Monday, August 27, 2007

Astonishing tower collapse screams "No New Nukes!!"

Astonishing tower collapse screams "No New Nukes!!"
by Harvey Wasserman

August 27, 2007

A cooling tower at the Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power plant has collapsed.

A broken 54" pipe there has spewed 350,000 gallons per minute of contaminated, overheated water into the Earth. "The river water piping and the series of screens and supports failed," said a company spokesman. They "fell to the ground."

The public and media were barred from viewing the wreckage for three days. But when a Congressional Energy Bill conference committee takes up Senate-approved loan guarantees for building new nukes this fall, what will reactor backers say about this latest pile of radioactive rubble?

This kind of event can make even hardened nuke opponents pinch themselves and read the descriptions twice. Who could make this up?

Vermont Yankee has been in operation---more or less---since the early 1970s. Its owner is Entergy, a multi-reactor "McNuke" operator that last year got approval to up VY's output by 20%.

Required inspections revealed worrisome cracks and other structural problems. Entergy dismissed all that, but was forced to issue a "ratepayer protection policy" against incidents caused by the power increase. The guarantee expired earlier this month, not long before the collapse.

The tower came down amidst angry negotiations between Entergy and plant workers. A strike was barely averted, but VY's labor troubles are by no means over.

The reactor's output has now been slashed 50%. A public battle is raging over whether it can dump water even hotter than usual into the Connecticut River. Reactors in Alabama, France and elsewhere have been forced shut because the rivers that cool them have exceeded 90 degrees.

Yankee's cooling system, vintage 1972, centers on 22 (now 21) wood, fiberglass and metal towers that stretch for 300 feet, and are 50 feet high and 40 feet wide. The company calls this giant rig a "rain forest."

Operators admit to hearing "strange sounds" coming from its fans last week, but say Tuesday's collapse was unexpected.

Nuclear opponents who warned about such an event have been scorned by Entergy and its supporters. That something as apparently absurd as the spontaneous collapse of an entire cooling tower could actually occur underlines America's Keystone Kops reality of atomic operation and regulation. "We need to understand what happened," explains the Nuclear Regulatory Commission's Diane Screnci.

So does Congress. A definitive Conference Committee battle will be fought after Labor Day over an Energy Bill that includes taxpayer guarantees for $50 billion and more to build new nukes.
Meanwhile Vermonters will pay for this latest pile of radioactive reactor rubble. Maybe a "fall foliage" field trip to the Green Mountain State would do the Congress some good.

--Harvey Wasserman's SOLARTOPIA: OUR GREEN-POWERED EARTH, A.D. 2030, is available at He is senior advisor to Greenpeace USA and the Nuclear Information & Resource Service, and senior editor of, where this article first appeared.

NRC finds 'sleeping' Indian Point guard

NRC finds 'sleeping' Indian Point guard
August 27, 2007

BUCHANAN - A federal nuclear inspector found an apparently sleeping security guard yesterday afternoon at one of the Indian Point nuclear power plants' interior monitoring points.

"It was only after repeated attempts to get the guard's attention that the officer opened his eyes," Nuclear Regulatory Commission spokesman Neil Sheehan said today.

The senior resident NRC inspector, who was entering the plant as part of his regular duties, discovered the inattentive guard at 2:05 p.m. The guard was then removed from his post and is now on administrative leave, said a spokesman for Entergy Nuclear Northeast, the plants' owner.

"It's obviously unacceptable that you would have a security officer falling asleep at his post, and he'll be dealt with sternly," said Entergy spokesman Jim Steets.

U.S. Rep. Nita Lowey, D-Harrison, who heard about the incident this morning from the NRC congressional liaison, said the incident showed the need for a detailed investigation of Entergy's security practices.

"This does not reflect responsible leadership at Indian Point," Lowey said.

Both the NRC and Entergy said the incident did not affect Indian Point's security.

Staff writer Glenn Blain contributed to this report.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Revolution for the ELLE of it!

I'm sitting here thinking this morning, imagine if in the late 70's, rather than tear down that old house on Gorham Island in Westport, Connecticut Paul Newman and his then local lawyer, Leo Nevas, would have taken Jerry Rubin and I up on the idea of creating a renewable energy museum there, restoring the old house, putting in a restaurant, a few solar panels, a wind turbine... Imagine the attention it would have gotten, the tourists, the education... we'd have turned the entire ship around... we could have started to green suburbia 30 years ago... it would have been wonderful.

But it didn't happen. Paul Newman and Leo Nevas tore the house down... one morning they showed up with a bulldozer and plowed it into the ground... built a three story monstrosity with gold windows they've had trouble getting tenants for every since. The island should at the very least been made into a park... they wanted to capitalize on their Uniform Product Code investment. Instead, they doomed the human race. They tried to kill a movement, out of spite, stupidity and greed.

I remember one evening Joanne Woodward calling me up on the phone, screaming at me, because I had the audacity to question their downtown redevelopment judgment. She finally came to her senses... after the house came down, they finally purged the rotten apples from the Westport Historical (some would say hysterical) Society... and began to cherish their colonial heritage a bit more.

But the damage had already been done. In the 50's the Newmans helped to stop a nuclear power plant from getting built on Cockenoe Island in Westport... They stopped the Nike missile base from going operational behind Staples High School... they even made a movie about it, Rally Around The Flag Boys. So what the F*** happened?

They lost hope, that's what... They stopped listening to people... they huddled themselves into a little cocoon of privacy celebrity allows them to curl up into, they cut themselves off from all the people with solutions... they got sucked into the system... forfeited art for commerce... let their friend and business partner A.E. Hotchner rip off my concept for the all-natural plain and mushroom tomato sauce combo when I was a gardener at his home! They became awful people.

For years we tried to get Paul Newman's attention when we were developing alcohol fuels for the racing industry, getting him to endorse gasohol... instead he supported John Anderson which cost Jimmy Carter the presidency and put Ronald Reagan in office, who went on to tear down all the solar panels Jimmy had installed on the White House!

So what's Newman's game? His racing team is sponsored by the nuclear power industry. James Lovelock sells uranium stocks!!! All of Stewart Brand's friends and colleagues at the Whole Earth Review thinks he's completely lost his mind!!! Patrick Moore... well... he's just one big fat sell-out... Everybody at Greenpeace and Sea Shepherd HATES his guts... So I just got to thinking... looking at the pictures of the crumbling infrastructure of all these old nukes, these disasters waiting to happen... they have to be kidding right? They just did this to infiltrate the nuclear power industry... to turn around, wave back and grin... Gotcha! It's all been just a bad dream...

There wouldn't be a solar and wind industry today had it not been for Bonnie Raitt's MUSE, the 1979 NoNukes concert in Battery Park... it's what gave the anti-nuclear movement its "raison d'etre"... Harvey Wasserman never threw in the towel... never sold out... he knows the dynamics at play here... Solartopia... Ecotopia... We had a dream in the 60's... it took flight in Woodstock... but something happened... we forgot something... we forgot to take care of unfinished business... we forgot the Federal Bank Reserve sucking billions from the American people, re-investing them into wars, oil, coal, nuclear... this while suppressing the work of genius inventors who keep coming up with amazing, non intrusive ways of generating clean, limitless power.

It's not a lie, it's not a mirage... friends of mine have died in this fight, have been threatened, intimidated, ruined... I knew this going in... so I built a cage around myself... so they couldn't touch me... making life long unholy alliances with intelligence services just so I could get away with it... it's not just about pulling the plug on Indian Point... it's about putting an end to the IRS reign of terror... which is why we pushed hard so David Rockefeller's Stone Barns would become an organic farm... He didn't see that one coming... yet, once they realized who I was, what I was doing, they tried to poison me at one of their Blue Hill dinners... three days I thought I was going to die... it could have been in the wine glass.

I was just a kid when I stood alone in the Baron of Rothschild's office in Megeve, France as he swore to me I would never be able to do anything because: "he who controls the money, controls the world..." a sentence parroted again and again by his lackey Henry Kissinger... The Baron was terrified of me because of who my grandfather was, George Gurdjieff, a man with tremendous political influence in post-war France, who Louis Pauwels's "Morning of the Magicians" blamed for Hitler and the whole of World War 2. I was the demon child... the inspiration for Rosemary's Baby... You don't want my childhood, OK?

When you see a problem, you identify it's root cause, you yank it out, that's how you cure things. So in the early 70's, after the CIA tried unsuccessfully to recruit me, during a two hour meeting with Carol Foryst, then assistant to the Secretary of the Treasury... and Zbigniew Bzrezinki quietly listening in the other room... I decided I was going to go it alone... that these people were nuts, sick, despicable... war mongers... sad excuses for human beings... perpetuators of hate and terror... ultimately destroying life and nature all over the globe... so I cooked up a plan... told my friends. I also became what I resisted, to quote Nietzsche. I became just like them... it took an angel to break me. Which is what gave birth to Rock The Reactors!

Kucinich will tell you about the trillions of dollars missing from the Pentagon budget... where do you think it all went? To build hundreds of secret bases all over the globe, develop black ops technologies... create a shadow government... what for? I mean think about it... what the f*** for, other than just to play James Bond and Dr. No... bad boys with bad toys... National Security my ass! They managed to create a parallel universe to our own... playing Howard Hughes... using the invention and imagination of hundreds of young prodigies, the CIA methodically brain draining through IQ testing under the guise of relief charities.

The Newmans have been long time supporters and poster parents for Save The Children... an organization which over the years, has been ravaged by scandal, one over paid director after the other caught embezzling funds. Stories which rarely made it past buried pages in the Westport News... But it's there for the investigative journalist, if there are any left, to go dig.

This is the problem... yes, solar and wind could easily take care of all our energy needs if certain chemistries were not chronically under-funded, or worse, suppressed outright! Light Emitting Diodes have been around for a long time... yet, it's not until Home Power magazine started giving away plans to make "last forever" flashlights, that people woke up... rose to the challenge. If we all switched over the LEDs, which in mass production wouldn't cost a thing... we'd instantly reduce our electrical consumption by 60%... I mean, isn't that "The Moral Equivalent of War" was all about? Wouldn't that be more worth while than gearing up another nuclear sub or a new generation of Sikorsky attack helicopters?

But you see, that's not what the powers that be, participants in the annual Burning Man for Skull & Bones graduates at the Bohemian Grove want... they want to keep their system going, at all cost... so they can have their mansions and their yachts... their kids at Yale and Harvard... rich or poor we breathe the same air... as long as they own the air we breathe. And this I won't stand for. Neither will most nations on Earth, or the Native Americans.

Homeland security has already built hundreds of detention camps, ready to cart us off to if there's unrest in this country, if we stop watching television, or play video games... if we get wise to the situation... and we are, because the web, which is controlled by a new breed of renegade billionaires, TED, holding steadfast with the Tesla Motors roadster as their battering ram... are not kowtowing to FED pressures and are allowing the revolution to be cybercast. Otherwise I wouldn't be here typing this and posting it on Green Nuclear Butterfly, a rapidly growing blog!

Join us in the streets on September 7th... in New York, meet us at 11AM in Rockefeller Plaza... walk to News Corp, the FOX TV building, then the Australian consulate... let the puppermasters know enough is enough, the Earth is burning up, we don't need their centralized form of electron production and control... let Al Gore go! He's one of OURS! Let them know fashion will save the world... New York is New York... Broadway, 7th Avenue... it doesn't want an accident up the Hudson that would transform Manhattan into a ghost town...

We want David Rockefeller to stop killing his hogs... to stop rapping the Earth... to stop his wars... to shut down the Federal Bank Reserve and return the responsibility of printing currency to the American people. It's that simple! Ask Ron Paul... ask the thousands of conspiracy theory researchers in the United States who know this stuff inside and out... ask the folks at Paranoia Magazine, who have been chronicling strange bed fellows for years...

It's going down... took awhile in coming... took quite a bit of doing... but it's going down... Liberty and the pursuit of happiness, remember? Well... what makes me happy is a green Earth, fields of wind turbines, solar panels on suburban roof tops... batteries that don't quit... light bulbs that burn bright using barely any juice... rolling out a few secret flying machines from S4 at Groom Lake... for the world to see... so we can live in peace... so we can join the cosmic race. But none of this can happen as long as the bureaucrats and the technocrats running the IRS and the Federal Bank Reserve control the money, control the world.

Shut down Indian Point... make David Rockefeller sweat a little... put Newman, Lovelock, Brand and Moore to the test... how pro-nuclear are they, really? Really? or was it all a parody?