In the dark days of March in the year 2015, four years and two weeks after the start of the worst man-made ecological disaster on Earth, a name seemingly forbidden to be spoken by anyone in the greatest malignant Corporate Media Circus, Fukushima-Daiichi melts and smolders in the land of Mordor in the constant shadow of the United States government while John Kerry and Ernest Moniz pretend to give a damn about what happens in a world far away from our Pacific shores of California, Oregon and Washington, far from the homeland of ninety-nine leaking, splitting, cracking, steaming, freezing, coughing and sputtering nuclear power plants which are killing Americans daily, to a bell tolling only to the ears of the spirits already gone from the Valley of Death.
While all eyes are on Israel and Iran, I’d like to bring the focus back home not just to where I live on the West Coast of the United States where Diablo Canyon and the Columbia Generating Station have been given free reign by the very same Ernest Moniz to continue wreaking havoc on our environment, but also to other parts of the US where nuclear plants could blow like a bomb larger than anything Iran could ever possibly dream of making, and again, these nuclear plants are sanctioned to stay alive and online, albeit on respirators and life support, by Moniz and the NRC.
Diablo Canyon. Columbia Generating Station. Davis-Besse. Pilgrim. Indian Point. Turkey Point. I could go on but I shouldn’t bore you with even more of the banalities of nuclear bombs in our own back yards in the United States. Iran is so much more exiting! But just for the hell of it, let’s take a peek.
Pilgrim Nuclear Power Plant in Plymouth, MA on the Cape is just over twenty miles from Boston. There is one way in and one way out. They call it Safe. Secure. Vital. Pilgrim has a melt down. No Way Out. Pilgrim explodes. No Way Out. Is the NRC watching? Hey, DOE! IAEA! Over here! Pilgrim has thirty-two hundred fuel rods in their pool when there are supposed to be eight hundred. PR says Pilgrim is safe. Pilgrim shut down on January 27, 2015 after two transmission lines failed during Blizzard Juno around high tide. Just how safe is safe enough?
Where are the watchful American hawks waving the flag of sanity, of clarity, of transparency telling Iran that they will observe their every breath in and around their nuclear facility? Where is that same sane presence of the IAEA in the United States? Do US citizens matter at all or only crazy old Iran?
One nuke plant exploding in the US is equivalent to many nuclear bombs due to the amount of fuel rods, and the cancers and death that would ensue is comparable to that of a nuclear war. Iran has no bombs at all while we have a base load of ninety-nine nuclear plants, i.e. bombs, waiting to blow at any given moment with one power grid shut down from iced wires or one frozen pipe or one flooded basement, or one fire, or one human mistake.
Let’s look at the bomb crackling right now at Davis-Besse in Ohio. (I wish those hawkish US and IAEA eyes looking at Iran would turn this way if only for the last 40 years!) Are you ready for this?
These are just some of the facts about Davis-Besse. ● Because it was built in a flood plain, a 1972 Lake Erie storm caused massive flooding of the entire construction site including the pre-operational reactor.● In October 1977, a relief valve stuck. ● Uranium fuel must be submerged in water (coolant) at all times to prevent a meltdown. In June 1985, Davis Besse had a loss-of-feedwater accident. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission closed the plant for a year.● A June 1998 tornado caused loss of external electric power.● In March 2002, neglected, leaking boric acid in the coolant water had eaten through more than seven inches of the steel reactor lid, leaving only a 3/16″ liner to prevent radiation release. The plant closed for two years, costing ratepayers $600 million. Davis-Besse was fined $33.5 million, the largest in NRC history.● The corroded lid was replaced before restart in 2004, but in 2010, cracks were found in this new lid, forcing its replacement in 2011.● To replace aging, deteriorating, damaged parts, an unprecedented four large cuts have been made through the Davis-Besse concrete shield building which prevents release of radiation. Starting in 2011, cracks and voids were discovered in the building’s concrete.
Moniz must look over here, below his feet on US ground, to recognize and acknowledge the bomb fields laying in wait that you still believe are safe, inexpensive and necessary, but which I call ancient relics of poor technology based on the idiocy of a few terrible ideas by self-important arrogant fools who believed nukes would save the world but would instead, kill the very Earth we inhabit. What side of the gambling table are you on? Remember, the cards have already been shown. Fukushima, Chernobyl, Three Mile Island. Hanford.
There is no peaceful nuke and there is no peace with nukes. There is only a mirage.
Columbia Generating Station. Richland, WA. Located on the Columbia River. CGS was built on twelve fault lines. It was not known at the time but now we have facts. It is not built to withstand an earthquake of the 9.0 magnitude the NW is expecting any day. Not even close. With facts, we are armed with the ability to make changes for the sake of humanity. But we only care about being armed for war. There is no containment around the CGS fuel pool. The fuel pool is five stories high. Think Fukushima. Really. Think Fukushima. CGS is the same kind of nuclear reactor as Fukushima. CGS sits ten miles from 56 million gallons of highly radioactive nuclear waste at Hanford. If a meltdown or explosion happens at CGS, it will take Hanford with it. There will be no way to get in to the area to clean it up due to the massively high levels of radiation. The Columbia River flows directly into the Pacific. CGS has problems with the monitoring stacks just about every two to three weeks. They cannot monitor levels of radiation going into the environment from the plant properly without these stacks. On top of all of this, we have records of drug abuse from managers and workers at the plant caught stoned or drunk during surprise drug testing, so many records that we have a spreadsheet that we add to periodically. Would you like to live near CGS?
Where is the IAEA? They are waiting to be flown to Iran.
Diablo Canyon. Corruption. PG&E. Water Bureau. Illegal dumping of hot water into the Pacific. Fault lines. To see a photo of the fault lines at the base of Diablo Canyon and on out just a bit into the ocean off the coast of California is to understand a vision of insanity. Previous earthquakes created the cove at the base of the nuclear plant. Marine life in this cove has been decimated for decades due to the hot waters coming out of Diablo from the “once through” method of cooling that Diablo depends upon. California. Highway 101. San Louis Obisbo. At least nuclear power accidents don’t concern themselves with the one percent…radiation kills even the wealthy. Radiation around Diablo Canyon is discernibly higher than in areas just miles away. I am calling on the IAEA to come make sure that all rules are abided by as charged to the NRC to enforce. Where is the enforcement? There is no enforcement unless…Please look to Iran.
The motto of Turkey Point Nuclear Power Plant on the tip of Florida is “Protecting People and the Environment”. Nothing about that motto is correct or based in reality. It is not possible to protect people and have nuclear power, let alone nuclear bombs which is the whole reason for having nuclear power, after all, and as I said earlier, nuclear power plants are also nuclear bombs in the arsenal. There is no peace in war. There is no environment that can sustain life with nukes. Again, all of this has been proven, but no one really wants to hear from the scientists who have the truth. No one cares about the truth because the truth is that we are wholly and unequivocally killing ourselves with radiation from these decrepit nuclear dinosaurs and there is no EPA or NRC or DOE or IAEA who is going to come save us.
The EPA shuts down its databases when nuclear accidents occur or just as quickly, whenever they like. You can check this yourself by going to the EPA site to search for monitor readings in CA, OR and WA a few weeks past the initial disaster at Fukushima.
The NRC, tasked with assuring that compliance in nuke plant regulations occurs, does not do its job well because not doing your nuclear job is the clearest path to ensuring more money flow into the same pockets of the contractors and the board of the NRC. (see Bechtel/Hanford). The inside motto of the NRC is this: Weaken the safety standards of nuke plants so that aging power stations can achieve compliance with operating rules due to those rules being weakened by the NRC. Get it?
The Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board (DNFSB) is tasked to make sure that public health and safety issues at DOE defense nuclear facilities are dealt with properly and if not, must be reported to the President and Secretary of Energy (remember Moniz?). But the DNFSB has no real power over the DOE and the DOE knows it. The DOE has no real independent oversight nor does the NRC or the IAEA for that matter. The IAEA was created to push nuclear power and weapons for peaceful purposes while pretending to be a protector of humanity. The Agency shall seek to accelerate and enlarge the contribution of atomic energy to peace, health and prosperity throughout the world, as stated from their own website. Look it up. Read this paragraph one more time. There is no independent oversight of anything anymore and a world with nukes in it is a world unsafe to live in especially when the Alpha Wolf tells you, oh gentle ones, that all is good and all is well. We have bombs to protect us!
New York City. Home to well over eight million people and the Indian Point Nuclear Power Plant, just twentyfive miles from the Bronx. Here we have a known leaking nuke plant but the IAEA and all of their grave concerns about safety in Iran can be found no where close to home. Indian Point leaks Tritium. Do you know how bad it is to have that in the ground water, drinking water or rivers and lakes? The Big Apple can turn to molten corium as far as the IAEA, the DOE and the NRC are concerned.
Let’s mention MOX fuel since Kerry and Moniz talk so much lately about oversight and care and safety and transparency from the IAEA to Iran. Plutonium from dismantled nuclear weapons can get used as fuel in nuke plants creating more heat and radioactivity than uranium if it explodes while causing twice as many civilian cancers as the same explosion using uranium. Fact: MOX fuel is the easiest type of fuel to explode; it is the Viagra for nuclear weapons. Yet knowing that it’s the easiest to explode, nuclear engineers still decided to put MOX fuel into nuclear power plants. Pure insanity.
Regarding burning MOX fuel in reactors, David Jones, the senior VP for Areva said “I think it’s a magnificent solution…you’re taking something that was designed to be dangerous and turning it into something that benefits society.” In reality, this is not a gift for society, but a gift for Areva since Areva gets the plutonium for just about free while making money on it once they turn it into MOX fuel and loading it into nuke plants.
MOX fuel was used at Fukushima-Daiichi’s Reactor 3, which blew sky high on 3.11 dosing the world with radioactive particles which were innocently, unknowingly and unwittingly inhaled by civilians and animals on Earth.
How safe do you want safe to be? The IAEA allows the burning of MOX fuel. The IAEA is going to oversee nukes in Iran. The IAEA does not give a damn about nukes in America. The IAEA does not oversee anything but does promote nuclear power. The only thing real here is the mirage.
And to the East they waited with baited breath for the powers to unleash them, to set them free from struggle, for the chains to be unlocked so that together, both East and West, North and South could see the gates of Heaven open and draw them in like a thousand moths to a inferno, the last embers flickering on the path behind them until all that was left on Earth was the darkness for Eternity to consume.
Miriam German is the director of RadCast.org. She founded No Nukes NW in 2012.