The Rods of Nuclear–They Melted!  24″ x 24″ Acrylic on Canvas
by Mary Lou Dauray
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 Fairewinds.org.   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. 
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You can listen to a podcast I did with Mrs. Green’s World.  The podcast will be available starting Saturday, April 9. 
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