$645 MILLION in lipstick for a dead radioactive pig
February 23, 2010
The mystery has been solved.
Where is this "new reactor renaissance" coming from?
There has been no deep, thoughtful re-making or re-evaluation of atomic technology. No solution to the nuke waste problem. No making reactors economically sound. No private insurance against radioactive disasters by terror or error. No grassroots citizens now desperate to live near fragile containment domes and outtake pipes spewing radioactive tritium at 27 US reactors.
No, nothing about atomic energy has really changed.
Except this: $645 MILLION for lobbying Congress and the White House over the past ten years.
As reported by Judy Pasternak and a team of reporters at American University's Investigative Reporting Workshop, filings with the Senate Office of Public Records show that members of the Nuclear Energy Institute and other reactor owner/operators admit spending that money on issues that "include legislation to promote construction of new nuclear power plants."
Money has also gone to "other nuclear-related priorities" including "energy policy, Yucca Mountain and nuclear waste disposal, plant decommissioning costs, uranium issues, such as tariffs, re-enrichment and mining, and Nuclear Regulatory Commission funding." But even that may not fully account for money spent on coal and other energy sources, or on media campaigning.
In short: think $64.5 million, EVERY YEAR since the coming of George W. Bush.
That's $1 million per every US Senator and Representative, plus another, say $100 million for the White House, courts and media.
"I think that's understated," says Journalism Professor Karl Grossman of the State University of New York/College at Old Westbury. The "torrent of lies" from General Electric and Westinghouse, the "Coke and Pepsi" of the nuclear industry, "has made the tobacco industry look like a piker.
Their past, present and/or future media mouthpieces, says Grossman, span CBS, NBC and a global phalanx of interlocking radio-TV-print directorates.
All are geared, adds MediaChannel.org's Rory O'Connor, to flood the globe with "Nukespeak," the Orwellian lingo that sells atomic power while rehtorically air brushing its costs and dangers.
Thus Noam Chomsky's "manufacturing consent" has become an "outright purchase."
Thus National Public Radio is now the Nuclear Proliferation Redux. Disgraced ex-Greenpeacer Patrick Moore (who also sells clear-cut forests and genetically modified food) is portrayed as an "environmentalist" rather than an industry employee.
That's not to say all reactor advocates do it for the money. Certainly some have grown on their own to like nuke power.