Archive for March, 2011

FBI Surveillance 1960s style, David Holthouse, Maureen Murphy

Thursday, March 31st, 2011

Talk Nation Radio for March 31, 2011
FBI Surveillance 1960s style, David Holthouse, Maureen Murphy
Ignoring the Threats from the Right while Spying on the Peaceful Left

TRT:29:00 (26.6 M)
Produced by, Dori Smith in Storrs, CT
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Human rights activists, peace activists and environmentalists, hoped for change under Obama/Biden but the same kind of targeted surveillance campaigns and invasive FBI tactics appear to be surfacing under the present administration that were a problem under the Bush/Cheney administration. They are being mentioned in the same breath as the KKK by the chair of a Congressional Committee on Homeland Security, and the media appears willing to help the government by downplaying the threat from the right and accepting the policy of surveillance against the left without just cause. The tactics date back to the 1960s when anti war activists were subjected to COINTELPRO operations, FBI surveillance and pressure from grand juries. Are progressives, leftists, even moderates, being targeted while dangerous right wing activists are not?

There are events planned for April to protest wars at home and abroad and you can learn more at

We speak with investigative journalist David Holthouseabout his piece, Lone Wolves: A Recent History of Violent Right-Wing Extremism. It was featured on the Media Matters web page. We speak with him about the piece in the context of Congressional hearings called by Representative King, chair of the Homeland Security Committee in the House. Even as King hearings put pressure on Muslims and others in a broad set of rhetorical charges, there has been a big increase recently of militancy on the right. We look at real versus politically expedient to talk about threats to America.

Then, Maureen Murphy, joins us. She is the managing editor at the news outlet, Electronic Intifada. Maureen Murphy is one of 23 activists in Chicago and Minneapolis to be targeted by the FBI for their Palestine solidarity activism. The original subpoenas were issued in September but when the activists including Maureen Murphy refused to provide any information to the FBI they were called before a grand jury. She discusses the threat to activists posed by the pressure to “talk” about other activists including some who live in countries where they might be at risk of being harmed.

Maureen Murphy also worked with the Palestinian human rights organization Al-Haq in Ramallah until she was unceremoniously deported by Israel in late May 2006. While in the occupied West Bank, Murphy investigated issues relevant to Palestinian culture, and in addition to the Electronic Intifada, her writing has been published by the Daily Star, Palestine Report, and her former stomping ground of F News magazine. She has also spent time living in Lebanon. Murphy graduated from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago with a BA in Visual and Critical Studies in 2004.

Also, we hear clips of House Homeland Security Committee, Rep. Peter King, who groups people together as “threats” and claimed Muslim Americans ought to work more with the FBI to inform on fellow Muslims who might be a threat, activists that have been working against political profiling, racism, and Anti Muslim activities, began to speak out. We hear a short audio montage of King’s original remarks that was aired by NPR and sounds from a group of anti-Muslim protesters outside hearing room who screamed at families as they walked in to testify before Congress.

Richard Gage visits Hartford, Mazin Qumsiyeh visits Storrs. Connecticut

Friday, March 25th, 2011

Talk Nation Radio for March 24, 301
Richard Gage visits Hartford, Mazin Qumsiyeh visits Storrs, Connecticut
Produced by John Schwenk, Host Dori Smith
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First, engineer John Schwenk interviews architect Richard Gage about an upcoming event at the University of Hartford on March 26th, sponsored by WWUH Radio and Building What? asking what really happened to Building 7. Then Mazin Qumsiyeh answers Dori Smith’s question about the US role in Libya. He comments on the hypocrisy of the US role given violence against civilians in other countries where the US is not working to prevent it such as Bahrain.

Professor Mazin Qumsiyeh spoke at the University of Connecticut’s COOP Bookstore March 23, 2011 where he read from his new book, Popular Resistance in Palestine, A History of Hope and Empowerment. It was called” remarkable and brilliant” by Nur Masalha. Mazin Qumsiyeh teaches and does research at Bethlehem and Birzeit Universities in occupied Palestine. He serves as chairman of the board of the Palestinian Center for Rapprochement Between People and coordinator of the Popular Committee Against the Wall and Settlements in Beit Sahour. See book promo here at AJE.

www.InvestigateBuilding7.orgThe upcoming event at the University of Hartford will feature Bob McIlvaine and Manny Badillo, who lost family members on 9/11; New York University Professor Mark Crispin Miller, Professor Graeme MacQueen, Attorney William Pepper, journalist Leslie Griffin, author Dick Russell, mechanical engineer Tony Szamboti, and Underwriters Laboratories Whistleblower Kevin Ryan, and it runs all day Saturday at the University of Hartford’s Millard Auditorium, in Hartford, Connecticut, John Schwenk mentions event in his interview with Richard Gage, to be held on March 26th from 9:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. The program will kick off a new Internet and TV awareness campaign calling for a fresh investigation into what happened to Building 7, which was not hit by a plane on 9/11 but came down anyway. Sponsored by WWUH Radio 91.3 FM and

Michael Mariotte, Japan Nuclear Dangers Update from Executive Director of NIRS

Tuesday, March 15th, 2011

Talk Nation Radio for afternoon of March 15, 2011
For audio and content of this week’s show, scroll down the page.

Updates: 4/12/2011: The Government of Japan has now agreed that their nuclear threat level for the Fukushima nuclear disaster is at a level 7, (same as Chernobyl) which involves a deadly threat to citizens. Anti nuclear activists are now protesting in Japan and some 17,500 people turned out in the streets of Tokyo on April 11th. That day marked the first month anniversary of the earthquake (3/11) that killed thousands and left thousands in shelters across devastated portions of Japan. Relatively unharmed, the city of Tokyo now faces the real threat of nuclear radiation which has been leaking from the Fukushima plants since the initial earthquake. More earthquakes and or aftershocks are still possible, according to seismologists. See rolling updates here: (For twitter, shortened text post: Northern Ibaraki Prefecture, 120 km N of Tokyo in S Fukushima (Iwaki City) N prefecture, aftershocks.)

“Since just after 5pm last night we have been experiencing a large number of large and small aftershocks – all probably related to some degree to the original big earthquake on March 11. The epicenters of most of the shocks in the area where I am, northern Ibaraki Prefecture, about 120 km north of Tokyo, close to the Pacific Ocean, seem to have been in the southern Fukushima (Iwaki City) area or in the northern part of this prefecture. Sometimes we get 30 minutes of so of quiet, but generally there is some kind of movement every five to ten minutes or so, or only about a minute between perceptible tremors. Every few hours there is quite a serious shake. Not so bad once you get used to it, but I can’t help thinking that the next one is going to be really big. (The Japanese, sensibly, say that lots of small ones is better than a really big one. True. The really big ones only happen once or twice a century, but they happen.) — The ‘big’ news today is that some time yesterday “the Japanese Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency (NISA) issued a new provisional rating for the accident at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant on the IAEA International Nuclear and Radiological Event Scale (INES).” — The nuclear disaster at Fukushima No.1 is now rated as a level 7 “Major Accident,” the most serious level on INES.” more here and at Can Do Better.

UPDATES: 3/31 Japanese officials appear to have lost fight to “save” the Fukushima plant from full core meltdown according to one of the scientists involved in manufacturing it. See the Guardian here .”The radioactive core in a reactor at the crippled Fukushima nuclear power plant appears to have melted through the bottom of its containment vessel and on to a concrete floor, experts say, raising fears of a major release of radiation at the site.”

UPDATES: 3.31 Radiation found in milk in California where much of nation’s dairy products come from and also Washington State, also farm country, especially for fruits, vegetables, and grain products. The particles include radioactive iodine 131. One can learn about preventative measures here as pdf file, and here. Media coverage tends to emphasize the “miniscule” amounts involved, yet radiation levels could rise as emissions from the plant continue daily. Fears have been growing in Japan where the plant continues to spew radiation and radioactive particles have been detected in water sources and in the soil in towns outside of the official exclusion zone. On Friday workers were not allowed to enter the plant as the nation’s supply of radiation badges had been depleted according to NHK, Japanese Television Network airing on PBS in America. The plant seems to have continued to go critical according to scientists. See The Real News here. Japanese officials and the plant operators and owners at TEPCO are being encouraged to widen the evacuation zone as levels of radiation continue to rise. The NOVA episode for March 22, 2011, shows previously unseen footage of the Fukushima plant and the Tsunami that hit after the largest ever recorded earthquake in Japan March 11th. An estimated 28,000 people remain missing.

UPDATE: 3/28 Plutonium found near Fukushima Daichi nuclear plant in Japan as workers continue to try to contain airborne and waterborne radioactive particles. The amounts are high enough to now warrant calling this a category 7 disaster, in the category of Chernobyl. That according to Greenpeace. You can read warnings about the potential threat posed by this plant here at Institute for Energy and Environmental Research. IEER said at the time: “WASHINGTON, DC, October 5, 1999: Last week’s accidental nuclear chain reaction at the Tokaimura fuel processing plant demonstrates that “Japan’s nuclear regulatory system is far too lax to permit a change to plutonium from uranium fuel,” according to the Institute for Energy and Environmental Research (IEER), a U.S based center which has studied the Japanese energy production system. — Japan plans to load plutonium fuel (a mixture of plutonium and uranium known as MOX) into some of its commercial reactors in the near future, most likely well before a thorough independent investigation of the Tokaimura accident can be completed. At the time of the Tokaimura accident, ships from Britain and France carrying MOX fuel were docking at Okuma, less than a hundred miles away”.

UPDATES Radioactive Iodine Releases from Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi Reactors May Exceed Those of Three Mile Island by Over 100,000 Times. IEER Press Release (March 25, 2011) PDF “While Chernobyl had one source of radioactivity, its reactor, there are seven leaking radiation sources at the Japanese site. Together, the three damaged reactors and four spent fuel pools at Fukushima Daiichi contain far more long-lived radioactivity, notably cesium-137, than the Chernobyl reactor”.

Update: 3-25 News gets more clear about breach of core reactor at Plant 3. Here is NIRS update first. 11:00 am, Friday, March 25, 2011. Greenpeace Germany has released a statement that, according to an analysis of radiation releases by consultant Dr. Helmut Hirsch, Fukushima is now a Level 7 accident on the international scale (currently it is officially ranked as a Level 5, comparable to the Three Mile Island accident of 1979; Level 7 would make it comparable to Chernobyl). More here

Media reports are more serious where core breach is concerned NYT story 3-24

March 21, 2011, NIRS UPDATE, Noon, Monday, March 21, 2011 Radiation doses at Fukushima Daiichi and Fukushima Daini, March 18-21, 2011. Obtained by Dr. Chris Busby at European Committee on Radiation Risk (ECCR). ECCR risk model predicts 120,000 cancers worldwide from Fukushima accident based on current known release.

Update March 21, 2011: Daphne Wysham hosts debate on nuclear power on The Real News here. Plant 3 emits dark smoke, mid day 3-21, WP story here.

Map shows direction of radioactive plume from Fukushima reactors out, see NOAA and Weather Underground

Michael Mariotte, Executive Director of the Nuclear Information and Resource Service
Special series, Japan goes Critical, part 3 audio, plume map info, and Al Jazeera English video, Devastated, Japanese officials announce major evacuation. Floor of plant damaged…

3-18-2011 Scientists and White House in US downplay evidence of radioactive particles in US that could be related to Japan catastrophe. But they do provide information at least on the type of particles being conveyed across the ocean to California: “We see evidence of fission particles –iodine, cesium, barium and krypton, a whole dog’s breakfast of radiation,” said Ed Morse, professor of nuclear engineering at UC Berkeley, whose students have set up a monitor on the rooftop of the campus’s Etcheverry Building. A monitor at Lawrence Livermore Lab is also detecting the particles.” Ed Morse, professor of nuclear engineering at UC Berkeley. Monitoring is being done by students at the school as well as the Lawrence Livermore Lab, where particles are being detected.

UPDATE March 17, 2011 March 17, 2011 NIRS update: PDF on Protective Measures from Radioactivity in North America here

UPDATE: 3-16-2011 ( Updates on Fukushima reactors and aftermath of Japan earthquake. Updated 4:30 pm. March 16, 2011. U.S. NRC chair says Unit 4 fuel pool has no water, massive radiation releases; recommends expansion of evacuation zone to 50 miles. March 16, 2011: Letter from Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio) to NRC chair Greg Jaczko: If citizens of US and world cannot be protected from nuclear power, it should not exist.

Update: 3-15-2011 SYDNEY (MarketWatch) — “Another fire broke out at the No. 4 reactor of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant on Wednesday, according to reports, citing Tokyo Electric Power Co., or Tepco. The latest fire follows three explosions and one fire at the nuclear complex since last Friday, when a massive earthquake and tsunami hit the country. A fire on Tuesday at the No. 4 reactor was reportedly the cause of a spike in radiation levels around the plant.” We will hear about the meltdown and core involvement at plant 2.

Cooling at plants still not achieved. Radiation threat high. Japanese officials having trouble with stabilizing population that has been devastated by the earthquakes and Tsunami. Another quake occurred Tuesday morning in the Tokyo region even as they were discovering some levels of radiation there. These levels have not been high, however, radiation levels at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant has been very high.

TRT: 28:50 music fades long, 0:27 seconds
Produced by Dori Smith and John Schwenk, Storrs, CT and Syndicated with Pacifica Network
Download at Pacifica’s Audioport here or at or at and

Covered in this interview:
-The latest on the nuclear plants in Japan, where things stand, what are the possibilities for best case versus worst case scenarios.
-Global impacts from Japan nuclear power plant meltdown at core
-Use of Potassium Iodine and Availability in North America in the event the Radioactive Plume makes it across the ocean to America?
-Exposure at reactor core, Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant no. 2, involvement of three or four plants.
-Potential for nuclear chain reactions. Nirs live

Throughout Monday night in Japan, more risk of radioactive contamination. We’re joined by Michael Mariotte, Executive Director of the Nuclear Information and Resource Service. He is based in the US but he is in touch with colleagues in Japan and other parts of the world as they continually assess the risk posed by the meltdown at the Japanese nuclear plants. We’re going to be talking about the core involvement after one core was exposed.
You can go to the web site for updates and information including a map provided by NOAA showing the direction of any radioactive plume. It is expected that at least some radiation will be affecting other countries, potentially America’s West Coast residents this week some time and NIRS and other agencies will be watching the clock and you should consult them for more specific information if you live on the West coast.
“I think it is time for the US Government to have adequate nuclear monitoring capability so we will know if those plumes make it to America”.
Michael Mariotte has also criticized the US for not making it more clear that Potassium Iodine has been stored and would be made available to residents who are at risk of contamination from across the ocean in Japan.
Seismic activity has continued to impact the already devastated country of Japan. OnTuesday Morning March 15, 2011, there radiation was detected in Tokyo. Not long after that information was made public, there was news of another magnitude six earthquake near Tokyo. No reports of casualties or damage at this time.
At the Fukushima plant contamination, fire, and radioactive releases. We asked Michael Mariotte to discuss what he knows.
Michael Mariotte, Executive Director of the Nuclear Information and Resource Service

Al Jazeera shows evacuation press conference, Japan.

“Radiation from Japan’s stricken Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant has been detected 100 miles to the northeast, over the Pacific Ocean, by the U.S. military. Westerly to southwesterly winds have predominated over Japan the past few days, carrying most of the radiation eastwards out to sea. The latest forecast for Sendai, Japan, located about 40 miles north of the Fukushima nuclear plant, calls for winds with a westerly component to dominate for the remainder of the week, with the exception of a 6-hour period on Tuesday. Thus, any radiation released by the nuclear plant will primarily affect Japan or blow out to sea. A good tool to predict the radiation cloud’s path is NOAA’s HYSPLIT trajectory model. The model uses the GFS model’s winds to track the movement of a hypothetical release of a substance into the atmosphere. One can specify the altitude of the release as well as the location, and follow the trajectory for up to two weeks. However, given the highly chaotic nature of the atmosphere’s winds, trajectories beyond about 3 days have huge uncertainties.One can get only a general idea of where a plume is headed beyond 3 days. I’ve been performing a number of runs of HYSPLIT over past few days, and so far great majority of these runs have taken plumes of radioactivity emitted from Japan’s east coast eastwards over the Pacific, with the plumes staying over water for at least 5 days. Some of the plumes move over eastern Siberia, Alaska, Canada, the U.S., and Mexico in 5 – 7 days. Such a long time spent over water will mean that the vast majority of the radioactive particles will settle out of the atmosphere or get caught up in precipitation and rained out. It is highly unlikely that any radiation capable of causing harm to people will be left in atmosphere after seven days and 2000+ miles of travel distance. Even the Chernobyl nuclear disaster, which had a far more serious release of radioactivity, was unable to spread significant contamination more than about 1000 miles.”

March 21, 2011: Dark smoke at plant 3 sent workers running. Evacuation followed, and radiation levels found to be higher than previously recorded in areas of Japan that were said to be safe. Al Jazeera English live blog update here See a debate about nuclear power with industry critic and industry defender hosted by Daphne Wysham, on The Real News here.

March 21, 2011, NIRS UPDATE, Noon, Monday, March 21, 2011 Radiation doses at Fukushima Daiichi and Fukushima Daini, March 18-21, 2011. Obtained by Dr. Chris Busby at European Committee on Radiation Risk (ECCR). ECCR risk model predicts 120,000 cancers worldwide from Fukushima accident based on current known release

Dr. Arjun Makhijani on Japan Nuclear Crisis, Anatomy of Meltdown

Sunday, March 13th, 2011

Special to Talk Nation Radio, Japan Goes Critical part 2
Dr. Arjun Makhijani on Japan Nuclear Crisis, Anatomy of
Listen to the broadcast below and then scroll down the page as we post updates to this page above the active links. Please suggest that your local radio stations either air this broadcast or contact Prof. Makhijani for further information and updates on the dangers from radioactivity at the Japanese nuclear plants. Arjun Makhijani is present of the Institute for Energy and Environmental Research. He has a Ph.D. in Engineering from the University of California at Berkeley, where he specialized in nuclear fusion.

Major Update: One day after claiming that fish and seaweed from near the TEPCO/GE nuclear disaster was “safe to ear every day for a year without health affects” they admit to having found radiation levels at 7.5 million times the so-called “safe levels”. Tuesday, April 5, 2011, Radioactivity in sea up 7.5 million times Marine life contamination well beyond Japan feared.


THOSE OF THREE MILE ISLAND BY OVER 100,000 TIMES, Institute Calls for More Intensive Contingency Planning by Japanese Authorities; U.S. Should Move as Much Spent Fuel as Possible to Dry Storage to Reduce Most Severe Risks and Suspend Licensing and Relicensing during Review. PDF file here

Arjun Makhijani: 301-270-5500 (office) or 301-509-6843 (cell) Tell stations to look for his information online at Post-Tsunami Situation at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant in Japan: Facts, Analysis, and Some Potential Outcomes

Arjun Makhijani suggests America learn an immediate lesson from events in Japan. At all US nuclear sites, the storage polls should be moved. See below:

TRT: 29:17
Download at Pacifica’s Audioport here or and at and

Featured interview, Dr. Arjun Makhijani, President of the Institute for Energy and Environmental Research, and an engineer specializing in nuclear fusion. Arjun Makhijani is author of a study on energy conservation potential in the US economy. He is co author of the book, Carbon-Free and Nuclear-Free: A Roadmap for U.S. Energy Policy, where he discusses a US economy based on renewable energy without fossil fuels or nuclear power, and principle editor and author of Nuclear Wastelands, and Mending the Ozone Hole published by MIT Press.

3-13-2011: 1:30 PM: “I am very concerned about the damage that the explosion did to the spent fuel pool where all of this highly radioactive used fuel is stored. And if that is uncovered and if there is steam around that, that can also generate hydrogen and that can in extreme circumstances also catch fire. So it’s not clear to me that the radioactivity after the explosion was coming only from the reactor. I think it may have been coming from the spent fuel pool, and or, from the reactor. But because we can’t inspect the insides now it’s really impossible to tell and whether the spent fuel pool has been damaged, and whether there are cracks in the reactor, although the vessel is more or less intact, it’s very hard to tell”. (Photo from Reuters, picked up broadly by AJE and others)

Workers have been scrambling to cool three reactors and there have been reports that one or more was semi critical or under going meltdown at various times during the weekend. A high alert is in place still for plants 1 and 3 but plant 2 is said to now be more stable. Workers are trying to find the source of radioactivity being detected there however, and Japanese are officials calling the earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear plant instability, the worst crisis for Japan since WWII. We hear about the configurations of the plants, the kind of radioactivity they have, i.e., specifics of Plutonium and the dangers to people of Japan and other countries. Expect part two of this interview shortly.

Dr. Makhijani has called on Japanese authorities to tell the world if the spent fuel pool structure is intact at unit 1 OF THE Fukushima power plant. “While Japanese authorities have stated that the reactor vessel is still intact, there has been no word regarding the status of the spent fuel pool structure, except indirectly (see below) Is it still intact? This is a critical question as to the range of potential consequences of the reactor accident.”

See also: Talk Nation Radio special on Japan’s Nuclear Reactor Crisis, part 2
We hear Arjun Makhijani’s Scientific Analaysis of the Fukushima Nuclear power plant crisis. Listen to part one of this series here, Michael Mariotte, Executive Director of the Nuclear Information and Resource Service, Japan Goes Critical, Is it a Meltdown? What to do? What should we know?

UPDATE: 1:40 a.m. EST via FACT SHEET ON FUKUSHIMA NUCLEAR POWER PLANT: UPDATE 2:30 pm, Sunday, March 13, 2011. “Tokyo Electric Power is reporting that some six feet of the core of Unit-3 remains uncovered and has been for some time despite efforts to pump water into the core. Tepco speculates there may be leaking pipes and water is not remaining in the core. A translation of part of the statement from our Japanese colleagues: “The fuel’s integrity has been considerably compromised. We are assessing a considerably serious situation.” UPDATE, 1 pm, Sunday, March 13, 2011. The International Atomic Energy Agency reports that a first-level (lowest-level) emergency has been declared at the three-unit Onagawa nuclear station north of Fukushima. Immediately after Friday’s earthquake a fire broke out at this facility, but it was said to have been extinguished fairly quickly. However, on Saturday, elevated radiation levels were measured at the Onagawa site (about 10 microSievert/hour or about 1 millirem/hour) for a few hours. The emergency was declared due to these elevated levels, but utility officials say the reactors
there are under control.”

Update from Dr. Makhijani from early Mon. 3-14-2011: Post-Tsunami Situation at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant in Japan: Facts, Analysis, and Some Potential Outcomes: Unit 3, which also appears to have had similar problems as Unit 1, whose fuel includes mixed plutonium oxide uranium oxide fuel (“MOX fuel”) first went critical in 1976. Both reactors are of the Mark 1 Boiling Water Design. They do not have the sturdy secondary containment buildings of concrete that is several feet thick typical of later reactor designs. (March 14, 6:30 a.m. note: Unit 3 has also experienced an explosion and Unit 2 appears to have lost cooling. The problems described here would likely apply to Unit 3; Unit 2 may be headed to similar problems.)

UUpdating concerns about the containment pool that were expressed in this broadcast: 3-14-2011: An explosion associated with Unit 1 occurred on March 12, at 3:36 p.m. (TEPCO press release, March 13, 2011 of 9pm Japan time.) At first the authorities stated that this was in the turbine building next to the reactor building. However, it is the reactor building rook and part of the walls near the roof that were completely blown off leaving only a steel skeleton at the top of the building. This indicates an explosion inside the reactor building – probably a hydrogen explosion, since hydrogen is much lighter than air, it would accumulate near the top of the building. The explosion therefore seems to have occurred near the level where the spent fuel pool would be located in a Mark 1 reactor.

The United States should move as much spent fuel out of the pools as possible into hardened and secure dry storage. The tragedy in Japan is also a reminder that making plutonium and fission products just to boil water
(which is what a nuclear reactor does) is not a prudent approach to electricity generation. While existing reactors will be needed to maintain the stability of electricity supply for some time (as is also evident from the earthquake-tsunami catastrophe in Japan), new reactor projects should be halted and existing reactors should be phased out along with coal and oil. It is possible to do so economically in the next few decades, while maintaining the reliability of the electricity system and greatly improving its security, as I have shown in my book Carbon-Free and Nuclear Free: A Roadmap for U.S. Energy Policy published in 2007, and in subsequent work that can be found on the IEER website, Carbon-Free and Nuclear-Free can be downloaded free at

Michael Mariotte, Director of the Nuclear Information and Resource Service, Japan Goes Critical

Saturday, March 12th, 2011

Talk Nation Radio for March 12, 2011
Michael Mariotte, Executive Director of the Nuclear Information and Resource Service
Japan Goes Critical, Is it a Meltdown? What to do? What should we know?

CNN: We are assuming that a meltdown is occurring, Japanese Cabinet official. Right now it seems as if two plants are in meltdown. Unclear as to extent of the core breach. Earlier IAEA was told core intact. Obviously, that cannot be the case if there is meltdown occurring but lack of instrumentation makes this very difficult to assess in terms of the extent of the leak. Earlier today there was 1,000 times radiation levels at plant 1.

Through 8:00 PM EST CNN Headlines were. Meltdown Underway, then Meltdown Possible, then Officials tell IAEA the Core is Intact, What is really happening with Japanese Nuclear Reactor Cores? Clearly the information has not been adequate to international news and reporting services. We’re doing our best to give you a sense of what is going on.

Produced by Dori Smith

Download at Pacifica’s Audioport here and at and

We speak with Michael Mariotte of the Nuclear Information and Resource Service NIRS about headline news on Japan’s nuclear facilities that have begun to go critical. Japanese emergency workers at the plants have not been able to get the plants cooled despite applying sea water. From the NIRS site:

UPDATE, 5:30 pm, Saturday, March 12, 2011. Reuters reporting that Fukushima Daiichi Unit 3 has lost cooling capability: This is of particular concern since, unlike all of the other reactors in trouble, Unit 3 has been using plutonium-based MOX (mixed oxide) fuel since September 10, 2010. Consequences of an accident at a MOX-powered reactor would be even more severe than at a more typical uranium-powered reactor.

UPDATE, 3:25 pm, Saturday, March 12, 2011. The International Atomic Energy Agency reports
that a total of 140,000 people have now been evacuated from zones 20 kilometers around Fukushima Daiichi and 10 kilometers around Fukushima Daini. The IAEA says that evacuation has not been completed.