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

Promises, promises — the media keeps buying the tired old nuclear spin marketing small reactors

Promises, promises — Beyond Nuclear International– Sometimes it’s “Promises promises”. On other days it’s “Another one bites the dust”.

Nuclear power is failing. So why does news coverage suggest the opposite?

By Linda Pentz Gunter  5 Oct 20, Sometimes it’s “Promises promises”. On other days it’s “Another one bites the dust”………

 the unavoidable story, no matter what myths the pro-nuclear propagandists try to spin. Reality has an annoying habit of grabbing the headlines. And right now, those read:

“Fresh delays at EDF’s Flamanville 3”

“Scottish nuclear power station to shut down early after reactor problems”

“Hitachi ‘withdraws’ from £20bn Wylfa project”

“Olkiluoto-3 nuclear power plant 11 months behind latest schedule”

“Nuclear reactor in France shut down over drought”

“Exelon vows to shut down Byron, Dresden nuclear plants”

And so on.

However, despite this breaking news, you have to sort through a lot of aspirational chaff to find these headlines. The majority of articles about nuclear power are still centered around a rosy future as a climate-busting, jobs-providing cornerstone of any energy policy. 

And the majority of politicians in countries where nuclear power still holds sway continue to support it. Why do we let them? Because they think we want them to. As linguistic and messaging guru, George Lakoff, so often repeats: “Voters don’t vote their self-interest. They vote their values.”

So when a nuclear company, or a politician, trumpets instant, well-paying jobs, voters line up to support it too. No matter that nuclear jobs are not likely to be instant, safe or long-lasting, will destroy the environment and do nothing for climate change — and even, in the case of promised new nuclear plants like Summer in South Carolina or Wylfa-B in Wales, may never materialize at all. A boost to the local economy is a good soundbite. Why look behind the arras, only to find nothing there?

But when the media looks behind the nuclear arras they find small modular reactors, micro reactors, “new generation” reactors, and the perpetual promise of fusion. And they interpret this as news, even though none of these reactor designs are new and fusion has been decades away for, well, decades.

These “new” nuclear developments are also often reported on as if they are actually happening. Such overstatements are routinely exposed in the annual World Industry Status Report, (a veritable Bible of empirical data, with the 2020 edition just released last week), which looks into the substance of such breaking news and finds it is almost always aspirational. Take a closer look and it is all about plans, not reality.

The same with alleged turncoats. The media love them.

So we get Zion Lights, a refugee from Extinction Rebellion UK, who is getting plenty of ink and headlines for her new found pro-nuclear delusions. She has positioned herself as an ex-co-leader of XR, a false claim the movement has corrected in a thorough takedown of Lights and her boss, Michael Shellenberger, which we published last week……….

October 6, 2020 - Posted by | 2 WORLD, media, spinbuster

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