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America’s budget crisis has the world economy at the brink.  Social Security, Medicare, aid for children and much more are being chopped.

Yet Congress and the White House still want to rip our money to fund atomic power.

Specifically, $36 billion in loan guarantees are still on the table for building new nukes.  Millions more are slated for “small modular reactors” and other atomic boondoggles.

A national campaign---including an August 7
“MUSE2” concert---is underway to stop this.  With your help, we can win.    
 

America’s budget crisis has the world economy at the brink.  Social Security, Medicare, aid for children and much more are being chopped.

Yet Congress and the White House still want to rip our money to fund atomic power.

Specifically, $36 billion in loan guarantees are still on the table for building new nukes.  Millions more are slated for “small modular reactors” and other atomic boondoggles.

A national campaign---including an August 7
“MUSE2” concert---is underway to stop this.  With your help, we can win.    

Some realities:

X  More US energy is now generated by renewables than nuclear power, according to the latest Energy Information Administration report, and the balance is continuing to shift to green sources.

X Solar cells are now cheaper and faster to install than new nuclear, and will soon be cheaper than coal, according to General Electric.

X  After a half-century, US atomic power cannot attract private investment for new reactors, cannot obtain sufficient insurance against a major disaster and cannot deal with its wastes.

X  At least one Congressional study shows the likelihood of default on reactor loan guarantees to be at least 50%.

X  The US Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s official post-Fukushima report advocates major upgrades in safety and temporary waste storage which the industry is fighting because the costs would force shut numerous ageing, dangerous reactors, including nearly two-dozen virtual clones of Fukushima Unit One.

X  Two reactors in Nebraska have just barely escaped major disasters due to flooding.

X  The only reactor now under construction in France has admitted to at least another billion dollars in cost over-runs and new delays that will push its projected opening until to at least five years after the original target date.

X  France’s new nuke under construction in Finland is also billions over budget and years behind schedule.

X  Japan, Germany, Switzerland, Italy and Sweden have committed to phasing out all reactors and converting to renewables.

X  Nearly three-quarters of Japan’s reactors are now shut, and all could be down by next summer.

X  Reactors make global warming worse, and this summer’s devastating heat waves have escalated their ecological impact, forcing ill-timed shutdowns.

X  The owners of Georgia’s Vogtle project, with $8.33 billion in federal guarantees, are fighting to make sure cost overruns are paid by consumers, not the company.  

The $36 billion in loan guarantees slated for the 2012 budget come as every penny is being slashed from programs for veterans, the young, elderly and impoverished, as well as for protecting the environment and researching new technologies.

Given the economic failure of atomic power, it’s likely no new reactors will be built here without these giveaways.

In 2007 the Bush Administration proposed a $50 billion guarantee package that was defeated by a national grassroots movement.

Key to that campaign was NukeFree.org, founded by Bonnie Raitt, Jackson Browne and Graham Nash.  With MoveOn.org, Greenpeace, Nuclear Information & Resource Service, BeyondNuclear, Physicians for Social Responsibility and other national groups, they delivered 120,000 signatures to Congress and sponsored a lobby day that helped defeat the guarantees.

Now Raitt, Browne, Nash, John Hall, David Crosby, Kitaro and others will be part of a MUSE2 concert at Shoreline Arena south of San Francisco on August 7.   The all-day show will benefit Japanese disaster victims and recall the hugely successful 1979 Musicians United for Safe Energy "No Nukes" Concerts that rocked New York City after the accident at Three Mile Island.

MUSE2 and the stop-the-guarantees campaign aim to finish the job of burying an ever more unsustainable atomic industry.

Slashing Social Security to pay for new nuclear plants is not the way to a sustainable green-powered Earth.  Your action at this critical moment could make all the difference.

Harvey Wasserman edits the NukeFree.org website and is author of SOLARTOPIA!  OUR GREEN POWERED EARTH.  He was a co-founder of Musicians United for Safe Energy.

Originally posted to harveywasserman on Sat Jul 23, 2011 at 08:26 PM PDT.

Also republished by Nuclear Free DK.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Harvey - where do the loan (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jim d, HoundDog, Blubba, erush1345

    guarantees show up in the federal budget? In the Dept of Energy? For budgeting purposes how do they calculate the current fiscal year actual cash cost of the guarantees?

    "let's talk about that"

    by VClib on Sat Jul 23, 2011 at 08:44:29 PM PDT

  •  Here is the link to sign a letter to stop this (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    indycam, HoundDog, Joieau

    We don't live in a democracy . . . we live in a capitalist oligarchy, with some democratic representation…Social Security, Medicare, the minimum wage, or labor unions?… The capitalist oligarchy …were forced to accept them…Howard Zinn

    by jim d on Sat Jul 23, 2011 at 09:11:12 PM PDT

  •  $36 bil for decommission might be a bargain... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    A Voice, Joieau, Russgirl

    Photobucket
    Photobucket

    $36 bil will not bail out our economy, nor suffice to roll out the new green paradigm to the max, put everyone back to work, bring home the troops, etc.  

    We need ALOT more than that, heh...

    Make the rich pay.

    But that said, rock on!  As long as this is not about attacking the Administration and the Party, I'm cool with it.

    Obviously, only progressive/liberal Democratic Majorities in the House and Senate, NOT rotten with Blue Dogs, will ever ultimately prevail over the dictatorship of right wing Majorities, to go green and kill off the nukes once and for all.

    Bring the Better Democrats!

    All Out for 2012!

    Democracy is the most fundamental revolutionary principle. Information is the ultimate key.

    by Radical def on Sat Jul 23, 2011 at 09:18:29 PM PDT

  •  Nukes generate electricity 97 gigs, 104 plants (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    HoundDog

    Most renewable sources currently dont generate electricity, and is measured in BTU's.

    When one looks at only electricity generation...
    Nukes 20.6%
    Renewables 2%
    Coal 45%

    I than its far more important to look at the majority of Fission nuke plant operators retiring in about 5-6 yrs, and how will younger operators perform in very old plants.

    Losing that many experienced people can be disastrous.

    Secondly, by the end of this decade, Most of our fission nukes will be 40 to 50 yrs old. We will face increasing pressure to either decommission or re license during this time.

    Without immediately starting to build out solar and wind capacity to 20% from each with  significant storage capacity, there will be no alternative electrical generation capacity to replace those nukes. They will be re licensed.

    Electrical demand is expected to increase 20 to 30% over the next decade.

    The 2 most important issues in nuclear fission are the aging plant operators retiring, and the aging plants.

    For every  new design nuke built with 3-5 day walk away passive cooling, means one old nuke (GE Mark 1, BWR, same design as Fukushima), can be shut down. (I dont like that, but its a fact)

    For every 100Mw of solar with storage, one nuke can be shut down, for every 1000Mw of wind capacity with storage, one nuke can be shut down.

    See Atlantic Wind Connection, a 350 mile HVDC offshore trunkline from Elizabeth NJ to Virginia Beach, Virginia to support 7,000 Mw of wind power, = about 8 nuke plants.

    FDR 9-23-33, "If we cannot do this one way, we will do it another way. But do it we will.

    by Roger Fox on Sat Jul 23, 2011 at 09:44:59 PM PDT

    •  In the next decade (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Russgirl, Roger Fox

      the U.S. and the entire rest of the nuclear-powered world are expected to be suffering the extended effects of the engineered economic depression we've only just begun.

      We do not do any significant manufacturing in this country anymore, as that capacity has been shipped off to China and Mexico and India and smaller, cheaper countries. The middle class is dying, which is what the engineered economic depression is designed to accomplish (and why it will last at least another decade for all those not slated to increase their not-fair share of the nation's wealth). Poor people do not consume all that much electricity because 1. they can't afford it, and 2. they can't afford the energy guzzling goodies.

      Electrical demand is down very significantly these days, and isn't going to go up as people's incomes go down. What is your source for the 20-30% increase? And what is the baseline? If you presume the increase will come from EVs, what programs do you believe will be put into place so the one-time working class will be able to purchase $50-$60,000 gadabouts to get to jobs they don't have? The 2% at the top of the income scale won't put a dent in consumption with their Tesla sportsters.

      •  About there being no US manufacturing (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Corwin Weber

        that's not true, we're still #1 (if barely):

        Last year, the US created 19.9 per cent of world manufacturing output, compared with 18.6 per cent for China, with the US staying ahead despite a steep fall in factory production due to the global recession

        link

        And despite the economic crunch, and electrical demand being down very significantly, US coal production was up 2.6% last year.  That's on pace to double in less than 30 years.

        Just in case you didn't get that, coal use is skyrocketing in the face of significantly reduced electrical demand and all the ballyhoo'ed alternative green energy that's coming online in massive amounts that I read about here at DailyKos all the time.  

        Just imagine how dire things will be if demand for power actually picks up!  

        •  That's just King Coal and (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Russgirl

          the utility lobby at work to extract the last pound of flesh while destroying the environment. I live in southern Appalachia, I've seen the destruction. We introduce legislation every session to forbid the use of coal from mountaintop removal, Duke and Progress manage to beat it back, while charging us more than we can afford for nukes they haven't even broken ground on yet (and which will never be built, by the odds). Meanwhile, they passed legislation to forbid wind generation, because they've bought the dirty politicians. We are well aware that we must bypass the crooks and their corporate puppetmasters, take control of our own energy future. Are doing so, as best we can. We are not the only ones.

          So no, I do not think that after the PTB are done bankrupting the country and imposing ceaseless austerity they will suddenly find willing customers among the impoverished masses just because they allow a few sub-minimum wage jobs to open up here and there.

          Nukes absolutely require massive capital investment, even with the whole back end entirely left unfunded. We are told that our nation cannot afford health care or retirement anymore, education for the next generation, or even public transportation, libraries, parks, or anything other that resource wars. Rich people certainly won't invest in nukes, and the rest of us can't afford homes to live in these days. Food's getting pricier too, as the Masters of the Universe are cutting assistance.

          You won't get your 'renaissance'. Should probably start getting used to it.

          •  Sounds like your political strategy isn't working. (0+ / 0-)
            •  What political strategy? (0+ / 0-)

              Signing petitions to shut down ancient rattletrap Mark I and IIs in this country immediately? More petitions to demand the $36 billion in loan guarantees - statistically rated to 50% default - be stripped from the budget, the allotment to go instead to renewables? Yeah, petitioning the government is a fairly pointless exercise, but one that must be engaged anyway. Kind of like voting.

              Doesn't really matter, it's just voices making the effort to be heard. The 'renaissance' isn't going to happen regardless. I personally would rather have SS and Medicare than to have provided government loan guarantees for power plants that will never be built or run - at least half of them, I'd wager all of them by the time the fat lady sings.

        •  Coal is down 52% to 45% (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Joieau

          IIRC the last IEA numbers.

          FDR 9-23-33, "If we cannot do this one way, we will do it another way. But do it we will.

          by Roger Fox on Sun Jul 24, 2011 at 12:55:41 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Solar association white paper (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Joieau

        10% in 10 years.

        FDR 9-23-33, "If we cannot do this one way, we will do it another way. But do it we will.

        by Roger Fox on Sun Jul 24, 2011 at 12:52:41 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

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