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Wednesday
Jun062012

Help resist the nuclear madness in the District of Corruption

Nuclear industry lobbyists' mega-bucks have blinded Members of Congress and government regulators to the the dangers of nuclear power and radioactive waste, as depicted in this UN IAEA warning symbol.Considering the nuclear establishment's stranglehold on Washington, the "D.C." could stand for District of Corruption. Some days the nuclear madness reaches a fever pitch. Thursday, June 7, 2012 is a good example.

First, the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is "Inviting Atomic Catastrophe," as Beyond Nuclear board member and investigative journalist Karl Grossman warns, by considering extending reactor operating licenses for up to 80 years. NRC has already rubberstamped approvals for 73 reactors' operations out to 60 years, as well as scores of risky "power uprates" to run "break down phase" nuclear plants harder and hotter than originally designed, so utilities can "maximize profits."

Meanwhile, on Capitol Hill, powerful U.S. Senators are promoting the risky agenda of President Obama's and Energy Secretary Chu's Blue Ribbon Commission on America's Nuclear Future (BRC). U.S. Sen. Carper (D-DE), Chairman of the Subcommittee on Clean Air and Nuclear Safety, is holding a hearing on advancing the BRC's proposal to expedite the search for a new national dumpsite, as well as parking lot dumps, for high-level radioactive waste. Either scheme would launch a radioactive waste shell game on our roads, rails, and waterways (including Delaware's), involving unprecedented thousands of shipments through major metropolitan areas, vulerable to accidents or attacks. Ironically, as revealed by the 1982 CRAC-2 (Calculation of Reactor Accident Consequences) report, which NRC unsuccessfully tried to cover up, Sen. Carper's home state would suffer some of the worst casualties in the country (up to 100,000 "peak early fatalities," 75,000 "peak early injuries," and 40,000 "peak cancer deaths," not to mention $300 billion or more [2010 dollar figures] in property damage), if a catastrophic radioactivity release were to occur at a single of the three reactors at the Salem 1 & 2/Hope Creek nuclear power plant in New Jersey, just 18 miles from Delaware's state capital, Wilmington. 

Simultaneously, U.S. Sen. Bingaman (D-NM), Chairman of the Energy and Natural Resources Committee, is leading a bipartisan effort to authorize and fund BRC's bad ideas, wholesale. In mid-March, 2011, just days into the Fukushima nuclear catastrophe, Bingaman sponsored a hastily arranged, high profile Nuclear Energy Institute lobbyists' briefing on Capitol Hill, which erroneously claimed the disaster was not that big a deal, and besides, nothing like it could never happen here.

Please help resist the nuclear-fueled corruption in the nation's Capitol by contacting the White House, your U.S. Senators and Representative. Urge that the generation of radioactive waste be stopped by blocking subsidies for new reactors, and shutting down dangerous old reactors, before they melt down. Urge that, for radioactive waste that already exists, hardened on-site storage be required.