We do this work for our children, grandchildren, godchildren, and all children of the world
A Birds Eye View:
By Maggie Gundersen
Whoops – we could call it spring fever when I made an error in my closing statement for Thursday’s newsletter. I just wanted to point out that there is a mistake in my article entitled Homeland Security Newswire: Pocket-size biological solution to radioactive threats. Let me correct my error now:
“We hope this technology will be shown to help people all around the world overcome the profusion of radioactive isotopes that are contaminating our precious planet. We must move to cleaner and more sustainable sources of electric generation and once again build a strong US economy.” [You will find this correction on our website.]
As we kicked off the spring/summer fundraiser for Fairewinds Energy Education this week, I was juggling too many different balls, and we were short staffed because a major member of our crew is on a 3-week sabbatical leaving not enough eyes on the finished product.
I guess it is time for me to give y’all a ‘birds eye view’ inside Fairewinds Energy Education, so here it goes:
I have been a published writer and journalist since my early 20s; I taught remedial reading and writing, creative writing, and oversaw the school newspaper as a high school teacher. Following a serious illness I faced along with three major surgeries, Arnie Gundersen and I moved to Vermont in 2001. I decided not to teach anymore and returned to college to become a paralegal.
As a paralegal, I founded Fairewinds Associates, Inc in 2003 – this is where Arnie and I do all of the research and testimony on atomic power cases in which Fairewinds is testifying before the NRC, in federal court, before Public Service Boards and Commissions, and to federal Legislative Committees, State Legislatures, City Councils, and investigative boards in the US, Canada, and overseas. In 2008, I founded the 501c3 non-profit Fairewinds Energy Education at the request of a foundation and several other perspective donors who wanted to help us speak truth to power.
We began focusing on small scientific studies regarding operating nuclear power plants and decommissioning, until the triple meltdowns at Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi atomic reactors in March 2011. During the immediate three weeks following the Fukushima disaster, Arnie spoke more than 12 times each day to national and international media, beginning with the New York Times and the Washington Post, and followed by numerous television, radio, and internet interviews. Quite frankly it was grueling. We wrote a book in Japanese with co-author Reiko Okazaki, made public appearances, and testified in several ongoing cases as experts.
In early 2012, I was at my peak moving both Fairewinds Energy Education and Fairewinds Associates forwards while completing a master degree in mediation. I created the concept for Arnie making videos and hired a videographer to produce Fairewinds’ videos. I created the concept for the Fairewinds site, and I worked on fundraising and grant writing for Fairewinds. Almost all of my effort was chucked out the window, by a car crash in February 2012. I was stopped at a stoplight and hit from behind by an uninsured motorist who appeared to be texting. I am still recovering. I suffered a concussion, followed by post-concussion syndrome, which morphed into post-traumatic migraine last year.
My recovery has taken a long time and has been accompanied with a lot of heartache and ongoing health issues that I may never overcome. Except for one or two instances, I gave up my public speaking, television appearances, and radio shows until late in 2015. I stopped making Fairewinds videos or even doing podcasts because my speech was halting. I had to give up pursuing my master degree in mediation. Although I completed my certificate in mediation, I did not have the skill set to mediate with my concussion.
I am finally writing again, and usually writing quite well, but sometimes I do suffer word reversals and mix up meanings, yet it is much better than the almost total severe aphasia I had during the first three years. This is not how I imagined my life would be.
Travel by plane continues to be difficult because the air pressure changes cause headaches and foggy thinking. I have missed travel all over the country, three times to Japan, also to England, and finally it is with great difficulty and not enough frequency that I travel to visit my grandchildren in San Francisco or friends and colleagues in California, Oregon, and Washington State. I have missed trips to Tucson and Vancouver.
Usually a group of us produce Fairewinds newsletter, but we are currently in transition, so it has made it more challenging.
Ben is on sabbatical and will return next week ready to fill our followers in about his research – when he will share a travelogue and comments.
Grayson is leaving us at the end of next week for water and soil sampling work in Alaska – meeting his dream of hiking and exploring Alaska’s Boreal forest.
Arnie has been traveling for testimony, and researching and analyzing data and evidence for four different cases.
And, for the next two weeks I am traveling to visit my daughter and some specialized medical providers who have helped me through the earlier terror and deficit of my concussion.
In July Fairewinds moves into new office space.
I am a perfectionist on Fairewinds material… so it is disconcerting to have made an error. And, I cannot promise it will not happen again. Special thanks to Cara and Claire, who caught my error and wrote to me!
Every bit of Fairewinds’ effort takes money.
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Please help us financially,
so that we can collect the data, conduct analyses, and produce the newsletters, videos, and podcasts you depend upon!
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Keep Reading For Our Demystify Blog
Demystify Blog: The Nuclear Gamble
By Grayson Webb
During the past few weeks the U.S. government and the nuclear industry failed multiple times to keep workers and residents safe from the toxic radioactive waste that nuclear power produces. We witnessed the collapse of a storage tunnel at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation where highly contaminated radioactive material was being stored. In a case of Déjà Vu, another event occurred at a nuclear waste landfill in Idaho when an excavator was digging up highly radioactive material. The wall of the pit he was working on collapsed, sending the excavator down into the quarry. The operator stayed in his shielded cab for 90 minutes until he could be removed safely. These events just go to show that despite its claims of impeccable safety standards, the atomic power and atomic weapons industries are riddled with dangerous incidents and unmonitored or releases of toxic radioactivity. Of course who can forget the kitty litter explosion at the WIPP underground salt mine on Valentines Day 2014 that closed the facility for 3 years!
Kyshtym Nuclear Disaster Memorial. MemphiStofel via Wikimapia
These radioactive emergencies happen here in the U.S. and all over the world, as the nuclear industry and its alleged governmental regulators hide radiation releases from their citizens. For instance, have you ever heard of the Kyshtym Nuclear Disaster? Not many people have, but this early nuclear radiation catastrophe, which happened in the U.S.S.R. in 1957, was every bit as serious as Chernobyl or Fukushima. In an effort to catch up to the United States nuclear weapons program, the Soviets built the Mayak plutonium production reactor in a town that according to the government did not exist. During the time of its peak production, the allegedly non-existent town was named Chelyabinsk-65, and later it was renamed Ozyorsk.
Read The Full Nuclear Gamble Demystify Blog post on our Website Here