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Why You Can't Believe the Official Story About Nuclear Energy

Why You Can't Believe the Official Story About Nuclear Energy

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Nuclear power is not clean, cheap, or safe.

Two years ago on March 11th, three US-designed plants exploded at Fukushima Daiichi in Japan. After the disaster, many countries moved to abandon reactors for renewables. In the United States, however, powerful corporations and a compliant government still defend nuclear power—while promising billion-dollar bailouts to operators.

The nuclear industry’s record of catastrophic failures now averages one major disaster every decade. How long until the next one hits?
Nuclear power is not clean, cheap, or safe.

Two years ago on March 11th, three US-designed plants exploded at Fukushima Daiichi in Japan. After the disaster, many countries moved to abandon reactors for renewables. In the United States, however, powerful corporations and a compliant government still defend nuclear power—while promising billion-dollar bailouts to operators.

The nuclear industry’s record of catastrophic failures now averages one major disaster every decade. How long until the next one hits?

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Published by: Chelsea Green Publishing on Mar 08, 2013
Copyright:Traditional Copyright: All rights reserved

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03/15/2013

 
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W y C’ beee e ofc s
Run! Run as fast as you can. Don’t believe the government. Te govern-ment will lie to you.
—natalia Mironova, russian nuClEar EnGinEEr andChErnobyl “liQuidator”
onE ConsistEnt lEsson
rom Tree Mile Island, Chernobyl, and Fuku-shima is clear: when the public is at risk, plant operators and governmentocials inevitably cover up and lie. “Tey lied to us,” physicist Michio Kakumemorably told CNN on June 22, 2011. “EPCO isn’t in cold shutdownand won’t be or another year. And, i there’s another quake, it could start allover again.”
1
Behind the ocial reassurances rom okyo, ull meltdowns were under way at three o the six reactors, 600,000 spent uel rods wereat risk o burning o into the atmosphere, and the allout burdens turnedout to be 10 times greater than ocially reported. Plutonium rained down28 miles rom the plant and strontium-90 turned up 155 miles away–welloutside the ocial 12.5-mile “evacuation zone.”
2
Immediately ater the Fukushima accident, the Health Physics Society (HPS) joined the American Nuclear Society (ANS) and the Nuclear Energy Institute (NEI) in downplaying the danger. Te HPS stated that “loss o lieand uture cancer risk are small, particularly in contrast with those resultingrom the Chernobyl accident,”
3
the ANS claimed that “no public ill healtheects are expected,
4
and the NEI echoed the view that “no health eectsare expected among the Japanese people.”
5
London’s
Guardian
newspaper subsequently revealed that just twodays ater the Fukushima quake (about the time the rst wave o allouthit the US West Coast), British ocials “approached nuclear companies”to ashion a PR strategy “to play down” the accident lest it undermine“public support or nuclear power.” Te government-nuclear complex worked closely “with the multinational companies EDF Energy, AREVA,and Westinghouse.”
6
 
Why you Cant believe the offiCial story131
ic  dc
For more than 50 years, the creation, activation, and expansion o nuclearpower has been accelerated, promoted, and protected by a vast inrastructureo deceit. From the earliest days o atomic power, the military-industrial-nuclear complex engaged in untruths and propaganda, rom the alsepromises o electricity “too cheap to meter” to the depiction o atomic energy as “clean” when its proponents knew ull well there was no eective long-term plan or saely dealing with tons o toxic nuclear wastes. Te deceitcontinued with the creation o supposedly sae “threshold” exposures thatignored medical science and perpetuated the alse notion that nuclear risksare manageable. Te deception continued in 2011 as plumes o allout blew across the Pacic, dusted Hawaii, and headed or the West Coast.On March 15, 2011, President Barack Obama assured viewers o Pitts-burgh’s KDKA-V that “the nuclear release rom Japan will dissipate by thetime it gets to Hawaii, much less the US mainland.”
7
By reassuring his audi-ence (many o whom were still haunted by memories o Tree Mile Island),the president was engaging in the kind o public relations subteruge thathas long been a staple o the nuclear industry and its government enablers.In act, the swirling cloud o radioactive gases that crossed the PacicOcean
did 
reach the US mainland. Independent scientists monitoring theplume detected xenon-133 and “high concentrations” o cesium-137 in theUnited States and Canada. Nuclear expert Arnie Gundersen estimatesthat, within our days o the Fukushima explosions, Seattle was exposed to xenon and krypton levels 40,000 times above normal, ollowed by slower-moving clouds o iodine, cesium, and strontium isotopes.
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From March15 to 19, radiation swept over Hawaii and the West Coast, covering allo western North America. While the Rocky Mountains blocked mucho the allout, rainwater was contaminated across New England. wo o three East Coast monitoring stations (including one in Boston) detectedthe presence o dangerous “hot particles.”
9
Air sampling traced the alloutall the way to Stockholm.
10
 Although the Norwegian Institute or Air Research was reporting thatallout had blanketed most o the United States and Canada, little ocialalarm was demonstrated in either country. Tree weeks ater Fukushima’sreactors began to overheat and explode, the US government still reused topublish any ocial data on radiation levels in the United States.Nuclear expert Gundersen issued a call to orm a citizen’s brigade o radiation trackers. Te procedure involved swiping a one-square-metersurace with a cloth ollowing a rainstorm and placing the cloth next toa Geiger counter. Hundreds responded with photos and videos o Geiger

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