Senior Obama administration officials said Monday that Obama remains committed to nuclear power, and that U.S. nuclear plants had been built to withstand the strain of strong storms and earthquakes. [...] Carney said Monday that although the crisis in Japan is still unfolding, the White House isn’t backing away from the proposed “clean” standard. He said that U.S. officials will incorporate information from Japan “into how we view safety and security of nuclear energy as a resource.” – White House says Obama won’t back off nuclear energy
Some of you may remember when my brother-in-law passed away. Steve was as smart and important as they get in the oil industry. Long before he suddenly died he told me one fact considered irrefutable by energy experts of all types: In our lifetime we will never get off of fossil fuels. Considering he was correct about many things, including that McCain “is an asshole,” this die hard Republican oil man never gave up on convincing me my siding with Al Gore and Robert Redford on environmental issues was ill conceived.
Industry executvies (sic) in touch with their counterparts in Japan Monday night grew increasingly alarmed about the risks posed by the No. 2 reactor.
“They’re basically in a full-scale panic” among Japanese power industry managers, said a senior nuclear industry executive. The executive is not involved in managing the response to the reactors’ difficulties but has many contacts in Japan. “They’re in total disarray, they don’t know what to do.”
Still, conventional wisdom building now relies on several things:
- What happened in Japan is not only catastrophic, but historically unique.
- Whereas we in the U.S. use the same type of nuclear reactors, it’s “not impossible,” but “extremely remote” something like what happened in Japan will happen here.
- Nuclear energy is still relatively safe and green, especially compared to fossil fuel and oil. It’s all about “context.”
From another New York Times article:
Diablo Canyon has been embroiled in a bitter battle with local opponents seeking new seismic studies ahead of a decision to extend the plant’s operating license, which is due to expire in about 15 years. Opponents point in part to the discovery of a previously unknown fault about a mile offshore.
But Paul Flake, a spokesman for Pacific Gas and Electric, said that geological studies —both historical and projected — placed the maximum seismic strength of an earthquake near the plant at 6.1 to 6.5, and that the plant is designed to withstand a quake of up to 7.5 in magnitude. The quake off the coast of Japan measured 8.9.
Mr. Lochbaum added that other potential problems exist in nearly every region. “The Midwest has tornadoes, parts of the gulf experience hurricanes. There are places in the North where severe ice has caused problems. They all share the common thread of Mother Nature challenging the plants.”
Anthony R. Pietrangelo, a senior vice president and chief nuclear officer with the Nuclear Energy Institute, a trade group representing the nuclear power industry, said that the industry was keenly watching the Japanese situation and would readily revisit its own emergency procedures as new information and potential lessons emerged.
Barack Obama, as well as his pal David Axelrod, have strong ties to the nuclear industry. Candidate Obama lied to Iowa voters about it when no one was looking, well almost no one.
The conversation developing today so far convinces me that the U.S. and our politicians are not smart enough, independent of political bribery, or have the courage to embrace green energy so that 50 years from now those left to deal with the same challenges brought to man by nature’s wrath aren’t still putting people and the planet in danger.
Nuclear power is “safe” as long as it stays contained.
Nature always wins.