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European Nuclear Nightmares: A Forewarning for the US

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Message Cathy Garger
Although French firm, AREVA, has yet to build a European Pressurized Reactor in the U.S., it has ambitious plans to build the experimental design in several states. I guess it is amusing to use Americans as guinea pigs. What they are calling a single reactor, as with the current push for nuclear expansion at Calvert Cliffs, near Washington, D.C., is actually, for all intents and purposes, a double-reactor, with 1600 MW of nuclear power. No doubt, market surveys must have convinced AREVA execs it is easier to "sell" one reactor than two. Thus, calling it one reactor serves to minimize the psychological impact of being double-nuked.

Last night at the Calvert Cliffs expansion (opposition) event in Baltimore, sponsored by Chesapeake Safe Energy Coalition, we heard testimony from a local psychiatrist that nuclear power actually causes an official disorder called "Nuclear Anxiety." No doubt this legitimate fear of an even more-radioactive USA has been the primary factor for the feds holding up on their coveted "nuclear renaissance" until the "Three Mile Island effect" had softened to a foggy radionuclide-haze and our young people have little to no knowledge of this domestic disaster - nor the one in Chernobyl. French-based AREVA and its subsidiaries have already infiltrated our country (under the national radar) with 42 sites in 20 states inside the US.

This is the company that just perpetrated four (4) nuclear "incidents" (insiders are calling them disasters while AREVA uses the minimizing terms "leaks" and "spills") inside France in the month of July, with radioactive exposure of 129 nuclear workers, 97 of whom required medical care. AREVA's leaks in France contaminated 3 rivers (one of them the Rhone), which flows into the Mediterranean Sea. These European fiascos are serious indicators that the "nuclear renaissance" is a supreme danger to America - just as it is to France. We need to convince members of our communities that nuclear "resurgence" is not the way to go. Almost everyone I know is more personally concerned about their family's health and safety than any other factor like economics or global warming.

AREVA's track record - in both France and Finland - clearly demonstrates it is not welcome to impose its nuclear havoc here inside the United States. As one Baltimore commentator remarked last night, the damage AREVA has already done, in terms of foodstuffs alone (think Brie and Camembert cheeses and French wines) is a horrendous assault on the international community. Nuclear power is neither safe nor healthy for Americans. It is, in fact, both outright dangerous and deadly. This fact cannot be emphasized strongly enough. It is just this sentiment - of safeguarding our health and safety - that will move average citizens to justified outrage and subsequent action far more than talking points about money or saving the planet.

Working with Sierra Club in the past taught me a valuable lesson. People are most moved to action - actually DOing something - when they realize something in their environment is damaging and/or otherwise adversely impacting the health and safety of themselves and those they love. Talking about the fact that nuclear power is dangerous and deadly is not emotional, manipulative hype. Au contraire. It is, in fact, a current reality, of the nightmare variety.

Here is the latest fiasco: BREAKING NEWS: Safety procedures in disarray at Finland's Olkiluoto 3 nuclear construction site.

Documents seen by Greenpeace show that French company Areva is failing to implement vital safety procedures in the troubled construction of its prototype European Pressurized Water Reactor (EPR) in Olkiluoto, Finland. As well as being 2-3 years behind schedule, 70 per cent over budget, and experiencing 1,500 construction defects along with a damaging fire, the reactor's safety cannot be guaranteed.

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Cathy Garger is a freelance writer, public speaker,  activist, and a certified personal coach who specializes in Uranium weapons. Living in the shadow of the national District of Crime, Cathy is constantly nauseated by the stench emanating from (more...)
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