Monday, March 21, 2011

Another Chernobyl Moment

We have been getting a fair amount of mail and social media comments asking us what we think of the situation in Japan with multiple nuclear meltdowns now underway.

Our position remains unaffected by these events. What occurred is no accident. We challenged precisely this kind of malfeasance all the way to the Supreme Court (itself a malfeased product) in 1977 and wrote two books that specifically described these kinds of scenarios and what their public health consequences would be. Our two books, Honicker v. Hendrie and Shutdown! describe the earthquake vulnerabilities of Mark I reactors, as well as the anti-regulatory, anti-public-safety mindset of those charged with preventing catastrophes.

For 15 years we published a quarterly, Natural Rights, that drew attention to these issues. Natural Rights ran special issues on Chernobyl, the nuclear Black Market and related topics. We have written in the Post Petroleum Survival Guide (2006) that without the highly enriched uranium warheads to beat into fuel rods in places like Tennessee, nuclear power’s tank would be out of gas within the decade. Perhaps that warning influenced a recent Senate vote to renew de-weaponizing steps with the Russians.

The Great Change has focused on these subjects from time to time, too. We published an exposé of the Bush war crimes in Thanksgiving in Fallujah (11/22/09) involving gross radioactive contamination of a large urban population. In Barry and the Dinosaurs (2/28/10) we took the terrorist President and his millionaire Republican buddies to task for his plan to quadruple US nuclear power capacity by throwing aside all cautionary restrictions, much the way they did for offshore drilling shortly before the Macondo blowout. We then published in Nukes on the Loose (April ’10) an indictment of the Obama failure to observe the NPT and his decision to arm nuclear rogue states, as well as sending toadies out proliferating weapons technologies under the guise of Safe! Clean! Too-cheap -to-meter! nuclear energy.

In Standing Up To Bullies (Memorial Day, May ‘10) we described how Obama did everything but nuke the Nuclear Non-Proliferation talks, using every tactic available to him to undermine a regime of international safeguards being crafted by the UN expressly to prevent new nuclear weapons from being built. He surely did his benefactors proud then.

We ally ourselves with the remarks of Stoneleigh at The Automatic Earth, who asked, rhetorically, what responsibility natural events had for both the Japanese reactor “accidents” and the damage to New Orleans by Hurricane Katrina. In both cases, the answer is "almost none."

There are dark forces loosed in the world. In the collapse of complexity brought about in no small measure from the radionuclides lodged in our brains, we will soon lose, if we have not already, the ability to safely operate, never mind fix, these monstrosities. Lets call them for what they are: corporate socialism; welfare for the super-rich; a cheap carnie scam to bottle physics and sell it as a wonder drug.

In the Ring of Fire that circles the Pacific plates there are a few faultlines waiting to awaken that are now overdue. These run down the middle of a number of active coastal reactors and their highly lethal waste pools, and one is quite near to the Hanford Nuclear Reservation, where the Cold War’s hot legacy sits in rusting tank farms, waiting for their special moment in predictive physics. Simple math and the geologic record informs us it won’t be a long wait. Those tanks are in such bad shape they don’t even need an earthquake or tsunami. A short-circuited agitator might do the job.

We stand beside Dmitry Orlov at Club Orlov who said, simply, “Shut it all down. All of it. Now. Please.”


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