Obama’s Zombie Nuclearism
Never mind earthquake and tsunami, fire and flood – not to mention the Cold War reportedly being over for some time now – President Obama continues to push a ‘renaissance’ for both nuclear power and nuclear weapons. You may have thought boosting nuclear power was all he’s up to. But, no. He wants a new nuclear arms race, too.
You’d think Fukushima, plus the flood waters rising around Nebraska’s two nukes, plus the New Mexico wildfire advancing on the Los Alamos Nuclear Weapons Lab might give the President and his nuclear advisers pause. The concurrent emergencies illustrate the double danger that nuclear power and weaponry represent, and why, combined, they are a clear and present danger to true national security.
The posts in this edition lay out the factual, as opposed to the ideological, reasons Mr. Obama’s nuclear policies are tragically wrongheaded and why – despite squandering huge national resources – they are fortunately, unlikely to succeed. They show, in short, why America’s current ‘nuclear posture’ is an economic, geopolitical and anatomical impossibility.
The first link is to NUCLEAR ROULETTE: The Case Against A ‘Nuclear Renaissance,’ by Gar Smith, Editor Emeritus of Earth Island Journal. Edited by ECOTOPIA author Ernest Callenbach, with a foreword by international activist Aileen Mioko-Smith, NUCLEAR ROULETTE is No. 5 in the International Forum on Globalization’s (IFG’s) series of publications focused on false solutions to the global climate crisis.
As IFG Founder Jerry Mander and Ernest Callenbach say in their Prologue, the report:
“,,,focuses on the appalling attempt to revive and celebrate nuclear power as a grand ‘green’ climate-friendly energy system that can successfully replace fossil fuels and continue to sustain our industrial society at its present level. Author Gar Smith systematically refutes all the nuclear industry arguments, including one of their most critical assumptions – that the deadly radiation from nuclear wastes can be successfully sequestered for the 250,00 years they will remain dangerous to all life, an assertion bordering on insane.”
Smith’s 10 arguments for the abolition of nuclear power: (1) the impossibility of speedy deployment; (2) its catastrophic risks; (3) its inherent inefficiency and unreliability; (4) extravagant costs; (5) environmental impacts on air, land and water: (6) the waste dilemma; (7) the impact on indigenous people; (8) nuclear weapons proliferation; (9) the ‘inherently safe’ fallacy; and (10) that better options exist including efficiency, renewables and conservation.
The second link is to a brief video interview in which Jeremy Rifkin succinctly lays out his own five arguments for the inevitable demise of nuclear power. (1) construction is too costly and slow to impact climate change in time; (2) there’s no safe place for the waste; (3) the uranium supply is running out; (4) fueling the world’s reactors with plutonium would be a boon to terrorists; and (5) nuclear plants consume and pollute huge quantities of the planet’s fast-dwindling fresh water supply. Finally, Rifkin explains why – as in the cases of peer-to-peer file sharing putting music companies out of business, the internet blogosphere impacting news papers and the Linux free and open operating system challenging Microsoft and Apple – lateral networks of small energy producers linked in local micro-grids will make monopolistic centralized energy networks look soooo 20th century.
The third post is today’s Democracy Now report on Obama’s Nuclear Folly in light of encroaching catastrophic facts.
And finally, Norman Solomon – the only California Congressional candidate to call for the immediate shutdown of the nuclear plants at Diablo Canyon at San Luis Obispo and San Onofre – explains why.
IFG’s New Report: Nuclear Roulette
The ever-worsening news from Fukushima has blown the lid off of decades of nuclear industry disinformation about the perils of nuclear power. Country after country is rethinking nuclear expansion, including Japan itself.
The release of this new comprehensive report, Nuclear Roulette: The Case Against a “Nuclear Renaissance” couldn’t be more timely. Order a copy here.
Jeremy Rifkin – Why Nuclear Power is Dead
Une vidéo réalisée par TerreTV
[ Note: Begins with a brief clip of Sarkozy pushing nuclear energy in French. Rifkin speaks English. ]
In a rare interview, the Jeremy Rifkin, president of the Foundation on Economic Trends in Washington (the FOET), demonstrates in five factual arguments why the era of nuclear power is coming to an end.
“I chair a group of 120 largest companies in the world in the field of information technology, transport, logistics, energy, power distribution, construction […], these Companies know that nuclear power is dead, “said Jeremy Rifkin.
… “40% of all drinking water consumed in all of France is used to cool the nuclear reactors. When the water is rejected, it is hot and dehydrated ecosystems … ”
As Obama Quietly Pushes for a Nuclear Weapons Renaissance, Wildfire Threatens Los Alamos Nuclear Lab
In New Mexico, the Los Alamos National Laboratory, the main nuclear weapons lab in the United States, has been shut down for a second day as a massive wildfire approaches the facility. The anti-nuclear watchdog group, Concerned Citizens for Nuclear Safety, says the fire now appears to be about 3.5 miles from a dump site at the lab where as many as 30,000 55-gallon drums of plutonium-contaminated waste are stored in fabric tents above ground.
Nuclear dangers close to home
by Norman Solomon – Marin Independent Journal
SEVERAL DECADES AGO, three expert nuclear engineers told a congressional panel why they decided to quit: “We could no longer justify devoting our life energies to the continued development and expansion of nuclear fission power — a system we believe to be so dangerous that it now threatens the very existence of life on this planet.”
Such inherent dangers are all too close to home here in California, where the state’s two nuclear power plants — Diablo Canyon at San Luis Obispo and San Onofre farther south — are both located on major earthquake faults along the coast.
The overall record of Diablo Canyon’s owner and operator — PG&E — hardly inspires confidence. And recent events in Japan showed that official assurances can become worthless after a big quake and tsunami.
Continuing radioactive leaks from Fukushima are extensive and multifaceted. The authoritative journal Nature reported in late May that “some scientists are simply floating the idea of turning Fukushima into a nuclear graveyard” — but “given the plant’s location on the coast, storing the waste there for millennia may be unrealistic.”
Here at home, I fundamentally disagree with the official mantra that California’s two nuclear power plants should keep operating while federal agencies conduct “studies” to determine whether those nukes are risky enough to warrant closure. Read more.
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