FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Pandora’s Atomic Box Score

by HARVEY WASSERMAN

The first prophetic sign to follow CNN’s irrelevant Pandora’s Promise is this: the Dallas-based Luminant Power Company has cancelled two mammoth reactors.

Pandora’s box score for atomic America 2013 is five announced early reactor closures, nine project cancellations and six ditched uprates. Today, 100 U.S. reactors operate where 1,000 were once promised. New orders are zilch.

Even more critical: For decades the nuclear industry said zero commercial reactors could explode. When Chernobyl blew, they blamed it on the Soviet design. Now, three General Electric reactors have exploded at Fukushima. Unfortunately, as they age and deteriorate, there may be more to come.

Here are some more numbers to tally. More than 1,300 fuel rods sit in a damaged fuel pool 100 feet in the air at Fukushima 4. They contain radioactive cesium equivalent to 14,000 times what was released at the bombing of Hiroshima. There are some 6,000 rods in a common fuel pool nearby. There are some 11,000 rods scattered around the site. The three melted cores from units One, Two and Three are missing. There are roughly 1,000 tanks holding billions of gallons of hot radioactive water that are leaking and will collapse in the next big earthquake.

All 50 allegedly operable reactors in Japan remain shut. Germany is on its way to total green power.

Pandora’s Promise was largely bankrolled by Microsoft billionaire Paul Allen, whose buddy Bill Gates has bet big on the mythic “new generation” reactors.

As it aired on CNN, a grassroots coalition presented more than 150,000 signatures to the United Nations, requesting a global takeover at the accursed Fukushima, where three reactors cores are missing and radiation still pours into the ocean.

Meanwhile Tokyo Electric Power postponed its potentially apocalyptic bring-down of the radioactive fuel rods at Unit Four.

“More tests” were needed, they said. This week the U.S. Department of Energy will meet on how to aid an untried engineering exercise whose failure doom the planet. But if it can be done at all, it will take the entire global community to bring this beast under control.

CNN dumped a ton of hype on Pandora’s Promise, and made no real attempt to hide its own pro-nuke bias. Lead-up debates were heavily weighted toward the industry, whose push for a new generation of reactors will ultimately go nowhere.

The scenario is obvious: Gates and his fellow mega-rich will pour into various theoretical atomic technologies a few hundred million dollars. They’ll write it all off their taxes. They’ll demand immunity for any accidents. It’ll all run billions over budget and years behind schedule. Then they’ll leave yet another radioactive mess for the rest of us to clean up.

Atomic energy makes global warming worse. Its truest promise is for ever more meltdowns—in health, the ecology and economy.

This movie maker needs to revisit Fukushima and report on those fuel rods flying in the sky, the river of radiation pouring into the oceans and the lethal long-lived poisons spewing into the air we breathe. As Hesiod says, when the original Pandora opened her forbidden box, “the Earth and sea were full of evils.”

But hope did remain, now in the form of the green power revolution. The world of finance is on our side. So is the insurance industry. And, basic sanity.

On the 11th of every month, in commemoration of Fukushima, many of us will fast in solidarity with the victims in hope of a survivable outcome. You can help by signing our petitions. With our grassroots organizing and escalated resistance, a Solartopian world can be won.

Pandora’s clear promise—call it a warning—is that our survival depends on it.

Harvey Wasserman edits www.nukefree.org and wrote Solartopia!  Our Green-Powered Earth.  With Moveon.org he and others are presenting petitions to the United Nations with more than 150,000 signatures calling for a global takeover of the situation at Fukushima.  

Harvey Wasserman wrote SOLARTOPIA! Our Green-Powered Earth. His Green Power & Wellness Show is at www.prn.fm

More articles by:

CounterPunch Magazine

minimag-edit

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550

zen economics

Weekend Edition
April 28, 2017
Friday - Sunday
Paul Street
Slandering Populism: a Chilling Media Habit
Andrew Levine
Why I Fear and Loathe Trump Even More Now Than On Election Day
Jeffrey St. Clair
Mountain of Tears: the Vanishing Glaciers of the Pacific Northwest
Philippe Marlière
The Neoliberal or the Fascist? What Should French Progressives Do?
Conn Hallinan
America’s New Nuclear Missile Endangers the World
Peter Linebaugh
Omnia Sunt Communia: May Day 2017
Vijay Prashad
Reckless in the White House
Brian Cloughley
Who Benefits From Prolonged Warfare?
Kathy Kelly
The Shame of Killing Innocent People
Ron Jacobs
Hate Speech as Free Speech: How Does That Work, Exactly?
Andre Vltchek
Middle Eastern Surgeon Speaks About “Ecology of War”
Matt Rubenstein
Which Witch Hunt? Liberal Disanalogies
Sami Awad - Yoav Litvin - Rabbi Lynn Gottlieb
Never Give Up: Nonviolent Civilian Resistance, Healing and Active Hope in the Holyland
Pete Dolack
Tribunal Finds Monsanto an Abuser of Human Rights and Environment
Christopher Ketcham
The Coyote Hunt
Mike Whitney
Putin’s New World Order
Ramzy Baroud
Palestinian, Jewish Voices Must Jointly Challenge Israel’s Past
Ralph Nader
Trump’s 100 Days of Rage and Rapacity
Harvey Wasserman
Marine Le Pen Is a Fascist—Not a ‘Right-Wing Populist,’ Which Is a Contradiction in Terms
William Hawes
World War Whatever
John Stanton
War With North Korea: No Joke
Jim Goodman
NAFTA Needs to be Replaced, Not Renegotiated
Murray Dobbin
What is the Antidote to Trumpism?
Louis Proyect
Left Power in an Age of Capitalist Decay
Medea Benjamin
Women Beware: Saudi Arabia Charged with Shaping Global Standards for Women’s Equality
Rev. William Alberts
Selling Spiritual Care
Peter Lee
Invasion of the Pretty People, Kamala Harris Edition
Cal Winslow
A Special Obscenity: “Guernica” Today
Binoy Kampmark
Turkey’s Kurdish Agenda
Guillermo R. Gil
The Senator Visits Río Piedras
Jeff Mackler
Mumia Abu-Jamal Fights for a New Trial and Freedom 
Cesar Chelala
The Responsibility of Rich Countries in Yemen’s Crisis
Leslie Watson Malachi
Women’s Health is on the Chopping Block, Again
Basav Sen
The Coal Industry is a Job Killer
Judith Bello
Rojava, a Popular Imperial Project
Robert Koehler
A Public Plan for Peace
Sam Pizzigati
The Insider Who Blew the Whistle on Corporate Greed
Nyla Ali Khan
There Has to be a Way Out of the Labyrinth
Michael J. Sainato
Trump Scales Back Antiquities Act, Which Helped to Create National Parks
Stu Harrison
Under Duterte, Filipino Youth Struggle for Real Change
Martin Billheimer
Balm for Goat’s Milk
Stephen Martin
Spooky Cookies and Algorithmic Steps Dystopian
Michael Doliner
Thank You Note
Charles R. Larson
Review: Gregor Hens’ “Nicotine”
David Yearsley
Handel’s Executioner
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail