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Nuclear Industry Effort to Exploit Coronavirus Crisis for Backdoor Bailout Decried as 'Disaster Capitalism at its Worst'

Originally published at http://www.commondreams.org/news/2020/03/23/nuclear-industry-effort-exploit-coronavirus-crisis-backdoor-bailout-decried-disaster

This Saturday marks the Forty-First Anniversary of the Three Mile Island “Incident”. (Twelve days ago was the Ninth Anniversary of the Fukushima “Incident”.) Yucca Mountain, the intended “permanent” repository for high level civilian nuclear waste from the US remains empty of such. The industry and the government have been entangled in a “blame the other” pas de deux for decades now in the public forum, while behind closed doors it has been wink, wink, shovel, shovel (the cash to industry, the risk to the government–the People, that is). Ah, the Glow of Enlightenment…

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Yep, odd one of those reactors is off, huh. Lost yet another dear friend from Middletown. Another pal from Highspire, PA two years earlier? Both had spoken more of the insanity of Mariner East pipe line running lethal ethane, 300’ from four schools, with the giant reactors in the lovely river a mile below. The melted fuel apparently never burst the containment like the crappy GE plants in Japan. Folks tasted metal on the way to work, kids playing outside. No word or sirens about the ominous venting noise. A coworker FLEW west on the PA Turnpike. We’d made plans to move my Westy girlfriends to Pittsburgh (for 250K years, we joked). Carter, a heroic USN nuclear engineer had his wife wade in supposed deuterium… then Afghanistan, our heroic Muhajadin freedom fighters, Oops, Iran Reagan’s Miracle… next thing we knew, we were all dumpster diving, community gardening & varmint hunting? Then, in Ukraine. Yeah, sure. 97 ancient reactors, fracking, Bayer, PG&E… quick, while us boomers die on gurneys in hallways & garages; followed by doctors, nurses, paramedics & staff in week old masks slathered with hand sanitizer. At least they’ve stopped Bernie’s evil FREE STUFF! Cue the lying K Street trolls in 5… 4… 3…

~https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2020/03/23/nyst-m23.html (read me first)

~https://www.forbes.com/sites/brucelee/2020/03/22/can-you-have-sex-with-covid-19-coronavirus-spreading-here-is-how/#585569c250a8

~https://www.commondreams.org/views/2009/04/03/startling-revelations-about-three-mile-island-nuclear-disaster

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In the 40 years since genocidal maniacs Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton got bought off by Big Coal and shutdown the American nuke industry, a million Americans and hundreds millions of folks world wide died needlessly from fossil air pollution. Today Big Oil supported NGO’s like Greenpeace and FOE and Big Oil’s army of idiots want to continue the genocide knowing full well that their plan, Germany’s utterly failed Energiewende hasn’t reduced GHG’s an iota, in a dozen years, costing a 100K lives from air pollution and $2T in precious cash that would have eliminated German GHG’s had it copied earlier Frances success with nuclear.

Nuclear has a lot of trouble competing with 100% subsidized wind/solar and fossil generation. It needs this break to keep its head above water.

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France has been having its share of challenges: ^https://www.thelocal.fr/20190918/france-to-give-millions-of-people-iodine-pills-in-case-of-nuclear-accident

Passive solar daylighting, shading, and passive solar heating are relatively clean, but a drop in the bucket in comparison to demand. Other than those, other forms of energy generation have some negative impacts and, no one form is universally suited to all locations and demand requirements.

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And yet we are sold a “one size fits all” mentality based on the profit motive de jour.

Localized, or even personal level is the only way to look at energy needs that are useful to us. Too bad it shuts out the corps, otherwise it would have been done decades ago.

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The criminal nuke corporations are evil. I cannot use the word “evil” enough with these incredibly dangerous radionuclide-producing bad actors. 450+ of these evil powerplants will never be safely dismantled after decommissioning. Turns my stomach to think of Fukushima-Daiichi on 3/11/2011 spewing tons of radioactive metallic ash into the air that eventually circulate in our upper atmosphere to this day! And the 3 100% core meltdowns and melt-throughs that have never been recovered from beneath the currently, cleverly cocooned explosion sites! Canada just pulled out of the 2020 Olympics b/c of Covid-19. Independent investigations into TEPCO, the Japanese, state-owned nuke owner have yet to be conducted. NUKES YUK!

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The total radionuclide release would have been on the order of tens of kilograms–with most of it going into the Pacific.

“that eventually circulate in our upper atmosphere to this day!”

That would not be the metallic radionuclides. It would mostly be the noble gases and tritium in trace amounts. Any radiation from these would be utterly trivial compared to normal amounts of radiation in the upper atmosphere coming from outer space.

“And the 3 100% core meltdowns and melt-throughs…”

They definitely melted through the reactor vessels. There’s been no indication so far that they melted through containment.

“that have never been recovered…”

It hasn’t been that long since the accident. With corium, the earlier you try to extract it, the more radioactive it is, and the more difficult and dangerous the extraction will be. Better to let it cool down as much as possible before messing with it.

“from beneath the currently, cleverly cocooned explosion sites!”

Cleverly cocooned? Are you talking about how the fuel handling bays have been rebuilt so that they could remove spent fuel?

He didn’t mention solar panels. He did mention that other forms of energy generation have negative impacts.

Hello Yuri.

The production of solar panels, photovoltaics, does require extraction and manufacturing, which have negative impacts on the environment, including pollution.

However, solar daylighting does not use photovoltaics. Solar daylighting is architectural design that provides for sunlight to enter inner spaces so that extra illumination from electric lights is not needed during daylight hours.

Similarly, shading is a design strategy that involves build structures that block sunlight at angles associated with warm times of the year. These shading structures are building materials, not photovoltaics. Shading reduces heating, during warm times of the year, and cuts down on the need for electric powered cooling.

Passive solar is the term for sunlight that utilized in a way that does not generate electricity. Photovoltaics are not used with passive solar. Passive solar heating involves the design of spaces to maintain an inner temperature range using principles of thermal resistance and thermal capacitance.

Are you seriously suggesting that nuclear power generation in the US is NOT subsidized?? And are you saying that people who invest in nukes should be bailed out whenever they start to lose money?

I thought capitalism was about rewarding risk, not being saved from it. Silly me.

I am unfamiliar with this event. It isn’t readily apparent why he would have his wife do this. Do you know what this was supposed to accomplish?

you might have had a good point but couldn’t avoid massive overstatement (e.g. Carter, Clinton “genocidal maniacs”) and I suspect you may have shown your true hatred of environmental quality by blaming solar and wind for nuclear’s troubles, not their real competitor natural gas that all the utilities want to use

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Actually the US nuclear industry is paying for the massive subsidies for wind/solar and gas production with the $100B in cash held by the DOE in insurance, waste and decommissions funds all spend on wind/solar/gas subsidies.

They should be bailed when losses are due to massive state subsidies to competitors.

I can’t find a reference for it anywhere. If @Beli_Tsari doesn’t reply I guess we can write it off to an urban legend. The only logic I’d see is it was some kind of gimic to show heavy water is safe to contact and thus people should not fear the fusion legislation he eventually signed (I realize this leaves out the tritium part and is a stupid argument in general). As far as the safety of heavy water, It sounds like it is completely safe to swim in according to ~https://courses.lumenlearning.com/introchem/chapter/isotopes-of-hydrogen/

Deuterium can replace the normal hydrogen in water molecules to form heavy water (D2O), which is about 10.6% denser than normal water. Heavy water is slightly toxic in eukaryotic animals, with 25% substitution of the body water causing cell division problems and sterility, and 50% substitution causing death by cytotoxic syndrome (bone marrow failure and gastrointestinal lining failure). Consumption of heavy water does not pose a health threat to humans. It is estimated that a 70 kg person might drink 4.8 liters of heavy water without serious consequences.

If I had to guess, I’d say Beli_Tsari wouldn’t accept these statements.