This Week’s Featured Interviews:
- TEXAS NUCLEAR’S EPIC FAIL – Erica Gray, Nuclear Issues Chair of the Sierra Club, checks and posts the Nuclear Regulatory Commission status (power level) and event (accidents, problems) reports on social media the five days a week that they are supposed to be issued. Last week, Nuclear Hotseat offered a rundown on what was then known about the South Texas nuclear power plant power failure during the recent arctic cold snap which left much of the state without electricity in sub-freezing weather. More has been revealed, and to learn all about it, I spoke with Erica. This is what we know as of Saturday, February 20.
- Defund Nuclear Weapons Producers: Susi Snyder is primary coordinator of the Netherlands-based program, Don’t Bank on the Bomb (DBOTB). We regularly run Susi’s two-minute explanation of the international grassroots DBOTB program as a PSA for sanity. Here, she goes into much greater detail on how any of us – all of us – can work together to cut off the money going to nuclear weapons producers. Note that this interview is from May, 2018, so her references to the American presidential administration are to President Biden’s predecessor. But the website contains updated information as of February, 2021, and everything she discusses is still accurate. Also, this interview took place before the passage of the Treaty to Ban Nuclear Weapons was ratified by more than 50 countries and took on force of law as of January 21, 2021. That means international law is on our side and strengthens our discussion with our financial institutions even more.
List of 28 nuclear weapons-producing companies from Don’t Bank on the Bomb.
Here’s a link to a handy phone script you can crib from when you contact your financial institution.
Numnutz of the Week (for Outstanding Nuclear Boneheadedness):
The New Yorker Magazine goes full-on pro-nuclear for a gazillion-word article that doesn’t even bother to put forth the opposing view. My longest Numnutz rant in the history of Nuclear Hotseat because… hey, it’s really more awful than you can imagine.
Rebuttal to New Yorker Magazine written by Dave Kraft of Nuclear Energy Information Service – downloadable PDF.
- March 1, World Future Day – 8th Annual World Future Day 24 hour round-the-world conversation via Zoom. Follow the time zones around the world as youth, elders, policymakers, visionaries, artists, academics, future thinkers and ordinary people interested the future, will come together in a free-flowing dialogue designed to stimulate ideas and inspire hope. Compelling watching!
- March 1, inter-generational dialog organized by Youth Fusion, and the launch of the Youth Fusion Elders Initiative, which you can sign up to watch.
- Happy Birthday, Peace Symbol – Here are its anti-nuclear roots:
Nuclear weapons. Well, we have to have them to keep safe. Don’t we, at least that’s, what’s been hammered into us by the military industrial political complex that we have to keep bankrupting or future to build bigger, badder, more devastating nuclear weapons of mass destruction. Even though we already have more than enough nukes in our arsenal to easily blow the earth into a lifeless asteroid belt. Many times over there seems to be no way out of this ever expanding deal with the devil that nuclear appears to be. But then you hear a genuine expert on these issues with a way out of the madness. And she tells you
Right now, it’s our time to stand up and say, Hey, this is insane. There are so many more things that we could spend the money on the U S government alone is spending $70,000 a minute on producing nuclear weapons, 70,000 a minute. Imagine what $70,000 a minute could do for public education, addressing climate change
And so much more $70,000 a minute. Well, if you want to learn how to join an international movement to knock the financial knees out from under the nuclear weapons industry, you too can be part of the growing wave of people dedicated to getting us out of that awful seat that everyone on this planet shares
Claire hot seat. What are those people thinking? Hot seat? What have those boys been breaking their hot? See the Ms. Sinking our time to act is shrinking, but nuclear Hotsy. It’s the bomb.
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 Leiby 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. A great tutorial on how to deprive nuclear weapons manufacturers of their obscene funding. With the goal of driving them out of business. One bank account at a time, Susie Snyder of PAX, Netherlands shares with us easy steps to take, to make certain that your money doesn’t inadvertently bank on the bomb. Then we follow up with our coverage of the shutdown of south Texas nuclear during the recent Texas Arctic war techs and statewide electricity failure. We talk with Erica gray of the Sierra club who follows nuclear regulatory commission status and event reports and post them online five days a week.
It has been heard discerning that has allowed us to understand exactly how south Texas and the NRC failed to give a transparently honest report on the nuclear shutdown, just when the electricity was most needed. We will also have nuclear news from around the world numnuts of the week for outstanding nuclear bone headedness, and more honest nuclear information than we could ever hope to get out of Cancun and cruise, AKA, Ted flood, all of it coming up in just a few moments. Today’s Tuesday, February 23rd, 2021. And here is this week’s nuclear news from a different perspective. Starting here in the United States last week, nuclear hot seat offered a rundown on what was then known about the south Texas nuclear power plant failure during the recent Arctic cold snap that left much of the state without electricity more has been revealed about south Texas and to learn all about it. I spoke with Erica gray. She is the nuclear issues chair of the Sierra club. This is what we’ve learned as of Saturday, February 20th, 2021.
Great, thanks for making the time to talk with us today on such short notice for nuclear hot seats. So glad I can be here to talk. Let’s give people a little bit of your background and how you got involved with anti-nuclear work goes back to almost 10 years when the disaster happened at Fukushima, it really got me going, I really started paying attention. And at the same time, we were here in Virginia battling to keep our ban on uranium mining. So between fighting at the general assembly to keep our ban on uranium mining and watching the reports coming out of Japan, it was my big wake up call. And so it’s been almost 10 years that I’ve been following and posting the NRC event reports and reactor status reports Monday through Friday. That is what you’re best known for within our community because you a regular presence in putting this information out.
And I’ve certainly come to rely on you for nuclear hot seat. Explain to people a little bit about what a status report is for the NRC and what an event report is not always, but normally in the morning, usually by 8:00 AM, VNRC puts out a daily report and it’ll have not just with reactors, but other issues with the nuclear materials or with medical reports to deal with nuclear medicine. So basically Monday through Friday, they put out these reports, as it goes for reactors, the utilities will send in a report to the NRC and what will be in that report. Well, the criteria seems to change over the years as it goes for exactly what has to be reported, but typically the criteria for reporting, it has some significance. So if there’s a reactor scram or where there was not a magic shutdown, or they had to turn off the reactors, then that has to be reported.
And so that’s one of the things, or like we see quite a bit of them, the fitness for duty reports where they’ll find as someone within the power plant that, or either cops to have alcohol or drugs in their system. So that, and basically if the reactor is having some issues, let’s say talk about the recent Texas Arctic temperatures and the way that they impacted on south Texas nuclear power plant. The news stories are now blaming failures in oil, natural gas, and in a mistaken and completely propagandistic move, wind power for the power failures in the state. However, in most of the reporting, nuclear seems to have gotten a path. And there’s a reason for that. What really happened at south Texas during that time. And what is the little glitch that has so far trick the world into giving them a free path? I knew when, cause I have family in Texas, so I was really concerned, but when I checked the status report and the events report Monday morning on the 15th and saw that there was nothing reported on any of the four reactors that are there in Texas.
And I looked at the status report, which shows the percentage of power that the plants are at. And they were at a hundred percent. I was questioning that basically the next day on the 16th is when actually the report showed up because they managed to get the report out to the NRC a few hours after the daily report was already posted. And so then at that time is when it showed that it had gone offline on the 15th in the morning at, I believe it was 5 26 central time. And so it avoided being included in a lot of the news media because really that one reactor supposedly powers about a million homes. So I kind of figured something had happened there. And so then I looked on the reactor status report and it showed 0% power for one. So it was down. I think the important point, which you made me quite aware of is that as of local time, central time, 5 26 on Monday morning, the nuclear power plant in south Texas went down, but they delayed reporting until it was after the time that the report was issued for the day, showing it at 100% operation, it was down to zero, but it didn’t get onto the report.
And because of that officially anyone doing a cursory job of research, this is going to show that the plant was working just fine. And nuclear was just on Monday when indeed it was already out. Exactly. There’s many times that the NRC doesn’t even get the report up until 10 11. Sometimes they just don’t put the report up at all. So when I saw that they delayed in almost four hours reporting it. I kind of figured they maybe didn’t want to have that on Monday’s list alongside with all the other outages and problems. You’ve also made the point that Monday is a day that gets checked into a lot by news sources just to see if there is anything because the NRC and its wisdom doesn’t put that in quotes does not put up a report on Saturday or Sunday. So the Monday report gets checked a lot and they want to bury something.
They’ll put it on Friday or they’ll just hold it over the weekend. Yeah. That’s usually the case, especially bad information. Doesn’t matter if it’s from nuclear industry or from the general assembly or whatever bad bills or yeah, they’ll put it on Friday because then that way it has the weekend. Cool, awesome. Yeah, kind of common. Here’s another point when the Tuesday NRC reactor status report caught up with the fact that it was at 0% at south Texas nuclear, the cause was listed as quote loss of feed water pumps, cause unknown, considering the problem that Texas has been having with water and frozen pipes and broken pipes, might that be an indication that the pipes had frozen from my understanding some of these pipes in that region just aren’t really protected and they’re out in the open. So I wouldn’t doubt that there was some frozen pipe going on.
The basic report stated that unit one automatically tripped due to low steam generator levels. The Lowe’s steam generator levels were due to loss of feed, water pumps, 11 and 13, because I knew there were no electrical problems. I always find this interesting this event was not significant to the health and safety of the public based on all safety systems to forming as designed. Yeah, that is actually in the report. They say no harm to anybody. Well, I can say not significant there, their favorite words, something is, or is not significant, but they never quite quantify where that line is placed. Right. And the other thing I really get annoyed about is we can save these reports, but then a lot of times they don’t ever give you an update. They just kind of leave it there. So, you know, this report, this event happened on the 15th, but they really didn’t report anything else about exactly what happened or, you know, the dynamic behind the event.
All I can see is that basically they started it back up on the 18th or so, and we’re fully at a hundred percent power on Friday, the 19th, you know, this thing about they’re always on and always reliable. This really shows how unreliable they really can be. And if, you know, we don’t know the public doesn’t know what the other issues might’ve been or what exactly happened. Like I said, we don’t have the full story and it’s unlikely that we will get the whole story from them just to quantify this so that people know there was a report that they were at zero power on Tuesday on Wednesday. And not until Thursday. Did it show that in the report, in the morning, the status report that it was at 36% not getting back up to 100% until Friday? Yes, that’s correct. In other words, having gone out early on Monday, there were at least three full days of no power.
And then it was only starting to ramp up and was at approximately one third by reporting time on Thursday. Yes, that’s right. Is there any word yet as to possible damage app, the nuclear power plant in south Texas from the outage and the weather? I haven’t heard anything yet. Most likely, if anything, if there are problems or issues, I don’t know if they would meet the quote unquote criteria of reporting they seem to over the years, allow the industry a lot more room and having to report something. So I don’t know. That’s a good question. Well, I know that if anything further shows up, we will hear it from you first and it will be based on NRC documentation. And then we’ll see what else we can find along the way. Yes, you can count on me. I’ll be coming out with those reports. Like I usually do. Thanks Lee D
That was Erica gray nuclear issues, chair of the Sierra club in Japan, in the wake of the 7.3 after shock from the 2011 earthquake and now a 6.0 aftershock pressure inside one of the reactor containment vessels at the wrecked Fukushima nuclear Daiichi plant has dropped. This is an addition to known leaks of Trivium, contaminated water being held in tanks three separate tanks at the site with the majority of tanks, still not having been examined for possible damage in a separate story, large, highly radioactive particles that were released from one of the damaged Fukushima reactors have now been discovered as the result of a study that involved scientists from Japan, Finland, France, the UK, and the United States, a Japanese high court overturned a lower court decision that dismissed the state’s responsibility in the Fukushima nuclear disaster and ordered the government Amtech code to pay 2.6, $3 million to evacuees. The mayor of the Fukui prefecture town of Mahama has approved the restart of a 1970s era more than 40 year old nuclear reactor and in Armenia and over 40 year old nuclear reactor that went through a devastating earthquake in 1988 is being refurbished with plans to run it for at least another five years. And now
This one is so heinous and duplicitous. I don’t even know where to start the new Yorker. Once an honored publication published a massive article, entitled the activist who embrace nuclear power, make no mistake. It is a full-on propaganda piece, unbalanced by any genuine concerns expressed by genuine activists who oppose nuclear. This one got all its talking points from pro nuclear sources and focuses on two women who are employees of the Diablo canyon nuclear power station in California, and who were coached into creating an organization that is supported and promoted by the nuclear industry to spread lies and keep Diablo canyon operating beyond its announced 2024 and 2025 closures. I only have time to cover a few of the lies put forth, but among them, the two women cited as so-called activists have been financially supported by their nuclear employees. Being allowed to take time off from work, have their travel expenses reimbursed and who knows what other kinds of bonuses, perks and raises have come their way as they did their nuclear master’s bidding.
They ripped off their name, mothers for nuclear to dis and undercut the 48 year old San Louis Obispo mothers for peace, which is a genuine activist group that was formed in large measure to protest Diablo canyon. Indeed mothers for peace was not even mentioned in the article, nothing counter to the pre-chosen narrative was these women have been intensely coached by the shill Berger himself, Michael Shellenberger, who they booked to speak to Diablo canyon employees to organize them quote for the sake of their jobs and the planet. While the two women baked chocolate chip cookies for attendees, still doing kitchen duty with sly wording. This article repeats the laws that nuclear screen and carbon-free every volitional adjective that could be used on nuclear. Minimize the risks, huge amounts of energy, small footprint. The risks are minimized double with no evidence or plan to minimize it. No footnotes at all.
The article cited as proof that nuclear was safe. The oft told lies that noted only did nobody die at three mile island quote, the accident had no detectable health consequences, which will come as a real shock to epidemiologists. Joseph of radiation and public health project who has the medical evidence and the numbers and sources to back it up nuclear engineer and whistleblower Arnie Gunderson Fairwinds energy education who has done a massive and intensive investigation into the causes of three mile island and why there were not enough radiation monitors and they weren’t in the right places to register how much radiation really was released. And there are the more than 4,000 members of the online Facebook, three mile island survivors site who regularly compare notes on cancer deaths and radiation related illnesses. They and their families have suffered through the years. It slams Fukushima survivors is having quote few health risks connected to radiation exposure in Japan while on nuclear hot seat, number 4 98, Dr.
Alex Rosen of international physicians for the prevention of nuclear war explains exactly how Japan has rigged at the medical data to not reflect the actual situation. Specifically thyroid cancer cases, rates and deaths among Fukushima’s child survivors. Other basic criticisms and issues were dismissed with a single sentence, usually couched in parentheses. The question of long-term storage remains fraught fraught. That’s the best word you can come for the forever nightmare of nuclear waste, the small modular nuclear reactors being loudly touted as nuclear solutions with only a tiny sentence in parentheses. These reactors are still in the experimental phase, meaning they don’t exist. What is being touted is a fiction, a fantasy, a lie. There’s an excellent rebuttal to the slobbering piece of pro-nuclear garbage that was sent to the new Yorker editors by Dave craft, the head of nuclear energy information service based in Chicago, we’ll have a link up to his talking points on our website, but damage has been done lies in shrined liars, burnished to a nuclear glow. As they quote, are here to offer the motherly side of nuclear nuclear for the future nuclear for our children, for the planet hogwash and all those words, I can’t say on a broadcast program. And that’s why new Yorker naive non investigative talking point pusher Rebecca to who’s to bro and you to traders to the future, your children and the planet you are this weeks, months. And so far, this year’s most despicable.
Okay. Your hot seat.
Here’s this week’s featured interview and it’s with one of nuclear, hot seats, favorite people, Susie Snyder of don’t bank on the bomb forever from uranium lining to nuclear weapons, production to radiation leaking reactors, to still not having a way to safely store the deadly radioactive waste produced by all these endeavors. Nuclear is government and business, not caring how they contaminate the world as long as they keep making obscene profits and fool themselves into thinking that they are immune to the consequences of their actions when they are not. Meanwhile, we all have to deal with the dangers of radioactive contamination that will not go away on its own. Ever quite frankly, nuclear is a deadly mess. That’s why you’ve learned to count on nuclear hot seat, to get into nuclear stories with facts, continuity and context, as well as skepticism with a much deeper and nuanced telling than you would ever expect on mainstream media.
We get behind the scenes under the skin and into the heart of nuclear matters every week with fresh information and unrelenting perspective, and even whenever possible humor and let’s face it. You’re not going to get this information out of mainstream media witnessed this week’s numb nuts with the new Yorker. That’s why the time would be right now to support us with a donation, just go to nuclear, hot seat.com and click on the big red donate button to help us with a donation of any size. And that same red button is where you can now set up a monthly $5, same as a cup of coffee, and a nice tip here in the U S please do what you can now, because this is the only way that we can keep going with your support and know that however much you can help. I’m deeply grateful you’re listening and that you care now here’s this week’s featured interview considering last week’s astonishingly hopeful interview with Alan, where of parliamentarians for nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament and his supportive programs that take funding away from nuclear weapons, producing companies.
It seemed a good time to back. One of my favorite interviews with one of nuclear, hot seats, favorite people, Susie Snyder of the Netherlands based program. Don’t bank on the bomb. We regularly run Susie’s two minute explanation of the international grassroots don’t bank on the bomb program as a kind of PSA for sanity here, she goes into much greater detail on how any of us, all of us can work together to cut off the money, going to nuclear weapons, producers, a few things before we start note that this interview is from May, 2018. So her references to the American presidential administration are to president Biden’s predecessor. But I checked with Susie a few days ago and received confirmation that the website contains updated information and everything she discusses here is still accurate. Also, the interview took place before the passage of the treaty to ban nuclear weapons was ratified by more than 50 countries and took on force of law as of January 22nd, 2021. That means we now have international law on our side, and this will strengthen our discussion with financial institution managers, even more. And one final note, before we start this program includes a surprise unplanned visit from an important new anti-nuclear activist. Susie Snyder. Thank you so much for being with us here today on nuclear hot seat.
Great to be here. Thanks so much. First of all,
What is packs and what are the organization’s goals?
Well, PAX is a Dutch peace organization and what we’re doing, we are working to reduce human suffering as a result of conflict. And so to, to prevent war prevent suffering, and generally to make sure that we build norms that keep people safe and keep people alive.
What are some of your cornerstone programs? I’m certainly familiar with don’t bank on the bomb because I’ve followed that protocol with my own finances. What is this? And how can people participate in it?
I don’t think on the bomb is a great project. That is what we do is we, we do three things. We examine the impact of the financial sector on companies that produce nuclear weapons. We name those companies, named them and shamed them. And we encourage people to get in touch with their financial institutions so that they develop policies so that they don’t have any exposure to these companies that do produce the key components for nuclear bombs. So it’s, it’s naming the ones that have investments. It’s supporting the ones that have great policies not to invest. And it’s of course, identifying the companies that make the bombs, because if we don’t know who’s doing it, we don’t know what we can do it. Speaking
Of those companies, there’s just been a new report that came out naming 28 separate companies as being involved in the manufacture of nuclear weapons. How did that report come about and what are some of the findings you’ve made because of it?
Well, let me tell you, let me, it was a good deal of research and we are extremely rigorous in our research. So we’ve been looking at contracts and announcements for contracts, for requests, for proposals and so on for the last, for the last six months. And so what we did is as we looked at these, we looked at these different issues and we, sorry, sorry. I’m sure that many of your listeners also have children they’re hearing in the background.
This is the reason we do the work that we knew for the children. And so this could not be more perfect.
It is just the reality, you know, working moms everywhere. So what we did is we looked at a contract. So we looked at the government plans, different government plans for new types of nuclear weapons, for the weapons that are under the so-called modernization program. And then we looked to see, okay, who’s actually doing this in-house so to speak, like what, what countries are doing it, there’s only nine countries that have nuclear weapons, right? It’s not so many at the end of the day. And we look at who does stuff in houses and state run agencies and who contracts out now, not everybody contracts out. Russia does stuff. Mostly in house North Korea does everything in house. Pakistan does stuff in house, but India, the us, the UK, France, they all con they’ll hire external contractors. So then we follow the money who bids on the contracts, who gets the contracts and what are they doing?
What are they actually doing under these contracts? And that’s where we found exciting. Well, it’s exciting in a, not a nice way what we found, but we found over $116 billion in existing contracts right now for keeping nuclear weapons on the planet. And some of them until 2075, which all these countries have said they had to state at one time, rather. I said, no, we need a world without nuclear weapons. And I’ll tell you, you don’t get to a world without nuclear weapons by hiring Boeing or Raytheon or Lockheed Martin to build a new nuclear arsenal for you.
Some of the stories that I’ve read about coming out from the contracts are truly it’s like going into bizarro land. Give us some examples. For example, when the head of Raytheon was asked, if there was a growth opportunity in the us exit from the inf treaty.
So this was really surprising. I mean, okay, usually what’s nuclear nobody’s really nobody’s should be really proud to be making nuclear weapons. These are weapons designed to, you know, your listeners know this already. These are weapons designed to annihilate cities. They’re not for battlefields. They’re not for strategic pinpoint accuracy. This is a city Buster. And that’s, I think that’s really important to keep in mind. And for the most part over the last, almost the last generation, people have been shying away from, from taking pride in this. But then there are a few and there’s been a slight change in the rhetoric around this. So when Donald Trump took office, he asked these questions, why would we have nuclear weapons? If we could never use them? And he started saying, well, maybe we need, you know, we need to go back to make more and the biggest and the best weapons.
And he’s basically inciting an arms race by withdrawing from the intermediate nuclear forces treaty this treaty from 1987, that prohibited entire class of weapons. They opened the flood gates on this. And so in Raytheon and Raytheon of all companies, Raytheon kind of was getting out of the nuclear arms game. It was seen as a, as a losing interest, but then the withdrawal from the IMF came about and they said, oh wait, we might have an opportunity here, at least in the short term. So you, you saw the investor relations call. They said they were asked the question, oh yeah. You know, is there any opportunity for us? And over the next quarter, Raytheon bought 500 million in new contracts related to missile technology. So Raytheon starting to cash in on this new nuclear arms race. And I just have to ask the question, what are they, you know, they’re only looking for short term game, what are they looking for in the longterm? Cause this is not the kind of product that we should be supporting.
It’s a terrifying thought that nuclear weapons are looked at as a growth industry and an opportunity for investor profits when really their end game is the destruction of everything. And their profits will mean nothing. There are other programs that have been brought up in the reading that I’ve been doing. And another one had to do with bowling and a new program that the company that brought us the twice crashed 7 37 max, is being asked to develop what is a flight termination receiver and what are the implications of the attempt to develop it?
Okay. So this is something that within the nuclear policy community, there’s some debate, right? So the flight termination receiver is the idea is you, you can call the missile back because it takes about 25 and 40 minutes for an Intercontinental ballistic missile to be launched and hit its target. And that means that once you press the button, there’s fish two hours until the end of civilization, as we know it, because any target they’re gonna, they’re gonna see the incoming missile and they’re going to in return, they’re going to try to take everything out before you take out what they’ve got. That’s the whole, that’s what there was this whole concept behind mutually assured destruction. So with what bullying is doing now is they’re making Lister missile technology so that if you launch and you decide, oh wait, whoops, our, our information was wrong. Oh, actually it was a weather balloon.
Oh no, that wasn’t an incoming missile. It was, you know, it was a pigeon, whatever it is. And I don’t mean to make light of it, but seriously, there’s been so many near misses. It could be anything. The idea is that the missile would then go off course or with self-destructs. So it wouldn’t have the same. It wouldn’t hit its target as it is to be able to shift it in flight. Now on the one hand, you know, this could be great. Cause then you know, it won’t hit its target and you could, you could stop some insanity. But on the other hand, if you see the missile coming in, you’re going to fire with everything you’ve got. And so it’s a losing situation to losing proposition. And honestly, as you said, would be, how much can we trust Boeing right now?
How much do we trust anybody who is working in nuclear arms? Because they can somehow justify it. I’ve also seen that one of the problems with having a flight termination receiver is that it might call for a launch of a weapon and then using it just as a scare tactic because they think, well, we can pull it back and there will be no harm, no foul when indeed you’re right. The retaliation could be volleyed out before we could pull it back and they might not be able to do so. And there goes the planet, or if not the planet, at least the people in the lifeforms on it.
Exactly. And what we’ve learned from new climate research from new modeling over the last 10 years is that it doesn’t take a thousand bombs going off to destroy the civilization that we, that we know it will take a hundred weapons between, for example, India and Pakistan, and 2 billion people, 2 billion people would be at risk of famine. They would cause grave environmental catastrophe. It would, it would be a nuclear winter. And in the eighties, we are totally aware of this. So like, okay, this is not going to happen. We’re going to stop it. We’re going to shut this down. This is insane. And right now it’s our time to stand up and say, Hey, this is insane. There are so many more things that we could spend the money on the us government alone is spending $70,000 on minutes on producing nuclear weapons, 70,000 a minute. Imagine what $70,000 a minute could do for public education, addressing climate change. Someone’s problem. It’s complicated, but it’s, it’s a relatively easy fix. And it’s just a matter of deciding to do it. And now’s the time for people to, to demand that we do
No you’re right. On the one hand, it’s a terribly depressing image for those of us who oppose nuclear and have managed to become conscious about it yet in the intertwining of the private sector and nuclear weapons, there are potential points of leverage. Explain what you mean by that.
This is what I’m finding is very exciting. So two years ago, most of the nations in the world adopted a new treaty on the prohibition of nuclear weapons. They said, you know what? This has gone bonkers long enough. And the consequences of any use of nuclear weapons are so great. We need to prohibit everything to do with them, prohibit all the making, having, using, preparing to use prohibited, make it illegal, make sure that we are collectively responsible. If any weapons get used, you know, reinforce the non-proliferation standard by doing so protect the environment. This is her most Everence in the world said, yes, we’re going to do this. And after that financial institutions, banks, pension funds, insurance companies, they said, wait a minute, wait a minute, wait a minute. If the weapons are illegal, the companies that are making the weapons, they’re going to start to go down, let’s get out, let’s get out. Now let’s prevent any reputational risk or regulatory risk. Let’s end our financial involvement with these companies. And 10% of them dropped out. It was amazing.
And you said 10% of them dropped out. Explain a little more about what that exactly means.
We’ve been doing this kind of analysis of the environment, financial sector, and new whoever producers for a while. Now, since 2013 and we track every year, how many, how many banks, how many financial institutions and best, and from the adoption of the treaty on the prohibition of nuclear weapons until a year later, there was a 10% reduction. There’s, it’s an actual numbers. There’s 30, fewer financial institutions that had investments in the companies that produce nuclear weapons. And some of these are really like this is blue cross and blue shield that previously had some investments and then got out. This is, you know, the Norwegian government pension funds that said, oh, wait a minute. We better change our relationship here. This is ABP, which is the fifth largest pension fund in the world. And they said, oh, hang on. Nope, nuclear is illegal. Now, got to get out of that game, which is quite impressive. We’re putting together the numbers for this year. And I think we’re going to see some, some additional positive change. This Nope, even though a few companies are starting to make money off of new contracts. And most of the world, this is seen as a bad investment.
I often think of PACS and the Nobel peace prize, winning international campaign for the evolution of nuclear weapons or I can, which was behind the treaty in the United nations, the treaty on the prohibition of nuclear weapons. I often think of you two as kind of either conjoined or somehow being under the same umbrella. What is the relationship between the two groups?
PAX is a partner of the international campaign to abolish nuclear weapons. And I can as a campaign coalition and we’ve got over 500 partners in more than a hundred countries around the world. And it was, I can working with these partnerships also with, with concerned governments, with international organizations like the global red cross that got this treaty to happen. It was, it was through partnership. It was through a movement. And PAX is that as a part of this bigger movement, we’re really proud to be a member of this campaign coalition because it means that we’re, as we said in the local papers here, the Nobel peace prize got one in our little town, at least a little bit. That’s quite amazing. Let’s see,
Switch over to talking a little bit about ICANN and the impact that that has having and can potentially have the entire nuclear weapons landscape in the world. It is not a campaign to ask the nine nuclear countries to get rid of their weapons. It’s a campaign to get all of the countries that don’t have nuclear weapons to agree, to not get nuclear weapons. And then there are other provisions involved with it as well. Can you explain what those are and how those would mess up the nuclear countries?
Sure. So the thing is with, with icon is that we’re working at over a hundred countries to raise the stigma against nuclear weapons. And most countries of the world have already rejected nuclear weapons. It’s just this nine that are, seem to be a bit stuck and seem to be kind of a, I don’t know, it’s a little bit of old thinking and that doesn’t quite relate to the current world order, but that I can is working even in the nuclear armed countries to say, Hey, we have a plan to get to no nuclear weapons in the world. We know the nuclear armed countries, they’re clearly not ready yet. They haven’t quite matured to the level of, of many others to be able to, to take a more realistic and pragmatic approach to their security, but the other countries have. And so countries like Austria and Ireland, South Africa are fully on board with this treaty because they recognize that there is no, no benefit to them and only risk from supporting nuclear weapons.
What this means is that financial institutions in those countries have seen what happens with other weapons, prohibitions, and they get out of the, of the game when it comes to investing in companies that produce the weapons companies like Airbus, Airbus is a com as a Dutch registered company. Airbus has operations throughout Europe. Airbus is known for making airplanes. Airbus also makes missiles for the French nuclear arsenal. And what this does is it says that if Airbus, for example, when Germany signs on to the ban treaty, the operations that Airbus has within Germany, can’t be involved in the production of missiles for France or for anybody else because that’s prohibited under the treaty. And that would change the landscape for France. France doesn’t have a, another capability or they have to move to manufacturing capabilities. And that’s, that’s really important also, but she also has this great impact because it makes the question of it challenges, the assumption that nuclear weapons benefit anyone’s security.
And in fact puts the onus on those who have the weapons prove it. You’ve been saying this for so long with no evidence. You’ve been quite hysterical about your security concerns. No, be rational, become, prove that this is the only way forward. And if it is in fact, the only way forward, why are you so United against other countries getting the same weapons? Why does North Korea use the same language as France and defending its decision to get nuclear weapons? You know, be a calm, rational actor in this field and not the hysterical nuclear armed countries that we’ve come to know.
It seems that this program, the treaty for the prevention of nuclear war and the countries that sign onto it would really signify a grassroots erosion of the ability of the nuclear industry to operate unimpeded. In other words, putting perhaps if not a block in the road, a stone in the shoe that they can’t move forward as they planned on it. And here in the U S we are starting to see some changes, at least on the state and the local level in January, a bill was introduced in the Massachusetts state legislature that would require the states pension funds to divest from nuclear manufacturers. The city of Cambridge has already done. So, and here in California, OHI will not make any future investments in the makers or funders of nuclear weapons. Do you think that the best way for us to proceed is to work on the local grassroots level rather than going for the big guys in Washington DC or the heads of whatever countries, people listening to the show in 123 countries that listened to it. I’m not going after the top of the governmental food chain, but starting local is the path we need to follow.
Well, I think it depends on where are so in the U S you know, one out of every eight Americans lives in California. So when the California state legislature passes a resolution calling on the U S federal government to endorse and embrace the treaty on the prohibition of nuclear weapons, that is significant. And that is a demonstration of the will of the people. Nuclear weapons are the opposite of democracy. They’re the opposite of people’s movements. And it’s kind of to take people’s movements, being creative in the locations they are to get change. We just had today, which said, Berlin, both a city of Berlin, as well as the federal state of Berlin. Come on board and call on the German governments to join this treaty.
Oh, that’s fabulous. I hadn’t gotten that news yet.
Yeah. And it’s happening every day. There are new cities joining. There are new there’s new state resolutions being discussed there, conversations happening. And the key thing is nuclear weapons are an anachronism and we can move past them, but we have to talk about them. And we have to talk about them, not just with our friends, that it’s comfortable to talk about them with, but to talk about them in other places and reach out, because I’ll tell you, we ran a petition campaign a couple of years ago, and the Netherlands, and what we found is that nine out of every 10 people we asked said, of course we don’t support nuclear weapons. Nuclear weapons are dumb. Wait, there’s still a problem. I thought they were gone. Most people don’t know. And as soon as they know, they think, oh my gosh, this is ridiculous. This is a problem. The eighties let’s, let’s send it to the dustbin of history, that attitude and that emphasis and that enthusiasm is starting to catch like a wildfire throughout the world. And it will change the minds of those sitting in the high political offices. If you are friends with the head of state, by all means, call your buddy and tells him to get on board with this treaty. If however, you are not friends with the head of state, thinking about other ways you can, you can help support this, this effort to make nuclear weapons history.
That brings us to the practicalities. What are things that people on the ground can do? And what tools do you have? Because the research is extensive and it is impeccable. Everything is footnoted. Everything is accurate in it because we can’t, our side can’t afford to make mistakes. What do you have available that we can use to support anything that we are saying or doing on the ground?
Well, the first thing I would encourage your listeners to just sign up to our newsletter. We’re constantly putting information [email protected], and there’s tons of info there. Well, now it depends again where people are. You want to figure out how to make sure your personal finances are in no way connected to the companies that produce nuclear weapons, whether it be through your bank or through your pension investment or other things. We have checklists on our website for people to use. We just know quickly scan the websites, see if your bank’s listed, send them a message. We have tools you can directly send your bank a message. And a lot of people these days, myself included use to banking on our phones, right? Mobile banking is like the thing. And I encourage people all the time, pull out your phone, go to your banking app and just send a message directly to your bank right now and just say, Hey, are we in any way connected to companies that produce a box?
When you ask that question through your mobile app, through walking into your local bank branch, whatever it is, you’re starting a chain reaction of the good kind, the person on the other end probably has no idea. So they’re going to have to ask somebody is going to have to ask somebody is going to have to ask somebody. We saw a number of financial institutions get out of this type of investment because people started asking questions on their Facebook profiles. And there was this like, oh, that’s not good. We can’t have this. Oh, wait, wait, let’s check. Let’s check. Okay, well, let’s give that they divested first. And then they put into place a policy to make sure that they’ll never have any kind of investments and connected to grew up in producers in the future. And it’s part of their internal due diligence. Now it wasn’t a huge number of people that did this. It was three or four people that saw something in a newspaper that saw a tweet that heard something on the radio. And they took action because it truly is. As Margaret Mead said, it truly is a small handful of thoughtful and committed people that can change the world. And there are many people who would love the extra energy and attention. And the quick question, do we have anything to do with the nuclear bomb? If so, how can we avoid it? And we can, and we will.
The brilliance of this program is that any individual can make an enormous difference simply by taking a few steps that are already brilliantly strategized and plotted out and framed as you have done, as the people with PACS have done. And I can as well, if you have any final thoughts to share with the listeners today, what would that be?
I would ask your listeners to tell a friend, each one can reach one and each one can teach one. And that is how we will get this change. And that is how we will be able to retire from working on nuclear weapon issues and put our energy into dealing with the new challenges that face a new century. Susie Snyder.
You have been doing brilliant work. I’ve been aware of your work since Helen Caldicott conference. I believe it was five or six years ago and the progress has been astonishing and breathtaking. I always report on any positive steps that we find out that have been taken by either PACS or I can on nuclear Hotsy. Cause we’ve got to get our new good news from somewhere. And it seems to come inordinately from these two groups.
Thank you so much. It’s been a great pleasure speaking with you. It’s always a great pleasure and I really appreciate the opportunity today.
Susie Snyder of don’t bank on the bomb.com assisted by her. Now two year old daughter will have links up to a list of the companies participating in the building of nuclear weapons, as well as a script you can follow when calling your financial institutions that will be on our website, nuclear hot seat.com under this episode, number 5, 0 5. When I first learned about don’t bank on the bomb, I followed the easy steps. Susie put forward, spoke to the manager of my credit union and learned that credit unions in California at least are not allowed to invest in certain categories of companies. And that includes all of the nuclear weapons producers. Pretty cool. So how about your bank? How about your pension fund call and talk with the manager and start the conversation something different to do during COVID times,
March 1st, March the eighth annual world future day, a 24 hour round the world conversation on how to create a better future for us, all the global conversation will begin in out taro, a New Zealand at 12 noon local time, which is the equivalent of 7:00 PM Eastern and 4:00 PM Pacific here in the United States. The conversation will then travel westward each hour as people join and leave the conversation. Youth elders, policymakers, visionaries, artists, academics, future thinkers, and ordinary people interested in the future. We’ll come together in a free flowing dialogue, designed to stimulate ideas and inspire hope. We’ll have a link to where you can sign up for this amazing international [email protected] under this episode, number 5 0 5 also for March 1st, this request from the Marshall Islands, it reads in our decades of fighting for nuclear justice in our home. We join hands with other frontline communities worldwide addressing the legacies of nuclear testing and take great comfort in receiving support from around the reminding us that we are strong and resilient people, and that we are not alone in our pursuit of justice for the Marshalese people in light of that, this year’s nuclear victims, remembrance day theme.
We are not alone is requesting short. You are not alone messages to the people of the Marshall Islands. The videos should be 15 seconds or less, and there will be a link to where you send [email protected]. Episode five oh five, a belated happy birthday to the peace sign. That’s right. The circle with what people have said is the dove track, but its origins were something else entirely. The peace sign was created on February 21st, 1958 by British graphic designer and Christian pacifist. Gerald Hold’em Holton was tasked with creating the banners and signs for a nuclear disarmament March in London and wanted a visual that would stick in the public’s mind. The design is in part modeled after Naval Semafore flags that sailors would use to communicate between ships Holtom combined the codes for N two flags angled down at 45 degrees standing for nuclear and D one flag pointed straight up and one flag pointed straight down for disarmament.
So when you see the peace side, know that in some of fours, it means nuclear disarmament. Let’s start using it again. Okay. And nuclear hot seats, exponential growth includes the fact that last week it was number one in business news in Ecuador and number nine in just plain out news in podcasts. When we say we’re international, we mean it. This has been nuclear hot seat for Tuesday, February 23rd, 2021 material for this week show has been researched and compiled from nuclear-news.net, Dylan renard.wordpress.com beyond a nuclear, the international campaign to abolish nuclear weapons, Washington post.com Jacksonville free press.com. The new yorker.com NHK dot O r.jp don’t bank on the bomb.com Kyoto news.net tepco.co.jp simply info.org, Helsinki dot F I fairwinds.org. My nietzsche.jp NEI magazine.org, global news.ca and as always be captured and compromised by the industry. They’re supposed to be regulating nuclear regulatory commission. Thanks to all of you for listening and a big shout out to nuclear hot seat listeners and followers around the world.
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So if you, yes, you listening to this, have a story, lead, a hot tip or suggestion of someone to interview, send an email to [email protected]. And if you appreciate weekly verifiable news updates about nuclear issues around the world, take a moment and go to nuclear, hot seat.com and look for that big red button. Anything you do once you click on that will help. And we will really appreciate your support. This episode of nuclear hot seat is copyright 2021 Leiby Halevi and heart history communications, all rights reserved, but their use allowed as long as proper attribution is provided, this is Leiby Halevi of hardest street communications. The heart of the art of communicating, reminding you that nuclear energy failed the people of Texas during the Arctic cold snap and no amount of right wing false information. Echo chamber is going to change the truth and the fact of it, nuclear failed. 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.
Ooh, Claire hot seat. What are those people thinking? Hot seat. What have those boys been braking clear, hot. See the Ms. Sinking our time to act is shrinking, but nuclear Hotsy it’s the bomb.