A couple friends & I attended a U.S. Sierra Club No Nukes conference in Washington, D.C. last weekend. Hooey!! So glad we went. We heard an amazing line-up of speakers lay out the reasons why nukes are uneconomic, unsafe, unhealthy & just plain a disaster whichever way you slice it. Not gonna lie to you, there is not much “good news” to share on the nuke front. But then I guess I was aware of that when I left home.
Anyway, I’m going to just list a few bullet point observations about the conference, some good quotations made & leave you with a few good links.
- The crowd was a little on the not-so-young side. Where are the youth??
- Ouch! Nuclear energy is a bomb!! (Oh, I’d already known that)
- All Japan’s 54 reactors are now shut down. Yay!
- One reason Europeans are ahead of us in their thinking? 40% of their land was/is contaminated by Chernobyl fallout.
- Operating reactors must be shut down!! They are accidents waiting to happen.
- Very important for individual states to take action locally.
- We need to do better at sharing the success stories of the anti-nuclear movement.
- To win over men, you talk $$$. To win over women, you talk health & safety.
- There are phenomenal people doing incredible work all over the U.S. Hooey!!
A short list of nonsense visited upon us by the nuke industry:
- Outright lies, deception & bullshit
- Pretending there are “safe” levels of exposure when it’s been known for decades that this is not so
- Regulators utterly captives of the industry (good article on this here )
- Labelling of radioactive materials is mostly B.S. (e.g. so-called “low level” waste can contain plutonium.???????? Useful to recall, low level does not mean low risk!)
- Changing regulations to increase allowable levels of radiation exposure - to workers, the public...in Fukushima? Children...
- Failing to mention internal exposures, the “gift that goes on giving,” one might say
- Not monitoring for fallout in the U.S. post-Fukushima (monitors were simply turned off. Results would have been too revealing)
- Food chain contamination not being measured, mentioned or publicized
Good Quotes (also added in at the top of the Nuke Quotes list here ):
- “Anyone who would substitute plutonium for carbon is an idiot.”
- “We have to focus on the existing nuclear plants & kill them before they kill us.”
- Regarding nuclear waste: “The trash man still hasn’t come.”
- “We ought to be alarmists because there is something to be alarmed about!”
- “The NRC [Nuclear Regulatory Commission] is giving out 20-year [nuclear plant license] extensions like they’re Valentines.”
- On the NRC: “1 regulator & 4 industry stooges.”
- Invites anti-nuclear activists to “Become rabble-rousers again!”
- “We need the music of people being afraid of this.” (referring to nuclear energy)
- “We can win this fight if we make it a fight!”
- “We’re not talking enough about our successes.” (e.g. Texas is doing hugely well with wind power. Why don’t we all know this??) - all of these by David Freeman (former head of the Tennessee Valley Authority).
- “Engineers create one problem to solve another.” – Arnie Gundersen
- “Eat your salmon now.” – Arnie Gundersen [because the radiation being poured into the ocean from the Fukushima reactors is going right into the aquatic food chain.]
- “The people that are saying we need nuclear power & we have the technology to safely store nuclear waste for 250,000 years are the same ones who claim that we can’t use solar because we have no way to store the electricity overnight! If we have the technology to do one, we ought to be able to figure out the other.” – Arnie Gundersen, Fairewinds Associates [I didn’t hear him say this at the conference, but it’s quoted on the Beyond Nuclear site on the date I recorded the conf. quotes]
- “This is about addressing tyranny. Take the tyrant down!” – Paul Gunter
- “Tritium is bad for sperm.” – Diane D’Arrigo (NIRS, Nuclear Information & Resource Service )
** so many others I ought to have recorded from the many, many knowledgeable, articulate speakers
- Alliance for Nuclear Accountability
- Beyond Nuclear
- No Nukes News – new issue served up weekly
- Nuclear Information & Resource Service (NIRS)
- Sierra Club &/or Facebook (no need to be a S.C. member to take part!)
- Uranium Watch
** Note: there are many other anti-nuclear groups listed here
‘Quote of the day’: “Anyone who would substitute plutonium for carbon is an idiot.” – S. David Freeman, former head of the Tennessee Valley Authority