Dr- Ian Fairlie

Helen Caldicott for Woman of the Year! (March 2013)

** p.s. on March 21/13: Webcast of the Symposium is now available here ** p.s. on March 18/13: great interviews here with several speakers from the symposium. An hour of insights about Fukushima, Chernobyl, renewable energy, disproportionate impacts of radiation on women & children, the links between nuclear energy & nuclear weapons, David Freeman admission that "Seeing is believing" (from his trip to Chernobyl in 1991). Plus 2 interviews with Japanese women. Must-see!!


Helen Caldicott gets my vote for Woman of the Year.

Maybe Woman of the Decade (or several decades!).

Dr. Caldicott has been raising a ruckus about all things nuclear for decades now. Look it up! She’s done more to raise awareness of the dangers of nuclear energy than anyone I can think of.

I’m in New York City right now – I came to attend the symposium Dr. C. organized to mark the 2nd anniversary of the Fukushima nuclear disaster.

Check out Dr. Caldicott’s Web site. I understand that video proceedings of the symposium will be posted soon on this site.

I’d say more (I am very seldom at a loss for words), but am feeling pretty fried right now (also my laptop is just about out of juice).

So watch her site & listen/watch to some of the talks given by people who are the real experts on the whole nuclear scene.

Dr. Caldicott said “The Earth is in the Intensive Care Unit now. and we are all physicians to save the planet. Will we dedicate our lives, like a lioness protecting her cubs?” I think she’s bang on.

David Freeman (former head of the Tennessee Valley Authority & a humdinger of a feisty character) advised us to “kill them [nuclear plants] before they kill us.” He also said “The road to the bomb is the nuclear power plant.”

A great deal of wisdom & good advice were shared during this 2-day symposium - absolutely brilliant speakers. Some doctors, many scientists - a full array of amazingly knowledgeable people took part in this event (all listed here) -- including several speakers from Japan. Their words were very moving to hear, & I will confess, I shed quite a few tears in my time at the symposium. (I believe in this I was not alone.)

We all need to listen up!


p.s. At this link you can find some YouTubes of some of the symposium speakers (look over to the right).

p.p.s. other postings about the 2-day symposium: Fukushima: Making it Personal Quotations from the Symposium

& Helen Caldicott Symposium Summary; great summary of the whole thing!

‘Quote of the day’ with this post: “Child-bearing women (or women intending to have children) shouldn’t live within 5 kilometres of nuclear reactors. Woman and nuclear facilities don’t really mix.” – Dr. Ian Fairlie, radiation biologist

** many other great nuke-related quotes here

Darl. Hearing, Day 7 (Mar. 28): Pride, Inspiration, Disgust

Another day on Darlington (i.e., Monday, March 28th). The whole gamut of emotions. Even some quiet tears…

** Note: if you go here, you can find hearing info such as the public hearing schedule, transcripts, Webcasts, etc. Transcript for March 28th is here Audio recording found here

The SAGE (Safe & Green Energy – a Peterborough, Ontario-based group) presentation by Dr. Ian Fairlie (from London, England) was excellent. It was a delight for me to hear Dr. Fairlie explain why the CNSC’s use of the term “dose” is really just so much nonsense. (Techno-idiot me has never understood what the term millisievert means. As he explained, it really doesn’t mean much; it’s mostly a handy term for nuclear industry types to bandy about with gay abandon, while concealing the truth about how much radiation we are all actually being exposed to by nuclear plants/installations of this & that type, here, there & everywhere). He asked the panel for humility, in the face of the nuclear disaster in Japan – not hubris.

The Lake Ontario Waterkeeper intervention was blow-you-out-of-the-water awesome, & if life on this planet (& nuclear hearings) made any kind of sense at all, the darn Joint Review Panel of this crazy farce would have closed down its tent & skulked out with heads bent in shame. With the OPG & CNSC staff right behind them, tails between their legs… (more Waterkeeper info on this project here )

But this is a process not unlike the Mad Hatter's Tea Party in Alice in Wonderland, where nothing makes sense, the ground is tilting dangerously, the questions asked bear no relationship to reality & the answers given illuminate nothing & are merely preposterous non-sequiturs.

Well. I cited pride in the blog title. The pride came from the awesome presentations by groups proving that the nuclear Emperor has no clothes. (He really doesn’t, of course, & what’s more, never did.)

The quiet tears came when I looked over a brochure left outside the hearing room by someone from Port Hope. It’s called “Nuclear Garden,” about an art installation by Michèle White. Impressionistic paintings of spent nuclear fuel, inspired by Monet & Constable, & text that outlines the surreal nature of life in pretty small town Port Hope (Ontario), where small town innocence & ambience collide surprisingly with nuclear nightmare.

The tears were almost welcome alongside the emotion-less, overly “logical” & mind-numbing language of the OPG (Ontario Power Generation) & CNSC (Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission) staff, who can somehow magically take fierce & wildly-articulately expressed concerns from the most intelligent, inspiring speakers & somehow soon transmute them into a perplexed & perplexing dull & gray bafflegab.

Inspiration came from the groups already mentioned, & then some over-the-top truth & more inspiration from First Nations presenters whose passion could be viscerally felt in a room where suddenly one could hear a pin drop.

Inspiration – admiration – sheer human fellow feeling from one Canadian to another. In this case, Canadians who have been here for thousands of years longer than we latter-day (mostly) white immigrants, who often seem to arrogantly suppose that everything we believe & think & do is somehow superior to the sensitivities & experiences of aboriginal Canadians. I was ashamed of the way the panel members patronized these awesome First Nations representatives – who not only out-spoke any panel members or OPG/CNSC staff mouthpieces, but whose dignity & intelligence ought to have humbled us all.

Which brings us, finally, to disgust. I had to leave the room in disgust when, after the First Nations individuals had left the room, a CNSC staff person began to detail “proof” of the so-called “consultation” with aboriginal groups, proudly rhyming off the numbers of emails & pieces of regular mail that had been sent to aboriginal groups.

& this after having just heard expressed so movingly, eloquently & sincerely, how appallingly poorly our governments have “consulted” with aboriginal groups.

I felt sick, embarrassed, &, as I say, disgusted.


This hearing process is a surreal one. I’ve said it before about CNSC hearings. You really can’t imagine how outright cuckoo they are, until you have attended one. The up & down roller coaster ride of sheer … illogic – well, really, I find it impossible to describe.

Ah well. Tomorrow is another day. (At least, we fervently hope so!)