FAS Podcast: Anniversary of Hiroshima and State of Nuclear Security

Listen above to a new edition of the FAS Podcast: “A Conversation With An Expert,” featuring FAS President Dr. Charles  Ferguson. Topics discussed include the anniversary of Hiroshima, current state of nuclear security, the threat of nuclear terrorism to the international community and the Fukushima disaster in Japan.

Click here to download podcast.

To read the podcast transcript, click here (PDF).


0 thoughts on “FAS Podcast: Anniversary of Hiroshima and State of Nuclear Security

  1. I have a mixed reaction: much of it was excellent and informative, but I think Dr. Ferguson’s pronuclear-power bias showed through occasionally. Also, near beginning he misspoke twice, exaggerating the number killed by the Norwegian right-winger, and (discussing the demand side of nuclear terror) saying “nonviolent” for “violent” groups as dangerous. In discussing the terrorist danger, he didn’t mention the vulnerability of US commercial reactors to various kinds of attack as demonstrated repeatedly in mock attack trials. Then, in discussing the threat felt by Russia from our missile defense vs. Iran, he spoke as if that was a rational and defensible program, despite the continued failure of missile defense systems to work after many years and many billions invested plus the lack of any plausible danger from Iran for at least years to come even if suspicions about their intentions are true (not yet demonstrated). When he spoke of a lesson to be learned from the Hiroshima-Nagasaki attacks as the indiscriminate violence necessarily resulting from using nuclear weapons he did not mention the fact that the deliberate killing of civilians in an attack on a military target is explicitly (and rightly) a war crime. Much of what he said about lessons from Fukushima was good, except holding up our NRC as an example to the rest of the world on keeping regulation from influence by the nuclear industry! Particularly since the recent AP series about the implicit takeover of NRC by industry–dealing with breaking safety rules by changing the rules, ignoring and tolerating safety violations for decades, etc. Whistle-blowers have long made concerned citizens aware of such coziness, but now that it is in the public press, how can Dr. Ferguson not know, or believe that it is a shining example of how the interests of the public and the environment ought to be protected? This only increases my discomfort with having as the titular leader and public spokesman for the Federation of American Scientists an overt apologist and booster for nuclear power.

  2. Let me just add that I have been a member (and admirer) of FAS for as long as I have been a Fellow of the AAAS, of which I am a life member.

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