CAN-TV presents two shows sponsored by NEIS from the “Where Are the People: The Human Toll of the Nuclear Age, from Fermi to Fukushima” week, taped in Chicago as part of the observance of the 75th anniversary of the first human controlled nuclear chain reaction, Dec. 2, 2017.

1.)   “The Human Toll of the Nuclear Age: Fermi to Fukushima,“ a half-hour in-studio show featuring Arnie Gundersen, chief engineer at Fairewinds Energy Education Corp of Vermont, Dr. Norma Field, professor emeritus at University of Chicago Dept. of East Asian Studies, interviewed by NEIS director Dave Kraft.

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This show will also appear on the CAN-TV cable network channels on the following dates and times:

Sunday, December 17th, 8:00 PM, CAN TV27

Monday, December 18th, 11:00 AM, CAN TV27

2.)   “Where Are the People? A look at the human toll of the Nuclear Age, from Fermi to Fukushima,” a 2-12 hour presentation with powerpoints by Arnie Gundersen and Norma Field, hosted by Dr. Yuki Miyamoto of DePaul University, Dept. of Religious Studies, on Dec. 2, 2017.


This show will also appear on the CAN-TV cable network channels on the following dates and times:

Wednesday, December 13th, 6:00 PM, CAN TV27

Thursday, December 14th, 9:00 AM, CAN TV27



These events were also taped by Libbe HaLevy, host of the weekly internet show, “Nuclear Hot Seat,” who later interviewed both Arnie and Norma.  Here are links to the recent Nuclear Hot Seat shows from NEIS’ week of programs:

Dec. 8, 2017:  SPECIAL: U-Chicago Atomic Propaganda Orgy Decoded by Fairewinds’ Arnie Gundersen & NEIS – Errors, Omissions & Lies, Oh My! – NH #337

Dec. 13, 2017:  Nuclear Reactors/Climate Change Lies: Gundersen Busts Nuke Industry’s PR Ploy – NH #338

More shows based on interviews from this week of events will air on Nuclear Hot Seat in the future.

NEIS extends heartfelt thanks to Arnie Gundersen, Dr. Norma Field, Dr. Yuki Miyamoto, Libbe HaLevy, and our friends at CAN-TV Chicago, Chicago’s “jewel in the crown” of public media.

Please listen and enjoy these shows. We’re working for you, and proud of it!!



CHICAGO–  Two Better Government Association (BGA) reports on nuclear safety a year in the making document the Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s (NRC’s) systematic pattern of disregard for assertive and responsible regulation, and co-optation by the industry it is charged to regulate, asserts Nuclear Energy Information Service (NEIS), a Chicago-based safe-energy, nuclear power watchdog organization.

“These BGA reports document and confirm contentions NEIS has made for decades to Illinois state and federal officials and elected representatives,” notes David A. Kraft, director of NEIS.  “In particular, NEIS raised these concerns with over 40 state officials and legislators we talked to during the past three years leading up to the Exelon nuclear bailout of 2016, only to be met with a thunderous round of indifference,” Kraft continued.

The two BGA reports are the second and third installments of a BGA series on nuclear power issues in Illinois.  The first appeared on November 17, 2017, and demonstrated NRC’s indifference to chronic radioactive leaks at nuclear power reactors in Illinois and nationally.  The current installments describe a chronic pattern of NRC indifference to regulation, capitulation to nuclear industry – in Illinois, read EXELON – demands, and agency intimidation of whistle-blowers.

“When the chief regulatory agency in the nation develops an allergy to regulation, the notion of ‘nuclear safety’ is reduced to a fiction existing only on paper,” asserts Kraft.  “In short, because of this abdication of regulatory responsibility, and compounded by the 2016 Exelon bailouts, Illinois is now left flying naked on nuclear safety for the next decade,” Kraft observes.

With “nuclear bailout mania” sweeping the country to prop up old, uneconomic nuclear reactors that would otherwise close, coupled with an indifferent or complicit NRC’s pre-emptive authority over the states on nuclear safety matters, the public is left totally undefended against nuclear power mishaps, accidents and catastrophes as long as these reactors continue to operate.

“NEIS is sending an open letter to the Illinois delegation to Congress, and to members of Illinois State Government – as well as candidates for Governor — demanding reform of this untenable situation,” Kraft states.  “In particular, states like Illinois with operating nuclear plants have an immediate and vested interest in forcing their delegations to Congress to enact massive reforms of the NRC at the very least; and granting states the binding authority to set safety standards higher than those of the NRC at best, “ Kraft urges.

While urging Congressional and Illinois state legislative action in its letter, NEIS also warns, “we feel that the potential for reducing Illinois to the status of “Belarus of the Midwest” via nuclear accident now calls for [immediate action].  We have politely asked for reform for three decades; the BGA reports (and last year’s Exelon nuclear giveaway) indicate that things have only gotten worse.

“Silence is tacit approval, if not complicity.  Given that all parties are now informed of the problem, and in a most public manner, backed up by credible witnesses, any future indulgence of NRC’s or any other agency’s lax enforcement of nuclear safety makes all now-informed parties complicit and personally responsible for any future harm resulting from nuclear incidents and accidents in Illinois.”

2018 is an election year.  Nuclear safety reform should be an important issue in the most nuclear-reliant state in the nation, NEIS contends.

“NEIS intends to hold such parties publicly accountable for Illinois nuclear safety moving forward by all legal means available,” the letter concludes.

Exelon operates 11 reactors in Illinois, and owns three that are permanently closed.  If it were a nation, it would be the 11th largest nuclear power in the world.  The four oldest reactors at Dresden and Quad Cities – mentioned often in the BGA reports — are the same design and older than the four reactors that melted down and exploded at Fukushima, Japan.



Story 1: Nuclear Regulator Downplays Safety Warnings

Story 2: 687 Cases, 0 Upheld. The Feds’ Record Overseeing Nuclear Whistleblowers



A week after the “Nuclear Reaction” party ended at University of Chicago, and the dusty fallout from the artsy multi-colored mushroom cloud simulation settled to the Earth, producer Libbe HaLevy’s Nuclear Hotseat show took the University to task for its infomercial promoting nuclear power:

Listen to the Nuclear Hotseat Show

To observe the 75th anniversary of the Nuclear Age on Dec. 2, University of Chicago brought in such energy luminaries as former DOE Secretary Ernest Moniz and Exelon CEO Chris Crane ostensibly to acknowledge the great scientific achievement of the splitting of the atom.  What was presented sounded more like an advertisement for more nuclear, new nuclear, and forget about any of those dark consequences – like Chornobyl and Fukushima, the Rio Puerco uranium tailings spill, Mayak, and of course, Hiroshima and Nagasaki

Ciu’s “Marshmallow-Mushroom Cloud” — a kinder gentler nuclear holocost symbol

NEIS also made plans to observe this anniversary, and used it to proclaim, “The Nuclear Age is over.  We are now entering the Age of Decommissioning, where responsible adults recognize we now have to clean up the nuclear messes of the past 75 years,” according to NEIS’ director, Dave Kraft.  NEIS planned a week of events to provide a counterpoint to the over-congratulatory mood of the University of Chicago events.

Arnie Gundersen and Libbe HaLevy at the DePaul “Where are the People?” event, Dec. 2. engineer and former nuclear power vice-president Arnie Gundersen of Fairewinds Energy Education

To balance the University’s anticipated nuclear-kumbaya messaging NEIS conducted programs throughout the week with nuclear engineer and former nuclear power vice-president Arnie Gundersen of Fairewinds Energy Education of Vermont;  Dr. Norma Field, professor emeritus at University of Chicago Dept. of East Asian Studies; and Dr. Yuki Miyamoto, professor of ethics at DePaul University Dept. of Religious Studies, and second-generation Hiroshima survivor.  And to make sure the events and messages were not lost, NEIS brought in Libbe HaLevy, producer of Nuclear Hotseat, and a Three Mile Island survivor.

The main speaking event took place at DePaul University on Dec. 2, the actual 75th anniversary day.  Throughout the week Gundersen and Dr. Field were taped at the studios of CAN-TV, Chicago’s cable access TV station, on the topic of “Where are the People? – A look at the human toll of the Nuclear Age from Fermi to Fukushima.”  Both were also interviewed by Jerome McDonnell of WBEZ Chicago Public Radio’s “WorldView” show, speaking on “The End of the Nuclear Age:  Where are the People?”  Gundersen did a final presentation on why NOT nuclear power in a climate disrupted world on Sunday, Dec. 3rd at the 3rd Unitarian Church of Chicago, which was taped by four radio outlets.

The University’s first Nuclear Reaction panel of the day: “The Role of Nuclear Energy in a Climate Constrained World,” included Exelon CEO Chris Crain and University economics professor Michael Greenstone, and was moderated by former WBEZ Odyssey show host Gretchen Helfrich.  Regrettably, the moderator never had the participants describe what a “climate constrained world” was and what it would look like, let alone question whether nuclear power could function in it, before allowing the panelists to assert their pre-determined conclusion without sufficient evidence that nuclear power was essential in some form moving forward.  While both conceded new nuclear power was too exorbitantly expensive to be a significant player in any kind of future world, let alone a climate disrupted one, both argued for the continuation of present nuclear plants even if running at financial loss.

These and other assertions were challenged during the brief question and answer period by NEIS/Sierra Club member Steven Sondheim, and NEIS Board President Gail Snyder.  Snyder’s question was perhaps the blockbuster that addressed the nuclear Emperor’s most significant wardrobe problem:

“Mr. Crain you had mentioned merging economic and environmental policy, and Mr. Greenstone, you had mentioned the challenge of how to compensate people, and for some people to ‘take the hit’ for technology. I haven’t heard either of you address nuclear accidents.  I haven’t heard Fukushima being brought up, or Chernobyl, or the impacts of uranium mining on American Indian communities.  So, I’d like to know where the negative impact of nuclear power fits into the calculus of how energy should be chosen?…It really is being excluded from this argument of carbon, and one can’t talk about energy being clean, and base it only on carbon without talking about these extremely negative impacts when nuclear goes wrong.”

The day’s second panel, “The Role of Nuclear Weapons in the Modern World,” left Drs. Norma Field and Yuki Miyamoto aghast.  Coupled with the gayly colored mushroom cloud unleashed over the University the next day on Saturday, Dec 2 – the actual 75th

Dr. Norma Field (l.) and Dr. Yuki Miyamoto at WBEZ studios “Worldview” show.

anniversary day – Dr. Field commented in frustration, “I’m stricken with the thought that we educators have failed in getting out the word that it is truly inadequate to keep looking at these clouds from the side–what happened underneath?!”

It was later learned that a die-in protest had actually taken place during this art event, and that the University had somehow repressed it.  Students lay motionless on the ground in front of the world famous Chinese artist Cai Guo-Qiang as his colored mushroom cloud was detonated above the crowd.  Said India Weston, a transmedia performance artist and protest organizer:  “A lot of the [University’s] events have been contradictory to one another and primarily frame things in more of a positive light than not,…and yet, there’s no sort of threshold of acceptable nuclear energy exposure.”

She continued, “The University website claims that the cloud would dissipate harmlessly after about a minute, but that’s just not how radiation works,” Weston added. “It’s a geo-trauma that affects us all and will for generations and generations. So I was hoping to make more visible the all-too-invisible effects of radiation on the human body.”

The following day on Saturday, Dec. 2nd, NEIS co-sponsored an event with Dr. Yuki Miyamoto and the Department of Religious Study at DePaul University titled, “Where are the People? – A look at the human toll of the Nuclear Age from Fermi to Fukushima.”  Guest speakers Arnie Gundersen and Dr. Field spoke and answered questions for over 2-1/2 hours on the regularly absent question of the negative effects of the Nuclear Age on people across the globe.

[NOTE:  This program at DePaul, and a second in-studio TV interview with Gundersen and Dr. Field were both taped by Chicago’s premiere community public television station, CAN-TV.  Both will be posted online within the next week.  The URLs will be posted on the NEIS website.  We thank CAN-TV for its exceptional dedication to true community access television service. – NEIS].

Gundersen explains why nuclear power won’t help alleviate climate disruption at 3rd Unitarian Church.

In wrapping up her coverage of the week’s events, Libbe HaLevy asked NEIS director Dave Kraft for his impression of the University of Chicago’s Nuclear Reaction events (which she later described as a “bubble-babble”):

“It’s probably one of the most intellectually dishonest symposiums I’ve ever seen at an institution of higher learning.  It was nothing but a propaganda statement for the nuclear industry, which is desperately trying to stay alive, and is marshaling all its allies in academia, government and the military to put across this false notion that, somehow, nuclear power is going to make our grid more reliable, where the evidence points to the contrary.”

And so, as the Nuclear Age ends as it began – in secrecy, selective truth and memory, and unrealistic expectations —  the Age of Decommissioning is born.