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Ear to the Ground

U.S. Going Nuclear

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Posted on Feb 15, 2010
Flickr / AmyZZZ1

Nuclear power was a big issue back during the 2008 primaries. Then-candidate Barack Obama always said he favored nuclear power, and now he’s about to put our money where his mouth was. The president is expected to announce $8.3 billion in loan guarantees, with more on the way, to build two new reactors—the first in decades.

Reuters via Yahoo:

The Obama administration, advancing nuclear power use to help cut greenhouse gas emissions, will announce on Tuesday an $8.3 billion loan guarantee to help Southern Co build two reactors, a government official told Reuters.

The reactors are in line to be among the first nuclear generating facilities to win U.S. government approval in three decades.

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By JBsez, February 17, 2010 at 7:22 am Link to this comment

The boiler industry - see Bechtel & Bohemia Grove’s annual agenda -  after a decade of building toxic garbage burners (aka resource recovery) that spewed lead, mercury and dioxins across the land has now come back to nuke plants. In my experience,any politico who promoted burners was either misinformed, ignorant or corrupted by the industry.
Which is it President Obama? I’ve never been so disallusioned by a politician in all of my 71 years. From the bankers & Wall St. to the insurance industry to the Republican minority he has given it away. As Winston Churchill said : “An appeaser is one who feeds the crocodile, hoping it will not eat him. He is destined to be disappointed.”

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By ritamary, February 16, 2010 at 7:39 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I wonder what company will be building these nuclear reactors. Possibly one of Obama’s largest campaign contributors - Exelon?

Nuclear reactors, extermination of wolves in the West, offshore drilling, no health care reform, more troops to Afghanistan, Guantanamo still open, stick to Bush’s schedule for Iraq withdrawal and ending tax cuts for the rich…What a great Democrat Obama is.

Does anyone believe that if Hillary Clinton was president things would be turning out this way?

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By ofersince72, February 16, 2010 at 5:34 pm Link to this comment

Well, at least The Nuclear Power industry
hiring Gore to distort the C02 recycle
paid dividends to them..

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By Neil Huff, February 16, 2010 at 2:54 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Yes, well. No doubt there are down sides to nuclear energy. But resource wars are the horizon, and oil is the principal energy source.  We must be able to obtain this and defend our access. Uranium is also in limited amounts and mostly overseas. Coal is still in reasonable supply in the states, but environmentally costly.

Nuclear fusion is the safest method of conversion, but still a long way off. The other kinds of energy conservation named above are all wonderful ideas and I hope they come to fruition. But keep in mind the mindless policy of unlimited immigration to the US. Our numbers are increasing uncontrollably. As is our energy use. (So are everyone elses).

The Zionist inspired wars and the many other issues the Govt is dealing with are taking money and effort from basic R&D and squandering these abroad.

I also don’t like the idea of a nuclear power plant outside every major city. But I fear this is the only practical alternative for expanding energy sources. Geothermo, wind power, tide powered electricity generation, etc. All swell ideas, but they are not going to supply the required amount of enrgy.

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By liecatcher, February 16, 2010 at 1:09 pm Link to this comment

Bush3 has lapdogged the NUCLEAR ENERGY INSTITUTE’S
lobbyists & is giving away taxpayer money for nuclear
reactors.
During Bush one’s reign of terror while sharing the
Reagan W.H. as nominal V.P., but de facto POTUS,
puppet Ronald Reagan was given a second chance
after his gunshot warning to tow the fascist agenda
or die. Now, an effigy of Obama was hung in Plains
Georgia, Jimmy Carter’s home town, on January 2,2010,
as warning to the current W.H. puppet to stick to the
script or face the consequences. Ergo, after many
green speeches about renewable energy creating jobs,
Bush3 has come out strong to give $54 billion of
taxpayer
money to build nuclear reactors starting in GEORGIA.

Below is a salient part of Rader’s critique.
Friday, February 12, 2010 6:48 PM
From: “Ralph Nader” <info@nader.org>Add sender to
Contacts
To: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
A generation of Americans has grown up without a
single nuclear power plant being brought on line
since before the near meltdown of the Three Mile
Island structure in 1979. They have not been exposed
to the enormous costs, risks and national security
dangers associated with their operations and the
large amount of radioactive wastes still without a
safe, permanent storage place for tens of thousands
of years.
All Americans better get informed soon, for a
resurgent atomic power lobby wants the taxpayers to
pick up the tab for relaunching this industry. Unless
you get Congress to stop this insanely dirty and
complex way to boil water to generate steam for
electricity, you’ll be paying for the industry’s
research, the industry’s loan guarantees and the
estimated trillion dollars (inflation-adjusted) cost
of just one meltdown, according to the Nuclear
Regulatory Commission, plus vast immediate and long-
range casualties.
The Russian roulette-playing nuclear industry claims
a class nine meltdown will never happen. That none of
the thousands of rail cars, trucks and barges with
radioactive wastes will ever have a catastrophic
accident. That terrorists will forgo striking a
nuclear plant or hijacking deadly materials, and go
for far less consequential disasters.
The worst nuclear reactor accident occurred in 1986
at Chernobyl in what is now Ukraine. Although of a
different design than most U.S. reactors, the
resultant breach of containment released a
radioactive cloud that spread around the globe but
concentrated most intensively in Belarus, Ukraine and
European Russia and secondarily over 40% of Europe.
Now comes the English translation of the most
comprehensive, scientific report to date titled
Chernobyl: Consequences of the Catastrophe for People
and the Environment whose senior author is biologist
Alexey V. Yablokov, a member of the prestigious
Russian Academy of Sciences.
Purchasable from the New York Academy of Sciences
(visit nyas.org/annals), this densely referenced
analysis covers the acute radiation inflicted on both
the first-responders (called “liquidators”) and on
residents nearby, who suffer chronic radioactive
sicknesses. “Today,” asserts the report, “more than 6
million people live on land with dangerous levels of
contamination—land that will continue to be
contaminated for decades to centuries.”
Back to the U.S., where, deplorably, President Obama
has called for more so-called “safe, clean nuclear
power plants.” He just sent a budget request for
another $54 billion in taxpayer loan guarantees on
top of a previous $18 billion passed under Bush. You
see, Wall Street financiers will not loan electric
companies money to build new nuclear plants which
cost $12 billion and up, unless Uncle Sam guarantees
one hundred percent of the loan.

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By Barrs, February 16, 2010 at 11:14 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

A couple of fun little facts:

Us here in Chicago already have a nuclear waste dump, actually the first in the world, CP-1 and two other reactors are buried in a county forest preserve in Palos Park, IL. Along with some of the wastes from the Manhattan Project. It is an excellent mountain biking area that is well used now.

Everyone remember the coal ash flood in Tennessee in December 2008?  In the ash are radioactive compounds that occur naturally.  The flood, which can be considered an ‘uncontrolled release’ released 20,000 Curies of radiation (According to DOE reports).  Three Mile Islands radiation release? 5,000 Curies (According to the DOE).

Also, don’t forget that the current operating nuclear power plants are very profitable, so loan guarantees are won’t cost the government (us) anything.  The plants will be able to pay the banks backing the construction costs.  Unless these reactors are shutdown for political reasons, before they can be turned on like the reactor in New York.

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By Neil Huff, February 16, 2010 at 9:43 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Silly responses. France now leads the world in new nuclear tech. The US has fallen behind. Sooner or later Boobus americanus is going to realize that there are no magical solutions to the global energy deficit. Nevada will simply have to accept the resulting radioactive waste. The rest of us must do as every other industrialized nation and build the very best reactors and power generating systems we can and be prepared to live with the risk (minimal).
We have run out of rivers to harness, and the oil is quickly be used up.

Coal is a worse alternative and will result in more deaths, than nuclear plants.

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By LostHills, February 16, 2010 at 9:01 am Link to this comment

John Edwards gave the right answer. Nuclear power is a cliff, and Obama is the
Lemming In Chief.

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By Jim Yell, February 16, 2010 at 8:47 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

That green glow on the horizon isn’t evironmentally friendly and is certainly not clean energy. While nuclear weapons are a constant danger of being used by governments and terrorists, the most likely danger of nuclear use is the waste produced by so called peaceful use. France gets away with using nuclear electical production by hiding the created waste in someone elses environment, except there really is no “someone elses environment”.

Any fair evaluation of nuclear power would show if the cost of waste storage and the cost of healthcare and untimely death due to past contamination from waste and from accidents were figured into the cost of nuclear electrical production, it would prove the most costly of production methods and the figures would have to factor in the lingering poison not for decades or even centuries, but for many, many tens of thousands of centuries.

Chernoyl is not contained it is ignored. Just the contamination that can be measured is dangerous, that working its way into the earth is going to spread far from the supposed area of contact. It is a disaster that is still unfolding. Three Mile Island? We have relied upon plausable deniability to defend the cost of its pollution and who even knows how many less dramatic spills of radiation into the environment?

Do not believe anyone who tells you it is cheap, safe or green (except for the glow).

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By NYCartist, February 16, 2010 at 8:19 am Link to this comment

It’s no time to get g(l)o(w)ing on this nuke stuff.

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By bogi666, February 16, 2010 at 5:54 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Let’s cut throught the B.S. about nuke energy. The reason of it is for the monopoly power companies to continue being monoplies. Nuke power is the poster child for the “Fleece” market system. Unable to finance nuke power throught the so called free markets, the “fleece” market has to be used. The “Fleece” market is when the USG provides or guarantee’s financing for the monopolists with taxpayer monies and when the project is finished it is turned over to the monoplists, gratis of course, paid for by the American taxpayers whom then have to pay for utilites services which is provided by the project they have paid for in the first place. This is the “Fleece” market. Other “Fleece” market examples are the bailout of the Wall St. CORPORATE and WEALTHY WELFARE KINGS and the Pentagon contractors are also “Fleece” marketers. The “FLEECE” market is so pervasive that the Federal deficit is the number 1 source of the USG and Federal Reserve sources for providing the funding for the “FLEECE” mARKET SYSTEM.

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By Samson, February 16, 2010 at 12:15 am Link to this comment

Classic Democrat.

A worthless photo op touting some minor little program that created a couple of jobs and a little green energy.

Then, go back to the White House and give the freakin nuclear industry 8 BILLION dollars to build more of these disasters.

At the very least, can we bury the nuclear waste in Chicago.  Seems like Obama should be stuck with the certain results from this decision. Isn’t he the one always yammering away about ‘personal responsibility’?  So, lets let Obama be ‘responsible’ for this waste.

If you don’t like nuclear power .... PLEASE STOP VOTING DEMOCRAT!

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