Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Thanatos and Nuclear Governmentality

All great powers are the same when it comes to nuclear:

Russia accused of cover up over lethal submarine fire. (July 3 2019) Reuters. Retrieved from
Russian officials faced accusations of trying to cover up the full details of an accident on board a military submarine that killed 14 sailors, but the Kremlin on Wednesday defended its record. 

Russia says radiation levels rose by 4-16 times in city after accident: TASS (2019, August 13). Reuters. Retrieved from
MOSCOW (Reuters) - Radiation levels in the Russian city of Severodvinsk rose by up to 16 times on Aug. 8 after an accident that authorities said involved a rocket test on a sea platform.... Greenpeace has said radiation levels rose by 20 times.
Russia's cavalier attitude toward nuclear risk is of course well established and well documented, most recently by Kate Brown's excellent historical work on Chernobyl, as she discusses in this article at the Guardian.

Russia is not alone in disregarding the catastrophic character of nuclear/radiation risks.

Although each great power is unique in its particularities, all share a common risk-seeking logic when it comes to nuclear because it is the great ring of power, or at least, it was and hasn't yet lost all its luster.

I describe that logic in an upcoming publication but the gist of the argument is that although the administration of nuclear and radiation-based enterprises are couched in terms of risk management, there are sovereign decisions made about who can live and who can die.

It is indeed unfortunate for us all that nuclear decisions about life and death are made using conceptions of security that have nothing to do with biological life, at its great cost.

As many other critics have observed (e.g., Helen Caldicott), nuclear was the 20th century ring of power and most nation-states are clearly still committed, but who knows what terrible weapons also enthrall the imagination of this shared brute form of power, whose reign has become so obvious that Hollywood had to incorporate it:


Russian bravado about its next-generation nuclear weapons are part of new arms race, as described recently in Quartz:
Wellerstein, A. (2019, August 6). America’s nuclear-weapons policy isn’t what you think—it’s much worse. Quartz. Retrieved from
And you know the saying about boys and their toys, they just cannot stop playing with them.

And the rest of us don't know how to stop them because entire institutions are set up for collective suicide:


1 comment:

    INL fire

    A wildfire burned 90,000 acres around the Idaho National Atomic Laboratory July 23-26, 2019. There were other wildfires in the area. The Idaho National Laboratory Nuclear Reservation, is 900 square miles. Almost a million acres. The fire burned, all the way to reactor buildings, on the nuclear reservation. Many muclear reactors have been tested there. click here “Various organizations have built more than 50 reactors at what is commonly called “the Site”, including the ones that gave the world its first usable amount of electricity from nuclear power and the power plant for the world’s first nuclear submarine. Although many are now decommissioned, these facilities are the largest concentration of reactors in the world.” INL History”. Idaho National Laboratory. United States Department of Energy, DOE Office of Nuclear Energy. Archived from the original on February 23, 2014.

    There are massive amounts of Radionuclidea on the million acre INL Resevation. There were 2 known meltdowns of Nuclear Reactors at INL and, maybe more The meltdown at the Stationary Low-Power Reactor Number One (SL-1) in south-central Idaho is to date the only fatal meltdown in U.S. history. The SL-1 before it blew up. The nuclear reactor is in the cylindrical structure. Nuclear Meltdown in Idaho: 3 occured in the late fifties

    There are and have been 50 nuclear Reactors at INL Reservation. There are incredible amounts of nuclear waste stored and buried there. A lot of that waste went up in smoke with 65 years of nuclear reactor meltdown fallout, from more than 90 thousand acres burning and, you are breathing it America!


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