Thursday, 14 April 2016 14:24

Dreams vs. reality

Written by  Urs Fitze

According to the emergency scenarios of the Swiss Nuclear Safety Inspectorate (ENSI, a nuclear disaster at a Swiss nuclear power plant could be dealt with by and large. People would be evacuated in a 20-kilometre radius, and the nightmare would be over in a reasonable period since only the rapidly decaying iodine-131 would be released. Given that neither the disaster in Chernobyl nor that in Fukushima even remotely corresponded to this fictitious scenario, serious doubts are raised. The probability of an accident of the highest category 7 on the INES scale is acknowledged by two truths: one is based on theoretical considerations, the other on past experience. In theory, a nuclear disaster can be expected around once every 500 years worldwide. In reality, two such accidents occurred with Chernobyl and Fukushima. When you take into account the number of operating years of all reactors in the world, then you would expect a nuclear disaster roughly every two decades.  These very different scenarios challenge science's monopoly over interpretation, which is not even close to being able to assess the risk of accidents with a single voice. Today, science is as credible or uncredible as politics, which unfailingly bases its decisions on the seemingly near-sovereign truth of science. The risk sociologist Charles Perrow speaks of "a new breed of shamans, called risk assessors. As with the shamans and the physicians of old, it might be more dangerous to go to them for advice than to suffer unattended."

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,
Neugasse 30,
CH-9000 St. Gallen


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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