Quotations from the Symposium (March 2013)

** Entire Webcast of the Symposium is now available  * with apologies, as there were tons more - but I simply can't always write fast enough!?

The Fukushima nuclear accident was the result of “human error in which people failed to make the proper preparations.” – Former Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan

“Our existence as a sovereign nation was at stake.” – Former Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan (someone quoted him on this; I did not hear him say this in the videotape)

“Scientists need to speak the truth about radiation risks – not to government or electricity companies – but to the people.” – Hisako Sakiyama, member of Fukushima Nuclear Accident Independent Investigation Commission  

“They’re protected against nuclear accidents – unless an accident actually happens.” – David Lochbaum, Union of Concerned Scientists 

“Two grams of Cesium-137 – less than the weight of an American dime – distributed evenly over Central Park [in New York City] would make it a nuclear exclusion zone.” – Steven Starr, Clinical Laboratory Science Program, University of Missouri

“Birds don’t smoke, drink or get depressed.” [i.e., you can’t blame their reduced fertility, population size, extinction or mutations, post-Chernobyl accident, on smoking/drinking or personal levels of “stress”] – Timothy Mousseau, Dept. of Biological Sciences, University South Carolina

The electrical companies “treat reactors like ATM machines.” – Bob Alvarez, Institute for Policy Studies 

“You have to make it personal.” – Bob Alvarez, Institute for Policy Studies, explaining that politicians confronted with “angry widows & angry workers” were more inclined to be generous with benefits than the “pointy-headed” bureaucrats. In other words, facing real actual living, breathing people who have been harmed by nuclear energy is more likely to cause a change in attitude than hearing about it from a safe distance. 

“We need to get a lot more women involved.” [in nuclear activism], Mary Olson, NIRS (Nuclear Information & Resource Service) 

“Child-bearing women (or women intending to have children) shouldn’t live within 5 km of reactors. Women & nuclear facilities don’t really mix.” – Dr. Ian Fairlie, radiation biologist 

  • “The road to the bomb is the nuclear power plant.”
  • “We have to kill them [nuclear plants] before they kill us.”
  • “Radioactive trash” – better term to use than “spent fuel” (no one knows what 'spent fuel' is.)
  • “We need to form a 100% renewable movement.” – David Freeman 


The earth is in the Intensive Care Unit now. We are all physicians to save the planet. Will we dedicate our lives, like a lioness protecting her cubs?” – Dr. Helen Caldicott in her closing remarks at the 2-day symposium 

“Evacuation zones/planning are inadequate all over the world.” – Dr. Maureen McCue (MD, PhD), Physicians for Social Responsibility, speaking at a United Nations event in NYC on March 13/13.

** YouTubes from the symposium

** 1-hour Karl Grossman interviews with several symposium speakers