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Dr. Helen Caldicott Says Japan Crisis Can Dwarf Chernobyl Disaster PDF Print E-mail
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by Jan Lundberg   
24 March 2011
Alex Smith of Radio Ecoshock has just produced a definitive interview with Dr. Helen Caldicott, the world's foremost anti-nuclear activist and authority. Listen to it now at Here are some notes I took from the broadcast:
• Smoke has been reported rising from the Fukushima unit number 3. If it's from fuel-cooling pools that contain plutonium, that's a major (to put it mildly) disaster.
• one millionth of a gram of plutonium ingested causes cancer.
• Geiger counter radiation levels have been reassuring for the West Coast of North America. But the real question for public health is "internal emitters" (e.g. Strontium attached to bone) -- that cause cancer and gene mutations -- versus external radiation measurements that cannot discern isotopes.
• Long lived isotopes versus quickly degrading ones: the big question for our gene pool.
• Fuel-cooling pools pose a far worse threat than reactors. In the U.S. the fuel pools are not backed up with cooling systems!
• A large part of Japan is damaged permanently.
• Random genetic engineering is being done for the rest of humanity's future.
• A peaceful Egypt-kind of revolution is needed against the nuclear psychosis.
• Caldicott commissioned a "Nuclear-free, carbon-free" study. She says "Renewable energy can supply all the energy America needs by 2040."
The last point reveals a weakness in the anti-nuclear movement as well as in the climate protection movement. When today's energy appetite is justified by cleaner energy -- as in an obese person's switching the source of calories instead of cutting way back on them and getting significant exercise -- little good can come of it. The "clean energy" vision has a lot of baggage, such as a petroleum infrastructure that is giving out.

A basic lack of understanding of energy plagues many intelligent people who haven't examined petroleum's attributes and role. There is no overall substitute possible for cheap petroleum and its many uses. Even more dangerous, the Holy Grail of abundant "clean energy" someday for a huge consumer economy's "needs" causes tragic delay in slashing energy use now. We must question the need for today's energy consumption by establishing much lower energy use -- lifestyle change -- that needs to happen so that mass curtailment and restructuring can begin now.

To begin to gear up to meet the 2040 goal that Dr. Caldicott called for is folly in that it is off-target, and ignores the realities of overpopulation. But because she is so right on some vital levels, she is able to make an uninformed statement such as the last one in the above list. I have met this wonderful activist, and we're in agreement with her new statement that the Japan crisis may be positive for sinking the nuclear industry and then even getting on to the task of dealing with the weapons problem.

Alex Smith produced and offered an important show on March 21 on the nuclear crisis, not released on Culture Change. To make up for this lapse, we asked him for his next report. He has responded with an excellent must-listen show, referenced above. His website is Here is the note he sent Culture Change on March 23:

Hi Jan

Here is a hot one to send out to your list: this morning I interviewed Dr. Helen Caldicott about the Japanese nuclear crisis. This may be the first long interview she's given, or at least that I've seen or heard. And she is on fire!

The second part of this week's program is Kathy McMahon, the Peak Oil shrink, on digesting really bad news, plus the nuke problems in New England. She's one smart lady.

Plus a bit of news straight from NHK World today, as four reactors burn in Japan, with all workers evacuated. Hardly any bottled water left in Tokyo, and nurseries can't find what they need to feed babies, now that the tap water is radioactive.

Radiation found in fields 40 kilometers north of Fukushima runs 5 cm. deep, and an expert expects it will last at least 30 years. A big part of Japan is lost to agriculture, if not to human habitation. Certainly the tens of thousands of nuclear refugees from Fukushima itself and neighboring villages are not going home. Not in their lifetimes.

Caldicott says this is the big one.

[This] Lo-Fi version (14 MB)... to circulate around the Net:


More information from Dr. Helen Caldicott is on her website:
Facebook: Dr. Helen Caldicott

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Comments (7)Add Comment
In this interview Dr. Caldicott says that decommissioning nuke plants will be even more expensive than constructing them. Who will pay for decommissioning old plants? Taxpayers, that's who. So the nuclear thugs obviously plan to externalize their largest costs and run with the money, just like the coal barons before them. Brilliant business model!
Peter Crabb
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Votes: +3
In my 2004 article for the Japan Times,"Japan's Deadly Game of Nuclear Roulette", as a geoscientist I predicted this disaster that has occurred at Fukushima in great detail. It is very cheap and simple to convert nuclear power plants to natural gas at 20-30% of the cost of building a new plant, by taking out the reactor and replacing it with a natural gas burner. Einstein's comment on nuclear power, "It's a hell of a way to boil water." sums up the simple fact that nuclear power is a deadly way to boil water in a power plant that produces steam that turns the turbines that generate electricity. The fact that natural gas is much cheaper and cleaner than nuclear power, produces twice as much electricity, and does not leave a radioactive mess behind that no one can solve, seems to make natural gas conversion of nuke plants a much desired alternative. In fact, it's a no brainer. Leuren Moret
Leuren Moret
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The Japanese government know damn well that this was a HAARP earthquake. There have been many such earthquakes and other environmental 'accidents' such as the BP Gulf blowout, the Russian brush fires, Seszuan, etc. This is a World War that is being fought by the World Government against every country in the world except Israel. The 'sustainability' gangsters and banksters (with a magnificently unsustainable financial system) are laughing at you in your faces. They have at last got their act right after years of setbacks since the 9/11 farce. They can shake down any nuclear reactor in the world. Do we deserve this nightmare? Of course, we do. We're cowards and we're stupid.
Gordon Logan
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This would have happened sooner or later. The LARGEST COMMERCIAL NUCLEAR FISSION PLANT IN THE WORLD (BUILT BY GE) IN THE MIDDLE OF THE MOST ACTIVE EARTHQUAKE-TSUNAMI ZONE ON THE PLANET, BUILT ON A DOCK FACING OPEN OCEAN. No HAARP necessary. Just a group of stupid unemployed builders. The rest of us builders KNEW this would happen. The wave washed away the emergency cooling system fueltanks. Imagine that, a tsunami in the most active tsunami zone in the world. Comming in from the ocean. What are the odds?
Howard T. Lewis III
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Caldicott's last point isn't wrong, when taken as said. That is, renewable energy can supply all America's energy needs by 2040. I doubt that's what Caldicott meant, though; she probably meant BAU energy requirements. At some point, humans will have to survive on renewable energy so it goes without saying that we will make do with renewable energy for all our energy needs. Mind you, it will mean big, big, changes in our societies and lifestyles, over the next 29 years, to meet that target. But big changes are coming, no matter what.
Tony Weddle
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"...interview with Dr. Helen Caldicott, the world's foremost anti-nuclear activist and authority.
Listen to it now at"

Unfortunately - these links as sited in article - say Not Found, or take me to a domains site parking page.
What's up?
Darla Shuett
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Dear Helen,
I may have sent a copy to you, but doubt if it was the updated version. In the meantime I find myself in no way to send a complimentary copy, but you can acquire it at I am asignificant admirer and follower of your work to remove the impending Damocles Sword over our heads. Now that I have retire, I plan to devot more time to it.

In the meantime, watching the Japanese workmen in what appears to be make-sift uniforms, it occurred to me that there must be a means by which those areas of the human body have absorbed the most radiation, and therefore, to some extent to specific parts of the body. Strontium 90 in bones, for example, iodion 132 in the throat, and cesium 137 virtually everywhere. My question to you is would a body wrap connected to a computer be useful for long- and short-term exposures to various radiactive isotopes without building a 3-ton GE type of radiation inductor. Such a passibe reading device would not be difficult to design and build, but it would be a doctor like your self to recognized the value of such a device that might be sold to the NRC if not to physician's and citizens everywhere. It would be a very body-part specific form of analysis of what body parts have been the most exposed. And let the physican apply whatever chelating or other means of minimizing harm. Whether you think this device would be useful or not, I would be most grateful for a reply. I know you are very busy, so my apologies for asking. Very best wishes, an arden fan.
Darrell D. Davisson, Ph.D.
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