8264Nuclear Energy-its long, sorry....
- Oct 29, 2008I posed a question on here last night whether it was the general
consensus of folks on this board to consider nuclear power
reasonable within our acceptance of "renewables". Seems the general
consensus is "no". Good.
I have a unique perspective on nuclear power which I hope you all
don't mind my posting here for your consideration. My husband is an
Engineering Specialist at the South Texas Nuclear Electric
Generating Station; On the other hand, I loathe the industry.
It was not always so. I worked a stint at the pair of reactors
myself; I once fell for the deception. One of nuclear power's
biggest lies is their "benefit" for the local community. CNBC aired
a special highlighting this about two weeks ago. They say its
safe. They say it makes us independent of foreign sources. They
say the waste issues will work themselves out. For the longest
time, I did the easy thing: I ate what I was spoon-fed by the
And then in 2005, STPEGS dropped a figurative nuclear bomb on our
community: they, as many other nuke plants had already done,
were "outsourcing" the jobs that had long been the backbone of
nuclear energy's acceptance in our community.
Now one might argue, "That's just good business", and for a moment I
could agree, but then you have to acknowledge the hundreds and
hundreds of millions of dollars in federal subsidies the industry
requires (read: YOUR tax dollars being spent to fund overseas
jobs). And that brings up the issue of how many $$$ should we, the
American people, be required to feed into a fat, extremely
profitable industry that uses up our water resources, creates
hundreds of metric tons or radioactive waste, constantly emits
radiation? And as proponents of safe, renewable options, how can we
NOT fight an industry that uses up funds that would otherwise be
available to develop efficiency technologies and true renewables?
Just last week STP had a terrorist scare: A small plane flew into
the designated "no fly zone" that surrounds the plant (due to its
inherent risk as a terrorist target and general riskiness)
initiating a security call which brought a fighter jet in to run the
smaller plane off. Late in the same day (being huntin' season &
all), an employee was leaving the building with a rifle case he had
just purchased FROM THE ON-SITE COMPANY STORE!! when security over-
reacted and called ALL available local law enforcement in from
around the County, locked the plant down, S.W.A.T teams searched the
building. Geesh! Its like living in a war zone. We have huge
sirens scattered across our county to notify us "just in case". In
fact, this week unit 2 lost its cooling ability for a full 14
minutes. Just like the radioactive boron leak a few years back, it
was an unforeseeable event until after it happened.
Most of nuclear's risks are more insipid. Our cancer rates have
risen 22% since fuel load. I lost both my great grand-mother and
great grand-father to breast cancer. We have had to educate
ourselves about how to shore our bodies up so we'll absorb less
deadly radioactivity in the event of a leak (although the industry
had failed to supply us with Potassium Iodide to protect ourselves
even though federal law requires it). And the waste. Yucca
Mountain is a joke. Nevada plainly doesn't want it and even if it
were licensed and built, there are about 83 metric tons of waste
awaiting disposal NOW. Yucca's capacity is 80 metric tons. Of
course, the waste in Matagorda County won't be going to Yucca. Our
fuel rods are a non-standard 14' long, the industry standard is
12'. There is not a manufacturer in the world making storage or
transport casks for 14' fuel rods. And guess what? The nuclear
industry sued the federal government a few years back and WON a suit
that alleged that it's the fed's responsibility to deal with nuclear
waste. Now, in addition to operating subsidies, employee training
subsidies, construction subsidies, loan guarantees, and the tax-
payer funded catastrophic clean-up subsidy...now we're paying them
to store their own waste! If we, the tax-paying public will pay
them to store their own waste for eternity, why the heck would they
want to miss that money-making opportunity? Not to mention, the
citizens of Matagorda County (and you Harris County folks who are
down wind) never got to have a radioactive waste hearing, never got
to be officially declared a nuclear waste dump, we got no say in the
matter at all.
"All that is required for evil to prevail is for good men to do
nothing." (Edmund Burke) Please take a few minutes to educate
yourself about nuclear electricity generation and don't be led,
thoughtlessly, by the huge media campaign the industry would have
you follow. It's important that we band together and fight this
industry wherever opportunities present themselves. Talk to your
friends, neighbors, family members, and most importantly, talk to
your Representatives in local, state, and federal government.
Insist that this madness end.
Sorry I got so long winded, this is very important stuff.
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