NO NUKES 21st a tentative project

Background on the “NN21 Project”:

“No Nukes: Everyone’s Guide to Nuclear Power and Alternatives, 21st Century Edition”

In 2006, twenty years after the Chernobyl nuclear plant disaster, European conferences and studies on the subject revealed continued health effects from radiation – cancers, birth defects and general poor health – in areas and populations of high exposure. Information from scientists and environmental groups countered the ‘official report’ of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) which claimed that only 50 people died from the catastrophe.

Following the Three Mile Island accident in the US (1979) and that at Chernobyl in 1986, it seemed as though the nuclear power industry might be in a permanent decline. That was partly so in the US, where orders for new plants stopped, but plant construction continued in Asia, and the industry bided its time.

Now, decades later, energy is a key international concern, with wars being fought for control of oil and precious ecosystems threatened by risky drilling projects. With broad awareness of the finite nature of supplies of oil, and the impact of global warming being felt – and finally acknowledged -- world-wide, the nuclear industry is pushing for a so-called ‘renaissance.’ Industry-funded public relations campaigns promote nuclear as a ‘clean, safe’ alternative to fossil fuels, and a solution to global warming from CO2 emmissions. The industry’s strategy is to promote nuclear as ‘part of the energy mix,’ building new plants where possible (Asia, Eastern Europe), extending the operating time of existing reactors, and getting as much public research money as possible to sink into development of new reactor models and future atomic power related technologies (such as nuclear fusion).

Meanwhile, the safe alternatives to nuclear, from efficiency and better construction methods to solar, wind and related technologies, have been developed to such an extent that a move towards a safe, ecologically sound and sustainable energy future is possible – and more urgent than ever. The atomic route is a dangerous and deadly dead-end, and diverts resources away from development of a sustainable, ecologically sound energy future.


Also in 2006, the 25th anniversary of the publication by South End Press of “No Nukes:
Everyone’s Guide to Nuclear Power.” In this work many contributors offered an accessible, understandable guide to the nuclear issue, the safe energy alternatives, and the movement that developed in the 1970s to stop the atomic menace.

Although many organizations have worked on the nuclear issue over the past quarter-century, a similar popular work has not been published. A review of internet sites (2006) reflects a fragmentation of sources of information.

Since 1995 there have been various plans for a new “21st century” edition of “No Nukes.” These were not pursued because of lack of an engaged editor and funding for the project. So much has happened in the topic that it was judged that the book would have to be fundamentally rewritten. However in the context of the Chernobyl 20th anniversary, and after discussion with energy experts and friends active in energy work, as well as with some local activists, and much reflection, I would like to propose a more modest project, which would make the book available to a world public, as a bit of history, but also a useful resource.

Proposal: for an internet-based presentation of the original NO NUKES, and development of an ‘annotated 21st century edition’

In this concept, funding would be sought to make the book available on the internet, with development of an attractive, easy to use website, and an internet editor with knowledge of the subject who would work on building a new information base related to the original book. New information could come from people and organizations responding to the original text.

Perhaps there should be several, regional editors.

Format: a new internet site would be created, perhaps “www.no-nukes-guide”, which would offer the 1981 version of the book, scanned and presented, by chapter, also in pdf format for easy downloading.

The website would include an interactive section, where people and groups could ‘annotate’ the original book. The comments and additional information, also links to sources of information and news, would be evaluated and posted by the editor(s), with the original author/editor, Anna Gyorgy, as consultant for contacts/outreach and editorial back-up.

Role of South End Press:

Release of any outstanding rights over book to project (if even necessary)…

Possible support as a ‘sponsor’ offering a written statement of support for the project, suggestions for funding, link on SEP website and mention in current publicity.