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doomsday machine - the real costs of nuclear energy

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Published on Jun 10, 2012

Today, there are over four hundred nuclear reactors operating in our backyards, from Indian Point in New York in the United States to those in rapidly developing economies like the complex at Daya Bay in China. Even in the wake of the disaster at Fukushima, described by one industry insider as the worst accident in the history of mankind, proponents of nuclear power continue to argue that it is the only viable alternative to fossil fuels; that with coal and natural gas increasing the threat of global warming and new technologies like wind and solar unable to keep up with rising energy consumption, nuclear solutions are our best hope to protect the future.

In The Doomsday Machine, social scientist Martin Cohen and energy economist Andrew McKillop show that the nuclear power dream being sold to us is pure fantasy. Debunking the widely held myth that nuclear energy is cheaper, cleaner, and safer than other sources, they reveal landscapes ravaged by accidents at the reactors, lives destroyed by the subtle long-term effects of radiation, and energy companies and politicians loathe to discuss the true costs of nuclear power plants—from the huge government subsidies that build the infrastructure to the unspoken guarantee that the public will pick up the cleanup cost in the event of a meltdown, which can run into hundreds of billions of dollars.

This is a far-reaching look at the devastating truth about of nuclear power, and a necessary contribution to the urgent world energy conversation.


The video is based on the book 'The Doomsday Machine' by Martin Cohen and Andrew McKillop (Palgrave 2012), described by the New York Times as 'a polemic against the evils of splitting the atom', which it is. Martin Cohen is a philosopher of social science and the author of several books, translated into over twenty languages, including Mind Games and Philosophy for Dummies. A respected environmentalist, he wrote an influential series of articles in the Times Higher (London) about the politics of the climate change debate. He has written discussion papers on environmental concerns for the European Parliament and been invited by the Chinese government to discuss ecological rights and indigenous communities.

Andrew McKillop has worked for thirty years as an energy economist and consultant. He is involved in plans to redraw the energy map of Europe and is the former chief policy analyst for the European Commission's Energy Directorate. McKillop has been published in The Ecologist, New Scientist, and International Journal of Energy Research, among others. He has spoken at conferences across the country, including Petrocollapse in New York and EcoCity in San Francisco, and he is a founding member of the International Association for Energy Economics, which holds an annual conference in the United States. McKillop currently runs an energy consultancy and lives in Vannes, France.

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This video is educational in purpose and intended to launch discussion. It includes very short extracts covered by the fair use protections for cultural rescue, launching discussion and incidental use.



FAIR USE NOTICE: Any copyrighted (© ) material is made available to advance understanding of ecological, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, moral, ethical, and social justice issues, which constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law.


With special acknowledgements to:

The US National Archives for archive material; ABC News for momentary extracts from their 1986 breaking news bulletin for Chernobyl; Greenpeace for extracts from their video 'Chernobyl new report' and the makers of ''inside the reactor'

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