menu Home chevron_right
Ground ZeroRecent Shows


Ron Patton | August 23, 2023

Fukushima will be releasing “treated” radioactive water into the ocean on August 24 even though some experts feel it may contaminate and kill sea life. Furthermore, the nuclear saber-rattling has been a constant annoyance from Russia and North Korea but with movies like Oppenheimer haunting us, younger generations may have become desensitized and not know the full dangers that were ahead after they let the nuclear genie out of the bottle. The ever-present danger of an atomic mushroom cloud showing up in our lifetime is becoming more of a reality. Tonight on Ground Zero, Clyde Lewis talks with the producer and host of Nuclear Hotseat, Libbe HaLevy about THEY HAVE BECOME DEAF TO THE CRIES OF THIS WORLD.






It turns out that again timing is everything — and the ever-present danger of a nuclear mushroom cloud showing up in our lifetimes is becoming more of a reality.

Today, I received an alert on my computer that North Korea fired a missile at Okinawa.

I also watched a video of an emergency warning over the J-alert broadcasting system saying that North Korea appeared to have fired a missile and that residents of Okinawa prefecture should take cover indoors.

This is so synchronistic after Ryan and I pulled mushroom cloud symbols which can indicate a major change on the horizon.

Last weekend, I did the Barbenheimer thing and invited Friends to Barbie — and then Ron Patton and I saw Oppenheimer. I knew that afterwards I would need to comment on it and with what is happening right now in the world it is easy to immediately pounce on how we have become so desensitized to nuclear disasters.

The current administration along with many before it, have gone to war without any regard for real national interests.

Their hegemonistic approach has inevitably led to expanding conflict all over the world and a willingness to challenge, confront and defeat other existing great powers. Hence the support for a needless and pointless war in Ukraine to “weaken Russia” and a growing conflict with China over Taiwan to do the same in Asia.

The nuclear saber-rattling of course has been a constant annoyance from Russia, but for some of the Cold War veterans, it still sends a chill up one’s spine– but with movies like Oppenheimer haunting us — younger generations may not know the full dangers that were ahead after they let the nuclear genie out of the bottle.

The atomic bomb created the conditions of contingent catastrophe, forever placing the world on the precipice of existential doom.

But in doing so, it created a philosophy of acceptable cruelty, worthy extinction, and legitimate extermination.  The scenarios for such programs of existential realization proved endless.

Entire departments, schools of thought, and think tanks were dedicated to the absurdly criminal notion that atomic warfare could be tenable for the mere reason that someone or some people might survive.  Despite the relentless march of civil society against nuclear weapons, such insidious thinking persists and this is why a nuclear exchange is very likely.

Oppenheimer the film could in fact desensitize the young into believing that nuclear war will be easy to get through.

In the film, those showing a preference for a purely technical demonstration are given the briefest of information — assembling the bomb was treated as if it were a tombstone being assembled.

There were a few references to some 20 million that may die, and the possibility of the entire atmosphere being destroyed but science went ahead with the risk.

The scene with Harry Truman, left you wondering what kind of murderous psychopaths we vote for.

It was a scene that justified mass death in the name of technical prowess – It was also the same during an interrogation by US circuit judge Roger Robb, appointed as special counsel during the 1954 security hearing against Oppenheimer.

In the relevant scene, Robb wishes to trap the hapless scientist for his opposition to creating a weapon of even greater murderous power than the fission devices used against Japan.  Why oppose the thermonuclear option, prods the special counsel, given your support for the atomic one?  And why did he not oppose the remorseless firebombing raids of Tokyo, conducted by conventional weapons?

In February 1947, former Secretary of War, Henry Stimson,  attempted to normalize the bomb in terms of necessity and function; the use of the bombs against Japan saved lives, as any invasion would have cost “over a million casualties, to American forces alone.”  The Allies, he surmised, “would be faced with the enormous task of destroying an armed force of five million men and five thousand suicide aircraft, belonging to a race which had already amply demonstrated its ability to fight literally to the death.

But was the nuclear option necessary?

The debate over what precipitated the Japanese surrender at the end of World War II is a source of contention among historians. This debate has also figured prominently in the discussion of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

he “traditional narrative” put forward in the war’s immediate aftermath was that using the atomic bombs caused the surrender, but this narrative has come under fire in subsequent years.

Revisionists have also contended that surrender could have happened without the bombings if the US had compromised on its goal of unconditional surrender. The sticking point for the Japanese was retaining the emperor in his position. It is unclear if they would have accepted the reduction of the emperor to a figurehead, as eventually happened after the war. Many officials advocated for maintaining the emperor’s authority as a condition for surrender even after the Hiroshima bombing.

As with other debates around the Manhattan Project, ambiguities arise due to the fact that many of the available primary sources are considered unreliable.

But most conservatives at the time and the top American military leaders who fought World War II, much to the surprise of many who are not aware of the record, were quite clear that the atomic bomb was unnecessary, that Japan was on the verge of surrender, and—for many—that the destruction of large numbers of civilians was immoral.

Again it can be debated that Truman, a democrat was in the wrong side of history. It all depends on what story you believe.

The commanding general of the US Army Air Forces, Henry “Hap” Arnold, gave a strong indication of his views in a public statement 11 days after Hiroshima was attacked. Asked on August 17 by a New York Times reporter whether the atomic bomb caused Japan to surrender, Arnold said that “the Japanese position was hopeless even before the first atomic bomb fell because the Japanese had lost control of their own air.”

Even the famous hawk Maj. Gen. Curtis LeMay, the head of the Twenty-First Bomber Command, went public the month after the bombing, telling the press that “the atomic bomb had nothing to do with the end of the war at all.”

The record is quite clear: From the perspective of an overwhelming number of key contemporary leaders in the US military, the dropping of atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki was not a matter of military necessity.

American intelligence had broken the Japanese codes, knew the Japanese government was trying to negotiate surrender through Moscow, and had long advised that the expected early August Russian declaration of war, along with assurances that Japan’s emperor would be allowed to stay as a figurehead, would bring surrender long before the first step in a November US invasion could begin.

The original story we are taught in school relieves us of the guilt.

Christopher Nolan the director of the film also has the vengeful Lewis Strauss, the two-term chairman of the US Atomic Energy Commission, moan that Oppenheimer is the less than saintly figure who managed to get away, ethically, with his atomic exploits while moralizing about the relentless march about ever more destructive creations.  In that sentiment, the Machiavellian ambition monger has a point: the genie, once out, was never going to be put back in.

Watching Oppenheimer being interrogated and bullied in a secret meeting reminded me of how the government operates. They use whomever they can for an agenda or a project and then they can throw them under the bus.

We saw this during the witch hunts of the McCarthy era and we see the same happening with former President Trump.

We never learn from history — and this is why the desensitizing of Nuclear confrontation may contribute to the possibility of dusting the bombs off again and firing at will.

The revisionist theories point out how psychopathic our leaders can be and how careless they are with the power of nuclear weapons — not to mention Nuclear energy.

This month The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) approved a rule that will allow for the licensing of new nuclear reactors without requiring those reactors to have offsite emergency plans in place should disaster strike.

Past natural and human-made disasters have taught us that having a robust and workable emergency plan in place is the key to minimizing human suffering and loss of life if the unthinkable happens.

But now the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and their reckless decision flies in the face of that experience.

Some nuclear power advocates downplay the health risks of ionizing radiation, asserting that emergency evacuations following nuclear disasters are more harmful than exposure to the radiation itself and pointing to the casualties following the 2011 Fukushima disaster evacuations in Japan as an example. But the remedy for poorly executed evacuations is better emergency planning, not the elimination of emergency planning altogether.

The cost of preparing for emergencies is relatively low. And yet nuclear industry proponents have pushed to change the rules to facilitate constructing new nuclear reactors anywhere, even in densely populated areas where timely emergency evacuations might be extremely difficult or even impossible.

But of course, the push for Nuclear energy– or clean energy as they say is all part of the climate agenda.

As with every devastating emergency nuclear or otherwise, we have leaders who give us platitudes and they share how sad they are about these accidents — or these disasters.

Take Maui for example, the whole area there looks like a Nuclear Bomb hit it — we all know it was wildfires that did the damage, but we see the devastation that can be equivalent to the detonation of an atomic weapon.

We also hear of the untold number of dead as many people have disappeared or were burned to ashes.

But what do we see from our leadership?


“Jill and I send our deepest condolences to the families…blah blah blah. Our prayers are with those who have seen their homes…” blah blah blah grateful to the brave firefighters and first responders… It’s the usual platitudes without discussing what is going to be done.

Oh yeah, throw in some Climate change nonsense for political reasons and you have an instant speech –that turns a deaf ear to the screams of the world.

And it took this paper-mâché president of ours a day after the Hawaiian Congressional delegation begged him to send help to get around to declaring the Maui fires a disaster and start directing federal resources to assist with evacuation and fire suppression efforts.

And the money? The resources? Well, it was much less than what he gives to his criminal oligarchs in Ukraine.

Imagine if it was a nuclear disaster. Would we be as routine as we always are with these disasters like we were with the chemical spill in East Palestine, Ohio?

But the contamination continues as Japan said that it will start releasing into the sea more than 1 million metric tons of treated radioactive water from the wrecked Fukushima nuclear power plant on Aug. 24th going ahead with a plan heavily criticized by China.

The announcement comes a day after the government said it had won “a degree of understanding” from the fishing industry over the release of the water into the Pacific Ocean, even as fishing groups said they still feared the reputational damage would ruin their livelihood.

The water will initially be released in smaller portions and with extra checks, with the first discharge totaling 7,800 cubic meters over about 17 days starting Thursday,

I know that many times we have approached the Fukushima tragedy and have given figures and facts, but I really don’t think they set in or even make an impact because radiation is not seen—nor is it felt and if the mainstream narrative ignores it perhaps it will go away.

The Japanese government has been obliged to acknowledge that “the severity rating of its nuclear crisis matches that of the 1986 Chernobyl disaster.” In a bitter irony, however, this tacit admission by the Japanese authorities has proven to be part of the cover-up of a significantly larger catastrophe, resulting in a process of global nuclear radiation and contamination.

The dumping of highly radioactive water into the Pacific Ocean constitutes a potential trigger to a process of global radioactive contamination. Radioactive elements have not only been detected in the food chain in Japan but radioactive rainwater has also been recorded in California.

Little by little, we are being exposed to the poisons that have been created by big business and big government — and now they pretend to care about our well-being with regard to climate?

They want us to be scared of hot temperatures and fires when radiation burns slowly creating cancers and death. Somehow they need to get their priorities straight.



Libbe HaLevy (lee-BEE ha-LAY-vee) is producer/host of Nuclear Hotseat, a weekly podcast on nuclear issues, now in its 12th year with 600 episodes to its credit. She has just been awarded the prestigious 2022 international Nuclear Free Future Award for Education. Libbe was one mile from the 1979 nuclear meltdown at Three Mile Island in Pennsylvania, and wrote a book about her experience: YES I GLOW IN THE DARK: One Mile from Three Mile Island to Fukushima and Nuclear Hotseat. An award-winning playwright and librettist, Libbe’s latest play is on media manipulation at the dawn of the atomic age, ATOMIC BILL AND THE PAYMENT DUE. It is in development and looking for a theatre. Her website is:

Written by Ron Patton


This post currently has 16 comments.

  1. John Weiner

    August 23, 2023 at 6:57 pm

    The reason there is an ever-present danger of a mushroom cloud showing up in our lifetime, is because of Vladimir Putin, who has made at least a half dozen threats to use nuclear weapons since he invaded Ukraine with, and using depleted uranium weapons; as well as attacking nuclear power plants, hoping to start a nuclear holocaust, including that one plant in September, 2022, after inviting inspectors to be there at the time. It will be interesting to hear what, if anything your guest has to say about that, if anything, knowing your penchant for never inviting guests back who go against your narrative.
    There is also the time in 2014, when Putin threatened to use nuclear weapons if it looked like Russia were going to lose in that round of the Ukraine conflict.

  2. verne

    August 23, 2023 at 7:18 pm

    I was going to say the release of the radioactive water is basically how Godzilla started. But no, everyone needs a reality check. The water is not radioactive, there are minuscule particles that are suspended solids, not dissolved, but suspended. The best treatment for this type of pollution is actually more water to mix the particles for a better dispersal. If it was silt and drinking water, chemicals would be added to coagulate the silt together to form a flocculant particle which would settle due to gravity. You don’t want that with nuclear contaminates. Releasing the water to mix with ocean water will have no lasting effect.

  3. John Weiner

    August 23, 2023 at 7:46 pm

    There are, or were two prominent people in Russia who publicly expressed your opinion that Putin’s war in,/against Ukraine is futile, and unnecessary, both named Yevgheney: one a political prisoner in Moscow, whom Putin just had sentenced to another 19 years in prison, for alleged radical extremism, after Putin tried and failed to kill him, (whose surname escapes me), and Preghozhen, whom Vladimir Putin, apparently, finally, succeeded in murdering, along with nine other innocent human beings, against the biblical admonition, ” thou shall not kill.” Some Christian, that Vladimir Putin, huh?
    We did not start or provoke the war in Ukraine, against Ukrainians, Vladimir Putin did, and continues doing so.

  4. John Weiner

    August 23, 2023 at 8:07 pm

    THE DAY AFTER, is now, largely seen as a piece of PRO SOVIET PROPAGANDA.
    Part of the reason people care about Ukraine is because we have a treaty to protect them. Another part is because no matter what o e wants to believe, Ukrainians are human beings, too, just like we are. If only the anti- Ukrainians and President Biden could balance our interests and Ukraine’s interests.

  5. John Weiner

    August 23, 2023 at 8:39 pm

    If dropping those atomic bombs didn’t cause the Japanese to surrender so shortly after they were dropped, then what did? Did those two generals express those same objections to dropping the bombs on Japan before they were dropped on Japan?
    Why is it that you don’t criticize the psychopath who run foreign governments, and try to hold them at least as accountable as your own leaders?
    Yes, it is typical of Vladimir Putin to get rid of his critics by murdering them,/having them murdered.

  6. John Weiner

    August 23, 2023 at 9:39 pm

    It is not always going to be sunny, and or windy outside, therefore those technologies are impractical; therefore you might as well advocate for COLD FUSION, afterall, it is much more useful and practical, Libbe.
    Putin is the one who is continuing the war and saberrattling, not us, Clyde, well maybe you by supporting his war of aggression against Ukraine and Ukrainians.

  7. Gail

    August 24, 2023 at 6:02 am

    RE the “Oppenheimer” movie

    This movie omits the unnecessary and evil bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and also of its testing ground in New Mexico and the Marshall Islands as if there were no innocent victims and grave harm done ( which shows the lack of conscience of its creator/filmmaker/director. And much dark facts on Oppenheimer himself are also concealed in this Hollywood movie (

    So this immoral director presents a whitewash of history, it’s a fake history account. Memory holing of real atrocities is immorality, a serious crime per any reasonable humane standard. But it is in line with what it is: a stylish propaganda movie of the genocidal US empire, made by its criminal Hollywood ‘dream factory’/propaganda apparatus. A celebration of the “wonders of technology” and the “brilliance” of its inventing conscienceless scientists. A celebration of madness.

    It’s the programing of the naive/dumb public by (one of) the most murderous regimes on earth to accept and want such horrific killer weapons –it’s part of the normalization of evil via the brainwashing of the forever naive/dumb public. The Nazi Holocaust should “not be forgotten” but the US Holocausts at HIroshima/Nagasaki are fine “to forget” …

    This inexcusable despicable conduct by the film’s acclaimed director parallels the fact that dozens of Nobelists worked on the creation of the atomic bomb proves that guilt and conscience never played a notable part in them.

    Oppenheimer’s guilt and conscience, too, was of no real significance as his actions in establishing the atomic bomb demonstrated.

    It shows the real fundamental condition and nature of “civilized” humans — they are inhumanely mad ….

    “[…] I realized that the entire nuclear power program was based on a fraud—namely, that there was a “safe” amount of radiation, a permissible dose that wouldn’t hurt anybody.” — John W. Gofman, M.D., Ph.D., 1918-2007, Medical Physicist & Radiation Expert

  8. joe

    August 24, 2023 at 7:42 am

    Two million ground soldiers would die in Ww2 land war with Japan nuke was only wait.. i wish i could send u puctures of my great uncles great cousins who fought n lived to tell WW 1n 2 n korea n vietnam War is hell hell

  9. Pat

    August 24, 2023 at 10:26 am

    Interesting show Clyde, my old man was the Devil dog in World War II he was on Okinawa, and got a Purple Heart, and was wounded in the leg. That was his last tangle with the Japanese. Then they drop the bomb atomic bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki and ended the war the bomb saved a lot American lives! I think the dumping of nuclear waste by Japan will probably bring back Godzilla…. Take care enjoy life is much too short.

Comments are closed.

Search Ground Zero


  • play_circle_filled

    Ground Zero Radio

  • cover play_circle_filled


  • cover play_circle_filled


  • cover play_circle_filled

    Episode 393 GRAVEHEART

  • cover play_circle_filled

    Episode 392 – SILENCE OF THE LAM

  • cover play_circle_filled

    Episode 391 – THE LURKERS

  • cover play_circle_filled


  • cover play_circle_filled


  • cover play_circle_filled

    Episode 388 – TSUNAMI BOMB

  • cover play_circle_filled


  • cover play_circle_filled


  • cover play_circle_filled

    Episode 385 – A FIST FULL OF TREMORS

  • cover play_circle_filled

    Episode 384 – EARTHQUAKE: AS SEEN ON TV

  • cover play_circle_filled

    Episode 383 – THE SERPENT’S SHADOW

  • cover play_circle_filled

    Episode 382 – LA LUNA SANGRA

  • cover play_circle_filled


play_arrow skip_previous skip_next volume_down