Whose Nuclear Renaissance is This?
This was an op-ed piece I wrote for the Los Angeles Times. In the winter of 2010, President Obama endorsed billions of dollars in loans and subsidies for new nuclear power plants as part of a package that could make his energy agenda palatable to congressmen beholden to the nuclear industry for campaign largess. The part of the piece that gets quoted often is my comparison of the credibility of the nuclear industry over the first 50 years of its existence :
" Let me bring the choice we are making down to earth. Say you’re buying a car. The salesman has a long history of telling lies, covering up mistakes, and breaking promises. He is trying to sell you a car that doesn’t exist yet, so he’s not sure what it will look like. It is likely to cost at least two and maybe three times what it says on the sticker. It will almost certainly take him much longer to deliver it than he says it will. The fuel for that car – let’s call it a battery – wears out constantly, is deadly-dangerous and will be for thousands of years. You have to store that stuff in your basement because nobody wants it and there’s no place for it to go. Oh, and some powerful and distant authorities will tell you when and where you can drive it. Still interested?
Whose nuclear renaissance is this?"
Why Nuclear Power is Not an Energy Solution to Global Warming
This essay was written for Catalyst Magazine and is reprinted at the HEAL Utah (Healthy Environment Alliance of Utah) website at the link below. HEAL Utah grew from Families Against Incinerator Risk (FAIR) and I co-founded both grassroots organizations. HEAL has won numerous campaigns to keep Utah from becoming a nuclear dump.
The shysters who propose building a massive new set of nuclear power plants tout them as "emissions free," ignoring the large carbon footprint from mining and processing uranium and from building a massive and complex infrastructure for both power generation and waste storage. They also gloss over the intractible problems of a dangerous and long-lived radioactive waste stream. Plus nuke plants are exceedingly expensive. Plus their governance is inherently distant, undemocratic, unresponsive, and inaccessible. Well, read the essay and you'll get the full picture...