With each day revealing more problems with the Japanese nuclear power plant it’s time for the United States and the global community to put a stop to further nuclear power plant construction and a plan to disable all existing plants.

While I agree with the Obama administration that we should learn from the Japanese:

“The President believes that meeting our energy needs means relying on a diverse set of energy sources that includes renewables like wind and solar, natural gas, clean coal and nuclear power. Information is still coming in about the events unfolding in Japan, but the administration is committed to learning from them and ensuring that nuclear energy is produced safely and responsibly here in the U.S.,” Clark Stevens, a White House spokesman, said in a statement Sunday.

Where I differ is that I believe what we have learned is that it’s just NOT safe or responsible.

Georgia WAND, long a regional leader in fighting against the nuclear power lobby, issued a statement to their members late yesterday.   You can have an impact.  Contact The White House and let them know that the time has come to stop nuclear energy.  We cannot afford the risks.

 

 

11 Responses to The time has come. No nukes.

  1. JMPrince says:

    A modest proposition. Since nuclear power generation can not exist without generous government subsidies, tax write offs, and especially insurance backing & waivers, the government is responsible for the waste generated. Ergo we move from this: http://www.energy.gov/environment/ocrwm.htm to a more innovative dispersal & disposal method.

    How about giving ‘gifting’ each Legislator in the land some? It would be prorated for years of service, and apply to all who use, or have constituents who use nuclear power, again likely prorated by population and perhaps even by the total public monies you’ve appropriated to the cause. This way a long serving Congresscritter would possibly come away with a 55 gal drum of vitrified waste, while a ‘local’ who say did not vote for SB31 here in Ga. might only come away with a coffee can full. It’s Sort of like being responsible for the debts you incur while in office. You would be responsible for your share of the national ‘deposit’, and instructed to keep it in a safe dry place away from water & preferably buried securely. As an added bonus, any ‘waste heat’ generated might light paths in cemeteries, or warm the homes of stalwart elderly retired lobbyists when they (finally) retire.

    Thus with this nation wide ‘dispersal method’ we’d be reducing the possibility of a high level explosion dramatically, while also ensuring the industrial effects would indeed be ‘felt’ everywhere. But vitrification is a must, to avoid unfortunate accidents, wikipedia.org/wiki/Goi%C3%A2nia_accident

    and it’s unlikely the NRC would allow this with any sort of high (or medium) level waste either. So we’re likely back to the beginning, except for a few spare tons a year. Which might help though at the margins.
    JMP

  2. Jules says:

    No easy answers, but what I haven’t seen is many/any conversations around conservation.

    This is something we do have control over.. are we really doing all we can to conserve power?

    Do any of us stop and say… do I really need xyz at the store, can it wait? I will put an extra sweater on before turning up the heat.

    Just a thought..

  3. Steve Golden says:

    Oh, I hate disagreeing vehemently with Catherine. So I’m not going to argue here. But suffice it to say that having studied American Environmental History changed my formerly anti-nuke policy.

  4. EGaluszka says:

    It’s also worth mentioning that the reactor in crisis in Japan was built in 1974. That’s over 30 years ago. Technology has advanced a bit in that time.

    • Catherine says:

      That’s true, but no new nuke plants have been built in the US since then. The next likely US Nuclear power plant to come online in the US was begun in 1973 and is expected to be complete in 2012. Surely, with that kind of lead time we can come up with a better solution.

  5. Charlie says:

    I have to disagree with the premise, and I’ll probably extend as my Friday column (my non-GA specific day), but now isn’t the time.

    Energy policy is a long term concept. The time to change that policy isn’t in the middle of a full blown crisis and panic. We’re going to learn a lot from what’s currently happening in Japan, much we never wanted to. But to react in the middle of an all out crisis isn’t the time to make decisions that we’ll have to live with for generations.

    The switch to any proposed or under construction nuclear generator won’t be flipped in the next 12 months. We’d best proceed on the current course, but also study these current events for future actions.

  6. EGaluszka says:

    So you’re saying we should continue to build coal and oil burning power plants, which are providing a sustained negative impact on the environment in the here and now, and which are just as susceptible to disaster, if not more, to nuclear power plants?

  7. No, that is not the only concern. Until we figure out ways in which to dispose of the waste and make the plants completely safe, we must pursue other avenues. At the very least we should not be providing the money to private companies to build these facilities. As long as we continue on this path, the potential for sustainable and alternative energy is put on the back burner.

  8. EGaluszka says:

    Yeah, the simple fact of the matter is that, especially in places like Georgia with complex topography, we’re facing a choice between coal-burning and nuclear facilities. We can put them out of the reach of a tsunami, if that’s your concern.

  9. The Edinator says:

    TBH I’m torn on this.

    A) I don’t think we should be burning more coal which will be the result of no nukes.
    B) Even if we stop using coal, China is building (IIRC) the equivalent of one coal plant a day and no one else is slowing down or will slow down.
    C) Thorium isn’t happening anytime soon.
    D) Nuclear is, frankly, the only thing that will work for many places, such as Japan.
    E) Some of the reporting and concerns get shit wrong.

    Anyway, I have no idea what to do.