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Media Use Japan To Stop US Nuke Plans

Thank Gaia the crisis in Japan won’t go to waste. Our news media are seizing upon Japan’s problems to try to shut down America’s nuclear program.

From a melting-down Reuters:

Japan nuclear woes cast shadow over U.S. energy policy

By Jeff Mason And Will Dunham Sun Mar 13, 2011

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Anxiety over Japan’s quake-crippled nuclear reactors has triggered calls from lawmakers and activists for review of U.S. energy policy and for brakes on expansion of domestic nuclear power.

What expansion is that exactly? What new nuclear power plants do we have coming online?

President Barack Obama has urged expansion of nuclear power to help meet the country’s energy demands, lower its dependence on imported fossil fuels and reduce its climate-warming greenhouse gas emissions.

No rational person took Mr. Obama’s "offer" seriously. This is the same man who is trying to shut down Yucca Mountain, which would effectively make any nuclear expansion impossible. Indeed, it would even put the use of our already-built reactors in doubt.

But as engineers in Japan tried on Sunday to avert a meltdown at three nuclear reactors following Friday’s massive earthquake, some U.S. policy makers were reevaluating their take on nuclear energy even as the industry itself offered assurances about the safety of new and existing plants.

"I don’t want to stop the building of nuclear power plants," independent Senator Joe Lieberman, chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, said on the CBS television’s "Face the Nation."

"But I think we’ve got to kind of quietly put, quickly put, the brakes on until we can absorb what has happened in Japan as a result of the earthquake and the tsunami and then see what more, if anything, we can demand of the new power plants that are coming on line," Lieberman added…

You see, Mr. Lieberman doesn’t want to stop building nuclear power plants. He just wants to put the brakes on them. It is a subtle distinction.

But by all means, let’s ram through some draconian regulation as quickly as possible while everybody is hysterical. We can’t let this crisis go to waste.

The Nuclear Energy Institute, which represents the industry in Washington, said regulators already are reviewing license applications for 20 reactors that would be built over the next 15-20 years. Four to eight new reactors are slated to begin operating between 2016 to 2020, spokesman Steven Kerekes said

These 20 applications have been sitting in limbo for how many years now? And, if a series of miracles happen, we might get four new reactors by 2020?

Meanwhile, the ever so enlightened Europeans have (at least) 195 nuclear power plants currently in operation. And they have at least 19 more currently under construction — not even counting Sweden.

In February 2010, Obama announced $8.3 billion in loan guarantees to build the first U.S. nuclear power plant in nearly three decades. The backing helps Southern Co build two reactors at a plant in the U.S. state of Georgia.

And how are any of these reactors progressing?

The White House said it was watching the events in Japan for lessons about nuclear safety but indicated that no major policy changes were imminent.

"Information is still coming in about the events unfolding in Japan, but the administration is committed to learning from them and ensuring that nuclear energy is produced safely and responsibly here in the U.S.," White House spokesman Clark Stevens said

Lieberman noted there are 104 nuclear power plants in the United States, and that about 23 of them are built according to designs similar to the nuclear power plants in Japan that are now the focus of the world’s concern.

Shouldn’t Japan’s experience be a lesson that we need to improve our nuclear power plants – and build more modern ones?

No, instead of building newer and safer nuclear power plants, the US will have to continue to rely on nuclear plants that were designed and built in the 1960s and ’70s. Nuclear design and technology have advanced significantly in the last forty years. But we’re not allowed to put those improvements to work.

Still, notice how nobody is talking about the shadow Japan’s problems are throwing over the nuclear power programs in Iran or North Korea or Syria – or even China, where they are putting up nuclear power plants practically one a week.

Why is that?

This article was posted by Steve on Monday, March 14th, 2011. Comments are currently closed.

13 Responses to “Media Use Japan To Stop US Nuke Plans”

  1. Crapgame13 says:

    Don’t worry, those wind farms and solar energy factories will be profitable any day now. All the Democrats with stock in those industries tell me so

  2. River0 says:

    Hallelujah! Oh, oh. What happened to Spain? They investe hundreds of billions in ‘green’ energy, and now they’ll have to get an EU bailout. Maybe we in the US can get an IMF bailout? What a brilliant way to destroy a country and pave the way for Asia’s ascent.

    Bravo Manchurian Candidate!

  3. tranquil.night says:

    “Shouldn’t Japan’s experience be a lesson that we need to improve our nuclear power plants – and build more modern ones?

    No, instead of building newer and safer nuclear power plants, the US will have to continue to rely on nuclear plants that were designed and built in the 1960s and ’70s Nuclear design and technology have advanced significantly in the last forty years. But we’re not allowed to put those improvements to work.”

    Nails it as usual. But as is the norm with any leftist cause, it’s never about how they present their good intentions, but about their agenda of government control and constant forking of the free markets.

    As Dr. Reynolds notes, GE is reaping windfall fatcat profits from nuclear construction for pretty much everyone else in the world but US.

    Sure Obama’s been warm to nuclear energy in the past. But his position was never anything more than a worm on a string being dangled for some sort of big concessions from the right on energy policy/carbon regulation which never came. And even if we had, the construction and management goes to one of his cronies. See how they play the game?

    As long as this bunch is in charge of the cards, expect no progress. It’s not what they’re after.

  4. David says:

    A couple thoughts:
    It isn’t about clean domestic energy production but about control. If the US had 80% energy production from nuclear (like France) with the US market system, energy would be incredibly cheap and the libs would have a more difficult time jacking the price to control behavior.

    We excuse irrational behavior from people who experience or just experienced a massive tragedy. But what excuse is there for people who are irrational after watching it on the news?

    From my understanding the major problems from the Nuke plants are a result of the tsunami which is much harder to model or predict than the earthquake which they were well designed for. Considering 99% of this country has ZERO risk of tsunami what is the fear?

  5. Astravogel says:

    All this “but, but, but” reminds me
    of an outboard motorboat…

  6. proreason says:

    national suicide….chapter 27,482

  7. untrainable says:

    Everyone is ignoring the 800 lb. gorilla in the room. When will the media come clean about the obvious threat of giant mutant radioactive monsters roaming the streets of Japan? And will anyone talk about the possibility of the Japanese people developing really cool superpowers and taking over the world? These events are more likely to happen than Obama doing something responsible about our current non-energy policy. Actually, more likely than Obama ever doing ANYTHING responsible.

  8. pilgrim1949 says:

    Cow dung fires for cooking and heating, mud huts for shelter and ox carts for transportation….

    ….an eco-freak/slug-hugger wet dream come true!

    Hooray for the planet!!!

  9. canary says:

    America has bigger problems

    This morning the Muslim Brotherhood warned the United States that if United States meddling inEgypt continued they intend to cut off America’s supply of 7-11 and Motel 6 managers.

    If this action does not yield sufficient results, cab drivers will be next, followed by Dell, AT&T and AOL customer service reps ..

    Finally, if all else fails, they have threatened not to send us any more presidents either.

    It’s gonna get ugly, people.

  10. canary says:

    Lieberman doesn’t see the need to stop building nuclear plants but says we should immediately stop,
    and says to do so “quietly.”.

    “..Quietly..”? So why is Lieberman shouting to the world, something he doesn’t want but wants.

  11. GetBackJack says:

    Media Use Japan To Stop US Nuke Plans

    Gee who could have seen that coming?

    BTW – why is it Congress and the federal establishment are willing, nay eager, to go to war around the world and commit the blood and treasure of our finest young men and women and trillions of borrowed dollars for OTHER PEOPLE’S OIL but not our own?

  12. NoNeoCommies says:

    The nuclear industry needs to make an ad comparing a car built in the ’70s and one built today.
    Ask the public which you would feel safer driving, then ask them why they found the answer so easily when they don’t get that newer nuke plants are safer.

    • proreason says:

      I thought for many years that nuclear power wasn’t worth the risks. To me it was logical that, even though I felt nuclear was safe, one big mistake could outweigh a billion good efforts.

      But everything in life is a tradeoff, and I’ve changed my mind. Nuclear is safer today than it was 30 years ago, we have hundreds of examples, including methods to dispose of the waste; fossil fuels don’t seem to be unlimited; and the biggest reason of all…national security…without our own sources of energy, the country is at risk.

      The marxists’ energy policies have already bitten us in the ass and cost trillions of dollars and thousands of lives. If they don’t spend us into the grave, then power will be the one thing that will be the end of us.

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