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The News That Matters about the Nuclear Industry

Exhibition opens to mark 25th anniversary of Semipalatinsk nuclear test site closure

see-this.way  http://www.kazakh-tv.kz/en/view/news_kazakhstan/page_170776_   26.08.2016 12:28 Exhibition dedicated to the 25th anniversary of the Semipalatinsk nuclear test site closure opened in Almaty. It features previously unpublished documents of independent Kazakhstan in the struggle for a nuclear-free world. Among the exhibits there are letters from citizens asking for the termination of tests in the country, as well as rare photos of the first tests, which took place on August 29 in 1949. In just over 40 years, there were about 450 nuclear tests on the site. After its closure on August 29, 1991 Kazakhstan voluntarily renounced nuclear weapons.

August 27, 2016 Posted by | Resources -audiovicual | Leave a comment

‘Command and Control ‘Another very real danger from nuclear weapons – accidents

FilmDONALD TRUMP’S GLIB TALK ABOUT NUCLEAR WEAPONS OBSCURES A GREATER text-relevantDANGER, Newsweek BY ON 8/23/16 A nuclear holocaust, like death itself, is something we’d rather not think about. So we don’t, much, except when some figure of note starts talking about using hydrogen bombs to settle a problem. Someone like Donald Trump.

But the shock and outrage over Trump’s recent loose talk about making Japan and South Korea develop their own nukes or dropping a bomb on the Islamic State militant group, also known as ISIS, obscures a more prosaic but arguably more imminent danger, according to a new documentary—a warhead going off by accident.

Command and Control, directed by veteran filmmaker Robert Kenner (Food, Inc.) and based on a best-selling book of the same name by Eric Schlosser, aims to widen the discussion about the threat posed by the thousands of nuclear weapons in U.S. hands (and, by extension, other countries’ as well). Developed in concert with PBS’s long-running American Experienceseries but slated for a limited September theatrical debut in New York City, Los Angeles and Washington, D.C., the uncommonly gripping documentary focuses more on the frightening number of weapons mishaps than the missteps that could trigger a nuclear war. It skips over near-disasters involving panicky U.S. and Russian radar crews picking up incoming missile “ghosts” and nearly launching massive counterstrike orders. Instead, citing recently declassified Energy Department figures, it burrows into one of the “more than a thousand accidents and incidents involving our nuclear weapons,” including the loss of eight warheads, one still buried somewhere in the soil of North Carolina.

Why any one of these incidents hasn’t ended in a mass disaster is “pure luck,” Schlosser says in the film. “And the problem with luck is it eventually runs out.” Think about your laptop or car, he suggests. “Nuclear weapons are machines,” he says. “And every machine ever invented eventually goes wrong.”……..

Two hydrogen bombs, for example, fell from a B-52 that broke up in flight and was spiraling down over North Carolina in 1961. One of the bombs “went through all of its arming steps to detonate, and when that weapon hit the ground, a firing signal was sent,” Schlosser says in the film. “And the only thing that prevented a full-scale detonation of a powerful hydrogen bomb in North Carolina was a single safety switch.”

Peurifoy describes the switch as not much more than something you might find on a desk lamp. “If the right two wires had touched,” he says, “the bomb would have detonated. Period.” The exploding 4-megaton warhead, about 267 times as powerful as the bomb the U.S. dropped on Hiroshima 71 years ago, would have instantly obliterated much of North Carolina and produced a mushroom cloud and deadly radiation plumes poisoning people and crops as far north as New York……….. http://www.newsweek.com/2016/09/02/command-control-donald-trump-nuclear-weapons-492743.html

August 26, 2016 Posted by | 2 WORLD, Resources -audiovicual, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Interactive before and after images of Louisiana floods

see-this.wayDevastating images reveal why US can’t ignore Louisiana floods
Explore these interactive before and after images to see the scale of “the worst natural disaster to strike the US since Superstorm Sandy”. ABC News

By Matt Liddy and Ben Spraggon   Widespread flooding in the southern US state of Louisiana has killed at least 13 people, and more than 80,000 people have registered for emergency assistance.

The American Red Cross called the flooding “the worst natural disaster to strike the US since Superstorm Sandy”.

About 30,000 people had to be rescued, as rainfall hit historic levels.

On Thursday, the Atlantic published an article accusing the national media and presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump of largely ignoring the disaster.

More than 40,000 homes have been flooded.

Authorities are still searching tens of thousands of homes and countless cars for victims and survivors……..http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-08-19/before-after-louisiana-floods-satellite/7767084

August 19, 2016 Posted by | ENERGY, Resources -audiovicual | Leave a comment

Hear Dr Perry on The Nuclear Brink

see-this.wayHear-This-way http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/latenightlive/the-nuclear-brink/7747886 16 August 2016  (view full episode)

While even a single nuclear detonation could destroy our way of life, most of us don’t regard thetext-relevant nuclear threat as a clear and present danger. However experts argue that the risk of nuclear catastrophe is greater today than during the Cold War.

In spite of earlier efforts by President Barack Obama to bring the world towards a nuclear free course, we are actually getting further away from reducing the nuclear weapons stockpiles. And a relations between Russia and the USA remain strained, Dr William J. Perry, former US Secretary of Defence warns that we’re on the verge of a new nuclear arms race, and drifting back into Cold War mentality.

Dr Perry has completed his memoirs about his extensive experience in foreign policy and weapons analysis to send a message to the world.

August 17, 2016 Posted by | Resources -audiovicual | Leave a comment

Newly released video shows the destruction of Hiroshima and Nagasaki

see-this.way  https://www.yahoo.com/news/newly-released-video-shows-destruction-185919286.html  Yahoo News Video•August 6, 2016

Previously undisclosed video shows the immediate destruction of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the two Japanese cities the U.S. dropped atomic bombs on during World War II. The video was filmed by Soviet troops in 1945.

August 8, 2016 Posted by | Resources -audiovicual | Leave a comment

Nuclear radiation – not front page news, but it’s real

read-this-wayFukushima: A Nuclear War Without A War: The Unspoken Crisis Of Worldwide Nuclear Radiation Fukushima Watch 1 Aug 16 Global Research’s Online Interactive I-Book Reader brings together, in the form of chapters, a collection of Global Research feature articles and videos, including debate and analysis, on a broad theme or subject matter.  (Article by Michel Chossudovsky) In this Interactive Online I-Book we bring to the attention of our readers an important collection of articles, reports and video material on the Fukushima nuclear catastrophe and its impacts (scroll down for the Table of Contents).

To consult our Online Interactive I-Book Reader Series, click here. 

INTRODUCTION  The World is at a critical crossroads. The Fukushima disaster in Japan has brought to the forefront the dangers of Worldwide nuclear radiation.

The crisis in Japan has been described as “a nuclear war without a war”. In the words of renowned novelist Haruki Murakami:

“This time no one dropped a bomb on us … We set the stage, we committed the crime with our own hands, we are destroying our own lands, and we are destroying our own lives.”

Nuclear radiation –which threatens life on planet earth– is not front page news in comparison to the most insignificant issues of public concern, including the local level crime scene or the tabloid gossip reports on Hollywood celebrities.

While the long-term repercussions of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster are yet to be fully assessed, they are far more serious than those pertaining to the 1986 Chernobyl disaster in the Ukraine, which resulted in almost one million deaths (New Book Concludes – Chernobyl death toll: 985,000, mostly from cancer Global Research, September 10, 2010, See also Matthew Penney and Mark Selden  The Severity of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Disaster: Comparing Chernobyl and Fukushima, Global Research, May 25, 2011)

Moreover, while all eyes were riveted on the Fukushima Daiichi plant, news coverage both in Japan and internationally failed to fully acknowledge the impacts of a second catastrophe at TEPCO’s (Tokyo Electric Power Co  Inc) Fukushima Daini nuclear power plant.

The shaky political consensus both in Japan, the U.S. and Western Europe is that the crisis at Fukushima has been contained.

The realties, however, are otherwise. Fukushima 3 was leaking unconfirmed amounts of plutonium. According to Dr. Helen Caldicott, “one millionth of a gram of plutonium, if inhaled can cause cancer”………..

The Online Interactive I-Book Reader on Fukushima: A Nuclear War without a War

In view of the official cover-up and media disinformation campaign, the contents of the articles and video reports in this Online Interactive Reader have not trickled down to to the broader public. (See Table of contents below)

This Online Interactive Reader on Fukushima contains a combination of analytical and scientific articles, video reports as well as shorter news reports and corroborating data.

Part I focusses on The Fukushima Nuclear Disaster: How it Happened? Part II  pertains to The Devastating Health and Social Impacts in Japan. Part III  centers on the “Hidden Nuclear Catastrophe”, namely the cover-up by the Japanese government and the corporate media. Part IVfocusses on the issue of  Worlwide Nuclear Radiation and Part V reviews the Implications of the Fukushima disaster for the Global Nuclear Energy Industry.

In the face of ceaseless media disinformation, this Global Research Online I-Book on the dangers of global nuclear radiation is intended to break the media vacuum and raise public awareness, while also pointing to the complicity of  the governments, the media and the nuclear industry.

We call upon our readers to spread the word.

We invite university, college and high school teachers to make this Interactive Reader on Fukushima available to their students.

Read more at: globalresearch.ca http://fukushimawatch.com/2016-07-21-fukushima-a-nuclear-war-without-a-war-the-unspoken-crisis-of-worldwide-nuclear-radiation.html

 http://fukushimawatch.com/2016-07-21-fukushima-a-nuclear-war-without-a-war-the-unspoken-crisis-of-worldwide-nuclear-radiation.html

August 8, 2016 Posted by | Resources -audiovicual | Leave a comment

“The Invisible People of Belarus” – photos of the forgotten victims of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster

see-this.wayInside the Institutions for the Chernobyl Victims Forgotten by Society, VICE By Tom Usher, Photos: Jadwiga Bronte January 18, 2016 The Chernobyl disaster took place 30 years ago this April, but its effects are still being felt. The meltdown of the nuclear power plant in northern Ukraine thrust a huge amount of radioactive particles into the Earth’s atmosphere, contaminating much of the surrounding area, with neighboring Belarus taking 70 percent of the fallout.

In her photo series “The Invisible People of Belarus,” photographer Jadwiga Bronteexplored the effects of the Chernobyl disaster on the people of Belarus, specifically those living in governmental institutions called “internats.” These institutions are part asylum, part orphanage, and part hospice, where thousands of Belarusians spend their lives, hidden from public view, often “handed over” to the government by relatives soon after birth.

I spoke to Jadwiga about her project.

VICE: What drew you to the story of the internats?
Jadwiga Bronte: This topic has always been very personal to me. I was born in neighboring Poland, a satellite state of the USSR at the time of the Chernobyl disaster. After learning more about the aftermath of this disaster from an amazing photo essay—“Chernobyl Legacy,” by Paul Fusco—I felt like it was my duty to go to Belarus and work on this subject……..https://mail.google.com/mail/u/0/#inbox/15662659a8d2ba4c?compose=1566729b3d2417d4

 

August 8, 2016 Posted by | Resources -audiovicual | Leave a comment

Interactive tool shows you what would happen if a nuclear bomb hit London

see-this.wayWhat would happen if a nuclear bomb hit London? Use this interactive tool to discover your fate, Mirror, UK 28 July 16    What would happen if a nuclear bomb hit Britain?

The effects would be devastating but this tool shows just how widespread they would be.

It’s a highly unlikely scenario, of course.

However, 60 years ago, crisis planners were desperately worried about the threat of a nuclear attack and identified key cities and towns in the UK which were a likely target to be wiped out with one nuclear bomb.

Here’s what the effects could be today if a nuclear bomb detonated in London.

We’ve used the Nukemap website and looked at three different bombs, all of which have been either used or tested.

It’s a highly unlikely scenario, of course. However, 60 years ago, crisis planners were desperately worried about the threat of a nuclear attack and identified key cities and towns in the UK which were a likely target to be wiped out with one nuclear bomb.

Here’s what the effects could be today if a nuclear bomb detonated in London. We’ve used the Nukemap website and looked at three different bombs, all of which have been either used or tested.

1. Ivy Mike – the first H-bomb (10.4 megatons)

Estimated fatalities: 2,336,920

Estimated injuries: 2,614,180

Fireball radius (orange): The entire city centre including monuments such as Big Ben, the Houses of Parliament and Buckingham Palace would be consumed by a nuclear fireball 3.2km wide – stretching up to Camden Town and down to Brixton. The fatality rate is 100%.

Radiation radius (green): Slightly wider than the fireball radius. Without medical treatment, expect between 50% and 90% mortality from acute effects alone. Dying takes between several hours and several weeks

Air blast radius (red – 20psi): The most intense air blast would have a radius of 4.75km and demolish heavily built concrete buildings in Chalk Farm, London Bridge, Chelsea and Kensington among other areas. The fatality rate is still 100% or very close.

Air blast radius (grey – 5psi): A lesser air blast radius would still cause the collapse of all residential buildings within a 10km radius. That means houses would collapse all the way out in East Finchley, Stratford, Poplar and Streatham. Injuries are universal and fatalities widespread.

Thermal radiation radius (lighter orange): The thermal radiation radius is 29.1km. This would mean third degree burns “throughout the layers of the skin”, which could cause severe scarring, disablement and even amputation. This radius covers Watford, Hayes, Epsom, Croydon, Twickenham, Dartford and Epping.

2. The Tsar Bomba – the largest USSR  bomb tested (50 megatons)……

3. ‘Fat Man’ – the Nagasaki bomb (20 kilotons)……..http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/what-would-happen-nuclear-bomb-8514152

 

July 29, 2016 Posted by | Resources -audiovicual, UK, weapons and war | Leave a comment

“Thirty Seconds to Midnight” – coming film, encouraged by Dr Helen Caldicott

Dr. Helen Caldicott’s Prognosis for Humanity – “Not Good” “We are like lemmings walking toward the cliff of nuclear annihilation, worrying about things that don’t matter.” http://registremblay.com/dr-helen-caldicotts-prognosis-humanity-not-good/

On Wednesday, July 20, 2016, I had the distinct pleasure of interviewing another person of great importance with an urgent message for humanity. Dr. Helen Caldicott is an internationally acclaimed Australian physician and antinuclear activist. She is a co-founder of Physicians for Social Responsibility, and founder of the Women’s Action for Nuclear Disarmament, and International Physicians to Save the Environment.

As a physician who has studied and researched the biological effects of radiation throughout her entire career, she warns the world that nuclear technology threatens life on our planet with extinction. This is a chilling message at a time when nuclear power, the threat of an imminent nuclear holocaust, and climate change have humanity on the brink of extinction. These three threats are the principle theme of my current film project which had been titled, 11:57 – Three Minutes to Midnight. When I told Helen that I had an alternative title 11:59:30 – Thirty Seconds to Midnight, she told me “that’s it.”

Helen’s message and the message of my new film are disturbing because they present the irrefutable facts screaming out for attention before it is too late. As a species, we are running out of time to save ourselves and all life on the planet. Dr. Caldicott’s prognosis: “not good.”

Pending my October trip to Russia to complete filming, I anticipate that 11:59:30 – Thirty Seconds to Midnight will be ready for release early in 2017.

July 28, 2016 Posted by | Resources -audiovicual | Leave a comment

The First Secret Nuclear City

FilmThe First Secret City https://firstsecretcity.com/

Before the creation of the secret cities of Los Alamos, Oak Ridge and Hanford, the Manhattan Project hired the Mallinckrodt Chemical Works of St. Louis to refine the first uranium used in the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima. For the next two decades, Mallinckrodt continued its classified work for the Atomic Energy Commission during the Cold War. The resulting radioactive waste contaminated numerous locations in the St. Louis area some of which have not been cleaned up 70 years after the end of World War II. Told through the eyes of an overexposed worker, the story expands through a series of interviews that careen down a toxic pathway leading to a fiery terminus at a smoldering, radioactively-contaminated landfill. The First Secret City is a feature-length documentary that reveals a forgotten history and its continuing impact on the community in the 21st Century, uncovering past wrongdoing and documenting the renewed struggles to confront the issue.

July 23, 2016 Posted by | Resources -audiovicual | Leave a comment

New film “Atom and Peace—Ruiko, Nagasaki Prayer” questions Japan’s nuclear policy

Filmflag-japanNew documentary questions Japan’s use of nuclear energy, Japan Today,  JUL. 18, 2016 TOKYO —

Documentary filmmaker Yoshitaka Nitta has made a movie based on a question he has asked himself since the nuclear meltdown at Tokyo Electric Power’s Fukushima Daiichi plant in March 2011.

The question is “Why does Japan insist on reactivating nuclear power plants despite the worst nuclear accident in its history?”

In the movie titled “Atom and Peace—Ruiko, Nagasaki Prayer,” Ruiko Matsunaga, a 24-year-old elementary school teacher in the city of Nagasaki in southwestern Japan, travels from Aomori to Fukushima Prefecture in northeastern Japan and then back to Nagasaki, visiting places where there is “peaceful use of nuclear energy.”

She hopes to find answers to how the Fukushima Daiichi accident occurred and why Japan, as the world’s only atomic-bombed country, is still eager to continue nuclear power generation.

Matsunaga, whose grandmother is a survivor of the 1945 atomic bombing of Nagasaki, “was the only person” who could play the leading role in the movie, said Nitta.

Through her trip, Matsunaga learns that Japan has plenty of plutonium, a radioactive chemical element used to produce the “Fat Man” atomic bomb detonated over Nagasaki……..http://www.japantoday.com/category/entertainment/view/new-documentary-questions-japans-use-of-nuclear-energy

July 22, 2016 Posted by | Resources -audiovicual | Leave a comment

Socorro a national sacrifice area for depleted uranium

SOCORRO – The City of Depleted Uranium
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/782822554/socorro-the-city-of-depleted-uranium
by Norbert G. Suchanek, 20 July 16,   Depleted uranium contamination in the USA: Socorro in New Mexico was used for decades as testing range for depleted uranium (DU).   About this project

The mountain of Socorro in the South of New Mexico was used for decades as a testing range for depleted uranium weapons.
URANIUM 238: THE PENTAGON’S DIRTY POOL

Socorro became a national sacrifice area. People in Socorro are suffering similar health effects as the local population in Iraq who were hit by DU-Weapons during the Gulf Wars. The film gives details of the abuses and transgressions on the people of Socorro who’s community was downwind and downgrade of the depleted uranium testing sites which had been active since 1972. Until today most of the population of Socorro are unaware about the testing on the Socorro mountain and the dangers of depleted uranium.

Main character of the film is Damacio A. Lopez, who was born in Socorro. He served the US-army during Cold war and Cuba Crisis and became later a professional golf player. When he found out about the horrible consequences of the use of depleted uranium on the battle fields during the Gulf wars in Iraq and in his native town, he became one of the first activists fighting for a global ban of these weapons.

Damacio studied the terrible health effects of DU Weapons in the battlefields of Iraq and the Balkans for many years.  He has founded the International Depleted Uranium Study Team (IDUST) and influenced and produced several important reports and films about Depleted Uranium like the film: “URANIUM 238: THE PENTAGON’S DIRTY POOL”. This film won the Jury Award as the Best Short Film of the first International Uranium Film Festival in 2011. Damacio is also the principle founder of the International Coalition to Ban Uranium Weapons (ICBUW) and works at the UN on a treaty to ban uranium weapons.

SOCORRO – THE CITY OF DEPLETED URANIUM will be the first film that this testing of depleted uranium will be exposed to world public. It will make clear that not only the populations in Iraq or in the Balkans are suffering from DU but also US citizens across the US who live close to the military testing sites and firing ranges.

Damacio Lopez says: “I am from a family in Socorro in New Mexico and I have been working to create an International Treaty to ban Depleted Uranium Weapons for the past 30 years. In 1986 I discovered that depleted uranium testing was taking place on the Socorro Mountain just 2 miles away down wind from our family home. My father would spends hours in his garden while black clouds moved over head from the DU test site. He eventually died of various cancers.”

See also: Depleted Uranium: Metal of Dishonorhttp://www.democracynow.org/1999/4/19/depleted_uranium_metal_of_dishonor

International Coalition to Ban Uranium Weapons (ICBUW) –http://www.bandepleteduranium.org/

The Case for an Immediate Ban on the Military Use of Depleted Uraniumwww.ru.nl/publish/pages/630064/archief_lopez_uranium_en.pdf

“Uranium 238: The Pentagon’s Dirty Pool” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cEqE8DdpHOM

Depleted uranium weapons have left behind a trail of human misery and vituperative debate. What’s not known about them is just as disturbing as what is..https://newint.org/features/2007/11/01/keynote/

FRIENDLY FIRE, THE LINK BETWEEN DEPLETED URANIUM MUNITIONS AND HUMAN HEALTH RISKS http://www.gulfwarvets.com/du8.html

July 20, 2016 Posted by | depleted uranium, Resources -audiovicual, USA | Leave a comment

Eerie images inside Fukushima’s exclusion zone

see-this.wayAbandoned shops, discarded laundry and traffic lights signalling to empty streets: Eerie images inside Fukushima’s exclusion zone five years after the nuclear disaster  http://www.dailymail.co.uk/travel/travel_news/article-3686045/Abandoned-shops-discarded-laundry-traffic-lights-signalling-streets-Eerie-images-inside-Fukushima-s-exclusion-zone-five-years-nuclear-disaster.html

  • Photographer Keow Wee Loong explored four towns in Fukushima with friends after sneaking in during the night
  • The area was evacuated in March 2011 and has been abandoned since then. It’s still cordoned off from the public 
  • People who left the area went very quickly. They abandoned their clothes in the dryer and left fully-stocked shelves

By QIN XIE FOR MAILONLINE, 13 July 2016

More than five years after the devastating tsunami and the 8.9-magnitude earthquake struck north-eastern Japan, causing the explosion of the nuclear power plant in Fukushima, the Japanese town remains abandoned.

Since April 22, 2011, an area within 20km (12.4miles) radius of Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power plant has been cordoned off from the public and listed as the red exclusion zone.

But now, Malaysian photographer Keow Wee Loong has entered into the exclusion zone to capture these eerie images.

July 13, 2016 Posted by | Resources -audiovicual | Leave a comment

At film sreening of “Indian Point” New Yorkers express their nuclear anxieties

FilmNew Yorkers express fears of Indian Point Nuclear Power Plant at documentary screening, Crains, 11 July 16 
A discussion with a nuclear operator and anti-nuclear protesters kicked off a two-week screening of Indian Point at Lincoln Center

By  The start of a two-week-long Lincoln Center film screening of Indian Point, a documentary about the controversial nuclear power plant in Buchanan, N.Y., gave New Yorkers an opportunity to share their concerns about their safety five years after the Fukushima nuclear disaster in Japan.

The film offers a look inside the power plant, located 35 miles from midtown Manhattan on the Hudson River. In addition to speaking with several anti-nuclear advocates, director Ivy Meeropol gained unprecedented access inside the highly guarded plant for her 94- minute documentary.

On July 8, Meeropol and the film’s subjects, including Indian Point senior control room operator Brian Vangor, science journalist Roger Witherspoon, activist Marilyn Elie and former chairman of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission Gregory Jaczko answered New Yorkers’ anti-plant questions after the first screening of the film at Lincoln Center’s 85-seat Howard Gilman Theater. The film will have five showings daily until July 21.

With more than 50 million people living in close proximity to the facility, the Indian Point Energy Center’s continued operation has stoked a great deal of controversy in the surrounding community, including a vocal anti-nuclear contingent concerned that the kind of disaster that happened at Japan’s Fukushima nuclear plant could happen in New York.

“How do we close Indian Point down as soon as possible?” one concerned citizen asked after the film screening.

“We don’t,” Witherspoon said. “The NRC (Nuclear Regulatory Commission) is the only one who has the authority to do that.”

Meeropol was quick to explain that her film was “not about whether nuclear power is good or bad.” Instead she sought to understand the impact of the 2011 Fukushima Daiichi disaster on New York.

“The relevant questions to me [while making this film] were: Do we continue operating aging plants, especially one like Indian Point, which is situated in the middle of the largest population of any nuclear power plant in the nation, and if so, who or what organization will make sure these plants are run safely?” the director said…….http://www.crainsnewyork.com/article/20160711/ENTERTAINMENT/160719993

July 13, 2016 Posted by | Resources -audiovicual, USA | Leave a comment

“Indian Point” New Documentary Investigates Nuclear Power from New York to Fukushima

FilmNew Documentary Investigates Nuclear Power from New York to Fukushima, Earth Island Journal  BY ED RAMPELL – JULY 8, 2016 A Conversation with Indian Point Director Ivy Meeropol

“…………..The Brooklyn-born, Massachusetts-raised Meeropol’s absorbing, incisive, new documentary Indian Point investigates this 1960s-built nuclear power facility, which sits just 35 miles north of New York City and is currently working to relicense two of its reactors. It also probes the 2012 ousting of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s chairman, Gregory Jaczko, who was accused of bullying and intimidating employees, plus the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster, triggered by a 2011 earthquake and tidal wave that caused meltdowns and the release of radioactive isotopes at the Japanese nuclear power plant.

The writer/director skillfully interweaves these three strands into a cohesive, comprehensive 94-minute tapestry exploring the controversial nuclear industry. In doing so, she evenhandedly interviews employees and executives of Entergy Corporation, which operates Indian Point, as well as activists opposing it. Her rare access enabled the intrepid filmmaker to enter both the Fukushima and New York facilities, allowing unusual insight into the inner workings, and politics, of the plants.

Like a cinematic sleuth, Meeropol doggedly pursued the different threads of the saga. If Woodward and Bernstein “followed the money” during Watergate, Meeropol followed the radiation, so to speak. In a balanced yet bold, unflinching way, Meeropol proves once again in Indian Point that the personal is political, and reveals that controversies swirling around nuclear power are anything but a tempest in a teapot……..

Jaczko,-GregoryYour film has three main leitmotifs: Indian Point, Fukushima, and former NRC Chairman Gregory Jaczko. Do you think that Jaczko was subjected to allegations about his treatment of employees and eventually left his position as chairman because he was too critical of the nuclear industry?

Yes, I do. I do. It was a confluence of events but they really raked him over the coals. This is a guy who self-admittedly says Fukushima changed how he viewed his job. He was a regulator who worked for a powerful industry and probably didn’t feel like he had a lot of power. Before Fukushima he bought into what the industry line was and what a lot of the NRC members believe, which is that a meltdown like Fukushima couldn’t happen.

Then when Fukushima happened, it changed the way he viewed his job. He became more of an activist chairman. He gathered the staff around him.

Much of what he was proposing wasn’t anything all that radical… He really was just trying to respond to Fukushima, to figure out what happened there and try to make sure it didn’t happen here in the US. Not the tsunami part — but the meltdown. He directed his staff to look closely at Fukushima and come up with recommendations for the NRC, which they did. The rest of the commissioners didn’t like it because — I’m totally convinced of this — they’re too close to the industry and knew it would cost the industry a lot to make the new changes and they weren’t going to do it.

I’m sure there was some real friction there, but the NRC blew it up into a different story, saying that Jaczko was a horrible boss and yelled at people. That he was an angry boss, he kept things from them, and he kept people out of meetings. When that didn’t really stick, the story became that he yelled at women staffers and made them cry. His staff, when he did resign, made this beautiful book for him, because they knew what he had been through and how he was really railroaded out of there.

I got to know him really well — he’s a gentle person, he’s not a tyrant. The NRC painted this picture of him but none of the allegations stuck in the end. The NRC’s Inspector General’s report came back with absolutely nothing on him. He’s unemployed now. ……..

I came out of there [Indian Point Nuclear Station] really, really respecting everyone who worked there and feeling better about it in some ways, but also ultimately feeling this is a dying industry. Especially now, with solar and wind, we don’t need it.

Well, those employees at the plant concerned with safety are literally on the frontlines.

Exactly………

In 2015, Indian Point was denied a permit to continue withdrawing water from the Hudson River, right?

Yes. Basically, the New York Department of Environmental Conservation decided after many years of looking at how the plant abuses the river that Indian Point should not be allowed a water permit because of the impact on the fish population. Water withdrawals just destroy too much fish larvae and disrupt the river’s aquatic life.

Indian Point Movie CLIP – Water (2016) – Documentary

Indian Point uses 1.5 billion gallons of water a day, sucked through the plant from the Hudson River, then spit back out, hotter — another way nuclear power plants affect the environment. Indian Point creates terrible pollution in the river and it’s destroying the river. The plant uses as much water in one day as everyone in New York City uses combined.

So the DEC denied the plant a water permit. It’s a great way to try and shut the plant down because the Nuclear Regulatory Commission requires plants to have a water permit from the state they operate in in order to get relicensed.

This is precedent-setting, because as far as I’m aware, at no other time has a plant been shut down because a water permit was denied. They haven’t done it yet. That’s why we’re so optimistic in the film, because the water permit denial could be the way the plant gets shut down. There’s a lot of momentum. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, New York State, and the DEC are not giving up on shutting down the plant.

In the midst of all this, licenses for both reactors ran out, and they haven’t been renewed by the NRC, so Indian Point is operating the reactors without a license. [Indian Point reactors can continue operating without a license during the relicensing process. The plant has experience several difficulties this year, however, including two shutdowns of the Unit 2 reactor since late June.]……..

Indian Point will be theatrically released July 8 in New York at the Film Society of Lincoln Center and on July 22 in Los Angeles, and released on DVD Oct. 25. For more information, visit the Indian Point websitehttp://www.earthisland.org/journal/index.php/elist/eListRead/documentary_investigates_nuclear_power_new_york_to_fukushima/

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July 9, 2016 Posted by | Resources -audiovicual | Leave a comment

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