Boxer Hearing on Nuclear Safety – Excerpts

California Senator Barbara Boxer quizzes the NRC on nuclear safety issues.

Boxer Shorts (Video clips, that is)
Senator Barbara Boxer of California, that is.

She’s our Senator and we’re really glad she’s paying attention to this issue. That’s why we’re posting the hearing excerpt videos below in the public interest.

Senator Boxer is chair of the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works. On Sept. 12, 2012, she chaired a meeting of her Committee with newly-appointed Chairman Allison M. Macfarlane and the full roster of Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) members. The topic: ‘NRC’s Implementation and Recommendations for Enhancing Nuclear Reactor Safety in the 21st Century.’

Now, if you think that the title suggests that the underlying assumption of the proceeding was that nuclear energy production will continue forever rather than be phased out, you’re probably right.

Newly-appointed NRC Chair Allison M. Macfarlane fields questions from California Senator Barbara Boxer's Committee.


Home Alone with the Fukushima Fallout
For the growing numbers of citizens around the world who recognize that the term ‘nuclear safety’ as a tragic oxymoron, discussions like this one can seem really discouraging.

These are the folks in charge of nuclear policy. They talk of ‘waste confidence’ (another oxymoron), funding a new generation of ‘small modular reactors’ and the importance of ‘keeping the trust of the people.’ But, no mention of ongoing Fukushima fallout, not only on the west coast, but throughout the hemisphere and around the planet.

No mention of detectible radioactive contamination in milk, fish, kelp, oranges, almonds and dried prunes from California, a main supplier of food to the world. See, for example “No Place to Hide – Fukushima Fallout Findings Widespread” by Michael Collins. Here’s a small sampling of what he reports:

* USEPA detect Los Angeles beta radiation spike in early July air
* Alpha and beta air radiation increases in Santa Monica air
* High radiation in rains across America and Canada
* Hot rains in southern Brazil indicate Fukushima fallout in Southern Hemisphere at high concentrations
* California navel oranges detected with extremely high levels of Cesium 134 and Cesium 137 bought at supermarket in Japan
* California almonds, dry prunes and pistachios test high for Cesium-134 and Cesium-137
* Grass-fed Missouri beef hot with Cs-137 in 2011 before disappearing in 2012 tests
* 2012 test of same beef shows presence of likely Fukushima-originated Cesium-134, Cerium-143, Neptunium-237, Antimony-124, Cobalt-60, Silver-110m, Actinium-228, Barium-140, Strontium-91 and other radionuclides

Nary a mention of this issue in the hearing. We’re home alone on this one folks. No adults in that room. Fortunately, citizens are stepping into the breach. One example is Kimberly Roberson’s book Silence Deafening – Fukushima Fallout … A Mother’s Response which lifted the lid on the issue, and her recently-formed Fukushima Fallout Awareness Network is widening the work not being done inside the beltway.

But, hey, by her lights the good Senator is doing what she can in the current ‘nuclear renaissance’/’all energy options are on the table’ state of delusion which apparently grips Washington. And she’s got her eye on the San Onofre imbroglio. She deserves our input and support.

For viewing efficiency, we’ve segmented the public video record of the meeting into topic areas so you can zero in on the issues that interest you – except, of course, Fukushima fallout. Scroll on down…

Pt. 1 – Senators’ opening Statements

Pt. 2 – NRC Commissioners’ Statements

Pt. 3 – San Onofre Issues

Pt. 4 – Fukushima Update

Pt. 5 – Fire Safety

Pt. 6 – Intermittance & Small Modular Reactors

Pt. 7 – Waste Confidence and Consolidation

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