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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 4/2/19

Three Mile Island's Murderous Legacy Still Threatens Us All

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Three Mile Island Nuclear Power Station
Three Mile Island Nuclear Power Station
(Image by YouTube, Channel: Willie Smith)
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Forty years ago this week, the Three Mile Island nuke began pouring lethal radiation into our air and water, lungs and livers.

Throughout central Pennsylvania and beyond, people, animals, plants, and the planet began to die en masse.

In 1980, a mile from the plant, I interviewed many of the immediate victims. It was the worst week of my life.

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Today 98 US reactors could repeat the slaughter. Worldwide there are about 450. Many are falling apart. Each could deliver a lethal dose of apocalyptic proportions. All heat the planet, emit carbon, kill nearby newborns, suck up public money, hinder renewables, and threaten fresh catastrophes.

None are "zero emission" or "carbon free." None can compete with the solar, wind, battery storage, and LED/efficiency technologies that can save us from a fried planet.

If we're to live on this Earth, King CONG (Coal, Oil Nukes & Gas) must die.

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Since TMI, Solartopian costs have become far cheaper than fully amortized reactors.

And nuke costs have soared. Last week Trump slipped in another $3.7 billion in federal loans for two reactors under construction at Vogtle, Georgia. They may ultimately cost $25 billion or more and still never open.

They're bankrupting the state, having already helped gut Westinghouse and Toshiba. They'll never come close to competing with wind, solar, batteries or LED/efficiency, which will create far more jobs.

A quarter-million Americans now work in solar energy alone, with another hundred thousand in wind. More Californians work in solar than dig coal nationwide.

Two nukes in South Carolina were recently canceled at a cost of billions. Two more being built in France and Finland are years behind schedule and billions over budget.

The current crop of nuke fanatics wants more. They'll waste billions of public dollars. But proposed new reactors are so much more expensive than renewables that except for a few big boondoggles, they'll never be built.

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The real threat is the reactors that still operate ... the Three Mile Islands in progress.

All heat the planet with massive steam and hot water emissions. Their cooling towers kill thousands of bats and birds. The heat, radiation, and chemicals spewed by their out-take pipes destroy entire marine ecosystems, including millions of fish. The radiation from Fukushima still pours into the Pacific.

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Harvey is a lifelong activist who speaks, writes and organizes widely on energy, the environment, election protection, social justice, grass-roots politics and natural healing, personal and planetary.He hosts "California Solartopia" at KPFK-Pacifica and "Green Power & Wellness" atprn.fm. (more...)
 

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5 people are discussing this page, with 7 comments


Devil's Advocate

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It's alarming how Fukushima is hardly ever talked about now.

Submitted on Tuesday, Apr 2, 2019 at 10:30:56 PM

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Chuck Nafziger

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Nuke power has never made sense. Weirdly insane Dixie Lee Ray, a former AEC chairwoman, once called nuclear waste a non problem. No one has ever had a reasonable idea of how to deal with the mess so why not just lie about it. Nuclear power brings a whole keg of nails for humanity's coffin.

Submitted on Wednesday, Apr 3, 2019 at 8:37:00 AM

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Anton Grambihler

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Why Doesn't U.S. Recycle Nuclear Fuel?

Forbes Article;

Submitted on Wednesday, Apr 3, 2019 at 8:26:09 PM

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Chuck Nafziger

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The US does not recycle much because uranium is cheap. Reprocessing and reburning fuel tries to solve only a part of the waste problem. Consider the dangerous, derelict facilities. If there are future societies, they will forget the invisible danger, return and sicken by the black magic nuclear power is.

Submitted on Wednesday, Apr 3, 2019 at 11:17:37 PM

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Eddy Schmid

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The U.S. DOES recycle nuclear fuel into DEPLETED URANIUM AMMUNITIONS to then be dropped onto whoever they consider deserves such treatment. Thus spreading nuclear contamination World wide and nary a peep from anyone. It also solves the problem of disposing of nuclear waste.

Submitted on Thursday, Apr 4, 2019 at 6:42:22 AM

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Richard Pietrasz

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All forms of generating usable power for people involve waste heat, all though some are more efficient than others. (One can argue growing food crops with sunlight and manual labor is close to 100% efficient, as the sunlight would heat the earth with or without the plants, but the labor still adds CO2 in excess of not planting and harvesting.) I am curious as to what the true efficiencies of all notable power sources is, including the energy consumed in building facilities, disposing waste, and mitigating environmental damage.


It is notable the nuclear power industry considers itself unable to make a profit, but only can take a profit by forcing the public to pay environmental and liability costs.

Submitted on Wednesday, Apr 3, 2019 at 8:34:34 PM

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Eddy Schmid

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No nuclear power company could exist without Government subsidies covering the costs of building such facilities. The taxpayer is then AGAIN charged for the product produced by the same facilities they paid for, then when the facility is no longer viable, the taxpayer is again, slugged to demolish/dispose of contaminated material and restore sites. Whilst the company that ran it, squirrels away the funds it rips off the taxpayers then rides off into the sunset with a nice tidy bundle leaving the taxpayer to clean up the mess.

That's nuclear power in a nutshell.

Submitted on Thursday, Apr 4, 2019 at 6:47:33 AM

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