Thursday, 14 April 2016 14:20

From Saul's atomic bomb to Paul's nuclear power plant

Written by  Urs Fitze

In 1953, the US president Dwight D. Eisenhower called for the peaceful use of nuclear energy in front of the UN General Assembly. The country had built up an enormous industrial complex for nuclear armament, and it should now reap not only military benefits but economic ones, too. The floodgates were opened two years later at the Geneva Conference on Peaceful Uses of Atomic Energy, which was actually a scientific event at the United Nations with participants from both sides of the Iron Curtain. The participating states turned the event into a exhibition on nuclear reactors, and everyone pinned their hopes on a big business. Critics, such as the geneticist and Nobel laureate Hermann J. Muller, were unwelcome, and Muller's invitation was revoked shortly before the event began. In the manuscript of his speech, which has survived, he demanded that "the primary concern of humankind in terms of the radiation problem must be its own protection." This wasn't to be the case: the entire political spectrum from right to left was now enthusiastic about atomic energy, agreeing that three quarters of the world's energy needs should be met by nuclear energy by 2000. Radiation should be used to eradicate cancer, while targeted radiation against pests could be used to achieve massive agriculture gains. The construction of nuclear power plants was declared a key technology in many countries, without which one would become economically marginalised. But the seeds were not sown widely enough: in 2014, nuclear energy made up only 4.4 per cent of global energy consumption. Since 1945, there have been major accidents at civil and military production facilities: Mayak (USSR) 1957, Windscale (today Sellafield, UK) 1957, Three Mile Island (US) 1979, Chernobyl (USSR) 1986, and Fukushima (Japan) 2011.

The Magic of the Atom (1955)

  • Documentary (1955), supported by the US Atomic Energy Commission and the Atomic Energy Project: The Life close to Nuclear Power Plants is modern and future oriented, there isn't any danger, as everything is under control


Who we are

Founded in 2012, the Association for Sustainable Journalism on the Internet is committed to high-quality, independent on-line journalism that stands the test of time. The association promotes and runs journalistic websites dedicated to topics that are hardly covered any more in conventional media. Its members include journalists, photographers, designers and web designers.

Pressbüro Seegrund, which was founded in 1989, is firmly established in the media landscape. Its focus is on feature reports, reportage and non-fiction books. It has launched a number of online magazines in recent years including,, and the latest creation:


Association for Sustainable Journalism in Internet,
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Pressebüro Seegrund,
Neugasse 30, PO Box 445,
CH-9004 St. Gallen,
Tel. +41(0)71 671 10 73,,


Website design and programming:
Eveline Arnold Ukaegbu, Proclamation,
Zypressenstrasse 138,
CH-8004 Zürich,


English translation:
Elana Summers


Russian translation:
Alexej Scherbakov


Local interpretors: Galina Kovalch (Belarus),
Irina Gasanova (Ukraine), Chikako Yamamoto (Japan)


Martin Arnold, freelance journalist, author and media entrepreneur for the past 30 years
Urs Fitze, freelance journalist, reportage on politics, the economy, science, travel and the environment" target="_blank">,



Our Aim

Without provoking or causing a scandal, wants to shake things up a bit by encouraging society to reflect on a subject that affects all of us: nuclear power. It is a subject that polarises, turning opponents and supporters into ideologues. And it is a subject that divides the informed and the uninformed in a way that creates intentional and unintentional dependencies. Against the background of the current debates on the 'energy transition', we want to contribute a critical discussion for all those who want to more know about nuclear power. And we want to do our bit to overcome the deep ideological divide that separates supporters and opponents. When it comes to this subject, the truth very quickly becomes relative – or is made relative. You move around in an area where experts, opinion makers, ideologues, affected persons, victims, lobbyists, politicians and world saviours jostle against each other. Everyone should be able to have their say, to tell their truth. The truth of the radiation victims as well as that of the power plant operators, the supporters and the opponents. The second objective of the book is to explore the many facets of truth – and remain receptive to all those who want to make it comfortable for us.

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