US Nuke Regulator Destroying Safety Review Documents

This just in from US activists:

Beyond Nuclear Bulletin
May 21, 2008
Top Stories

Nuclear Regulatory Commission Destroying Safety Review Documents
Background: The Office of the Inspector General for the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission has discovered that the NRC safety review staff routinely destroys supporting documents after conducting safety reviews as part of the license renewal application process. The report comes after the NRC safety review staff was also caught by OIG last September plagiarizing industry safety reports included in license renewal applications and passing them off as their own so-called independent analysis. In both cases, the OIG concluded it was difficult to verify the accuracy and integrity of the NRC “independent” safety reports.
Our View: These revelations support, if not confirm, our suspicions that the NRC chooses to extend the licenses of aging reactors using nothing more than a large rubber stamp. The NRC destroyed the paper trail that would show how the agency decided that an aging reactor was safe enough to re-license for another 20 years. The public therefore has no way of knowing whether the agency actually conducted an independent safety analysis or whether it simply took the self-interested nuclear industry’s word that the reactors are safe. Finally, this practice of plagiarism and destruction of safety analyses is very likely illegal. There are agency directives that mandate retention of federal records.
What You Can Do: Check the NRC website to see if your local nuclear reactor is currently re-licensed or in the process. You can inform your community and call into question the legitimacy of reactor re-licensing process by writing letters to the editor. Contact your Congressional representatives asking that NRC destruction of federal records relating to public health and safety be made part of upcoming Congressional Hearings before the US House of Representatives Committee on Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations.

Help Stop the Single Biggest Nuclear Industry Money Grab in U.S. History
Background: Debate on the Senate floor on the Lieberman-Warner climate change bill (S. 2191, the “America’s Climate Security Act of 2007”) should begin June 2nd. The word “nuclear” is nowhere in the bill, but last year’s version of the bill that passed the Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee contained over $500 billion in thinly veiled nuclear power subsidies. Amory Lovins of the Rocky Mountain Institute recently estimated the nuclear power industry’s taxpayer subsidies over the past 50 years at more than half a trillion dollars. Therefore, the Lieberman-Warner bill would double the amount of taxpayer subsidies that the nuclear power industry has received in its entire history. Although EPW Chairwoman, Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA), blocked additional pro-nuclear amendments in Committee last fall, Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT) and pro-nuclear Republican senators, including presidential hopeful John McCain (R-AZ), will likely attempt to insert pro-nuclear amendments into the current bill.
Our View: Handing over hundreds – or even just tens – of billions of dollars of taxpayer subsidies to the already heavily subsidized nuclear power industry would amount to giving it the keys to the U.S. Treasury. Having failed to solve its waste, safety, security and proliferation problems for 50 years, it’s time for nuclear power to exit the stage. It is neither self-sufficient financially, nor useful in addressing climate change since reactors are too expensive and take too long to build. Subsidies are badly needed instead for real climate change solutions including energy efficiency and renewable sources of electricity like wind and solar power.
What You Can Do: Call your two U.S. Senators today via the Capitol Switchboard, (202) 224-3121. Urge them to block any climate change bill or amendments that would provide subsidies to the nuclear power industry. Request meetings with your two Senators (or their staff) while they are back home for the Memorial Day recess next week. And organize media activities. These could include a media event demonstrating community opposition to nuclear power subsidies, and submitting letters to the editor or opinion-editorials to your local newspapers.

Of Note

The French Nuclear Medusa: The Nuclear Regulatory Commission will investigate an apparent violation of its transportation regulations after the French nuclear company, AREVA shipped used equipment to the Watts Bar nuclear plant in Tennessee that measured higher than permissible levels of radioactivity. According to an NRC press release, its inspector determined that AREVA’s procedures for decontaminating and packaging the equipment were not adequate to ensure external radiation would not exceed regulatory requirements. This comes on the heels of a similar shipping violation through Virginia in February when AREVA again transported equipment almost 400 miles that measured beyond regulatory limits for radiation.

(The French Nuclear Medusa, or La Meduse Française Nucléaire, will be an occasional feature of the Beyond Nuclear Bulletin (BNB) revealing the latest tentacled maneuverings by the French nuclear complex to gain a global stranglehold on nuclear energy. “Meduse” is French for jellyfish.)

Beyond Nuclear and the New Nuclear Winter: The Cold War is over but could a nuclear winter still happen? And what if a nuclear war occurred not between the U.S. and Russia but between India and Pakistan? Could a limited exchange cause a nuclear winter? The answer to the first question is still “yes.” And the answer to the last is “not quite.” However, the consequence of an India-Pakistan exchange could still be mass starvation and the collapse of global agriculture, similar to the effects of a nuclear winter. These are the conclusions of new research developed by a team of renowned scientists, some of whom worked with Carl Sagan on the original nuclear winter findings.
What You Can Do: You can bring these scientists to your community. Please contact Beyond Nuclear for details. In an exciting, multi-media presentation, the nuclear winter scientists and Beyond Nuclear first explain the problems that could lead to a near or actual nuclear winter, then offer solutions to avoid this unthinkable tragedy. Contact Beyond Nuclear today to bring the Nuclear Winter Tour to your community. Write:info@beyondnuclear.org or call: 301.270.2209 and ask for development director, Linda Gunter. Let’s work to prevent this tragedy while we can.

Please donate to Beyond Nuclear. Won’t you please consider becoming a monthly recurring donor? You can set up your profile and monthly giving here. All gifts are tax-deductible. Or you can mail a check to: Beyond Nuclear at NPRI, 6930 Carroll Avenue, Suite 400, Takoma Park, MD 20912.

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Beyond Nuclear aims to educate and activate the public about the connections between nuclear power and nuclear weapons and the need to abandon both to safeguard our future. Beyond Nuclear advocates for an energy future that is sustainable, benign and democratic. Beyond Nuclear staff can be reached at: 301.270.2209. Or view our Web site at:www.beyondnuclear.org

Beyond Nuclear at NPRI
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Takoma Park, MD 20912
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US attempt to sneak $25 BILLION in support to nuke industry

From Democracy Now, Amy Goodman interviews Harvey Wasserman, a no nukes activist in the USA:

The House is set to vote on Tuesday on the $500 billion 2008 Omnibus Appropriations Bill. Unveiled on Sunday, the measure covers budgets for all cabinet departments except the Pentagon. It’s expected to pass both houses of Congress this week.

Hidden in the bill is a major energy package that would boost government financing for the nuclear industry. It would provide loan guarantees of up to $25 billion for new nuclear reactors. A massive grassroots campaign forced these taxpayer-financed loans out of the national energy bill earlier this month, but last week Republican Senator Pete Domenici of New Mexico slipped them back into the budget vote.

Harvey Wasserman has been at the forefront of raising awareness about the dangers of nuclear power. He helped found the grassroots anti-nuke movement in the early 1970s, advises the Nuclear Information and Resource Service. He’s senior editor of the Ohio-based freepress.org and editor of nukefree.org. Harvey Wasserman has also co-authored two books on the 2004 election. They are How the GOP Stole America’s 2004 Election and Is Rigging 2008 and What Happened in Ohio: A Documentary Record of Theft and Fraud in the 2004 Election. …

HARVEY WASSERMAN: Well, we beat Pete Domenici. With Bonnie Raitt, Jackson Browne, Graham Nash, Keb’ Mo’, Ben Harper, we put out a music video on nukefree.org. We raised 120,000 signatures and presented them to Congress in October. And Domenici was forced to pull these nuke loan guarantees out of the energy bill, but then slipped them back into the appropriations bill.
And the nuclear power industry is a fifty-year proven failure, and they can’t get independent financing to build their own new reactors, which they want to do now. And so, they’ve gone to the government. This is one issue where we’re in agreement with Forbes magazine and the Cato Institute, which is backing the opposition to these loan guarantees, because if nuclear power, after fifty years of huge government subsidies, can’t make it in the marketplace, why should the taxpayers fund another $25 billion worth of reactor construction?

We’re on the brink of a tremendous energy revolution in solar, wind, tidal, geothermal. You know, we’re looking almost at a solartopia of a renewable-based economy, which will be much more controllable at the grassroots, much more democratically oriented. And that’s why the nuclear power industry is desperately holding on here.

Go.  (Interview at about 9:30; text on site)

Iraq Unmasks the American State

Interesting analysis, this, courtesy The Business of Emotions.  Long, but well worth the read.

I was particularly interested in these points about “America’s emotional and moral malaise” before the writer launches into how the Iraq Resistance shows the American State for what it is.

America’s Emotional and Moral Malaise
The explanation of Bush’s hold on the United States developed in The Business of Emotions over the past few years, can be summarized thus:

1. Without authentic emotions, the vital connection between thinking and feeling is lost and the ability to act, morally and politically, for oneself and for others, is compromised…

2. People who lack emotional authenticity are incapable of recognizing its absence in others…

3. People who lack authentic emotions are susceptible to the predations of emotional marketers…

4. Thinking without feeling, talking without meaning…

Thanks to

A.R.T. puts Bush impeachment back on the table

Here’s an interesting tidbit from the Feminist Peace Network discussion list:

A.R.T. stands for “Activist Response Team,” which consists in large part of
feminist artists. Here is their press release of the stunning event they
pulled off in the Hart Senate Office Building. Check out the photograph of
the 3-story long banners they unfurled at: http://bloggy.com/

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
HIGH CRIMES AND MISDEMEANORS – WE WILL NOT BE SILENT

Multiple actions occurred in the early afternoon today inside the Hart
Senate Office Building. Eight New York activists were among the 15 plus arrested.

TODAY, APRIL 26, 2007, A.R.T.* OCCUPIED THE HALLS OF CONGRESS IN A DRAMATIC TWO-PART ACTION.

First, in a massive distribution, A.R.T. hand-delivered a 20-page tabloid
petition to every representative. It contained documentary evidence for
indictments, literally putting impeachment back on the table.

Then, at 1PM, in a spectacular visual feat, A.R.T displayed the full text of
Article II, Section 4 to the Senate (allows for impeachment) as a 30-foot
banner drop in the Hart Office Building atrium. A second 30-foot banner read
“YOUR SILENCE YOUR LEGACY”. Organizers said, “We must magnify the refusal of Congress to uphold the Constitution. Their silence equals complicity in the flagrant crimes of this administration.”

Contact: *A.R.T. (Activist Response Team)
email: stateofemergencyaction@gmail.com

US official lies re: NAFTA corridor?

I wonder if the U.S. government has trained their officials in telling lies. Either that, or they keep their Undersecretaries locked in dungeons.

World Net News reports that a US Department of Transportation official, Jeff Shane, told a US House of Representatives Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure that the North American SuperCorridor, aka the NAFTA Highway, is an “Internet conspiracy” and an urban legend.”

I suppose, then, that the NASCO Corridor website must be part of the conspiracy and that of the Trans-Texas Corridor must also be part of it. And, those I’ve referenced in numerous posts here at P’n’P, the boards of directors as well as numerous government and business officials from Canada, the USA, and Mexico, must be the conspirators.

THE NEW WORLD DISORDER
Plan for superhighway
ripped as ‘urban legend’

Congressman, DOT undersecretary disagree over threat to sovereignty


Posted: January 26, 2007
1:00 a.m. Eastern
By Jerome R. Corsi
© 2007 WorldNetDaily.com


Jeffrey N. Shane, undersecretary for DOT

Congressmen and a policy official of the Department of Transportation engaged in a spirited exchange over whether NAFTA Super Highways were a threat to U.S. sovereignty or an imaginary “Internet conspiracy,” such as the “black helicopter myths,” advanced by fringe lunatics. At a meeting Wednesday of the Subcommittee on Highways and Transit of the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, Jeffrey N. Shane, undersecretary of transportation for policy at the U.S. Department of Transportation, testified.

During the questioning by committee members, Rep. Ted Poe, R-Texas, asked Shane about the existence of plans for a “NAFTA superhighway.”

Shane responded he was “not familiar with any plan at all, related to NAFTA or cross-border traffic.”

After further questioning by Poe, Shane stated reports of NAFTA superhighways or corridors were “an urban legend.”

At this, the chairman, Rep. Peter DeFazio, D-Ore., questioned aloud whether Shane was just “gaming semantics” when responding to Poe’s question.

“Mr. Shane was either blissfully ignorant or he may have been less than candid with the committee,” Poe told WND in a telephone interview.

Come the next federal election…

No one I know wants to see another Harper-led New Government of Canada.  But I hang out with people who didn’t vote for him in the first place.  What I need to hear are suggestions as to how we, as progressives, counterspin, break through the fear,  convince the electorate to stay the hell away from the Harpercrits when marking their Xs come the next federal election.

Over at Peace, order and good government, eh? Tim has posted an excellent, dead-on piece referencing a Toronto Star story about PMS’s attempt to market an alternative universe in Canada.  (Read the comments, too, and take a boo at Scotian’s blog, as well.)  As Tim says, PMS is our very own Little Republican and he is aiming to use Republican tactics in the next federal election:

– Give crappy legislation a positive name, then curse out your opponents for opposing it.
– Use fear to mobilize your base and intimidate the opposition.
– Use the military to boost your patriotic bona fides (at no risk to yourself), while simultaneously labelling your cirtics [sic] anti-military.
– Surround the prime minister (or president) in a bubble of sycophancy to prevent actual facts from seeping into a decision making process entirely ruled by ideology.

So, how are we going to defeat our very own Bushite, folks?