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Oh, brother. The Washington Post opinion pages seem bound and determined to shed any remaining vestiges of credibility. Is there a bet going on between Graham and Hiatt, to see how in the tank they can get and still be considered a "real" newspaper?

Today they've brought us an op-ed from Patrick Moore declaring nuclear power to be safe, environmentally friendly, and that by the way nuclear waste isn't really all that dangerous:

Thirty years on, my views have changed, and the rest of the environmental movement needs to update its views, too, because nuclear energy may just be the energy source that can save our planet from another possible disaster: catastrophic climate change.

You know, there's perhaps something to be said for reexamining the nuclear equation. But while Moore is described by the Washington Post by his preferred title, "co-founder of Greenpeace", as well as "chairman and chief scientist" of Greenspirit Strategies Ltd, there's a lot more than that going on behind the scenes. Either the Post got taken -- yet again -- or we need to start having more serious discussions about the extent to which the national press provides pay-to-play editorializing for whatever players can foot the bill of the editorialist.

Bluntly put, Patrick Moore is a paid consultant for the mining, logging, biotech and energy industries, and putting him out as "ex-Greenpeace" is a lot like calling Scooter Libby an "ex-Hill staffer." Moore is indeed more significantly described as founder of Greenspirit Strategies Ltd -- a firm that, if you are a company in the extraction or other environmentally damaging industries, can "assist in communicating your issues".

And the Washington Post, in presenting this "editorial", either didn't know what Greenspirit does for the extraction, biotech and energy industries, or they didn't think that was information you needed to know.

I dug a bit into the current incarnation of Patrick Moore in the wake of the Fumento scandal, when I explored the connections of "reporter" Marc Morano of the ultraconservative Cybercast News Service and quickly ran into a web of ExxonMobil and other biotech and energy industry funded groups providing a remarkable amount of pro-biotech, pro-industry commentary for CNSNews and other "news" outlets -- none of it identified as coming from sources that received funding from those very industries. Figuring prominently was a remarkable availability for quotes from the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE), a once-proud equal rights group that has, under the control of national spokesman Niger Innis, apparently devolved into a hard-right conservative venue for biotech and energy industry-supporting quotes and events.

Patrick Moore was one of the names that came up frequently in researching that piece. Moore may indeed have been an early Greenpeace member, in the distant mists, but more recently can be better described as the founder of Greenspirit Enterprises, a consulting organization focused on improving the environmental PR of his mining, logging, biotech and energy industry clients. He has, to put it mildly, built a colorful reputation.

At around the same time that Moore set up Greenspirit, he also became a full-time paid director and consultant, and a main spokesperson, for the British Columbia Forest Alliance. The Alliance, it turns out, although presented as a "citizens group", has a budget of around C$2m derived mostly from the forest industry and its 170 or so corporate members.

This industry-funded pressure group was the brain child of the anti-environmental PR multinational, Burson-Marsteller. B-M even put in one of its own employees as Executive Director, as well as handpicking many of the Alliance's board. B-M was forced to withdraw from the Alliance in a welter of bad publicity, but the Alliance has continued to be used, as intended, as the British Columbian forest industry's PR weapon against Greenpeace and other environmental groups, using TV ads and other campaigns to undermine and discredit them.

Moore certainly gets around. In 2000, Patrick Moore made a documentary with Marc Morano for American Investigator Television.  The film was set in the Brazilian Amazon and promoting the notion, by Moore, that the rainforest was "more than 90 percent intact", and that mining and logging were of negligible environmental impact.

A 2001 Manila Times article describes Moore as having been flown to New Zealand by the biotech industry as an "expert witness" defending bioengineered crops. A 2001 Manila Times article describes Moore as having been flown to New Zealand by the biotech industry as a paid "expert witness" defending bioengineered crops:

A flurry of such pro-GM/anti-Greenpeace publicity centering on Moore, was originally prompted by Moore's appearance at the Royal Commission on Genetic Modification in New Zealand, after Moore was flown in by the biotech industry as one of its expert witnesses.

"There are so many real benefits from genetic modification...", Moore told the Commission, but he ran into some difficult questions as to what exactly had qualified him to appear as an expert on genetic modification. Moore proferred:

"I have.. recently had a full tour of the Monsanto labs in St Louis for example. I have also been briefed thoroughly by the people in Novartis in Basel Switzerland..."

Moore has also figured prominently in the Monsanto-funded lobbying groups BIO and AgBioWorld, supporting "Golden Rice" and other industry-produced bioengineered crops. He was also the key speaker at a CORE-sponsored event extolling the virtues of biotechnology, highlighting the environmental movement as "Eco-Imperialism". (Eco-Imperialism has, not even remotely coincidentally, been the name of a book by (and a common thread for) CORE senior advisor and CNSNews contributor Paul Driessen, and who seems to be a veritable magnet for ExxonMobil money into his various affiliated think tanks, policy groups, and other ventures.)


Make no mistake, Moore's "consulting" activities consist of constructing industry-friendly PR. According to SourceWatch,

- Moore was "on retainer to the Canadian Pulp and Paper Association to tour European countries to counter advocacy by environmental groups for a boycott of British Columbian forest products" from 1992-1996.

- Moore acted as "consultant to the National Association of Forest Industries in Australia for a national tour defending the logging of native forests"

- Moore was paid to "to author a paper on the environmental impact of submarine tailings disposal over the 23-year life of the Island Copper Mine on Vancouver Island"

... among a series of pro-industry appearances and speeches at industry-sponsored events and/or for industry-sponsored associations. His connections to the extraction industries seem especially strong, though biotechnology also seems prominent in recent years.

Information about Moore's most current clients is sketchier, since his website is far from forthcoming about which companies are paying him to take which actions. Specifically, whether the firm currently has clients in the nuclear industry is unknown -- SourceWatch has been able to provide information only as recently as 2004. But considering the prominent display of a nuclear cooling tower as the defining image of a portion of their site and the express calling out of "nuclear" as one of the industries Greenspirit can assist, I'd say it's accurate to describe them as, shall we say, at least "soliciting" such business.


So the question becomes this, and perhaps the much-put-upon Washington Post ombudsman might want to take a crack at this one, too. To what extent are op-eds bought and paid for by the industries funding the editorialists in question?

We all know the answer to that, of course. It's common practice, and even national papers like WaPo are either unable to identify the connections between the "think tanks" and "experts" and the industry checks that get written to them -- or simply don't care. In any event, I'm not impressed with bleatings from the national press about the trustworthiness of bloggers or blogs, or with Carol Darr's almost-but-not-quite hilarious concerns about funding and accountability on the Internet when off-Internet national news sources are absolutely sticky with interconnections, cross-funded "experts", and the failure to themselves vet the claims of anybody for anything.

But I'm sure looking forward to being invited to yet another necessary Blogger's Ethics Conference. Funny how they never seem to invite the bloggers that bring things like this up, eh?

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Sun Apr 16, 2006 at 03:32 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  How much power does Europe get from nuclear power (12+ / 0-)

    Nuclear power can be as safe as any power if used responsibly. How do you think we are going to maintain civilization in the 21th century?

    •  By using what we already know, of course. (5+ / 0-)

      The diesel engine was invented to run on peanut oil. But it could use canola, sunflower, soy... That's trains, trucks, ships and a significant portion of the domestic car market if GM goes ahead and deploys its joint-EPA diesel for cars. A hefty chunk of public and private electricity too.

      Then there's biodiesel, for older engines. Solar, wind, tidal, geothermal, and literally hundreds of lakes dammed in the 1930s by the CCC just waiting on town-size generators. All those oil and gas wells in Texas and Oklahoma that Bush-I ordered capped back in the early '80s, but which were producing just fine. If we're going to invest trillions, let's invest it well. Nuclear (fission or fusion) isn't a smart investment. It never was.

      •  I'm for nuclear... (14+ / 0-)

        but only as part of an overall package that includes conservation, biofuels, etc., AND includes the nuclear industry itself taking on the liability, should something go wrong.

        I used to be very much anti-nuke, but as far as I can tell, a hell of a lot more people have died from oil than nuclear energy.

        So give me the "less worse" option -- but only as part of a big, real, comprehensive "war on energy dependence."  

        •  I'm not. (3+ / 0-)

          Ah. WaPost. Why do they still command attention?

          We worked with Joanne Omang when she was science editor. Told me I was the most adept writer at making complex subjects comprehensible that she'd ever met. But when my brother was killed for no good reason in northern New Mexico in October of 1980, she told me they "killed" the story. Too much interference. Too high a cost, as if I'd be impressed with my only brother dead and my husband in ICU...

          They're liars. Omang told us it was between Iodine at TMI and the newfound evidence that chlorine causes cancer. You know... water purification, laundry, housekeeping. Good evidence too. It was determined by vote that chlorine was too important to the control of mass epidemics to risk with a cancer link. And that nuclear power was too important to the SOP of government-Guido money laundering to allow mass murder to be revealed.

          That was before CNN or FOX. There were no 24-7 cable news networks. There was just NYT, WaPost, and the three television networks. NBC had a nice lady investigating too, but that story also met with the sponsors' bottom line. Even if that meant my whole family got slaughtered. So I called in some hefty chits on the Senate Intel Oversight Committee (and other committees). Fuck them...

          If they ever try to put a nuke in my neighborhood I've got contingency plans for which sugar and sand in gas tanks is just Phase-I. If you let them build one next to you, don't be crying to me when you're dying of completely preventable cancer.

          JB, HP-II Three Mile Island, April 1979.

          •  Excuse me? (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            snakelass, seanleckey

            And that nuclear power was too important to the SOP of government-Guido money laundering to allow mass murder to be revealed.

            Um, not cool.

            •  Whoa! (0+ / 0-)

              Does the nomer "government-Guido" bother you, Yankee? If so, I am seriously intrigued as to why. Care to share? Do you also get offended by "Mafia?"

              •  Yes, it does. (5+ / 0-)

                Guido is an ethnic pejorative — it expresses contempt towards Italians and Italian Americans.  I'm originally from the New York metropolitan area.  I know how it's used.

                Mafia, while having its roots in Sicily, is no longer as closely associated with Italians in American usage, and it generally isn't considered to be a pejorative.  Writing "government-mafia" would not have bothered me.

                •  Yankee is right (0+ / 0-)

                  It's used like "Greaseball" or the like.  

                  You may not have meant it that way, but... FYI, that's how it's used.  

                  •  GREENPEACE USA was destroyed from within (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    cotterperson, buckhorn okie

                    in the early 90s greenpeace had thousnads of door to door canvassers. greenpeace contigents were a major force in anti war demos. greenpeace did direct actions and risked arrests against the first gulf war.

                    by 93 many of the hard core anti war activists were fired. by 97 greenpeace usa collapsed, closed all but 2 (of dozens) of its offices around the usa.

                    this was done on purpose. i was there.

                    You will lie to your grandchildren when they ask what you did to prevent climate change.

                    by Peter Pan on Sun Apr 16, 2006 at 06:12:58 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Done on purpose (0+ / 0-)

                      by whom?

                      •  word on the street (0+ / 0-)

                        was that it was because of Greenpeace International.  I thought it was all infighting and organziational politics.  

                        door-to-door canvassing died in the early 90s big time, though.  more communities were restricting it because people didn't want canvassers coming to their door asking for money. And frankly, there was a lot of fraud involved.  The only people who wanted to go door-to-door were either nutjobs or minor criminals.  

                        I worked for another environmental groups from 93 - 96 and saw firsthand the change from dedicated activists wanting to canvass to kids with environmental studies degrees thinking they were too good to canvass just wanting to do research.  the canvass operations were our pirmary fundraising effort and when that died, the larger environmental movement went with it.    

                        Just because you're self-righteous doesn't mean you're not a hypocrite.

                        by AMcG826 on Mon Apr 17, 2006 at 05:24:06 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  i canvassed 90-93 (0+ / 0-)

                          after retiring as a software engineer

                          i loved it. going door to door is what we need to do to activate this country.

                          typing doesnt change anywhere near as many minds as talking in person. i used great research greenpeace had on debt in the 3rd world and on how cars kill life and cause war. greenpeace execs wanted us to talk only about whales and antartica.

                          thye burned the turf by caring more about money and not about organizing communities.

                          You will lie to your grandchildren when they ask what you did to prevent climate change.

                          by Peter Pan on Mon Apr 17, 2006 at 01:48:16 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  you said it (0+ / 0-)

                            thye burned the turf by caring more about money and not about organizing communities.

                            That's what happened where I worked as well.  Our canvassers were only interested in meeting quota because that's what the higher ups insisted on...otherwise they were out the door.  Our guys would go out and talk recycling even though we weren't even working on the issue because it's such a feel good issue.  

                            I agree that going out and talking to people is the only way to reach people.  Unfortunately, Americans' desire for independence has built a huge wall of alienation around us all.  

                            Just because you're self-righteous doesn't mean you're not a hypocrite.

                            by AMcG826 on Tue Apr 18, 2006 at 08:18:53 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                •  Good enough, Yankee... (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Tulip, cotterperson, Ja of Anoroc

                  I apologize for my bringing it home with a name, and admit I hadn't thought about it (since I know a Guido who's a Gui... nevermind...). A good thing for me to learn, so you get a '4'!

          •  Follow the money and map the power (5+ / 0-)

            There are still people around that think WaPost, NYTimes et al. are the cream of journalism--even those who are strongly opposed to all the positions those editors take. These outlets are part of an emergent Ministry of Information that are strongly entrenched as sheer popaganda organs. They reflect the power struggles within the power structure. Starting in the 80's I learned to read those papers as if I were reading Pravda to map out the trends and personalities of the "Central Committee".

            In these matters we first have to follow the money and trust absolutely nothing we read in the mainstream media.

            This is it--this moment, here we connect. Om Lokaha Samastaha Sukhino Bhavantu

            by Chris Cosmos on Sun Apr 16, 2006 at 05:33:00 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Very sorry about your brother (4+ / 0-)

            I actually do know how you feel.  Happened to my bro, too.  After 10 years, I'm sorta normal.  Peace.

            You'll :: never hear :: surf music :: again :::::::::::::::::

            by moltar on Sun Apr 16, 2006 at 06:42:03 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  TMI (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Joy Busey, means are the ends

            I lived 8 miles away from TMI for two years, in 1982-3.  It was after the accident but not so long - and I now wonder - at the time there were assurances of no risk or danger and I really wasn't very informed.  Plus I was taking a job offer after college in a terrible economy.  I do wonder now about a lot of things like that, as I struggle with a couple mysterious health issues.

          •  Technology has changed, improved (0+ / 0-)

            Technology is better today in terms of safe-guarding people, and nuclear energy, when used properly, can be as safe or safer than oil or coal.  Ultimately, there are always accidents, no matter how careful you are, but the facts are such that we are an energy-hungry nation whose needs will far outstrip supply in the coming years.

            "...that our civil rights have no dependance on our religious opinions, any more than our opinions in physics or geometry..." - Thomas Jefferson

            by cgrkumar on Mon Apr 17, 2006 at 02:26:57 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  There isn't enough capacity (13+ / 0-)

        ...to produce oil to meet our needs, whether we extract it from the earth's crust or process it out of our crops.  Our supply of the extractable underground stuff is going to run out within the next hundred years (and I'm being generous about that), and there just isn't enough arable land out there to made up the difference with crops.

        Ultimately, the oil we get from the fround represents hundreds of millions of years of solar energy trapped in chemical bonds by biological activity and then concentrated by geothermic processes into a form with enough trapped energy per unit volume to meet our current needs (or at least close enough to meeting those needs so as to make the refining process not so energy-intensive as to be prohibitive).  Petroleum represents the combined forces of solar and geothermal energy working in tandem for nearly as long as life has existed on this planet, and we've managed to deplete that store of energy in a couple of centuries.

        We simply cannot expect the amount of solar energy trapped in a single year by biological processes to match our energy needs for a single year.  We certainly cannot expect solar energy, or even solar and geothermal together, to produce that much energy and the additional energy needed to concentrate it in a usable form.  Remember, biodiesel, as wonderful as it is, needed to be refined, too, and that takes energy.  So does the production of vegetable and peanut oils.

        In the end, we only have three basic sources of energy with which to work: solar, geothermal, and man-made nuclear (fission or fusion).  The point of my previous two paragraphs is to show that, in order to meet our current needs, let alone future ones, we cannot expect to rely on solar and geothermal alone.  That leaves man-made nuclear, unless we discover something very new in the laws of physics.  Yes, nuclear fission has a major issue with wastes, and controlled fusion is still a ways off, but progress is being made on both fronts.  There are working prototype fission reactors which cannot go into meltdown (pebble-bed nuclear reactors).  There are reasonable proposals to reuse the fissionable material in fuel rods over and over until the remaining material is no more radioactive than ordinary uranium ore.  And plans are being made right now to build the first experimental net-energy producing nuclear fusion reactor.  Nuclear physics is very hard and very expensive, but quite frankly, we do have results for the money which has already been spent.  There has been a decent return on our investment.

        Nuclear power is a smart investment because, right now, it's the only viable long term investment.  Nothing else we know of has a chance at meeting our considerable energy needs in the future.  

        •  Yeah, but... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          means are the ends

          There's gravity and there's geothermal, Yankee. Do you have any idea how many earthen dams were constructed (and are still maintained) by CCC [+dot-gov] in the between-war crisis? Enough so that if we installed well-designed modern turbines we would power the entire Southwest. Where solar works directly too, and today's nifty slate-looking, guaranteed 30-year solar panels could generate more than just the generator's electric bill, but get circulated on the actual grid we need too.

          Nuclear - fission or fusion - is a pipe dream, way more trouble than it's worth. Decentralization is the Boogey-Man, but it's what we need along with that new grid. For the development costs of a single 'pebble' nuke - and in less than a third the time - we could replace our grid system. That's a much better investment, IMO.

          •  solar panels? erm, no... (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Plan9, buckhorn okie, awesley, BalkanID

            ... Southwest. Where solar works directly too, and today's nifty slate-looking, guaranteed 30-year solar panels could generate more than just the generator's electric bill, but get circulated on the actual grid we need too.

            Photovoltaic solar currently costs about 25-30 cents per kw-hr, taking into account night and weather. Considerably more if you have off-grid battery storage. Nukes and coal cost below 5 cents per kw-hr, including tax to cover decommissioning and waste interment.

            •  Bring solar cost down with volume and tech (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              means are the ends

              Cost of anything like this is a function of volume and technology.

              Technology has always been a function of government investment and willpower: imagine what your cost estimate for nuclear would be if there had never been government nuclear research and technology advancement programs.

              Low volume of solar panel sales also greatly affects price: the process of fabricating solar panels is similar to that of semiconductors, yet the cost of semiconductors is probably less than 1/10th of what it was 10 years ago, to produce semiconductors far more dense and powerful.  If there had been similar advances in technology and decreases in cost for solar panels, we'd all have them tacked to our roofs.

              Government can also help increase volume.  Imagine if the same 60 billion in subsidies we gave to the oil industry this year had gone to incentives for companies and individuals to adopt solar instead.

              •  this may or may not be true (0+ / 0-)
                solar panel output has been rising spectacularly (30% per year, I think), but solar cost has been holding steady at about $4.50 per peak watt.  To compete with N-power, we would need to bring this down to well below $1. So far, no big cost cuts have come with the increased volume.

                I have actually looked at the cost of solar power, an a big part of the cost is low-tech - just the physical panels and installation, not the high-tech silicon. These items will represent a floor for the cost of solar.

                •  But the industry is still tiny. (0+ / 0-)

                  It would be interesting to see what happens to cost as volume truly becomes huge. And perhaps as technological breakthroughs happen. E.G. I have read about a spray-on paint type substance that can be sprayed onto  panels, making them into functioning solar panels. This decreases the labor, time and cost involved in production. Still a very small company, I believe.
                  As you note, lots happening in this area.

                  And more would happen if the government would get behind renewables.

                  •  at this rate of growth it will (0+ / 0-)

                    not take long for volumes to get big.

                    The present 30% per year growth means a doubling of annual solar installations every 2 years, or a factor of 10 growth every 9 years.  In 2003, 500 MW of solar (a medium conventional/nuclear station) were installed. So by 2020, one could naively expected that annual solar installation be roughly the same as the entire current nuclear base. Emphasis on naive, because sooner or later solar will fill the expensive niches it is good at, and will have to go head to head with conventional power sources.

                    Will it become cheap enough by then? God knows.

                    •  so answer the question (0+ / 0-)

                      what was the cost of nuclear power per kw/h if estimated in 1940?  more or less in 2006 dollars than the cost of solar today?

                      Most likely, nuclear was WAY more expensive then (before the first plant had ever been designed) than solar is today.  And yet, starting after WWII, nuclear got MASSIVE government $$ for development of technology and incentives to build power plants.  

                      Solar gets nothing even close.  What if it did??

                      •  a better question would be (0+ / 0-)

                        How did the cost of nuclear power develop with time, as subsidies were scaled back? How much of today's inexpensive N-power is the result of government investment? How long did it take for N-power to (more or less) stand on its two feet?  

                        Solar power has been around for decades too (with subsidies), and has made slow but steady progress. A fair comparison how each technology reaches breakeven wrt subsidies would be good.

                •  umm.. panels == silicon. n/t (0+ / 0-)
        •  Good argument (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          means are the ends

          Your argument is essentially sound. The problem is that I don't trust the information. If a relatively independent science panel were to examine the issue and map out the choices we face and allow inputs of all kinds from the less well-known energy plans then I would consider nuclear. In fact, I think it is certainly possible to solve the problems that nuclear energy brings to the table but can you trust the current leadership to design such a system? The current leadership, not only in the administration and Congress but in almost all institutions in the United States is not to be trusted because the idea of public service and the well-being of the public is dissapearing. I just flat out don't trust the American system to create anything after Iraq and Katrina. Do you see my point? The downside of nuclear is very large.

          This is it--this moment, here we connect. Om Lokaha Samastaha Sukhino Bhavantu

          by Chris Cosmos on Sun Apr 16, 2006 at 05:51:10 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Trust (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Plan9, buckhorn okie, tritium
            I wouldn't trust the current leadership, but that is what the National Academies are for.  Of course, the NAS is ignored by this administration, but the academies have also acknowledged that nuclear power will have to be part of our energy future.

            They haven't definitively come out and issued a report, but if you search their site, they've done a pretty careful evaluation of risks and safety issues involved with nuclear waste disposal.  Eventually, I think meetings like the one linked to above will become a priority and they'll come out with a summary report for the National Academies.

            Until then, I've found this Frontline report very interesting.  And my favorite site on Chernobyl is from this girl who did a photographic essay on the area while riding through it on her motorcycle.

            I support nuclear power but it's probably because I'm pretty comfortable working with radiation and don't have the irrational fear of it that some future saboteurs seem to be proud of.  I use it for molecular biology (although usually just a wimpy isotope of phosphate) and in my physics days studied more nasty things like cesium sources and worked at a particle accelerator.  I'm far more concerned about global climate change than about the very, very tiny possibility of an American nuclear reactor wreaking havoc or increasing the risk of cancer.

            •  ...about that Chernobyl photo-essay (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              tritium

              That photo-essay is a bit of a fraud.  The photos are real enough, but her story about taking a lonely motorcycle trip through it is an embellishment.  As far as the internets can tell, the photos were taken during a tourist trip.

              See the Museum of Hoaxes for a bit more detail.

            •  makes sense (0+ / 0-)

              I've posted elsewhere on this that my other concern is that the general nature of the current leadership class in the U.S. doesn't give me confidence in their ability to create or run anything at this time--there seems to be not much thought given to the commonweal.

              I think decentralized solutions, including some kind of "small nuclear" power sources are worth looking into. My thought was to open up some money for cogeneration and see what works best and most efficiently in generating electricity--this gives all kinds of people a chance to prove their ideas in a practical way. Let a thousand flowers bloom sort of thing.

              Again good comments--your work sounds very interesting and thanks for the leads on finding out more.

              This is it--this moment, here we connect. Om Lokaha Samastaha Sukhino Bhavantu

              by Chris Cosmos on Sun Apr 16, 2006 at 07:37:05 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  who will suffer from nuclear waste? (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          means are the ends

          our whole society is based on whats good for rich people alive now.

          nuclear power proponents dont care about what happens after they are dead.

          we nned a world without fission, no plants, no bombs. if u can figure out fusion and make it safe and cheap, lay out the science.

          fission costs more than it is worth from the point of view of the yet to be born.

          You will lie to your grandchildren when they ask what you did to prevent climate change.

          by Peter Pan on Sun Apr 16, 2006 at 06:18:12 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Who will get flooded if we don't embrace nuclear? (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Plan9, buckhorn okie, awesley

            I guess that the millions who WILL be displaced in the coming decades, absent quick action to reduce carbon emissions, are irrelevent.

            The number of people who live anywhere near Yucca Mountain is tiny.  By the time the thing is operational, almost everyone living in the area will be employed by the place.

            And you know what - I am NOT ashamed to say that I care more about the people who will be alive 100 years from now than 10,000 years from now.  We have enough to worry about to do whatever we can to get through the next 100 years.

          •  Unlike fossil fuel waste... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            buckhorn okie

            ...which is stored in the environment and in our tissues, nuclear materials at every stage of the fuel cycle are isolated and shielded.  Only one percent of all nuclear fuel is long-lasting in terms of radioactive decay.

            It is curious that people worry more about what might happen to a hypothetical race 10,000 years from now who decide to tunnel deep into a geologic nuclear waste repository and risk exposure than they do about what is happening to our own health and that of our children because of fossil fuel combustion.

            Some are predicting that by the time today's children reach middle age, the ocean may be several feet higher.

            ...it always turns out that no one is in charge of the things that really matter.--Deborah Eisenberg, Twilight of the Superheroes

            by Plan9 on Sun Apr 16, 2006 at 06:34:37 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  Not enough options (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          means are the ends

          In the end, we only have three basic sources of energy with which to work: solar, geothermal, and man-made nuclear (fission or fusion).

          a.)  Windpower;  b.)  Improved efficiencies in energy use;  c.)  Conservation.

          Another excellent and timely response to Patrick Moore's views can be found at the Gristmill Blog  The author is David Roberts.  It rocks big-time, and answers your talking points very well.

          Why is it that proponents of nuclear rarely address the mining problems associated with nukes?  It's in my backyard, and we still haven't recovered from the first wave of uranium mining here (4-corners states).  And, they've just opened a new-improved uranium mill right outside the boundary of the White Mt. Ute reservation, south of Blanding UT.  It is in the process of accepting waste from elsewhere, making it a de-facto waste depository.  The barrels are piling high!

          Surely you aren't saying that the life and culture of a Ute or a Navajo person is an acceptable sacrifice for the rest of the nation.  These are realities, too.

          Personally, I'd rather do without than go nuclear.  I wanna get rid of the ones we already have.  But it is a personal choice we must all make.  Read the Gristmill article.

          •  even fewer options (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Plan9

            Your option b (efficiency) is essentially the same as c (conservation). Wind power is nice, but suffers from the big problem of inconstancy. I looked into this a while back, and found that 40% of the cost of wind is backup generators (fossil fuels!) for when the wind isn't blowing. So a wind generator really means 60% wind, 40% coal/oil/gas.

            And looking at that Gristmil blog, some of the critical replies seem right on the money.

            And many of the supports of N-power do admit the negatives of nuclear power. They just look at the facts and decide that these negatives are less a concern than the negatives of the other options. Like extremely expensive power, or rising ocean levels, or the current 30,000 deaths per year from coal pollutioln.

      •  Gotta love these anti-nuclear power tirades (5+ / 0-)

        'specially when the alternative is diesel, which together with coal is killing millions world wide each each (310,000 in Europe, approximately the same in the USA, and way more in China and India).

        Methinks a rudimentary ability to perform risk analysis  would be a good addition to the high school curriculum . . .

        •  conservation (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          parrothead, jcrit, means are the ends

          wind

          superconductors

          trains, not cars

          there are plenty of answers.

          pro nuclear people are selfish mass consumers of things made by corporate slaves in the "third" world.

          You will lie to your grandchildren when they ask what you did to prevent climate change.

          by Peter Pan on Sun Apr 16, 2006 at 06:20:20 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Don't really understand your point (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Plan9, cgrkumar

            Nuclear power technology is one of the few economic sectors still almost entirely the realm of the "first" world, providing high paying jobs to westerners (in France, the Candu, etc).

            So, if you could kindly elaborate on the connections between "pro nuclear" "corporate slaves" and "third" world - that'd be much appreciated.

            Thanks!!

          •  You really are... (0+ / 0-)

            ...Peter Pan.  Grow up.  Nuclear is both safe and provides abundant power.  Superconductors are what conduct electricity close to the speed of light, not a method of generating electricity.  Trains still have to run on power.  Wind-generated power could account for less than 5% of all energy needed in this country even if every building had a windmill on top (which would be expensive).  People who small-mindedly suggest that we are merely "selfish" are not looking at the bigger world, merely your day-to-day existence, which certainly can be made more efficient.

            "...that our civil rights have no dependance on our religious opinions, any more than our opinions in physics or geometry..." - Thomas Jefferson

            by cgrkumar on Mon Apr 17, 2006 at 02:44:32 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  Yes... and? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Plan9

        We still use energy to grow the food and process it for any sort of "bio-diesel."  Throw in vegetable/peanut/what-have-you oil-run engines, as well.

        Energy input for energy output.  Bullocks, I say.  Personally, I'm all for the nuclear.  It IS clean, high-output, and reliable, if maintained well (and we develop a long term policy on waste).

        Given that the US is shifting to coal-based energy, I would gladly take more Nuclear plants.

    •  BBC is your friend (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Eikyu Saha

      http://news.bbc.co.uk/...

      Try that one for some information on nukulars.

      Britain does follow the European model, in its foundations-though obviously the Thatcherites reject it. Jacques Delors

      by allmost liberal european on Sun Apr 16, 2006 at 04:51:34 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  BS (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jcrit, means are the ends

      There are more than enough alternative method to satisfy energy need.

      Nuclear power == GE shill.

    •  If we want to keep our standard of living... (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Plan9, buckhorn okie, tritium, Roadbed Guy

      In terms of creating large quantitites of electricity at a price that average people can afford, I think we have to be thinking about significantly increasing the amount of power we get from nuclear energy. Natural gas is quite clean, but it is a finite resource that will pretty much get more expensive as time goes on. Oil of course should be saved for cars until we have a good replacement. I think we will pretty much use every drop of oil on the planet over the next 100 years or so. Coal is one of the main culprits in producing greenhouse gases as it produces 5 times as much pollution as natural gas for hte same amount of energy produced. Hydro produces a lot of electricity in some places, but is pretty much maxed out and has its own set of environmental problems. Wind, geothermal, solar are all great but can't produce more than a small fraction of what we need to maintain our current standard of living.  Anyone who says otherwise does not know what they are talking about. We should use them where we can, but it is a drop in the bucket.

      That leaves nuclear which does not create greenhouse gases and leaves a relatively small envirnmental footprint. I think we have to be looking at doubling the number of nuclear plants in the country over the next 15 years. Who cares if Moore is now a consultant? What he says is true.

      •  Think you touched on an important point (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Plan9, buckhorn okie

        Yeah, who cares if Moore is a consultant?

        In matters of science, it is possible to do a bit of digging and find out "the truth" in a fairly objective way.  No matter who says it.  Or who pays them.

        So, I think the focus of this diary - hidden payments behind opeds - be best left to where it actually may be insidious (i.e., political matters where "the truth" is hidden or ambiguous - such as "Should Mr. Bush be impeached for Iraq?" v. "Should Mr. Bush be impeached for NSA abuses?" - in such as case there really is no clear cut and objective measures, so hidden conflicts may be of greater concern).

    •  How much power does the US get? (0+ / 0-)
      I live in Chicago, and something like 98% of my electricity in the past year came from nuclear power.
    •  How is it possible to talk about 'safe' waste? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      means are the ends

      There should be no discussion of any plans for further development of nuclear energy until high level and low level waste storage is taken into account on a scientific basis w/ no hint of cookin the books. This should be a special challenge since its entire history is fraught with non science, poor science, misrepresentations of science, and simple manipulation of science and facts to get the desired outcome. There is both rational and irrational fear of radioactivity. This project will not be easily achieved unless it is accomplished outside of normal democratic channels.

    •  couldn't agree more... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      AMcG826, means are the ends

      ...now just let us know what city you live in so we can ship all the waste through the downtown business district where you work and then store it "safely and responsibly" about 30 miles from your house.

      censure: if not now, when?

      by jethropalerobber on Sun Apr 16, 2006 at 07:58:28 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Actually... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Roadbed Guy

        ...I am a big Jimmy Carter fan, but he really screwed up on the nuclear waste thing.  There is a much safer way to reduce the amount of waste created by a fast-reactor through recycling, but Carter killed the programs during his presidency due to unfounded fears of nuclear power.  Our nuclear waste storage facilities are literally THE BEST in the world and anyone who really believes that nuclear waste is going to get them needs to seriously contemplate learning a little something about it.

        "...that our civil rights have no dependance on our religious opinions, any more than our opinions in physics or geometry..." - Thomas Jefferson

        by cgrkumar on Mon Apr 17, 2006 at 03:00:02 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I have been learning lots about it (0+ / 0-)

          for several decades, as have others who do not necesssarily hold the same opinion as yourself. It is not the case that to learn more about this issue is to lay aside all doubts, see the light, and suddenly realize how wonderful the holy grail of nuclear power is. And I think it is important to recognize that informed, scientifically oriented people can disagree about this issue.
          You are entitled to your opinion, and your cost/benefit/risk calculations. As others are entitled to theirs.

    •  From where I'm standing (5+ / 0-)
      Which is by the water cooler while contracting for $MULTINATIONAL_ENERGY_GIANT in their (hang on, what's it called today?) "Sustainable Energy Programme"[1], it's my scuttlebutt informed opinion that we should be building nuclear, and we should be building it now, not in ten years or even five.

      Here's the state of play with renewables as the eggheads that I work with describe them:

      Biofuels: might possibly be viable, if you want to give up eating beef, are prepared for the inevitable water turf wars, and we get a new generation of power plants and autos with at least 50% better efficiency.  They can't supply our current energy output though; there just isn't enough land and water, at least for land based crops.  Algae farms in shallow salt water pools might be doable, but need large scale trials and honest accounting of the total energy costs in sustaining them.

      Hydro-electric and wave: these do produce useful power, but only locally in suitable areas.

      Wind: on the cusp of becoming viable in some areas, but maintenance costs are high and the average power output is in practice lower than the nominal claims.

      Solar: not as good as it looks, sadly. Solar cells still take nearly as much energy to produce than you get out of them over their working life, when you factor in the total energy cost of mining, refining, production, maintenance and (the bit that's always missed out to make them look good) the energy needs of the workers involved in the process.  You can't just miss that last part out; Joe Solderer needs energy to get him to work in the morning, and if his solar power plant can't supply it, where does it come from?  They're good at cutting transmission losses by localising generation, but effectively, they're more like very long term storage batteries.

      The guys I work with have no political axe to grind, and the thing that frustrates them most is seeing skewed studies that ignore, reduce or inflate the output or costs of the technologies that they work with, and the lack of large scale studies to more accurately determine them.  There's the usual internal backstabbing and trash talking (solar seems to be everybody's whipping boy), but the overall tone is that there's no single renewable silver bullet, and that we really need to get moving on all of them, now, and then refine the strategy later.  But we're way, way behind on starting, and we'll need one more generation of nuclear to get us over the hump.

      My personal feeling is that we could switch to sustainables without a nuclear boost, but only with a radical - like, overnight - shift in expectations and lifestyle, and a lot of regular folks will lose out in a big way.  We're burdened by too many thin skinned leaky buildings that need too much heating and cooling, and too many inefficient autos that we can't (for realpolitik reasons) just wish away overnight.  Sure, you could mandate at least 50mpg for autos (and hit it too) from next year, but then you'd make 80% of the vehicles (and about 95% of US build ones) currently in production and circulation worthless, which would be political suicide for any government.

      <joke>Who knows though, maybe the outgoing Bush executive will push this through as a final act.</joke>

      [1] In England, they have programmes.

      -- I've been throwing my vote away on third party candidates. Persuade me to throw it away on a Democrat instead.

      by DemCurious on Mon Apr 17, 2006 at 04:36:51 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  the right depends on converts (15+ / 0-)

    I mean that seriously.  As another example. remember that David Horowitz was one of the founders of Ramparts Magazine which was trying to reestablish the muckraking tradition, and was quite left of center.

    Or we can look at actor Ron Silver's ever rightward move.

    And if you didn't know it, once upon a time, early in his political careerl. Newt Gingrich was actually pretty "green".  

    The "right" basically buys these people to trade on their previous credibility.  

    You've got one idea right.  Just remember the words in the garage   ...   "Follow the money."

    Those who can, do. Those who can do more, TEACH!

    by teacherken on Sun Apr 16, 2006 at 03:41:00 PM PDT

    •  Not about the WaPo, but the MediaMafia (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Eikyu Saha
      a la "The Murdoch Method"

      On the remarkable videotape that shows Jared Paul Stern allegedly trying to shake down California billionaire Ronald Burkle, the New York Post gossip writer explains succinctly to his prospective client how his world works. If you make "friends" with the powerful gossips who operate Page Six by paying them or their loved ones, then your future will include fewer bad items and more good items.

      "It's a little bit like the Mafia," says Mr. Stern on the soundtrack, echoing a similar remark made last year by a fired Page Six reporter.

      Such preening babble lacks subtlety but still points toward a significant truth. Whether the Post is as corruptible as the Stern tape sensationally suggests or not, there can be no doubt that proprietor Rupert Murdoch has long used the News Corporation's assets to reward his friends and punish his enemies. His company isn't a criminal enterprise, but he has often skirted the appearance of sleaze and worse. So any wayward tough guys who have worked for him may only be emulating the godfather's dubious example.

      To comprehend Mr. Murdoch's unsavory stewardship of his media empire, it is worth looking back to the earliest years following his arrival in the United States...

      I started out trying to find the lastest quarterly earnings for the WaPo because some other media groups took a dive.  Then I found this. This is well worth a read. I should have done a diary on it.

      <div style="color: #a00000;"> Our... constitutional heritage rebels at the thought of giving government the power to control men's minds. Thurgood Marshal

      by bronte17 on Sun Apr 16, 2006 at 05:17:26 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  NYT editorial by Daniel Gilbert (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        bronte17

        on April 16 describes, from the point of view of a behavioral psychologist, one basic manifestation of 'bias.'   The claim is that whenever there is an interest involved, then, even if a person tries to avoid bias, there will be biases that seep into that person's processes of judgment.  Evidence that runs in favor of the person's interests will be accepted readily and without deep examination, but evidence that runs against the person's interests will be examined more critically, yielding a substantial bias in the person's interests.  

        Gilbert offers the example of Verizon's CEO salary being decided by an 'independent' contractor that receives substantial contracts with the corporation (unfortunately he doesn't name Hewitt Associates by name).  He could equally have mentioned Scalia's obvious conflicts of interest in judging the recent Cheney case.  

        I would think that in Jared Paul Stern's case, the bias would not even have to be 'intentional' to yield a massive overall effect in the media: i.e., that money can indeed buy favorable reportage.  

  •  Nuclear power is safe (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    buckhorn okie, t w, seanleckey, tritium, Ed J

    And it is environmentally friendly.  See that computer you're tapping on?  It doesn't work by magic.  The power has to come from somewhere.  We liberals do ourselves no favors by being against nuclear power in such a knee-jerk way.

    •  Well... (8+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Tulip, RonV, Vico, pexatus, jcrit, cjohnson, vcmvo2, jfadden

      ...this isn't about nuclear power.

      Arrogant lips are unsuited to a fool-- how much worse lying lips to a ruler - Proverbs 17:7

      by Barbara Morrill on Sun Apr 16, 2006 at 03:44:46 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  No it's not (12+ / 0-)

        And hijacking the thread to detail how essential nuclear power is to the future misses by a wide margin what Hunter is trying to discuss. It's breath-taking how flagrant these people are about failing to disclose their conflict of interest. The WaPo, Moore and the ubiquitous Marc Morano... I just have to wonder how this guy went from co-founder Of Greenpeace to mouthpiece!

        I replied to you Barb because I was relieved to see that someone got the point!

        Excellent as always Hunter!

        The great enemy of the truth is very often not the lie-deliberate,contrived and dishonest-but the myth,persistent,persuasive,unrealistic John F. Kennedy

        by vcmvo2 on Sun Apr 16, 2006 at 03:53:45 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Not hijacking (0+ / 0-)
          I don't think it's hijacking to say that yeah, this guy didn't have a sufficient disclosure but a lot of what he said was right.  I don't think this was a particularly egregious example to vilify this guy's message just because he's a convert to nuclear power.  I'm pretty sure that Hiatt wasn't gleefully cackling and saying "excellent" while deciding to only provide a one-sentence description of this guy's background.  

          Hiatt is a hack  but there are many worse examples of his abuse of the editorial page, mostly relating to the inability to acknowledge the mistake of supporting the Iraq war and their recent attacks on Wilson.  Everyone needs to chill out a bit.

          Disclosure is ultimately a pretty weak countermeasure to conflicts of interest.  Discussions on forums like these about the risks and benefits of power alternatives to fossil fuels are much more valuable, at least to me.  

          For instance, how many times has WaPo, NYT, or any other damn publication had an op-ed from someone like Cato or AEI that only mentioned they were from those think tanks, when we know all those so-called "fellows" are just industry lobbyists with no academic credentials at all?  Don't get to fussy over disclosure, it's already a joke.

          •  It's the prevalance of it (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            means are the ends

            You can no longer read a piece, or I can't, because it's a bought and paid for ad for some industry or another. If it was really his opinion would the WaPo even care? It's because of his contacts that they'll even bother with him & they have been publishing alot of very dodgy stuff for too long for it to just be one man's opinion. When will they publish the balancing piece, that they are so fond of, that is ant-nuclear energy? It's not going to happen. If you follow Hunter and his research on this CNS reporter Marc Morano you'd see why I find this so suspicious.

            The great enemy of the truth is very often not the lie-deliberate,contrived and dishonest-but the myth,persistent,persuasive,unrealistic John F. Kennedy

            by vcmvo2 on Sun Apr 16, 2006 at 07:54:23 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  every man (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          vcmvo2

          has his price.  Patrick Moore is trading on his years at Greenpeace to pull in the big bucks as a shill for many industries.  

          Just because you're self-righteous doesn't mean you're not a hypocrite.

          by AMcG826 on Mon Apr 17, 2006 at 05:28:23 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  scary thought (0+ / 0-)

            Especially because Greenpeace is such a powerful credential that people probably won't look further.

            The great enemy of the truth is very often not the lie-deliberate,contrived and dishonest-but the myth,persistent,persuasive,unrealistic John F. Kennedy

            by vcmvo2 on Mon Apr 17, 2006 at 10:28:04 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  What's it about? (0+ / 0-)

        Seems to be a hit the speaker piece- is that the point?

    •  Maybe yours doesn't... (8+ / 0-)

      My computer does work by magic and no one is going to convince me otherwise.

      Regardless, Patrick Moore is a Big Fat Liar and the Washington Post should know better. I guessing they just don't care anymore. Like it's some kind of game to them.

      "I was so easy to defeat, I was so easy to control, I didn't even know there was a war." -9.75, -8.41

      by RonV on Sun Apr 16, 2006 at 03:54:09 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  He's not anti-nuclear (5+ / 0-)

      The post is not pro or con nuclear power, it's simply pointing out that the WaPo (again) failed to point out that an editorial they've published was written by someone with a financial interest in the subject matter under consideration.

      Not that people with such interests should be precluded from writing op-ed pieces, but the attendant conflict of interest should at least be mentioned at the bottom of the piece. You know, something like :

      Disclosure, the author lobbies governments around the world on behalf of nuclear power companies

      or something.

      Always be sincere, even if you don't mean it.

      by justinb on Sun Apr 16, 2006 at 03:58:22 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Faith-based statement. (4+ / 1-)

      What factual basis or links do you have for that statement when we have Three Mile Island and Chernybol?

      •  Not faith-based. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        KevinA, Plan9, buckhorn okie

        Two major accidents in close to 50 years of nuclear power, spread over I don't know how many plants.  That's not faith-based — that's compelling statistical evidence that nuclear power is safe enough to be used to meet our needs.  We've been using nuclear long enough now to reasonably believe that major accidents are rare, and we have every reason to believe that further innovation will make those accidents even rarer.

        We can't let the specter of two accidents (one of which, Three Mile Island, was comparably minor) warp our views of the risks of using nuclear reactors.  The risks are real to be sure, but they are certainly manageable.

      •  the factual basis (4+ / 0-)

        Perhaps that no one was hurt in Three Mile Island?  And that we'd never design or run a reactor like the one in Chernybol?

        •  You are correct (2+ / 0-)

          No one was hurt by radiation from Three Mile Island.  And no US reactors are of the old and really bad design used at Chernobyl.  Chernobyl did not have a containment building, which is why it was such a widespread disaster.  Every reactor in the US by law must have a containment building with thick concrete and steel walls.  The building is negatively pressurized so no gases can escape.

          ...it always turns out that no one is in charge of the things that really matter.--Deborah Eisenberg, Twilight of the Superheroes

          by Plan9 on Sun Apr 16, 2006 at 05:21:30 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Such misconception, So little time... (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            rgdurst, means are the ends
            1. I personally know people "hurt" by radiation at TMI. 2. You're right about the piles, if you ignore Fermi. 3. Containment is relative, believe me. At TMI, gases, N-1 water (at a rate of 1000R/hr per 100ml and more particulates than anybody cared to test for) went right on out, sans ANY form of filtration. And thousands did die. Some of 'em are dying right now...

            ...the gub'ment says it's leftover coal dust from the 1940s and '50s. Do you believe that? If so, why?

            •  Please provide citations for your claims. n/t (4+ / 0-)

              ...it always turns out that no one is in charge of the things that really matter.--Deborah Eisenberg, Twilight of the Superheroes

              by Plan9 on Sun Apr 16, 2006 at 05:39:31 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Maybe you should have specified (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Plan9, buckhorn okie, Boss Tweed

                peer-reviewed citations?

                There's plenty of websites out there that spew out plenty of pseudo-scientific anti-nuclear "educational" material . . . .

              •  Hi, Plan9. (5+ / 0-)

                I was a health physicist who left nuclear power along with my husband - also a health physicist - in 1978 because security clearances got to be a deal after 10CFR.21 was approved, and if they wouldn't take Navy clearance as good enough, we didn't want any more part of it. Became publishers, had lots of fun.

                Went back for TMI because the utility yokels (Met-Ed's ops were Navy, but their HPs weren't) abandoned post at the moment the site emergency alarm sounded. I was there processing the TLDs by April 1. My husband was ST [Surveillance Tech]. Monitored the releases. My brother had nothing to do with it. He was Health Physics Site Coordinator at a plant in south Georgia at the time. But when he came to visit us in New Mexico, somebody panicked.

                We went to TMI on purpose, because there was nobody else. People were going to die, and our JOB - that for which we'd taken the 'protect and defend' oath - was to minimalize that as much as possible. That's what we were trained to do, authorized to do, and chartered to do. Until TMI, that is. Why? ...because they (I WON'T say "guidos") were afraid. They were afraid that if they'd distributed the million and a half potassium-iodide pills to the local population, somebody might think iodine-131 could be an issue with nuclear power plants undergoing meltdown. People died. They evacuated pregnant women and young children to the Hershey Convention Center, smack dab in the middle of plum touchdown. People died. All of that was completely preventable and/or mitigatable. It wasn't done, and the considerations were purely cash-based, not socio-political, technological or scientific.

                I know people who died. I know people who were harmed. I know what kind of lies were told, and I even know why they were told. Nuclear energy is a scam. It's always been a scam is always going to be a scam. We can put our resources to much better use, and that's why I still care.

                Forgive me my bad attitude, please. It's been more than 27 years, and I still recall acutely that they intended to sacrifice my children too. Pissed me right off, though I sure could have made better decisions about what to do at that point... §;o)

                P.S. We did testify, several times, including to Congress and the NRC under provisions of 10CFR.21. I'm still here because David Boren was chair of the SIOC, and my husband's high school debate partner Mike Synar was on the House SubCom for Energy and Environment. I can give you all sorts of nifty goodies, including the GPU control room printout for the first 16 hours of the accident. But I keep those in plastic bags as life insurance, with my nearly-grown grandchildren. Congress and the FBI tell me you're not cleared to see it, but that doesn't change what I know.

                •  Are you saying that a Katrina-sized disaster... (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  KevinA, buckhorn okie

                  ...occurred at TMI, with lots of corpses, etc.  And yet despite all the wall-to-wall media coverage of TMI and the thousands of people involved, the entire thing was successfully hushed up?

                  That numerous independent studies commissioned by the PA Health Dept., etc. did not find a single death or case of radiation-related disease attributable to TMI?

                  Pretty remarkable.

                  ...it always turns out that no one is in charge of the things that really matter.--Deborah Eisenberg, Twilight of the Superheroes

                  by Plan9 on Sun Apr 16, 2006 at 06:40:14 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Huh... (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    means are the ends

                    How long did that "wall-to-wall" coverage last, Plan9, and how much of it did you understand? Be honest...

                    •  Follow-up studies of TMI (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      KevinA, buckhorn okie

                      ...continued for over 20 years.

                      ...it always turns out that no one is in charge of the things that really matter.--Deborah Eisenberg, Twilight of the Superheroes

                      by Plan9 on Sun Apr 16, 2006 at 06:47:56 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  They never asked me, Plan9... (3+ / 0-)

                        And I've still got my picture ID! Why, there were lots of daily doses that managed not to get recorded... oops. I'm not supposed to tell you that, since I was the one doing the recording.

                        They had a nifty system when my husband was in charge of HP coverage for workers changing those giant activated charcoal filters. That were too 'hot' for 3 weeks to even get anywhere close to. By the time they got replacements to the plant, stay-time was about 5 minutes in full bubbles. Supplied air...

                        Sometimes they'd strap a TLD [Thermoluminescent dosimeter, lithium-based] to their ankles or wrists to get an incidental contact-dose reading. Outside shielding. They were in yellow cases, while the red, blue and green ones were work inside the suit to measure body dose. I had the CEO of Met-Ed tell me to enter body doses as extremities more than once. Guess he just wanted to see if I'd do it....

                        But I had a whole other dose-mapping system. I can even tell you how much dose got "lost" after the recalibrations, as those differed significantly between the NRC machines and the GPU machines. But that's nothing compared to the air-bursts. Did you know that the primary system letdown lines were full-open to the unshielded aux building until late June, 1979? Do you know there's more than 20 tons of central core mysteriously MIA in what they call the "Void at the Center of the Core?" It went somewhere. Where do you think it went?

                        As you can see, I am still emotionally involved. It ruined my life, killed people I loved a lot. Have you ever heard of something called "Scram Failure?" If so, look up the schematic on where rod group 8 is supposed to be...

                        I sure won't be changing my mind. I'll be cautioning anyone who cares to listen against nuclear technology as well. It has its uses. Civilian power generation isn't one of them.

                        •  So, because of your emotional response (0+ / 0-)

                          you choose to doom millions to death by blocking the only currently viable alternative to fossil fuels?

                          The benefits of reducing CO2 emissions go substantially beyond averting potential disruptions of the Earth's climate. Even relatively small reductions in emissions worldwide could prevent 700,000 premature deaths a year by 2020.

                          Yeah, that's real big of you.

                          •  What a strange question... (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            means are the ends
                            Roadbed Guy:

                            So, because of your emotional response you choose to doom millions to death [WRI] by blocking the only currently viable alternative to fossil fuels?

                            While I can see that this was meant as snark/insult, you're giving me way too much credit, Roadbed. Maybe I should be flattered. It's not up to me, and you can certainly promote nuclear in your back yard or someone else's, even as I try to tell 'em why they shouldn't buy into the scam. Why, GWB promotes it even for countries who never signed the nonproliferation treaty, though he is agin' it for some that have. Go figure.

                            Meanwhile, we could spend the money (not that we have any to spend) developing alternatives. We could require industries to obey clean air laws that already exist but aren't enforced. We could require automakers to make efficient cars. We could walk, ride bikes, take public transportation. Expand train service, etc., etc., etc. In my nearest city, all our city fleets - buses, garbage trucks, etc. - run on biodiesel. Farm machinery, oil power plants, truck transport, shipping fleets and trains can all run on biodiesel. Homes can be heated with SVO or biodiesel quite well too, and all this is a hefty chunk of petroleum consumption. It can be significantly reduced.

                            You can comfort yourself with not having to do anything at all - just build a new nuke in your neighborhood and you'll never have to change your way of doing things. Good luck with that.

                          •  A rational response to an industrial mishap (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Plan9

                            is to learn from it and apply the lessons to lessen the chances of future occurrences.

                            An emotional response is to flip out and work to entirely eliminate the offending industry - in this case, quite ironically, in favor of considerably more dangerous ones.

                            Btw, for a physicist, you seem blissfully naive about technical matters - biodiesel, for example, will cause many more deaths per unit energy than any nuclear power it replaces (even though the two are hardly directed at the same energy sectors).  Further, biodiesel made from excess or waste organic products (an eminently sensible thing to do) can only replace 1 to 5% of current petroleum use and it makes little sense to scale up agriculture to do so (both from the point of view of needing to feed a growing human population and from an environmental perspective, not to mention the contentious return on energy matter).

                          •  There's a steep learning curve (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            means are the ends

                            in things nuclear. Lots of problems were quantified after TMI by the TATF [Technical Assessment Task Force] in volumes of work. They even cited the actual cause of the accident in their list of possible scenarios, but that wasn't the cause sold to the public. The NRC issued piles of new CFRs and mods to existing ones. No actual changes were made, and everybody went back to sleep.

                            I posted in Hunter's diary that nuclear has its reasonable uses. Civilian power generation isn't one of them, for very pertinent reasons. Not the least of which are contracting issues made serious by the sheer size and cash-flow properties of the effort. TMI is a sordid tale of cut-corners and shoddy workmanship, endemic and possibly unavoidable with the commercial application. And we can't go with small nuclear either, if national security, nonproliferation and the Shrub's war on terra are to be considered when we make big infrastructure decisions.

                            Vegetable oil burns pretty clean (especially compared to fossil fuels), and its production is less polluting than ethanol. Biodiesel is up to 80% regular petroleum diesel, so it still kicks out pollutants. Just less pollutants. If we were to put biodiesel into the diesel tanks of retailers across the country we would be cutting oil consumption for goods and service transportation by 20% right now, and also cut CO2 emissions from those sources 15%. All homes that heat with fuel oil can also use biodiesel without a single modification. 20% on that front is significant too. Then there's electrical generation. Did you know that the backup generators at most nukes are diesel? Coal doesn't have to be the nasty polluter we know it as. We have the technology to cut CO2 emissions from that source in half. All we need do is insist, now rather than later. We've got coal to spare, though renewables leave a smaller footprint on the landscape. We'll have to develop and deploy those too. I know of at least a hundred lakes [in just one state!] that have been in place for about 70 years and require nothing more than converting the dams to generate significant electricity. Our grid is ancient and wasteful, needs replacing. We should do that too.

                            Is it so difficult to simply admit that we have alternatives and should be examining those closely instead of reaching for an unproven incarnation of a known-to-be dangerous and expensive technology? It'll be 20 years at least before we know if the 'new' nuclear technology works well enough to deploy commercially. If any utility's dumb enough to buy it, it'll be another 10 or 20 years before it comes online.

                            There are other things we can do, better investments we can make, with more immediate returns. Agribusiness and gene splicers will be delighted.

                          •  What's your dam problem? (0+ / 0-)

                            Just my typical subtle and polite way to suggest that the days of generating hydroelectric power from dams are on the wane - they're not likely to be a significant contributor to new electricity - oddly enough, largely due to environmental concerns.

                          •  Which is why (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            means are the ends

                            I mentioned that the lakes have been in place for an average of 70 years. Whatever habitat readjustments were to be made have long since been made. Nothing changes except that a turbine gets turned between high point A and low point B. Tides are gravity drives too, though seawater and coastal dynamics will require creative materials. We're inventing them right now.

                            Perhaps you like the idea of a few gigawatt monsters monopolizing energy production, sending the product out over a grid that is itself over 70 years old. I favor more local sourcing, in line with more local involvement in conservation and planning.

                            May the best plan win.

                          •  Sure the libertarian/local control tact (0+ / 0-)

                            does have some strong selling points - for example, I have several freeper acquaintainces who are strongly against any central government intervention.

                            However, when a sane federal government is in power, there are advantages to centralized power insofar as strong regulation is possible.  That cannot be said for a myriad of local sourced generation schemes, even if they can be built considering that they often run into a hopeless tangle of opposition - want to put up a windmill - better hope that Robert Kennedy doesn't live nearby. Want to install some solar panels, better hope you don't have a typical nazi-like homeowner's association.  Want to stick a generator in your creek - better hope the local fisherman (fisherpeople) don't catch wind of it.

                            Anyways, your 70 year dams are just babies.

                          •  'Libertarian/local control tact?' (0+ / 0-)

                            Oddly enough, I've never heard the idea of diversified energy sourcing described that way. But the sales pitch has no doubt mutated during the decades since America stopped building nukes. I don't find it very persuasive, but someone living their life under the control of a "typical nazi-like homeowners association" might view renewable energy sources as a threat to the nazi-like Republic. You never know.

                            If we started building the test reactor today it would be a good 20 years before the design would go up for commercial sale, 40 before it's supplying you with electricity. I see no good reason why America should put its wealth back into the holey nuclear bucket just on the off-chance that these 'pebble' nukes may prove workable by mid-century. Which is by no means assured.

                            That's what you're selling though, isn't it?

                •  Thank you for this post. (0+ / 0-)

                  Those of us who remember MUST speak out clearly!
                  Thank you!!

                •  Question (0+ / 0-)

                  What's a "health physicist"?

            •  Even if your ridiculous claims were true... (4+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              KevinA, Scott B, Plan9, buckhorn okie

              You still have 20,000+ deaths from emissions due to conventional energy production in the US alone, every year.

              It would take multiple chernobyls to equate the deaths due to coal generation.

            •  Evidence? (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Plan9, buckhorn okie

              Any?  At all?  For the contention that anyone was killed by the Three Mile Island incident?

          •  few heard about davis besse 2002 (3+ / 0-)

            http://www.thebulletin.org/...

            On February 16, the Davis-Besse nuclear plant in Ohio went offline for its thirteenth refueling and maintenance outage. During the shutdown, plant operators were inspecting the top of the vessel that houses the reactor core when they found more boric acid accumulation than they expected. Later, while making repairs to a nozzle that passes through the vessel head, they found something completely unexpected--a hole.

            The worst damage ever

            Davis-Besse is a 25-year-old, single-unit pressurized water reactor located in Oak Harbor on the shore of Lake Erie, about 30 miles east of Toledo. Inside its containment building is the reactor pressure vessel, and inside that is the core. Sixty-nine hollow nozzles stretch through the vessel head down into the core; through the nozzles, control rods can be lowered to stop reactions. The carbon steel walls of the reactor vessel are 6 inches thick and internally lined with noncorrosive stainless steel cladding, and designed to withstand up to 2,500 pounds of pressure per square inch.

            On the vessel head, boric acid corrosion had eaten through the 6 inches of carbon steel and carved out a cavity 4 inches by 7 inches wide. Between 35--40 pounds of carbon steel were simply missing, and the only thing that contained the radioactive, highly pressurized coolant water inside the vessel was the thin skin of stainless steel cladding. Not designed to endure such pressure, the lining had started to bulge outward. If the lining had been breached, a loss of coolant accident would have resulted. This could have led to a severe accident.
            ...

            You will lie to your grandchildren when they ask what you did to prevent climate change.

            by Peter Pan on Sun Apr 16, 2006 at 06:55:04 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  That reminds me... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          means are the ends

          My father, 27-year NIS op and revolving door recipient of contracts for the Apollo Program, had a bumper sticker applied to the front of his desk as a GE exec when an intrepid Rocky Mountain News reporter (TomSharpe) finally tracked us down. It read: "More People Died in Ted Kennedy's Car Than at TMI."

          My heart broke when I heard that, since Dad had actually flown out to New Mexico when Chuck died. I'd begged him for help. He had connections, as senior officers do. But he wouldn't help. I understand on a personal basis, but not a sociological, extra-personal basis. I think he thought he'd be protecting me and his grandchildren, totaling 5 if you count Chuck's kids. The youngest of whom was 5 months old when he was killed. They were killing us.

          A fucking bumper sticker. Something my father was so notoriously noted for eschewing all his life, so I figured he was telling me something. I took it to heart, and made the deals. Nobody cared - we'd tried hard for as long as there was a window of mitigation to work with, and had been abandoned by WaPost, the NYT, and Ellen somebody at NBC. It was "too hot." So we went on with our lives, and didn't hear from anyone again until 1985, when they were wanting to re-start Unit-I. And again in 1995 when more than 2,000 survivors and victims were pushing a federal class action. We had some fun ditching watchers, but nothing came of it. They classified our testimony, then struck us from the witness list. They didn't need an excuse.

    •  How do we know? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      means are the ends

      How do we know that it is environmentally friendly? When there is so much money riding on information it becomes corrupted. I don't trust any information where there is a big profit to be made and where the risk is high. I do agree that we need to not be against nuclear power in a knee-jerk way but when you research the history of the nuclear industry you may not be so sanguine about it.

      At any rate, a sound debate on the subject is important but we need to look at other alternatives including encouraging power cogeneration projects that would allow communities, individuals and institutions to prove the effectiveness of power generation schemes by proving it in the grid itself. Large-scale programs like nuclear involve a lot of inefficiencies much like the coal-fired plants in terms of having to "pump" energy over long-distances. Also, nuclear tends to be highly centralized and necessitates a security apparatus that would make for even a more paranoid society. I'd rather investigate other methods than go with nuclear.

      At any rate the whole point of the diary is to show that you can't trust information. Do you trust the information you get from the Post or NYTimes?

      This is it--this moment, here we connect. Om Lokaha Samastaha Sukhino Bhavantu

      by Chris Cosmos on Sun Apr 16, 2006 at 06:03:30 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Let's take everything you say as true (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Steve4Clark

    Are the points of his op ed wrong? Just curious because I don't know enough about the subject

    •  Not only is he wrong, (16+ / 0-)

      but he is a flat liar.  Moore in the piece calls Three Mile Island "a success story", claiming "concrete containment structure did just what it was designed to do -- prevent radiation from escaping into the environment".

      This is simply false: radiation did indeed escape to the environment, in the form of radioactive water and gas which caused the evacuation of 200,000 Americans. That was the entire point about why Three Mile Island is called a "disaster", and not an "oopsie" or "boo-boo".

      In addition, he asserts that TMI is the only "serious accident" in the history of U.S. power generation. That depends entirely on what you define as serious.  Other accidents include an "incident" at Salem 1 in New Jersey narrowly (and manually) averted after a failure of automatic reactor shutdown systems in 1983, after a history of ongoing site problems and at least two radiation releases; the release of over 200,000 gallons of radioactive water into the Tennessee River, also in 1983; and the release of radioactive steam by the Indian Point power plant in 2000.

      Here is a decent rundown of some of the serious accidents in the American nuclear power industry.

      So yeah, he's a fucking liar, in addition to being a paid PR flack.

      •  Some perspective before you call PM a liar (10+ / 0-)

        TMI was unfortunate.  Poor response to a valve problem led to some stupid decisions and a meltdown.  The good news is that, unlike Chernobyl, the meltdown was contained and the fission products plated on the inside of the containment vessel--they were not released into the environment.  Radioactive water stayed inside the containment building.  Tall stacks vented some radioactive gases which were blown out to sea.

        Numerous studies showed that although some Pennsylvanians were exposed to between 10 and 100 millirems over natural background radiation, no health effects have been found.  This population has been studied extensively since 1979.  If any of the people living near the plant had moved to Colorado they would have increased their natural radiation exposure from around 300 millirem a year to maybe 500 millirem per year.  Residents of Denver do not have higher cancer rates than residents of Pennsylvania.

        Why did 200,000 people evacuate?  Because the governor said that pregnant women and children within a 5-mile radius of TMI should probably leave.  That would have been a small number of people.  But a huge number panicked out of ignorance and out of terrible handling of public fears by the people in charge.

        People who were scared by the accident started smoking or smoking more--thereby upping their radiation exposure much more significantly, because burning tobacco releases radionuclides in the lungs. If you smoke a pack a day you increase your annual exposure by 1300 millirem.

        It is true that US nuclear plants have had radioactive releases, but they have all been very low or diluted amounts that are not significantly higher than natural background exposure.  

        Coal-fired plants emit 100-400 times more radioactivity than nuclear plants.  You don't see any downwinders evacuating.  Also, the fly ash from coal fired plants accumulates concentrations of toxic heavy metals that never decay.  Radionuclides decay, and the hottest ones decay the most quickly.

        ...it always turns out that no one is in charge of the things that really matter.--Deborah Eisenberg, Twilight of the Superheroes

        by Plan9 on Sun Apr 16, 2006 at 05:19:09 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  LOL about the 'smoking more'! (0+ / 0-)

          Who came up with that lame rationalization?

          That's rich!

          And what about all the people who were exposed to radiation downwind of nuclear tests here in the US. They were also given comforting happy-talk, and assured that everything was peachy keen. I was just interacting with another DK'er today, who has cancer from exposure as a child, and was lied to.
          Our government has never told the truth about the extent of public exposure to nuclear radiation.
          I lived near Oak Ridge, and remember the routine denials of any problems with exposure. Until, oh yeah, they finally admitted that people had been critically exposed all along. No surprise, I knew they were lying; most everyone did.
          I am more concerned about people who do not realize the extent of the history of government lies around nuclear issues.
          My father is a military officer and a nuclear physicist, who worked on nuclear weapons, so I've heard some about this.

        •  I don't disagree with your assessment (3+ / 0-)

          ... that TMI was not as big a disaster as it could have been if the wind had been in another direction, or the release was even greater, or a full meltdown had actually happened. And I am not reflexively anti-nuclear power.

          But Moore stated that there was no radiation release: this is a flat lie. Moore stated that there have been no other "serious" accidents in the history of U.S. nuclear plants -- that is also a lie, as demonstrated by any one of three separate events at Salem 1 alone.

          You have to upsell "serious" as basically meaning only meltdowns, in order for Moore's second statement to be even the slightest bit true. As for his statement that there was no radioactive release, it would seem both declarative and intentionally false.

          So yeah, he's a liar.

          •  He may not have been lying (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Steve4Clark, buckhorn okie

            Moore writes:

            The concrete containment structure did just what it was designed to do -- prevent radiation from escaping into the environment.

            I can't find any claim he is making that noradiation escaped into the environment.
            He certainly could have written that sentence more carefully.  But this is an Op-Ed, and Op-Eds--like diaries on Kos--usually deal in generalities.  If I saw Moore saying this in a scientific paper I would call him on it.

            It's pretty generally understood that there was a small release and that it exposed people to less radiation than they would get by visiting a higher altitude location out West.

            Detailed studies of the radiological consequences of the accident have been conducted by the NRC, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Department of Health, Education and Welfare (now Health and Human Services), the Department of Energy, and the State of Pennsylvania. Several independent studies have also been conducted. Estimates are that the average dose to about 2 million people in the area was only about 1 millirem. To put this into context, exposure from a full set of chest x-rays is about 6 millirem. Compared to the natural radioactive background dose of about 100-125 millirem per year for the area, the collective dose to the community from the accident was very small. The maximum dose to a person at the site boundary would have been less than 100 millirem.

            Thus sayeth the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

            Undeniably the containment structure did its job of preventing the kind of worst-case scenario Chernobyl embodied.  I think that may have been his point.

            The other accidents you list are worthy of attention. However, the releases were insignificant.  You do not see health effects from such low-dose radiation.  No question that the nuclear industry must never be left unwatched.  Nor should any other industry --like the chemical industry or the fossil fuel industry or the transportation industry--that has to pay attention to risks.  In comparison to these other industries, nuclear's safety record in the US is very good.

            And I say that as an environmentalist.

            ...it always turns out that no one is in charge of the things that really matter.--Deborah Eisenberg, Twilight of the Superheroes

            by Plan9 on Sun Apr 16, 2006 at 08:07:45 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  You seem very ready with (0+ / 0-)

              nuclear industry talking points here. Do you have any connection or anything to gain here?

              •  No--I'm an environmentalist (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Roadbed Guy

                When I became aware of catastrophic global warming, I did a long and painful search for an alternative that had the least impact on public health and the environment and that could supply electricity on a large scale.  

                Why on a large scale?  Because that is the only way to replace fossil fuels, which are essential to supplying baseload electricity--which runs our civilization and makes this blog possible.

                Because in countries that do not have a reliable grid lives are much shorter.  Even a few watts a week leads to a longer life span.  In countries with no electricity, the life span is 43.

                Full disclosure:  I own no stock in any energy company (I don't own any stock of any kind) and I am not paid to come to these conclusions.  Finding out the actual facts and weeding out longstanding superstitions usually mixed up with fear of the atomic bomb led me to see that although it is imperfect, nuclear power is the best option we have and are likely to have for many decades.

                Other environmentalists are coming to the same conclusion.  Check out Environmentalists for Nuclear Energy (efn.org).

                ...it always turns out that no one is in charge of the things that really matter.--Deborah Eisenberg, Twilight of the Superheroes

                by Plan9 on Mon Apr 17, 2006 at 06:44:56 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Well, also check out these links: (0+ / 0-)

                  Groups like the Union of Concerned Scientists, who have been birddogging the NRC and US nuclear power plants for decades to actually enforce their own regulations, ennumerated vast problems with nuclear safety:

                  Union of  Concerned Scientists: Nuclear Safety

                  They also have many more pages re energy alternatives.

                  See also:

                  List of US nuclear accidents and incidents
                  Womens' International League for Peace and Freedom

                  Nuclear Power no Solution for Climate Change

                  Merely one example of the type of lax security in place at nuclear facilities:

                  Go Google "Nuclear contamination United States" and other such stuff, and find other links to reasonable, scientific data that has not been financed by the nuclear industry.

                  •  I am aware of all these links and more (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Roadbed Guy

                    There are problems with the nuclear industry, and in particular in the past, before Three Mile Island led to many changes.  It is an industry that should and must be watched closely.  I only wish the health industry received as much scrutiny--survival of hospital stays would certainly improve and medical malpractice suits would diminish if an agency like the NRC were in charge.

                    Sure, it would be better if we could do without nuclear power.  But the problem, as I pointed out in the thread, is that to get electricity on the scale we presently need, we have to use either fossil fuels or nuclear power.  They are the providers of baseload.  Period.  Until energy storage technology advances, wind and solar will only be marginal and cannot meet baseload demand.  Sure, we can practice conservation, but that is a finite resource.

                    Have looked carefully at the terrible cost to the environment and to public health of continuing to burn fossil fuels, I find that the drawbacks of nuclear power do not seem big enough to reject it.  Nobody even bothers to make a list of US fossil fuel accidents and incidents and mortality figures--we accept those risks because they're familiar.  But coal combustion alone kills 250,000 (at minimum) a decade in the U.S. That's not OK with me.

                    Furthermore, in my researches, I found a great many wrong assertions about nuclear power, some of it on the websites you list, like NIRS.  Many claims are without scientific basis.  By that, I mean they are not backed up by peer-reviewed research.

                    In various surveys, most scientists who were selected at random have favored nuclear energy and would choose to live next to a nuclear plant before choosing to live next to a coal-fired one.  This is because they understand how nuclear power works, what radioactive decay is, and what radiation can and cannot do to you.  They are satisfied that nuclear power is safe and that it has a good track record.

                    ...it always turns out that no one is in charge of the things that really matter.--Deborah Eisenberg, Twilight of the Superheroes

                    by Plan9 on Mon Apr 17, 2006 at 12:19:42 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Examples of errors? And according to who? (0+ / 0-)

                      And who paid for this research?
                      Examples of these various surveys of random scientists? Surveys are notoriously easy to sway by methodology.
                      I would be interested in this info, as I wish to continue to be well informed. But I don't see any specifics here. And many people have much--money, careers, reputations--to gain or lose in this debate, and that colors what "facts" are found by whom, and which are minimized or even left out.

                      We all remember that the tobacco industry funded the research of many powerful , respected scientists, with their own facts and studies (and suppressed findings) who argued with complete confidence and certitude for decades about the harmlessness of smoking. And whose findings have been completely discredited.

                      And again, I reject the nuclear/coal forced choice dichotomy as not valid.

                      •  Some objective sources (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        Roadbed Guy

                        In order to verify information, the best sources are
                        --the National Academy of Sciences--you can search the site for nuclear info;
                        --universities and research facilities;
                        --government agencies, national and international.

                        These sources are not being funded by the nuclear industry and, despite some controversies about specifics, they are in remarkable agreement about the basics involving nuclear power.  Why are they in agreement?  Because of the scientific method.

                        If you browse through some of the websites below you will find objective information rather than advocacy.

                        You can compare the claims of NIRS, Greenpeace, etc. with the agreed-upon facts that have been assembled by scientists following the scientific method.

                        Useful links for accurate information about radiation, its health effects, and nuclear energy:

                        Idaho State University:  http://www.physics.isu.edu/...

                        http://www.deq.state.id.us/...

                        Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health study of nuclear workers: http://www.mailman.hs.columbia.edu/...

                        Chernobyl Forum:
                        http://www-ns.iaea.org/...

                        World Health Organization:
                        http://www.who.int/...

                        Environmentalists for Nuclear Energy (an advocacy group but has assembled many links from peer-reviewed sources, like national academies of medicine, Nature, etc.):
                        http://www.ecolo.org/...

                        Health Physics Society, a nonprofit scientific organization dedicated to radiation safety:
                        http://hps.org/...

                        You can ask questions of experts in the field of radiation protection here:
                        http://hps.org/...

                        Many good links from University of Michigan here: http://www.umich.edu/...

                        National Cancer Institute:
                        http://www.cancer.gov/...

                        US Labor Department’s Occupation Health and Safety agency:  http://www.osha.gov/...

                        EPA: http://www.epa.gov/...
                        http://www.epa.gov/...

                        National Institutes of Health:  http://www.nih.gov/...

                        Nuclear Regulatory Commission:  http://www.nrc.gov/

                        Regarding survey showing scientists support nuclear energy:

                        Responses of scientists to surveys about nuclear energy:

                        http://www.phyast.pitt.edu/~blc/book/chapter4.html

                        From Table 1 we see that 89% of all scientists, 95% of scientists involved in energy-related fields, and 100% of radiation and nuclear scientists favored proceeding with the development of nuclear power. Incidentally, there were no significant differences between responses from those employed by industry, government, and universities. There was also no difference between those who had and had not received financial support from industry or the government.
                        Another interesting question was whether the scientists would be willing to locate nuclear plants in cities in which they live (actually, no nuclear plants are built within 20 miles of heavily populated areas). The percentage saying that they were willing was 69% for all scientists, 80% for those in energy-related sciences, and 98% for radiation and nuclear scientists. This was in direct contrast to the 56% of the general public that said it was not willing.

                        For info about change in public opinion on nuclear energy according to polls:  http://www.iaea.org/...

                        Also see National Academy of Sciences Issues in Science and Technology:  http://www.issues.org/...

                        ...it always turns out that no one is in charge of the things that really matter.--Deborah Eisenberg, Twilight of the Superheroes

                        by Plan9 on Tue Apr 18, 2006 at 08:23:56 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  I appreciate your work (0+ / 0-)

                          to put this together, and look it over thoroughly, which will take some time, rather than give an immediate reply.
                          Not conceding your points, but do appreciate the material, which will obviously take a while to look over.
                          For instance the info re Chernobyl that was cited above in the comments did not in my estimation at all support contentions that consequences were as minimal as claimed. IIRC, that was you who cited the link on that, although haven't checked, and I could misremember.
                          Again, thanks for the time put in to this. It is good for everyone to be working with the most info possible, although interpretations of and reactions to that data can vary.

                          •  Thanks (0+ / 0-)

                            The most accurate information on Chernobyl and estimates of hypothetical deaths expected from increased exposure to certain population groups comes from the World Health Organization's International Agency for Research on Cancer.  

                            Tomorrow it will be posting on its website a rebuttal to the misinformation being circulated regarding an estimate of 60,000 deaths.  This estimate comes from two people hired by the Green Party.  Some journalists who did not know how to read the tables properly jumped to wrong conclusions.

                            I urge you on April 20 to visit the WHO website and read the document.  At present it is embargoed but states that, with the exception of thyroid cancer, it is not possible to detect any increase in the rate of cancer in Europe that is clearly due to radiation exposure from Chernobyl and that it is also not possible to make the kind of estimates the TORCH study is now announcing.  Although it is tragic that even one person would die from this entirely preventable accident, the overall number of deaths estimated to occur (based on studies of atomic bomb survivors) is such a tiny fraction of the population of Europe that it is indetectible. Based on correctly done risk assessment and dosimetry, the WHO data analysis predicts about 16,000 hypothetical deaths by 2065 attributable to Chernobyl.

                            One out of every four people anywhere on the earth dies from cancer.

                            Sadly, in Ukraine and Belarus the conditions are so bad that many people alive at the time of Chernobyl will die of other causes (substance and alcohol abuse, smoking, poor medical care, poverty, etc.) because they will not live long enough to develop the hypothetical cancers that tend to be associated with radiation.

                            Of course 26,000 premature deaths occur annually in the US alone because of pollution from coal-fired plants.  I wish the Greens would take note.  Well, I am a Green, and I do, and there are a few of us.  But not enough.

                            ...it always turns out that no one is in charge of the things that really matter.--Deborah Eisenberg, Twilight of the Superheroes

                            by Plan9 on Wed Apr 19, 2006 at 11:00:05 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                        •  I reply on your sources as I have time. (0+ / 0-)

                          The short and skimpy piece on nuclear worker safety found no increase in cancer in these workers. Great!  However,

                          The researchers did report, however, a strong positive and statistically significant association between radiation dose and death from arteriosclerotic heart disease, including coronary heart disease.

                          Which they never quantify! Now I am scared! This makes one wonder if some of the important sequelae of radiation exposure are being ignored in current research? More questions....

                          Re the WHO on Chernobyl, we have the comforting assertion that

                          A total of up to 4000 people could eventually die of radiation exposure from the Chernobyl nuclear power plant (NPP) accident nearly 20 years ago, an international team of more than 100 scientists has concluded.

                          This is very comforting and proves that Chernobyl was really hyped and no big deal!!!

                          I'm sure these figures are conservative, but they point to the seriousness of what happened. And having lived with human stupidity for a long time, I am not sanguine about the "it could never happen again" meme.  Somewhere, someone will find a way to mess up, even with technology improvements.

                          So, yeah, it wasn't 500 billion people who were effected.Only 4,000. Wow.

                          And aren't lots of the pro-nuclear folks running around these threads saying how only about 50 or some such people have died, and putting down those ridiculous anti-nuclear crazies saying that, hey, things might have been a little worse than that.

                          However,  this is still a serious outcome, and also does not deal with the impaired quality of life of those whose immune systems may have been compromise at a subcritical level. To quote my mom, who has been through radiation treatment for cancer, "It took something out of me, and I will never be the same. I will never be as healthy again." Well, granted, she doesn't have cancer any more (yeah!) but the treatment wasn't nothing, either.

                          Numbers can hide as much as they reveal, and anecdotal evidence can point to further hypotheses to test.

                          Anyway, Chernobyl was a long time ago. There is lots more, more recently. I will get back to that later.

                •  And 'efn.org' (0+ / 0-)

                  leads to the "Eugene Free Community Network"! Look it up!

                   Plan9, I am really, really getting tired of following up your info, and finding lots of crap.
                  Although the EFCN sounds kinda neat.

                  Again, this is why I get a bit snarky with you. I mean, really!

                  And yeah, I can look it up myself. But again, really!

                •  Here's a hilarious link from (0+ / 0-)

                  Environmentalists for Nuclear Energy:

                  Radon-Thermal-Steambath

                  The healthful effects of radon! This is followed, in the archives, by several articles about how radon isn't really so bad after all. Even the US gov't doesn't agree with that, last time I checked.

                  From the EPA:

                  .
                  Radon is a cancer-causing, radioactive gas.

                  You can't see radon. And you can't smell it or taste it. But it may be a problem in your home.

                  Radon is estimated to cause many thousands of deaths each year. That's because when you breathe air containing radon, you can get lung cancer. In fact, the Surgeon General has warned that radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States today. Only smoking causes more lung cancer deaths. If you smoke and your home has high radon levels, your risk of lung cancer is especially high.

                  Maybe I am "cherry picking", but this was after just a few minutes on the site.

                  Lots of blank, reassuring platitudes, like "Pro-nuclear for Dummies", and random articles, many that seem kind of old (Eisenhower's "Atoms for Peace", anyone?). Not very impressive so far. I'll enjoy looking it over further.

                  •  Well, the frames on the page (0+ / 0-)

                    mean my link can't get to the archives, just the opening page. Sorry, folks.

                    If you go to their archives, in english, and then look at

                    BAD-GASTEIN-flyer.jpg

                    you will see the Radon-Thermal-Steambath ad for the spa, complete with the wonderful health effects of radon.

        •  Socipathic (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          means are the ends

          Plan9 : "TMI was unfortunate."

          Unfortunate, huh ?

          Like Katrina was "unfortunate" ? Like Love Canal was "unfortunate" ? Like Chernobyl was "unfortunate" ?

          An unfortunate choice of words, P9, because it reveals so much about your POV.

          Plan9 : "Tall stacks vented some radioactive gases which which were blown out to sea."

          And so those gases just "went away", huh ? Can anybody say "magical thinking" ?

          "Separate ... (is) inherently unequal." Brown v. Board of Education, 5/17/54

          by WereBear Walker on Sun Apr 16, 2006 at 07:19:25 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Glad someone here knows their shit! (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Plan9

          Hunter - you're a little off the mark.  I am a fairly strong proponent of nuclear power for the reasons listed in the above comment, in particular the radioactivity of coal.

          One thing that needs to be added: a Chernobyl style accident is physically impossible with our reactor design.  If you know anything about nuclear power, you know that you need a moderator in order for the chain reaction to function properly.  Without that, the reaction shows down and stops.  In the Russian reactors (and some of our earliest military reactors), they were using graphite as the moderator with water as the coolant.

          In US commercial plants, we're using water as both the coolant and the moderator.  That's the critical difference, because in Chernobyl, when they lost coolant, they still had the moderator and the reaction was allowed to spiral completely out of control.  At three mile island, the reaction stopped after the water pressure in the reactor dropped too low.  The only radioactivity released to the envorinment was from a steam release.

          There was not and never could be a fire like the graphite fire that ensued when the Chernobyl reactor overheated.  It was that fire that caused the most damage at Chernobyl, as it was constantly spewing out hot radioactive particles.  Graphite fires are also notoriously difficult to extinguish, and a lot of lives were lost trying to fight that fire.

          Neadless to say, I suspect the vast majority of NIMBY folks have no fucking clue about any of the mechanics behind nuclear power.  The only arguments that can effectively be made against nuclear power are how to deal with the waste and the potention for proliferation.  France has demostrated fairly efectively techniques for recycling nuclear waste, and the proliferation issue isn't nearly as major a concern in this country as it would be in places like Russia and the former Soviet states where security is lacking and the economic situation provokes acts of desperation by people with access.

          Nuclear energy has its problems for sure, but they are primarily engineering issues and those are fairly easy to fix.  The potential benefit to society certainly outweighs the risks when you consider the alternatives to nuclear energy.  We need to quit having such a knee-jerk response to these proposals and we need to examine them properly like the intelligent people that I think most of us here are.

          •  See my thread above re (0+ / 0-)

            reputable organizations and findings which refute the "Safe Nuclear" meme.
            It is not just a meltdown we need to fear. The NRC is a joke, and we do not even enforce our own regulations on current plants, leading to widespread contamination from leaks in some cases.
            "Safe Nuclear" is a dangerous oxymoron, and as someone who has been informed about this for several decades, I think you need to pull back on all this "knee-jerk" condescending attitude.
            Many people who are against nuclear power are highly informed.
            This feels like Bushco tactics to me, putting down those who disagree as idiots.

      •  Chernobyl was his more egregious stat (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        maynard, buckhorn okie

        I agree with Plan9 below that the post-event impact of TMI is overstated.  The containment systems worked.  The release of water and steam were during the incident, IIRC, and were part of the effort to drop the temperature in the core.  Since that day in 1979, I haven't seen any three-eyed fish popping up in the Susquehanna River a la the Simpsons.

        However, on Chernobyl, Moore was just appalling.  Yes, there have been only 56 deaths directly linked to the incident.  But they have documented some rather severe cancer rates and environmental impacts in the areas around the plant.  I recall stories from the late 90s of severe birth defects among livestock, much greater rate of cancer among residents within 50 miles of the plant, and other impacts of radiation.

        There is a good debate to be had about nuclear as a transitional energy source if we try to abandon fossil fuels.  But that debate should be centered on alternative reactor designs like thorium reactors and on the tight regulation on the construction and operation of new plants.  Reactor contrstruction and operation should be an inherently governmental function done with complete transparency.  

        - "You're Hells Angels, then? What chapter are you from?"
        - REVELATIONS, CHAPTER SIX.

        by Hoya90 on Sun Apr 16, 2006 at 06:08:15 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Check out the report of the Chernobyl Forum (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Steve4Clark, buckhorn okie, tritium

          No question that psychologically Chernobyl has had a huge impact on the evacuees and residents of the affected areas.

          A number of peer-reviewed, carefully documented, scientific studies of several international organizations have shown that the predictions of widespread health effects were overblown, however.

          Birth defects have not increased.  The increase in the rate of cancer is consistent with the upward trend that had begun years before the Chernobyl accident.

          Of the 60 deaths, almost all of them befell heroic firefighters in the reactor.  They got tremendous doses.

          The level of radioactivity in the Exclusion Zone is less than the natural background radiation in Finland and parts of France and Spain.  Animals are thriving there

          ...it always turns out that no one is in charge of the things that really matter.--Deborah Eisenberg, Twilight of the Superheroes

          by Plan9 on Sun Apr 16, 2006 at 06:20:11 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Also check up thread from someone who (0+ / 0-)

          has an eyewitness report on TMI. I put more credence in this than all these happy-talk armchair pundits.

          And isn't "governmental transparency" an oxymoron at this point? Who's kidding who?

        •  Chernobyl killed up to 60,000, not worst case! (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          maynard, tacet, means are the ends

          Last fall an IAEA/World Health Organization report on Chernobyl's health impact indicated they expected "only" 4000 of those exposed to the highest radiation levels to die from the excess radiation exposure, as opposed to the tens of thousands expected earlier. 4000 children in the area developed thyroid cancers, but had a 99% survival rate. There was also severe mental damage to the population from the trauma of the accident, and physical and economic damage from the forced relocations.

          4000 is a lot more than 56 of course; these 4000 for the most part cannot be identified directly because they appear only as a statistical increase in death rates - for the same reason as any individual bad hurricane cannot be directly blamed on global warming, and for the same reason an individual corporation's release of toxic chemicals can rarely be traced to specific subsequence deaths. Particularly egregious are those who compare the 10's of thousands of statistically expected excess deaths caused by coal-burning power plants to the 56 directly attributable deaths from Chernobyl and declare that "see, nuclear is safe"!

          Worse than that, there are now accusations the IAEA/WHO report deliberately downplayed the scale of the problem. New Scientist reports that the true number is somewhere between 30,000 and 60,000, when exposure increases for populations in more distant locations are included.

          Worse even than that - Chernobyl was not worst case for a nuclear accident from a 1-GW plant. Despite the explosion and fire, most of the radiation remained contained about 97% - it could have been much worse without the heroic efforts of those on the scene:

          "The problem presented by this was the fact that the smouldering fuel and other material on the reactor floor was starting to burn its way through this floor, and was being made worse by materials being dropped from helicopters, which simply acted as a furnace to increase the temperatures further. If this material came into contact with the water, it would have generated a thermal explosion which would have arguably been worse than the initial reactor explosion itself, and would have, by many estimates, rendered land in a radius of hundreds of miles from the plant uninhabitable for at least one hundred years."

          The problem with nuclear power is that it involves very slow and meager use of an extremely high-energy power source, with enormous energy content bottled up in one location. No other power source does this - it's like creating an enormous bomb and then siphoning off tiny fractions of its energy content to run a light bulb for thousands of years. Except every decade or two the bomb needs to be taken apart and put back together again. Very carefully...

          Given the relatively sparse and minor accidents so far, we seem to have enough care being put into the effort at the moment, when nuclear power contributes about 6% of world energy supply (14% of world electric supply). But are we ready to expand nuclear by a factor of 10, 20, or more that would be needed to fully replace fossil fuels? Are you ready to take the risk of, potentially, dozens of accidents (or deliberate incidents) in the next century, 10-30 times worse than Chernobyl?

      •  Your peer is here (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        means are the ends

        David Roberts at Gristmill

        Thanks for going Orcinus for us.  I am again in your debt.

      •  Thanks- I thinks its good to know the hit piece (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Hunter, means are the ends

        but also do know what the actual facts are for those of us who don't follow these issues.

  •  Nuclear energy (8+ / 0-)

    I am fully convinced that Bush was alluding to nuclear power when he spoke not too long ago about weaning the country off the tit of foreign oil.  I'd be curious to see what sort of preparations Big Energy is making in this area.  It wouldn't surprise me at all to hear Bush declare it a National Security issue and use the Unitary Executive powers he imagines himself to have in order to sweep aside any rules and regulations re. environmental impact statements and safety analyses to grease the skids.  Any who dare oppose will be branded anti-American by Rove and company.

    A pessimist sees a glass half empty. I see a paper cup with holes punched in it.

    by Paper Cup on Sun Apr 16, 2006 at 03:55:46 PM PDT

    •  You get the important point here (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      tacet, means are the ends

      There are two points in this discussion that are essential: 1) that we can't trust MSM to be honest information brokers--once we know that we can do our own fact-checking and 2) that nuclear power is a dicey issue that demands a lot of expertise and should be debated--but, the current leadership is not to be trusted to do anything--everything it touches is a disaster; in short, they will use the anything at hand to create evere more "security" issues and a national police state.

      We need to move away from centralized high-capital solutions to our energy problems.

      This is it--this moment, here we connect. Om Lokaha Samastaha Sukhino Bhavantu

      by Chris Cosmos on Sun Apr 16, 2006 at 06:11:30 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  From now on, PR just stands for Pimp Republicans. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    means are the ends

    Bloggers can use doublespeak, too.

  •  The issue here is less nuclear waste and safety (6+ / 0-)

    than the preservation of corporate power, and the extension of the police state.

    The light waste remains volatile and truly dangerous for only a few hundred years, and the heavy waste can be recycled and reused (if not transported into orbit by a space elevator, and then launched at the sun), but the dramatic expansion of nuclear power will become a pretext for the preservation of the new police and security state. Even if the specific threat of Islamic terrorism diminishes, the general threat of apocalyptic terrorism is unlikely to diminish in the emering multicultural age. There will always be Timothy McVeighs and Dylan Klebolds with crazy fantasies, and nuclear power plants will remain perennial targets.

    The energy barons want to expand the use of nuclear power because it is centralized, and preserves their control over the sector, and the profits that control brings. Their worst nightmare is some kind of solid state, decentralized energy generation system (as in highly efficient, inexpensive solar cells coupled with stationary hydrogen fuel cells).

    These are the grounds on which we should oppose nuclear power.

    •  Decentralized, cheap energy is (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      greenearth

      their nightmare!
      You are right on target.
      If half of what we spent on the Iraq war had been spent on finding such an alternative, we would be energy independent today, I am sure.
      But where's the profit?

      •  Uh huh, and popular opposition to the police (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        greenearth, means are the ends

        state is the government's worst nightmare.

        As the GOP becomes the party of big government conservatism - the party of social control - the Democrats must become the party of Jeffersonian democracy - the party of limited government liberalism.

        It is not simply in the long term interest of Democrats, but the national interest.  

        In the early decades of the republic, the progressives (including America's founding liberal Thomas Paine) were on the side of decentralization, federalism, and limited government - the side of Jefferson and Madison. The idea of limited government was only perverted by Jacksonian populism and the politics of slavery. In the age of the Democratic-Republicans it did not mean opposition to progressive taxation (which Jefferson and Madison both supported), or an expansion of the military industrial complex (as it did beginning with Goldwater, if not McKinley), or corporatism (the Jeffersonians were suspicious of the northern bankers and economic elites).

        What it did mean was a careful consideration of not only the effects of a particular policy, but the side effects of a particular policy, its constitutionality (especially vis a vis the rights of states), and its impact on domestic liberties. In this sense, the side effects and hidden costs of nuclear power are too high.

    •  Decentralized, cheap energy is (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jcrit

      their nightmare!
      You are right on target.
      If half of what we spent on the Iraq war had been spent on finding such  alternatives, we would be energy independent today, I am sure.
      But where's the profit?

    •  Exactly!!! (0+ / 0-)

      Great, that's the point we need to hear.

      This is it--this moment, here we connect. Om Lokaha Samastaha Sukhino Bhavantu

      by Chris Cosmos on Sun Apr 16, 2006 at 06:12:44 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Very few are rational (9+ / 0-)

    when it comes to nuclear energy; indeed, when it comes to energy.

    To view it as "safe" is a simplification. To view it as "dangerous" is a simplification.

    This is a better view: all forms of energy come at a cost. There are a variety of ways they harm the earth: they tear the earth apart and leave ugly holes and ruin forests, rivers, mountains, and whole ecosystems, and they reduce biological diversity; they cause pollution in different ways - air, water, soil; they create new toxins or waste products we must deal with; people sometimes die just trying to mine energy - caol, nuclear accidents, oil rig disasters, etc.

    Nuclear energy is not necessarily worse than burning coal if you figure in every factor involved. More have certainly died mining coal than producing nuclear energy. The pollution from coal (dust, or burning it) is worse than the pollution from nuclear energy. However, nuclear energy is like flying an airplane - the potential for huge disasters are real. Furthermore there is a long term storage problem regarding waste (although I suspect there is less of a problem than some think - this tends to be a political problem).

    The answer? First, use less energy. Turn off your lights. Second, use the cleanest energy at your disposal - windy places use wind energy, sunny places use solar energy. Third, invest in cleaner energy technology, something that America is failing to do, big time. Al Gore knows this. So does Europe and other countries. In 50 years they will be selling us the technology, and getting rich off of it, because our leadership failed to listen to scientists.

    Whackos get their info thru the Christian right. We'll bring them out to vote against something and make sure the public lets the whole thing slip past them.

    by chemsmith on Sun Apr 16, 2006 at 03:58:16 PM PDT

  •  So... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Plan9, buckhorn okie

    ...when you can't attack the message, attack the messenger?

    I don't like shills who misrepresent the damage their companies are doing any more than you do (just saw Thank You For Smoking this afternoon, actually).  But if you're going to challenge the credibility of this editorialist, you'd be more persusave by linking items in this editorial with which he might have a conflict of interest.  Or at very least list the points on which you disagree.

    Because reading the article, I have to say, I completely agree with him.

    •  that's not the point (9+ / 0-)

      I started reading below the fold thinking the same thing - classic ad hominem argument; that he's a shill doesn't automatically make him wrong; even a stopped clock is right twice a day; all that stuff.
      But the rest of the post made it clear that the issue is not whether the particular claims of this particular WaPo OpEd are wrong, right, or anything in between.  The issue is that we are not given information that IS pertinent in considering the claims' likely veracity, completeness, context, etc.  
      (And given what we now know about its author, no surprise that you "completely agree with him."  I would have been inclined to as well -- until it became clear that it's at least POSSIBLE that we're simply not being given the necessary data upon which to judge properly.  Now, I know that I don't know -- and WHY I don't know.)
      So:  this is NOT a thread on the future of power generation; it's much bigger than that.  It's a thread on the further co-optation of the entire journalistic field -- one more data point showing the trend of that industry away from service to the polity to service to corporate wealth and power.
      In that light, the subject of the original OpEd is almost inconsequential.

      •  Yeah, I don't give a rat's ass whether (7+ / 0-)

        ... he's right or wrong on this issue. I think nuclear power has potential -- but I also think the amount of misinformation being put out by the nuclear industry is unconscionable.

        But why the hell is it that online politics and journalism is so supposedly prone to conflicts of interest, etc., etc., and paid punditizing for industry on the pages of a national rag is considered just "the way things work"?

        If the Washington Post wants to present paid editorials, they should have the integrity to call them "advertisements".

        Of course, they don't have the slightest bit of integrity -- and these industry-produced op-eds are considered a standard part of how the newspaper industry functions, and we're not supposed to think twice about it. On television, they're called Video News Releases. People like Fumento get paid to write entire books favorable to the industries paying them.

        It's just absurd that we're expected to give these people the slightest bit of respect.

      •  well (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Plan9

        I guess I just don't see it as a particularly significant conflict of interest.  He's obviously pro-nuclear-power.  Wether he's a lobbyist for nuclear industry or not isn't particularly relevant.  He's writing an editorial that has a clear point-of-view; it's not like he's supposed to be strictly unbiased or purely factual.

        I mean, when are we EVER given the necessary data to determine how to form our opinion after an op-ed?  It's ALL opinion by definition, so we should just take the data we're given at skeptical face value.  If he's persuasive and accurate, then good for him.  If not, let's point out why.

        A good point is a good point, whether it's delivered by Ghandi or Hitler.

        •  It is a conflict (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          means are the ends

          Because he is trying to pitch himself as a "former Greenpeace founder" at the same time that he is using industry talking points about the benign nature of nuclear power.  

          By portraying himself as a former environmental crusader, we are led to believe that he has found good evidence to support his change of heart.

          It would appear that $$$ had more to do with his new opinions than any good science on nuclear power.

          - "You're Hells Angels, then? What chapter are you from?"
          - REVELATIONS, CHAPTER SIX.

          by Hoya90 on Sun Apr 16, 2006 at 06:11:42 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Yeah, follow the money. (0+ / 0-)

            If you want to have a well-funded career, start spouting for the nuclear industry; they know how to sling the money.

            It's like all the "science" and "studies" that came out for decades about the glories of Premarin drug therapy. All corporate funded. All complete bullshit. There are always people who are willing to be bought.

    •  He attacked the way WaPo chose the messenger (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      means are the ends

      I guess the simplest way to put it is that Hunter was attacking neither the message nor even the messenger, but rather the method by which WaPo  chose the messenger: they chose a paid consultant for the nuclear energy industry to write an artice about nuclear energy.

      Whether Moore is right or wrong, he is being paid by nuclear energy interests to say good things about nuclear energy on the pages of a newspaper that is misrepresenting him as an independent entity with nothing to gain monetarily by saying those things. If energy interests want to pay him to write their press releases, that's one thing, but a newspaper should not be the mouthpiece of any large, powerful, well-funded organization, not even when that organization says true things.

      Even if Moore's piece is actually correct and balanced, readers still have to check it all out for themselves to verify that it is correct, since he has strong incentive to lie. Newspapers should only hire people to write articles if they have no incentive to lie.

  •  Fission is dirty and expensive (6+ / 0-)

    Note that fission advocates always talk about the cost of "generation" per KwH but never about the TOTAL cost of constructing the plant, mining the uranium and reprocessing it after it's used.  The total cost in dollars becomes far higher and it becomes questionable whether nuclear technology is a net energy producer at all.  And if Moore thinks it's so clean, we can store it right under his house.

    I am far more comfortable spending money on clean coal burning then I am on fission.  I am comfortable spending money on fusion research as well.  But I am most comfortable about spending money both on research and market seeding for solar, wind, biomass (including the new thermal depolymerization technology, now proven commercially viable) and conservation.  Computers can be made far more energy efficient than they have been but it has not up until now been a key design goal.

    Peace in a world free of Religion, Peace in a world where everyone gets Heaven... -- Toni Halliday

    by Wintermute on Sun Apr 16, 2006 at 04:05:02 PM PDT

    •  reprocessing uranium releases lots of CO2 (0+ / 0-)

      They always act like nuclear power doesn't add to global warming, but they don't talk about how much greenhouse gas is released during the process of getting the uranium ready for fission.

      This is such a pathetic line of argument for Mr. Ex-Greenpeace. The way out is obviously to put more resources into wind and solar.

      •  Wrong on the quantity of CO2 (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        buckhorn okie, mojo workin

        This claim about uranium processing emitting large amounts of CO2 originated with Friends of the Earth, unhappy campers after Hugh Montefiore, an Anglican bishop and the chairman of the board in UK, came out in favor of nuclear energy.  The claim has been thoroughly debunked by many scientists.

        Dr. Mohamed ElBaradei, recent winner of the Nobel Peace Prize and Director General of IAEA states:  “Nuclear power emits virtually no greenhouse gases. The complete nuclear power chain, from uranium mining to waste disposal, and including reactor and facility construction, emits only 2-6 grams of carbon per kilowatt-hour. This is about the same as wind and solar power, and two orders of magnitude below coal, oil and even natural gas.”
        Studies of carbon dioxide emissions from the nuclear fuel cycle indicate that they are from 0.5% to 4% of the emissions from the equivalent generating capacity of coal-fired plants.

        So, if we eliminate nuclear plants because of CO2 emissions during the fuel cycle, we should eliminate wind turbines and solar panels because of the CO2 emitted during their life cycles.

        ...it always turns out that no one is in charge of the things that really matter.--Deborah Eisenberg, Twilight of the Superheroes

        by Plan9 on Sun Apr 16, 2006 at 04:35:54 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Wrong on the quantity of CO2 (2+ / 0-)

        This claim about uranium processing emitting large amounts of CO2 originated with Friends of the Earth, unhappy campers after Hugh Montefiore, an Anglican bishop and the chairman of the board in UK, came out in favor of nuclear energy.  The claim has been thoroughly debunked by many scientists.

        Dr. Mohamed ElBaradei, recent winner of the Nobel Peace Prize and Director General of IAEA states:  “Nuclear power emits virtually no greenhouse gases. The complete nuclear power chain, from uranium mining to waste disposal, and including reactor and facility construction, emits only 2-6 grams of carbon per kilowatt-hour. This is about the same as wind and solar power, and two orders of magnitude below coal, oil and even natural gas.”
        Studies of carbon dioxide emissions from the nuclear fuel cycle indicate that they are from 0.5% to 4% of the emissions from the equivalent generating capacity of coal-fired plants.

        So, if we eliminate nuclear plants because of CO2 emissions during the fuel cycle, we should eliminate wind turbines and solar panels because of the CO2 emitted during their life cycles.

        ...it always turns out that no one is in charge of the things that really matter.--Deborah Eisenberg, Twilight of the Superheroes

        by Plan9 on Sun Apr 16, 2006 at 04:36:35 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Here is the bio Washpo provided (7+ / 0-)

    Patrick Moore, co-founder of Greenpeace, is chairman and chief scientist of Greenspirit Strategies Ltd. He and Christine Todd Whitman are co-chairs of a new industry-funded initiative, the Clean and Safe Energy Coalition, which supports increased use of nuclear energy.

    If they had put that Greenspirit Strategies is a consulting/public relations firm it would be evident that he is being paid to write what he wrote. Which doesn't mean he doesn't believe it or that he is correct.

    "Mr. President, I'm not saying we wouldn't get our hair mussed." General Buck Turgidson

    by muledriver on Sun Apr 16, 2006 at 04:06:00 PM PDT

    •  it says he's a shill (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Plan9, Miles, means are the ends

      That's pretty straightforward disclosure if you ask me. It says he's part of an industry-funded campaign.

      •  I agree (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        jcrit, means are the ends

        My intent was to show the actual language. By showing his status as co-chair of the industry-funded campaign, WashPo may have met the minimum standard. But, a co-chair can be funded or unfunded. So that only demonstrates his affiliation with the program. You know a lot more when you know what Greenspirit is, i.e. a company that makes money advancing industry programs.

        "Mr. President, I'm not saying we wouldn't get our hair mussed." General Buck Turgidson

        by muledriver on Sun Apr 16, 2006 at 05:08:57 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  A truly radical solution, indeed, (5+ / 0-)

          would be to actually disclose backing of such sources, or at least enough to determine what specific "industry" we're even talking about. If a company pays a source to produce a paper, essay, or editorial favorable to their needs, the name of the company would seem rather pertinent.

          So why aren't we asking for that?  Why do we screw around with disclosures about "The Happy Fun Bunny Institute", etc.?  Why would it be so hard for the Washington Post, or any other paper, to say:

          This editorial opinion was written by blahblahblah of the blahblahblah Institute, an organization which does public relations work for ExxonMobil, Inc.

          Which would, immediately, give a basis for even casual readers to determine the credibility of the presented claim?

          Nobody knows who the hell Greenspirit is.  The "Clean and Safe Energy Coalition", while impressively Orwellian, is also a meaningless phrase. But if you said "ExxonMobil" or "Monsanto" or "BP" or other significant involved names, with an editorial attempting to influence public opinion about those companies, you'd have a basis for judgment.

          I simply must be blue-skying all of this. The mere premise that newspapers should not engage in this sort of pay-for-play editorializing seems to be a foreign concept.

          •  What if Sierra Club person wrote an Op-Ed? (0+ / 0-)

            What if a paid employee (plus benefits)of the Sierra Club in the DC headquarters wrote an Op-Ed that was anti nuclear-power, pro wind lobby (yes, corporations invest in wind turbines).  And suppose the bio of the writer disclosed that he or she was an officer of the Sierra Club.  

            Would you consider that an ethical lapse?

            If so, how is it different from Patrick Moore or Christie Whitman writing an Op-Ed about their energy views?  

            ...it always turns out that no one is in charge of the things that really matter.--Deborah Eisenberg, Twilight of the Superheroes

            by Plan9 on Sun Apr 16, 2006 at 05:50:06 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  I was with you until I saw this. (5+ / 0-)

      How much clearer does the Washington Post have to be?

      The Greenpeace cofounder line IS misleading... but

      1. works with Whitman
      1. industry funded initiative
      1. "which supports increased use of nuclear energy"

      If this was present in the Washington Post, then you just wasted my time.

      No love for the Washington Post here, but this is a clear and explicit statement about the authors alliances in the world.

      As to the future of nuclear power, good or bad, it is coming because as observed above, because fossil fuel is peaking, the net generation capacity from solar and geothermal simply won't meet current demand, conservation isn't going to happen except in response to price signals, and that leaves one source only... nuclear fission.

      When that happens we're going to have a lot of problems with waste disposal, but I don't think any force on earth is going to get in the way of the interests that want it to happen.

      •  Well....maybe this (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        means are the ends, plumberwill

        I suspect that what might get in the way is that they may just not be able to pull it off. I think the radioactive idiocy of this administration is infecting everything in sight. Don't trust centralized solutions and don't bet on them working within budget because everybody out there is going to try to steal the money not build the planst to spec. We live in a different age right now--no large institution is trustworthy when most of them are on the take and on the make. Almost all my sources in gov't, academia and industry have given me a view of a society that is crumbling from lack of a sense of public space and the commonweal.

        This is it--this moment, here we connect. Om Lokaha Samastaha Sukhino Bhavantu

        by Chris Cosmos on Sun Apr 16, 2006 at 06:16:52 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Then screw demand (nt) (0+ / 0-)
  •  Ombudsman (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Joy Busey

    A quote from todays Post.

    [I]t's important to understand that I have no purview over the editorial policy of The Post. The editorial board makes policy, and it is not my job to second-guess it. But this case provides an excellent opportunity to point out to readers how reporters and editorial writers can see things quite differently.

  •  I remember a story... (7+ / 0-)

    ...shortly after the invasion of Iraq, when all the looting was going on and there was no one guarding critical infrastructure, some people looted some 50 gal plastic drums that were used to store items that were contaminated radioactive waste.  They traded these drums to some families that used them to store water.  They got sick and they died.  A small footnote in an otherwise glorious invasion.

    The problem with radioactive contamination is there's no way for people to detect it on their own but it does have the ability to kill you.  poisons usually have a taste, noxious gases usually have an odor, but there's no way to taste or smell or feel radioactive contamination. and unlike chemicals or gasses that decay or disapate with time, radiation can stick around for thousands of years.  nuclear materials contaminate everything that comes into contact with them for thousands of years.  It's a pandora's box and I don't trust humanity to keep it safe for thousands of years.

    Join The Americare Project. Help design a national healthcare program for Americans by Americans.

    by DawnG on Sun Apr 16, 2006 at 04:22:20 PM PDT

  •  Equal time for Amory Lovins, then (4+ / 0-)

    Lovins has written Op-Eds for WaPo and the NY Times, and he consults for Monsanto, Dow Chemical, and other megacorporations that are not exactly squeaky clean.  He used to list Enron as a client but no longer does.

    Therefore, the wind and solar energy and conservation that Lovins and his Rocky Mountain Institute promote must be suspect, and the Times and the WaPo should be taken to task for his extremely biased positions.

    Oh, but wait--Lovins doggedly clings to an ideology in which nuclear power is a bad thing, that it is moribund, and that by 2020 we will need neither fossil fuels nor nuclear power.  So if he opposes nuclear power, we need not look into his client list or the bucks he makes as a consultant and promoter.

    The fact is that for humanitarian and environmental reasons, nuclear power should be considered very seriously as an option no matter who happens to recommend it.  Just look at the facts.  Our electricity comes from two sources of large-scale baseload supply:  fossil fuels and nuclear power.

    Baseload means the steady, 24/7 flow of electricity from turbines in these plants to your laptop and your microwave and your TV.  

    Hydroelectric provides baseload, but only about 5%.

    Alternative sources like wind and solar cannot provide baseload because they supply less than 1% of our electricity at this point and because they are weak and intermittent.  Until a storage technology evolves, they will only be able to contribute a small percentage of emissions free energy.

    That leaves fossil fuels (chiefly coal combustion, responsible for most of the world's anthropogenic greenhouse gases) and nuclear power to make electricity--the demand for which is steadily growing.  In the US coal combustion causes 24,000 premature deaths per year along with hundreds of thousands of cases of lung and cardiovascular disease.  Nuclear plants, whose radioactive emissions are 100-400 times less than those of coal-fired plants, have not caused any premature deaths in the US.

    As Stewart Brand writes:

    Over the next ten years, I predict, the mainstream of the environmental movement will reverse its opinion and activism in four major areas: population growth, urbani­zation, genetically engineered organisms, and nuclear power.

    Reversals of this sort have occurred before. Wildfire went from universal menace in mid-20th century to honored natural force and forestry tool now, from "Only you can prevent forest fires!" to let-burn policies and prescribed fires for understory management. The structure of such reversals reveals a hidden strength in the environmental movement and explains why it is likely to keep on growing in influence from decade to decade and perhaps century to century.

    The success of the environmental movement is driven by two powerful forces -- romanticism and science -- that are often in opposition. The romantics identify with natural systems; the scientists study natural systems. The romantics are moralistic, rebellious against the perceived dominant power, and combative against any who appear to stray from the true path. They hate to admit mistakes or change direction. The scientists are ethicalistic, rebellious against any perceived dominant paradigm, and combative against each other. For them, admitting mistakes is what science is.

    There are a great many more environmental romantics than there are scientists. That's fortunate, since their inspiration means that most people in developed socie­ties see themselves as environmentalists. But it also means that scientific perceptions are always a minority view, easily ignored, suppressed, or demonized if they don't fit the consensus story line.
    [snip]
    Can climate change be slowed and catastrophe avoided? They can to the degree that humanity influences climate dynamics. The primary cause of global climate change is our burning of fossil fuels for energy.

    So everything must be done to increase energy efficiency and decarbonize energy production. Kyoto accords, radical conservation in energy transmission and use, wind energy, solar energy, passive solar, hydroelectric energy, biomass, the whole gamut. But add them all up and it's still only a fraction of enough. Massive carbon "sequestration" (extraction) from the atmosphere, perhaps via biotech, is a widely held hope, but it's just a hope. The only technology ready to fill the gap and stop the carbon dioxide loading of the atmosphere is nuclear power.

    ...it always turns out that no one is in charge of the things that really matter.--Deborah Eisenberg, Twilight of the Superheroes

    by Plan9 on Sun Apr 16, 2006 at 04:22:29 PM PDT

  •  I remember a story... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Joy Busey, means are the ends

    ...shortly after the invasion of Iraq, when all the looting was going on and there was no one guarding critical infrastructure, some people looted some 50 gal plastic drums that were used to store items that were contaminated radioactive waste.  They traded these drums to some families that used them to store water.  They got sick and they died.  A small footnote in an otherwise glorious invasion.

    The problem with radioactive contamination is there's no way for people to detect it on their own but it does have the ability to kill you.  poisons usually have a taste, noxious gases usually have an odor, but there's no way to taste or smell or feel radioactive contamination. and unlike chemicals or gasses that decay or disapate with time, radiation can stick around for thousands of years.  nuclear materials contaminate everything that comes into contact with them for thousands of years.  It's a pandora's box and I don't trust humanity to keep it safe for thousands of years.

    Join The Americare Project. Help design a national healthcare program for Americans by Americans.

    by DawnG on Sun Apr 16, 2006 at 04:23:55 PM PDT

  •  WaPo meltdown (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Joy Busey, pink parsley

    I for one think there are merits in revisiting nuclear power. Pebble bed reactors seem to have  solved many (but not all) of the problems with older style reactors.

    The real meltdown is with the WaPo op-ed pages. Regardless of the merits of an argument, when the venue is a national news outlet like WaPo, there is a responsibility to clearly state any conflicts of interest of those given space. Patrick Moore is an industry whore (apologies to real whores) and WaPo is his self important pimp.

    All that's missing are purple hats for Graham and Hiatt.

  •  I live in DC (3+ / 0-)

    and even I don't give much credibility anymore to

  •  I recommend that Mr. Moore.... (4+ / 0-)

    ...be provided a home, and whatever else he thinks he needs for basic accomodations, in the waste stoarge areas surrounding the Hanford nuclear facility.  He can show, by his day-to-day lifestyle, how safe nuclear waste truly is.

    After all, the proof is in the pudding.  And it would be great PR if he lives through the experience.

    "Nothing is as difficult as not deceiving oneself" - Ludwing Wittgenstein

    by Palamedes on Sun Apr 16, 2006 at 04:32:15 PM PDT

    •  He'd get a bigger dose... (4+ / 0-)

      ...if you forced him to live in Vail or Aspen--where natural background radiation is around 600 millirem per year.  So if you want to punish Moore, buy him a ski condo.

      Exposure from Hanford: The potential dose to the maximally exposed individual in 1996 from site operations was 0.007 millirem (0.00007 millisievert) compared to 0.02 millirem (0.0002 millisievert) calculated for 1995. The radiological dose to the population within 80 kilometers (50 miles) of the site, esti- mated to be 380,000 persons, from 1996 site operations was 0.2 person-rem (0.002 person-sievert), which is slightly less than the 1995 calculated population dose of 0.3 person-rem (0.003 person-sievert). The average per-capita dose from 1996 site operations was 0.0005 millirem (0.000005 millisievert). The national average dose from background sources is 300 millirem per year (3 millisievert per year), and the current DOE radiological dose limit for a member of the public is 100 millirem per year (1 millisievert per year). Therefore, the average individual potentially received 0.0005% of the DOE standard and 0.0007% of the national average background

      ...it always turns out that no one is in charge of the things that really matter.--Deborah Eisenberg, Twilight of the Superheroes

      by Plan9 on Sun Apr 16, 2006 at 04:51:00 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Perhaps... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        jcrit, means are the ends

        But I sure wouldn't want to drink the water or grow veggies at Hanford.  

        And I suspect those numbers are based on a minimal time spent at the plumes and waste sites themselves.  The handful of former employees that I've known to work there actually spend a minimal amount of time where the nasty stuff is - they are usually sheltered and a specific distance, often accessible only by site-specific transportation, away from it.

        "Nothing is as difficult as not deceiving oneself" - Ludwing Wittgenstein

        by Palamedes on Sun Apr 16, 2006 at 05:43:16 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Does Hanford have veggie gardens? (0+ / 0-)

          Does Hanford bottle its water and sell it?

          The contaminants are isolated on a huge property --I think it's over 700 square miles.

          Anyway, you are confirming that safety practices for employees at Hanford are designed to minimize exposure and that they are careful about that.

          ...it always turns out that no one is in charge of the things that really matter.--Deborah Eisenberg, Twilight of the Superheroes

          by Plan9 on Sun Apr 16, 2006 at 05:54:42 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  If you think Hanford is safe (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            means are the ends

            Here's a link: http://www.doh.wa.gov/...

            Note the ".gov" domain. From their conclusion:

            To conclude, we know that Hanford's plutonium production did cause extensive contamination of the Columbia River and parts of the Pacific Ocean along the coasts of Washington and Oregon. Fish and other wildlife using these waters were exposed to radioactive materials and other kinds of pollution. People using the waters and the aquatic resources were also exposed to measurable levels of radiation.

            What remains uncertain is if and how the radiation released into the Columbia River affected human health. Many people have asked the Network questions about whether their exposure to the radioactive contamination in the Columbia River harmed their health. Unfortunately, there is not enough information to answer their questions.

            While it doesn't flat out say Hanford killed people or made them sick, it also doesn't support the rosy picture you're painting. If you have proof that Hanford was/is safe and harmless, post a link - peer-reviewed, as you ask for above.

            We all go a little mad sometimes - Norman Bates

            by badger on Sun Apr 16, 2006 at 07:00:05 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  In the present (0+ / 0-)

              Someone suggested that Patrick Moore be given a place to live at the Hanford site as punishment for suggesting that nuclear power--which does not emit greenhouse gases--might be a good way to mitigate catastrophic global warming.  I pointed out that Moore would get far more radiation exposure in the Rocky Mountains.

              In its bomb-production days during the Cold War Hanford did release water from reactors into the Columbia River, where radioactive material was considerably diluted.  Nevertheless, Hanford was careless.  Still, the dose to the surrounding population was very low.  If people had fled the area for Denver they would have increased their radiation exposure.

              The legacy of the atomic-bomb era is being cleaned up at all the sites.  People who have been affected are compensated by the federal government. This remains a tragedy.

              But not a reason to avoid nuclear power, IMHO.

              ...it always turns out that no one is in charge of the things that really matter.--Deborah Eisenberg, Twilight of the Superheroes

              by Plan9 on Sun Apr 16, 2006 at 08:25:40 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  I'm no scientist (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                badger, means are the ends

                but I have spent 34 years of my life living various places within 200 miles of Hanford.  Most of my relatives grew up "downwind" of Hanford from the 20's on. Hanford/Manhattan Project were more than careless. Worse, though, is the situation occurring now. It is the most contaminated nuclear site in the Western Hemisphere.  Underground waste tanks have been leaking for quite some time, contaminating the ground water for at least an 80 mile radius and finding it's way to the Columbia River. The cleanup is perpetually under-funded and over-budget. Vitrification plans are again at a halt. I cannot imagine "clean" nuclear power, considering my past acquaintance with its byproducts.
                Easily 90% of my relatives who lived there and have passed on have died of cancer, while many of the men currently in their 60's suffer little or no thyroid function (including my father.) Just sayin'.
                hanford watch website with many good links

                A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they shall never sit in.

                by parrothead on Sun Apr 16, 2006 at 09:01:07 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Thank you for posting this (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  badger, parrothead

                  important information.
                  The contrast between the real-world facts and the cool, smooth, calculated and incredible "alternate reality" spewing above your post could not be more clear.

                •  You do understand, I hope (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Plan9

                  the difference between nuclear power plants and the cold war efforts at developing a nuclear arsenal?

                  If not, you might want to look into the difference.  Just sayin' . . . .

                  •  Both contaminating, so what's your point? n/t (0+ / 0-)
                  •  you understand, of course (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    means are the ends

                    that nuclear power plants also have to deal with toxic waste.  Even France, the world leader in nuclear power technology has not found and effective way to dispose of it.
                    Convince me otherwise

                    A society grows great when old men plant trees in whose shade they know they shall never sit.

                    by parrothead on Mon Apr 17, 2006 at 09:34:39 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  There's plenty of information (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Plan9

                      posted in this thread with an accurate evaluation of nuclear waste issues.  If you wish to keep posting nonsense, that's your prerogative (by any chance, have you invested heavily in real estate in Greenland?).

                      •  What is your basis for (0+ / 0-)

                        the heavy ridicule? You put down the info just linked as nonsense, with no factual rebuttal.
                        This looks like a legitimate, well-supported link to me. Have you even looked at or read it?

                        •  And if you do have some info (0+ / 0-)

                          about that link that we don't, by all means let us in it.

                        •  Yes I looked at it (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          Plan9

                          And I fully reinforce any previous ridicule and indeed crank up the ridicule level to a well-deserved 11.  Anyway, anyone who cites a political advocacy site in reference to a technical matter instead of a scientific site opens themselves to ridicule.  Kinda like creationism masquerading as science.  Ain't worth mounting a logic-based discussion in these cases with "true believers" - in both cases there's no reasoning with closed minds.

                          •  You looked at it enough (0+ / 0-)

                            to see it was an advocacy group. And this cranks up your ridicule. Do you crank it up for all the nuclear industry advocacy groups, also?

                            And their data seems well-researched, well-presented, and fair. It is supported by scientific evidence I have seen at other reputable science sites, like  the Union of Concerned Scientists.

                            You appear to be the one who is throwing the emotion around, when others are backing up their arguments. It seems close to troll behavior, to me.

                          •  Fair? hehe hehe he heh heh eeh (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Plan9

                            If nothing else, thanks for the laughs . .

                            Is it fair not to present the only feasible alternative for the next 20 or maybe 50 years - which is an increase coal powered base load power plants?

                            Is it fair not to mention the radioactive waste generated by coal?

                            Uranium: 145,230 tons (containing 1031 tons of uranium-235)
                            Thorium: 357,491 tons

                            Note that the quantities of radioacitivity is considerable greater than what your site ascribes to the nuclear industry:

                            Over 54,000 metric tons of irradiated fuel has already accumulated at the sites of commercial nuclear reactors.

                            Is it far not to emphasize the radioactivity from nuclear power generation is carefully packaged and stored and even a small escape generates huge headlines.  All the while, coal combustion continually releases hugely greater amounts of radioactive waste willy nilly into the environment.

                            This is just one example out of dozens in their horrifically one-sided presentation - sure, making nuclear power seem bad/dangerous is as easy as taking candy from a baby and equally reprehensible if a clear side by side comparison with the realistic alternatives are not presented (and quite frankly, options like mass transit and biodiesel are not going to solve the problems in the short term).

                          •  Well, and then there's (0+ / 0-)

                            this:

                            Radioactive Elements in Coal and Fly Ash:
                            From the US Geological Survey.

                            Money quotes are:

                            Modern power plants can recover greater than 99.5 percent of the solid combustion wastes

                            and

                            The radiation hazard from airborne emissions of coal-fired power plants was evaluated in a series of studies conducted from 1975–1985. These studies concluded that the maximum radiation dose to an individual living within 1 km of a modern power plant is equivalent to a minor, perhaps 1 to 5 percent, increase above the radiation from the natural environment. For the average citizen, the radiation dose from coal burning is considerably less. Components of the radiation environment that impact the U.S. population are illustrated in figure 4. Natural sources account for the majority (82 percent) of radiation. Man-made sources of radiation are dominated by medical X-rays (11 percent). On this plot, the average population dose attributed to coal burning is included under the consumer products category and is much less than 1 percent of the total dose.

                            And your citation is by someone from Oak Ridge National Labs, arguing for the superiority of nuclear power.
                            Having lived near ORNL for 16 years, I have heard lots of interesting information come from them, not all of it unbiased. Snark.

                            Meanwhile, I suggest you can the sarcasm, and engage in intellectual exchange. Unless you are here just to stir things up and spread dubious info around.

                            If you have more info along the vein of what you cited it would be interesting to see.

                          •  It's quite interesting how (0+ / 0-)

                            an expert at ORNL is unreliable because of his "bias"

                            Yet, the flamingly anti-nuke folk - who make no secret of their bias and post incredibly one-sided sets of information on their websites - are to be trusted.

                            That's just plain weird.

                            Personally, I prefer to go to the original literature for scientific information rather than taking it through a political filter (btw, I've never seen the figures for the levels of radioactivity questioned)

                          •  You have lost all credibility (0+ / 0-)

                            and are a troll for this thread. You have not refuted my citation of USGS scientific (2 PH.D's there to contact for more info!) and further citations at the bottom of that page. You haven't even addressed it, but continue to smear me with the "flamingly anti-nuclear" crap and avoid a true debate.
                            This is trollish behavior. You have put down anyone who disagrees with you viciously.
                            You are also going around attempting to scare everyone with this stuff. With the statistics cited in that piece of yours, I'm surprised we're not all dead or glowing in the dark!
                            You know, I'm a Ph.D., and I can publish all kinds of crap with my name at the bottom should I so choose, and just throw it up on the web. The  JAMArecently had to revise its standards, because MD's and PH.D.'s were signing stuff written by the drug companies that were then peer reviewed, published, and turning out to be biased and false. Truth is truth, and doesn't necessarily come with the holy Ph.D. attached at the bottom, although it's a good start.
                            So, rant away, and I'm sure everyone knows exactly how much credibility to lend you now.
                            If you can tell me how it is that our flamingly anti nuclear USGS is putting out this propaganda  I'm sure everyone is so very, very interested! snark.

                          •  Yes, I'm sure you do! (0+ / 0-)

                            You know, I'm a Ph.D., and I can publish all kinds of crap with my name at the bottom should I so choose, and just throw it up on the web.

                            I know I do!
                          •  Alright truce! (0+ / 0-)

                            That's fucking hilarious!

                          •  Sure, truce (0+ / 0-)

                            Quite frankly, we both lose

                            Contrary to your wishes, the 3-decades-old "pause" on nuclear power plant construction is over:

                            Some two dozen power plants are scheduled to be built or refurbished during the next five years in Canada, China, several European Union countries, India, Iran, Pakistan, Russia, and South Africa. In the US and the UK, governmental preparations are under way that may lead to 15 new reactor orders by 2007

                            Contrary to what I believe would be wise, construction is not being pursued nearly aggressively enough.

                            Anyway, have a heart, do you really want the Homer Simpson's of the world to languish on welfare and unemployement lines?

                          •  OH yeah, and about that ph.d. (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            means are the ends

                            In retrospect it was well worth spending 22 years of my life pursuing it, just to be able to spread mis-information on the internet  that I suspect you and maybe 2 others would even bother reading (also note how prescient I had to be to even predict the internet decades ago).

                            But that's probably a larger readership than any of my other publications have ever had . . .

                          •  Your degree was worth it. (0+ / 0-)

                            Knowledge and truth are their own reward and their own good, IMHO.
                            Be proud of your Piled Higher and Deeper Degree!
                            --And people do read these things, when they do searches of Kos.

                    •  Thanks for this link. Informative. n/t (0+ / 0-)
          •  No one is saying... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            means are the ends

            ...that they aren't doing their job at Hanford to contain the chemical and nuclear waste so far.

            (Although I'd feel a lot better if there was something publicly on the table regarding how to best deal with the one-to-three plumes expected to link up with a small river that in turn feeds into the much larger Columbia River within the next few years, if trends continue unabated.)

            All I'm saying is that if the gentleman in question thinks things are just hunky-dory, he should prove it with his own body now - not with ours later.

            And since you bring up the topic, no amount of careful watching and waiting does what really needs doing - determining and implementing viable means of processing the chemical-radiological stew that exists there.  I'm not niave about the effort required - I once worked for a company that had to pass on a potential sole-source bid for using our robots to help remove and transport the waste because we couldn't improve the life cycle of said robots, given stated conditions, beyond two weeks at most - but playing babysitter will work only so long.

            "Nothing is as difficult as not deceiving oneself" - Ludwing Wittgenstein

            by Palamedes on Sun Apr 16, 2006 at 07:06:13 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  What is your point? (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Plan9, buckhorn okie

          Of course there are safety procedures to protect people from the very worst areas.  That is the whole point.  These procedures are pretty good and result in far fewer deaths due to nuclear power than due any other conventional power source.

          •  There are two problems with this line of argument (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            means are the ends

            The first is that you have to assume that the standards for construction and maintenance of commercial nuclear facilities will be followed.  Time and again, when the cost of building said facilities went beyond a certain point, caution went out the window.  (Hollow containment walls were a favorite reaction, to save costs.)  This is why the nuclear branch of the US Navy has tended to have relatively few problems by comparison - they're sticklers for keeping to the rules and maintaining required standards.

            Second, any energy production process not only has a failure rate, but a magnitude of the resulting failure.  When a coal mine collapses, it's no fun.  I've lost relatives this way.  It's also no fun when you strip mine for coal - I've seen what it's done to the land of some of my relatives in southern Illinois, and those were relatively small operations.  Deciding to not trap the resulting sulfuic acid when burning it is also a very bad choice.  

            But the magnitude of the disaster when a commercial nuclear facility fails is much larger.  And we're all quietly staring at the face of what to do with nuclear rods no longer in use, and nuclear waste in geneal, both of which could be a potential hazard for many, many years.  (A third issue that hasn't been discussed much at all is how to safely retire existing commercial nuclear facilities, when their time comes, as well.  It's happening, but whether the processes in place are vlaid or not is not discussed much, if at all, in the public sphere.)

            "Nothing is as difficult as not deceiving oneself" - Ludwing Wittgenstein

            by Palamedes on Sun Apr 16, 2006 at 07:19:11 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  See the Union of Concerned Scientists (0+ / 0-)

            and my links above for the credibility of these "safety procedures" as followed in the real world:

            Nuclear Safety: Union of Concerned Scientists

            The gov't has no credibility. Their "safety record" is based on lies and intentional inattention to monitoring environmental effects, at times. Read it and weep.

            I'm shocked at the gullibility of all these  Dems. Are we really such a trusting bunch, after all these years of Bushco?

      •  That's assuming that the statistics (0+ / 0-)

        given are accurate. And we know that the government never, ever has lied about the extent of radiation exposure, don't we?

  •  It's an Opinion Piece (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Plan9, MrAudioGuy

    I fail to see why I should get upset about a report that is "Opinion."  He may be wrong, (and maybe not), but either way it's this guy's opinion, as clearly stated in the heading.  Isn't that what debate is about? ... Hearing a view that one doesn't necessarily believe?

  •  selling out (0+ / 0-)

    I remember Nelson Rockefeller selling out to become vice president.  If you can bribe a Rockefeller--be it with money, sex, or power--you can "influence" anyone.

  •  Whitman's mask is off (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jcrit, means are the ends, Eikyu Saha

    I noticed that Christie Whitman is part of "Greenspirit [greenscam] Strategies".

    For those who may have been fooled by the myht that she is some sort of moderate, here's links to her environmental record as NJ Governor from 1994-2001 when she resigned to head the Bush EPA (Environmental Propaganda Agency):

    1. Whitman: A toxic Choice (The Nation)

    http://www.thenation.com/...

    1. Bush-Whitman Agenda will hurt environment (Newark Star Ledger Op-Ed)

    http://groups.yahoo.com/...

    3, Gloves off in the Garden State (The Nation)

    http://www.thenation.com/...

    1. Whitman Sampler (Siera Club, NJ Chapter)

    http://www.gsenet.org/...

  •  this diary proves... (5+ / 0-)

    how far removed most people are from science.  What is the only viable source for producing enough hydrogen fuel cells?  

    Its an op ed page and this view is actually pretty common in very unpolitical circles such as science classrooms and environmental eng. courses.  I am not convinced that the new nuclear energy is the way to go but I dont in any way fool myself into thinking that anyone who holds that opinion is some zealot who is a puppet for some huge nuclear conspiracy.

    Instead of attacking their view why not offer your solution?  How are we going to power the world when Chinas population has a middle class?  What should we do if not nuclear?  

    "Global deaths due to hunger in one year= 8,760,000"

    by Sausalito on Sun Apr 16, 2006 at 05:13:46 PM PDT

  •  If the PYRAMIDS of Egypt (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jcrit, greenearth, means are the ends

    had been nuclear power plants...

    ...we'd still have 27,000 more years of guarding them left to go.  (Plus maintaining the Middle East "Peace" that we're so good at, so no "bad guys" get their hands on the fun stuff.)

    And all just so those Pharaoh guys could have their midnight light show concerts up against the Great Pyramid and Sphinx, oh, for about 30 years!

    Don't you just love the mathematics of time?  ;-)

    Now -- maybe what they're counting on today is those Fundies praying, and getting some of that Magically Condensing Time, like they got for the dinosaurs of 6,000 years ago.

    Y'know, the ones that Noah forgot to put on his Ark.

    Yeah, that's the ticket.  Intelligent Nukular Design.  Nothing a good P.R. and slander campaign can't fix!

    Yep.  30,000 years.  Hey -- we humans have got to learn all about Long Term Planning sometime, right?  What a "shining" opportunity those nukes'll offer us!

    If a thousand men were not to pay their tax bills this year, that would not be a violent and bloody measure, as it would be to pay them, and enable the State...

    by HenryDavid on Sun Apr 16, 2006 at 05:46:11 PM PDT

  •  If... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jcrit, means are the ends

    If the Roman Empire had used Nuclear power, we would still be guarding, and securing their nuclear waste today. What a great gift for our children.
    Left OF Center

    "The Bush administration does not need new blood, they need formaldehyde." Left Of Center

    by LOC on Sun Apr 16, 2006 at 05:54:03 PM PDT

    •  Of course now our children are asthmatic... (0+ / 0-)

      but we can ignore that.

      •  They are asthmatic because the power industry (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        buckhorn okie, jcrit

        in this country refuses to update and invest in current technology to clean power plant emissions. It's "too expensive". Yeah, our kids can just die, instead.

      •  Yeah, your logic is poor to me (2+ / 0-)

        It makes no sense to use bad technology to make a case for more bad technology when there are other ways, including ending the military-industrial complex this world is becoming.

      •  Cleaner energy (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Plan9, means are the ends

        We could invest in our coal powered plants. Learn to burn more cleanly and efficiently. Put people to work doing so, and export our knowlege around the world.

        "The Bush administration does not need new blood, they need formaldehyde." Left Of Center

        by LOC on Sun Apr 16, 2006 at 08:01:18 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Yes (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          buckhorn okie

          We need to work diligently to get coal cleaner and to sequester the carbon and noxious gases coal-burning plants emit.  Lethal though coal is as a fuel at present, it could be made much safer.  And it will be many decades before it can be replaced by superior alternatives.

          ...it always turns out that no one is in charge of the things that really matter.--Deborah Eisenberg, Twilight of the Superheroes

          by Plan9 on Sun Apr 16, 2006 at 08:27:31 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  A scientist in the field (0+ / 0-)

            with whom I had an exchange on DK yesterday reassures me that has been possible for some time to install equipment to clean conventional power plant emissions. It is simply economics and industry resistance to the money outlay  required which has prevented such installation.
            You are right would indeed make sense to make this a high priority.

            Here in California, Schwarzenegger is encountering resistance on this issue from the energy industry. They oppose any regulation that requires them to spend money on cleaning their emissions. Their bottom line is their only motivation, and our gov't has no will at present to change the status quo.

  •  It is things like this that really make me want (3+ / 0-)

    to ask why my editorial on the existence of the Easter Bunny the Washington Post doesn't publish it.  I have evidence.  I really do.  

    <snark>

  •  The most annoying aspect of the anti-nuclear... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Plan9, buckhorn okie, tritium

    position, is one which is openly held by many in this thread:  that we should oppose nuclear power because it will generate profits.

    The fact that some rich corporations are going to make money off of nuclear power is IRRELEVENT.  Why should we oppose a power source which is safer on a yearly basis (i.e. causes less deaths) and which is also the most likely to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, simply to spite the rich and powerful?  It makes no sense.  It is cutting off the nose to spite the face.  

    •  Actually, we're the Sphinxes (0+ / 0-)

      and not at all kin to the Sphincters. We like riddles.

    •  Perhaps, but how do we know? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      means are the ends

      Not that anyone will make money--but let's be clear. Society has shifted so that profit is everything even if it is acquired through theft or fraud. I don't trust the governemnt or corporate leadership in this country. I believe they are, at this point in history (this was not the case a few decades ago, quite the contrary), a noxious influence because they lack any sense of the commonweal and there is no countervaling force of any substance stopping them from taking tax money (or investors money) and building nothing or substandard. If you trust current institutions to take on risky business like wars and nuclear power then I wonder where you have been the past few years. The last thing we need now is some massive works projects (public or privately funded) for the corrupt to feast on. The window for that sort of thing is closed my friend--though I sympathise with the gist of what you are saying and you may well be right that nuclear power is  good thing but not run by the current bunch.

      This is it--this moment, here we connect. Om Lokaha Samastaha Sukhino Bhavantu

      by Chris Cosmos on Sun Apr 16, 2006 at 06:25:15 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  The point isn't that they will profit: (0+ / 0-)

      Profit's great when it is ethically earned.  If you haven't noticed, we are in the middle of an era when corporations are protected with the rights of individuals, and have used that position to strip-mine money from the American people in scandal after scandal--S&L scandal, Enron scandal, the California energy scandal, not to mention Hallicheney and etc.
      Pardon me if I am a bit cynical about the benificence of corporation ethics at present. When I see good ethics, I will support it enthusiastically!

    •  As if wind and solar are free (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      buckhorn okie, tritium

      The most expensive way to generate kilowatts in most parts of the US is with wind power or solar power.  The people making and selling wind turbines and solar panels must expect to make a profit. That must be why major corporations are funding these enterprises.

      So I guess the ideal form of clean energy would be one that was not profitable and that the consumer did not have to pay for.

      Every time we turn on a light or fire up the computer, somebody is making money.  And who is making the most money?  The fossil fuel industry! Three quarters of our electricity comes from burning fossil fuels, and each of us contributes over six tons of carbon and other greenhouse gases to global warming each year.  

      We need every form of clean energy possible, but the only large-scale clean resource from a global warming point of view is nuclear.

      ...it always turns out that no one is in charge of the things that really matter.--Deborah Eisenberg, Twilight of the Superheroes

      by Plan9 on Sun Apr 16, 2006 at 06:28:50 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  relevance is this (0+ / 0-)
      I am ambivalent about nuclear power. I think it has potential. I would prefer reactor designs that are not just scaled up submarines. I think carefully done, it might be a good option in some places.

      I have no problem with profit. However, the problem with nuclear plants is that they generate profit for 30 years and generate expenses/cost for thousands of years. The incentive is strongly to incorporate, build the plant, suck out the 30 profitable years, and then dissolve and go home. That's a real problem for the rest of the population.

      If you can fix the incentive problem, that would help considerably.

      •  yeah, and you only have to solve it for (0+ / 0-)

        about 30,000 years.
        A cakewalk, right?

      •  I've looked at the economics (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Plan9, buckhorn okie

        of decommissioning and waste interment, and it looks like a very modest tax on the electricity produced (a few tenths of a penny per kw-hr) covers the expense. Unlike, say, the cost of rising ocean levels from coal burning.

        I think the biggest problem is politics and NIMBYism.

        •  How can anyone know (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          parrothead, jcrit, d7000

          what the costs of waste interment are, when the US hasn't been able to get a long term waste interment site going? After decades, we still do not have one. The people of Nevada are fighting the government tooth and nail after find that scientific feasibility studies on Yucca Mountain were falsified. So what, exactly are the costs? The site hasn't even been built yet, and I repeat, no one knows.

          •  How do you know that nobody knows the cost? n/t (0+ / 0-)

            ...it always turns out that no one is in charge of the things that really matter.--Deborah Eisenberg, Twilight of the Superheroes

            by Plan9 on Sun Apr 16, 2006 at 07:46:17 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  the problem is more or less understood (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Plan9, mojo workin

            and the cost can be understood to a factor of a couple.

            People view nuclear waste as a magically evil substance, when in fact it is comparable in risk to some naturally ores - remember, the uranium was radioctive before it was dug out of the ground.

            Here is a page on Canadian storage, and below is a plot showing that the toxicity  of the waste falls below that of natural mercury and lead ore after a couple of centuries. It is all about balancing the risks of nuclear against the natural risks we face every day.
            Thanks ImageShack!

            •  I call bullshit ! (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              means are the ends

              tritium : "People view nuclear waste as a magically evil substance, when in fact it is comparable in risk to some naturally [occurring] ores - remember, the uranium was radioctive before it was dug out of the ground."

              But the point is, it was dug out of the ground, enriched, formed into fuel rods and then heavily irradiated in a reactor core.

              Your comment is an evil bit of deception ...

              "Separate ... (is) inherently unequal." Brown v. Board of Education, 5/17/54

              by WereBear Walker on Mon Apr 17, 2006 at 01:18:53 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  not really bullshit (0+ / 0-)
                The point of this graph is that nuclear waste is not necessarily more hazardous than naturally occurring ores after a few centuries.

                The uranium was dug up, enriched, irradiated. At this point it is highly radioacive. Then it cools off and the radiation falls again. After about 1000 or 2000 years the total radiation of the waste is smaller than the total radiation of the original ore that was in the ground. Nuclear power essentially accelerates the nuclear decay that would have occurred underground anyway.

            •  Totally irrelevant graph (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              means are the ends

              You graph says it is "relative toxicity (in ground water) of used nuclear fuel."

              There are a whole lotta terms there that need to be defined before you can make the huge leap to your conclusion that "toxicity of WASTE falls below that of natural mercury and lead ore."

              First: how is toxicity defined?  Is this ONLY the toxicity of drinking water?  of water used in ag?  What?

              Second: what is the assumption that is being made about how the ground water gets contaminated in the first place?  Is this graph saying that the waste that LEAKS into ground water is no more toxic than lead?  if so, based on whose projections of rate of leaks?  (none have been accurate so far)

              Third: how do you get from a graph about hypothetical rates of waste leaked into ground water to a statement about the waste ITSELF?  Your statement that the WASTE itself is not dangerous after "a few centuries" is totally at odds from everything I've heard, which uses figures in the 10,000 year range.

              A graph about ground water can't support a statement about waste.

              •  fair criticism (0+ / 0-)

                I read this graph as saying that N-waste represents the same percolation risk for groundwater as various natural ores after some hundreds to thousands of years. In other words, you would better off drinking water percolating through a 500 year old N-waste repository than through, say, lead ore. I assume this takes into account issues of solubility, but assumes no containment. But I admit that the graph is not complete enough to unambiguously support this interpretation.

                Other graphs claim that the radioactivity of N-waste falls to the level of natural uranium ore in a couple of thousand years, and even the Mayans and Egyptians could build structures that last thing long. This is in rough agreement with the green lines (Uranium ore hazard) on the graph I posted - N-waste is as dangerous as 1% Uranium ore in 1000 years.

      •  I believe (0+ / 0-)

        Hunter wrote this posting for you.

  •  smear the messenger? (5+ / 0-)
    I read the editorial, but your blog did not focus on debunking any of his arguments. instead, you attacked the man.

    why did you attack the man and not his arguments towards nuclear power?

    •  It's about affiliation and about the Post (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      means are the ends
      You don't think you would read the piece differently if the author was presented as a consultant for the nuclear power industry instead of as a former member of Greenpeace?
      •  no, its about personal attacks (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Plan9

        and regardless of the person's past, or even present, it is the facts and how the conclusions that are drawn from them are argued that are the issue about the use of nuclear power.

        when arguments are dismissed out of hand without any countering of the basic facts other than "he's a tool for fill-in-the-blank" then we have become what we depise.

        it is the methodology of the limpbaughs, hannitys, and coulters to dimiss an argument because of who is posing them, and we hold them in justifible contempt when they do so.

        show me where the guy is wrong, that he's lying is all I ask.

        and when you do so your argument and case against the Post using "ringers" gains merit. basically you are asking your readers to believe you when you post that because of the writer's income source he is tainting the argument. show us where that is true.

        •  Who wrote it is secondary, just look at the facts (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Steve4Clark, Plan9

          You're right, whether the points raised are true or not really matters much more than who wrote it.  I see lots of attacks on the author, and on the paper and editors who chose to run it, but nothing about whether the points raised are even valid.

    •  Agreed (0+ / 0-)

      This story by hunter was pure ad hominem, which didn't address the points of the op-ed.

      (0.00,-3.13) "I may disagree with what you have to say, but I shall defend, to the death, your right to say it."

      by Steve4Clark on Mon Apr 17, 2006 at 07:03:32 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Post Mortem (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Chris Cosmos

    Dick Cheney is blackmailing the Washington Post into printing these Iraq and nuke power/weapons stories. He's probably got some news the WP had in 2004 that was bad for Bush, or good for Kerry (like Cheney / Swift Boat coordination), but the WP didn't publish. Under some smaller-time deal for "access" to Cheney. Or something really damning about Woodward, like his direct involvement in the Plame leak. Documents or quotes that Woodward got from Bush during interviews/research defending his leaking Plame, or revealing Bush knew WMD was a lie, the bio labs were a lie, or something we haven't even heard about.

    Now that the Washington Post has sold its soul to BushCo, the stakes (and flames) will get only higher. Which should be a clue to a real journalist somewhere to get the goods on BushCo and the Washington Post. Maybe at the New York Times, to finally even the Watergate score - considering the NYT editorials against Bush, that seems editorially possible. Or better yet, a blogger who makes their own career, reinvigorates investigative journalism, and maybe steals Fortune 500 advertisers from both the WP and NYT - and thereby the entire rotting carcass of noninteractive, mass media - especially print media.

    Bring it on!

    "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

    by DocGonzo on Sun Apr 16, 2006 at 06:20:21 PM PDT

    •  that's black helicopter level nuts (0+ / 0-)

      Cheney blackmailing the Post?  Come on.  If the Wall Street journal had the kind of story your fevered brain is concocting, they'd publish it.  Why?  Because ideology aside that kind of scoop sells papers.  Why wouldnt' the have published the Post have published it initially?  That bit of your conspiracy fantasy isn't exactly fleshed out.  Were they being blackmailed for something else then?  And do you really think the Post wouldn't hang Woodward out to dry if that was the case?  That isn't the way the news works.
      Also, the NY Times is awful.  Have you all forgotten Judy Miller's war (as Alexander Cockburn so nicely put it).

      •  You're The One With the Chopper, Balmy (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        means are the ends

        You're a crackpot coincidence theorist.

        You obviously haven't been reading the WP the past 6 years. Even a "fevered brain" wouldn't cook up their sleazy complicity in the Iraq war, the 2000 and 2004 election rigs/coverups, the $45TRILLION debt Bush has committed us to.

        I guess Woodward's dismissal of the Plame outing as nothing worth thinking about is a fever dream, too.

        WAKE UP. The WP is politicized, with Woodward a senior management editor. Woodward is a lifelong Republican, who was happily used by Republican Mark "Deep Throat" Felt to take down Nixon and launch a journalistic career in "nonfiction" books. Since his career has been assured, he hasn't had any motive but peddling Republican stories. And the WP is his playground.

        Really, after you admit how awful is the NYT, and their bad business with Miller, just where exactly do you get off calling me those "paranoia" names? Your own comments show that you're living in denial. And your insults are just the wimpy projections of your own fears onto me. The "news" works to serve the interests of its corporate interests - even when immediate "journalistic" or "news biz" interests are sacrificed for bigger paydays at the other divisions. So keep your quaint old Cronkite views of the news to yourself. They might play in Peoria, where they're hypnotized, but here in the big city we know better.

        "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

        by DocGonzo on Sun Apr 16, 2006 at 10:17:50 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  fear? (0+ / 0-)

          Well I'm not really that afraid.  
          The only thing that frightens me is the thought that you and the McKinneys and Chomskys of the world might represent more the American left than I realize.  That would be very bad indeed.
          Explain to me why Die Zeit or the BBC hasn't picked up on any of the things you've managed to put together?  And trust me they haven't.  You may be surprised that we poor dumb hillbillies out here away from the "big city" look on the BBC site and read foreign newpapers.  I suppose the BBC is controlled by Tony Blair huh? (Amazing he could bring them to heel when Maggs never did.)    Well why hasn't Die Zeit published dug up anything?  They're German owned, presumably hurting an American politician or politicians wouldn't do them any harm.  

          •  Nonsense (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            means are the ends

            Are you even reading my posts? The WP is the one with the Cheney parrot editorials, not BBC or Die Zeit, or Le Monde or Die Welt or the New Straits Times. You've twisted every post I've made like taffy, and you're babbling gibberish.

            You're not just a hillbilly, you're a raving lunatic. "McKinneys and Chomskys"? The only thing I have in common with the bugbears you spit out are that we're adults. Grow up, and grow some sense, before you start insulting the big people. Now go back to your mudpies and leave me alone.

            "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

            by DocGonzo on Mon Apr 17, 2006 at 07:01:37 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  parroting cheney (0+ / 0-)

              How many demonstrably pro-Bush editorials has the Post ran in the last six months?  The last year?  Every time anyone doesn't agree with everything you say people like you accuse them of being corrupt, evil, or naive.  You allow no room for principled disagreement.  That in itself is dogmatism at best and fanaticism at worst.  
              That you like to spin the silliest sorts of conspiracy theories makes me believe it's the latter.  Blackmail?  Please, if you're going to spin conspiracy theories at least make them believable.  

              •  and let me explain (0+ / 0-)

                My comment was that if one paper really was in Bush's pocket another paper would out them.  And if you want to say all the American papers are corrupt then why not the European papers?  Most of the better ones have good American bureaus and they surely wouldn't mind embarassing their American counterparts.  The reason they haven't is that real journalism requires evidence, which we can only assume no one has found.  Just so stories require only wild conjecture, which is all you have.  So yes I should have explained myself better, sorry if I misrepresented all the careful reasoning you've engaged in.

  •  Why does anyone read this propaganda sheet? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    means are the ends

    At this point I think I would almost have to give more credibility to the Washington Times than to this piece of shit of a newspaper.

    Why isn't EVERYONE here boycotting this pathetic excuse for a newspaper?

    "All the dead wood from jungles and cities on fire; Can't replace or relate, can't release or repair; Take my hand and I'll show you what was and will be." JD

    by asskicking annie on Sun Apr 16, 2006 at 06:42:11 PM PDT

    •  probably because it's the best paper in america (0+ / 0-)

      Sorry but it's true. What would you rather read?  The NY Times? - Uranium Judy's old stomping grounds and home to such enlightened voices as Joe Tierney, Friedman, and Maureen Dowd.  Call me crazy I'd rather read Patrick Moore than listen to Dowd talk about Dowd or Friedman explain what his latest junket told us about the wonders of laissez faire capitalism.  And Joe Tierney's a joke.  He's like Cliff from cheers only with a worse grip on the facts; what barroom or bustop they found that fool in I'd like to know.
      LA Times is okay, but not worth the bother of finding if you don't live in SoCal and living in SoCal is a punishment all it's own.  
      Wall Street Journal and Christian Science Monitor aren't bad, but if you think the Post is right wing. . .
      The Chicago Tribune is the worst major city newspaper I've ever seen.
      So what should we read instead?  The Nation, boring and the articles are way too short and thin.  I doubt you'd say the New Republic.  So what then, Socialist Worker?  Lyndon LaRouche's paper?
      Granted the Post isn't very good compared to a lot of European papers, say Die Zeit, but likely most of you don't speak German.  Even if you do you'd probably get sick of reading about the future of the SPD or Merkel's foreign policy sooner or later and want to figure out what's happening closer to home.

      •  I would not allow this paper (0+ / 0-)

        in my home.  If the price of toilet paper ever exceeds $10 a roll, I might reconsider, but not until then.  

        The Washington Post exists only to prop up the Republican Party and the Bush Administration.  If not for this newspaper and the New York Times, could BushCo have achieved the same level of popular support in the runup to the Iraq war?  I fucking doubt it.

        I will do everything I possibly can to bury both of these newspapers.

        "All the dead wood from jungles and cities on fire; Can't replace or relate, can't release or repair; Take my hand and I'll show you what was and will be." JD

        by asskicking annie on Sun Apr 16, 2006 at 10:37:32 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  and replace them with what? (0+ / 0-)

          They may not be perfect, but they're better than nothing.
          Also, I think you overestimate he impact of the WaPo and the NY Times.  Tom Daschle and Dick Gephardt's efforts to block any real opposition on the Democratic side is more to blame than are the Post and Times.  They ceded the debate to the right.  

          •  Either a real newspaper or nothing (0+ / 0-)

            Do we really need an organ that exists simply to prop up the Bush Administration?

            "All the dead wood from jungles and cities on fire; Can't replace or relate, can't release or repair; Take my hand and I'll show you what was and will be." JD

            by asskicking annie on Sun Apr 16, 2006 at 10:49:30 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  'simply'? (0+ / 0-)

              That isn't true.  If that was all they did they'd have endorsed him in 00 and 04.  They'd also not run all the Iraq news they do or the DeLay stories, or the deficit stories and so on.  Look at Fox News or the Washington TImes or even the Wall Street Journal and tell me the Post is just the same.

    •  A propaganda sheet because... can you explain? (0+ / 0-)

      Care to back up your assesment with any facts, or can you debunk any of Moore's specific points? Just calling the whole thing shit doesn't rebut anything.

      I don't particularly want nuclear power either, but I think global warming is a very real concern, and many of the predictions of what global warming will do to the earth are much worse than the aftermath of Chernobyl, so I really don't see coal as a better alternative.  Unfortunately, we can't support our modern society without power.

      Don't take me wrong, I wouldn't for a moment accept another Chernobyl, but that was a poorly-designed and poorly-run plant.  We can do better, there's no reason anything like that has to happen again.  This seems to be a common problem I see in anti-Nuke arguments, an assumption that the problems of the early designs can't be solved, but I really think that's selling ourselves short.

      Moore is right that renewables have a long way to go to meet enough of our needs to eliminate all fossil and nuclear fuels.  I support expansion of renewables as quickly as possible. I even tried to get solar power on my home last year, but a site survey showed I get too much shade in the winter months.  And there are shortages of raw materials limiting photovoltaic manufacturing.  Wind is promising too, but even if we can build enough capacity, there's the intermittent generation and storage problems to address (pump storage seems to be one of the better high-capacity storage options).

      •  So are you denying... (0+ / 0-)

        ...the Washington Post's critical role in helping BushCo "legitimize" the war on Iraq?  Does the Post's employment of Deborah Howell as ombudsman increase its legitimacy?  What do you think of Jim Brady and his tireless attempts to prop up BushCo in the online version of the WaPo?  What do you think of his hiring of serial plagiarist Ben Domenech?

        Are these the hallmarks of a paper worthy of respect?  Or are these the hallmarks of a paper that should be driven out of existence by the most devastating boycott the bologosphere can possibly mount against it?

        Whatever you do, rest assured that I will do everything I possibly can, not to hurt, but to kill this BushCo propaganda sheet disguised as a newspaper.  

        I would not wipe my ass with this piece of shit of a newspaper.

        "All the dead wood from jungles and cities on fire; Can't replace or relate, can't release or repair; Take my hand and I'll show you what was and will be." JD

        by asskicking annie on Sun Apr 16, 2006 at 10:46:52 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  that's quite the attitude you've got there (0+ / 0-)

          This thread was about a nuclear power op-ed, and you're trying to show it's wrong by using arguments from the Iraq war.

          The WaPo's writing, like any large paper, is the work of many people, including, as one example, a recent story by Walter Pincus exposing use of data to justify the war. Dan Froomkin is pretty reliably on our side too.  I know not all their pre-war coverage was pro-Bush, because I found plenty of reasons to oppose the war by reading their stories at the time (sorry, it's hard for me to put my finger on specific articles at the moment), I didn't find them nearly as one-sided as you, but if I had time, I'm sure I could come up with more specific examples.  It's past 2:00 AM here on the east coast, and I just can't stay up to do it now.

          •  I was addressing the question of the WP... (0+ / 0-)

            ...in general.  Although I have little expertise in the area of nuclear power, I have such a strong distrust of the Post and its motives I think I would have a difficult time believing any thrust in the article that I did not see replicated elsewhere.

            I should probably write my own diary on the subject -- my comment was a rather spur of the moment thing fueled by the sheer volume of things this odious newspaper has done to prop up George W. Bush.  Froomkin -- you are correct -- is a pretty good guy.  But wasn't the main impetus of Domenech's hiring to counter Froomkin?  As if he were a "liberal blogger?"

            I don't think there are any depths this newspaper would not descend to to promote Bush and right-wing ideology in general.  I expect it will be a critical propaganda player in the run-up to the Iran war Bush so desperately wants.  

            To me, subscribing to this paper is the same as making a donation to the RNC.

            "All the dead wood from jungles and cities on fire; Can't replace or relate, can't release or repair; Take my hand and I'll show you what was and will be." JD

            by asskicking annie on Mon Apr 17, 2006 at 05:40:13 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  I really am confused. (0+ / 0-)

      I thought people around here were interested in a diversity of opinions. I mean, it's not like this presented as news. The opinion section is just that...opinion. Why are people so upset about this? Can you not tolerate an opinion that differs from yours?

  •  I don't know about Patrick Moore in general (4+ / 0-)

    But this article is right on the money as far as nuclear power is concerned. And he does break with the Bushniks in underscoring the seriousness of fossil-fuel induced climate change. I am a scientist, and the opinions expressed in this article are shared by most scientists I've spoken to.

    •  My experience as well. n/t (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Steve4Clark, buckhorn okie

      ...it always turns out that no one is in charge of the things that really matter.--Deborah Eisenberg, Twilight of the Superheroes

      by Plan9 on Sun Apr 16, 2006 at 07:31:58 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  You describe yourself as (0+ / 0-)

      "unstable, with a 12 year half life." Amusing as this is, it leads me to think that you are quite connected with the nuclear industry.
      You may be a scientist, but so am I, and my father was a nuclear physicist for the military. Scientists disagree about this subject.

      •  actually, i have no connection (0+ / 0-)

        to the nuclear industry.  My name was inspired by a nifty glowing tritium key chain I have. Spur of the moment thing.

        On the whole, there seems to be a fairly strong consensus among scientists that nuclear power is necessary. I don't think I have ever discussed the matter with a fellow scientist who does not feel that the nukes are the best (and perhaps only) way to solve the greenhouse crisis. eg see the opinion of the Royal Society, Britain's pre-eminent science body.

        •  Thanks for the response. (0+ / 0-)

          See my thread above for several links to many nuclear scientists who disagree with the need for nuclear energy, and also with the "Safe, Green Nuclear Energy" meme.

          •  point by point.. (0+ / 0-)

            OK, first I note that when confronted with arguments you don't like, you often say "do you have anything to do with the nuclear industry?" Like here. But it invariably turns out that you are wrong on this count.

            Next, the links in your post are a little suspect. The Union of Concerned Scientist is a small group of people with an a priori agenda (unlike a scientific organization like the Royal Society). I tried looking at the UCS site at one point to find out what fraction of them actually have PhDs, and I could not find out - there is no academic requirement to join this group. Perhaps you could tell me the answer to this. I don't think the UCS is entirely disreputable, just that they do not represent the scientific consensus.

            Your link that claims that nukes are not a solution to the greenhouse crisis because they give off too much CO2 is, to put it bluntly, wrong. I have a hard time believing that anyone with scientific or quantitative training would believe it. Say what you like about nuclear waste, accident risk, and proliferation, but massive CO2 reduction is the one aspect of N-power that is unambiguously true, and is a basic litmus test for scientific understanding. To put it more bluntly, the fact that you believe this makes me seriously question your claimed scientific credentials.

            •  Well, I asked because your profile was (0+ / 0-)

              so funny! Admit it....I just had to know. Otherwise, it wouldn't have occurred to me.  I do like to know where people stand, in order to better assess their statements, though.
              For myself, I am admittedly no physicist, and neither do I have any connection to any energy sector whatsoever.
              My link that you cite and hold up for special ridicule--I do not see to be primarily concerned with CO2 production in re nuclear power as you claim.  There are many other objections and facts cited on  the linked webpage, and on the other links provided from that page. So I don't quite get your complete debunking of the site due to this. I've gone back and looked over the whole site several times, to try to see what you are referring to, and there is certainly a wealth of information about many, many different topics. It is not a one-note site.
              Union of Concerned Scientists--well, my understanding is that they have held the NRC's and the nuclear industry's feet to the fire for a long time now. I believe that they have a reputation for honesty, for activism, and for speaking truth to power. I have a doctorate myself, but I'm not a degree snob. If they let lesser mortals join, I won't think less of them. I'm sure they have plenty of Ph.D's there too, but haven't checked.

  •  Why do we assume 'Greenpeace founder = good'? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    means are the ends

    Greenpeace does have a history of positive activism, but they have also put a lot of effort into "confrontational" antics that do little but make headlines, providing a convenient foil to the Rush Limbaughs of the world. Well, maybe it's the only way to make progress, but not my cup of tea.

    Anyway, from the wikipedia entry and the organization's own list of founders Patrick Moore isn't identified as one of the original "founders" (he's listed as a former International Director and recent critic), which do include Dorothy and Irving Stowe, Dorothy Metcalfe, Jim Bohlen and Bob Hunter. Moore's own wikipedia entry lists him as a "founding member", not a founder. For whatever that's worth.

  •  okay children, what's your solution to shortages? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    BenMurphy, Plan9

    I'll never understand the objections against gen food.  Given that we're facing worsening water shortages in the future, that pesticide really messes up everything, and traditional farming techniques cause erosion and desertification; I'd say anything that holds out the hope for no till and no (or at least less) pesticide farming, and less water use should be hailed as a godsend.  Sure it might have unwanted side effects, but so does current farming.  Possible unwanted effects are a reason to proceed with cautioun, not to hysterically rule out gen food completely.  And you can't just say eat less.  Even if we all ate the minimum healthy diet, there'd still be incredible environmental strain on feeding everyone as the population grows as it's expected to.  Ruling out gen food is just loony.  It's this dumb belief that natural = good, and everything artificial is evil and it's about as stupid a thing as I've ever come across.  As my old roommate used to say (when pressed that vegetarianism wasn't natural), "Natural?  Natural's dying of an abcessed tooth or gangrene if you're lucky enough not to die at birth or be killed by a routine childhood disease.  To hell with natural."
    As for nuclear power. . . well I'm not so enthusiastic.  Meltdowns are very unlikely, but incredibly bad and we've no good way to get rid of the waste as of yet.  But then again global warming scares the hell out of me and as Moore points out it's a good way to lower emissions.  It might well turn out to be the only realistic way, as problematic as it is, and in the real world one often must embrace the least bad solution.
    Finally, what's with this hatred of the Post?  It's a much better paper than the NY Times and none of you give Judy Miller's old stomping grounds as much bull as you give the Post.

  •  A Dangerous Game (0+ / 0-)

      The Washington Post now appears to own WTOP with a powerful AM signal and an FM signal. I believe in the early 70s "The Post" had to sell WTOP because of antimonopoly laws that were instituted. "The Post" is playing a dangerous game here. Ambition to dominate the media market may be a desire to maximize profits but what about the mission to protect the public through properly informing them? And if "The Post" wants to play the game of a few controlling the media, do they want to and do they have the stomach to mislead and oppress most of the public to keep up with the really  ruthless large entities who don't even begin to think about real journalism. I hope "The Post" somehow really realizes that responsible journalism gives the brightest future and strengthens its aspects of strong journalism instead of slowly going away from it.        

  •  We must build as many nuclear plants as possible (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Damek, Plan9

    We must build as many nuclear plants as possible in the quickest time possible.  We have no other choice.

    Wake up, Democrats.  Hello -- anybody thinking out there who call themselves Democrats?  Wake up call here, let's lose the fuzzy thinking.

    Folks, we may already be at Peak Oil right now.  If not, then very likely we will be there by the end of this decade.  When oil demand outstrips oil production -- and that date may already be here -- then we will thereafter experience our electricity rationed (and later shut off) to the mass of US citizenry.  That means you and I.  There will simply be less and less oil to power the plants.

    Watch Ghawar.  When it declines in daily production, then world oil has definitely peaked.  And the electric plants begin to go hit-and-miss shortly thereafter.  Brown-outs at first.  Then days out of the week without current.  Then civilization itself begins to disintegrate if we fail to plan for Peak Oil today.

    And so it is with stupendous aborrance that I read a thread like this with so many people not giving a thought to what going to happen when the oil wells can't satisfy demand.  Sitting around wringing their hands over nuclear power like so many ostriches with their head in the sand.

    We must do something now.  That means doing alot of things, including building nuclear power plants.  As many as we can build as fast as we can.  Even if one melts down and millions are killed.  Even if we have no clue where to put the waste, and millions are killed that way.

    Because when Peak Oil hits, BILLIONS will die.  How do you think you'll eat, folks, when the oil stops flowing?  Do you not understand that all that food you're eating today is made of oil?

    •  Power plants generally aren't oil-fired (0+ / 0-)

      The basic problem with your post is that most power plants aren't oil-fired. There are some, granted, but the vast majority are coal-fired or natural gas-fired.

      Natural gas supplies are sharply limited. Coal isn't---if you're willing to ignore devastating environmental effects, there's enough coal for the foreseeable future.

      The danger isn't that civilization will collapse into smoking ruins. The danger is that---in the face of peak oil---we'll return to the coal-fired economy of the nineteenth century, but with current population and energy demand. From an environmental standpoint, that's an unthinkable catastrophe.

      The current generation of nuclear plants aren't permanent solutions---they replace "peak oil" with a further-off "peak uranium," even if one ignores safety issues. FBRs would provide power for the foreseeable future, but would magnify the safety issues dramatically (plutonium is the wet dream of every terrorist who's ever even though of dirty bombs, even if one assumes the plants themselves are run by the most perfect human beings on the planet).

      Basically, right now we're stalling and hoping that a good technology gets developed before we're screwed and have to burn coal or turn to FBRs. It'd be nice if we recognized that and actually funded the research adequately.
      (Heck, solar, wind, and biomass would let us stall for longer, which is worth it in and of itself!)

      •  Conventional power needn't pollute (0+ / 0-)

        as they do. The  greedy industry refuses to install and maintain equipment to clean their own emissions. The technology has been available for at least a decade. However, it costs money.
        In my state of California, our Governor, who came in promising to clean up the industry, is now balked due to industry opposition. He is pro-environment, and also pro-business. Guess which wins?

        Nuclear/Polluting-conventional-power is a false dichotomy  and false choice that should be rejected.

  •  Yargh!- The lesser of evils. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Steve4Clark

        2 decades ago, a major enviromental group in the USA did the math, and realized that nuclear power was the best way to provide the energy that our current civilization requires.

        Either we can use fossile fuels that will cause disastrous global warming, or we can use nuclear energy that will stop global warming.

        The choice is simple.

    •  Net Carbon Dioxide is the issue (0+ / 0-)

      http://www.powerswitch.org.uk/... The lower the ore grade, the more energy is consumed in the fuel processing, so that the amount of the carbon dioxide released in the overall fuel cycle depends on the ore grade. Only Canada and Australia have ores of a sufficiently high grade to avoid excessive carbon releases and to provide an adequate energy gain. At ore grades below 0.01% for ‘soft’ ores and 0.02% for ‘hard’ ores more CO2 than an equivalent gas-fired station is released and more energy is absorbed in the cycle that is gained in it. Ores of a grade approaching the "crossover" point such as those in India of 0.03%, if used, risk going into negative energy gain if there are a few "hiccups" in the cycle.
      ...................................................................

      Safety is not the signal - but nuclear means a surveilance society for a million years

      Breeders are not the signal - although all but 2 breeders have been closed as dangerous & impractical

      Radiation is not the signal - although Sakharov & Pauling gave up positions of power & privilege to oppose radiation.

      Price is not the signal - although huge Nuclear subsidies may doom de-centralised energy production.

      net CO2 is the signal - low grade Uranium is worse than gas.
      High grade Uranium has 50 years worth at current rates of burn. To replace coal, if the reactors could be built, we would have about 1 years worth.

      Time is short, building giant piles may doom us all.

      more refs at:
      http://gbruno2.blogspot.com/...

  •  Nice hit piece. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Steve4Clark, Damek

    Care to actually discuss nuclear power? Or just beat up the WaPo and Patrick Moore.

    Nice.

    This whole "attack the messenger, because you don't like the message" is bullshit. Isn't this exactly what the right wing is doing to the generals that are speaking out against Rummy? Haven't I read piece after piece discussing their bullshit tactics? I thought we were beyond that.

    I'd expect this from the wingnuts, not here. Whatever you think about nuclear power, this hit piece is disgusting.

    •  You're absolutely right. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      means are the ends

      I'm beating up on the WaPo and Moore. I'm attacking the messenger, because the messenger is paid to say whatever the companies involved are paying for.

      What the hell is with our Democratic generation of cowards? What do we think the rightwing does to us, every single damn day? Why do we think we're losing, here? Bringing damn spoons to a gunfight, that's what we're doing.

      I'm touched by everyone's concern for right-wing hacks and industry trolls, but I have every intention of using their past connections to demonstrate who they are and what they "stand for".  It is always worth exploring the messengers, and how the entire publicity/media system works.

  •  Most NYT op-eds (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Plan9

    Appear to be obtained by publishers for the authors of soon-to-be-released books.

  •  What's the point of this? (0+ / 0-)

    Perhaps it's true that the only reason he writes this stuff is because he is paid.

    And perhaps it's true that he worked to found Greenpeace, solely to build creds for his future lobbying work.

    I don't know.

    I've heard Moore speak before, and while I haven't gone into depth on his claims, they sounded at least somewhat reasonable and well thought out.  I think they're worth discussing, and not dismissing outright.

    I happen to agree with the basic premise that Nuclear energy is safer today, as well as being more cost effective and more environmentally friendly than the alternatives.

    Let me make that clear.  I said alternatives.

    Because when we argue these points, we're not talking about this technology versus utopia.  We have no dilithium crystals and a warp core.  What we've got is coal fired plants.

    (0.00,-3.13) "I may disagree with what you have to say, but I shall defend, to the death, your right to say it."

    by Steve4Clark on Mon Apr 17, 2006 at 07:00:57 AM PDT

  •  Great digging ... ask wapo for some balance (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    means are the ends
  •  OK, So? (0+ / 0-)

    How, exactly, is this relevant to the fact that nuclear is the only existing mature technology with the ability to provide energy without the environmental and political side effects of continuing to burn oil?

  •  Content more important than author (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Roadbed Guy, quotemstr

    I think it's great to point out the guy's affiliations, as they should arouse skepticism, but they should prompt one to examine the man's arguments, not to dismiss him outright.  That's the job of no-brain wingnuts, not reality-based people.

    From what I've read of modern nuclear technology, it is much preferred over any fossil fuels, and necessary unless we want to give up most of our current energy use patterns.  I'd rather not, thanks very much.  I think nuclear is safe enough, and despite his industry connections, I'm with Moore on this, and I think the science is, too.

  •  Moore Article Flawed Technically and Historically (0+ / 0-)

    Moore's arguments do not hold water, either from a historical standpoint or a technical one.  Moore's firm does work for the Nuclear Energy Institute,one of Washingtonpost.com's most prominent advertisers, but the Post made no mention of the obvious conflict of interest in publishing a piece that would never get past a reasonably sober fact checker.

    See www.goverup.com or goverup1 diary for an examination by a technical expert of the errors in Moore's article.

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