Atoms and Ashes – Book Review

Plokhy, Serhii

Atoms and Ashes: From Bikini Atoll to Fukushima

Penguin Books – Paperback – 2023

ISBN 978-0141997179

This very readable book covers some of worst nukiller disasters which have taken place so far. That includes the windscale fire, Chernobyl, Fukushima, Kyshtym in Russia, and the fallout of the 1954 atomic bomb test at Bikini Atoll.

The author details just how they were all caused by negligence, bad designs, or the effects of nature such as the Fukushima Tsunami. Yet all of them have been subject to governmental or company cover-ups.

What is not covered in this book is the radioactive pollution from Uranium mining such as the Rum Jungle disaster in Australia, which is a major cause of climate change, or the ongoing problem of nukiller waste storage.

The last chapter of the book covers the military attacks which have taken place at various reactors.
For example: –

  • The Osiak nukiller facility in Iraq.
  • The Iranian Bushehr plant.
  • The Israeli Dimona reactor.

Or more recently the Russian attacks upon both the Chernobyl and Zaporizhia reactors.

As the author points out there is no international law to stop such attacks if they are classified as military facilities.

The last sentence in the book is well worth quoting: –
We can hardly afford to build new reactors before we find a way to protect existing ones.’

That is something which we all need to keep stating.

Sorting Your Books

How to sort books

Your Unique needs

From time to time people move and move again, which results in their books, DVDs, and CDS no longer being in any sort of order. Thus they become very difficult to find.

Unlike in libraries we all have collections which reflect our own interests and needs.

So how we sort out what is on our bookshelves should be unique to us all.

Thus sorting them into order should be a unique task.

At various times during my life I have helped various friends to sort out their book shelves, which is something which I find really enjoyable to do, but which is impossible to do all the time.

What’s needed.

So here is a brief guide to some aspects of what a book shelf sort involves.

First, get a good set of bookshelves. The best ones nowadays probably come from IKEA. Muji used to sell some really good light weight self assembly ones, but sad to say they are no longer available.

You might also consider buying some open box files for your pamphlets or maps.

Sorting by type

First of all put all you reference, non-fiction, and fiction books together.

Books by the same author should go together, then – in fiction – they should be in alphabetical order of authors.

Non-fiction should be sorted by subject.

e.g.

All art books by the same artists and same composers grouped together.

While cookbooks should be on a separate bookshelf near the kitchen.

I also mix some of my Books and DVDS based on the works of the same authors together.

Thus the books and film versions of the Time Machine and War of the Worlds by H.G.Wells are placed next to each other.

The same goes for films of various detective stories. Do it that way and you will no longer have to play Sherlock Holmes to find them all.

I also sort my CDs via the composers or performers in alphabetical order, be it 1950s or 1960s, world music by country, pop music, jazz, or classical works.

Then add various dictionaries and phrase books together by languages.

After which all maps and guidebooks can be sorted by town, country, or region.

Plus all Ordinance survey maps.

Historical maps can either be kept together, with the town maps and guidebooks, or with your history books.

How this is done very much depends
upon your interests and how you use these works.

False Inflationary Markers

I’ve just been looking at the list of items which make up the Brexitland inflation statistics.None of it makes any sense to me, and I certainly do not find it useful.

First of all it is based on a carnivore and not a vegan diet.

E.g. it includes dairy items such as cows milk, but not oat milk. Etc.

Then it does not include the high increase of private landlord rents.It also presumes that everyone uses extreme energy petrol and diesel personal vehicles.

Not so !

Thus there is a real need for a ecologically sound and vegan based inflation statistical table to be produced.

Collective Memories

One of the most important and noticeable aspects of getting older, comes via loosing various friends via ill heath or because they are deceased. Thus we loose the collective memories which goes with it.

‘ Remember the name of such and such ?’ we go, even if one just needs this one name to kick start a lot of other memories.

That is why I keep my old address books, maps, and other ref works. That goes with going to museams and art galleries as much as is possible.Searching on line helps too.

Yet some collective memories just disappear as one gets older, and others die.

I keep going back to memories of people who I used to know over half a century ago, and realise that if these people are alive then they will be in their 80s, 90s, or even older.

For example: Horace king who I used to work with, would be circa 120 or 125 odd if still alive.

Yet there is another aspect of this which does need remembering, and that is just how our geographical and political landscapes have changed over the years.That is important in terms of understanding the effects of climate change and river floodings.

Meanwhile I will look to my archive and making sure to pass on much memories as I have.It all comes down to making my own liturgy of the dead.

The Whitehaven Tunnel Test

For over a year pollution from this tunnel has been getting into the harbour at Whitehaven.

It’s part of the route used by DRS when Nukiller waste is taken to Sellaffield

Now this ….

Detailed tests into mystery of discoloured water in Whitehaven harbour and tunnel commence

It is interesting to note how the word Historic is used in the text, but just how recently they have started to look at it for these tests.

It also illustrates just how difficult things would be if this line might become electrified.

The text refers to it being Ochre, which is a colour, but zilch about the metallic or chemical composition of it all.

Clearly we need to be told much more about just what is going on with it all.

Rigid Thinking

I have never understood the concept of Marxist dialectical thinking.

It always reminds me of a form of very rigid Christian theology, debates concerning the Talmud, or the 57 varieties of what the true meanings of the Koran might be.

That is why I do like this line by Emma Goldman in her work – The crushing of the Russian revolution.

Published in 1922.

‘The Bolsheviks are the Jesuit order of the Marxist church.’

The 2023 Nukiller Greenwash award

Today is the anniversary of the Windscale fire, and the annual Nukiller Greenwash award is announced.

To mark the 66th anniversary of the Windscale Fire -the worst nuclear accident in the UK (October 10th 1957) the Close Capenhurst Campaign and Lakes Against Nuclear Dump present the George Monbiot Nukiller Greenwash Award to Labour Leader Keir Starmer and Labour’s Workington and Whitehaven candidate Josh MacAlister

https://www.lakesagainstnucleardump.com/post/marking-the-66th-anniversary-of-the-windscale-fire-the-george-monbiot-award-goes-to

Another Day To Mark

Every year there are events to mark Hiroshima and to a lesser extent Nagasaki day.

Yet there have also been victims from the testing of Nukiller weapons.

For example – Some of the aboriginal people of Australia who received no warnings about the tests.

Another one of these was the crew of the Lucky Dragon.

This coming march it will be 70 years since that occurred.

I’m thinking that it would be worthwhile to mark that anniversary.

How the unlucky Lucky Dragon birthed an era of nuclear fear

Other Than Mistaken Concerns.

Mistaken Concerns

There are currently a number of campaigns which those of us who are unfortunate enough to live in Brexitland are being subjected to.

All of these campaigns are redirecting us away from many of the more pressing social, economic, and ecological issues which we need to urgently focus upon.

On and off the rails.

The first of these is that one to stop railway station booking offices being closed.

This campaign is being conduced by the same railway trade unions which has striking on and off for the last few years, and thus preventing us from travelling in the first place.

Yet they are not campaigning to reopen all the rail lines which we used to have.

Or

In any way mentioning all the stations which do not currently have ticket offices closed outside of peak hours – if they exist at all.

Back on to the plartforms.

While they argue all stations need staff to assist disabled passengers get on or of trains,
what they should really be campaigning for is that all stations should have both step free access,
with train doors being at the SAME LEVEL as the PLATFORMS.

London Transport has been working on that as currently been done ny Mersey Rail and some of the other Metro systems.

That really is a much more important demand to be making.

While all train stations should have buffets that sell vegan food which is low fat, glutton free, salt and sugar free.

Not taking notes.

One of the other onging campaigns centres around the use of cash rather than the use of debit or Credit cards.

What those who advocate this fail to take into account is that bank notes contain Animal Fat.

Thus the less bank notes in existance the better, as it will help to prevent the murder of our fellow creatures.

While it will mean less air pollution and less wasted resources used in the transport of cash.

It will also make it much easier for pedestrians to get around as the there will be less pavement parking by securithug vehicles.

The more important issues

Yet the number of more pressing issues are jusr not being tackled, or rather only being tacketled by an extremley low number of activists.

I’ll not list them all of them as that woud just be repeating what I keep banging on about, but will just make two points.

The first is that many of our problems are the result of very poor education, an unwillingness to continue life long self education, and how much adult education classes have been cut.

The second is that a lot of the resistance to change comes from a lack of imagination.

That is especially so in terrms of the need to sort out the transport system, becoming vegan, moving away from the use of extreme energy, stopping nukiller power, and dealing with all the toxic waste dumps which continue to grow by the day.

I’m very tired of repeating these points, but they need making time and time again.

Formerly Upon My Address Book

I’ve just completed one of those tasks which should be done from time to time, and that becomes much more so as one becomes older.

That has been going through my email address book and deleting those of old friends and comrades who are no longer with us.

I ‘ve also deleted the ones for people who are no longer working at various places for which I have their old email address.

Though just in case I did print out the list before undertaking the above task.

The sad thing is that it made me realise just how many of my friends have died over the last decade.