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.
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 http://www.tinyurl.com/citiseznonukes) It does not matter that independent energy experts show that new reactors are neither economic not climate protection (www.tinyurl.com/forgetnuclear). 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.