“Now I am become death, the destroyer of worlds.” – J. Robert Oppenheimer, scientist and “father of the bomb”
On the morning of 6 August 1945, the first atomic bomb, code-named “Little Boy” was dropped by the United States on the Japanese city of Hiroshima. Three days later the United States dropped a plutonium bomb code-named “Fat Man” on the city of Nagasaki. 140,000 people (almost all civilians) died in Hiroshima either immediately or within a few days. Deaths in Nagasaki were about 74,000. The survivors lived on, some with horrifying burns scars, some to die of radiation-induced illnesses
Following the war, many scientists involved in the atomic bomb project, turned to the “atoms for peace” program – nuclear power. They did this partly out of guilt, partly to continue to be employed. (Where would a nuclear physicist get a job, otherwise? Well, some were happy to continue with nuclear weapons development)
Nuclear weapons are an inevitable by-product of the nuclear power industry.
Like climate change, nuclear weapons development is now at the point of a global emergency.
Time to close down the whole insane nuclear industry charade, before it kills us all.
In 1996 the International Court of Justice issued its landmark advisory opinion on the legality of the threat or use of nuclear weapons. The court unanimously held that nations have a legal obligation to pursue in good faith and bring to a conclusion negotiations for the complete elimination of nuclear weapons under strict and effective international control…..
The continuing radiation crisis in Fukushima has alerted governments and public across the world to the inherent dangers of nuclear technology for electricity production. ICAN points out that the starting material is the same and the effects of radiation are completely indiscriminate and identical whether it is radiation from a nuclear reactor or a nuclear bomb. …
“In the end, there beckons, more and more clearly, general annihilation” – Albert Einstein 1945
Today, I read an article about how superior we are to other species. Really, I thought? What other species is poisoning the planet’s air, land and water, with its carbon and chemical pollution? And we are SO intelligent compared to other species: we can write, and build computers, and fly into space!
And what other species delights in enriching a few greedy individuals by paying them to build wonderful nuclear bombs that can destroy ALL the species on the planet, as well as their own? How clever is that?
And if the weapons industries are criticised, why – the reasoning is – they provide JOBS. What sort of jobs, particularly in the nuclear weapons area? Jobs that have already killed 33,480 workers due to ionising radiation. And that’s just in America alone.
Meanwhile – thousands of clean, positive jobs could be provided by using the obscene amounts of tax-payers’ money that go into buying nuclear, and other weapons.
And yet, and yet, our species IS capable of learning – even the sociopathic types of people that rise to leadership positions can learn, as well as the billions of normal humans who want peace and a humanitarian society.
At left, drawings by Japanese survivors of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki nuclear bombing, August 1945
Indigenous Fight Against Nuclear Colonialism
Indigenous people protest EPA’s nuclear plans
Indigenous people continue to bear the brunt of nuclear toxicity. It started with uranium mining – of course, on indigenous land in rural areas, in USA, Canada, Bulgaria, Australia, Germany , India, and of course to provide nuclear weapons material.
Then came the nuclear bomb tests – on remote rural indigenous lands and islands
This Radioactive pollution remains today, from uranium mining in many countries – but always on or close to indigenous lands. The nuclear bomb test sites remain too radioactive for the indigenous people to return home.
Uranium mining and milling, nuclear bomb tests and radioactive wastes ...
Russia is secretive about its nuclear wastes. They used to dump it in oceans, as did the French and others. Russia is notorious for its extremely polluted remote area at Mayak, where the rural people suffer the health legacy to this day
Where to dump it? That’s a “developed society” no brainer – ON INDIGENOUS LAND, of course. There’s now a movement to export radioactive trash to remote rural areas, such as the Aboriginal lands of Australia
Next week we will look at the indigenous fight against the nuclear industry
One contradiction is the increasing recognition that nuclear power is uneconomic, and could even bankrupt the sellers. It’s doubtful that the sellers will really make money out of it, especially Russia, funding so many other countries’ nuclear set ups. Still, we know why, really. It’s all part of the irrational battle to be Topp, to have that geopolitical presence and advantage in other countries.
An obvious contradiction is the way in which both Russia and the West agonise about nuclear terrorism and nuclear weapons proliferation, while enthusiastically marketing nuclear technology to all and sundry. Never mind if it’s to an unstable Middle Eastern or East Asian regime, with a high risk of both terrorism and nuclear weapons development.
Another contradiction is the pretense going on that Big nuclear reactors and Small nuclear reactors are being happily promoted at the same time. The “conventional” big reactor companies. Toshiba Westinghouse, Rosatom, AREVA etc are determined to sell their stuff, and no way want to let the “new little” nuclear reactors take over the market. You can see this battle going on in Britain, with the “little nukes” lobbying away, and getting themselves set up as a “charity” for goodness’ sake!
How long will it be before the world recognises that the commercial nuclear empire is crumbling. We don’t need their toxic expensive product. Meanwhile renewable energy gets ever cheaper, fast to set up, versatile, and attractive to the public.
The nuclear lobby is playing a high stakes gamble – marketing nuclear power with renewed fervour. It’s a gamble, because they’ve gotta sell it off fast, before the next radioactive catastrophe.
INTERNAL Nuclear Marketing is going on like crazy, especially in the USA, They’re still toting nuclear as a climate change action – a patently false story. They push that for Big Nuclear, and then they push a new set of lies for New Little Nuclear
EXTERNAL Nuclear marketing. Any country that already has this unsafe, uneconomic, trash-producing technology is mad keen to salvage the drastic financial nuclear situation – by flogging their nuclear technology off to other countries.
I have been managing this site for 9 years. With viewers, the most popular posts and pages have been on ETHICS. Isn’t that extraordinary, in this world where money, growth, and material consumption are generally seen as the top priorities!
There is nothing ethical about the nuclear industry. It began with making weapons of mass murder, and with uranium mining poisoning indigenouss lands. Then came all the lies about ‘peaceful nuclear ‘ (always still a front for nuclear weaponry)
Today, the economically failing nuclear industry tries to save itself with big lies – about climate change, about Chernobyl and Fukushima being “OK”, about ionising radiation being harmless.
Human society now faces big ethical dilemmas. Will it succumb to the blandishments of this immoral nuclear industry?
The public interest in subjects about ethics gives me hope that the world will say “NO” to nuclear weapons, nuclear power, and endless growth and consumption.
The unethical nature of nuclear power, nuclear weapons, and the entire nuclear fuel cycle is becoming more obvious, as its history unfolds. On grounds of nuclear weapons spread, unsolved wastes problem, health and environment, effects on indigenous and poor peoples, injustice to today’s and future generations – and even the sheer financial costs for now and the future – it is clear that “atoms for peace” is a false and unethical enterprise.
Given the mounting negative evidence about the nuclear industry, it is concerning that so many world political, scientific and economic leaders continue to promote the industry. Sir Mark Oliphant, (below) one of the founders of the atomic bomb, was one who had the courage to change his mind, and to speak out against nuclear power and nuclear weapons.
Why is it so rare for ‘important’ people to face up to the evil nature of the whole nuclear fuel cycle? It’s not just money. Is it that so much of their reputation, their work has already been invested in nuclear? just too much effort to change track
Rather than pause to think about the whole picture, they concentrate on their own important actions. Again like Macbeth ” Strange things I have in head, that will to hand; Which must be acted ere they may be scann’d.”
(Image from MACBETH IS A BAD, BAD MAN design by Dave Shanker&Danilo Groppa, Charles W. Flanagan High School, Macbeth – Webquest)
Coal and nuclear – the ugliest twins of global warming and environmental damage theme for April 2016
The nuclear industry proudly touts itself as the solution to climate change. But nothing could be further from the truth. The full nuclear fuel chain emits large amounts of Co2 and other greenhouse emissions. In the coming decades, indirect carbon dioxide emissions from nuclear power plants will increase considerably, because high-grade resources of uranium are exhausted and much more fossil energy will have to be used to mine uranium. In view of this trend, nuclear power plants will no longer have an emissions advantage over modern gas-fired power plants, let alone in comparison to the advantages offered by increased energy efficiency or greater use of renewable energies.
Even when they pretend that nuclear power would cut emissions, the industry itself is well aware that the thousands of reactors needed to have any real impact could not be up and running for many decades – way too late for combatting the global warming process.
That situation suits the fossil fuel industries perfectly. Coal can keep on being mined – “in the meantime”, and nuclear power can take over many decades later, when the coal runs out.
Fossil fuel and nuclear industries are large centralised operations. The much touted Small Modular Nuclear Reactors are supposed to be “decentralised”, but in fact are produced in, and totally dependent on, the same centralised grandiose way as the “conventional” big reactors.
The nuclear industry is very comfortable indeed, with the continuance of dirty fossil fuel industries, aiming for a smooth transition later on, when it can get its dirty industry up and running – meanwhile posing as the world’s saviour from climate chnage.
It’s really hard to estimate the full carbon footprint of the nuclear industry . Greenhouse gases are emitted in all stages of the lifecycle of a nuclear reactor: construction, operation, fuel production, dismantling and waste disposal. Leaving out any of these five stages will bias estimates towards lower values. The last two contributions, dismantling and waste disposal are particularly difficult to estimate. Not many commercial reactors have been fully decommissioned.
The ever repeated claim that nuclear power is emissions-free is simply not true.
Without subsidies for coal and nuclear The free market would choose the path to the most cost effective and cleanest sources of energy which would include wind, solar, small-scale hydro, geothermal, energy efficiency, tidal, and certainly not nuclear or “clean coal.”
The fossil fuel and nuclear industries are in this public deception together. Indeed, nuclear power is in itself a fossil fuel industry, depending on mining uranium (or thorium, which is then converted to uranium). The coal industry is confident of continuing for several decades, and then handing over to the nuclear industry, as coal runs out. The nuclear industry is happy about this, because it takes decades to get reactors set up and running.
Where these two toxic industries are also in agreement is in the aim to slow down, preferable stifle, the development of clean, and cheaper renewable energy sources, especially wind and solar power.
They also like the scenario promoted in the nuclear advertising film “Pandora’s Promise” – that is the endless growth of energy use. Coal and nuclear advocates do not like the idea of energy efficiency, energy conservation.
A crisis has hit the nuclear industry. It’s nuclear wastes. In true Public Relations style – a crisis calls for CRISIS MANAGEMENT. The PR people have risen to this emergency.
Almost overnight, the nuclear spin doctors have done a complete u turn about nuclear wastes. Their former technique was to ignore, avoid, diminish the subject. Nuclear wastes were the “elephant in the room” – not to be considered, in discussions on nuclear power.
But then – Fukushima happened. And worse, in USA, a federal appeals court ruled in June 2012 that the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) could no longer say it had reasonable assurance that a long-term waste-management solution would be created. The NRC will not approve any new nuclear reactors until there is a solution.
No problem to the PR Crisis Management people.. What you do is – you bring the problem out of the dark – you shine the spotlight on the problem – nuclear wastes, and with the aid of disinformation and lies, you turn what was hugely expensive and nasty – plutonium – into something that will be a money-making boon for mankind.
Here’s the big lie: – Plutonium will be a lucrative fuel for new Generation IV nuclear reactors, and they won’t leave toxic waste, (well only some toxic wastes) It will fuel spacecraft to go to Mars,( and they probably won’t crash.)
With a global campaign of lies. this message should remove the “irrational fears” about plutonium, and give new life to the dying nuclear industry. Unless, of course, the global public become aware of this massive deception.
The world faces a dangerous and ever more pressing problem – nuclear wastes.
The logical steps to deal with nuclear wastes are:
1. Stop making the stuff. Close down the commercial and military nuclear reactors that produce plutonium and other long-lived radioactive materials
2. Choose the “least worst” option to dispose of the existing nuclear wastes – (a) Interim storage of radioactive wastes into above ground containers (b) Deep burial underground permanent repositories.
The nuclear lobby, desperate to stave off the death of its industry, comes up with grand promises of new Generation IV systems, reactors that will reprocess, “recycle” plutonium wastes into Mixed Oxide Fuel (MOX) to fuel for other Gen IV reactors. At the end, highly toxic radioactive wastes are still produced.
And all this – despite the enormous costs, the very dangerous transport of plutonium, the risks of terrorism, the increased risks of weapons proliferation.
The nuclear lobby’s cries for Very High Temperature Reactors (VHTR)s, Super Critical Water Reactors (SCWR)s, Molten Salt Reactors (MSR)s, Gas Cooled Fast rectors (GCFR)s, Sodium Cooled Fast Reactors (SCFR)s, Lead Cooled Fast Reactors (LCFR)s – all desperate and conflicting cries for their own salvation, rather than any solution to wastes, costs, climate change, energy needs.
The worry is that the nuclear lobby might win, by manipulating governments and populations into buying their expensive and dangerous new toys – because nobody really wants a nuclear waste tomb in their area.
The trouble is – nuclear cemeteries, however unappealing, are still the least worst option.
Lies and violence were the origin of nuclear power. First of all, in 1942, the work of Dr Charles Pecher, who sought to relieve cancer pain, using radiation -was taken over by the Manhattan Project. The plan now was to devise a radiological weapon that would kill people, but leave property intact. This plan was then changed, in favour of the more dramatic atomic explosions – which were hastily used in Hiroshima and Nagasaki just in time, as the war was ending, with Japan ready to surrender.
The nuclear scientists, for various motives, (in some cases, guilt) now decided to produce the “peaceful atom”. USA helped 127 Nazi rocket scientists, led by Wernher Von Braun, to move to America, to develop nuclear energy, which would be “too cheap to meter”.
Nuclear energy wasn’t really cheap at all, and required huge government subsidy, and a law to make sure that the tax-payer would pay up for any serious accident, (the Price Anderson Act). USA firms helped other governments to get this “peaceful energy” – and soon all of these countries had nuclear weapons. That was the main reason they wanted it.
The lies, the cover-ups, the expense, the escalating weaponry, continue to this day. Now the nuclear lobby is engaged in a lying campaign that depicts renewable energy as “not feasible”, and depicts ionising radiation as “good for you’ at low doses. It dismisses the radioactive waste problem – ” a solution will be found” (USA’s Waste Confidence Rule). In UK the latest lie is that super nuclear reactors are ready – to “eat up” the radioactive waste.
The sinister side of the push for “New Nuclear” is that it is a justification for doing nothing about the accumulating toxic wastes and the toxic nuclear weapons and reactors. Such a comfortable temptation – leave this nastiness for our grand and great granchildren to fix.
The present entire reptilean assembly of nuclear industry chiefs and wannabe chiefs, and executives and lobbyists, and the bought politicians and media, will be dead then, having enjoyed their comfortable well-paid lives.
It is up to the ‘alternative’ and ‘social’ media to expose their lies and to highlight the compelling three present day challenges:
– to close down the global nuclear industry, and especially to expose and prevent the ‘New ‘Nuclear’ deception.
– to deal with the existing masses of radioactive trash – interim above ground storage, then burial near to the site of production – the ‘least worst’ option.
-to dismantle the useless nuclear weapons empire, including the poisonous depleted uranium weapons. (Today’s enemies effectively use much simpler and cheaper weapons)
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