That’s when it began … but the disaster continues to roll out, day by day, month by month – year after year … and now, decade after decade.
Since genetic mutations are passed down from generation to generation, this is not an “accident” - a tragedy - that is ever going to stop happening.
Children, in particular, are devastated by the fallout from nuclear disasters. Their genes have been damaged, their food is full of radioactive fallout – & if the country they live in has been devastated economically (this is a given, of course), how can things possibly go “well” for them?? (check out the most recent Nuclear Hotseat podcast to learn about the U.N. cover-up of health impacts from the accident, here.)
As Fairewinds Education’s Arnie Gundersen asked rhetorically in a recent telebriefing about the season of nuclear disasters – Three Mile Island, Fukushima Daiichi and Chernobyl all occurred in the Spring months – we know when nuclear disasters begin – but …
When do they end?
Well. They don’t. Sadly, they just don’t.
As exiled Belarussian scientist Yury Bandazhevsky sees it, “Chernobyl is not finished, it has only just begun.” ('Ruined Chernobyl nuclear plant will remain a threat for 3,000 years')
Bandazhevsky spent 6 years in jail for telling the truth, & was released only after civil rights groups in Europe took up his case.
As Voltaire said, “It is dangerous to be right in matters on which the established authorities are wrong.”
Telling the truth once a nuclear disaster has hit your country does not always go well for the truth-tellers. This would likely play out the same way here if we sustained our own, homegrown nuclear meltdown (the same way it has in the cases of both the Chernobyl & Fukushima Daiichi disasters).
Basically, all bets are off once this kind of disaster hits.
As Mike Tyson said “Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the face.”
A nuclear accident is one helluva punch in the face.
Why Should We Care?
Well, off the top, because we like to consider ourselves “civilized” human beings. (Yes, of course, I know, some or even perhaps many of us are not particularly civilized. A discussion for another day…)
If we are the sort of people who only care about something that affects us directly, we need to care about the accidents like Three Mile Island, Fukushima Daiichi & Chernobyl, because a nuclear accident can happen anywhere. (Plenty of them have! See Links section below for more on that score.)
Tell me: Did you know this? Ontario Power Generation holds on-site emergency drills at its local nuclear plants 5 times per year.
The general public does not benefit in any way from these drills. But it’s kind of a signal that the “powers that be” are 100% aware that a nuclear accident is possible … wouldn’t you say?
Emergency Planning in Ontario
If an accident were to happen here, it would not likely be handled well.
Why? Because our nuclear emergency plans are predicated on there being only a minor accident, and a “small” release of radioactivity.
We are in no way prepared to deal with a major nuclear accident here.
You can read these “old” articles about the nuclear emergency planning scene.
“I still believe (evacuation planning) is one of the most unplanned things,” Keen lamented (she said this in 2009, but the article the quote is in is from March 18, 2011, i.e., 1 week into the Fukushima Daiichi disaster)
Is Toronto Ready for a Radiation Emergency? (January 2016)
I’m sorry to report that they are still every bit as accurate as they were in 2011 & 2016, when the stories were published.
Provincial nuclear emergency plans are now 4 years overdue to be revised, though the (start of the) Fukushima Daiichi accident is now fully 6 years behind us.
What to Do?
Please honour the victims of the Chernobyl disaster by learning about their lives now, 31 years after the accident began (many links below in DNA’s 30th anniversary posting).
If you have a very strong constitution, you can look for images of Chernobyl’s damaged children on the Internet. CAUTION: heartbreak & tears are very likely outcomes. (Note: a photo collection here - remember my words of warning...)
AND. Please check out the Ontario Clean Air Alliance's Close Pickering campaign!
Accidents & Incidents on Nuclear Files.org site (use the Timeline heading along the top to find a particular decade)
Accidents list here, also (a short & rather incomplete one, by way of comparison to the link above)
Arnie Gundersen Telebriefing on TMI, Fukushima Daiichi & Chernobyl, in early April 2017
Chernobyl: 30 years. The ongoing disaster (DNA posting in 2016 with many, many good links)
Genetic damage in Chernobyl (& Fukushima) - 20-minute YouTube featuring evolutionary biologist Dr. Timothy Mousseau
Ontario Clean Air Alliance newsletter (April 21/17, has a section on Chernobyl)
***** UN's Chernobyl Health Coverup Exposed (Nuclear Hotseat podcast)
Four Lessons from 5 Meltdowns ** Video + Audio + Slides
Other relevant postings on the DNA site
Secret health deal (between the IAEA & WHO - dates back to 1959)
3 Quotations to leave you with:
Former PM of Japan: “Before the Fukushima accident, with the belief that no nuclear accident would happen as long as the safety measures were followed properly, I had pushed the policy of utilising nuclear power,” he wrote. “Having faced the real accident as prime minister, and having experienced the situation which came so close to requiring me to order the evacuation of 50 million people, my view is now changed 180 degrees.” – Naoto Kan, Former Prime Minister of Japan (From this article ‘Japan’s former PM tells of Tokyo evacuation risk after Fukushima’)
More from former PM Naoto Kan: “In spite of the various measures taken in order to prevent accidents, it is technically impossible to eliminate accidents, especially if human factors such as terrorism are taken into account. Actually, it is not all that difficult to eliminate nuclear power plant accidents. All we need to do is to eliminate nuclear power plants themselves. And that resolution lies in the hands of the citizens.” – from the article ‘Encountering the Fukushima Daiichi Accident’
“We knew, with certainty - with arrogant certainty - that we were in control of the power we were playing with. This was the day we learned we were wrong.” - Sergiy Parashyn, Chernobyl Engineer (quoted by Arnie Gundersen in May 2016, in 'Shake, Rattle, and Roll: Seismic Report, Part I' (Also quoted in excellent article here )
** Please stay tuned to this Web site (&/or the DNA Facebook page) for any announcements about the release of the draft, revised provincial nuclear emergency plan. Public input will be considered & yours will be needed!