2016 Year in Review


Thanks for being a big part of the Fairewinds Community! With Thanksgiving just a sweet memory and December quickly approaching, we are especially thankful for you – our devoted followers and contributors, who have been crucial in making it possible for The Fairewinds Crew to do this work!

We had some terrific accomplishments in 2016 – thanks to your support, and we are already planning an amazing year for 2017, but in order to make this happen we really need your help! Without contributions from members like you, we would not be able to keep you informed. 


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Adding up the Costs of Atomic Power


Claims that atomic power reactors are the solution to global warming are simply attempted rebranding efforts by the nuclear power industry to make people believe nuclear power is a "clean" way of generating electricity. Listen to CCTV host Margaret Harrington of Nuclear Free Future interview Fairewinds Chief Engineer Arnie Gundersen and Research Assistant Grayson Webb about how the atomic power industry is trying to sell the world its false narrative that it helps reduce Global CO2. In this interview, Arnie and Grayson discuss Fairewinds 18-month research endeavor that found using atomic reactors would reduce CO2 emissions only 6% by the year 2050 and cost more than $8.2 Trillion! Renewable and sustainable energy sources are much cheaper and will also boost the US economy as it creates real jobs in America.

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Will Trump Dump Nukes?


Confused about what the election means for the future of America’s energy systems? Maggie and Arnie Gundersen were recently featured on Project Censored Radio with Hosts Mickey Huff and Peter Phillips to discuss exactly that. Listen as Maggie and Arnie examine the future of nuclear power reactors from a business perspective and show that new nukes just don’t make economic sense. Mickey queries Maggie and Arnie about their take on Donald Trump’s foreign policy stance regarding nuclear armament of Japan and other U.S. allies, the possibility of atomic warfare, and the spread of nuclear radiation around the globe. Radiation knows no borders.

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Nuclear Industry Smokescreen?



Summary: The Fairewinds Crew created this special 2-minute animation to show you why building new nukes is a lost opportunity for humankind with precious time and money wasted on the wrong choice. At least $8.2 Trillion would be needed to build the 1,000 atomic reactors the nuclear industry wants – that’s 1 reactor every 12-days for 35-years. Watch the animation to see what it means and why!

If you want more information, we have issued a paper, and presented this topic at several major universities and forums, and we wanted to make it more accessible to people throughout the world. Truthout published Arnie Gundersen’s summation of this project in a news analysis entitled: Nuclear Power Is Not “Green Energy”: It Is a Fount of Atomic Waste.  

People often say: here’s what it boils down to, but at Fairewinds we have found that in the nuclear business, ‘boiling something down’ is not a good thing to do!  Here in Vermont, where we make maple syrup from the sap of the maple tree, we say: ‘here’s how it sugars off’.  Fairewinds has sugared off the data to give you this 2-minute CO2 Smokescreen Animation; we hope it clarifies a tough topic.

We have translated this Animation to German and French as well! 

You can find the links to these videos here:

Der Rauchschleier

L'Ecran de Fumeé

Fairewinds special thanks for our French and German translations to: John Bertucci, Hervé Courtois, and Andreas Kohler. Fairewinds Energy Education Board Member Chiho Kaneko has translated the Japanese version of the Smokescreen animation, which is currently still in production.

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Remembering a Friend

by Arnie Gundersen 


Dr. Steve Wing - New York Academy of Medicine March 2013 

Our friend and colleague University of North Carolina (UNC) professor and epidemiologist Dr. Stephen [Steve] Wing died this week.  I will miss his inquiring mind and his friendship.  Maggie and I were lucky enough to spend some time visiting Steve last summer when we attended a family wedding in North Carolina.

Steve and I first met back in 2009 when each of us was an invited speaker at the Pennsylvania Statehouse in Harrisburg for the 30th commemoration of the nuclear meltdown at the TMI atomic power reactor. 

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Entergy's Power Play


Entergy’s Power Play

Fairewinds podcast this week features an interview with atomic power watchdog Clay Turnbull, a trustee and staff member for New England Coalition (NEC) in Brattleboro, VT.  Mr. Turnbull, who has spent his career speaking truth to power on environmental issues in the energy arena, was arrested in March 2016 for allegedly trespassing at the Entergy Vermont Yankee (VY) atomic power reactor site. Nuclear power watchdog NEC had requested that Mr. Turnbull [and his real dog Chicklett] photograph the visibility of Entergy’s VY site dry cask waste storage for the aesthetics case currently being heard before the Vermont Public Service Board. Entergy claimed in its testimony to the Public Service Board that the casks would not be visible from any location in Vermont. Listen to Fairewinds’ podcast to hear Mr. Turnbull describe Entergy’s Power Play that uses and abuses the legal system and judicial courts in Vermont.


This sounds to the Fairewinds Crew like a case should be dropped well before more taxpayer funds are misspent. And really – how do the Vermont Statutes (Vermont State Law) define trespassing in Vermont? Vermont lays out the details of its Trespassing laws in Title 13 Chapter 81 Section 3705 of the Vermont Statutes: When proper notice is given, trespassers who enter or remain on any land or place shall be subject to up to 3 months in prison and a fine of $500, or both. Sufficient notice can be done verbally or through “signs or placards so designed and situated as to give reasonable notice.”

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CO2 Smoke Screen: New Nukes Make Global Warming Worse



CO2 Smoke Screen: New Nukes Make Global Warming Worse 
uncovers the ludicrously small impact that nuclear power has on saving the Earth from CO2 emissions in contrast to the promises of the atomic power industry. Well received by fellow experts in the field and filmed by award winning photographer Martin Duckworth, the CO2 Smoke Screen is the culmination of one year’s worth of research and hard work by the Fairewinds Crew, Fairewinds science advisors, and a group of amazing interns from the University of Vermont (UVM).

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Air Quotes

Demystifying Nuclear Power Blog: 


Air Quotes
Written by Maggie Gundersen and Sue Prent

The US originally had 104 operating nuclear power plants. As these atomic reactors have declined with age, only 99 nukes remain operating, of which three more are now scheduled for shut down. Ten more atomic power reactors are on life-support as they await the infusion of taxpayer dollars necessary to continue operation, or shut down at or near the end of their design and material life. 

In preparation for a slew of sudden reactor decommissionings, the Nuclear Energy Institute, a trade and lobbyist arm of the atomic power industry, is advocating for weaker decommissioning regulations.

Every time I read their propaganda, I am overcome by an irresistible urge to insert a flock of air quotes wherever the NEI has indulged in revisionist language.

For those less familiar with American popular culture, ‘air quotes’ are an ironic hand gesture indicating that the words being spoken probably mean something more or other than what you are intended to understand from them.   Air quotes function as the jargon of persuasion.

The NEI like many organs of the atomic power industry makes a lot of statements that beg for air quotes, so we thought it might be instructive to do a regular ‘Air Quotes’ feature on the Fairewinds website: sort of a cross between an instructional public service and a head-slap-in-disbelief moment of humor.   

Convenient translations to real-speak will be provided by the Fairewinds Crew.

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Demystifying Nuclear Power: Ethics & Inquiry: Selective Truth Telling by the Energy Sector

GovernmentCoverUps.pngCheck out Fairewinds' new Government Cover-Ups page! 


Demystifying Nuclear Power Blog:


Ethics & Inquiry: Selective Truth Telling by the Energy Sector 

written by Sue Prent

Two contrasting energy news stories recently crossed my desk.  The coincidence is noteworthy for what it reveals about innovation and its relationship to corporate greed.

The first story celebrated a triumph of cooperation between inventors and international funders, which has enabled the first fuel-free flight around the world.  Like early fueled flights of circumnavigation, it was slow-going, but on July 26, 2016, Solar Impulse 2  finally completed the last leg of its flight circling the globe and landing in Abu Dahbi where the journey had begun on March 9, 2015.  As its name suggests, Solar Impulse successfully derives all of its energy from the sun, lending an ironic twist to the Greek tragedy of Icarus whose flight was cut short by solar rays. 

Aircrafts are the CO2 producing behemoths of human travel, so this flight has enormous implications for the future of energy efficiency. Any experimental effort that takes on that challenge is a true cause for celebration!

The second news bulletin that caught my eye was the galling revelation that as far back as the 1960’s, oil companies such as ExxonMobil, appreciating the impact that worsening pollution would ultimately have on their industry, conducted research into reducing carbon emissions and even obtained patents for carbon reducing technologies, while actively lobbying to ensure governmental inaction on climate change. 


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Diablo Canyon- The Devil Is in the Details; Part 2: A Mother's Work Is Never Done



Utility owner Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E) announced in June 2016 that it would shut down the Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant with its two atomic reactors by 2025 due to a joint proposal made by PG&E and several environmental and labor organizations. This action is neither the beginning nor the end to the decades long story of Diablo Canyon’s design, construction, and operation. PG&E’s promise to replace the nuclear power generated by Diablo Canyon’s two reactors with renewable energy and to no longer seek a 20-year license renewal for these atomic reactors still comes with significant costs. The two are reactors located on multiple California fault lines and now will continue to operate for nearly a decade more. In the second part to this Fairewinds Energy Education Podcast series, the Fairewinds Crew will share the troubled history of Diablo Canyon and speak with the leading activists in opposition to Diablo Canyon’s ominous 50-year presence along the California coast.

The formidable San Luis Obispo Mothers for Peace have acted as legal intervenors to the construction, licensing, and operation of Diablo Canyon since 1973. During Part 2 of our Diablo Canyon series entitled “A Mother’s Work is Never Done”, Fairewinds President Maggie Gundersen talks with Mothers for Peace Vice President Linda Seeley about what it means to be a legal intervenor and why this watchdog role is so important when it comes to atomic power reactors.

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