Turnbull, Ian

Dear NWMO Management and Staff,

Thank you for once again inviting comment on your evolving plans for the safe, long-term care of used nuclear fuel. I respond to you every year, saying much the same thing each time. Mainly, that I see there is a great need for the nuclear industry and indeed, the public as an whole, to look with fresh eyes down into the Atomic World, and begin to wonder at the social order and signs of life that are quietly evident in the particle world. Different aspects of this same perception come into focus for me each year, so I will re-iterate my general sense of the situation we are in, and outline a creative approach to the rad.waste issue that I see waiting to be explored.

While I write to you from Scotland, I would like you to know I am a Canadian citizen. It was while working as a geologist in northern Canada, exploring for uranium, that I became curious about the universal nature of nuclear energy. Whereas we have an excellent knowledge of the physics of the atom, for historical reasons we shy away from valuing the metaphysics of this small (to us) energetic system. Here is the Achilles Heel of the scientific method. Here is where our understanding of the nuclear processes is incomplete and vulnerable.

Far from being hostile to nuclear power, I have come to see how our pre-occupation with nuclear reactors, and now - the need to manage the waste products - has diverted us from pursuing a basic anthropological view of the particle world: which suggests, in the first instance, how 'atoms' deserve consideration as the family units and community systems of the particle population.

Two specific insights I would commend to NWMO, for the way they illuminate the symmetrical and universal nature of the Atomic World. The one concerns the fairly accessible observation of how the different kinds of energy that are at work between and amongst the atomic particles, are equally present and at work and play in our human relationships with each other.

This substantial insight becomes apparent when as we treat objective and subjective data as being of equal value. In this mode, we can match the physics of the (four) different forms of energy in the atom with our experience of the equivalent (four) qualities of "domestic energy" that are virtually always at work and play between members of a family: or for that matter, any well-established social group.

The second insight, that builds on the first, concerns the social processes we can observe going on within the dynamic events of nuclear fission. I am referring here especially to the extravagant act of nuclear fission such as we see in a weapon's test. It requires but a modicum of symbolic awareness to recognise how nuclear fission reveals a fast-moving scenario that is like an Atomic version of Romeo and Juliet. The energy released out of matter can be observed forming masculine and feminine "entities". These "entities" then develop a loving and sexually-charged relationship with each other. We glimpse this process in the 'mushroom cloud'. The overall inference must be that the universal energy in matter is imbued with a level of instinctive intelligence, or consciousness, more than we have so far cared or dared to consider.

I have posted an illustrated commentary on this insight to <www.nucleargodeeper.com>. The topic is in a file marked: "Bringing nuclear fission in from the dark".

The history of scientific inquiry has steered us to being experts of an objective knowledge of nuclear energy and the Atomic World. Whereas I am advocating the benefits of acquiring a knowledge of the subjective nature of the atomic landscape and the social processes of its inhabitants.

With the intention of highlighting the "covert colonial attitude" that we unwittingly bring to our nuclear work, I would mention in this context the largely painful subject of the Indian Residential Schools, which were developed (I'm sure you will know) by the Canadian Government in the period of 1870's - 1990's , as a means of educating and adapting the First Nations people to the new Western World Canadian nation forming itself from the influx of immigrants coming from Europe.

There was, there still is, a concerted effort by the Canadian Government and the Church authorities who administered the Residential Schools, to apologize and make recompense for the damage and distress caused by this schooling policy, that decimated family life within many Indian bands. Promises have been forthcoming from every quarter, that this behaviour will never happen again.

But here we are, beavering away in the Atomic World with the very same 'colonial attitude' that created the Residential Schools. We have developed a business that works for us by decimating family and community systems at the Atomic level, of this our shared universal home. We are working in there as colonists, and presently lack the wit to recognise this situation.

There is such a need to develop a new kind of "Canadian Nuclear Physics". One that looks into the Atomic World with an amalgam of our science-primed Western mind in partnership with the softer focus and lateral thinking of our instinctive natural/native intelligence, already well-established in the Aboriginal people. A nuclear physics that is less British, less European, less American. More an home-grown account that brings together a scientific awareness and spiritual experience of the atomic landscape. A log cabin nuclear physics that is aware of the intrinsic family nature of the universal systems that together form our Universe: rather than a laboratory nuclear physics, cut off from the things we need to feel into.

It often seems to me that NWMO has been left alone to sort an issue that really belongs to everyone. Committing ourselves to burying the vastly painful residue from our reactors does not feel satisfactory. There is so much more we need to be curious about as a society. My imagination likes to look down the stairwell of this our universal home and see the particle world as a system of life occupying the "next floor down". We need to move towards a more personal and more universal knowledge of the particle realm than the remote mechanistic understanding developed in Europe.

This whole approach unpacks yet more evidence of the "holographic nature" of our Universe. In other words, of the whole family nature of this planets/people/particles system that we are within. This larger, deeper view needs society's curiosity, now more than ever. It is in fact a perception of the 'holographic principle' that brought me to think it is very possible that we humans, we Humanity, can create some kind of collective spiritual approach which could address the phenomena of radiation. An inquiry to see if we can "heal the atom", in contrast to our present technology which knows how to "split the atom". With colleagues, I have been a small way along this path and think it promising. But it needs teams of people, and sympathetic technical support, to develop and test the concept.

Feeling that this whole scenario needs more attention than any one person or group can give to it, I am writing around, sharing the ideas within this letter with Government nuclear agencies, and the Church(es), since this subject is as much in their territory as anyone's.

Thank you for opening your door for comments and feedback. I hope this will add to your field of view and choice of options. With good wishes. Ian Turnbull.

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