Tuesday, April 24, 2012

OpEdNews - Article: Can we stop those nukes? Wasserman says: You betcha!

OpEdNews | April 20, 2012 | By Joan Brunwasser

"My guest today is Harvey Wasserman, author of Solartopia! Our Green Powered Earth and long-time anti-nuclear activist. Welcome back to OpEdNews, Harvey. What's new on the nuclear front these days?"


First, the loan guarantees for the two reactors at Vogtle [Georgia] turn out to be not a done deal. So we are building a national grassroots campaign as fast as possible to beat them. I think that would kill any further prospects for new nukes in the US. We have a petition up at www.nukefree.org , and there are others. It's gotta happen fast, but the stakes are huge, and I think we can win. You've posted my article on it, Joan, so thanks for that.

[I can't take the credit for that. Someone at OpEdNews beat me to the punch.]

Next, the old reactors in the US are crumbling fast. Vermont Yankee, Indian Point, San Onofre, Crystal River, Davis-Besse, South Texas and many more have really serious structural and operational issues. The grassroots opposition has become fiercer than ever. The question is: can we shut them all down before the next Three Mile Island / Chernobyl / Fukushima. For all our sakes, we MUST!!!

Next, Vermont is all-out at war with Entergy. The governor, Senator Sanders, the legislature, the grassroots".everybody wants the damn thing shut. But they are resisting, and it'll go the US Supreme Court, where it may become a states rights issue. Even the Gang of Five [Supreme Court conservative majority] has upheld states rights on medical marijuana. Now we'll see if they do it for nukes.

Worldwide the industry is collapsing. Japan may shut its last nuke next month. The only really big question is China. We shall see very soon.

Georgia has become a cautionary tale for what can happen to local taxpayers when nuclear plants are built. Can you tell our readers about that, Harvey?

Georgia has become ratepayers' worst nightmare because of CWIP, Construction Work in Progress, which allows utilities to soak them (us!) for rate hikes to pay for nukes WHILE THEY'RE BEING BUILT. This means the utilities have no risk and can build these things forever, with no cost restraints, while forcing the public to pay. It's the ultimate scam. And it means billions in useless, worthless costs that go straight to the pockets of the fat cat executives, who then use much of it to buy and rent the legislatures. Florida is now reeling from this. We had it in NH, which facilitated Seabrook. It's on the table in Iowa. It must be stopped!

How can President Obama resist the powerful lobbies and pro-business interests who fight for nuclear plants? And just how unpopular is nuclear energy? Is it possible that people really want the plants?

I haven't seen the latest polls, and they usually depend on how the question is phrased. But there has been a great global turning against atomic energy, even in France.

This includes the financial community, which will not invest in it, and that's critically important. The tipping point has been reached and renewables are officially cheaper than new nukes. This is a very big deal, and is at the core of why we will ultimately bury this industry...

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