Fukushima still out of control February-2014 The World is at a critical crossroads. The Fukushima disaster in Japan has brought to the forefront the dangers of Worldwide nuclear radiation.
The crisis in Japan has been described as “a nuclear war without a war”. In the words of renowned novelist Haruki Murakami:
“This time no one dropped a bomb on us … We set the stage, we committed the crime with our own hands, we are destroying our own lands, and we are destroying our own lives.”
Nuclear radiation –which threatens life on planet earth– is not front page news in comparison to the most insignificant issues of public concern. While the long-term repercussions of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster are yet to be fully assessed, they are far more serious than those pertaining to the 1986 Chernobyl disaster in the Ukraine…..http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pz1j4IHcsP4
The nuclear power lobby and the fossil fuel lobby spend $billions in publicising their industries and in combatting established information on nuclear dangers and on global warming. This is done through “front groups” such as (for pro nuclear) the Clean and Safe Energy Coalition., (for climate denial) American Enterprise Institute.
It’s getting more difficult to spot these propagandists, because increasingly, they are using sophisticated Internet techniques. These have been beautifully explained in How to spot an astroturfer or an online fake -some of the organisations and techniques are summarised in the sidebar at right.
However, the words alone can help you to spot a fake. Look out for these two types of language:
BIG WORDS – in long complicated sentences – guaranteed to confuse the ordinary reader. The aim is to make you think that the writer is much smarter than you, and his opinion must be right. Amongst the big words, some quack science ones – like hormesis, adaptive radiation, and radiophobia Also,you are referred, by links, to obscure articles in even more complicated language.
SMALL WORDS and CLICHES – short positive ones, with no backup information, e.g. “clean -green-safe-cheap nuclear power”. Or negative cliches e.g. “hysterical- paranoid- emotional – irrational – delusional – extremists -alarmist – scare mongerer” applied to anti nuclear people, or those who want action on climate change.
Japan leads the way, with its new State Secrets Law enacted to punish whistleblowers. politicians leaking secrets. anyone publishing information designated as “secret”. It allows the government to cover up issues such as corruption in the nuclear industry. It punishes journalists who speak out, and effectively censors nuclear news in the media
It is well known that the USA encouraged Japan to adopt this law. As the Fukushima nuclear catastrophe becomes ever more of a global problem, the nuclear industry (?too big to fail) and its servant governments increase in suppression of civil liberties
With uranium mining, nuclear power, nuclear wastes, and nuclear weapons, - civil liberties are increasingly eroded. They must be, even when all seems to be going smoothly. Nuclear reprocessing, with plutonium as fuel, would necessitate taking away even more civil liberties.
A police state would develop, even with “peaceful” nuclear reprocessing. But imagine how fast we would lose civil liberties, in the event of yet another nuclear mishap – theft of plutonium, terrorist strike, accident. For a start, the public would not even be informed, (for fear of public panic). Very quickly, that police state would be turned into a martial law state.
China is now the world’s (only) poster boy for the nuclear industry. But what about Nuclear Power and Civil Liberties in China? The world, even Greenpeace, is curiously silent on this. No doubt because of the fate that would befall Chinese Greenpeace members, if they did get active on this.
China dumps its nuclear wastes in the lands of its ethnic minorities, such as Tibetans, and Uyghurs, with scant regard for their health. Chinese nuclear facilities are located in earthquake zones, in rural provinces. Swift repression follows any protest. There is no freedom of speech about China’s highly secretive nuclear industry.
But what is good will? How is it shown? The answer is in respect for one another. Respect means listening to the other’s point of view, and clearly saying your own point of view. It means discussion, argument – communication.
It can be difficult and time consuming. It often seems easier to just hit someone, show them who’s boss, as we have seen in countless Hollywood films – where might is right.
The world is pretty much at the crossroads now. Some Israeli and USA politicians threaten military strikes on Iran’s nuclear facilities. Iran threatens retaliation. North Korea continues to be a nuclear weapons worry and China, India, USA, Russia, UK ramp up their nuclear weapons. Threats, decisions for violent action – it all seems simpler quicker, easier – easier than communication, negotiation, diplomacy.
Nuclear disarmament would be a long-overdue step towards a more peaceful and secure future. It would also liberate a wealth of national treasure and scientific expertise that could be redirected toward the promotion of smart and sustainable carbon-free energy technologies.
However, as long as the U.S. continues to plan for “winning” a nuclear war, maintains plans for pre-emptive nuclear strikes, and works to expand its nuclear arsenal, other countries will have an incentive to pursue their own nuclear options. -excerpt from Nuclear Roulette: The Case Against a “Nuclear Renaissance”http://ifg.org/pdf/Nuclear_Roulette_book.pdf
The global nuclear lobby looks to China as its saviour. The World Nuclear Association(WNA) boasts that China has 17 working nuclear power reactors and 30 under construction, They are less enthusiastic about the safety concerns about China’s nuclear reactors, nuclear wastes, and growing nuclear arsenal – as well as about the increasing popular resistance to nuclear power. See the sidebar at right, for the negative side of China’s nuclear power – and reasons why China might not fulfil the nuclear lobby’s dream.
While the Chinese government is trying to crack down on corruption , in fact, corruption is entrenched in both public and private businesses - graft, bribery, embezzlement, backdoor deals, nepotism, patronage, and statistical falsification. No surprise that this goes on on the very secretive operations of nuclear power and nuclear waste management. And the world does not get to hear of any nuclear whistleblowers in the closed totalitarian State of China.
The danger and security issues of nuclear power make China deal more forcefully and secretly with nuclear power. For China, as with its neighbour, India, nuclear power leads to suppression of civil liberties.
As China has in fact slowed down its nuclear power programme, it has, like Japan, looked to export nuclear technology, as a way to make the industry financially viable.
The original and greatest nuclear power country – USA – now finds nuclear power costly and dangerous, The imperative is to somehow make money out of this mess. The answer? – just as with asbestos and cigarettes – sell it off to Asia and the Middle East. France and Russia join in the nuclear marketing frenzy – as does Japan, too (desperate to pretend that all is well at Fukushima.)
And why do Asian and Middle Eastern countries want this poisonous industry? I can only suppose that, along with fashion, consumerism, cars, etc – everything Western is perhaps seen as ‘progress’.
And there’s that other factor, too. It would perhaps be nice to have the option of nuclear weapons. If you want nuclear weapons, you must first have nuclear power.
And you might just think that nuclear weapons might be a good idea. (After all, would Iraq have been invaded if it had nuclear weapons?)
As stricken Fukushima nuclear power plant continues to spew radioactive water, and teeters still on the brink of a new catastrophe – the nuclear lobby comes up with a new campaign. It is spearheaded by this propaganda film – “Pandora’s Promise”.
This is a good occasion for the usual suspects – pretend environmentalists, vested nuclear interests (Bill Gates, Paul Allen), mainstream cinema reviewers , to praise this nuclear advertising “documentary”.
This film’s lies go beyond its deceptions about ionising radiation, and about safety, and about nuclear waste disposal.
The main selling point – “nuclear power as cure for global warming” is absurd, as the world would need 11,000 nuclear power plants quickly set up, to have any impact on global warming – and that would in fact take decades to set up.
Other lies – the denial of nuclear power’s costs, and of the costs of nuclear waste disposal, and of the costs of security. Also denial of the complete impracticality and cost of setting up thousands of mini nuclear reactors. http://www.beyondnuclear.org/storage/pandoras-false-promises/Aug23_2013_Pandora’s%20False%20Promises.pdf
Denial of the health effects of ionising radiation is the latest and the most sinister, of the lies against science.
Denial of science is not new – goes back to Flat Earth and beyond. It does have to do with complex psychological issues. These include resentment and jealousy of the respected position of scientists, fear of change, and a kind of helplessness in the face of challenging circumstances.
There are other motivations – such as the desire to be famous and important – as being someone “brave enough to oppose the mainstream”
Then there’s the “libertarian idea” – so strongly believed by Rupert Murdoch, that government must not interfere with personal freedom. This idea would include – the freedom to promote smoking to young people, to get a job as an asbestos miner, to refuse to vaccinate children against fatal diseases, to accept that low level irradiation of one’s children is OK.
But none of these motivations would get “air play”, would prevail, if it were not for the Money Motive – the good old “What’s In It For Whom?” That’s the impetus behind public relations people, “consultants” , journalists, commentators, TV producers, film-makers etc who are paid by think tanks that are fronts for polluting industries, and for corporate giants like the Koch brothers. And - don’t let’s forget, - the scientists and science media who are paid by governments that are trapped - financially beholden to polluting corporations, and to the military industrial complex
Why bother? What is really killing nuclear power is ECONOMICS. The World Nuclear Industry Status Report 2013 tells the sorry story details of an industry in decline.
And here’s what USA Energy Secretary and Nuclear Enthusiast Ernest Moniz said, reluctantly, (15/8/13) “ I think it is very hard to see a future for nuclear power plants unless a new technology like small modular reactors becomes available in say, the next ten years.”
And what of small modular reactors ? August 8, 2013 ”A shift to “small module reactors” (SMRs) is unlikely to breathe new life into the increasingly moribund U.S. nuclear power industry, since SMRs will likely require tens of billions of dollars in federal subsidies or government purchase orders, create new reliability vulnerabilities, as well as serious concerns in relation to both safety and proliferation, according a report issued today by the nonprofit Institute for Energy and Environmental Research (IEER) think tank .”
- The lucrative nuclear weapons industry, both in the existing nuclear weapons counries, and in selling nuclear technology to “new, non-nuclear” countries- Asia, and the Middle East, that want the option of nuclear weapons.
- Ensuring that the tax-payer cops the costs, as for example in USA’s tax-payer insurance – the Price Anderson Act. As for example, in subsidies, such as UK’s plan for fixed high electricity prices. As for example in regimes where the government carries the costs – as in France, China, Japan.
The “front end”, the “central” and the “back end” The nuclear lobby has successfully confined discussion of nuclear power costs to the “central” cost of building nuclear reactors. Even anti-nuclear activists concentrate on this.
But – what about the Hidden Costs? – at the “Front end” and the “Back end”
THE VERY SECRET COSTS OF NUCLEAR POWER
Well it is impossible for anyone to estimate the real costs of nuclear power, as only a narrow range of costs are discussed, even where the nuclear industry is supposedly privately owned.
In 1996 the International Court of Justice issued its landmark advisory opinion on the legality of the threat or use of nuclear weapons. The court unanimously held that nations have a legal obligation to pursue in good faith and bring to a conclusion negotiations for the complete elimination of nuclear weapons under strict and effective international control…..
The continuing radiation crisis in Fukushima has alerted governments and public across the world to the inherent dangers of nuclear technology for electricity production. ICAN points out that the starting material is the same and the effects of radiation are completely indiscriminate and identical whether it is radiation from a nuclear reactor or a nuclear bomb. …
“In the end, there beckons, more and more clearly, general annihilation” – Albert Einstein 1945
Below – drawings by Japanese survivors of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki nuclear bombing, August 1945
Small scale wind energy has all those renewable energy advantages – no greenhouse gas emissions, free fuel, easy and quick to install, and direct electricity supplied. Small wind energy involves fewer regulations in installation, than large turbines. It works particularly well in conjunction with solar panels
Small-scale wind power is the name given to wind generation systems with the capacity to produce up to 50 kW of electrical power. Wind turbines have been used for household electricity generation in conjunction with battery storage over many decades in remote areas.
Off-grid system users can either adapt to intermittent power or use batteries, photovoltaic or diesel systems to supplement the wind turbine. Equipment such as parking meters, traffic warning signs, street lighting, or wireless Internet gateways may be powered by a small wind turbine, possibly combined with a photovoltaic system, that charges a small battery replacing the need for a connection to the power grid.
Grid-connected domestic wind turbines may use grid energy storage. and where feed-in tariff is available, sell excess power to the utility company.
Like solar power, small scale wind energy can be used in city or country. Also, like solar power, it has special advantages for remote areas.
It makes me laugh, when the nuclear lobby starts touting the idea of “small modular nuclear reactors (SMRs)”. Just like solar panels, small wind generators are already in use, in many parts of the world. (But these mythical SMRs would have to be ordered in great quantities, by some national buyer, before they would even risk making the things.) Meanwhile wind and solar are quickly set up, leave no radioactive wastes, require no special security. And of course – the killer factor – they’re cheaper.
- 1 NUCLEAR ISSUES
- business and costs
- climate change
- indigenous issues
- marketing of nuclear
- opposition to nuclear
- politics international
- Religion and ethics
- secrets,lies and civil liberties
- weapons and war
- 2 WORLD
- MIDDLE EAST
- NORTH AMERICA
- SOUTH AMERICA
- Christina's notes
- Christina's themes
- rare earths
- resources – print
- Resources -audiovicual