Nuclear Power, Rolling The Dice
So far, the score is 48-0 with every reactor application for license renewal approved through the process. It is apparent to anyone and everyone, that the process is fixed, that the wishes of the host communities, our safety, our environments of little or no importance in the large scheme of a National Energy Policy. Our local politicians will play games with us, dance as if they are on our side, but in the final analogy, they do a Texas Two Step and sell us out to Corporate Interests and a drive to give Nuclear Power an American Rebirth in the name of saving the world from Global Warming. A perfect example of this is Governor Eliot Spitzer who has promised to shut down the plant, while taking money from Entergy's Political Action Committee...any one find that more than a bit strange? Senator Hillary Clinton is no better, claiming she wants the facility shut down, but taking money from various executives working for Entergy. WHORE SLUT comes quickly to mind. Everyone outside of the communities being forced to play host to aging reactors are fine with the status quo, especially IF nuclear power is the great placebo ever to come down the pike, one that will keep them, keep the world from having to make any personal sacrifice in stopping the warming of the world, stop the melting of our ice packs.
The problem is, the question is, what if the nuclear industry's BEST GUESS ESTIMATES when it comes to these aging nuclear reactors are wrong? More importantly, does any one really care, or instead is it about personal convenience? Since this writer lives within three miles of Indian Point, this article looks at the issue of relicensing using our two reactors as the example. Green Nuclear Butterfly offers up to the reader a what if set of scenarios. Poses the question to America, are you willing to sacrifice an entire city such as New York in your quest for nuclear energy? More importantly, what if WE AS A COMMUNITY are not willing to let you do that to us? What if we as a community are willing to lay our lives on the line to SHUT DOWN INDIAN POINT, to force its closure...will you MOW US DOWN with armed Guardsmen, making Indian Point another KENT STATE?
In the first scenario , we have Entergy's position, the position of a nuclear industry that DESPARATELY needs, wants to keep these reactors up and running far beyond their 40 year life spans. They will have us believe that their best guess estimates could see these facilities nursed along for a total of 80 years...in short, a second round of relicensing shortly after this round is complete with the NRC doing everything they can to remove every safeguard in the way of such a reality happening. They will justify all of this under the guise that the GREATER SOCIETY needs the energy, cannot live without the energy from this aging fleet of reactors, tell us that said need justifies the risks. Tell us, that our lives, our losses mean nothing when compared to the BIGGER PICTURE.
There is no intention of selling this pack of lies and half truths on host communities, as we do not count. The nuclear industry instead will sell the PUBLIC AT LARGE, convince them that nuclear is safe, clean, vital, green and NECESSARY...the real truth, is the only real truth in that scam, is that nuclear might be necessary, but will come with a horrid Holocaust cost, as some of these reactors are going to blow. The DOE, NRC, NEI and the nuclear industry as a whole will attempt to sell the public on a new CONCEPT for radioactive waste streams...recycling! In doing so, they will teach us that spent fuel now sitting onsite at every reactor is NOT WASTE, but instead future use resource that has a GREAT VALUE attached to it....after all, waste is BAD, but anything that has GREAT VALUE to it is GOOD...think of diamonds, or caviar. If the nuclear industry can change PUBLIC PERCEPTION about the waste, then they can make the complaints about waste streams seem UNREASONABLE, even SELFISH. In short, any community resisting the relicensing of a nuclear reactor, any community not willing to host a new reactor is SELFISH...make us the host communities the VILLAIN. As they say on South Park, "YOU BASTARDS, you KILLED Kenny!"
Let's be honest...the hundreds of millions that the nuclear industry has spent on propaganda is WORKING. Nuclear for the most part is off the radar. Most people are either A) ambivalent about it, or B) actually believe it is a SAFE, GREEN, RENEWABLE energy source. The basic embrace of the industry lies seems to follow the following strategy.
1. Yes, the current reactors are getting older, but the industry would shut them down before there was ever a SERIOUS accident. Besides, even if there was an accident, it wouldn't be THAT BAD, and we need the energy.
2. The new reactors are safer than the old ones, and eventually the old ones will all be shut down after the new ones are up and running.
3. Yes, it's true that the industry has not dealt with its waste streams, but right now, that waste is not bothering anyone sitting where its at, and maybe the new technology will eventually solve the waste problems.
4. We need the energy, and nuclear is CO2 FREE, and RENEWABLE.
Just goes to show you, if you repeat a lie long enough, and often enough the public will begin to embrace it, and own it as their own. A whole lot of people are putting a whole lot of faith in an industry that has been WRONG a whole lot of the time, putting a whole lot of faith in an industry with a history of protecting its own, instead of protecting human health and/or the environment. In a perfect world, based on the nuclear industry's best guesses, they will be able to keep these aging reactors up and running for another 40 years, and in that time manage to avoid any and all serious accidents and/or terrorists attacks. In short, they have asked the nation to trust them, and since most of the nation does not have a reactor in their own back yard, the nation has agreed to do JUST THAT. FUCK THE NATION, you have no right to play with our lives in such a fashion. Problem is, most host communities DO NOT TRUST the NRC, do not trust the reactors, and do not trust the nuclear industry. It is the host communities that are being forced to take the risks, it is the host community that will lose if the nuclear industry's gamble is an incorrect one. The NRC must not be allowed to ignore our wishes, even if it takes civil disobedience like none ever seen before to forcibly shut down these reactors.
So, the question is, what if the nuclear industry is wrong...WRONG ONLY ONCE? We have 103 aging reactors here in America, and many of these facilities are beginning to show the signs of aging one would expect...parts breaking, systems ceasing to work, and the main components constantly being patched and welded back together again as the nuclear industry tries to keep the cash flow from these behemoths rolling into the corporate cash registers...in Indian Point's case for instance, the two reactors daily bring in over one million dollars. That amount pales in comparison to the societal loses with just one SERIOUS ACCIDENT AT THE SITE.
Spent fuel pools are dense packed far beyond their original storage capacity, and no reactor in America can continue to operate without approving of dry cask storage for additional spent fuel streams. Many of these spent fuel pools are developing cracks in their foundation walls, radioactive wastes leaking out through them into the ground water, winter weather freezing said waste leaks, and in doing so expanding the size of the cracks, greatly increasing the possibility of a significant structural break down and collapse of a wall. The NRC will not deny this could happen, but instead says the odds are slim...problem is, a spent fuel fire would devastate an area of over 100 miles around Indian Point, and make the area within a 30 mile radius non in habitable for hundreds of years. The NRC finds the risk acceptable, as neither they, nor Entergy would be forced to absorb the financial costs of such a catastrophic incident. They would not have to make us as human beings WHOLE AGAIN. Further, I have spoken with a pilot...flying a Boeing 747 into a spent fuel pool is more than possible, contrary to the NRC's FALSE CLAIMS...what, they think we as citizens are so stupid that we are incapable of questioning their lies, finding out our own truths?
What about a core meltdown...the industry will tell us that TMI (Three Mile Island) shows that even a core meltdown is manageable...problem is, TMI was not even close to a worse case scenario incident. All these years later, as reactors reach their outer boundaries of usefulness, a worse case scenario would be a reactor core SHATTERING from the stresses of old age when said reactor was/is operating at full capacity. Various situational breakdowns could see this happen...even worse, in some modeling, such a reality becomes probable. Such a shattering of the brittle and fragile core would instantly see the hydrogen in the reactor explode into the atmosphere, the heat almost instantly also vaporizing any water in the reactor core itself, eliminating ALL CHANCES of cooling down the core. Ask the NRC...they refuse to RULE OUT a core steam and/or Hydrogen EXPLOSION that would SHATTER THE CONTAINMENT COMPLETELY...VAPORIZE IT LIKE THE WORLD TRADE CENTER.
Such a scenario leaves no time for EVACUATION PLANS...at least half of those within three miles of the site could be KILLED instantly. Sheltering in place for most would be THE ONLY OPTION, and for far too many, this option would only postpone their death, not deter nor stop it. Let's be generous here, let's mitigate the scope and magnitude of this NUCLEAR INCIDENT. Within the first five days, 80,000 are dead. Let's say for sake of argument that 500,000 will die of various cancers within ten years of the incident. NRC scientists, the nuclear industry assure us, that at most, we'll see maybe one million children born over a period of 50 years with significant birth defects. Mind you, we are mitigating the effects.
Now, what about the financial costs of such a nuclear incident? Energy as a company would not be affected, as Indian Point is held in a LLC owned by Entergy North East. Further, the Price Anderson Act limits their maximum liability to 9 Billion dollars. Now, to put that in perspective, the nuclear industry's own numbers estimate that a MAJOR incident at Indian Point would do somewhere between 139 and 500 Billion dollars in damage to the infrastructure. If you look at your insurance policy, you'll find you are NOT COVERED for any damage from a nuclear incident and its aftermath. So, here you are, you managed to live through the nuclear incident, somehow no one in your immediate family has died yet. Problem is, the area you call home is now a WASTELAND, radioactive contamination seeing the government ordering every one within a 30 square mile area permanently evacuated. You can take with you NOTHING, even the clothes on your backs exchanged for temporary uniforms at a evacuation station before you are taken by cattle cars to internment facilities built for those suffering from radioactive contamination...after all, they don't want your DAMAGED DNA contaminating the remaining healthy GENE POOL . You have no job, your home and belongings are gone, and you still owe a $400,000 mortgage, as that is not forgiven. Ingested radioactive particulates see you unable to work. Multiply this reality for say FIVE MILLION PEOPLE, which is only 1/4 of the population in and around the New York area. This is the GAMBLE the NRC and Entergy want to take with OUR LIVES...again, the Green Nuclear Butterfly says FUCK THAT SHIT. My apologies to those who find my use of swear words distasteful...I find the mentality of these FUCK TURDS unacceptable!
With all due respect to the NRC, to our government, to the Nuclear Industry, who do you think you are to ask us to take such a risk? To the rest of America, who do you think you are to ask us to take such a risk for your convenience? Who are any of you to ask 103 reactor communities to take such a risk just so that you and your family do not have to make a sacrifice in your own lives? The re licensing process is fixed, our government has decided they can throw us to the wolves in the name of a National Energy Policy, they believe the rest of America will guilt us as host communities into accepting our fate, that we will spend our time PRAYING that the NRC is right, and a major incident can be avoided. Problem is, some of us are no longer willing to have the NRC, George Bush gamble WITH OUR LIVES.
The Green Nuclear Butterfly believes this is FOLLY, and calls on the 20 Million people of New York to set a better path for ourselves. If the NRC refuses to order the shut down and decommissioning of the Indian Point Reactors, then we need to take the matter into our own hands. Five county governments have expressed their opposition to the plant...millions of citizens have voiced their opposition to the continued operation of the plant. Together, we have the power to take these plants, by force if necessary. It is doubtful that the NRC and the Entergy corporation are willing to go to war against citizens of the United States to keep these reactors running. Is president Bush prepared to declare Marshall Law, and begin mowing down innocent citizens to keep these aging relics operating? DOUBTFUL. How large of a police force do these counties have? Surely enough of a force to EVICT (if necessary) the entire staff at the reactors? How many citizens would march with local law enforcement to shut down these facilities? Does the NRC's force on force equations include dealing with a civil disobedience force of say half a million marchers? A protest march that DOES NOT STOP AT THE FENCE LINE?
Let's not kid ourselves...Governor Eliot Spitzer is a double faced liar...he says he wants the site shut down, yet check out his campaign contributions...he TOOK MONEY FROM ENTERGY, just as Sue Kelly did, just as Hillary Clinton did. These politicians may talk a good game, but in the final analogy, they CANNOT BE TRUSTED. Congressman John Hall...with his musician friends, he can call forth an army of millions to protest Indian Point, to MARCH ON INDIAN POINT....yet, WHERE IS HE? His wife is the real anti nuker in the family if truth is known...take a walk around Woodstock, speak to some of the store owners and verify this for yourselves. If we want Indian Point closed down, it will take DRASTIC CITIZEN ACTION, and not on the part of just a few, but on the part of the masses. We need a movement, we need a local government that is willing to ORDER OUR FORCES to take back the plant, to CLOSE IT DOWN. We need 200,000 people willing to CAMP OUT ON INDIAN POINT, we need 500 boats on the Hudson River.
Riverkeeper, IPSEC, and the rest of them...they want to play nice, want to protect their membership at the country club...yes, they want Indian Point closed down, but only if it can be done with Bake Sales and hand shakes...IT IS NOT GOING TO HAPPEN! Green Nuclear Butterfly will work with anyone that has a true desire to SHUT DOWN INDIAN POINT, has a true desire to do whatever it takes to effect that reality. We call on John Hall to put his ACTIONS where his words are...he said he would do anything in his power to shut down the plant...fine, call up Pete, call up Bonnie Raitt, call up Jackson Browne, and ENERGIZE THE PEOPLE to march on Indian Point..you've known all along this is what it would take. 9/11 has proven that Indian Point is too grave of a risk to be tolerated, you know it MUST BE CLOSED. Come on Andrew Spano, use your executive power to mobilize a force of 1,000 uniformed police officers to close the plant down...give Entergy 24-48 hours to mothball the reactors and VACATE the facility.
I am sure that every employee currently not a part of management can be rehired as a part of the decommissioning team. Spent Fuel...it's the Federal Government WASTE...since they keep telling us it is so safe, lets give it back to them...we'll put said waste in dry cask units, load them on to trucks, and have them driven to the nearest Federal Laboratory where DOE can figure out what to do with it. That one decommissioning task alone will take ten years to accomplish. We are sure DOE will be amenable to such a plan...after all, they have been telling us for years that these waste streams ARE SAFE...well, if they are so safe, THEY CAN STORE THEM ON THEIR SITE, not at Indian Point.
In short, it is time for NEW YORKERS to TAKE CONTROL OF OUR OWN FUTURE, rather than let the NRC gamble with it through a wrong sighted relicensing process.