On March 11, 2011, a 9.0 earthquake and subsequent tsunami crippled Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.
Physician and anti-nuclear activist Dr. Helen Caldicott calls into question reporting about that event and its aftermath. Her frank assessment of the people who control nuclear power: “Don’t believe anything the nuclear industry says, because they lie.”
What are the effects of the Fukushima meltdowns? In 2013, in response to concerns that media and policy makers were ignoring the impacts, a panel of scientists, engineers and policy experts met in New York to review the aftermath of the disaster.
The results of that gathering are detailed in Dr. Caldicott’s latest book “Crisis Without End: The Medical and Ecological Consequences of the Fukushima Nuclear Catastrophe.” The work addresses the health risks of radiation, environmental effects and the future of nuclear power technology.
In this talk Dr. Caldicott references the Columbia Generating Station on the Hanford Reservation near Richland. The CGS is Washington state’s only active nuclear power plant. Construction of the facility started in 1975 and production began in 1984. The design is an updated version of the Fukushima BWR (boiling water reactor.)
The CGS produces ten percent of our state’s electricity. Overall, nuclear power plants generate nearly twenty percent of the electricity produced in the United States.
Since 1980, following the Three Mile Island nuclear accident, Dr. Caldicott has devoted herself to shedding light on what she calls the “insanity” of nuclear arms and nuclear power. The founding president of Physicians for Social Responsibility, Dr. Caldicott was awarded the Lannan Foundation Prize for Cultural Freedom in 2003. The Smithsonian Institution listed her as one of the most influential women of the 20th century.
Town Hall Seattle, Washington Physicians for Social Responsibility, and Elliott Bay Book Company presented this talk by Dr. Helen Caldicott on September 28 as part of the Civics Series, supported by The Boeing Company, the RealNetworks Foundation, and the True-Brown Foundation.
Series media sponsorship is provided by The Stranger and KUOW.
Thanks to Jennie Cecil Moore for this recording.