This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on June 28, 2011 6:44 PM. The previous post in this blog was Meanwhile, at the New Mexico nuke crisis.... The next post in this blog is Randy Leonard packs it in. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Worth a thousand words

The governor of Iowa has posted -- on Facebook of all places -- some photos, taken yesterday, of the flooded Fort Calhoun nuclear plant, just across the Missouri "River" from his state, in Omaha. This one's pretty telling:

That round white building slightly up left from center? That's a 38-year-old nuclear reactor. There is 38 years' worth of high-level nuclear waste in that complex. But remember, there's nothing to worry about.

Comments (15)

Thanks for bringing this forward... a friend is in New Mexico fighting the fire down there.... I was hoping that the new Nanotechnologies were going to be able to neutralize this nuclear waist.

ooops waste!

Once while at the Hanford nuclear reservation, it reminded me of the Dr. Seuss book 'The Cat in the Hat Comes Back'. No matter how many contractors tried their hands at clean-up, the deadly contaminants are still there and spreading.

I think we are living the unwritten, weirdest chapter yet and there are no cats xy and z to clean up this mess.

I think I can pinpoint one area where we went wrong with nuclear power. It's the assumption that the level of ethical behavior by corporations would rise up to match the seriousness of splitting atoms. You'd hope the meeting would include someone saying, "If we blow this we could kill millions so let's approach it that way and take 1,000 times more precautions than if we were building Toyota accelerators, etc...."
Instead the nuclear power industry has taken a typical corporate approach: Every possible corner has been cut and misinformation, spin, and lies flow from the corporate spokespeople with the same ease as if they were bluffing their way through the latest toy recall.
That's how it works right? There's normally a few people who eat it badly when any product is out there. Some people get burned by exploding batteries in their laptops. Others purchase an outdoor table from Martha Stewart and it explodes on them. It's part of doing business. There are casualties. Corporate America has long ago made peace with the idea of killing even large numbers of consumers. Just look at Big Tobacco.
But this was different. The numbers from a nuclear accident can be mind-blowing, so we assumed nuclear power would generate a degree of caring commensurate with the magnitude of what they were trying to do. Somewhere in the public there's still the belief that basic decency plays more of a role, just out of respect for how bad the consequences can be.

Obviously, it didn't. It's disappointing to realize that these energy companies are basically willing to trash the world in pursuit of the buck and then use their political clout to deal with the fallout - just like any other big business.

It reenforces my opinion that we must view these corporations as a separate and competing life form.

Sheila: I attended the recent hearing on making Hanford the national repository for nuclear waste. I am happy to say the auditorium was packed. The last speaker was a man, a scientist or engineer, who had retired after spending most of his working life at Hanford dealing with the waste problem. He said, honestly, that it really isn’t accurate to talk about “cleaning up Hanford,” because it is actually impossible to ever clean the site up.

Let's just hope the feds don’t, in view of that, write the Northwest off as a national sacrifice zone. I think they will get a tremendous fight if they do.

Bill nailed it -- we must view these corporations as a separate and competing life form.

Revoking the Corporation by Richard Grossman

Abolish All Corporate Constitutional Rights

Hanford is a government facility. Fort Calhoun is a public power facility. I'm not sure what "corporations" we're supposed to be mad at here.

On issues like this, I miss tenskwatawa.

I'm not sure what "corporations" we're supposed to be mad at here.

Westinghouse, G.E., the corporations that built the place, the corporations that make the nuclear fuel, the corporations that dump the waste...

Bill and Shiela nail it.

Remember, Hanford is where the old Soviet work rule lives on: "They pretend to pay us and we pretend to work.". Only the pay at Hanford isn't pretend, it's enough to buy a lot of silence.

The whole DOE strategy is to pump just enough money into "cleanup" to keep the states from suing and having the American people really learn, in a Katrina type revelation, that there is no plan for dealing with nuclear waste that's credible, because a credible plan costs so freaking much money that even discussing it would immediately stop the conversation.

America is now deep in Egyption mode, fully dependent on denial as the only plausible coping strategy for dealing with a number of bad decisions made in post-war hubris that are going to become progressively more and more catastrophic as our fiscal ability to manage things fails like a single-shell tank built in 1943 to last a couple of years.

All will be well...the Corporations, as newly ordained people will elect the next government.
so Sayeth the Supreme Court

Bee, I would be right there beside you if they even think of making the Pacific Northwest a sacrifice zone or think of sneaking something in on us. The 'People' are frowning loudly...

One of the worst aspects of nuclear energy is the secrecy. Any time they want to cover something up they simply invoke National Security.

That is largely why they're able to say things like 'no lives were lost at Three Mile Island.' It's not true, but most of the evidence has been destroyed and there's no one to keep them honest.

I can't wait until the Boomers who seek to vilify corporations, business, and any technology, or actions they disagree with as some sort of conspiracy against their freedom, because they are to lazy to learn about technology, or look at competing points of view. Soon they will finally be out of the way and stop trying to steer progress to meet their social/political goals, and inhibiting the progress of the next, younger generation.

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