Tag Archives: Nuclear energy

Bryant blasts nuclear waste disposal critics | The Clarion-Ledger | clarionledger.com

“It’s amazing to me that any discussion about nuclear power causes such a reaction. … What other topics are we not allowed to discuss? Alternative energy? Wind power or solar?” comes the consternation from officials in Mississippi in response to objections to the possibility of storage of nuclear material in Mississippi.

Wonder why anyone in Mississippi, such a dirt poor state, would think of nuclear waste as any more dangerous than wind or solar power? After all a wind turbine was damaged by a tornado last year and now someone has admitted that radioactive leaks from it “are far worse than previously acknowledged.” No, I am sorry that is the assessment from Japan about the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear catastrophe. Did I mention that solar panels melted in Pennsylvania and everyone in a twenty mile radius was asked to evacuate and that when the solar panels melted radioactive gases and radioactive iodine were released into the environment? No, I apologize. Those events were related to “nuclear reactors in Dauphin County, Pennsylvania, United States, on March 28, 1979 (Three Mile Island in Pennsylvania.)

Only in Mississippi could alluding to solar and wind power as meriting no more concern than nuclear waste storage be forwarded as a rational comparison. If you throw around revenue figures to desperate people, just look at Mississippi’s per capita income, and education level it you might get a picture of why such an argument would be placed in the arena. This is Mississippi and once in office, you are royalty.

Mississippi is pretty much the exemplar of the neo-feudal terrain in America. If you can convince the people that you are one of the good-ole boys, in Mississippi that would be favoring the confederate flag, viewing MLK day as really Confederate Memorial Day and of course being Republican, you can be elected royalty. After defeat of a personhood amendment, the rulers in this neo-feudal state enacted legislation designed to achieve the very thing the voters rejected, making abortion unavailable to poor women.

And if you want to put nuclear storage on the agenda in Mississippi, be a Republican. The energy industry group pushing for nuclear waste storage and reprocessing in Mississippi is the Mississippi Energy Institute, and one of its board members is the governor’s top economic development officer. You see, in right-to-work-for-less-anti-union Mississippi, labor compensation is so suppressed that corporate interest can float virtually anything because a man dying of thirst will drink dirty, contaminated water. Having kept labor week, people of substance, the lords of the feudal state, flashing religious and confederate symbols, contribute to candidates who champion anti-labor units and deregulation which enlarge and enhance and stabilize their wealth supremacy. You even see this economic strategy reflected in the newly passed Charter School law in Mississippi.

Bryant blasts nuclear waste disposal critics | The Clarion-Ledger | clarionledger.com

Mississippi Energy Institute to pitch nuclear waste storage | The Clarion-Ledger | clarionledger.com

Funny how people like Mississippi Energy Institute President, Patrick Sullivan, when touting the safety record of nuclear plants never mentions that “

  • The Chernobyl accident in 1986 was the result of a flawed reactor design that was operated with inadequately trained personnel.
  • The resulting steam explosion and fires released at least 5% of the radioactive reactor core into the atmosphere and downwind – some 5200 PBq (I-131 eq).
  • Two Chernobyl plant workers died on the night of the accident, and a further 28 people died within a few weeks as a result of acute radiation poisoning.
  • UNSCEAR says that apart from increased thyroid cancers
  • “there is no evidence of a major public health impact attributable to radiation exposure 20 years after the accident.”

      He’ll tell you that “the industry has the best safety record of any in the U.S.” But he won’t mention that “the period of time waste must be stored can range up to millions of years for spent nuclear fuel.”  So does the 34 years since Three-Mile Island really mean anything?

          When Mr. Sullivan, who probably stands to gain handsomely from any nuclear storage in Mississippi speaks of the jobs to be gained by Mississippi from like “100 jobs” and “highway and transportation upgrades he attempts to downplay Mississippi’s transformation into the country’s eternal carcinogenic cesspool. 

          “ A long-deferred cleanup is now under way at 114 of the nation’s nuclear facilities, which encompass an acreage equivalent to Rhode Island and Delaware combined. Many smaller sites, the easy ones, have been cleansed, but the big challenges remain. What’s to be done with 52,000 tons (47,174 metric tons) of dangerously radioactive spent fuel from commercial and defense nuclear reactors? With 91 million gallons (344.5 million liters) of high-level waste left over from plutonium processing, scores of tons of plutonium, more than half a million tons (453,592 metric tons) of depleted uranium, millions of cubic feet of contaminated tools, metal scraps, clothing, oils, solvents, and other waste? And with some 265 million tons (240 million metric tons) of tailings from milling uranium ore—less than half stabilized—littering landscapes?”

          Of course the thing that really makes the plan to turn Mississippi into a radioactive repository viable, the ability that makes nuclear plants viable economic concerns, is something the average Mississippian can’t do if they own a car, the ability to operate insurance.  If the supposed free-market champions were really against government assistance they would be out front encouraging the Tea-baggers to repeal “The Price-Anderson Nuclear Industries Indemnity Act.”  “The Act establishes a no fault insurance-type system in which the first approximately $12.6 billion (as of 2011) is industry-funded as described in the Act. Any claims above the $12.6 billion would be covered by a Congressional mandate to retroactively increase nuclear utility liability or would be covered by the federal government. At the time of the Act’s passing, it was considered necessary as an incentive for the private production of nuclear power — this was because electric utilities viewed the available liability coverage (only $60 million) as inadequate.

          So much for smaller government.  Bet you won’t see Grover Norquist in Mississippi campaigning against the Mississippi Energy Institute nor Heritage or Cato opposing them the way they opposed the Mississippi Insurance Commissioner’s efforts to set up an insurance exchange.  They only want smaller government for the working class, while their sponsors lobby for all types of advantages.   

          Mississippi Energy Institute to pitch nuclear waste storage | The Clarion-Ledger | clarionledger.com