Skip to main content

Panic Button

2505669673_9f52de0e33 We’ve done a fair number of stories about the actions of several states to overturn bans. These state actions are delightful to us but must be alarming to those who genuinely if irrationally fear nuclear energy . We choose not to identify one from another – we could always be wrong, after all.

While researching a story about legislative moves in Oklahoma, we ran into some arguments we hadn’t heard in awhile:

"I wouldn't want to vote for something that causes cancer," said Dr. Morton S. Skorodin, who distributed a power point presentation highlighting the dangers of nuclear power.

"Nuclear power plants do vent radioactive nuclear gases every single day," Skorodin said. "All forms of cancer can be induced by radiation."

Not to mention all the radioactive nuclear electricity coming out of your wall sockets. Bet that PowerPoint presentation has some fascinating bullet points!

---

Dr. Skorodin is not the only one pushing the panic button:

Bud Scott of the Sierra Club said nuclear energy is not a viable industry for the state because of its enormous cost. Officials said a nuclear power plant would cost up to $8 billion and take 10 or 12 years to build.

A nuclear power plant would likely only be built if the Oklahoma Corporation Commission agreed to have ratepayers pick up part of the cost during the construction process.

Scott’s focus on money is right up-to-date and an area of vulnerability for power plants (especially but not only nuclear). 

Having “ratepayers pick up part of the cost during the construction process” is what the legislation recently passed In the Georgia Senate does; it is estimated to raise electric bills there about $16 per year per customer. Clearly, this has been seen and understood in other statehouses. The Oklahoma legislation now on the floor of the Senate there is explicit that this is also how Oklahoma would fund a plant. It also snaps Scott’s arrow before it gets out of the quiver.

---

Parenthetically, here is a bit of Dr. Skorodin’s writing from Counterpunch, setting the stage leading to the last election:

The Society of the Spectacle meets the neo-totalitarian total information awareness society. The state has technology for and has commandeered the resources to spy upon everyone with 16 or 18 “intelligence” agencies and control us as much as possible with the media of five corporations that are pretty well unified as to how and how much the populace is “informed”. On the other hand, the populace is atomized (deprived of meaningful ties to others); the only major non corporate-government institutions are the cooptable churches.

Even if you find some or all of this true or at least arguable, it’s a whirligig of banshee alarms that doesn’t take enough account of, for starters, Counterpunch and Dr. Skorodin’s abilities to speak truth to power. Clearly, they have considerable ability to do so. (Read the whole thing, though, to get the full flavor – there’s a lot of intelligence mixed with a kind of last-angry-man disdain. Dr. Skorodin seems to carry a panic button in his pocket.)

Doesn’t this kind of temptation usually lead to Daffy Duck being disintegrated?

Comments

Anonymous said…
Uh?

The Society of the Spectacle meets the neo-totalitarian total information awareness society. The state has technology for and has commandeered the resources to spy upon everyone with 16 or 18 “intelligence” agencies and control us as much as possible with the media of five corporations that are pretty well unified as to how and how much the populace is “informed”. On the other hand, the populace is atomized (deprived of meaningful ties to others); the only major non corporate-government institutions are the cooptable churches.

Wow... It's not even wrong.

Popular posts from this blog

How Nanomaterials Can Make Nuclear Reactors Safer and More Efficient

The following is a guest post from Matt Wald, senior communications advisor at NEI. Follow Matt on Twitter at @MattLWald.

From the batteries in our cell phones to the clothes on our backs, "nanomaterials" that are designed molecule by molecule are working their way into our economy and our lives. Now there’s some promising work on new materials for nuclear reactors.

Reactors are a tough environment. The sub atomic particles that sustain the chain reaction, neutrons, are great for splitting additional uranium atoms, but not all of them hit a uranium atom; some of them end up in various metal components of the reactor. The metal is usually a crystalline structure, meaning it is as orderly as a ladder or a sheet of graph paper, but the neutrons rearrange the atoms, leaving some infinitesimal voids in the structure and some areas of extra density. The components literally grow, getting longer and thicker. The phenomenon is well understood and designers compensate for it with a …

Why America Needs the MOX Facility

If Isaiah had been a nuclear engineer, he’d have loved this project. And the Trump Administration should too, despite the proposal to eliminate it in the FY 2018 budget.

The project is a massive factory near Aiken, S.C., that will take plutonium from the government’s arsenal and turn it into fuel for civilian power reactors. The plutonium, made by the United States during the Cold War in a competition with the Soviet Union, is now surplus, and the United States and the Russian Federation jointly agreed to reduce their stocks, to reduce the chance of its use in weapons. Over two thousand construction workers, technicians and engineers are at work to enable the transformation.

Carrying Isaiah’s “swords into plowshares” vision into the nuclear field did not originate with plutonium. In 1993, the United States and Russia began a 20-year program to take weapons-grade uranium out of the Russian inventory, dilute it to levels appropriate for civilian power plants, and then use it to produce…

Nuclear Is a Long-Term Investment for Ohio that Will Pay Big

With 50 different state legislative calendars, more than half of them adjourn by June, and those still in session throughout the year usually take a recess in the summer. So springtime is prime time for state legislative activity. In the next few weeks, legislatures are hosting hearings and calling for votes on bills that have been battered back and forth in the capital halls.

On Tuesday, The Ohio Public Utilities Committee hosted its third round of hearings on the Zero Emissions Nuclear Resources Program, House Bill 178, and NEI’s Maria Korsnick testified before a jam-packed room of legislators.


Washingtonians parachuting into state debates can be a tricky platform, but in this case, Maria’s remarks provided national perspective that put the Ohio conundrum into context. At the heart of this debate is the impact nuclear plants have on local jobs and the local economy, and that nuclear assets should be viewed as “long-term investments” for the state. Of course, clean air and electrons …