“…I felt staggered, really staggered by what I’d seen. And just where I sat down, I found some lump of concrete, I remember, that had not been pulverized. I sat on that with my little Hermes typewriter, and my first words, I remember now, were, “I write this as a warning to the world.“ – Wilfred Burchett, an Australian who was the first reporter into Hiroshima.
Duck and cover your ass – the standard response of nuclear and government officials in the face of atomic disasters.
As we commemorate the heinous crime against humanity represented by the US atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, painfully conscious of the on-going crime against the planetary biosphere represented by what has been called the ‘Vesuvius of radionuclides’ still being spewed daily from Fukushima with no end in sight, it is important to remember the seamless, Siamese twin connection between nuclear weapons and nuclear power.
The essence is this: Back in the ‘duck and cover,’ ‘Atoms for Peace,’ ‘too cheap to meter’ era of the ’50’s, the U.S. government’s strategy to obtain nuclear bomb material was to encourage industry to build nuclear power reactors by promising to buy the waste for nuclear weapons production. They called it ‘dual-purpose,’
“By ‘dual-purpose’ we mean that the plants would be primarily for the production of power but would also would produce plutonium for military purposes as a by-product. In our judgment, these plants…would be justified from an economic standpoint only if a substantial value were as- signed to the plutonium produced.” [1952 Annual Report, Commonwealth Edison Company, Chicago.]
“Commercial nuclear power has a civilian role,” said Fred Davis, then of the Government Affairs Office of the Edison Electric Institute, “and we’d hate to see the two issues tied together. It’d make what we are trying to do more difficult.”
[For a fuller discussion, see Nuclear Power and Nuclear Weapons: The Connection by the Nuclear Energy Information Service (NEIS).
That connection was the topic of ‘From Hiroshima to Fukushima to Livermore: Confronting the Two-Headed Dragon of Nuclear Weapons and Nuclear Power, a rally and demonstration at the Livermore Lab organized by Tri-Valley CARES and the Western States Legal Foundation, Saturday, Aug. 6th.
Watch our forthcoming blog posts for our video coverage of that event, as well as of the MUSE (Musicians United for Safe Energy) concert and Safe Energy Fair held in San Mateo, CA the same weekend.
Meanwhile, here is a round-up of recent nuclear stories.
Atomic Cover-Up: The Hidden Story Behind the U.S. Bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki – Democracy Now
Our guest is Greg Mitchell, co-author of “Hiroshima in America: A Half Century of Denial,” with Robert Jay Lifton. His latest book is “Atomic Cover-Up: Two U.S. Soldiers, Hiroshima & Nagasaki and The Greatest Movie Never Made.”
Chernobyl: the great cover-up – Le Monde diplomatique – English edition
by Alison Katz
For 50 years dangerous concentrations of radionuclides have been accumulating in earth, air and water from weapons testing and reactor incidents. Yet serious studies of the effects of radiation on health have been obscured – not least by the World Health Organisation.
The Hiroshima Cover-Up DN Blog
Fukushima–NRC Secrecy Delayed Knowledge of Reactor Core Meltdowns Citizen Action New Mexico
NRC COMPLICIT IN RADIATION EXPOSURE COVER-UP IN JAPAN
A confidential assessment written by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and obtained by a FOIA request, strongly indicates knowledge that Japan’s Daiichi nuclear reactors had
experienced core fuel meltdown within the first few days after a devastating
tsunami. By keeping its assessment confidential, the NRC allowed the
Japanese government to remain silent about the fuel meltdowns.
Anger in Japan Over Withheld Radiation Forecasts – NYTimes.com
Japanese, in Shortage, Willingly Ration Watts – NYTimes.com
Nuclear-Waste Disposal a Growing Fiscal Problem – WSJ.com
Nuclear Waste Piles Up—in Budget Deficit
U.S. used Hiroshima to bolster support for nuclear power – Asahi
BY RYUICHI KANARI – STAFF WRITER
The private notes of the head of a U.S. cultural center in Hiroshima revealed that Washington targeted the city’s residents with pro-nuclear propaganda in the mid-1950s after deciding a swing in their opinions was vital to promoting the use of civil nuclear power in Japan and across the world.
HIROSHIMA DAY 2003: Secret Meeting on the Privatization of Nuclear War
Behind closed doors at Strategic Command Headquarters
by Michel Chossudovsky
The nuclear weapons industry, which includes the production of nuclear devices as well as the missile delivery systems, etc., is controlled by a handful of defense contractors with Lockheed Martin, General Dynamics, Northrop Grunman, Raytheon and Boeing in the lead.
From Kilotons to Millisieverts: Japan’s Nuclear Legacy – TruthDig.org
By Amy Goodman
In recent weeks, radiation levels have spiked at the Fukushima nuclear power reactors in Japan, with recorded levels of 10,000 millisieverts per hour (mSv/hr) at one spot. This is the number reported by the reactor’s discredited owner, Tokyo Electric Power Co., although that number is simply as high as the Geiger counters go. In other words, the radiation levels are literally off the charts. Exposure to 10,000 millisieverts for even a brief time would be fatal, with death occurring within weeks. (For comparison, the total radiation from a dental X-ray is 0.005 mSv, and from a brain CT scan is less than 5 mSv.)
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