Radioactive Contamination of US Food and Water – and What Congress Can Do About It

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Source:  Fukushima Fallout Awareness Network

[ Editors’ note:

Hi Friends,

We’ve been helping behind the scenes with this important project. We’re proud members of the FFAN Alliance and are co-sponsoring this event. 

Please register and attend if you can – it’s Monday at 11:00 am PST.- MB & J ]

As CounterPunch, CBC and other sources report, Japan is dumping millions more gallons of irradiated water into the Pacific from Fukushima. What effect will that have on our coast and seafood?  Plus contaminated food, too radioactive to be sold in Japan, can legally be sold here in the U.S. 

In 2013 the FFAN alliance (we’re members) filed a petition to the FDA for guidelines to be more protective of human health. It has been ignored.  The FFAN alliance members are now asking Congress to direct the FDA and the EPA to fulfill their missions to deal with this issue.

You’re invited to attend a groundbreaking webinar with Congress and leading experts about an under-recognized but growing problem we need to confront:

Radioactive Contamination of US Food and Water and What Congress Can Do About It

 Monday July 15, 2pm Eastern time

WHAT? Join us for an online expert briefing for members of Congress and their staffs, relevant agencies, advocates, journalists, and concerned citizens on the growing problem of radioactive contamination of US food and water and what Congress can do about it.  The briefing features leading researchers and advocates and is organized by the Fukushima Fallout Awareness Network (a project of the National Institute for Science Law & Public Policy) and co-sponsored by the NGOs Beyond Nuclear, Citizens for Health, Ecological Options Network, Food and Water Watch, San Clemente Green, Physicians for Social Responsibility (PSR National as well as PSR’s Greater Boston, Los Angeles, and San Francisco Bay Area chapters).

WHO?  Distinguished experts and leaders presenting at the briefing include:

·      US Congresswoman Cori Bush – Representing Missouri’s 1st Congressional District (invited)

·       Dr. Arjun Makhijani — Nuclear engineer, President of the Institute for Energy and Environmental Research, author of Exploring Tritium Dangers, member of an independent scientists’ panel commissioned by the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat to review radioactive dumping from Fukushima into the Pacific

·       Prof. Bob Richmond — University of Hawaii Marine Biologist, expert in biological uptake of radiation in the oceans, member of the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat panel on Fukushima

·       Kimberly Roberson — Project Director, Fukushima Fallout Awareness Network (FFAN). She served on the board of National Association of Nutrition Professionals and helped organize the FFAN Coalition which petitioned FDA for better food regulations​ following the Fukushima disaster.

·       James Gormley — President and Senior Policy Advisor of Citizens for Health and a leading consumer health advocate

·       Cindy Folkers — Radiation and Health Hazard Specialist, Beyond Nuclear (moderating)

WHERE & WHEN?  The briefing will be held via Zoom on Monday, July 15 at 2pm Eastern time.  Registration is required.  For further information and to register, go to

WHY? Radioactive contamination stands to get worse due to planned ongoing releases of radioactive wastewater from Fukushima into the Pacific Ocean. Despite this, there are currently no binding FDA standards, very little testing or monitoring that has been made public, a lack of transparency about any such testing, and no labeling or other information available to US consumers about radioactivity in their food that can guide their choices. Food from Japan that exceeds Japan’s radioactivity standards and can’t be sold there is nonetheless sold and served to US consumers here and to US service men and women overseas. Congress can and should use its oversight of the FDA and other powers to confront and ameliorate this growing public health threat.

Mary Beth Brangan and James Heddle co-direct EON, the Ecological Options Network. EON is a co-sponsor of this event.  The EON feature film documentary SOS – The San Onofre Syndrome: Nuclear Power’s Legacy, by filmmakers Brangan, Morgan Peterson and Heddle, was awarded the Grand Jury Award for Feature Documentary at last October’s Hollywood Awareness Film Festival.  SOS has also garnered the International Uranium Film Festival’s award for Best Educational Documentary as well as two Outstanding Excellence awards. SOS is now available for on-line streaming on many platforms, including Amazon Prime.  For links to view and more information about the issue, please visit the SOS Website.

SOS – An Antidote to Crackpot Neo-Nuclearism

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Then U.S. Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz discusses the Department of Energy’s close partnership with the U.S. Nuclear Navy Jan. 12, 2017 at the Naval War College. Moniz is a reigning high priest of the nuclear revivalist cult. – U.S. Navy photo by Ezra Elliott/released

One cannot exist without the other.  Without civil nuclear power, there can be no military nuclear power, and without military nuclear power, there is no civil nuclear power.” – French President Emmanuel Macron

“Imagine a death technology calling itself a nuclear renaissance. All it is, is a nuclear rebirth of an even more gouging crony capitalism, or corporate welfare system.” – Ralph Nader

Nuclear power in the US is in decline…42 reactor projects were abandoned, 41 built but closed, and scores now operate only thanks to government rescues…Nuclear power is a minor distraction, adding each year at best only as much electricity supply as renewables add every few days. It has no business case or operational need anywhere. – Amory Lovins

[C]ivilian nuclear power is merely a cover for producing more nuclear weapons.” – Alfred Meyer

By James Heddle By Mary Beth Brangan – EON

Psychopathological Nuclear Revivalism is on the Loose

  • At the last COP 28 Climate Summit, over 20 nuclear nations on four continents and their allies and vassal states pledged to triple their ‘nuclear capacities’ by the year 2050, thus multiplying planet-wide nuclear risks by orders of magnitude. Source
  • The U.S., China and Russia each have plans to build nuclear reactors on the moon. The reactors would be constructed by robots, run remotely via AI, and be prototypes for subsequent installations on other planets in the first phase of the hubristic galactic imperialism agenda. Source
  • Nuclear propulsion and energy production in space are considered essential for military uses like High Energy Laser (HEL) directed energy weapons, and for mining the resources on asteroids and other planets. Source
  • Although no working model of much-touted Small, Modular Nuclear Reactors (SMNRs) has yet made it off the drawing board, mass production of such reactors continues to be advocated both as a fictitious ‘solution’ for climate change, and as a necessary power source for the planned build-out of Artificial Intelligence (AI) facilities.
  • This is the same specious rationale being used for extending the operating licenses of obsolete, aged, inadequately maintained old style nuclear reactors that are scheduled for shutdown and decommissioning – like Diablo Canyon. There is even a push to restart obsolete reactors already shutdown like Palisades in Michigan.
  • The burgeoning spent nuclear fuel management industry is dominated by companies with dubious, predatory companies like Holtec International, which have their eyes on the massive accumulated decommissioning funds at each reactor site, dumping radioactive waste water into adjacent water systems, and even repurposing decommissioning sites for installation of their own brand of SMNRs.
  • Former Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz, now head of the Energy Futures Initiative Foundation justifies nuclear revivalism because it supports the Nuclear Navy, spear tip of American power projection around the planet.
  • Nuclear energy, weapons and radioactive waste management industries are key, interlocking components of the Permanent War Economy, yet they could not survive without massive government subsidies and support (both overt and covert) with taxpayer dollars.

In her book Plutopia: Nuclear Families, Atomic Cities, and the Great Soviet and American Plutonium Disasters, M.I.T. professor and environmental historian Kate Brown reveals the schizoid cognitive and ethical contradictions of societies organized around the production of the deadly man-made element plutonium.  It is a history with relevance today. As the developments listed above clearly show, Crackpot Nuclearism is having a heyday.

In the widest context, this is the implied scope of what we have dubbed in our film ‘the San Onofre Syndrome.’  It is the dedication of unlimited resources to a quintessentially totalitarian technology, the products and societal spin-offs of which are antithetical to democracy and to life in all its forms.

 While our just released, multi-award-winning feature documentary SOS – The San Onofre Syndrome: Nuclear Power’s Legacy – focuses on the potential impacts of informed people power, and the universal conundrum of responsible radioactive waste management, our broadest intent is to use SOS screenings as a wake-up call and catalyst for discussions helping to make viewers aware of the enveloping presence of what is termed by proponents and critics alike the over-arching ‘the nuclear enterprise.’  

The Nuclear Enterprise impacts virtually all sectors and institutions of our society and incorporates the mutually co-dependent nuclear energy and nuclear weapons production industries, their shared industrial base of extraction, milling, fabrication, transportation; an extensive infrastructure of education, research, labor training; the growing radioactive waste management industry; and a powerful lobbying arm with global reach.  It is a ‘public-private partnership’ on steroids.

We have examined aspects of this Nuclear Energy-Weapons-Waste Complex and the geopolitical and cosmic context for the ‘Save Diablo’ PsyOp in previous articles including: The Real Nuclear Triad; Joined At The  Hip; Nuclear Revivalism as a Cargo Cult; and The Hydra-Heads of Armageddon Man.  Because of the widespread impacts of this Nuclear Industrial Complex, we now live in a literally MAD world in which the certainty of Mutually Assured Destruction of adversarial nuclear weapons states is seen as the main ‘deterrent’ to nuclear war.  Is this clearly insane, or what?

 Both government control of business (or ‘communism’), and business control of government (or ‘fascism’) are in the thrall of the nuclear enterprise – or nuclear energy-weapons-waste complex. 

Our documentary SOS, The San Onofre Syndrome: Nuclear Power’s Legacy, portrays a microcosm of this general situation with universal implications. We show the reality of this monstrous death industry, and the state and federal agencies that provide for its support, structure, and funding through portraying the events at San Onofre and the ordinary citizens who grapple with them.

Our five main characters work tirelessly to first shut down the leaking reactors that they live close to, and then discover the horrifyingly inept waste management plans.

The waste is being stored only 108 ft. from the rising ocean, in a tsunami and flooding zone, surrounded by earthquake faults and only inches above rising groundwater.

The industry does not have a plan for how to remove the waste or to safely move it technically, yet it promises the public that if it only had a place to put it, it would be easily transportable.  Billions are being dangled before impoverished – often minority – communities to allow them to be ‘consolidated interim storage’ sites, or CIS.

SOS specifically opposes the concept of Consolidated Interim Storage (CIS). CIS requires that the lethal waste be moved twice.  We also oppose the storage and long-distance transport of Spent Nuclear Fuel (SNF) in unsafe containers.  We oppose the idea of contaminating yet more land and communities, which are most of the time poor, minority people. 

SOS explicitly advocates for ongoing, transgenerational stewardship of spent fuel on existing reactor sites (or as close by as is safely possible to avoid the horrendous transportation risks) using aspects of the Swiss model for interim storage. 

The parts of the Swiss model technology that we need in the U.S. are:

1) a hot cell/dry handling facility for robotic handling; and

2) repackaging of the waste from inevitably short-term canisters into thick, monitored, inspectable, retrievable casks;  

3) stored in secure, climate-controlled buildings as close to the site of generation as is safely possible;

4) with ongoing skilled maintenance for as long as it is necessary.

This of course, is needed at every reactor site in the U.S. (and beyond) that currently is storing the ever-increasing volume of this lethal material.  Each site’s needs would be in the billions of dollars to do this properly.  But the industry makes decisions based on profit and so far, believes it won’t profit from safely managing the waste.

Therefore, it thinks of the problems of radioactive waste and nuclear risks in general, as a Public Relations problem and that if they only solve the P.R. problem, they can keep on making the messes and making profits from supposedly ‘dealing’ with them the cheapest, fastest way.  The billions in trust funds set aside for decommissioning from years of ratepayers’ fees are used by the industry with no adequate oversight or auditing.

So, this industry that must operate flawlessly to avoid catastrophic damage to the planetary DNA of all living creatures, makes decisions based on profits, not public health and safety.

Not even considering the any other adverse effects of this ultimate destructive force, the problem of the everlasting poisonous waste alone, in a sane society, would be enough to ban the use of this technology either for weapons or for boiling water to produce electricity.

 For more information and viewing options:



Mary Beth Brangan and James Heddle directed SOS together with Morgan Peterson, who also served as editor.

Unlearned Lessons – An Urgent SOS from the Nuclear Memory Hole

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Chernobyl – 1986                                                                Fukushima – 2011                                 Credit:

By Mary Beth Brangan – EON

So Soon We Forget

I offer these thoughts because I’m told by many that people, especially young folks, have little to no memory or knowledge of these essential learnings from Chernobyl and Fukushima.  Understanding these hard lessons allows us to see through the demonic joke of ‘clean and green’ nuclear power supposedly saving us from climate change.  


April 26, 2024, was the 38th anniversary of Chernobyl, which is still considered by some to be the worst nuclear accident in history. That disaster exposed millions of people all over the planet to harmful ionizing radiation and its long-lasting humanitarian effects and severe social and political impacts contributed heavily to the collapse of the Soviet empire.    

The Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant is about 81 miles north of the Ukrainian capital, Kyiv, and about 12 miles south of the border with Belarus.  The disaster site, still intensely radioactive, is now in the Ukrainian war zone, compounding the risks.    

Health Consequences  

Today, 38 years after the explosion, 60% – 80% of children born in contaminated areas in Belarus and Ukraine are chronically sick, with high rates of heartbreaking genetic mutations causing disease, deformities, lowered IQ, organ failure and early death.    

Fukushima Daiichi  

March 11, 2024, marks the 13th year after Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power station disaster began, precipitated by a huge earthquake and tsunami.  Because it had 3 reactor meltdowns, multiple explosions, and continuing extreme hazards at the site, many people contend it is the very worst nuclear disaster.     

There have been at least 300 cases of thyroid cancer in the relatively small Fukushima population around the melted reactors, not to mention other tragic medical and environmental results from the radiation released during and since the 2011 tragedy.    

Fukushima and Ukraine, like West Marin, California, were known for their rich farmlands and abundant organic fruits, (specially peaches), agricultural produce, cattle, and fish.  But now, their formerly famous food products are suspected as being too radioactive and are banned by many nations.  The U.S., however, allows higher levels of radioactivity in food, even baby food, and imports much of Japan’s food items judged even by Japan as too radioactive for their own consumption.   

Nevertheless, neither the Japanese nor the Ukrainian governments officially recognize the effects of the radioactive poisoning. The 65.000 thousand actual Japanese refugee victims whose lives, homes and health have been decimated by this invisible destroyer, are discriminated against socially and are being encouraged to return to their now horrifically irradiated lands!    

But this atrocity is also here in the U.S. where our government denies and covers up the effects of our extensive radioactive poisoning at thousands of locations affecting millions of people across many states.  Some examples: Native Americans living with highly contaminated water and soil from uranium mill tailings from mining for nuclear fuel; those adjacent to any of the many manufacturing sites for nuclear fuel and weapons production and their leaking and burning waste sites; downwinders from the nuclear bomb testing; people living close to the meltdown at Three Mile Island in Pennsylvania and the Santa Susana meltdown near Los Angeles are all officially ignored.  Cancer clusters are normal, and their suffering and contamination have been covered up and denied.   

However, right now there’s an intense effort by injured Native Americans and other U.S. citizens to get compensated for medical expenses caused by their exposures. The Radiation Exposure Compensation Act (RECA) bill has passed the Senate and must be passed by the House within 10 working days.  If it doesn’t pass, all support for these victims will be denied.  

Effects Here Along the West Coast of North America

Daily, tons of intensely contaminated groundwater from Fukushima have been pouring lethal radioactivity into the Pacific since March 2011.  This additional man-made radioactivity, added to that already permeating the ocean from bomb ‘testing’, has made its way to our edge of the Pacific, has been measured in the ocean water and is inevitably in our foggy marine layer along the West Coast, affecting all of us here.   

Beginning in August 2023, millions more tons of the lethally contaminated water are being released into the Pacific from tanks of water collected on site at Fukushima Daiichi. Many countries around Japan have strenuously objected to this and have sued the Japanese government. Japanese fishermen are distraught.

Why we produced our film.  

Together, these horrific ongoing DNA-destroying planetary wounds represent the still-unlearned lessons underlying our multiple award-winning feature documentary.      

We produced our documentary out of our heartache at the Fukushima disaster and to help prevent such destructive events from happening here in California.  Conditions here are like Fukushima – California’s nuclear reactors are also along the coast with rapidly rising sea levels and in earthquake/flood/tsunami zones.   

SOS – The San Onofre Syndrome: Nuclear Power’s Legacy shows the empowering saga of southern California residents who amazingly shut down leaking reactors.  They then discover to their horror that the intensely radioactive reactor fuel waste, lethal for millions of years, is being put into cement holes 100 feet from the rising ocean, inches above the rising water table and next to a popular site for international surfing competitions. The 73 canisters, only 5/8 in. thick, each contain more radioactivity than was released at Chernobyl and are corroding in the salty fog and spray.   

Alarmingly, this careless piling up of tons of mismanaged radioactive waste that’s lethal for millions of years in short term containers is a syndrome endemic to all the 93 reactors in the U.S.  Will we take appropriate action in California and throughout the U.S. now before it’s too late? 

Watch our award-winning film:  SOS, The San Onofre Syndrome: Nuclear Power’s Legacy!

URGENT Action Needed: Here is how to help get the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act passed. 

Mary Beth Brangan co-directs EON, the Ecological Options Network with James Heddle.  They directed the EON feature documentary SOS with Morgan Peterson, who also served as editor. Since its recent release SOS has won major awards in three film festivals:

  • Grand Jury Award for Documentary – Awareness Film Festival – L.A., California, U.S.

  • Best Educational Documentary – International Uranium Film Festival – Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

  • Outstanding Excellence Award– International Documentaries Without Borders Festival – U.K.



Fukushima Fallout Awareness Network Presents – Meet Directors of SOS, The Movie

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Filmed over 12 years, SOS – the San Onofre Syndrome: Nuclear Power’s Legacy chronicles how southern California residents organized to force the shutdown of a leaking nuclear reactor, only to be horrified when confronted by tons of intensely radioactive waste being stored on site 100 ft. from the rising Pacific Ocean.  The shocking reality they face of highly corrosive radioactivity lethal for millions of years placed in short-term containers, is compounded by the realization that this ‘syndrome’ is shared by the 93 other nuclear reactors across the United States and in many other countries.  When these canisters holding the waste fail, they will fail everywhere!  SOS presents alternatives.

Filmmakers Jim Heddle and Mary Beth Brangan, Producer, are the featured special guests who directed the film along with Morgan Peterson, who also edited.

They join Libbe Halevy (Nuclear Hotseat) and Kimberly Roberson (Fukushima Fallout Awareness Network) to discuss SOS, the groundbreaking and award-winning documentary. Connections between the triple meltdowns from Fukushima Daiichi and San Onofre are highlighted in a 12 min. excerpt from the film.  

Kim includes important action steps for people to protect and defend our food supply from radioactive contamination and to protect public health.


For more information: 

Fukushima Fallout Awareness Network

Fukushima Fallout Awareness Network

3/11 – Fukushima at 13 – California Connections

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Thirteen and Counting…
This is the thirteenth anniversary of the triple reactor meltdown at Fukushima, Japan that launched the 13-year production of our award-winning feature documentary SOS – The San Onofre Syndrome: Nuclear Power’s Legacy. It is an opportunity to consider some of the lessons, both learned and unlearned from that pivotal event.

In remembrance of all the lives that have been lost, and all the lives that have been changed by that still on-going disaster, here is a suite of resources exploring some of the many Fukushima – California connections.

It’s imperative that as many people as possible learn the truth about these tragic meltdowns.  Unfortunately, Japan, the most earthquake afflicted country in the world, is re-starting many of their nuclear power plants that were shut down after 3-11-11.  They have already reopened 10 and want to reopen more in their country that’s around the same size as California.  Japan also wants to develop ‘small’ modular nuclear reactors.

Currently the U.S. is leading the global push to build another generation of nuclear power reactors, despite the risk of increasing the proliferation of nuclear weapons as a result.  Additionally, there’s no solution yet in sight for safely managing the intensely radioactive waste.

Previous nuclear disasters like Chernobyl, Three Mile Island and the horrendous flooding with uranium mining waste of the Puerco River in Church Rock, New Mexico in 1979, were caused by human failures. . The accident remains the largest release of radioactive material in U.S.  No earthquake or tsunamis were needed.  This devastating technology must be stopped.

Please visit our Portal Page pictured above

A Fukushima Survivor’s Story – Setsuko Kida

Japanese activist Setsuko Kida – who lost her home, her land, and her former life to radioactive pollution from the Fukushima triple meltdown – tells how she overcame personal tragedy and trauma to become an outspoken international advocate for radiation refugee rights.

Fukushima Reflections

This is the first two parts of a projected series of interviews with activists for whom the Fukushima disaster continues to be a life-changing event.

Cathy Iwane has a bi-cultural family that fled their home in Japan to avoid the effects of Fukushima only to land near San Onofre, where she joined the campaign documented in our SOS film. Cathy translated for Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan when he spoke in the pivotal meeting that helped shutdown San Onofre. Cathy is now in Japan just 300 miles from Fukushima.

Gary Headrick co-founded San Clemente Green with his partner Laurie Headrick. Gary has been key organizer in the successful campaign to shutdown the San Onofre reactors and is continuing to work on the campaign to manage the plant’s tons of high-level radioactive waste safely and responsibly.

San Clemente Green Newsletter

Fukushima Turns 13 in an Ever-More Nuclear World

March 11, 2024

On the thirteenth anniversary of the 2011 Fukushima nuclear accident in Japan, two prominent American scholars discuss the event itself and the current socioeconomic circumstances of the individuals impacted by the nuclear catastrophe.

Nuclear Hotseat – Libbe HaLevy

NH #663: SPECIAL: VOICES FROM JAPAN, Fukushima at 13, Quakes + Nukes = Nuclear UNsafety – Beverly Findlay-Kaneko

Fukushima - California Connections - A Series of Reflections After 13 Years

This is the first two parts of a projected series of interviews with activists for whom the Fukushima disaster continues to be a life-changing event.

Pt. 1 - Cathy Iwane is the mother of a bi-cultural family that fled their home in Japan to avoid the effects of Fukushima only to land near San Onofre, where she joined the campaign documented in our SOS film. Cathy translated for Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan when he spoke in the pivotal meeting that helped shutdown San Onofre. Cathy is now in Japan just 300 miles from Fukushima.

Pt. 2 - Gary Headrick co-founded San Clemente Green with his partner Laurie Headrick. Gary has been key organizer in the successful campaign to shutdown the San Onofre reactors and is continuing to work on the campaign to manage the plant’s tons of high-level radioactive waste safely and responsibly.

3/11 Fukushima-California Connections Playlist

This unique, historic playlist contains over a decade of EON's video reports documenting the many connections that bind Japanese and California citizens on nuclear issues. In addition to their karmic bonds are their geographic positions on opposite sides of the Pacific 'Rim of Fire,'' their shared risk environment. They're both in earthquake and tsunami country.


Mary Beth Brangan & James Heddle co-direct EON, the Ecological Options Network. The EON production SOS – The San Onofre Syndrome: Nuclear Power’s Legacy by filmmakers Brangan, Morgan Peterson and Heddle was awarded the Grand Jury Award for Feature Documentary at last October’s Hollywood Awareness Film Festival.  SOS has also garnered the International Uranium Film Festival’s award for Best Educational Documentary.  The film will be made available for international on-line viewing this coming April.