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Nuclear Reactors Make ISIS an Apocalyptic Threat

Energy

As you read this, a terror attack has put atomic reactors in Ukraine at the brink of another Chernobyl-scale apocalypse.

Transmission lines have been blown up. Power to at least two major nuclear power stations has been “dangerously” cut. Without emergency backup, those nukes could lose coolant to their radioactive cores and spent fuel pools. They could then melt or explode, as at Fukushima.

Yet amidst endless "all-fear-all-the-time" reporting on ISIS, the corporate media has remained shockingly silent on this potential catastrophe.

Ukraine's Rivne Nuclear Power Plant in the country's northwest. Photo credit: Wikimedia commons

Nor has it faced the most critical step needed to protect our planet in a time of terror: shutting all atomic reactors.

The world’s 430-plus licensed commercial nuclear plants give terrorists like ISIS the power at any time to inflict a radioactive Apocalypse that could kill millions, destroy huge parts of the Earth and devastate the global economy.

Fallout from Chernobyl’s 1986 disaster has killed more than a million people.

Cancer rates among children and others near Fukushima are soaring.

Americans downwind from Three Mile Island died in droves.

Major scientific studies in Germany and elsewhere link soaring cancer and other human death rates to nearby reactor emissions even without an accident.

The 1966 melt-down at Fermi I, near Detroit, cost at least $100 million. Three Mile Island’s 1979 melt-down converted a $900 million asset into a $2 billion liability. Chernobyl has cost Ukraine, Belarus and the former Soviet Union at least $500 billion. Fukushima wiped out a $60 billion asset and may cost Japan trillions, permanently crippling its economy.

All imposing inestimable damage to the global ecology. The radioactive carbon and raw heat reactors emit unbalance our weather, irradiate the oceans, create waste that cannot be managed.

The ability of ISIS and other terrorists to cause more such catastrophes is unquestioned and escalating.

Despite ISIS's bloody warning in Paris, all commercial reactors are still at risk.

They are crumbling on their own. The shield building at Ohio’s Davis-Besse is literally disintegrating.

Diablo Canyon is surrounded by a dozen California fault lines.

Fort Calhoun in Nebraska has been flooded.

Earthquakes have damaged Ohio’s Perry and North Anna, in Virginia.

And official reports on the 9/11 attacks on New York’s World Trade Center confirm that Al Quaeda also considered targeting atomic reactors.

Had they hit Indian Point, 45 miles north of the twin towers, millions of Americans would now be dead. Trillions in property damage would have decimated the nation’s economy. Billions of acres would be contaminated, along with countless lakes, rivers and much of the Atlantic Ocean.

The screaming heads at CNN, Fox et. al. say this kind of Apocalyptic event is exactly what ISIS seeks. But they avoid the obvious connection to the world’s increasingly fragile reactors.

In Ukraine, Deputy Director Yuri Katchich of the Ukrenergo power company said the “emergency unloading” at the South Ukrainian and Zaporozhskaya nuclear sites forced by terror attacks on far-away power lines is “very dangerous.” We can only imagine the damage direct attacks on the reactors themselves might have done.

The 2011 earthquake and tsunami took out back-up generators at Fukushima, followed by three melt-downs and four explosions.

Tsunami-like flooding caused by busted dams upriver from at least three dozen U.S. reactors could replicate much of what happened at Fukushima.

There are 58 reactors in France, 99 in the U.S. If ISIS is as reckless and relentless as it seems, the safety of none of them can be guaranteed.

So as our governments, politicians and media scream for security, we must free ourselves from the nuclear curse.

We must also remember that ISIS grew out of an U.S. invasion of Iraq based largely on our corporate addiction to fossil fuels.

The obvious answer to this global nightmare is to speed the transition to a renewable energy world.

No terror group can ever cause an apocalypse by blowing up a solar panel.

Harvey Wasserman wrote SOLARTOPIA! OUR GREEN-POWERED EARTH. His AMERICA AT THE BRINK OF REBIRTH: THE ORGANIC SPIRAL OF U.S. HISTORY will be published next year.

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A volcano erupts on New Zealand's Whakaari/White Island on Dec. 9, 2019. Michael Schade / Twitter

A powerful volcano on Monday rocked an uninhabited island frequented by tourists about 30 miles off New Zealand's coast. Authorities have confirmed that five people died. They expect that number to rise as some are missing and police officials issued a statement that flights around the islands revealed "no signs of life had been seen at any point,", as The Guardian reported.

"Based on the information we have, we do not believe there are any survivors on the island," the police said in their official statement. "Police is working urgently to confirm the exact number of those who have died, further to the five confirmed deceased already."

The eruption happened on New Zealand's Whakaari/White Island, an islet jutting out of the Bay of Plenty, off the country's North Island. The island is privately owned and is typically visited for day-trips by thousands of tourists every year, according to The New York Times.

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At the time of the eruption on Monday, about 50 passengers from the Ovation of Seas were on the island, including more than 30 who were part of a Royal Caribbean cruise trip, according to CNN. Twenty-three people, including the five dead, were evacuated from the island.

The eruption occurred at 2:11 pm local time on Monday, as footage from a crater camera owned and operated by GeoNet, New Zealand's geological hazards agency, shows. The camera also shows dozens of people walking near the rim as white smoke billows just before the eruption, according to Reuters.

Police were unable to reach the island because searing white ash posed imminent danger to rescue workers, said John Tims, New Zealand's deputy police commissioner, as he stood next to Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern in a press conference, as The New York Times reported. Tims said rescue workers would assess the safety of approaching the island on Tuesday morning. "We know the urgency to go back to the island," he told reporters.

"The physical environment is unsafe for us to return to the island," Tims added, as CNN reported. "It's important that we consider the health and safety of rescuers, so we're taking advice from experts going forward."

Authorities have had no communication with anyone on the island. They are frantically working to identify how many people remain and who they are, according to CNN.

Geologists said the eruption is not unexpected and some questioned why the island is open to tourism.

"The volcano has been restless for a few weeks, resulting in the raising of the alert level, so that this eruption is not really a surprise," said Bill McGuire, emeritus professor of geophysical and climate hazards at University College London, as The Guardian reported.

"White Island has been a disaster waiting to happen for many years," said Raymond Cas, emeritus professor at Monash University's school of earth, atmosphere and environment, as The Guardian reported. "Having visited it twice, I have always felt that it was too dangerous to allow the daily tour groups that visit the uninhabited island volcano by boat and helicopter."

The prime minister arrived Monday night in Whakatane, the town closest to the eruption, where day boats visiting the island are docked. Whakatane has a large Maori population.

Ardern met with local council leaders on Monday. She is scheduled to meet with search and rescue teams and will speak to the media at 7 a.m. local time (1 p.m. EST), after drones survey the island, as CNN reported.