Eric Schlosser recounts the United States’ clumsy history with nuclear weapons. And it’s terrifying. Vox.com by Joe Posner and Estelle Caswell on June 16, 2015
Human error is, well, human. Most systems people design break from time to time. Including the United States’ nuclear weapons systems: The shocking stories in the video come from investigative reporter Eric Schlosser’s book Command and Control, in which he uncovered a “litany of errors” that go way, way beyond the official record of 33 serious accidents, known as “broken arrows.” Even the first test, 70 years ago this July 16, flirted perilously close with disaster.
Schlosser spent 6 years “in the most crazy nuclear shit imaginable” – and the revelations in the book about times we almost “destroyed a large part of the Florida coast” are seemingly endless.
Most discussion about nuclear weapons today has to do with a potential deal with Iran promising not to build a weapon. Discussion of the US missiles that were meant to be replaced 30 years ago, aging wiring, and control systems that run on floppy-disks have remained safely on the sidelines of the conversation…….http://www.vox.com/2015/6/16/8785987/schlosser-nuclear-accidents…....http://www.vox.com/2015/6/16/8785987/schlosser-nuclear-accidents
The Canadacast Uranium in Nunavut: unsustainable energy? http://arcticjournal.com/oil-minerals/1614/uranium-nunavut-unsustainable-energy Proponents of uranium mining typically tout its potential to create jobs. Environmental groups say there are lot more issues people should be worried about May 24, 2015 – 8:20pm – By Brian Pehora
Earlier this month, we reported that the NIRB, a territorial regulator in Nunavut, had taken the unprecedented step of recommending to the federal government that the proposed Kiggavik uranium mine not be given permission to break ground.
New climate deal faces hurdles
Originally broadcast on Thursday 21 May 2015 7:30PM, repeated Sunday 24 May 2015 10:00AM
With six months to go until the next global climate treaty talks in Paris, environmentalist and former US vice president Al Gore has declared that “the future of the world depends” on their outcome. Lord Nigel Lawson, former energy secretary in Margaret Thatcher’s government, delivers his assessment of the prospects of the world reaching a new climate deal.
(Background information about Lord Nigel Lawson and the Global Warming Policy Foundation is available on the DeSmogBlog website at: http://www.desmogblog.com/nigel-lawson and
http://www.desmogblog.com/global-warming-policy-foundation – and on the SourceWatch website at:http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php/Nigel_Lawson and http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php/Global_Warming_Policy_Foundation. The program presenter, Tom Switzer, is an Adjunct Fellow of the Institute of Public Affairs –his profile is available at: https://www.ipa.org.au/people/tom-switzer)
A new documentary shows the lengths the industry will go to put the public at risk
regory Jaczko was chairman of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission when Japan’s Fukushima power plant suffered a major meltdown in 2013. An advocate of tightening safety controls at America’s aging nuclear facilities after the Fukushima disaster, Jaczko soon discovered that despite his concerns, the influence of profit-hungry corporations over the NRC was affecting its ability to adequately police the industry—and putting the public in danger.
“When I served as chairman [of the NRC], there appeared to be commissioners who were more interested in industry conditions, that the NRC’s job was to protect the industry from the staff of the NRC,” Jaczko told The Daily Beast. “A lot of times, they said the staff was being too aggressive.”
Jaczko’s concerns, and his eventual ouster from the NRC, are part of a larger story told inIndian Point, a new documentary screening this week and next at the Tribeca Film Festival. Named after the electricity-generating nuclear reactor just 35 miles from New York City, the film is a cautionary tale about a technology once seen as an abundant and non-polluting energy source, but with downsides that could make oil spills and electrical brownouts seem as minor as a fender bender……..
Jaczko, whom the film alleges was ousted because of his views (his was the only dissenting vote on plans to build the first American nuclear plant in 30 years) is not alone in his concern about safety issues, and the industry’s reliance on old, outdated technology. Indian Point’s two reactors went online in 1975 and 1976, respectively, and, says Meeropol, “most of the plants in the U.S. are as old as Indian Point or older. Plants all over the country are having to replace major parts, they are just trying to fix things all the time. That’s a problem the entire industry has.”
Then there’s the issue of toxic waste. The fuel rods in these plants are highly radioactive, and can stay that way for 200,000 years. When they are spent, they need to be stored somewhere. The issue of what to do with this waste has never really been resolved, which means, says Musegaas, “Indian Point and other plants have become de facto toxic waste dumps for nuclear fuel.” According to the film, there is three times more toxic waste stored at Indian Point than there was in Fukushima.
Indian Point also delves into the environmental effect some of these plants have on our nation’s waterways. The fuel rods need to be constantly cooled, which means, in the case of a plant like Indian Point, 2.5 billion gallons of water are pulled from the Hudson every day, heated up when it passes through the plant, and dumped back in the river—a process that can kill millions of fish. “It’s mind-boggling how much life is going through the cooling system of this plant and getting toasted,” says Riverkeeper boat captain John Lipscomb in the film.
Given all these problems, it’s unsurprising that opposition to the Indian Point plant has been ongoing for decades…….
Jaczko: “The best thing to do is to figure out how to close it down. The best solution is to negotiate a narrow period of operation, so you can transfer the electricity generation and do it in a responsible way. If you can’t get your neighbors in the community to accept the plant, something’s not working.” http://readersupportednews.org/news-section2/312-16/29711-top-nuclear-watchdog-forced-out-by-industry
Exposing Uranium Mining ‘Return of Navajo Boy’ Receives Yellow Oscar in Rio, Censored News 21 Apr 15 Navajo Boy Co-producer Bennie Klain, Dine’ (Navajo) US FILM THE RETURN OF NAVAJO BOY RECEIVES YELLOW OSCAR
RIO DE JANEIRO/QUEBEC CITY, Rio de Janeiro´s 5th International Uranium Film Festival started Wednesday, April 15, with a wonderful Gala and the presence of international guests from all five continents including French Canadian actress Karine Vanasse in Quebec City. Until April 25 this unique global film festival will screen more than 40 documentaries, short films, animations and fiction movies about nuclear power, uranium risks and atomic bombs. The Grand Council of the Crees (Eeyou Istchee) is the event’s principal host of this in the world most important film festival about nuclear energy and radioactive risks in Quebec.
USA 2000/2008, 57 min and 15 min, Epilogue / Documentary, Director:
Jeff Spitz, Produced by Jeff Spitz and Bennie Klain, www.navajoboy.com<(link is external)http://www.navajoboy.com>……
New Film on Indian Point Explores ‘Nuclear Power in the Age of Fukushima’ http://www.commondreams.org/news/2015/04/16/new-film-indian-point-explores-nuclear-power-age-fukushima Film alleges former nuke commission chair was ousted by pro-industry forces who thought he was being ‘too aggressive’ in his efforts to protect the public. by Deirdre Fulton, staff writer
The 94-minute film, titled Indian Point and directed by Ivy Meeropol, features unprecedented footage of the three-unit nuclear power plant station, which was designed in the 1950s and sits in Buchanan, New York, just 35 miles up the Hudson River from Times Square.
In an interview, Meeropol said the film is “about one aging and controversial nuclear power plant in the age of Fukushima. The story is told from both inside and outside the plant, through characters who care deeply about its future.”
It delves specifically into the story of Gregory Jaczko, who was chairman of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) when Japan’s Fukushima power plant suffered a major meltdown in 2013. The film alleges that Jaczko—an advocate of tightening safety controls at America’s aging nuclear facilities after the Fukushima disaster (his was the only dissenting vote on plans to build the first American nuclear plant in 30 years)—was ousted from the NRC by pro-industry forces who thought he was being “too aggressive” in his efforts to protect the public.
When asked by IndieWire what she wants people to think about after seeing the movie, Meeropol responded: “That there are consequences to our insatiable demands for energy and there are no easy answers for how to capture that energy safely. But even more pressing, since we are currently using nuclear power across the country and the globe, nuclear power plants must be regulated, and we need to be certain that our regulatory bodies are not compromised by their relationships with industry.”
The Daily Beast describes Indian Point as “a cautionary tale about a technology once seen as an abundant and non-polluting energy source, but with downsides that could make oil spills and electrical brownouts seem as minor as a fender bender.”
Just this week, the Disaster Accountability Project, a nonprofit organization that monitors responses to nuclear emergencies, called on the NRC to establish a 50-mile disaster warning zone for Indian Point. Currently, the NRC requires communities located within 10 miles of nuclear power plants to develop emergency plans.
But the Wall Street Journal reports that the NRC, “in response to the Disaster Accountability Project’s recommendations, said that the current 10-mile zone for emergency planning is appropriate and that plans in those areas will provide adequate protection to the public in a nuclear accident.”
Meeropol and Jaczko will participate in a Q&A following the film’s premiere on Friday evening.
Blind Faith: The Nuclear History of Port Hope, Ontario January 15, 2015 by Dennis Riches @DennisRiches “……..hibakusha (the Japanese word for radiation victims) become invisible. When a new group of people become victims, such as in Fukushima in 2011, they feel that they have experienced a unique new kind of horror. For them, for their generation, it is new, but for those who know the historical record, it is a familiar replay of an old story. The people of Fukushima should know by now that they are bit players who have been handed down a tattered script from the past.
A case in point is “Blind Faith,” the superb 1981 book by journalist Penny Sanger, about the small irradiated Canadian town of Port Hope on the shores of Lake Ontario. (See the timeline at the end of this article)  In the 1970s it faced (and more often failed to face) the toxic legacy of processing first radium, then uranium for nuclear weapons and nuclear power plants.
In a saner world this book would not be out of print and forgotten. It would be a classic text known by everyone who has ever had to share his town with a dangerous corporate citizen. Then there would be no surprises when a nuclear reactor explodes or a cancer cluster appears somewhere new. It wouldn’t be a shock to see the victims themselves fall over each other in a rush to excuse their abuser, beg for a continuation of jobs and tax revenue, and threaten the minority who try to break the conspiracy of silence.
On the back cover of the 1981 paperback edition of “Blind Faith” there was an endorsement by the late great Canadian writer Farley Mowat, who passed away in the spring of 2014:
Penny Sanger has written a fascinating and fearsome account of the emotional turmoil that engulfs a small town when it discovers that its major industry is a threat to the health of its citizens. This is a classic account of how economic power enables industry to ride roughshod over those who must depend on it for their daily bread.
Although I wrote above that “Blind Faith” illustrates universal truths about what happens to communities contaminated with radiation, there are always unique aspects of the situation that come into play. In this case, we see the extreme complacency and obliviousness of Canadian society to the role that the country played in the development of nuclear weapons and nuclear power.
The uranium refinery in Port Hope was a key element in the Manhattan Project. ………
One stand-out account is that of a widow whose husband, a long-time Eldorado worker, had died of lung cancer at age 50. He had worked at Eldorado for over twenty years, during the era when workplace monitoring and standards were non-existent. Her husband was no longer there to say whether he too was “philosophical” about it and “couldn’t be bitter about it” like his wife and his daughter claimed. The widow said that in spite of her husband’s shortened life, they were grateful for the good jobs and university education that the children were able to get. Thanks to Eldorado, they had come up in the world.
Penny Sanger passed no judgment on this thinking, but I find it to be a rather disturbinging example of working man’s Stockholm Syndrome. The victim has internalized the values of the captor, and lost self-esteem and critical thinking skills in the process. The bereaved family shrugs that they “can’t be bitter about it.” They’ve internalized the value that children have to go to university to live worthwhile lives, and it’s alright if parents have to kill themselves to accomplish this goal.
It seemed to never occur to any of the Port Hope boosters that there were dozens of similar towns in rural Ontario that had found ways to survive without hosting toxic industries. I know a family of Polish immigrants who landed in Port Hope in the 1960s, and they managed to get by without working for Cameco. The children had the sense to leave town after high school when they saw their friends going straight to grim lives working with the yellowcake down at the plant. One of them managed somehow to get a couple of university degrees after he left town.
This lack of imagination among the terminally hopeful applies more widely. Not only do company towns fail to imagine less toxic ways to live, but large nations also fail to imagine new paradigms for energy and economic systems……..
“Blind Faith” is available on a website dedicated to the history of Port Hope. Since it is out of print and over thirty years old, I asked the author if she would allow its free distribution as a pdf file. She gave her permission, but of course the common sense rules apply. If you want to sell the book, ask the author for permission. If you redistribute it free, in whole or in part, do so with proper citation.Read it in a web browser:
Free download (permitted by author):
Penny Sanger, “Blind Faith” (pdf) (McGraw-Hill Ryerson, 1981), 135 pages. http://www.mintpressnews.com/MyMPN/blind-faith-nuclear-history-port-hope-ontario/
Photos The Radioactive Man Who Returned To Fukushima To Feed The Animals That Everyone Else Left Behind Bored Panda 20 Mar 15 The untold human suffering and property damage left in the wake of the Fukushima disaster in Japan has been well-documented, but there’s another population that suffered greatly that few have discussed – the animals left behind in the radioactive exclusion zone. One man, however, hasn’t forgotten – 55-year-old Naoto Matsumura, a former construction worker who lives in the zone to care for its four-legged survivors.
He is known as the ‘guardian of Fukushima’s animals’ because of the work he does to feed the animals left behind by people in their rush to evacuate the government’s 12.5-mile exclusion zone. He is aware of the radiation he is subject to on a daily basis, but says that he “refuses to worry about it.” He does take steps, however, by only eating food imported into the zone.
See more about his work and what he has seen in the exclusion zone below!…….http://www.boredpanda.com/fukushima-radioactive-disaster-abandoned-animal-guardian-naoto-matsumura/
It is not simple nor cheap to set up non nuclear methods of producing medical isotopes . However, it can be done, and in the long run, is less expensive than managing the radioactive waste debt to be passed on to future generations.
The “nuclear medicine” rationale is just a fig leaf tacked on to this dangerous industry
AUDIO: Reactors avoided in production of medical isotopes http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/scienceshow/reactors-avoided-in-production-of-medical-isotopes/6315814 14 March 2015
Fukushima, Japan four years on: ‘Nuclear power and humans cannot coexist’ – video http://www.theguardian.com/environment/video/2015/mar/10/fukushima-japan-nuclear-video Richard Sprenger Justin McCurry, Michael Condon,Ken Macfarlaneand Michael Tait,
Richard Sprenger,Justin McCurry, Michael Condon,Ken Macfarlaneand Michael Tait,theguardian.com On 11 March 2011, the strongest earthquake in Japan’s history caused a giant tsunami that killed more than 18,000 people along the country’s north-east coast. It also triggered a triple meltdown at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant that will take four decades to clean up at a cost of tens of billions of dollars. As Japan prepares to mark the fourth anniversary of the 3/11 disaster, the Guardian talks to key figures from the most critical days of the Fukushima crisis and to some of the tens of thousands forced to evacuate their irradiated communities and who continue to live in nuclear limbo
It’s Mother Earth vs. Father Greed in New Pine Ridge Uranium Documentary, Indian Country Natalie Hand 3/3/15 The emotionally charged documentary Crying Earth Rise Up! was showcased to a full house at this week’s Sedona International Film Festival in Sedona, Arizona.
Filmmaker Suree Towfighnia and film editor Sharon Karp were on hand for the screening. “This is the fourth screening of the film,” Towfighnia said. ” We literally finished production just last week. So I feel a sense of relief and accomplishment.”
The film, narrated by Tantoo Cardinal, focuses on two Oglala Lakota women on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota. One is Elisha Yellow Thunder, a young mother with a daughter, Laila, who was born with cloacal abnormalities that causes internal organs to be connected. Laila’s only functioning kidney fails at age 8. Elisha’s quest to determine the cause of her daughter’s birth defects leads her to the water on her homeland. Majoring in geology, she is mentored by Dr. Hannan LaGarry, a geology professor and author of 5 year study on hydrology the Ogallala Aquifer who teaches her to study water and uranium outcroppings on her homeland as a possible cause of the high number of birth defects and stillborn babies on Pine Ridge. “My little girl’s story is too big not to tell,” Yellow Thunder said.
Water brought Elisha together with Debra White Plume, a frontline activist who is challenging Canadian mining giant Cameo, who operates the Crow Butte uranium mine near Crawford, Nebraska, near the Pine Ridge reservation. White Plume filed an intervention opposing Cameo’s 10 year renewal license and application to expand their mining operation in December of 2007. She is the only individual intervener in this case against Cameo. In the film, White Plume attributes the in-situ leach mining operation at Crown Butte for contaminating the aquifer that flows under her homeland. Dr. La Garry serves at the expert witness in White Plume’s defense.
“Without water, there is no life,” White Plume says in a quote that is featured onthe film’s website. “It’s like Mother Earth against Father Greed. You’re either for uranium or against it. There is no middle ground.”
“This work is about protecting precious water, for all of us, for Mother Earth and our coming generations,” White Plume said at the Sedona screening. “This film will help tell our truth to the world, all over the world water is in shortage, there are droughts or floods, or water is so contaminated it cannot be ingested by humans. We tell our truth based on our love of our generations.” Her words earned a standing ovation from the crowd………
For more information or to host a screening,visitCrying Earth Rise Up!on Facebook.Read more athttp://indiancountrytodaymedianetwork.com/2015/03/03/its-mother-earth-vs-father-greed-new-pine-ridge-uranium-documentary-159451
After the Apocalypse: The anti-nuclear film that wasn’t, Nuclear Free by 2o45? by Dennis, 27 Feb 15
As the fourth anniversary of the earthquake-tsunami-meltdown syndrome approached, I looked back at an example of pro-nuclear spin that appeared in the media in the spring of 2011. Ironically, the pro-nuclear message discussed here is a film about the horrors of atomic weapon blasts in The Polygon, the sacrifice zone in Kazakhstan where the Soviet Union detonated hundreds of nuclear and thermonuclear bombs. I’m timing this article to also commemorate the birth of the Nevada-Semipalatinsk anti-nuclear movement which is marked every year in Kazakhstan on February 28th.
After the Apocalypse  is a one-hour documentary that takes place in Semipalatinsk, a town in north-eastern Kazakhstan where the USSR detonated 456 nuclear weapons, many of them large-yield megaton hydrogen bombs. The camera goes to radioactive craters where herders still take their animals to graze. It goes to a museum where the pickled corpses of deformed babies sit in jars. However, the horror show of the past is not the main attraction. The film concentrates on the fierce struggle that still goes on today over the reproductive rights of the Kazakhstan hibakusha. The director, Antony Butts, follows a pregnant woman, Bibigul, whose wide-set eyes suggest chromosome damage. She wants to give birth despite the protestations of Toleukhan Nurmagambetov, a doctor who talks of the deformed, and too often abandoned, babies in the region as “monsters.” Continue reading
Berlin Film Review: ‘Nuclear Nation II’ The devastating fallout of Japan’s nuclear disaster shows little sign of improvement in Atsushi Funabashi’s follow-up to ‘Nuclear Nation.’
Variety, Maggie Lee
@maggiesama 15 Feb 15
Buy the book here: https://store.globalresearch.ca/
From the outset of the post World War II period to the present, America’s s global military design has been one of world conquest. War and globalization are intricately related. Militarization supports powerful economic interests. America’s “Long War” is geared towards worldwide corporate expansion and the conquest of new economic frontiers.
The concept of the “Long War” is an integral part of U.S. military doctrine. Its ideological underpinnings are intended to camouflage the hegemonic project of World conquest. Its implementation relies on a global alliance of 28 NATO member states.
In turn, the U.S. as well as NATO have established beyond the “Atlantic Region” a network of bilateral military alliances with “partner” countries directed against Russia, China, Iran and North Korea. What we are dealing with is a formidable military force, deployed in all major regions of the World.
AUDIO: Fiji nuclear veterans’ payout small win in huge battle http://www.radioaustralia.net.au/international/radio/program/pacific-beat/fiji-nuclear-veterans-payout-small-win-in-huge-battle/1411753 3 February 2015,
The Fijian government’s decision to compensate the remaining members of the Fiji Nuclear Veterans Association will bring some relief while a legal battle with the British government is still dragging on after nearly a decade in the courts.
Some 70 Fijian soldiers were deployed to what is now Kirbati back in 1958 to take part in Britain’s nuclear testing program on Christmas Island, and more than half a century later, only 24 survive.
The Fijian government payout of FJD$9,985 is designed to cover medical costs which the British government has steadfastly refused to cover.
Journalist and writer Nic Maclellan is co-author of a book on the Fijian nuclear veterans called Kirisimasi.
He says although the veterans will be helped by the payment from Fiji, the real fight is still with the British government.
Presenter: Richard Ewart
Speaker: Nic Maclellan, Journalist
- 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