Happy St. Patrick's Day! Today, we probably ALL feel like getting drunk.
But so drunk we feel nauseous and want to throw up? No, thanks.
Many people in Japan are feeling that way now, without a sip of sake. Many more will.
Ireland, at least, has one thing to celebrate today: THEY don't have any nuclear power plants of their own. They thought about it, but Sellafield was already way too close. And free speech is a hallmark of Irish society, so nuclear power didn't get very far.
When Sellafield went up in smoke (then known as Windscale) Ireland certainly wasn't spared.
The worse nuclear disasters in history, in order, are, I believe:
Fukushima Dai-ichi, Japan
Three Miles Island, USA
Of course, ongoing nuclear disasters such as Hanford, Savannah River, Oak Ridge, the Nevada Test Site, Paduccah, etc., and their counterparts in Russia and elsewhere are larger by some standards than some of these accidents, perhaps than all of them. Hanford didn't become "the most polluted place on earth" by accident, although it had many of those, too. It got there in a steady, relentless fashion. It was sacrificed.
The area around Fukushima Dai-ichi has been sacrificed.
I woke up this morning and watched the video I posted last night again. Despite having to capture some things off a television screen in the room (that's my wife, speaking after me, her voice quivering from having to do this same thing so many times before...) I think it tells a chilling story that will be repeated around the country and around the world in the months to come. It shows how nothing will happen, and the nukes will stay open, and it will be "business as usual" until the next disaster:
This morning I read that Boxer and Feinstein, our two Senators from California, have sent a letter to United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission Chair Gregory Jaczko asking the commission to do a "full" review of the safety of San Onofre and Diablo Canyon.
What will THAT prove?
These plants won't be shut down by some corrupt commission, or some corrupt judge at the tail end of a corrupt system.
This earthquake was "unpredictable" according to the nuclear industry. But it wasn't at all!
More importantly, nor was the tsunami, which was the thing that apparently triggered the reactor problems.
Tsunamis seem about as predictable as clockwork and, uh, ahem... comets.
"The early nuclear reactors weren't designed for tornadoes," a former advisor to the NRC admitted in an article I read yesterday, adding: "until one came along in Arkansas, and then we thought, "We gotta design for tornadoes. It's not easy to be all-knowing."
Tornados in Arkansas are a surprise to the nuclear engineers? According to David Okrent they are.
Large tsunamis and earthquakes in Japan and California are a surprise, too? According to San Onofre, they are.
Oh sure, "little" tsunamis and earthquakes are expected, and there-in lies the lie. What's the right definition of "little"?
Would closing San Onofre have a significant impact on Southern California's economic future, other than to help enable our solar energy industries? Probably not.
But will leaving it operating, and leaving its spent fuel along the coast have a significant impact on SoCal's future? You can bet your life on that one! In fact, if you live here, you won't have any choice but to do so.
Please help spread the news that San Onofre must be shut down permanently NOW! No more hearings are necessary, no more testimony. We've been through that. Now, a child can see the truth.
Besides, highly-qualified experts have testified for YEARS that this sort of thing could happen, as have thousands of citizens. We need the plants shut down NOW!
Please contact nukefree.org for more information, or NIRS, Beyond Nuclear, WISE, Bellona Foundation, etc.... Call our elected officials yourselves. Tell them how you feel.
Help save SoCal from becoming another Fukushima Dai-ichi disaster.
Please ask our elected officials to act on these issues immediately. The debate is won. Facts got in the way. Nuclear power has to go.
THE RIDE IS OVER.
stocking up on water and waiting for the Fukushima Dai-chi dusting in
Here's an excellent short video commentary Karl Grossman just released -- http://envirovideo.blip.tv/