In the section below this, we outline the history of secrecy in the nuclear industry. All the evidence available today shows that this secrecy is now even greater. Two big lies are now being sold to the public:
1. that nuclear power is the solution to global warming.
2. that the nuclear energy industry has no connection with nuclear weapons.
There are, of course, many other lies – such as that the nuclear industry is safe, economic, non-polluting, provides much employment and so on. How is it that we believe this fraud? Well, it is encouraged by Western governments caught up in the nuclear arms race, and beholden to their corporate backers.
For years, governments and mainstream media denied global warming, under the powerful influence of the fossil fuel corporations. The USA led with “Front groups” posing as scientific bodies pushing anti-environmental views – e.g The American Council on Science and Health, US Global Climate Information Project., Global Climate Coalition , The Alliance for Sensible Environmental Reform, TheCoalition for a Reasonable Environment, and Consumer Alert. Uninformed citizens were attracted into “astroturf” bodies – such as the Wise Use Movement coailition of US groups with an agenda to oppose environmentalism. Anti-environment ‘think tanks’ were set up, with political influence – e,g Heritage Foundation, Cato Institute: their methods – casting doubt on the urgency of environmental problems – preventing government action. – pushing “free market” solutions. Extensive public relations exercises ensured corporate influence, with conservative writers, talk shows, shaping the news. A handful of scientists, funded by corporations had the role of confusing the public over global warming – Patrick Michaels, Dr Richard Lindzen, Dr Robert B. Valling, Dr Sallie Baliunas Dr S Fred Singer. (Lindzen – a consultant to fossil fuel industry – paid $2,500 a day).
Now – with the so-called “nuclear renaissance” – Western countries, desperately try to sell nuclear technology to China, India, etc, while at home they struggle unsuccessfully to get investment for the industry. France, with its government-owned nuclear energy, and Russia, continue to conceal the real costs, and the succession of nuclear incidents which have beset their nuclear power systems. – Christina Macpherson
History of secrecy in the nuclear industry
Passages below in inverted commas are quoted from Making the Connections Reaching Critical Will – fact sheet, WOMEN’S INTERNATIONAL LEAGUE FOR PEACE AND FREEDOM
1942. The Manhattan Project began nuclear weapons research and development laboratory at Los Alamos in New Mexico. There was no reference on a map, no post office, no publicity. Here International scientists developed the bombs that destroyed Hiroshima and Nagasaki..
1943 Two ‘secret cities’were built for uranium isolation at Oak Ridge in Tennessee and for plutonium production at Hanford in Washington State. Worker were under strict rule not to mention the work going on in the plants. Local rural communities were moved out of the area.
1953. President Eisenhower announced plans for the “peaceful atom” – so began the development of various industries intended to use atomic power for non-military purposes.
“Secrecy was continued through the practice of ‘compartmentalization’, whereby the knowledge of different aspects of nuclear weapons production was divided and separated. This system continues today under the Department of Energy. Huge numbers of classified documents are kept in US government vaults.”
“In the UK, the government is able to legally guard information relating to nuclear weapons and power production under its Official Secrets Act.”
“Restricted access to information has powerful public and ecological impacts. Because of governmental and corporate secrecy, as well as a management culture which discourages proper documentation, information about the health and environmental effects of nuclear weapons and nuclear power production is not easily obtainable.
In China, for instance, no specific official information is available about the health and environmental effects of nuclear technology. In Russia, data are often incomplete, reports rarely detail research methodologies, and many analyses are questionable.”
“Compartmentalization and secrecy are also implicated in a general lack of knowledge about the hazards of nuclear processes. Recent events would suggest that knowledge of ‘the whole system’ is lacking both on the level of the labor force and even in the elite fraternity of nuclear scientists. Still today in nuclear weapons labs, the military production network, and in nuclear power stations across the globe, many workers either are not given the entire picture of nuclear processes, or due to security clearances, are not privy to the overall mission of a particular project that they might be actively engaged in.”
“Meanwhile in the UK, workers have been accused by the UK Nuclear Installations Inspectorate of routinely falsifying safety checks for plutonium/MOX fuel that has been sent to Germany, Switzerland and most recently Japan.”
“Although in the US, UK and elsewhere, grade school and high school students are often given industry-sponsored tours of their local nuclear weapons and power facilities, there is no part of a national curriculum, on either a secondary or university level, that prepares young people for the hazards and consequences of growing up in the nuclear age.”
“Secrets and lies, half-truths about present day practices, ambiguous definitions of new nuclear processes: all these contribute to keeping the public ill-informed and, therefore, ill-equipped to challenge the nuclear status quo.”