Snarking on Forbes

If you dont like nuclear power there has been a lot of depressing news which might actually lead to stopping the “nuclear renaissance”

Most importantly a major new report by Associated Press.  The first piece of this report is on how the Nuclear Regulator Commission (NRC) has worked with nuclear utilities to consistently weaken safety regulations so that aging reactors can continue to operate.

The second part of this AP report is the radioactive tritium has leaked out of 3/4 of the US reactor sites.  None of the reporting i have seen begins to discuss the actual dangers associated with tritium releases, instead focusing on the industry line that it has a short half life and has mostly been contained inside the plants.  Tritium (the 2nd radioactive isotope of hydrogen) is an especially insidious element in its behavior, choosing to concentrate in reproductive cells in higher life and root tips in plants, maximizing it’s mutation capacity.    The people who study tritium generally say “the more we study it, the scarier it appears”.  Because it is so small it can creep thru steel, because it is a form of hydrogen it bonds with oxygen to form water and thus tritium is regularly released in reactor cooling towers.  Because it is virtually uncontrollable, the nuclear industry line for decades has been that it is not a problem.  Now that high concentrations are leaking into ground water from broken reactor pipes, this company line remains firm.

Fort Calhoun reactor on June 15th image before no fly zone was declared

There is also the Fort Calhoun and Cooper flooding problems which i reported on a few days ago.  Turns out the best current reporting on these flooded reactors is being done by the old Abalone Alliance Clearinghouse which managed to get what i believe is their entire report covered by a Hawaiian Daily.

Almost everyday (and especially recently) i write comments on articles about nuclear power in the popular media.  Sometimes i correct mistakes, often i point out the general failings of nuclear.  Almost always i have a constructive, propositional, upbeat tone.  Not today.

One of the Forbes Magazine blogs picked up the AP story on NRC collusion.  This pro-capitalism periodical of course framed this type of information as a “threat to nuclear”, because of course no badly how poorly it is run, the big money involved means capitalists like reactors.

I kind of lost it with them, this is what i wrote:

You need not worry, there is no threat to the nuclear power industry in the US. Short of a full scale meltdown, things will continue as before. The federal government will offer improperly scored loan guarantees, major construction firms will lie about costs and and construction schedules, reactors will leak toxins into the environment and rich people will get richer.

It does not matter that the banks show these are a failed investment (see It does not matter that independent energy experts show that new reactors are neither economic not climate protection ( Congress and Obama have been paid off and they continue to perform as most Forbes readers would like them to: Investing in this failed, expensive, dangerous technology because real costs are pushed onto ratepayers, taxpayers and future generation.

Your grand children will never forgive you, but you dont really care do you.

About paxus

a funologist, memeticist and revolutionary. Can be found in the vanity bin of Wikipedia and in locations of imminent calamity. buckle up, there is going to be some rough sledding.

7 responses to “Snarking on Forbes”

  1. Sara Tansey says :

    i like you snarky. sometimes the upbeat, propositional voice doesnt penetrate. and sometimes you need the more aggressive and truer comments to kick some people in the ass and shake them out of their ignore-ance. thanks for telling them like it is. mmmmm.

  2. Jon Kessler says :

    I first saw this issue on your blog, just came across a good report today at this site:

    Apparently, water level is 3.5′ from “danger”. Expected to rise 1/2′ quite soon…

    However, some say there are dry casks of waste outside the berm area…

  3. Sean Peters says :

    Although I’m not a huge fan of nuclear power for a number of reasons, I do have to say that I think you’d be doing a better service for the world if you worked on some lower-hanging fruit – coal fired power plants. These are objectively much, much worse for the environment than nuclear – spewing huge quantities of mercury, CO2, and other pollutants into the atmosphere. Then there are the mining operations – by the time they’re done, Massey Energy and the like will have flattened half of West Virginia, and killed a bunch of miners in the process.

    Can you spare some time to fight those guys?

  4. paxus says :

    @Sean – i do do support work for the anti-Mountain Top Removal folx. And indeed this is an important campaign. The last time i was arrested it was part of a :Rising Tide North America action which had the tag line “No Nuke, No Coal, No Kidding”

    And we all have our strengths and focuses. One of the reasons i fight nuclear is that it is still held out by many (including some very rich and powerful types like Bill Gates and much of congress) as the big fix. Coal is largely not framed this way.

    I have to say that i have also been drawn towards the US anti-fracking campaign, which is about natural gas extraction which destroys ground water.

    What i try to do with this blog is play to my strengths, which are anti-nuclear and clean energy ones. And i will add some stuff about cola and fracking, especially if you Sean tell me what it takes to get more people involved in these fights.

  5. Sean Peters says :

    I totally understand what you’re saying – you gotta do what you’re called to do. And I really appreciate that you are taking the time to work on the coal thing too.

    As for what it takes to get people involved – I wish I knew. I feel guilty because I’m a terrible activist myself. The thing is that I’m totally conflict averse – I cringe at the thought of getting in people’s faces. I’ve been playing to my own strengths by speaking out in internet forums, letters to the editor, to Congress (for what that’s worth), etc.

    Anyway, thanks for the work you’re doing.

  6. Jon Kessler says :

    “The head of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission has been dispatched to a nuclear power plant in Fort Calhoun, Neb., where a berm collapsed Sunday, but the public is in no danger, officials said….”

    Meanwhile in NM:

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