FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Kill the Nuclear Stimulus!

A nuke power bailout must not be part of the hundreds of billions of federal dollars about to pour out of Washington to revive our Bush-whacked economy.

If the huge Obama stimulus package we all know is coming includes money to build new reactors, the whole venture could turn to radioactive dust.

This is the last gasp both for American prosperity and atomic energy. Nuke promoters are lobbying frantically to get some of that cash for a dying business in which Wall Street would not invest even before the last crash.

In 2007 a national grassroots campaign, led in part by Nukefree.org, helped get a proposed $50 billion loan guarantee boondoggle removed from the Energy Bill. In 2008 a blank check was on its way just as Wall Street tanked.

Now, with renewables booming ahead, this may be the last gasp for a desperate industry. Cut off from Wall Street, hordes of nuke lobbyists will descend like radioactive locusts on this gargantuan stimulus package. They must be stopped.

Here are some basic realities:

No reactors put into construction in the next few years could produce usable power for at least a decade, probably more;

By contrast, large wind farms can be installed in less than a year, as can many other renewable and efficiency installations;

Every dollar spent on efficiency can save seven times the energy one spent on an atomic reactor can produce;

The numbers of jobs new reactor construction might create is a bare fraction of the number that could come with comparable Solartopian investments in renewables, efficiency and restored mass transit;

Atomic energy is now fifty-two years of proven economic failure. From the 1957 opening of the first commercial reactor at Shippingport, Pennsylvania, to the hugely over-budget fiasco of a French reactor now being built in Finland, the “Peaceful Atom” has never turned the corner to true social profitability;

The true cost of nuke-generated electricity is obscured by massive “stranded cost” write-offs provided at tax-payer and rate-payer expense during the de-regulation fiasco of the turn of the century that allowed utilities to scam away up to a $100 billion in hidden construction costs;

The French nuclear power industry is almost entirely subsidized by the French government, and generates electricity that is expensive, unreliable, unsafe, polluting, has no radioactive waste solution, and cannot compete in the open marketplace;

By terror or error, every atomic reactor is an unguardable, uninsurable agent of a potential apocalypse; the human and financial toll from a possible melt-down is incalculable….which is why, after a half-century, only the government is willing to insure them;

Through the mining, milling, enrichment, transportation and waste management demands of the nuclear fuel cycle, atomic power is a significant contributor to global warming;

Water has become a major issue in the reactor calculus, to the point that shortages and overheating threaten their continued operation. Reactors in France and Alabama, among other places, have been forced to shut when rivers used to cool them have exceeded 90 degrees Fahrenheit;

Funds set aside to decommission aging plants such as Vermont Yankee and Indian Point, near New York City, have been decimated by the Wall Street crash, raising serious question about how they will be disposed of when they shut, which may be soon;

Aging US reactors are plagued with the embrittlement of key interior metal components which threaten their continued safety;

After a half-century, no real solution has been found for managing the high-level radioactive wastes that come from nuke reactors. The proposed Yucca Mountain dump, now approaching $100 billion, is a non-starter, with sworn opposition from the President-elect and Senate Majority Leader, and with no real alternative in sight.

A wide range of studies dating back to the late 1960s and findings by Dr. John Gofman, former Health Director of the Atomic Energy Commission, link “routine” radioactive emissions from America’s nuclear plants to serious impacts on human health.

For these and many more reasons, any stimulus money spent on nuclear plants would be a major negative to our economy, ecology and public health.

Recent talk of a “fourth generation” of atomic reactors is pure pie-in-the-sky speculation. There are no proven nuclear technologies that can compete with wind, solar, increased efficiencies or other Solartopian sources.

It is critical that any proposed funding for new reactor construction that might be slipped into the stimulus package be entirely eliminated.

This massive new investment about to be made in the future of our economy must not be corrupted to bail out the very worst of the 20th Century’s failed technologies.

Renewables and efficiency work. If we fund them now, the payback will be exponential.

Various petitions are circulating from Physicians for Social Responsibility (PSR.org), the Sustainable Energy Network and others. Or just call and write the White House, Senate, Congress and local officials where reactors are proposed and demand a halt to this suicidal madness.

Let’s kill this so-called nuclear revival once and for all, so we can finally win a world powered by truly green technologies that actually work.

HARVEY WASSERMAN, a co-founder of Musicians United for Safe Energy, is editing the nukefree.org web site. He is the author of SOLARTOPIA! Our Green-Powered Earth, A.D. 2030, is at www.solartopia.org. He can be reached at: Windhw@aol.com

 

 

 

More articles by:

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

April 19, 2018
Ramzy Baroud
Media Cover-up: Shielding Israel is a Matter of Policy
Vijay Prashad
Undermining Brazilian Democracy: the Curious Saga of Lula
Steve Fraser
Class Dismissed: Class Conflict in Red State America
John W. Whitehead
Crimes of a Monster: Your Tax Dollars at Work
Kenn Orphan
Whistling Past the Graveyard
Karl Grossman - TJ Coles
Opening Pandora’s Box: Karl Grossman on Trump and the Weaponization of Space
Colin Todhunter
Behind Theresa May’s ‘Humanitarian Hysterics’: The Ideology of Empire and Conquest
Jesse Jackson
Syrian Strikes is One More step Toward a Lawless Presidency
Michael Welton
Confronting Militarism is Early Twentieth Century Canada: the Woman’s International League for Peace and Freedom
Alycee Lane
On David S. Buckel and Setting Ourselves on Fire
Jennifer Matsui
Our Overlords Reveal Their Top ‘To Do’s: Are YOU Next On Their Kill List?
George Ochenski
Jive Talkin’: On the Campaign Trail With Montana Republicans
Kary Love
Is It Time for A Nice, “Little” Nuclear War?
April 18, 2018
Alan Nasser
Could Student Loans Lead to Debt Prison? The Handwriting on the Wall
Susan Roberts
Uses for the Poor
Alvaro Huerta
I Am Not Your “Wetback”
Jonah Raskin
Napa County, California: the Clash of Oligarchy & Democracy
Robert Hunziker
America’s Dystopian Future
Geoffrey McDonald
“America First!” as Economic War
Jonathan Cook
Robert Fisk’s Douma Report Rips Away Excuses for Air Strike on Syria
Jeff Berg
WW III This Ain’t
Binoy Kampmark
Macron’s Syria Game
Linn Washington Jr.
Philadelphia’s Top Cop Defends Indefensible Prejudice in Starbucks Arrest Incident
Katie Fite
Chaos in Urban Canyons – Air Force Efforts to Carve a Civilian Population War Game Range across Southern Idaho
Robby Sherwin
Facebook: This Is Where I Leave You
April 17, 2018
Paul Street
Eight Takeaways on Boss Tweet’s Latest Syrian Missile Spasm
Robert Fisk
The Search for the Truth in Douma
Eric Mann
The Historic 1968 Struggle Against Columbia University
Roy Eidelson
The 1%’s Mind Games: Psychology Gone Bad
John Steppling
The Sleep of Civilization
Patrick Cockburn
Syria Bombing Reveals Weakness of Theresa May
Dave Lindorff
No Indication in the US That the Country is at War Again
W. T. Whitney
Colombia and Cuba:  a Tale of Two Countries
Dean Baker
Why Isn’t the Median Wage for Black Workers Rising?
Linn Washington Jr.
Philadelphia’s Top Cop Defends Indefensible Prejudice in Starbucks Arrest Incident
C. L. Cook
Man in the Glass
Kary Love
“The Mob Boss Orders a Hit and a Pardon”
Lawrence Wittner
Which Nations Are the Happiest―and Why
Dr. Hakim
Where on Earth is the Just Economy that Works for All, Including Afghan Children?
April 16, 2018
Dave Lindorff
President Trump’s War Crime is Worse than the One He Accuses Assad of
Ron Jacobs
War is Just F**kin’ Wrong
John Laforge
Nuclear Keeps on Polluting, Long After Shutdown
Norman Solomon
Missile Attack on Syria Is a Salute to “Russiagate” Enthusiasts, Whether They Like It or Not
Uri Avnery
Eyeless in Gaza   
Barbara Nimri Aziz
Iraq Then, Syria Now
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail