Nukes, CyberWar & Wireless 'Smart' Grids: A Deady Mix – EON Nuke Digest 6-24-11

Connecting The Dots (Duh!)
With cyberwarfare the new and coming thing, how ‘smart’ is it to create a nation-wide, easily hackable, wirelessly-managed power grid that includes both old and new nuclear plants?

Despite Fukushima fallout, and declaring the flooded Ft. Collins nuke a disaster, Mr. O continues to say that nuclear power should be revived in the U.S., as it provides “electricity without adding carbon dioxide to the atmosphere.” Would that have anything to do with his connection with Exelon Nuclear? Exelon generates (according to its website) “approximately 20% of the U.S. nuclear industry’s power capacity with 10 power plants and 17 reactors—located in Illinois.”

As Karl Grossman lays out in the radio interview below, Rahm Emanuel, Obama’s ex-Chief-of-Staff, now Chicago Mayor, helped put Exelon together in his old investment banker days.

In the following posts, Rachel Maddow, Mic Wright, Matthew Bunn, Michiu Kaku, Harvey Wasserman, Arnie Gunderson and others share information that points in one direction: a wireless nuclear power grid would equal stupidity squared.

Flood waters threaten Nebraska nuke plant – video
June 22: Rachel Maddow reports on the Fort Calhoun nuclear power station in Nebraska, which is threatened by the flooded Missouri River, and follows up on the latest news from the damaged Fukushima nuclear reactors in Japan.

Fukushima ‘still a ticking time bomb’ – Kaku on CNN – video

ROMANS [CNN HOST]: Then Fukushima. The disaster that won’t go away. Nobody is paying attention. But is the nuclear meltdown more dangerous than ever? […] Michio Kaku on the biggest industrial catastrophe in history. […]
KAKU: In the last two weeks, everything we knew about that accident has been turned upside down. We were told three partial melt downs, don’t worry about it. Now we know it was 100 percent core melt in all three reactors. Radiation minimal that was released. Now we know it was comparable to radiation at Chernobyl. […]
ROMANS: In your view, did they not know how bad it was or they knew and didn’t tell […]
KAKU: […] We knew it was much more severe than they were saying, because radiation was coming out left and right. So in other words, they lied to us. […]

What Happened to Media Coverage of Fukushima?
by Anne Landman
While the U.S. media has been occupied with Anthony Weiner, the Republican presidential candidates and Bristol Palin’s memoir, coverage of Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant disaster has practially fallen off the map. Poor mainstream media coverage of Japan’s now months-long struggle to gain control over the Fukushima disaster has deprived Americans of crucial information about the risks of nuclear power following natural disasters….[ Great summary update. Read more. ]

Nuclearism as Pathology
Arnie Gunderson, Harvey Wasserman and Karl Grossman – on KPFA’s ‘Living Room’ with Chris Welch

Living Room – June 24, 2011 at 12:00pm

Click to listen (or download)

Michio Kaku’s Update on Fukushima
It has been over 3 months after the tragic accident in Fukushima, Japan, and a flood of new information has been coming out…

Project Flood 2011 and tornados meet two nuclear stations
Two United States nuclear power plants are on alert and President Obama has declared emergencies in Nebraska’s counties where both nuclear stations are experiencing “unusual events.” The official emergency declarations apply to both counties where the nuclear facilities are threatened with flood waters. Red Cross closed its emergency shelter at Fort Calhoun, home of one of the nuclear facilities, and is now referring and transitioning evacuees to other shelters. Red Cross is due to assess Fort Calhoun when conditions permit.
“Massive flooding along the Missouri River has put Nebraska’s two nuclear plants, both near Omaha, on alert,” reported Amy Goodman for The Guardian on Wednesday.

Obama declared an emergency in Nebraska and ordered federal aid to supplement state and local response efforts in the area affected by flooding. The Federal Emergency Management Agency is now authorized to coordinate disaster relief efforts and provide assistance in the counties included in the declaration.

Nuclear Terrorism Can Cause Another Fukushima: Expert
Global action to protect the nuclear industry against possible terrorist attacks is urgently needed, a leading expert said, as are safety steps to prevent any repeat of Japan’s Fukushima accident.

International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) fact-finding team leader Mike Weightman examines Reactor Unit 3 at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant May 27, 2011. (Credit: Reuters/IAEA/Handout) “Both al Qaeda and Chechen terrorist groups have repeatedly considered sabotaging nuclear reactors — and Fukushima provided a compelling example of the scale of terror such an attack might cause,” Matthew Bunn of Harvard University said.

Some countries had “extraordinarily weak security measures in place,” he said in an Internet blog posted this week, without naming them.

Your gas meter: The new frontline in cyberwar
By Mic Wright
By the end of 2020, the government wants every home in the UK to be fitted with a smart meter. The device, as part of a networked system of localised power distribution, allows consumers to control their consumption and — more contentiously — also lets utilities companies monitor real-time usage. The

The £8 billion scheme is being sold as a way for the average household to cut its energy bills by an estimated £28 per year.

But could such a banal technology in fact be fraught with danger? In July 2009 — five months before the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) announced the initiative — security firm IOActive demonstrated a worm that could rapidly spread through a smart-grid network, disabling meters as it went. The experiment proved what many cybersecurity experts already knew: hackers distributing the right malware could shut down the network. Britain would go dark.

“Before, to destroy a meter, you had to take a sledgehammer to it,” explains John Bumgarner, research director for security technology at think tank the US Cyber Consequences Unit. “That worm could destroy 300,000 [smart meters] in one go. The smart grid is going to be a major target for hackers.”

Japan’s nuclear power plant crisis: Some context
Posted on March 14, 2011 by Power & Policy
By Matthew Bunn
Harvard Kennedy School Associate Professor Matthew Bunn, whose research topics includes nuclear proliferation risks, the future of nuclear energy and its fuel cycle, and policies to promote innovation in energy technologies, offered these observations early Monday on the earthquake-damaged nuclear power plants in Japan.

Cheap natural gas looms over new US nuclear project
* Cheap natural gas seen as a roadblock to nuclear growth
* Regulatory risk also seen after Fukushima-S&P analyst
* “Ledge that nuclear is operating on is not that wide”
* All eyes on whether first two plants are on budget
By Roberta Rampton
WASHINGTON, June 21 (Reuters) – Japan’s ruined Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant may slow the expansion of the U.S. nuclear industry, but cheap and abundant supplies of natural
gas are a far bigger roadblock to financing new reactors, a Wall Street panel said on Tuesday.

Financiers and investors are watching to see how much U.S. nuclear plant costs are raised after a U.S. regulatory review of the Japanese disaster, one of several challenges to nuclear growth described at a conference of utilities, manufacturers and suppliers in Washington.

“On top of that speed bump, you have the tire-slashing metal spikes of gas,” said Richard Cortright, a managing director in Standard & Poor’s utilities ratings group, referring to cheap domestic natural gas, an attractive power source for a new generation of electrical plants.

“I think that unless you have self-inflatable tires, it’s going to be a little while before nuclear gets back on the radar screen,” Cortright said.

Some French Conservatives Questioning Nuclear Power
One Suggests France Could Become a Renewable Energy Powerhouse
June 20, 2011
By Paul Gipe
The solid block of support for nuclear power among French elites is showing signs of strain.

In an unusual development, Parisian newspaper Liberation published two side-by-side articles about French political figures on the right who question nuclear power in the wake of the Italian referendum on new nuclear plants.

Nuclear Energy, the U.S. Remains Committed to Its Expansion
Despite calls to shutter the U.S. nuclear program, President Obama remains steadfast in his support of the industry, despite his stated position opposing it before he was elected

Dear EarthTalk: Radioactive rain recently fell in Massachusetts, likely due to Japan’s nuclear mess. Given the threats of radiation, wouldn’t it be madness now to continue with nuclear power? How can President Obama include nukes as part of a “clean energy” agenda?—Bill Mason, Hartford, Conn….

…According to investigative journalist Karl Grossman, Obama changed his tune on nuclear as soon as he took office, “talking about ‘safe, clean nuclear power’ and push[ing] for multi-billion dollar taxpayer subsidies for the construction of new nuclear plants.” Right away, Grossman says, Obama brought in nuclear advocate Steven Chu as energy secretary, and two White House aides that had been “deeply involved with…the utility operating more nuclear power plants than any other in the U.S., Exelon.”

Undeterred by the Japanese nuclear disaster, Obama pledged just two weeks following the initial explosions at the Fukushima Dai-ichi facility that nuclear power should be revived in the U.S., as it provides “electricity without adding carbon dioxide to the atmosphere.”

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