News Release

Remembering Hiroshima and Nagasaki in the Age of Fukushima

“Against the backdrop of the disastrous Fukushima nuclear plant accident, I will speak of the absolute need for Japan to not only work to ban nuclear weapons but also to completely eradicate dependence on nuclear energy.” -Matashichi Oishi, a radiation victim from Bikini Atoll, the site of a U.S. hydrogen bomb test in 1954. See: “Fukushima Clouds Hiroshima Anniversary.

JACQUELINE CABASSO, wslf at earthlink.net
Cabasso is executive director of the Western States Legal Foundation, which monitors nuclear weapons policy. She said today: “August 6 and 9, 2011 will mark the 66th anniversaries of the U.S. atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. In the wake of the catastrophic events still taking place in Fukushima, it’s time to expose the ‘two headed dragon’ of nuclear technology. It’s time to end the toxic legacy of the nuclear age and the threats posed by the existence of nuclear weapons and the 442 ‘peaceful’ nuclear reactors that continue to generate tons of long-lived nuclear poison. Each of these vulnerable reactor-sites is a potential Fukushima waiting to happen, whether by force of nature, human error, or deliberate malice.

“His nuclear disarmament rhetoric not withstanding, President Obama has submitted a plan to Congress that projects investments of over $185 billion by 2020 to maintain and modernize U.S. nuclear weapons systems for the foreseeable future. And, even after Fukushima, the Obama administration is seeking $36 billion in federal loan guarantees for new nuclear power plants.”

KARL GROSSMAN, kgrossman at hamptons.com
Professor of journalism at the State University of New York/College at Old Westbury, he recently wrote the article, “NASA’s Solar Probe.” He writes: “What NASA claimed for years it couldn’t do — use solar power as an energy source on a space probe going beyond the orbit of Mars — it plans to do on Friday. That’s when NASA intends to launch a space probe it has named Juno to Jupiter. Juno is to make 33 passes of Jupiter while all along getting power from three solar panels.

“Galileo was a space probe sent to Jupiter in 1989, Ulysses a space probe sent to orbit the Sun in 1990 and Cassini a space probe sent to Saturn in 1997 — all getting their onboard electric power from plutonium-fueled radioisotope thermoelectric generators. For all three shots, NASA insisted that nuclear power was necessary because solar energy would not work. Accidents have happened in the U.S. space nuclear program. Of the 26 space missions that have used plutonium which are listed in the NASA Environmental Impact Statement for the Mars Science Laboratory Mission, three underwent accidents, admits the document. The worst occurred in 1964 and involved, it notes, the SNAP-9A plutonium system aboard a satellite that failed to achieve orbit and dropped to Earth, disintegrating as it fell. The 2.1 pounds of plutonium fuel dispersed widely over the Earth, and Dr. John Gofman, professor of medical physics at the University of California at Berkeley, long linked this accident to an increase in global lung cancer. With the SNAP-9A accident, NASA switched to solar energy on satellites. Now all satellites — and the International Space Station — are solar-powered.”

HARVEY WASSERMAN, solartopia at me.com
Wasserman edits http://nukefree.org and is author of “Solartopia! Our Green-Powered Earth, AD 2030″ (which includes an introduction by Robert F. Kennedy Jr.). He recently wrote the article, “Green Music Again Confronts Atomic Power.” He writes, “Music has been a unifying, empowering force for social movements for decades. The labor union movement used it during strikes and solidarity marches. It was at the heart of the most powerful campaigns for civil rights. A whole generation’s demand for peace in Vietnam got electrified with rock and roll. Today, MUSE2 is staged at the Shoreline Amphitheatre south of San Francisco, re-uniting Bonnie Raitt, Jackson Browne, Crosby-Stills-Nash, the Doobie Brothers, John Hall, Sweet Honey in the Rock and many more who’ll sing to benefit victims of the Fukushima disaster and promote a green-powered Earth.

“The first MUSE was formed after the 1979 melt-down at Three Mile Island. In the wake of Three Mile Island, MUSE and a huge upwelling of grassroots citizen opposition, the corporate push to build atomic reactors shriveled and died. For three decades the industry went moribund, with virtually no U.S. construction of new reactors. Thanks to citizen action, the thousand nuclear reactors Richard Nixon promised for the U.S. by the year 2000 became just 104. But those decaying, radioactive death traps are under increasing citizen pressure to finally shut. Many are near major earthquake faults. Some two dozen are virtual clones of Fukushima Unit One, now spewing radiation in the air and sea around Japan.” http://www.commondreams.org/view/2011/08/04-1

See the concert online here.

Note to producers: You may want to use the song “Enola Gay” by OMD as a musical lead-in; this version by Elisa Salasin includes audio of President Harry Truman claiming that Hiroshima was “a military base.”