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AMAZING URANIUM FILM FESTIVAL IN PORTUGAL 2019

 https://uraniumfilmfestival.org/en/amazing-uranium-film-festival-in-portugal-2019, Norbert G. Suchanek and Marcia Gomes de Oliveira,
Founder and directors of the Uranium Film Festival

Those who couldn’t make it to the recent International Uranium Film Festival in Portugal have missed an amazing event at a special place where uranium mining started more than a hundred years ago.  From September 13th to September 15th the festival was organised in partnership with ATMU (Former Uranium Mine Workers Association) and former uranium miners and their families in the towns Urgeiriça (Nelas), Viseu and Mangualde in the Dão region of central Portugal.

„We thank especially the former surviving uranium miners and their incredible wives for the warm welcome and their enthusiastic commitment for the festival“, said Uranium Film Festival’s executive director Márcia Gomes de Oliveira from Rio de Janeiro. And the President of ATMU added. „The Uranium Film Festival was, in fact, one of the most interesting cultural and scientific initiatives in which we had the privilege to participate. We extend our most sincere congratulations to the festival directors Márcia Gomes de Oliveira and Norbert G. Suchanek for three days of films, debates and remarkable of all, raising awareness.“

“We confess that we did not know some of the cases we were made aware of: the uncertain future of the Utah Ute people in the Grand Canyon; the scandalous case of Palomares, who lived under the shadow of lies for decades; and the living despair of Jadugoda whose inhabitants, the Adivasi, are sacrificed by uranium mining and under the hollow argument of so called development”, write the two observers Catarina Gameiro Minhoto & João Paiva in their final festival report to ATMU.

“Each case is unique, but the reality is the same. Let us quote a phrase from the Wismut movie (Yellow Cake) which said that uranium mining happened under a web of lies, propaganda and lack of information. Same in Palomares, where in 1966 two US planes crashed and four atomic bombs felt from the sky and where even today the United States and the now democratic government of Spain seem to hide the truth behind that accident and its ongoing consequences. We also mention Jadugoda where the situation is dramatic and where the authorities – like the nuclear industry in Brazil (INB) – insist on ignorance. Worse than natural ignorance, is conscious ignorance, based on the lie about the truth. The consequences of this attitude on the part of the authorities are clear: thousands of people suffering from cancer and other diseases; with terrible social conditions; the surroundings of these mines became ecological time bombs.

To our great shock, we have learned by the film that the main reason why the environmental situation is often untreated and the legacies of uranium mining are not rehabilitated is that the end point of nuclear fuel production is extremely costly. And no profit waiting. The big companies or uranium mills do not want to spend money on this last stage. The final price of this insensitivity is paid by the people of the surrounding areas, is paid by the environment, is paid by all of us.”

MOVIES LEFT A LASTING IMPRESSION ON THE AUDIENCE

Catarina Gameiro Minhoto & João Paiva’s comments show that the documentary movies screened have left a lasting impression on the audience in Portugal, especially the four films: YELLOW CAKE. THE DIRT BEHIND URANIUM(link is external) by Joachim Tschirner, BUDA CHORA EM JADUGODA (BUDDHA WEEPS IN JADUGODA)(link is external) by Shri Prakash, HALF LIFE: THE STORY OF AMERICA’S LAST URANIUM MILL (MEIA VIDA: A HISTÓRIA DO ÚLTIMO MOINHO DE URÂNIO DA AMÉRICA)(link is external) by Justin Clifton and OPERACIÓN FLECHA ROTA. ACCIDENTE NUCLEAR EN PALOMARES (BROKEN ARROW. NUCLEAR ACCIDENT IN PALOMARES) by Jose Herrera Plaza. ………https://uraniumfilmfestival.org/en/amazing-uranium-film-festival-in-portugal-2019

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October 5, 2019 Posted by | media, Resources -audiovicual | Leave a comment

Vladimir Shevchenko – heroic photographer of Chernobyl nuclear catastrophe

I watched the “Chernobyl” miniseries, and I was struck by the accuracy. The scene on the roof of the reactor as depicted in the fictional episode, was accurate in so much detail, compared to  the 1986 real film.

The Soviet film maker who filmed his own death at Chernobyl    https://www.news.com.au/technology/science/the-soviet-film-maker-who-filmed-his-own-death-at-chernobyl/news-story/b06e971263baff167fdeab00061d9e9c

There were many who risked their lives after the Chernobyl disaster — but none more so than a man desperate to show the world what happened,   LJ Charleston,  21 July 19  When Soviet filmmaker Vladimir Shevchenko took his camera onto the roof of Chernobyl’s reactor four in the aftermath of the fatal explosion, he had no idea he was right in the middle of what was — in April 1986 — the most dangerous place on earth.

He also had no idea that his chilling documentary Chernobyl: Chronicle of Difficult Weeks, about the clean-up of the radioactive material at Chernobyl, would be his very last.

He died of acute radiation sickness a year later.

The award-winning film director, who was working for Ukrainian TV at the time, was said to have been quite unaware of the dangers he was putting himself in when he agreed to film from the roof next to reactor four.  

He’d been hired to film in the exclusion zone. But his gravest error was agreeing — along with two assistants — to climb up to the most lethal area of all, just days after one of the worst man-made disasters of all time.

Even 33 years after the explosion, Shevchenko’s film is still an eerie reminder of the sacrifices made by those who risked their lives in the clean-up efforts at Chernobyl.

Today, as the world focuses once again on those events due to HBO’s series Chernobyl, it’s worthwhile putting the spotlight on the courageous Shevchenko.

He gave his life so that we could see with our own eyes what went on during the clean-up. It was, at times, incredibly basic and put so many lives at risk.

And, by doing so, Shevchenko was unknowingly filming his own death……

Shevchenko, who was the first and only film maker allowed on location in the exclusion zone of Chernobyl, is best known for Chernobyl — Chronicle of Difficult Weeks. You can watch the full cut of his film here.

The film is entirely in Russian, although it’s believed people are currently working on English subtitles. It includes interviews with beleaguered scientist Valery Legasov, now famous due to the HBO series in which he’s played by Jared Harris.

Legasov committed suicide two years after the disaster, on the anniversary, due to the horror of his experiences and the lies he had to tell the International Atomic Agency in Vienna to cover up Soviet mishandling of the event.

Shevchenko’s footage of Chernobyl has not been widely seen and the fact he lost his life a year after the explosion has been completely obscured, as his name isn’t listed on official records of deaths. At the time, his two assistants were receiving hospital treatment, but there is no word of what became of them.

Sydney archaeologist Mr Robert Maxwell, the only archaeologist who has worked in Chernobyl across two field excursions, told news.com.au Shevchenko was well-respected and trusted to film the clean-up efforts, as it was such a highly sensitive time for the Soviets.

“He was granted permission to film the clean-up, including the incredibly dangerous work of the ‘biobots’,” Mr Maxwell said, referring to the name given to the workers sent in to clean up……..

THE ‘BIOBOT FOOTAGE’

One of the most memorable and unbelievable scenes in the TV series Chernobylfeatures liquidation workers on the roof, using shovels to throw highly radioactive material back into the core.

If it wasn’t for Shevchenko’s 1986 footage, we would not know that this happened. The men could only work in frantic 90 second shifts; any longer and their exposure to the radiation would be fatal.

What makes the footage so compelling is that we can clearly see some men picking up the radioactive graphite with gloved hands. We also see Shevchenko filming from the roof top, wearing only a flimsy mask and cap for protection. Then we can see how badly damaged the footage is as the radiation makes an impact on the film itself.

It’s harrowing to see how much work the men are doing with their hands.

This is Shevchenko’s footage focusing on the rooftop clean-up.

Chernobyl. Cleaning the roofs. Soldiers (reservists). 1986.

July 22, 2019 Posted by | media, Resources -audiovicual, Ukraine | Leave a comment

Veteran of Chernobyl nuclear clean-up: HBO TV episode was very accurate

Chernobyl Episode 4 Scene | HBO | Graphite Clearing

This man knows what it’s really like shovelling radioactive debris on top of Chernobyl’s reactor ABC News 

Key points:

  • At age 32, Jaan Krinal was forced to go to Chernobyl and clean the roof of the reactor
  • He says men were initially enthusiastic to help eliminate the radiation
  • One-third of the men of his town he served with in Chernobyl have died

When he left his wife and two children on May 7, 1986 and went to work, Jaan Krinal didn’t know he would be one of those people.

The 32-year-old was working on a state-owned farm in Soviet-occupied Estonia.

Because he’d been forced to complete the Soviet military’s retraining a year before, he was confused when officers surprised him at work and said he’d been called up again — immediately.

Jaan and 200 other men were taken to a nearby school. Once they’d walked through the door, no-one was allowed to leave.

The men’s passports were seized before they were loaded onto buses and taken to a forest, where they were told to slip into brand new army uniforms.

“That’s when I first questioned what’s really going on here,” Jaan recalls………

Workers told radiation could have health benefits

It all happened fast.

Hundreds of men boarded a Ukraine-bound train on May 8. By the next evening, they were setting up camp on the edge of Chernobyl’s exclusion zone.

They were just 30 kilometres away from the site of the world’s worst nuclear disaster — the still-smouldering wreckage of a reactor torn apart by a series of explosions and spewing radiation in a plume across Europe.

Jaan was among the first group sent to clean up in the aftermath of the catastrophe.

Tasked with hosing down radiation on the houses in nearby villages, he was thrown into the thick of it……

Despite the apparent uselessness of the job, they continued to work 11-hour days without a day off until the end of June. After that, they had two days of downtime a month.

As the weeks rolled on, suspicions grew.

“We started to have doubts. But all the officers said, ‘Why are you fretting, the radiation levels aren’t that high.”

In a cruel irony, the commanders told the men that being exposed to radiation would actually have health benefits.

“They joked that whoever has cancer can now get rid of it — because the radiation helps,” Jaan says.

Men unaware of deadly reason behind roof time limit

By the end of September, whatever enthusiasm the men initially felt had faded.

As many developed a cough, concerns grew about whether they were being lied to about the radiation being harmless. The respirators the men were given wouldn’t stay on because of the heat and were used until they got holes in them.

Later they found they should have been replaced every day…….

A rumour had it that the very last leg of the assignment was going on the roof of the reactor to clean up as much debris as possible.

Humans were going to be given a task that remote-control robots had previously attempted, but failed. The machines simply stopped working due to the unprecedented levels of radiation.

“When they told us, ‘You have to go to the roof’, we thought, ‘Oh, this means we can go home soon’,” he says.

On the day, he changed his army uniform for a protective suit, glasses and a gas mask, and a metal groin guard.

“We were all lined up and told, ‘who doesn’t want to go on the roof, step forward’. But only a couple of us did,” he says.

“There was no mass rejection. Most people went up there.

“It had to be done. We couldn’t just leave it. I think everyone realised the longer the reactor would have stayed open, the more dangerous it would have become.”

Jaan was shown on a small screen exactly which piece of debris he had to pick up with a shovel and throw off the roof of the reactor, but strictly warned against going too close to the edge.

He had two minutes to complete the assignment — a bell would ring to tell him when to run back.

The two-minute timeframe was to limit exposure to radiation, which could kill a man.

But this wasn’t communicated to the men at the time.

Jaan says the roof-cleaning scene depicted in HBO’s mini-series Chernobyl mirrored real life events…….

A staggering one-third of the men of his town who went to Chernobyl have died.

The average age of death has been 52.

“Over the past couple of years, just a couple of us have died. But not too long ago it was around 10 men a year,” he says.

“There have been cancers. There have been suicides too, but thankfully not too many.”……

he hopes tourists won’t start flocking to the ghost city.

“I hope they’ll never start sending large groups of tourists there. It’s still a dangerous zone,” he says.

He hasn’t seen the mini-series, but welcomes the attention Chernobyl disaster is getting — he thinks it acts as a warning to the human kind.  https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-06-22/chernobyl-what-it-was-really-like-on-top-of-reactor/11223876

June 22, 2019 Posted by | incidents, Resources -audiovicual, Ukraine, wastes | Leave a comment

Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) Attacks Gundersen – Again!

June 20, 2019 Posted by | civil liberties, Resources -audiovicual, USA | Leave a comment

“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

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

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

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

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

Breathtaking series on Chernobyl nuclear catastrophe


(
Foxtel Showcase 12 June 8.30 pm and 10.30 pm)

Chernobyl: horrifying, masterly television that sears on to your brain. This breathtaking series throws us right into the hellish chaos of the nuclear disaster – and its terrors are unflinching and unforgettable, Guardian, Rebecca Nicholson,  29 May 2019 After three of its five episodes aired, the miniseries Chernobyl found its way to the top of IMDB’s top 250 TV shows in history list. While the fan-voted chart might seem hyperbolic, given that the drama had only just crossed the halfway point, it is not undeserving of the honour. Chernobyl is masterful television, as stunning as it is gripping, and it is relentless in its awful tension, refusing to let go even for a second. That old ‘don’t spoil the ending’ joke about Titanic will inevitably be rebooted here, but it is confident enough to withstand any familiarity with the story.

May 30, 2019 Posted by | Belarus, incidents, Resources -audiovicual, Ukraine | Leave a comment

Rivetting new documentary series on the Chernobyl nuclear catastrophe

Chernobyl (2019) | What Is Chernobyl? | HBO

May 4, 2019 Posted by | Resources -audiovicual | Leave a comment

New miniseries dramatises the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear disaster

Irish Times 30th April 2019 A new five-part miniseries dramatising the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear explosion will bring “fresh eyes” to the disaster and its subsequent cover-up,
Chernobyl activist Adi Roche said at a screening of the drama in Dublin on
Tuesday.

Ms Roche said she hoped the series, named Chernobyl and made by
Sky in association with US broadcaster HBO, “wins every award going”
for its portrayal of the tragedy and those caught up in it. “Disasters
like Chernobyl can fade from the headlines, can fade from societal
consciousness, can fade from the memories of ordinary people,” Ms Roche
said.

“This series will reveal to a new global TV audience the ignominy,
the betrayal and the heroism behind the deadliest nuclear accident in human
history.”

https://www.irishtimes.com/business/media-and-marketing/chernobyl-tv-drama-will-bring-new-light-to-1986-nuclear-disaster-says-adi-roche-1.3876520

May 2, 2019 Posted by | Resources -audiovicual | Leave a comment

Podcast: The Nuclear History Of Chernobyl With Kate Brown

The Nuclear History Of Chernobyl With Kate Brown  https://www.wortfm.org/the-nuclear-history-of-chernobyl-with-kate-brown/

APRIL 29, 2019 BY A PUBLIC AFFAIR Thirty-three years ago, on April 26, 1986, the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant in northern Ukraine experienced two explosions and a fire that released deadly levels of radioactive gas and ash. This event is widely considered the most disastrous nuclear power plant accident in history.

Historian Kate Brown says that “much of what we’re told about the Chernobyl disaster and its after-effects is incomplete or incorrect.” Today, she joins us on the show to share her research of Chernobyl and nuclear history and to discuss her latest book, Manual for Survival: A Chernobyl Guide to the Future. Along the way, she and Patty consider what happens when atomic energy is released; the impact of radiation on the landscape, on animal bodies, and on human bodies; and the environmental and public health consequences of large-scale technological disasters.

Kate Brown is a professor of environmental and nuclear history at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She is the author of A Biography of No Place: From Ethnic Borderland to Soviet Heartland (Harvard, 2004), Plutopia: Nuclear Families in Atomic Cities and the Great Soviet and American Plutonium Disasters (Oxford, 2013), and the recently-published Manual for Survival: A Chernobyl Guide to the Future (W.W. Norton, 2019). She serves as a senior editor of International Labor and Working Class History (ILWCH).

April 30, 2019 Posted by | Resources -audiovicual | Leave a comment

New film shows Japan the story of Japanese fishermen exposed to 1954 nuclear bomb test

U.S. film shines light on Japan boat crew exposed to 1954 nuke test, By Miya Tanaka, KYODO NEWS – Mar 14, 2019 – For many Americans, the story of the Japanese fishing crew who were exposed to a U.S. hydrogen bomb test in the Pacific Ocean 65 years ago may be a footnote in history easy to overlook.

But Keith Reimink, a 40-year-old American documentary filmmaker, reacted differently when he came across in 2014 a tiny paragraph mentioning the incident in a nearly 500-page book criticizing the U.S. management of nuclear weapons.

Little was mentioned except for the fact that the 23 Japanese men aboard the tuna fishing vessel Fukuryu Maru No. 5 suffered radiation poisoning and that one of them died. But the Pittsburgh-based movie director was intrigued, and by the end of the year, his group was already in Japan to film interviews with three of the former fishermen.

Four years on, Reimink’s indie film company released last September in the United States a 75-minute documentary called “Day of the Western Sunrise” that depicts the horror of nuclear weapons through the vivid accounts of the fishermen and flashbacks of the incident presented as animation.

“The vast majority of Americans have not heard about any suffering related to nuclear tests after World War II ended…People need to learn about the legacy of nuclear testing in America so that it doesn’t happen again,” Reimink, who made his debut as a film director in 2012, told Kyodo News when he recently came to Japan for the film’s first public screening in the country……….

The film opens by noting that most people believe that Japan’s experience of nuclear weapons ended with the U.S. atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August 1945.

But another tragedy occurred on March 1, 1954, when the United States conducted its largest-ever nuclear weapons test, code-named Castle Bravo, at the Bikini Atoll in the Marshall Islands. The explosion brought higher levels of fallout than predicted, contaminating the islands and boats sailing in the vicinity.

The three former Fukuryu Maru members recall in the film the moment of the blast that forever changed their lives. As a flash lit up the western sky, one of them shouted, “The sun rises in the west!”

A total of 22 crew members survived the initial illness, but further hardships awaited them. They were shunned by the local community amid rumors that radiation sickness was communicable, sometimes rejected when seeking marriage partners and haunted by fears that the exposure might still affect their health and their offspring as well.

Matashichi Oishi, 85, who has been the most active among the survivors in recounting his experiences in public, talks in the film about his first child being stillborn and deformed, which he kept a secret for a long time. “It could happen to anyone who is exposed to radiation,” he warns………

The footage revealed “personal and intimate” accounts of the fishermen, leading Reimink to think that the film should be “a Japanese story” and that there is “no room for an American opinion.”

As well as insisting on the narrator speaking in Japanese against the advice of many people, Reimink adopted an animation style inspired by Japanese traditional “kamishibai” storytelling that combines hand-drawn visuals with engaging narration.

The use of animation did not just help keep the production cost low, compared with using expensive archival footage, but is also expected to increase the educational potential for children of all ages, including for those who may be too small to understand the whole story but still are able to engage with the pictures……… https://english.kyodonews.net/news/2019/03/d05edfdbdf5b-feature-us-film-shines-light-on-japan-boat-crew-exposed-to-1954-nuke-test.html

March 16, 2019 Posted by | Resources -audiovicual | Leave a comment