Posts Tagged ‘nuke’

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The children of Chernobyl… forever

These authors will donate the royalties of their works as a contribution to allow the publication of a DvD-book which tells the story of the Chernobyl accident and its consequences. This book, written collectively, will be the basis for aHUMANITARIAN OPERATION for the benefit of children exposed to radiations and living in contaminated areas.We would like you to share our committment by making a DONATION-SUBSCRIPTION to CHERNOBYL FOREVER.”

 

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“Pandora’s False Promises

Pandora’s Promise, is a new pro-nuclear propaganda documentary released theatrically in the US in July 2013. It is funded in part by individuals with a vested interest in seeing the development of new reactors and is seemingly a vehicle by which to raise the profile of the anti-environmental Oakland think tank, The Breakthrough Institute, whose personnel feature prominently in the film. Despite the film’s premise and early claim that it features “a growing number of leading former anti-nuclear activists” who now support nuclear energy, no one in the film ever led the anti-nuclear movement. Nor was any credible, independent scientific or medical professional with expertise in the areas covered in the film consulted or featured. Beyond Nuclear has bird-dogged the film from the beginning, and has produced numerous critiques. We have also published a definitive report – Pandora’s False Promises: Busting the pro-nuclear propaganda – and a two-page synopsis. These documents address virtually all of the myths, lies and omissions typically found in pro-nuclear rhetoric and are intended to address these long after Pandora’s Promise fades into deserved oblivion.”

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
  • Nuclear power, no matter the reactor design, cannot address climate change intime. In order to displace a significant amount of carbon-emitting fossil fuel generation, another 1,000 to 1,500 new 1,000+ Megawatt reactors would need to come on line worldwide by 2050, a completely prohibitive proposition.
  • So-called “Generation IV” reactor designs, including “fast” or “small modular reactors,” are the last gasp of a failing industry. Earlier versions of the fast breeder reactor were commercial failures and safety disasters. The ever soaring costs make nuclear power a financial quagmire for investors, and expensive new prototypes commercially unattractive.
  • Proponents of the Integral Fast Reactor, overlook the exorbitant costs; proliferation risks; that it theoretically “transmutes,” rather than eliminates, radioactive waste; that it is decades away from deployment; and that its use of sodium as a coolant can lead to fires and explosions.
  • The continued daily use of nuclear power means continued risk of radiation exposure to surrounding populations, especially children who are vulnerable to leukemia when living close to reactors. Ionizing radiation released by nuclear power plants, either routinely or in large amounts, causes cellular damage and mutations in DNA, which in turn can lead to cancers and other  illnesses.
  • Low-ball health predictions after nuclear accidents are not reliable. The 2005 IAEA/WHO Chernobyl health report has been discredited for suppressing key data to justify low death predictions that do not stand up to scientific scrutiny. Furthermore, the IAEA has a mandate to promote nuclear technology. Given the long latency period of cancers caused by radiation exposure, it is too soon to accurately predict the ultimate health impacts from the Fukushima nuclear disaster, although some health effects are already being observed.
  • The example of Germany — and numerous studies — demonstrates that both coal and nuclear can be phased out in favor of renewable energy. Jobs are more plentiful and enduring in the renewable sector. In Germany, renewable energy already employs 380,000 people compared to 30,000 in the nuclear sector.
  • The argument that only nuclear provides “carbon-free,” base load energy is out of date. Geothermal and offshore wind energy are capable of delivering reliable base load power with a smaller carbon footprint than nuclear energy. Energy efficiency is also an essential component in displacing nuclear and coal.

See: The Future Children of Fukushima

Nuclear EmergencyAre we allowed to type the “T” word when the culprit is a corporate / capitalist entity?

How about when a government colludes with the terrorists in order to hoist nuclear Swords Of Damocles up over our heads?

If we’re forced to play Russian Roulette, does that count as terrorizing?

I guess the real world terror of radiation poisoning and cancer doesn’t count as the highly-branded “Terror (TM)” terror.  If you can’t bomb some foreigners in the bargain why waste the ink?

We have to call it something else.

Massive stupidity comes to mind.  Criminal greed.

And what of the non-stop lies we get from the Mainstream Media and their allegedly unpaid “experts” who paint smiley faces on the exploding nuke plants?  So many “experts” on nuclear issues come out of the woodwork and so fast.

These self-styled expert-like people have no idea what’s actually going on inside the reactors. The Japanese don’t even know!  Yet they assure us repeatedly how it can’t possibly be that harmful — and even if it is, so are lots of other things — so, “Naaa!”

Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I’m not sure about the former.
–Albert Einstein

I keep recalling Einstein’s famous quote, because I keep coming across these situations that warrant it.  First there was the destruction of the Gulf of Mexico by British Petroleum and their friends (in the White House).  Now it’s the U.S. Department of Energy shamelessly prostituting for the nuke sugar daddies even as Japan is poised to go up in a radioactive cloud.

Oh yes, it could still happen.  It is — four days later — not “under control” at multiple reactors.  Yet the head of the DOE stood up and shilled for Big Nuke   — again — even as investors around the world have acquired half a clue, and are running from Godzilla as fast as their brokers will permit.   Meanwhile solar, wind and natural gas shares are surging ahead (Marketwatch) .

The nation’s top Energy Clown Stephen Chu said Tuesday:

…whenever there is a reactor near a (potential) earthquake site, we look to what’s the maximum size of that particular earthquake that geologists (say) can ever happen, and we design considerably above that. (CNN)

So, even as multiple Japanese reactors built by General Electric with the same design used on 23 plants operating in the US today literally explode on live TV, we are told that nothing like that could happen here.   Go back to sleep.   Geologists said we’re just fine.   Right?

It should be noted that these 23 excruciatingly badly designed nuke plants are Stephen Chu’s responsibility as head of the Department of Energy, while parroting nuclear industry propaganda is technically not Mr. Chu’s responsibility.   It’s not supposed to be, anyway.

The reactor at Diablo Canyon in Southern California   was built to withstand a 7.5 magnitude earthquake (Reuters).   Anything larger, then all bets are off.   The quake that hit Japan last week was a 9.0 or roughly 50 times greater movement than a 7.5 on the Richter scale.

Not to disappoint his campaign donors, their president Obama responded Tuesday:

Nuclear plants are designed to withstand certain levels of earthquakes, but having said that, nothing’s completely failsafe, nothing is completely foolproof, and so each time these kinds of events happen, I think it’s very important for us to examine how we can further improve the safety and performance of these plants.”
–Barack Obama, March 15, 2011 (CBS)

No, Mr. Obama.   The correct end of the sentence is: “”it’s very important for us to shut down these unsafe and unhealthy relics of the past and usher in a new age of clean, safe technologies.”

Things have gone from bad to worse, to worserer at the Japanese sites.   One of the problems is that the plants seem to have been designed expressly to hide the spent fuel pools from the public, and they are located directly above the reactors themselves and under the roofs that have since exploded from the hydrogen gas build ups.

The spent fuel rods are arguably far worse of a hazard than the reactors themselves!   If they go dry, these hot waste products ignite on their own and spew cesium-137 into the atmosphere.

Robert Alvarez, a senior policy adviser to the Energy Department’s secretary from 1993 to 1999, writes:

Particularly worrisome is the large amount of cesium-137 in fuel ponds, which contain anywhere from 20 to 50 million curies of this dangerous radioactive isotope. With a half-life of 30 years, cesium-137 gives off highly penetrating radiation and is absorbed in the food chain as if it were potassium.

In comparison, the 1986 Chernobyl accident released about 40 percent of the reactor core’s 6 million curies ” a major release of cesium-137 from a pool fire could render an area uninhabitable greater than created by the Chernobyl accident.

Tuesday afternoon, after Chu and Obama made what should be impeachable statements of utter incompetence, we have confirmation of the unthinkable:

Tokyo Electric Power Co., operator of the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant, said the fire was at its No. 4 reactor, where an earlier blaze in a nuclear fuel storage pond Tuesday exposed fuel rods and spewed radioactivity into the air. The utility said the original fire had not been fully extinguished and had flared anew in the outer housing of the reactor’s containment vessel. [emphasis added]
USA Today

The USA Today piece predictably avoids the cesium-137, the 20-50 million Curies and the comparison with Chernobyl, opting instead for the vague term “radiation,” which apparently sells better.   It’s better not to know, huh?

Another facet to this disaster is that the pumps began failing, which means failing to provide cooling water to the reactors.   If the reactors are not cooled constantly then they melt down and burn through their concrete containment vessels down into the earth, until they reach the water table below and the radioactive steam beneath explodes and spews radioactive gases uncontrollably: the China Syndrome.

Fools masquerading as “experts” were hyper-confident about the Japanese reactor situations as simultaneously we learned:

“Here [at the No. 2 reactor] pumps feeding in seawater failed, causing water levels to drop.

This exposed fuel rods, allowing them to overheat. Water flow was initially restored, then failed again, exposing the fuel rods for a second time.”
The Australian

So, the lives of hundreds of thousands of people, perhaps millions, dangle on the reliability of a couple of water pumps and valves that have just been through an earthquake, a tsunami and a hydrogen gas explosion.   Yet, the so-called “experts” who are called up by the corporate press to provide information to the American masses can easily rattle off their 100% assurances that it’s all fine and well.   And they do it with a straight face.

Is there an acting school the “experts” go through?   A training course of some sort?   What’s the pay?

The next imbecile who tells you that we cannot manage without nuclear power, punch the jerk in the face.

Unnecessary?

Yes.  Just like nuclear energy.   But I guess it has its own rewards.
Joe Giambrone is a novelist and filmmaker who moved to Redding Ca to hopefully get away from all this nuclear insanity.   He’s at polfilmblog — a t — gmail — dot — com.

 

Additional:

Harvey Wasserman discusses the Japan disaster.

 

Take Action:

President Obama: Reverse your support of risky nuclear power

Public Citizen: Halt New Reactors