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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 8/13/15

Fukushima -- Selling Out the Next Generation

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Japan has restarted its first nuclear reactor to generate power since 2013.

And that's really bad news.

Remember what happened in 2013? Why Japan closed all of its reactors abruptly and why we're still tracing the spread of radioactive material across our Pacific Coast and into the atmosphere?

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First there was an earthquake that did significant damage to that island country -- and then a tsunami quickly followed.

And what happened next was the largest nuclear meltdown in the history of the world and the evacuation of 160,000 locals who lived in the area of the Fukushima power plant.

We know now that TEPCO -- the owner of the Fukushima plant -- had been warned years earlier about the dangers of an earthquake and a tsunami hitting the plant.

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No one did anything about it then -- but even if they had -- do we have any reason to believe it would have been enough?

Because that's the gamble that the Japanese nuclear industry is making with all of our futures right now.

The simple fact about nuclear power generation is that the risks and the costs dramatically outweigh any benefit.

We've seen some of the risks -- in Chernobyl we saw how human error can cause a meltdown.

In the Three Mile Island incident we saw how the private corporations aren't afraid to cut corners to pad their bottom line -- even if that risks a partial nuclear meltdown.

And in Fukushima we saw what happens when corporate negligence meets a natural disaster.

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Considering nuclear power's track record and the staggering risks involved, it's amazing that anyone will insure the projects. The simple fact is that without government backing, like the Price-Anderson Act here in the US, nuclear power would be impossible, because no private insurance company will cover it.

And to add insult to injury, nuclear power is actually NOT an "alternative energy" source -- it's an incredibly fossil-fuel-intensive process.

We can start with how much cement is required to contain and protect the reactors and other sensitive parts of the plants.

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Thom Hartmann is a Project Censored Award-winning New York Times best-selling author, and host of a nationally syndicated daily progressive talk program on the Air America Radio Network, live noon-3 PM ET. www.thomhartmann.com His most recent books are "The Last Hours of Ancient Sunlight," "Unequal Protection: The Rise of Corporate Dominance and the Theft of Human Rights," "We The People," "What Would Jefferson Do?," "Screwed: The Undeclared War (more...)
 
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