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

Archbishop Tomasi has led the Vatican’s fight against nuclear weapons

October 29, 2020 Posted by | 2 WORLD, Religion and ethics, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Jesuit priest sentenced for peacful civil disbedience in protest against nuclear weapons

October 24, 2020 Posted by | Legal, Religion and ethics, USA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

The cruel and lonely death of an American nuclear weapons scientist

  The lost tale of a nuclear scientist’s death in a secret San Francisco hospital room, Katie Dowd, SFGATE, Oct. 23, 2020 Before San Francisco became a metropolis, there was the Presidio. Since its creation as a military base in 1776, it has stood alone in a windswept corner, gathering legends.It has seen executions, tragic accidents and countless hospital patients.

And if you’re a believer that violent ends produce restless spirits, the Presidio is full up with phantoms as a result.
The most haunted place is said to be Letterman Army Hospital, once the base’s largest medical facility

In looking for Presidio ghost stories, though, we stumbled across a far stranger tale than any haunting: the real-life demise of a nuclear scientist — a chapter of the Cold War, as far as we can tell, untold since 1953.

Twitchell was a genius. Born in Minnesota in 1917, he got his undergraduate degree from Rollins College in Florida and a masters in chemistry at UC Berkeley. At 23, he was promoted to project engineer in charge of the equipment department of the University of California radiation lab.
This was no ordinary lab. Among Twitchell’s colleagues were Glenn Seaborg, Ernest O. Lawrence and J. Robert Oppenheimer — all of whom would later contribute to the Manhattan Project — and together the team was working on the discovery of atomic particles. Once World War II broke out, their mission shifted. The lab’s work was now crucial to the creation of nuclear weapons for the U.S. military……….
 In 1952 then just 35 years old. That year, doctors diagnosed him with a malignant brain tumor and told him he likely did not have long to live.
As Twitchell and his wife Marie processed the terrible news, the U.S. government sprung into action. Although he likely would have wanted his palliative care to take place at his home at 2319 Glen Ave., in Berkeley, he was told that wouldn’t be possible. He needed to be moved as soon as possible to a secure location.

The brain tumor presented a particular problem for the Atomic Energy Commission: It had the potential to cause erratic behavior and uncontrolled verbal outbursts. They were fearful that as he lost control of his mental faculties, Twitchell would begin spilling nuclear secrets. He knew “as much about atomic energy as any one man,” an anonymous source in the commission would later tell the Oakland Tribune.

So they built a secret ward just for Twitchell. At the cost of $100,000 — nearly $1 million today — construction began at the Letterman Army Hospital in San Francisco’s Presidio for the unusual patient. Once finished, all doctors and nurses who might interact with Twitchell were given rigorous screenings for any national security issues. In the end, only one male nurse was trusted to primarily care for Twitchell. A guard stood watch outside the room at all times.

Unbeknownst to the other military patients at the hospital, a civilian lay dying in his own wing. “He was the hospital’s hush-hush case,” the San Francisco Examiner reported.

On March 23, 1953, five months after his diagnosis, Twitchell died. Two days later, news broke nationally. “A macabre tale of the atomic age was revealed yesterday,” the Examiner proclaimed. The Atomic Energy Commission was forced to admit Twitchell’s room wasn’t the only one they’d covertly constructed. Around the nation, there were similar isolation wards for individuals dealing in nuclear secrets.

An anonymous source told the Tribune this was standard protocol to keep scientists from blabbing while “unbalanced, anesthetized or under the influence of dentists’ ‘laughing gas.'” Although expensive, it was the only way to maintain national security.

But all this drama meant little to the Twitchells, who were left to bury their loved one…… https://www.sfgate.com/sfhistory/article/letterman-army-hospital-presidio-ghost-uc-berkeley-15668131.php

October 24, 2020 Posted by | health, psychology and culture, Religion and ethics, USA | Leave a comment

Two excellent new books on a nuclear-weapons -free world

September 5, 2020 Posted by | 2 WORLD, Religion and ethics, resources - print, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Vatican representative calls on U.S. to sign nuclear-test-ban treaty

September 1, 2020 Posted by | 2 WORLD, Religion and ethics | Leave a comment

Southern African Faith Communities oppose extending the life of Koeberg nuclear power plant 

August 13, 2020 Posted by | Religion and ethics, South Africa | Leave a comment

Hiroshima and the normalisation of atrocities

August 11, 2020 Posted by | 2 WORLD, Reference, Religion and ethics, weapons and war | 1 Comment

Inhumanity, racism, sheer immorality, in the decisions to nuclear bomb Hiroshima and Nagasaki

August 10, 2020 Posted by | Reference, Religion and ethics, USA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Hiroshima survivor Koko Kondo met the man who dropped that atomic bomb

Hiroshima’s atomic bomb changed Koko Kondo’s life, but so did meeting the man who dropped it, ABC News,By Tracey Shelton, 6 August, 20,  Eight-month-old Koko was in her mother’s arms the day the world’s first nuclear weapon was dropped on Hiroshima, bringing their family home crashing down on them on this day 75 years ago.

Key points:

Between 90,000 and 166,000 victims died within months of the Hiroshima bombing
Koko Kondo met pilot Robert Lewis on the set of This is Your Life
More than 150 denshosha volunteers are carrying on the memories of survivors

She was almost 40 years old before her mother finally sat her down and told her the full story of how she had inched through the rubble in darkness, with little Koko wrapped in her arms, towards a small pocket of dusty sunlight.

“She first pushed me out [through the opening], then next, she was able to get out … but the fire was all over the place according to my mother,” said Koko Kondo, who is now 75.

Ms Kondo’s father — Methodist minister Kiyoshi Tanimoto, who was visiting a parishioner across town — said in a US television interview “the whole city was on fire” as he ran through the streets to find his family.

He described people running in silence with skin hanging from their bodies “like a procession of ghosts”

In the sky above, pilot Robert Lewis was part of the United States Air Force crew who dropped the atomic bomb known as Little Boy that day, unleashing around 13 kilotons of force on the city below, where Ms Kondo’s family and about 290,000 other civilians lived, according to the Atomic Heritage Foundation.

Estimates on how many people died from the bomb either instantly or in the following months range between 90,000 and 166,000, but the Little Boy would go on to claim the lives of thousands more as the effects of radiation took their toll.

After looking back to see the once-flourishing city “disappear”, Captain Lewis wrote in his log book “My God, what have we done?”…….

While Ms Kondo said most people avoided speaking of the bombing in the decades that followed, her father made it his mission to help the injured, rebuild the city and ensure the world never forgot.

Her family had suffered from radiation sickness and Ms Kondo was subjected to years of tests and examinations to study the effects of radiation exposure.

One of Ms Kondo’s earliest memories — at around two or three years old — was of a group of teenage girls attending a sermon at her father’s church.

“Some girls could not close their eyes. Some girls — their lips were all melted with their chins so they could not close [their mouths],” she told the ABC.

While her manners did not permit her to ask questions, she would listen to her parents’ conversations and learned that the destruction and pain that surrounded her was caused by a single US B-29 bomber.

Ms Kondo said her childhood became consumed by hatred and thoughts of revenge.

“Someday when I grow up, I am definitely going to find the people who were on that B-29 bomber to do the revenge,” she said.

“That was my plan, that was my thinking. But life is interesting.”

When Koko was 10, her mother and siblings received a phone call from the then popular US television program This is Your Life.

They were immediately flown to the United States for an episode featuring the work of her father, who had taken a group of young survivors to the US for plastic surgery……

As Hiroshima mission pilot Robert Lewis was introduced, Koko glared at him with all the hatred a 10-year-old could muster.

“I was so shocked!” she recalled.

“What could I do? I wanted to run to the middle of the stage and give him a punch, a bite or a kick.”

But as he recalled his memories of that day, she saw tears begin to well in his eyes.

“I thought he was a monster, but monsters don’t have tears.”

Ms Kondo said she realised she had lived her short life full of hate for a man she knew nothing about……..

the life of this man was not easy, she said, and he “suffered greatly” not only with the weight of his involvement in the bombing, but he was also “harassed” for speaking about it publicly.at 75, she is among the youngest of a dwindling number of survivors who can tell the world first hand of the horrors these weapons unleashed……….

“My concern is today nuclear weapons are much, much stronger. We have to abolish them now,” urged Ms Kondo. ….

If these stories were lost, “probably our planet would be gone”, she said.

Doctoral candidate Tomoko Kubota is one of more than 150 denshosha — a designated keeper of the memories of a Hiroshima or Nagasaki survivor.

As a denshosha volunteer, she spent three years training and learning from survivor Sadae Kasaoka, so in the future she can “give testimony” on her behalf by sharing her “experiences, the reality of the atomic bombing, and desires for peace”.

That story includes how, at 12 years of age, Ms Kasaoka lost her mother and watched her father die — within days of the blast — in agony from horrific burns and wounds that became infested with maggots.

For other survivors, the memories were too painful to talk about, Ms Kasaoka said, while discrimination against those who did speak out had silenced many over the years…………. https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-08-06/atomic-bomb-survivors-75-years-after-hiroshima-nuclear-attack/12501636

August 6, 2020 Posted by | 2 WORLD, PERSONAL STORIES, Reference, Religion and ethics, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Vatican signed up to the U.N. Nuclear Weapons Ban Treaty, provides moral guidance

75 years after Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the Vatican is providing moral guidance on nuclear weapons   The Conversation, Drew Christiansen,Distinguished Professor of Ethics and Human Development, Georgetown University, Carole Sargent 

Carole Sargent is a Friend of The Conversation., Faculty Director, Office of Scholarly Publications, Georgetown University   August, 4, 2020 
Ahead  of the 75th anniversary year of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Pope Francis visited both cities.

At a solemn event at the Hiroshima Peace Park in November 2019, Francis declared the use of atomic energy for war to be “a crime not only against the dignity of human beings but against any possible future for our common home.” “How,” he asked, “can we speak of peace even as we build terrifying new weapons of war?”

His comments came nearly 40 years after John Paul II became the first pope to visit the site of the atomic bomb attacks, which pulverized the two cities on Aug. 6 and 9, 1945 and killed in excess of 200,000 in the process.

Deterrence to abolition

During his visit, Francis reiterated what he previously told assembled Nobel Peace Prize laureates, diplomats and civil society representatives at a Vatican symposium in 2017, that nuclear weapons, along with chemical weapons and landmines, were impermissible. “The threat of their use, as well as their very possession, is to be firmly condemned,” he said…………

In 2017, the Holy See became one of the first signers of the U.N. Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. Article 1 prohibits signers to “develop, test, produce, manufacture, otherwise acquire, possess or stockpile nuclear weapons…” This was the backdrop for Pope Francis’ historic condemnation of deterrence and call for disarmament later that fall. 

One hundred and twenty-two nations voted for the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. For its labors on behalf of the treaty, ICAN, the International Campaign Against Nuclear Weapons, an umbrella group of civil society opponents of nuclear weapons, won the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize.

Beyond the hierarchy

But the guidance provided by the Catholic Church is not simply through official statements and positions from the top.

Across the church, various groups have long campaigned for abolition of nuclear weapons. Catholic nuns have often been at the forefront of this work. In Japan, several activist hibakusha – survivors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki – are sisters of Notre Dame de Namur and the Society of the Helper of Holy Souls, among other congregations.

In the U.S., Sister Jennifer Kane was a nuclear engineer before realizing, in the words of her congregation in 2019, “that God was calling her to a more spiritual combat” as an antinuclear activist.

And Dominicans, Religious of the Sacred Heart, and Society of the Holy Child Jesus have participated in the grassroots anti-nuclear direct-action movement Plowshares, at times resulting in prison time for activist nuns……….

Courage of conscience

Church teaching demands that conscientious officials and nuclear workers resist orders they deem to be immoral.

The Second Vatican Council of the early 1960s taught that obeying orders is no excuse for participating in atrocities, and urged anyone, whether top military leader or rank-and-file citizen, to display “the courage of those who openly and fearlessly resist.”

Indeed, in 2018 two chiefs of the U.S. Strategic Air Command testified in a Senate hearing that they would not comply with illegal orders to deploy nuclear weapons, and that they would offer civilian authorities alternative courses of action to pursue. …….https://theconversation.com/75-years-after-hiroshima-and-nagasaki-the-vatican-is-providing-moral-guidance-on-nuclear-weapons-140615

August 6, 2020 Posted by | Religion and ethics, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Japanese bishops’ anti-nuclear power book available in English

Japanese bishops’ anti-nuclear power book available in English, Crux, Catholic News Service, Jul 12, 2020 TOKYO — An English version of a book by Japan’s bishops appealing for the abolition of nuclear power is now available for free on the internet, reported ucanews.com.

Abolition of Nuclear Power: An Appeal from the Catholic Church in Japan is available as a PDF file on the website of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Japan.

The bishops wrote the book after Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station suffered a serious accident including a meltdown after a 2011 earthquake and tsunami.

Nuclear power is essentially incompatible with the image of the earth as a symbiotic society, which Pope Francis shows in his encyclical “Laudato Si’,” the bishops say.

  • The bishops concluded that nuclear power generation should be immediately abolished in the face of the insoluble dangers it presents, including widespread health damage to children.

    They worked with researchers in various fields to explore the damage caused by the Fukushima accident, the technical and sociological limitations of nuclear power production, and ethical and theological considerations concerning it.

    They said they believe that Japan, having suffered such a severe nuclear accident, has a responsibility to inform the world of the reality of the damage and to appeal for the abolition of nuclear power generation……..Once a severe accident occurs, they argue, nuclear power generation destroys the environment over a wide area for generations and damages the right to life and livelihood……. https://cruxnow.com/church-in-asia/2020/07/japanese-bishops-anti-nuclear-power-book-available-in-english/

     

July 14, 2020 Posted by | Japan, Religion and ethics | Leave a comment

False fright: religious group advertisement claims “Islam” about to make nuclear strike

Horrific’ Ad Suggesting Nuclear Attack From ‘Islam’ Appears In Nashville Newspaper, Paper Apologies 
Nicholas Reimann
Forbes StaffBusinessI’m a news reporter for Forbes, primarily covering the U.S. South.

The Tennessean issued an apology Sunday after “a bizarre, pseudo-religious” full-page ad appeared in the newspaper’s Sunday edition claiming that “Islam” was planning a nuclear strike on the city of Nashville, Tennessee, on July 18, saying that the ad violated the paper’s standards forbidding hate speech and that it is investigating how the ad from a “fringe religious group” was able to be published in the Sunday paper.

The paper said Sunday that it immediately pulled the ad from future editions, which appeared in the “A” section—the front section—of Sunday’s newspaper. …… https://www.forbes.com/sites/nicholasreimann/2020/06/21/horrific-ad-suggesting-nuclear-attack-from-islam-appears-in-nashville-newspaper-paper-apologies/#138034315c03

June 21, 2020 Posted by | Religion and ethics, spinbuster, USA | Leave a comment

The race to nuclear suicide continues despite Covid-19 crisis

The race to nuclear suicide continues despite Covid-19 crisis   https://www.thenational.scot/news/18453817.world-presses-race-suicide/, By Brian Quail. 17 May 20, Glasgow   AT the dawn of the nuclear age, the Russell-Einstein Manifesto warned us all: “Remember your humanity and forget the rest. If you can do so, the way lies open to a new paradise; if you cannot, there lies before you the risk of universal death.”

That was back in 1955. Nobody listened. What did Albert Einstein known about the real world? Untold trillions were wasted on the nuclear arms race and unimaginable cruelty inflicted on our test victims – the aborigines of Australia at Maralinga and Montebello, the victims of the USSR in Semipalatinsk in Kazakhstan, and of the USA, the Shoshone people of Nevada whose land is now permanently contaminated. Add the long forgotten British servicemen used as human guinea pigs at Christmas Island, and the many other unnamed and unnumbered victims of our nuclear idolatry. Never mind all those we condemned to poverty and destitution by squandering our resources.

I had hoped that the global threat of Covid-19 might call us back to the ineluctable truth of the dilemma posited in the Manifesto, but no. We press blindly on in the lunatic race to suicide.

While the rest of us are staying at home in lockdown, on Wednesday May 13 a convoy carrying nuclear warheads (eight Hiroshimas) left Burghfield. It came up the M6 and M74, over the Erskine Bridge and past Loch Lomond to arrive at Coulport at 9.20. Nukewatch was, for obvious reasons, unable to follow this or attempt to hinder its illegal ploys.

Will nothing open the eyes or touch the hearts of our nuclear jihadis? Must we surrender our future and the fate of the planet to these deranged souls?

Alice Walker said: “Our last five minutes on earth are running out. We can spend those minutes in meanness … or we can spend them consciously embracing every glowing soul who wanders within our reach” Can we not stop this madness now, at 90 seconds to midnight?

 

May 17, 2020 Posted by | Religion and ethics | Leave a comment

Russia warns US against using low-yield nuclear weapons, threatening all-out retaliation

Russia warns US against using low-yield nuclear weapons, threatening all-out retaliation, SCMP, 29 Apr 20

US State Department had argued that deploying such warheads in submarines would help counter new threats from China and Russia
Moscow says any attack involving submarine-launched missiles will be perceived as nuclear aggression

The Russian Foreign Ministry on Wednesday rejected US arguments for

, warning that an attempt to use such weapons against Russia would trigger an all-out nuclear retaliation.

The US State Department argued in a paper released last week that fitting the low-yield nuclear warheads to submarine-launched ballistic missiles would help counter potential new threats from Russia and China…… https://www.scmp.com/news/world/russia-central-asia/article/3082226/russia-warns-us-against-using-low-yield-nuclear

April 30, 2020 Posted by | Religion and ethics, Russia, weapons and war | 1 Comment

A Roosevelt salutes as Hero – the Captain of Theodore Roosevelt nuclear aircraft carrier

This story says nothing about this being a nuclear-powered ship. But underlying this whole thing is the fact of the (probably necessary) culture of secrecy that surrounds all things nuclear. This is yet another example of how the nuclear culture means that it is “preferable” for people to die, rather than have the truth get out.

Captain Crozier Is a Hero, Theodore Roosevelt, my great-grandfather, would agree.  By Tweed Roosevelt, Mr. Roosevelt is a great-grandson of Theodore Roosevelt and the chairman of the Theodore Roosevelt Institute at Long Island University. April 3, 2020  

On Monday, Capt. Brett Crozier, the commander of the aircraft carrier Theodore Roosevelt, sent a letter to the Navy pleading for permission to unload his crew, including scores of sailors sickened with Covid-19, in Guam, where it was docked. The Pentagon had been dragging its feet, and the situation on the ship was growing dire.  “We are not at war,” he wrote. “Sailors do not need to die. If we do not act now, we are failing to properly take care of our most trusted asset — our sailors.”

After the letter was leaked to The San Francisco Chronicle, the Navy relented. But on Thursday, it relieved Captain Crozier of his command.

In removing Captain Crozier, the Navy said that his letter was a gross error that could incite panic among his crew. But it’s hard to know what else he could have done — the situation on the Theodore Roosevelt was dire.

Ships at sea, whether Navy carriers or cruise ships, are hotbeds for this disease. Social distancing is nearly impossible: The sailors are practically on top of one another all day, in crowded messes, in cramped sleeping quarters and on group watches.

It is thought that a sailor caught the virus while on shore leave in Vietnam. Once on board, the virus took its now predictable course: First a sailor or two, then dozens, and all of a sudden more than 100 were sick.

Captain Crozier received orders to take the ship to Guam, but he was not given permission to offload most of the sailors. The virus was threatening to overwhelm the small medical crew aboard. There was not much time before sailors might start dying.

The captain felt he had to act immediately if he was to save his sailors. He chose to write a strong letter, which he distributed to a number of people within the Navy, demanding immediate removal from the ship of as many sailors as possible. Perhaps this was not the best approach for his career, but it got results…….

The acting secretary of the Navy, Thomas Modly, summarily fired the captain, not for leaking the letter (for which he said he had no proof), but for showing “extremely poor judgment.” Many disagree, believing that Captain Crozier showed excellent judgment. He left the ship Thursday night to a rousing hero’s sendoff………   https://www.nytimes.com/2020/04/03/opinion/coronavirus-crozier-roosevelt.html

April 6, 2020 Posted by | Religion and ethics, USA, weapons and war | Leave a comment