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All-Time Darwin Award: The Nuclear Industry

October 18th, 2012

By Rady Ananda
Activist Post

Gar Smith’s Nuclear Roulette: The Truth about the Most Dangerous Energy Source on Earth is a 14-point condemnation of President Eisenhower’s “peaceful atom,” an exposé of official and corporate lies, and a multi-pronged platform of alternatives.

When Ike okayed nuclear power, “they screwed the pooch,” says political cartoonist Mike DiBari. Ike’s military-industrial complex wrote our death sentence when the US authorized the development of nuclear energy: humanity will not survive this technology, nor will most other species.

“In 2000 alone, civilian reactors produced enough plutonium to make more than 34,000 nuclear bombs,” writes Smith. [1] This is what the nuclear energy industry is about – producing plutonium, tritium and other ingredients for nuclear bombs. [2]

One isotope of plutonium has a half-life of 24,000 years. That’s twice as long as the latest interglacial in which Homo sapiens developed agriculture, and thus modern civilization. Another – P-239 – has a 250,000-year half-life. That’s longer than Homo sapiens has been around. But then we have uranium-238 with a 4.5 billion-year half-life, the lifespan of Planet Earth. Tritium has a half life of 12 years; strontium 29 years, cesium – 30 years, and on for the hundreds of hot particles (radioactive isotopes) created by fission.

They can split atoms but can’t put Humpty back together again.

“Low-Level” Radiation Weakens, Sickens and Mutates the Biosphere

Nuke heads would have us believe that low-level radiation is harmless. Smith cites several media headlines and official reports asserting just that, despite thousands of studies refuting it.

And there’s also the threat of catastrophic explosion at a nuclear power plant. Michel Chossudovsky writes, “The crisis in Japan has been described as ‘a nuclear war without a war’…. Tactical nuclear weapons with an explosive capacity of up to six times a Hiroshima bomb are labelled by the Pentagon as ‘safe for the surrounding civilian population.’” [3]

Gayle Greene, author of Alice Stewart and the Secrets of Radiation, notes:

“Nuclear proponents cite background radiation to argue that low-dose radiation is relatively harmless, asserting … that we’re daily exposed to background radiation and survive. But this argument misses the fact that background radiation is from an external source and so is a more finite exposure than radioactive substances ingested or inhaled, which go on irradiating tissues, ‘giving very high doses to small volumes of cells,’ as Helen Caldicott says.” [4]

In fact, radiation causes three types of damage. We all know about the burn from direct, physical impact. In addition to those immediately killed when the Fukushima disaster unfolded, a year later researchers Joseph Mangano and Janette Sherman reported excess deaths in the US from the Fukushima fallout as high as 22,000 – most of them children under one year of age. [5]

Fukushima’s hot wind that blew east was found not only in California produce but also in Vermont’s bovine milk. Nuclear expert Arnie Gunderson estimated that for every ten hot particles being inhaled by the average Tokyo resident, six were being inhaled by the average Seattle resident. [6]

Fukushima’s hot wind that blew east was found not only in California produce but also in Vermont’s bovine milk. Nuclear expert Arnie Gunderson estimated that for every ten hot particles being inhaled by the average Tokyo resident, six were being inhaled by the average Seattle resident. [6]

But beyond the hot particle burn suffered from direct impact, there are two other types of radiation damage explains teratologist Vladimir Wertelecki: teratogenesis – birth defects to a chromosomally normal fetus; and mutagenesis – recessive mutations to the DNA which may not show up for generations (like propensity for cancer, diabetes, kidney disease, etc.). [7]

"The impact of Chernobyl and Fukushima-Daiichi is ongoing and radiation still in the environment is inhaled or swallowed, leading to accumulation in the body. One mushroom eaten in affected areas may deliver as much radiation as hundreds of chest x-rays," he concluded.

Radioactive waste and fallout generated by the creation and use of nuclear energy is killing and altering humans and other life forms, and this radiation will be here long after primates sigh their last breath.

In the Forward to Nuclear Roulette, Jerry Mander and Ernest Callenbach call the propaganda that nuclear waste can be safely sequestered for 250,000 years “an assertion bordering on the insane.” Nuclear energy’s poison is eternal, and humans have only been around for 150-200,000 years – we’re not likely to be around another 250K to watch over our radioactive waste.

To promote such energy is “madness” – as mad as the government of an island subject to volcanoes and tsunamis deciding to build dozens of nuclear power plants.

Low level radiation can and does kill us. One study Smith cites uses data from the National Cancer Institute and the Centers for Disease Control which shows that two-thirds of all breast cancer occurred among those who live within 100 miles of US nuclear plants. [8]

Please support my work by reading the full piece at Activist Post. Thanks!

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