Radioactive rain in Calgary, religious fervour among the nuclear cultists

From Michael Platt in the Calgary Sun:

“There’s no need to panic — probably.

But not knowing whether to shrug or cower over radioactive iodine falling on Calgary as a result of a meltdown in Japan last year has Canada’s top nuclear critic wondering why.

“There’s no need to be concerned, but what you should be concerned about is why the authorities are so quick to dismiss it,” says Dr. Gordon Edwards.

“Why aren’t they just reporting this stuff and not commenting — they seem to take it upon themselves to deny there’s any danger, even enough to let people know what’s happening.”

Edwards, a university professor, is president of the Canadian Coalition for Nuclear Responsibility and a former advisor on nuclear matters to Ottawa and the Ontario government.

Thorn in side

When it comes to radiation, and the fallout following the Fukushima nuclear accident, Edwards is a thorn in the side of Heath Canada, sounding the alarm when officially, there isn’t one.

He’s been pointed when saying radiation from Fukushima will lead to higher rates of cancer in Canada — though he’s also quick to say the risk is tiny on a per-person basis.

Now he’s asking questions about rain which fell on Calgary shortly after the nuclear disaster last March, containing radioactive iodine well above the Health Canada guidelines for drinking water….”

Read more in the Calgary Sun.

Related — from Counterpunch.org:

“Zealots of the Atom

The Nuclear Cult

by KARL GROSSMAN

Nuclear scientists and engineers embrace nuclear power like a religion. The term “nuclear priesthood” was coined by Dr. Alvin Weinberg, long director of Oak Ridge National Laboratory, and the laboratory’s website proudly notes this.  It’s not unusual for scientists at Oak Ridge and other U.S. national nuclear laboratories to refer to themselves as “nukies.” The Oak Ridge website describes Weinberg as a “prophet” of “nuclear energy.”

This religious, cultish element is integral to a report done for the U.S. Department of Energy in 1984 by Battelle Memorial Institute about how the location of nuclear waste sites can be communicated over the ages. An “atomic priesthood,” it recommends, could impart the locations in a “legend-and-ritual…retold year-by-year.” Titled “Communications Measures to Bridge Ten Millennia,” the taxpayer-funded report says: “Membership in this ‘priesthood’ would be self-selective over time.”

Currently, Allison Macfarlane, nominated to be the new head of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, says she is an “agnostic” on nuclear power—as if support or opposition to atomic energy falls on a religious spectrum.  Meanwhile, Gregory Jaczko, the outgoing NRC chairman, with a Ph.D. in physics, was politically crucified because he repeatedly raised safety concerns, thus not revering nuclear power enough.

Years ago, while I was working on a book about toxic chemicals, the publisher asked that I find someone who worked for a chemical company and get his or her rationale. I found someone who had been at American Cyanamid, the pesticide manufacturer, who said he worked there to better support his growing family financially.

But when it comes to nuclear power, it’s more than that—it’s a religious adherence. Why?  Does it have to do with nuclear scientists and engineers being in such close proximity to  power, literally?  Is it about the process through which they are trained—in the U.S., many in the nuclear navy and/or in the insular culture of the
government’s national nuclear laboratories? These laboratories, originally under the Atomic Energy Commission and now the Department of Energy and managed by corporations, universities and scientific entities including Battelle Memorial Institute, grew out of the World War II Manhattan Project crash program to build atomic bombs. After the war, the laboratories expanded to pursue the development of all things nuclear. And is it about nuclear physics programs at universities serving as echo chambers?

Whatever the causes, the outcome is nuclear worship.

And this is despite the Chernobyl or Fukushima Daiichi catastrophes. It’s despite the radioactive messes exposed at the Rocky Flats nuclear weapons production facility and at Los Alamos and other national nuclear laboratories most of which have been declared high-pollution Superfund sites where cancer on-site and in adjoining areas is widespread. It’s despite the  continuing threat of nuclear war and the horrific loss of life it would bring and nuclear proliferation spreading the potential for atomic weapons globally. Still, they press on with religious fervor….”

Read more on Counterpunch.org

2 Comments

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2 responses to “Radioactive rain in Calgary, religious fervour among the nuclear cultists

  1. nedlud

    This is also like the Singularity cult, led by Ray Kurzweil.

    And not unlike the pedophilic priests and/or the Spanish Inquisition or the late great Roman Empire, which produced such ‘notables’ as Caligula.

    Anything for pure worship of power and to avoid human responsibilities.

    Greed is good.

  2. I don’t think a discussion of nuclear power is complete unless you throw in the Price Anderson Act – when the federal government coerced a reluctant power industry into the business. http://www.citizen.org/documents/Price%20Anderson%20Factsheet.pdf

    Or the fact that they were pushed into dangerous Uranium reactors rather then the much safer thorium reactors:

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/williampentland/2011/09/11/is-thorium-the-biggest-energy-breakthrough-since-fire-possibly/

    http://www.thorium.tv/en/thorium_reactor/thorium_reactor_1.php

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