“Nuclear Bulls Eye”  Acrylic Painting 24″ x 24″

What happens when you have a target or a goal, think you have scored a bull’s eye, but in fact you have missed the mark? That thought occurred to me as I painted my latest in a series on the fallibility of nuclear energy. The artwork “Nuclear Bulls Eye” pictures a target but is in reality a nuclear reactor with some radioactive rods in the center. The otherworldly glow that I attempted to replicate with acrylic paint has a name: Cerenkov Radiation! The reference image I used comes from the website of Reed College in Oregon. ( I am hoping, in painting about nuclear power, to create artwork that will, at the minimum, bring awareness to this enormously troubling situation of leaking radioactivity in Fukushima specifically, and to a lesser degree, elsewhere.

The triple meltdown at Fukushima Daiishi nuclear power plants in Japan in 2011 catastrophically skewered, in an alarming way, the Japanese goal of safely creating electricity for 30% of the country with nuclear power. Instead, the production of fission-originating power reared its head as an ecological disaster. Even now, five years after the meltdowns, very little appears in the media about Fukushima despite the fact that it is the world’s biggest disaster. A massive attempt to clean up the land around Fukushima by packing the radioactivated soil into 30 million plastic bags is doomed to failure. Radioactivity continues to reappear in the ground and everywhere after every rain. One of the reasons for the futile clean up, along with attempts at media silencing, is because the Japanese government wants to keep the Olympics in Japan for 2020.  A “secrets” law has been imposed on journalists so they will not reveal what is actually occurring in the Fukushima prefecture and surrounding areas including Tokyo.   In addition, the government is subtly discouraging certain kinds of scientific research, possibly because they fear findings could further alarm the public, noted “Scientific American” in March, 2016.  According to California Governor Jerry Brown, “it is a big issue and big issues are hard to grasp. Such large catastrophes are not something that the political mind can easily deal with.”  For example, in California in 2011, cesium 134 and 137 was found in milk, spinach, arugula, kale, pistachios and even in the sand.  Not many people are aware of this fact and some argue that this is just a small amount. That is not the point. Nuclear energy is dirty—we do not need any more of the radioactivity in any size or form. No radiation is safe.

According to Dr. Conrad Miller, the “destroyed (Fukushima Daichi) plant has spewed 300-400 tons of radioactive water into the Pacific Ocean, threatening all life in our biggest water ecosystem.” Dr. Miller, president of Physicians for Life, is the author of “The Most Important Issues Americans THINK They Know Enough About”. (Edition III).  He has been writing and blogging about nuclear power for many years.  Visit Dr. Miller’s web site to read Chapter One online, and for more information:  Furthermore, according to an article in “Scientific American” (March 8, 2016) the disaster represents the single largest pulse of radioactivity ever injected into an ocean,

Dr. Ian Fairlie, who has a degree in radiation biology from Bar’s Hospital in London, and who is an independent consultant on radioactivity in the environment, ( says that the “health toll from the Fukushima nuclear disaster is horrendous. At the minimum:

  • Over 160,000 people were evacuated—most of them permanently.
  • Many cases of post-trauma stress disorder (PTSD), depression and anxiety disorders arising from the evacuations (have appeared).
  • About 12,000 workers have been exposed to high levels of radiation.
  • (There will be) an estimated 5,000 fatal cancers from radiation exposures in the future. plus similar (unquantified) numbers of radiogenic strokes, CVS diseases and hereditary diseases.
  • Between 2011 and 2015, (there have been) about 2,000 deaths from radiation-related evacuations due to ill health and suicides.
  • (There have been) an as yet unquantified number of thyroid cancers.
  • (There has been) an increased infant mortality rate in 2012 and a decreased number of live births in December 2011”.

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I would appreciate any comments.

  • Renee Phillips

    May 2, 2016at4:12 pm Reply

    Dear Mary Lou,
    Thank you for another eye-opening post. Before I became aware of your powerful art work and started following your informative blog I was clueless about environmental catastrophes that are occurring throughout the world — either unreported or covered up. Thank you for your tireless commitment to exposing the truth and helping us see clearly. If we want to do something at the very least we can shared your posts and become advocates for positive change. I will share this post with my followers.

  • Jill

    May 3, 2016at1:03 am Reply

    Great painting, best one yet. Look forward to seeing you soon.

  • Christine Aylward

    May 3, 2016at12:31 pm Reply

    Thanks for keeping us up-to-date on the important issues. Yes, we should be more preventative and proactive. There is only one planet after all.
    Keep up the great EA ( Environmental & Art ) work!!!

  • David Greene

    June 5, 2016at6:59 pm Reply

    Very well written, Mary Lou and very much to the point. Charles suggested I write a book about my experience opposing nuclear power. I gave my scrapbook to the historical society but could get it back. The thing people need to do is take action. Making a lot of noise about it does nothing. I wrote letters to everyone and his brother was on T.V. radio proposing alternatives to the plants. Your paintings are taking action and raising awareness. Good work!

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