Three Mile Island: What really happened?

March 28 will mark 35 years since the partial meltdown at the Three Mile Island (TMI) nuclear power plant near Harrisburg, PA. Beyond Nuclear has prepared a special edition of our newsletter, The Thunderbird, focused entirely on examining the truth about the TMI disaster. View and download it here.

In it we debunk the myth that "no one died" and look at how much radiation really got out; the health effects; the fiasco of evacuation; and the parallels between the TMI, Chernobyl and Fukushima catastrophes.

We would like to make The Thunderbird widely available to our allies and colleagues in the field who are so often confronted with these frequently repeated myths. But we need $3,000 to cover the production costs.

Won't you please help us permanently silence the lies about TMI by making a donation today?

If you wish to donate to The Thunderbird online, please choose 'Thunderbird' in the pulldown menu after clicking the Donate button on our website. If you would rather mail your contribution, please send it to: Beyond Nuclear, 6930 Carroll Avenue, Suite 400, Takoma Park, MD 20912 and write "TMI" on the subject line of your check. If you would like to order copies, the cost is $1 each, covering printing and postage. We print on recycled paper. And see our special web page,TMI Truth with links to longer backgrounders.


Judith Johnsrud, July 1, 1931-March 9, 2014. Among the world's finest people

Dr. Judith Johnsrud, a geographer who dedicated more than 50 years of her life to the opposition of nuclear power in all its phases and forms, has died. Judy passed away peacefully after a long illness and surrounded by family in the early hours of March 9th. With Pennsylvania the epicenter of many proposed nuclear projects some of which Judy and her allies helped to defeat and some, like Three Mile Island, which they could not Judy was at the forefront of multiple anti-nuclear campaigns. Judy was a founding member of the Beyond Nuclear board. She helped create and lead the Environmental Coalition on Nuclear Power whose members, friends and colleagues she described as "surely high among the world's finest people." To those of us who knew and worked with Judy, she belongs firmly in that category.

Judy was dedicated, quietly outspoken and quintissentially modest. Her activism was often carried out without resources and on her own dime; often by driving for hours in her document-laden car that sometimes served as office and sleeping quarters. Undeterred, Judy reminded us to the end that we must rid the world of nuclear energy, that, as she said “in a rational world would never have been developed.”

In 2012, Judy was recognized by the Sierra Club, of which she was a longtime member, for her lifetime's work. In true Judy style, she graciously accepted the honor with the words “but I don’t deserve it.”

Judy's longtime partner, Leon Glicenstein, along with her family, have composed an obituary to Judy which you can read here.


Fukushima Medical University handed out KI tablets to its staff, students, but not to public

In a hugely hypocritical move, Fukushima Medical University (FMU), allowed its staff and students to take potassium iodide tablets in the initial days after the Fukushima nuclear disaster began, but refused to hand them out to members of the public, stating that the radiation doses would not be high enough to warrant such action.

Now, as thyroid cancers and suspected cancers are increasing among children who were possibly exposed to radioactive iodine from the triple meltdown, experts from FMU, particularly Dr. Shunichi Yamashita, are claiming these increases are from increased medical screening for such conditions. Dr. Yamashita is dubbed "Dr. 100 mSv" because he has claimed that anything under this dose is not linked to disease when, in reality, there is no safe dose of radiation according to many experts.

However, FMU's and Dr. Yamashita's tragic decision to withhold KI from the public, while giving it to those associated with the university, could easily be influencing their conclusions regarding the cause of these apparent thyroid cancer increases.

Clearly an independent medical group or institution needs to investigate the causes of thyroid cancer increases, not the institution that could hold some culpability for not preventing them in the first place. Save Children from Radiation


Fukushima Three Years Later: Myths & Misconceptions

Abby Martin of RT's "Breaking the Set" news program takes a look at the state of the Fukushima nuclear power plant three years after the massive earthquake and subsequent tsunami that led to the meltdown; discussing the long term impacts of continued radiation leaks with Kevin Kamps, radioactive waste watchdog of, and Tim Judson, executive director at the Nuclear Information and Resource Service. Watch the YouTube recording here.


Nuclear power: "uneconomic, uninsurable, unevacuable, and unnecessary." Ralph Nader