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

Nuclear is Not a Climate Solution – Dr. Arjun Makhijani

Nuclear is Not a Climate Solution -7 Dr. Arjun Makhijani. This is a part
of the recording of “Nuclear is Not a Climate Solution: The devastating
impacts of Pacific nuclear testing, the Fukushima disaster, and radioactive
waste from U.S. nuclear reactors,” a webinar that was hosted by the
Affected Communities and Allies Working Group on March 9, 2022. The webinar
explains why nuclear energy is not a climate solution and shed light on the
underreported impacts of the ongoing nuclear crises in communities impacted
by nuclear testing, nuclear energy, and radioactive waste.

 Affected Communities and Allies Working Group 16th Oct 2022


October 18, 2022 Posted by | Resources -audiovicual | 2 Comments

New film: The ‘Mothers of the Revolution’ Who Stared Down Nuclear Weapons

The ‘Mothers of the Revolution’ Who Stared Down Nuclear Weapons,   The doc ‘Mothers of the Revolution’ chronicles the women who spent years protesting the nukes at RAF Greenham Common. One of those brave women, Rebecca Johnson, tells their story.   Daily Beast, Rebecca Johnson Nov. 21, 2021  In September 1981, a ten-day walk from Wales under the banner of Women for Life on Earth arrived at the main gate of RAF Greenham Common, sixty miles west of London. Home to the 501st Tactical Missile Wing of the U.S. Air Force, this nuclear base was designated by NATO to deploy nuclear-armed cruise missiles in Europe. We called for this decision to be publicly debated.

When ignored, Women for Life on Earth grew into the Greenham Common Women’s Peace Camp. I began living there in 1982 and stayed until the 1987 U.S.-Soviet Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty banned and eliminated all land-based medium-range nuclear weapons from Europe, including Cruise, Pershing and SS20s.

After years of being airbrushed out of histories of the Cold War, Greenham’s actions, struggles and legacy are being spotlighted in a new film, Mothers of the Revolution, from acclaimed New Zealand director Briar March. Showing contemporaneous news footage from the 1980s along with dramatized vignettes and reflections from women who got involved with the Greenham Women’s Peace Camp in the 1980s, the film weaves an illustrative narrative from the experiences of a small cross section of activists—not only from Britain, but Russia, East and West Europe, the United States, and the Pacific.

Though it’s taken a long time for our contribution to the INF Treaty to be publicly recognized, other treaties have been influenced by Greenham’s feminist-humanitarian activism and strategies, most notably the U.N. Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, which entered into international law in January 2021.

While living at Greenham for five years I came to understand what we really need: Not weapons and power over others, but communities that are empowered to love, question and create. We took forward new theories and practices of nonviolence that were feminist and assertive. We didn’t suppress deep human emotions like fear, love and anger, but channelled them into power for change. We needed to be activist and analytical, passionate and diplomatic, stubborn and flexible, courageous and truthful—no matter who tried to silence us.

The cruise missiles arrived in November 1983, which felt like a bitter defeat at first. Yet we refused to give up. …………….

Were we mothers of a revolution? If anything, I think we were part of a long continuum of struggles for women’s rights and safety, following in the footsteps of the women who fought so hard to vote and live free from oppression, slavery, and misogyny. Not mothers but daughters—of all those brave feminist revolutionaries.

I’m so glad Mothers of the Revolution ends with such an inspiring call to action showing the faces and voices of a new generation of fierce Daughters who are campaigning for girls’ education, climate justice, peace, and women’s rights to live free of patriarchal perpetrators and their greedy, oppressive systems of violence. Together we can stop the destroyers and strengthen the naturally diverse, interdependent lives that share and protect our beautiful Mother Earth. That’s our revolution, and we are not finished yet.

November 22, 2021 Posted by | Reference, Resources -audiovicual, UK, weapons and war, Women | Leave a comment

Libbe HaLevy’s interview with Sister Megan Rice 2019

Anti-Nuclear Peace Nun Sister Megan Rice of Plowshares

by Libbe HaLevy | Dec 24, 2019 |   Listen Here:

Anti-Nuclear Peace Nun Sister Megan Rice – To celebrate the holidays, a reminder of one of 2015’s successes — the early release from prison of Sister Megan Rice, one of three brave activists who broke into high security nuclear weapons at the Y-12 nuclear facility in Oak Ridge, Tennessee – the so-called “Fort Knox of Nuclear“- to protest nukes and war.  She was arrested on-site and, at age 82, convicted of sabotage – a conviction that was overturned after she’d already served two years in prison.

We’ll hear from:

  • Sister Megan Rice, the now-89-year-old anti-nuclear peace nun.  She speaks at length about the peaceful 2012 Transform Now Plowshares protest action.   She and two other activists broke into the Y-12 National Security Complex in Oak Ridge, Tennessee which resulted in her being charged with sabotage and sentenced to almost three years in prison.  This interview was recorded when she was newly out of prison pending a re-sentencing hearing.  All further charges were later dropped.  The break in was an antiwar protest referred to as “the biggest security breach in the history of the nation’s atomic complex.” All it took? Three determined senior or senior-adjacent activists, some wire cutters, and a deeply spiritual love for people and the planet.
  • Co-defendant Gregory Boertje-Obed, 60, who along with co-defendant Michael Walli, 68, was sentenced to over five years in prison for their non-violent protest.

Originally presented on May 26, 2015, for Nuclear Hotseat #205.

to the Transform Now Plowshares statement and Indictment of Oak Ridge for War Crimes that were drawn up by these three brave activists and read at the Y-12 site.

October 18, 2021 Posted by | PERSONAL STORIES, Resources -audiovicual | Leave a comment

International Uranium Film Festival free online screenings September 13 – 19


The International Uranium Film Festival in Rio de Janeiro remembers „Brazil’s Chernobyl“, the worst radiological accident in Latin America that took place in September 1987 in the city of Goiânia in central Brazil. From September 13th to 19th, 2021, the festival will show online and free of charge eight documentaries and movies about this accident caused by the release of highly radioactive Cesium-137. An online meeting with one of the surviving victims, Odesson Alves Ferreira, three filmmakers from Goiânia and producer Laura Pires from Bahia marks the opening of this virtual film event that is supported by the Cinematheque of Rio’s Modern Art Museum (MAM Rio).

34 years ago, on September 13, 1987, two young men in search of junk entered the unsecured ruins of the Goiano Radiation Therapy Institute, a former cancer treatment clinic, in the city of Goiânia. They found an abandoned radiation therapy unit with a heavy lead capsule that contained 19 grams of cesium-137. Without knowing the risks of radioactivity or even the name “radioactive”, they took the capsule, dragged it home in a wheelbarrow and sold it to a scrap dealer six days later. The curious scrap dealer breaks open the capsule and discovers the white crystal powder that glows bluish in the dark, cesium-137 chloride – the death glow! It was not until September 29, when dozens of sick people with strange symptoms were already filling the hospitals in Goiânia, that the nuclear authorities became aware of the radioactive accident. At that time the cesium-137-crystals were already spread unknowingly widely over the quarter, hundreds of people became contaminated and thousands were unknowingly exposed to gamma rays. The authorities recognized officially only four deaths caused by radiation. But surveys by unions and surviver associations indicate at least 66 deaths and around 1,400 contaminated victims.

Just 19 grams of cesium-137 not only caused endless suffering to the victims, but also generated in Goiânia more than 6,000 tons of radioactive waste that is dangerous for over 200 years and is stored today in the radioactive waste repository of Abadia de Goiás, a suburb just a few miles outside of the City. Cesium-137 is a highly radioactive and unnatural nuclide with a half-life of 30 years. It is a fission product of uranium-235 and is created by the explosion of atomic bombs or in nuclear power plants as radioactive waste. Instead of storing it, cesium-137 was sold for decades around the globe to irradiate cancer cells. The radiation source of the Goiânia accident was thought to have been made in the U.S. at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. (Top photo: Street 57, Number 60 was in September 1987 one of the two most radioactive places in Goiânia city.) 


September 13th, Monday, 4pm / Opening Live:  To not forget  An online meeting with one of the victims of cesium-137, former long-standing president of the Association of Cesium Victims of Goiânia (AVCésio) Odesson Alves Ferreira (photo), the filmmakers Angelo Lima, Benedito Ferreira and Michael Valim from Goiânia and Bahian producer Laura Pires. Moderation: Márcia Gomes de Oliveira. (Live in Portuguese on is external)

September 13 -19 / 7 Days 24 Fours Free Online Screening  AMARELINHA (HOPSCOTCH)………………….

September 6, 2021 Posted by | 2 WORLD, media, Resources -audiovicual | 1 Comment

The Rio de Janeiro International Uranium Film Festival 2021 has awarded two film-makers on nuclear disarmament issues.

HONORARY LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD WINNERS  INTERNATIONAL URANIUM FILM FESTIVAL The Rio de Janeiro International Uranium Film Festival 2021 has awarded two in the world of nuclear disarmament well known personalities with the festival’s Honorary Lifetime Achievement Award: Sérgio Duarte, former Brazilian diplomat who served as Ambassador in several countries and has dedicated his life to end the nuclear threat. And Emmy Award-Winning Producer and Director Robert Frye from New York City who created “The Nuclear World Project“ and directed two important documentaries on Nuclear Disarmament: „The Nuclear Requiem“ and „In My Lifetime“.

Sérgio de Queiroz Duarte 

Sérgio de Queiroz Duarte(link is external) is a former Brazilian diplomat who served as Ambassador to Nicaragua, Canada, China and Austria. Duarte was the President of the 2005 Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons and was United Nations High Representative for Disarmament Affairs. He was his country’s Permanent Representative to the UN at Vienna and Chairman of the International Atomic Energy Agency Board of Governors. Duarte is President of „Pugwash Conferences on Science and World Affairs“, an organization founded in 1957 by philosopher Bertrand Russell and Sir Joseph Rotblat to contain the proliferation of atomic weapons. Pugwash won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1995.

Robert E. Frye 

Robert E. Frye(link is external) is an Emmy award-winning producer of network news programs and independent documentaries for over five decades. He was born in Syracuse, NY USA, and studied political science and history at Hobart College. In 1958 he joined the U.S. Army. Frye worked on nuclear weapon planning while serving in Germany. The experience fostered a lifelong interest, which led him to create “The Nuclear World Project“. 

Starting in the ’60s the Emmy and Peabody Award winner worked in New York City; Toronto; Washington, D.C.and London. His credits at ABC News include Executive Producer of “Good Morning America” and “ABC World News Tonight” with Peter Jennings; senior Producer at CBC’s Weekend, and as an independent director & producer of several films for public television which include “In My Lifetime” and “The Nuclear Requiem”. At the age of 81, Frye said, the obligation of his generation is to tell the story of nuclear weapons, to make clear the indescribable damage they have caused and their potential to end life on the planet entirely. is external)

Robert E. Frye says: “The recognition from the Uranium Film Festival  comes as a completely unexpected surprise and may I say honor. The Festival trophy will be a reminder to me of the work ahead. Of course, may I say that the continuing work of Sergio Duarte is so important to the world, especially his words of wisdom and leadership over the years, now as the President of Pugwash International. The Uranium Film Festival is such a unique institution, with all the films chosen that honor the dedicated filmmakers, whose work appears in the Festival, calling the world’s attention to the challenges dealing with the continuing presence of nuclear weapons, as well as, the conundrum of nuclear power. On the wall in my office I have the following quote from  musician Leonard Cohen: Ring the bells that still can ring. Forget your perfect offering. There is a crack in everything. That’s how the light gets in. Thank you for providing the opportunity for all these stories to be told. Keep the bells ringing!”

Nuclear Hotseat Radio Show Interview with Robert E. Frey(link is external)

Watch also the festival’s live with Sergio Duarte, Robert E. Frye, Cristian Wittmann & filmmaker Miguel Silveira (Portuguese/English)(link is external)
The 10th Rio de Janeiro International Uranium Film Festival has streamed in May 2021 during 10 days 34 films on nuclear weapons and nuclear energy online and free of charge…………….

June 7, 2021 Posted by | 2 WORLD, media, Resources -audiovicual | Leave a comment

Remarkable new photos inside the Chernobyl nuclear power station, ARKADIUSZ PODNIESIŃSKI  25 Apr 21, ”/……………  The reason for my regular visits remains the same: the desire to document the changes taking place in the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone. And there’s been quite a few: from the construction of the New Safe Confinement (which I wrote about in more detail here), to the construction of several new industrial facilities that will make the decommissioning of the plant, including the damaged Reactor 4, possible and much safer. I hope that, under the influence of slow but systematic changes, eventually Chernobyl will not only be known as the site of the largest nuclear disaster in the world………

before we are allowed to enter the main part of the complex, aka the dirty zone, we have to change into protective gear and masks. We are also given a dosimeter that counts the dose of radiation absorbed. When we exit, the procedure is repeated in reverse order and so on in every complex we visit. Sometimes, the procedures take longer than our stay inside the facility.

…….. First, we got to the largest hall where there is a huge pool with more than 21,000 spent fuel assemblies from reactors 1-3. Depending on the location, radiation levels vary from 40 to 800 μSv/h, which is about 200-400 times higher than normal. The ISF-1 is a wet-type spent fuel storage facility, meaning that the fuel assemblies are stored in water. The huge pool consists of five reinforced concrete tanks covered by hundreds of steel plates.  As I step on them, I feel rather strange and insecure because I know what lies beneath them. Additionally, every step I take causes the steel flaps to move, causing a sound that echoes throughout the hall. I’m only calmed by the sight of the engineer, who confidently steps on the plates, not looking at me at all. After a moment, the engineer bends down and opens one. The radiation increases, but only slightly. The lack of a cover doesn’t change all that much; the greatest barrier against the radiation is the water.

The fuel assemblies are pulled out in the hall next door. Now I can stay here freely, but the radiation levels during this procedure are very high – about 2 Sv/h. This is already a dose that can cause serious radiation sickness or even death. Due to this, the entire process is controlled remotely through a small window made of thick leaded glass or through a system of monitors and cameras from a small room located several meters above us…..

ISF-2 – the Interim Spent Nuclear Fuel Storage Facility 2

The ISF-2 complex serves as an interim storage facility for dry-type spent fuel assemblies. Before the spent fuel goes there, it is processed first in a building located on the premises.

Inside, my attention is drawn to the “hot chamber”, the heart of the entire building. A huge, hermetically sealed room, completely isolated from the external environment by thick concrete walls; you can look inside through small leaded glass windows located on both sides of the chamber. Cameras resistant to high levels of radiation and remote-controlled machinery and tools have been installed inside. It is here that the spent fuel assemblies from the defunct reactors will be cut in half, dried, and later packed into double-layered steel canisters.

The view of the hot chamber makes me realize how dangerous a task we have before us. And a long-term one, since the radioactive isotopes in the fuel will take thousands of years to decay. 100 years, the storage period for the processed fuel in ISF-2, is just a blink of an eye for radioactive isotopes. What’s next? ISF-3? We don’t know yet…….. This is the problem we will face – well, not us but future generations.

In December 2020, the “hot tests” for the whole complex concluded. At that time, 22 containers with 186 fuel assemblies had been processed for the first time and then packed into two steel canisters and stored in concrete modules behind the main building. It is estimated that the entire fuel processing process will take about 10 years, and the complex will become the world’s largest dry spent fuel storage facility.

ICSRM – the Industrial Complex for Solid Radwaste Management

In addition to the ISF-1 and ISF-2, which deal with spent nuclear fuel, another two facilities have been built on the site for the treatment of solid and liquid radioactive waste collected from the operation and decommissioning of the power plant and from the sarcophagus.

In addition to the ISF-1 and ISF-2, which deal with spent nuclear fuel, another two facilities have been built on the site for the treatment of solid and liquid radioactive waste collected from the operation and decommissioning of the power plant and from the sarcophagus. I visit the first, where low-, intermediate- and high-level waste is processed for temporary or final storage, including concrete, sand, and metal. The huge building contains a system of airtight caissons, hot chambers, and other areas where radioactive waste is cut, fragmented, shredded, sorted by radioactivity level, compressed, and incinerated. All of the work is done using remote-controlled machines to which interchangeable tools can be attached — including a jackhammer, concrete crusher, chainsaw, and hydraulic shears. The processed waste is then encapsulated and sealed in concrete containers before being sent to a radioactive waste repository. Like the ISF-2, the plant has already processed its first batch of radioactive waste and currently is in the final stages of hot testing and certification.

New Safe Confinement

The New Safe Confinement (NSC) is a huge 110-meter-high steel construction that was built to cover the old, worn-out sarcophagus. ………………..

In this labyrinth of near-identical corridors, I quickly lose my sense of direction and, after a while, I stop paying attention to the signs. I blindly follow the dosimetrist. Although the masks prevent us from breathing in radioactive dust, there is nothing we can do to protect ourselves from the gamma radiation penetrating our bodies. Unseen dangers may lurk around every corner. In such a situation, the dosimeters are our eyes; thanks to them we know how far we can go.

The thought that I’m moving through a mysterious labyrinth of radioactive corridors covered by two sarcophagi stresses me out and increases my feelings of uncertainty and confusion. …….

About the author: Arkadiusz Podniesiński is a Polish photographer and filmmaker, a technical diver, and a graduate of Oxford Brookes University in Great Britain. You can find more of his work on his website. This photo essay was also published here.

April 26, 2021 Posted by | Resources -audiovicual, Ukraine, wastes | Leave a comment

Nuclear Games

IPPNW Germany 27th Feb 2021On Saturday 27th Feb 2021, the German IPPNW, worked with internationalNGO’s from Japan, and America and Europe, to explain what 10 years of  living with the Fukushima disaster really has meant for Japanese people. The 11 talks were recorded on you tube and can be found on the link below.

March 2, 2021 Posted by | Resources -audiovicual | 1 Comment

New documentary explores Chernobyl Exclusion Zone

Her 18th Feb 2021, Channel 5 is releasing a new documentary about the Chernobyl disaster which will be hosted by adventurer Ben Fogle. This documentary will see Ben Fogle
explore the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant itself where the explosion
happened and live in the surrounding areas and danger zones that were
destroyed in the disaster and are still to this day radioactive. The plant
exploded on the 26th April 1986 sending massive amounts of radioactive
material across Europe. It is the worst nuclear accident in history, even
after over 30 years there’s still too much radioactivity in the area for
people to be there for long periods of time. Ben will live inside the
Chernobyl Exclusion Zone for 7 days, they have even been granted access to
film in the power plant and the control room but they can only spend 5
minutes inside the control room, due to radiation safety restrictions.

February 20, 2021 Posted by | Resources -audiovicual, Ukraine | Leave a comment

“The Toxic Pigs of Fukushima” a contender for the Oscar Awards


Oscars: ‘The Toxic Pigs of Fukushima’ Filmmaker and DP on Radiated Boars and Paying Homage to Japanese Cinema.  Variety 30 Jan 21 Radiation exposure was at the forefront of cinematographer Simon Niblett’s mind as he spent time filming Otto Bell’s “The Toxic Pigs of Fukushima.” Bell, who was trying for a baby at the time, was also concerned – they carried radiation monitors.

Bell’s documentary Oscar contender, “The Toxic Pigs of Fukushima,” follows a group of local hunters who have been enlisted to dispose of radiated wild boars that now roam the abandoned streets and buildings of Fukushima, Japan after a 2011 earthquake caused a nuclear meltdown.

Below, Bell and Niblett spoke with Variety about filming and how drone technology helped them find and film the wild boars………

February 1, 2021 Posted by | Resources -audiovicual | Leave a comment

Documentary ‘The Toxic Pigs Of Fukushima’ About Nuclear Disaster Aftermath

January 23, 2021 Posted by | Resources -audiovicual | Leave a comment

Uranium Film Festival 2020 – a huge success under difficult circumstances

December 10, 2020 Posted by | culture and arts, Resources -audiovicual | Leave a comment

Documentary history from the perspective of radiation victims.

Documentary explores history of radiation through victims,, By MASATO TAINAKA/ Staff Writer, November 1, 2020  Paris-based filmmaker Kenichi Watanabe completed a documentary on nuclear radiation in time for the 10th anniversary of the Fukushima nuclear plant accident in March.

The film, titled “Notre ami l’atome–Un siecle de radioactivite” (Our friend the atom–A century of radioactivity), traces the history of radioactive exposure, spanning more than a century, from the discovery of radioactivity through today.

It is told from the perspective of radiation victims.

“Focusing on radioactivity, I want to reconstruct the idea that ‘nuclear energy and atomic weapons are inseparable,’” Watanabe, 69, said.

The film is set for theatrical release in spring 2021. It made its broadcast debut this summer in Europe and was shown at select venues across Japan in October.

The documentary features interviews with an ex-soldier who observed a nuclear test during the Cold War in the U.S. Nevada desert, and a former fishing boat crew member from Kochi Prefecture who was exposed to fallout when the United States conducted a nuclear test at Bikini Atoll in the Pacific.

It also includes interviews with soldiers allegedly exposed to radiation during Operation Tomodachi, a disaster relief effort conducted off the coast of the Tohoku region by the U.S. armed forces after the accident at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant, and a person who underwent thyroid surgery after that nuclear disaster.

The title is a reference to “Our Friend the Atom,” a Disney film produced to promote the benefits of atomic power in the 1950s during the administration of President Dwight D. Eisenhower, who called for the “peaceful use of atomic energy.”

At the time, an anti-nuclear movement was gaining momentum in Japan after the tuna fishing boat Daigo Fukuryu Maru and other vessels were contaminated by fallout from the U.S. thermonuclear weapon test at Bikini Atoll in 1954. The Diet, meanwhile, passed the country’s first-ever budget proposal for nuclear energy.

“It was imperative for Japan, which suffered atomic bombings in Hiroshima and Nagasaki and whose Constitution contains the war-renouncing Article 9, to come up with an ‘atomic dualism’ to introduce nuclear energy, saying that ‘its peaceful use is good and military use is bad,’” Watanabe said.

Watanabe was born in 1951. He started his career working at Iwanami Productions Inc. in Japan before moving to Paris to produce documentaries for European TV companies.

November 2, 2020 Posted by | Resources -audiovicual | Leave a comment

Amid the global pandemic, humanity still faces simultaneous existential dangers – nuclear war and climate change

Scientists have been warning citizens of the world that there would be a global pandemic. They have also warned about the dangers that humanity faces with climate change. Humanity continues to face two simultaneous existential dangers – nuclear war and climate change

July 20, 2020 Posted by | Resources -audiovicual | Leave a comment

‘The Triumph of Doubt’ – corporations’ war on science

Inside corporations’ war on science . A new book explains how corporations create a climate of doubt around science and expertise. Vox, By Sean  May 26, 2020

Johnson & Johnson announced this week that it will stop putting talc, a mineral linked to asbestos, in its baby powder products. The move comes after years of lawsuits alleging that the powder causes various cancers.

It’s also a surprising turnaround. Johnson & Johnson has spent decades funding biased science and lobbying the government to avoid regulating its products or labeling them as cancer-causing. It’s a tactic deployed by many other industries that have a stake in stifling regulation and the science behind it.

The history of this practice is documented in a new book by David Michaels, the former assistant secretary of labor for the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) under the Obama administration. It’s a close look at how powerful corporations fund junk science and misinformation campaigns in order to obscure evidence and undercut regulatory efforts.

Big Tobacco and the fossil fuels industry are obvious examples, but the problem goes well beyond that. From cancer-causing hair products and apparel to diabetes-linked food and sugary drinks, corporations have realized that you don’t have to convince the public or government officials of anything — all you have to do is create the illusion of doubt.

And they do that by piloting bogus studies, organizing partisan think tanks, supplying dubious congressional witnesses, and anything else they can think of to give regulators enough cover to plausibly look the other way. If you’ve ever heard a politician say “The science is still unclear” or “We need to keep researching the issue,” there’s a good chance that was made possible by industry-funded pseudo-science.

I spoke to Michaels about what this process looks like, why journalists and civic actors have been unable to stop it, and how the practice has become more pervasive in recent years. We also discussed the coronavirus pandemic and how the tactics he describes in this book helped lay the groundwork for the extreme skepticism of scientific expertise we’re seeing from conservatives.

“The Republican base,” Michaels told me, “has been acclimatized to be skeptical of mainstream science, and easily believe accusations that they are being manipulated by the deep state, the liberal media, and pointy-headed scientists.”

A lightly edited transcript of our conversation follows.

Sean Illing

When you say that big corporations like DuPont or Exxon manufacture doubt around their products, what do you mean?

David Michaels

I mean that they hire scientists who appear to be reputable to produce or obscure evidence about the products they make. If there are studies or even suggestions that their product is dangerous, you can hire a scientist who will say, “The evidence is in question,” or, “The study is wrong.”

Corporations make sure those scientists get their opinions into what look like credible peer-reviewed journals, then they get picked up by newspapers, then they have the sound bites that commentators repeat, and that’s enough to convince people that there’s uncertainty. Not necessarily that the product is safe, but that the scientific evidence isn’t there.

That’s basically how it works.

Sean Illing

You used the phrase “appear to be reputable.” What does that mean?

David Michaels

They are credentialed people, but they typically work for consulting firms whose business model is to provide any result their client needs……..

One of the things the Trump administration has done is essentially take the same mercenary scientists who have been working for corporations trying to influence the agencies to do the wrong thing and then given them high-level positions in these same agencies – [EPA , the FDA  and other public institutions]…….

The example that I find most striking is a fellow named Tony Cox, who was appointed chairman of the Clean Air Scientific Advisory Committee by former EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt, who is himself a longtime lobbyist for the oil and coal industries……..

Sean Illing

So we’ve just made the process more efficient. Industry doesn’t even need middlemen to muddy the waters on their behalf now because they just have their own people appointed to run the agencies charged with regulating them…….

David Michaels

As the abject and enormously tragic failure of the Trump administration’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic becomes increasingly clear, the president and his supporters are taking the tobacco road, applying the same strategy used by cigarette manufacturers, fossil fuel corporations, and a host of other industries whose products and activities damage public health.

Not only is it the same strategy, it features the same cast of characters, and it is promoted in the same social media and cable TV venues, especially Fox News. Right-wing punditsTrump administration officials, and scientists with long histories of discredited studies first declared the epidemic a hoax and then asserted the numbers of cases and deaths are wildly inflated. They have been eventually shown to be wildly wrong, but it has no impact on their credibility or their willingness to offer outrageous claims.

This strategy is successful because the Republican base has been acclimatized to be skeptical of mainstream science and easily believe accusations heard on Fox News or read on Facebook that they are being manipulated by the deep state, the liberal media, and pointy-headed scientists……..

When the Trump administration is finally evicted from power, we will need to rebuild our system of public health protections, not simply by pouring more funding into federal agencies that were weak and flawed even before Trump, but by reimagining how they can be far more effective and inclusive, and are able to apply the best available science. And we must do this in a way that overcomes the anti-science culture fed by the current administration and the Republican party.

If we are unable to accomplish these goals, I fear that the nation’s disastrous response to Covid-19 is likely to be a preview of a very troubling future.

May 30, 2020 Posted by | 2 WORLD, resources - print, Resources -audiovicual, secrets,lies and civil liberties | Leave a comment

THE ATOM: A LOVE AFFAIR – nuclear dream to global nightmare

Going plant potty in story of nuclear power, The Atom: A Love Affair chronicles an energetic journey through the 20th century to the modern day  15 May, 2020 — By Dan Carrier THE ATOM: A LOVE AFFAIR  Directed by Vicki Lesley  Certificate: 12a

WITHIN a lifetime, the nuclear power industry has gone from being the golden future of energy generation to the dirty fuel that illustrates a blind race to make profit at any cost, the strength of industrial lobbying, and the inability of government to listen to those it supposedly represents – nor arguments based on empirical evidence that do not fit in with an economic philosophy.

In The Atom: A Love Affair, a wide-ranging, deeply researched, non-judgemental documentary, we are taken on a journey through the 20th century to the modern day to consider how we generate electricity and what role nuclear power has, and can, play.

Split into decades, film-maker Vicki Lesley charts how governments thought they had cracked the lode-stone problem of clean, efficient, renewable energy for all: the power needed for the post-war consumer boom, the eras of new white goods in each house, of labour-saving devices that would make the human race a species not of toil but of leisure and learning.

But, of course, a dream so good can’t be true: and as this film shows, nuclear is not only dirty, expensive and dangerous, it also crosses over into the realm of nuclear reprocessing plants, dealing with weapons-grade plutonium for mass destruction. Not a pretty look.

The difference between Germany and France are used as examples of how an approach to nuclear is based on what the state wants to believe.

France has 58 nuclear plants and cannot afford to replace them. The state-run energy firm EDF has to find new income streams so it is now building these eye-wateringly expensive plants elsewhere – including in the UK.

Germany’s anti-nuclear movement has grown in strength since the 1970s.

Post Fukushima, the Germans decided enough was enough and they would cease to use nuclear energy from 2022. They decided they would use the tax produced by the sale of nuclear energy to pay for other non-nuclear, carbon-free energy production.

“In Germany today, the atom is finished,” says one engineer.

“It is, they say, the last step on a very long goodbye dating from the 1970s. You cannot find any political party in Germany prepared to go anywhere near nuclear power.”

US politician Ralph Nader sums it up nicely (and the footage of him as a young man saying basically the same thing is inspiring).

“Atomic energy is unnecessary,” he says.

“It is uneconomical. It is unsafe. It is uninsurable. It is undemocratic and it is a travesty on our descendants who will curse us if we do not stop the menace of atomic energy.”

May 16, 2020 Posted by | Resources -audiovicual | 1 Comment