Guardian: Everyone knows nuclear plants are not really safe — Only a few noisy die-hards arguing radiation from nuke plants is harmless

Published: April 2nd, 2012 at 1:45 pm ET
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Title: Nuclear industry dreams dashed by current economic reality
Source: The Guardian
Author: Martin Cohen
Date: April 2, 2012

The news that nuclear giants RWE and E.ON are dropping plans to build any new UK reactors has sent a toxic cloud not only over Wales, but over the nuclear industry itself.

Of course, everyone knows nowadays, post-Chernobyl, post-Fukushima, that nuclear power plants are not really safe. Even if there are a few noisy die-hards, arguing that the resulting radiation is harmless, and that “hardly anyone” dies as a direct consequence of atomic meltdown, that old canard just won’t wash any more.

Other nuclear myths, though, have lingered on. Atomic energy, unveiled by Her Majesty with grand aplomb at Calder Hall half a century ago, still has a hi-tech glamour, an aura of somehow being “the future”. The reality that atomic plants are basically steam engines staffed by thousands of casual workers who would otherwise be picking strawberries or digging up roads somehow never impinges. [...]

the unpalatable fact is that the electricity produced is not economic and that the scheme has only been kept going by increasingly exotic public subsidies and finance packages (read sub-prime crisis).

That’s not even to mention other economic tricks the industry excels in, such as putting off decommissioning and waste disposal costs into a far distant future and hiving off its disaster and insurance liabilities by, er … basically, ignoring them.

The promise of nuclear was that if its plants were expensive, surely, over time, industry costs would drop, both due to economies of scale and new technology, and that sooner or later, the electricity it produced would become commercial, rather than merely a useful by-product of plutonium enrichment. [...]

Read the report here

Published: April 2nd, 2012 at 1:45 pm ET
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24 comments

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24 comments to Guardian: Everyone knows nuclear plants are not really safe — Only a few noisy die-hards arguing radiation from nuke plants is harmless

  • TheBigPicture TheBigPicture

    Unbelievable that man ever thought he could control the atom.

    Utter foolishness.


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  • BreadAndButter BreadAndButter

    "… staffed by thousands of casual workers who would otherwise be picking strawberries or digging up roads somehow never impinges. [...]"
    Lovely.
    :-)


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    • Blown Camaro

      I personally know someone who LIED their way into a job at Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant ran by PG&E in California. This person had NO previous experience and managed to get a high paying job in the control room! He told me he "picked it up" after a few months of watching what others did. HOLY SHIT.


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  • arclight arclight

    "The news that nuclear giants RWE and E.ON are dropping plans to build any new UK reactors has sent a toxic cloud not only over Wales, but over the nuclear industry itself."

    and they are not the only clouds over europe… (:(
    i am so happy with this article i might start buying the guardian again!! :)

    thank you mr cohen!!


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  • PhilipUpNorth philipupnorth

    Told you! Soon anti-nuke articles will be all over the MSM! Shut nukes down! Decommission all nukes at nuke industry (read nuke shareholder) expense. No nuke subsidies! The nuke industry demands that solar, wind, and hydro power must compete without government subsidies. Let's see how nukes do without public subsidies! Nukes are entirely uneconomical without public subsidies. The people won't take this shit any longer. Vote pro-nuke legislators out of office now. No new nukes. No old nukes. You built them, so decommission them! Get out of here! (rant ends).


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    • Radio VicFromOregon

      But, a good rant.


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    • Misitu

      Recently a number of signs emerge showing a groundswell of concerned opinion washing over the nuclear industry – and its camp followers? – like a tsunami if I can be pardoned for saying that.

      Regardless, the shills now appear to be "considering their position". Not a done deal, the debate continues, but the evidence it seems is beginning to be accepted by some MSM and more of the "unaffected" public.


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  • tokyota

    …sooner or later, the electricity it produced would become commercial, rather than merely a useful by-product of plutonium enrichment…

    Here we go, nuke-industry is basically military-industry. Producing electricity is just a by-product and an excuse to facilitate military productions, ie. nuclear weapons.


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  • jayjay jayjay

    Fantastic news from The Guardian, Hip Hip Hooray.

    Well done Enenewsers the truth is beginning to get out into the big wide world, Nuclear Power is Fools Gold!!!!!!!


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    • arclight arclight

      heres a bit more "truth" they dont want you to see!

      the winds in the uk have switched there is a complicated wind pattern but the winds to london are from the west again!

      i got a report of high counts in the uk up to 0.20 mSv/h and was on alert.. i got a 0.42 mcSv/h spike and stopped my bike in peckham high street to capture the moment but missed the big spike.. there was erratic readings after and high.. to 0.18 microsievert/hr.. that was at 23.00 hrs

      at 03.00 hrs i saw another spike to 0.42 mcSv/h.. just like the mercoule incident effect in london.. high in gamma! i set up the camera and filmed for half an hour afterwards.. will be posting the highlights probably timelapsed..

      lots of peaks

      slow rises to 0.19 mcSv/h

      be nice if the guardian investigated this!!

      my best guess.. oldbury decommissioning clear out!!

      HOLD YOUR BREATH LONDON!!

      :(

      video to follow….. soon.. hopefully!


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  • Sickputer

    A masterpiece of an article by Martin Cohen. The rats (politicians) will soon be denying they ever supported nuclear energy. GE's handpicked little bobbleheads in DC are sweating the gestation period out (9 months to election day).

    Lots more potential for really bad news from Fukushambles between now and November and the handy dandy subsidies from Uncle Sam's nuclear lackeys may look very tainted even to the brain dead 99 percenters.


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    • Misitu

      Interesting reviewing the comments to see so many agreements with Cohen and relatively few disagreements. I do think things have changed recently. This means don't relax now.


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  • arclight arclight

    STRATEGIC ENVIRONMENTAL ASSESSMENT
    Site Specific Baseline
    Oldbury Site
    Oldbury Naite
    Thornbury
    South Gloucestershire
    BS35 1RQ

    "The planned end state for Oldbury Site is defined in the NDA Strategy Document 2011. This states: ‘Radioactive and non-radioactive contamination will be reduced to meet the requirements of the relevant regulatory regime for the next planned use of the site and the current use of adjacent land. Where the next planned use no longer requires a nuclear site licence, radioactive contamination will be reduced to meet the criteria for delicensing, with any remaining radioactive substances being subject to the relevant environmental permitting regime. The physical state of designated land will be made suitable for the next planned use of the site; structures and infrastructure will be made safe or removed where necessary, having first explored opportunities for their re-use.’"

    http://www.magnoxsites.com/UserFiles/File/publications/environmental%20reports/OldburySEABaselineV1formatted.pdf

    phhhhffffff! :(

    average in london around 0,12 mcSv/h
    range 0.10 to 0.18

    the rain has lowered the average and reduced the peaks! not alot of rain though.. small showers..

    oh and bought the guardian today!! :) a right rivetting read… enenews now recommends the guardian! :)

    now we are waiting for george monibot to recant as hes been led up the gaarden path!! im in a forgiving mood george.. just stop talking PR drudge!!

    no nukes!! yuk!


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  • arclight arclight

    T
    he decision on the application to carry out a
    d
    ecommissioning project at Oldbury nuclear power station under the Nuclear Reactors (Environmental Impact Assessment for Decommissioning) Regulations 1999 (as amended)

    "Decommissioning is one of the activities for which the European Commission requires a submission by governments of Member States under Article 37 of the Euratom Treaty. The submission identifies the potential impacts on Member State countries of the decommissioning strategy of a particular nuclear installation."

    http://www.hse.gov.uk/nuclear/nuc27.pdf


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  • Pretty common mainstream story nuclear not cost effective. End of nuclear hopefully


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  • stopnp stopnp

    Nice. It's working…


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