Democratic Underground Latest Greatest Lobby Journals Search Options Help Login
Google

Don't Jump to Conclusions About Nuclear Reactors

Printer-friendly format Printer-friendly format
Printer-friendly format Email this thread to a friend
Printer-friendly format Bookmark this thread
This topic is archived.
Home » Discuss » General Discussion Donate to DU
 
Karmadillo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-04-11 05:20 AM
Original message
Don't Jump to Conclusions About Nuclear Reactors
Edited on Mon Apr-04-11 06:08 AM by Karmadillo
http://www.commondreams.org/view/2011/04/03-2

Don't Jump to Conclusions About Nuclear Reactors: Look at the Facts and Say No
by Erich Pica

<edit>

Today, more and more Americans are realizing that nuclear power should not have a part to play in the United States' energy future. Nuclear reactors are neither safe nor clean, and they are so economically risky that Wall Street refuses to finance them, forcing the risk onto American taxpayers. It is time to call for an end to this unsafe, poorly regulated and prohibitively expensive technology.

Nuclear proponents' claims that the industry is clean and safe miss the mark. It takes tons of fossil fuels to mine and transport uranium, leading to about 250,000 tons of CO2 each year during a 1,250 MW plant's lifetime. And, studies show that uranium miners in the American Southwest were exposed to radon 220, a radioactive gas, and as many as one in five developed lung cancer. A current proposal by a private company, Virginia Uranium, to mine in Pittsylvania County in southeast Virginia, overturning the Commonwealth's 30-year ban on uranium mining, has drawn opposition from residents downstream who rely on the Roanoke River Basin for drinking water.

It does not take a natural disaster to cause a nuclear crisis, and the United States is no stranger to these dangers. Three Mile Island is only the most famous example. According to a recent report by the Union of Concerned Scientists, in 2010 alone, mechanical, electrical and human errors caused "near-misses" at reactors in Alabama, Arkansas, California, Florida, Illinois, Kansas, Maryland, Nebraska, North Carolina, Ohio, and Virginia. That list only includes events that caused plants to shut down, not "routine" safety concerns like the aging drain pipes at the Vermont Yankee nuclear plant that were leaking radioactive tritium into the groundwater. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission allowed Vermont Yankee to continue operating for two weeks while workers searched for the source of the leak.

Possibly even more dangerous than the threats posed by reactors, there is still no way to safely dispose of spent fuel and other nuclear waste, which can remain dangerously radioactive for tens of thousands of years. In an LA Times op-ed last week, former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Energy for National Security and the Environment Robert Alvarez summarized a report he cowrote in 2003, which concluded that a fire in a spent fuel pool could do more damage than the Chernobyl disaster, potentially even leaving an area about half the size of New Jersey permanently uninhabitable. Yet, the NRC tried to ignore the report, and spent fuel pools are still spread across the country, including at Indian Point, just 38 miles from New York City. Although reports are shaky, NRC Chairman Gregory Jaczko told Congress that he believed there was no water in one of the spent fuel pools at Fukushima, and it is possible that there have been fires in one or more of the pools there in the past weeks, greatly increasing the possibility that there will be major long-term health effects from the damaged reactor.

more...
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
tomp Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-04-11 05:43 AM
Response to Original message
1. some of us said this 40 years ago.
did our govt listen?

the world is run by sociopaths and idiots.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
liberal N proud Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-04-11 05:59 AM
Response to Original message
2. Link
Edited on Mon Apr-04-11 05:59 AM by liberal N proud
Great article but where is the link?
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Karmadillo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-04-11 06:08 AM
Response to Reply #2
3. Fixed. Thanks for letting me know.
nt
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Kolesar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-04-11 06:09 AM
Response to Original message
4. Leaving an area half the size of NNew Jersey permanently uninhabitable.
This would go over well in the E/E forum
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
BeFree Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-04-11 10:46 AM
Response to Reply #4
6. heh
Most other species - cockroaches for example - are not as badly effected by radiation.
Deadly to humans, tho, and is why nuke power is the most anti-human proposition we have ever invented. If I were anti-human, I'd propose nukes be built everywhere.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
crickets Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-04-11 10:33 AM
Response to Original message
5. Excellent article
Those are some eye-opening facts about the amount of fossil fuels used to mine uranium, as well as the pollution factor before the fuel even reaches the plant. "Clean" energy indeed.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
1620rock Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-04-11 08:02 PM
Response to Reply #5
7. Sun and wind, clean and safe.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
spanone Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-04-11 08:03 PM
Response to Original message
8. no nukes
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
uppityperson Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-04-11 08:06 PM
Response to Original message
9. "there is still no way to safely dispose of spent fuel and other nuclear waste"
This is the deciding factor for me.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
DU AdBot (1000+ posts) Click to send private message to this author Click to view 
this author's profile Click to add 
this author to your buddy list Click to add 
this author to your Ignore list Wed Oct 22nd 2014, 01:55 AM
Response to Original message
Advertisements [?]
 Top

Home » Discuss » General Discussion Donate to DU

Powered by DCForum+ Version 1.1 Copyright 1997-2002 DCScripts.com
Software has been extensively modified by the DU administrators


Important Notices: By participating on this discussion board, visitors agree to abide by the rules outlined on our Rules page. Messages posted on the Democratic Underground Discussion Forums are the opinions of the individuals who post them, and do not necessarily represent the opinions of Democratic Underground, LLC.

Home  |  Discussion Forums  |  Journals |  Store  |  Donate

About DU  |  Contact Us  |  Privacy Policy

Got a message for Democratic Underground? Click here to send us a message.

© 2001 - 2011 Democratic Underground, LLC