By Harvey Wasserman
s the first Democrat presidential debate finally approaches (on Oct. 13), America’s nuke power industry is in accelerated collapse.
The few remaining construction projects in the U.S. and Europe are engineering and economic disasters.
Presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders may address this in broad terms.
But as a nation we must now focus on the 99 dying U.S. reactors that threaten us all every day. In terms of our national survival, this is what Sanders and Clinton really must discuss.
Meanwhile the extreme success of Germany’s Solartopian Energiewende makes it clear the world can indeed run entirely on renewables. The central electric grid is no longer sustainable. All German nukes will be done by 2022. Germany’s great green community-based assault on King CONG (coal, oil, nukes and gas) is ahead of schedule and under budget. Clean energy prices are plummeting along with climate impacts.
But in the meantime, above all, we fear the 99 U.S. reactors that crumble as we speak:
1. The infamously lax Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) warns that Pilgrim, south of Boston, can’t meet even the NRC’s absurdly loose safety standards. Entergy may shut it down rather than pay to fix it up. The two candidates should demand they do it now.
2. Indian Point Unit 2, near New York City, has been operating without a license. The Unit 3 permit expires in December. Both must shut immediately.
3. The shield building at Ohio’s Davis-Besse is literally crumbling. FirstEnergy wants Ohio’s Public Utilities Commission to hand it a $3 billion bailout. This may be the world’s most decrepit nuke. It should have shut a very long time ago.
4. Exelon is begging the Illinois legislature for massive bailouts at five money-losing, increasingly dangerous reactors. That should be denied.
5. Entergy’s FitzPatrick in New York is losing millions, as is nearby Ginna. Both must go.
6. California’s Diablo Canyon reactors sit atop an interconnected web of 12 known fault-lines. They are 45 miles from the San Andreas, less than half the distance of Fukushima from the seismic trench that destroyed it. They are in violation of state and federal water quality laws. They’re being propped up by a corrupt Public Utilities Commission. They need to close.
… and that’s just for starters.