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Berkeley Library RFP Asks For Nuclear Free Vendor

samzenpus posted more than 4 years ago | from the radioactive-catalog dept.

Books 25

beefsprocket writes "RFID tags are not new to libraries. Neither is 3M as one of the larger providers of the Checkpoint circulation and self-checkout system. What is new is a library discarding their current working system used for over 500,000 items because the vendor refuses to submit a required Nuclear Free Disclosure Form (PDF). The specific form is required for anyone wishing to do business with the City of Berkeley per the Nuclear Free Berkeley Act of 1986. This reverses a 2008 exemption that the Library applied for to be able to work with 3M."

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Berkeley (1)

benjamindees (441808) | more than 4 years ago | (#31193264)

A city that's powered by it's own sense of self-satisfaction.

Re:Berkeley (2, Insightful)

pengin9 (1595865) | more than 4 years ago | (#31195942)

Ironically they're most likely going to waste more paper and "destroy" the environment by denying obvious progress. The better question is: is someone at 3M just messing with the city to show Berkley how much more they need them than 3M needs Berkley, and get the law repealed.

Re:Berkeley (1)

Idarubicin (579475) | more than 3 years ago | (#31213234)

Ironically they're most likely going to waste more paper and "destroy" the environment by denying obvious progress.

Page 21 of the RFP: "D. Recycled Paper. All reports to the City shall be on recycled paper that contains at least 50% recycled product.... Written reports or studies shall be printed on both sides of the page..."

Oh.

Re:Berkeley (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#31213672)

The deepest irony of that "city ordinance" is that the city has absolutely no right to establish such laws. And once established, there's jack shit they can do to enforce it if the Federal or State government decides to transport nuclear material up to, say Lawrence Berkeley National Labs on the hill (which happens now since they do conduct research up there AND down on campus as well). Unless you get a giant rig with the comical nuke symbol emblazoned all over, no one's even gonna find out that radioactive material is being transported. Hell, the people who drafted that ordinance were so scientifically clueless that the wording of the ordinance can be used to ban BANANAS from the city (trace amounts of radioactive potassium you know :P). If there's one thing more annoying than idiots in positions of power, it's idiots in power who think ... sorry, believe that they are intelligent.

(Note: the stuff below is a rant. You can easily live here and not have to deal with any of the horseshit I describe below. Please don't judge the entirety of this ... not unpleasant place ... solely by what I say. kkthxbai)

{rant } I used to be a flaming liberal. Then I started grad school in Berkeley. The university is awesome of course but the city ... well, let's just say that I am no longer a liberal (I would be a Republican, except that party no longer exists - I hear that name is now being used by some kind of weird religious cult *brr*). The anti-nuke idiots are just as irrational as the anti-evolutionist hicks elsewhere. It is ironic and deeply shameful that the birthplace of high energy physics (the particle accelerator was born right here) [wikipedia.org] and the place where Glenn Seaborg [wikipedia.org] (discoverer of a lot of the transuranium elements - did a lot of work on plutonium) spent most of his career has been defiled by these morons. It is equivalent to the Skeptics society being asked to rule Jerusalem :P.

I used to be down on conventional religion before I came here. Now, I realize that weak minded post-religious people do not convert to Reason - they simply embrace new age bullshit as a substitute, of which Berkeley is surely the Mecca (well, maybe second to New Orleans - but that's a darker ambiance - good natured flakiness is the specialty here). Can you believe that they actually have a "Psychic fair" here every year? A stone's throw from the University!!! That's like having an orgy on the Vatican steps. FFS!

Gawd, I used to love the weather here too but that just means (coupled with the "humanist" attitudes of the city council no doubt) that it has become a haven for bums and drug addled panhandlers. One of the best public transit systems I've ever seen (kudos to Alameda county for that) and I gotta bathe in deodorant to survive my daily commute to school *retch*. All I can say is that my next gig will be in a city that gets as cold as Antarctica and stays that way for 8 months of the year. I hear the Lake cities are nice that way.

And don't get me started on the "Californians are mellow" stereotype. Perhaps if they are high. Do you care to guess what happens to that mellow when the pot runs out? Gawd, I can't even live here anymore (the surrounding cities are much more reasonable) coz' the landlords are extortionist, money grubbing riffraff and the (student-affordable) "apartments" are converted houses that look like something out of a South American slum.

And by the way, from TFA, wanna know what committee rules on this issue? The "Peace and Justice Commission"! Seriously?? In a city council? A small town with delusions of grandeur trying to ride on the coat tails of a world-class university, that's all it is. Bah!

(Posting as AC coz I just gotta let it all out. Not trying to flame or anything. It's just .... AAAAAARGH.... so frustrating to find out that what I thought would be the City where Reason rules is nothing of the sort. Where protests are nothing but a symbol of impotent rage directed towards people who're not even listening because no one outside pays any attention to any political events here anymore. The attention-whoring has taken its toll and no one takes us (yes, I still say us - go figure) seriously anymore.)

{/rant}

This is just as bad... (1, Insightful)

Nutria (679911) | more than 4 years ago | (#31193404)

in a different way, as School Boards denying Evolution.

Re:This is just as bad... (1)

RockDoctor (15477) | more than 4 years ago | (#31196300)

in a different way, as School Boards denying Evolution.

Is it? Are they denying that the logic of nuclear science works, or that the facts of radioactive decay are not actually true? Or are they just being implausibly bull-shitty? I know almost nothing about the power systems in use in California (is that the right state?) except that they're under quite serious strain because Californians can't stand the heat and are unwilling to get out of the kitchen. But I'd be interested (possibly amused) to know how Berkeley monitors the state's power grid to know which cycles of the AC are being provided by nuclear stations, and which are provided by coal stations, so that they can switch some out and some into their local grid.
Do they do full-wave or half-wave rectification of their supply?

(That reminds me - I've got to build a portable 350V DC power supply for Tom's Geiger counter. Yummy!)

Re:This is just as bad... (1)

Nutria (679911) | more than 4 years ago | (#31196698)

Is it?

Yes, I think so.

Are they denying that the logic of nuclear science works,

That's why it's bad in a different way.

Or are they just being implausibly bull-shitty?

Stupid is as stupid does.

Evolution Denial is one manifestation of gross stupidity, while the Nuclear Free Berkeley Act and the Oppressive States Compliance Resolution are others.

Re:This is just as bad... (1)

dafing (753481) | more than 4 years ago | (#31197074)

Evolution Denial is one manifestation of gross stupidity, while the Nuclear Free Berkeley Act and the Oppressive States Compliance Resolution are others.

My whole country is Nuclear Free, [wikipedia.org] does that make us guilty of "gross stupidity"?

I've always been fairly "pro nuclear", and NZ still has radioactive elements in smoke detectors, medical equipment etc....being "Nuclear Free" hasnt caused us to be terribly backwards in any way I can tell?

Re:This is just as bad... (1)

Nutria (679911) | more than 4 years ago | (#31200940)

My whole country is Nuclear Free, does that make us guilty of "gross stupidity"?

Yes, as a matter of fact. It's cowardly anti-Americanism (man-up and say, "we don't want your Navy making port-calls" and "we're hypocritical bastards who actually love oppressive dictatorships" (the CND are one-sided pacifists, and I agree with Orwell about one-sided pacifists).

Re:This is just as bad... (4, Insightful)

coaxial (28297) | more than 4 years ago | (#31201174)

Oh please, some group of foreigners does something you teabaggers don't like, and it immediately because of "anti-Americanism." I suspect you think that New Zealanders are "jealous of our freedom" too don't you.

So they don't want nuclear power or nuclear weapons near them. That's they're right. A lot of people, including Oppenheimer, don't like the idea of nuclear weapons. A lot of people don't like nuclear power because of the issue of long lived waste. But hey, I guess Nevada hates America too because they don't want Yucca Mountain.

Re:This is just as bad... (1, Flamebait)

Nutria (679911) | more than 4 years ago | (#31201800)

When did peace activists (aka "useful idiots") ever protest in front of the Soviet Embassy?

And then there's this: Dietzel told Kliem he was a physicist working for an international research company committed to world peace [spymuseum.org].

I suspect you think that New Zealanders are "jealous of our freedom" too don't you.

The freedom to not have enough doctors and hospital beds?

Last year, NZ (which doesn't pay it's own doctors enough to stay in NZ) paid My Cousin The Newly-minted Doctor to work there for 6 months. It hardened her, a relative free spirit who lives in the New Orleans French Quarter, against socialized medicine.

And this: Women who get pregnant while in New Zealand on temporary residency permits are being told to leave the country to have their babies because of a shortage of maternity services. [nzherald.co.nz]

I guess Nevada hates America too because they don't want Yucca Mountain.

Nah, that's just NIMBY.

Re:This is just as bad... (1)

dafing (753481) | more than 4 years ago | (#31202992)

I've got work soon so I'll keep this brief.

You have a problem with "peace activists"? Are you incredibly "hawkish" or something?

RE "socialised medicine", ooh, sounds scary doesnt it! Ha, why dont you just call it "soviet-ized medicine", since the whole point is to aggravate McCarthyism. Call it "universial healthcare", or better yet, call it "healthcare", as thats what pretty much every other country in the world would call it.

You really must understand this. In New Zealand we have the "public" option, which is the "universal healthcare", and yes, in some cases, maybe quite a few cases, its underfunded and there are shortages. But ya know what? If you have the money, you can go "private" and beat the waiting lines! Ha! So, thats pretty much the perfect system right? The people who cant pay, they get their lives saved, instead of dying, the people who can pay, do just that... where is your problem?

RE the pregnant women story, I remember that, and they could have went "private".

For cripes sake man, drop the "socialised medicine" strawman! Yes, in soviet New Zealand, we all have one blunt plastic knife, fork and spoon per neighbourhood, I havnt been able to eat my breakfast of a cold army ration yet because I'm not scheduled to use the utensils until 2AM next Tuesday morning...

Re:This is just as bad... (1)

Nutria (679911) | more than 4 years ago | (#31203954)

Me introduce straw men? Quoting the government in context is not, and never will be, a straw man.

I give you evidence, and you give me sarcasm.

If you have the money, you can go "private" and beat the waiting lines!

Not according to the NZ Herald. Or are they also lying SOB Tea Partyers?

Immigration New Zealand has told one pregnant woman that - despite her financial stability - she would "be putting an additional strain on our already short services", which the department claimed were "stretched in most areas of the country".

Re:This is just as bad... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31210624)

So, when Nevada doesn't want Nuclear waste stored there, that's just NIMBY, and seems to be ok in your opinion, but when New Zealand doesn't want ships carrying nuclear weapons docking in its ports (such as in Auckland, where close to half the population lives), it's 'cowardly'? I think I'm starting to understand your criteria. If USians do it, it's ok, no matter how horrible, hypocritical, or petty it is, whereas, if foreigners do it, even on their own soil, it's subjected to withering criticism if you don't like it in any way. As an example of this, your post which suddenly attacks New Zealands healthcare system out of the blue in a discussion about nuclear regulations. Great Ad Hominum (ok, anthropomorphizing a country, but you should get the idea) attack there. Look, New Zealand isn't perfect, hooray, I guess that makes your country better.
A few questions about the US for you. First of all, what's the US opinion on foreign nuclear-armed or powered ships in its ports, or within its territorial waters? We all know how the US reacted to nukes in Cuba, what if Britain, or France put nukes in the Caribbean, how would the US feel about that? On to healthcare since you brought it up. What problems, specifically did your sister have working in New Zealand as a newly minted doctor? Did she really find it worse than her previous experiences working as a doctor in the US? Oh, right, she hadn't had any. Well, anyway, was her problem that she felt it was worse for her patients than in the US, or did she feel that it was worse for her as a doctor? Important distinction in my opinion. I'm not saying that the New Zealand system is perfect, but the US system just sucks in so many ways. I also wonder how much of the problem she had with the system were from the healthcare system being socialized and how much was from the fact that New Zealand is a small country with a low population density and less wealth per capita than the US?
As to immigration matters. Personally, I don't agree with canceling a temporary resident visa due to pregnancy. I can see why people on temporary visas would be denied certain social services, but canceling their visa seems unnecessary. I don't like xenophobic policies. Of course, your point was to show how much better the US is than New Zealand. So, I have to ask, how does the US feel about pregnant women on temporary visas? I know that they can't use the US universal health care system since there isn't one. There are probably some social services they can use and some that they can't. Will they have their visa's canceled though. I couldn't find a definitive answer with a few minutes of searching, though I did find that an existing pregnancy was a reason to be denied a visa in the first place. Frankly, some NZ policies do seem to me to be too xenophobic and I have a problem with them, but the US is hardly a place I would hold up as an example of a friendly, welcoming approach to immigration

Re:This is just as bad... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31215504)

A lucid rebuttal to parent. Pity you won't get a reply. That's how it works on /.

I have rarely seen anyone admit defeat in an argument gracefully. The only indication one will have (unless one is obviously trolling, which you clearly aren't here) is an abrupt end to posts from the person. I don't think it's unreasonable to assume that you win in that case. Oh, and a favorite tactic in such cases is to pick on the fact that you are posting as AC. Well, I don't see how having a /. account name that is essentially anonymous and not identifying yourself (email, homepage or real name) is any different. I can make a random account with a throwaway email address and not post as AC but isn't it really just an AC with a different name?

Anyway, just thought I'd applaud the result of this interesting argument up there and state clearly that I think you carried the day. People who disagree can feel free to argue it out :P. I'm here ... even if I am AC. Do we not bleed .... and stuff? :D

Re:This is just as bad... (2, Insightful)

Beyond_GoodandEvil (769135) | more than 4 years ago | (#31221672)

But the US is hardly a place I would hold up as an example of a friendly, welcoming approach to immigration
Please provide a country that does meet your expectations of a friendly, welcoming approach to immigration. Also, NIMBY is cowardly.

Re:This is just as bad... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31201526)

Speaking as a New Zealander currently living in the US, I'd like to say how interesting it is that standing up to USians on a matter of principle is 'cowardly'. USians tend to, on the whole, be pretty hypocritical in their dealings with the rest of the world. And yes, the law is largely about ships from nuclear-armed states making port calls. It's not that we won't let any US navy ships make port calls, just the nuclear armed or powered ones. It's not our fault if the USians won't say which of their ships carry nukes. The whole thing wouldn't have happened in the first place if the US and other nuclear states hadn't been so keen on all those open air nuclear weapons tests in our neighborhood back during the cold war. The law probably wouldn't have lasted so long if the US hadn't thrown a hissy fit over it and broken the ANZUS treaty and France hadn't bombed a ship in one of our harbours! The fact that we were obviously dealing with unreasonable bullies who think their military might means they can trample on everyone, friend and foe alike, may have made us a little unreasonable in return.

Re:This is just as bad... (2, Informative)

dafing (753481) | more than 4 years ago | (#31202886)

I agree with many of the things you have said, but would like to mention again the Rainbow Warrior. When that was sunk, by the French, presumably to prevent it being used to protest their nuclear tests "in the neighbourhood", it strengthened NZ public opinion almost infinitely against Nuclear anything.

The Sinking Of The Rainbow Warrior was a life changing experience for many NZers, the feeling that we were invaded by a secret service from a much larger country, that they would come here and blow up a peaceful ship that protested their nearby explosions... very, very, very bad PR for all things Nuclear.

Right, so a country of 4 million odd, standing up against a country of 300 million odd, a country that, "pound for pound" has us beat many times over, a country that declares itself "the only superpower" in the world, that invades other countries of the slightest of pretences....we stand up and say "we dont want your, in our opinion, dangerous shit in our ports", and thats cowardly?!?

Re:This is just as bad... (1, Flamebait)

Nutria (679911) | more than 4 years ago | (#31214556)

t's not that we won't let any US navy ships make port calls, just the nuclear armed or powered ones. It's not our fault if the USians won't say which of their ships carry nukes.

It's god damned obvious to anyone with more than a third of a pea brain why a Navy doesn't want to announce all of it's capabilities.

But I guess I must: even though NZ is friendly, anyone at the Soviet Embassy simply drives down to the wharf, and then wires back to Moscow, "the USS Foobar does not carry nukes."

Re:This is just as bad... (2, Insightful)

MoonBuggy (611105) | more than 4 years ago | (#31228160)

Yes, that makes perfect sense, but there's no need for the hostility. It also makes perfect sense (within the context of their anti-nuke policies) that NZ's only available option is to ban all US Navy ships. Even though the impact is the same as having outright banned the US Navy, the fact that there are different reasons behind the move (and that they would be willing to accommodate them if they took the - admittedly stupid - move of identifying their nuke-armed ships) is significant.

I'm not remotely informed enough to comment on whether NZ's "no nuclear-armed ships" policy is sensible or not, however.

Re:This is just as bad... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31226538)

If you read the underlying contractual requirements, it isn't about the City of Berkeley not allowing contractors that work with nuclear technologies; I would be surprised if the University didn't have any programs that dealt with nuclear technology; but that they don't allow a contractor to work on Nuclear Weapons. Nuclear power plants do not fall under that category.

Same old same old (1)

gadget junkie (618542) | more than 4 years ago | (#31197822)

I live in Italy, and I recall when a small town next to where I live voted a similar "nuclear free" resolution. It was late in the Carter Presidency, when the then USSR was building SS-20 missiles [missilethreat.com] hand over fist.
Now this town sat about 20 miles away from a big city(pop. 1 million) and 100 miles east from the nearest French nuclear plant(prevailing winds in northwest Italy come from there). The SS20 was by its nature (min range 600 km, three 150 Kt MIRV warheads etc) a "Countercity" weapon, so I used to joke with these morons that now they were lightyears away from producing nuclear energy, but they were paying through their noses to buy it (and still are, BTW), all the while being between 7 and 20 minutes from seeing a mushroom cloud right next to them. Ain't humanity fun?

Re:Same old same old (1)

Black Gold Alchemist (1747136) | more than 4 years ago | (#31207932)

It's actually the same in Berkley. You see, Berkley, and other nuclear free zones in CA like Santa Cruz get about %16 or more of their electricity from nuclear power. That power comes from the south at Diablo Canyon. Only %9.4 of the electricity comes from non-hydro renewables (mostly wind and biomass). The result comes from dirty old gas and coal.

---
The world will be dragged kicking and screaming into the atomic age.

3M sells other stuff too... (2, Funny)

rnaiguy (1304181) | more than 4 years ago | (#31208300)

How can you possibly totally avoid doing business with 3M? Where do they get post-it notes, and the million other little things the company makes?

Nuclear WEAPONS free... (2, Informative)

Idarubicin (579475) | more than 3 years ago | (#31213366)

Before we get too much further into hyperventilating about Berkeley's hypocrisy, perhaps it would be wise to actually read the RFP, neh? The City of Berkeley doesn't bar all contractors who do work that involves any nuclear technology, and they're not being hypocritical about taking dirty, nuclear-powered electricity. The restriction they impose is on contractors who do work to design, build, and construct nuclear weapons.

Here's a copy (PDF) [berkeley.ca.us] of the form in question.

The RFP also demands that contractors pay all of their employees a decent living minimum wage ($12.20 with medical benefits, or $14.23 without), and that domestic parters of workers receive the same benefits as are available to workers' spouses. There's even a provision that paper reports to the city be printed double-sided on recycled paper.

The people of Berkeley are holding companies to higher ethical standards by the only means that are effective -- cash and contracts.

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