The Rods of Nuclear–They Melted!  24″ x 24″ Acrylic on Canvas


This artwork illustrates radioactive rods immersed in water inside a nuclear reactor.  The painting is part of my series relating to nuclear energy and especially to the alarming radioactive situation at the Fukushima Daiichi triple nuclear meltdowns in Japan. This disaster is the worst industrial accident ever, according to Arnie Gundersen of   In Fukushima the radioactive nuclear rods have apparently melted through their containers and quite likely have reached groundwater.   From what I understand the leaking from the damaged facilities will continue for more than a century!  It is frightening to know that an unprecedented release of radioactive contamination continues to flow every day into the Pacific Ocean from the damaged plants. According to many news sources, the melted fuel rods are inaccessible. The intense amount of radioactivity actually destroyed sophisticated robots trying to access the meltdown areas.  The Japanese are going to be wrestling with the cleanup from radioactivity for decades to come and will spend a quarter of a trillion dollars in the related activities according to Mr. Gundersen.

During the process of working on this painting, I sometimes had to just stop and smell the roses.   I cannot explain how difficult and heart wrenching it is for me to create art about this topic of increasing man-made radioactivity encircling our beautiful planet.   It would be far easier to hide my head in the sand and just not think about it.  Nevertheless I am compelled to continue this art series in order to hopefully raise awareness about  the dangers of nuclear-based energy.  There is no clean nuclear.  All nuclear power plants need to be shut down and no new ones built.  Renewable energy is safer.

 An artist’s note:  While doing my painting, I painstakingly coated my stretched canvas with numerous layers of fluorescent green and blue acrylic paint in an attempt to mimic a feeling of active radioactivity within a nuclear reactor.   Admittedly, the glow, called Cherenkov radiation, is challenging to create.    I would appreciate comments on my blog.  Also, please check out my newly updated website: You can listen to a podcast I did with Mrs. Green’s World.  The podcast will be available starting Saturday, April 9.  Here is the link: For easy sharing, the social media platforms are:

  • David Greene

    April 8, 2016at1:06 am Reply

    You did an excellent job on the glow. The article is very informative and should be a wake up call to all humanity.

  • Mary Lou Dauray

    April 8, 2016at4:14 pm Reply

    Thank you for your comment David. I do hope more people become aware of the situation not only in Japan but elsewhere.

  • Gina Murphy Darling

    April 9, 2016at3:26 am Reply

    Your blog touched me to the core of my being. And the painting is amazing. Thank you for caring enough about Mother Earth to go deeper, feel the pain and raise your voice. Because of you, I am raising mine louder and more intentionally. Thank you for showing up in my life.

  • Mary Lou Dauray

    April 11, 2016at2:57 pm Reply

    Nice post and artwork, tho the image is perhaps too 'nice'. Radioactive messes like Fukushima Daiichi are much uglier, with gnarled metal that is discolored, and leaking falling-apart tanks not welded together, holding radioactive water, but using rubber between circles of material to help hold them together with the radioactive water inside. How about this suggestion for a next artwork: a Japanese grandmother from Fukushima now living in temporary housing, thinking about going home, that this will all be over in 30 years (as this is the half life of the main popularly measured radionuclide cesium-137) just learning (from Mary Olson) that no, it is not one half life/30 yrs but, 300-600 years for cesium anyway (it's actual 'hazardous life')- not to mention plutonium with its 240,000 to 480,000 year 'hazardous life,' plus all the dust and water that is recontaminating the 'cleaned???' areas that are about 2% of the Fukushima Prefect – that has ridiculous levels of radioactivity back in ole home Fukushima.
    This comment sent to me by Conrad Miller, MD

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