Wednesday, March 28, 2012


Dr. Helen Caldicott: The Medical Implications of Fukushima, Nuclear Power and Nuclear Proliferation

Thanks to the generosity of Mothers for Peace members, I attended a lecture by Dr.Helen

Caldicott on: The Medical Implications of Fukushima, Nuclear Power and

Nuclear Proliferation in Santa Barbara. The lecture was presented by The Nuclear Age

Peace Foundation [] and co-sponsored by the San Luis Obispo Mothers

for Peace [], Progressive Democrats of America

[] and The Women's International League for Peace & Freedom - Santa

Barbara Chapter [].

The following is Robert Bernstein's account of the March 23rd, 2012 event originally posted at: ...

Dr. Helen Caldicott spoke to a standing room only crowd at the Faulkner Gallery on Friday

evening 3/23 on "The Medical Implications of Fukushima, Nuclear Power and Nuclear


The event was sponsored by the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation to remind us that nuclear

issues are very much still with us.

Caldicott explained that the US and Russia still have enough warheads aimed at each other to

destroy both countries and cause a global nuclear winter. And that the margin for error is just

seconds in some cases before a launch can occur.

But most of her talk was on the impact of the Fukushima nuclear disaster and nuclear power in

general. She compared it to Chernobyl 25 years ago and said it is at least three times worse.

The effects of Chernobyl were never properly researched by the World Health Organization or

any other independent agency. Biologist Timothy Mousseau has done painstaking research on

the effects on his own. He said that the Russian research had never even been looked at or even

translated by international agencies.

Figures of a few thousand deaths are cited, but these are mostly from pro-nuclear industry

propaganda, she claims. She uses a figure of one million premature deaths as a result of


Not only is Fukushima worse, but also the Fukushima disaster is far from over, she warned.

There is still "uranium lava" inside the plant that can explode forth at any time.

Nuclear contamination from Chernobyl was largely ignored. The International Atomic Energy

Agency (IAEA) looked at external radiation but did not look at internal consumption through

the food chain. When food was found to be radioactive, it was not disposed of; it was simply

diluted with unradiated food, she explained.

Radioactive isotopes can remain for hundreds of years and some for many thousands of years

Speaking as a physician, she explained the result is genetic damage, mutations and cancers.

And the radiation concentrates up the food chain. Wild animals at the top of the food chain after

Chernobyl had to be buried in nuclear waste dumps.

In the cases of Fukushima, Chernobyl and Three Mile Island, officials delayed warnings and

outright lied about the situation at every stage. Assurances of safety were issued when no

information was even available.

"Your government is full of corporate prostitutes," she explained. But she laid the harshest

criticism on us, the public, if we don't speak out.

You live in a democracy. You should be meeting with your members of Congress and Senators

and demanding action. You are the leaders.

It is your fault about the 1% and the 99% she told us.

The Nuclear Freeze movement in the 1980s was rejected by politicians until people got out in

the streets and politicians reacted. Mass political action works.

The good news is that we don't need nuclear power. She cited a book "Carbon-Free and

Nuclear-Free: A Roadmap for U.S. Energy Policy" as showing exactly how.

Again, she berated us in California for not having solar panels on every home. When the

audience blamed the corporations, she said that is no excuse. You can put solar water heating

and photovoltaics on your roof today.

During the question and answer period, a survivor of the Hiroshima atomic bombing spoke of

her survival in a high radiation zone.

Caldicott explained that medically radiation effects are "idiosyncratic" and that many died from

much lower radiation exposures.

Caldicott explained that she is 73 years old and still writing books and traveling the globe

speaking out. She expects each of us to do our part and not wait for others to do the work for



Robert Benrstein's photography of the event:


Abe, here.

A few notes in closing....

Helen Caldicott's talk was informative, inspiring, and drove home the point that raising

awareness to ill-informed people worldwide to the constant threat of catastrophic nuclear

outcomes from human error or violent intent is truly the duty of every concerned citizen of the

planet (my words, not hers) wishing to draw an end to this madness.

Learn more about Dr. Caldicott and her work at:
  • www.ifyoulovethis
  •, and

At the tail end of the lecture, Dr. Caldicott summoned front row audience members including

myself to hold for the rest of the audience to see a 25-foot wide unfolding paper illustration of

an inordinate number of nuclear missiles carried aboard certain submarines. After having

shot the photos you see below during the first five or ten minutes of the lecture, a

routine bout of chronic fatigue knocked me out to the point of nearly falling asleep. The first

thing I remember after being suddenly awakened was Dr. Caldicott's voice saying something

along the lines of Well, the gentleman in the front row seems to have fallen asleep. I think at

this point someone tapped me on the shoulder and I groggily and stubbornly woke up. It was

this point I noticed people were snickering. While rather embarrassed, I stood to attention

and did my part. I wonder if anyone snapped a photo of the entire

line of scroll holders supporting the scroll of missles? Ha!

---------------------------------------------------------------Abe Perlstein

All photography ©2012 Abe Perlstein
All Rights Reserved - Use Only By Permission.

Comments welcome at ap3dguy at gmail dot com.

Enlarge photos by clicking on them.

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