Return of the Fearmonger for Profit

George Erickson

Dry cast storage. Photos from George Ericsson
Dry cast storage. Photos from George Ericson

Perhaps the rent came due. If so, maybe that’s why John LaForge cranked out yet another anti-nuclear diatribe about what MIGHT happen at safe, 90% efficient, environment-friendly nuclear plants near rising and/or warming waterways instead of writing about damage that is already occurring: natural gas explosions that destroy property or kill US citizens Every Other Day, 30% efficient windmills that kill millions of birds and bats per year at a time when insect borne diseases are rising, 600,000 asthma attacks and 30,000 premature deaths from fossil fuel pollution in the US every year. And let’s not forget the increasing cases of bronchitis, asthma and cardiovascular problems from fossil fuel pollution or the 5 million lost workdays per year in the United States alone. (Scientific American magazine.) 
Now add the acidification of our oceans (that provide 20% of our protein and 50% of our oxygen), by our excesses of carbon dioxide that oceanographers predict will cause the death of the oceans unless we stop burning carbon in every way possible and electrify our industries  and transportation systems with emission-free electricity created by nuclear power.  

John, who likes to quote other science-deficient zealots who also profit from spreading fear and half-truths (and are similarly afflicted with anti-nuclear tunnel vision), apparently thinks that nuclear plants are responsible for warming rivers, lakes and oceans even though industries, cities and climate change contribute to the warming. 

Instead of complaining when a nuclear plant is deliberately idled when the temperature of the coolant water is too high, he should praise the operator’s intelligence for running the plant in a responsible way. He also ought to study the new reactors that need NO WATER for cooling and can efficiently operate in the middle of the Sahara, Gobi or Mohave deserts.  And although misguided “environmentalists” apparently sought to have two South Texas reactors shut down during hurricane Harvey, I’ll bet that the thousands of people who had continuous power (thanks to Mr. Laforge’s  nuclear “behemoths”) were pleased that safe, 24/7, emission-free nuclear power was always online.

Never one to let facts get in the way, Mr. Laforge used a photograph of the Fort Calhoun station near Omaha, Nebraska with accompanying text that said that the reactor was “inundated,” which the photo clearly reveals is untrue. Yes, the plant was surrounded by water, but it was not inundated. Words matter, John, but apparently not for those who intend to promote fear instead of facts. 

Furthermore, the valuable spent fuel that some call “waste” which can be converted to power by modern reactors, presents no hazard when stored on site in reinforced concrete containers that are good for 100 years. In fact, workers in the nuclear “waste” storage industry have better safety and health records than those who work at Target. However, the media, which tends to prefer sensationalists like Mr. LaForge who make their livings by cherry picking facts that generate fear, rarely bothers to interview nuclear plant operators or physicists who can provide rational responses. 

No one has ever died from spent fuel storage and disposal. Neither are they likely to in the future, but you wouldn’t know that from watching the news. 
Fortunately, most of the world takes a more sensible view of nuclear power. In Sweden, for example, residents of Osthammar overwhelmingly approved the creation of a facility for storing the spent fuel – the “waste”- from nuclear power plants. See http://www.spiegel.de/international/europe/the-nuclear-sell-why-one-swedish-town-welcomes-a-waste-dump-a-763081.html
And thanks to climate change, which John’s inefficient, short-lived, flora and fauna-displacing, environment-damaging, highly subsidized, resource-gobbling, carbon-dependent, storm-fragile, difficult to recycle wind and solar farms are worsening, we don’t even need 100 years because we are going to be in even deeper trouble in less than 40.

Nuclear power advocates are the true environmentalists.

A free PDF of Unintended Consequences: the Lie That Killed Millions and Accelerated Climate Change can be downloaded from http://www.unintended-consequences.org and from www.tundracub.com
George Erickson - 
Member National Center for Science Education and the Thorium Energy Alliance   For a free presentation on nuclear power and alternative energy sources email tundracub@mediacombb.net or call 218-744-2003.