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The Resurgence of Nuclear Power

Science & Tech  (tags: nuclear power, nuclear plants, contamination, energy, nuclear waste, France, Northrop Grumman )

- 3893 days ago -
Thirty years have passed since a nuclear plant has been built in the US, and during that time many older plants have been decommissioned. But that's about to change: according to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, 21 companies want to build 34 new plants.


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RC deWinter (418)
Sunday October 26, 2008, 7:33 am
Folks, let me tell you what I know about the power plant pictured above. It sits on an otherwise pristine area of the beautiful Connecticut River in the town of Haddam and began energy production in 1968. The town fathers thought that locating a nuke plant in Haddam Neck, across the river from the main part of the town, was a fine idea. The tax revenue generated by the plant ensured that town taxes would be low for as long as it operated, which I am sure they expected to be longer than 28 years. It would be out of the way, it would be relatively small so as not to spoil the view of the river, and would provide hundreds of jobs.

However, these town fathers made a deal with the devil. In order for the plant to be built, they had to agree to permanent on-site storage of all the nuclear waste the plant produced. It didn't seem like a big deal way back then, I guess, because they signed on the dotted line and lo and behold, once the plant was up and running Haddam enjoyed one of the lowest town tax rates in the entire state.

Fast forward to the mid-1980's. The river, having so much hot water continuously dumped into from the nuke plant, became home to invasive foreign species of aquatic life carried upriver by barges. Asian clams loved the warm water, as did many non-native plants and striped bass. Now fishermen loved the bass, but they were destroying other fish species in large numbers.

And then there was the cancer. The town's medical director told me, around 1989, that there were a large number of inexplicable cancers in a belt that ran across the river from the plant. Unusual numbers of leukemia and thyroid cancers were occurring. Although he couldn't prove it, he felt it was connected to Connecticut Yankee.

The regional paper, the Middletown Press, used to regularly publish little squibs about unexpected plant emissions, but these were always described as "harmless" and "uneventful". By the early 1990's, when people began to add up all the unusual things going on that seemed to be connected to the plant, these notices disappeared from the newspaper.

And there were stories told by plant workers of how cursory the inspections by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission actually were. How things didn't get reported or written up. Incidents that were minimized.

After a large enough and vocal enough group of citizens waged a bruising, heated campaign to shut down Connecticut Yankee, the plant's board finally voted to stop production and schedule the plant for decommissioning.

Alas, the fun has never ended. After Connecticut Yankee shut down, it was discovered that spare lumber (?) and cement blocks from the site had been offered and given away to people who wanted them for home projects. But these gifts were found, long after, to be highly contaminated. The tennis court, built by a benevolent board to provide a place for plant employees to exercise in the fresh air on their breaks, was found to have been built on contaminated ground. But the worst result is forever - Haddam now has a nuclear waste dump on the banks of the river. The fabulously low taxes are gone with the wind, and nothing remains from the devil's deal but spent nuclear fuel, the memories of those who succumbed to cancer and a river that has been ravaged by non-native plants and animals.

Why do I write this here? Because there is no way in hell that anyone can ever justify to me - who lived through those turbulent times in Haddam, was told by the first selectwoman to keep my mouth shut at meetings about the plant (yeah, right) and fought long and hard to close Connecticut Yankee down - the building of more nuclear plants. The trade-off between no air emissions and everlasting nuclear waste, with all its concomitant plagues, is not worth it.

Joycey B (750)
Sunday October 26, 2008, 8:54 am
What a frightening thing to have. This is a very informative article. NO to any more nuclear plants. Noted with thanks Cate.

Jim Phillips (3247)
Sunday October 26, 2008, 9:02 am

There is a series of superb photos taken of the people who live in and near the area of Chernobyl, the site of a nuclear power plant disaster. Genetic defects, tumors and other exotic diseases, syndromes abound.

copy & paste: LINK:

NO to nuclear energy, nuclear power, nuclear weapons and depleted uranium.

Storage for spent fuel rods are an ever growing problem and is going to become worst. Danger Signs for Yucca Mountain Nuclear Waste. Care2 Petition: LINK:

Petitions against Nuclear Power: copy & paste: LINKS:

An American Chernobyl?

Near Meltdowns at U.S. Nuclear Power Plants: LINK:

One of Five places on Earth incompatible with life.

1. Chernobyl, Ukraine
The fallout from the world’s worst nuclear power accident continues to accumulate, affecting as many as 5.5 million people and leading to a sharp rise in thyroid cancer. The incident has also blighted the economic prospects of surrounding areas and nations due to their agricultural heritage.

2. Sumqayit, Azerbaijan
3. Vapi, India
4. Tianying, China
5. Sukinda, India


Are you game for some irradiated foods...?

TY, Ombretta.


. (0)
Sunday October 26, 2008, 9:38 am
Chernobyl is still cooking, and the nations were trying to collect donations to create another cement structured sarcophagous over the nuclear burning abyss.

It's not over yet, not by a long-shot!!!

Let's build some more??? But this is the main way to get through to the advent of Alternative Energies expansion -- But it too dangerous to even contemplate it, don't even think it -- Well, the government is going to tell us what to do anyway!

Sorry, I was arguing with myself again.


. (0)
Sunday October 26, 2008, 9:42 am
P.S.: I think I'll wait for the Hollywood movie:


Last I heard, the U.S. Government was planning to build 2-3 (or more) new nuclear power stations, in almost every state of the country.


RC deWinter (418)
Sunday October 26, 2008, 10:03 am
Thank you for posting these links, Jim...I am going to check them out.

Terrie Williams (798)
Sunday October 26, 2008, 10:23 am
I am against any new nuclear plants being built and I think ALL of the existing ones should be decommissioned. We have not and (just my opinion here) never will find a way of neutralizing the waste. We can't shoot it out into space and we can't keep burying it in the earth or storing it's containers in mountains. Eventually containers corrode, the earth grows 'sour' and capsules ignite on re-entry into the atmosphere. It is just too dangerous all the way around. Like nuclear weapons, nuclear power scares the crap out of me.

Ignorance, arrogance, criminal negligence and apathy on the part of government regulators/inspectors, the corporate penchant for cutting corners in manufacturing/production/maintenance for the sake of profit, improper storage/maintenance of spent fuel and improper education/training of plant staff--it should scare the hell out of everyone!!!

RC deWinter (418)
Sunday October 26, 2008, 10:30 am
And Terrie....there's ALWAYS the threat of another Chernobyl...

Tim Redfern (581)
Sunday October 26, 2008, 12:14 pm
When we consider all the other means of
generating power; clean, renewable, safe,
sustainable means that won't poison the
planet for the next 100,000 years, why
in God's name would ANYONE seriously consider
building more nuke plants, let alone 30 or
40 of them?!
As I understand it, that's exactly what
John "Grampy" McSame and Caribou Barbie
want to do. Those two must be stopped,
and I believe they will be.
And yeah, Cate, there's nothing to stop
another Chernobyl from happening. btw,
"Chernobyl" is Ukrainian for "wormwood".
Make of that what you will.
Thanks, and noted.

serge vrabec (278)
Sunday October 26, 2008, 1:22 pm
I think its silly that the"powers that be" think they can still pull off their old agenda, Nuclear power?, how ridiculous, its not gonna happen. I just hope WE don't need another disaster to get rid of that old notion, AGAIN. Solar Power is what is needed and is going STRONG EVERYWHERE, as well as the collaspse of big oil and their minions. Thx Cate!

Daniel Barker (35)
Sunday October 26, 2008, 2:51 pm
Those who favor nuclear can show their support by moving to Chernobyl.

Question: nuclear waste - you write it will be with us for tens of thousands of years. The fissile material came from the earth. If nuclear waste kills us, what about the naturally occurring radioactive material?

Uranium, radium, thorium and other toxic metals occur in the ground. In fact, a woman wanted to insure her house was not radioactive. She had a professional brought in - who discovered her new granite counters were hot! The granite had enough radium to pose a risk.

Sanity dictates every building should be checked for radon.

Cigarettes are painted with a material that contains radium. In fact, doctors now realize one major source of lung cancer is inhalation of radon from smoking.

We do not need nuclear power.

Linda H (199)
Sunday October 26, 2008, 3:02 pm
We just never know do we what is going to happening and to look the other way is not the way. NO NUCLEAR. Very clear. Thanks,Cate.

Louise L (48)
Sunday October 26, 2008, 4:29 pm
No more nuclear plants, no question about it! Just dealing with the waste is too much of a risk, let alone the dreaded explosion ruining miles and miles of land, and thousands of lives. Another thing to fight our wonderful Congress and Senate on....can't wait! Thanks, Ombretta.

David Gould (155)
Sunday October 26, 2008, 4:49 pm
We live in the shadow of Chapel Cross Neuclear power station built in the fifties with all the same inducements as you mention Cate. Oh yes it was pie in the electricity!!! and no polution. The plant lasted longer than the one you mention near 44 years but the clusters of local cancers which as are assured have absolutely nothing to do with the Nuke on our doorstep continue even though it has officially closed down.

I help run a retired men's discussion group so we invited the engineer in charge of decomissioning to talk to us...he was full of the blowing up of the four big cooling towers...which took ten seconds to fall down. He went of to tell us that during that 44 years the plant has never produced one economic unit of electricty...every unit has been paid for by the tax payer to the tune of thirty times as much as a unit produced by hydro-electric dams. Added to this the main 'product' was in fact weapon's grade uranium or plutonium I think he called it...mostly sold through France to other countries round the globe.
Added to this the main four concrete cores were to be encased in several million cubic feet of special concrete for approximately 100 years before being cut into blocks with a cutting cable to be stored on site for a further nine hundred years before they could be considered safe.
He told us that the cooling towers were low risk concrete that would collapse into ther own foot print...most local people know thatthe convienant upgrading of the road betweeen England and Scotland received many hunderds of tons of rubble at the same time...makes our roads glow in the dark?

So to provide overpriced eletricity for 44 years is going to take 1,000 years to de-toxify the site.

And they want to build more? Am I mad here? Or did they let the wrong folk out the hospital?

Deborah Hooper (59)
Sunday October 26, 2008, 7:08 pm
Most expensive electricity there is, just ask everyone on Toledo Edison.

Mike P (24)
Sunday October 26, 2008, 8:20 pm
Of course John McCain takes nuclear power very seriously. Just look:
BLAH BLAH BLAH?!?! And he want to be President?!?!

Sandra M Z (114)
Sunday October 26, 2008, 10:38 pm
12 people outside my hometown stopped a plant from being built there by DOW! Just say NO to Nuclear Cancers wherever you are!

Both 3 Mile Island and the reactor I saw in (Oregon?), they gave me a negative vibe, I couldn't get away fast enough.

Agree with Everyone! The Chernobyl footage, how can that not be enough to convince anyone it's NOT SAFE. Daniel B., I never knew that about cigarettes, we have big natural radon here in Denver, I'll use that info to help my smoking friends quit, they don't need anymore exposure to radon!

Agree with Serge, take it off the grid! Our Public Service/Xcel Energy is offering a rebate of 50% to go solar! I couldn't get a loan years ago when Carter gave the 70% off, but here is another chance, and the photovoltaic(sp?) technology is so much better! Nothing ever goes down, and our bill increased 43% this year, I dread the Winter bills to come. Free heat sounds much better than freezing, plus, they (electric co.) have to buy back your unused generated power! We need to catch up with Germany, that whole country is going solar!

Thank you Ombretta, this issue cannot be kept in the forefront enough.

Go CLEAN and GREEN, don't let "Big Energy" scare us into true scariness!

Candy L (473)
Monday October 27, 2008, 1:23 am
I'm only about 20 miles from Rancho Seco, it took us 20 years to shut this plant down. Now they want to bring them back. Oh now, they say there safe. One of their great ideas about storing the waste, is to bury it in the deepest part of the ocean. Nothing like nuclear waste getting mixed in the core of Mother Earth!

Monday October 27, 2008, 2:41 am

Denice G (45)
Monday October 27, 2008, 5:22 pm
We are having windmills put up just out side of the town I live in. Since we live on the coast it is a perfect place for wind power. Solar power works well even at our cloudy beach. I'm with Rocky R. on the wind and solar power. How about using the power of the tides? I know that is a real possibility. We have many other way to go without using nuclear power.

Past Member (0)
Tuesday October 28, 2008, 11:06 am
Whoever supports nuclear power, never watched a documentary about Chernobyl! Some of the children born from women who were exposed to the radiation were actual mutants!!! A horrible scene to watch!

There are some people, including certain 'scientists', who claim nuclear is a safe and clean energy! Bullshit! It's safe until one day an accident happens - and then what? It's not clean - the radioactive waste can be treated but cannot be completely neutralised! That's why they have to put it in special storage facilities located for instance inside mountains!!

It takes years and billions of dollars to build a nuclear plant! Just this week I watched the news where a reporter from my country covering the American elections, tried to find out how many years would it take to build a nuclear facility in the US if they started the entire process right now. The official answer was that the nuclear plant would be finished around 2015!! As you can realize it is not feasible to expect that nuclear energy is going to solve any present problem we face regarding energy and climate changes!

Look, if nuclear was the right solution to all our problems we wouldn't be facing this energy and environmental crisis!

If we take all the alternative, renewable energies together along with energy efficiency, we could be free from fossil fuels within 10 years. Then we would have endless, clean, cheap energy! I've watched so many documentaries about this - there are so many different solutions that combined together would solve all our problems in the short to medium term!!

Isn't that so much better than to worry if one day a new Chernobyl might happen?


Merry L (74)
Tuesday October 28, 2008, 1:31 pm
I lived in Ellicott City, Md in 1979, during the 3 mi.Island accident, sent my daughter to Louisana until it was over. Very scary and totally unnessary.NO TO NUCLEAR ANYTHING!!
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