Nuclear Hotseat #500!
Treaty to Prohibit Nuclear Weapons takes on Force of Law!
Lots to celebrate!

Treaty to Prohibit Nuclear Weapons passes into international law as of Friday, January 22, 2021!

An important message (above) to those countries that currently hold nuclear weapons:
United States, Russia, China, UK, France, India, Pakistan, North Korea, Israel

SPECIAL FEATURE: Nuclear Hotseat at 500!  A look back featuring excerpts from:

NOTE:  This is not an all-inclusive rundown of episodes, just a saunter through some moments that have stuck with me from the first 9-1/2 years of Nuclear Hotseat production:

  • NH #1 – The first conference call that turned into a podcast that turned into… well, all the rest.
  • NH #7 – Jon Solomon of Eden Foods on safety precautions for foods imported from Japan in the immediate aftermath of Fukushima and FDA insufficiencies.
  • NH #74 – Marius Paul of the Denesuline First Nations people in northern Saskatchewan on his ancestral understanding of “the black stone” – uranium.
  • NH #91 – Dr. Helen Caldicott, 2012 Symposium on the Medical and Ecological Impacts of the Fukushima Nuclear Accident.
  • NH #483 – Ian Zabarte, Principal Man of the Western Bands of the Shoshone Nation of Indians with “A Message from the Most Bombed Nation on Earth.”
  • NH #423 – Church Rock uranium tailings dam break disaster – Terracita Keyanna of the Red Water Pond Road Community.  (Strong suggestion to listen to the entire SPECIAL on Church Rock.) 
  • NH #205 – Sister Megan Rice shortly after her release from two years in prison for participating in a non-violent peace protest of nuclear weapons at the Oak Ridge Y-12 “high security” nuclear facility in Tennessee.
  • NH #407 – Three Mile Island: My Trip Back.  Radiation dispersion after the meltdown with Arnie Gundersen of Fairewinds Energy Education, and health impact of radiation exposure with Cindy Folkers of Beyond Nuclear.
  • NH #316 – Treaty to Prohibit Nuclear Weapons passage – Prof. Heidi Hutner, interviewed from the United Nations less than one hour after the passage of the Treaty to Prohibit Nuclear Weapons.
  • NH ##303 – Susi Snyder of Don’t Bank on the Bomb with an important lesson on how you can take an action, right now, that will remove funding from nuclear weapons producing companies. 

NOTE:  All episodes listed above are available on this website
and can be accessed through the search function.


Libbe HaLevy

00:00:01

When one starts on a path through the unknown, you’ll never know what you will see or where you’ll go. So I was in complete ignorance. When on June 14th, 2011, I put together a conference call with two individuals. At that moment, I had no idea that it would lead to moments such as this

Heidi Huttner

00:00:21

I’m at the UN in New York city. It historic moment just happened. The United nations just voted almost by consensus in favor of this treaty to prohibit the use of nuclear weapons and to move forward with getting rid of them. This is a tremendous moment because it’s saying the rest of the nation don’t want this don’t want to proceed with us. And so for truly moving forward with the abolition of nuclear weapons,

Libbe HaLevy

00:00:46

That little snippet from the halls of the United nations with professor Heidi Huttner is only one of the many highlights reached in 500 weeks, 500 episodes of nuclear, hot seat, all in service to people and the planet to share information and learn how to take action to dismantle forever, that deadly radioactive seat that we all share

Announcer

00:01:10

Clear hot seat. What are those people thinking? Nuclear hot seat. What have those boys been breaking their hot seat? The Ms. Sinking our time to act is shrinking, but the visceral linking Hotsy, it’s the bomb.

Libbe HaLevy

00:01:41

Welcome to nuclear hot seat, the weekly international news magazine, keeping you up to date on all things, nuclear from a different perspective. My name is Lee Halevi. I am the producer and host as well as a survivor of the nuclear accident at three mile island from just one mile away. So I know what can happen when those nuclear so-called experts get it wrong this week. It’s the 500th episode of nuclear hot seat. So we’re going to take a brief look back at just a few of the highlights from that nine and a half year journey. We’ll also be celebrating the entering into force of law of the treaty to prohibit nuclear weapons, a stunning victory for sanity and life amid the ongoing international insanity and threat of nuclear war. This is a program packed with more honest nuclear information than just left the white house on air force one.

Libbe HaLevy

00:02:35

All of it coming up almost immediately today is Tuesday, January 19th, 2021. And here is this week special look back at 500 episodes of nuclear news from a different perspective. Here’s this week special feature on nuclear hot seat at 500 episodes. One doesn’t begin a or any project thinking about what it will be like in 500 weeks, 500 episodes in the future. One day at a time, as they say in 12 step or one week at a time bit by bit things can and do add up. I got the idea for nuclear hot seat three months after Fukushima’s nuclear disaster began, or rather the idea of found me. I was on a retreat off-grid in Sequoia national park, trying to process the overwhelming sense of grief I had over Fukushima and what I’d been learning about the entire nuclear landscape. I had spent days crying, meditating, journaling, hugging trees, trying to apologize to nature for what we, as a species had done to her on my fourth day, in the middle of a meditation, it was like, I heard a voice in my right ear.

Libbe HaLevy

00:03:54

Say, you will do your first podcast. This Tuesday. Now a disclaimer. I am neither clairaudient nor schizophrenia. I don’t walk around hearing voices, but this was like a message from somewhere else. Interpret that any way you like it. I tried to argue with it. I don’t know how to do a podcast. I’ve never thought of doing a podcast. I am not an expert on nuclear issues. How in the world could I, and the voice kept saying the same thing. You will do your first podcast. This Tuesday finally seemingly annoyed with my endless stream of excuses. The voice said, if you don’t do your first podcast, this Tuesday, you will always regret it. Well, you don’t regret what you do. You regret what you don’t do. And I’ve lived my life to have as few regrets as possible leading to a lot of really embarrassing experiences and some great adventures. So the following Monday, when I got home vowing to have no regrets, I posted a single notice on Facebook asking if anyone would be interested in getting on a conference call to discuss the possibility of a weekly program on nuclear issues at the appointed time two people actually showed up. And one of them, I didn’t even know here are a few inelegant moments from that first program, which I didn’t even know was the first program in a series that would go this long. It was just a conversation on a conference line by,

Libbe HaLevy

00:05:31

I’m not really sure if I’m going to, okay, here we go, guys. My name is Libbe HaLevi and we are talking on Tuesday, June 14th, 2011. And the purpose of this call is to discuss the nuclear issues that are going on in the world. Since Fukushima on March 11th of this year, I has been absorbed in going on the information that’s out there, the various ramifications, it’s having the lack of information that is getting to most people and what it is that we need to do in order to maintain our health, maintain our sanity and do something to turn around the nuclear situation so that we’re no longer being subjected to the dangers of having a dirty bomb in our backyard. And that’s why I want to do this. I don’t even know what this is, but I’m willing to hang out with the process, make it available, make it a little more visible next time around maybe, and do my little bit to get the word out and help raise people’s awareness that we do not need to panic.

Libbe HaLevy

00:06:50

We do need to act, and by admitting to the sear and turning around and finding one small thing to do every day, we will begin the process of empowerment and change. It’s been scary being alone with this and not being able to engage in the conversation. And that stopped me from taking action. And you’ve just helped me alleviate the part that had me stuck. So here’s two more action. And let’s start turning this around one tiny action at a time, but if we all take it, it’s amazing what we’ll be able to do. You did a beautiful job. Thank you. I’m actually going to post a link for this. As soon as I figure out how to do that.

Libbe HaLevy

00:07:34

Well, those Luddite tendencies did not serve me and I soon got over them early days for the program were challenging because nobody knew who I was. So why should they make the time to go on my podcast? Some people booked with me and then blew me off without letting me know they weren’t going to be there back at the beginning. I did the show live at 4:00 PM Pacific time. And after an interview would open up the phone lines for questions from our callers. I don’t know if there is anything more embarrassing than making that announcement and having it be followed with dead silence. I solved that program by contacting one of my two original callers before each show, begging him to be on the line and giving him a question or two to get things started. If he didn’t have any of his own to ask, usually he was my only color. Thanks Tim. One of my early successes was an interview with John Solomon vice president of purchasing from Eden foods, a company which specializes in organic macrobiotic foods, much of which is sourced from Japan. I tracked him down for nuclear hot seat, number seven from July 26th, 2011, to find out what his company had done to determine the safety of foods imported from Japan in the immediate aftermath of Fukushima. And please, pardon the sound quality. It took me a while to get those chops together.

John Solomon

00:09:02

The hardest thing to acquire was information first and getting through all of the, the tragedy was, was the first part. You know, a lot of the suppliers we were dealing with guide and trying to acquire information from the suppliers and what was happening was second. And then trying to acquire information from governmental agencies and in north America was, was number three. And none of the agencies was very forthcoming on what to do and how to do it. And that was when my department realized we have to create this ourselves. And we have to really address every, every variable that could affect our food.

Libbe HaLevy

00:09:53

Eden foods bought their own radiation monitors and checked containers, packaging and contents to find out not just about the food, but to judge worker safety. However, finding a lab to test the food itself for radiation proved much more difficult.

John Solomon

01:10:11

They were labs in Canada, but the labs would not accept the product coming into the country because it not been tested yet, which was kind of funny.

Libbe HaLevy

01:10:21

So they couldn’t do the test because you hadn’t tested it

Libbe HaLevy

01:10:25

As for official American response to requests for radiation monitoring help. Here’s what he had to say about the FDA.

Libbe HaLevy

01:10:33

What if anything, has the FDA been doing in all of this?

John Solomon

01:10:38

FDA has been coming in periodically when we receive containers and they will put the container on hold and they will visit our warehouses and they will scan the product. And I can tell you, the FDA did not seem as if they were prepared for this tragedy. One of the first visits out to our warehouse, one of the FDA agents said, boy, your, your radionuclides detector is a lot better than ours and had trouble getting them started, figuring out how to work. It use them in a long time.

Libbe HaLevy

01:11:15

John Solomon vice president of purchasing for Eden foods as recorded for nuclear hot seat, number seven, July 26th, 2011, only four months after the Fukushima disaster began by six months into production. The live format was gone no more call-ins and we now had an opening bit for each episode. When I learned that there were sirens around San Onofre nuclear power station here in Southern California, meant to notify the local populace. If there was an accident, I got a recording of a to use as nuclear, hot seats. First audio signature. The sound you never want to hear is the sound of a warning siren going on at a nuclear power plant. But whether you can hear that sound or not, we are all nuclear.

Libbe HaLevy

01:12:09

Well, VAP was annoying and it only lasted for about a year. By the way, before I go further, I just have to tell you this little tidbit, the warning sirens at San Onofre needed to be highly reliable. So they were each powered by their own attached solar panel. That’s right. Solar powering safety warning equipment at a nuclear power generating station. Think about that one. Anyway, I took advantage of my musical theater background to go in an opposite direction from that annoying, depressing siren and write a silly Diddy, which I then gave to professional musician, friends Marilee Weeber and John Barnard. They arranged it and recorded it at Winslow court studio in Hollywood. You hear the result every week at the top and tail of the show, as well as the stinger on numb nuts of the week. Nuclear hot seat has been a weekly education for me.

Libbe HaLevy

01:13:07

I learned from one early interview that human knowledge of uranium’s danger, far predates Madam curies work in the 18 hundreds, Maurice and Candace Paul of the Janessa link. First nations people in Northern Saskatchewan were activists. I met online. I asked for an interview to discuss uranium mining and nuclear waste storage issues in their beautiful Homeland here for nuclear hot seat. Number 74 from November 13th, 2012. Maurice explains the warnings. His grandfather gave about the black stone traditional knowledge, which had been passed down to his people for untold generations and point to the earliest warnings about radiation dangers.

Libbe HaLevy

01:13:51

There is an ancient tribal wisdom in your people about what is called the black stone and how the people were supposed to deal with it. Can you explain that story and how it relates to uranium

Maurice

01:14:04

We’re transliterating from the dentist language and tongue through the English language ancient stories about the black stone she called it. And I had remembered that from way, way back. My grandfather who lived up in the Northern areas have gotten during the fur trade era, 18 hundreds into the 19 hundreds. He was quite old when he passed on, but he always forbid to everybody to not touch those Blackstone’s he did mention that when they were underground, they served like a little stove. We called it they’re very, very warm. It was their control type of heating underground, which continuously was providing some kind of heat.

Heidi Huttner

01:14:55

What is it called? Pitch blend or

Maurice

01:14:56

Pitch. So scientists that I’ve been communicating with have also indicated that there were possibly touching blend the, before they appeared on the surface, they were white and color. They were underneath the ground. I thought some of my grandfather always pointed that out or those pure in color. And then when that was exposed or wouldn’t be open the term quite dark, he always forbid those people, Arab, everyone to not pass those things. And those stones

Heidi Huttner

01:15:30

Indeed were the ones that contained uranium.

Maurice

01:15:33

Yeah, they were uranium to us. It was more than that, but it was literally a daily like God or something that had a type of a sacred connection to us. So it was in that sense that we understood the blocks. Don’t

Libbe HaLevy

01:15:49

Marius Paul, who with his wife, Candace Paul, our first nations Dessaline people in Northern Saskatchewan and ongoing activists in the fight against Canada citing a nuclear waste dump on their ancestral lands. After I left three mile island and came back to Los Angeles, my editor at LA weekly handed me a copy of the previous week’s paper, which featured an interview with a woman I’d never heard of a Dr. Helen Caldicott in the interview. She was honest and direct about difficult nuclear truths that I hadn’t encountered anywhere else. She particularly focused on the health impact of low-level radiation with a timeline of how many years after exposure it would take before illnesses first showed up leukemia and thyroid cancer in three to five years, hard tumors in 12 to 15 years and all kinds of cancers and other diseases ongoing from then on her words. The most honest I encountered though, they were terribly frightening at the time, motivated me towards a healthier diet, holistic healers, supplementation, herbs, and much more that I now take for granted as my basic lifestyle.

Libbe HaLevy

01:17:06

For those of us who oppose nuclear, I consider Dr. Caldicott the mother of us all. I’d held her in such a mythological place in my psyche for so long. It’s no surprise that when I first tried to interview her at an event, I was so tongue tied that I stuttered and could only mumble out a few questions before my brain froze. And I took my embarrassed leave since then. My esteem for her has continued to grow. But thankfully my comfort level with speaking with her has increased. Here are two brief excerpts from my interviews with Dr. Caldicott in this first one, she responds to my question as to what activists need to do to, I think

Dr. Caldicott

01:17:51

That it’s imperative that people who are deeply concerned about all things, nuclear learn as much as they can about the medical effects of radiation, the biological effects. And I have written two books specifically in that area. One is called nuclear power is not the answer by the new print. And the other one is nuclear med with sports you can do by WWE nurse. And if you read those two books, you will know more than anyone who’s interviewing. You you’ll know more than the people at the nuclear power stations or the NRC because they don’t understand right. Radioed biology. So once you’re armed with the facts, then you will know what you have to do. No one ever told me what to do. I just kind of know as I learn more and I do it

Libbe HaLevy

01:18:41

While attending doctor Caldicott 2012 symposium on the medical and ecological impacts of the Fukushima nuclear accident. I got to ask her a question that’s been on a lot of people’s minds. Is there any place on earth that is not yet polluted with radiation?

Dr. Caldicott

01:18:58

As much of the Southern hemisphere is not because the two air masses do not mix at the equator. However the ocean currents do and a huge quantity of regulation, almost unimaginable has been tipped into the ocean from Fukushima. And of course, fish swim, thousands of miles notions, current scope of north south. So that’s a problem, but the, and we had British tests in Australia to which polluted some of Australia, but we are much less polluted in the Southern hemisphere and the Northern hemisphere.

Libbe HaLevy

01:19:31

If you would want to take a family someplace, that would be safer and could get out of say the United States or any place in the Northern hemisphere, what would you suggest

Dr. Caldicott

01:19:38

I’d go to Australia or south America?

Libbe HaLevy

01:19:41

Is there one question you’ve always wanted to be asked in an interview and haven’t or why response you’ve wanted to give that you haven’t had an opportunity to give yet

Dr. Caldicott

01:19:50

Where I haven’t. We saved the earth yet.

Libbe HaLevy

01:19:53

Dr. Helen Caldicott. Unfortunately, I was unable to find the clip where I asked her if things here in America go south radiation, only speaking. And I managed to evacuate to Australia. Could I sleep on her couch until I got myself settled after she stopped? Chortling she kindly moved onto another subject without comment. One of the great painful, ongoing revelations I gained through doing this show is how the nuclear industry has from the start devastated indigenous people around the world. Here is a brilliant brief summary by eons of RT. He is principal man of the Western bands of the Shishoni nation of Indians and a board member of the native community action council, Ian wrote and recorded a piece, entitled a message from the most bombed nation on earth, which was carried originally by Alan Jazeera. I found it so moving, I had to share from nuclear hot seat, number 4 83, September 22nd, 2020.

Ian

02:20:59

You never know what’s killing you when it’s done in secret. Every family here is affected. We’ve seen mental and physical retardation, leukemia, childhood leukemia, all sorts of cancers. My name is eons barky and I’m principal man of the Western bands of the Shoshone nation of Indians. The most bombed nation on earth. Our country is approximately 40,000 square miles, just west of Las Vegas in Nevada, all the way to the snake river in Idaho. We’ve been on this land at least 10,000 years. Our relationship to the United States is based upon the treaty will be valid signed in 1863 in the treaty. The Shoshone continued to own the land, but we agreed that exchange for $5,000 a year for 20 years, the United States could establish military posts on it. But shortly before the end of world war two, we started to be overrun by the United States, military industrial complex in ways we are only just beginning to understand.

Ian

02:21:56

Then in 1951, the United States established the Nevada proving grounds on Shoshone territory and began testing nuclear weapons without our consent or knowledge on January 27th, 1951, the first nuclear test took place on our lands. When at one, two, a ton bomb was dropped from a plane flying over it over the next 40 years, more than 900 nuclear tests took place much of Shawnee territory, 100 in the atmosphere and more than 800 underground. When the us dropped an atomic bomb on Hiroshima in 19 45, 13 kilotons of nuclear fallout rain down on the Japanese city. But according to one study between 1951 and 1992, the test conducted on our land costs 620 kilo tons of nuclear fallout. When the fallout came down, it was native American communities. Living downwind from the site who are most exposed. We consumed contaminated wildlife drank contaminated milk, lived off of contaminated land for native American adults.

Ian

02:22:59

The risk of exposure has been shown to be 15 times greater than for other Americans for young people that increased to 30 times. And for babies, it can be as much as 50 times greater as a result, we have watched our people die for almost 70 years. We have been suffering from this silent killer at the United States. Government’s culture of secrecy has kept it silent, but we are beginning to understand what has happened to us. We obtained documents that were declassified in the 1990s, but there are almost 2 million pages trying to understand all of this is daunting, but we are doing that work alone and without funding or support in every part of the world, where there have been nuclear catastrophes for nuclear testing, there are health registries to monitor those who have been exposed. We don’t have that here in the United States and we need it.

Ian

02:23:53

We cannot wait any longer for the health disparities. We are experiencing to be identified. We continue to endure. And we live with the understanding that the radiation is there on the ground. Is there in our plants, in our animals and inside of our people feeling she’s showing people was never part of the treaty. We signed. Our people would never have engaged in something that would result in our own destruction, our customers sharing. But when all you have is a hammer, everything is a nail. That is what the U S military has been doing. Hammering the Shoshone with bombs.

Libbe HaLevy

02:24:26

That was principle man of the Western bands of the Shoshone nation of Indians and a board member of the native community action council. Some of the worst nuclear devastation played out on Navajo nation land. Only three months after three mile island on the morning of July 16th, 1979, a 20 foot section of an earth and dam at the uranium tailings waste pool for United nuclear corporations, uranium mill in church rock New Mexico collapsed. It released more than 94 million gallons of highly acidic water containing 1100 tons of radioactive uranium waste material, the fluid and waste float into the adjacent perky river, traveling 80 miles downstream, past Sanders, Arizona leaving a trail of radioactive contamination that has never been cleaned up. It remains the single largest release of radioactive material in us history. Like most of us in America, I was completely unaware of the church rock disaster until I interviewed indigenous activists, such as Leona Morgan, a DNF woman who spoke about it.

Libbe HaLevy

02:25:39

I was fortunate to be able to travel to church rock New Mexico in 2019 for the 40th anniversary of the uranium tailings disaster. I spoke with a miner who was on site the day that the accident happened, local residents, who weren’t informed of the deadly nature of what had just happened. People who lived in proximity with uranium mines, as well as this catastrophe, those working on the resulting health problems and the anniversary event itself, where I walked in community with those most effected up the road from red water pond road community to the site of the spill. The full story of church rock is told on a special nuclear hot seat. Number 4 23 from July 30th, 2019. Here’s an expert my interview with Teracita Cuyama. She has lived her entire life in the red water pond road community, and was not even born when the church rock uranium spill happened, but that did not stop her exposure to uranium mining waste by what was around her home and deposited by the spill. I asked her what she had been told about the accident while growing up,

Taracita Kuyama

02:26:48

Nothing I wasn’t aware of it. I didn’t know much about it as a child. I played in these abandoned uranium mills and mining areas, and my grandmother owned sheep. So sometimes I had to herd the sheep or get the sheep when they got onto the mining areas, the million areas, and there was no fencing up. And so I just walked right in, got our sheep, came back through, got the back at home. Nobody ever said you don’t go in these areas. That’s dangerous, nothing like that.

Libbe HaLevy

02:27:30

The first visible signs of impact from the spill came from the livestock, a sheet

Taracita Kuyama

02:27:37

That had been butchered years ago and the entire insides, the internal organs all are tinted yellowish, and that’s due to the radiation.

Libbe HaLevy

02:27:51

The problems continue to this day,

Taracita Kuyama

02:27:54

PA they won’t allow us to plant crops because we can’t eat them. Can’t keep our livestock. The reason why we have our lifestyle is because we utilize them is an economic way and also a cultural way. We don’t just keep, just to have as white folks like to have horses and cows just to be there. We like to utilize everything. So our sheep, we eat it. The wool, we use it to create rugs

Libbe HaLevy

02:28:26

Through the years. The impact on her family’s health has been extensive and devastating. We have

Taracita Kuyama

02:28:34

Cancers, respiratory illnesses. We’ve had some people pass away from respiratory illnesses, pulmonary fibrosis. So basically these people who have passed away from respiratory illnesses, we had to watch him suffocate to death, and it was very traumatic. And it’s something that we have to live in endure just because it’s almost a norm here because of the radiation and the impact that the dust and the water and the land has done to our bodies done to our community. You know, you hate to say it, but it’s kind of just like environmental racism, where our community is somewhat seen as expendable. You hate to say it and you hate to feel that way, but that’s how it feels for our entire community, that we are the expendable people, because it took so long for

Libbe HaLevy

02:29:41

Anybody to acknowledge what was going on here. Teracita Kiana of the red water pond road community in Navajo nation. One of my more memorable interviews was with sister Meagan rice as an 82 year old nun, she and two other senior citizens, easily breached security at the Y 12 national security complex in Oak Ridge, Tennessee to conduct a non-violent demonstration against nuclear weapons called transform Ploughshares. Now why 12 is considered one of the nation’s most important national security assets and the U S was so embarrassed by this petite senior citizens ability to outwit them and gain access that they up their charges for misdemeanor trespass, two felony counts and sentenced her to just under three years in prison. She was released after serving two years, and I was able to interview her shortly thereafter. This is from nuclear hot seat. Number two, all five from May 26th, 2015.

Libbe HaLevy

03:30:46

You were initially charged with misdemeanor trespass, and then suddenly the charges were upped to damaging the defense facility under the sabotage, and which carries a sentence of up to 20 years in prison. And there was also the charge of causing more than $1,000 damage to government property, which carries up to 10 years in prison. Why do you think the charges against you were so dramatically increased in their severity?

Taracita Kuyama

03:31:15

Obviously they didn’t want a trial. They thought we would try to get out easily with a plea bargain.

Libbe HaLevy

03:31:22

Oh, is that the strategy?

Taracita Kuyama

03:31:24

Oh, absolutely. They always want plea bargains.

Libbe HaLevy

03:31:29

Was there any question in your mind about taking the plea bargain all along?

Taracita Kuyama

03:31:35

No possibility of a question.

Libbe HaLevy

03:31:38

And what did you hope to accomplish with the trial and the resulting disability? Okay.

Taracita Kuyama

03:31:44

To doing what we had to do, it’s the obligation of every we’re all equally responsible to expos and oppose known crimes. So it was nothing else we could do, but do it in order to make a very clear message. Quickly

Libbe HaLevy

03:32:03

Sister Meagan, rice, there’s much more that is deeply nourishing to the heart. And the hope that we have that is in this interview, and I urge you to look it up. All of the episodes that are being referenced here are available in full on our website, nuclear hot seat.com. You can search under episode number or keywords such as the name of the person interviewed or the issue under discussion. And while you’re on the website, this would be a perfect time to help us keep going with a donation of any size after all 500 episodes, I can hardly believe it myself. And it only happened because of the support I’ve received from so many of you who are listening. If you have donated before, thank you because you’ve become part of the fabric of nuclear hot seat. And one of the reasons it’s still here and if you haven’t yet helped us out, but have thought about it, Hey, now would be a perfect time.

Libbe HaLevy

03:32:59

It’s our anniversary 500 episodes. Now, if you wanted to pay a penny, an episode that would translate into 500 pennies, just $5, which you can send as a one-time donation or make monthly to help sustain us in the work, or if you’re up for it, you could do 500 dimes for $50 or $500 or anything greater or smaller because any, and every amount helps. Nothing is too small. So find something that works for you and send it in so that we can keep doing the work here. Remember while mainstream media has other agendas and gets bombarded with pro nuclear propaganda, that quite often taints their stories. We hear it. Nuclear hot seat, know where to look for the nuclear story, the questions to ask and how to report on the ongoing, evolving nuclear truth that the industry would rather we not hear about. Let alone understand.

Libbe HaLevy

03:34:00

So take a moment now and just go to nuclear hot seat.com. There’s a big red donate button there for you to click on so that you can honor this milestone in the show with either a one-time or a recurring donation. Please do what you can now. And to know that however much you can help, I am deeply grateful that you’re listening and that you care when the opportunity arose. I returned to the scene of the crime three mile island near Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, not once, but twice for the 39th and the 40th anniversaries. While the nuclear industry is fond of claiming that nobody died at three mile island. I was always concerned about radiation exposure and had a hard time finding any solid information on it. But I got the information I needed on this trip. First Arnie Gunderson, chief engineer at Fairwinds energy education, a former nuclear industry, insider turned whistleblower and whittled whistleblower. He still is spoke about radiation levels and why the readings were so difficult after three mile island. This is an excerpt from a press conference speech given by irony in the rotunda of the Pennsylvania state house for TMOs 40th anniversary,

Arnie Gunderson

03:35:20

How much radiation was released. And the answer is nobody knows. And the reason for that is that every single radiation detector in every single event that left the plan was picked that when they built three mile island, they really want it to detect the low levels of radiation that would be released. And they put all low level radiation detectors in the stack and in all the ventilation systems. But when the disaster happened, all of those went off scale high. So nobody measured what went out of three mile island. So at best scientists like me have to calculate based on what we know was measured out in the environment, the NRC on their website, very shortly after the nuclear disaster TMI came out with 10 million curious, curious as a measure of radiation and a Curie is 37 billion disintegrations per second. So 37 billion times 10 million is what the NRC said.

Arnie Gunderson

03:36:27

And I’ll submit as part of this presentation that that’s incredibly low. Most of the measurements were made by driving a car around, through the local neighborhoods and out into the hillsides and also from helicopters. And you’ll look in my press packet. And I have two quotes from a senior guy at the NRC, a guy named John Collins. And John said that at best the car is if he and he didn’t trust the helicopter data at all. So if you think about a helicopter takes, it takes pure air from above and pushes that pure air down on the radiation detector below diluting, whatever the radiation levels were. So the car data is suspect and the helicopter data is useless. What I did was I plotted where the nuclear regulatory commission looked on the first four days, and I compared it to the peer reviewed paper that Dr.

Arnie Gunderson

03:37:27

Steve wing road, 10 years ago, I met Steve wing right here in the rotunda. Dr. Wing was an epidemiologist at the UNC two years ago. He passed wonderful scientist. And Steve showed that there was a dramatic increase in cancer along the Susko Hanna river valley. This is peer reviewed stuff. This went through a rigorous scientific process. What happened in the Cisco Hannah river valley was that during the first couple of days of the disaster, there was a temperature inversion over the valley. And that kept the radiation moving up and down the river, but it didn’t allow the radiation to move up into the hillsides as much. So if you look at Steve’s data, which is on these slides, but also in the material I gave you, and I’ll have a PDF up on the Fairwinds website after I speak at Penn central. But if you look at that data, you’ll see a clear correlation to cancer increase versus where you lived in relation to the river valley,

Libbe HaLevy

03:38:34

Arnie Gunderson, chief engineer at Fairwinds energy education. Later that weekend, I had an extensive conversation with Cindy Folkers. She is the radiation and health specialist for beyond nuclear. What Cindy shared with me rocked me to my core because it gave me the exact information I’ve been looking for and not finding about what might’ve happened to me based on my exposure to the radiation at three mile island. What kind of difficulties are there with figuring out what the impact has been on health of three months?

Cindy Folkers

03:39:09

Well, there were a lot of difficulties. The first difficulty was that a lot of the monitors just simply weren’t working. So they don’t really know what exactly was released, how much radioactivity was released during the whole three mile island disaster. When it was spewing stuff out into the environment, we don’t know what kind of radioactivity was released as far as the isotopes, the cesium, the strontium, the iodine we suspect certainly that iodine was, but, you know, there was also an issue with the health impacts because there was a court order issued that basically established something called the three mile island health fund. And as a stipulation of getting money from the fund, any researcher that wanted to use fund money was basically not able to look at the impact of higher doses and if they had wanted to do so, then they had to have asked someone from the nuclear insurers to provide them with an expert to okay, whatever it was they wished to study.

Cindy Folkers

04:40:07

It’s an incredible agreement. And I say incredible. And the most, the most horrible way, because in essence, what that did was when researchers used money from the fund and they did find increases of health impacts. They couldn’t attribute those health impacts to radiation because the court said the doses were too low, but the court had no way to know exactly what the doses were come to find out. 15 years later, the only study that was able to attribute any of the health, the disease increases to radiation exposure was the Steven wing study. You as a university, North Carolina at chapel hill epidemiologist professor there. And one of the aspects of his study in addition to the epidemiological process was that he drew people’s blood. And then people’s blood who he drew complained of symptoms of higher radiation exposure, such as skin reddening, metallic taste in the mouth hair, falling out.

Cindy Folkers

04:41:02

Those kinds of symptoms. He drew over 20 people’s blood. This was about 15 years later when it was done. And he had someone look at the chromosome malformation, specifically something called a dicentric centric ring, which is known to be a marker of radiation exposure when they did that, they discovered that indeed those people had been exposed to 600 to 900 milligrays, which is 60 to 90 rads, which is so much more. And again, this was 15 years later after exposure, then certainly that the court was willing to allow researchers to investigate at that higher exposure level, but higher than any official or industry person was willing to admit at the time or even today. So what the monitors failed to measure the people’s blood who were exposed during the accident, the disaster, really their blood measured. It just fine. The thing that is really awful today is that this doesn’t seem that the fact that the it was recorded in the blood, the radiation exposures were basically recorded in the blood.

Cindy Folkers

04:42:08

Doesn’t seem to have taken hold. These kinds of blood draws are not that I know of generally being used in most of post accident, scenario exposure, dose reconstructions, like Fukushima should be being used at Fukushima should have been being used at Chernobyl for public members of the public, not just workers and not just military. And this test has been around this dicentric chromosome ring test has been around since the mid 20th century. So the 1950s or sixties. So to me, it’s completely unconscionable that you don’t believe the biological data, but a court order you’ll believe as saying that the doses were too low, having absolutely no basis for making that statement. So it’s 48

Libbe HaLevy

04:42:55

Years later. Now, is it possible that blood markers could still be

Cindy Folkers

04:42:59

Found in the three mile island folks? I’m not enough of an expert to know. I do know that the technique is currently being used, although it’s mostly in military or worker exposure context in the United States, it’s out of Oak Ridge and Fukushima certainly Chernobyl, possibly. Yeah. I mean, if you look at the blood draws at three mile island, it was still showing you were still able to get a dose read 15 years later. Now it’s 40 years again, here at three mile island. So that would be a question for an expert, but you know, we shouldn’t be standing here saying, could we do it now? They should have just done it after the things exploded after Chernobyl blew, after Fukushima blew, it should have been within the first few months that they did this. There shouldn’t be a question. My question is why don’t they use this technique?

Libbe HaLevy

04:43:51

A good question, and still not an answer. Cindy Folkers, radiation and health specialist for beyond nuclear from nuclear hot seat, number 4 0 7, April 9th, 2019. Finally, it is a beautiful and entirely unpredictable confluence of timing that has this 500th episode of nuclear hot seat happening the same week that the United nations treaty for the prohibition of nuclear weapons takes on force of law. That historic event happens this Friday, January 22nd, 2021, the first legally binding international agreement to comprehensively prohibit nuclear weapons with the ultimate goal, being their total elimination, the treaty prohibits states from participating in any nuclear weapons related activities, including development, testing, possession, stockpile use, or threat of use of nuclear weapons. It is the result of a successful campaign coordinated by the Nobel peace prize winning organization. I can the international campaign to abolish nuclear weapons. After years of stalemate, the treaty passed the United nations on September 20th, 2017, with 122 nations signing on in the ensuing years.

Libbe HaLevy

04:45:10

It has gone through the necessary processes to have been ratified by the more than 50 nations required for it to enter into force of law. But let’s take it back to that exciting moment. When the course of the future and of nuclear weapons changed forever, we contacted professor Heidi Huttner. She is director and producer of the upcoming film on three mile island accidents can happen and is a professor of sustainability and English at Stony Brook university and a scholar of nuclear and environmental history. And eco-feminism Heidi was present at the United nations and in the room where it happened at the time of the vote, we were able to speak with her less than one hour after passage, as you can hear from our shared energy and excitement, it was a memorable occasion,

Heidi Huttner

04:46:00

Heidi, where are you? And what just happened? Well, I’m at the UN in New York city and historic moment just happened. The United nations just voted almost by consensus one vote extension one against and all of the other 122 voted in favor of this treaty to prohibit the use of nuclear weapons and to move forward with getting rid of them. Now we know that the nine nuclear nations are not here and they’re not participating, but this is a tremendous moment because it’s saying the rest of the nation don’t want this. Don’t want to proceed with us. And so for truly moving forward with the abolition of nuclear weapons and reading about this, I have been in tears this morning here. Lots of tears. Okay. So here was the moment I was in there when they voted, when the, when the vote was announced and sealed officially, and people were hearing crying, hugging.

Heidi Huttner

04:46:56

It was a really powerful moment. And I was right next to the two nuclear nuns, Carol Gilbert and RDF plat. And they were the two nuns who went to jail in protest of nuclear weapons. And they were crying all the women from I can, who have come from all over the world. And then Kathleen Sullivan, who from the, he bequeathed her stories, Robert Croonquist, who’s also from Kabaka Russia. Everyone was weeping, many women from all over the world. And then Australia, India. There was an amazing speech by the ambassador from South Africa who spoke about just being the Eve of Nelson Mandela day and how he is watching in this moment. And we being an so proud of this vote. It is thrilling even from a distance to know what has happened and that the history is here right in front of us, right at this moment. And what’s the next step?

Heidi Huttner

04:47:59

What do we do to start implementing this around the world, including here in the United States, which has been, probably will be the last one to sign on. Right? So I think what this is saying is, look, we have the rest of the world in support of this. And for those of us who are active and advocates on behalf of the abolition of nuclear weapons, we can now use this as a tool, to both divest from banks that invest in nuclear weaponry. That’s a really big one, the divestment campaign and get this message out on social media. Everyone should be doing it. You’ve got plenty of opportunity. Now you have material to work with. You can go to the ICANN website, they’re leaders internationally and promoting this. So there’s lots of photographs and material there and articles. You can follow me, Heidi huttner.com. You can follow me on Facebook. I’ve got lots of photos and retweet where you Facebook. I mean, get it out there. We know our president. We know these people, social media works. So use that and write letters to your editor, you know, tell your congressmen and congresswomen and senators reinforce how important this is and how we need to join with the rest of the world and abolish these horrific horrific weapons

Libbe HaLevy

04:49:07

Writer, producer, director, and professor Heidi Huttner from nuclear hot seat, number 3, 1 6, July 11th, 2017. There will be more than 100 celebratory events taking place around the world. This Friday, January 22nd, to celebrate the milestone of nuclear weapons becoming illegal. The primary celebration will be presented by ICANN at 9:00 PM, Geneva, Switzerland time, which is 3:00 PM Eastern and noon. Pacific times here in the U S we will link to that and also to a list of other events happening around the world. This is truly something to celebrate, and I hope you can join with your sisters and brothers around the world and marking this historic day in the battle to get rid of nuclear weapons and for a practical tip that you can take right now here, once again is Susie Snyder of don’t bank on the bomb explaining how you too can help cut the financial knees out from under the nuclear weapons industry. Susie Snyder from paps. The Netherlands provided a strategy for taking funding away from companies that make nuclear bombs and delivery components. Here she is with the short version of that strategy, which has implications for nuclear reactors as well.

Susie Synder

05:50:29

It’s amazing. It’s called don’t bank on the bomb, and that’s the website too. Don’t bank on the bomb.com. Step one, find out if your bank invests a nuclear weapon producers, step to contact your bank, tell them you don’t want them to step three, tell the world what the bank says, and if they don’t get rid of investments, go public because no bank wants to look like a bad guy. It takes one or two people only to make a huge difference, and that can cut off the money stream to the companies that make nuclear weapons, you and I, we have more power than we think, and that power is sitting in our wallet. And

Libbe HaLevy

05:51:07

When people find out whether the companies that were told the bank is supporting, having a connection with the nuclear weapons, India.

Susie Synder

05:51:15

Well, we do a significant investigation every year. Now it’s not completely exhaustive, but we profiled 28 companies that have association with nuclear weapons, modernization, and maintenance, and it’s on our website. Don’t bank on the bomb.com. And we really want people to use our information and contact us all the time. You can do that in through the website, really easily contact me on Twitter, whatever works, and I’m happy to find out more. And if you find out, learn about more companies involved in nuclear weapons, tell us we’ll do the research and we’ll make it public for everybody to use. Love it.

Libbe HaLevy

05:51:51

Susie Snyder of don’t bank on the bomb.com. If you haven’t yet made that call to your bank, do it now. So this is just a brief sampling of a few of the highlights and teachable moment, myself being the teachable person that I experienced during the creation of the first 500 episodes of nuclear hot seat ask for having taken that step into the great podcasting unknown on June 14th, 2011, not having a clue as to where it might lead. Do I regret it? Absolutely not. If I’d not screwed my courage to the sticking place back then, I would not be speaking with you. Now. I would not have an international network of friends, genuine friends of the anti-nuclear persuasion people in New Zealand, Brazil, Japan, Germany, France, England, India, Australia, Turkey, and all the other countries where people have reached out to me, subscribe to the show sent along information, helped me find the right people to interview.

Libbe HaLevy

05:52:59

And our influence keeps growing in recent weeks in rankings as a business podcast, nuclear hot seat ranked number 66, 0 in Japan. Number 58 in Russia. Number 12 in Mongolia. Number five in Indonesia. And number one in Bolivia, none of which are countries which specialized in the speaking of English. And I doubt they had anybody doing simultaneous translations of what was coming across on this show. Interviews from nuclear hot seat are being referenced in academic papers. Most recently, one just published in France. While on this journey, I had discovered that the people who fight against this nuclear madness are some of the smartest sharpest, kindest, most compassionate, as well as funniest people. I have ever been privileged to meet head heart and soul. Each one has the full package and I’m honored that I was able to come from out of nowhere and earn your trust as well as your friendship.

Libbe HaLevy

05:54:05

Now, despite the fact that it sometimes feels like I’m just sitting alone at my desk, shouting at myself while alive, Mike sits blinking at me in my solitude while my dog looks at me as if I’m nuts and my neighbors shake their heads at my rants and think, oh, there she goes again. It seems that these shows have been of some value in light of that. How could I stop not planning on it? As I promised during my first show, I will take nuclear hot seat one week at a time, one episode at a time, as long as there is still need, I will keep doing this to the best of my abilities and let’s face it. Plutonium has a half-life of 24,000 years. Doesn’t look like I’m going anywhere, except back to the microphone. After I posted this show to get started on next week’s nuclear hot seat, number 5 0 1.

Libbe HaLevy

05:55:01

This has been nuclear hot seat number 500 for Tuesday, January 19th, 2021. Thanks to all of you for listening, sharing, supporting, and being on this journey with me into the truth about what nuclear is, what it is already done to us, what it could still do to us with an eye for stopping it from getting any worse and for turning it around. And of course, a big shout out to nuclear hot seat listeners and followers in the world in at least 123 countries on six continents and counting nuclear hot seat is syndicated for broadcast through Pacifical audio port network. That means that if you know of a nonprofit or community radio station in your area, that would be interested in broadcasting the show, let me know who to contact, and I will follow up with them to see if we can get it on the air in your area and let them know about me.

Libbe HaLevy

05:55:57

And they can send an email to [email protected] either way, once we’re in touch, the Pacific is syndication is an easy thing to set up so that stations can broadcast this program every week. Now, if you want to get nuclear, hot seat delivered by an email every week, it’s easy. Go to nuclear, hot seat.com. Look for that yellow opt-in box and sign up for weekly email links to the latest show. It will not only have the link. There’ll be a short summary of what’s inside as well, along with a tweet blimp post that you can copy and paste into your social media to get the show out even further. If you’re interested in following up on any of the shows you have heard excerpted today, or any others, you can find our back episodes, all 500 of [email protected] And as we move into the future, if you, yes, you have a story lead, a hot tip or suggestion of someone to interview, just send it in an email to [email protected]

Libbe HaLevy

05:57:05

We check those every day. And if you appreciate weekly verifiable news updates about nuclear issues around the world, take a moment, go to our website, nuclear hot seat.com and look for that big red button. Click on it, follow it, commemorate this 500th episode, or just buy us a cup of coffee. The equivalent, of course we won’t be drinking the coffee. We’ll be using it for the show. This episode of nuclear hot seat is copyright 2021 Leiby Halevi and hardest street communications, all rights reserved, but fair use allowed. As long as proper attribution is provided. This is Libby Halevi of heart history, communications, the heart of the art of communicating, reminding you that here in the United States, we now have a new president and he is the one who has the nuclear launch codes. And no one person of any political persuasion should be trusted with the power to end the world on impulse. So let’s get something going to change that. There you go. You have just had your nuclear wake-up call. So don’t go back to sleep because we are all in the nuclear hot seat,

Announcer

05:58:24

Clear hot seat. What are those people thinking? Nuclear hot seat. What have those boys been breaking their hot seat? The Ms. Sinking our time to act is shrinking, but the visceral Hotsy, it’s the bomb.