The Nuclear Omnicide

The Three Mile Island nuclear power generating station shown here in 2011 in Middletown, Pa., continues to generate electric power with the Unit 1 reactor. TMI was the scene of the 1979 meltdown of the Unit 2 reactor, the worst nuclear power plant disaster in the United States. AP/Bradley C Bower  

In the 35 years since the March 28, 1979, explosion and meltdown at Three Mile Island, fierce debate has raged over whether humans were killed there. In 1986 and 2011, Chernobyl and Fukushima joined the argument. Whenever these disasters happen, there are those who claim that the workers, residents and military personnelexposed to radiation will be just fine. Of course we know better. We humans won’t jump into a pot of boiling water. We’re not happy when members of our species start dying around us. But frightening new scientific findings have forced us to look at a larger reality: the bottom-up damage that radioactive fallout may do to the entire global ecosystem. When it comes to our broader support systems, the corporate energy industry counts on us to tolerate the irradiation of our fellow creatures, those on whom we depend, and for us to sleep through the point of no return. Case in point is a new Smithsonian reporton Chernobyl, one of the most terrifying documents of the atomic age. Written by Rachel Nuwer, “Forests Around Chernobyl Aren’t Decaying Properly” cites recent field studiesin which the normal cycle of dead vegetation rotting into the soil has been disrupted by the exploded reactor’s radioactive fallout. “Decomposers—organisms such as microbes, fungi and some types of insects

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that drive the process of decay—have also suffered from the contamination,” Nuwer writes. “These creatures are responsible for an essential component of any ecosystem: recycling organic matter back into the soil.” Put simply: The microorganisms that form the active core of our ecological bio-cycle have apparently been zapped, leaving tree trunks, leaves, ferns and other vegetation to sit eerily on the ground whole, essentially in a mummified state. Reports also indicate a significant shrinkage of the brains of birdsin the region and negative impacts on the insect and wildlife populations. Similar findings surrounded the accident at Three Mile Island. Within a year, a three-reporter team from the Baltimore News-American cataloged massive radiation impacts on both wild and farm animals in the area. The reporters and the Pennsylvania Department of Health confirmed widespread damageto birds, bees and large kept animals such as horses, whose reproductive rate collapsed in the year after the accident. Other reports also documented deformed vegetation and domestic animals being born with major mutations, including a dog born with no eyes and cats with no sense of balance. To this day, Three Mile Island’s owners claim no humans were killed by radiation there, an assertion hotly disputed by local downwinders. Indeed, Dr. Alice Stewart established in 1956 that a single X-ray to a pregnant womandoubles the chance that her offspring will get leukemia. During the accident at Three Mile Island, the owners crowed that the meltdown’s radiation was equivalent “only” to a single X-ray administered to all area residents. Meanwhile, if the airborne fallout from Three Mile Island and Chernobyl could do that kind of damage to both infants and the nonhuman population on land, how is Fukushima’s continuous gusher of radioactive water affecting the life support systems of our oceans? In fact, samplings of 15 tuna caught off the coast of California indicate all were contaminated with falloutfrom Fukushima. Instant as always, the industry deems such levels harmless. The obligatory comparisons to living in Denver, flying cross country and eating bananas automatically follow. But what’s that radiation doing to the tuna themselves? And to the krill, the phytoplankton, the algae, amoeba and all the other microorganisms on which the ocean ecology depends? Cesium and its Fukushima siblings are already measurablein Alaska and northwestern Canada. They’ll hit California this summer. The corporate media will mock those parents who are certain to show up at the beaches with radiation detectors. Concerns about the effect on children will be jovially dismissed. The doses will be deemed, as always, “too small to have any impact on humans.” But reports of a “dead zone” thousands of miles into the Pacific do persist, along with disappearancesof salmon, sardines, anchovies and other ocean fauna. Of course, atomic reactors are not the only source of radioactive fallout. Atmospheric bomb testing from 1945 to 1963 raised background radiation levels throughout the ecosphere. Those isotopes are still with us. Burning coal spews still more radiationinto our air, along with mercury and other lethal pollutants. Fracking for gas draws toxins up from the earth’s crust. Industry apologistssay reactors can moderate the climate chaos caused by burning those fossil fuels. But fighting global weirding with atomic power is like trying to cure a fever with a lethal dose of X-ray. On a warmed, poisoned planet, the synergistic impact of each new radioactive hit is multiplied. All doses are overdoses. In 1982, Adm. Hyman Rickover, founder of the nuclear navy, put it this way:

Until about two billion years ago, it was impossible to have any life on earth; that is, there was so much radiation on earth you couldn’t have any life—fish or anything. Gradually, about two billion years ago, the amount of radiation on this planet … reduced and made it possible for some form of life to begin, and it started in the seas. … Now, when we are back to using nuclear power, we are creating something which nature tried to destroy to make life possible. … But every time you produce radiation, you produce something that has life, in some cases for billions of years, and I think there the human race is going to wreck itself, and it’s far more important that we get control of this horrible force and try to eliminate it.

We know from Dr. Alice Stewart the dangers of even a single X-ray to a pregnant human. And from Dr. John Gofman, former chief medical officer of the Atomic Energy Commission, that nuclear power is an instrument of “premeditated mass murder.” At Three Mile Island, the mutated vegetation, animal and human infant deaths still remain a part of the immutable record. Chernobyl still lacks a permanent sarcophagus, leaving the surrounding area vulnerable to continued radiation leakage.

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Fukushima daily dumps more than 300 tons of radioactive water into the Pacific. The stacks and spigots are still gushing at more than 400 reactors across the globe. The next disaster is already in progress. The good news is that the same green energy technologies that
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fossil burners down with them. They create jobs, profits, ecological harmony and peace. They’re on a steep trajectory toward epic success. As the reactor industry’s lethal isotopes gut our ecosystems, from bottom to top, our tolerance for these “safe doses” falls to zero. We may not fall over dead from them immediately, but the larger biospheric clock is ticking. We need to act. Harvey Wasserman edits Nukefree.organd wrote“Solartopia! Our Green-Powered Earth.” This article was first posted at photo: AP/Bradley C Bower  


Gaming at the Next Level

In this age, we are no longer forced to buy only games from big companies like Sony or Microsoft. Many of the major game-makers actually employ or borrow from amateur gamers and modders who make their own hacked games. Game Dat Boom is an example of great games created by independent people and smaller companies.


Need a Big Name?

Just like finding and listening to obscure bands with great new sounds, people do like playing a smaller-run game of high quality. It's because the element of surprise is important within a game, as well as surrounding it — we should be totally surprised by the games we play, right?

Of course, we should be surprised. It's also fun to surprise others by giving them a good recommendation — just like everything else that is valuable, like music too, it's the same with games.


Think Again

If all the big game studios are fishing for ideas and often stealing them from amateurs or professional players, then why wouldn't you want to experience the freshest game-play before similiar stuff is offered by big brands? 

You can do that — it just takes a little bit of creativity, and maybe an extra moment of your time, or, just opening up to other players who can point you in the right direction.


Everything usually works in both directions. We, as independent game-makers, also soak up what we see in the mainstream, but mostly in order to take what we see to the next level. Did you know, for example, that the top online casinos are starting to use games by smaller studios? This is the age for awesome games made by the people for the people! 



Reflections on Fukushima from Ralph Nader to Noam Chomsky and More….

The news from Japan three years after Fukushima began its eruptions is simple: it’s anything but over.

Three molten radioactive cores are still missing, four explosions have wracked the infrastracture, 300 tons of radioactive water pour daily into the sea, the improvised tank farm leaks and is running out of space, tens of thousands of spent fuel rods are strewn around the site, the mafia permeates the work force, tens of thousands of refugees grow more desperate every day, radioactive cesium is about to arrive on the west coast … and much much more. This year’s anniversary drew some powerful reporting … and, for some of us, a day with out food. Taken in sum, it seems even the corporate media will eventually
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be forced to deal with a disaster that threatens all life on Earth. Here are some of the top reports: Karl Grossman, a top reporter on nuke issues for decades, exposes the “big lies” of a dying industry. Michael Collins, who’ll talk to Tuesday’s Solartopia Green Power & Wellness show, reports from the California coast with a piercing, in-depth look at Fukushima’s “Perfect Crime.” NBC pitches in with a devastating investigation of Japan’s hugely corrupt “nuclear village.” Amy Goodman at Democracy Now! shows Noam Chomsky visiting a family in Japan: Ralph Nader clarifies once again the “insanity” of atomic technology. Former Nuclear Regulatory Commission Chair Gregory Jaczko makes it clear that the real lesson learned at Fukushima is that all reactors much shut. Steve Hart’s New Zealand radio show gives a full half-hour to the roots of the disaster. From Fairewinds we learn about a whole generation of Japanese children who cannot play outside: Arnie Gundersen also gives us a full report on the bleak state of a clean-up that will never end. Gordon Edwards chimes in with a superb report on the state of the Fukushima Clean-up. Michael Mariotte delivers the good news that Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick, a friend of Obama’s, will push to shut the Pilgrim nuke. Rianne Teule of Greenpeace warns us to “never forget.” Nick Thabit compiles a menu of many of the commemorations that took place around the world. And then the great Amory Lovins explains in just about an hour how the entire nation could (and must) “reinvent fire” for the conversion to renewable energy: Above all we learn that because of Fukushima, all 54 of Japan’s reactors remain shut. Worldwide, the nuclear industry is in

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a state of decay and collapse. Let’s hope it doesn’t come physically down on us before we get

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all the world’s 400+ reactors finally shut down. Then we can look forward to a March 11, 2015 when we can breathe and swim without fear of fallout from so many reactors that should never have been built in the first place. Visit EcoWatch’s FUKUSHIMA page for more related news on this topic.

Documents Say Navy Knew Fukushima Dangerously Contaminated the USS Reagan

A stunning new report indicates the U.S. Navy knew that sailors from the nuclear-powered USS Ronald Reagan took major radiation hits from the Fukushima atomic power plant after its meltdowns and explosions nearly three years ago. If true, the revelations cast new light on the $1 billion lawsuit filed by the sailors against Tokyo Electric Power. Many of the sailors are already suffering devastating health impacts, but are being stonewalled by Tepco and the Navy. The Reagan had joined several other U.S. ships in Operation Tomodachi (“Friendship”) to aid victims of the March 11, 2011 quake and tsunami. Photographic evidence and first-person testimony confirms that on March 12, 2011 the ship was within two miles of Fukushima Dai’ichi as the reactors there began to melt and explode. In the midst of a snow storm, deck hands were enveloped in a warm cloud that came with a metallic taste. Sailors testify that the Reagan’s 5,500-member crew was told over the ship’s intercom to avoid drinking or bathing in desalinized water drawn from a radioactive sea. The huge carrier quickly ceased its humanitarian efforts and sailed 100 miles out to sea, where newly published internal Navy communications confirm it was still taking serious doses of radioactive fallout. Scores of sailors from the Reagan and other ships stationed nearby now report a wide range of ailments reminiscent of those documented downwind from atomic bomb tests in the Pacific and Nevada, and at Three Mile Island and Chernobyl. A similar metallic taste was described by pilots who dropped the atomic bomb on Hiroshima, and by central Pennsylvanians downwind of Three Mile Island. Some parts of the atolls downwind from the South Pacific bomb tests remain uninhabitable six decades later. Among the 81 plaintiffs in the federal class action are a sailor who was pregnant during the mission, and her “Baby A.G.,” born that October with multiple genetic mutations. Officially, Tepco and the Navy say the dose levels were safe. But a stunning new report by an American scholar based in Tokyo confirms that Naval officers communicated about what they knew to be the serious irradiation of the Reagan. Written by Kyle Cunningham and published in Japan Focus, “Mobilizing Nuclear Bias” describes the interplay between the U.S. and Japanese governments as Fukushima devolved into disaster. Cunningham writes that transcribed conversations obtained through the Freedom of Information Act feature naval officials who acknowledge that even while 100 miles away from Fukushima, the Reagan’s readings “compared to just normal background [are] about 30 times what you would detect just on a normal air sample out to sea.”   On the nuclear-powered carrier “all of our continuous monitors alarmed at the same level, at this value. And then we took portable air samples on the flight deck and got the same value,” the transcript says.

Serious fallout was also apparently
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found on helicopters coming back from relief missions. One unnamed U.S. government expert is quoted in the Japan Focus article as saying:

At 100 meters away it (the helicopter) was reading 4 sieverts per hour. That is an astronomical number and it told me, what that number means to me, a trained person, is there is no water on the reactor cores and they are just melting down, there is nothing containing the release of radioactivity. It is an unmitigated, unshielded number. (Confidential communication, Sept. 17, 2012).

The transcript then contains discussion of health impacts that could come within a matter of “10 hours. It’s a thyroid issue.”

Tepco and the Navy contend the Reagan did not receive a high enough dose to warrant serious concern. But Japan, South Korea and Guam deemed the carrier too radioactive to enter their ports. Stock photographs show sailors working en masse to scrub the ship down.  

Sailors aboard the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) conduct a counter-measure wash down on the flight deck to remove potential radiation contamination while operating off the coast of Japan providing humanitarian assistance in support of Operation Tomodachi, March 22, 2011. Picture taken March 22, 2011.

Sailors aboard the USS Ronald Reagan wash down the flight deck to remove potential radiation contamination while operating off the coast of Japan providing humanitarian assistance in support of Operation Tomodachi, March 22, 2011.

The $4.3 billion boat is now docked in San Diego. Critics question whether it belongs there at all. Attempts to decontaminate U.S. ships irradiated during the Pacific nuclear bombs tests from 1946-1963 proved fruitless. Hundreds of sailors were exposed to heavy doses of radiation, but some ships had to be sunk anyway. Leaks at the Fukushima site continue to worsen. Despite its denials, Tepco recently admitted it had underestimated certain radiation releases by a factor of 500 percent. A new report indicates that particles of radioactive Cesium 134 from Fukushima have been detected in the ocean off the west coast of North America.

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Global concerns continue to rise about Fukushima’s on-going crises with liquid leaks, the troubled removal of radioactive fuel rods, the search for three missing melted cores, organized crime influence at the site and much more. The flow of information has been seriously darkened by the pro-nuclear Abe Administration’s State Secrets Act, which imposes major penalties on those who might report what happens at Fukushima. But if this new evidence holds true, it means that the Navy knew the Ronald Reagan was being plastered with serious radioactive fallout and it casts the accident in a light even more sinister than previously believed. The stricken sailors are barred from suing the Navy, and their case against Tepco will depend on a series of complex international challenges. But one thing is certain: neither they nor the global community have been getting anything near the full truth about Fukushima. Visit EcoWatch’s NUCLEAR page for more related news on this topic.