Sunday, March 11, 2012

Inside Japan’s Nuclear Meltdown

So much of the Fukushima disaster has been dehumanized by modern media.  But, this recently released documentary, now available to watch online, offers a very human and emotional view of the 9 days that followed the disaster and how behind the scenes men knowingly sacrificed their lives to save Japan and the world.  It provides a sobering view of what reality can possibly be when we speak of nuclear power.   No other form of power generation today represents a worst case scenario of massive death, obliteration of entire communities and the ability to render much of our planet as inhabitable.  Are these risks acceptable? 

There is no way to gain an appreciation of the wave after wave after wave of hundreds of thousands of “liquidators” who threw themselves directly at death in the horrific Chernobyl disaster.  (As many as 60,000 dead and 160,000 disabled and countless more who will eventually die of disease due to exposure.)  Don’t think it can’t happen here.  The Three Mile Island disaster came frighteningly close to a complete containment failure and meltdown that would have rendered much of the northeastern United States uninhabitable just as Chernobyl did.   Our citizens would have had to volunteer for their own death march into harms way in some attempt to permanently cover the melting core.  Would you be first in line?  If not, how can you possibly support nuclear power?  There is too much not-in-my-backyard in U.S. politics and little sense of community or serving the greater good.

I don’t know how I could support new nuclear power plants in this country until we have completely developed Generation IV technology or something even beyond.   At that point, the costs and benefits equation will change substantially and a re-evaluation would be appropriate.  But by then I expect we shall be able to provide many other alternative energy methods. 

As we noted some years ago, the cost of dismantling an end of life nuclear power plant is staggering.  In today’s dollars it could easily take $2-5 trillion and more than one hundred years to dismantle all of the U.S.’s nuclear plants when they come to end of life.   Corporations pushing nuclear power never tell us about that, now do they?   If we had honest, reasoned debates in this country, or what we call democracy, much of the deceit and lies that are shoveled down our throats would never stand.    If we had one person, one vote rather than corporate personhood, then corporations would never manipulate our government either.

Today’s nuclear power, when calculated as a true lifecycle cost, rather than a price per kilowatt hour, is staggering.   Factor in all risks and the costs are incomprehensible.  Nuclear power is only achievable with massive government subsidies to special interest corporations.   Then, as in all other forms of corporate welfare, society is left with the bill of cleanup, risk and potential ecological and human consequences.    At the minimum, the American people, not wealthy investors, should be getting the dividend checks from utilities running nuclear power plants.   And those dividends should be placed in a trust to pay for unexpected disasters and then the eventual dismantling of the plants.

I think we can find a better use of energy subsidies that benefit the people of this nation rather than corporate welfare.  But first we need is a government that works for the people and not politicians, political parties and their corporate masters.

posted by TimingLogic at 10:24 AM

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home