Helen Caldicott on Possible "Diabolical Catastrophe" in Japan

I’ll never forget the first time I heard a scratchy, much played tape of Helen Caldicott speaking. This was back in 1980, as I recall, and it propelled me into anti-nuclear activism against the MX missile in Wyoming.

In a strong, trembling, passionate voice, she spoke of the danger of nuclear war to “this beautiful Earth.” Those were the last three words on the tape. I had never heard the Earth spoken of this way before, as if She were a lover. It made me cry.

The following is from an Australian newspaper interview. I post it, not to increase fear levels, but to ask you to join me in meditation practices that transform the field of fear into the field of love. This shift, in turn, will transform the whole in ways at present unimaginable. Ultimately, we each need to cultivate a continuous state of meditation, blessing each other, blessing the beauty and fragility of our dear Earth home, blessing the universe that has presented us with such an excruciating lesson.

The galactics are counting on us to join them.


Dr. Helen Caldicott is perhaps most influential environmental activist in the past 35 years.

She called the situation in Japan was an “absolute disaster” that could be many, many times worse than Chernobyl. Dr Helen Caldicott raised the possibility of cataclysmic loss of life and suggested the emergency could be far more severe than Chernobyl.

“The situation is very grim and not just for the Japanese people,” said Dr Caldicott.

“If both reactors blow then the whole of the Northern Hemisphere may be affected,” she said.

“Only one reactor blew at Chernobyl and it was only 3 months old, with new cores holding relatively little radiation; these ones have been operating for 40 years and would hold about 30 times more radiation than Chernobyl’s.”

Dr Caldicott cited a report from the New York Academy of Sciences, which said that over 1 million people have died as a direct result of the 1986 melt-down at Chernobyl, mostly from cancer. She said authorities had attempted to “hush up” the full scale of the Chernobyl disaster. The official 2005 figure from the International Atomic Energy Agency was just 4,000 fatalities.

The NYAS is a credible 200 year-old scientific institution. Their précis of the report is as follows:

This is a collection of papers translated from the Russian with some revised and updated contributions. Written by leading authorities from Eastern Europe, the volume outlines the history of the health and environmental consequences of the Chernobyl disaster. According to the authors, official discussions from the International Atomic Energy Agency and associated United Nations’ agencies (e.g. the Chernobyl Forum reports) have largely downplayed or ignored many of the findings reported in the Eastern European scientific literature and consequently have erred by not including these assessments.

When asked whether the disaster in Japan could be, say, 30 times worse than Chernobyl, Dr Caldicott said it could be even most catastrophic than that.

“It could be much, much, worse than that,” said Dr Caldicott.

“This could be a diabolical catastrophe—we’ll just have to wait and see.”

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