Ex-Hiroshima Mayor Akiba hopes for assurance of no nuke use in letter to Trump

January 20, 2017

January 18, 2017 (Mainichi Japan)

Former Hiroshima Mayor Tadatoshi Akiba is pictured at Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park. (Mainichi)
Former Hiroshima Mayor Tadatoshi Akiba, who spent many years campaigning against nuclear weapons, has sent a letter to U.S. President-elect Donald Trump conveying his thoughts from the city that was hit by the first atomic bomb used in warfare on Aug. 6, 1945.

【Related】Full text of ex-Hiroshima Mayor Akiba’s letter to Trump
【Related】Article and letter in Japanese
Born in 1942, Akiba could be described as an epitome of the postwar antinuclear movement. Seeing the film “Children of Hiroshima” (“Genbaku no ko”) as an elementary school student served as a catalyst for Akiba’s lifelong involvement with issues relating to Hiroshima and the atomic bomb.

When studying in the United States during his high school days, he learned that students there were taught “it was right to drop the atomic bomb” as a response to the Imperial Japanese Navy’s attack on Pearl Harbor that sparked the war between Japan and the United States, and that they were told, “Remember Pearl Harbor.” Even if he were to protest, he was greatly outnumbered. He decided he would tell people about Hiroshima, and while working for Tufts University, he started the “Akiba Project,” dispatching local U.S. reporters to Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

After serving as a professor at Hiroshima Shudo University, Akiba served three terms in the House of Representatives, and then from 1999 to 2011 served three terms as mayor of Hiroshima. During his time as mayor he released in his own words Hiroshima’s “Peace Declaration” on Aug. 6 every year. In 2009, he was impressed by U.S. President Barack Obama’s call for a world without nuclear weapons, and the following year he visited the White House and directly asked the president to visit Hiroshima.

He held expectations for a positive effect from Obama’s visit to Hiroshima in May last year, thinking, “U.S. society will change because of this. The world will certainly change to proceed on a path toward peace.”

However, the moves toward peace, which seemed to have gained momentum with Obama’s Hiroshima visit, now appear to have come up against a headwind and are losing speed. Obama’s aim to declare a no-first-use policy for nuclear weapons in autumn last year collapsed due to resistance from Congress. Some 113 countries passed a United Nations resolution in December last year to begin negotiations in March on a treaty prohibiting nuclear weapons, but the nuclear powers of the United States, Britain, France and Russia voted against it, while China abstained. When it comes to eliminating nuclear weapons, the international environment remains tough.

Akiba wrote his letter with the thought that he doesn’t want the hopes and dreams heightened by Obama’s visit to Hiroshima to be destroyed.

Two copies of the letter were sent in mid-January, one to the White House and the other to the U.S. Embassy in Japan. It remains to be seen how Trump will receive the feelings of those in Hiroshima as the United States’ new president.

Profile: Tadatoshi Akiba

Representative, Hiroshima Prefectural Congress against A- and H-Bombs

Convener, Hiroshima Committee of 1000 to Stop War

Head, Hiroshima Peace Office

Former Mayor, City of Hiroshima

Born in Tokyo in 1942. B.S. and M.S. in mathematics: University of Tokyo

Ph.D. in mathematics: Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Represented Hiroshima as a national Diet member from 1990 to 1999. Elected Mayor of Hiroshima in 1999 and served three terms until 2011.

From 2011 through 2014, served as Chairman of the Middle Powers Initiative (MPI), President of AFS Japan and Professor by Special Appointment of Hiroshima University.

As President of Mayors for Peace, helped the organization grow from around 440 members to approximately 5,000 during his tenure.

Received such awards as the Ramon Magsaysay Award (also known as the Asian Nobel Prize, 2010), Otto Hahn Peace Medal in God from the United Nations Association of Germany, Berlin-Brandenburg (2013).

Publications include “Mayor of Hiroshima” (Asahi Shimbun, 2011) and “Reconciliation instead of Retaliation” (Iwanami Shoten, 2015).

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Obama: Prevent nuclear war!

January 18, 2017



To US President Barack Obama:
We call on you to help the world avoid nuclear war by signing an executive order to remove the US’s nuclear missiles from “high alert” status.

750,000 696,670
696,670 have signed. Let’s get to 750,000
What’s the scariest thing about Trump?? He’s completely unpredictable, and if he decides to launch US nuclear weapons — there’s nothing that can stop him.

That’s cause once the President says “go”, there’s just 4 minutes til launch. It’s a crazy dangerous system that started in the Cold War and is totally unnecessary today — which is why when Obama was elected he said it was dangerous and that he’d change it.

But if he doesn’t do it in the next couple days, Obama turns our safety over to the whims of unstable Donald Trump. With just days left in office and competing priorities, he won’t get around to it without massive global pressure. Respected politicians, government officials and military figures have already joined the call — now if we get a petition in the millions and deliver it in Washington with a big splash, our community can put this issue at the top of the US news in his final week.

But we need to move FAST — he needs to hear from everyone who could be in danger (which is…literally everyone!!!). Add your name and then share the page on Facebook, Twitter, everywhere.
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Barack Obama urged to take nuclear weapons off high alert to stop Donald Trump ‘blowing up planet’

January 18, 2017

The President-elect has made a series of controversial comments about nuclear weapons

Andrew Buncombe New York @AndrewBuncombe Friday 6 January 2017515 comments


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The Independent Online
Experts want Mr Obama to act before Mr Trump takes office AP
A group of arms control experts has urged President Barack Obama to take America’s nuclear weapons off a state of high alert before Donald Trump takes office to stop him “impulsively blowing up the planet”.

The Ploughshares Fund, which was established at the height of the Cold War, has started a petition asking Mr Obama to move the weapons from their hair-trigger status. It said the ever-present risk of a nuclear exchange being triggered erroneously, combined with Mr Trump’s incendiary comments and temperament, could risk the “worst disaster imaginable”.

The demand has received the support of politicians, retired military officers and government officials. Former US Defence Secretary William Perry told The Independent he was “worried about” both Mr Trump and Russian leader Vladimir Putin.

Donald J. Trump ✔ @realDonaldTrump
The United States must greatly strengthen and expand its nuclear capability until such time as the world comes to its senses regarding nukes
10:50 AM – 22 Dec 2016
21,420 21,420 Retweets 73,380 73,380 likes
The petition, which has more than 60,000 signatures, says: “President Trump could launch 140 warheads in the time it takes to write 140 characters. The grave difference is: a tweet can be deleted, but the devastation of a nuclear warhead can never be undone.”

Tom Collina, the group’s director of policy, said the petition had been started amid concerns about Mr Trump’s temperament. The President-elect has startled policy observers by his calls to expand America’s nuclear arsenal, to encourage countries such as South Korea to develop its own weapons and even his apparent willingness to engage in an arms race.

“Our proposals would build in some extra time, and to make take longer to launch,” said Mr Collina. “The concern is mainly about false alarms. That is when you need cool heads. If you have someone who is impulsive… ”

The group, which is made up of scientists and policy experts, has for many years urged Mr Obama to take US weapons off high alert. They argue having almost 1,000 land-based missiles ready to launch in minutes is a dangerous holdover from the Cold War, when deterrent theory postulated that the US had to be able to respond to a Soviet launch within minutes, or else its own weapons could be destroyed.

But given that many nuclear weapons are now carried in submarines and bombers, not vulnerable to a Russian strike on the US mainland, the need for such rapid response is greatly reduced.

Donald Trump says ‘let it be an arms race’ after nuclear expansion tweet
Indeed, keeping them in such a state increases the danger of a missile being launched by mistake. There have been numerous reported incidents over the past 30 years of the US believing it was under attack from the Russians, only to discover – with just minutes before a potential counter-strike – the “Russian launch” was was in truth a computer glitch or else a Scandinavian weather satellite.

“On January 20, the military officer carrying the codes for America’s nuclear arsenal will follow President Barack Obama to the inaugural platform. When he leaves, the officer will follow President Donald Trump,” says the petition.

“We will then have a president who reportedly said, ‘If we have nuclear weapons, why can’t we use them’. Will he really order a nuclear attack in the next four years? No one knows. But if he does, no one can stop him.”

It adds: “President Trump will be able to launch, within minutes, one or one thousand nuclear warheads without any vote, any check, or even any serious deliberation. Just one missile could kill millions. Once launched, the missiles could not be recalled.”

Last summer, a group of ten Democratic senators, including Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, and Al Franken, wrote to Mr Obama, urging him to review spending on nuclear weapons. They also asked him to remove the weapons from high alert status by cancelling so-called “launch-on-warning plans”.

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William J. Perry ✔ @SecDef19
My nuclear nightmare brought to life: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SUuOskX3z7U
11:29 AM – 6 Jan 2017
31 31 Retweets 21 21 likes
Since the election victory of Mr Trump, such concerns have grown.

The President-elect has raised the eyebrows of many nuclear experts with comments that broke with decades of US strategic policy. Last month, he sparked fears of a new global nuclear arms race with a tweet that reverberated around the world in which he called on the US to expand its nuclear arsenal until “the world comes to its senses regarding nukes”.

He also suggested that the “better off” other countries, including Japan and South Korea, should have nuclear capabilities. He subsequently said: “Let it be an arms race. We will outmatch them at every pass and outlast them all.”

FindTheData | Graphiq
Mr Perry, who served as Bill Clinton’s defence secretary between 1994 to 1997, has emerged as an expert on disarmament issues and long advocated a restructuring of America’s nuclear arsenal. He said this included greater reliance on missiles carried by submarines and planes.

Asked about the threat potentially posed by Mr Trump, he said: “What is dangerous is the build up forces and then flaunting it. He talks about it, and that can start an arms race, and he has said he would be prepared to use nuclear weapons on a first-strike basis.”

He said there were “always concerns” about the temperament of Russian and US leaders. “I don’t have any personal knowledge of Putin or Trump, but I worry about both of them.”

Last month, Joseph Cirincione, President of the Ploughshares Fund, wrote an opinion article for the Huffington Post, in which he said: “It’s too late to stop Donald Trump from becoming president. But it is not too late to stop him from impulsively blowing up the planet.

Trump confident North Korea won’t be able to hit US with nuke
Donald Trump’s dramatic and hypocritical u-turn on nuclear weapons
Bernie Sanders asks Congress to stop Trump launching nuclear arms race
“With the stroke of a pen, President Barack Obama could take our nuclear missiles off high alert, making sure that President Trump could not launch them rashly. If he doesn’t do this, we will all regret it.”

James McKeon, a spokesman for the Washington-based Council for a Livable World, said the need to reduce such risks was pressing, regardless of who was commander-in-chief. “We don’t think such weapons should be on a high-trigger alert,” he said.

More about: Donald Trumpnuclear proliferation

2017 Peace Essay Contest

January 17, 2017

David Swanson via WarIsACrime.org david@davidswanson.org via sg.actionnetwork.org

10:01 AM (24 minutes ago)

2017 Peace Essay Contest

The West Suburban (Chicago) Faith-Based Peace Coalition is sponsoring a Peace Essay Contest with a $1,000.00 award to the winner, $300 for the runner-up, and $100 for third place. Essays have to be directed to a person who can help promote knowledge of the Kellogg-Briand Pact (KBP) and, from whom a response is expected. Essays will be judged not only on the quality of the essay but on the impact of the response. Everyone is eligible to participate; there are no restrictions regarding age or country of residence. Participants are required to take the following 3 steps:

1. To enter the contest send a Peace Essay
Request email to coordinator Frank Goetz at frankgoetz@comcast.net. Provide your Name, Mailing Address, Email Address, Phone Number, and, if under 19, Age. Also, provide the Name and Position of the person or persons to whom the Essay will be directed. Your application acceptance as a contest participant will be acknowledged in an email containing your assigned 4-digit Essay Number. [If information is missing or confusing you will be contacted by email or phone.]

2. In 800 words or less write your essay on: How Can We Obey the Law Against War? As soon as possible but at least by April 15, 2017 send the essay to the person named in your application and a copy to frankgoetz@comcast.net with your Essay Number in the Subject line.

3. By May 15, 2017 send Essay Response documentation to frankgoetz@comcast.net with your Essay Number in the Subject line.

Some examples of impact:

The President agrees to explain the limitations placed on the government by KBP.
A member of Congress supports a resolution to make August 27 a Day of Reflection.
The ACT or SAT administration agrees to include questions regarding KBP.
A newspaper includes a KBP story.
A school board revises its curriculum to expand KBP studies.
A religious leader calls for nonviolent actions.
We will announce the winners at a festive event honoring the 89th Anniversary of the Kellogg-Briand Pact on August 27, 2017.

Help support DavidSwanson.org, WarIsACrime.org, and TalkNationRadio.org by clicking here: http://davidswanson.org/donate.

If you were forwarded this email please sign up at https://actionnetwork.org/forms/activism-alerts-from-david-swanson.

Talk Nation Radio: Antonia Juhasz on Tillerson, Trump, and Oil

January 17, 2017

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Antonia Juhasz is an energy analyst, author, and investigative reporter. She recently wrote a profile of Donald Trump’s nominee for Secretary of State Rex Tillerson for In These Times magazine. We discuss Tillerson and the oil spill he floated in on. See also:

Total run time: 29:00

Host: David Swanson.
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The masters of the universe: Oxfam says 8 men as rich as half the world

January 17, 2017

MONDAY, JAN 16, 2017 07:37 AM CST


Here’s the proof of massive inequality

The masters of the universe: Oxfam says 8 men as rich as half the world
In this Friday, Jan. 13, 2017 photo, workers unload bricks at a brick-making factory in Naypyitaw, Myanmar. As bricks continue to be used in construction throughout Myanmar, traditional craftsmen who produce hand-made bricks are facing competition from machine-made bricks which are produced more efficiently. (AP Photo/Aung Shine Oo, File)(Credit: AP)
DAVOS, Switzerland — The gap between the super-rich and the poorest half of the global population is starker than previously thought, with just eight men, from Bill Gates to Michael Bloomberg, owning as much wealth as 3.6 billion people, according to an analysis by Oxfam released Monday.

Presenting its findings on the dawn of the annual gathering of the global political and business elites in the Swiss ski resort of Davos, anti-poverty organization Oxfam says the gap between the very rich and poor is far greater than just a year ago. It’s urging leaders to do more than pay lip-service to the problem.

If not, it warns, public anger against this kind of inequality will continue to grow and lead to more seismic political changes akin to last year’s election of Donald Trump as U.S. president and Britain’s vote to leave the European Union.

“It is obscene for so much wealth to be held in the hands of so few when 1 in 10 people survive on less than $2 a day,” said Winnie Byanyima, executive director of Oxfam International, who will be attending the meeting in Davos. “Inequality is trapping hundreds of millions in poverty; it is fracturing our societies and undermining democracy.”

The same report a year earlier said that the richest 62 people on the planet owned as much wealth as the bottom half of the population. However, Oxfam has revised that figure down to eight following new information gathered by Swiss bank Credit Suisse.

VideoDonald Trump Attacks Congressman John Lewis On Twitter
Oxfam used Forbes’ billionaires list that was last published in March 2016 to make its headline claim. According to the Forbes list, Microsoft founder Gates is the richest individual with a net worth of $75 billion. The others, in order of ranking, are Amancio Ortega, the Spanish founder of fashion house Inditex, financier Warren Buffett, Mexican business magnate Carlos Slim Helu, Amazon boss Jeff Bezos, Facebook creator Mark Zuckerberg, Oracle’s Larry Ellison and Bloomberg, the former mayor of New York.

Oxfam outlined measures that it hopes will be enacted to help reduce the inequality.

They include higher taxes on wealth and income to ensure a more level playing field and to fund investments in public services and jobs, greater cooperation among governments on ensuring workers are paid decently and the rich don’t dodge their taxes. And business leaders should commit to paying their fair share of taxes and a living wage to employees.

Max Lawson, Oxfam’s policy adviser, urged billionaires to “do the right thing,” and to do “what Bill Gates has called on them to do, which is pay their taxes.”

The ability of the rich to avoid paying their fair share of taxes was vividly exposed last year in the so-called “Panama Papers,” a leaked trove of data that revealed details on offshore accounts that helped individuals shelter their wealth.

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“We have a situation where billionaires are paying less tax often than their cleaner or their secretary,” Lawson told The Associated Press. “That’s crazy.”

It’s because of this kind of inequality that trust in institutions has fallen sharply since the global financial crisis of 2008, according to Edelman, one of the world’s biggest marketing firms.

In its own pre-Davos survey of more than 33,000 people across 28 markets, Edelman found the largest-ever drop in trust across government, business, media and even non-governmental organizations. CEO credibility is at an all-time low and government leaders are the least trusted group, according to the survey.

The firm’s 2017 Trust Barometer found that 53 percent of respondents believe the current system has failed them in that it is unfair and offers few hopes for the future, with only 15 percent believing it is working. That belief was evident for both the general population and those with college education.

“The implications of the global trust crisis are deep and wide-ranging,” said Richard Edelman, the firm’s president and CEO. “It began with the Great Recession of 2008, but like the second and third waves of a tsunami, globalization and technological change have further weakened people’s trust in global institutions. The consequence is virulent populism and nationalism as the mass population has taken control away from the elites.”

ADVERTISEMENTEdelman highlighted how “the emergence of a media echo chamber” that reinforces personal beliefs while shutting out opposing views has magnified this “cycle of distrust.” According to the survey, search engines are trusted more as an information tool than traditional news editors, 59 percent to 41 percent.

“People now view media as part of the elite,” said Edelman. “The result is a proclivity for self-referential media and reliance on peers. The lack of trust in media has also given rise to the fake news phenomenon and politicians speaking directly to the masses.”

Edelman said business may be best-placed to help improve trust. Companies need to be transparent and honest with their employees about the changes taking place in the work-place, improve skills and pay fairly, he said.

The online survey was conducted between Oct. 13 and Nov. 16, 2016.


Jonathan Shenfield contributed to this report.


Comment: This illustrates the system split, needing the system shift for equality, freedom, peace, happiness for all.

Massive die-off of sea creatures from California to Alaska

January 13, 2017

Latest Headlines from ENENews
Massive die-off of sea creatures from California to Alaska — Animals starving as food chains continue to collapse — Mass starvation events plague West Coast — Scientist: “Felt like I was doing nothing but counting dead animals” — TV: Deaths really quite troubling (VIDEO)
Posted: 12 Jan 2017 10:49 AM PST
. . . → Read More: Massive die-off of sea creatures from California to Alaska — Animals starving as food chains continue to collapse — Mass starvation events plague West Coast — Scientist: “Felt like I was doing nothing but counting dead animals” — TV: Deaths really quite troubling (VIDEO)

Challenges against Fukushima Coverup: The Crisis of Civilization eBook

January 13, 2017


The closing of Indian Point and the future of nuclear power plants

January 12, 2017

NationofChange newsletter
The closing of Indian Point and the future of nuclear power plants
This comes in the face of nuclear power plant accidents­ ­and competitive power being less expensive including renewable and safe solar and wind energy.

By Karl Grossman – January 12, 2017 | News Analysis 1 Comment 65
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TAGSIndian Pointnuclear powerrenewable energy
The good – ­the very good­ – energy news is that the Indian Point nuclear power plants 26 miles north of New York City will be closed in the next few years under an agreement reached between New York State and the plants’ owner, Entergy.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has long been calling for the plants to be shut down because, as the New York Times related in its story on the pact, they pose “too great a risk to New York City.” Environmental and safe-energy organizations have been highly active for decades in working for the shutdown of the plants. Under the agreement, one Indian Point plant will shut down by April 2020, the second by April 2021.

They would be among the many nuclear power plants in the U.S. which their owners have in recent years decided to close or have announced will be shut down in a few years.

This comes in the face of nuclear power plant accidents­ – the most recent the ongoing Fukushima nuclear disaster in Japan – ­and competitive power being less expensive including renewable and safe solar and wind energy.

Last year the Fort Calhoun nuclear plant in Nebraska closed following the shutdowns of Kewanee in Wisconsin, Vermont Yankee in Vermont, Crystal River 3 in Florida and both San Onofre 2 and 3 in California. Nuclear plant operators say they will close Palisades in Michigan next year and then Oyster Creek in New Jersey and Pilgrim in Massachusetts in 2019 and California’s Diablo Canyon 1 in 2024 and Diablo Canyon 3 in 2025.

This brings the number of nuclear plants down to a few more than 90­a far cry from President Richard Nixon’s scheme to have 1,000 nuclear plants in the U.S. by the year 2000.

But the bad – ­the very bad­ – energy news is that there are still many promoters of nuclear power in industry and government still pushing and, most importantly, the transition team of incoming President Donald Trump has been “asking for ways to keep nuclear power alive,” as Bloomberg news reported last month.

As I was reading last week the first reports on the Indian Point agreement, I received a phone call from an engineer who has been in the nuclear industry for more than 30 years­with his view of the situation.

The engineer, employed at nuclear plants and for a major nuclear plant manufacturer, wanted to relate that even with the Indian Point news­“and I’d keep my fingers crossed that there is no disaster involving those aged Indian Point plants in those next three or four years”­nuclear power remains a “ticking time bomb.” Concerned about retaliation, he asked his name not be published.

Here is some of the information he passed on­a story of experiences of an engineer in the nuclear power industry for more than three decades and his warnings and expectations.

The secretive INPO report system

Several months after the accident at the Three Mile Island nuclear plant in Pennsylvania in March 1979, the nuclear industry set up the Institute of Nuclear Power Operations (INPO) based in Atlanta, Georgia. The idea was to have a nuclear industry group that “would share information” on problems and incidents at nuclear power plants, he said.

If there is a problem at one nuclear power plant, through an INPO report it is communicated to other nuclear plant operators. Thus the various plant operators could “cross-reference” happenings at other plants and determine if they might apply to them.

The reports are “coded by color,” explained the engineer. Those which are “green” involve an incident or condition that might or might not indicate a wider problem. A “yellow” report is on an occurrence “that could cause significant problems down the road.” A “red” report is the most serious and represents “a problem that could have led to a core meltdown”­and could be present widely among nuclear plants and for which action needs to be taken immediately.

The engineer said he has read more than 100 “Code Red” reports. What they reflect, he said, is that “we’ve been very, very lucky so far!”

If the general public would see these “red” reports, its view on nuclear power would turn strongly negative, said the engineer.

But this is prevented by INPO, “created and solely funded by the nuclear industry,” thus its reports “are not covered by the U.S. Freedom of Information Act and are regarded as highly secretive.” The reports should be required to be made public, said the engineer. “It’s high time the country wakes up to the dangers we undergo with nuclear power plants.”

The NRC inspection farce

The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is supposed to be the federal agency that is the watchdog over nuclear power plants and it frequently boasts of how it has “two resident inspectors” at each nuclear power plant in the nation, he noted.

However, explained the engineer, “the NRC inspectors are not allowed to go into the plant on their own. They have to be escorted. There can be no surprise inspections. Indeed, the only inspections that can be made are those that come after the NRC inspectors “get permission from upper management at the plant.”

The inspectors “have to contact upper management and say they want to inspect an area. The word is then passed down from management that inspectors are coming­so ‘clean up’ whatever is the situation is.”

“The inspectors hands are tied,” said the engineer.

The 60- and now 80-year operating delusion

When nuclear power plants were first designed decades ago, explained the engineer, the extent of their mechanical life was established at 40 years. The engineer is highly familiar with these calculations having worked for a leading manufacturer of nuclear plants, General Electric.

The components in nuclear plants, particularly their steel parts, “have an inherent working shelf life,” said the engineer.

In determining the 40-year total operating time, the engineer said that calculated were elements that included the wear and tear of refueling cycles, emergency shutdowns and the “nuclear embrittlement from radioactivity that impacts on the nuclear reactor vessel itself including the head bolts and other related piping, and what the entire system can handle. Further, the reactor vessel is the one component in a nuclear plant that can never be replaced because it becomes so hot with radioactivity. If a reactor vessel cracks, there is no way of repairing it and any certainty of containment of radioactivity is not guaranteed.”

Thus the U.S. government limited the operating licenses it issued for all nuclear power plants to 40 years. However, in recent times the NRC has “rubber-stamped license extensions” of an additional 20 years now to more than 85 of the nuclear plants in the country­permitting them to run for 60 years. Moreover, a push is now on, led by nuclear plant owners Exelon and Dominion, to have the NRC grant license extensions of 20 additional years­to let nuclear plants run for 80 years.

Exelon, the owner of the largest number of nuclear plants in the U.S., last year announced it would ask the NRC to extend the operating licenses of its two Peach Bottom plants in Pennsylvania to 80 years. Dominion declared earlier that it would seek NRC approval to run its two Surry nuclear power plants in Virginia for 80 years.

“That a nuclear plant can run for 60 years or 80 years is wishful thinking,” said the engineer. “The industry has thrown out the window all the data developed about the lifetime of a nuclear plant. It would ignore the standards to benefit their wallets, for greed, with total disregard for the country’s safety.”

The engineer went on that since “Day One” of nuclear power, because of the danger of the technology, “they’ve been playing Russian roulette­putting one bullet in the chamber and hoping that it would not fire. By going to 60 years and now possibly to 80 years, “they’re putting all the bullets in every chamber­and taking out only one and pulling the trigger.”

Further, what the NRC has also been doing is not only letting nuclear plants operate longer but “uprating” them­allowing them to run “hotter and harder” to generate more electricity and ostensibly more profit. “Catastrophe is being invited,” said the engineer.

The carbon-free myth

A big argument of nuclear promoters in a period of global warming and climate change is that “reactors aren’t putting greenhouse gases out into the atmosphere,” noted the engineer.

But this “completely ignores” the “nuclear chain”­the cycle of the nuclear power process that begins with the mining of uranium and continues with milling, enrichment and fabrication of nuclear fuel “and all of this is carbon intensive.” There are the greenhouse gasses discharged during the construction of the steel and formation of the concrete used in nuclear plants, transportation that is required, and in the construction of the plants themselves.

“It comes back to a net gain of zero,” said the engineer.

Meanwhile, “we have so many ways of generating electric power that are far more truly carbon-free.”

The bottom line

“The bottom line,” said the engineer, “is that radioactivity is the deadliest material which exists on the face of this planet­and we have no way of controlling it once it is out. With radioactivity, you can’t see it, smell it, touch it or hear it­and you can’t clean it up. There is nothing with which we can suck up radiation.”

Once in the atmosphere­once having been emitted from a nuclear plant through routine operation or in an accident­“that radiation is out there killing living tissue whether it be plant, animal or human life and causing illness and death.”

What about the claim by the nuclear industry and promoters of nuclear power within the federal government of a “new generation” of nuclear power plants that would be safer? The only difference, said the engineer, is that it might be a “different kind of gun­but it will have the same bullets: radioactivity that kills.”

The engineer said “I’d like to see every nuclear plant shut down­yesterday.”

In announcing the agreement on the closing of Indian Point, Governor Cuomo described it as a “ticking time bomb.” There are more of them. Nuclear power overall remains, as the experienced engineer from the nuclear industry said, a “ticking time bomb.”

And every nuclear power plant needs to be shut down.

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Karl Grossman
Karl Grossman is an author for NationofChange.

Latest Headlines from ENENews: Fukushima radiation contaminates West Coast fish

January 11, 2017

Fukushima radiation contaminates West Coast fish — “Fears the country’s food chain is polluted… a terrifying discovery” — Scientist: “It appears plume has spread throughout vast area from Alaska to California” — CBS: Bulk of radiation has yet to make it’s way across Pacific (VIDEO)
Posted: 10 Jan 2017 08:45 AM PST
. . . → Read More: Fukushima radiation contaminates West Coast fish — “Fears the country’s food chain is polluted… a terrifying discovery” — Scientist: “It appears plume has spread throughout vast area from Alaska to California” — CBS: Bulk of radiation has yet to make it’s way across Pacific (VIDEO)