Quantcast

NukeSpeak at the Devil’s Door

Harvey Wasserman

The abject failure of the global nuke power industry has never been more obvious. From Fukushima to Davis-Besse, from Siemens to Wall Street, the atomic scam is in collapse. Yet reactor backers continue to push for more of them. The reason is obvious—corporate greed.

But the No Nukes movement now phasing out this madness has never been stronger. After four decades of intense activism, it may be on the brink of becoming history’s most successful non-violent campaign.

In the heat of the battle, Gary Null’s new film, KNOCKING ON THE DEVIL’S DOOR, does an amazingly comprehensive job of exploring this satanic technology and how to stop it.

NUKESPEAK, a reborn version of the 1970s classic text by Rory O’Connor and Richard Bell, exposes the Orwellian corruption of language itself by an industry whose only tangible “products” are supremely expensive and ultimately superfluous electricity, plus atomic radiation and death by cancer.

Null’s film gives a great historic overview of the issue and how we got to where we are.

Back in the 1950s, atomic energy was sold as “too cheap to meter,” the ultimate Big NukeSpeak Lie. In fact, nuke power has proven to be the most expensive way of generating electricity ever invented.

As underscored in Null’s film by expert reporters like Greg Palast and Karl Grossman, no nuclear reactors would ever have been built if the Eisenhower Administration had not forced taxpayers to take on the burden of liability for major accidents.

With the 1957 Price-Anderson Act, the feds gave the “Peaceful Atom” (another NukeSpeak gem) its most critical pre-bail-out—the right to force the costs of a Three Mile Island, Chernobyl and/or Fukushima onto the American public.

Today the Price-Anderson fund is less than $13 billion, a pathetic whisp of what the true cost of a major reactor disaster could be. Watch what happens now in Japan, as the utility, government and public try to sort out who will pay for Fukushima. It is an ugly, poisonous war for economic survival, with the ultimate real costs in the trillions.

In the U.S., cancellation of Price-Anderson would force all commercial reactors to shut overnight. Certainly no utility would consider building a new one. Yet the industry is supported by “free market advocates” who somehow think solar power is a deadbeat while nukes are wonderful.

In fact, green energy is now attracting huge waves of private investment while no one will fund new reactors. Solartopian renewables like wind, solar, tidal, geothermal, ocean thermal, wave energy, sustainable bio-fuels, increased efficiency, conservation, mass transit and the like are far cheaper than nukes and are having far less trouble attracting private investment.

The recent over-hyped failure of federal loans to the Solyndra solar company, for example, had nothing to do with the value of solar technology. Instead it was about the fact that the Chinese have massively subsidized their own solar industries. They have taken the lead in wind, solar and other Solartopian growth centers and are now underselling the rest of the world—often at less than cost—so they can monopolize what will certainly be a multi-trillion-dollar green-power industry. At this point Chinese solar panels are selling at 30-40 percent less than comparable American product.

The core victory of the American No Nukes movement has been to prevent even further federal subsidization of atomic power. France’s 60-odd reactors—the poster children for industry backers---are all built with federal taxpayer money. They are also extremely dangerous, expensive and will not be repeated.

New French reactor projects in Finland, China and France itself, are proving extremely problematic, with massive delays and cost overruns. French public opinion has turned dramatically against new construction, with heavy favorables for green Solartopian technology.

In Germany, the government is shutting old reactors and will not build new ones. The German mega-corporation Siemens, once a bulwark of the reactor industry, has abandoned the business to focus on renewables. This is an Earth-shattering event for a technology the Germans had once hoped to dominate. That they are now putting their marks in the solar basket is the surest indicator that a green-powered Earth is on its way. Germany is the largest economy in Europe, the fourth-largest in the world (though it’s likely to pass the Fukushima-ruined Japan). With Switzerland, Italy, Spain and others joining the Solartopian procession, the economic noose is tightening on the nuclear neck.

But here in the U.S., we have work yet to do. The warning signs of impending disaster certainly abound. At Davis-Besse, the constant stream of terrifying news has been augmented by reports of a 30-foot containment crack. Details are vague.

But the news follows on an earthquake that exceeded design specifications at North Anna, Virginia; a flood the threatened two reactors in Nebraska; hurricane and tornado warnings at other reactors, and much much more.

Fierce movements in Vermont, New York and New Jersey are focused with new levels of spontaneous grassroots power on shutting reactors there. With the anti-corporate fervor of a global Occupy movement gaining serious strength, a focus on stopping federal loan guarantees could doom new reactor construction in the U.S. forever.

If all this is truly “Knocking on the Devil’s Door,” the corporate language has morphed into a whole new level of NukeSpeak. We are now told that reactors are “carbon free.” (They aren’t).

We are told (by companies that doubt global warming) that nuclear power can fight global warming (it makes it worse).

We hear that reactor containments such as the cracked one at Davis-Besse are “robust” (like caffeinated coffee?).

And that a “nuclear renaissance” is a time when the industry spends more than $60 million per year over the course of a decade renting and buying Congresspeople and presidents to get themselves loan guarantees for new reactors, only to be repeatedly defeated by No Nukers with no budgets.

The tipping point has been reached. Solartopian technologies are now significantly cheaper than new nukes, and getting moreso. The U.S. now gets more power from renewables than from fission. We will shut those old reactors, one-by-one, leading to a game-over cascade.

Our deepest prayer is that we make this happen before another Fukushima poisons us all.

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Micromobility is the future of transportation in cities, but cities and investors need to plan ahead to avoid challenges. Jonny Kennaugh / Unsplash

By Carlo Ratti, Ida Auken

On the window of a bike shop in Copenhagen, a sign reads: Your next car is a bike.

Read More Show Less
An American flag waves in the wind at the Phillip Burton Federal Building in San Francisco, California on May 17 where a trial against Monsanto took place. Alva and Alberta Pilliod, were awarded more than $2 billion in damages in their lawsuit against Monsanto, though the judge in the case lowered the damage award to $87 million. JOSH EDELSON / AFP / Getty Images

By Carey Gillam

For the last five years, Chris Stevick has helped his wife Elaine in her battle against a vicious type of cancer that the couple believes was caused by Elaine's repeated use of Monsanto's Roundup herbicide around a California property the couple owned. Now the roles are reversed as Elaine must help Chris face his own cancer.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
Butterfly habitats have fallen 77 percent in the last 50 years. Pixabay / Pexels

The last 50 years have been brutal for wildlife. Animals have lost their habitats and seen their numbers plummet. Now a new report from a British conservation group warns that habitat destruction and increased pesticide use has on a trajectory for an "insect apocalypse," which will have dire consequences for humans and all life on Earth, as The Guardian reported.

Read More Show Less
Six of the nineteen wind turbines which were installed on Frodsham Marsh, near the coal-powered Fiddler's Ferry power station, in Helsby, England on Feb. 7, 2017.

Sales of electric cars are surging and the world is generating more and more power from renewable sources, but it is not enough to cut greenhouse gas emissions and to stop the global climate crisis, according to a new report from the International Energy Agency (IEA).

Read More Show Less
"Globally, we're starting to see examples of retailers moving away from plastics and throwaway packaging, but not at the urgency and scale needed to address this crisis." Greenpeace

By Jake Johnson

A Greenpeace report released Tuesday uses a hypothetical "Smart Supermarket" that has done away with environmentally damaging single-use plastics to outline a possible future in which the world's oceans and communities are free of bags, bottles, packaging and other harmful plastic pollutants.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
Children are forced to wear masks due to the toxic smoke from peat land fires in Indonesia. Aulia Erlangga / CIFOR

By Irene Banos Ruiz

Pediatricians in New Delhi, India, say children's lungs are no longer pink, but black.

Our warming planet is already impacting the health of the world's children and will shape the future of an entire generation if we fail to limit global warming to well below 2 degrees Celsius (35.6°F), the 2019 Lancet Countdown Report on health and climate change shows.

Read More Show Less
Private homes surround a 20 inch gas liquids pipeline which is part of the Mariner East II project on Oct. 5, 2017 in Marchwood, Penn. Robert Nickelsberg / Getty Images

The FBI is looking into how the state of Pennsylvania granted permits for a controversial natural gas pipeline as part of a corruption investigation, the AP reports.

Read More Show Less
Three cows who were washed off their North Carolina island by Hurricane Dorian have been found alive after swimming at least two miles. Carolina Wild Ones / Facebook

Three cows who were washed off their North Carolina island by Hurricane Dorian have been found alive after swimming at least two miles, The New York Times reported Wednesday.

Read More Show Less