Know Nukes

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“Know Nukes!” Community Forum Series resumes on CAN-TV …

In August, 2006, NEIS resumed its “kNOw Nukes!” public information sessions on nuclear and environmental topics. In cooperation with Chicago community cable access station CAN TV (Channels 19, 21, 27, 36, 42), NEIS began taping shows that may be of interest to activists and the public.

“Know Nukes”is an ongoing educational presentation series hosted by Nuclear Energy Information Service of Chicago, IL, to inform the public about the ongoing hazards from nuclear power, radioactive wastes and the nuclear industry.

It is possible to download or view newer presentations from the web; DVDs of all shows are also available by request from NEIS

Public Use of “kNOw Nukes!” Video

DVD copies of many “kNOw Nukes!” programs are available directly from NEIS for a $5 shipping and handling fee. They can be shown on local cable access stations or in public venues for free provided that public attribution is given to CAN-TV Chicago. For more information contact Rob Gelletta of CAN-TV directly at (312) 738-1400. The DVDs may not be sold, nor can admission be charged for showing them in public.

“kNOw Nukes” presentations available on video:


Posted March 23, 2011 – Video recoreded in 2006

Since the Fukushima nuclear reactor disaster began on March 11th, it’s been a question on everybody’s mind: can it happen HERE? and, how BAD will it be?

PSR-Chicago’s Dr. Andy Kanter answered that question at a 20th Anniversary of Chornobyl event NEIS held in 2006.

The answer is most emphatically — YES! it CAN happen here. And — it won’t be pretty.

See the YouTube video here (1 hour).

Blowing Our Top: Mountain Top Removal and the Myth of Clean Coal

July 22, 2009

An NEIS/CAN-TV interview with Pam and Lan Richart of Eco-Justice Collaborative, and Parson Brown of Topless America

A colleague of ours once asked, “What would you do if, every time you flicked your light switch, an entire mountain blew up somewhere on the Planet?” Well, this REALLY happens as you will soon see and hear from the assembled guests. Every day the 50% of Americans who rely on burning coal to get their electricity not only contribute to further climate disruption, but literally blow up entire mountain tops in Appalachia and elsewhere. The debris and pollution resulting from this environmental destruction belies the calls for “clean coal” coming from the coal industry and its allies in Congress, who will soon vote on a national energy bill to deal with Climate Change.

As part of NEIS’ continuing promotion of the Carbon-Free/Nuclear Free energy roadmap, NEIS blows the whistle on one of the myths of so-called “clean coal.”

Life in the Dead Zone : a NEIS/CAN-TV Interview with Documentary Filmmaker Irene Zabytko

June 1, 2009

Irene Zabytko portrait

April 26th is the anniversary date of the world’s worst nuclear power accident. On that date in 1986 the Chernobyl-4 reactor outside of Kyiv, the capital of Ukraine, literally blew itself apart. For days the resulting fire spread the reactor’s radioactive contents around the world. Literally every nation north of the equator received some of the radioactive fallout – estimated to have the radiation equivalent of over 400 Hiroshima-sized nuclear bombs.

Most conversations about Chernobyl today quickly devolve into mind-numbing and controversial statistics – how many REALLY died, how much radiation escaped, how many billions of rubles the accident cost. Lost in this maze of numbers are the people – those hundreds of thousands of victims violently wrenched away from the land of their birth and life by the accident.

Author/filmmaker Irene Zabytko has taken it upon herself to force the world to acknowledge the pain and loss of some of these nameless people. Irene wrote a fictional account in 2000 titled, “The Sky Unwashed,” about old people who –astonishingly – voluntarily return to the heavily contaminated areas around the now silenced reactors.

She now is in the process of completing a documentary about the experiences of the real people who are returning to the Chernobyl region – to complete a chronicle of Life in the Dead Zone.

You can see our interview online.

Sorry, this show has been removed from Blip. | Blip

Nuclear Waste Reprocessing: “Recycling” or “Greenwashing”?

December 4, 2008

With Dr. Ivan Oelrich, Federation of American Scientists

In these closing days of the Bush Administration the nuclear industry is still trying to revive itself – largely through the Global Nuclear Energy Partnership, or, “GNEP.” This program promoted by the US Department of Energy is trying to expand nuclear power use worldwide. One barrier to this expansion is still the unresolved issue of what to do with the 50,000+ tons of dangerous and highly radioactive spent nuclear fuel created by US reactors. Scientists at DOE are proposing that the US deal with the waste situation by a method called, “reprocessing.” The nuclear industry likens reprocessing to “recycling.” Critics charge this is greenwashing of a highly polluting and uneconomic waste disposal scheme. Our guest today is Dr. Ivan Oelrich, Vice President for Strategic Security Programs at the Federation of American Scientists in Washington, D.C. Dr. Oelrich will provide answers to the many questions surrounding the problems of radioactive waste disposal; and also will explain why the Federation has taken a strong position opposing the reprocessing of the irradiated spent nuclear fuel.

Carbon Free, Nuclear Free: A Roadmap for US Energy Policy

May 19, 2008

With Dr. Arjun Makhijani, President, Institute for Energy and Environmental Research ( IEER )

In the debate about what we should do about global warming, the Public is frequently given the false and disingenuous choice between continuing with some form of coal; or nuclear power. Renewable energy is marginalized, and then not discussed. Misleading statements about environmentalists reconsidering the use of nuclear power abound — just as fake advertising trumpeting, “Most doctors smoke Camel cigarattes” abounded when the tobacco industry was trying to confuse the public about the health risks of smoking.

What has NOT received sufficient coverage in the media is that we currently possess a great deal of the technological know-how needed to begin creating an energy future that will be BOTH carbon free, and nuclear free — and by the year 2050 acording to day’s guest.

Dr. Arjun Makhijani, President of the Inst. for Energy and Envirnmental Research in Takoma Park MD, will flesh out the details to this enormously important roadmap for a sane, sustainable and environmentally responsible US energy policy.

 Nuclear Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing : the Global Nuclear Energy Partnership, with former Greenpeace activist Shaun Birnie of Scotland and Aileen Mioko Smith of Japan

May 14, 2007

Bush Administration plans for a “global nuclear energy partnership” is one of the backbones of revitalizing the nuclear industry in the US and abroad. And one of the main facets of this GNEP is the “reprocessing” of spent reactor fuel. Activists Aileen Mioko Smith of Japan and Shaun Birnie of Scotland explain the effects of reprocessing on the environment in Japan and Scotland; and why because of its proliferation potential reprocessing is an international security threat. Total Running Time 27min 17 sec. Available at

EarthDay 2007 and Global Warming: an Update for the Planet with NEIS Director Dave Kraft

April 6, 2007

An Earth Day look at the state of the climate, and disingenuous attempts by the nuclear power industry to hawk its product &endash; the “nuclear renaissance” — as a “solution” for global warming. NEIS Director explains why You Can’t “Nuke” Global Warming (also the name of NEIS’s 2007 campaign to remove 1 million pounds of CO2 from the atmosphere using non-nuclear methods), and what we should be doing instead. Total Running Time: 27 minutes.

People Reversing Global Warming &endash; Climate Justice Chicago, with members of Climate Justice Chicago

December, 2006

A new coalition has emerged in Chicago to deal with the global warming threat. Remarkably, it does NOT see global warming as an environmental issue – but rather, as an environmental consequence of poorly thought-out and totally unsustainable, inequitable, and unjust economic choices and systems. Climate Justice Chicago seeks to transform the perception of the global warming issue, so the long-term solutions can become better recognized and implemented; and so the issue will be treated as one that our entire society must deal with, not just the environmental movement. CJC will sponsor a Global Warming Town Hall in Chicago in January, 2007. Total Running Time: 29 minutes.

Blowing the Whistle on Nuclear Power: an Interview with Oscar Shirani

Nov. 1, 2006

Nuclear power plants are extremely complex machines.  Think of them as space shuttles – with 1,000 Hiroshima’s worth of radiation stored inside.  It’s because of this hazardous fact that regulations must be strict, and no tolerance for error or sloppy operation tolerated.

Historically, whenever members of the general public have raised safety concerns about nuclear plants, they’re all too often ignored and given insulting labels like “no-nukes-kooks.”  But what happens when the people raising such concerns about nuclear plant safety issues are people on the inside?  Engineers and regulators themselves?  Their training and expertise make it impossible for companies like Exelon, or regulators at the NRC to just dismiss their claims, right?

Wrong!  Meet Oscar Shirani – a trained engineer, and pro-nuclear safety advocate – who will tell his story of how frustrating and personally damaging it has been to try to do your job at a nuclear plant with a “safety first!” attitude and work ethic. Running Time 29 min
Also on Google Video:

Community Forum:”Nuclear Power and Global Warming”, a conversation with Dr. Arjun Makhijani of IEER

Oct. 6, 2006

In spite of the press articles to the contrary, the self-proclaimed “nuclear renaissance” is no solution to the global warming problem, and is likely to create even worse nuclear proliferation problems than we currently have with Iran and North Korea, says Dr. Arjun Makhijani, President of the Institute for Energy and Environmental Research of Takoma Park, Maryland.  Dr. Makhijani explains in detail the failings of nuclear power, and why we should be pursuing a radically different energy future. Total Running Time:  28 min.
Available on Google Video at:

Community Forum – “Earth Share of Illinois:  Supporting a Healthy Environment”

Sept. 15, 2006

Most charitable giving in the US comes not from foundations, corporations, or the government.  It come from individuals, and one of the best and easiest ways to contribute is through the optional employee workplace giving programs set up at work.  Earth Share of Illinois director Natalia Petraszczuk describes how these programs work, and how important they are in support of local environmental groups working for a healthy environment.  Running Time: 28 min.  Also on Google Video at:

“Stand Up/Save Lives!”

Saturday, August 12, 2006

The segment features an interview with Maureen Headington who organized this campaign to call attention to the health and environmental hazards from old coal-fired power plants.  “Moe” has single-handedly gotten the signatures on a petition calling for the clean-up of these old plants from 101 Illinois mayors, representing a population of over 8 million Illinoisians. Running Time: 30 minutes

The Next Nuclear Waste Gambles

Saturday, August 5, 2006

This taping includes interviews with Peggy Maze Johnson, director of Citizen Alert, Nevada; and Kevin Kamps, radioactive waste researcher with NIRS of Takoma Park, MD.  Both were recent guests at the NEIS Annual Meeting in Chicago.  They provide updates on new legislation aimed at “fast-tracking” even more irresponsible legislation about Yucca Mt., Mobile Chernobyl and high-level radioactive waste perpetual storage.  Running Time: 28 minutes

It Could Happen Here: The Consequences of a Nuclear Accident Near Chicago

April 24, 2006

Dr. Andrew Kanter of Physicians for Social Responsibility explains the medical and health effects of a hypothetical local nuclear accident. The talk is part of an educational series presented by the Nuclear Energy Information Service to mark the 20th anniversary of the nuclear disaster in Chernobyl.   Running Time: 60 minutes

CAN TV Community Forum:  An Interview with Dr.Helen Caldicott

October 14, 2005

Perspectives on radiation and nuclear power effects from internationally renown pediatrician and founder of Physicians for Social Responsibility, Dr. Helen Caldicott.  Running Time: 29 min.

Health Effects of Environmental Radiation: the Collected Works of Dr. Ernest Sternglass

August 12, 2005

A presentation of the conclusions of the life work of noted scieintist and safe-energy advocate, Dr. Ernest J. Sternglass, Emeritus Professor of Radiological Physics in the Department of Radiology, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine.  Presently, he is Scientific Director of the Radiation and Public Health Project, a not-for profit research organization in New York City, whose most prominently known project is the “Tooth Fairy Project.”   Click to watch the windows media (.wmv) file, or right click and save a copy

The Effects of the Nuclear Age on Society

August, 2006

Presentations by Dr. Ernest Sternglass of the Radiation and Public Health Project, and Dr. David Rothstein of Chicago Physicians for Social Responsibility, giving their perspectives on the effects the Nuclear Age has had on society.  A presentation done to observe the 60th anniversary of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, taped by CAN TV at the Sulzer Regional Library, Chicago. Running Time: 1 hour 55 minutes

You Can’t ‘Nuke’ Global Warming

July, 2005

NEIS’ Director Dave Kraft presents the main reasons why nuclear power will not be able to reverse the global warming problem.  Taped at the Sulzer Regional Library in Chicago, by CAN TV.  Running Time: 1 hour 29 minutes

Illinois' Nuclear Power Watchdog since 1981