Nuclear Roulette – The Case Against a “Nuclear Renaissance” is an awesome June 2011 publication I cannot recommend highly enough! The report, from the International Forum on Globalization, is # 5 in a series that focuses on “false solutions to the global climate crisis.”(1)
Good full review of it here (ordering info also available there).
So excellent – both the series, & this report on nukes.
The report project was already underway when the Fukushima disaster hit, & there is some excellent commentary about how that disaster fits into the global nuclear picture.
The foreword by Aileen Mioko-Smith of Green Action (Kyoto) lays out a summary of the 30-year history of anti-nuclear activism in Japan. Since the social & political cultures of Japan are quite different from those of North America, it makes for excellent learning. (On the Green Action blog there is a section devoted to Fukushima updates. Also on the Green Action site is a 5-minute YouTube about the August 7th benefit concert by the Musicians United for Safe Energy – MUSE – in Mountain View, California.
From the YouTube site: “On August 7th, musicians held a concert to support Japan disaster relief efforts, and organizations worldwide working to promote safe, alternative, non-nuclear energy. The bill included Crosby, Stills & Nash, Jackson Browne, Bonnie Raitt, Jason Mraz, The Doobie Brothers, Tom Morello, John Hall, Kitaro, Jonathan Wilson and Sweet Honey in the Rock.
“The disaster in Fukushima is not only a disaster for Japan. It is a global disaster. We come together now across cultural boundaries, political and generational boundaries, to call for changes in the way we use energy, and in the ways we conduct the search for solutions to the problems facing humanity,” says Jackson Browne. “We join with the people of Japan, and people everywhere who believe in a non-nuclear future.”)
Back to “Nuclear Roulette”…
The review here comments “With the book's rousing prologue, I thought it would climax with an appeal for massive civil disobedience. It does not go there all-out, perhaps because a Gandhian protest movement is barely glimpsed even by many activists in the U.S. Gandhi is quoted in Nuclear Roulette to showcase his awareness of resource domination and waste. Activist Mioko-Smith concludes her section wisely with "Should we take to the streets?"
“It's not as if the problems and crises with nuclear power are new, such that a shocking report could bring about action. It is sad that nuclear's evil and nasty poison have been on display -- though hidden as best the moneyed interests and corporate media could do -- for decades. Except for the unpleasant details of the Fukushima catastrophe, nothing new can be said. It is time for action. Yet, more people must become aware and motivated to act.
& adds: “The question, “who is this book written for” may be answered with “those who have an appetite for more information and who are willing to help put a handy new volume (a large, thin paperback booklet of 76 pages) into circulation.” Every home, school, library and workplace should have a copy of Nuclear Roulette for reference.”
My take is, this report packs a very considerable punch! You can learn enough about the global nuclear scene in this book to educate yourself & become part of the movement away from nuclear. Please go for it! (Please also share the report with friends, family, colleagues & neighbours. Why not also donate a copy to your local library? I did.)
P.S. Free download of the book here
‘Quote for the day’ w. this post: “The phrase ’spent fuel’ is one of those misleading terms that the nuclear industry is so fond of. The “spent fuel” is millions of times more radioactive than fresh fuel. When first removed from the reactor, a single spent fuel assembly can deliver a lethal dose of radiation in just a few seconds to any unshielded person within a metre or two. In addition, each spent fuel assembly contains hundreds of different radioactive poisons which do not exist in the fresh fuel, but were created as unwanted byproducts inside the nuclear reactor.” - Dr. Gordon Edwards, Canadian Coalition for Nuclear Responsibility
Runner-up Quote: “Nuclear power has died of an incurable attack of market forces and is way beyond any hope of revival, because the competitors are several fold cheaper and are getting rapidly more so. The competitors I mean are not other central power stations (coal or gas-fired, or big hydro); rather, they’re micropower and efficiency—the big market winners, already bigger than nuclear power worldwide in both capacity and output.” - Amory Lovins, Rocky Mountain Institute
(1) The first 4 are ‘Searching for a Miracle’ (by Richard Heinberg), ‘The Rise and Fall of Global Industrial Agriculture’ (by Debbie Barker), ‘Manifesto on Global Economic Transitions’ (by 25 IFG associates), & ‘The False Promise of Biofuels’ (by Jack Santa Barbara).