Nuclear Energy, Low-Level Radiation,
Radon and Irradiated Foods

This page is a spin-off from the environmental false alarms page.

In my opinion, nuclear reactors would be plentiful and electricity would be surprisingly cheap, were it not for the environmentalists' lawsuits, the wasted time and effort due to the labor unions, and the government's stringent regulations.  Countries such as France and Japan seem to have no problem generating electricity this way.  Chernobyl was a problem because the Russians tried to cut costs (using a graphite core — how primitive!) and didn't have adequate safety features in place.

On another nearby page, I've pointed out that environmentalists oppose every practical source of energy, including nuclear energy of course, but also including oil, coal, and natural gas.  Radical left-wing environmentalists — many of whom are literally earth-worshipping hippies — prefer to depend on windmills and solar cells; but unfortunately, the wind doesn't always blow at 20 mph and quite often the sun doesn't shine when it's really needed.

President Obama is playing along with the country's most rabid environmentalists, because he abhors capitalism as much as they do, and capitalism depends upon abundant energy supplies.


Subsections on this page:

Nuclear energy

A few words about Uranium

The Yucca Mountain storage facility

Low-level radiation and other concerns

Irradiated foods

Radon



Nuclear energy:

Why the Greens Hate Nuclear Power.  Let's stretch our imaginations for a moment and assume that the left is right that global warming will bring apocalyptic warming by the end of the century and that the only way to save the planet from extinction is to stop using fossil fuels right now.  That will be a spectacular disruption to world economic prosperity, because cheap fossil fuels account for about two-thirds of all electric power generation and at least 80 percent of transportation fuel.  But if we did stop using fossil fuels, what would make the most sense as a mass-scale substitute to coal, natural gas and oil?  What could reduce carbon emissions while also keeping energy affordable and reliable?  If you answered "wind and solar power," you flunk.

Getting more coal and nuclear power on the grid should be a priority.  Nearly 100 people are back to work in Pennsylvania, where the newly opened Corsa Coal Corporation's Acosta Mine in Somerset County, Pa. will produce 400,000 tons of coal annually for 15 years.  President Trump vowed to end the war on coal and prioritize job growth, this mine opening shows he is already on his way to making this dream a reality.  Trump praised the mine's opening in the Rose Garden while he announced the United States withdrawal from the Paris Climate Accord, the gesture was meant to highlight Trump's focus on returning jobs and stable energy to the nation over environmental policy.  President Trump could not have selected a more pressing time to make this announcement, as weakening infrastructure in our nations power grid has halted economic growth and placed our entire country at greater risk for rolling blackouts.

Pitting Wind and Solar Against Nuclear Power.  Nuclear power isn't just the third-largest source of electricity in the US; it is by far our largest producer of zero-emission power:  3.5 times the output of wind in 2016 and 22 times solar.  A large drop in nuclear power is simply not compatible with the desire to continue cutting US emissions.  Environmental groups like EDF are reaching similar conclusions.  Nuclear's scale is even more of a factor when it comes to considering what could replace it.  For example, it takes the output of about 2,000 wind turbines of 2 megawatts (MW) each — roughly half of the 8,203 MW of new US wind installations last year — to equal the annual energy production of a single typical nuclear reactor.

The War on Affordable Electricity.  Safe, reliable, and affordable power is a crucial partof a strong and growing economy.  The dependability and general affordability of electricity here in U.S. is a significant component of our historically robust economy.  But recently, a vocal and active few here in New Mexico are part of a coordinated, nationwide effort to severely restrict our ability produce economical and reliable power.

A new twist on fusion power could help bring limitless clean energy.  In a world struggling to kick its addiction to fossil fuels and feed its growing appetite for energy, there's one technology in development that almost sounds too good to be true: nuclear fusion.  If it works, fusion power offers vast amounts of clean energy with a near limitless fuel source and virtually zero carbon emissions.  That's if it works.  But there are teams of researchers around the world and billions of dollars being spent on making sure it does.

New York's Indian Point nuclear plant to close by 2021.  The aging Indian Point nuclear power plant just north of New York City will close within about four years under a deal with Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who has long argued it should be shuttered to protect the millions of people living nearby.

New York will pay big for Cuomo's Indian Point shutdown.  Gov. Cuomo just struck a deal to shutter the nuclear reactors at the Indian Point Energy Center by 2021.  Cuomo has been agitating to close the plant for years.  But his win is a loss for New Yorkers who need reliable and affordable electricity.  The shutdown also contradicts Cuomo's push to cut the state's greenhouse-gas emissions.  Other than that, it's a great deal.

America Needs More Nuclear Power, Not Less.  Since 2012, 13 nuclear plants have been shuttered or will be retired prematurely — and their energy production replaced almost entirely with fossil fuels.  Natural gas is now fueling more than half of the electricity production in a number of big states, including California, Florida, Massachusetts and Texas.  An unintended result is that we are becoming increasingly reliant on a single fuel that is a major source of carbon dioxide and methane emissions that pollute the atmosphere.  As a result, greenhouse-gas emissions from electricity production are likely to increase in the years ahead, millions of households and businesses are paying more for electricity, and in some parts of the country electricity reliability is in jeopardy.  In California, where two reactors have been shuttered and another two are scheduled to be shut down prematurely, people are being urged to use less electricity and to expect possible power shortages this summer.

The Nuclear War Over Climate Change.  If you're concerned about climate change, it would be perverse to fight a technology that can supply copious quantities of no-carbon energy 24 hours a day — right?  Well, when it comes to nuclear power, lots of leading environmental activists are indulging in just such perversion. [...] Existing nuclear power plants are extraordinarily efficient, producing electricity at an average cost of $35.50 per megawatt-hour.  (The average U.S. household consumes about 11 megawatt-hours in a year.)  Due to low natural gas prices, wholesale electricity prices in the Northeast fell below $20 per megawatt-hour during some months in 2015.  In addition, nuclear power generators must compete with electricity produced by highly subsidized renewable energy sources.

Renewables are useless: The Evidence is Overwhelming.  There is no evidence that renewables in their current form are a viable replacement for fossil fuels.  But there is plenty of evidence that nuclear power delivers results.  Nuclear power, the zero emission alternative to renewables, has been economically supplying 75% of France's power since the 1970s.  Nuclear power works, and works well.  France demonstrated by doing, that mass production and economies of scale makes nuclear power affordable.  If the whole world copied what France did in the 1970s, by 2030 the world could cut billions of tons of CO2 emissions, without destroying the global economy.

New York Nuclear Plant Restarts, Environmentalists Object.  On June 16, 2016, the Indian Point Unit 2 nuclear reactor restarted, despite objections from environmentalists, after a routine planned maintenance shutdown.  During the maintenance, inspectors had found a small number of bolts had degraded that fasten plates that direct cooling water.  Two bolts had failed entirely.  Degradation of these particular bolts was not unexpected; it's a well-known and well-studied issue that was first identified in European reactors.  Indian Point replaced the bolts after finding no additional damage. [...] Anti-nuclear-energy groups had used the planned shutdown and the degraded bolts found during Indian Point's inspection to petition the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) to prevent Indian Point from restarting.  NRC

Low Energy.  [Scroll down]  That's the irony of the green energy movement.  Even if the significant scientific hurdles can be overcome for things like solar and wind, the greens will scuttle the projects anyway.  The same people banging their tom-toms over coal and oil are out blocking the so-called green alternatives.  Nuclear, which has the most promise in terms of "clean" energy, has been stalled for generations now.  Gen-IV reactors are extremely safe and productive.  If not for the greens, we could have all our electric from nuclear, but that will never happen.  No one reading this will live to see the day when America is getting the bulk of its electric from nuclear.  Your children and grandchildren will not live to see it.  The most optimistic estimate puts the window for the change to nuclear well past mid-century.

Despite Solar and Wind, We Still Need Nuclear Power.  If you are concerned about climate change, then you should take note of this:  Over the last eight months, utilities from New York to Nebraska have announced plans to shutter six nuclear reactors by 2019.  These closures will come on the heels of earlier ones — five reactors have been shuttered in the last three years alone.  The latest closure announcement came earlier this month when Exelon Corp., the country's largest nuclear-energy producer, said it would close three reactors at two sites in Illinois by 2018.  The six targeted reactors have been safely producing about 40 terawatt-hours of zero-carbon-emissions electricity per year (one terawatt-hour equals 1 billion kilowatt-hours).  These reactors' output exceeds the amount of zero-carbon electricity produced annually by every solar energy installation in the nation.  (Last year, American solar output totaled 38.6 terawatt-hours.)  Even with solar installations growing at a rapid rate, we won't add enough solar capacity anytime soon to make up for the clean nuclear energy we are about to lose.

Study Shows Why U.S. Nuclear Power Costs Are High: Standardized Design Is Key.  [Scroll down]  Jessica Lovering, director of energy at The Breakthrough Institute and one of the authors of the report, says one of the things other countries do differently than the United States is use a standardized design, which is important because producing large numbers of identical units is cheaper than producing one-off nuclear plants, each with individualized designs.  "The French fleet of 58 reactors falls into four major designs, whereas the U.S. fleet of 100 reactors falls into 50-plus designs," Lovering said.  "Regulatory designs spurred by the Three Mile Island accident caused delays and cost overruns, as new safety features were retrofitted into under-construction plants.  [The] lack of standard designs exacerbated this problem; every plant had to meet the new safety regulations in a different way, as they were all different designs."  The study's authors say other countries also build multiple reactors at a single site, spreading the overhead costs, such as costs for a control room, security, transmission, and emergency planning, across multiple power-generating units.  "Many sites in the United States only have one reactor," Lovering said.  "By contrast, Korea and China are building six to eight at each site.  "Building the same reactor [repeatedly], in close pairs or quadruplets, also helps to keep costs down, as the workforce gains experience with the same design and benefits from using the same equipment."

Renewed Interest In Nuclear Power.  American nuclear energy plants contribute $60 billion annually to the U.S. gross domestic product, according to the Brattle report.  Even while operating in a constrained regulatory environment for decades, the U.S. nuclear industry accounts for nearly 475,000 full-time jobs, and nuclear energy provides almost 20 percent of the nation's electricity.  In addition, energy generated from nuclear plants "prevents 573 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions," the Brattle economists state.  The report also notes nuclear power has a very small carbon footprint, a favorite metric touted by the Obama administration.  For those concerned about carbon emissions, the generation of carbon-free electricity from nuclear power plants should be a high priority today, the authors say.

For Sustainable Energy, Choose Nuclear.  Energy based on nuclear fission has many of the same advantages and none of the disadvantages of solar and wind:  it emits no carbon dioxide (CO2) and is practically inexhaustible.  Nuclear does have special problems; but these are mostly based on irrational fears.  A major problem for solar/wind is intermittency — while nuclear reactors operate best supplying reliable, steady base-load power.  Intermittency can be partially overcome by providing costly "stand-by" power, at least partly from fossil fuels.  But nuclear also has special problems (like the care and disposal of spent fuel) that raise its cost — and inevitably lead to more emission of CO2.  Such special problems make any cost comparison with solar/wind rather difficult and also somewhat arbitrary.

Energiewoopsie, Or, What Happens When You Dump Nuclear Power.  The greens have been aflutter for years about Germany's energiewende, or "energy revolution," partly because it involves a lot of their sacred windmills and solar panels and partly because it's a revolution man, so dig it!  Better put the patchouli-infused hemp robes away for the moment, because Germany is backpedalling fast.

How Do You Fight Green Dogma?  A week ago we came across the welcome news that some "blue chip" environmental groups were reportedly rethinking their staunch and increasingly irrational opposition to nuclear power.  According to a Wall Street Journal article published last week, the Sierra Club and the Environmental Defense Fund were both undergoing internal debates about the eco-merits of nuclear power.  But the Sierra Club's executive director, Michael Brune, wrote in to the WSJ to flatly deny that any such sober reflection was ongoing.

More evidence that renewables alone don't cut it.  If there was any rational scientific, engineering and economic logic underpinning Australia, it would be building best-of-breed nuclear power stations.  It's tectonically stable, has huge amounts of uninhabited space to store waste and vast reserves of resources that it almost always ships offshore for other to do the value adding that comes from refining ores.

3 Ways Small Modular Reactors (SMRs) Overcome Existing Barriers to Nuclear.  Last week, the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) submitted the first-ever permit application to the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) for a small modular nuclear reactor.  The TVA's application comes as a huge milestone in the pathway of small modular reactors (often abbreviated SMRs) from the laboratory to the marketplace, and brings a glimmer of hope to the future of nuclear power in the United States.

Germany spars with Belgium over ageing nuclear plants.  Belgium on Wednesday [4/20/2016] rejected a request by Germany to shutter two ageing nuclear plants near their shared border, arguing the facilities met with the strictest safety standards.  German Environment Minister Barbara Hendricks earlier on Wednesday requested that the 40-year-old Tihange 2 and Doel 3 reactors be turned off "until the resolution of outstanding security issues".  In response, Belgium's official nuclear safety agency (AFCN) said the two plants "respond to the strictest possible safety requirements."

Exelon Again Threatens to Close Nuclear Plant, Unless Taxpayers Subsidize Operations.  Having failed to get cash-strapped Illinois to provide new state subsidies for three nuclear plants it claimed are losing money in 2015, Exelon, a utility with the largest fleet of nuclear plants in the United States, is once again seeking expanded taxpayer support from state legislators.  Crain's Chicago Business news reports Exelon has informed Illinois Gov.  Bruce Rauner (R) and Republican leaders in both chambers of Illinois' legislature it will close its Southern Illinois Clinton nuclear plant if it does not receive new financial support from the state in 2016.

Why renewable energy is a worse option than nuclear.  There is a strange belief in the new green religion that "renewable" always means "good".  It doesn't.  Slave labour is a form of renewable energy but is far from good.  Wood is renewable but the burning of trees for firewood is causing environmental calamity in Africa.  Solar and wind energy are both excellent for many applications such as solar water-heating, windmills on Karoo farms and the provision of small amounts of electricity in remote households, clinics and schools.  But they are bad for generating grid electricity — bad for the environment and bad for the economy.  The Western Cape provides a good demonstration of energy realities.  About 30km north of Cape Town is Koeberg Nuclear Power Station; a further 30 km north is the Darling Wind Farm.  A comparison of the two is instructive.

Federal Control of Nuclear Waste Hamstrings Industry.  The nuclear power industry in the United States has been held back by a dysfunctional, federally controlled, centrally planned system of nuclear waste management, say the authors of a new study by The Heritage Foundation.  The report says the bipartisan Senate bill aimed at reforming nuclear waste management, The Nuclear Waste Administration Act, fails to address core issues plaguing the treatment of spent nuclear fuel.  The Heritage Foundation study, titled "Fooled Again: The Nuclear Waste Administration Act Preserves Futile Status Quo," notes commercial nuclear plants provide 19 percent of the nation's electrical power without emitting any carbon dioxide.

Bill McKibben and Nuclear Power  Bill McKibben, a writer for The New Yorker, has emerged as the leader of the popular movement to get us to give up fossil fuels.  He is the founder of 350.org, which is intent on returning the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere to 350 parts per million (it just passed 400). [...] After McKibben gave his rousing speech to an enthusiastic audience, I was able to grab him for a moment in back of the little makeshift stage.  I asked him about nuclear power.  He admitted that nuclear was going to be necessary if we were ever to reduce the amount of carbon in the atmosphere.  "Why don't you come out favorably in public for nuclear power, then?" I asked.  He surveyed the hillside, almost half the people crusading against Vermont Yankee.  "If I came out in favor of nuclear," he said, "it would split this movement in half."

5 Factual Errors In The NAACP's $5 Billion Demand For 'Climate Justice'.  [#2] Nuclear reactors "spew" radiation.  The radiation risks of nuclear power are massively overestimated, recent studies show.  Nuclear reactors are remarkably safe, even in a worst case scenario.  Worries about radiation from nuclear power plants have no "scientifically valid support," Carol S. Marcus, a professor of nuclear medicine at UCLA, told The Wall Street Journal.  Other scientists have shown that radiation is far less dangerous than current regulations assume.

California nuclear reactors face uncertain future.  The issues in play at Diablo Canyon range from a long-running debate over the ability of structures to withstand earthquakes — one fault runs 650 yards from the reactors — to the possibility PG&E might be ordered by state regulators to spend billions to modify or replace the plant's cooling system, which sucks up 2.5 billions of gallons of ocean water a day and has been blamed for killing fish and other marine life.

Costs of the Failure to Go Nuclear — Part 1.  There is no such thing as an infinitely sustainable steady state for an economic process.  To exist an economy must continually generate and implement scientific and technological progress.  Without this progress an economy will become entropic, drawing down resource supplies and requiring an increasing physical cost to society to produce and provide the capital goods needed by society.  Perhaps one of the clearest examples is the failure of the US economy to fully embrace the revolutionary transition to nuclear power.

Electricity from New Wind is Four Times More Costly than Existing Nuclear.  Today [6/30/2015], the Institute for Energy Research released a first-of-its-kind study calculating the levelized cost of electricity from existing generation sources.  Our study shows that on average, electricity from new wind resources is nearly four times more expensive than from existing nuclear and nearly three times more expensive than from existing coal.  These are dramatic increases in the cost of generating electricity.  This means that the premature closures of existing plants will unavoidably increase electricity rates for American families.

Nation's Largest Nuclear Power Plant Operator Seeks State Subsidies.  The nation's largest nuclear power plant operator, Exelon Corp., is strong-arming state legislators in its home state of Illinois.  The utility is unreasonably demanding "taxpayer bailouts," state subsidies, and new regulatory restrictions on its lower-cost electricity generating competitors.  If these shrill ultimatums are not met, Exelon threatens to shutter three of its six nuclear power plants in Illinois

Nuclear Energy vs. Wind and Solar.  If you think you can run the country on wind and solar, more power to you.  It's an attractive idea, but before you become married to it, you should cuddle up with a calculator and figure out exactly what the long-term relationship entails.

An Open Letter to Environmentalists on Nuclear Energy.  Although renewable energy sources like wind and solar will likely make increasing contributions to future energy production, these technology options face real-world problems of scalability, cost, material and land use, meaning that it is too risky to rely on them as the only alternatives to fossil fuels.  Nuclear power — being by far the most compact and energy-dense of sources — could also make a major, and perhaps leading, contribution.

Nuclear should be in the energy mix for biodiversity.  Leading conservation scientists from around the world have called for a substantial role for nuclear power in future energy-generating scenarios in order to mitigate climate change and protect biodiversity.  In an open letter to environmentalists with more than 60 signatories, the scientists ask the environmental community to "weigh up the pros and cons of different energy sources using objective evidence and pragmatic trade-offs, rather than simply relying on idealistic perceptions of what is 'green' ".

Dems Pushing Through Nuclear Commission Nominee Who Recently Visited His First Nuke Energy Plant.  Republicans on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee remain annoyed that Democrats are pressing ahead with the appointment of Jeff Baran to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission without a confirmation hearing before the full panel.  The nomination made it through the committee on Dec. 2.  The 10 affirmative votes in Baran's favor came from Democrats.  Republicans did not attend the session — all voted no by proxy.

Renewable Energy Will Never Work, But Can Nuclear?  Via the indispensable Watts Up With That? come two of the most interesting articles I have read in a very long time.  The first is by two Google engineers who were charged with thinking creatively about how to replace fossil fuels with renewables.  After four years, Google shut down the project.  The engineers concluded that it simply couldn't be done: [...] Note that these engineers are not climate skeptics; they assume that the global warming theory is true.  On that assumption, renewable energy simply can't make a significant difference.

Nuclear Energy: The Once and Future Power Source.  To say the nuclear industry has had highs and lows in the last 35 years is an understatement.  The "atoms for peace" that were intended to wean Planet Earth off fossil fuels, make Western nations energy independent, and provide a clean environment all but screeched to a halt after the disasters at Three Mile Island in 1979 and Chernobyl in 1986. [...] In the United States, nearly all of the currently active nuclear power plants were built 40 years ago or more.  We'd gone almost 30 years without seeing any new ones built.  Now, five reactors are under construction, with one close to coming online, and many more are receiving licenses to operate for another 20 years.  After four plant closures since 2013, the United States has 100 working reactors with clear support from the American public.

Technology revolution in nuclear power could slash costs below coal.  Scientists in Britain, France, Canada, the US, China and Japan have already designed better reactors based on molten salt technology that promise to slash costs by half or more, and may even undercut coal.  They are much safer, and consume nuclear waste rather than creating more.  What stands in the way is a fortress of vested interests.  The World Nuclear Industry Status Report for 2014 found that 49 of the 66 reactors under construction — mostly in Asia — are plagued with delays, and are blowing through their budgets.

EPA Forced To Retreat On Radiation Limits.  [Jon] Utley documented how the Fukushima, Japan earthquake, tsunami, and subsequent nuclear power plant meltdown illustrated through adversity how safe nuclear power is.  Unjustified radiation fears proved deadly in the aftermath of the 2011 earthquake and tsunami that shut down the Fukushima nuclear power facility.  The earthquake and tsunami killed more than 15,000 people, but the nuclear power plant meltdown killed no one and did not cause a single serious illness.  Tragically, however, 1,600 people died during a chaotic and unnecessary evacuation of the region in response to overhyped fears of nuclear radiation.

Greens are the enemies of energy.  Events such as the 1979 partial meltdown at Three Mile Island and the 1986 Chernobyl disaster raised understandable fears.  The Greens began opposing nuclear energy claiming that radiation would kill millions in the event of a meltdown.  This simply is not true.  Unlike France that reprocesses spent nuclear fuel, President Carter's decision to not allow reprocessing proved to be very detrimental, requiring repositories for large quantities.  To this day, one of the largest, Yucca Mountain Repository, authorized in 1987, is opposed by Greens.  Even so, it was approved in 2002 by Congress, but the funding for its development was terminated by the Obama administration in 2011.  Today there are only four new nuclear power plants under construction and, in time, all one hundred existing plants will likely be retired starting in the mid-2030s.

Energy Sources, Costs and Global Warming.  Last month the Wall Street Journal (8/18/12) published a breakdown of federal subsidies for electric power production, citing the U.S. Dept. of Energy and the Institute for Energy Research as sources.  Here is the comparison of subsidy costs per megawatt hour:

  Fuel Type              $ Subsidy per megawatt hour
  Oil and Gas            $0.64
  Coal                    0.64
  Hydropower              0.82
  Nuclear                 3.14
  Wind                   56.29
  Solar                 775.64
Solar and wind are horrendously more expensive, but they are the fuels favored by the Obama administration.  The fossil fuels (oil, gas and coal) are by far the most economic.  Nuclear power is the next most efficient power source, but no new nuclear power plants have been [built] in the U.S. for thirty years.  Obama says nuclear power has a place in his energy program, but he has effectively eliminated it.

Environmentalism 'has become a religion' says Gaia Theory's Godfather of Green.  Environmentalism has become a "religion" — and "religions don't worry too much about facts" says scientist James Lovelock, father of the modern green movement.  Interviewed in the Guardian on the day of the IPCC's latest report, Lovelock also praises nuclear power as "an extraordinary gift to humans" and dismisses criticisms of it as "propaganda".

Kitty litter switch may have caused leak at New Mexico nuclear waste dump, report says.  A mysterious radiation release that has indefinitely shuttered the federal government's only permanent nuclear waste dump may have been caused by a change in the type of kitty litter that is mixed with the toxic waste.

To Balance Energy Demand, We Need Nuclear Power.  Nationally, since 1995, the United States has built 342,000 megawatts of gas-fired power capacity, approximately 75% of all capacity additions.  But coal and nuclear power account for only 6% of the total.  Looking forward, at least 50,000 megawatts of gas capacity is expected to be added by 2020.  But less than 10,000 megawatts of new coal and nuclear capacity is expected to be added by 2020, a negligible amount, because approximately 100,000 megawatts of generating capacity — much of it coal — will be retired this decade.  Long-term energy fundamentals support continued reliance on and expansion of nuclear power.

'Mini-nukes' beat monster wind farms on every count.  As the shambles of Britain's energy policy and soaring bills continues to make shock headlines, many in the south-west of England are staring in angry amazement at plans by foreign-owned firms to build two of the largest offshore wind farms in the world just off their coastlines.  The German power company RWE hopes to spend £4 billion on its "Atlantic Array", covering 125 square miles of sea between Devon and South Wales with 240 vast 5 MW turbines, more than 600 ft high.

No two nuclear power plants are alike.
Why nuclear power costs so much.  [N]uclear power in the west has been on a journey of relentless cost inflation for several decades.  As the late great nuclear physicist Bernard Cohen explained in a book in 1990, the reason the west stopped building nuclear plants in the 1980s was not the fear of accidents, leaks or the proliferation of waste; it was the escalation of costs driven by regulation.  Labour costs shot up as more and more professionals had to be employed signing off paperwork; and according to one study, during the 1970s alone new regulatory requirements increased the quantity of steel per megawatt by 41%, concrete by 27%, piping by 50% and electrical cable by 36%.  As the regulation ratchet tightened, builders added features to anticipate rule changes that sometimes did not happen.  Tight regulations forced them to lose the habit of on-the-spot innovation to solve unanticipated problems, which further drove up costs and delays.

Nuclear power vs wind farms
Nuclear power vs wind farms: the infographic the Government doesn't want you to see.  Hat-tip to our Energy Correspondent Emily Gosden for this Department of Energy & Climate Change infographic.  It was deleted from Gov.uk this week "because of sensitivities", according to a DECC press officer. [...] It turns out that the Renewable Energy Association called it "unhelpful" in a press release, pleading that "as Ed Davey stressed... it is not an either/or choice".

I'll Take Sweden.  [Scroll down]  Sweden does indeed have the lowest rate of carbon emissions in Europe, 5.3 metric tons per capita as opposed to 6.1 in France, 8.1 in Austria, 10.5 in Norway and 17.2 in the United States.  Why?  Because Sweden gets 42 percent of its electricity from nuclear power.  In Europe, this is second only to France's 75 percent.  In a county the size of California and with a population smaller than North Carolina, Sweden has 10 operating reactors and two more held in reserve.  Illinois, our most intensely nuclear state, has only 11 reactors with a 25 percent larger population.

Entergy to Close Vermont's Only Nuclear Power Plant.  Entergy Corp. (ETR) will permanently shut its Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant in 2014 after battling for years with state officials to keep the 41-year-old reactor in service.  The decision to shut Vermont's only operating reactor was based on natural gas prices, the high cost of running the single-unit plant and "artificially low" power prices in the region, New Orleans-based Entergy said in a statement today.

The Editor says...
Energy prices are not "artificially low" if they are determined by the laws of supply and demand.

Nuclear Power's New Friends?  Watch Al Gore's movie An Inconvenient Truth, and you'll hear not a word about nuclear, pro or con... but you will see a nuclear weapon being detonated in glorious color.  The disdain is not at all subtle.  But suddenly, some environmentalists are publicly embracing nuclear power.  A new movie is out, Pandora's Promise, featuring five prominent people from the movement telling their stories about how they came to embrace nuclear power because it remains a workable alternative to fossil fuel use, at least for electric generation.

Edison will close San Onofre nuclear plant.  Southern California Edison announced Friday it would shut down the troubled San Onofre nuclear power plant.  The move comes 17 months after the San Onofre plant was closed because of problems in steam generator systems.  The plant powered about 1.4 million households in Southern California before the outage.

Navajo Plans to Block Access for Uranium Transport.  A uranium mining company seeking a mineral lease on state land in northwestern Arizona could have a hard time transporting the ore off-site because of the Navajo Nation's objections to an industry that left a legacy of death and disease among tribal members.

BLS Green Jobs Report: Less Than Meets the Eye.  [Scroll down]  Since nuclear power generation emits no particulates or oxides of sulfur or nitrogen (or carbon dioxide) it should be considered a green energy source.  However, no new plants have been both licensed and built in the past 30 years.  Though two construction operations licenses have recently been issued, the green jobs noted above are associated with current power generation, so those jobs are clearly not the result of any green energy or green jobs programs.  Plus, the Obama Administration has stalled and nearly killed Yucca Mountain without offering an alternative for nuclear waste disposal.

Is it safe? Radioactive Japanese wave nears US.  In the wake of the deadly tsunami that hit Japan in 2011 and severely damaged a nuclear reactor, Japanese officials say the levels of radiation are safe for everyone outside the reactor area itself. [...] "There should be no concern among Americans, of any age or location," Gilbert Ross, executive director of the American Council on Science and Health, told FoxNews.com.  "If you want to list health concerns that Americans should worry about, start with the real killers — drunk driving and smoking," Ross said.

Fukushima Radiation Proves Less Deadly Than Feared.  Since the earthquake, a powerful movement gained momentum to halt Japan's use of nuclear energy, which provided 30 percent of the country's electricity.  The last of 54 nuclear reactors was shut down in May 2012.  Two facilities were restarted in June 2012; 52 remain shut.  Japan has therefore had to increase its imports of natural gas, low-sulfur crude oil and fuel oil at a substantial economic and environmental cost.  Seventy-five percent of the country's electricity now comes from fossil fuels.  Accustomed to large trade surpluses, Japan, in 2012, had a record $78 billion trade deficit, thanks to increased energy imports and a drop in exports as Japanese goods became more expensive to produce.

US Navy sailors seek £600m damages from owners of Fukushima nuclear power plant.  Dozens of American sailors who assisted Japan during the 2011 nuclear disaster are suing the operators of Fukushima power plant for more than £612 million (US$1bn) in damages, claiming that they have become sick from radiation exposure.  The sailors were on board the USS Ronald Reagan super-carrier when it was diverted to northeast Japan following the devastation of the March 11, 2011 earthquake which triggered a tsunami and subsequent nuclear disaster.  As they helped rescue victims and evacuate disaster zones, the claimants allege that they drank, bathed and waded through water contaminated with radiation from the damaged nuclear power plant and were reportedly exposed to radioactive plumes.

Navy Lieutenant: Power Plant Mission Ruined My Health.  A historic earthquake and tsunami struck Japan, causing a nuclear power meltdown.  The U.S. Navy rushed in to help, but are those sailors now paying the price?  Nearly 100 believe that mission ruined their health.  Vic Carter reports a Navy lieutenant from Maryland who can no longer walk is demanding someone take responsibility for what's happened.

Last chance to protest before the EU snuffs out thorium energy in Europe.  Just as China, Japan, India, Russia, Norway, and the US Academy of Sciences hone in on the tantalising prospect of safe, clean, and ultimately cheap energy from thorium nuclear reactors, the Europeans seem to be going in the opposite direction.

The Future Of Energy Is Nuclear.  [Scroll down]  Then there's Leslie Dewan and Mark Massie, MIT Phd candidates and co-founders of TransAtomic Power, have a plan for a reactor design that if rolled out nationwide could have the potential to power the entire country for 100 years and run on our existing mountain of nuclear waste. [...] In fact those old fuel rods still contain 95% of their radioactive energy, meaning that by Dewan's calculations America's stockpile of nuke "waste" could power the whole country for 100 years.

The Obama administration supports nuclear power — in India.
GE plans to make nuclear reactor parts in China.  Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is supporting a bid by General Electric to export jobs and nuclear technology to China by seeking assurances from Beijing that it will not steal or transfer valuable reactor technology, the Free Beacon has learned.  Clinton's support for a future deal with GE-Hitachi Nuclear Energy, a Wilmington, N.C., company, to make reactor vessels in China for a nuclear plant it hopes to build in India was disclosed in a cable sent Nov. 21 to the United States Embassy in Beijing.

Obama's War on Nuclear Power.  The Obama administration has shown, through words and deeds, a well-publicized antipathy toward domestic energy production from coal, oil, and natural gas.  What has received lesser public awareness is the administration's concurrent war on nuclear power.  No matter Obama's 2008 campaign's lukewarm endorsement of nuclear power, the administration's actions since 2009 have been anything but helpful to the production of nuclear power in this country.

Manufactured Doubt: The Campaign Against Nuclear Energy.  Nuclear electricity is a CO2 free technology with a proven track record of deployment.  For example, France generates 78% of its electrical power with nuclear plants.  France has the lowest pre-tax cost of electricity in Europe at 4.75 eurocents per KWH and France is the world's largest exporter of electricity.  There are large world reserves of uranium sufficient for hundreds of years, even without breeder technology.  Additionally, thorium, another radioactive mineral is in even more plentiful supply.

The Power Of Thorium.  One of the best kept secrets regarding alternative energy sources is based on an element most people have never heard of — thorium.

Nuclear's Dilemma: Few Jobs, Just Energy.  Nuclear energy has one great weakness.  It doesn't create many jobs.  All it creates is lots of energy.  And in the contest for which form of energy can employ the most people, that doesn't seem to count for much at all.

Judge Scraps License for Colorado Uranium Mill.  A state judge has struck down a license for a uranium mill issued by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.  In his much-anticipated ruling, Denver District Judge John McMullen said CDPHE did not allow adequate public comment before issuing a license to Energy Fuels, Inc. to operate the mill in rural Paradox Valley to process uranium for use in nuclear power plants.

Rare Earth and Uranium Mining Potential in the States.  Rare earth and uranium are crucial to modern life in the United States.  Rare earths are necessary for a wide array of products from iPhones to advanced medical support to defense equipment.  Uranium fuels 20 percent of our electricity.  Fortunately, the United States has the capacity to expand domestic production of both rare earths and uranium, which could reinvigorate our economy, add jobs and increase revenues to suffering state budgets.

A Tsunami of Exaggeration.  One of the current obsessions is how much debris from the tsunami in Japan last year — some of it possibly radioactive!!! — will be washing ashore in North America.  Usha Lee McFarling writes in the Los Angeles Times that we should all calm down.

Recycling Nuclear Fuel 101.  While a handful of American politicians are going around telling everyone that nuclear fuel recycling is a science that "isn't proven," the French, Japanese and British have been recycling for decades.

Leaked Emails Show 'Grossly Overestimated' Environmental Report to Back Up Mining Ban.  Republicans on the House Natural Resources Committee are demanding answers from Interior Secretary Ken Salazar about leaked emails showing that the administration lacked scientific justification for blocking uranium mining on one million acres of previously designated federal lands in Arizona.

Welcome to the Renewable Energy Future: A Lesson From Germany.  Blogger P. Gosselin credits this transformation of "Germany's once impeccably stable world-class power grid" with its "reckless and uncontrolled rush to renewable energies, wind and sun, all spurred on by a blind environmental movement and hysteria with respect to nuclear power."

Nuclear renaissance? More like nuclear standstill.  Modern nuclear power designs are safer, but that isn't enough to rekindle the long-sought nuclear renaissance.  One year after the Fukushima nuclear disaster, nuclear power is either slogging ahead or at the end of the road, depending on which country you live in.  How nuclear grows in the years ahead largely depends on whether new designs can demonstrate better safety and, more importantly, compete on price.

Siemens puts cost of nuclear exit at 1.7 trillion euros.  If Germany goes through with their foolish plan to phase out nuclear energy, this independent report concludes that it will cost them over two trillion dollars.

Germany's Energy Supply Transformation Has Already Failed.  A massive critique of Germany's failing energy policies by a PhD insider.

Inhofe: Obama Trying to Take Credit for 5,800 Nuclear Jobs While Having Covert Anti-Nuclear Agenda.  Senator James Inhofe (R-Okla.), Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, said that by sending Energy Secretary Steven Chu to Georgia today [2/15/2012] to tout the construction of two new nuclear reactors, President Obama is trying to take credit for 5,800 nuclear jobs, even though his Administration has a record of actively opposing nuclear power, and his own Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) Chairman, Greg Jaczko, opposed the license for these reactors.

Renewable Green Nuclear Energy: Here, Now.  In his recent State of the Union address, President Obama declared:  "I will not walk away from clean energy[.] ... After all, innovation is what America has always been about[.] ... This country needs an all-out, all-of-the-above strategy that develops every available source of American energy — a strategy that's cleaner, cheaper, and full of new jobs."  President Obama may not walk away from clean energy, but he has turned his back on an innovative American-made nuclear technology meeting all the above criteria and much more.

The Simple Physics of Nuclear Safety:  To create heat in a nuclear reactor, a U235 nucleus must absorb a slow neutron in order to split and give off heat.  To make neutrons more effective for splitting the uranium nuclei, they must be slowed down from the high velocities with which they are emitted.  This is done by a material we call a moderator, which will not absorb the neutrons but instead simply bumps them back into the uranium.  It turns out that the hydrogen in water is a near-perfect moderator.  Therefore, surrounding the fuel rods with water aids the reaction while simultaneously acting as a receiving reservoir for the heat, which will eventually create steam and turn a turbine to generate electricity.

Nuclear Power Plants Withstand Virginia Earthquake.  All 13 nuclear power plants in locations near the epicenter of the August 23 central Virginia earthquake safely withstood the strong tremors.  Operators temporarily shut down only one plant in response to the 5.8 magnitude earthquake.  Dominion Power shut down its North Anna reactors, located approximately 11 miles from the epicenter of the quake, for precautionary reasons in response to local power failures.  There was no damage to the safety systems at the North Anna site or any other nuclear power plant sites, according to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

Grand Canyon uranium put off-limits.  Interior Secretary Kenneth L. Salazar placed a 20-year moratorium Monday [1/9/2012] on new uranium mining claims in the Grand Canyon region over the objections of Western Republicans, who insisted the ban would deliver an unnecessary blow to the Northern Arizona economy. ... Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer and other Republicans immediately denounced the order, saying that it would cripple economic activity and energy production despite evidence that yellowcake uranium had been mined safely in the region for years.

Arizona Congressmen Fight Uranium Mining Ban.  Members of Congress from Arizona are squaring off with the Obama administration over uranium mining near the Grand Canyon.  Interior Secretary Ken Salazar has said he would like to impose a 20-year moratorium on new mining claims in 1.1 million acres of public forest land surrounding the Grand Canyon.

Nuclear Agency Chief Slammed In Report.  A report by a Republican lawmaker portrays a climate of fear and intimidation at the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, with staff and commissioners saying they are routinely rebuffed by a chairman who shuns debate and dissenting views.  The imperial style of Gregory Jaczko has complicated policy-making, according to the report released Tuesday [12/13/2011], including efforts to improve U.S. nuclear safety in the wake of Japan's nuclear accident at Fukushima in March.

Want To Be Carbon-Free? Bring On The Nukes.  A new study provides a road map to a carbon-free future.  Just one problem:  Something has to produce the juice for all those electric cars, and it can't be just the sun and the wind.

DOE Promotes Small Nuclear Reactors.  Department of Energy officials are promoting small modular reactors (SMRs) as a way to reinvigorate U.S. nuclear technology.  The federal government is likely to be the first domestic buyer of such technology, reducing the typical financing risk associated with anything nuclear.  DOE and other agencies can then use the new reactors to help meet President Barack Obama's goal of cutting the federal government's greenhouse gas emissions by 28 percent over the next decade.

A Nuclear Power Plant Cannot Produce a Nuclear Explosion.  [Scroll down to page 18]  Conventional power sources produce electricity by creating steam to power a turbine.  The turbine is attached to a generator, which creates electricity.  The heat that turns water into steam in most power plants is created by burning fossil fuel.  In the United States the fuel is usually coal or natural gas.  In some countries, such as Japan, oil is more frequently used.  In a nuclear power plant, the heat that turns water into steam is generated by a nuclear reactor, where natural radiation from nuclear fuel creates heat.  The heat produced in nuclear reactors also can be used for purposes other than generating electricity, such as propelling ships and submarines in our navy, giving them extensive range without refueling.  More than 200 such ships have been built.

Legal challenge to licensing of U.S. nuclear plants.  A group of 25 anti-nuclear organizations will file legal challenges today [8/10/2011] that aim to slam the brakes on licensing actions at the nation's commercial nuclear plants, based on preliminary reviews of the disaster at Japan's Fukushima plant this year.

Germany's Giant Green Reversal.  Last spring the German Government made a monumental declaration with all the pomp and circumstance included:  the country would phase out all its nuclear plants by 2022, shuttering 7 immediately in the wake of the Fukushima disaster and phasing out the rest of their 10 remaining plants as quickly as possible over the next ten years.  It took only 3 months for reality to rear its ugly head.

The Symptoms of Nuclear Hysteria.  A partial meltdown at Japan's Fukushima Dai-ichi plant as a result of the largest recorded earthquake to hit Japan has set off a renewed bout of nuclear hysteria.  Nuclear power is often held guilty until proven innocent.

Cores Damaged at Three Reactors.  Substantial damage to the fuel cores at two additional reactors of Japan's Fukushima Daiichi nuclear complex has taken place, operator Tokyo Electric Power Co. said Sunday [5/15/2011], further complicating the already daunting task of bringing them to a safe shutdown while avoiding the release of high levels of radioactivity.  The revelation followed an acknowledgment on Thursday that a similar meltdown of the core took place at unit No. 1.

Nuclear meltdown at Fukushima plant.  One of the reactors at the crippled Fukushima Daiichi power plant did suffer a nuclear meltdown, Japanese officials admitted for the first time today [5/13/2011], describing a pool of molten fuel at the bottom of the reactor's containment vessel.

The anti-nuclear lobby has misled us all.  Over the last fortnight I've made a deeply troubling discovery.  The anti-nuclear movement to which I once belonged has misled the world about the impacts of radiation on human health.  The claims we have made are ungrounded in science, unsupportable when challenged, and wildly wrong.  We have done other people, and ourselves, a terrible disservice.

Nuclear Power and Dread Risk.  [Scroll down]  Let's review a few facts regarding nuclear energy.  The biggest disaster in its remarkably safe history is the Chernobyl disaster, in which a shoddily built Soviet reactor of poor design — [it] didn't even have a containment dome! — and rotten maintenance experienced a core meltdown.  During the whole affair, two dozen workers died of radiation poisoning.  By comparison, the Fukushima plant disaster was not a problem of design.  The plant actually withstood the massive quake — a far more massive quake than it was designed to withstand, and one bigger than Japan had had in perhaps a thousand years.  What caused the coolant circulation failure was actually the tsunami that hit after the quake.  So far, two workers have died from the partial core melts.  And as of now, the amount of radioactive material released by the Fukushima reactors is at most one-tenth of that released at Chernobyl.

Pass the Plutonium.  For years we've lived with the impression that a nuclear meltdown is the equivalent of a nuclear bomb going off, killing thousands and leaving whole landscapes uninhabitable.  Now we've had one and look what's happened.  The fourth worst earthquake in history has failed to crack open the concrete containment and the difficulty arose only because the utility didn't have enough backup electricity on hand.

Understanding Radiation:  A primer on how radiation exposure is actually measured so that you can judge for yourself whether the figures coming from Fukushima are worrisome or not.

Japan's Nuclear Lesson: U.S. Needs Yucca Mountain Project.  An old, decrepit nuclear power plant in Japan, battered by earthquake and tsunami, burned and melted down, spewing radioactivity around the plant and panic across the world.  Yet not one person died from radiation poisoning.  Not one person anywhere.  Thanks to the design and construction of the plant and the brave workers who battled to save it.  Undeterred by this fact, American media went into Chicken Little mode.

Nuclear power is the low-carbon future.  Far from shaking faith in the nuclear industry, the Fukushima crisis should strengthen it.  The plant was hit by one of the most powerful earthquakes ever recorded and then engulfed by a tsunami, yet the impact has been contained and not a single person has died from radiation exposure.

A Glowing Report on Radiation.  A $10 million Department of Energy study from 1991 examined 10 years of epidemiological research by the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health on 700,000 shipyard workers, some of whom had been exposed to 10 times more radiation than the others from their work on the ships' nuclear reactors.  The workers exposed to excess radiation had a 24 percent lower death rate and a 25 percent lower cancer mortality than the non-irradiated workers.

Going bananas over radiation.  Many people fear radiation — sometimes the fear is irrational, based on the erroneous concept that we live radiation-free lives.  I'll never forget the time I showed my Geiger counter to a neighbor who was shocked when it started clicking.  She was horrified to learn that cosmic rays were in fact zipping right through her body right that very second.  I didn't have the heart to tell her about neutrinos.  But, along the same lines, this little factoid might drive some people "bananas" when they read it.  But, it illustrates a fact of life:  radiation is everywhere.  A banana equivalent dose (BED) is a concept occasionally used by nuclear power proponents to place in scale the dangers of radiation by comparing exposures to the radiation generated by a common banana.  Bananas are high in potassium, and naturally radioactive, due to the isotope potassium-40 they contain.  One BED is the radiation exposure received by eating a single banana.

The truth about Obama and nuclear power.  We have established that Obama's war on coal hinges on the assumption that 100 new nuclear reactors will be built in the U.S. in the next few years.  Without the power from those 100 new nuclear reactors, Obama's plan will cause the lights to go out.  You cannot rule out half of our electricity supply and pretend otherwise.  Now that that assumption is an even more obvious fiction, Obama's defenders are charging forth to say he does too support nuclear power.  And they point to his recent statement that, "Nuclear energy is an important part of our own energy future."  But that doesn't mean that he will promote any new reactors.  It just means that he knows he can't shut down the existing fleet, additions to which have been stalled since 1978.

The Nuke Scare.  The rhetoric [the Greens and the media are] using is designed to make the disaster seem much worse than it is, to find someone to pin things on, and to shift public opinion in the direction of shutting down all nuclear plants no matter what the circumstances.  Anybody who was around for Three Mile Island back in 1979 or Chernobyl in 1986 will recognize the cycle:  first hysteria, then accusations, then more hysteria, then demands to return to the pre-modern era.

Nuclear Overreactions:  After a once-in-300-years earthquake, the Japanese have been keeping cool amid the chaos, organizing an enormous relief and rescue operation, and generally earning the world's admiration.  We wish we could say the same for the reaction in the U.S., where the troubles at Japan's nuclear reactors have produced an overreaction about the risks of modern life and technology.  Part of the problem is the lack of media proportion about the disaster itself.

Nuclear power feeling new heat.  It will be days or weeks before the full extent is known of the damage to several Japanese nuclear reactors from the magnitude 9.0 quake. ... The oldest reactor at Fukushima I, the plant with the most danger of melting down, is 41 years old.  "Existing reactors are very safe," Spencer said.  "But each generation of nuclear reactors is even safer."  He said that, unlike earlier models, today's reactors include "passive safety mechanisms" that shut down automatically should problems arise.

A Meltdown Of Fearmongers.  If we drop oil exploration after Deepwater Horizon, coal mining after Chile and nuclear power after Fukushima, what's left?  A world without nuclear power would not be risk-free or cleaner.

A Little Energy is a Dangerous Thing.  Nuclear power is as dead as offshore oil drilling was after the BP gulf leak.  As dead as politicians want to make it.  But you can't kill an idea, just pass it on to someone else.  While the Washington Post wrings its black and white hands, China explores Thorium reactors.  Thorium may not be the solution, but giving up certainly isn't.

Another Three Mile Island.  [John] McGaha and other experts tell NRO that Americans are unduly afraid of nuclear energy — in part because of the media's disproportionate, distorted reporting on rare nuclear accidents like Three Mile Island and the recent problems in Japan.  McGaha says the most deadly consequence of Three Mile Island might have been how it delayed the advancement of nuclear technology in the U.S.

Time to stop nuke hysteria.  It's not bad enough that thousands of people may be dead from Japan's earthquake and devastating tsunami.  No, the media is instead obsessing over a nuclear reactor that has killed no one and probably never will.

Best Sources for Information On The Fukushima Nuclear Reactors:  Due to the exceptionally poor reporting and sensationalize in the mainstream press, readers are warned to take press reports, even those from otherwise reputable newspapers with a grain of salt.  Likewise, statements by politicians and commentators should not be viewed as necessarily being reliable.

Miniscule Levels Of Radioisotopes Found in Japanese Food.  As the situation at the Fukushima nuclear plants has begun to stabilize, a new threat to the economic recovery of Japan and the livelihood of Japanese farmers and exporters has begun to rear its ugly head.  Reports are now surfacing of food testing positive for radioisotopes traced to the core venting at Fukushima.

Scientists: Radiation in Japan food poses low risk.  Health risks to Japanese from eating foods contaminated with elevated levels of radiation are fairly low, scientists say.  The Japanese government has found radiation levels "significantly above" acceptable levels in milk, spinach and kakina, another leafy vegetable, produced near the damaged Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Station, the International Atomic Energy Agency said Monday.  Yet the government says the levels are still low enough that they pose no immediate threat to human health.

Fukushima Nuclear Accident — a simple and accurate explanation.  Along with reliable sources such as the IAEA and WNN updates, there is an incredible amount of misinformation and hyperbole flying around the internet and media right now about the Fukushima nuclear reactor situation.

Just sit in the dark.  For "progressives," few things are as virtuous as sacrifice.  Especially if it's someone else doing the sacrificing.  Thus, in the wake of Japan's nuclear crisis, you just know they'll be calling for less nuke power and greater energy-conservation efforts (preferably, by you).

Shameful media panic very slowly begins to subside.  The situation at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear powerplant in Japan, badly damaged during the extremely severe earthquake and tsunami there a week ago, continues to stabilise.  It is becoming more probable by the day that public health consequences will be zero and radiation health effects among workers at the site will be so minor as to be hard to measure.  Nuclear experts are beginning to condemn the international hysteria which has followed the incident in increasingly blunt terms.

Anti-Nuclear Press Puts Japanese Lives at Risk.  Japan currently faces a real emergency.  As a result of the earthquake and the ensuing tsunami, thousands of people are dead, and tens of thousands more are missing and may be trapped under rubble, severely injured, and in danger of death by thirst or suffocation.  There are over 500,000 people without shelter, with a blizzard on the way, and even the as-yet unscathed could soon face death from epidemics caused by thousands of unburied corpses.  At such a time, nothing could be more scandalous than the current campaign by much of the international press to spread panic over trivial emissions of radiological material from several disabled nuclear power stations.

How To Spur A Nuclear Revival In U.S..  Several years ago, much was heard about a "nuclear renaissance" in America.  After a nearly 30-year hiatus, the prospects of growing demand for electric power, likely caps on greenhouse gas emissions and sizable federal loan guarantees led the nation's utilities to express interest in building 28 new reactors.

Going Nuclear.  With the arrival of the Tea Party in Washington, a huge rift may be opening up over the future of nuclear power.  On the one hand, the Tea Party and new Republicans are foursquare in favor of energy development.  "Pass an All of the Above Energy Policy" was item No. 8 in the Contract from America.  "This would include off-shore oil drilling, clean coal, nuclear, renewable, and everything else," says Ryan Hecker, the Houston attorney who organized the document.  "The important thing is to develop domestic resources."

Clean Energy: The Nuclear Solution.  Nuclear technology was developed in the United States, but after many decades it only provides 20 percent of U.S. electricity, while coal provides nearly 50 percent.  The nuclear number would be much larger except for the hysteria over Three Mile Island and Chernobyl.  There are 104 operating commercial nuclear reactors in the United States, producing electricity 90 percent of the time.  There are more than 440 commercial reactor plants, spread out over 31 countries, that supply 16 percent of the world's electricity.  France generates approximately 80 percent of its electricity by nuclear.

On the other hand...
Nuclear Power In The Dock.  There are all sorts of reasons why banks are saying "no" to nuclear.  Two in particular, however, stand out.  First, nuclear energy is not even remotely competitive in power markets with gas-fired or coal-fired electricity now or in the foreseeable future.  Even the more optimistic projections of new nuclear power plant costs — such as those forwarded by MIT — find that nuclear's production costs over the lifetime of a new facility are about 30% above those for coal or natural gas-fired generators. ... Second, the risk of cost overruns and, thus, defaulted loans are higher than the politicians would have us believe.

Clean Energy:  The Nuclear Solution.  The single greatest technological advance in recorded history was when we learned to make heat and electricity by converting mass to energy in nuclear reactors.  This advance provided the safest, cleanest, and, except for hydropower, the most inexpensive and potentially most plentiful and useful energy in human history.  But the environmentalist lobby doesn't like nuclear any more than it does coal-fired generation, mainly because it works!  The alternatives they give are non-solutions.

Cap-And-Trick:  Contrary to Obama's assertions, our "addiction" to foreign oil no more caused the Deepwater Horizon oil spill than any addiction to nuclear energy caused the reactor accident at Three Mile Island. ... The irony is that if the incident at Three Mile Island had not similarly been exploited by environmentalists, we might not be so dependent on fossil fuels today.

Regulatory barriers to the expansion of nuclear power ought to be removed.  [Scroll down to page 25]  Nuclear power is an important part of the nation's energy portfolio.  Nuclear power plants generate approximately 20 percent of the electricity and 8.1 percent of all energy consumed in the U.S.  There are 103 active nuclear power plants in the U.S. and an additional 339 plants worldwide.  The U.S. has more nuclear power plants than any other nation, but some other nations rely more heavily on nuclear power than does the U.S.  France, for example, relies on nuclear power for 78 percent of its electricity.

France reaffirms its faith in future of nuclear power.  It looks like an ordinary building site, but for the two massive, rounded concrete shells looming above the ocean, like dusty mushrooms.  Here on the Normandy coast, France is building its newest nuclear reactor, the first in 10 years, costing $5.1 billion.  But already, President Nicolas Sarkozy has announced that France will build another like it.

U.S. on Sidelines of Global Nuclear Renaissance.  [Scroll down to page 18]  France already gets 80 percent of its power from nuclear and has the cheapest electricity in Europe, plus the second-lowest carbon emissions (behind Sweden, which derives half its electricity from nuclear power).  France also sells $80 billion worth of electricity to the rest of Europe each year.

A Future for Fusion?  [Scroll down]  Experimental fusion reactors release energy from light atoms by fusing their nuclei together to form heavier ones — as opposed to splitting atoms, the way today's commercial nuclear power stations do.  Thus, fusion is a safer alternative to today's nuclear power plants, [Steven] Cowley says.  The reaction only generates helium, an inert gas, as a byproduct.  The walls that capture the heat of the reaction periodically need replacing, but they can be disposed of as low-level radioactive waste or recycled in fusion reactors, he says.

Clean And Safe.  More than 100 Americans have died in coal mines since 1984.  Over that same period, not one American has died in a nuclear energy accident.  In fact, no American has ever been killed in an atomic energy accident — and that includes any sailor in a Navy that makes extensive use of nuclear fission to power its fleet.

The Economics of Nuclear Power:  [Scroll down]  In the case of Sweden, the low cost of nuclear and hydro power, and fairly smart regulation, made it possible to provide electricity to the industrial sector at perhaps the lowest price in the world.  This being the case, nothing is more offbeat than hearing about the subsidies paid the nuclear sector.  Cheap electricity meant the establishment of new enterprises, and just as important the expansion of existing firms.  The tax income generated by these activities, and used for things like health care and education, more than compensated taxpayers (in the aggregate) for any subsidies that might have been dispensed by the government.  An antithetical situation may prevail for wind and biofuels.

Nuclear plants are the answer for energy shortage.  For starters, producing nuclear-generated electricity is cheaper than any other major source of power.  Granted, the cost of building new nuclear plants is high, but comparatively low nuclear fuel costs yield a significant savings over a plant's lifetime.  According to the most recent data, the average cost of producing nuclear energy was 1.87 cents per kilowatt-hour, compared with 2.75 cents for coal, 8.09 cents for natural gas and 17.26 cents for petroleum.

The Economics of Nuclear Power:  New York State's denial of a renewal license for Entergy to continue operating the Indian Point nuclear power plant brings to light the obstacles impeding progress in the American nuclear industry. ...The non-competiveness of the U.S. market, hampered by layers of regulation, chokes progress and promise.

Comparison of capital cost of nuclear and solar power.  This paper compares the capital cost of three electricity generation technologies based on a simple analysis.  The comparison is on the basis that the technologies can supply the National Electricity Market (NEM) demand without fossil fuel back up. ... The three technologies compared are:  [1] Nuclear power; [2] Solar photo-voltaic with energy storage; and [3] Solar thermal with energy storage.

It's Always "Earth Hour" in North Korea.  [Electricity] is the difference between the Dark Age and the present age... but not for everyone.  Much of Africa is in darkness. too.  People who hate civilization and the humans who created it are welcome to live out in the wilderness or in some primitive backward country where they burn dung to cook their meals.  If America doesn't start building more coal-fired plants, nuclear plants, and other generators of electricity, we too shall live in darkness when the sun goes down.  Be warned, the present administration is doing everything possible to make that future happen.

Nuclear energy must be part of the equation.  Listen carefully in Washington, and almost everyone agrees that nuclear energy must be a part of our future domestic energy mix, and for good reason:  Nuclear energy is the world's largest source of carbon-free energy, generating over 70 percent of our emission-free electricity here in the U.S.  Nuclear energy is a clean, safe, reliable and domestic source of affordable energy that has created 15,000 new jobs in the last year.

Power to the People.  On a pound-for-pound basis, nuclear power is about a hundred million times as efficient as wind power.  And isn't being "green" supposed to bring about the most efficient use of natural resources?

Levelized Cost of New Electricity Generating Technologies.  Analysis shows wind and solar power are ridiculously expensive, compared to natural gas, coal and nuclear power.

Nuclear Power:  Wave Of The Past Or Future?  The U.S. may soon get its first nuclear reactor in more than 30 years.  UniStar Nuclear Energy — a joint venture between Baltimore-based Constellation Energy and the EDF Group — has proposed a new reactor for southern Maryland capable of generating 1,600 megawatts and powering 1.3 million homes twenty-four hours a day.  To put this in context, the largest wind power installation in the world, the Horse Hollow Wind Energy Center in Texas, generates 735 megawatts — but only when it's windy.

Unscientific American.  [Scroll down slowly] Then there's the business of uranium enrichment. Environmentalists love to argue that nuclear is actually more carbon-intensive because uranium enrichment requires such huge amount of electricity.  This is true in one respect.  The country's only operating uranium enrichment plant in Paducah, Kentucky requires 2,000 MW of electricity — supplied by two full-fledged coal plants.  But the plant employs World War II gas-diffusion technology.  The United States Enrichment Corporation's new laser enrichment plant in Ohio would consume only 5 percent as much electricity — except that the Obama Administration has mysteriously rejected its application for a $2 billion loan guarantee and work has been temporarily suspended.

Al Gore says nuclear power has limited role.  Markets should determine the role of nuclear power in the future, environmental campaigner and former US vice-president Al Gore says.  But he says nuclear power will only play a limited role in providing for the world's power needs because of the immense cost of building reactors.

The Economic Value of Clean Air Compliance at Nuclear Power Plants.  Nuclear energy is a reliable, low-cost, emission-free energy source.  Nuclear energy provides affordable electricity for consumers.  Nuclear energy is also a source of reliable, low-cost electricity that attracts and supports business and industry, creating jobs.  And, nuclear energy is emission-free.  These facts represents real economic value for states and regions that have nuclear power plants.  The nation's nuclear power plants provide emission-free electricity to one out of every five homes and businesses.

Bill requires doubling nuke use.  To satisfy House Democrats' low-cost solution to global warming, Americans would have to double their reliance on nuclear energy by 2030 — a target the nuclear industry says is unlikely and that many environmentalists and Democrats dislike.  That is the conclusion of a new Energy Information Administration report that looked at the House Democrats' global warming bill.

Bunker Mentality Won't Cut Energy Bills.  Clearly, we're shooting ourselves in the foot by excluding viable options.  Challenges of meeting federal air quality standards in Georgia mean new coal-fired power plants are mission impossible, as clean, cheap and efficient as they have become.  Campaigns to add the cleanest and most efficient of energy, nuclear energy, still elicit apocalyptic predictions, despite a near squeaky-clean record in countries such as France, with nearly 80 percent of electricity from nuclear power, and Japan, where nuclear energy is about one-third of the electricity supply.

Testimony on the Future of Nuclear Power:  For too long the nuclear industry has been a victim of scare tactics and outrageously false propaganda.  The truth about nuclear power is that it provides a viable and safe means for satisfying our growing need for electricity.  Continuous concerns over critical energy shortages in this country are sparking a renewed interest in nuclear power on the part of Americans who do not want to be left in the dark.

Nuclear Energy in the World Today:  One metric ton of nuclear fuel produces the energy equivalent of two to three million tons of fossil fuel.  A 1,000-megawatt electric (MWe) coal-fired power plant releases about 100 times as much radioactivity into the environment as a comparable nuclear plant, because radioactive material occurs naturally in coal and is emitted as a byproduct of coal-fired electricity generation.

Nuclear Power Is the Safest Energy Source, Studies Show.  Today's nuclear power technology, by any and every measure, provides the best safety performance and lowest risk of workplace accidents among all commonly utilized power sources.  Nuclear power plants are not at risk from terrorist attacks:  They do not offer exponential damage opportunities and they are the most fortified installations in the nation.

Over Time, Nuclear Power Skeptic Becomes Advocate.  Initially a skeptic about radiation and nuclear power, Gwyneth Cravens spent nearly a decade immersing herself in these subjects for her new book, Power to Save the World.  After visiting mines, experimental reactor laboratories, power plants, and remote waste sites, she changed her views about nuclear energy.  You name it, she investigated it.

Top 10 reasons to blame Democrats for soaring gasoline prices:  Even the French, who sometimes seem to lack the backbone to stand up for anything other than soft cheese, faced down their environmentalists over the need for nuclear power.  France now generates 79% of its electricity from nuclear plants, mitigating the need for imported oil.  The French have so much cheap energy that France has become the world's largest exporter of electric power.

Strangling the Energy Baby:  A pollution-free alternative for new electricity generation is, of course, nuclear fission.  While the cost of natural gas and oil will remain volatile, between 1990 and 1999 the cost of nuclear fuel decreased 46 percent.  The environmentalists, of course, have little to say about nuclear power plants that these days provide some twenty percent of our electricity needs.

Nuclear Power is Making a Worldwide Comeback.  According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration's "Annual Energy Outlook 2004," the demand for electricity in the United States will increase by 50 percent by 2025.  At least 350,000 megawatts of new generating capacity — hundreds of new power plants — will be needed before then.

Greenpeace is wrong — we must consider nuclear power.  Until the past couple of years, the activists, with their zero-tolerance policy on nuclear energy, have succeeded in squelching any mention by the IPCC of using nuclear power to replace fossil fuels for electricity production.  Burning fossil fuels for electricity accounts for 9.5 billion tonnes of global carbon dioxide emissions while nuclear power emits next to nothing.  It has been apparent to many scientists and policymakers for years that this would be a logical path to follow.

Support for Nuclear Power Is Growing.  With natural gas prices rising rapidly and the price of crude oil hovering above $70 per gallon, nuclear power is emerging as an increasingly attractive source of energy to both the general public and some influential environmentalists. … According to [a March 2006] Gallup poll, fully 55 percent of Americans support expanding the use of nuclear energy.  The embrace of nuclear power transcends political party affiliation, with 62 percent of Republicans and 51 percent of Democrats responding to the Gallup survey voicing their support for more nuclear energy.

Dispelling the Myths About Nuclear Power.  Nuclear energy is relatively clean, generating far less waste per unit of energy than any other major source and, based on the number of lives lost or people made ill, it is also far safer for human health.  The benefits of nuclear energy are real, while the risks are mostly hypothetical.  When decisions are made concerning future sources of electric power in the United States, facts, not fear, should be the basis for appraising the nuclear industry's place in the mix.

Ten myths about nuclear power:  The UK government is expected to announce tomorrow that it will give the green light to the building of new nuclear power stations in the UK — the first since the Sizewell 'B' station was completed in 1995.  These are urgently needed to make up the shortfall in power supply as older nuclear stations are closed over the next few years.  Yet the decision is bound to be controversial — not helped by widespread misinformation about nuclear power.

Nuclear Energy and Environmental Preservation.  Nuclear energy has perhaps the lowest impact on the environment — including air, land, water, and wildlife — of any energy source, because it does not emit harmful gases, isolates its waste from the environment, and requires less area to produce the same amount of electricity as other sources.

Nuclear Power Wins Endorsement of Engineers.  The 120,000-member American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) recently endorsed nuclear power as a safe and efficient source for supplying America's growing energy needs.

Nuclear Energy in the World Today (Part Two):  It is now completely absurd that anti-capitalist, anti-industry, anti-development, and in fact anti-people socialists have poisoned the minds of so much of the world against the cheapest, most abundant, and safest form of energy on the planet.  It is truly amazing what devious minds can achieve in a world so filled with terror-prone people.

Myths About Nuclear Energy:  Nuclear, coal, gas:  they all have the power to destroy.  But of these three, one has gotten a bad rap.  While it is business as usual for coal and gas, the widespread perception persists that nuclear energy is fraught with unique and terrifying danger.  Say "nuclear" out loud, and people tend to think of mushroom clouds, radiation, and nuclear winter.  Despite these fears, nuclear energy is clean, reliable, and safe — more so, in fact, than the alternatives, as an examination of the myths about nuclear energy reveals.

Get real, environmentalists.  In this era of seemingly permanent higher energy prices, environmentalists' blanket anti-fossil fuel, anti-nuclear power dogma must go. … That there were no U.S. nuclear plants built in the past 30 years, while the rest of the world had been rapidly doing so, has little to do with science.  It has everything to do with D.C. politics that align interest groups over issues that are not their core concern.

Environmentalists oppose every form of energy production.
Strangling the Energy Baby:  Let's start by understanding there are now three hundred million Americans.  More people increase the need for more electricity.  America currently must generate 15.43 trillion kilowatts of electricity and is in immediate need of more.  This is why, following every winter storm, the very first piece of news reported is how many people are without electricity.

Nuclear power is cleaner and safer:  report.  A return flight from Sydney to London and back will bring the same level of radiation exposure as living next to a nuclear power plant for 50 years.  Contrary to common fears around the use of nuclear power, the Switkowski report into nuclear power points to a series of environmental benefits coming from modern nuclear reactors.

Lessons from Chernobyl:  In the "ghost town" of Pripyat, the external gamma dose rate measured by a Polish team in 2001 was 0.9 mSv per year, the same as in Warsaw and five times lower than in Grand Central Station in New York.  The incidence of all cancers appears to be lower than expected in a similar, nonirradiated population. ... Three of the original thirteen Russian plutonium-production reactors continued to operate at the end of 2000 because, without them, one quarter of a million people would be without adequate heat during the Siberian winter.

The Enemies of Nuclear Power:  Nuclear power provides a cheap alternative to fossil-fuel-based sources of electricity.  With comparable capital and operating costs, and a mere fraction of the fuel costs, it can provide electricity at 50 to 80 percent of the price of traditional sources.  It is extremely reliable, and is by far the cleanest of any viable energy source currently known.

Coal Ash Is More Radioactive than Nuclear Waste.  The waste produced by coal plants is actually more radioactive than that generated by their nuclear counterparts.  In fact, fly ash — a by-product from burning coal for power — contains up to 100 times more radiation than nuclear waste.  At issue is coal's content of uranium and thorium, both radioactive elements.  They occur in such trace amounts in natural, or "whole," coal that they aren't a problem.  But when coal is burned into fly ash, uranium and thorium are concentrated at up to 10 times their original levels.

U.N. Revises Chernobyl Assessment.  As of mid-2005, fewer than 50 deaths have been directly attributed to radiation from the Chernobyl nuclear power plant disaster, with almost all the deaths being among highly exposed rescue workers, according to a new United Nations report.

Blue-Ribbon Government Panel Lauds Nuclear Energy.  The panel noted nuclear power has played a major role in electric power supply in the United States for 30 years.  The U.S. has 103 nuclear power plants, more than any other country in the world.  Those plants have supplied 20 percent of the nation's power over the past three decades — even as the country's energy demands have grown, and despite the fact no new plants have been ordered or built since 1973.

Dispelling the Myths About Nuclear Power.  Nuclear energy is relatively clean, generating far less waste per unit of energy than any other major source and, based on the number of lives lost or people made ill, it is also far safer for human health.  The benefits of nuclear energy are real, while the risks are mostly hypothetical.

Nuclear Power Is Safest Energy Source, Studies Show.  Today's nuclear power technology, by any and every measure, provides the best safety performance and lowest risk of workplace accidents among all commonly utilized power sources.  Nuclear power plants are not at risk from terrorist attacks:  They do not offer exponential damage opportunities and they are the most fortified installations in the nation.  It is safe to say neither the general public nor government officials understand many or any of these facts.  Their lack of understanding is primarily the result of an extremely successful fear campaign waged by anti-nuclear activists 30 years ago.  In addition, the news media has inaccurately reported accidents and mishaps at nuclear power plants.

The Importance of Nuclear Energy to U.S. Energy Security:  Nuclear energy provides reliable, low-cost baseload electricity to satisfy the increasing electricity demands of a digital economy, as well as peak demands caused by extreme weather conditions in winter and summer.  Nuclear energy is a stabilizing factor in deregulated electricity markets because it is not affected by the price volatility experienced by other major energy sources, such as oil and natural gas.

Exorcising the Demons of Chernobyl:  Why would an energy-craving nation (the U.S.) that also demands a pristine environment put the kibosh on a limitless form of power (nuclear energy) that produces no air pollution and no emissions environmentalists claim cause global warming?

Twenty Years After Chernobyl.  April 26 [2006] marks the 20th anniversary of the accident at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant.  Anti-nuclear activists are still trying to turn Chernobyl into a bigger disaster than it really was.

Wildlife Is Thriving in Chernobyl Nuclear Zone.  Many species in the Chernobyl nuclear exclusion zone have higher population numbers than before the nuclear accident, according to a new study published in Current Biology.  The higher population numbers contradict prior assertions that radiation fallout would negatively impact wildlife population numbers.  The study's authors, led by Jim Smith of Portsmouth University in England, found no evidence of long-term radiation damage to the animals in Chernobyl.  The wolf population in particular is seven times higher in the exclusion zone than in nearby nature reserves, and elk, roe deer, and red deer are also noticeably abundant.

Defying radiation, elderly residents cling on in Chernobyl.  Defying radioactive contamination and a government evacuation order, Yevgeny Markevich returned to his beloved Chernobyl shortly after it suffered the world's worst nuclear accident 30 years ago this week.  The sturdy 78-year-old former teacher is among 158 people still living in the 30 kilometre (19 mile) exclusion zone around the Ukrainian nuclear power plant where reactor number four exploded on April 26, 1986.

On the 30th Anniversary of Chernobyl, Here's What We Are Still Not Being Told.  On the 30th anniversary of the world's worst nuclear catastrophe yet, a new report shows radioactive contamination from the 1986 explosion at Chernobyl in Ukraine still lingers in startlingly large amounts across the border in neighboring Belarus.  In an exclusive report by the Associated Press, fresh milk from a Belarusian dairy farm contained a radioactive isotope, traceable to the Chernobyl disaster, at "levels 10 times higher than the nation's food safety limits" — thirty years after the accident occurred.  Though the AP turned to a laboratory to test the milk, dairy farmer Nikolai Chubenok called the results "impossible."

Inside the new effort to entomb Chernobyl's wreckage.  In the aftermath of the world's worst nuclear disaster in Chernobyl in 1986, which resulted in radiation that ultimately reached as far as Japan and the US, the Soviet Union slapped together a massive sarcophagus of metal and concrete as hastily as possible to contain further fallout at the site of reactor 4.  With no welded or bolted joints and a leaky roof that led to corrosion "hastening its demise," it was never seen as a permanent solution, reports Live Science.  Construction began on its enormous replacement, the New Safe Confinement, in 2012.  Now French consortium Novarka is using 224 hydraulic jacks to slowly slide the steel structure 1,070 feet to cover the ruins in Ukraine.

The Environmentalist Crusade Against Progress and Technology Aims at Making Man's Life a Hell on Earth.  [Scroll down]  Environmentalists are also against energy generated by nuclear plants.  They claim nuclear power is unsafe and a threat to our lives.  But the fact is that there are over four hundred nuclear plants in operation around the world, which have been safely producing electricity for forty years.  France, for example, gets over seventy five percent of its electricity from nuclear power.  The famous incident in Chernobyl, used to discredit nuclear power, was the consequence of a disintegrating, corrupt and negligent Communist government.  It did not reflect an intrinsic lack of safety in nuclear plants, but an intrinsic lack of safety in Communist rule.

Texas Will Host the First New U.S. Nuclear Plants Since the 1970s.  Not a single nuclear power plant has been commissioned in the United States since 1978, but that is about to change as General Electric and Hitachi have announced a joint venture to build two nuclear power plants in Texas.  The Texas project, announced in June with plants scheduled to begin operations in 2014, is expected to be the first in a new wave of economical and emissions-free nuclear power plants.

Poll Shows the Public Favors Nuclear Power 2-to-1.  Twice as many Americans support nuclear power as oppose it, according to a new poll by Bloomberg and the Los Angeles Times. ... The poll continues a trend of ever-increasing public support for nuclear power as a clean, economical, and environmentally friendly power source.  Global warming fears have swayed many former opponents to support nuclear power.

Greens 'aid destruction of planet'.  Environmental groups are setting back the fight against global warming with misguided and irrational objections to nuclear power, according to Britain's leading thinker about the future. … While the anti-nuclear campaign is well-intentioned, it fundamentally misunderstands the safety of the latest generation of reactors and threatens to hold back a technology that could be critical to the world's future, [James Martin] said.

Democrat Group Calls for More Nuclear Power.  Nuclear power offers a safe and economical way to meet anticipated growth in American energy demand, according to an October 2006 report by the Progressive Policy Institute, a policy arm of the Democratic Leadership Council (DLC).  The report, "A Progressive Energy Platform," praises nuclear power as a key weapon against asserted global climate change and air quality concerns.  "Nuclear power holds great potential to be an integral part of a diversified energy portfolio for America," the report states.  "It produces no greenhouse gas emissions, so it can help clean up the air and combat climate change."

Al-Mighty Preacher Running Out of Power.  [Al Gore] knows as well as anyone that the only form of energy that has no effect whatever on greenhouse gases is nuclear energy.  And yet here the Prophet of Doom was bizarrely tentative. ... Since many companies don't even bother to try to build nuclear plants because of community opposition, why would he not embark upon an educational effort to explain to the American people the environmental benefit to be gained from a major program to build nuclear power plants?  Why?  I'll tell you why.  Nuclear power is an ancient bugbear for the environmentalist left, and Gore is now their leader and sovereign.

Nuclear Power Plant Withstands Major Earthquake.  In a real-world test of nuclear power plant safety, the world's largest nuclear power plant, at Kashiwazaki-Kariwa, Japan, took the brunt of a major earthquake on July 16, 2007 and passed the test admirably.

Kentucky Bills Would End Moratorium on Nuclear Power Plant Construction.  Though the idea is still controversial, many environmental groups are starting to believe nuclear power is a viable option for replacing or supplementing coal- and gas-powered energy plants.  In a state like Kentucky, where 90 percent of electricity is generated from coal, environmental groups are especially receptive to nuclear power.

Environmental Foolishness Has Made Nuclear Energy Radioactive.  Nuclear power is the only available technology that is adequate, affordable, reliable, safe, and environmentally clean.  If the nation wants to limit CO2 emissions, then it must turn to nuclear power.  Though nuclear energy is expensive … those who criticize nuclear energy based solely on costs do not fully appreciate the broader context of energy policy, energy inflation, and rising construction costs in general.

Shovel-Ready Nukes.  Amazingly, with all the talk of shoveling money into infrastructure projects, no mention has been made of our energy needs, the jobs that can be created by expanding our energy infrastructure and the jobs that can be created with the additional energy provided.  To be sure, vast sums are planned for alternative energy sources such as wind farms and solar plants, but like the current stimulus packages they will take too long to affect the economy in any significant way.  Nuclear energy is a different matter.

Productive stimulus:  Fast-track nuclear power.  The US is poised for a second wave of new nuke construction.  The principal regulator, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, has been requested to schedule reviews for over 30 new reactors.  The first new application showed up September, 2007, for two units in Texas with 24 others already in the hopper.  Orders for long-lead hardware have been placed but actual site construction must await the myriad of government permits required.

Nuclear power is true 'green' energy.  Even though the link between climate change and fossil fuel use is still debated, Americans want "greener" energy.  The energy sources favored by carbon-footprint-sensitive celebrities, such as wind power and ethanol, have gained the most attention so far — and the most subsidies.  But if we're serious about security and the environment, we should be embracing something else:  Nuclear energy.

The Best Nuclear Option:  Imagine a nuclear industry that can power America for decades using its own radioactive garbage, burning up the parts of today's reactor wastes that are the hardest to dispose of.  Add technology that takes nuclear chaff, uranium that was mined and processed but was mostly unusable, and converts it to still more fuel.

Support for Nuclear Energy Inches Up to New High.  A majority of Americans have been supportive of the use of nuclear energy in the United States in recent years, but this year's Gallup Environment Poll finds new high levels of support, with 59% favoring its use, including 27% who strongly favor it.

Why won't Obama utter the words "nuclear power"?  President Barack Obama has made energy a chief priority of his administration, routinely discussing plans to move us beyond sources that emit carbon dioxide.  But for some reason, he won't mention nuclear power, which can provide enormous volumes of energy without any pollution or CO2 emissions. ... Commercial nuclear power aims to power cities and improve the lives of multitudes.  Moreover, there has never been a fatality or serious injury associated with the generation of commercial nuclear power in this country, including the notorious accident at Three Mile Island in 1979.
This is an original compilation, Copyright © 2015 by Andrew K. Dart

Let's sit in the dark and freeze to death.  We keep hearing about alternative energy.  President Obama is calling for a Manhattan Project on alternative energy.  We already had a Manhattan Project on alternative energy 65 years ago.  We called it the Manhattan Project.  Its research eventually led to the development of nuclear power plants.  France gets 87 percent of its electricity from nuclear power.  We stopped building nuclear power plants in the United States 30 years ago after a movie starring Jane Fonda and Jack Lemmon scared everyone, and there was a non-fatal accident at the Three Mile Island nuclear plant.

The coming nuclear renaissance:  According to a new Gallup poll, 59 percent of Americans favor nuclear energy — a new high — and 27 percent say they strongly favor it.  The attitude is bipartisan, with majorities of both Republicans and Democrats supporting nuclear power.

Thirty years after Three Mile Island.  No one was killed because of Three Mile Island.  No one was even harmed.  France has been building nuclear power plants for almost fifty years.  France now generates almost all its electrical power from these plants and it exports more electricity than any other nation on Earth.  There was no reason why America could not have done much of what France did — nothing, except, for the sick pseudo-science of the Left.

Remember Three Mile Island?  Forget It.  [Scroll down]  Administration defenders are correct that increasing the costs of putting carbon in the atmosphere will inevitably favor the nuclear industry.  Assuming this is true, one would hope that it won't be hindered and overburdened by other costs of over-regulation.

Three Mile Island:  What Went Wrong and Why Today's Reactors Are Safe.  By the time operators discovered what was happening, superheated and partially radioactive steam built up in auxiliary tanks, which operators then moved to waste tanks through compressors and pipes.  The compressors leaked.  The steam leakage released a radiation dose equivalent to that of a chest X-ray scan, about one-third of the radiation humans absorb in one year from naturally occurring background radiation.  No damage to any person, animal, or plant was ever found.

Kentucky Moves to Repeal Nuclear Moratorium.  The Kentucky Senate has approved a bill to end a moratorium on new nuclear power facilities in the state.  Senate Bill 13 would repeal a law requiring a permanent federal storage facility become operational before any new nuclear power plants can be built.

Nuclear Energy Renaissance  While the U.S. commercial reactor business faded decades ago, the U.S. did not abandon the nuclear sector altogether.  Instead of building new plants, the U.S. commercial nuclear industry turned to making its existing plants run more efficiently and safer.  So while other countries may lead in new plant construction, America excels in operating them.  Moreover, the United States remains a leader in researching and developing nuclear technologies.  America's vast national laboratory system and private sector expertise provides the resources and a scientific foundation for the U.S. to again compete as a global leader in the commercial nuclear world.

Why the U.S. Needs More Nuclear Power:  Your typical city dweller doesn't know just how much coal and uranium he burns each year.  On Lake Shore Drive in Chicago — where the numbers are fairly representative of urban America as a whole — the answer is (roughly):  four tons and a few ounces.  In round numbers, tons of coal generate about half of the typical city's electric power; ounces of uranium, about 17 percent; natural gas and hydro take care of the rest.  New York is a bit different:  an apartment dweller on the Upper West Side substitutes two tons of oil (or the equivalent in natural gas) for Chicago's four tons of coal.

Nuclear Energy Becomes Pivotal in Climate Debate.  Nuclear energy, once vilified by environmentalists and facing a dim future, has become a pivotal bargaining chip as Senate Democrats hunt for Republican votes to pass climate legislation.  The industry's long-standing campaign to rebrand itself as green is gaining footing as part of the effort to curtail greenhouse gases.

The Economic Value of Clean Air Compliance at Nuclear Power Plants.  Nuclear energy is a reliable, low-cost, emission-free energy source.  Nuclear energy provides affordable electricity for consumers.  Nuclear energy is also a source of reliable, low-cost electricity that attracts and supports business and industry, creating jobs.  And, nuclear energy is emission-free.  These facts represents real economic value for states and regions that have nuclear power plants.  The nation's nuclear power plants provide emission-free electricity to one out of every five homes and businesses.

Vermont Senate Votes to Close Nuclear Plant.  In an unusual state foray into nuclear regulation, the Vermont Senate voted 26 to 4 Wednesday to block operation of the Vermont Yankee nuclear plant after 2012, citing radioactive leaks, misstatements in testimony by plant officials and other problems.


A few words about Uranium:

Is Uranium Exhaustible?  First, if one spends any amount of time looking into the claims of those who advocate for so called "renewable energy" one will quickly see that for many of the advocates for this expensive, and thus far essentially useless form of energy, are often less interested in replacing dangerous fossil fuels than they are in displacing nuclear energy. [...] Secondly, if nuclear energy is safe, clean, and infinitely or nearly infinitely sustainable, the rationale for constructing truly massive numbers of wind turbines collapses.  As we have seen in parts 1 and 2, wind turbine construction involves digging up huge amounts of increasingly rare elements, as well as vast quantities of elements that are not yet rare but nonetheless involve significant environmental impacts to refine.

Virginia Is Sitting on the Energy Mother Lode.  Virginia is one of just four states that ban uranium mining.  The ban was put in place in 1984, to calm fears that had been sparked by the partial meltdown of a nuclear reactor on Three Mile Island outside of Harrisburg, Pa. in 1979. ... [Henry Bowen and Walter Coles] are asking the state to determine whether mining uranium really is a hazard and, if not, to lift the ban.  But they've run into a brick wall of environmental activists who raise the specter of nuclear contamination and who are determined to prevent scientific studies of the issue.

Interior to halt uranium mining at Grand Canyon.  Interior Secretary Ken Salazar will announce Monday that his department is temporarily barring the filing of new uranium mining claims on about 1 million acres near the Grand Canyon, an Obama administration official said.  The land is being "segregated" for two years so that the department can study whether it should be permanently withdrawn from mining activity, said the official, who requested anonymity because he wasn't authorized to speak publicly on the matter.

Uranium mining potential:  What does uranium have in common with Arctic oil, offshore natural gas, coastal wind and cellulosic ethanol?  They're all sources of energy that government bureaucrats have declared off-limits — needlessly.  Just last month, Rep. Raul Grijalva, Arizona Democrat, declared an emergency situation to withdraw public lands adjacent to the Grand Canyon from uranium mining.

A Tale of Two Reactors:  A nuclear power plant is arguably the most extraordinary product of engineering and scientific know-how in the history of mankind.  Once every 18 months or so, a truckload of metal is delivered to the nuclear plant.  The metal is uranium, which has been processed to increase the proportion of the isotope known as Uranium-235.  This fuel for the power plant is not dangerous and can be held in one's hands without risk.  Only a few decades ago, its primary use was to impart an orange color to ceramics such as Fiestaware.  When the metal is put in a precise geometric formation along with other materials and surrounded by water, it becomes a source of heat energy like man has never seen on this Earth.

Let's Have Some Love for Nuclear Power.  Because the public first became aware of nuclear energy through warfare, reactors have always been thought of as "silent bombs."  But nuclear plants cannot explode.  The fissionable isotope of uranium must be enriched to 90% to create a weapon.  In a reactor it is only 3%.  You could not blow up a nuclear reactor if you tried.

How long will the world's uranium supplies last?  If the Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA) has accurately estimated the planet's economically accessible uranium resources, reactors could run more than 200 years at current rates of consumption.  Most of the 2.8 trillion kilowatt-hours of electricity generated worldwide from nuclear power every year is produced in light-water reactors (LWRs) using low-enriched uranium (LEU) fuel.  About 10 metric tons of natural uranium go into producing a metric ton of LEU, which can then be used to generate about 400 million kilowatt-hours of electricity, so present-day reactors require about 70,000 metric tons of natural uranium a year.

Piketon uranium facility's loan plan is a no-go.  The Obama administration will not grant a $2 billion loan guarantee for a planned uranium-enrichment facility in Piketon, Ohio, causing the initiative to go into financial meltdown, the company and independent sources confirmed tonight [7/27/2009].  The U.S. Department of Energy's decision means "we are now forced to initiate steps to demobilize the project," said Elizabeth Stuckle, a spokeswoman for USEC.


The Yucca Mountain storage facility:

Revive Yucca Mountain:  Illinois has more nuclear waste than any other state, all of it in temporary storage.  It has been 30 years since Congress designated Nevada's Yucca Mountain as the secure site for the nation's nuclear waste.  Since then, taxpayers have coughed up $11 billion creating a repository 1,000 feet underground that would keep the radioactive refuse permanently sealed off.  As yet, it's still empty.  But that could finally change.  Yucca Mountain is in a remote section of the Mojave Desert.  But many people in Nevada didn't want the waste, no matter how safe or isolated the storage facility may be.  It was the ultimate NIMBY project.  One of those opponents, alas, was Harry Reid, who for 10 years was Senate Democratic leader and in a position to get his way.  As president, Barack Obama gave Reid exactly what he wanted, closing down the entire effort.

Chicago Paper Implores Trump To Solve Yucca Mountain Mess Left By Obama.  The Chicago Tribune's editorial board implored President Donald Trump Tuesday [4/11/2017] to clean up the nuclear waste storage debacle left by former President Barack Obama.  Obama helped former Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid to derail plans to store nuclear waste at Yucca Mountain, Nevada.  Without Yucca, nuclear power plants don't have a permanent location to store spent fuel and left the federal government with $50 billion in legal liabilities.

Perry, make Yucca Mountain great again.  One of the Energy Department's few essential functions (which could easily be shifted to the Defense Department, by the way) is to safeguard and dispose of the nuclear waste produced by America's commercial nuclear power plants.  Utility companies across America paid $21 billion to the Energy Department for this appropriate government service, which the Energy Department has completely failed to perform.  Its failure, due to political sabotage, is both dangerous and expensive.  The Yucca Mountain repository, in a deserted, uninhabitable section of Nevada, was supposed to begin taking in nuclear waste on New Year's Day 1998, so that the material would not have to be stored in communities across the nation.  Nineteen years and countless scientific studies later, Yucca is just a $15 billion hole in the ground, thanks mostly to ferocious opposition from the retiring Senate Democratic leader, Harry Reid.

Top 10 Facts About Yucca Mountain.  [#2] In 1987, Congress directed DOE to focus its studies solely on the site.  Over the next 20 years, DOE completed a 5-mile tunnel through the mountain in which to conduct its characterization studies.  A second 2-mile "cross drift" tunnel was completed, along with numerous niches, alcoves and more than 180 boreholes in which various experiments and studies were performed — see this 2004 DOE video on some of the work that was carried out.  By 2006, a Senate Environment and Public Works Committee report dubbed Yucca Mountain the "Most Studied Real Estate on the Planet."

Yucca Mountain, politics versus facts!.  Nevada's Yucca Mountain Nuclear Waste Repository, after 30 years of a passed Congressional law, $15+ billion spent for the science and engineering study and countless efforts by thousands of people remains empty.  This national Repository is not built because of political maneuvering primarily of one, Senator Harry Reid.  We know, for all practical purposes, that the science studies administrated to Yucca Mountain prove its public safety and operational functionality.  In multiple surveys today, nearly 73% of the "people" are willing to have the study completed and nine of Nevada's 17 Counties, over 50% (the grassroots).  The facts stated here are proof that Nevada's politics are in play for their game and NOT representative of Nevada's citizens.  It is fine to claim, "Not in my backyard" but, don't portray that the science and engineering is unsafe with such overwhelming proof, it just discredits character and the state's political versus science position.

Yucca Mountain Declared Safe for Nuclear Waste Storage.  The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has determined it would be safe to operate a nuclear waste facility at Yucca Mountain in Nevada.  The NRC completed the last two volumes of its five-volume safety evaluation in January.  Even though the report found Yucca Mountain would be safe, NRC staff did not recommend construction begin on the repository because land and water issues remain to be resolved, and a supplement to the Department of Energy's Environmental Impact Statement is still incomplete.

Obama refuses to follow the law on nuclear waste.  Just months after announcing his candidacy for president of the United States, then-Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., wrote the Las Vegas Review-Journal in 2007 seeking to clarify his position on the Yucca Mountain nuclear waste storage project.  "I want every Nevadan to know that I have always opposed using Yucca Mountain as a nuclear waste repository," he wrote.  "States should not be unfairly burdened with waste from other states."  Problem is, the 1987 amendments to the Nuclear Waste Policy Act directed the U.S. Department of Energy to pursue the Yucca Mountain project as the only nuclear waste-solution projection.  Furthermore, the NWPA also directs the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to make a "final decision approving or disapproving" any application to store waste at Yucca Mountain within three years of its submission.

Judicial Watch Announces List of Washington's "Ten Most Wanted Corrupt Politicians" for 2013.  [President] Obama and [Senator Harry] Reid have long opposed a proposed nuclear waste dump in Yucca Mountain, Nevada, which has already cost U.S. taxpayers an astounding $15 billion, according to various federal audits.  So, Obama simply instructed the Nuclear Regulatory Commission(NRC) to decline to conduct the statutorily mandated Yucca Mountain licensing process, essentially destroying the project.  In mid-August, a federal appellate court ruled that Obama "is simply flouting the law."

NRC seeks input on Yucca Mountain restart.  The US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has asked for views on how it should go about resuming the licensing process for the Yucca Mountain waste repository.  The Department of Energy (DoE) submitted its application to build a permanent repository for the US nuclear industry's used fuel as well as military high-level wastes in 2008, but the NRC suspended work on the licence following a 2009 decision by the US administration to abandon the project and start afresh on developing a new strategy to deal with nuclear waste.

The Editor says...
Sounds like the DOE and the NRC are playing a game of hot potato, wasting time with constant studies and reviews.

Obama's Fall From Grace Sets A Scary Precedent For Future Presidents.  The increasing lawlessness with which President Barack Obama has been acting in his second term is not going unnoticed.  In fact, in a strong rebuke last week to the unilateral actions being taken by the Obama administration, a federal appeals court came down hard on the administration's Nuclear Regulatory Commission by ruling that delaying a decision on a proposed nuclear waste storage facility was in violation of federal law.

Obama Flouts the Law.  There was one bright spot this week when the U.S. Court of Appeals, in a case involving the disposal of nuclear waste at Yucca Mountain ruled that it was illegal for the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to disregard congressional mandates simply because the executive branch disagrees with what Congress has enacted. [...] While this strong rebuke is a promising development, a look at Obama's remedies going forward demonstrates how weak is the judicial tool to reign in executive lawlessness.  For example, the government can seek a rehearing, a rehearing en banc (the entire court) or both, which would hold up compliance for several months.

Why the law does not matter to Obama.  Does this ruling bind this president from doing what he wants to do?  Of course not.  No one in America has both the power and the determination to hinder Obama from doing whatever he wants.

Appeals Court: Obama Shutdown of Yucca Mountain Is Illegal.  A federal appeals court ruled on Tuesday that the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) violated the law by allowing the Obama administration to shut down the Yucca Mountain nuclear waste site, according to the Associated Press.

Appeals court: Obama violating law on nuke site.  By a 2-1 vote, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia ordered the commission to complete the licensing process and approve or reject the Energy Department's application for a never-completed waste storage site at Nevada's Yucca Mountain.

Problems With AuthorityIn re: Aiken County is another episode in the political soap opera about spent-fuel storage at Nevada's Yucca Mountain, an Energy Department project that requires the approval of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission.  The Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1983 requires that the NRC "shall consider" the license application for the repository and "shall issue a final decision approving or disapproving" it within three years of submission.  Yucca has since been infamously stop-and-go amid opposition from the green lobby and not-in-my-backyard Nevadans and Californians.

Mystery memos fuel battle between Nevada, DOE over nuclear waste.  U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz plans to meet with Nevada's governor on Tuesday [8/13/2013] to discuss an escalating dispute between the state and the federal government over where to dump hundreds of canisters of radioactive waste, FoxNews.com has learned.  Tensions have risen in recent weeks over who should be forced to keep the nuclear material.

Boondoggling in Never-Never Land.  Washington engineers waste.  After pouring billions into a nuclear waste storage repository, the Obama administration has added its two cents:  Start over.  Energy Secretary Steven Chu issued his report Jan. 11, rubber-stamping the final recommendations of the Blue Ribbon Commission on America's Nuclear Future.  This was not surprising since he selected the panel members and imposed restrictions on its purview.  Most important was his order that the commission not examine the viability of the nuclear repository already constructed and virtually ready for use:  Yucca Mountain.

Obama tries to move past Yucca controversy, proposes new nuclear dump.  Seeking to move past the Yucca Mountain controversy, the Obama administration on Friday [1/11/2013] disclosed it will ask Congress to approve a new national nuclear waste plan that would start with a pilot interim storage site by 2021.

Remember Yucca?  Lawmakers and policy planners must revive the search for safe ways to store used fuel rods from nuclear power reactors.  The long-term solution favored by most experts, which we endorse, is to bury the material in geologically stable formations capable of preventing leakage far into the future.  But no politically acceptable site has yet been found, and leaving the used fuel rods at each reactor — more than 62,000 metric tons had accumulated across the country by the end of 2009 — seems increasingly problematic.  At least nine states have banned the construction of new reactors until a permanent storage site is found or progress toward finding one is made.

Sins of commission on Yucca Mountain.  Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid owes America $10 billion.  That's the amount taxpayers have been forced to throw away in the Yucca Mountain nuclear waste storage facility, which sits unused because of the Nevada Democrat's opposition.  Because that's a refund check we're never going to see, lawmakers should act promptly on a set of recommendations released Thursday [1/26/2012] to limit the damage, ensuring further billions set aside for nuclear waste are not misspent.

Reid goes nuclear on waste storage.  A Friday [9/9/2011] vote has left the fate of the Yucca Mountain nuclear waste repository hanging in the balance.  The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is deadlocked 2-2 over whether the Energy Department could withdraw the license application for Yucca Mountain.  The commission's Atomic Safety and Licensing Board had decided it could not do so.  At the same time, the NRC instructed the board to close the file on the application by Oct. 1, rendering the site inoperable.  It's an apt symbol of the Obama administration's habit of backing hard-left "progressives" while thwarting real progress.

Yucca Mountain still alive under GOP nuke plan.  It's been 24 long years since Congress first designated the desert locale in southern Nevada as the best place to store the nation's nuclear waste.  While opponents have gained the upper hand in trying to block the project in recent years — in 2009, Energy Secretary Steven Chu said that "Yucca Mountain as a repository is off the table" — a group of House Republicans is fighting back.  They want to revive the site as part of a broader plan that calls for building 200 new nuclear plants by 2030.

The people of Nevada don't object to the Yucca Mountain facility.
Is Yucca Mountain a voter molehill?  Polls consistently show that while most Nevadans oppose a Yucca nuclear storage site, they also don't consider it a top 10 or even top 25 issue.  "Yucca Mountain has never had an impact on races here, but you would never know it from reading stories in the national media," said Las Vegas-based political consultant Ryan Erwin.

The Nuclear Power Solution.  Clearly, it is better to consolidate the nuclear waste we already have at one site than leave it scattered above ground at nuclear reactors across the country.  Nuclear power deniers argue that we have no place to go with this dangerous but renewable waste, but we do.  After 20 years of research and testing, Nevada's Yucca Mountain has proven to be a geologically stable facility capable of supporting its intended function of securing and storing spent nuclear reactor fuel.  Spent pellets will be stored in sealed, retrievable casks that can be safely monitored to ensure they are sealed and no hazardous material escapes.

Yucca Mountain Construction Involves Multiple Safeguards.  We are a long way from storing nuclear waste at Yucca Mountain in Nevada, but when we do, the facilities will look much like the underground bunker in a James Bond film, where a nefarious villain hides out while plotting to blow up the world.  The facilities will be that hidden, remote, and reinforced.  Even the above-ground facilities will be impressive.  The buildings on the surface outside the main tunnel entrance at Yucca Mountain will house the facilities needed to prepare radioactive materials for disposal.  Some of these buildings will be the size of sports arenas — 400 feet long and several stories high.  Buildings in which nuclear materials are processed will be designed to withstand major earthquakes, tornadoes, and acts of sabotage.

The official Yucca Mountain web site:
Office of Civilian Radioactive Waste Management.  Yucca Mountain is the site of America's first planned repository for spent nuclear fuel rods and solidified high-level radioactive waste.  The material would be stored in tunnels deep underground.  A complex of buildings would receive, package, and prepare the material for disposal underground.

Obama Budget Abandons Yucca Mountain.  In a significant energy policy redirection, the Obama administration appears poised to pull the plug on funds for permanent nuclear waste storage at Yucca Mountain in Nevada.  President Barack Obama's recently unveiled budget eliminates funding for the Yucca Mountain geologic repository, in spite of years of planning and almost $8 billion invested in the project.  Yucca Mountain may be in limbo, but it is not the only option available for dealing with spent nuclear fuel.

Not So Fast With Those Electric Cars.  The administration recently killed the safest place on the planet to store what is erroneously called nuclear waste — at the nuclear repository that was being built at Yucca Mountain, Nev.  This "waste" is in the form of spent fuel rods the French and others have safely stored and reprocessed.  These rods still contain most of their original energy and reprocessing them makes nuclear power renewable as well as pollution-free.  The French get 80% of their electricity from nukes, and nobody in Paris glows in the dark.  They will have a place to plug in their electric cars, but right now we don't.  The government is promoting solar and wind, which is fine if the sun is shining and the wind is blowing.  Both have their own environmental drawbacks.

Obama sounds death knell for nuclear power.  Under the guise of cutting wasteful spending, President Obama is terminating support for the Yucca Mountain spent nuclear fuel repository in Nevada.  While not unexpected, this development means that there will be no place to store nuclear waste, probably for decades, other than at temporary storage locations at each of the nation's nuclear power plants.

Obama nukes nuclear storage.  For more than two decades, the Congress, the president and the sprawling federal bureaucracy have worked to find a safe place to store the waste of nuclear reactors.  Yucca Mountain, a remote formation in the deserts of Nevada, was the chosen site.  Now President Obama, bowing to the demands of a fraction of anti-nuclear activists, has thrown 22 years of hard work up in the air.

Penny-Wise And Megawatt Foolish.  Among the Lilliputian cuts in the budget is the termination of the nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain, Nev.  Thus, a "shovel ready" renewable resource that emits no greenhouse gases is shoved aside.

Keep Yucca Mountain project alive.  While President Barack Obama's newly proposed budget would finally allow Nevada to rid itself of a nuclear waste dump planned to be buried in tunnels deep under Yucca Mountain, it would leave Illinois with the shaft.  Obama's decision to zero out the Nevada nuclear waste repository is a betrayal of his Illinois constituents, forcing nuclear power plants here to continue to "temporarily" store more than 7,000 tons of dangerous, radioactive waste — more than any other state — in cooling ponds near rivers and Lake Michigan.

Death Knell For Nuclear Power?  Killing the storage facility for the spent fuel rods produced by the nation's nuclear power industry has long been a dream of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and President Obama.  Last week, the Senate granted their wish, voting to deny the resources needed to complete a review necessary for Yucca Mountain to open.  "This is a major victory for Nevada," said Reid, who is up for re-election next year.

Yucca Mountain Decision Ignores Science.  Seldom in history has such a small piece of real estate been subjected to such thorough and comprehensive [study].  And yet the selection of this site has been mired in political controversy from the very beginning.  What has been ignored in the controversy are the extensive scientific analyses conducted in support of a proposed repository, along with both national and international peer reviews.  The site has been studied exhaustively for 30 years now, and as much as $10 billion has been expended in scientific research.

S.C. gov, officials blast Obama on Yucca Mtn. decision.  Gov. Mark Sanford, two U.S. congressman and other Republicans blasted President Barack Obama this morning for abandoning a plan to send highly radioactive nuclear waste to a disposal site in Nevada — a move they said will leave the Palmetto State holding tons of high-level nuclear waste.

Barack's Bi-Polar Nuclear Policy:  President Barack Obama recently took drastic steps forward to carry through on his campaign promise to close the Yucca Mountain nuclear waste facility before it ever opens for business.  His Department of Energy (DOE) successfully petitioned judges hearing license requests for the dump site to cancel the hearings.  The final step in Obama's effort to kill the project for good will be to completely withdraw the DOE application for Yucca Mountain.

Broader fight needed over Yucca Mountain decision.  It's a curious turn of events that has individuals leading the charge against this sudden shift in the nation's nuclear waste policy away from Yucca Mountain.  The uproar from electrical ratepayers, taxpayers, the nuclear industry and local and state officials ought to be deafening.  If the decision stands, it means pouring more than $3 billion of the ratepayers' money down a rat hole without any rational explanation.

Obama's other energy disaster:  [President Obama] triggered a less publicized environmental mess with costs that rival BP's deep-water oil spill.  The difference is that taxpayers — not some energy company — will foot the bill.  The legal costs alone could top $50 billion.  And if Democratic Sen. Harry Reid of Nevada loses his tough re-election bid come November, then, to borrow a phrase from an Oval Office operative, it will be money down the toilet.  This mess began last year when Obama cut off funding for a legally mandated nuclear-waste depository beneath Yucca Mountain, about 90 miles northwest of Las Vegas.  The project has been opposed for years by Reid, who helped rally Nevada to Obama's side in 2008.  The president obviously would like to help his ally.

Administration Cannot Drop Bid for Nuclear Waste Dump in Nevada, Panel Finds.  In a setback for the Obama administration, a panel of judges at the Nuclear Regulatory Commission ruled on Tuesday [6/29/2010] that the Energy Department could not withdraw its application to open a nuclear waste dump at Yucca Mountain in Nevada.

Judges rule Obama can't close Yucca Mountain nuclear dump.  Democratic Rep. John Spratt and Republican Rep. Joe Wilson don't agree on much, yet the South Carolina congressmen are cheering a new ruling that denied the bid by the U.S. Energy Department to withdraw its application for a nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain in Nevada.

Lawmakers urge Energy Dept. to halt Yucca shutdown.  Ninety-one lawmakers, mostly Republicans, are urging Energy Secretary Steven Chu to hold off on closing the Yucca Mountain nuclear waste repository in Nevada.

Obama aborted the recovery.  [Scroll down]  We could reduce our dependence on energy produced by unfriendly countries and slash the carbon footprint of our power-production industry if we built 50 or so nuclear power plants.  In the process, we could regain our past position as a global leader in the field while creating jobs for engineers, architects, those in construction trades and power-plant operators.  This is not happening on President Obama's watch for many reasons, including the cancellation of the Yucca Mountain storage facility for spent nuclear fuel.  The administration's Yucca Mountain cancellation was held unlawful earlier this summer by a panel of judges; we'll see whether the Obama regime will let respect for the law stand in the way of its plans.

Reid's $10 billion tunnel to nowhere.  The re-election of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid was a blow to America's quest for cleaner energy.  That's because the Nevada senator, in league with President Obama, can proceed with his campaign to short-circuit nuclear power.  No one has played a more obstructionist role in stopping Nevada's Yucca Mountain nuclear-waste repository than the Silver State's senior senator.  Mr. Reid's return to Capitol Hill is a victory for NIMBY (not in my backyard) Nevadans even though their backyard is primarily arid desolation unsuitable for human habitation.

Yucca Mountain and Nuclear Waste Policy: A New Beginning?  Senator Harry Reid's (D-NV) re-election campaign against Sharron Angle provides a historic new opportunity to establish a new Yucca Mountain policy that benefits Nevadans and the U.S.  Unfortunately, the omnibus spending bill currently under consideration would de-fund the program.  While Reid's staunch opposition to the project has brought it close to the point of termination, the end of Yucca would not benefit Nevada or the nation.

Fukushima Makes the Case for Yucca Mountain.  The greatest danger at Fukushima was and is the spent fuel stored at the reactor sites.  So why are we doing the same thing when we have a safe place to store it?

Yucca Mountain: did politics trump science?  For more than 50 years, the debate has raged over where to store radioactive nuclear waste in this country.  The solution was supposed to be at Yucca Mountain in Nevada.  But the multi-billion storage project has been shelved.

Congress expresses concern about Yucca Mountain closure.  The Obama administration's decision to suspend the construction of the politically contentious Yucca Mountain nuclear depository may have been illegal, according to congressional investigators.  Work on the project dates back to 1982 when Congress passed the Nuclear Waste Policy Act (NWPA), requiring the Department of Energy to establish a single permanent depository for the nation's spent nuclear fuel and waste derived from defense uses.  Congress later amended the act in 1987 to designate Nevada's Yucca Mountain as the sole depository.

A Chill Wind Off Yucca Mountain.  Yucca Mountain is a rocky hatchet buried in the Earth, a hundred miles northwest of Las Vegas.  It pops up in the news from time to time, because it was to be the site of a central nuclear waste repository.  After many years of political warfare over this proposal, and a good $15 billion in federal spending, the Obama Administration scuttled the Yucca Mountain project.  The House Energy and Commerce Committee has been investigating this decision, which the Government Accountability Office found to be based on "social and political opposition to a permanent repository, not technical issues."

NRC chief in hot seat for scrapping work on Yucca Mountain dump.  In the two years that Gregory Jaczko has led the nation's independent nuclear agency, his actions to delay, hide and kill work on a disputed dump for high-level radioactive waste have been called "bizarre," "unorthodox" and "illegal."

Latest Obama 'Transparency' Shroud: Nuclear Regulatory Chief Jaczko.  Jaczko, who worked as a science adviser to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid before assuming the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) helm, has been working assiduously on one of his old boss's cherished causes:  ending the Department of Energy's program for a nuclear waste repository at the Yucca Mountain in Nevada.  Backed by President Obama, Jaczko issued a directive that stopped an NRC evaluation of the Yucca project.  As a result of the lack of supporting data, work on the project was ordered to halt by Jaczko — in effect, doing the bidding of Reid and Obama.

Attorneys General Join Forces to Call Into Account Illegal Obama Administration Violations.  In 2009, Administration arbitrarily broke federal law and derailed the most studied energy project in American history when DOE announced intent to withdraw 8,000 page Yucca Mountain licensing application with prejudice; SC and Washington State filed suit, as a result, contesting the unconstitutional action; American people have paid more than $31 billion (including interest) through percentages of electric rate fees towards the project and taxpayers have footed an addition $200 million in legal feeds and over $2 billion in judgments against the DOE for breaking contracts associated with Yucca Mountain.

D.C. Circuit Hears Case Challenging NRC Inaction on DOE's Yucca Application.  A three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia heard oral arguments last week in a case that examines whether the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) should be required to continue the licensing process for the Yucca Mountain nuclear waste repository proposed for Nevada.  The 1982 Nuclear Waste Policy Act (NWPA) and amendments to that federal law direct the Department of Energy (DOE) to consider Yucca Mountain as a primary site for the nation's first geologic repository.  The law is still effective, plaintiffs — including the states of Washington and South Carolina — claimed last week.  The NRC argued it could not resume licensing processes because it lacked funds.

House Slaps Obama On Yucca Mountain, Nuclear Power.  A green administration blocks the safe storage of nuclear waste and refuses even to acknowledge nuclear power has a future.  But after the GOP House votes to open a safe site, the nuclear debate has been reopened.

Yucca Mountain court case on hold.  US appeal court judges have ruled that a case seeking a resumption of licensing work for a nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain will be put on hold, despite agreeing that the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) cannot legally give up work on the application.

If GOP wins, Reid could lose nuclear waste fight.  Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's eight-year effort to keep a nuclear waste dump out of his home state of Nevada could soon become much more difficult.  Since 2007, Reid has used his powerful Senate position to block the federal government from moving more than 70,000 tons of high-level radioactive waste and spent nuclear fuel to Yucca Mountain, a federally designated nuclear waste repository located about 100 miles northwest of Las Vegas.

Senate to call Reid's bluff on closing Yucca nuke dump.  Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, who has kept Nevada's Yucca Mountain nuclear waste dump closed for business, is facing the first solid threat on his iron grip as the new GOP majority moves to finally open the facility.  Sen. Lamar Alexander, the new Republican chairman of the subcommittee that oversees spending on the facility, said that he is working up a plan that could unlock the gates of Yucca and pour in waste mostly from power plants before there is a major disaster from overloaded temporary dumps at the plants.


Low-level radiation and other concerns:

Nuclear accident in New Mexico ranks among the costliest in U.S. history.  When a drum containing radioactive waste blew up in an underground nuclear dump in New Mexico two years ago, the Energy Department rushed to quell concerns in the Carlsbad desert community and quickly reported progress on resuming operations.  The early federal statements gave no hint that the blast had caused massive long-term damage to the dump, a facility crucial to the nuclear weapons cleanup program that spans the nation, or that it would jeopardize the Energy Department's credibility in dealing with the tricky problem of radioactive waste.

Fighting Junk Science.  The theory Linear, No Threshold, abbreviated LNT, exerts a pervasive bad influence across many fields of public health. [...] The LNT approach is responsible for generalized hysteria concerning nuclear radiation.  Since nuclear radiation and nuclear isotopes can cause cancer in high concentrations, using the LNT theory it can be calculated that tiny radiation levels will also cause cancer, even if the cancer cannot be detected apart from "naturally" caused cancers.  Studies of atomic bomb survivors and studies of various other groups, as well as animals, exposed to radiation for various reasons, support the idea that much higher levels of radiation than currently allowed by government guidelines are harmless, or — get this — beneficial for health.

Nuclear missile gets rear ended!.  Have you ever seen a nuclear missile being transported in a convoy?  Several helicopters in the air and federal marshals leading the way.  The crazy thing is that the fed pulled over and was yelling and waving his hands that I can't record this video!  And then a truck rear ended the nuke!

Suburban St. Louis Feels Ground Burning Beneath Its Feet, Worries Missouri Nuclear Waste Dump Ready to Explode.  Suburban St. Louis residents say it is time for President Obama to take responsibility for a nuclear waste mess left in their neighborhoods by the federal government before it's too late and the whole thing burns, or worse.  They are clamoring for the EPA to stop studying a 200-degree Fahrenheit underground landfill fire that could be moving dangerously close to 50,000 tons of highly radiotoxic, uncontained nuclear waste from the World War II Manhattan Project in St. Louis County, Mo.  The time for study, they say, is over.  They want action.

EPA Forced to Retreat on Radiation Limits.  The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is raising by a factor of 350 what it considers to be the threshold for safe radiation exposure, Jon Utley reported at Reason.com.  The higher threshold belatedly rectifies overly restrictive standards that have cost thousands of lives and billions of dollars, Utley reported.

EPA's Excessive Radiation Limits Are Costly, Unattainable, Unjustified.  Unjustified radiation fears proved deadly in the aftermath of the 2011 earthquake and tsunami affecting Japan's Fukushima nuclear power facility.  The earthquake and tsunami killed more than 15,000 people but the damage to the nuclear policy facility killed no one and did not cause a single serious illness.  Tragically, 1,600 people died during a chaotic and unnecessary evacuation of the region in response to overhyped nuclear radiation fears.  In the United States, similarly unjustified radiation restrictions are costing our economy billions of dollars and providing no public health benefits.

The Top Ten Unfounded Health Scares of 2008.  [#10] Granite countertops emit radiation:  [I]t is growing more and more common for the media to highlight health scare stories with no scientific basis as a way of attracting attention in a crowded media market. [...] While granite countertops may contain traces of radioactive substances, such as uranium, the low level of radiation they may emit does not pose a health threat.  Homeowners should not spend money on unnecessary tests or bother having their granite countertops replaced.

The Panic Over Fukushima.  Denver has particularly high natural radioactivity.  It comes primarily from radioactive radon gas, emitted from tiny concentrations of uranium found in local granite.  If you live there, you get, on average, an extra dose of .3 rem of radiation per year (on top of the .62 rem that the average American absorbs annually from various sources).  A rem is the unit of measure used to gauge radiation damage to human tissue.  The International Commission on Radiological Protection recommends evacuation of a locality whenever the excess radiation dose exceeds .1 rem per year.  But that's one-third of what I call the "Denver dose."  Applied strictly, the ICRP standard would seem to require the immediate evacuation of Denver.

Some Facts About Radiation:  God's good green earth was created out of the radioactive waste products of the great nuclear reactions that spawned the galaxies and the planets.  Life arose out of, and adapted to, a much higher level of natural radiation than exists today.  Nuclear radiation (ionizing radiation: alpha, beta and gamma radiation) is essential to Life; without it, organisms wither and die.  Despite all the radioactive material we create, this radioactivity is nowhere near enough to keep up with the decay of the earth's natural radioactivity, which becomes inexorably smaller every day.  Thus, most populations today are "under-dosed" and would benefit from more irradiation in the range of interest.  The argument that humanity can only be harmed in some way by such radiation is simply untrue.  There is no scientific basis for such a claim.

Forbidden Science: Low Level Radiation and Cancer.  Some things are hard to believe.  What you've been told about low-level radiation by the people who are supposed to be responsible authorities is very wrong.  The evidence that the official story is wrong is overwhelming.  They know about the evidence.  Yet because they have a vested interest in being wrong, they willfully keep being wrong.  There is massive evidence that low levels of radiation rather than causing cancer, actually suppress cancer.  The reason is, probably, that radiation in small or moderate quantities stimulates cellular repair mechanisms.  This is not to negate the fact that large amounts of radiation can kill you or make you sick.  This protective effect of low levels of radiation is called radiation hormesis.  The case of radiation hormesis provides yet more evidence that the scientific establishment and the EPA are lacking in objectivity when their interests are at stake.

Suppression of evidence on radiation effects by 1946 Nobel Laureate.  University of Massachusetts Amherst environmental toxicologist Edward Calabrese, whose career research shows that low doses of some chemicals and radiation are benign or even helpful, says he has uncovered evidence that one of the fathers of radiation genetics, Nobel Prize winner Hermann Muller, knowingly lied when he claimed in 1946 that there is no safe level of radiation exposure.

Radiation and Human Health:  Scientists have studied the effects of radiation for more than 100 years and know how to detect, monitor and control even the smallest amounts.  In fact, more is known about the health effects of radiation than most other physical or chemical agents.

What's Lurking in Your Countertop?  Allegations that granite countertops may emit dangerous levels of radon and radiation have been raised periodically over the past decade, mostly by makers and distributors of competing countertop materials.  The Marble Institute of America has said such claims are "ludicrous" because although granite is known to contain uranium and other radioactive materials like thorium and potassium, the amounts in countertops are not enough to pose a health threat.

Low-dose radiation fears are unfounded.  A major aspect of the anti-nuclear policies that are espoused by our own government based on totally fraudulent fears.  Our energy policy is based upon a half-century of deceit by U. S. advisory committees, such as the Biological Effects of Ionizing Radiation Committee and the National Council on Radiation Protection.  Congress, EPA, and state officials use their advice to make policy, laws, and rules of operation.  These committee members believe the myth that all ionizing radiation is harmful.  It is not!  They ignore abundant human and experimental animal data showing large and small doses of ionizing radiation (as most agents) produce opposite responses.  Low-dose irradiation activates the immune system and has many health benefits.

Some people go out of their way to enjoy Radon therapy.
Does low-level radiation have health benefits?  At a time when much of the world is worrying about radiation from Japan, a small community of naysayers is thinking just the opposite.  They deliberately immerse themselves in radioactive gas day after day in old uranium mines in the belief that it's good for their health.

Trillion-Dollar Radiation Mistake?  No one disputes that exposures to very high levels of radiation can cause health problems — data indicate, for example, that the Japanese atomic bomb survivors experienced slightly higher rates of cancer over the 50-plus years that they've been studied so far — but it's not clear at all that more typical, low-level radiation exposures pose any risk at all.

Radiation 'hazards' found at U.S. Capitol, Library of Congress buildings.  Radiation levels up to 65 times higher than U.S. Environmental Protection Agency safety standards were measured at the U.S. Capitol building and Library of Congress, reports a new study published by JunkScience.com.  The researchers measured gamma radiation dose rates in a Capitol building hallway and outside the Thomas Jefferson Building as high as 30 microrems per hour.  Highly exposed individuals could receive anywhere from 60 millirems to 260 millirems of gamma radiation per year depending on the exposure scenario. … The measured radiation dose rate is up to 550 percent higher than the dose rate from a nuclear power plant; [and] about 13,000 times higher than the average annual radiation dose from worldwide nuclear energy production.

Afraid-iation?  In July 2005, a National Academy of Sciences research panel ominously announced that there is no safe exposure to radiation.  While this may sound intuitively plausible, the panel ignored a host of facts, including that 82 percent of the average person's exposure to ionizing radiation is natural and unavoidable — coming at low levels from the universe and the ground — and that, other than slightly higher cancer rates among the Japanese atomic bomb survivors, there are no data to support the idea that typical exposures are dangerous.

Malice in Obamaland.  The [nuclear energy] industry has been hampered by reams of regulatory red tape demanded by environmentalists in the wake of the 1979 Three Mile Island incident, which effectively ended new plant construction. ... Mr. Obama's budget proposal also zeroed out funding for Nevada's Yucca Mountain nuclear waste repository, leaving America with no long-term solution for storing spent nuclear fuel.  Without a storage solution, there is no way forward for nuclear power.  Weighing these two contradictory moves, the president appears to be urging the industry onward along the familiar path to nowhere.


Irradiated foods:

Irradiated Foods.  The safety of food irradiation has been studied more extensively than that of any other food preservation process.  As is true of other food processes, irradiation can lead to chemical changes in food.  Radiolytic products (compounds formed by radiation), are similar to compounds formed by heat treatment.  None of these products, in the amounts found in irradiated foods, has been demonstrated to be toxic by any modern toxicological methods.

Is It Time to Accept Food Irradiation?  In the face of the country's worst outbreak of foodborne illness in more than 10 years, and after the devastating European E. coli epidemic this spring, interest in irradiation — a heat-free procedure that kills microorganisms in food through gamma, x-ray or electronic energy — continues to rise.

Europe's Organic Food Scare.  German Greens and their European Union acolytes have long fought scientific advances in food production and protection.  After a spice manufacturer in Stuttgart employed the world's first commercial food irradiation in 1957, West Germany banned the practice in 1959 and has since allowed few exceptions.  So it's no small scandal that the latest fatal E. coli outbreak has been linked to an organic German farm that shuns modern farming techniques.

Is E. coli a serious problem?  Yes.
German E coli death toll hits 35.  The death toll from a killer bug outbreak centred on Germany rose on Sunday [6/12/2011] to at least 35 as the government warned of more to come, despite the source having been identified and new infections falling.

There's No Meat to Anti-Food Irradiation Claims.  Irradiation is the only known method to eliminate completely a potentially deadly strain of E.coli bacteria in raw meat and can also significantly reduce levels of listeria, salmonella and campylobacter bacteria on raw products.  Call me insensitive towards our bacterial brethren, but if it's them or us I say:  "Kill 'em all!"

Food Irradiation:  A Healthy Secret.  Irradiation of food, which is highly effective in killing harmful organisms, is relatively new and widely misunderstood, and it has been flagrantly misrepresented in the media. … Irradiation kills salmonella on poultry, trichina in pork, hazardous organisms in beef and seafood, and insects and larvae in food.  It provides an alternative to certain chemicals and pesticides to reduce spoilage of fruits and vegetables after harvest.  In addition, irradiation allows some fruits and vegetables to ripen more fully before harvest, thus enhancing flavor.

Salads To Get New Dressing — Radiation.  Consumers worried about salad safety may soon be able to buy fresh spinach and iceberg lettuce zapped with just enough radiation to kill E. coli and a few other germs.

Irradiation:  A Winning Recipe for Wholesome Beef.  Irradiation uses gamma rays from either radioactive material or machines to kill bacteria and other organisms.  Irradiated food is no more radioactive than your luggage is after it goes through the airport X-ray machine.  The FDA has already approved irradiation on some other foods, including pork, chicken, herbs and spices, fresh fruits and vegetables and grains.  Activists fought the approval of those uses and have succeeded — through public agitation — in virtually denying consumers access to all but irradiated spices.

Food Safety Held Hostage:  Why have people been allowed to sicken and die?  Why has food gone needlessly to rot?  The answer is a cautionary tale of what happens when technophobia and crackpot "consumer advocacy" reign over science.  Each year, about 9,000 Americans die of food poisoning.  Nobody knows exactly how many of these deaths can be prevented with irradiation.  But it's safe to say that three of the biggest killers — campylobacter, salmonella and E.coli — are readily destroyed by irradiation.

What is safe, what isn't?  Although more than 50 years of scientific research has established food irradiation has little or no effect on flavor, and that it is safe and highly effective, the Food and Drug Administation's gradual approval of new irradiation applications has been opposed at every turn by antinuclear activists.  Contrary to their claims, irradiated foods contain no byproducts unique to the process, and the process is hazardous neither to workers nor to environs of treatment plants.

The safe spinach solution:  Nuke it.  Authorities have traced the contaminated spinach that has killed as many as three people and sickened at least 173 to a few counties in California's Salinas Valley, but let's don't stop the investigative work too soon.  There's a lesson to be learned here, an important one about the dangers of superstitious, leftist twaddle, and the threat it poses to human life.  So let's zero in on the anti-corporate, conspiracy-minded, Nader-formed group, Public Citizen, which never quits yelping about the public good while simultaneously betraying it, and let's focus on its opposition to irradiation as an extraordinary means of saving literally tens of thousands of lives lost to food-borne illness over the years.

Irradiating Lettuce Will Save Kids' Lives.  For years, our Center has been demanding irradiation for spinach, lettuce, and other high-risk produce — to kill the food-borne bacteria that present a last big preventable risk in our food supply.  On August 22, the Food and Drug Administration granted our plea.  FDA permission to irradiate produce is the biggest step forward in U.S. food safety since irradiation was approved for meat (read hamburger) in 1990.  That followed dozens of needless "burger deaths" due to the rare-but-vicious E. coli O157 bacteria.


Radon:

Time To Overthrow the Radonistas:  Nobody questions that uranium miners breathing huge amounts of radon suffer extraordinary rates of lung cancer.  But we also know that the body has multilayered defenses for throwing off minor assaults.

Do You Need to Monitor Your Home for Radon Gas?  I've never known or heard of anyone who came down with lung cancer due to radon gas.  When non-smokers develop lung cancer, health authorities don't go running down to the deceased person's home to check for radon gas exposure.

There is no Radon Link to Cancer.  The radon scare, which peaked in 1988-1990, was generated by a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimate that 8,000 to 43,000 Americans die from lung cancer each year from exposure in buildings to air polluted by radon.  Several prominent scientists took issue with the EPA estimates.  Anthony Nero, an expert on indoor air pollution and a scientist at the Lawrence Livermore Laboratory in California, reported, "Everything is exaggerated — from the number of homes at risk to the individual's risk from radon.  I feel that, in this matter, the public has been led to worry about things of minor concern."

The War on Radon:  Few Join Up.  The EPA has decided that radon is the number one environmental health risk in America:  worse than pesticides and worse than hazardous waste.  Judging from the panic caused by environmental scares such as Alar on apples and chemicals from hazardous waste sites, one might expect the nation's "number one risk" to incite near hysteria.  Yet radon has failed to instill widespread fear in the public mind.

Radon and the LNT Fallacy:  The National Safety Council is a tax-exempt, nongovernmental agency, which describes itself as a consensus-builder.  "We do not have the authority to legislate or regulate.  However, we can influence public opinions, attitudes, and behavior" — and it does so with tax dollars.  Its Environmental Health Center produces the Climate Change Update (heavily slanted toward global warming advocates) under a cooperative agreement with the EPA and does public outreach on air quality issues (such as radon) under an EPA grant.

The Radon Scare:  When Scientists Oppose Science.  Once upon a time scientists, with few exceptions, could be relied upon to help staunch the never-ending flow of scares-of-the-week emanating from the media and advocacy groups.  But more and more, they're becoming part of the problem.  The pressure to publish a positive link between whatever's being scrutinized and disease has simply become too intense.

EPA Refuses to Face the Facts on Radon Risks.  The EPA's claim that radon levels in homes are carcinogenic, like so many of their assertions concerning carcinogenicity, are based on what's called a linear, no-threshold extrapolation.  This theory says that because a substance […] causes tumors in lab animals at doses hundreds of thousands of times greater than the doses that humans could possibly absorb, that humans are nonetheless at risk of developing tumors from these chemicals.  But radon may turn out to provide the best evidence that this assumption, beyond being scientifically unproven, is demonstrably false.

Granite Countertops A Health Threat?  If you have granite countertops in your home, you might consider testing them for the amounts of radon gas they give off, experts say, due to the potential that those amounts are above levels considered safe.  But marble manufacturers say flat-out that, "Radiation in granite is not dangerous."

New radon limits could cost Sweden billions.  The WHO recommended on Monday [9/28/2009] that limits on the radioactive element radon in residential buildings should be cut from a current 1,000 to 100 becquerel per cubic metre (Bq/m3). ... The problem is that the change would cost the Swedish society more than 25 billion kronor ($3.6 billion) to decontaminate all of the residential property in Sweden which have a radon reading in excess of the new recommendation, according to Michael Ressner.


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Updated July 11, 2017.

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