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Nuclear Cover-Up Yet More Extensive as FIrst Anniversary of Fukushima Disaster Arrives

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            As the first anniversary of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster arrives, the cover-up involving nuclear power is more extensive than ever.

            The Big Lie was integral to the nuclear push from its start.          

Promoters of nuclear power discounted the seriousness of nuclear plant accidents, although government documents acknowledged the vast scale of catastrophe. As the Atomic Energy Commission's "WASH-740 update," done at Brookhaven National Laboratory in the 1960s, repeatedly states about a major nuclear plant accident: "The possible size of the area of such a disaster might be equal to that of the State of Pennsylvania."  

They pushed the "peaceful atom"--although knowing that any nation with a nuclear plant would have the materiel from it (the plutonium produced as a byproduct) and trained personnel to make atomic weapons.  

They downplayed the effects of radioactivity claiming it needed to reach a "threshold" to cause harm--even as it became clear that any amount of radioactivity can injure and kill.

And nuclear power would be "too cheap to meter," they insisted.

And on and on"

The realities of nuclear power have become ever more evident--acutely so because of the disasters at Chernobyl and Fukushima.

But the Nuclear Big Lie continues bigger than ever.

            In recent weeks, for example, there's been the move to negate what has been the U.S. government's benchmark analysis on the impacts of nuclear plant accidents. "Calculation Reactor Accident Consequences 2" (CRAC-2) was done for the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission by the U.S. Department of Energy's Sandia National Laboratories in 1982. It catalogues th e impacts from a meltdown with a breach of containment at every nuclear plant in the U.S.

It divides the consequences into "Peak Early Fatalities," "Peak Early Injuries," "Peak Cancer Deaths" and "Scaled Costs" for property damage--and the numbers are chilling.

For the Indian Point 3 nuclear plant north of New York City, for instance, it projects   "Peak Early Fatalities" at 50,000, "Peak Early Injuries" at 167,000, "Peak Cancer Deaths" at 14,000 and "Scaled Costs" at $314 billion (in 1980 dollars).

The estimates turn out to be low considering the toll of the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear plant accident.

But in January, the NRC put out a report that it intends to replace CRAC-2 with that it titles the "State-of-the-Art Reactor Consequences Analyses" or SOARCA. SOARCA flatly dismisses the high casualty and damage figures of CRAC-2 (and the WASH-740 update before it). Using as models the Surry nuclear station in Virginia and the Peach Bottom facility in Pennsylvania, each with two nuclear plants, the NRC declared that the "risks of public health consequences from severe accidents" at a nuclear plant "are very small."

The "long-term risk" of a person dying from cancer from a nuclear plant accident is less than one-in-a billion, says SOARCA. This is because "successful implementation of existing mitigation measures can prevent reactor core damage or delay or reduce offsite releases of radioactive material."

Tell that to the people impacted by Chernobyl and Fukushima.

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Karl Grossman is a professor of journalism at the State University of New York/College at Old Westbury and host of the nationally syndicated TV program Enviro Close-Up.
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