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The Myth of Nuclear Safety: Fukushima Reveals That Nuclear Power Is Here to Stay via Truthout

Three years after the Fukushima disaster, the Japanese government has reversed its position of abandoning nuclear power and is developing new nuclear reactors – another example that neither nuclear-caused death nor nuclear-caused destruction can deter a corrupt power structure from the pursuit of its goals.

After the Fukushima disaster, Japan’s government claimed it would phase out nuclear power. On February 26, 2014, Tokyo reversed the decision and began starting up most of the 50 idle reactors. It subsequently announced that the plutonium Nuclear Fuel Reprocessing Plant at Rokkasho will open in October 2014.

If the results of the past 65 years at the Hanford site can be taken as an example, and 40 years of now-declassified documented analyses says it can, the reprocessing of nuclear fuel to obtain weapons-grade plutonium and the subsequent handling and disposal of the resultant complex radioactive wastes is one of the nastiest, most poorly understood and apparently insoluble problems in the folder of nuclear safety.

The Hanford site represents two-thirds of our nation’s high-level radioactive waste by volume and is the most contaminated nuclear site in the United States.The vitrification of the liquid waste is about a half century “behind schedule,” with cost “overruns” of more than $20 billion. Since the mid-1950s, it was determined that the radioactive waste leaking from Hanford reached the Columbia River. In 1992, radioactive waste from Hanford reached the Pacific Ocean, 200 miles away, contaminating fish and drinking water along the river and exposing as many as 2,000 people.

In spite of the billions of dollars spent on “remediation” in the past 60 years, the radioactive leaks from the reprocessing storage tanks and the escape of reprocessing wastes from the site have been increasing monotonically and are continuing. New leaks were detected March 14, 2014.

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The major lesson that should be learned from Fukushima is that if nuclear power and nuclear weapons are “here to stay” in Japan, they are also “here to stay” in the United States.

There is more:

At the end of World War II, the US government’s pitch for peaceful uses of safe, cheap, atomic energy was used to create the Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) and to justify funding for development of more than 50 nuclear reactor types. The newly created AEC took over the future of the wartime laboratories, extending their lives indefinitely. Funding and infrastructure were secured to sponsor other “national laboratories,” which were centered around accelerators and nuclear reactors.

The national pitch of “peaceful uses of atomic energy” was, and still is, an umbrella for maintaining an active nuclear community that is necessary for the United States to assure its position as the planet’s greatest developer and possessor of nuclear weapons.

Read more at The Myth of Nuclear Safety: Fukushima Reveals That Nuclear Power Is Here to Stay

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