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Sat Sep 7, 2013, 10:51 AM

Holy Cow: Former Chairman of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission Says Every Single Reactor in the U.S.

http://www.alternet.org/environment/former-chairman-nuclear-regulatory-commission-says-every-single-reactor-us-should-be

Holy Cow: Former Chairman of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission Says Every Single Reactor in the U.S. Should Be Shut Down
September 4, 2013

The first thing to remember about nuclear power is that it’s not safe. Just ask Japan.

The second thing to remember is that nuclear power isn’t cheap. Connecticut draws half its juice from nuclear reactors and has the second-highest rates in the country, after Hawaii.

The third thing to know is that everybody lies about it. The power plant designers lie, the builders lie, the utility companies lie, the regulators lie, and the politicians lie.

~snip~

But kids living downwind are already getting thyroid cancer, fish in the nearby sea are no longer safe to eat, and radioactive tuna are cruising the California coast. As with the Chernobyl disaster, tens of thousands of people may never be free to return home.

42 replies, 4651 views

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Reply Holy Cow: Former Chairman of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission Says Every Single Reactor in the U.S. (Original post)
unhappycamper Sep 2013 OP
MotherPetrie Sep 2013 #1
Baitball Blogger Sep 2013 #2
Chaco Dundee Sep 2013 #29
Neoma Sep 2013 #41
Baitball Blogger Sep 2013 #42
LineReply !
blkmusclmachine Sep 2013 #3
SunSeeker Sep 2013 #4
MrMickeysMom Sep 2013 #39
felix_numinous Sep 2013 #5
jwirr Sep 2013 #6
cstanleytech Sep 2013 #7
Cleita Sep 2013 #8
HumansAndResources Sep 2013 #33
shireen Sep 2013 #9
proverbialwisdom Sep 2013 #10
Kablooie Sep 2013 #11
RC Sep 2013 #17
Kablooie Sep 2013 #18
RC Sep 2013 #21
cui bono Sep 2013 #19
RC Sep 2013 #20
sanatanadharma Sep 2013 #12
dotymed Sep 2013 #35
CrispyQ Sep 2013 #13
WillyT Sep 2013 #14
bvar22 Sep 2013 #15
arikara Sep 2013 #16
love_katz Sep 2013 #22
MrModerate Sep 2013 #23
kristopher Sep 2013 #24
MrModerate Sep 2013 #25
bananas Sep 2013 #30
factsarenotfair Sep 2013 #26
tecelote Sep 2013 #27
nolabels Sep 2013 #28
pnwmom Sep 2013 #31
rhett o rick Sep 2013 #32
grahamhgreen Sep 2013 #34
dotymed Sep 2013 #36
bananas Sep 2013 #40
Enthusiast Sep 2013 #37
rickford66 Sep 2013 #38

Response to unhappycamper (Original post)

Sat Sep 7, 2013, 11:02 AM

1. K&R

 

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Response to unhappycamper (Original post)

Sat Sep 7, 2013, 11:27 AM

2. We are so ready for solar energy.

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Response to Baitball Blogger (Reply #2)

Sat Sep 7, 2013, 11:30 PM

29. yessssss.

Solar power,wind power where ever possible and tesla transportation with zero impact .

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Response to Baitball Blogger (Reply #2)

Mon Sep 9, 2013, 11:18 AM

41. I think we should put them over cars in parking lots for shade.

I mean, I keep hearing how we don't have the space, blah, blah. This solves it.

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Response to Neoma (Reply #41)

Mon Sep 9, 2013, 11:22 AM

42. I look forward to the day that they have been so nano'ed that they are

embedded in every roof shingle.

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Response to unhappycamper (Original post)

Sat Sep 7, 2013, 12:01 PM

4. They should have never been built. We didn't know what to do with the waste then, nor now. nt

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Response to SunSeeker (Reply #4)

Sun Sep 8, 2013, 02:38 PM

39. Yet, at least two more of them are being constructed here quietly

... Well, I don't have a link on what I repeated from a patient who was in "the field" and is involved in setting it up. I do recall that he said one is being constructed in South Carolina.



on edit: Oh, I guess I'm right.. here's their update: http://www.scana.com/NR/rdonlyres/FD5FC097-3956-48A6-9098-2C2D115C8512/0/NNDQuarterlyReport2013Q2FINAL81413PUBLIC.pdf

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Response to unhappycamper (Original post)

Sat Sep 7, 2013, 12:07 PM

5. Wow. I half expected the usual

'They are all safe' rhetoric, but this is a game changer. The TRUTH will set us free--but not before convincing people to stop believing all the lies.

We should start the process of decommissioning nuclear power plants, starting with the ones in highest risk areas, and systematically replace them with sustainable sources like Germany successfully did.

This will be a gift to the world and ALL future generations. It could also employ millions of workers!!!!

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Response to unhappycamper (Original post)

Sat Sep 7, 2013, 12:07 PM

6. Most of them are extremely old and in this country they were probably built to be replaced in so

many years - like everthing else - which makes this OP no surprise. Where is the newest nuke in the USA located?

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Response to unhappycamper (Original post)

Sat Sep 7, 2013, 12:08 PM

7. You really might want to consider linking to the article itself for people also not

cherry picking might help earn more support because in the article it clearly states


"Shutting them all down at once is not practical, he said, but he supports phasing them out rather than trying to extend their lives."

Oh and yes I fully support phasing the damn things out worldwide as they are to dang dangerous and should be mothballed asap.

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Response to unhappycamper (Original post)

Sat Sep 7, 2013, 12:10 PM

8. I'm living downwind from El Diablo, that is only one huge earthquake and accompanying

tsunami from a Fukushima type disaster, yet it still operates no matter how hard activists try to get it decommissioned. The problem partly is because in an area that regularly has high unemployment, it's a major employer, so it's hard to get people to agree to lose their livelihood even though it could potentially cause them to lose their lives in the future.

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Response to Cleita (Reply #8)

Sun Sep 8, 2013, 02:29 AM

33. Solution: Paradigm Where People Don't Require "Paycheck-Permission To Live"

 

As with most of our problems, it boils down to ending wage-slavery, by returning our Planet to Us.

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Response to unhappycamper (Original post)

Sat Sep 7, 2013, 12:34 PM

9. not enough research is being done to study long-term radiation effects

I wrote about it last week, based on some papers published by scientists who studied tumors, albinism, and cataracts in birds, and changes in trees, in the exclusion zone.

http://earthsky.org/human-world/understanding-the-radioactive-legacy-of-chernobyl-and-fukushima

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Response to unhappycamper (Original post)

Sat Sep 7, 2013, 12:39 PM

10. NYT, April 8, 2013: Ex-Regulator Says Reactors Are Flawed

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/09/us/ex-regulator-says-nuclear-reactors-in-united-states-are-flawed.html?_r=0

April 8, 2013
Ex-Regulator Says Reactors Are Flawed
By MATTHEW L. WALD


WASHINGTON — All 104 nuclear power reactors now in operation in the United States have a safety problem that cannot be fixed and they should be replaced with newer technology, the former chairman of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission said on Monday. Shutting them all down at once is not practical, he said, but he supports phasing them out rather than trying to extend their lives.

The position of the former chairman, Gregory B. Jaczko, is not unusual in that various anti-nuclear groups take the same stance. But it is highly unusual for a former head of the nuclear commission to so bluntly criticize an industry whose safety he was previously in charge of ensuring.

Asked why he did not make these points when he was chairman, Dr. Jaczko said in an interview after his remarks, “I didn’t really come to it until recently.”

“I was just thinking about the issues more, and watching as the industry and the regulators and the whole nuclear safety community continues to try to figure out how to address these very, very difficult problems,” which were made more evident by the 2011 Fukushima nuclear accident in Japan, he said. “Continuing to put Band-Aid on Band-Aid is not going to fix the problem.”

Dr. Jaczko made his remarks at the Carnegie International Nuclear Policy Conference in Washington in a session about the Fukushima accident. Dr. Jaczko said that many American reactors that had received permission from the nuclear commission to operate for 20 years beyond their initial 40-year licenses probably would not last that long. He also rejected as unfeasible changes proposed by the commission that would allow reactor owners to apply for a second 20-year extension, meaning that some reactors would run for a total of 80 years.

<>

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Response to unhappycamper (Original post)

Sat Sep 7, 2013, 12:53 PM

11. Even if we close them all down the radioactive waste must be managed.

They have to keep tons of radioactive waste away from all human contact for 10,000 up to 15 million years.

This might be a difficult challenge, ya think?

Our solution so far is to store them on site in irrigated water tanks or large cement and metal containers which all need constant monitoring for malfunction or degradation.
Someone will have to pay to maintain this monitoring system, along with associated repair and refurbishment costs, for the next 15 million years just so we could have a few decades of cheap electricity.
The penalty for allowing this monitoring to lapse could be sickness and death for large segments of the population.

I don't think our generation will be looked at kindly by history even after our civilization is gone and forgotten.




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Response to Kablooie (Reply #11)

Sat Sep 7, 2013, 05:53 PM

17. What make you think we humans will be around for 10,000 years

 

If Obama has his way, it could be all over in 10 years.

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Response to RC (Reply #17)

Sat Sep 7, 2013, 06:39 PM

18. Oh we'll be around.

We might just be dead fossils embedded in rock but we'll be around.

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Response to Kablooie (Reply #18)

Sat Sep 7, 2013, 07:45 PM

21. That's a comforting thought.

 

A few petrified bones in some layer of strata. The Earth and Mother nature will be so relieved to be rid of us.

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Response to RC (Reply #17)

Sat Sep 7, 2013, 06:57 PM

19. Okay, I'm a big critic of Obama but I don't think you can blame the end of humanity on him.

Seriously.

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Response to cui bono (Reply #19)

Sat Sep 7, 2013, 07:43 PM

20. If Syria goes sideways and draws in Russia and/or china, it most certainly can.

 

There has to be a limit to what the rest of the world will tolerate, with our world wide bullying and meddling, in places we have no real business being.

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Response to unhappycamper (Original post)

Sat Sep 7, 2013, 01:13 PM

12. Price-Anderson Act

Whenever nuclear power is discussed in this country, the Price-Anderson Act must be mentioned.
That capitalists ask for government guarantees against risk proves, ifso facto, that the capitalists do not trust capitalism. Capitalism itself is supposed to be the "risk pool", not the taxpayers who never profit from loss of the commons.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Price_Anderson_Act

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Response to sanatanadharma (Reply #12)

Sun Sep 8, 2013, 06:34 AM

35. does this include

depleted uranium?
Does anyone know why this is included in the MIC arsenal? Is it just a way to dispose of some nuclear waste without
causing a large outcry since we are using against their (not mine) enemies?

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Response to unhappycamper (Original post)

Sat Sep 7, 2013, 01:33 PM

13. This:

Unlike at a coal-fired power plant, you can’t just hit the off switch if there’s a flood, drought, or power failure. All those spent nuclear fuel rods have to be cooled for years to come, whether you have water handy or not.


I watched some show on A&E about the world after humans are gone. The nuke plants are a big issue. Well, not for us, but wow, the pinnacle of creation fouled their nest thoroughly.

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Response to unhappycamper (Original post)

Sat Sep 7, 2013, 01:36 PM

14. K & R !!!


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Response to unhappycamper (Original post)

Sat Sep 7, 2013, 03:11 PM

15. But they're "just venting a little steam."

I know science,
and these modern plants are perfectly SAFE
because they have Redundant Back Up Systems.
Did I mention the I know Science, and you DON'T?

These plants are so safe they can be built on known Earthquake faults and Tsunami Zones!!!

You should listen to ME
because I know Science,
and YOU are just an anti-progress Henny Penny Luddite cretin.
Did I mention that I KNOW SCIENCE??!!!

They are just venting a LITTLE STEAM...Gawddammit you fools and Luddites!!!
Listen to ME!!!


<a stroll down DU Nostalgia Lane.>

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Response to bvar22 (Reply #15)

Sat Sep 7, 2013, 05:27 PM

16. Sad but oh so true

There's way too much that these pick'n'choose "science" types are messing around with. Bought and paid for by a corporation near you of course.

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Response to unhappycamper (Original post)

Sat Sep 7, 2013, 08:14 PM

22. K&R...

wishing we could kick the nuke plants right off the planet, along with their forever problem of toxic waste.

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Response to unhappycamper (Original post)

Sat Sep 7, 2013, 08:18 PM

23. Unfortunately, the NYT article doesn't explain . . .

Just what Jaszko (sp?) thinks the flaw is that prevents licenses being extended. (The mention of decay heat is, IMO, a red herring.)

It also points out that he was consistently opposed to the one workable solution to disposing of expended fuel rods -- the Yucca Mountain repository -- which suggests his NRC role was as devil's advocate.

This whole story is somewhat garbled.

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Response to MrModerate (Reply #23)

Sat Sep 7, 2013, 08:57 PM

24. Flaw = the technology can't be proofed against meltdown and release of contamination

I'm pretty sure that at least part of his reasoning focuses on the fact that nuclear regulators are servants of the nuclear industry. For example, instead of immediately correcting the issues raised by Fukushima for about 25% of our reactors, the regulators bowed to nuclear industry cost concerns and let the plant owners/operators do the upgrades at some undetermined date in the future when they (the people paying for the upgrades) thought the time appropriate.

That lack of a legitimate human control system means that the technology simply CANNOT be made safe. I believe Jaczko said something to the effect that you can have inexpensive nuclear or you can have safe nuclear, but you can't have both.

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Response to kristopher (Reply #24)

Sat Sep 7, 2013, 09:05 PM

25. OK, that helps a bit . . .

I can follow that.

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Response to MrModerate (Reply #23)

Sun Sep 8, 2013, 12:36 AM

30. The new NRC head is a geologist who knows that Yucca Mountain is unsuitable

In a 2009 interview, she gave a quick explananation:

http://www.technologyreview.com/qa/414029/life-after-yucca-mountain/

Life after Yucca Mountain

Geologist Allison MacFarlane on the future of nuclear waste–and what it means for nuclear power.

By David Talbot on June 23, 2009

<snip>

Allison Macfarlane, a geologist at George Mason University and the editor of Uncertainty Underground: Yucca Mountain and the Nation’s High-Level Nuclear Waste, is a leading technical expert on nuclear-waste disposal who recently sat on a National Research Council committee evaluating the Department of Energy’s nuclear-power R&D programs. She spoke with David Talbot, Technology Review’s chief correspondent, about the future of nuclear waste–and what it means for the future of nuclear power.

<snip>

TR: Only last year, the Bush administration filed the necessary application with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to construct Yucca. Now Obama’s energy secretary, Steven Chu, says Yucca is “off the table.” Is it really unsuitable?

AM: Yes. The area is seismically and volcanically active. More significantly, the repository would have an oxidizing environment–meaning materials there would be exposed to free oxygen in the air. Neither spent nuclear fuel nor canister materials are stable in such an environment in the presence of water. The United States is the only country that is considering a repository in an oxidizing environment.

TR: Then why was Yucca Mountain the government’s choice for 22 years?

AM: Mostly political reasons. Originally three sites were considered: Yucca, and ones in Texas and Washington State. Congress balked at the price tag of characterizing three sites at once. In the ensuing fight to keep the waste program alive, Nevada was the politically weakest of the three and lost the battle.

TR: Politics helped end the matter, too. Nevada’s senior senator, Harry Reid, is now Senate majority leader and has long opposed Yucca.

AM: Maybe–but the technical objections are serious and real.

<snip>


As you can see, your statement "the one workable solution to disposing of expended fuel rods -- the Yucca Mountain repository" is incorrect, it's based on industry PR and political propaganda. Yucca Mountain is one of the worst options, it was forced on Nevada for political reasons.

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Response to unhappycamper (Original post)

Sat Sep 7, 2013, 09:21 PM

26. I think that peaceful nuclear power is more of a threat to humanity than chemical warfare.

However, I don't think President Obama agrees.

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Response to unhappycamper (Original post)

Sat Sep 7, 2013, 09:47 PM

27. K&R

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Response to unhappycamper (Original post)

Sat Sep 7, 2013, 10:18 PM

28. Hell Yea, shut them down

Solar is way more efficient per cost comparisons between the two, for effort and dollars

And when it comes to boiling water it just makes more sense just to use a pot on the stove

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Response to unhappycamper (Original post)

Sun Sep 8, 2013, 12:42 AM

31. He says they should all be gradually phased out and replaced with newer technology.

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/09/us/ex-regulator-says-nuclear-reactors-in-united-states-are-flawed.html

All 104 nuclear power reactors now in operation in the United States have a safety problem that cannot be fixed and they should be replaced with newer technology, the former chairman of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission said on Monday. Shutting them all down at once is not practical, he said, but he supports phasing them out rather than trying to extend their lives.

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Response to pnwmom (Reply #31)

Sun Sep 8, 2013, 01:42 AM

32. This makes a lot of sense. nm

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Response to unhappycamper (Original post)

Sun Sep 8, 2013, 05:22 AM

34. As Obama opens two nukes in GA

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Response to grahamhgreen (Reply #34)

Sun Sep 8, 2013, 06:46 AM

36. IMO, he is not a Democrat.

The closest politician we have to a real Democrat is a Democratic Socialist. He IS great. Citizens United killed any chance of Democracy..

purposely.

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Response to dotymed (Reply #36)

Sun Sep 8, 2013, 10:31 PM

40. Obama and Chomsky agree

"Obama: I Would Be Considered Moderate Republican In 1980s - ABC News"
http://www.democraticunderground.com/101793318

"Noam Chomsky: Obama Would Have Been Called a ‘Moderate Republican’ in Recent Decades"
http://www.alternet.org/news-amp-politics/noam-chomsky-obama-would-have-been-called-moderate-republican-recent-decades

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Response to unhappycamper (Original post)

Sun Sep 8, 2013, 07:09 AM

37. "We don't have the money to fix it."

Maybe if we start a 'new and improved' war we can forget about it. Cut entitlements, now!

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Response to unhappycamper (Original post)

Sun Sep 8, 2013, 09:49 AM

38. Now they tell me

When I was a kid, they told me a spoon full of uranium would supply so much safe, cheap energy that our electric meters would run backwards.

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