Interview with No-Nuke Activist, Harvey Wasserman
My guest today is Harvey Wasserman, author, democracy activist and long-time strategist for the anti-nuke movement. Welcome back to OpEdNews, Harvey.
JB: We haven't talked for quite a while. What's on your mind today?
HW: We need to shut the Diablo Canyon nukes asap. A newly revealed report by an NRC insider confirms the plant cannot meet basic earthquake standards. Dave Lochbaum of the UCS says it can't meet basic fire standards.
The owner PG&E has just been fined $1.4 billion for killing eight people in an avoidable explosion that destroyed an entire neighborhood in San Bruno.
This is bad stuff. We need to get these California Fukushimas offline!!
JB: There are many readers out there who are not up to date on this whole topic. Let's pause for a bit of backstory. The Diablo Canyon nuclear facility is in California on one of the earthquake fault lines, correct? Has that fact been known from the get-go?
HW: Diablo is surrounded by FIVE earthquake faults that we know of. Any one of them could level the place. A major one---the Hosgri---was discovered while they were building the reactors. But they never fully retrofitted to account for it. Since then three more have been found. And there's always been the San Andreas, just 45 miles away, half the distance that the one that destroyed Fukushima was from the one that destroyed those reactors there.
JB: Yikes - five fault lines? Why and how were they able to go ahead and build when at least some of these were known and acknowledged? Wasn't that extremely foolhardy? Weren't there other, less dangerous potential sites for the reactor? What they did sounds more like Russian roulette!
HW: Many reactors are built on or near fault line, including Indian Point near New York City. You have to remember the corporations that build these things are not liable for the damage they do. Fukushima has actually become a profit center for Tokyo Electric. They just take government money to clean it up and don't worry about the rest of it because they're protected from liability.
It's actually Chernobyl roulette and the losers are the public. The only safe site for a reactor is the one we have 93 million miles away.
JB: Hmmm... Well, if the utilities that build these reactors bear no financial responsibility for any damages, it's a sweet deal for them, no question. I get that part. But why does the government keep falling for that kind of bad deal? Bad for the government, bad for taxpayers, bad for citizens. And is there any noise about shutting down Diablo and any other reactors on or near fault lines?
HW: Diablo Canyon's owners are very vulnerable right now. I think we can wage a very powerful campaign against them and hopefully have an impact. Remember we shut the two San Onofre reactors in California last year.
The government goes along because the corporations are very powerful. It's the same with virtually all issues we face now. The great virus that threatens the human race is the corporation. Nuclear power is basically a corporate form of energy. They are terrified of the Solartopian green power revolution because it could allow the public to control its own energy supply. That would be a huge step forward for democracy. It won't be easy but it can be done.
JB: It's not just those within spitting range of the reactor who are in danger, is it? Give us a sense of the potential population at risk, if nothing is done.