Written by Maggie Gundersen
Other than the fact that every one of these five major meltdowns occurred during the springtime, what do the disasters at Three Mile Island (TMI), Chernobyl, and Fukushima Daiichi have in common? Each disaster is a legacy of lies. All three nations, the U.S., the U.S.S.R., and Japan, lied to the world and even more importantly their own people about how much radioactivity was being released and what those intense high-level exposures meant to the health of their own people who were in the direct path of the radioactive plumes.
Have you watched the recently released HBO series Chernobyl? It is truthful, harrowing, and chilling.
Arnie Gundersen, the nuclear engineer with Fairewinds Energy Education Nonprofit, spent one week at the end of March in the Harrisburg Pennsylvania area for a series of events observing the 40-years since the meltdown at TMI. Arnie was invited to present the keynote at Penn State’s 40th commemoration of the Three Mile Island disaster that was filmed by C-Span on March 27, 2019. Prior to uploading the filmed presentation to C-Span, the videographers and crew also professionally edited Arnie’s PowerPoint slides into the film itself.
During his presentation, Arnie discussed how the cultural links between the nuclear industry and the governments invested in nuclear power make it inevitable that the cover-ups of the magnitude of the TMI, Chernobyl and Fukushima meltdowns will occur.
When the Fukushima Daiichi reactors began to meltdown on March 11, 2011, Arnie and I saw firsthand that the government of Japan was deliberately attempting to hide the truth of this tragedy from its own people using similar coverup tactics that the United States and the Soviet Union (Russia) applied to the TMI and Chernobyl meltdowns.
When Fukushima Daiichi Unit 3 exploded, Arnie and I made a commitment to each other to speak the truth and not let the people of Japan be mistreated by their government in the ongoing pursuit of atomic power reactors and their inseparable liaison with nuclear weapons.
A Legacy of Lies, the Penn State keynote that Arnie presented on March 27th is yet another example of Fairewinds’ continued dedication to speak truth to power, despite the fact that the nuclear power industry has vehemently attempted to discredit Fairewinds’ work.
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Radiation migrates from state to state, and throughout countries around the globe as it seeps from meltdowns and currently operating atomic reactors, rural nuclear waste dumps, active and defunct uranium mines, and is released from the manufacturing of nuclear weapons and atomic fuel. These nanoparticles of fine radioactive dust drift everywhere around the globe, released from anywhere on our precious planet where governments believe that, by clinging to the toxic use of nuclear power and an accumulation of nuclear weapons, they can create a sustainable future for their citizens. Like Fairewinds’ readers, we know this precedent represents the past, not the future of our planet.