Post-Fukushima Nuclear Disenchantment Spreads

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Laguna Beach, CA, March 11, 2014 – Some of the activists who helped shutdown the San Onofre nuclear power plant in an earthquake & tsunami zone between L.A. & San Diago hold a silent meditation in solidarity with activist colleagues and Fukushima refugees in Japan. Photo James Heddle/EON

“The atom had us bewitched. It was so gigantic, so terrible, so beyond the power of imagination…. so greatly did it transcend the ordinary affairs of men that we…tried to create a separate world, the world of the atom.”
David Lilienthal, 1961, First Chair of the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission (AEC)

“There comes a time in human affairs when we must seize the bull by the tail and stare the situation squarely in the face.”
W.C. Fields

““We got the final wake-up call at Fukushima. We need to phase out and shut down the hundred and four reactors in America. I will put it very bluntly. We need to kill them before they kill us.”
S. David Freeman, Former Head of the Tennessee Valley Authority

EON Commentary by James Heddle

It has taken just a little over half a century for sensible folk to realize that the ‘Peaceful Atom’ and the Tooth Fairy are both figments of imagination.

Back at the explosive dawn of the ‘Atomic Age’ bewitched nuclear advocates enthused that thousands of nuclear reactors would be built around the globe, “to help people in the underdeveloped areas of the world where the lack of power keeps them in primitive bondage.” Nuclear technologies, they predicted, would make ‘deserts flourish,’ and help “to warm the cold, to feed the hungry, to alleviate the misery of the world.” They would eliminate cancer, cut lumber without saws, power greenhouses, locomotives and airplanes and produce electricity ‘too cheap to meter.’

A steadily dwindling minority of nuclear true believers still cling to that tragic delusion, continuing to push for a ‘nuclear renaissance’ in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary.

Meanwhile, a steadily growing majority of the world’s population have – as that great American comedian/philosopher W.C. Fields advised – seized the nuclear bull by the tail and are staring the situation squarely in the face.

We realize that nuclear energy and nuclear weapons are inextricably joined at the hip, and that every nuclear power plant – even without ‘accidents’ – is making constant and unrelenting war on its surrounding populations, just in the course of ‘normal operation.’

We see clearly now that nuclear energy & weapons are the quintessentially totalitarian technologies, based, as they are, on lies, secrecy and political repression.

We recognize that, despite over half a century of confident claims that a way to isolate deadly nuclear waste from the environment for longer than human civilization has existed will be found ‘very soon,’ all attempts to solve the ‘radwaste problem’ have so far failed and are likely to continue to do so.

We have also come to understand that, on the basis of the largely unacknowledged successes of the nuclear free movement across more than six decades, the most effective protection against radioactive pollution is informed democratic choice.

That was the message sent last year by the successful grassroots campaign to permanently shutdown California’s San Onofre reactors. It is also the message sent loud and clear by the thousands of demonstrations and events held round the world last Tuesday, March 11, 2014, commemorating the third anniversary of the still on-going Fukushima nuclear disaster, which is fouling the Pacific ocean, the Northern Hemisphere, and eventually, the entire planetary biosphere and gene pool.

[ For EON radio reports leading up to the 3/11 Fukushima anniversary please see our Post Carbon interview with Beyond Nuclear’s Cindy Folkers and the Project Censored KPFA program featuring plaintiffs and attorneys in the TEPCO suit by USS Ronald Reagan aircraft carrier personnel doused with Fukushima radiation, EON’s Mary Beth Brangan and Fairewinds’ Arnie Gundersen here. ]

BC Space Gallery owner Mark Chamberlain introduces panelists (L to R) Gary Headrick, San; Donna Gilmore,; and Harvey Wasserman, at a Fukushima commemoration event in Laguna Beach, CA, 3-11-2014.

That was the theme of the current photo exhibit and series of events organized by long-time friend, James Lerager, accomplished documentary photographer and international policy analyst, at the BC Space Gallery in Laguna Beach, CA.

EON was honored to be invited to participate in a 3-11 commemoration event held at the BC Space Galery that featured the U.S. premiere of the new Fukushima documentary METAMORPHOSIS by celebrated Japanese TV journalist and filmmaker Jun Hori.

The video and photographic art exhibit depicted past nuclear disasters at Santa Susana, CA, 3 Mile Island, Chernobyl and Fukushima as well as those where concerned residents are working to prevent disaster at San Onofre, CA Diablo Canyan, CA and Indian Point, New York.

The centerpiece of the lively evening was a panel featuring Gary Headrick, co-founder with Laurie Headrick of San; Donna Gilmore, founder of; and journalist Harvey Wasserman, editor of

The EON Team had just launched our new website for our documentary-in-progress SHUTDOWN: The California-Fukushima Connection and our Indiegogo completion fund-raising page. [ Please become a co-crowd-funder, get a perk here. ]

Our SHUTDOWN preview trailer opened the program along with a trailer for the Samuel Lawrence Foundations’s doc-in-progress Fukushima: Ongoing Lessons for New York. [ We video taped the the event. Watch for our coverage of it in this space as soon as we get back from this shooting trip. ]

More to come. Stay tuned….