Dr. James Fetzer


Dr. Majia Nadesan

 

The Real Deal

Dr. James Fetzer
Int
erview with


Dr. Majia Nadesan

Fukushima and the
Privatization of Risk


Recorded
October 18, 2013

 

The Real Deal Radio Show



Host:
Dr. James Fetzer Ph.D.

Guest: Dr. Majia Nadesan, Ph.D.
professor at Arizona State University and the author of Fukushima and the Privatization of Risk (2013)

 

The Real Deal download page here, MP3 download here (41.6 MB).

Veterans Today version of this transcript here

Editor’s Note: This transcription was prepared with "Editor's Notes" by William B. Fox, Publisher, America First Books, who also helped organize this interview. He has supplied the additional text that appears in brackets below..

 

Transcript

 

 

 

Part 1 of 3

 

 

Dr. James Fetzer: This is Jim Fetzer your host on the Real Deal with my very special guest today to discuss issues related to Fukushima, Majia Nadesan, who is a professor at Arizona State University and who has become an expert on these issues. Majia it is such a pleasure to have you here. The latest report we have today is the radioactivity level has spiked 6,500 times at Fukushima. They had to weld their storage tank. It is stunning. The plant's operator has told us, this TEPCO, the Tokyo Electric Power Company, that they have detected 400,000 becquerels per liter of beta ray-emitting radioactive substances including strontium at the site at levels 6,500 times higher than readings taken as recently as Wednesday. This is rather stunning, Majia. Would you tell us what is going on?
Dr. Majia Nadesan: Well, there are a lot of debates about what exactly is causing the spiking radiation levels. On the one hand, TEPCO is reporting that these levels are going up next to sampling sites that are near the contaminated water storage. The site has now many, many, many large containers full of contaminated water that TEPCO had hoped to be able to decontaminate, but it cannot remove tritium from this water. I am not sure but I don't believe it can remove strontium from the water either. So the water is highly contaminated and the storage containers are leaking. That water is ending up in the ground water and ending up in the ocean. So periodically TEPCO is sampling it, and the radiation level in the wells that they are sampling, those levels are spiking.
They are getting higher and higher every day. So the question is, is it because there is more water that is coming out from the contaminated water storage, or is there in addition some other events that are occurring at the plant, particularly fission activity that is escalating and causing the spiking radiation levels as well. And the answer to this question has not been sort of publicly debated because there is no talk at all about ongoing criticalities at the site. That has been sort of a hush-hush kind of issue.

 

July 5, 2013 fire



Dr. Fetzer: Well this is terrifying, Majia. I mean we are talking about contamination of well water. I am sure any aquifers in Japan are similarly being contaminated. Strontium and tritium are not beneficial to human beings and other livings things. It seems to me this is an indication of further dimensions of the catastrophe of Fukushima.
Dr. Nadesan: Well, it is a catastrophe. There is no doubt that it has already contaminated fresh water in Japan. Fish that live in rivers have had detectable amounts of cesium. That was probably from deposition from the air. But there has also been testing of aquifers that are not too far from the site. There is concern that there is a plume of contamination that is going to be moving. Apparently there is some connection between this aquifer and the next. So there is a big radiation plume, and this has been sort of been hinted at, but it has not been confirmed that is underground and moving. I don't have the citation in front of me but one of the Japanese scientists testified as such and it was reported in the media, but TEPCO hasn't verified it.

Additional Sources (supplied by Dr. Nadesan after the interview)

Fresh water fish: "Overview of active cesium contamination of freshwater fish in Fukushima and Eastern Japan" by Mizuno T, Kubo H. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23625055

Ground water contamination: Al Jazeera reported in October 2012 that nuclear engineer and college lecturer Masashi Goto is concerned that radioactive water in Daiichi’s reactor basements may be contaminating the underground water system, potentially traveling long distances to threaten public water supplies ‘Japan Struggling to Store Radioactive Water’ (25 October 2012), Al Jazeera, http://www.aljazeera.com/news/asia-pacific/2012/10/2012102510561941251.html.

See also M. Yamaguchi (25 October 2012) ‘AP Interview: Japan Nuke Plant Water Worries Rise’, Yahoo, http://news.yahoo.com/ap-interview-japan-nuke-plant-water-worries-rise-064339732.html,
date accessed 26 October 2012.

Dr. Fetzer: Majia this whole thing has been catastrophic from the beginning. I can hardly believe that these sites were constructed. That nuclear power plants were constructed in such a geologically unsafe and structurally insecure fashion as happened in this case. I mean we had a catastrophe and awakening from the beginning given the impropriety of the design.
Dr. Nadesan: Well, when you look at nuclear power, and you study it as I did in my book that just will be hitting the printing presses I think today or tomorrow and should be out next week, is that nuclear power was really never engineered safely. It was sold by people who were utopian in belief that nuclear power could solve all of our energy problems, and therefore there wouldn't be war. And it was sold by people who knew that if you sold nuclear power that countries would buy it because they would have the capacity to have uranium on hand that could be enriched to produce a nuclear weapon like in India. And then you had people who wanted it for both purposes, and that was Japan which has been energy-starved. You know that was during World War II they ran out of energy, ran out of oil. Japan feels energy-insecure so it embraced nuclear power and it also gave it the capacity to have on hand in a just-in-time kind of delivery system, the capacity for building nuclear weapons. So it was never about safety or what was reasonable. It was about the seductions of nuclear energy and its links to military and energy security.
Dr. Fetzer: One would have supposed that Japan, the only nation to have suffered overt publicly acknowledged atomic bomb attacks in history, though it does appear that many micronukes have been used in a number of other instances such as the Bali bombing or the attacks in Syria done by the Israelis, that Japan should embrace nuclear energy seems to me just really quite astonishing, all things considered. It has always been my impression that they had disavowed any pursuit of nuclear weapons
Dr. Nadesan: Well you have to realize though that it was a deliberate propaganda campaign. In Chapter Two of my book I explain how nuclear energy was sold to the Japanese public by the founder of the LDP party which is now in power. The CIA was connected to this individual. The relation between them is debated, of course, but he kind of used propaganda to sell nuclear power and then Japan's nuclear industrial complex was tightly connected to the regulatory complex so it was one big nuclear village as it has been described. So the people really did not have a lot of choice and they were propagandized to accept it. Just the same way it has occurred in the United States and other countries as well.
Dr. Fetzer: Majia, I am fascinated by your book. Tell us more about it as we continue our conversation. I am very, very pleased it is being published at such a timely occasion.
Dr. Nadesan: Well it is an academic book, so I tried to write it to be accessible to anybody. So hopefully I was successful. But there are source citations for every argument that is made in the book so it is well documented. The argument is that the risk for nuclear disasters is being transferred from industry and government to people and that is occurring through a whole variety of different ways, but just as an example, there are areas now where Japan's government has said are safe to return to that have radiation levels that far exceeded those that were set by the Soviets after they had to move people out after Chernobyl. So these are high levels of exposure. Twenty millisieverts a year is I believe what the Japanese government has set as safe exposure, and this is just through external exposure. It doesn't include the kind of effects of radioisotopes on your body if you ingest them or drink them or inhale them. And so the risks for the disaster are going to be borne in the form of damaged health and devalued property by the people. This is what the entire argument is about is how risk is shifted through models about what a safe dose is, through models of the safe engineering of the plants and through insurance policies, that the risks have shifted to the people away from the industry and the government that created these risks in the first instance. It looks at great length at the Fukushima nuclear disaster and then also the history of radiation safety. Look at how that was politicized.
Dr. Fetzer: It sounds like a fantastic book. My congratulations in that it is going to appear now. Seems to me to be the ideal time.
Dr. Nadesan: Well I was afraid that it wouldn't appear because I think the press had some reservations about publishing it. I could be wrong about that, but I think that there was concern about the political impacts. The book went through two levels of external review, which is more than typical for an academic book. So there were experts who saw the book at different stages and they were different experts and they all weighted favorably, but the book was delayed longer than I would have expected. I believe that if hadn't been for all the recent events there might have been reservations about publishing. But the news that has been reported has just confirmed that the Fukushima nuclear disaster remains out of control and has potential risks that are incalculable.
Dr. Fetzer: That is my opinion too. I mean lets go back and trace a bit more about the history. You gave us a thumbnail sketch about how well one political figure in particular was so persuasive in convincing his party and the Japanese people into embracing nuclear energy. But presumably it was done within a framework insisting that every safeguard would be applied and there would be no risk of a catastrophe such as what has actually taken place.
Dr. Nadesan: Well, yes, and that was done. The argument was made about the safety at two different levels. On the one hand you have the academic engineering expertise. You have a group of highly skilled expert individuals, who I don't know, maybe they believe in their infallibility. Sometimes people are seduced by models and think that models can actually represent the world in an exhaustive way when it comes to risk. Or maybe they were corrupt. I have no idea, but many people believe that these things could be made safe even though there were plenty, plenty of scientists who cautioned all the way up from the 40's forward about the risks, the engineering risks and the public health risks of a nuclear disaster. And many people knew that loss of containment could occur. That the residual heat from quick shutdowns was a problem, that there really was no good solution for [this] in the event of something that caused multiple shut downs very quickly, particularly with the older reactors that essentially had no way of venting any kind of hydrogen build up that occurred as a result of quick efforts at shut down. So the whole thing is, anybody who looks at the history closely knows that there were in fact disaster after disaster after disaster. The mythology of nuclear and human's ability to safely control it was punctured year after year after year and it still was perpetuated. And it still is. I mean, look at what is happening. The Obama administration is behind more extension of nuclear plants, and the same is true in the UK. There are only a few countries that seem to have come to their senses.
Dr. Fetzer: Well it is just astonishing to me that such an obvious, hazardous source of energy, I mean Einstein said that he thought that splitting an atom was a ridiculous way to heat a cup of coffee. I think he had a rather nice point to make. The fact that the world would go about exposing itself to these kinds of problems when there is no known way to dispose of nuclear waste, I mean it is just irresponsible from beginning to end, Majia. Surely even the American nuclear energy industry ought to have been more responsible except that they pay off politicians and they are able to get legislation passed that enables them to construct reactors the safety of which cannot be guaranteed where they have no feasible plan for disposing of nuclear waste material which are obviously predictable consequences of the use of those reactors. I am just dumb-founded by the moral irresponsibility displayed in order to make a buck.
Dr. Nadesan: Well I think that some of it is outright corruption. But I think that just as responsible is this kind of arrogance that everything is a technical problem that can be solved. So we don't need to worry about waste because we will engineer a solution for it. And these highly scientized models about dose effects that suggest that you can actually control dose effects, you can measure it and then you can predict outcomes at certain levels of exposure that are generalizable across the population, I mean these crazy sort of models that people get lost in and don't really kind of think about the limitations of human technology and the limitations of our ability to plan long term. So there is this seduction of arrogance as well as just outright greed that is responsible for the disasters that we find ourselves amidst right now.
Dr. Fetzer: Absolutely stunning. I was engaged in a debate within computer science about whether or not by studying a computer program you could guarantee what would happen when a computer executed the program. Of course there is a formalist movement within computer science that was taking what they regarded as the high road insisting that was the case when I began studying computer science it was obvious to me that there was a blunder involved here because no formal proof of the correctness of a program can guarantee what a physical machine, a causal mechanism like a computer is going to do when it executes the program and therefore they had committed a category mistake in presuming a kind of formal certainty that is impossible in the case of causal processes where they needed empirical evidence based upon repeated tests with computers executing programs to have evidence about reliability, which would show that it would be far from certain as to what would happen for innumerable reasons, including in a trivial case a power shortage, you know. Or another case, some interference by unknown sources that would contaminate the processing, so that I think you are completely right in your critique about the problem of relying overly on models which are abstractions and idealizations and don't actually come to grips with all of the physical phenomena involved when you are actually building one of these reactors.
Dr. Nadesan: Exactly, I think that the argument you made about the kind of formalism that exists in science, particularly when it is politically expedient to rely on formalism rather than any kind of empirical observations of the world, is the critical point. That kind of arrogance is definitely incurred in any kind of computer simulations of what is going to happen in the real world. I listened yesterday to a mathematician who was describing how they used computer modeling to track an epidemic and to predict fatalities. Their model presumes, makes a whole bunch of presumptions. It presumes that the causal mechanism for disease is the biological transmission of a bacteria or a virus. So it is not going to be able to model environmental disease. But what it can't model, which is I think really relevant here, is it can't model environmental disease, how that mediates the expression of a virus or a bacteria. So for example they would predict that whatever flu is coming around will have a whatever fatality rate. But it presumes that the health of the population is constant and is predictable from past episodes. But if something has happened to our immune system and our biological health has been reduced their models are no longer predictive because we are in a different scenario, right? And that this is what is happening with animals all over the West Coast, because we are seeing the die-off of animals all over the West Coast from walruses to polar bears and seals in Alaska to in California, sea lions. Now in the Pacific Northwest it has been extended to sea stars. The monarch butterflies, we have had a recent complete collapse over the last two years of that population. It was already collapsing, but it was reduced substantially. The same goes for bees in California. There has been episode after episode and these episodes are being attributed to biological transmission of a bacteria or a virus, but the die-offs are unprecedented. So they are not predictable by past disease curves of bacteria and viruses. The reason why is because the health of these creatures has been compromised. So immunologically they are at risk, and opportunistic bacteria and viruses are creating unpredictable effects that are catastrophic.
Dr. Fetzer: And --
Dr. Nadesan: Let me just finish one last point on this. One important thing is that most of these animals are in the water. So I am sorry, go ahead.
Dr. Fetzer: No, I was just going to add of course evolution is a complex mechanism involving at least eight different modes of affect for the defect [or mutation], the generation of variety or speciation which affect selection. What you are really talking about it seems to me is the interference of man-made products, for example whether it is Fukushima contamination of the water or Monsanto's Roundup which appears to be responsible for killing these bees. It is a very powerful anti-weed insecticide, or what you would call it, herbicide, but the fact is it is killing the bees in large measure, so what you are talking about of course is these models aren't taking into account changes that are brought about by evolutionary phenomena that alter the environment-organism relationship, some of which are internal to the organism, others external.
Dr. Nadesan: Well yes, so that our ability, and by "our" I mean the ecosystem's ability to adapt from an evolutionary perspective, I mean evolution involves species becoming extinct, so that itself is not atypical, but what is occurring is mass species extinctions within relatively short periods of time. Even before Fukushima or right about the time the disaster occurred a scientific magazine, I believe it was Nature, I will send you the link so that you can post it with the story, is there was a mass extinction event that was occurring if you actually looked at the species dying off across the planet, and plant life as well, and so there already was this occurring from human-engineered changes, mostly contaminants, and they could be herbicides and they can be heavy metals, all these toxins that we are spewing into our water and our soil and our air are causing mass extinction events. Now we have the straw that broke the camel's back, the proverbial story because we are having major events, the BP oil spill, the Fukushima nuclear disaster, and what other major industrial disasters are occurring, they are going to escalate. The degradation of our genome and our ecosystem. It really is a crisis. But I think that our leaders are going to die denying it with their last breath. You know, dying slowly of cancer. I mean it is just insane.

Additional Source

Nature: "Has the Earth’s Sixth Mass Extinction Already Arrived?"
Table 1: The ‘Big Five’ mass extinction events by Barnosky et al., Nature 471, 51–57 (03 March 2011) doi:10.1038/nature09678 http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v471/n7336/fig_tab/nature09678_T1.html


Dr. Fetzer: It is staggering to me how ignorant the leaders at the highest levels of government appear to be about evolution and ecology. I mean when we are confronting what might turn out to be potential extinction level events when you combine these different disasters around the world it seems to me we are at that point, and for them to be ignorant or oblivious or for political reasons suppressing it is not only scientifically irresponsible, it is the highest level of moral corruption in relation to their obligations to humanity.
Dr. Nadesan: Oh, I agree. I think that we are at the point that we need to either cooperate, you know that humanity needs to find a way to cooperate to solve the pressing issues or we are going to have a very short longevity from here out, because we are facing some real significant risks. Our fresh water is being depleted, our atmosphere is becoming increasingly polluted, our soil is full of heavy metals. The Roundup research, as you mentioned, is truly frightening. There are laboratory studies that show within five generations you have complete infertility in laboratory animals fed mostly a diet with GM products in it. The average American is increasingly eating Roundup Ready everything. There is Roundup Ready alfalfa, there is Roundup Ready beets, there is Roundup Ready corn, there is Roundup Ready Soy, that those commodities are found in many, many products. So we are eating very heavily laced Roundup diets, and there are lines of research that I won't go into right now that show that we had better do something about this. So we are facing some very significant risks and our leaders and our populations, because the public doesn't want to be responsible for engaging in these discussions either. People just want to turn their heads and be distracted even though they know, I think, at a core level that we are in danger.

Additional Sources

"Glyphosate-Based Herbicides Produce Teratogenic Effects on Vertebrates by Impairing Retinoic Acid Signaling." Chem. Res. Toxicol., 2010, 23 (10), pp 1586–1595, http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/tx1001749

ROUND-UP TOXIC TO HUMAN PLACENTAL JEG3 CELLS
"Differential Effects of Glyphosate and Roundup on Human Placental Cells and Aromatase" by Richard, S., Moslemi, S., Sipahutar, H., Benachour, N. Seralini, G. (2005). Environmental Health Perspectives, http://ehp03.niehs.nih.gov/article/fetchArticle.action?
articleURI=info:doi/10.1289/ehp.7728
[abstract]

Dr. Fetzer: Majia we are going to take our first break. This is Jim Fetzer, your host on The Real Deal with my special guest Majia Nadesan who is an expert on Fukushima, has a new book coming out about which we are going to learn more on radiation, the environment and the future of the species. We will be right back.

 

Part 2 of 3


Dr. Fetzer: This is Jim Fetzer your host on The Real Deal continuing my conversation with Majia Nadesan, a professor at Arizona State University who is an expert on Fukushima and related issues, including the nuclear energy industry, and we are looking at the calamitous events taking place that are affecting not only Japan most dramatically but also potentially the entire world by virtue of its evolutionary consequences. But Majia, you know, I have long been concerned that the American public is so scientifically illiterate that it just has no comprehension or understanding at all of some of the most important events taking place that affect its future.
Dr. Nadesan: You know I think that Americans know that things are not right in the world and I think that is reflected in popular culture, for example that song, perhaps you heard it by Imagine Dragons called "Radioactive."
Dr. Fetzer: Tell me about it, I haven't heard it. It sounds like one I should play on the show [laughter].
Dr. Nadesan: Well yes, if you could get their permission. It would be completely appropriate because it is a very mournful song with somebody singing about how he is radioactive and, you know, every breathe is toxic. He is checking out on the prison bus, which is an appropriate symbolism because we have created kind of like our own prison. We have created the prison, it is not just that the prison is being imposed upon us. We have created a prison of a structure that is not sustainable and is going to collapse and will likely take us with it if we don't make some changes. So the song reflects the consciousness of the sense that something is not right in the world and you see it in popular culture with teens [who] are reading all these books about apocalypses now, you know, and post-apocalyptic societies like the Hunger Games. So there is an apocalyptic feel and I think that feel has happened previously in history, but it happens when things are not right in the world for human society and people know it but they just don't want to confront it because they feel so helpless against it because their whole life is part of it. We are in the Matrix!
Dr. Fetzer: I am pulling up the lyrics to the Imagine Dragons' "Radioactive." I will just read through them without knowing the melody or the tune. [Dr. Fetzer reads the lyrics below].

 

Imagine Dragons -- perform 'Radioactive' at the Isle of Wight (7:16), published June 26, 2013

 

"Radioactive"

Whoa, oh, oh
Whoa, oh, oh
Whoa, oh, oh
Whoa

I'm waking up to ash and dust
I wipe my brow and I sweat my rust
I'm breathing in the chemicals

I'm breaking in, shaping up, then checking out on the prison bus
This is it, the apocalypse
Whoa

I'm waking up, I feel it in my bones
Enough to make my systems blow
Welcome to the new age, to the new age
Welcome to the new age, to the new age
Whoa, oh, oh, oh, oh, whoa, oh, oh, oh, I'm radioactive, radioactive
Whoa, oh, oh, oh, oh, whoa, oh, oh, oh, I'm radioactive, radioactive

I raise my flags, don my clothes
It's a revolution, I suppose
We paint it red to fit right in
Whoa

I'm breaking in, shaping up, then checking out on the prison bus
This is it, the apocalypse
Whoa

I'm waking up, I feel it in my bones
Enough to make my systems blow
Welcome to the new age, to the new age
Welcome to the new age, to the new age
Whoa, oh, oh, oh, oh, whoa, oh, oh, oh, I'm radioactive, radioactive
Whoa, oh, oh, oh, oh, whoa, oh, oh, oh, I'm radioactive, radioactive

All systems go, the sun hasn't died
Deep in my bones, straight from inside

I'm waking up, I feel it in my bones
Enough to make my systems blow
Welcome to the new age, to the new age
Welcome to the new age, to the new age
Whoa, oh, oh, oh, oh, whoa, oh, oh, oh, I'm radioactive, radioactive
Whoa, oh, oh, oh, oh, whoa, oh, oh, oh, I'm radioactive, radioactive


Dr. Fetzer: ...With apologies to the Dragons who no doubt do a better job [laughter] than I but that is at least the idea, the Imagine Dragons song "Radioactive." I will see if we can get it to play on the show, Majia, because we are talking about it. It is an object of criticism. I don't think there is any copyright issue involved here.
Dr. Nadesan: Well, that is a very, I think, evocative song. You know, you feel it in your bones because strontium is deposited in your bones and that is where it can contribute to leukemia and other problems in your body that can lead to leukemia or cancer or compromised immune system. This is the trouble with radioisotopes is that your body mistakes them for other elements. So cesium and potassium are similar enough that if a plant is deficient in potassium it will absorb cesium from the soil and then distribute it through the plant, deposit in the seed, in particular, as if it were the potassium. So that is the way in which bioaccumulation occurs. And then you have biomagnification that occurs when that plant is eaten by something bigger and that something bigger, for example, a cow is eaten by something bigger like people, or higher up in the food chain, I guess we are not bigger, but we are higher up in the food chain. So biomagnification occurs up the food chain. That is why it takes the longest for the radioisotopes to bioaccumulate at the top of the food chain, but the effects can be the most devastating because they are the most concentrated. And that is what is happening to the orcas and the big whales is they are becoming toxic. When they die they wash up to shore. They are toxic waste because they have so many heavy metals in them. You know plutonium and uranium are going to be bioconcentrating just the way in which lead is. So this is the kind of way in which we feel in our bones as described by the Imagine Dragons.
Dr. Fetzer: Wow! All very scary, but of course they are right on. Are they receiving a certain amount of attention? Are they popular in the hot spots?
Dr. Nadesan: You know it is weird because most of their music does not really sound like this song although they are moving in this direction. But they were very, very popular because I heard them on the radio station that my kids listen to. So that is where I first heard them. The song just, it has a strong mournful appeal to it. It resonates within you. So
I think that just the popularity of the song, and the lyrics [make it resonate], even though people say, "Well I just like it because it is a catchy tune." Why is it catchy? Because subconsciously I think that we are aware that we are in big trouble, because you can't escape it. People try by not paying attention to the news, but that just allows the problems to go unaddressed. There are social problems, there are collective problems, we have to address then collectively. And there is no technological fix.
Dr. Fetzer
: But don't you agree that in fact the American public is probably as scientifically illiterate as any nation's populations, at least in any of the modern industrialized countries?
Dr. Nadesan: Yes, I think that is definitely true. And why? There are many complex reasons, but I also think that there is a dimension that is ideological or propagandistic, because for example the discussion of bioaccumulation and biomagnification, although it is absolutely critical, it is something that kids could go through four years of high school science and probably never be exposed to unless they had a class that focused on ecology, and so ecology gets marginalized. You know that is where the strange scientists are, but the serious scientists are chemists, or whatever, you know. So there are social structures that lead to this ignorance, so it is not just that the people themselves are ignorant. It has to do with how ideas are introduced to them in their education process and by the media.
Dr. Fetzer: And of course there is a very influential group out there that opposes the teaching of evolution because they believe in special creation, and unfortunately because of the role of Texas in determining the content of high school science books, an awful lot of the important science is omitted or qualified in inappropriate ways. I mean, no one can understand life on earth without grasping the elements of evolution, and yet these religious zealots would deny even the right to teach it and insist that their creationist alternative, notwithstanding its complete dearth of scientific qualification or support should be offered instead.
Dr. Nadesan: Well, it is very interesting because you know if you look at religion in terms of the basic moral precepts that it offers, in general tend to be constructive and promote better, more harmonious society, and there is a strong sense of spirituality that many people feel but when people interpret sacred texts in very literal ways they are ignoring how stories are told through allegories and parables, and that has been a historic form by which lessons have been transmitted across generations. The parable of the good Samaritan for example, it is a moral story, but it probably never actually occurred, right? But it is an important and perhaps even spiritual value that gets transmitted in stories, but people want to take stories literally. Then they want to impose their interpretation on everybody else, and that is the problem, and I don't know why that occurs.
Dr. Fetzer: Well you are absolutely right. Most fairy tales and fables and legends have some dimension of significance to them, even though typically they are literally not true. It is troubling in the area of religion and politics become so thoroughly mixed in the United States but also of course politics and science in other areas where one would want to believe that religion is not going to exert a pernicious influence. I was just thinking about this whole nuclear energy situation. It is just so enormously threatening to the future of humanity that we never hear any discussion about it. I mean it is a peripheral incidental when they talk about Fukushima even in the national media, and I don't know other than in a few science journals where it is being taken seriously and addressed with the appropriate degree of urgency.
Dr. Nadesan: Well, I would agree, and going back to religion this is kind of the hypocrisy of both religion and our political structure is that our religious and political leaders they promise us that they will shepherd the flock. That is what they promise. They are not doing that at all because we are facing direct risks to our short health and our long term long welfare and the very existence of our species and these problems are being misrepresented, trivialized or outright denied. And so yes, there is definitely a conspiracy of silence. And in this case I believe that there is a conspiratorial element. I know that after the disaster the British government met with representatives from the nuclear industry in Britain to discuss how the issue of Fukushima would be managed publicly. And I have no doubt that the same thing occurred [in America].

Additional Source

R. Edwards (30 June 2011) ‘Revealed: British Government’s Plan to Play Down Fukushima’, The Guardian, http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2011/jun/30/british-government-plan-play-down-fukushima, date accessed 31 June 2011.

And we have seen in the United States that there has been no discussion by anybody except for your everyday main street kind of person about the NRC transcripts, about what occurred at Fukushima on the early days of March 15th, March 16th, March 17th. There are all these transcripts that were released through the Freedom of Information Request by Enformable I believe is the source of that request. If you read those transcripts, the NRC had a very bleak scenario for the Fukushima situation and yet there has been no public dialog about that NRC discussion by our politicians, and certainly the people in the country who call themselves leaders, including environmentalists and religious leaders who are not raising questions about Fukushima fallout in their environment are not doing what their moral responsibility is which is to look out for the people who are relying on them to show leadership.

Additional Source

Hatric Penny’s Plumegate (a detailed analysis of the NRC transcripts from March 2011) http://hatrickpenryunbound.com/?p=3928

Dr. Fetzer: Yes, and of course we have nuclear power plants distributed all over our country. How many are there? My guess would be 130? Could it be that many?
Dr. Nadesan: Oh my goodness, I don't even have the numbers, but the amount of nuclear power plants, the current disaster that is ongoing is Hanford. When you look at how much plutonium sludge, you know, highly radioactive strontium and cesium and however many radioisotopes this sludge is moving its way towards the Columbia River and probably has been there forever. And it is going to contaminate the entire Pacific Northwest. It is a slow motion train wreck that is occurring and there is nothing being done about it, at least nothing publicly.

Additional Source

"America's Atomic Time Bomb Hanford Nuclear Waste Still Poses Serious Risks" by Marc Pitzke in New York, Spiegel Online International http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/0,1518,752944,00.html

Dr. Fetzer: This is a power plant in Washington state?
Dr. Nadesan: Well Hanford is where they enriched uranium and plutonium for making the nuclear bombs. The Hanford site is the most contaminated.
Dr. Fetzer: The bombs that were used in Hiroshima and Nagasaki?
Dr. Nadesan: And afterwards, during the Cold War. I don't know when it was finally closed, maybe in the 70's, I don't know.
Dr. Fetzer: A vast reservoir of nuclear waste and it is moving towards an aquifer.
Dr. Nadesan: Yes, because they didn't store things properly. Remember when there was the fire in Los Alamos two years ago and all these disclosures came out about how nuclear waste had been dumped all over the hills, and had not been properly stored in tanks that leaked, etc. etc. So there was concern about that stuff burning? Well, Hanford is like that but many, many more times. There are I don't remember how many Olympic-sized swimming pools of highly toxic, radiotoxic sludge that is all leaking. There is no long term planning for what to do going back to our earlier conversation with all this nuclear waste, and it was buried in containment they knew would only last a short period of time and we are well beyond that period of time and it is all leaking, and there is no way to get it out. They are afraid that if you disrupt it, that you could produce an explosion. I mean, it is crazy. It is the same problem at Fukushima
Dr. Fetzer: But Majia, if it is headed towards an aquifer, I mean the contamination, the disaster is going to be immense.
Dr. Nadesan: Yes, yes! It probably already is. This is my point. We are living through what could be an extinction level event as a result of what we have done to our ecosystem. At the very least it is going to cause huge conflicts between people because of the depletion and degradation of resources. Our genome itself, this is the thing. In 1956 geneticists warned that atmospheric testing would essentially cause mutations that were heritable because any germline cell damage is inherited and so that the children get what their mother had and their father's damage as well. And then they acquire their own damage, and so it is plus two each generation with unknown accumulation within each generation and you could eventually create a failure to reproduce by creating so much error into the germline that it would take decades, generations to unfold, and that we could have in fact already done it. We just didn't know and they wrote this in 1956. OK, so how many years has it been since? How much more exposure? It is very interesting that research on autism and congenital heart disease in children is finding that children with these disorders have more microdilutions and other kinds of genetic mutations than their parents do, and their sibling do, so these kids inherited a lot. Something happened and they got more and so that their genome itself [was impacted]. It is called genetic mosaicism if it gets too bad because your DNA can be so damaged that it produces different kinds of cells depending upon which DNA is activated. It is degradation of the human genome is what we are doing. So even if it doesn't kill us within one generation it could easily do it within 10.
Dr. Fetzer: Yes, because once it is altered it is going to be perpetuated in future offspring, future generations. With continued deterioration the situation is going to get worse and worse. I mean Christopher Busby did all this research on birth defects in Fallujah, and when I mentioned Israel using mini-nukes in Syria to destroy a chemical supply, and what appears to have been a contrived attack in Bali and New Zealand to try to convince Australia to become involved in the war on terror which the CIA or other covert arms of the American government I suspect was responsible for the results of his study show that the United States had been using some new form of nuclear weapon. He went in believing it would be done by depleted uranium, found it was actually a result of enriched uranium, which indicated that we were using a new type of I suspect a neutron bomb there. But now the World Health Organization has a study it is not willing to release and I have no doubt it is being blocked by the United Sates by exerting pressure in many different forms on grounds no doubt of national security. But I mean if we don't have the truth, we can't begin to cope with the real problems that we are dealing with.
Dr. Nadesan: Yes, and I definitely think that is the case. The World Health Organization cannot print a report that addresses radiation without formal approval from the International Atomic Energy Agency. It is in their charter, so even if the World Health Organization wanted to say yes, in fact there is empirical research as the British journal The Lancet reported that in fact we are having huge rates of mutations in children born in Fallujah and infertility, the stories and the images are truly terrifying and I don't know what it is but it is definitely a function of war in that area. I don't know what the particulars are. I wouldn't be surprised if all sorts of new weapons were being developed and implemented in the War on Terror because of the broad powers that were afforded by the Patriot Act. And so we are living in the deconstruction of liberal democracy. We don't have habeas corpus anymore. The War on Terrror allows for you to be arrested and detained indefinitely, so if all my talk about Fukushima or your interviews were seen as a threat to national security because they were revealing state secrets, we could be arrested and detained indefinitely.

Additional Sources

[CORRECTION: THE SPIKE IN BIRTH DEFECTS WAS DEBATED IN THE LANCET, BUT THE RESEARCH WAS PUBLISHED ELSEWHERE. ]

BIRTH DEFECTS DEBATED:
"Questions raised over Iraq congenital birth defects study" by Paul C. Webster
http://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736%2813%2961812-7/fulltext

RESEARCH ON BIRTH DEFECTS:
"Metal Contamination and the Epidemic of Congenital Birth Defects in Iraqi Cities." by M. Al-Sabbak et al.
Bulletin of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs00128-012-0817-2

FOR EXCESS MORTALITY IN IRAQ
"Mortality in Iraq" by Fernando Abad-Franch
http://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736%2805%2971868-7/fulltext

Dr. Fetzer: It wouldn't surprise me, Majia.
Dr. Nadesan: Yes, well, so far it has not happened. So we haven't seen it yet.
Dr. Fetzer: I don't understand why the scientific community hasn't taken a greater interest in these issues because just as you are observing scientific findings of the utmost significance even to the future survival of the human species are being suppressed on political grounds and I don't hear an outcry or a protest from the scientific community.
Dr. Nadesan: Well, I think that there is many, many reasons why. I think that most scientists are just focused on their own research and they don't pay much attention to anything else, just the way that most people are in their lives. The science is their job and they are focused on that and they are not paying attention to what is going on around them. I think that the documentation of the adverse mortality events along the Pacific Coast, you know, the sea lions, the seals, sardines, obviously scientists who are doing this research that is allowing for the documentation are contributing to our understanding. But these people if they go out and say, you know, it is radiation that is causing it, even if they suspect that, then there will be professional repercussions for them. So they do the research in hope that people will connect the dots. That people who are in the political sphere [will take notice]. Now you can say that scientists need to make a moral stance. But I do think that there are scientists who are trying to document what is occurring. They are just not for many reasons willing to just come out and say "This is what I think."
Dr. Fetzer: Majia, we have to take our second break. This is Jim Fetzer, your host on The Real Deal with my special guest today Majia Nadesan, a professor at Arizona State University. We are discussing Fukushima and a host of other issues of utmost significance. We will be right back.

 

Part 3 of 3

 


Dr. Fetzer: This is Jim Fetzer your host on The Real Deal concluding my conversation with Majia Nadesan who is a professor at Arizona State University and who has a new book about the very subject we are talking about. Majia, I would like to get the title of your book, the publisher and all that. Where we can track it down, and for you to tell us more about the big picture involving nuclear energy in the world today.
Dr. Nadesan: OK, so the book is titled Fukushima and the Privatization of Risk. It is published by Palgrave [Pivot] in London and the book can be purchased on any online book seller whether it be Barnes and Noble or Amazon or wherever. I don't believe it is a book that you will find in a local book store although certainly a bookstore can order it for somebody, from Amazon.
Dr. Fetzer: Because it is more scientific and directed toward fellow scientists and the intellectual public?
Dr. Nadesan: Yes, it is the kind of book that ends up in academic libraries. So it is a book that is part of a peer-reviewed academic series. So it is likely to be at your university library as opposed to your local library. But you could always ask your local library to order it. I mean it is also available as an ebook, I saw, so you could [get it that way]. And it should be out next week.
Dr. Fetzer: The timing could hardly be better. Just remember Fukushima and Nasden and we can track it down.
Dr. Nadesan: Yes, well it is Nadesan, N-a-d-e-s-a-n, but it will be available on your web page.
Dr. Fetzer: Wonderful, yes, yes, yes. We will put a link, wonderful, wonderful. Tell us about the breakdown of the book, how you organized it and so forth and maybe I will have a question or two about parts of it.
Dr. Nadesan: Well the first chapter deals with the Fukushima unknowns. So for example we really don't know how much radiation was released into the atmosphere. We don't know how much radiation was released into the sea. We don't know how much ongoing radiation has been released both into the atmosphere through these steam releases that have been evident on the TEPCO web cam and on the TBS web cam and are evident from spiking radiation levels. We don't know how much ongoing atmospheric and ocean contamination has occurred since March of 2011, but there are pretty good guarantees that they have been at least intermittent in the atmospheric contamination and ongoing in ocean contamination. That has been pretty much well-established. An unknown that also exists that is becoming more relevant now is whether future explosions could occur or whether ongoing nuclear criticalities are occurring at the plant. It is possible that ongoing nuclear criticalities are occurring either in the spent fuel pools or underground with the melted corium that is suspected because of spiking tritium levels, detections of xenon gas that occurred in July of this year in South Korea. Scientists pointed to the Fukushima disaster as a potential source. TEPCO has claimed that the reactors are in cold shutdown, but in fact that is not true at all based on the levels of contamination that are occurring in [comparison with] more traditional definitions of what cold shutdown is. So that is the first chapter. To look at the unknowns and then to discuss what that means for human health and the uncertainties. Because the fact is that our risk models were compromise models between the geneticists and the Atomic Energy Commission, and they didn't even agree. It is just that the models reflect the compromises that were made between those who said that radiation posed little to no risk, unless you have a high enough exposure to cause you to die instantly, and those who argued that you need to look at what happens across a life span and also across multiple life spans when studying radiation's effects. So that the models we have I would say probably greatly underestimate the risk within a lifetime and the risks that occur from exposure across lifetimes. We have already talked about transgenerational effects and the possibility of genetic mosaicism. So I introduce that. And Chapter Two looks at the history of nuclear power sort of briefly and in Japan more specifically. It is not a long chapter. It is not an exhaustive account. Others have written exhaustive accounts. This is just an introduction, and to show the close coupling in the Japanese political mentality of the LDP, the Liberal Democratic Party and that is that nuclear will satisfy both energy and military security, but of course it has brought great insecurity. And then Chapter Three traces the disaster from what was published in the press and in scientific accounts of the extent of contamination and it also looks at some research that has been done on biological effects on birds and insects already, OK? And also it addresses the spike of thyroid cancer that is occurring in children in Fukushima Prefecture. It is hard to deny that the incidence of suspected and verified thyroid cancer which I think is 19 or 20 now of children in Fukushima, cannot [recall] -- I mean it has to be linked to the disaster, it simply has to because it is such an unprecedented sign.
Dr. Fetzer: That is one of the earliest signs, isn't it, of radioactive contamination affecting the thyroid?
Dr. Nadesan: Well, the thyroid bioaccumulates radioiodine, and it will affect adults but of course children's cells are dividing more rapidly and so they are much more vulnerable. And the younger they are, the more vulnerable they are. Research was done that established that there was a 28% increase in hypothyroidism among California children born nine and ten months after the Fukushima disaster. It is very likely that the fallout affected California infants. The NRC transcripts that I referred to earlier had an estimated dose for California infants at 40 millisieverts a year from one year's exposure of contaminated milk. Milk with radioiodine in it, and milk bioconcentrates radioisotopes like radioiodine.

Additional Source

U.S Nuclear Regulatory Commission (17 March 2011) ‘Official Transcript of Proceedings of Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi ET AudioFile’, http://pbadupws.nrc.gov/docs/ML1205/ML12052A109.pdf, p. 187, date accessed November 5, 2012.

So, you know, it is very likely that these children [with thyroid cancer in Japan] are now suffering from cancers caused by their exposure and although that is a treatable kind of cancer it shapes the experience of the entire life of the individual and compromises their health. And it is also possible that they are going to develop other kinds of cancer later on because they have also been exposed to cesium which bioaccumulates.

Additional Source

"Disturbing thyroid cancer rise in Fukushima minors" (2013, August 21), RT, http://rt.com/news/fukushima-children-thyroid-cancer-783/

There is increasing reports about plutonium being detected great distances. Well not great in the sense of [high concentrations], it was detected in Lithuania [in very low concentration] but that was established very early in the disaster. More recently Japan's government and various officials have been reporting instances of plutonium [in relatively high concentrations] that was detected 20 km from the plant in that sort of bubble. There is no doubt that plutonium from the MOX fuel in the unit 3 explosion has probably circulated widely, OK? And the use of sea water on the melted fuel increased the transportability of the radioisotopes. With uranium it made uranium buckey balls. So I lay out all of the evidence that exists for that. Then Chapter Four looks at the history of radiation politics and how these debates occurred in the 40's and the 50's. How risk models were generated and new research on genetics that looks at how low level effects can affect gene expression, even on parts of a DNA that was not directly hit by gamma or beta radiation because there are cell signaling mechanisms that can occur where one hit cell signals chemically other cells, and those cells can die or the cells that are reproduced can be mutant. So the new research on the way in which the gene interacts with the environment instead of the environmental genomics and looking at it in laboratory conditions with gamma radiation in cells shows that the biological effects of radiation are ubiquitous within the body, and that they can have long term effects that are well beyond those that are listed typically like cancer. I document that argument, and then I conclude, and I say in my conclusion that Chernobyl according to Gorbachev was a warning bell to all of humanity to pay attention to what is happening to the environment. He said that another nuclear disaster like Chernobyl would be equivalent to or worse than a nuclear war being fought. Here we have a disaster which I am confident is at least three times as bad as Chernobyl since there were three reactors involved and multiple spent fuel pools. Rather than confronting this disaster and the risks it posed to us, humanity, we are once again denying and trivializing the effects, and that is my argument.
Dr. Fetzer: That is wonderful. I am willing to infer that the three reactors are interacting and it is actually a multiple of Chernobyl, not just three times worse, but probably much, much worse than that and I am wondering do you think potentially we could be seeing the beginning of the end of Japanese civilization?
Dr. Nadesan: Well, not all parts of Japan were equally affected because Fukushima is in the northern eastern part, and so although certainly Tokyo was affected and Arnie Gundersen has sampled soil from areas of Tokyo and found soil that would be classified as toxic waste here. Certainly Tokyo was because it is not that far from the Fukushima plant, but probably other areas of Japan may be less contaminated than, say, California.
Dr. Fetzer: Tokyo is among the world's most densely populated cities, and therefore the decimation of Tokyo represents a major catastrophe all by itself. It seems to me that is an easily foreseeable outcome of this disaster.
Dr. Nadesan: Well, the Japanese officials have decided that the people in Tokyo are going to fall on the sword without having the decision about whether they want to do that or not. You know they are not looking out for public health and welfare because they fear panic and dislocation and the preservation of the way that they want to see Japan in the future. But they do not understand that by doing what they are doing, by denying the disaster, Japan is going to be potentially irreparably crippled. I mean there is just no denying that the effects of this are going to reverberate for generations, whether it is the destruction of Japan or the destruction of humanity. I don't know what they are going to be. There is too much uncertainty that exists. But there is no doubt that this is the biggest environmental disaster to ever occur and we need to address it and figure out ways how to safely evacuate people and to mitigate exposure everywhere that is affected.
Dr. Fetzer: Tokyo has a population of around 14 million [Ed. Note: According to Wikipedia 13.2 million in Aug 2011 in the metropolis, 35.7 million in the greater metro area], I mean, talk about a catastrophe.
Dr. Nadesan: Yes, but there are cities in China that have no people living in them, because the Chinese stimulated the economy by a construction boom. So I believe that if people were to collaborate, and to work on solutions that entailed some sacrifice for everybody, but were good for the whole, that we could solve a lot of our problems or at least make it possible for us to survive, but our unwillingness to cooperate, our greed and our denial are what is really going to do us in.
Dr. Fetzer: Are you entertaining that transportation or migration of a substantial Japanese population to Chinese cities that are vacant?
Dr. Nadesan: Yes, that is what I was --
Dr. Fetzer: Fascinating, fascinating, that is utterly fascinating.
Dr. Nadesan: Well, you know parts of China were contaminated but most of China was not as contaminated. China has its own problems with its nuclear plants but the risk for people who are in close proximity to the [Daiichi] plant, although they cannot be formally ascertained, they are great. We should make every effort to try and reduce people's exposure who are most at risk. That entails being public about the problem. Japanese people are amazing people. If you saw footage of the earthquake, people did not panic. The Japanese are an orderly people. You know, I believe that people everywhere, if they believe that you are trying to help them, and they see that, that they will cooperate for the most part and not be chaotic, so and certainly the Japanese. So if you evacuated over time, millions and millions and millions of people, if you had a place to put them, and if people contributed to that solution, and China may be one place. Maybe the U.S. could offer less contaminated areas. I mean parts of the U.S. are pretty contaminated, but not all of it. I just think we have got to recognize these issues and start global dialog. There is a lot of smart people and caring people. I think we could work towards solving our problems if we just were more responsible.
Dr. Fetzer: Majia I am very concerned too with all your observations about the effects on the polar bears and the sea lions and everything else up and down the Pacific Coast, can we anticipate that we are also going to experience a calamity there and millions of people are likely to die or develop cancer and what have you as a consequence?
Dr. Nadesan: Well, as I said earlier in our discussion, it is impossible to model the effects because we don't know really what our state of health is. You know when you look at all the indicators, we are in a situation of declining health. Neurological disorders among adults have been documented as rising in frequency and at age of onset. We have rising rates of autism, ADHD, neurological disorders in children. I have spoken to researchers who strongly believe that it is not merely a function of increased diagnoses, including the MIND Institute, scientists from the MIND Institute at UC Davis. So there is no doubt that we are already compromising our health. We see this with rising immunological problems, diabetes, et cetera. This is going to be a big shock to the system. I don't know what the effects are going to be. I don't know whether they are going to result in a shortening of our life span or a shortening of humanity's life span. I just don't know.
Dr. Fetzer: But there are physiological similarities between polar bears, sea lions, and humans. Anything that is drastically affecting polar bears and sea lions is almost certainly going to have a drastic effect on humans.
Dr. Nadesan: They are, the animals that have been most affected spend more of their time in the ocean. And the kelp bioaccumulate radioisotopes at very, very high concentrations. So their exposure up until this point is probably higher than humans have been. But as the water becomes more radioactive off the Pacific coast, the fog is going to become more radioactive. So people are not going to just be getting it from their food from the deposition from the rain, you know and breathing it in the atmosphere, it is going to be coming up from the ocean in the form of fog and people are going to be breathing it. It is going to come up in precipitation systems, so concentrations are going to be increasing across time. I said earlier humans are at the top of the food chain. It is going to take longer as a land animal for it to bioconcentrate in humans. What the effects are going to be, they are not going to be pretty. I can guarantee you that. But what exactly they are going to look like, nobody can tell you.
Dr. Fetzer: We are not only going to be breathing it, we are going to be drinking it and we are going to be eating it as well to the extent to which we continue to depend on the Pacific Ocean as a source of food.
Dr. Nadesan: Oh definitely, but it is not only in the Pacific Ocean, because heavy metals actually come up from the ocean through evaporation and end up in precipitation. I found studies on this so what is in the ocean is going to end up in the entire water cycle. And so it is going to be coming down rain. It is going to be bioaccumulating in soil, and there is still atmospheric releases that are occurring at the plant. So yes, it is a slow poisoning. Now if the situation escalates, so for some reason TEPCO cannot continue to keep the melted fuel cool, if there is another big earthquake or if a structure collapses and you have a situation of nuclear fires, then TEPCO could also lose control of the Daini plant which is very close in proximity. And the next plant would be the Tokai plant. Prime Minister Kan, when he addressed the Lessons of Fukushima Conference put on by Helen Caldicott through a video address, he said that his greatest fear was cascading nuclear plants. And that risk still remains. And if that happens, things are going to unfold much more rapidly.
Dr. Fetzer: And with much more dramatic effect
Dr. Nadesan: Exactly, and in that case I don't think they will be able to deny the effects. I think the effects will be undeniable
Dr. Fetzer: There have been rumors of course that the Israelis were upset with Japan for supporting the idea of a Palestinian state and retaliated by unleashing a Stuxnet missile [or virus] into the Fukushima reactors. Do you believe there is some truth in that?
Dr. Nadesan: No. No, I think that humans can engineer failure into their technological infrastructures and that in this case, although sabotage occurs and conspiracy occurs, and Stuxnet was engineered by the Americans and Israelis and it was probably used against Iran's nuclear uranium enrichment facility, so I don't doubt that Stuxnet exists and it may be affecting nuclear plants everywhere and it interferes with the operators ability to see what conditions are actually like in the reactors, so it can lead to an accident, I don't believe that is what happened in this case. I think it was the earthquake.
Dr. Fetzer: Of course the source of the earthquake is a whole another question too because we seem to have this capacity to induce earthquakes anywhere around the world we want and to modify weather and to do a whole host of other things that involve interference with the evolutionary process by artificial selection mechanisms. The potential for disaster when these things are being done by individuals who are ignorant of the vast ramifications of what they are doing is in my opinion simply overwhelming and appalling.
Dr. Nadesan: Well, I don't know what I think of the whole HAARP discourse. But I do know that we don't have to rely on weapons for us to be destroyed. We have engineered catastrophe into our technological infrastructures and so if there was a Carrington Event, a big solar flare that took out a grid, that would be it, because after five days, every nuclear power plant with spent fuel pools would be having spent fuel pool fires. You know what I am saying?
Dr. Fetzer: Wow, in other words the cooling systems would fail because they need electricity to operate and therefore the cores are all going to overheat and you are going to have a catastrophic event if we just had an electrical grid outage.
Dr. Nadesan: Exactly. Not just in the reactor cores, but in the spent fuel pools because until that fuel is like ten years old, it has to be continuously cooled with water. If there is any energy interruption there are back up generators, but those back up generators, most of the time they don't work and if they do work, they only have a few days in which they work. But getting in a new transformer for an electrical grid if there were multiple failures, those transformers are huge. Huge! And if there were a failure, the ability to bring them and get them running, it just wouldn't happen. We would have nuclear spent fuel pools burning all over the country. So we have engineered failure our destruction into our system because of our arrogance about the kinds of technologies that we are relying on.
Dr. Fetzer: Majia Nadesan I can't thank you enough for a brilliant exposition. Nadesan rhymes with Madison. The book is Fukushima and the Privatization of Risk. I wish you well with the book, Majia. I look forward to having you back. I think you are performing an enormous public service by discussing all these issues and making us more aware of the risks we encounter as we deal with an increasingly complicated technologically sophisticated environment where we seem to exercise no end of poor judgment in the design and execution of some of our plans, motivated by the desire to make money, vast amounts of it regardless of the consequences to the environment and the human population.
Dr. Nadesan: Well said! [Laughter]. Thank you for having me.
Dr. Fetzer: Majia, my great pleasure. Jim Fetzer, your host on The Real Deal thanking Majia Nadesan for being here and all of you for listening. There will be one more segment to come.

 

 



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