nuclear-news

The News That Matters about the Nuclear Industry Fukushima Chernobyl Mayak Three Mile Island Atomic Testing Radiation Isotope

“Chernobyl” TV series – was drawn from the testimony of those who were there

The Chernobyl miniseries is a compelling account of how the disaster unfolded, based largely on the testimony of those present, most of whom died soon afterwards. It rings true but only scratches the surface of another, more cruel reality– that, in their desperation to save face, the Soviets were willing to sacrifice any number of men, women and children.  

The truth about Chernobyl? I saw it with my own eyes.   Guardian, 16 June 19, Kim Willsher reported on the world’s worst nuclear disaster from the Soviet Union. HBO’s TV version only scratches the surface, she says.There is a line in the television series Chernobyl that comes as no surprise to those of us who reported on the 1986 nuclear disaster in what was the Soviet Union – but that still has the power to shock:

“The official position of the state is that global nuclear catastrophe is not possible in the Soviet Union.”

It was not possible, so in the days and months after the world’s worst such accident, on 26 April, the Kremlin kept up its pretence. It dissembled, deceived and lied. I began investigating Chernobyl in the late 1980s after Ukrainian friends insisted authorities in the USSR were covering up the extent of the human tragedy of those – many of them children – contaminated by radiation when the nuclear plant’s Reactor 4 exploded, blasting a cloud of poisonous fallout across the USSR and a large swathe of Europe.

When photographer John Downing and I first visited, the Soviet Union, then on its last political legs, was still in denial about what happened despite president Mikhail Gorbachev’s new era of glasnost. Continue reading

Advertisements

June 17, 2019 Posted by | media, Resources -audiovicual, Ukraine | Leave a comment

“Chernobyl” TV series gets high rating, highly viewed in Russia and Ukraine

BBC 12th June 2019 , Hours after the world’s worst nuclear accident, engineer Oleksiy Breus
entered the control room of the No. 4 reactor at the Chernobyl nuclear
power plant in Ukraine. A member of staff at the plant from 1982, he became
a witness to the immediate aftermath on the morning of 26 April 1986.

The story of the reactor’s catastrophic explosion, as told in an HBO/Sky
miniseries, has received the highest ever score for a TV show on the film
website IMDB. Russians and Ukrainians have watched it via the internet, and
it has had a favourable rating on Russian film site Kinopoisk. Mr Breus
worked with many of the individuals portrayed and has given his verdict of
the series.      https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-48580177

June 15, 2019 Posted by | Kazakhstan, media, Resources -audiovicual, Russia | Leave a comment

TV Drama “Chernobyl” shows chilling reality of contemporary politics and its “war on truth”

Mazin says he intended Chernobyl as a comment on contemporary politics, and specifically on what he calls the “war on truth”. The subtext is relatively obvious: knowledge painstakingly acquired by scientists is discarded when it is politically inconvenient.

the topicality of Chernobyl derives from the inescapable fact that the bureaucracy’s inhuman behaviour is so familiar to us. The fatuous speeches about socialist morality shown in Chernobyl are just that country’s equivalent of our paeans to free markets and free people.

it is easy to recognise the system we have today: a managerial society run by bosses and bureaucrats who lie and kill to maintain their social dominance, and who threaten the whole world as long as they remain in power. The system of class domination and exploitation portrayed in Chernobyl lives on in free-market form today.

The Horrifying True Scale of the Chernobyl Disaster

Chernobyl: an anti-capitalist nuclear horror story  https://redflag.org.au/node/6814, Daniel Taylor

09 June 2019 Even before its broadcast run had concluded, Craig Mazin’s five-part TV drama, Chernobyl, was acclaimed as a classic. It currently stands as the highest rated series of all time on IMDb, and has been watched by millions in the US and around the world despite airing on a bad schedule and relying heavily on word-of-mouth promotion.

A short-run series about an industrial accident that took place 33 years ago in a state that no longer exists might seem an odd candidate for such popularity. But, as Wired put it, “2019 needed a hit as bleak as Chernobyl”. It is a show that speaks to the concerns of its time.

At the time of the series’ airing, nuclear power is being rehabilitated as a solution to catastrophic global warming. The technology is back in the marketplace of ideas, while the generations traumatised by the meltdowns and near-misses continue to be dismissively diagnosed with “radiophobia”. The familiarity of the feeling that a cataclysmic environmental and social disaster is unfolding right around us, while the administrators of our society look the other way, is impossible not to recognise.

Continue reading

June 10, 2019 Posted by | 2 WORLD, media, politics international | Leave a comment

Whistleblowers will be effectively silenced: the result of Australia’s police raids on journalists

It sends shockwaves through your life’: how the media raids will silence whistleblowers, Guardian  Christopher Knaus @knausc 9 Jun 2019

Those forces have already exacted a crippling toll.

“[My ex-wife] would probably say – and I think there’s an element of truth in it – it killed David McBride,” he says. “The man that she married was killed by the defence force, and I’m someone who’s different.

“Doing something like this, taking on the whole government, it sends shockwaves through your life, and not much survives, really.”

Wednesday’s raid on the ABC prompted outrage among civil rights groups, transparency campaigners, journalists and unions. It came just a day after federal police searched the home of the News Corp reporter Annika Smethurst, searching for documents related to her coverage of proposed new surveillance powers for the Australian Signals Directorate. 2GB host Ben Fordham’s revelation about asylum seeker boats attempting to reach Australia from Sri Lanka is also the subject of a home affairs investigation, as the department attempts to identify his source.

The raids have not occurred in isolation. Multiple whistleblowers who revealed government wrongdoing are currently being pursued through the courts with alarming vigour.

The government is prosecuting Witness K and Bernard Collaery, who revealed an unlawful spy operation against Timor-Leste during oil negotiations. Richard Boyle, the tax office worker who revealed the government’s heavy-handed approach to recovering debts, faces a long stint in jail if convicted.

Assoc Prof Joseph Fernandez, a journalism lecturer at Curtin University, has spent years studying source protection and the Australian media. He says the consequences of this week’s raids are clear, regardless of whether journalists are charged.

“Such raids, regardless of what happens here to journalists or to others, will have an immeasurable censoring effect on contact people have with journalists,” Fernandez says.

“In my research in this area over the years, it was clear that even senior public servants are apprehensive about having contact with journalists, even about mundane things, in the wake of laws that enable the authorities to track down sources.”

The McBride matter had been bubbling away for some time before Wednesday’s raid. Guardian Australia understands police have been talking to the ABC since at least September, trying to find a way to access the documents without resorting to a very public raid. …….

Denis Muller, from the University of Melbourne’s Centre for Advancing Journalism, says arguments about the police operating at arm’s length from government miss the point.    “The point is that the politicians have constructed a repressive legal regime designed to protect the executive branch of government, impede accountability to the public and exert a chilling effect on the press,” Muller wrote in the Conversation……….    https://www.theguardian.com/media/2019/jun/08/it-sends-shockwaves-through-your-life-how-the-media-raids-will-silence-whistleblowers

June 10, 2019 Posted by | AUSTRALIA, civil liberties, media | Leave a comment

Mini series Chernobyl unfolds the horror of radiation sickness – a warning for the future

‘A horrible way to die’: how Chernobyl recreated a nuclear meltdown, Guardian,  Julie McDowall, 5 June 19, 

From ‘painting on’ radiation sickness to making the explosion less ‘Die Hard’, the acclaimed drama has gone to great lengths to evoke the chaos and terror of the Soviet-era disaster.

We were lucky to have survived the Cold War without a nuclear attack. The pop culture of that chilly era warned what the bomb would do: the crisping of the skin; the slow agony of radiation sickness; the pollution of the land; and the death of cities.

The bomb didn’t explode, but some people experienced a fragment of this horror. The Chernobyl disaster of 1986 brought explosions, radiation sickness, evacuations, contaminated earth and, finally, medals awarded and memorials erected. It was war after all – but not against the west; this was another type of nuclear enemy.

Sky Atlantic/HBO’s drama Chernobyl unfolds over five distressing episodes that show the 1986 explosion was more than just another disaster in a decade horribly cluttered with them: it was a ghastly taste of nuclear war, a monstrous cover-up and, finally, an event that helped bring down the Soviet Union.

So it is fitting that the series begins with the explosion, as if to get it out of the way so that we might focus on what happens afterwards………..

Surprisingly, Parker didn’t look to photos of Hiroshima or Nagasaki victims for examples of radiation damage, as he suspects these were tempered by wartime propaganda. He went instead to medical textbooks, and this allowed him to pioneer a technique for Chernobyl where he “layered” the skin: painting the actors’ bodies with wounds, then putting a semi-translucent layer on top, giving the impression that sores are forcing themselves to the surface as the body degrades from within. The effect is dreadful to see. Yet, Parker was strict in saying these men must not be relegated to Hollywood “zombies”, and he explains that the director made sure sympathy stayed with these characters: even as they lie rigid on the bed, gurgling and fading, they still speak, and a wife may still hold her husband’s rotting fingers.

“It’s the worst way to die,” says Parker. “Beyond anything you can imagine. The most horrible way to die. I think it’s the worst, in line with medieval torture.” What makes it particularly atrocious is that the victims were denied pain relief. In the latter stages of radiation sickness you cannot inject morphine, he explains. “The walls of the veins are breaking down.”

So the Chernobyl disaster produced agonising deaths without pain-relieving drugs, which brings us back to the horror of nuclear war. Plans for the NHS after a nuclear attack show drug stockpiles would quickly be exhausted, and those who were hopelessly injured would be allowed to die without the tiny mercy of a supermarket paracetamol.

Chernobyl is a compelling and brilliantly realised drama, but it’s also a warning – of the dangers of lies, arrogance and complacency, and of nuclear war itself.

The final episode of Chernobyl airs Tuesday, 9pm on Sky Atlantic. The whole series is available to view on Sky Go and NowTV

https://www.theguardian.com/tv-and-radio/2019/jun/04/one-day-your-skin-just-slips-off-how-chernobyl-restaged-nuclear-disaster  

June 8, 2019 Posted by | health, media, Resources -audiovicual, Ukraine | Leave a comment

Australia’s Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton ‘didn’t know anything” about police raids on media offices and home. Really???

Peter Dutton denies prior knowledge of AFP raids on ABC and News Corp, Guardian, Sarah Martin and Kate Lyons 5 Jun 2019  

Following two consecutive days of raids on journalists who had reported on defence matters, Dutton sought to distance himself from the police investigations, saying they were independent from government./////https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2019/jun/05/peter-dutton-denies-prior-knowledge-of-afp-raids-on-abc-and-news-corp?CMP=soc_567&fbclid=IwA

June 8, 2019 Posted by | AUSTRALIA, media, secrets,lies and civil liberties | Leave a comment

Chernobyl miniseries could not be made in the real Chernobyl wasteland – radiation would have damaged the film kit

‘Radiation would have damaged the film kit’: where Sky’s Chernobyl was really shot,  Telegraph UK, 7 June 19   Last night saw the last episode in Sky’s riveting drama about the 1986 Chernobyl power plant disaster, one of the worst man-made catastrophes ever to befall our planet. It’s not often The Telegraph dishes out five-star TV reviews, but this show earned it.Along with stellar performances from the largely-British cast, no expense was spared to bring the Soviet-era nuclear warning tale to life visually; from the costumes and stage make-up to the backdrops and special effects. But where was it filmed?

Not at the real Chernobyl wasteland that still stands today in what is now Ukraine, but rather in Lithuania, mainly at Chernobyl’s sister power plant, Ignalina, with other portions filmed in suitably… (subscribers only) https://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/destinations/europe/lithuania/articles/chernobyl-tv-show-real-filming-locations/

June 8, 2019 Posted by | media, radiation, Ukraine | Leave a comment

New Documentary Explores Chelsea Manning’s Fight To Live Her Truth

XY Chelsea (2019) Official Trailer | Chelsea Manning SHOWTIME Documentary

In Showtime’s “XY Chelsea,” filmmaker Tim Travers Hawkins aims to reframe the media’s narrative around the Army whistleblower, who identifies as transgender.  HuffPost By Curtis M. Wong, 5 June 19  Filmmaker Tim Travers Hawkins aims to relay former Army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning’s “sense of principles and sacrifice” in a new, sure-to-be-controversial documentary.

XY Chelsea,” which premiered at the 2019 Tribeca Film Festival in May and airs Friday on Showtime, is a compilation of interviews and behind-the-scenes footage of Manning, who was jailed for about seven years for leaking more than 750,000 classified diplomatic documents to WikiLeaks…… https://www.huffingtonpost.com.au/entry/xy-chelsea-manning-showtime-documentary_n_5cf672bfe4b0e8085e40b5e7

June 6, 2019 Posted by | civil liberties, media, Resources -audiovicual, USA | Leave a comment

Record viewing of HBO miniseries “Chernobyl”

CHERNOBYL Official Trailer 

Sky 2nd June 2019 , Without fanfare, Chernobyl has become unmissable TV. The Sky Atlantic show,
which concludes on Tuesday, is harrowing and unrelentingly bleak, with some
complicated science to get to grips with.

It is also a western-made drama about a disaster that occurred in the Soviet Union more than 30 years ago,
of which details such as the number of deaths are still debated. There was
much that could go wrong. And ultimately, we know how the story pans out.

But seemingly from nowhere, this five-part mini-series is now the show that
everyone is talking about. (Sorry, Game Of Thrones). After just three
episodes, Chernobyl topped film and TV database IMDB’s list of the greatest
250 TV shows of all time. It currently has a score of 9.7, based on more
than 96,000 votes. Fan-voted charts obviously have their problems and are
by no means definitive, but it is still quite an accolade for a drama
series just four weeks and four episodes old.

https://news.sky.com/story/how-chernobyl-quietly-topped-the-tv-charts-11732879

June 4, 2019 Posted by | media | Leave a comment

6th June- world premiere of movie ‘The Beginning of the End of Nuclear Weapons’

Beyond Nuclear 2nd June 2019 , At 7pm, on the 6thof June, at the Village East Cinema, in Lower Manhattan,
Pressenza International Press Agency, of which I am a co-director, will
host the World Premiere of our new documentary on the Treaty to Prohibit
Nuclear Weapons.

The title, The Beginning of the End of Nuclear Weapons, is
a reference to the speech made by Setsuko Thurlow to the assembled throng
of dignitaries and International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear weapons (ICAN)
campaigners, during her Nobel Laureate Speech in December 2017 when the
Peace Prize was awarded to ICAN. The film charts the story of the
development of the atomic bomb through to the negotiations to prohibit
nuclear weapons, and is told through the interventions of 14 people whose
roles have been key in the fields of activism and diplomacy.

https://beyondnuclearinternational.org/2019/06/02/the-beginning-of-the-end-of-nuclear-weapons/

June 4, 2019 Posted by | ACTION, media, Resources -audiovicual, USA | Leave a comment

Accuracy of HBO’s “Chernobyl” mini series

“Chernobyl” the Mini-Series Faithfully Recreates the World’s Worst Nuclear Disaster   https://interestingengineering.com/chernobyl-the-mini-series-faithfully-recreates-the-worlds-worst-nuclear-disaster

HBO and Sky’s mini-series “Chernobyl” is a faithful retelling of the events of April 1986, when the world stood on the brink of disaster……..

An eye-opening retelling

Mazin said that Chernobyl arose out of his interest in writing something that addressed the fact that, “We are struggling with the global war on the truth.” For each episode, Mazin has created a podcast that can be found on Youtube.

For those who don’t know much about the disaster, the series is an eye-opener. For those who do know what happened, the series is a near-perfect recreation of the events that took place in Soviet Ukraine on the morning of April 27, 1986.

Researching for the truth

To create the series, Mazin consulted many different kinds of sources, “from government reports to first person accounts to scientific journals to historical works, photo essays.” And, he worked hard to avoid putting false drama into his scripts because as he said, “So much of what happens in the show is just shocking. It’s shocking to believe that that’s what happened.

Well, our feeling was if we started pushing the envelope on those things then we would diminish the impact of all the things that we were accurate about, so we stayed as accurate as we could.”

Location scouting for Soviet-era environment

The producers recreated Pripyat, the closest town to the disaster, in Fabijoniškės, a residential district of Vilnius, Lithuania. It retains an authentic Soviet atmosphere, and was used in the scenes where Pripyat is evacuated.

A twin to Chernobyl’s Reactor No. 4 was found at the decommissioned Ignalina Nuclear Power Plant at Visaginas, Lithuania. It was used for both exterior and interior shots. Ignalina is also a RBMK nuclear power reactor, the same type as the doomed Chernobyl Reactor No. 4. Several final scenes of the series were shot in Ukraine.

Public Response

The public’s response to Chernobyl has been overwhelmingly positive. The series has a 96 percent approval rating on Rotten TomatoesThe critical consensus on the site says, “Chernobyl rivets with a creeping dread that never dissipates, dramatizing a national tragedy with sterling craft and an intelligent dissection of institutional rot.”

In his review in The Washington Post, Hank Stuever described the series as an “effective, no-nonsense and highly researched dramatization …” and said that it is “committed to a disciplined, truthful and scientific account.”

On the site Metacritic, based on 26 critics, Chernobyl has a weighted average score of 83 out of 100, indicating “universal acclaim”.

In her article in The Atlantic Sophie Gilbert says of the series, “Whether you apply its message to climate change, the ‘alternative facts’ administration of the current moment, or anti-vaccine screeds on Facebook, Mazin’s moral stands: The truth will eventually come out.”

June 3, 2019 Posted by | media, Resources -audiovicual | Leave a comment

Court orders Swiss authorities to publish arms export data

Court orders Swiss authorities to publish arms export data  https://www.swissinfo.ch/eng/war-materiel_court-orders-swiss-authorities-to-publish-arms-export-data/44918258 APRIL 24, 2019 Switzerland’s highest court has ruled that the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) must give a Swiss journalist company data on arms exports.

The Federal Court rejected an appeal by SECO which had refused to transfer detailed information to a journalist from the WOZ newspaper on companies that had filed arms exports requests in 2014.

In a decision published on Wednesdayexternal link, the court backed an earlier ruling by the Federal Administrative Court on behalf of the WOZ journalist, who had filed a freedom of information request.

Last March, the Federal Administrative Court had ruled in favour of the journalist, stating that it was public interest to ensure greater transparency and information on arms exports and that the media played an important role in holding the authorities to account in this regard.

SECO had argued that, in accordance with the law on war materiel, only the parliamentary oversight committee should be sent the details on Swiss arms exports. It said that publishing details on arms exports could also displease importing countries.

However, the Federal Court said publishing such information was not a threat for Switzerland’s interests. If there is no business secret involved, SECO must publish the firms’ names.

Hot topic

Rules governing arms exports and calls for greater transparency remain a hot topic in Switzerland. In 2008 the government tightened rules on arms exports; in 2014 it relaxed them on behalf of parliament.

In October 2018 the government abandoned plans to ease Swiss weapons exports following a public outcry.

In December 2018 campaigners started collecting signatures for a people’s initiative to prevent the Swiss government from relaxing rules for exporting arms to conflict-ridden states.

May 27, 2019 Posted by | Legal, media, Switzerland | Leave a comment

Responsible journalism would be covering the climate chaos like we did the start of the second world war

What if we covered the climate crisis like we did the start of the second world war?  In the war, the purpose of journalism was to awaken the world to the catastrophe looming ahead of it. We must approach our climate crisis the same way

I have been asked to bring this gathering to a close by summing up how we can do better at covering the possible “collapse of our civilizations and the extinction of much of the natural world,” to quote the noted environmentalist David Attenborough, speaking at the recent United Nations climate summit in Poland.

I don’t come with a silver bullet ……

Many of us have recognized that our coverage of global warming has fallen short. There’s been some excellent reporting by independent journalists and by enterprising reporters and photographers from legacy newspapers and other news outlets. But the Goliaths of the US news media, those with the biggest amplifiers—the corporate broadcast networks—have been shamelessly AWOL, despite their extraordinary profits. The combined coverage of climate change by the three major networks and Fox fell from just 260 minutes in 2017 to a mere 142 minutes in 2018—a drop of 45%, reported the watchdog group Media Matters.

Meanwhile, about 1,300 communities across the United States have totally lost news coverage, many from newspaper mergers and closures, according to the University of North Carolina School of Media and Journalism. Hundreds of others are still standing only as “ghost newspapers.” They no longer have resources for even local reporting, much less for climate change. ……

he networks put their reporters out in raincoats or standing behind police barriers as flames consume far hills. Yet we rarely hear the words “global warming” or “climate disruption” in their reports. The big backstory of rising CO2 levels, escalating drought, collateral damage, cause and effect, and politicians on the take from fossil-fuel companies? Forget all that. Not good for ratings, say network executives.

But last October, the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, a scientifically conservative body, gave us 12 years to make massive changes to reduce global greenhouse-gas emissions 45 percent below 2010 levels and to net zero by 2050. On his indispensable site, TomDispatch.com, Tom Engelhardt writes that humanity is now on a suicide watch.

Soon, some of you will be traveling to the ends of the earth to report on this Great Disruption. To Indonesia, where oil-palm growers and commodities companies are stripping away forests vital to carbon storage. To the Amazon, where President Bolsonaro’s government plans to open indigenous reserves to industrial exploitation, threatening the lungs of the Earth. To India, where President Modi pretends to be an environmentalist even as he embraces destructive development. To China, where President Xi’s Belt and Road initiative, the biggest transportation-infrastructure program in the history of the world, threatens disaster for earth systems. You will go to the Arctic and the Antarctic to report on melting ice, and to the shores of African cities, Pacific atolls, and poor Miami neighborhoods being swallowed by rising oceans. And to Nebraska, and Iowa, and Kansas, and Missouri, where this spring’s crop is despair as farmers and their families grieve their losses.

And some of you will go to Washington, to report on the madness—yes, I said madness—of a US government that scorns reality as fake news, denies the truths of nature, and embraces a theocratic theology that welcomes catastrophe as a sign of the returning Messiah.

Madness! Superstition! Destruction and death.

Can we get this story right? Can we tell it whole? Can we connect the dots and inspire people with the possibility of change?

What’s journalism for? Really, in the war, what was journalism for, except to awaken the world to the catastrophe looming ahead of it?

Here’s the good news: While describing David Wallace-Wells’s stunning new book The Uninhabitable Earth as a remorseless, near-unbearable account of what we are doing to our planet, The New York Times reports it also offers hope. Wallace-Wells says that “We have all the tools we need…to aggressively phase out dirty energy…”; [cut] global emissions…[and] scrub carbon from the atmosphere…. [There are] ‘obvious’ and ‘available,’ [if costly,] solutions.”

What we need, he adds, is the “acceptance of responsibility.”
Our responsibility as journalists is to tell the story so people get it……..   https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/may/22/climate-crisis-ed-murrow-bill-moyers

 

May 23, 2019 Posted by | 2 WORLD, climate change, media | 1 Comment

Chilling similarity between out-dated nuclear weapons policies and world of Game of Thrones

Nuclear weapons are archaic weapons that promote an outdated global order rooted in inequality and oppressive patriarchy. Which is another way of saying: our world isn’t that dissimilar to the world of Game of Thrones. The destruction that happened in King’s Landing could happen here, too. My hope is that the fictional blaze witnessed by the Game of Thrones  viewership (43 million people!) will serve as a warning, and will spark denuclearization action.

May 18, 2019 Posted by | culture and arts, media | Leave a comment

Journalist Glenn Greenwald defends Assange

Journalist Glenn Greenwald defends Assange: The Hill,  Julia Manchester 24 Apr 19 ‘Things that journalists do every single day’ Journalist Glenn Greenwald on Monday defended WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange after he was charged by the Justice Department earlier this month for allegedly conspiring to hack a government computer in connection with the organization’s release of sensitive government files in 2010.

“So much of what’s in the indictment, encouraging a source to get more documents, helping a source cover her tracks in order not to be detected, are things that journalists do every single day,” Greenwald, co-founding editor at The Intercept, told hosts Krystal Ball and Buck Sexton in an appearance on Hill.TV.

“You can say journalists don’t typically help a source hack into a password in order to get you know, a better way of hiding her identity, but helping a source avoid detection is definitely something journalists are not just entitled to do, but obligated to do,” he continued. ……https://thehill.com/hilltv/rising/439992-greenwald-defends-assange-these-are-things-that-journalists-do-every-single-day

April 25, 2019 Posted by | 2 WORLD, civil liberties, media | Leave a comment