Pro Nukes & Anti Nukes heat up their messages: will it make a difference?
By Abby Luby
America is taking to the streets. The month-long "Occupy Wall Street" is seen as a highly charged beacon of free speech and activism, a force that has roused protesters from their comfy cyber soap boxes out to public parks and sidewalks.
The anti-nuclear movement is no exception.
Over the last few weeks, mass rallies across the United States have protested the dangers of nuclear power, a cry still echoing from the devastating destruction of the Fukushima plants in Japan last March. The urgent message from anti-nuclear forces here: "it can happen here."
Under the umbrella of "A National Day of Action for America's Nuclear Free Future," protesters took to the streets in New York City, St. Petersburg, Fort Lauderdale and Fort Meyers in Florida, San Clemente and San Diego, California, Atlanta, Michigan, Ohio, Asbury Park, New Jersey, Raleigh, North Carolina and Virginia.
These protests were fueled not only by the harrowing and cataclysmic events still unfolding at Fukushima, but by recent e arthquakes, hurricanes, floods and tornadoes here in the United States - events that the nuclear industry's oversight agency, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission considers "unlikely" to affect the safety of nuclear power plants in this country. www.nrc.gov.
The NRC is unwavering in their federal conscripts, wearing their own brand of blinders tailored to forge ahead, re-licensing aging plants and building new ones, regardless of overt warning signs of possible dangers.
A story on iwatchnews in September http://www.iwatchnews.org (Nuclear miscalculation: "Why regulators miss power plant threats from quakes and storms," by Susan Q. Stranahan), reported that the NRC considers a Fukushima type quake and tsunami a rare event in this country. The feds stolidly held to this adage while Americans lived through a quake in Virginia that shut down that state's North Anna Power Station in August and caused the radioactive spent fuel storage casks to move unexpectedly, a tornado that ripped up the South and brought down transmission towers at the Browns Ferry power plant in Atlanta. And when Hurricane Irene ravaged the East Coast, a Maryland reactor was forced to shut down after loosened metal siding blustered up and sliced into the transformer's high power lines.