Poll: Anti-nuclear presence at September 20 NYC climate march/rally?

Anti-nuclear flags and banners covered May's renewable energy rally in Berlin. Can we do the same in NYC in September?

Anti-nuclear flags and banners covered May’s renewable energy rally in Berlin. Can we do the same in NYC in September?

We’re conducting a poll on your interest in participation in an anti-nuclear contingent at the September 20 climate march and rally in New York City. Please let us know if you are interested in coming, and/or interested in helping organize the largest and most visible possible anti-nuclear presence at this event (and if the latter, please send us an e-mail so we can follow up with you!). After all, we all know that nukes can’t save the climate!

We’re considering seeking a permit for a separate morning gathering place, with several anti-nuclear speakers, followed by a feeder march to the main march/rally site. Your responses will play a major role in determining how much resources we can allocate for this. We’re ready and willing to work to make this the largest and most visible anti-nuclear showing in decades–but only if you support that effort. So let us know either way, and feel welcome to leave comments too.

And, if you can contribute toward the production costs of flags, banners and signs for this event (thereby winning our eternal gratitude not to mention the satisfaction of helping make the nuclear-free, carbon-free stance as visible as possible, please make a tax-deductible donation at our special donation page here. All funds collected through this page will be used for production costs.

Michael Mariotte

June 6, 2014

Permalink: https://safeenergy.org/2014/06/06/poll/

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29 thoughts on “Poll: Anti-nuclear presence at September 20 NYC climate march/rally?

  1. Gwen DuBois Md, MPH

    yes, yes Anti-nuclear presence at September Rally. Many of us want to express our belief that investing in nuclear is wasting precious dollars that need to be used for renewables. And the nuclear waste is an unsolvable problem that will haunt those who come after us.

    1. Gerson Lesser

      my wife & I would join an anti nuclear subgroup.. but careful not to dilute the cimate message

  2. Rod Adams (@Atomicrod)


    I am currently planning to attend the climate march in NYC in September to advocate for use of the best available tools and technology for reducing CO2 emissions.

    Why would anyone who believes that there is a coming climate catastrophe if we continue business as usual want to harm the effort by fighting one of the few proven tools for producing reliable power without producing CO2?

    If a power source is clean enough and safe enough to power a sealed submarine full of people, why wouldn’t you at least consider its value in taking markets from coal, oil and natural gas so that we reduce the rate at which people are dumping the waste products from those fuels into our shared global atmosphere?

    Rod Adams
    Publisher, Atomic Insights

    1. Michael Mariotte Post author

      We’re glad you’ll be there, Rod. As our most recent fact sheet on nuclear power and climate (http://www.nirs.org/factsheets/nukesclimatefact614.pdf) as well as several posts on this GreenWorld site make clear, nuclear power is counterproductive at effectively addressing climate change, primarily because of its enormous costs. It’s also important to remember that carbon is not the only pollutant in the world: strontium, cesium, tritium, etc. are also pollutants; these and other radionuclides are released routinely from the entire nuclear fuel chain. If we can power our nation, and planet, with clean energy sources, why wouldn’t we? We believe clean energy sources are ready to take on the load. I know you don’t believe that. I don’t think we’ll reach agreement until we actually try it and see.

      1. Rod Adams (@Atomicrod)

        Michael – Nuclear power, under our current paradigm of technology, business models and regulations, is far more costly than it should be based on technical fundamentals. That is why I started Adams Atomic Engines, Inc. more than 20 years ago and why I continue working on ways to lower the costs through improvements in technology, business models and more effective regulations.

        Though you mention scary sounding elements and isotopes from the periodic table as being “routinely” released by nuclear power plants, you did not mention the tiny quantity of those releases or their lack of hazard. If such releases were “routine” or hazardous, how in the heck do so many nuclear submariners live to a ripe old age? Compared to the billions of tons of CO2, hundreds of million tons of fly ash, and hundreds of thousands of tons of other pollutants from competitive fossil fuel plants, nuclear plants are pretty darned clean.

        You may believe that clean energy sources are ready to take on the load, but can you point to a single solar cell factory or wind turbine production facility that is powered either by the sun or the wind? Where do you plan to get all of the materials needed for the enormous collectors that those diffuse and weather dependent energy sources require? How will you move those large collectors to their installation location and how will you go back to those installations to maintain them?

        Nuclear energy, because of its incredible concentration, allows us to follow an important environmental mantra – we can do more with less material.

        I’m sorry you are not willing to engage in a public debate on the topic here. It would be great if there was a neutral place where we can meet and provide our thoughts to each other and to a larger audience. The topic is so terribly important current and future generations.

        Are you really willing to accept the consequences if we try your path and fail? Isn’t there a better way to proceed?

      2. Michael Mariotte Post author

        Rod, the reason we can’t do a debate here is simply time….just don’t have that to spare these days. Hopefully others will take up our slack.

    2. Peter Sipp

      Whew!!!, To say, a sealed submarine filled with people propelled by splitting atoms is your most compelling argument in favor of atomic energy? Whoa… pull back on your reins there. Your glossing over an AWEfull lot. You spoke of coal, oil and natural gas waste products as if radioactive waste did not even exist. Oh, your solution is to put the radioactive waste in a national waste repository . Well it would take thousands of shipments to get it all there ( from the 100+ reactor sites in the U.S. alone). There would surely be accidents. ( hopefully you and those you love would be spared, maybe not). Then this waste has to be kept isolated for 100,000 + years. Quite a TALL order. There is the thousands of tons of radiated pressure vessels, heavy walled pipes, valves that ARE NOT going to be sold as misc. scrap iron. Unless you want to have the clean radiation free carbon steel supply chain polluted with radioactive metal. Then you wouldn’t mind using spoons, forks and knives with a little radiation in them? See the whole picture, take the blinders off, put them on your team pulling your wagon. Thanks. The world is still a beautiful place, and it’s the only one we have to live on.

      1. Michael Mariotte Post author

        If you (and others) want to get into a debate with Rod, that’s fine with us. But please know that we will stay largely out of it (but will moderate for inappropriate language, address gross factual errors, etc). Not because Rod is not a suitable debate partner, we just don’t have time and our positions are well known.

      2. Rod Adams (@Atomicrod)


        I make many arguments in favor of using nuclear energy; the submarine example is just one of them. I’ve been writing on the topic on line since 1991 and publishing Atomic Insights since 1995.

        My proposed path forward includes addressing the waste issue in a manner similar to the way technologists have addressed waste issues in countless other industries; we should be reducing, reusing, recycling and repairing. I’m not a big advocate for moving used fuel anywhere until we have a real plan for closing the fuel cycle. It still contains about 95% of its potential energy. Future generations will not praise us if we make it more difficult than necessary for them to get to that valuable resource.

        If we were building nuclear plants at the rate we need in order to address our current excessive dependence on coal, oil and natural gas, there would be plenty of demand for recycled metals from nuclear facilities into new nuclear facilities. There is no need to mix that resource with the rest of the steel supply.

        Radiation is not something to fear, it is something to understand and respect. Moderate doses are not hazardous; there is no evidence of harm for acute exposures less than 100 mSv. There is a lot of controversy about chronic doses, but the best available evidence I’ve seen supports a limit of about 70-100 mSv/month. There is a growing body of evidence supporting a theory of adaptive response that indicates overall health benefits from small doses.

        I have no blinders. I’ve been researching and professionally involved in the technology for the better part of 35 years.

        Rod Adams
        Publisher, Atomic Insights
        Host and producer, the Atomic Show podcast

      3. Michael Mariotte Post author

        I will note here that no government agency, including IAEA, NRC, EPA, nor the National Academy of Sciences accepts Rod’s “evidence” on radiation doses. In fact, all U.S. regulatory bodies and the National Academy have adopted the “linear no-threshhold” model of radiation effects, which states that there is no dose of radiation that can be regarded as “safe.” The risk increases with the dose level, and as NIRS has pointed out many times, the risk for women and children is far higher than the risk for men. Thus, radiation standards should be set at a level that protects the most vulnerable: our children, especially our daughters. Michael, NIRS

      4. Rod Adams (@Atomicrod)

        @Michael Mariotte

        That is not exactly what the regulatory assumption – the Linear No-Threshold model – says. It assumes that there is a linear relationship between dose and damage. That inherently means that a tiny dose gives a tiny risk, a small dose gives a small risk, and a large dose gives a large risk.

        The regulations, which are written to ensure safety, allow a certain radiation dose; they do not require a zero dose. My interpretation of the evidence is that the regulated doses are exceedingly conservative – perhaps even dangerously so – but the fact that they exist at a non zero level proves that regulatory bodies do not assume that there is no “safe” dose.

      5. Michael Mariotte Post author

        As I said earlier, I simply don’t have time to debate here. But I’ll approve this post with this reply and end it now–we can talk more on your podcast and hopefully our readers will be able to hear that too.

        Your first paragraph is correct; the second is not. Regulators set exposure limits at a level they find “acceptable,” not necessarily safe. It’s the notion of “acceptable risk,” without which many large industries (nuclear, chemical, fossil fuel, etc.) would not be able to operate. Indeed, since the National Academy of Sciences has determined there is no “safe” dose, if the regulators used that as their criteria, they would have to close down the nuclear industry. For most EPA-regulated pollutants, the “acceptable risk” is set on the order of 1 in 1,000,000–meaning that one person in a million could be expected to die from whatever pollutant is being regulated (typically death by cancer, but sometimes other causes). In the case of radiation, the “acceptable risk” levels are typically set much lower. According to the NRC (as published in its revoked Below Regulatory Concern policy of the late 1980s), exposure to 100 millirems/year is equal to a 1 in 286 lifetime risk of fatal cancer. Yet that is the “allowable” or “acceptable” dose level for the public. Not that all members of the public necessarily receive that dose level; most don’t. But that’s what’s “acceptable.” That’s not acceptable to us.

        And it gets worse. The radiation protection standards are based on exposures to the average man, a 170 pound male. But, as has been documented for many years and which is made very clear in the most recent National Academy of Sciences study (BEIR VII), women are some 50% more susceptible to radiation exposure than men, and children are much more susceptible than that (with little girls being the most susceptible). Thus, the NRC and EPA’s radiation standards, instead of being set to protect the most vulnerable to the pollutants, are set to protect the least vulnerable. This is backwards. As the father of two pre-school girls (and one older one), I am outraged every day that the federal government would base its standards in such a way that my little girls are forced to experience more than twice the risk level that I am.

        Until radiation standards are changed to at least 1) protect the most vulnerable and 2) set at levels comparable to other pollutants (which many people believe are also too lax), they will have no credibility.

        Again, these are standards, not actual exposures. But we can’t regulate actual exposures, we can only set standards that must be met. It’s my belief that if standards were set as stated above, the nuclear industry would not be able to meet them and would be forced to close. That’s not the reason for setting the standards as stated–the reason is to protect our children; but it likely would be the by-product.

      6. Buzz Davies Nuclear Quality Engineer

        All the current government mentality on radiation exposure is based on the notion of measurement of external dose rates. What all those government specifications intentionally ignore is the population’s ingested quantities of radioactive materials like Plutonium dust and Highly Enriched Uranium 235 Hexaflouride Gas. Any minute measurable quantity of these lethally toxic radionucliedes lodging internally in the human body will eventually cause tissue degeneration. mutation, and/or cancer death..
        Typically, when a spill or release occurs the table exposure levels are raised to incorporate the increases!

    3. roland arnold

      Because there is still no safety from the mistakes and errors. Fukushima and Hanford are reasons enough for banning all nukes. The endless supply of waste plutonium are bombs just looking for a place to land. It is not safe and clean. Arise!

      1. Buzz Davies, Nuclear Quality Engineer, Ret.

        Along with Hanford, WA don’t forget Rocky Flats, CO where this country made over 70,000 Plutonium Bomb Triggers for 6,000 Bombs. In doing so they spread pyroforic Plutonium over the town and ten thousand downwind acres which is now a human off limits “Nature Preserve”! I guess you need to throw in Apollo, PA and Erwin, TN where they have released Hundreds and hundreds of pounds of Highly Enriched (Bomb Grade) Uranium 235 Hexaflouride Gas on the unsuspecting citizens. (That stuff costs over a thousand dollars a gram if you want to know where your tax dollars went and it is traceable 50 miles down the Nolechucky River to Douglas Lake)
        The Cancer rates in those areas are appalling!
        The NRC has infamously Licensed those Nuclear Chemical Processing Plants to operate without inclusion of the 10 CFR 50 Appendix B NQA-1 requirements. Thereby allowing fudalistic management , short term profit operations to have carte blanche nonexistant nuclear quality engineering control at those Plants, with NRC guaranteed coverup of their repetitive spills and releases over the decades!

  3. John Hughes

    I don’t see trainloads of coal lined up to supply a nuclear power plant. I do see a new natural gas plant planned to replace San Onofre.

  4. Buzz Davies, Nuclear Quality Engineer, Ret.

    You must recognize that the NRC through decades of intentionally deleting the 10 CFR 50 Appendix B Nuclear Quality Asssurance Program requirements from the operating licenses of multiple Nuclear Power Plants across this country, have created an ongoing, increasing radionuclide ontamination event potential that threatens the security of this nation! Indeed this created infrastructure of fudalistic short term profit operations management by its very nature, guarantees failure! Short term profit management by design, has no feedback engineering controls that assure safety systems or items relied on for safety are correctly operational. Quite simply NO QUALITY means NO ASSURANCE of SAFETY.
    Hence the NRC has a decades long history of repetitive failures to provide assurance of safety to the environment or the public from commercial Nuclear Power Plant operations! Recognize that when a catastrophic event occurs — NO amount of insurance will compensate for the prolonged radioactive contamination damage to our heartland. The balance of international trade and the stock market which is supported by the insurance industry will financially collapse.
    As it currently exists the NRC is UNFIT to License or Regulate the commercial Nuclear Industry and continues to allow this increasing Nuclear Threat to our National Security!
    With all due concern,
    Buzz Davies, Nuclear Quality Engineer, Ret. .

  5. sheilaparks

    I am so glad you are doing this. I will be there, if we do.

    I am so sad that climate crisis organizers do not take a very strong no nukes stand. I understand that McKibben does not do that because of Hansen. If that is true, it makes me nuts Perhaps you can shed some light on this.

    I *might* be able to help organize. I will let you know.

    Thanks again

    Sheila Parks, Watertown, MA

  6. James Greenidge

    If one has real proof of antinuclear assertions and claims, please participate in a podcast debate at atomicinsights.com by real nuclear professionals. Inviting the head honchos of anti-nuclear blogs to debate on such live unslanted open forums for all the world to hear is like pulling teeth (their followers really ought ask themselves Why). If one is so sure about the validity of their anti-nuclear claims, then what do you lose by coming on board to debate except credibility? We’ll even post the podcast events on ANS and NEI; societies of REAL professionals, not wannabe social crusaders. We’re always ready to oblige challenges in the clear, not sling FUD or slander. After all, pro-nuclears don’t like the public being deceived for anyone’s agenda. The end doesn’t justify the means.

    Hopefully we’ll see you there. _We_ will.

    James Greenidge
    Queens NY
    thanks atomicinsights.com & HiroshimaSyndrome.com

    1. Michael Mariotte Post author

      Well, I have been at NIRS nearly 30 years and have never been asked to participate in one of these, so not sure who you’re talking about. But I have publicly debated nuclear industry people often in a variety of fora, including NEI CEO Marvin Fertel, their top lobbyist Alex Flynt and many more. If the timing can be made to work (which is admittedly difficult for me these days), I’d be happy to debate on your forum too. Michael, NIRS

  7. Sam

    (1) The NIRS link for the rally says the rally is on September 21st, not September 20th.

    Here is the link for the rally and the donation page. If you can’t attend, you may want to make a donation:


    (2) Learn how every state can be powered entirely by Renewable Energy:


    (3) “The Answer to Climate Change is Renewable Energy, Not Nuclear Energy”


  8. Andrew Chalnick

    I am not a scientist but a concerned citizen and dedicated environmentalist. I used to be staunchly against nuclear power, but I now see it as inevitable that the world will need nuclear power to stave off a carbon catastrophe. There is just not enough political will to implement the energy efficiency measures and green energy production measures that will be needed. (A stiff carbon tax might get us there, but there just doesn’t seem to be political for that).

    1. Michael Mariotte Post author

      We agree there needs to be more political will to fully create a sustainable energy system. But there isn’t much political, and more importantly, financial will for nuclear power either. And, for all the reasons outlined in our latest factsheet on nuclear power and climate (http://www.nirs.org/factsheets/nukesclimatefact614.pdf), counting on nuclear power to play any meaningful role in reducing carbon emissions–esp. in the U.S. and Europe–is folly. It’s not going to happen, and because of its enormous costs would be counterproductive anyway. A far better approach would be to join us in our efforts to build that political will for a nuclear-free, carbon-free energy system.


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