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July 30, 2009


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A lot of independent power companies with nuclear facilities are storing their spent fuel on Indian reservations in New Mexico. It's quite controversial because other industries such as toxic, carcinogenic-producing chemical companies store their waste on the same reservations. But the often-overlooked, under-scrutinized industry of uranium mining on the same reservations by private companies that store spent fuel rods and waste products from chemical manufacturing is a slow-acting genocide that is not being reported.

This topic of spent fuel rods shouldn't be taken lightly because American private industry has proven unapologetically time and again that its focus is profits over people. In the past two years, it was discovered that an Illinois nuclear facility had been leaking contaminated water for 15 years into the local groundwater, and the private utility knew about the leak the whole time.

American private industry hasn't earned the right to operate something as complex and potentially lethal as a nuclear power plant. The reason the French industry works is that it's a nationalized system with accountability to the public, and specific educational facilities train nuclear professionals to operate nuclear facilities to the highest standards without any consideration for cost or profit. Comparing the French nuclear industry to the American nuclear industry is comparing people who care to people who don't, meaning that you can't compare them.

The waste issue in nuclear power will never be resolved even with a centralized storage system because of the half-life issue. And for the uneducated: Coal-fired power plants release far more radioactivity into the atmosphere every day than has been released by all the nuclear power plants worldwide combined to date. CO2 emissions from coal are just one hazard, but the release of tons of radiation every day is not a commonly known byproduct of producing electricity from coal.

Nuclear power is not a clear alternative, as proponents say. Compared to coal, it is in the shortest of terms, meaning just the short-term production of energy. If you factor in the mining and processing of uranium and its tens of thousands of years of storage, nuclear is dirtier than coal by several millennia.

"I think the NIMBY attitude is the reason why most people move out of Pacifica and towns that have the NIMBY-ism."

By all means. Might I suggest Hanford, Washington or a host of other Superfund Sites where for decades the voices of environmentalists were successfully drowned out by business interests. The people of Hanford despised and ridiculed environmentalists right up until their own undeniable observations caused them to stop doing that.

I think NIMBY-ism is a very natural occurrence based on our desire to care for our families.

I think the NIMBY attitude is the reason why most people move out of Pacifica and towns that have the NIMBY-ism..to better the family..

"If only we had developed our nuclear power industry as the French developed theirs."

If we were to dump our nuclear waste off the coast of Somalia or other undefended coastlines as the French have done, we might not have such a NIMBY problem. I think NIMBY-ism is a very natural occurrence based on our desire to care for our families. Those projects and materials that nobody wants in their backyard require further thought before they are continued with. Nuclear energy has enjoyed so much overt and covert subsidy that it would have to really be just like the "Our friend the atom" commercials of the Fifties to ever have a prayer of being cost-effective. France's great nuclear success is no small part of why the young men of Somalia are hijacking ships rather than fishing off their coast like generations before them.
Through my father and elsewhere I have met a number of people who invested their college years into the promise of nuclear energy. It is clearly difficult to let go of such a dream, but it looks good only when you avert your eyes from what happens after. The very idea of having to guard anything for longer than humans have inhabited the planet is mind-boggling. What is the longest time humans have successfully guarded anything?

"Hooray! Our future energy needs will be based on clean coal."

it amazes me that a country so hyper about our dependence on foreign oil, and gross polluters to the environment like coal power plants, still takes such a backhanded look at the nuclear power industry. If only we had developed our nuclear power industry as the French developed theirs . . . now the exorbitant costs of storing nuclear waste such as spent fuel rods will continue to be borne on the backs of the individual power plants.

A massive waste of money!! This will never open.

The government is so tricky. Thank goodness for MIT students smoking pot, otherwise we would never know the truth about our precious metal helmets.

Hooray! Our future energy needs will be based on clean coal.

Hey John, just remember how to fold your tin-foil hat properly and you'll be just fine! For your instructions, please click here:



This is a good thing because California is downhill from Yucca Mountain. After decades of spent fuel storage, can you imagine the crap uranium that would be hanging over our heads? Add a little carbon and you could probably incubate radiation-based life forms.

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