FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Sneaking New Nukes Into War Spending

by DEB KATZ

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:
Weekend Edition
November 17, 2017
Friday - Sunday
Paul Street
Thank an Anti-War Veteran
Andrew Levine
What’s Wrong With Bible Thumpers Nowadays?
Jeffrey St. Clair - Alexander Cockburn
The CIA’s House of Horrors: the Abominable Dr. Gottlieb
Wendy Wolfson – Ken Levy
Why We Need to Take Animal Cruelty Much More Seriously
Mike Whitney
Brennan and Clapper: Elder Statesmen or Serial Fabricators?
David Rosen
Of Sex Abusers and Sex Offenders
Ryan LaMothe
A Christian Nation?
Dave Lindorff
Trump’s Finger on the Button: Why No President Should Have the Authority to Launch Nuclear Weapons
W. T. Whitney
A Bizarre US Pretext for Military Intrusion in South America
Deepak Tripathi
Sex, Lies and Incompetence: Britain’s Ruling Establishment in Crisis 
Howard Lisnoff
Who You’re Likely to Meet (and Not Meet) on a College Campus Today
Roy Morrison
Trump’s Excellent Asian Adventure
John W. Whitehead
Financial Tyranny
Ted Rall
How Society Makes Victimhood a No-Win Proposition
Jim Goodman
Stop Pretending the Estate Tax has Anything to do With Family Farmers
Thomas Klikauer
The Populism of Germany’s New Nazis
Murray Dobbin
Is Trudeau Ready for a Middle East war?
Jeiddy Martínez Armas
Firearm Democracy
Jill Richardson
Washington’s War on Poor Grad Students
Ralph Nader
The Rule of Power Over the Rule of Law
Justin O'Hagan
Capitalism Equals Peace?
Matthew Stevenson
Into Africa: From the Red Sea to Nairobi
Geoff Dutton
The Company We Sadly Keep
Evan Jones
The Censorship of Jacques Sapir, French Dissident
Linn Washington Jr.
Meek Moment Triggers Demands for Justice Reform
Gerry Brown
TPP, Indo Pacific, QUAD: What’s Next to Contain China’s Rise?
Robert Fisk
The Exile of Saad Hariri
Romana Rubeo - Ramzy Baroud
Anti-BDS Laws and Pro-Israeli Parliament: Zionist Hasbara is Winning in Italy
Robert J. Burrowes
Why are Police in the USA so Terrified?
Chuck Collins
Stop Talking About ‘Winners and Losers’ From Corporate Tax Cuts
Ron Jacobs
Private Property Does Not Equal Freedom
Kollibri terre Sonnenblume
Mass Shootings, Male Toxicity and their Roots in Agriculture
Binoy Kampmark
The Fordist Academic
Frank Scott
Weapons of Mass Distraction Get More Destructive
Missy Comley Beattie
Big Dick Diplomacy
Michael Doliner
Democracy, Real Life Acting and the Movies
Dan Bacher
Jerry Brown tells indigenous protesters in Bonn, ‘Let’s put you in the ground’
Graham Peebles
Ethiopia: Government-Fuelled Conflict & the Need for Unity
Winslow Myers
The Madness of Deterrence
Cesar Chelala
A Kiss is Not a Kiss: Sexual Abuse and Exploitation of Children
Jimmy Centeno
Garcia Meets Guayasamin: A De-Colonial Experience
Stephen Martin
When Boot Becomes Bot: Surplus Population and The Human Face.
Martin Billheimer
Homer’s Iliad, la primera nota roja
Louis Proyect
Once There Were Strong Men
Charles R. Larson
Review: Mike McCormack’s Solar Bones
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail