Network includes hundreds of activists who aren’t business executives. In fact, anyone can sign up (for free) at their website At the same time the Network is relatively unique in the active role their executive director, long time businessman Frank-Hugo Storelv, plays in recruiting other Norwegian business executives to play a leading role in the Norwegian antinuclear, toxics and sustainability movement. In this YouTube video, Storelv explains the urgent need for companies to operate more sustainably and be seen as good environmental citizens: Here, as in all his public presentations, he repeatedly emphasizes the devastating effect increasing nuclear and chemical pollution will have on all our children and grandchildren.

Frank-Hugo Storelv

Frank-Hugo Storelv

Like Petter Stordalen, Storev and other business leaders in the Neptune Network have been arrested numerous times for committing civil disobedience at Sellafield and at various contaminated sites in Norway. In April 2011, he and four other members of the Neptune Network were arrested (under the British anti-terrorism law) outside the gates of Sellafield for blocking a railroad shipment of new nuclear waste. Recently he and two other members of the Neptune Network lost an appeal to the Norwegian supreme court, after being convicted for a nonviolent protest against toxic dumping in the Oslo Fjord. According to the website, they now plan to take the case to the International Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg.

To be continued.

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But how can this be?!! We all KNOW that billionaires are all monsters who only care for money, money, and more money!....... Don't we....?
[r] Stuart, Inspirational and enlightening story. Will share with some members of NY Green Party who are active in anti-nuke fight. No, I can't see Gates chaining himself to anything. But courage is contagious. Would that there be more courageous cronyism and empathetic group think among the one percent top dogs. Would there be more courageous cronyism and empathetic group think among us bottom dogs, as well! So many captured fronts to be dealt with. But ripples of courage and awareness are spreading outward. best, libby

"A Tacoma priest and peace activist best known for breaking into a nuclear submarine base in Kitsap County has ended a two-week fast that drew sharp concern from some in the local faith and peace communities.

"Father William “Bix” Bichsel, a Jesuit priest based at St. Leo’s Parish, had been fasting to protest “nuclear weapons, inhumane treatment at prisons and the separation of policy from conscience,” according to his attorney Blake Kremer.

"The ailing 83-year-old broke his fast Wednesday, according to portions of a letter from him published in the Disarmnowplowshares’s Blog, because he felt himself weakening.

"Bichsel has been arrested in connection with peace protests and acts of civil disobedience numerous times.

"In 2009, he was among a group of five protesters who made headlines when they breached high-level security at Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor by cutting through two fences to reach bunkers where nuclear weapons are believed to be stored.

"The group, which included another priest and a nun, set up banners, sprinkled blood on the ground, scattered sunflower seeds and prayed until they were arrested, according to court documents.

"Bichsel and the others ultimately were convicted of conspiracy, trespass and destruction of government property in the Bangor incident and were sentenced to terms ranging from two to 15 months, court documents show. ....."
Thanks for the great link, Libby. What I can't figure out is why all millionaires and billionaires don't oppose nuclear power. I can figure out why any of them support it. Surely they can't all be callous droids who are totally indifferent to the welfare of their children and grandchildren. That's what I'm writing about in my next post. What exactly is wrong with them?
the eternal dangerous life of nuclear has never made sense to me