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Nuclear Power Cannot Be Made Safe: It’s Just a Clean Way to Die via Truthout


The only thing that the emergency siren accomplishes is a warning that you’ve just been nuked.  Radiation is everywhere.  You can’t see it.  You can’t feel it.  You can’t smell it. A nuclear radiation meltdown is an invisible Hiroshima. Radiation can melt the strongest steel in a matter of seconds.  Radiation is a hundred thousand times hotter than an entire forest going up in flames. The intensity of heat is off the charts, it can’t even be measured – and worst of all: it can’t be stopped. Radiation exposure can last for thousands of years.  The siren is a warning at best that your life is over as you knew it. Get ready to die.  Get ready for cancer.  And while you’re at it: think of the entire central coast of California, from Carmel, Monterey to Santa Barbara and beyond those counties, including the largest agricultural-food supplier in the U.S., as “exclusion zones” known in Japan and Chernobyl as “toxic ghost towns.”

As EcoWatch founder and journalist, Harvey Wasserman, explained, “At Fukushima, Tokyo Electric Power now admits that far more radiation is spewing into the Pacific than previously admitted. The thyroid cancer death rate among children in the area is 40 times normal.  So is the still-rising childhood thyroid abnormality rate, a terrifying re-run of downwind Soviet Ukraine’s Chernobyl, April 26, 1986, the worst-ever nuclear power plant disaster in history—until Fukushima.  Since Japan’s March 11, 2011 earthquake and tsunami, the six-reactor Fukushima Daichi power plant has plunged into lethal chaos from three, possibly four radioactive explosive meltdowns.”


n 1981, we offered 40 acres of our ranchland to the blockaders for their encampment and training.  I was a philosophy major at the University of California, Santa Barbara, at the time.  I skipped my classes to join the protest instead. I think Socrates would have done the same.  It was an extraordinary demonstration of civil disobedience against the nuclear industry. Abalone Alliance and Mothers for Peace organized the non-violent training classes. Thousands of families, grandparents, children, professors, doctors, students, actors, singers, and activists all participated in this peaceful demonstration, demanding that they convert Diablo into a solar facility. Talk about being ahead of our time!

At the end of the ten-day action, an engineer discovered that the seismic blueprints were, (get this) reversed!  The plant was actually being built from blueprints that were backwards, upside down! PG&E was forced to spend $3 billion and three additional years of repairs before reopening.

On September 10, 1981, the Abalone Alliance occupied the site of the Diablo Nuclear Power facility, leading to 1,960 arrests. Nearly 40,000 people showed up in support.

If the 310,000 protesters that marched for clean energy on September 21st, 2014 need reassurance that people power works, here it is: the Diablo Blockade stopped construction of all nuclear power plants in the United States from 1981 until 2011. Shockingly, President Obama announced that “nuclear power is safe” on the catastrophic day that Japan’s nuclear power plants at Fukushima were exploding into meltdowns. He was the first president in thirty years to approve construction of nuclear power plants in the U.S. again.  Oblivious to Chernobyl and Fukushima, this is a president that ignores the lessons from bad decisions, and that includes quadrupling deep-water offshore oil drilling after BP’s catastrophic Deep Horizon explosion that killed eleven workers and left the Gulf of Mexico a “dead zone,” according to marine biologists and to those in the fishing industry at the loss of billions of dollars.


In 2013, it was reported that over 40 fish species from the immediate area are considered unsafe for consumption.  Clearly, the radioactive currents are spreading, and fish don’t stay in one spot. The radiation level in tuna off the Oregon coast tripled after the Fukushima disaster.  How long can Japan continue to contaminate the Pacific with tons of radioactive water?  Shouldn’t the most qualified engineers in the world be working on resolving this crisis instead of finding new ways to extract oil?  Perhaps Japan’s leaders and TEPCO (owners of the Fukushima Nuclear Facility) should offer a $20 million dollar prize to international engineers who can end this crisis. Then, finally, it will be taken seriously, since money seems to be the primary motive for doing anything these days. Like the Diablo Blockade sign said: “As if survival mattered.”

It’s unconscionably wrong to equate nuclear power and natural gas to clean renewable energy.  Five years after the Diablo Blockade Protest, a huge warning to the world, Chernobyl’s nuclear power plant exploded.  If Fukushima isn’t the definitive warning to stop nuclear power, then what is?


Don’t be fooled into thinking that nuclear power and natural gas are clean energy sources.  Nuclear power and natural gas are neither clean nor safe. And anybody who implies that they are renewable energy sources – is presumably getting paid off by the fossil fuel and nuclear industries.

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