Locus Focus on 09/02/13
From the series TUC Radio we hear Dr. Helen Caldicott's keynote presentation at a public forum in Taipei, Taiwan, on July 7, 2013. The organizer was an antinuclear alliance of mothers called Mom Loves Taiwan. They are campaigning to prevent the opening of yet another nuclear power plant on that small island and invited Dr. Helen Caldicott to help inform the public and the media.
This is a brief and concise talk covering the nature of power plants accidents, the different forms of radiation released, and how exactly radiation acts on the human cells and causes cancer. In Part TWO Caldicott explains how radioactive iodine, strontium and plutonium affect the body; and why the body and placenta mistake plutonium for iron and strontium for calcium and embed them in our organs, bones and the fetus. Caldicott also covers the latest studies on birds in the Chernobyl and Fukushima exclusion zones by biologist Timothy Mousseau.
There are very few people currently alive who have given as much time and effort to the whole complex of the nuclear nightmare, as Helen Caldicott. Beginning in 1971 with atmospheric bomb testing to nuclear war to nuclear power to nuclear weapons in space, and to climate change. In 1971 Caldicott played a major public role in Australia’s opposition to French atmospheric nuclear testing in the Pacific. Four years later she worked with the Australian trade unions to educate their members about the medical dangers of the nuclear fuel cycle, with a particular focus on uranium mining. At the end of the nineteen-seventies Helen Caldicott gave up a profession she loves, that of a medical doctor, and a career that could have given her a comfortable life. In 1978 Helen Caldicott left her position teaching pediatrics at Harvard Medical School to fully immerse herself in nuclear disarmament and joined those who were ending the cold war.
Caldicott formed several important organizations in her over four decades of activism. A lasting contribution was her co-founding Physicians for Social Responsibility. The international umbrella group: International Physicians for the Preventions of Nuclear War won the Noble Peace Prize in 1985. The Smithsonian has named her one of the most influential women of the 20th Century. She is the author of several books, among them Nuclear Madness, If You Love This Planet, The New Nuclear Danger and Nuclear Power is Not the Answer.