FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Sneaking New Nukes Into War Spending

The House Appropriations Committee is preparing to vote on loan guarantees for three new nuclear power plants.

These guarantees have been tacked on to emergency spending provisions for the war in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The three reactors have prompted strong opposition from people living near the sites. Two are proposed for South Texas, on the Gulf of Mexico. One is proposed for Calvert Cliffs, Maryland, just forty miles from our nation’s capital.

As shown by the Nuclear Information & Resource Service (NIRS.ORG), Physicians for Social Responsibility (PSR.org), Beyond Nuclear (BeyondNuclear.org), Taxpayers for Common Sense and many more environmental and taxpayer organizations, there are serious financial, licensing, ecological, health, safety and other unresolved issues facing all of these projects.

And this is all happening as the horror in the Gulf of Mexico rages on without apparent end.

If the Deepwater Horizon has taught us anything, it might be that official limits on corporate liability are a sure sign of a technology being overstretched.

The limit for British Petroleum on this well was set at $75 million. The technology being used was supposedly state-of-the-art, inspected and approved by the government.

Yet the damage already done has vastly exceeded that preliminary limit. Ultimately, it is incalculable.

The limit set on these new nuclear plants—and all others now proposed or operating in the United States—is currently $11 billion. Like Deepwater Horizon (as with Chernobyl and Three Mile Island) they would undoubtedly be state of the art.

But a Deepwater Horizon-scale accident at any of these reactors would rapidly exceed the $11 billion limit.

Indeed, we cannot begin to conceive of the loss of life, or the irreversible ecological damage, that could be done by a reactor disaster in the United States.

It is no accident that after more than a half-century, private insurers will not step forward to accept liability for a such a catastrophe.

These loan guarantees are also a sure sign that private investors won’t fund these plants without the taxpayers on the hook to pick up the real bill.

Nuclear Power harms our attempts to solve the global climate crisis.

Dangerous radioactive leaks and serious structural problems now plague Vermont Yankee, Davis-Besse, Indian Point and many other elderly reactors, including the two now operating at South Texas and the two more in operation at Calvert Cliffs.

Massive delays and skyrocketing overruns have struck the “new generation” French reactor being built in Finland, a design now being proposed for Maryland’s Calvert Cliffs site.

Projected costs here have jumped by factors of 3, 4 and more even before proposed reactors have been licensed for construction!

These guarantees are being rammed ahead without a full public hearing. They do not belong on a military appropriations bill. And there is certainly no emergency about them.

Indeed, all attention now needs to be focussed on the terrible crisis in the Gulf of Mexico.

All available funds for America’s energy future must go to renewable and efficiency technologies that will end all use of fossil and nuclear power.

We cannot afford more Deepwater Horizons, radioactive or otherwise.

DEB KATZ is Executive Director of the Citizens Awareness Network.

 

WORDS THAT STICK

 

More articles by:
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