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Pandora’s Propaganda – nuclear’s film advertisement spreads from USA

Christina Macpherson's websites & blogs

Christina Macpherson’s websites & blogs

The nuclear advertising film ‘ Pandora’s Promise’ will be showing around Australia, and in Edinburgh and London in the next couple of weeks.  It is largely funded by people from the pro nuclear Breakthrough Institute, including people like Bill Gates, who has his own nuclear power company Terra Power. It is directed by passionate nuclear enthusiast, Robert Stone, who does Q and A afterwards, and over-talks any critical questioners.

The film initially discusses the “downside” of the nuclear industry’s history, using previous accidents to prove the safety of new nuclear. It singles out supposed leading anti nuclear activists who now are pro nuclear. However, not one of these has genuine anti nuclear credentials. Names include Stewart Brandon who now runs  a pro nuclear think tank.No one in the film ever led the anti-nuclear movement.

Weaknesses of this film include the way that it:

  • mocks anti nuclear opinions as a bunch extremists and zealots. It makes no effort to portray any sensible opposing opinion.
  • minimises the health effects of ionising radaiation with downright  untruths, for instance, telling us only that Chernobyl killed 56 people. It leaves out that a United Nations World Health Organization agency predicts 16,000 more will die from Chernobyl cancers and that the European Environment Agency estimates 34,000 more. It omits that non-fatal thyroid cancer struck another 6,000, mostly children 
  • does not mention the crippling economics that is now closing nuclear plants in USA (Florida, Wisconsin and California), nor the imperative for tax-payer subsidy
  • does not mention insurance:  the nuclear industry, alone among industries is exempt from risk through USA’s Price Anderson Act, as well as every home owner’s insurance policy stating that this policy does not compensate you for any radiation damage from a nuclear power plant. 
The film moves on to promotion of new nuclear power plants. In this discussion it
  • avoids the economics of Small Nuclear reactors (SMRs)   Even under the best of circumstances, there will be no SMR prototype for as long as a decade or more. There are serious questions over the economics of mass producing these, over their safety, and the huge costs of maintaining security over thousands of little nuclear reactors scattered around the land. None of this is discussed in the film.
  • promotes Integral Fast Reactors (IFRs) – fast breeder reactors. but doesn’t mention the past failure of these, in USA , France (Super Phoenix) Japan (Monju), and their enormous cost.
  • Dishonestly minimises the nuclear waste problems of IFR’s. Film does not explain that the final wastes, while smaller in volume, are far more radioactive and dangerous than existing nuclear wastes, and therefore require the same amount of storage space and security.
This film has been described by Robert F Kennedy as an “elaborate hoax”.
If you are interested in critiques of Pandora”s Promise, these can be found at, by scrolling down the right hand sidebar to the SEARCH box at the bottom, and just typing in “Pandora’s Promise”.
 Australia – to most capital cites Oct 7 – 14
Edinburgh, Scotland – Centre for Contemporary Arts – Tues Oct 8
London, England – Ritzy PicturehouseSat Oct 16

September 28, 2013 Posted by | Christina's notes, media | 10 Comments

The gap between official information and the real news about Fukushima

fukushima_reactor-4-2013Nuclear Industry Report: ‘Reduced stability’ of fuel pool in Fukushima Unit 4; Admits there’s damaged fuel inside? — Gundersen: Fuel racks moved and damaged; Fallen debris distorted tops (AUDIO)

World Nuclear News,Sept. 26, 2013 (Emphasis Added): […] Underwater inspections in the [Unit 4] pond have shown most of the fuel to be undamaged, but the pond contains a lot of dust and debris which will complicate operations. […] Its full core load of fuel, plus used fuel from previous operation, was being stored in a fuel pool at the top of the reactor building. […] The stability of the pool was then reduced by major structural damage to the building caused by the ignition of hydrogen […]

World Nuclear News is funded by the World Nuclear Association. The WNA represents the interests of the international nuclear industry. -Source

Bridging the News Gap, with Professor Matt Noyes

Fairewinds Energy Education Podcast, Sept.. 26, 2013 (at 21:15 in) – Arnie Gundersen, Fairewinds Chief Engineer: These racks [in the Unit 4 fuel pool] have moved, they’ve been distorted by the earthquake, there’s junk that’s fallen on top of them and distorted the tops. […] One of two things is going to happen. They’re either going to pull too hard and snap the bundle, or they’re going to be unable to pull all of the fuel out of the pool.   Full podcast available here

September 28, 2013 Posted by | Fukushima 2013, Japan, media, Reference, Resources -audiovicual | Leave a comment

The dying investigative journalism

He says investigative journalism in the US is being killed by the crisis of confidence, lack of resources and a misguided notion of what the job entails…….

“Our job is to find out ourselves, our job is not just to say – here’s a debate’ our job is to go beyond the debate and find out who’s right and who’s wrong about issues. That doesn’t happen enough.

Seymour Hersh on Obama, NSA and the ‘pathetic’ American media  by  Friday 27 September 2013 Pulitzer Prize winner explains how to fix journalism, saying press should ‘fire 90% of editors and promote ones you can’t control’

Seymour Hersh has got some extreme ideas on how to fix journalism – close down the news bureaus of NBC and ABC, sack 90% of editors in publishing and get back to the fundamental job of journalists which, he says, is to be an outsider.  It doesn’t take much to fire up Hersh, the investigative journalist who has been the nemesis of US presidents since the 1960s and who was once described by the Republican party as “the closest thing American journalism has to a terrorist”.

He is angry about the timidity of journalists in America, their failure to challenge the White House and be an unpopular messenger of truth……..

Snowden changed the debate on surveillance   Continue reading

September 28, 2013 Posted by | 2 WORLD, media | Leave a comment

How Japan lied its way into the 2020 Olympic Games

text-nuclear-uranium-lies  The Namie Town Assembly unanimously passed the Sept. 20 protest resolution stating that there is a “serious problem” with Abe’s remarks as they “contradict reality.

flag-japanFukushima Out of Control   Did Japan Lie Its Way Into the Olympics? CounterPunch WEEKEND EDITION SEPTEMBER 27-29, 2013 by PETER LEE In order to secure the 2020 Tokyo Olympics for Tokyo, Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe assured the IOC that the Fukushima situation was “under control”, per AFP:

“Let me assure you the situation is under control,” [Abe] said.

“It has never done or will do any damage to Tokyo.”

Abe replied decisively when pressed by veteran Norwegian IOC member Gerhard Heiberg over Fukushima.

“You should read past the headlines and look at the facts,” he said.

“The contaminated water has been contained in an area of the harbour only 0.3 square kilometres big.

“There have been no health problems and nor will there be. I will be taking responsibility for all the programmes with regard to the plant and the leaks.” Continue reading

September 28, 2013 Posted by | Japan, secrets,lies and civil liberties | Leave a comment

National comparative birth defects study needed in Japan

flag-japanReporters in Japan write about rise in birth defects for 2011 — University won’t publish data on malformed babies after many years of doing so; Not releasing figures for Fukushima, other prefectures — Expert: This is ridiculous
Title: The Fukushima Generation: New Data on Birth Defects in Post-Meltdown Japan
Source: Daily Beast
Author: Jake Adelstein, Nathalie Kyoko Stucky
Date: Sept. 26, 2013
Emphasis Added

The Daily Beast recently obtained unpublished data on birth defects in Japan, which showed a small increase in prevalence rates for 2011 […] The university that conducted the study will not release regional figures. However, several nuclear experts in and outside of the country assert that Japan needs to seriously measure the health impact of its nuclear problems, including birth defects, “with not just annual data but monthly data and broken down by prefecture.”

[…] Yokohama City University […] has been doing studies of birth defects in Japan for over a decade. The 2011 Report on Congenital Malformations notes the prevalence of malformed infants as 2.43 percent, the highest figure since 1999 (1.48 percent). However, the figures for 2010 were 2.31 percent, indicating only a small increase between 2010 and 2011. […]

Since 1999, the Yokohama City University has been releasing the statistical report regularly around the month of May, but did not publish the data this year. After repeated requests, it finally provided the 2011 data, which is still currently unavailable to the public. Continue reading

September 28, 2013 Posted by | health, Japan | Leave a comment

TEPCO applies to restart Kashiwazaki Kariwa nuclear plant

Mr Izumida, a strident critic of TEPCO, said he was allowing the utility to apply for safety approval, but withholding final judgment on restarting the plant.

“Kashiwazaki Kariwa nuclear power plant may be halted, but it is a living facility, and safety must be ensured at the plant,” he said in a statement.

He had previously denounced TEPCO as unfit to run a nuclear plant and has called for the company’s liquidation.

exclamation-flag-japanFukushima operator TEPCO seeks restart of Japan’s Kashiwazaki Kariwa nuclear plant  27 Sept 13   TEPCO has applied to restart a nuclear plant in north-western Japan, an initial step on its planned recovery from the Fukushima nuclear disaster.

But final approval to resume power generation at the Kashiwazaki Kariwa facility, the world’s largest nuclear plant, 300 kilometres north west of Tokyo, is uncertain and any decision would take many months at best. Continue reading

September 28, 2013 Posted by | business and costs, Japan, politics | Leave a comment

USA – India nuclear sales deal

Singh-and-USAIndia, US seal first commercial deal on civil nuclear power 28 Sept 13  Washington: India and the US have reached the first commercial agreement on civilian nuclear power, five years after a landmark deal between the two countries was clinched. 

Addressing a joint media interaction after talks with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, President Barack Obama disclosed that the two countries have sealed the agreement.

“We’ve made enormous progress on the issue of civilian nuclear power, and in fact, have been able to achieve just in the last few days an agreement on the first commercial agreement between a US company and India on civilian nuclear power,” Obama said.

Buy-US-nukesIndia’s nuclear operator NPCIL (Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited) and US firm Westinghouse have signed an agreement that will pave the way for setting up an atomic plant in India.

However, there was no word on the tough nuclear liability clause in the Indian laws over which the US firms had strong objections.

There was a major uproar in India last week over the agreement because of apprehensions that it entailed bypassing the Civil Nuclear Liability Law in place in the country by waiving the operator’s right to recourse with the supplier.

September 28, 2013 Posted by | India, marketing of nuclear | Leave a comment

Stanislav Petrov who saved the world from nuclear holocaust

Happy Petrov Day! (How we narrowly avoided nuclear war on this day in 1983) Michael Graham Richard  27 Sept 13 The best kind of holiday Most of us alive today owe a debt to those who avoided nuclear war in years past, and sadly, there were many occasions when that was necessary. The Cuban Missile Crisis is a well-known example, with John F. Kennedy, Robert McNamara, Nikita Khrushchev, Fidel Castro, and various other government officials on all sides playing a game of poker with the lives of hundreds of millions of people (if not billions, who knows how far things would’ve gone). We came so very close to the edge of the abyss before stepping back…


 That’s why anyone even a little bit concerned with the future of humanity – leaving a better world for their children – and about all other living creatures on the planet should be against nuclear weapons and in favor of taking concrete steps to reduce the chances of them ever being used. This can’t be swept under the rug. After all, what’s the point of building a better society and protecting the environment if, during a moment of folly, a few people in positions of power can kill us all?

Giving us a second chance Continue reading

September 28, 2013 Posted by | history, Russia, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Private nuclear companies pose a catastrophic threat, as TEPCO has shown

Latest Fukushima Crisis Shows Catastrophic Threat of Nuclear Power Companies MARK KARLIN, EDITOR OF BUZZFLASH AT TRUTHOUT 27 Sept 13, The possibility of a global nuclear catastrophe as a result of the ongoing crisis at Fukushima is not only a real threat to untold lives in Japan and around the world, it is a model example of why nuclear power of any sort should not be privatized — and should only have limited uses within governmental programs.

As reported on Monday on BuzzFlash at Truthout, the potential nuclear radiation release from “repairs” at Fukushima threaten the globe. “Nuclear Crisis at Fukushima Could Spew Out More Than 15,000 Times as Much Radiation as Hiroshima Bombing,”Harvey Wasserman, a longtime anti-nuclear advocate, wrote on BuzzFlash. Truthout posted a follow-up story today that states, “We’re in very apocalyptic territory, with a wide and unknown range of outcomes.”

It’s hard to analyze the nuclear industry rationally when the private company, TEPCO, in Japan has just thrown up its hands and admitted it does not have a full-proof plan to prevent a nuclear disaster of proportions not yet seen.  You can bet the Japanese government which has been assuring the world that everything was under control had a role in inviting international assistance in keeping Fukushima from creating a nuclear nightmare.

What is a private power company, TEPCO, doing in charge of “repairing” Fukushima anyway?  How did we turn over an energy source that can threaten the survival of life on earth to private companies? Continue reading

September 28, 2013 Posted by | 2 WORLD, safety | Leave a comment

Damaged underwater radiation barrier at Fukushima

NHK: Typhoon approaching Fukushima plant — Underwater fences breached — Tepco: No ‘immediate’ effect (VIDEO)

Xinhua, Sept. 26, 2013: The operator of the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, Tokyo Electric Power Co., (TEPCO), said Thursday that damage was found on an underwater curtain under the stricken complex, according to local media. […] Local reports said that a worker found a cut in the fence Thursday morning, adding the TEPCO did not provide more details and is checking the impact of the crack. […] The TEPCO said it plans to repair the fence after an upcoming typhoon, according to Japan’s Kyodo News. […]


Fukushima News 9/26/13: Typhoon Damage-Underwater Barrier

NHK WORLD, Sept. 26, 2013: The operator of the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant says underwater barriers in the facility’s port have been breached. […] The silt fences are to stop contaminated sea-bed soil from near the damaged No. 1, 2, 3 and 4 reactors polluting water near the still-intact No. 5 and 6 reactors. […] It plans to repair the fences once high waves triggered by an approaching typhoon subside. The Nuclear Regulation Authority instructed the power company to measure radiation levels […]

RT: “The fence is also designed to prevent radioactive material emerging from damaged units 1, 2, 3 and 4″

Tepco: “We don’t think this situation will have any immediate effect”

Watch the NHK broadcast here

September 28, 2013 Posted by | Fukushima 2013, Resources -audiovicual | Leave a comment

Rouhani calls on Israel to join Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty,

The Iranians have frequently pointed out that they have publicly renounced nuclear arms and that — unlike Israel — Iran is a member of the International Atomic Energy Agency, the United Nations nuclear monitor. The Iranians also have countered that Israel is believed to already have an arsenal of nuclear weapons, which it refuses to confirm or deny.

According to the Arms Control Association, a non-proliferation group in Washington, Israel is suspected of having 100 to 200 nuclear warheads.

RouhaniIran’s president calls on Israel to join nuclear treaty September 27, 2013

President Hassan Rouhani of Iran told the United Nations on Thursday that “no nation should possess nuclear weapons,” and that Israel should join the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty, as Iran did long ago, as part of a grander plan to create a zone free of nuclear weapons in the Middle East. Continue reading

September 28, 2013 Posted by | Iran, Israel, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Public meeting on the disposal of dead San Onofre nuclear power plant

nuke-reactor-deadNuclear Regulatory Commission Debates San Onofre Plant Shutdown At (includes Video) First Public Meeting September 26, 2013 SAN ONOFRE ( — The Nuclear Regulatory Commission met on Thursday to debate the potential effects of shutting down the troubled San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station.

KCAL9′s Stacey Butler reports hundreds of residents gathered for their first chance to hear what’s next for the plant since it was permanently closed earlier this year.

Gary Headrick led the charge to have the plant shut down for good.

“There are issues that can challenge us even more than having a reactor operating,” he said.

Headrick and others asked the NRC what they plan to do with the radioactive spent fuel rods.

He says they don’t have a proven storage technique. “Not only nuclear waste, but toxic waste that’s part of the decommissioning process will be released into the ocean and the environment. There is high burn-up fuel which is much different than at other nuclear facilities which makes it harder to store nuclear waste,” he said.

 Edison has two years to submit a plan for decommissioning the San Onofre plant.

Activist Carol Jahnkow is asking for a citizens oversight committee.

“We don’t want to wait two years to find out what they’re going to do, how much they’ve been spending in the interim and what safety precautions they’ve taken,” she said.

An NRC spokesman said the agency will be watching Edison’s every move. “The decommissioning activity will be done safely under the watchful eyes of the NRC, and it’s not over until we say it’s over,” he said.

An Edison spokesperson declined an on-camera interview but said that it will cost over $4 billion to decommission the plant. Customers’ rates, the spokesperson said, will not go up for five years.

An NRC spokesperson said Edison is looking at either disassembling the plant quickly or letting it sit for 30 years while waiting for the radioactivity to decay.

September 28, 2013 Posted by | decommission reactor, USA | Leave a comment

Citizens want to oversee decommissioning of San Onofre nuclear plant

san-onofre-deadfCitizens seek role in San Onofre decommissioning  By ERIKA I. RITCHIE / ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER, 26 Sept 13,    CARLSBAD – Speaking on behalf of several hundred people, Gene Stone asked officials from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission on Thursday night to consider the formation of a citizens coalition that would help oversee the decommissioning of the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station, a process that could take decades.

“We are here today in the hope that the Nuclear Regulatory Commission will make San Onofre the flagship project for a safe-and-sane cleanup of America’s effort at decommissioning our old and …

September 28, 2013 Posted by | decommission reactor, USA | Leave a comment

Financially no chance for a nuclear power plant in Utah

bad-smell-nukeFlag-USAExpert calls proposed Utah nuclear power plant a ‘non-starter’ Trial » Energy analyst says Blue Castle lacks financing, market for proposed Utah project. By Brian Maffly The Salt Lake Tribune Sep 26 2013  Lacking sufficient financing and a real market, Blue Castle Holdings has no hope of developing a nuclear power plant in Utah, according to an energy analyst who testified Thursday in a trial over the project’s water rights.

“You can’t sell 14-cent power in a market where power costs 8 or 10 cents [per kilowatt-hour]. That’s why the nuclear renaissance has collapsed. If you can’t compete, you can’t raise money to build these projects,” said Mark Cooper in an interview, echoing his testimony in Price’s 7th District Court……..

The week-long trial before Judge George Harmond focuses on whether the state appropriately assigned 53,000 acre feet of water to the Blue Castle project. Closing arguments are scheduled Friday, but Harmond is not expected to rule right away…….

The suit, brought by Utah environmental groups and local water users, attacks the only issue in the nuclear controversy where the state exercises control. Should Blue Castle secure the right to suck enough water out of the Green River to supply a city the size of Orem, its proposal will rest entirely in the hands of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC).

To secure a water right, state law requires a finding that the proposed purpose is economically and physically feasible, is in the public interest, and financing is available. Blue Castle fails on all these points, according to Cooper, a fellow for economic analysis in the Institute for Energy and the Environment at Vermont Law School…….”The only states where [nuclear reactors] are being built is in states where the risk has been shifted to the ratepayers,” Cooper said.

September 28, 2013 Posted by | business and costs, USA | Leave a comment

Fukushima disaster an ongoing health problem

Hiroshima seeks to distance itself from Fukushima despite parallels of radiation woes in Japan, WP26 Sept 13,  “……The widespread sentiment in this southwestern city, he said, is that Hiroshima has endured something more terrible than the aftermath of a nuclear accident, and people resent getting lumped together. Matsui lost relatives in the attack, and his parents’ home was destroyed.

The bombing killed some 140,000 people — some instantly, others within months. Three days later, the U.S. dropped a second atomic bomb on Nagasaki, killing an estimated 70,000 people shortly before the end of World War II. Those categorized by the government as sick from the Hiroshima bombing’s radiation still number more than 200,000.

No one is known to have died from the Fukushima radiation, but the plant’s three nuclear meltdowns will take decades to clean up and it is impossible to know what the health toll will ultimately be. Only recently has the government acknowledged that much more radioactive water is leaking into the sea than it had previously believed.

The Japanese government has detected 44 confirmed and suspected cases of thyroid cancer among the 217,000 youngsters, 18 and under, checked in Fukushima. Thyroid cancer among children is generally rare, estimated at only one in a million. The link to radiation is still inconclusive, and extensive testing of Fukushima children could account for the higher numbers.

But according to the World Health Organization, thyroid cancer struck thousands of people after the only nuclear-plant disaster worse than Fukushima, the 1986 Chernobyl meltdown in what is now Ukraine

September 28, 2013 Posted by | health, Japan | Leave a comment