15 May 2015
United States: The Real Nuclear Threats In Your "Backyard"
The Real Nuclear Threats In Your "Backyard"
by Miriam German, Originally published on Counterpunch, 22 April 2015
With Fukushima's multi-core meltdown still smoldering in Japan, how safe are our nuclear power plants? Are the real nuclear threats closer than we think?
In the dark days of March in the year 2015, four years and two weeks after the start of the worst man-made ecological disaster on Earth, a name seemingly forbidden to be spoken by anyone in the greatest malignant Corporate Media Circus, Fukushima-Daiichi melts and smolders in the land of Mordor in the constant shadow of the United States government while John Kerry and Ernest Moniz pretend to give a damn about what happens in a world far away from our Pacific shores of California, Oregon and Washington, far from the homeland of ninety-nine leaking, splitting, cracking, steaming, freezing, coughing and sputtering nuclear power plants which are killing Americans daily, to a bell tolling only to the ears of the spirits already gone from the Valley of Death.
While all eyes are on Israel and Iran, I'd like to bring the focus back home not just to where I live on the West Coast of the United States where Diablo Canyon and the Columbia Generating Station have been given free reign by the very same Ernest Moniz to continue wreaking havoc on our environment, but also to other parts of the US where nuclear plants could blow like a bomb larger than anything Iran could ever possibly dream of making, and again, these nuclear plants are sanctioned to stay alive and online, albeit on respirators and life support, by Moniz and the NRC.
Diablo Canyon. Columbia Generating Station. Davis-Besse. Pilgrim. Indian Point. Turkey Point. I could go on but I shouldn't bore you with even more of the banalities of nuclear bombs in our own back yards in the United States. Iran is so much more exiting! But just for the hell of it, let's take a peek.
Pilgrim Nuclear Power Plant in Plymouth, MA on the Cape is just over twenty miles from Boston. There is one way in and one way out. They call it Safe. Secure. Vital. Pilgrim has a melt down. No Way Out. Pilgrim explodes. No Way Out. Is the NRC watching? Hey, DOE! IAEA! Over here! Pilgrim has thirty-two hundred fuel rods in their pool when there are supposed to be eight hundred. PR says Pilgrim is safe. Pilgrim shut down on January 27, 2015 after two transmission lines failed during Blizzard Juno around high tide. Just how safe is safe enough?
Where are the watchful American hawks waving the flag of sanity, of clarity, of transparency telling Iran that they will observe their every breath in and around their nuclear facility? Where is that same sane presence of the IAEA in the United States? Do US citizens matter at all or only crazy old Iran?
One nuke plant exploding in the US is equivalent to many nuclear bombs due to the amount of fuel rods, and the cancers and death that would ensue is comparable to that of a nuclear war. Iran has no bombs at all while we have a base load of ninety-nine nuclear plants, i.e. bombs, waiting to blow at any given moment with one power grid shut down from iced wires or one frozen pipe or one flooded basement, or one fire, or one human mistake...
Miriam German is the director of RadCast.org. She founded No Nukes NW in 2012.