[ RadSafe ] Beyond Nuclear Claims after Washington Post Article

Bill Prestwich prestwic at mcmaster.ca
Wed May 2 08:05:12 CDT 2012

I hope Radsafe folks support the editorial. As a Canadian, I think if I
responded the opposition would denounce foreign intervention.

I did support the fact that this was a non-event in an E-mail to Cindy.


-----Original Message-----
From: radsafe-bounces at agni.phys.iit.edu
[mailto:radsafe-bounces at agni.phys.iit.edu] On Behalf Of Roger Helbig
Sent: Tuesday, May 01, 2012 6:09 PM
To: radsafe at agni.phys.iit.edu
Subject: [ RadSafe ] Beyond Nuclear Claims after Washington Post Article

This was sent to another list by a member Peter -

Dear friends and colleagues,

Please see the exemplary response written to the Washington Post's
industry-serving editorial.  And please send them a response that educates
them on energy and people's awareness of the environment.
Let's remember that it's not all about the supply side, despite the anxiety
that's generated by the nuclear industry -- and that the cheapest energy is
what we don't use.

    Thanks, Peter :^ )}

From: Cindy Folkers, Beyond Nuclear [mailto:cindy at beyondnuclear.org]


Washington Post calls Fukushima “non-catastrophic”!
The editorial board needs to hear from you!

We’re outraged. And we expect you were, too. On April 23, 2012, the
Washington Post editorial board writers callously dismissed the Fukushima
nuclear disaster as “non-catastrophic.”

They eagerly promoted nuclear power while omitting inconvenient
deal-breakers such as cost, waste, safety, health risks and human rights.
The paper taunted Germany and Japan - and the anti-nuclear movement - for
looking to renewables but misrepresented Germany’s successes. And they
utterly ignored those who have already paid the price for the nuclear fuel
chain, like indigenous uranium miners, and its newest victims, the children
of Japan whose future has been stolen. You can review the original editorial

Let’s tell the Washington Post what we think about their shoddy editorial!

We rebutted a few of their points below. A longer rebuttal document is on
our website. Please use these mythbusters to send the editorial board sacks
of old-fashioned mail! Write to The Washington Post, 1150 15th St. NW,
Washington, DC 20071-0001. Or email or call editorial page editor, Fred
Hiatt at fredhiatt at washpost.com or 202-334-7281. You can also contact the
Ombudsman, Patrick Pexton, at ombudsman at washpost.com.

Here are some of the WP myths and our responses:

WP: The Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster was “scary but ultimately
FACT: Minimizing the still unfolding consequences of the Fukushima nuclear
disaster and dismissing it as “non-catastrophic” is reprehensible and
irresponsible. Radioactive contamination is widespread and growing. In fact,
the accident is not even over, yet.
Thousands are already suffering and countless more will sicken and die
prematurely as a result of their exposure to the Fukushima radiation.
A 20km (12.4 mile) area around the stricken reactors will remain a “dead
zone” for decades and potentially centuries. It is hard to know what more
the Post editorial writers need to qualify as “catastrophic.”

WP: Nuclear power “is the only proven source of low-emissions ‘baseload’
FACT: In many regions, peak wind and solar production match up well with
peak electricity demand. Numerous regional and global case studies have
provided plausible plans to meet 100% of energy demand with energy
efficiency and renewable sources.

WP: Germany and Japan are “giving up all of that guaranteed, low-carbon
electricity generation in an anti-nuclear frenzy.”
FACT: Far from “guaranteed,” the Fukushima reactors became a liability when
they were needed most, worsening an already catastrophic situation. And far
from in a “frenzy”,  Germany has already revitalized home-grown industries
like steel and has more people working in the renewable sector (370,000)
than in the nuclear (30,000) and coal industries (20,000) combined.

WP MYTH: “Japan could still reduce carbon emissions by 25 percent of its
1990 levels by 2030 without nuclear power. Yet even if that’s true, it’s
hardly a reason to let all of that existing nuclear infrastructure and
know-how go to waste.”
FACT: The nuclear industry has always been in the waste business - unmanaged
radioactive waste. Since December 2, 1942, when scientists created the
world’s first self-sustaining nuclear chain reaction, the industry’s entire
infrastructure has gone to waste: here in the U.S.
it has produced more than 67,000 metric tons of irradiated nuclear fuel -
and at least another 10,000 metric tons of radioactive waste from nuclear
weapons - with nowhere to go.

Read the rest of our responses to the Washington Post editorial here.


I am not sure what nuclear power has to do with Democracy in Action - the
anti-nuclear fanatics have very little interest in Democracy since they
silence their opponents.

Thank you for working with us for a nuclear-free world.

The Beyond Nuclear Team
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