In 2011 pro nuclear spin has taken on a new, urgent, and desperate turn. The Fukushima nuclear disaster has changed the global nuclear energy scene.
Now well-paid nuclear lobbyists, and others in the nuclear establishment are working overtime to neutralise the information coming out of the Japanese catastrophe.
Let’s examine some of the present urgent issues for the Nuclear Establishment:
1. Ionising Radiation. They are all out to downplay its health effects. And in doing this, they can call on some big guns. Take the World Health Organisation.
On May 28, 1959, at the 12th World Health Assembly, WHO drew up an agreement with the International Atomic Energy Agency. A clause of this agreement says the WHO effectively grants the right of prior approval over any research it might undertake or report on to the IAEA – a group that many people, including journalists, think is a neutral watchdog, but which is, in fact, an advocate for the nuclear power industry. Its founding papers state: ”The agency shall seek to accelerate and enlarge the contribution of atomic energy to peace, health and prosperity through the world.”
The WHO’s subjugation to the IAEA is widely known within the scientific radiation community,.. http://www.theage.com.au/opinion/society-and-culture/nuclear-apologists-play-shoot-the-messenger-on-radiation-20110425-1du2w.html#ixzz1KfXmalLq
From Japan,of course, comes limited and confusing information, on the continuing leakage of radiation. The Japanese government has blocked Greenpeace from monitoring seawater in the Fukushima area. Meanwhile Japan changes the rules on what level of radiation is “acceptable”for nuclear workers and for children. http://japanfocus.org/-Japan-Focus/3523
The nuclear lobby relentlessly pushes the public need for the “consumer culture” to use more and more energy. Fear is engendered: “The lights will go out without nuclear” Meanwhile there is a small, but strong and growing global movement towards a sustainable lifestyle.
China is the often touted example of unbridled growth in energy use, requiring lots of nuclear power. Yet China is predicted to reach its peak energy within a few years. And China is very actively developing renewable energy
3. Costs The nuclear industry avoids including cleanup costs in its estimates. As for Fukushima, well , Victor Gilinsky, a former member of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission said that the Fukushima cleanup would cost more than the $100 -$130 billion planned to clean up Washington State’s Hanford Nuclear Reservation.
Ukraine is struggling to get donations from abroad to try to stop the continuing radiation and danger from Chernobyl.
The costs of new nuclear plants are clearly prohibitive. The costs of maintaining, securing, existing plants are underestimated. The spin game is now to obscure these costs by passing them on to the taxpayer. This is easier where the State runs the nuclear program. Nuclear costs are quite obscure for China, Russia, France.
4. Nuclear as solution to global warming. (The nuclear lobby has a bit of trouble with this one, as many ardent nuclear supporters are at the same time ardent Climate Change Deniers.) “To meet the indispensable goal of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) for reducing global greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 to a level of 40 percent below what they are today, and to rely on nuclear power for achieving that goal, would mean that 2500 additional 1000 MW atomic reactors would be needed. That is equivalent to more than one new reactor each week for the next fifty years!” http://www.voxy.co.nz/national/world-council-renewable-energy-demands-global-ban-new-nuclear-power/5/88945
And that is not counting the huge greenhouse gas emissions from uranium mining, facility building, fuel transport, and cleanup works.
5. Safety. Here’s where nuclear spruikers are in their glory, as they tout all the coming stuff – new new nuclear – Generation 3, Generation 4, Thorium reactors. Oh dear – Fukushima just shows how much safer all these are. Never mind that they are untested – the message is that you poor ignorant peasants just don’t understand the technicalities – so don’t worry about it – the nuclear experts have safety in hand.
While those 5 issues are favourite ones for the Nuclear establishment’s spin machine there are several others. Some of them are generally placed in the “too hard basket”. Notably the question of the ever mounting dangerous nuclear wastes, of uranium mining’s environmental and health effects, of increasing risks of nuclear weapons proliferation.
On the whole – those issues are either not mentioned at all, or the nuclear spin doctors just tell lies about solutions that do not, in fact exist.
As the nuclear industry winds down, , with its costly, ageing, failing, reactors – we are now getting a whole lotta Nuclear spin – it’s a big expensive operation – run by a small well-paid army. The funding filters down from military-industrial complex, mining and energy corporations, through various “front groups’, and ‘think tanks’ – to well-paid spruikers.
The groups and individuals pictured are just a few of the officers of this nuclear spin army. Increasingly now, they pose as environmentalists. And today’s nuclear spindoctors talk about global warming and energy demand- spruiking nuclear power as the solution.
Lately, these well-funded nuclear spinners have become more sophisticated. True, in China, where critical inquiry and dissent are suppressed, nuclear spinning still uses clearly false terms like “renewable’.
Tabloid media still publishes terms like “clean” and “green” – although nuclear energy is neither of these.
But, as the public becomes wary of words like ‘nuclear’, and ‘radioactive’, today’s spinners promote bland and ambiguous terms - “low carbon” and “restricted solid wastes”
Of course, there is still a useful tactic in using words to discredit opponents of the nuclear industry . It is especially handy when strong factual information is presented against nuclear power. On such occasions words like “emotional”, and “hysterical” can be used.
One nuclear spinner deserves special mention. The Clean and Safe Energy Coalition (CASEnergy)’s most public spokesperson, Patrick Moore, is touted world-wide as a “environmentalist ” for nuclear power. Mooore, once a member of Greenpeace, has now spent more time working as a PR consultant to the logging, mining, biotech, nuclear and other industries than he did as an environmental activist. The San Francisco Chronicle, the Boston Herald, the Baltimore Sun, the Richmond Times-Dispatch, the Rocky Mountain News, The New York Times, and CBS News all referred to Moore as either a Greenpeace founder or an environmentalist, without mentioning that he is also a paid spokesman for the nuclear industry.”
While we eagerly await Greenpeace’s “Nuclear Spin Award” for 2010, we think it’s worth reviewing last year’s award. Not much has changed!
The Nuclear Reaction Awards 2009: The Best Nuclear Spin Award , Greenpeace, by Aslihan – December 28, 2009 Welcome to the second annual Nuclear Reaction Awards. As the year comes to its close we’d like to recognise those who have help make the nuclear industry the over-subsidised and under-scrutinised joke it is today.
Today’s Award: The Best Nuclear Spin of 2009
As the nuclear industry and its supporters have struggled to coax an increasingly reluctant nuclear ‘renaissance’ off the ground, spin has been everywhere this year. There were many highlights for us.
- Beautiful propaganda paintings of nuclear power in lush, green, unpolluted settings.
- French nuclear corporation AREVA promoting its business in America with full page magazine adverts but not once using the word ‘nuclear’ .
- The continuing desperate push to rebrand nuclear energy (with its uranium mine contamination and high-level waste) as ‘clean’.
In the end we can choose only one. For us the finest piece of spin this year was the nuclear industry’s continuing attempt to convince us that the nuclear ‘renaissance’ is actually happening. Just look.
The construction of the so-called state of the art EPR reactors at Olkiluoto, Finland and Flamanville, France continue to descend further and further into over-budget and behind-schedule farce. The Olkiluoto EPR single-handedly destroyed AREVA’s profits this year. AREVA is now conducting a very public fight with its Finnish customer TVO. The UK nuclear industry is already being subsidised by the public before new reactor designs are off the drawing table. Those new reactor designs safety features have been heavily criticised by nuclear safety regulators in the UK, Finland, France and the US.
Then there are worries about uranium shortages in India and China New nuclear reactor projects cancelled or in trouble in Canada, Turkey, Bulgaria, Texas, Alabama and elsewhere. Citigroup calling new nuclear reactors ‘corporate killers’.
So where is the nuclear ‘renaissance’? It’s everywhere and yet it’s nowhere. It’s all talk. We salute the nuclear industry’s spin doctors for fashioning such an exquisitely intangible creation.
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