Friday, April 20, 2007
This evening, my cast limiting my mobility I started cleaning out my file of emails sent from people with story ideas...try as I might, just cannot get everything up onto the blog, and after awhile some of the stuff sent my ways becomes dated...so, doing garbage detail I came across an interesting article that shares some straight talk from a Vermont politician...talk about refreshing! Hope you enjoy the read as much as I did.
Subject: Shumlin on VY
Shumlin: Well, here’s my position on Vermont Yankee, it’s so simple. I was raised in the county where they built the only nuclear power plant in Vermont. When we accepted that plant, against our better judgment, it was on one simple premise: that it would be closed down in 2012, and that the Federal Government was going to take away the waste.
Today the deal is that we send more juice through an aging plant, number one. Number two, that we run it for 20 or 30 years longer than it was designed to be run. And number three, that the high-level nuclear waste is stored on the banks of the Connecticut River, for which there could not be a worse location, geologically speaking, because of lots of issues.
And with climate change, and rising water levels, it’s going to be even less appropriate.
So my position is simple: if you can get every single ounce of waste off the banks of the Connecticut River, and take it somewhere else, and get a truly independent assessment of that plant to see whether it’s viable to run for another five years, I would favor it. Short of that, you must close it down. And there is no middle ground for me.
Now, people say, “Well, taking the waste away isn’t possible, because Harry Reid won’t take it in Nevada.” I don’t blame Harry Reid. But what they don’t understand is that sitting in this office right now [Waves hand to indicate Pro Tem Office] is someone who feels as strongly about not having the waste on the banks of the Connecticut River as Harry Reid feels about not having it sited out at Yucca Mountain. Period.
Just one more thing about Yankee: there’s one other compromise that I would go for, in terms of the waste. And it’s very simple, and I told IBM this yesterday.
The Speaker and I went up to talk to them, because it’s the state’s largest employer, and we want to keep it strong and healthy. And they said basically, “You know, we’ve gotta have that juice [from VY],” and I said, “You know, we’ve got to get the waste off the banks of the Connecticut River,” and they said, “Well, that might be impossible.”
And so I said, “Well, I’ll give you a second position. If we can’t hook the trucks up and haul it down to some other state, I would be willing to go along with a proposal where we would move that high-level nuclear waste for storage in different regions of Vermont, starting with the most populous county and moving to the least populous. That’s the other position I would accept.”
VDB: [Laughing] You mean, as a way of increasing the pressure —
Shumlin: No. I mean, if we’re going to have it, if the Federal Government’s not going to take it, it’s now Vermont’s waste, then Vermont should share it. It shouldn’t be the burden of just one county, anymore than siting wind turbines should be the burden of just the Northeast Kingdom.
VDB: I’m just talking about politically. Do you think that sort of proposal would bring to critical mass —
Shumlin: [Face still straight] Well, I’d sure like to see Chittenden County site a high-level nuclear waste storage facility. They’re having trouble right now siting a land-fill, for their own garbage, and it has no nuclear waste in it whatsoever.
Entergy rate increase includes $30M in perks for execs
LITTLE ROCK (AP) - Of the $106.5 million rate increase that Entergy Arkansas Inc. wants state regulators to approve, about $30 million would mostly benefit top managers in the form of stock options and incentive pay. The company, Arkansas' largest electric utility, says such compensation is necessary for the success of the business. The compensation would mostly go to top managers and mainly at the company's New Orleans-based parent, Entergy Corp., and its other subsidiaries.
"Customers should want their utility to be in good financial health," said Steve Strickland, vice president of regulatory affairs. "Executive compensation packages are designed to recruit, retain, motivate and reward leaders who can contribute to the long-term success of the company."
The Arkansas Public Service Commission is to make a final decision by June 14. If not, state law calls for Entergy to receive the full amount of its rate request.
Entergy's request includes $15.4 million for stock options and $14.6 million in incentive pay.
Entergy Arkansas CEO Hugh McDonald would receive more than $19,300, including $9,345 in club dues, $3,335 in financial advice, $197 for aircraft use and $6,452 for taxes on those expenses.
"A person with total compensation of $716,000 can afford to pay his own income tax and ratepayers should not pay for anyone's club dues," Marcus said in written testimony.
The proposal also includes: hotel rooms for staff members to attend Arkansas Razorbacks games, football and basketball tickets, more than $7,000 worth of Christmas cookies, banquets and catered parties, charity golf tournaments and golf outings with customers. It also calls for donations to groups such as the University of Arkansas foundation, the Arkansas Junior Miss Pageant and Rotary International.
Saw the incision point, and now have a really great looking Frankentein styled scar to admire when the cast comes off, and saw the steel plate in the X-ray. It looks like I have a wonderful 4 inch steel rake attached to my bone.
Not to worry...stop by at the public Assessment Meeting April 26th and sign my cast! Bring your own black Sharpie though.
Thursday, April 19, 2007
DATES: Comments, protests or requests to intervene must be submitted on or before February 24, 2003.
ADDRESSES: Comments, protests or requests to intervene should be addressed as follows: Office of Coal & Power Import/Export (FE-27), Office of Fossil Energy, U.S. Department of Energy, 1000 Independence Avenue, SW., Washington, DC 20585-0350 (FAX 202-287-5736).
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Rosalind Carter (Program Office) 202-586-7983 or Michael Skinker (Program Attorney) 202-586-6667.
SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Exports of electricity from the United States to a foreign country are regulated and require authorization under section 202(e) of the Federal Power Act (FPA) (16 U.S.C. 824a(e).), Inc. (Constellation) has applied for authority to transmit electric energy from the United States to Mexico and from the United States to Canada pursuant to section 202(e) of the Federal Power Act.
DATES: Comments, protests or requests to intervene must be submitted on or before February 24, 2003.
ADDRESSES: Comments, protests or requests to intervene should be addressed as follows: Office of Coal & Power Import/Export (FE-27), Office of Fossil Energy, U.S. Department of Energy, 1000 Independence Avenue, SW., Washington, DC 20585-0350 (FAX 202-287-5736).
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Rosalind Carter (Program Office) 202- 586-7983 or Michael Skinker (Program Attorney) 202-586-6667.
SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Exports of electricity from the United States to a foreign country are regulated and require authorization under section 202(e) of the Federal Power Act (FPA) (16 U.S.C. 824a(e)).
Calling all Green Nuclear Activist...we need to jump on this Action Alert from FAIR and run with it. We know the truth about nuclear, and must get our voice heard.
CBS's Nuclear Revival
60 Minutes' critic-free boosterism
On April 8, the CBS newsmagazine 60 Minutes aired a segment about the "resounding success" of the French nuclear power program, suggesting that "emission-free" nuclear power might offer an easy solution to the problem of climate change. The report protected this dubious assertion from skeptical scrutiny by failing to quote a single bona fide critic of the nuclear industry.
The segment was titled "Vive Les Nukes," which gave a good indication of the slant it took. Describing it as "an efficient means of producing large amounts of carbon-free energy," correspondent Steve Kroft announced at the top of the segment that nuclear power is "a technology whose time seemed to come and go, and may now be coming again." The notion of a nuclear power renaissance was bolstered by CBS's choice of interview guests—the program spoke only to nuclear power supporters (in France and elsewhere), thereby allowing their rhetoric to go unchallenged.
Guests on the segment were French energy official Pierre Gadonniex, French nuclear industry executive Bertrande Durrande, White House deputy secretary of energy Clay Sell (Bush's "point man on nuclear power"), French nuclear executive Anne Lauvergeon, MIT nuclear researcher Andrew Kadak and David Jhirhad of the World Resources Institute, described as "an environmental think tank in Washington."
Jhirhad was the only potentially balancing source, but he is quoted only to make Kroft's point that "even some environmental groups are taking a second look at nuclear power." This is an emerging line in much of the corporate media (e.g., Washington Post, 4/16/06; New York Times, 2/27/07), though the actual number of green groups embracing nuclear power is quite small. The World Resources Institute receives contributions from several energy companies and other major polluters, information that would have been useful for CBS viewers in evaluating Jhirad's claim that the nuclear industry's "safety record has been pretty good."
The segment's one-sided sourcing was made all the more problematic when the White House's Sell claimed that "no serious person can look at the challenge of greenhouse gases and climate change and not come to the conclusion that nuclear power has to play a significant and growing role in meeting that challenge worldwide." Of course, "serious people" do question precisely that--and CBS should have interviewed them.
Excluding such sources meant excluding important information. While France's nuclear power is portrayed as widely popular, CBS failed to mention large protests held across the country on March 17 (Agence France Presse, 3/17/07) against construction of a new nuclear plant. Nor, in touting the massive nuclear reprocessing plant France has built in Normandy, did the show refer to the radiation it releases into the English Channel (NIRS Nuclear Monitor, 3-4/00) or the cluster of leukemia cases occurring around the plant (British Medical Journal, 1/11/97).
Kroft even adopts industry-friendly language in describing the push to revive U.S. nuclear power, discussing the "financial incentives" and "streamlined regulatory system" intended to encourage nuclear energy development. Such "incentives" might better be described as government subsides, which have long been criticized by nuclear industry critics as a waste of taxpayers' money. Unmentioned in the CBS report were similar subsidies in France; according to the U.S.-based Institute for Energy and Environmental Research (5/4/06), $1 billion a year in government subsidies go to plutonium production alone.
Excluding critical voices allowed grossly misleading information to go unchallenged, as when nuclear executive Lauvergeon claimed, in the segment's conclusion, that "wind and solar are, you know, temporary sources of energy. It works when you have wind, it works when you have sun. No sun, no wind, no energy. You don't want to watch TV only when you have wind." Of course, wind and solar energy are not "temporary" sources of energy; power generated by both can be stored. Airing this sort of misinformation eliminates any real consideration of viable alternatives to nuclear energy.
At one point, Kroft says that "the Bush administration is pushing a nuclear revival." The same could be said for CBS.
Contact 60 Minutes to ask why its report on nuclear energy excluded the views of the industry's numerous critics.
CBS 60 Minutes
Check out the blog on MySpace to keep up to date with developments on the project.
In February Tenner Films went out to the Navajo reservation in New Mexico/Arizona to do some filming with Navajos living in the midst of one of the biggest uranium mining sites in the world. Mining ceased there in the 1980s but with the current stock market boom in uranium, there is renewed interest from mining companes who want to restart mining on Navajo land.
The trip was very successful, they met some incredible people including an 89 year old former miner and his family, and got some great footage. Tenner Films is now working on editing it all together and hope to produce a short stand-alone piece specifically on the Navajo situation as well as feeding this material into the main film in due course.
TENNER FILMS IS A GRASSROOTS PROJECT. THEY NEED ASSISTANCE FROM ANYONE WHO CAN OFFER IT TO HELP THE PROJECT MOVE FORWARD. TEN POUNDS (A TENNER AS THEY CALL IT HERE IN BLIGHTY!) OR ANY SUM YOU CAN MANAGE WOULD BE A HUGE HELP. AS THEY SAY, MIGHTY OAKS FROM LITTLE ACORNS GROW!
Green Nuclear Butterfly requested and obtained from the NRC an exhibitor's table during the open house segment of the event to hand out literature from the anti-Indian Point consituency.
The open house segment will be held from 2:30 PM to 6:30 PM.
The public meeting segment is from 6:30 PM to 9:30 PM.
We are asking for members of IPSEC, Riverkeeper, Clearwater, and other anti-nuclear/pro-Indian Point shut down supporters to join Green Nuclear Butterfly April 16th at Cortland Manor.
GNB & Rock The Reactors needs volunteers to mend the table and collect literature. You can either bring literature on the day of the event or mail it to Sherwood Martinelli at 351 Dyckman Street, Peekskill, New York 10566.
See you April 26th.
Wednesday, April 18, 2007
You do the math... it would take 500 windmills, or five wind farms, to produce the same amount of electricity as one new nuclear reactor. Electrons produced by wind energy cost 10 cents on the dollar of what new nukes could produce them for!
So, what's the argument for nuclear power again? Radioactive waste, toxic fish, cancer... and ten times the cost for electric power? Interesting... someone please explain it to me again?
Greenpeace is fighting the wrong fight. Don't try to stop new nukes, they are dead on arrival... economically, technologically... HELP US CLOSE THE OLD DECREPIT ONES, like INDIAN POINT? Greenpeace, where are you? You never even had the courtesy to publicly reply to our petition, signed by more than two dozen anti-nuclear leaders and organizations from all over the country! What happened Greenpeace DC? Where's that gung-ho spirit displayed by your counterparts in Europe? Send the Witness up the Hudson river before Indian Point has another accident we won't duck!!!
Maybe this new organization below might start packaging the message so people will listen to reason!!!
Alliance for Clean Energy New York
194 Washington Avenue, Suite 605
Albany, NY 12210
(518) 432-1405 Fax: (518) 432-1407
ACE NY Membership
AES-Acciona-NA; Airtricity; Albany Engineering Corporation; altPower, Inc.; Arcadia Wind/Blue Water Wind; AWEA; AWS Truewind, LLC; Azure Mt. Power; Babcock & Brown; BQ Energy; BP Alternative Energy NA, Inc.; Brookfield; Citizens Campaign for the Environment; Clipper Windpower; Community Energy, Inc.; Constellation New Energy; Delaney Construction Corporation; Direct Energy; DUCE Construction Corporation; Ecogen Wind, LLC; Ecology & Environment, Inc.; EDRPC; EHN-USA; Enel North America, Inc.; Environmental Advocates of New York; Everpower Renewables; First American Title Insurance Company of New York; GE Energy; Green & Seifter, Attorneys, PLLC; Horizon Wind Energy; Hudson Valley Clean Energy, Inc.; Invenergy, LLC; Law Offices of David M. Wise, PA; Malkin & Ross; McKenna, Long & Aldridge, LLP; Mercer Asset Management Corp.; Nixon Peabody; NRDC; NRG Systems; Noble Environmental Power; PACE; Partnership for NYC, Inc. ; Plug Power, Inc.; PPM Energy, Inc.; PV Now; Read & Laniado, LLP; Renewable Energy Long Island; Reunion Power; Rudy Stegemoeller; Stewart Title Insurance Company; Sustainable Energy Developments, Inc.; Tamarack Energy, Inc.; Tetra Tech EC, Inc.; UPC Wind Management; Verdant Power, Inc.; Vestas Americas; Wendel Duchscherer; Whiteman, Osterman & Hanna, LLP; Young, Sommer;
First Indian Point Contact:
6 Green St
Beacon, NY 12508
Prints are available for purchase directly from Greg Heine's website Red5Images.
Tuesday, April 17, 2007
Let the world remember all that is beautiful and special about Virginia Tech, for it was, is, and should always be far more than one tragic event on one fateful day. Here in New York, 9/11 happened and that day, the tragic loss of life, the thunderous horrible crash of the twin towers happened, is etched forever into the history of the city, but New York, like Virginia Tech is about so much more than that one sad foot note.
In Loving Memory of Those Who Lost Their Lives
By BOB AUDETTE,
Tuesday, April 17
She's bared it all for her art. Now Isabel Vinson is taking her clothes off to draw America's attention to a nuclear power plant, Vermont Yankee in Vernon, which has been operating since 1972 and is up for license renewal.
"There's no need for it anymore," said Vinson, a model and former Brattleboro resident who recently moved to Ware, Mass. She modeled sans clothes on the Hinsdale, N.H., side of the river because it's one way to make people pay attention to the issues related to nuclear power, she said.
"It doesn't matter who is in the picture," said Vinson. "They should just shut down the plant."
Living in Brattleboro for seven years made it impossible for her to ignore the dangers of nuclear energy.
"If anything happens, we're all gone," she said.
Vinson's picture isn't the only one of its type that can be found on the Internet, and much of it is due to the efforts of her photographer, anti-nuclear activist Remy Chevalier, who has started an online photo contest.
Winners will have their work showcased in major fashion, environmental and political magazines, both online and in print, said Chevalier, and a chance to exhibit at the Festival de la Photo de Mode in Cannes. There is only one requirement for the contest -- photographers have to use real nuclear power plants as a backdrop.
Chevalier and Vinson took their pictures from Hinsdale, sneaking around, said Vinson, to keep from getting into trouble with the law.
But they needn't have worried, said a spokesman for the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, who said as long as they didn't take pictures of security measures in place at Yankee, they aren't breaking any laws.
"After Sept. 11, there was a lot of sensitivity about nuclear power plants," said Neil Sheehan, referring to the November 2001 arrest of Reformer photographer Jason Henske who was arrested after taking photos of Vermont Yankee. He was quickly released and no charges were filed.
"Since then, the hyper-sensitivity has eased off," said Sheehan. "There are no restrictions on someone taking a photograph using a nuclear power plant as a backdrop."
A spokesman for Entergy, which owns and operates Vermont Yankee, had no comment on the nude photographs.
For one photographer, who described himself as neither pro- nor anti-nuclear, submitting his photo to Chevalier was another way of getting his product out to a wider market.
"I do fashion photography," said Kim Taylor. During a photo shoot using clothing styles reminiscent of the 1940s, Taylor asked his models to stand in front of the Pickering nuclear power plant in Ontario, Canada.
Taylor said he found it interesting that both those for and those against nuclear power might use his photo subjects as "pin-up girls," and in calendars similar to those that hang in repair and machine shops around the country, full of scantily-clad models.
"Doesn't bother me at all," he said.
Chevalier started the photo project about nine months ago, and interest has been building ever since through word of mouth.
If he gets enough submissions -- and why not? There are 103 operating nuclear power plants in the United States -- he hopes to print a calendar or publish a book of the photos.
"Right now we are doing a calendar with electric vehicles," said Chevalier, who admitted he had about a thousand irons in the fire at any given time. But high on his priority list is getting Indian Point nuclear power plant shut down. He lives east of the plant on the Hudson River, in Wilton, Conn.
The intent, he said, of taking pictures of models at nuclear power plants "is to draw attention to these issues."
"People did not know about nuclear power are paying attention because of a pretty girl from Brattleboro," he said. "Never underestimate the power of a model."
Chevalier has also taken pictures of a model with Indian Point in the background.
"Remy has always felt the fashion community ought to become more conscious about their ability to contribute to this discussion," said Larry Bloch of Brattleboro, a long-time friend of Chevalier's.
Though protesting nuclear power is serious business, said Bloch, "there's no incompatibility between fun and activism." If seeing a nude model posing in front of nuclear power plant gets people talking, he said, then it's all for the good.
"There's a lack of education on a very serious subject," he said.
"That's really charming," said Deb Katz, of the anti-nuclear group Citizen Awareness Network. "I appreciate whatever actions that get people involved."
While she felt some might be offended by the picture of a nude woman in front of Yankee, she agreed with Bloch that poking fun at their subject, and even themselves, is important for anti-nuclear activists.
"Hijinks are just as important as legal action," she said. "It's going to take different things to wake people up to the fact that we have to close the plant."
For more photos from the project go to:
Monday, April 16, 2007
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Rochelle Becker, (858) 337-2703
NUCLEAR REVIVAL DIES IN COMMITTEE:
Bill to lift 30-year state ban defeated
Today, a controversial bill that would have allowed the construction of nuclear power plants to resume in California died in committee before reaching the floor of the State Assembly.
AB 719 (Devore) would have struck down California's 1976 Nuclear Safeguards Act, a moratorium on building nuclear power plants until a permanent solution to the storage of high-level radioactive waste is developed. The Assembly's Natural Resources Committee, chaired by
Assemblywoman Loni Hancock, voted 4 to 2 to uphold the ban. Several members who expressed concern about lifting the ban were not there when the vote was counted as they had conflicting bills in other Committees.
The California legislature enacted the Nuclear Safeguards legislation to prohibit new plant construction because of the federal government's failure to create a central nuclear waste repository. Thirty-one years later, no such solution exists and approximately 75,000 tons of radioactive byproducts of nuclear power generation have accumulated and are stored adjacent to the nation's rivers, lakes and oceans awaiting disposal.
According the Resources Committee's analysis of the Devore bill, "the federal waste disposal program has been plagued with technical and legal challenges, managerial problems, licensing delays, persistent weaknesses in quality assurance for the program, and increasing costs."
The Devore bill claimed to address the need to reduce carbon dioxide emissions to curb global warming. According to the California Energy Commission, the most significant reductions in CO2 emissions from electricity generation can be achieved through energy efficiency programs and integrating renewable energy resources -- solar, wind, thermal, biomass and hydropower-- into electricity supplies.
"The so-called nuclear renaissance and the idea the nuclear power is the way to combat climate change is based on a tall stack of fallacies, unsupported by past experience or future promises," said Rochelle Becker, Executive Director of the Alliance for Nuclear Responsibility, which spearheaded opposition to the Devore bill. “Just because nuclear power proponents call their technology green, doesn’t make it so,”
"The Alliance for Nuclear Responsibility welcomes every opportunity to discuss issues of nuclear power and waste versus solutions to global warming that focus on efficiency and renewable energy with Assemblyman Devore and all members of our state legislature. We anticipate the results of an upcoming study by the California Energy Commission that will analyze the costs, benefits and risks of continuing down a nuclear energy path will lead us to a clearer understanding of where to invest our energy dollars,” Becker said.
Alliance for Nuclear Responsibility is an educational and advocacy organization that works with other environmental and policy groups to stop nuclear power development and relicensing of aging nuclear facilities in California and promote create clean, renewable and economic energy sources that will create jobs, provide energy independence and serve as a model for other states and countries. For more information, see: www.a4nr.org
I celebrated the one year anniversary of the Rock The Reactors campaign launch (alone) by landing a soft drink sponsor. It's always been about making a theatrical production out of all this, run it like a Broadway show... a passion play, with actors, players, good guys, bad guys... give the public something to sink their teeth into besides boring facts and figures.
We use HIGH drama to great effect, it gets people going, rolling, steaming... our combined webpages and websites are read by lurkers, stalkers, from work... sly in the latest installment like they would a soap opera, or turning the pages of a romance novel. From MySpace to ModelMayhem to Eco-Chick to Hugg to Rock The Reactors to Green Nuclear Butterfly... we set out to become folk heroes, learned from the masters, our mentors, aiming not to end up like them, get shot, poisoned, commit suicide, end up in a pine box.
The folks in the nuclear industry are mean and cruel, dangerous, they harm people... they ran Silkwood off the road... if anything happened to Betcee May because of the high profile position we are putting her in... I would instantly put a bullet to my brain... not before tracking down the Shadow government team that would ever dare touch a hair off her head, nuke them into oblivion... The Kennedys killed Marilyn Monroe... I KNOW this... I know why also... Now you know why Robert Jr. and I can't see eye to eye, why he turns his back on me at fancy cocktail parties... I spent part of my childhood growing up in Palm Beach... I come from where he comes from... I tasted the same thirst.
To their family, it's about holding on to power... it's not about shutting down Indian Point, or giving the people energy independence... His speeches ring hollow to me, because I don't believe a word he says. It's grand standing and oratory... I can do that in my sleep. He attracts social climbers who think that by his side they will feel the beat of the environmental heart... from Robert I get pretence and shame... not the measure of a man.
These are harsh words from someone who in the eye of many is just a rumor... I spent my life lurking, advising, being like Talleyrand... look him up. 2.5 Billion Dollars to build ONE new 1000Mw reactor... A 2Mw windmill costs half a million dollars... you do the math... These are monsters. Who would rather ruin the earth than liberate mankind from the slavery and tyranny of the electron conspiracy. They send their anonymous Entergy paid hacks, who mirror what we do for inspiration... rehash the same old rethoric, can't stop the inevitable... 3 million political prisoners in America...
Free Leonard Peltier... It's about Indian Point... It's about Amerika... It's about the future of this planet and the energy we produce on it... it's about the future of Africa and Asia... decades it took to line up the alternative energy industry so it could stand up to the powers that be... and no Kennedy is going to stand in the way of windmills off Cape Cod... or windmills on Indian Lands... and no government, military, or oil baron is going to prevent the mass production of solid-state lithium ion batteries which are going to make the internal combustion engine a relic for the history books.
I'm tired of this fight, it's taken too long... I'm wrapping it up... the best PR firms (yes, these Entergy pundits were right) are lining up to take on this fight, make it their own... from South Beach to Hollywood, even little Westport... Indian Point is a lot more than just a poor ol'Nuke, it's a bastion, a beacon... we won't need good ol'fashion barricades... sure, it would be nice if John Hall sent out a call to arms, with pitch forks for peasants at the gates, demanding the plant be closed... but why bother, when this amazing tool we wield like a sword, the Internet, is doing the job for us... quietly, from the comfort of our own homes.
Instant communications, email activism... images, messages, energies in the shape of emotions running down a fiber optic cable... the money Entergy spends on pricey advisors and breasted suit men, can't match the fervor of our populist charm... which has always been on the side of right, even if we argue amongst ourselves as to the best way to lead the fight. Closing down Indian Point is going to be a party... it's going to be about helping hundreds of Entergy employees who never bargained for this... who were sold a bill of goods, sold nuclear power like others sell chewing tabacco, holding their nose all the way to the bank, justifying their lives even though they know deep inside they are sad... and we are right.
It's got to stop... this wholesale destruction of nature, wildlife, LIFE... can't go on... unimpeded. Yet, everyone is waiting for someone else to do it... a leader to emerge... someone to take the lead... don't look at me... Look at yourselves... Look at your neighbors... Your friends... your community... the allies you have in Manhattan you have not even bothered to call up on the phone in this time of need... the newspapers editors you keep putting off writing letters to, asking them to pay a little attention to grassroots effort, not so much to Entergy and NRC tampered press releases.
It's the end of an era, we've seen it all before... it just replays like a broken record... solar and wind will replace oil and coal, not nuclear... and possibly even more extraodinary means of generating clean power, that are deeply buried under layers and layers of compartementalization in secret labs all over this land... the planet is dying... look outside... look at the color of the sky over the ocean at sunset, the yellow glow... that's the dust from all the crap we spew in the atmosphere everyday, the lungs of the earth can't assimilate anymore...
A few weeks ago Rock The Reactors conducted a one on one interview with the official Peekskill historian, who gave us a cartoon of Indian Point as King Kong... and it blew my mind, because one year ago, this for me, started because I had a vision on the Hudson... for beauty to kill the beast, because nobody else, in 30 years, was able to do the job... and here it was... an old cartoon, from when the plant had first been built, before the concrete started to crack, before the pipes started to leak, before the welding joints started to give... the people knew... it was just a matter of time... a few days ago a transformer blew... a huge cloud of smoke bellowed into the Hudson Valley sky, photographed by a news helicopter... It wasn't sabotage, it wasn't terrorism... it was just a warning shot... one more in a long list of many, that enough is enough... we don't need this.
The Clearwater Festival is coming up again in June... there's a group trying to give Pete Seeger the Nobel Peace Prize... with everything that's piled up these last few months, we could shut down Indian point in two strokes of a legislator's pen... there's no need for an Independent Safety Assessement, or another catastrophic accident. The people of Rockland County have already voted a man into office they trusted would do the right thing. All John has to do is walk outside one morning and start walking... and ALL the citizens of Peekskill will follow him to the gates... Entergy workers themselves will leave their post... safely shut down the machine... let it rest... and we'll start rebuilding our world... without the threat of nuclear power looming while our children sleep, terrified to speak up... wondering why their parents would allow such a monster to fester.
Dragons die, it's OK... some things were just not meant to live forever... we got better now... plastic solar cells, ultra light materials, nano-motors... amazing green technologies... Uranium, the fruit of Gaia's loins, was never meant to leave the ground... where it serves its purpose... where it is... just like we wouldn't ask you to drink battery acid because it was a clear liquid. This pirate ship wants its figurehead back... it can't sail into harbor without its pride intact. Astro Boy can wait another day.
NRC, NEI and The Nuclear Industry Rig DBT, Plan Security To Defend Against The DBT, Not A Terrorist Attack
Instead of our reactor sites being prepared to defend themselves against a terrorist attack, hundreds of millions of dollars have been spent for window dressing, and to prepare licensees for the DBT they created, to help them pass Force on Force exercises that are fatally flawed, and biased in favor of corporate profits, instead of host community public safety. Security issues have not been removed from public view because of national security concerns, but instead to keep members of the general public ignorant of the real risks posed by reactors, and to hide a corrupt partnership wherein the NRC, DOE and the DHS willingly dilute rules and regulations to keep America's nuclear industry financially afloat as they try to push forth the agenda of a Nuclear Renaissance.
The NRC and the nuclear industry freely admit that nuclear reactors are likely targets for a terrorist attack, yet the NRC allowed the NEI (Nuclear Energy Institute) almost dictatorial control in shaping a DBT that suits their own purposes, protects their industry's financial asssets while foisting much of the financial, legal and moral responsibility of protecting nuclear reactors off onto local, state and fedreal law enforcement in the name of saving money. Such callous disregard on the part of both industry and the NRC has left every reactor host community vulnerable should terrorist launch a concerted effort to destroy a reactor facility here in America.
Force on Force exercises (conducted every three years) are designed to test the ability of security forces against a mock terrorist attack. The DBT envisions much of that defense coming from local, state and federal law enforcement, and in severe case scenarios, the united States military establishment. Yet, the NRC's Force on Force exercises do not involve/include any of these outside agencies and their trained forces in the exercise, do not test the abilities of said law enforcement agencies to respond to a terrorist attack.
If the nuclear industry and the NRC see off site law enforcement as a part of the intregal defense stategy of a nuclear facility, commonsense dictates they be included in any and all Force on Force exercises...especially since the NRC includes as a part of said exercises the licensee demonstrating the steps they would employ to notify and involve off site law enforcement. Even DHS admits it only depends on NRC licensees to defend "inside the fence" of a nuclear facility. With that reality, where is preparedness training, and financing for off site security? Though the Department of Homeland Security has the jurisdictional authority to step in and regulate the security of the nuclear industry, they have refused to do so.
Far more disturbing than who is resonsible for what, is how the NRC weakened the DBT from the onset through various exclusionary methods to a point where reactor communities have no real protections at all should a terrorist event unfold. From the outset, the NRC's methodology is highly suspect. Their criteria for eliminating threats from inclusion in the DBT creates a scenario wherein reactors in other countries are far more protected and secure than any here in America, thus making reactors in the United States ripe for terrorist exploitation.
1. Location and level of social stability where the terrorist characteristic was demonstrated...if a particular terrorist job skill was successfully employed, but in a politically unstable nation, said characteristic is exempted from the NRC's DBT for American reactors. The NRC's thinking behind this methodology, is that terrorists planning to attack an American reactor would face far greater operational security and logistical challenges than terrorists operating in counties going through internal insurgency. First, the attacks of 9/11 showed this thinking and/or mindset on the part of the NRC to be fundamentally wrong. Additionally, the recent terrorist attack deep into the heavily fortified Green Zone in Iraq tells us that the NRC is greatly underestimating the operational abilities of the terrorist networks around the world.
2. Frequency with which a terrorist characteristic has been demonstrated, and the ease of weapon availiabilty on the open or black market. This particular methodology would have been reasonable, until the NRC allowed NEI and the nuclear industry to cross off the proposed list any weapons they did not want to defend against...such as the easily attainable and frequently used RPG as one example.
3. Type of target the characteristic and/or weapon had been used against in the past, the tactical use of the characteristic, and the motive behind its use...for instance, had said weapon been used in the past against a structure with similiar security levels found at a nuclear facility...it should be noted here, that Al Quida routinely uses RPG's and mortars against various hardened targets all over the world.
The Energy Policy Act spells out specifically certain factors/scenerios that the DBT should include, but that the NRC has decided to ignore. The Energy Policy Act as example says the DBT should include a large attack force...the NRC instead decided such an approach made no sense. One of their reasons for this decision? It is their belief that terrorists would not use a large attack force on one reactor, but instead use a bunch of smaller groups to attack several reactors simultaneously.
The NRC staff recommended the DBT include the potential for a large explosive laden vehicle. The NEI objected, saying the vehicle should be smaller. Their reasoning was that the larger vehicle bomb would more than likely be discovered by off site law enforcement before it could successfully attack the nuclear facility. Of course, the fact that a smaller explosive laden vehicle would be A) easier to defend against, and B) even if successfully detonated do far less damage to the reactor or spent fuel pool of a nuclear site never entered the NEI's mind. The NRC caved into industry demands, and greatly reduced the size of the bomb ladened truck in the DBT.
The NRC's draft DBT included a long laundry list of easily available weapons terrorists routinely use, that licensees should be prepared to defend against. Things like RPG's, shouldered launched rockets and the good old fashion mortar come quickly to mind. The NEI was livid, and wanted almost every weapon removed from the list. Their reasons for this were A) some of the weapons would be too costly for the licensees to defend against (even though DOE sites do), and B) one of the weapons routinely used by terrorist, if included on the DBT list of weapons would render every nuclear facility bullet resistant tower obsolete and valueless. The NRC again caved in, but left two weapons on the list...not to worry, when the final DBT came up for a vote, the commissioners removed these two weapons from the list for the NEI.
The list of egregious wrongs in creating the worthless DBT for the protection of nuclear power plants goes on and on.
The NEI objected to having a violent inside operative or angry employee included in the DBT, claiming they could not come up with a COST EFFECTIVE SECURITY SOLUTION for such a scenerio. Looking at today's tragedy at Virginia tech, we have to wonder how close Indian Point came to having that crazed inside employee in Stevn Lessard. Again, the NRC ended up dropping such a scenerio from the plan. To give the nuclear industry even more sway in the creation of the DBT, NRC staff included NEI's unverified cost benefits analysis as one of the documents the NRC commissioners reviewed in making their decisions on what would stay in the DBT final document.
The commissioners justified some of their logic with some very disturbing thinking for supposed professionals out to protect public safety against a terrorist attack.
1. Approved an assumption that some security safeguards were not necessary, as it was likely the industry would recieve some advance general warning, notice recieved before an attack. Sure, Osama will probably send out embossed invitations to the incident far enough in advance that we can all RSVP.
2. Stated they expected/demanded a period of regulatory stability (no changes) where security issues are concerned. God forbid new and/or changing security threats should interfere with their agenda to rubberstamp the license renewal applications of 103 failing and poorly protected nuclear reactors.
3. Clarified the NRC's position, that sites are not required to defeat a terrorist attack, as that would require security forces to employ offensive measures beyond what is allowed under law. Curious here...is this sort of like the National Guard being sent to the border, but told they cannot fire their weapons until they are actually fired upon?
The rubber stamping of license renewals needs to end. The rubber stamping of NEI's wishes and whimes has to stop, the back room deal making and corruption exposed. Most importantly, the DBT needs revisited immediately, with full open oublic involvement in the process, and security and safety concerns of host communities put back on the license renewal application process negotiating table.
To give readers an idea of the kinds of weapons and threats that should be included in the DBT, I include a basic information document on terrorists weapons that you can download from the United Nations website.
Conventional Terrorist Weapons
More About Terrorism,Terrorism Home Page,Terrorism Conventions
Terrorists are, on the whole, conventional in their use of weapons; bombs and guns are their favourites. Among the former, car- and truck-bombs have become very powerful weapons, especially in suicide attacks. Terrorists use both explosive bombings and incendiary bombings (e.g. Molotov cocktails). They also make use of letter and parcel bombs. Terrorists use guns, pistols, revolvers, rifles and (semi-) automatic weapons in assassinations, sniping, armed attacks and massacres. Grenades - from hand grenades to rocket-propelled - are also part of the terrorist arsenal. The use of missiles is rare but a few groups are known to be in possession of surface-to-air shoulder-fired missiles that can bring down helicopters, fighter aircrafts and civilian airliners.
Guns and Other Firearms
Terrorists use both manufactured and improvised firearms. The term manufactured designates those arms made professionally by arms factories, while improvised describes those manufactured by non-professional arms manufacturers, or by illicit workshops. Firearms are sometimes referred to as "bored weapons", indicating the barrel from which the bullet or projectile is fired, or the tube from which the projectile is launched.
These are divided into sub-categories:
Small Arms: most firearms under the level of medium machine guns, or as a loose rule, belt-fed machine guns. They include pistols (which are now all semi-automatic or self re-loading), revolvers, rifles, submachine guns and light machine guns. Small arms also include so-called assault rifles, which are in fact either submachine gun mechanisms or mechanisms providing the same firing facilities in the body, stock or woodwork of a short rifle or carbine. The hand-guns (pistols and revolvers) are sometimes known as sidearms.
Medium-size Infantry Weapons: medium-sized machine guns (many of which are belt-fed), smaller sized mortars, rocket- propelled grenades and smaller calibre wire-guided missiles.
Heavy Infantry Weapons: heavy calibre machine guns, heavy calibre mortars, larger calibre wire-guided missiles, shoulder-held anti-tank missile launchers and some rockets below the category of artillery.
These weapons include any of the above which are made outside professional and legal arms factories. Not all types of the above weapons have been privately manufactured or improvised, but weapons such as the AK-47 Kalashnikov assault rifle or the M-60 heavy machine gun are within the manufacturing capabilities of local arms artificers on the north-west frontier of the Indian subcontinent. Primitive mortars and rocket launchers are also sometimes manufactured by different entities.
Weapons Manufacturers and Weapon Names
Most small arms are designed for military use, but hunting weapons and occasionally full-bore target-shooting weapons are also utilized.
Common calibres (reflecting procurement and re-supply trends).
Manufacturers / Weapons
Considerable quantities of commercial shotguns are diverted into illicit black markets due to the large number of commercial manufacturers. The most common weapon manufacturers are:
FN (Fabrique Nationale).
Webley & Scott.
A. Kalashnikov (AK).
Smith & Wesson.
British Small Arms Co.
1) AK-47 (Soviet rifle)
The AK-47 was accepted as the standard rifle for the Soviet Army in 1949 and retained that status until it was succeeded by the AKM. During the Cold War, the USSR supplied arms to anti-Western insurgent terrorists. The AK-47 became a symbol of left-wing revolution; between 30-50 million copies and variations of the AK-47 have been produced globally, making it the most widely used rifle in the world.
2) RPG-7 (Rocket Propelled Grenade)
The RPG-7 was issued by forces of the former USSR, the Chinese military and North Korea, and was used in many countries receiving weapons and training from the Warsaw Pact members. The RPG-7 proved to be a very simple and functional weapon, effective against fixed emplacements and playing an anti-vehicle/anti-armour role. Its effective range is thought to be approximately 500 metres when used against a fixed target, and about 300 metres when fired at a moving target. The RPG-7 is being used extensively by terrorist organizations in the Middle East and Latin America and is thought to be in the inventory of many insurgent groups. The RPG-7 is available in illegal international arms markets, particularly in Eastern Europe and the Middle East.
3) Stinger (FIM92A)
The US-made Stinger is a man-portable infrared guided shoulder-launched Surface-To-Air Missile (SAM). It proved to be highly effective in the hands of Afghan Mujahedeen guerrillas during their insurgency against the Soviet intervention. Its maximum effective range is approximately 5,500 metres. Its maximum effective altitude is approximately 5250metres. It has been used to target high-speed jets, helicopters and commercial airliners.
4) SA-7 ("Grail")
Sold by the thousands after the demise of the former Soviet Union, the SA-7 "Grail" uses an optical sight and tracking device with an infrared seeking mechanism to strike flying targets with great force. Its maximum effective range is approximately 6,125 metres and maximum effective altitude is approximately 4300 metres. It is known to be in the stockpiles of several terrorist and guerrilla groups.
Bombs and Other Explosives
Few military bombs (other than those dropped by aircraft) are currently manufactured on the scale and with the diversity encountered in the Second World War. The exception to this generalization is the mine - both the anti-personnel and anti-tank mine. Mines can be adapted without too much difficulty with average combat-engineer experience. Some 300 different types of mines are buried under the soil, killing tens of thousands every year.
Most bombs assembled by terrorists are improvised. The raw material required for explosives is stolen or misappropriated from military or commercial blasting supplies, or made from fertilizer and other readily available household ingredients. Such assembled bombs are known as Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs).
IEDs have a main charge, which is attached to a fuse. The fuse is attached to a trigger. In some types of IEDs, these three components are almost integrated into a single whole. The trigger is the part which activates the fuse. The fuse ignites the charge, causing the explosion. The explosion consists of a violent pulse of blast and shock waves. The effects of the IED are sometimes worsened by the addition of material, such as scrap iron or ball-bearings. Sometimes the trigger is not the only component that activates the fuse; there is also an anti-handling device that triggers the fuse when the IED is handled or moved. The purpose of most IEDs is to kill or maim. Some IEDs, known as incendiaries, are intended to cause damage or destruction by fire. The format of the charge in some IEDs (some of which have no casing to contain the components of the IED) can be shaped or directional, rendering a measure of control over the explosion. Anti-personnel mines and other types of mines have been adapted by terrorists to suit their purposes.
Favoured Explosive Charges
RDX (Cyclonite or Hexogen, depending on form).
PETN (Raw form of RDX).
C4 (Plastic Explosive).
TNT (Tri Nitro Toluene)
Common Fertilizer, used as a base.
Methods / Triggers used to detonate an IED
Pressure activated (physical).
Pressure activated (water or atmospheric).
Electronic Signal (Remote Control).
Electronic Signal (Radio Frequency).
Electronic Pulse (Detonator box)
Photo Electric Cell ("when dawn breaks").
Circuit Connection (Anti-handling Device).
Time Switch (Electronic).
Time Switch (Acid activated).
Examples of IEDs
This is the most common type of terrorist bomb and usually consists of low-velocity explosives inside a tightly capped piece of pipe. Pipe bombs are very easily made using gunpowder, iron, steel, aluminium or copper pipes. They are sometimes wrapped with nails to cause even more harm.
This improvised weapon - first used by the Russian resistance against German tanks in the Second World War - is used by terrorists world-wide. Molotov cocktails are extremely simple to make and can cause considerable damage. They are usually made from materials like gasoline, diesel fuel, kerosene, ethyl or methyl alcohol, lighter fluid and turpentine, all of which are easily obtained. The explosive material is placed in a glass bottle, which breaks upon impact. A piece of cotton serves as a fuse, which is ignited before the bottle is thrown at the target.
Fertilizer Truck Bomb
Fertilizer truck bombs consist of ammonium nitrate. Hundreds of kilograms may be required to cause major damage. The Irish Republican Army, Tamil Tigers and some Middle Eastern groups use the ammonium nitrate bomb.
One of the more advanced weapons in the terrorist's arsenal. The detonator of the bomb is linked to an altitude meter, causing the explosion to occur in mid-air.