Senate Leader: NRC Commissioner ‘Lied To Congress’ — Could bring Senate to grinding halt

Published: April 19th, 2012 at 8:09 am ET
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Title: Harry Reid Goes Nuclear: NRC Commissioner ‘Lied To Congress’
Source: Huffington Post
Author: Ryan Grim
Date: Apr. 19, 2012

A GOP nominee to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission “lied to Congress” and “disqualified herself” from a second term, a spokesman for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said Wednesday. Reid’s blunt opposition to the Republican pick is part of a longer battle over the direction of the agency that regulates nuclear power — an aggressive step that has infuriated his counterpart, Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.). [...]

On Wednesday afternoon, Reid spokesman Adam Jentleson sought to clear up the mystery. Svinicki, 45, is being shot down, he said, because she lied. “Senator Reid opposes Commissioner Svinicki’s re-nomination because she lied to Congress about her past work on Yucca Mountain,” Jentleson said. “Furthermore, Commissioner Svinicki has an abysmal record on nuclear safety, demonstrating that she puts the interests of the nuclear industry ahead of the safety of American citizens. Senator Reid has consistently supported qualified Republicans for the commission and is open to supporting others, but Commissioner Svinicki has disqualified herself and does not deserve to be re-nominated.” [...]

Title: RPT-Turmoil at U.S. nuclear regulator spills into Congress
Source: Reuters
Author: Roberta Rampton
Date: Apr 19, 2012

[...] A vacancy could cause gridlock along party lines at the commission and delay safety reforms at U.S. nuclear plants that the NRC mandated after Japan’s nuclear disaster. Republicans are rallying behind Svinicki as they try to improve their ratings among female voters in the run-up to the Nov. 6 presidential election.

Senator Jeff Sessions [(R-AL)]said last month that Svinicki “should not be forced to leave” the commission when her term ends. “I’m not going to let that happen … even if we have to bring the Senate to a grinding halt,” he said.

[Mitch] McConnell [(R-KY)], Sessions and other senior Senate Republicans are slated to speak to reporters on Thursday morning about the brewing controversy [...]

Published: April 19th, 2012 at 8:09 am ET
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54 comments to Senate Leader: NRC Commissioner ‘Lied To Congress’ — Could bring Senate to grinding halt

  • Jebus Jebus

    Hey Kimosabi, I hear wagons circling! Do you?


    Report comment

  • Sickputer

    Watch out Reid… The Republicans will be sending their hitman Ted Nugent to have you "suck on his machine gun". ;-) . You got some moxie Harry!

    Maybe you need to invite all the pro-nuke senators to a big meeting and serve them the Erin Brockovich special refreshments. Send them home with a case of Choengju rice wine direct from Fukushima Prefecture. The Koreans will be glad to share their excess bottles:

    http://www.koreabang.com/2012/stories/korea-imports-fukushima-food-netizens-worried-about-radiation.html


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    • VanneV anne

      From what I've seen from Reid to Colorado senator Mark Udall to Mitt Romney, the Mormans (who hare ruled by their Bishop) are all heavily PRO-NUKE. They think they are exempt from radiation poisoning and that they will rule the earth after the rest of us are dead. Sounds delusional to me.


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      • VanneV anne

        We're glad that Reid is against Yucca Mountain. But is it for the right reasons?

        Is he opposed to the money going to Utah?

        Utah Nuclear Waste Company Wants to Accept Italy's Atomic Debris
        Published February 25, 2009

        http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,500446,00.html


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        • moonshellblue moonshellblue

          What's so bad about storing dry casks at Yucca Mountain. I personally think that is what we should be doing with the massive amount of spent fuel sitting precariously above 24 Mark 1 BWR's in the US. We have to store it somewhere and if it is dry casked I don't understand why we can't use Yuccca Mountain to store it. JMHO


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      • Cataclysmic Cataclysmic

        LDS=One big business, ..and I would not be surprised to find a fiscal link between the church and nukes..Part of me believes it is the "blind faith" thing, that most within organized religion, subscribe to, that got us in this mess and others in the 1st place..(don't think for yourself, believe what I told you)some of the things they are supposed to believe and understand make no sense, just believe it anyway.. lay this ability to believe, the unbelievable, over a highly propagandized, under educated society and presto.. you have the nuclear power industry, and more..

        Recently, so many "religious" against helping the poor.. or judging them lazy and stupid..so out of hand and not Christ like, or Christian, to me.

        I have always believed there was a translation error in the Bible, I believe we were not cast OUT of the Garden of Eden, but cast INTO the Garden of Eden.. I think our bodies were a gift, not a punishment.. we were heavenly bodies that saw a beautiful place and wanted to experience it.. we were allowed, by the grace of God, to do just that..why are we not taking care of this Godly Garden?

        All religions should have the survival of the species as one of their top priorities (protect DNA) if not they are false..

        My opinion only of course,not an atheist, just do not subscribe to organized big business religion.


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  • aigeezer aigeezer

    You can't get more partisan than this – Svinicki is a former staffer for John McCain and for John Warner, according to her own propaganda blurb.

    http://www.nrc.gov/about-nrc/organization/commission/svinicki.html

    In 2010 she made a speech gushing about the nuclear renaissance. From it:

    "I believe these principles articulate the standards by which the regulated community and the broader public should judge the NRC as a regulator – charged with ensuring the public trust.

    The first principle – that of independence – calls for the “highest possible standards of ethical performance and professionalism” but notes that independence “does not imply isolation.” All available facts and opinions must be sought openly. Conflicting public interests must be considered and final decisions must be based on objective, unbiased assessments of all information, and documented with reasons explicitly stated.

    The second principle – openness – describes nuclear regulation as the public’s business. The public must have the opportunity to participate in the regulatory process and open channels of communication must be maintained."

    You can see the rest of the "principles" here:

    http://nuclearstreet.com/nuclear_power_industry_news/b/nuclear_power_news/archive/2010/06/11/nrc-s-svinicki-state-of-the-nuclear-renaissance-a-regulatory-perspective-06116.aspx


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  • ion jean ion jean

    Why don't they throw us peasants a bone and let the prople by popular vote elect the next NRC commissioner??

    I nominate Dr. Helen Caldicott, who is more expertly qualified in nuclear safety than ANY current member! I would also slip in Arnie Gundersen and Michio Kaku when the next round was up for reconfirmation.

    When Reid can help make this happen, then I will feel he is sincere, because it appears that Dems like whoring around with the Pro Atomic Men as well (just thinking of the Obama-Exelon connex and ensuing taxpayer subsidies for the Nuke Industry Assassins!).


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  • AFTERSHOCK AFTERSHOCK

    I must say, I am very impressed by the enenews crowd! Given the diversity of our backgrounds, it's impressive how we're – all – able to 'reed' past the political bullshit! This crowd (including admin) is awesome…


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  • Whoopie Whoopie

    "how we're – all – able to 'reed'"
    You mean Reid right? :)


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  • StillJill StillJill

    Yes AFTERSHOCK,…'iron sharpens iron', or so it is written!

    Many minds here are getting sharper by the bloody day–I swear,…..it is ONE positive 'evolution', I am enjoying seeing-IMMENSELY! :-)


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    • AFTERSHOCK AFTERSHOCK

      I think we're all getting past the usual ideology, which in the past was used to impede progress on these issues. It's become obvious to all, if the planet becomes uninhabitable, everything else takes a back seat. I happen to honor the dream of life. I know I'll be eventually leaving this domain but that's not going to keep me from honoring it while I'm here. Fortunately, they're beginning to get it too! Love you Jill!


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      • Whoopie Whoopie

        Heartfelt comment AS. I hear you. I feel the very same. Love you guys but truthfully I AM SCARED, listening to Arnie in the background. Scary report.


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        • AFTERSHOCK AFTERSHOCK

          Don't be frightened good lady. Only the self-serving have something to fear. They'll have to reconcile their myopia with-what awaits them. We all have the choice at any moment. You took a position long ago and as fate would have it, have found yourself on the correct side of the issue.

          The ranks of the pro-nuclear crowd are beginning to whither from the truth. They'll begin to realize there are alternatives means to economic survival and technical challenges. Those at the helm are now redefining how these changes will be implemented. There is much at stack for them; face-saving being only part of the equation.

          Don't be tempted into accepting tragedy as the end-game. Continue being as bold as you are! Be prepared to be gracious in accepting a hard-fought victory. Refrain from vitriol and denigration. We are, after all, all brothers and sisters…


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      • ion jean ion jean

        Words of beauty, words of hope shared by many here. Thanks, Aftershock.


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      • StillJill StillJill

        I love you back AFTERSHOCK,……enenews is infinitely more fun since you joined the sandbox, my friend! :-)


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        • AFTERSHOCK AFTERSHOCK

          Appreciate the sentiments Jill.

          Have to say though, from the day I got here, this site's been frequented by folks who keep me coming back day-after-day! It's an addiction that I can't deny myself. I just wish I had the means to follow all the groups and information/posts. Aside from checking-in everyday on the 'train-wreck-waiting-to-happen' (that we call SFP4), I am learning much from everyone out here.

          Stay strong in spirit and thanks again good soul…


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  • kill the hacs kill the hacs

    I believe that the minute one picks a side in the political bs then the nuclear fascist become stronger. both dems & pubs divide and conquer. the only true side for maankinds survival(ie mo babies with two heads)is no nukes. period. full stop. nuke nukes.


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  • Heart of the Rose Heart of the Rose

    I agree… kill the hacs…our government is built on complicity..the "buddy" system..and the blackmail of each other. (as well as outsiders ..of course).
    And they all are trying to cover there arses.
    This draws attention away from the current situation in Fukushima.
    NO NUKES


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  • Time Is Short Time Is Short

    Well, they all lie. That's part of the job.

    The only question is, who can generate the most campaign contributions?

    It costs a lot of money to kiss SCYTL's ass, and get reelected.

    You're not dumb enough to think your vote matters, do you?

    You know, comrades," says Stalin, "that I think in regard to this: I consider it completely unimportant who in the party will vote, or how; but what is extraordinarily important is this — who will count the votes, and how."

    From: http://urbanlegends.about.com/gi/o.htm?zi=1/XJ&zTi=1&sdn=urbanlegends&cdn=newsissues&tm=64&f=00&su=p284.13.342.ip_p504.6.342.ip_&tt=2&bt=1&bts=1&st=38&zu=http%3A//www.panrus.com/books/details.php%3FlangID%3D1%26bookID%3D5905


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  • PhilipUpNorth philipupnorth

    NRC: All your members, both democrats and republicans, are 100% pro-nuclear.
    Listen, NRC:
    The Zirconium cladding on all your nuclear fuel rods is a material so explosive that it is used in pyrotechnics.
    Zirconium burns more vigorously under water than in air.
    Zirconium and cesium vapors are very jexplosive.
    http://cameochemicals.noaa.gov/chemical/8183
    Zirconium/cesium explosions may have wrecked the three Fuku nukes that went up after 311.
    Zircaloy clads every fuel rod in every US nuclear power plant and spent fuel pool.pl
    Nuclear fuel rods are Zirconium/cesium bombs just waiting for the right conditions to detonate.
    The nuclear industry is toast.
    The curtain is open, and the nuclear wizard is shown to be just a vulnerable little fraud and liar.
    Zirconium/cesium is the dirty little secret that will end the nuke industry for good.
    What do you think the American people are going to do when they find out about your explosive zirconium/cesium fuel rods?
    Do you really think you can continue to pull levers and bamboozle everyone?
    Don't think so.
    Time to begin looking for work in a different industry.
    The nuclear industry is based on a lie.
    ZIRCONIUM AND CESIUM ARE NEVER SAFE!
    Nuclear power is never safe!


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    • ion jean ion jean

      May I add that there is a class of dumb, lazy and drugged up addicted Americans that will buy your bullshit, but I firmly believe demographically they are a slight minority (40% maybe?). But the rest of the American citizenry is on to your congressional con game…why I talk to folks every week in my community, all different age and economic groups, and I can't find a single one who any longer believes that the vast majority of you guys in Washington:

      1) Tell us the truth about anything,

      2) Have our best interests of health, SAFETY, FREEDOM or economic wellbeing on the forefront of your minds,

      3) Can resist the seduction of TOXIC TO HUMAN industries like nuclear, pharmaceutical/GMO/pesticide, chemical, radiological/health physics, oil, etc. As they pray upon your hedonistic natures,

      4) Will alert the American public in time (or at all!) In a radiological event.

      All you could do during Fukushima's 1st Year of Hellfire was try to tell us how "OK" is was with scientific fraud, lies and obfuscations.

      Thanks for nothing! Go get a job at McDonald's and see how the rest of the post-graduate population is doing now. After decades of banker/broker/corporate/military/industrial/utility/
      Monopoly Ass Kissing, you've really burned a lot of our children's bridges and people just aren't buying your snakeoil anymore! Listen to the real experts, not the stranglehold of the IAEA, WHO and Industry Asslicking Academia…Chris Busby, Helen Caldicott, Arnie Gundersen,…


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    • ion jean ion jean

      May I add that there is a class of dumb, lazy and drugged up addicted Americans that will buy your BS, but I firmly believe demographically they are a slight minority (40% maybe?). But the rest of the American citizenry is on to your congressional con game…why I talk to folks every week in my community, all different age and economic groups, and I can't find a single one who any longer believes that the vast majority of you guys in Washington:

      1) Tell us the truth about anything,

      2) Have our best interests of health, SAFETY, FREEDOM or economic wellbeing on the forefront of your minds,

      3) Can resist the seduction of TOXIC TO HUMAN industries like nuclear, pharmaceutical/GMO/pesticide, chemical, radiological/health physics, oil, etc. As they pray upon your hedonistic natures,

      4) Will alert the American public in time (or at all!) In a radiological event.

      All you could do during Fukushima's 1st Year of Hellfire was try to tell us how "OK" is was with scientific fraud, lies and obfuscations.

      Thanks for nothing! Go get a job at McDonald's and see how the rest of the post-graduate population is doing now. After decades of banker/broker/corporate/military/industrial/utility/
      Monopoly puckering, you've really burned a lot of our children's bridges and people just aren't buying your snakeoil anymore! Listen to the real experts, not the stranglehold of the IAEA, WHO and Industry Asslicking Academia…Chris Busby, Helen Caldicott, Arnie Gundersen,…


      Report comment

  • Ron

    I, as much as anyone want to see people unite behind the common goal of protecting our planet and thus our future.

    Having said that we have to be honest here. Part of attacking a problem is to first admit that you have one. While Obama and some Dems are pro-nuke it's been the Republicans by a wide majority that have been the supporters of nuclear. Build Baby Build was their slogan, just like Drill Baby Drill originated from their camp before the BP oil disaster (now it's another Build Baby Build, but this time about the Keystone oil pipeline).

    Historically Republicans have been FAR bigger supporters of dirty energy than Democrats while Dems have been FAR bigger supporters of clean alternatives than Repubs. That's just the facts. Claiming they are the same thing is just historical revisionism.

    http://www.easternecho.com/index.php/article/2010/05/oil_spill_reveals_gop_hypocrisy


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    • Time Is Short Time Is Short

      It isn't what they say, it's who they take money from and how they vote.

      They all took plenty, and voted accordingly.


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      • AFTERSHOCK AFTERSHOCK

        +10 Time Is Short! And Ron. Though I sense your take is genuine, choosing a 'lessor evil' only means we'll find ourselves enduring another wasteful learning curve. We must refuse any further compromise on this issue. Eventually, these party hacks will begin to realize that the people are done playing footsies. Who knows? Maybe one or two of them will be willing to stand up for the truth and do something productive. Right now, they only care if space is being made for them, in the bunker…


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        • Time Is Short Time Is Short

          The ones 'willing to stand up' know what the odds against them are, and are getting out.

          Have you noticed how many Congressional 'lifers' are retiring? Some very important ones, too.

          The rats are leaving the ship. My question is, is how much worse are their replacements?

          Who in their right mind wants to be in Congress when all this hits the fan? It's going to happen during the next Presidential term, that's for sure.


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          • AFTERSHOCK AFTERSHOCK

            I like your pragmatism Time Is Short. And yes, they're putting all the 'final touches' in place. The 'masses' willingly gave themselves over to the machine. As far back as the mid-seventies, we knew what was planned. Unfortunately for us all, they forgot the old adage warning of best laid plans. In the end, regardless how brutal the struggle, they will regret this betrayal of their brothers and sisters…


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  • Heart of the Rose Heart of the Rose

    Please..please… look for work in other industries…
    The safe use of nuclear material is beyond human capability.
    Civilization must face that fact..now.


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  • patb2009

    this is about Yucca Mountain, which had been cancelled

    I'm guessing, she lied to Reid about some of the safety studies.


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  • What-About-The-Kids

    Dear Mr. President and Esteemed Members of Congress:

    I vote for the nomination to the NRC of these rockstar NPP safety issue whistleblowers such as Dr. Walter Tamosaitis, a veteran engineer at Hanford and Donna Busche, who is the plant contractor manager of environmental and nuclear safety at Hanford in Washington State, or any of the current members of the independent Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board which has been investigating the dangerous (lack of a good) safety culture at Hanford.

    These brave individuals don't pull any punches and aren't obviously beholden to the monied interests pulling the strings of the nuclear industry, as the current NRC members have so glaringly shown themselves to be.

    Dr. Tamosaitis was demoted and moved to a basement office after bringing to light several safety issues regarding the nuclear waste vitrification plant under construction at Hanford:

    "Seattle-based lawyer Jack Sheridan filed a claim in Richland, Washington, on behalf of his client, Dr. Walter Tamosaitis. Tamosaitis is a veteran engineer who last year was removed from his position at Hanford–once the location of our nation's plutonium production and now deemed by the Washington Department of Ecology to be the most toxic area in all of North America–after raising a number of safety concerns.":

    http://blogs.seattleweekly.com/dailyweekly/2011/11/hanford_whistleblower_files_la.php


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    • What-About-The-Kids

      Dr. Tamosaitis' Interview on Rachel Maddow show: http://video.app.msn.com/watch/video/whistleblower-pays-price-for-voicing-nuke-safety-concerns/6dykklz

      NPR piece on Donna Busche:
      http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=149262301

      KPLU interview, "Hanford Needs Its Treatment Plant Components Reexamined":
      http://www.kplu.org/post/hanford-needs-its-treatment-plant-components-reexamined

      "Top officials with Hanford’s treatment plant admitted that the whole project {i.e. the vitrification plant} – from designers to trades workers — need a healthier safety culture. Some workers testified that they still don’t feel safe bringing up technical issues with the plant, or fear retribution for doing so. The Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board plans another meeting with senior waste treatment plant staff in May in Washington, D.C."


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      • What-About-The-Kids

        P.S. No matter what the most jaded and cynical of those in Washington D.C. who were elected to SERVE their constituents and NOT corporations or the nuclear mafia, I, like most Americans, still hold onto the basic values which our nation was founded upon, and integrity is one of those values.

        I'd like to believe there are still some representatives in Washington who still hold these values too, despite the "pressures" to give in and give up these values in a misguided belief that only by doing so will they be able to stay in power. History has shown time and again that such short-sighted individuals soon learn that such illusions are sure to become their downfall. And in the age of the Internet and a growing transparency of how things are being run in the mighty Halls of Congress and in the boardrooms across America which the Internet now provides the world's citizens, this has never been more apparent.

        Remember, you will be remembered by the legacy you leave. Actions speak louder than words. How do you want to be remembered in the history books, and by your progeny? A question I submit should be asked each and every day as you begin your day's work.


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      • Heart of the Rose Heart of the Rose

        Rachel Maddow did a great piece on Hanford.
        A piece about whisleblowers paying the price..etc.
        But what is this about?
        http://offgridsurvival.com/msnbcnationalsecuritynuclear/ ?


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  • StillJill StillJill

    Those are some VERY good questions at the bottom of the report, Heart! Why was MSNBC allowed all that?


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  • Heart of the Rose Heart of the Rose

    Hi SJ…there is something weird about this situation.


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  • StillJill StillJill

    Ya think????????

    Damn,…there's too many 'poopy diapers',…..all going off at one time!

    Like when I had three in diapers at the same bloody time! (HAD to 'raise and sniff"!) :-)


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  • aigeezer aigeezer

    On re-reading the piece, I think we may have missed something important.

    "A vacancy could… delay safety reforms at U.S. nuclear plants that the NRC mandated after Japan’s nuclear disaster."

    They are up to something with that bit… but what? Have they found an excuse to continue with business as usual – no changes at all resulting from Fukushima?


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  • stopnp stopnp

    If this brings the senate to a grinding halt then they are a bunch of pussies. They need to fix the problem and stop stalling. The problem would be the energy solutions they've chosen. They need a decommissioning committee. Not a regulatory committee. Phase in wind, geothermal and solar. Whatever the regulating body, It needs to consist of independants. Non nuke promoters. Non nuke payed for.


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  • aigeezer aigeezer

    "President Obama will renominate Republican Kristine Svinicki to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission"

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/04/19/us-usa-nuclear-nomination-idUSBRE83I0T120120419

    Ugly stuff. :-(


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