Oakland Tribune editorial: Must not get caught in nuclear hysteria

Mar 17, 2011 Full story: Ledger Dispatch

Officials clad in protective gear scan a man for radiation at a temporary scanning center for residents living close to the quake-damaged Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant Wednesday, March 16, 2011, in Koriyama, Fukushima Prefecture, Japan.

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Oakland Trib

Fremont, CA

#1 Mar 17, 2011
"Decisions on building new nuclear plants should be based on good science, not unreasonable fears ..."

Fears might be considered "unreasonable" if -

1. Consequences were not so dire.
2. Involved business entities and their representatives were more transparent in their communications.
3. Free press and other news agencies had not so routinely been willing to depart from fact-based and independant coverage.

While the decision to build new nukes should be based on good science, there is little one can argue that there was anything "good" about the engineering that allowed our current situation to be seriously aggrevated by an oft-repeated "the batteries died" excuse....

Come on, my KID GOING CAMPING runs out of batteries .... our nuclear engineers, designers and the regulatory agencies who oversee them --- have clearly made economic trade-offs against, a series of events that while rare, are NOT unlikely given the seismic vulnerability of this coastline AND are definately not an impossibility.

The question now becomes, what other trade-offs did these same engineers make in their consideration of prospective disaster mitigation ??

The suggestion that calm prevail in the administering of prophylactic medicines is an excellent point.

To call for calm about prospective "new nuclear plants" is merely a pro-nuke sales pitch at this point and reinforces point 3. above.

The Trib SHOULD be calling for a thorough reexamination of ALL vulnerabilities and possible disaster scenarios for all current installations BEFORE any new plants are considered.

It you wish to begin to move in the direction of calm, I suggest you bring the glaring white spotlight of your your investigative reporting to bear on the engineering processes which precluded multiple cascading failures from being considered and mitigated and stop selling a pro-nuclear stance before the facts are in ....

P.S.- the current problems in Japan are MUCH closer to a Chernobyl-like incident then TMI - we have fissionable material completely exposed the the external environment.
Oakland Trib sells nukes

Fremont, CA

#2 Apr 9, 2011
Hayward Daily Review My Word: Taking the side of corporations that exploit us
By Jeff Syrop
Guest Commentary
Hayward Daily Review
Copyright 2011, Bay Area News Group
Posted: 03/29/2011 04:00:00 PM PDT

YOUR March 17 Opinion piece, "Must not get caught in nuclear hysteria," was quite shocking to me. Why do you continually take the side of the corporations that exploit us, the bad people, the people responsible for the nuclear disaster in Japan, for Chernobyl, for mountaintop-removal coal mining?

You write, "Decisions on building new nuclear plants should be based on good science, not unreasonable fears and anti-nuclear hysteria." Based on science, from the perspective of hardworking taxpayers who don't happen to be billionaires, building a new nuclear power plant is tantamount to the heinous global crime of genocide.

One nuclear meltdown could destroy an aquifer supplying water to several states for a half million years. The nuclear industry's promoter and regulator, the Atomic Energy Commission, estimated that a full nuclear meltdown could contaminate an area "the size of Pennsylvania" and cause massive casualties.

Here's what science and common sense tell us about building new nuclear plants: Wall Street considers nuclear plants too risky to finance without a 100 percent taxpayer loan guarantee. This is a lot of liability for taxpayers to bear, considering that new nuclear plants cost approximately $12 billion each. President Barack Obama and our Congress are fine with this arrangement.

Nuclear power is uninsurable in the private insurance market. Under the Price-Anderson Act, taxpayers pay thegreatest cost of a meltdown's devastation.

Nuclear power plants and transports of radioactive wastes are an unacceptable risk to our national security. How can we guard thousands of vulnerable spent fuel rods for tens of thousands of years to prevent sabotage by terrorists?

You the taxpayer and your descendants for thousands of years into the future get to pay for whatever final waste repositories are licensed. You the ratepayer get to pay huge decommissioning costs at the end of a nuclear plant's existence as well.

As we see in the hideous nuclear disaster unfolding in Japan, evacuation for people living anywhere near a nuclear plant is a tragic, frightening affair, especially if time is short.

Since most of your readers are not billionaires, I seriously wonder why you so often take the side of billionaires in your editorials. Shame on Bay Area Newsgroup.

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