Published: Sunday 2 December 2012
Numerous health practitioners have been known to utter a saying along the lines of ‘if it rots, it is likely good for you’.

If you are among the millions who avoid ‘nuking’ food with microwave radiation in your own home, you may soon have yet another reason to avoid most conventional food items. Using the ‘recent emergence’ of salmonella and E.coli in food as a scapegoat, the corporation known as MicroZap is seeking to make its way into the food supply with its new ‘microwave zap’ technique. The technique effectively hits food with a super high level of microwave radiation, killing all living bacteria (including good bacteria that is necessary for digestion and proper overall function).

The company says that by using ‘MicroZap’ technology, food can be ‘sterilized’ and mold-free for 60 days. Food that is zapped will not rot, as the food is completely ‘wiped clean’. Zapped for a set period of time, such as the example of 40 seconds for jalapeño peppers, the company is also seeking to hook up with the United States Pentagon for a contracting bid. The super microwave zap could be used to sterilize food like bread and therefore make it incapable of rotting for more than 60 days.

‘If it Rots, It’s Good for You’

Numerous health practitioners have been known to utter a saying along the lines of ‘if it rots, it is likely good for you’. I don’t necessarily agree with this saying when considering that conventional food rots and is loaded with pesticides, GMOs, and other problematic substances, but the root of the saying holds very true. The reason that rotting food is good for you is that these foods contain beneficial bacteria that is absolutely essential for your overall health. Fermented foods are often the quickest to go bad, and it is no coincidence these items contain the ...

Published: Saturday 17 November 2012
The millimeter-wave machines made by L-3 Communications do not emit X-rays, which have been linked to cancer, and already feature privacy software that produces a generic cartoon image of passengers' bodies.

 

The machines in the warehouse cost about $14 million total, or roughly $150,000 each.

The TSA began rolling out body scanners after the failed underwear bombing on Christmas Day 2009, one that uses X-rays and one that uses millimeter waves similar to those used for cell phones. The X-ray scanner has faced an outcry over passenger privacy and the risk that radiation could cause cancer.

ProPublica reported last month that the TSA was removing the X-ray body scanners from major airports — including Los Angeles, Chicago O'Hare and John F. Kennedy in New York — and replacing them with millimeter-wave machines.

The millimeter-wave machines made by L-3 Communications do not emit X-rays, which have been linked to cancer, and already feature privacy software that produces a generic cartoon image of passengers' bodies.

Here is a side-by-side comparison of the two types of body scanners.

Rapiscan has been testing its privacy software with the TSA for detection capability and false alarms for about two years. But for now, its backscatter machines still produce filtered images of passengers' naked bodies. To protect passenger privacy, the TSA requires screeners to review the images in a separate room. That slows down lines, which was the reason the agency wanted to move them to smaller airports serving fewer passengers.

But there was one problem: Many smaller airports lack the space to accommodate a separate image-viewing room ...

Published: Friday 16 November 2012
“Polluters like Duke Energy, Southern Company, and Arch coal are paying Holmstead’s bills.”

 

As I waited inside for Mr. Holmstead to step on stage, members of Greenpeace’s Climate Crime Unit stood outside handing out WANTED posters of both Holmstead and chief oil lobbyist Jack Gerard of the American Petroleum Institute, who was also present.

Jeff Holmstead, who is often quoted in newspapers as a former Air and Radiation Administrator for the George W. Bush Environmental Protection Agency or a “partner” (read: lobbyist) at Bracewell & Giuliani’s corporate law firm here in DC, is rarely credited as an influence peddler for some of the most notorious polluters in the country.

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Published: Saturday 10 November 2012
Issuing a report yesterday exposing major radioactive impacts of hydraulic fracturing­known as fracking -- was Grassroots Environmental Education, an organization in New York, where extensive fracking is proposed.

Fracking for gas not only uses toxic chemicals that can contaminate drinking and groundwater -- it also releases substantial quantities of radioactive poison from the ground that will remain hot and deadly for thousands of years.

 

Issuing a report yesterday exposing major radioactive impacts of hydraulic fracturing­known as fracking -- was Grassroots Environmental Education, an organization in New York, where extensive fracking is proposed.

 

The Marcellus Shale region which covers much of upstate New York is seen as loaded with gas that can be released through the fracking process. It involves injecting fluid and chemicals under high pressure to fracture shale formations and release the gas captured in them.

 

But also released, notes the report, is radioactive material in the shale­including Radium-226 with a half-life of 1,600 years. A half-life is how long it takes for a radioactive substance to lose half its radiation. It is multiplied by between 10 and 20 to determine the “hazardous lifetime” of a radioactive material, how long it takes for it to lose its radioactivity. Thus Radium-226 remains radioactive for between 16,000 and 32,000 years.

 

“Horizontal hydrofracking for natural gas in the Marcellus Shale region of New York State has the potential to result in the production of large amounts of waste materials containing Radium-226 and Radium-228 in both solid and liquid mediums,” states the report by E. Ivan White.  For 30 years he was a staff scientist for the Congressionally-chartered National Council on Radiation Protection.

 

“Importantly, the type of radioactive material found in the Marcellus Shale and brought to the surface by horizontal hydrofracking is the type that is particularly long-lived, and could ...

Published: Friday 9 November 2012
“Once radioactive material comes up out of the ground along with the gas, the problem is what to do with it,” says Doug Wood

new report issued by Grassroots Environmental Education, a New York-based non-profit organization and authored by a former staff scientist for the National Council on Radiation Protection says that horizontal hydrofracking in the Marcellus Shale region of New York State is likely to produce significantly higher amounts of radioactive waste than previously believed, putting New Yorkers in danger, and that the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation has not demonstrated the ability to properly analyze the potential impact of radiation exposure or take adequate steps to protect the public.

“Once radioactive material comes up out of the ground along with the gas, the problem is what to do with it,” says Doug Wood, associate director of Grassroots Environmental Education, who edited the report. “The radioactivity lasts for thousands of years, and it is virtually impossible to eliminate or mitigate. Sooner or later, it’s going to end up in our environment and eventually our food chain. It’s a problem with no good solution—and the DEC is unequipped to handle it.”

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), exposure to radium increases the risk of cancer. Radium also decays into radon, which is the second leading cause of lung cancer.

The report, Consideration of Radiation in Hazardous Waste Produced from Horizontal Hydrofracking, was authored by Ivan White, a career scientist with the congressionally-chartered National Council on Radiation Protection. There he helped develop computer programs for radiation risk assessment and assisted in the formulation of national policies on radiation protection for civilian and military personnel.

“Radioactive materials and chemical wastes do not just go away when they are released into the environment. They remain active and potentially lethal and can show up ...

Published: Sunday 28 October 2012
“The USDA certifies foods that are organic when the growers, handlers, and producers use practices that adhere to their standards.”

As if most consumers weren’t confused enough already about making the “right” food choices, the pseudo-scientific Stanford study released early last month had many of those on the fence thinking it was okay to once-again blindly trust what they found on their supermarket shelves. But, let’s lay this argument to rest (again) and talk about why organics really do matter.

What does organic really mean? Well, the USDA certifies foods that are organic when the growers, handlers, and producers use practices that adhere to their standards. These standards vary by food product and the USDA certifier must inspect the farm before a food can be labeled as organic. Generally, however, organic produce in particular is that which is produced “without using most conventional pesticides; fertilizers made with synthetic ingredients or sewage sludge; bioengineering; or ionizing radiation.” This immediately excludes genetically modified foods (GMOs).

So, what’s wrong with a few pesticides, a few lab-created organisms in our foods? Plenty.

A recent analysis (and not the only one) demonstrated that U.S. children have lost a combined total of 16 million I.Q. points due to pesticides in their food. While “pesticides make you stupid,” sounds like a silly argument for organics—it’s a legitimate one. Pesticides truly do lower the intelligence of children. These pesticides are absorbed when the child is in utero, through the mother. So, whether you are pregnant or hope one day to have children, cutting out pesticides now could save your child’s mind down the road.

One of the most prominently used herbicides, Monsanto’s Roundup, has been tied to numerous health problems including ...

Published: Friday 19 October 2012
“These companies and their allies in the junk food industry know that their profit margins may suffer if consumers have a choice whether to purchase genetically engineered foods or not.”

 

The $36 million No on 37 campaign, bankrolled by $20 million from the world's six largest pesticide companies, has been caught in yet another lie, this time possibly criminal.

These companies and their allies in the junk food industry know that their profit margins may suffer if consumers have a choice whether to purchase genetically engineered foods or not.  And that's why opponents are spending nearly a million dollars per day trying to make Prop 37 complicated. But really it's simple - we have the right to know what's in our food.

To date, the No on 37 campaign has been able to repeat one lie after another with near impunity. But has this pattern of deceit finally caught up to it?

Yesterday, the Yes on 37 campaign sent letters to the U.S. Department of Justice requesting a criminal investigation of the No on 37 campaign for possible fraudulent misuse of the official seal of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).  

The No on 37 campaign affixed the FDA's seal to one of the campaign's mailers.Section 506 of the U.S. Criminal Code states: "Whoever...knowingly uses, affixes, or impresses any such fraudulently made, forged, counterfeited, mutilated, or altered seal or facsimile thereof to or upon any certificate, instrument, commission, document, or paper of any description...shall be fined under this title, or imprisoned not more than 5 years, or both."

The letter also provides evidence that the No on 37 campaign falsely attributed a direct quote to the FDA in the campaign mailer. Alongside the FDA seal, the ...

Published: Monday 24 September 2012
“Maybe, I thought, it all had to do with the poisoning of our environment, with toxics and radiation.”

Eighteen years ago, a year after my mother's death from lymphoma and heart disease—almost to the day—I was diagnosed with cancer: Hodgkin's disease.  Five years prior to my diagnosis, my dad also died after a long battle with melanoma.  It metastasized to his brain.

All that cancer so close to home was my wakeup call.  I knew something was wrong, and I knew it couldn't just be genetics.  Maybe the lymphoma was connected to Hodgkin's, but what did melanoma have to do with my cancer or with my mother's?  And what about my maternal aunt, who had breast cancer?  

Suddenly, everyone else I knew seemed to be getting cancer, too: neighbors, children, friends.

Maybe, I thought, it all had to do with the poisoning of our environment, with toxics and radiation. This concern nagged at me as I went through the grueling "healing" process of a cancer patient.

A few years later, I became pregnant. I was overjoyed—I had waited so long to become a mother. It was all I wanted.

At the same time, I felt guilty in trying to become pregnant.  What, I wondered, might I pass on to my little one, and how could I protect her from all the environmental hazards in our polluted world? What dangers coursed through my own veins?

I knew that my ability to protect my baby daughter was limited.  Sure, I did some substantial post chemo cleanses, ate as well as I could, and used non toxic products on my body and in my home. But no matter how much I did as an individual, the unbounded nature of pollution meant that my blood would carry toxins right through the placenta and into her growing fetal body, and my breast milk would transmit pollutants after the birth. And after birth, well, we live in a polluted world: with mountaintop coal removal and fracking; sacrifice zones; radioactive waste, leaks, and accidents; genetically modified food; pesticides, PCBs, and ...

Published: Sunday 8 July 2012
“There’s actually some curious information on Fukushima Unit 1, that was built by an American company, General Electric, and an American architect/engineer.”

A Japanese parliamentary inquiry has concluded last year’s nuclear meltdown of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant was "a profoundly man-made disaster — that could and should have been foreseen and prevented." We speak to former nuclear industry executive Arnie Gundersen about the report and what it means for U.S. nuclear facilities, in particular the 23 with a similar design to the Fukushima plant. "There’s actually some curious information on Fukushima Unit 1. That was the first one to fail," Gundersen says. "That was built by an American company, General Electric, and an American architect/engineer. So it’s hard for the Japanese to blame themselves, when this was an all-American design. ... I am concerned that the industry, the nuclear industry in the United States, will say it’s a Japanese problem. And it’s not."

 

Transcript

JUAN GONZÁLEZ: We begin today’s show in Japan, where a new parliamentary inquiry has concluded last year’s nuclear meltdown of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant could have been prevented. The investigating commission appointed by the Japanese Diet concluded, quote, "It was a profoundly man-made disaster—that could and should have been foreseen and prevented." The commission held the government, ...

Published: Tuesday 19 June 2012
“Choices of energy technology should be based on the technology being safe, clean, economic and in harmony with life.”

 

Nuclear scientists and engineers embrace nuclear power like a religion. The term “nuclear priesthood” was coined by Dr. Alvin Weinberg, long director of Oak Ridge National Laboratory, and the laboratory’s website proudly notes this.  It’s not unusual for scientists at Oak Ridge and other U.S. national nuclear laboratories to refer to themselves as “nukies.” The Oak Ridge website describes Weinberg as a “prophet” of “nuclear energy.”

This religious, cultish element is integral to a report done for the U.S. Department of Energy in 1984 by Battelle Memorial Institute about how the location of nuclear waste sites can be communicated over the ages. An “atomic priesthood,” it recommends, could impart the locations in a “legend-and-ritual…retold year-by-year.” Titled “Communications Measures to Bridge Ten Millennia,” the taxpayer-funded report says: “Membership in this ‘priesthood’ would be self-selective over time.”  

Currently, Allison Macfarlane, nominated to be the new head of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, says she is an “agnostic” on nuclear power—as if support or opposition to atomic energy falls on a religious spectrum. Meanwhile, Gregory Jaczko, the outgoing NRC chairman, with a Ph.D. in physics, was politically crucified because he repeatedly raised safety concerns, thus not revering nuclear power enough.   

Years ago, while I was working on a book about toxic chemicals, the ...

Published: Monday 4 June 2012
“To double the design life of these plants—which operate under high-pressure, high heat conditions and are subject to radiation fatigue—is an example of out-of-control hubris, of believing your own lies.”

 

The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission will be holding a meeting this week to consider having nuclear power plants run 80 years—although they were never seen as running for more than 40 years because of radioactivity embrittling metal parts and otherwise causing safety problems.

“The idea of keeping these reactors going for 80 years is crazy!” declares Robert Alvarez, senior scholar at the Institute for Policy Studies and former senior policy advisor at the U.S, Department of Energy and a U.S. Senate senior investigator. He is also an author of the book Killing Our Own: The Disaster of America’s Experience with Atomic Radiation. “To double the design life of these plants—which operate under high-pressure, high heat conditions and are subject to radiation fatigue—is an example of out-of-control hubris, of believing your own lies.”

"In a post-Fukushima world, the NRC has no case to renew life-spans of old, danger-prone nuke plants. Rather, they must be shut down,” says Priscilla Star, director of the Coalition Against Nukes.

“This is an absurdity and shows the extent to which the NRC is captured,” says Jim Riccio, nuclear policy analyst at Greenpeace. “Nuclear regulators know that embrittlement of the reactor vessels limits nuclear plant life but are willing to expose the public to greater risks from decrepit, old and leaking reactors. As we learned from Fukushima, the nuclear industry is willing to expose the public to catastrophic risks.”

Nevertheless, on Thursday at its headquarters in Rockville, Maryland, the NRC is to hold a meeting with the Department of Energy’s Office of Nuclear Energy and the Electric Power Research Institute, which does studies for the nuclear industry, “to discuss and coordinate long-term operability research programs,” says the NRC, which could lead to it letting nuclear ...

Published: Thursday 31 May 2012
Published: Monday 9 April 2012
Residents of the once scenic Odaka village, located 10 km from the plant, who have been forced to abandon their farms, schools and homes, have pinned hopes for adequate recompense on a lawsuit they filed against TEPCO in February.

The discovery of radioactive contamination in ‘shiitake’ mushrooms grown in Manazuru town, Kanagawa prefecture, some 300 km away from the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, has raised public clamor for compensation.


Soon after the discovery, on Apr. 5, Kanagawa authorities directed farmers and organizations dealing with agricultural produce not to ship shiitake mushrooms, a delicacy prized for its nutritive and medicinal properties in East Asian countries. 


Some of the Manazuru mushroom samples were found to have over 141 becquerels of radioactive cesium per kg, while samples taken from Murata, Miyagi Prefecture, showed cesium levels as high as 350 becquerels. 


The discovery comes as residents of areas surrounding the Fukushima Daiichi reactor, hit by a massive earthquake and tsunami on Mar. 11, 2011, are raising compensation demands from the Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO), the operator of the Fukushima Daiichi plant. 


Residents of the once scenic Odaka village, located 10 km from the plant, who have been forced to abandon their farms, schools and homes, have pinned hopes for adequate recompense on a lawsuit they filed against TEPCO in February. 


"The lawsuit is the only thing we have to give us some meaning to our lives after we lost our homes, livelihoods, community and the trust we had for the authorities," Susumi Yamasawa, who heads a local citizen group that has filed the suit, told IPS. 


Yamasawa, 69, a farmer who had cultivated rice for decades in Odaka said: "Life was peaceful and we did not worry too much about risks from the nuclear plant nearby until the accident." 


"The hardest is seeing our close-knit community disintegrate," Yamasawa said. "Youth and children have left the area to avoid the radiation risk. The future is bleak." 


Published: Tuesday 28 February 2012
“[Radiation experts] say that as tens of millions of airline passengers are exposed for routine screening, it is likely that a few of those people will develop cancer from the machines.”

A new report from the inspector general of the Department of Homeland Security is likely to fan rather than extinguish the debate over the safety of X-ray body scanners deployed at airports across the country.

Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, and other lawmakers have called on the Transportation Security Administration to conduct a new, independent health study. No such tests were carried out for the report, which instead relied on previous radiation tests, most of which have been available on TSA’s website.

"This report is not the report I requested," Collins said in a statement to ProPublica. "An independent study is needed to protect the public and to determine what technology is worthy of taxpayer dollars."

The amount of radiation emitted by the body scanners, known as backscatters, is “negligible” and “below acceptable limits,” according to the report obtained by ProPublica and scheduled for public release on Tuesday.

But the 28-page report also notes that not all TSA screeners have completed required radiation safety training. Inspectors found inconsistencies in how the machines are calibrated to ensure radiation safety and image quality. And the TSA made more than 3,500 maintenance calls in the first year the scanners were deployed, meaning that, on average, each machine needed service more than once a month.

X-ray body scanners became part of routine screening at airports nationwide after the underwear bomber tried to blow up a plane on Christmas 2009. The machines emit very small doses of ionizing radiation, the type of radiation that has been shown to cause cancer.

Radiation ...

Published: Friday 27 January 2012
The new bill drafted by Collins would require the TSA to choose an independent laboratory to measure the radiation emitted by a scanner currently in use at an airport checkpoint.

Sen. Susan Collins, the top Republican on the homeland security committee, plans to introduce a bill in the coming days that would require a new health study of the X-ray body scanners used to screen airline passengers nationwide.

The Transportation Security Administration began using the machines for routine screening in 2009 and sped up deployment after the so-called underwear bomber tried to blow up a plane on Christmas Day of that year.

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Published: Sunday 1 January 2012
The World Bank estimated the economic cost of Tohoku to be 235 billion dollars, making it the most expensive natural disaster in history.

Hideo Sato, 47, and his family escaped to this snowy city 200 km from the radiation emitting Fuksuhima power plant that was struck by a massive earthquake-driven tsunami on Mar. 11

"We were forced to move from our house in Okuma-machi barely eight kilometers from the damaged nuclear plant. We wanted to protect our children from radiation, but now we are at the mercy of the government," he said.

Nine months after the disaster, Sato, a former employee at a car sales company, lives on a 1,500-dollar monthly unemployment dole. His wife is occupied with looking after their three children and cannot take up a job.

Sato’s plight is shared by tens of thousands of people from the tsunami-battered coastline of northeastern Tohoku, that was home to factories producing automobile components and semiconductors for export.

The World Bank estimated the economic cost of Tohoku to be 235 billion dollars, making it the most expensive natural disaster in history.

"The nuclear disaster has added to Japan’s financial woes. The Tohoku disaster, the high Yen, and the global economic crisis spell a bleak forecast for the new year," Kenji Obayashi, an economist at the Asia Pacific research center at Waseda University, told IPS.

Japan, the world’s third largest economy after the United States and China, is now facing difficult economic decisions as the country gropes its way to recovery.

Apart from the crippling natural and nuclear disasters, the Japanese economy is reeling from a Yen that has strengthened almost 30 percent against the dollar, hurting export competitiveness. In turn, this has increased unemployment and depressed domestic demand.

To top it all is the scare of a loss of energy supplies for the resource poor country.

Prof. Tsutomu Toichi, advisor to the Institute of Energy Economics, warns in this month’s ‘Nippon’, a leading news magazine, that the non-operation ...

Published: Wednesday 7 December 2011
Scientists and some lawmakers oppose one type of scanner because it uses X-rays, which damage DNA and could potentially lead to a few additional cancer cases among the 100 million travelers who fly every year.

Even if X-ray body scanners would prevent terrorists from smuggling explosives onto planes, nearly half of Americans still oppose using them because they could cause a few people to eventually develop cancer, according to a new Harris Interactive poll conducted online for ProPublica.

Slightly more than third of Americans supported using the scanners, while almost a fifth were unsure.

The Transportation Security Administration plans to install body scanners, which can detect explosives and other objects hidden under clothing, at nearly every airport security lane in the country by the end of 2014. It's the biggest change to airport security since metal detectors were introduced more than 35 years ago.

The scanners have long faced vocal opposition. Privacy advocates have decried them as a "virtual strip search" because the raw images show genitalia, breasts and buttocks – a concern the TSA addressed by requiring software that makes the images less graphic. But in addition to privacy objections, scientists and some lawmakers oppose one type of scanner because it uses X-rays, which damage DNA and could potentially lead to a few additional cancer cases among the 100 million travelers who fly every year. They say an alternative technology, which uses radio frequency waves, is safer.

Some travelers like Kathy Blomker, a breast cancer survivor from Madison, Wis., have decided to forgo the machines altogether and opt for a physical pat-down instead. "I've had so much radiation that I don't want to subject myself to radiation that I can avoid," she said. "I decided I'm just not ever going to go through one of those machines again. It's just too risky."

After ProPublica published an

Published: Saturday 6 August 2011
The nuclear lobby is trying to convince us that radiation is good and healthy.

Among the nuttiest theories about radiation is that it is good for you. Yes, radiation is good for you—it exercises the immune system.

That’s what some nuclear scientists claim. They call it the “hormesis radiation” theory. These scientists don’t just want to minimize or even flatly deny the deadly impacts of radioactivity—they want people to think it’s healthy.

An advocate of the “hormesis radiation” theory was scheduled to peddle the theory today before the U.S. Department of Energy’s Savannah River Site-Citizens Advisory Board.

The DOE’s Savannah River Site is a radioactive mess—310 square miles in South Carolina—that includes the Savannah River National Laboratory and five now closed nuclear reactors. It’s been used through the years to produce plutonium and tritium for nuclear weapons, plutonium to power NASA space probes, and now seeks to make plutonium-based MOX fuel for nuclear power plants, and do other things nuclear. It is in an area of South Carolina which has a large minority population. It’s been designated a high-pollution Superfund site.

But Dr. Clinton R. Wolfe, executive director of Citizens for Nuclear Technology Awareness, wasn’t planning to simply comfort the 25-person advisory board with the “hormesis radiation” theory as regarding the radioactive muddle where they reside.

The topic of his talk was; “A Perspective on Radiation Exposure and the Fukushima Disaster.” People in South Carolina—indeed around the world—have become more aware of and concerned about radioactivity because of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear complex disaster.

Wolfe, like many in his group, is a product of the system of DOE national nuclear laboratories. He was at Los Alamos National Laboratory, where the atomic bomb was developed, specializing in work with plutonium, then worked for Westinghouse, a ...

Published: Friday 17 June 2011

The global nuclear industry and its allies in government are making a desperate effort to cover up the consequences of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster. “The big lie flies high,” comments Kevin Kamps of the organization Beyond Nuclear.

Not only is this nuclear establishment seeking to make it look like the Fukushima catastrophe has not happened—going so far as to claim that there will be “no health effects” as a result of it—but it is moving forward on a “nuclear renaissance,” its scheme to build more nuclear plants.

Indeed, next week in Washington, a two-day “Special Summit on New Nuclear Energy” will be held involving major manufacturers of nuclear power plants—including General Electric, the manufacturer of the Fukushima plants—and U.S. government officials.

Although since Fukushima, Germany, Switzerland and Italy and other nations have turned away from nuclear power for a commitment instead to safe, clean, renewable energy such as solar and wind, the Obama administration is continuing its insistence on nuclear power.

Will the nuclear establishment be able to get away with telling what, indeed, would be one of the most outrageous Big Lies of all time—that no one will die as a result of Fukushima?

Will it be able to continue its new nuclear push despite the catastrophe?

Nearly 100 days after the Fukushima disaster began, with radiation still streaming from the plants, with its owners, TEPCO, now admitting that meltdowns did occur at its plants, that releases have been twice as much as it announced earlier, with deadly radioactivity from Fukushima spreading worldwide, and with some countries now changing course and saying no to nuclear power, while others stick with it, a nuclear crossroads has arrived.

“No health effects are expected among the Japanese people as a result of the events at Fukushima,” the Nuclear Energy Institute, the nuclear industry trade group, flatly declared in a statement issued at a press ...

Published: Saturday 30 April 2011
After Fukushima: Media Still Buying Media Spin
Ever since the start of nuclear technology, those behind it have made heavy use of deception, obfuscation and denial--with the complicity of most of the media. New York Times reporter William Laurence, working at the same time with the Manhattan Project, wrote a widely-published press release covering up the first nuclear test in New Mexico in 1945, claiming it was nothing more than an ammunition dump explosion. The Times and Laurence went on to boost nuclear power for years to come (Beverly Deepe Keever, News Zero: The New York Times and The Bomb). A central concern of nuclear promoters, as Rosalie Bertell writes in her book No Immediate Danger: Prognosis for a Radioactive Earth, has been: "Should the public discover the true health cost of nuclear pollution, a cry would rise from all parts of the world and people would refuse to cooperate passively with their own death." In the U.S., nuclear industry and government nuclear agencies lied after the accident at Three Mile Island. In the Soviet Union, government lies flowed after the catastrophe at Chernobyl. There have been cover-up after cover-up of the smaller accidents in between (Harvey Wasserman and Norman Solomon, Killing Our Own, The Disaster of America’s Experience with Atomic Radiation; Jay M. Gould and Benjamin A. Goldman, Deadly Deceit; Low-level Radiation, High-level Cover-up). The nuclear enterprise, with its army of PR people, has had little trouble through the years manipulating a largely compliant media, a major component of which it has owned: Westinghouse owning CBS for many years, and General Electric, NBC. And this continues in the still-unfolding nuclear disaster in Japan. Media coverage of the Fukushima nuclear power facility disaster has ranged from dreadful to barely passable. Much of the reporting about the threats of nuclear power and the impacts of radioactivity has been outrageously poor, as journalists and their talking-head experts have parroted the assurances of Japanese ...
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