March 15 2013 12:00 AM

Author Cecile Pineda takes on Great Lakes nuclear facilities programs

Author Cecile Pineda speaks tonight on the dangers of the nuclear industry. Courtesy photograph

Thursday, March 14 — Author Cecile Pineda will speak tonight on the threat posed by Michigan’s nuclear facilities. The event is co-hosted by the Peace Education Center in East Lansing, which takes a definitive stance on nuclear energy.

“Nuclear energy is not good for anybody,” said Ruth Borgelt of the Peace Education Center. “It has too many problems. You’re putting something out there you can never manage as far as waste, and it’s out there in the open by the Great Lakes.“

Pineda, author of “Devil’s Tango: How I Learned the Fukushima Step by Step,” takes umbrage when asked why she’s against nuclear energy.

“The word ‘against’ is a kindergarten word, and it’s not appropriate for the degradation of (the nuclear energy) industry,” Pineda said. “This industry is destroying the planet. Am I against destroying the planet? Who would be for it? If you can find anyone who says they’re for destroying the planet, then you can use the word against with me.”

Pineda, 80, is a multi-faceted figure, with a rich history of award-winning literature and theater. Her focus with this book and tour is to provide a “dissection of the industrial and planetary disaster now unfolding at Fukushima Daiichi, Japan,” the site of a nuclear disaster two years ago following a massive earthquake. It was the largest nuclear disaster since the Chernobyl in 1986, and only the second one to measure Level 7 on the International Nuclear Event Scale.

“In the Great Lakes region, you are surrounded by nuclear power plants,” Pineda said. “You have a total of five that are the same model, GE Mark I, that exploded and failed in Fukushima. It was a manufacturers defect, and they have a 95 percent chance of failure.”

As Pineda spoke by phone, she said her message was particularly important to Michigan residents because of our strong agricultural ties.

“There’s a media blackout in Japan (with the Fukushima disaster), but I’ve been in contact with farmers who have lost their land, lost everything,” Pineda said. “This could easily happen again right here in your own backyard. There is every reason someone in Lansing would want to come and learn about this.”

The East Lansing event is hosted by the Peace Education Center of Greater Lansing and is co-sponsored by Citizens for Alternatives to Chemical Contamination (CACC) and MSU’s Peace & Justice Studies Program.

“Devil’s Tango: Lessons from Fukushima”%u2028
Featuring Cecile Pineda
%u20287 tonight %u2028
South Kedzie Hall
Room 109%u2028
Michigan State University, East Lansing