Why the media silence?


As Russian troops advance ever more dangerously close to Ukraine’s four nuclear power plant sites, the mainstream press remains largely averse to spotlighting this looming potential nuclear disaster. 

There are a few exceptions. Common Dreams — and then Truthout and others — although prompted by the IPPNW press release — looked into the reactor risks. And Amy Goodman’s Democracy Now! featured two segments on the nuclear dangers, including an interview with Beyond Nuclear’s Linda Pentz Gunter.

Common Dreams also picked up the February 25 Beyond Nuclear press release warning of the risks to the 15 Ukraine reactors as well as the Chernobyl nuclear site and Exclusion Zone.

But beyond the UK daily newspaper, The Guardian, and an article in Politico, the media remains curiously loathe to focus on the threat to Ukraine’s reactors and their irradiated radioactive waste fuel inventories. If hit, and all or much of even one of these reactors’ radioactive inventories was released, the disaster could dwarf the 1986 Chernobyl catastrophe.

Bennett Ramberg, whose 1985 book, Nuclear Power Plants as Weapons for the Enemy: An Unrecognized Military Peril, looked presciently at reactors as weapons of mass destruction, called all this out in a February 14 article on Project Syndicate. But there seems to have been little to no attention paid to this. And Craig  Hooper, writing in Forbes last December also sounded a warning.

But of course, highlighting the fact that the presence of operating nuclear power plants represents a potentially catastrophic danger to civilians and military personnel alike, sends a message the corporate media perhaps don’t wish to be the bearers of: that nuclear power, apart from being too slow and too expensive, is far too dangerous to contemplate as a climate solution and its use should be ended as soon as possible, not recklessly prolonged. (Photo by Katie Godowski from Pexels)

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