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Humanity Rising Day 202   –   Thursday March 11, 2021

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Ten Years Deep—Nuclear Power Disaster in Fukushima, Japan

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The meltdown of the nuclear plant in Fukushima is an ongoing event that began 10 years ago and continues to have devastating effects both globally and locally. As a cautionary tale, Fukushima must not be ignored. Its message points us to a much more hopeful path. Arnie Gundersen will tell of the events on March 11, 2011 in short-form. Through two dialogues—first Chiho Kaneko and Norma Field, sharing about human impacts, and then Arnie and his wife Maggie Gundersen unfold the continuing nuclear disaster.

Host and Convener:

  • Mary Olson, Founder Gender and Radiation Impact ProjectShe has worked on radioactive waste policy at the national level in the USA since 1990. In 2011 she was part of a team that tracked the events at TEPCO’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear site as it was decimated by the Tohoku earthquake and tsunami. Arnie Gundersen, an expert with knowledge of the General Electric (GE) reactors at the Fukushima site, was one of the assets she turned to. Watching the GE reactors explode at Dai-ichi in 2011 changed the course of Olson’s work to focus on radiation impacts, and she now directs the Gender and Radiation Impact Project

Presenters:

  • Arnie Gundersen is the Chief Engineer, board member, and resident “science guy” at Fairewinds Energy Education nonprofit and the Chief Engineer for Fairewinds Associates, Inc, a paralegal services and expert testimony firm. Arnie earned his BS in Nuclear Engineering cum laude and MS in Nuclear Engineering (MSNE) from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) via an Atomic Energy Commission Fellowship. With more than 50-years of nuclear power engineering experience, Arnie has a nuclear safety patent and was a licensed reactor operator who also taught reactor physics at RPI. As a former Senior VP in the nuclear industry, Arnie managed and coordinated projects at 70 US nuclear power plants. The Chief Engineer for Fairewinds Associates, he testifies on behalf of states, municipalities, NGOs, and environmental organizations regarding the hazards and violations at nuclear reactors and atomic waste sites. Since the catastrophe at Fukushima, Arnie focuses his energy worldwide on the migration of radioactive microparticles. During his multiple trips to Japan, Arnie has met and trained community-volunteer citizen-scientists to study the migration of radioactive microparticles from Fukushima in two co-authored peer-reviewed scientific articles. A guest on media outlets such as Democracy Now! and CNN to discuss Japan’s catastrophe at Fukushima, he has presented worldwide to universities, governments, and media outlets. Arnie and his wife Maggie also co-authored the Japanese best-selling book, Fukushima Daiichi: The Truth And The Way Forward, published in Japan in 2012.
  • Maggie Gundersen is a paralegal, journalist, mediator, and the founder and president of Fairewinds Energy Education nonprofit and Fairewinds Associates, Inc, a paralegal and expert witness testimony firm. As a former nuke industry spokesperson, she developed both firms to focus on atomic power hazards and create a new energy future worldwide with sustainable and renewable energy sources. Maggie developed protocols with scientific colleagues to establish and coordinate community-volunteer citizen-scientists to trace and report radioactive contamination in communities in the US, Europe, and Japan. Her work with Japanese citizen-scientists delineating the migration of radioactive microparticles at Tokyo Olympic Sites resulted in a peer-reviewed journal article's co-authorship. Maggie’s research and journalism at Fairewinds focus on the human perspective and planetary impact on life from migrating atomic radioactivity.
  • Chiho Kaneko was born in Japan’s Iwate Prefecture and graduated from Hokkaido University. Influenced by Kenji Miyazawa (1896 – 1933), a writer and poet from Iwate, Chiho has dedicated her life to exploring the conditions for universal happiness and peace through her work as a visual artist, as a language translator and interpreter, as a newspaper columnist, and as a classical music vocalist. She and her husband live in Vermont, growing most of the vegetables they eat year-round. She is a board member of Fairewinds Energy Education.
  • Norma Field, retired from the University of Chicago as Ingersoll Distinguished Service Professor of Japanese Studies in 2012. The Fukushima nuclear disaster reactivated questions going back to the time she first saw images of atomic bomb victims in her Tokyo girlhood. How can human beings make such devices, keep making them, and keep living with the consequences?  On Fukushima, she has translated the booklet ‘Fukushima Radiation: Will You Still Say No Crime Was Committed?’ (2015), written many articles, and with a colleague, maintains The Atomic Age bilingual news blog.

Animated film from Fairewinds: https://www.fairewinds.org/nuclear-energy-education/smokescreen

More information:

  • Resources and Links: Fairewinds Energy Education ::https://www.fairewinds.org/:: The Atomic Age (bilingual English / Japanese) Blog / News ::https://lucian.uchicago.edu/blogs/atomicage/home/:: Gender and Radiation Impact Project ::https://www.genderandradiation.org/:: Fukushima
    1. Four Myths from Fukushima: Arnie at The WAVE Conference (Professionally shot).  
    2. Fairewinds' Arnie Gundersen Presentation at the New York Academy of Medicine hosted by Dr. Helen Caldicott (professionally shot).
    3. The Echo Chamber: Regulatory Capture and the Fukushima Daiichi Disaster for Greenpeace. Renewable & Sustainable Energy
    4. Smokescreen Animation ­– in 4 languages.
    5. The CO2 Smokescreen at McGill University: presentation about renewables and how nukes are hiding behind. Fairewinds Peer-Reviewed Fukushima Papers
    6. Science of the Total Environment (STOTEN) journal: Radioactively-hot Particles Detected in Dusts and Soils from Northern Japan by Combination of Gamma Spectrometry, Autoradiography, and SEM/EDS Analysis and Implications in Radiation Risk Assessment published in 2017.
    7. Journal of Environmental Engineering Science: Radioactive Isotopes Measured at Olympic and Paralympic Venues in Fukushima Prefecture and Tokyo, Japan published in 2020. ADDITIONAL TOPICAL LINKS compiled by NORMA FIELD: Link to Minna-no-Data Site ("Everybody's Data Site")—supported by  the Citizens' Nuclear Information Center (CNIC), a great source for English language materials). Press freedom (official non-disclosure / non-transparency is typical to all nuclear disasters) This is the journalism Japan needs "Japan’s mass media doesn’t fold in the face of pressure from the powerful — because it already self-censors." Reporters Without Borders" World Press Freedom Index: 2010, 11; 2016, 72; 2020, 66 Health Effects The International Nuclear Workers Study (Inworks): A Collaborative Epidemiological Study to Improve Knowledge About Health Effects of Protracted Low-Dose Exposure (2017) Radiation and Harm to Human Health by Beyond Nuclear Fukushima Voice Version 2e On the Fukushima child and youth thyroid cancer monitoring; keep in mind that pediatric thyroid cancer is the only cancer acknowledged by "western" sources (i.e., the world nuclear organizations) as caused by Chernobyl. Here's a 2016 article from the Lancet. The Japanese authors of this piece were the ones (especially Yamashita) who played a leading role in acknowledging and addressing thyroid cancer in Chernobyl kids; they are the ones now denying it has anything to do with teh nuclear disaster in Fukushima, and therefore, pushing for minimizing the study. Water Citizens' Nuclear Information Center (water +) TEPCO’s Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant Q and A on ‘Treated Water’ Containing Radioactive materials Informative with good graphics; includes alternatives The Hazards of Tritium From Ian Fairlie, a recognized expert Legal Struggles The Fukushima Nuclear Disaster and Civil Actions as a Social Movement Reflections on the TEPCO Trial: Prosecution and Acquittal after Japan’s Nuclear Meltdown From Fukushima: To Despair Properly, To Find the Next Step 7 Years on, Sailors Exposed to Fukushima Radiation Seek Their Day in Court (2017) Court Rejects U.S. Sailors’ Lawsuit Over Fukushima Radiation Exposure (2020) Olympics "Fukushima Ain’t Got Time for Olympic Games”

Co-Moderators:

  • Jim Garrison, President, Ubiquity University

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Humanity Rising Resource Page Table of HR Episodes from 1-200
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