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The Politics of Radiation Revisited

July 17, 2019 (UPI) -- In a bid to save money, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission has recommended reducing the number of inspections it performs for nearly 100 reactors at dozens of nuclear power plants across the United States.
Greg Halnon, an official at the Ohio-based FirstEnergy Corp., was one of those complaining at an industry trade meeting this spring about the press putting “out a headline on the webpage to the world” whenever the NRC released notices of nuclear safety issues.


By Canadian Press
Nuclear industry push for reduced oversight gaining traction
Jul 18, 2019
WASHINGTON — Fewer mock commando raids to test nuclear power plants’ defences against terrorist attacks. Fewer, smaller government inspections for plant safety issues. Less notice to the public and to state governors when problems arise.

They’re part of the money-saving rollbacks sought by the country’s nuclear industry under President Donald Trump and already approved or pending approval by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, largely with little input from the general public.

The nuclear power industry says the safety culture at the U.S. nuclear industry — 40 years after partial meltdown of a nuclear reactor at Three Mile Island — is “exceptional” and merits the easing of government inspections.

Greg Halnon, an official at the Ohio-based FirstEnergy Corp., was one of those complaining at an industry trade meeting this spring about the press putting “out a headline on the webpage to the world” whenever the NRC released notices of nuclear safety issues.

Some rollbacks pushed by the industry have been rejected by the commission’s staff. Others are still under consideration, including one that would further cut NRC inspections at plants and allow more self-inspections overseen by plant operators.

This week’s staff recommendations for rollbacks in government oversight are “just the tip of the iceberg,” Lyman said.

Ellen Knickmeyer, The Associated Press

They'll slip SMR standards and regulations in there so it's in place before Staup gets back...
Less notice to the public? For clarity: https://www.commondreams.org/newswire/20...ds-changes July 24, 2019
EPA lawsuit

....The EPA published the new FOIA rule June 26 without allowing the public to comment on the changes, improperly claiming that allowing public comment was “not practicable.” This decision drew immediate and bipartisan criticism from members of Congress, who are demanding that EPA reconsider its approach.

“EPA’s rule would let political appointees decide whether or when to release information they are required to disclose by law,” said Sylvia Lam, attorney at the Environmental Integrity Project. “Not surprisingly, this administration has made that decision without even giving the public a chance to comment on this radical departure from current practice, which is to allow an agency’s expert attorneys to make these legal determinations. The Freedom of Information Act holds government accountable to the governed by letting the public see how decisions are made. EPA’s action strikes a blow at democratic values that are more important today than ever before.”

STEVE SEBELIUS: Nuclear power will ‘slumber into extinction,’ ex-regulator says

By Steve Sebelius Las Vegas Review-Journal
August 3, 2019 - 11:34 pm

For Gregory Jaczko, the nuclear power question comes down to a basic quandary: For a nuclear reactor to be designed, built and operated safely, it has to be small, too small to make it useful as a commercial source of electricity.
And given that other, less complicated and risky sources of renewable energy are available, spending time and money on solving the large-scale nuclear issue isn’t necessary, he argues.
Jaczko’s conclusions are controversial, especially in the energy industry, where he ruffled feathers as a former member and chairman of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. But Jaczko, who holds a doctoral degree in theoretical particle physics from the University of Madison-Wisconsin, is convinced the equation is relatively simple.
“The longer you operate nuclear power plants, the more accidents are going to happen,” he said. “The more power plants you upgrade, the more accidents you’re going to have.”
It’s a bold statement in America, where there have been some mishaps, but nothing even close to the scale of infamous nuclear catastrophes, such as the 1986 Chernobyl explosion or the 2011 disaster at Fukushima Daiichi plant in Japan. Many in the industry would accuse Jaczko of being an anti-nuclear alarmist, and note that he’s a longtime opponent of the proposed Yucca Mountain nuclear waste repository in Nevada.
But Jaczko, whose rocky tenure atop the NRC is discussed in his book, “Confessions of a Rogue Nuclear Regulator,” documents his opinions carefully, and suggests that even if nuclear plants could be designed more safely to avoid catastrophic accidents, the expense wouldn’t be worth it because of the availability of cheaper, renewable alternatives such as solar power, wind farms, geothermal plants and the like.
“Today, there’s not a debate anymore because you can solve the climate problem without nuclear,” he said. “So you don’t have to deal with any of these other issues anymore. And you can solve them with things that are cheaper. They do not create the same kinds of challenges.”
And the challenges aren’t just in designing, building and operating nuclear plants safely, or in finding a way to dispose of or reuse the spent fuel from those reactors. They’re also political, he says.
“In hindsight, the Fukushima incident revealed what has long been the sad truth about nuclear safety: the nuclear power industry has developed too much control over the (Nuclear Regulatory Commission) and Congress,” Jaczko writes in his book. “In the aftermath of the accident, I found myself moving from my role as a scientist impressed by nuclear power to a fierce nuclear safety advocate. I now believe that nuclear power is more hazardous than it is worth.”
Other countries are moving away from nuclear power: Countries such as Germany, Sweden, Switzerland and Italy have decided to phase out nuclear power, although it remains the largest source of power in France. After the Fukushima disaster, Japan shut down all of its nuclear power plants, although some have since been restarted.
China, however, is building new plants and adding to its overall nuclear capacity.
Jaczko also makes the point that continued use of nuclear power puts pressure on regulators and the government to find a place to dispose of spent nuclear fuel. Currently, there’s only one target, the Yucca Mountain repository in Nevada, which has seen renewed interest from Republicans during the Trump administration.
But that site has long been opposed by most state officials out of concerns about safety, concerns that have been increased after recent California earthquakes. Not only that, but revelations that the government secretly shipped plutonium for temporary storage to the Nevada National Security Site, and may have mixed in reactive waste products with lower-level waste in other shipments, have stirred serious concerns among Nevada officials.
“As waste piles up, we leave behind dangerous materials that later generations will eventually have to confront,” Jaczko wrote in his book. “The short-term solution — leaving it where it is — can certainly be accomplished with minimal hazard to the public. But such solutions require active maintenance and monitoring by a less-than-willing industry.”
He adds: “There is only one logical answer: We must stop generating nuclear waste, and that means we must stop using nuclear power. I wish that as chairman (of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission) I’d had the courage to say this, but my courage had its limits. I knew the backlash that would come if the chairman of the NRC were to admit our country should stop producing nuclear power.”
But now, like many former elected officials or political appointees, he’s freed from the shackles that responsibility imposed upon his candor. He predicts that nuclear power will “lumber into extinction” in favor of cheaper, safer, cleaner and more readily viable technologies and that “we will likely begin to think of electricity much as we do hot water; as something we make in our homes on demand.”
Contact Steve Sebelius at SSebelius@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0253. Follow @SteveSebelius on Twitter.

While we slumbered...


The US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has found no safety concerns that would prevent the issue of an early site permit (ESP) to Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA ) for the potential use of a site at Clinch River for two or more small modular reactors (SMRs). The site hosted the former Clinch River Breeder Reactor Project.
NRC’s 600-page final safety evaluation reviewed site seismology, geology, hydrology and accident risks, among other things. “The staff will provide the report on the application to the commission for a mandatory hearing on the permit later this year,” NRC said. “The commission will conduct the hearing to determine whether the staff’s review supports the findings necessary to issue the permit.”
The permit is valid for 10 to 20 years, renewable for an additional 10 to 20 years. TVA’s application, submitted in 2016, is for two or more small modular reactor (SMR) modules of up to 800MWe at the 486 hectare site near the US Department of Energy's (DOE's) Oak Ridge National Laboratory. It was the first SMR-related application to be received by the NRC.

The DOE is supporting the TVA project through an agreement which can reimburse the utility for up to 50% of eligible costs. The five-year agreement, finalised in July 2015, will also support a combined construction and operating licence (COL) application.
the slumber of nuclear to self extinction because of profit/loss financials means that the anti nuclear movement failed to end it on the basis of the atrocity of poisoning the Living World.

Its not a victory of enlightenment.  Not only that, nuclear continues, with plants being made in third world countries.  With the new estimates of Fukushima level accidents happening every few decades, this will undoubtedly wipe out entire countries around the world,  a planet already spinning in misery
we are healthy with background radiation but unhealthy with the same dose from fallout
This isn't a regulatory body by the people for the people. It's an industry mouthpiece removing roadblocks applying the lessons they learned from Fukushima- more, more, more!
Free advertising. Well, free for the industry.
The DOE is of course totally funded by tax payers, and ...is it still headed by Rick Perry, Mr 'revolving door crony capitalist'?   I know,  we are supposed to be civil, but how can you do it with absolute scum as leaders?  Perry and Trump greased the Dakota pipeline, they bail out and fund toxic corporations.

People dont seem to realize....Your leaders take your wealth.   

Yes, there are some good people on the earth, but civilization, as a whole, is abhorrent, degenerate....a detestable spawn of misery, cheap and crass with loathsome murderous actions.  The word scummy comes to mind...selfish, sordid and swinish.  Shrewd, vile and deceptive...the accursed destroyer of the Living World.  Odious and contemptible, often downright wicked.  Even maggots are at least honest and straightforward.  They create healthy compost.  You read those DOE action plans...they reek of insipidness. Its offensive. To believe they are high level, when in fact they are low and wretched is obnoxious,...its disgusting, vile and revolting

Thats not everybody...its largely the leaders, yet their followers enable them.  For every Rick Perry,  Clinton or Trump there are a million like them, people who would be them but for now only support them.    ....I mean that in a nice way
we are healthy with background radiation but unhealthy with the same dose from fallout
What he said...
August 13, 2019
NRC Staff Recommends Sale Of Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station

Federal regulators plan to approve the sale of Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station to New Jersey-based Holtec International. The company has never fully decommissioned a nuclear plant before, and proposes to complete the process in eight years.

Staff from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) issued a Notice of Significant Licensing Action on Tuesday, notifying NRC commissioners of their intent to approve the license transfer and sale. The commission has five business days to weigh in before NRC staff issues their final decision.

After about a year of review, the NRC staff concluded that Holtec is "financially and technically qualified to own the Pilgrim nuclear power plant and carry out the decommissioning of the facility," according to a NRC spokesman Neil Sheehan.

If Holtec purchases Pilgrim from current owner Energy, Holtec will receive the plant, the surrounding land and a decommissioning trust fund currently valued around $1 billion.

So true Code..
Power corrupts..absolute power corrupts absolutely..and combined with the fact that humans are highly "programmable"..
One extreme leads to the opposit extreme..in this case the extreme was inequality..a litle girl got traumatised and carried hatred for all the motives that made her personal trauma happen..and put it in a message that turned out to work pretty well on a collective scale as a "program/algoritme" for a lot of bipedals that already had a compromised conscience by slaughtering all real american-american's as Uni used to say..to have what they had at that time..and slavery ofcourse..
And the original extreme "inequality"  returned with a vengeance that could make satan himself jealous..taking the whole globe with it..and space to , if they have the time..they sure are working hard on it..
Ayn Rand’s philosophy is a central tenet of today’s Republican Party and the moral code proudly cited and followed by high-profile billionaires and the president of the United States.

There’s a direct link between a sociopathic killer in 1927 and the GOP’s willingness to embrace a sociopathic president like Trump. That link runs through the work of Ayn Rand.

When Donald Trump was running for the GOP nomination, he told USA Today’s Kirsten Powers that Ayn Rand’s raped-girl-decides-she-likes-it novel, "The Fountainhead," was his favorite book.

“It relates to business, beauty, life and inner emotions,” he told Powers. “That book relates to ... everything.”

Trump probably knew that anything by Rand would be the right answer for Republicans; the party has embraced her for decades, to the point that Paul Ryan required interns to read her books as a condition of employment.

Powers added, “He [Trump] identified with Howard Roark, the novel’s idealistic protagonist who designs skyscrapers and rages against the establishment.” Roark raged so much in the novel that he blew up a public housing project with dynamite just to get his way.

Rand was quite clear about the characteristics she wrote into her heroes, and in particular Howard Roark. In her Journals, she writes of the theme of the book, “One puts oneself above all and crushes everything in one’s way to get the best for oneself. Fine!”

On Howard Roark, she writes that he “has learned long ago, with his first consciousness, two things which dominate his entire attitude toward life: his own superiority and the utter worthlessness of the world. He knows what he wants and what he thinks. He needs no other reasons, standards or considerations. His complete selfishness is as natural to him as breathing.”

What young Ayn Rand saw in Hickman that would encourage her to base a novel, then her philosophy, then her life’s work, on him was quite straightforward: unfeeling, unpitying selfishness.

He was the kind of man who would revel in the pain parents would feel when their children were ripped from their arms and held in freezing cages for over a year.

In Hickman, Ayn Rand wrote that she had finally found the new model of the Superman (her phrase, likely borrowed from Friedrich Nietzsche). Only a worldview held by a man like Hickman, she believed, could ever prevent an all-powerful state from traumatizing another generation of small businesspeople and their children as the Bolsheviks had her family.

Hickman’s words as recounted by Rand in her Journals, “I am like the state: what is good for me is right,” resonated deeply with her. It was the perfect articulation of her belief that if people pursued their own interests above all else—even above friends, family, or nation—the result would be utopian.

She wrote in her diary that those words of Hickman’s were, “the best and strongest expression of a real man’s psychology I ever heard.”

Hickman—the monster who boasted of how he had hacked up a 12-year-old girl—had Rand’s ear, as well as her heart. She saw a strongman archetype in him, the way that people wearing red MAGA hats see a strongman savior in Donald Trump.

"Who would have thought that mankind massively converting O2 to CO2 in such a short timeline would cause problems on a planet that depends on CO2 being massively converted to O2 to support mankinds life?"   Pixels of light borrowed from Jebus. 

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