Nuclear Free by 2045: Partial Table of Contents
It’s been 2.5 years since I started this blog and it just had its 50,000th. individual page-view. That’s rather small-time compared to high profile blogs and Ciley Myrus videos, but it’s four orders of magnitude more than the number of people who read my book on bilingual education in Canada (available on Amazon, in case anyone wants to be the first person to actually pay for it!). Aside from the satisfaction of having had readers from all over the world, I made many new friends and had a brief moment of fame when I was interviewed on Nuclear Hotseat in August, 2013 (episode 120, aired on October 1st).
Recently, I’ve run out of steam for writing new blog posts, perhaps because I’ve covered just about every aspect of the nuclear era. It has become difficult to think of any original angle on recent topics that are all being well covered elsewhere.
This week I decided to do a retrospective of my 176 blog posts. I put labels on each post, and these are now visible on the right side of the main page. On this post, I have created a partial table of contents in 8 sections (A-H), listing 30 of the articles that I found the most interesting to write.
Others can judge the quality of the writing and the originality of reports, but at this point I will humbly say that I may have created a fairly good educational resource about the nuclear era. If the writing itself is not the important thing, you might agree with a good friend who told me, “I like it for the links.”
So there you have it: a skillfully arranged collection of hyperlinks.
A. WWII and the Manhattan Project
The Air Conditioned Nightmare Part I, The Air Conditioned Nightmare Part II. In the early 1940s, Henry Miller wrote The Air Conditioned Nightmare. He probably didn’t know anything about the Manhattan Project underway at the time, but this travelogue is strangely prescient about the dreadful age that was coming into view. And the title was apt in ways that he couldn’t have imagined. Air conditioning technology was essential for uranium enrichment. No chill, no bomb.
American heroes of the atomic age. What’s the connection between General Leslie Groves, mastermind of the Manhattan Project, and Lance Armstrong? Both were bold gamblers who knew you had to lie, deceive manipulate others to a goal in war or sport. Groves gave the world plutonium, which is known to hide out in human gonads and cause the kind of cancer through which Armstrong “livestronged.”
This is the story of Manhattan Project nuclear waste that rests in temporary storage in Niagara Falls, New York.
The atomic cities that grew up near the Hanford Nuclear Reservation are still rated by some sources as “one of the best places to raise children” in the USA. It is also a favorite place for the Christian Congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses to hold their annual convention. Yet this is also arguably the most polluted place on earth. What accounts for these divergent views?
We might take this as a metaphor for Japan’s dogged determination to restart its nuclear reactors. In 1944-45, the Japanese government threw the last of its resources into a doomed effort to build the Matsuhiro Imperial General Headquarters, a massive underground bunker built to preserve the Emperor and the functions of government during the coming Allied invasion.
B. Fast breeder reactors and Next Generation Nuclear Technology
The cautionary tale of France’s experiment with fast breeder technology. Follow the links to Superphenix Parts 1, 2 and 3.
People who promote advanced nuclear technology are actually anti-nuclear because, in order to promote the new technology, they have to admit the old technology is horribly unsafe. They are the anti-nuke pro-nukers.
The new laser technology for uranium enrichment is a double-edged sword. It is far more energy efficient than the old methods, but the low energy footprint of it will make it hard to detect when it is used to make fuel for nuclear weapons.
The nations that possess nuclear weapons are bound by the non-proliferation treaty to move the world toward nuclear disarmament. But instead they are spending billions on modernizing their arsenals.
The possible reasons for Japan’s plutonium stockpile. Does Japan harbor a secret ambition to stockpile plutonium in order to quickly assemble a nuclear weapon when or if it can no longer rely on the US nuclear umbrella?
About the myth that American nuclear plants really cleaned up and “burned up” plutonium from Soviet weapons.
D. The Cold War
Review of Full Body Burden, and background about the history of the Rocky Flats plutonium pit factory.
A visit the a museum on Tokyo’s Dream Island, and a review of The Day the Sun Rose in the West, the story of the Japanese fishermen who were caught in the fallout of the Bravo test in 1954.
Nora Ephron and Silkwood. Why was Nora Ephron remembered for her romantic comedies and not for the one film that came close to being a serious film about something more important?
Review of The Plutonium Files, the account of the shocking research done on American citizens who were deliberately injected, without consent, with radioactive elements.
An overview of the amazing work done by the independent researcher Mark Purdy. He found connections between common neurological diseases and nuclear and non-nuclear military waste.
Lies that lying liars tell. First they found children getting thyroid cancer within two years of Chernobyl. After Fukushima, when children started showing up with thyroid cancer within two years, they said the latency period after Chernobyl was four years.
The response to a nuclear emergency is done right only in fiction. Read about how a president responded to a nuclear emergency. How it happened on the TV drama The West Wing was totally different from how it goes down in reality.
The Japanese response to Fukushima is doubly complicated by the nation’s dire finances and demographics.
Who knew there was a billion-dollar nuclear decontamination project underway just east of Toronto? One of Canada’s best kept secrets in Port Hope, Ontario.
About a radio show in the CBC archives. Interviews with Three Mile Island activist Jane Lee, among others.
About the pro-nuke/anti-nuke debate that aired on Saturday Night Live in 1979.
Shakespeare speaks to the nuclear age. A selection of Shakespeare quotes repurposed to describe our dangerous age. Extraordinary events require extraordinary language.
Review of the book Chernobyl: Crime without Punishment. This is essential reading for anyone who might be tempted to think the Soviets did everything right after Chernobyl in contrast to the Japanese doing everything wrong after Fukushima.
G. Nuclear energy and Public Health Studies
The medical and industrial uses of radiation haven’t kept up with the need to track everyone’s lifetime dose.
The nuclear industry as a case study in institutional self-deception. A long, comprehensive review of many of the topics I covered in my blog over two years (also published in India by Dianuke.org).
The love of space exploration cuts across ideological divides. We all love it, but it comes at a cost. The future of space exploration depends on the continuation of the nuclear industry. As Barry McGuire sang, "You may leave here for four days in space. But when you return, it's the same old place."
Posted by Dennis Riches at Saturday, January 04, 2014