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On Fukushima Radiation Affecting US Tuna

Paul, again, Antonio reported what was going on.  Why are you having such a hard time with this?  I read your link and the author also agrees with Antonio that nuclear radiation has spread.  His argument was that we shouldn't get our panties in a bunch over it.  I can accept this on the miniscule scale.  But take a look at the Daiichi nuclear power plant and what is going on there and I don't think you can just dismiss it as a happenstance occurence with no consequences. 

Since I read your link, do me the favor of reading this link: http://www.rmi.org/Knowledge-Center/Library/2009-09_FourNuclearMyths and give me your thoughts on it.  I'd be curious to know your opinion. 

 

September 9, 2013    View Comment    

On Fukushima Radiation Affecting US Tuna

Nathan, solar and wind are today less expensive than nuclear and dropping.  We can argue all day long about nuclear power but here is my bottom line argument.  We are at a point in history when we have to make decisions about our future energy needs and how to supply them.  Fossil fuel burning has shown us that in barely a century fossil fuel burning is thereatening human existence.  What is the point of supplying energy that ultimately kills the very people who use it?  Nuclear power has many short and long term drawbacks if one removes their blinders.  First is uranium mining.  It's a filthy business and most of it is in 3rd world countries.  Second, the cost of building nuclear power plants, petite onr non-petite.  The waste created.  The Black Swans.  The long term storage.  And so on.

Now, what happens if we take our creative energy and turn it to solar, wind, and other types of sustainable energy production?  The cost is dropping so fast on solar panels that many companies are unable to compete with such low prices.  Short term and long term, humanity is not threatened by accidents or explosions.  To my way of thinking, this is just common sense.  I don't understand why this is so problematic.  Unless, of course, you are making your living in the nuclear industry.  Then you have a vested interest in its advancement and are not viable as a neutral authority on the subject of what are the best sources of energy production. 

September 8, 2013    View Comment    

On Fukushima Radiation Affecting US Tuna

Paul, I don't read Antonio's column as fear mongering.  I see it as just stating a fact.  Why does this make it fear mongering?  Radioactive Tuna are being found off the California coast. 

Second, have you considered the costs involved with the Fukushima disaster?  Was that considered when the plant was built?  When you calculate true costs of nuclear power?  All the people that have had to be resettled?  I doubt any government or people would invest in nuclear knowing that this type of occurrence could occur.  And let's remember, Fukushim radiation levels are on top of naturally occuring radiation, a very big difference.

When I say right wing nutties I mean people who deny climate change is occuring.  These are usually Tea Party folks with nut cracker brains.  But I would further argue that you will find very few progressive or liberal folks that support nuclear power for reasons I have posted frequently here.  Politicians are very often beholden to their financial supporters so there will be some Democrats who will support nuclear for mercenary reasons. 

Finally, I find it quaint that people who oppose nuclear power are, in your view, people who listen to biased groups and sources, think with their emotions and make false connections.  What is it with right wing nutties and pro-nuclear folks that makes them think they know what truth is and that they are absolutely right?  Nuclear power was born in secrecy, grew up in deceit, and lives on lies.  What part of this don't you agree with?

September 8, 2013    View Comment    

On Fukushima Radiation Affecting US Tuna

I am very much opposed to nuclear power.  To the right wing nutties and pro nuclear wackos that makes me an environmentalist, as if that is the highest insult possible.  Unless you are making a living working in the nuclear industry, it defies logic to be pro-nuclear.  The cost of building a nuclear power plant is astronomical compared to every other type of energy source, clean or dirty.  If you start building one today, you will be lucky if its finished ten years from now, if it hasn't cost ten times more than estimated, and if it is even functioning.  When you include all true costs, nuclear is beyond comprehension as a viable energy alternative.  It takes billions of dollars to decomision an existing nuclear plant.  Storage is extremely expensive and long term.  To believe that society can protect nuclear waste for 100 years much less 1,000 years or more, is such arrogant ignorance it's beyond humorous.  Black Swans would occur constantly if civilization became dependent on nuclear power.  So Antonios editorial is more about what is really going on at Fukushima than the blah blah of pro-nuclear fanatics.  Nuclear is dead.  In the next 20-30 years, fossil fuels will be dying if not dead.  The fact that someone at this site posted that climate change isn't happening shows to what degree some folks can live in a bubble of their own making.  

The point of Antonio's editorial is to point out that radiation from Fukushima is spreading in all directions.  No one knows how much and how far and what the impact will be.  That's the beauty of nuclear waste, there is always plausible denial because the consequences can take years to manifest.  The pro nukies will always argue that the cancer came from eating too much rhubarb not the nuclear accident down the road.  I hope Fukushima puts the nail in the coffin of nuclear power, which is really about keeping centralized energy control than anything to do with common sense and cost control.   

September 7, 2013    View Comment    

On Pandora's Promise, Nuclear Energy Documentary, Asks: What Are You Wrong About?

William ,

I think we are getting to the end of this discussion but I wanted to make one last comment/post.  Nuclear was supposed to be the world's panacea.  During the 50's it was believed that nuclear would create energy that was so cheap it would'nt need to be metered.  Then we began to discover that nuclear carried a lot of baggage.  For me, the worst one was the waste.  Even as a child I thought it was the height of arrogance and ignorance that we could create such harmful waste and expect to keep it safe for tens of thousands of years.  Hell, we don't know what the weather will do next week much less civilization 10, 20 thousand years from now.  I never thought humanity could be so stupid.  First, you solve the problems, then you can start using its benefits.  We reversed the process.  We went running helterskelter down the nuclear path.  Nuclear waste has been tossed in the ocean, buried underground, hell, when I lived in Albuquerque, Sandia Labs tried to get a permit to dump low-leve radioactive waste right into the city sewer system.  Talk about saving money!  I was involved in stopping that bright idea.  We built a coalition that included native Americans who wanted nothing to do with Anglos but this time, we needed each other.  To them, the Rio Grande is sacred water.  So I was invited to meetings held in sacred circular rooms (I don't remember what they are called anymore) were we strategized and worked together to stop such idiocy.  We later found out that this was a concerted attempt by DOE to get rid of low-lever radioactive waste. 

So, yes, I have a deep-seated suspicions over everything nuclear and I think for very justifiable reasons.  Are nuclear scientists bad people?  Some maybe.  Most are probably good guys and women.  But very often, they are pawns.  You worked on a nuclear submarine.  What happened to all that waste?  Where is it being stored?  How much was created?  How much does it cost to keep it protected?  How many nuclear submarines were built?  What about depleted uranium weapons?  What about all the nuclear 'tipped' weapons we have been using in the Middle East?  What are the long and short term consequences?  On and on it goes.  I think reason and common sense have disappeared when it comes to all things nuclear.  You are either for it for or against it.  But, if you are like me and are posing questions that need honest answers, you're the 'enemy.'  I have said all along that I have two major concerns when it comes to nuclear; safety and waste.  Uranium mining is filthy but so is coal mining and fracking, etc.  The push is going to be for nuclear.  It's going to be painted as climate friendly and the only viable option available.  Solar is going to be painted as simply not doable.  A quaint, cute technology but certainly not something to be taken seriously.  But nuclear.  If the floodgates open, we will be awash with waste and accidents.  And there will be nothing we can do about it then.  The train will have left the station. 

We can argue whether Black Swans are worth the tradeoff.  Is what happened at Fukushima worth the energy of nuclear power in exchange.  I don't know.  I certainly doubt those who lived near that area would vote in the affirmative.  But, in an energy dependent world, collectively it might be worth the price.  The waste is what is not worth the price.  Until the waste is non-existent or 100% recyclable, we set up the future for disaster.  If there is anything global warming has taught us it is that there are consequences to our actions.   Even if we are ignorant of them at the start.     

June 27, 2013    View Comment    

On Pandora's Promise, Nuclear Energy Documentary, Asks: What Are You Wrong About?

William, you make very astute observations.  The problem, however, is even larger in Texas.  Here the good ol'boy network is more than just alive and well.  It's the way it is.  This means that decisions made behind closed doors are done with the 'real' players.  CPS was picked as the best place to start the rebirth of nuclear power because 1) it's a publicly owned utility.  This means that if anything goes wrong, TEPCO and any other private company can pull out but CPS can not.  It's publicly owned.  Even today, it still owns almost 8% of STP 3 & 4 leaving the tax payers of San Antonio potentially responsible for every dollar if something goes wrong.  2) the big boys don't really care one way or the other about nuclear.  They just care about money.  With loan guarantees, they have nothing to lose.  The game is to just start building and, if they run into trouble, they get paid anyway.  There is so much potential money in nuclear that common sense disappears.  3) The nuclear industry is like a big fraternity; everyone has one vested interest, to make sure nuclear grows.  Those with oversight responsibilities come from the same companies they are supposed to oversee.  They get to go to 'conferences' in some of the most exotic locales in the world.  Nepotism is the only word that comes to mind.  4) the politicians who make these decisions are clueless about the big picture.  They listen to consultants and those who give money.  Basically, they do what they are told by the oil and gas and construction indurstries. 

I agree with everything you say in spirit.  But, in the real world that is Texas, trying to be rational and finding common ground is used as a weapon to call you a 'llllllllliiiiiiiibbbbbbbeeeerrrrrraaaaaalllllllj!'  I don't see the common ground anymore.  I see greed as the only decision maker.  And what is behind the whole pro-nuclear side. 

    

June 26, 2013    View Comment    

On Pandora's Promise, Nuclear Energy Documentary, Asks: What Are You Wrong About?

Alex, I'm sorry.  I give you a fact and you use it to attack me.  I just did a www. to an article that came out in the last 24 hrs.  I mean, c'mon, facts is facts whether they are lethal or not. 

June 25, 2013    View Comment    

On Pandora's Promise, Nuclear Energy Documentary, Asks: What Are You Wrong About?

Alex, I'm sorry.  I wish I had endless time to read all your links.  I don't.  I have to make a living.  I sit on two non profit boards.  To be honest, I just don't have the time to follow all your links.  Why don't you just make your points, I'll take it for granted that you kow what you're talking about, and then we can discuss and debate from there.  Again, I just don't have the time to follow one link after another especially if it takes me Forbes.  I used to be a stockbroker. 

June 25, 2013    View Comment    

On Pandora's Promise, Nuclear Energy Documentary, Asks: What Are You Wrong About?

Ciao, Alex.  O visuto in Italia per quasi quindice anni.  Manco tanto l'Italia.  E il piu bell posto nel mondo.  Devi scusare i'll mio Italiano.  Lo so parlare pero non o mi studiato la lingua.  Lo imparato al orechio.  By the way, l'Ialiani non piaciano nuclear. 

June 25, 2013    View Comment    

On Pandora's Promise, Nuclear Energy Documentary, Asks: What Are You Wrong About?

William, I respect your attempt at a discussion.  There is absolute chronic mistrust because the nuclear industry was first born in secrecy (Los Alamos), grew up on deceit, and has lived on lies.  Three years ago, CPS (my energy company) along with TEPCO (the company that runs Fukushima) lied to me and the people of San Antonio about building two new nuclear power plants in South Texas, STP 3 & 4.  First they began by saying there had been no commitment to build the new nuclear power plants  $100 million was approved for a 'study.'  That's how I got involved.  Being a businessman I asked myself, "who in their right mind would spend $100 million on a study?"  $100,000 sure.  $1,000,000?  O.K.  $100 million?  Something stinks.  And it did.  In secrecy, the five CPS Board members that included the old mayor who painted himself as an environmentalist, approved spending the money on starting construction in Japan.  They then started a dog and pony show about how safe nuclear was and what a great investment it was for San Antonio.  We were pegged as the first new nuclear power plants that would be built in the United States in 30 years.  Just before City Council was supposed to approve another $400 million or else we would lose the original $100 million (nice, huh) the shit hit the fan.  The local paper found out that CPS had been lying about the true costs of building the nuclear power plants, they were precisely what I had been saying publicly.  Not $2-3 billion but much closer to $12-18 billion.  I'm not a magician, I just listened to people who knew what they were talking about.  That didn't stop CPS.  They still wanted to push nuclear.  Then Fukushima happened.  Now, it's the quiet before the storm.  And I have to go to a meeting. 

June 25, 2013    View Comment    

On Pandora's Promise, Nuclear Energy Documentary, Asks: What Are You Wrong About?

According to a Kyodo News International report appearing on today's GlobalPost website:
 
Tokyo Electric Power Co. said Monday it has seen a rise in the level of radioactive tritium in seawater within the port at the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.
 
A sample collected Friday contained around 1,100 becquerels of tritium per liter, the highest level detected in seawater since the nuclear crisis at the plant commenced in March 2011. (Emphasis mine.)
 
There are also indications that the amount of radiation may be increasing:
 
The level was more than double that of a sample taken on June 10 in the same area.
 
Japanese regulators think that the increase may be the result of an active leak:
 
An official of the Nuclear Regulation Authority said groundwater containing radioactive substances may be seeping into the port from the plant site....
 
Here's a link: http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/kyodo-news-international/130624/level-radioactive-tritium-rising-port-at-fukushima-pla
 

June 25, 2013    View Comment    

On Pandora's Promise, Nuclear Energy Documentary, Asks: What Are You Wrong About?

Alex, I can no longer read your postings.  They have gotten smaller and smaller until now there is only one word per line.  So I will start a new post based on the old post. 

You keep making the argument that nuclear is the safest energy source in history.  Nice.  We do need to overlook Three Mile Island, Chernobyl, Fukushima, spills, accidents, nuclear testing that went on for decades, etc.  But I gather what you mean is that fewer workers are killed in the construction of a nuclear power plant than lets say building a Hoover Dam or a coal plant.  I'll take your word for it.  I would agree that potentially fewer people are killed building a nuclear power plant than laying solar panels on the TransAmerica building.  

The safety issue, however, from my point of view is the heralded Black Swans.  Until nuclear Black Swans are as insouciant as a thermal solar plant, I'm not willing to take the risk.  You are.  We are barely at the 2-year anniversary of Fukushima and we are supposed to just forget about it.  From your viewpoint that was old technology, we've learned from that, let's move on.  Well that 's what was being said when they built Fukushima.  Kind of a stuck record. 

The waste issue still remains a major issue.  Fukushima wouldn't be in the mess it's in today if it didn't have all those spent rods to keep cool.  I know, it was a design flaw.  Who in their right mind would put spent nuclear rods on rooftops?  Won't happen again . . . trust me. 

And that is really what the nuclear industry is saying.  Trust us.  We know what we are doing.  You don't.  Don't worry your pretty little head none.  Full speed ahead.  A little nod to solar power, a tip of the hat to wind power, a blink at natural gas, but hey, the real shit is in nuclear power. . . and so are the bucks. 

We both know that if we start going down the nuclear path, that will be the only energy source we will come to rely on.  Consequences be damned.   You just need to pry that door open enough for the  floodgates the release nuclear nirvana. We will convince ourselves that every accident, every problem is simply a learning lesson and they won't happen again.  Until the next Black Swan. 

Look, I would love for nuclear to work.  But until it's as safe as mothers milk and the waste created is non-lethal, I'm agin' it.  Solar is as safe as mother's milk and the waste stream is non-lethal if not non-existent.  Why not go down that road?  You might have to change your field of study but you sound young enough to me :-)

O.K., I've got my helmet on.  Start lobbing your bombs. 

June 25, 2013    View Comment