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The News That Matters about the Nuclear Industry Fukushima Chernobyl Mayak Three Mile Island Atomic Testing Radiation Isotope

Expanding nuclear power will reduce and retard climate protection.

globalnukeNO“[E]xpanding nuclear power is uneconomic, is unnecessary, is not undergoing the claimed renaissancetext-relevant in the global marketplace … and, most importantly, will reduce and retard climate protection.

Nuclear Power: Dead in the Water it Poisoned, CounterPunch,  by JOHN LAFORGE    NOVEMBER 5, 2015  On Feb. 11, 1985, the cover page of Forbes thundered, “The failure of the U.S. nuclear power program ranks as the largest managerial disaster in business history, a disaster on a monumental scale.…”

Fourteen months later, reactor No. 4 at Chernobyl exploded and burned for 40 days, spreading radioactive fallout across the entire Northern Hemisphere, depositing cesium-137 in Minnesota’s milk[1]and Japan’s topsoil.[2]

So how is it that Congressional representatives, TV network pundits, FOX ditto heads and even CNN program directors still promote nuclear power?

Part of the answer comes from American University researcher Judy Pasternak and her students. According to Pasternak’s 2010 study, the nuclear industry spent $645 million over 10 years lobbying Capitol Hill, and another $63 million in campaign contributions over the same period.[3] Between 1999 and 2008, these millions manufactured the canard that nuclear power is “carbon free,” “clean” and can “help fend off climate change.” Prior to this spending blitz, the US nuclear power program was, because of the shock of accidents at Three Mile Island in 1979 and Chernobyl in 1986, “pretty well dead in the water” — in the words of economist and author Jeremy Rifkin.[4]

The lobbyists and check writers worked hard spinning the yarn that the richest and most pollution-intensive industrialists on earth were concerned about climate change and wanted to cut carbon emissions — but they didn’t convince everybody.

Independent scientists, free of corporate blinders and the market imperative of short term profit, scoff at “green nuke” propaganda. Arjun Makhijani, President of Institute for Environmental and Energy Research, Amory Lovins, co-founder and Chief Scientist of the Rocky Mountain Institute, and Rifkin have all demonstrated how a nuclear “renaissance” — to replace the 400 old reactors now rattling apart worldwide and get to the total of 1,600 that Rifkin says are needed for a minimum impact on climate disruption — would require that we build three new reactors every 30 days for 40 years.[5]

The impossibility of such a reactor-building offensive is evident all around the US. Reactors at Vermont Yankee, Kewaunee in Wis., and San Onofre in Calif. are all down to dismantlement long before their licenses expire. Last November, TXU, Inc., owners of the Comanche Peak station 40 miles southwest of Fort Worth announced the cancellation of their long-awaited expansion. TXU intended to double its poison footprint and add two new reactors, but as Univ. of Texas engineering professor Ross Baldick told Dallas Morning News, “Currently, it’s just not competitive with gas. Nuclear’s capital costs are so high you can’t win on it.”[6]

Exelon Corp., the largest commercial reactor operator in the US with 22, announced last June that it would scrap plans to expand production at two sites. The firm said it was cancelling construction at the La Salle station in Illinois and its Limerick site in Pennsylvania.[7]In August, Duke Energy Florida cancelled its two-reactor Levy County project after estimated costs had rocketed 400% about $5 billion each to $24 billion. “It turns out,” Time magazine reported, “that new [reactors] would be not just extremely expensive but spectacularly expensive.” [8] Duke previously suspended plans for new reactors at Shearon Harris, NC.

Switzerland will phase out all five of its reactors by 2034, [9] and Germany will mothball its 17 by 2022. Italy has renewed its pre-Fukushima promise to go nuclear-free, and Taiwan is on the verge of a phase-out announcement. Venezuela and Israel, both of which had reactor plans, have cancelled them.

The “clean nuclear power” corner notably won the backing of a few VIPs, notably James Hanson, formerly of NASA, and Whole Earth Catalogue founder Stewart Brand. Less well noted is Amory Lovins’ scathing deconstruction of the nuclear chapter of Brand’s 2009 bookWhole Earth Discipline. Lovins sums up “Four Nuclear Myths” this way:

“[E]xpanding nuclear power is uneconomic, is unnecessary, is not undergoing the claimed renaissance in the global marketplace … and, most importantly, will reduce and retard climate protection. That’s because … new nuclear power is so costly and slow that … it will save about 2-20 times less carbon per dollar, and about 20-40 times less carbon per year, than investing instead in the market winners: efficient use of electricity and what The Economist calls ‘micro-power,’ comprising distributed renewables (renewables with mass-produced units, i.e., those other than big hydro dams), and cogenerating electricity together with useful heat in factories and buildings.”[10] [Emphasis in original]

Plumes of disinformation…….   http://www.counterpunch.org/2015/11/05/nuclear-power-dead-in-the-water-it-poisoned/

 

November 6, 2015 - Posted by | spinbuster, USA

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