Monday, October 12, 2009

"Clean Power" Nukes

Having just read John Kerry and Lindsay Graham's appeal for more "clean power" nukes this morning:
It is pitiful that supposedly intelligent men and women can consider nuclear power "emission free"! How blind we are to have betrayed all future generations by loading up our millions of storage tanks and retention ponds with the most poisonous substances know to man. The tiniest leaks over time will destroy the precious balance of life on this planet as surely as one day someone will use this waste as a weapon against us. Before we build another nuke, we must find a way to contain forever? and preferably detoxify the masses of nuclear waste we have accumulated. We owe it too our kids and all the generations to follow to clean up our own messes in our own backyards. Can we really expect the people of Nevada to store it all at Yucca Mountain?
In the meantime, I'm buyin' those energy saving bulbs and turning off every light left on in my house like my Dad used to do and insulating our attic and buying hybrid cars and riding my motorcycle on errands which get's 50 miles to the gallon. It doesn't seem to be that difficult to shrink my family's carbon footprint.
And a quote from my friend Dana Beach from the South Carolina Costal Conservation League:
There is enormous potential in efficiency and conservation. McKensey just produced a report that the US can reduce energy consumption by 23 percent just if homeowners and business owners invested in efficiency that had a net positive payback. No pain necessary. And that doesn’t even include any behavioral changes. (Like turning lights off when you leave the room, or biking instead of driving...)
Europe uses less than 1/2 as much energy as we do per capita and has a higher standard of living.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Friends, Neighbors, and aging No Nukers

Hello friends and neighbors and hopefully aging No Nukers.....
I moved with my family 3 years ago to my wife's hometown and we are about 21 miles from the Savannah River Site or SRS where we have been making nuclear weapons since the mid 50's. It is the most radioactive site in the country! Please read below and weep with me and then get mad!
We stopped the power indrustry in their tracks in the 80's and it was the grass roots groups that care about the safety of their kids and the health of the planet that did it with a little help from their friends in the music biz. We need to stop them again before they build their "Nuclear Parks" in every third town in our country.
This is a big one. Please get informed and join the Sierra Club and Friends of the Earth to fight these proposed South Carolina Nukes. We just stopped them building a new coal plant on the Pee Dee river here and we can keep on stopping them. Greed is a powerful enemy but I still say "No Nukes!"
If you want to refresh your memory, you can still get the No Nukes cd at Amazon. I just did 3 weeks ago so I could learn John Hall's beautiful song "Power". There is some great music and a lot of important info about radiation,safety,cancer and the dangers of nuclear waste in the cd booklet.
This is a excerpt from a letter from a lady who saw me at a Green Fair in Charleston a couple weeks ago.
Friends of the Earth and Sierra Club are the only groups that work against building more reactors. All the other conservation groups say it is politically unpopular to challenge our leaders and their utility company masters on this subject. The other groups also say that if they oppose nuclear energy, our leaders will think they are a bunch of kooks. This atmosphere makes it difficult for the 8 to 10 anti-nuclear activist that haven't escaped SC to get our message out. Our message being that nukes are way too expensive (9 billion each), conservation would be cheaper (the utilities have most officials convinced that South Carolinians are too dumb to insulate their homes and that solar and wind are impossible in SC) and the waste lasts for close to forever (the officials and DOE claim that Yucca is going to make a comeback).
Since the Obama administration canceled Yucca, plan B for the nation's radioactive waste is to build an "energy park" at SRS which entails building a reprocessing facility for the all 65,000 metric tons of US commercial nuke waste. SRS already has the distinction of being the most radioactive site in the nation. That is if you count curies and not volume. Most of the curies are stored in the Tank Farm, which holds 35 million gallons of liquid nuke waste left over from reprocessing nuclear fuel during the 50's to extract plutonium for nuclear weapons. The reason our DOE site is favored is due to the port in Charleston and a state full of people who consider plutonium and uranium commodities instead of a liabilities. To make matters worse, there is congressional language that says once a state agrees to take the nation's spent fuel rods, they get to hold on to it even if a reprocessing facility is never built. At least some of SC's other conservation groups see the folly in bringing tons of waste here with zero exit strategy.
I haven't mentioned the MOX facility at SRS, which they are building to dismantle nuclear weapons and turn into reactor fuel, which no utilities want to burn. Or the reprocessing of international waste from all the research reactors around the world. Or the scandal involving the 1.6 billion dollars of stimulus money that SRS received this year. I didn't want to ruin your day.