Will we have a tone-deaf response to the nuclear catastrophe in Japan?

Officials in Japan are desperately working to prevent a meltdown at their Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant in the city of Sendai – a city that was wiped off the map as a result of Friday’s 9.0 earthquake and tsunami. The New York Times is reporting that there have been setbacks today in trying to cool the reactors – and the situation is “veering toward catastrophe.” According to the International Nuclear, Radiological Event Scale that measures the severity of nuclear incidents all over the world – the situation in Japan is worse than what happened at Three Mile Island back in 1979. The scale goes from 1 to 7 – with 1 being a minor incident and 7 being Chernobyl.

Today’s situation in Japan’s is currently at a 6. So far three reactors at the plant are in danger of meltdown and have all experienced hydrogen explosions. There are confirmed reports that radiation is leaking from the plant – and elevated levels of radiation have been measured in Tokyo. People living within 19 miles of the malfunctioning plant have been instructed by the Japanese government to stay inside their homes and close the windows. While Germany and Switzerland are now reconsidering the use of nuclear power in their nations – President Obama and the Republicans are still committed to nuclear power here in the States. In fact – President Obama recently asked Congress to approve a 4 billion loan to build 2 new nuclear plants on the Gulf Coast of Texas.

And guess what company was contracted to build these plants? Tokyo Electric Power Company – the same company who built the plants that are on the verge of meltdown in Japan. And of course – after Katrina – the hazards of building on the Gulf Coast don’t need to be mentioned.

Just like how our nation went full speed ahead on drilling less than a year after the BP spill – it looks like we’re about to have the same tone-deaf response to the nuclear catastrophe in Japan.

Comments

mj61's picture
mj61 8 years 36 weeks ago
#1

Beginning to get picked up.

From Michio Kaku

The Chernobyl Option

http://bigthink.com/ideas/31617

making progress's picture
making progress 8 years 36 weeks ago
#2

Derrick Jensen on Industrial Disaster. Please have Derrick Jensen on to talk with Thom! He's brilliant and informative. He will give us all new ways to think of things. He's very articulate.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yxnjc4pFPWo

cooper48124's picture
cooper48124 8 years 36 weeks ago
#3

Tom,

Don't forget Mary Sinclair who singlehandedly prevented a nuclear reactor being built in Midland, Michigan in the late 1960's and fought it until the 1980's. Consumers Power was planning on building the facility seemingly without question. Mary Sinclair started asking requests about the construction of the facility and was stonewalled. She learned that Consumers Power facility was on unstable land, which would eventually shift. Add onto that that she found out their contractors were using substandard building materials. Still, Consumers Power fought against her. The Midland community blackballed her and her husband, but she continued the fight. Eventually, Consumers Power dropped their plans when their facility began sinking into the ground in 1985.

http://www.ourmidland.com/news/article_db29740c-20aa-11e0-81b0-001cc4c002e0.html

michaelevenson's picture
michaelevenson 8 years 36 weeks ago
#4

I have valued your program for years and called in for the first time this morning, held on the line for an hour and a half, and when my number came up, I only had 30 seconds. Too bad. There were a few things to add to the conversation and I had to just pick one: supporting Beyond Nuclear, an organization doing the government's job. I heard about their existence on your program. Good Work!

In answer to the question of how to get iodine to fill your thyroid, sea weed is the most excellent source I could find with online research. You eat seaweed in Sushi (maybe the Japanese don't need the pills) and you can find it dried in most natural foods stores. Please advise the TH community.

Sorry we could not have a conversation on the air about other aspects of the nuclear disaster; probably you were waiting for me to request that my time with you be continued after the break. Lots of people were calling in and so I understand getting the short shrift. It doesn't make me feel like calling in again, though, and that is not my idea of a community.

shutemdownnow's picture
shutemdownnow 8 years 36 weeks ago
#5

details on when and when not to take potassium iodide: http://blog.alexanderhiggins.com/2011/03/14/dont-take-potassium-iodide-u... DON’T Take Potassium Iodide Unless You Are Exposed to Radiation Posted by Washington's Blog - March 14, 2011 at 2:24 am - Permalink - Source via Washington's Blog Because of the fear that the radiation from the Japanese nuclear meltdowns will hit the Western United states (see this and this), potassium iodide has sold out in most health food and supplement stores in many California, Oregon and Washington locations. People know that it’s good to take potassium iodide to protect against radiation, to help protect against thyroid cancer (potassium iodide does not protect any other organs). But taking potassium iodide when there is no radiation can actually damage the thyroid gland … at least in some individuals. A doctor told me that potassium iodide is given to people with hyperthyroid disease in order to partially kill the thyroid – i.e. to lower thyroid function. Indeed, the New York Times notes: Experts in Japan and the United States say the country is now facing a cascade of accumulating problems that suggest that radioactive releases of steam from the crippled plants could go on for weeks or even months. You can’t take potassium iodide for months on end. Ideally, buy potassium iodide now, and monitor radiation levels by looking at real-time monitoring networks such as this and this. Don’t take iodide unless and until elevated radiation levels hit your area. Whatever you do, don’t take more than the recommended dosage. The Centers for Disease Control and the FDA recommend: •130 milligrams for adults •65 milligrams for children Each 24 hours that one is exposed to radiation. Sees this for further details

Jkirk3279's picture
Jkirk3279 8 years 36 weeks ago
#6

" A doctor told me that potassium iodide is given to people with hyperthyroid disease in order to partially kill the thyroid"

Err, yes and no.

They use a radioactive version of Iodine for that purpose.

Regular Iodine will work just fine, and won't kill the thyroid. In fact, the soil in America is deficient in Iodine, and that's why we add it to table salt.

Once the thyroid gets enough, it stops absorbing it. That's why the practice works. You saturate the thyroid with iodine so it won't absorb and concentrate the radioactive chemicals.

shutemdownnow's picture
shutemdownnow 8 years 36 weeks ago
#7

Thom,
Towards the end of todays show aired on FSTV, you talked about the citizen's efforts now being organised to monitor for incoming radiation along the western U.S. coast. Could you provide a link and/or details on how to become involved with this?

Also, you stated that the people are having to do this monitoring because the government doesn't have the budget for it. Although I'm sure this isn't literal--
as they must be doing some testing, but we cannot trust in that, or that they will release all the results. As for the government not having the budget for it--
They are running a huge disaster drill on the scenario of a 10 kiloton nuclear explosion in Louisville, Ky. and emergency responses to such an event. This is taking place now at Muscatatuck in southern Indiana.
(Well, I seem to have lost internet access, even though it is still showing that I am connected. 10 minutes later, seems to be resolved. )
Vibrant Response kicked off on March 11, 2011 to run through March 20.

http://www.dvidshub.net/news/66895/service-and-support-both-tradoc-and-f...

http://www.dvidshub.net/news/66978/vibrant-response-kicks-off-mutc

http://www.wthr.com/story/14249314/guardsmen-take-part-in-nuclear-drill-...
It was a doomsday scenario, a pretend nuclear explosion in Louisville devastating areas miles away in Indiana.
National Guard units from several states are in Indiana, preparing for the potential of a nuclear disaster on American soil

http://www.therepublic.com/view/local_story/Muscatatuck_to_host_3_500_so...
The training will include urban and aerial search and rescue missions, simulated decontamination operations, airlift, medical training and other events.

Also, the U.S. government is spending for the Key Resolve/Foal Eagle exercises. The Key Resolve military exercise ended on March 10th and Foal Eagle will continue until April 30th. How much of the U.S. presence in these joint South Korea/US war drills, including some state of the art nuclear, chem/bio monitoring and testing equipment has now been diverted to Japan?

http://english.chosun.com/site/data/html_dir/2011/03/01/2011030100425.html
U.S. Aircraft Carrier to Participate in Joint Drills

http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Asia-Pacific/2011/0303/South-Korea-hosts-...
Camp Casey, South Korea
Brig. Gen. Charles Taylor is sure of one thing as he stands beside the latest US Army reconnaissance vehicle for sniffing out evidence of the chemical, biological, nuclear, or radiological weapons

The Army shipped four huge Stryker reconnaissance vehicles, including sensors for sniffing out just about every imaginable “nuclear, chemical, and biological contamination” and relaying warning messages, to join the one that is already here.

http://www.globalsecuritynewswire.org/gsn/nw_20110303_9936.php
A Stryker armored vehicle modified to carry WMD detection equipment was on view at Camp Casey in the South's northern region, along with additional technology including a vehicle that disperses water and other decontamination liquids.

As usual, it is a matter of budget priorities, that may or may not include the real and not just imagined threats to the public.

pahrumplife's picture
pahrumplife 8 years 36 weeks ago
#8

Words for the Choir.

To promulgate, promote or enable deadly energy resources for monetary gain is criminally insane, especially in the face of solar and wind mechanics, tides and geothermal and other renewable energy resources. How many have died and will die as the result of breaching deadly nuclear power plants necessarily built on waterways and precariously built on earthquake faults and in the paths of war machines and natural disasters and without necessary back-ups, fail-safes, that have not yet been and not likely ever to be invented but continually promised by the greedy marble hearted fiends who have the publics and the pundants believing that we can contain the sun (plutonium) on earth for over a hundred thousand years? The answer is many many. Why do they want us to sacrifice our lives and the lives of our children and their children? $$$$.

Putting a horse in back of a cart encouraging the poor animal to panic and to injure itself as it tramples the cart may be a profitable idea for cart makers but not for horse lovers. The horse like our garden is a given and will continue destroying bad ideas. The robber bankers and barons have robbed and continue to rob our unalienable garden not to mention our wild horses and tax dollars with their bad ideas.

Keep that lucky old sun rollin’ round heaven, exclusively. Thank you Haven Gillespie for the words referenced.

stonesphear's picture
stonesphear 8 years 35 weeks ago
#9

Paying close attention day to day. A containment blew. A second containment blew and yesterday an explosion occurred @ mid afternoon yesterday. Today a third containment blew and fire broke out in a fourth but the explosion yesterday between the second containment failure and third containment failure isn't discussed today on the media in their explanation of events. Today all seems confused from the Government to Wall Street , to the Middle East and on to Japan.

Tomorrow > ?

jnpepa's picture
jnpepa 8 years 35 weeks ago
#10

p { margin-bottom: 0.08in; }

We have to urge our elected representatives/senators to declassify 5,000 patents related to zero point energy (free energy) supposedly lock up for "national security". For the security of human race we have to get out of oil/nuclear dependency. What is wrong with our free society? Why free energy solutions are suppressed for so long!

JN

delster's picture
delster 8 years 35 weeks ago
#11

I am not well informed regarding Nuclear energy however I feel it's controversy stems from the fact that an accident has severe consequences for a very extended period of time. Obviously there are

nuclear friendly proponents everywhere and especially from Wall Street , and Washington DC. I have personally opposed it's proliferation in favor conservation and alternative natural generation such as solar and wind power. Solar is really as adventurous as I am when it comes to nuclear fission.

In regard to the safety of nuclear power and the health risk from a catastrophe like the occurrence in Japan I question the validity of the information coming from proponents of nuclear power.

I find I am more likely to believe independent sources of information regarding health and safety issues especially when denial is obvious in order to deter concern.

I am concerned for the health and safety and feel there may be a significant risk involved with the

current nuclear disaster for at minimum the west coast of America.

randallt's picture
randallt 8 years 35 weeks ago
#12

Just eat so much kelp that you turn green. It worked for me.

hruhs's picture
hruhs 8 years 35 weeks ago
#13

I and my family and friends who listen will start taking some form of iodine, sea weed, iodine antiseptic if necessary. Figuring out the dose is going to be interesting in the absence of pharmaceutical iodine. What is really strange is that when we went to the hospital pharmacy for some SSKI, which we were trained as physicians to use in this situation had been confiscated by unknown authorities "for the people of Japan." WTF!

Iodine is pretty safe unless people really overdo it, which, in the absence of any public health education effort and a failure to distribute the proper oral forms of iodine, is certain to be common. Some rare individuals will be thrown into thyroid storm and be as crazy as anyone you may have met by suppressive doses, but they will be fine after it wears off. Doses up to 3000 mcg on a daily basis (micrograms) should be safe. Most ordinary multivitamins have the RDA of 150 mcg. Fifty to 100 mg (50,000 to 100,000), two drops of SSKI (Saturated Solution of Potassium Iodide) if we could get it, is the dose ordinarily given as a blocking dose to prevent uptake of radioactive iodine (from fall out) by the normal thyroid. One milligram equals one thousand mcg so one would have to take 50,000 mcg or 333 regular multivitamins, for instance. The recommendation is to take the dose PRIOR to exposure and most iodine is cleared from the system in 24 hours. But I can find no information about chronic exposure, such as we on the West Coast may be facing as the transpacific winds wend their way to us.

People seem to be on their own, Katrina style, in dealing with this which the country probably deserves after what we allowed to happen in New Orleans. No one really knows what is coming but it is likely to be here soon, a matter of days at most, so, like I said, people in my family are going to come up with something. We older folks really don't have anything to worry about. Thyroid cancer, the danger here, takes a while to show up and we will be dead. The children are the ones to really worry about, but of course in our sociopathic society that is unlikely to happen.

Herb

Chubbell 8 years 35 weeks ago
#14

Su-su sushi goodbye...

You like sushi? Especially from those high end places that fly their fish in directly from the sea of japan? then my answer is a resounding Yes.

dnarnadem 8 years 35 weeks ago
#15

This is a serious issue so I will not downgrade it. But....!

I am amazed at all the fear-mongering going on about these nuclear reactors and melt-downs. Yes they are dangerous and they do kill people. But...!

In America on a YEARLY basis, maybe 25-30,000 people die due to GUNS! 50-60,000 die on our highways! In ONE YEAR! Do any of these 2 get the attention that the meltdown in Japan has gotten in the last week? 24/7 this is being broadcasted and yet more people has died on our highways and guns here during that time period than will ever die due to Radiation in Japan! Or anywhere else for that a matter!

And where is the COVERAGE on that? Where is the Outrage? Eliminate guns? No, we are actually going to add more! Close our highways? No, we will build more highways and add more vehicles!

We are a Fearful people and fear makes us dig our holes ever deeper and keeps the fear merchants so ever busy lulling us all into oblivion!!

reasonjr's picture
reasonjr 8 years 35 weeks ago
#16

President Obama and his Republican buddys would be committed to something as ignorant as building nuclear plants on the Gulf Coast of Texas. My suggestion would be to build them in Washington DC and fly in a big group of Japanese to build it since everyone here in America is busy living our fabulous dreams and raking in all of this money from our jobs. WTF? Let's hope Obama won't be around after 2012 to finish destroying the rest of America.

Berry's picture
Berry 8 years 35 weeks ago
#17

All nuclear power around the world need to be shut down, before the sea salt is eaten away by the heat. I believe Radiation is part of the cause of climate warmimg. Radiation is a high form of hot electricity and affects all living organisms in a destructive manner. Some injuries are not irreversible including the earth. Don't forget about all the dumb atomic bomb tests going on for years without our consent. Its amazing!

Radiation is the normal death principle. Radioactivity is man's discovery of how the human race can die quickly in many ways. There is a beautiful book written on this subject called ~ Atomic Suicide by Dr. Walter and Lao Russell 1957. It a oldie but a amazing book of spiritually on all levels. What humanity it has to offer "" For the preservation of humanity in it threatened hour of total extinction, This book is humbly dedicated ~ Dr. Walker Russel.. The book maybe hard to find not sure. The best!

dnarnadem 8 years 35 weeks ago
#18

All nuclear power around the

This is an easy one - fly directly into our SUN! It's only about 1million degreees on the surface with plenty of Radiation!.

And by the way, that is what heats our planet. And the source of LIFE! Without it we'd all be popsicles!

It's how it's used - without the constant 'Radiation" from the Sun LIFE would not be possble on this planet.

And that sun - IT's a HUGH NUCLEAR BALL of radiating RADIATION!

We ALL should be supremely 'fearful" of destroying our atmosphere, as that is what shields us all from that killing radiation.

A few nuclear power plants is nothing compared to that sun of ours, and the shielding used in those nuclear power plants is nothing compared to what would happen to all of us if we lost or destroyed our atmosphere!!

Berry's picture
Berry 8 years 35 weeks ago
#19

One has to wonder just how many deaths are happing from radiation poisoning? Bone cancer, thyroid, lung, Specitic Genetic defects, has in birth defects, leukemia, other cancers that are yet to be born. In Dr Russel book, Atomic Suicide ~ The Cosmic knowledge given herein , there is a very interesting quote ~ The Second Epistle of Peter ~ Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved. and the elements shall melt with fervent heat.

Just how long does this Atomic Garbage hang around, and is it slowly seeping into lakes and water supplies food etc. Where do you dump this waste safely and from who? Iron Drums break down eventually yes! Between wars power plants microwaves from out of space satellites. Why Atomic garbage is just piling up around us decaying: "decaying what? It takes 3-4 thousands years atomic garbage to break down. In the mean time the heat is up!

Berry's picture
Berry 8 years 35 weeks ago
#20

Perhaps this is how suns are created from Atomic power plants. It happens when the container is broken.

Berry's picture
Berry 8 years 35 weeks ago
#21

Perhaps this is how suns are created from Atomic power plants. It happens when the container is broken.

dnarnadem 8 years 35 weeks ago
#22

Again - look up in the sky every day - that is CONSTANT radiation, every day, 365 days a year, and if you are into the bible, it has been radiating now for 6000 of those years also, ever since the Great One planted it there on day one (or 2)! For all us others it has been doing so now for 4 Billion Years.

And we are all still here, radiation free I hope, unless you suntan too much!

If you really want the end of the world, find a way to destroy out atmosphere. We'll all then die a pretty horrible death in no time at all!!

GeoArk2000's picture
GeoArk2000 8 years 35 weeks ago
#23

I just saw a great movie on what we can do if we work together on energy. It's called Carbon Nation.

I think we should immediately stop all loan guarantees and give-a-ways to conventional nuclear energy. However, we should have a crash program to research and develop Thorium energy like China and India are doing.

rob M.'s picture
rob M. 8 years 35 weeks ago
#24

PLEASE bring BACK the gentleman you had on tonite (March 15/16th) who FOCUSED on TEXAS Nuclear plants----we MUST CONNECT Japanese TEPCO to HOUSTON:::Texas.... these were the basics we have to HAMMER over & over :::TEPCO, well known for been busted 3 or 4 times for ethics/lying re: their plants built-in Japan in LAST DECADE---YEP, they're the company TEXAS is looking to HIRE to build it's Nuclear plants?!--oh it's WORSE---HOUSTON's engergy company couldn't do it cause THEY have tons of similar illegal/busts/unethical crap in their recent history??

AND our pals--the banks who screwed the economy---are pushing for these Texas plants. THOM,,,, PLEASE bring back your GUEST who is the expert on all those facts & KEEP pushing his points!

shutemdownnow's picture
shutemdownnow 8 years 35 weeks ago
#25

Highways deaths are truly disgraceful and not enough is ever done to increase safety or better mass transit options like high speed rail, etc. But radiation can kill not only in this lifetime but potentially for generations to come. It can affect the gene pool and cause birth defects in generation after generation. It can affect all life and not just humans. It is the pro-nuclear industry downplaying the risks that is the greatest risk of lulling us all into oblivion!!

Please check out the latest research on the Chernobyl death toll, below:

http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=20908

New Book Concludes - Chernobyl death toll: 985,000, mostly from cancerby Prof. Karl Grossman

This past April 26th marked the 24th anniversary of the Chernobyl nuclear plant accident. It came as the nuclear industry and pro-nuclear government officials in the United States and other nations were trying to "revive" nuclear power. And it followed the publication of a book, the most comprehensive study ever made, on the impacts of the Chernobyl disaster.

Chernobyl: Consequences of the Catastrophe for People and the Environment was published by the New York Academy of Sciences.

It is authored by three noted scientists:

Russian biologist Dr. Alexey Yablokov, former environmental advisor to the Russian president;

Dr. Alexey Nesterenko, a biologist and ecologist in Belarus; and

Dr.Vassili Nesterenko, a physicist and at the time of the accident director of the Institute of Nuclear Energy of the National Academy of Sciences of Belarus.

Its editor is Dr. Janette Sherman, a physician and toxicologist long involved in studying the health impacts of radioactivity.

The book is solidly based -- on health data, radiological surveys and scientific reports -- some 5,000 in all.

It concludes that based on records now available, some 985,000 people died, mainly of cancer, as a result of the Chernobyl accident. That is between when the accident occurred in 1986 and 2004. More deaths, it projects, will follow.

The book explodes the claim of the International Atomic Energy Agency-- still on its website that the expected death toll from the Chernobyl accident will be 4,000. The IAEA, the new book shows, is under-estimating, to the extreme, the casualties of Chernobyl.

Alice Slater, representative in New York of the Nuclear Age Peace

Foundation, comments: "The tragic news uncovered by the comprehensive

new research that almost one million people died in the toxic aftermath of Chernobyl should be a wake-up call to people all over the world to petition their governments to put a halt to the current industry-driven

"nuclear renaissance.' Aided by a corrupt IAEA, the world has been subjected to a massive cover-up and deception about the true damages caused by Chernobyl."

Further worsening the situation, she said, has been "the collusive agreement between the IAEA and the World Health Organization in which the WHO is precluded from publishing any research on radiation effects without consultation with the IAEA." WHO, the public health arm of the UN, has supported the IAEA's claim that 4,000 will die as a result of the accident.

"How fortunate," said Ms. Slater, "that independent scientists have now revealed the horrific costs of the Chernobyl accident."

book review continues..

There have also been studies on the numbers of excessive deaths predicted as a result of the nuclear industry worldwide as well. Truly staggering--

Berry's picture
Berry 8 years 35 weeks ago
#26

Nuclear power has been on trial by John W. Gofman, M.D ph.D Co-discoverer of Uranium-233 and Ernest J. Sternglass, ph.D Director of Radiological Physis University of Pittsburgh. Murder Trial of the Century. Government and science agencies have charts of how many deaths have we of leukemia or cancer living near these plants. Ages from 1 to 9-14 and up will come down with leukemia or cancer. The book is called Shut Down, Experts Testify in Federal Court , Radiation is causing cancer and birth Defects. . Transcript of proceedings October 2, 1978

Martin Sandberg's picture
Martin Sandberg 8 years 35 weeks ago
#27

Here’s what happens if we do something stupid:

From http://www.jerrypournelle.com/view/2011/Q1/view665.html#Saturday 

“If the consequences of the tsunami include ending nuclear power world wide, the cost in blood and treasure of the earthquake and tsunami may literally be very high indeed. Energy is the main ingredient of our modern economy, and without plentiful supplies economic progress comes to an end or even reverses. Oil becomes more vital. So does coal. If AGW has any truth to it, there’s that, too.”

In other words, if this is allowed to stop nuclear power, we will become even more dependent on oil and there will be more wars over energy than you can imagine.

Think long and hard before going down that road. If you want to see what happens if that road is taken, contemplate my sig:

Atlas Shrugged was supposed to be a warning, NOT a newspaper!

j.sea's picture
j.sea 8 years 35 weeks ago
#28

Amen

j.sea's picture
j.sea 8 years 35 weeks ago
#29

Double Amen

brian a hayes's picture
brian a hayes 8 years 35 weeks ago
#30

the ticking time bomb of nuclear energy. 6 to 10 years to wait for spent fuel to cool down. then to store the cooled down spent fuel. this is a cycle for disaster. we are making causes that will lead to negative effects with our relationship with the enviroment. when those that talk about the deficit being handed down to our grandchildren, i say look at what we are handing down to them by using nuclear energy.

Suze O's picture
Suze O 8 years 35 weeks ago
#31

Thom,

I believe that Senator Jeff Bingaman (D-NM) has said he may hold a hearing on US nuclear safety. I am about to call his office to find out the status on this. Also, Joe Lieberman has used his one sensible brain cell to suggest we should review our own nuclear preparedness in case of a crisis like Japan's.

mikebachhuber's picture
mikebachhuber 8 years 35 weeks ago
#32

Scott Walker got thrown out of Marquette University in MILWAUKEE, Wisconsin not Marquette, MI

Mike

making progress's picture
making progress 8 years 35 weeks ago
#33

"Our lives depend on the system that is exploiting us." - Derrick Jensen
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8rmb_5183ZU&feature=related

Preparing for the fall of civilization - Derrick Jensen

sceptisch's picture
sceptisch 8 years 35 weeks ago
#34

Thom,

I'm really surprised to hear you take this approach on nuclear power. Do away with all of the nuclear power plants, and what are we left with? Billions more tons of carbon in the atmosphere. Alternative energy isn't there yet. It cannot supply all of our energy needs. Even in Europe, where there is a solar panel on every roof, solar power only accounts for a small percentage of their total energy production. Nuclear fills the gap. Nuclear is the lesser of evils. There are over 100 million rooftops in the United States. To put 30 solar panels on every one, enough to provide most of the energy demand of an average home, you would require over 3 billion solar panels. Do you have any idea how much embodied energy and raw materials that would be? And that still would not provided enough energy for the majority of the demand, because the average commercial building consumes far more than the average home. Until nanotechnology revolutionizes solar PV production, and until we have nuclear fusion up and running, we are left with nuclear or coal for the majority of our energy demand. How many people have ever been killed by nuclear power, including those killed by the Bomb? Now, how many more people are killed every year by carbon from coal plants? You are talking about a once in a generation catastrophe with nuclear, while we are experiencing a slow-motion global catastrophe with coal every day. Come on, Thom, you wrote a book about this. Nuclear is the lesser of evils, and it is a temporary evil. In 10 - 15 years, nanotechnology will make solar power ubiquitous. In 20 - 30 years, fusion power will be providing clean and abundant energy across the globe. We just need nuclear power for a little while longer to keep us from building more coal plants. Of course, we should also be pushing alternative energies so that we can reduce the evils further, but in the mean time, we have to resolve ourselves to using nuclear.

Than

Berry's picture
Berry 8 years 35 weeks ago
#35

Nuclear power plants would be great if built on the moon, and just think you could build lots of them and stretch a long wire down to earth. Maybe then it would be safe. Perhaps its good for the use of spaceships for travel. Its possibe that this has been going on for billions of years already. A well kept secret, Well, will we eventually blow ourselfs up with this power? Do we turn planets into stars. Again, Are stars made out of planets? Understanding the secretes of nuclear energy could be the genesis of the universe? And away we go ! In and out and in and out.

Lindawyeth 8 years 35 weeks ago
#36

I am and have been opposed to the use of nuclear energy for ANYTHING ever since reading the science behind it 50 years ago in high school. It does not matter if the radiation poisoning gets to us here in central Wisconsin -- this is OUR world, and our children's and grandchildren's world. We need to clean it up -- all of it -- for us and for them. Not to overuse cliches, but "No man lives on an island," and "Ask not for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee." If our brothers and sisters in Japan and the West Coast of the U.S. are adversely affected, then so are we all!

rnturn's picture
rnturn 8 years 35 weeks ago
#37

delster said:

"Solar is really as adventurous as I am when it comes to nuclear fission."

Actually, solar energy comes about as a byproduct of nuclear fusion. We've been trying to create a stable, self-sustaining fusion reaction since the '70s (at least). The benefits are, in my humble opinion, horribly outweighed by the same downsides of fission: it results in highly radioactive waste. (In this case, it's the enclosure, the magnetic field windings, etc., that comprise the fusion reactor.) Having that fusion taking place 93 million miles away is, I think, a real good idea. It means we don't have to figure out how to store the radioactive pieces of that fusion reactor that have to be replaced periodically.

It's a pity we allowed the nuclear energy industry -- and others (oil, coal) -- convince everyone that solar was not going to work. Sure, it was very inefficient and wouldn't have worked back in the '70s when Jimmy Carter proposed moving away from fossil fuels. But... if we had spent the money back then on the basic research that has resulted in the solar cells that are in use today. Imagine how much /more/ efficient they could have been /today/.

Berry's picture
Berry 8 years 35 weeks ago
#38

Back in the early time of the 60' s The Native Americans protested the digging up of Uranium.

They New ! Uranium to the Native Amercans were the planet glands if you will. Uranium in its natural state in the ground took millions of years to decay solid rock and other materials to create a surface and atmosphere for organic life to become possible. We live off that decay if you will, but Taken from the ground will only speed up the process.

wrenfoto's picture
wrenfoto 8 years 35 weeks ago
#39
willia's picture
willia 8 years 35 weeks ago
#40

we need to know more about the radiation from Japan and how it is traveling in The North Pacific Current which is formed by the collision of the Kuroshio Current, running northward off the Eastern coast of Japan In the eastern North Pacific, it splits into the southward California Current and the northward Alaska Current. It is heading straight into one of the biggest fisheries. Alueutian Island. Alaska is closer to Japan then it is to Eurecka, California. Would you be worried if you lived in California Washinton State or Oregon and Alaska had a nuclear accident on the coast? The water that was contamindated last week in Japan is now off the coast of alaska and is heading south alond the western coast line . Please all of you check the currents and start asking questions

We Know How Far Trump Will Go - How Far Will Republicans Go?

Thom plus logo Colonel Vindman's testimony pretty much proves that Trump was trying to shake down Ukraine for information on Biden, and that the Republicans are doing everything they can to cover up this extortion attempt.

Latest Headlines

Who rejected United States-North Korea peace talks?

There were conflicting reports on Sunday regarding a recent proposal for United States-North Korea peace talks which was allegedly made before North Korea"s recent nuclear test

U.K. Pound Falls As Markets Get Brexit Jitters

Bloomberg said on Monday the pound had sustained its biggest fall against the dollar in 11 months

Clinton: I'll defend Israel but push for 'two-state solution

Hillary Clinton believes both Republican candidates Donald Trump and Ted Cruz "missed the mark" with their approach to the Israel-Palestinian Arab conflict
From Unequal Protection, 2nd Edition:
"If you wonder why and when giant corporations got the power to reign supreme over us, here’s the story."
Jim Hightower, national radio commentator and author of Swim Against the Current
From Screwed:
"Thom Hartmann’s book explains in simple language and with concrete research the details of the Neo-con’s war against the American middle class. It proves what many have intuited and serves to remind us that without a healthy, employed, and vital middle class, America is no more than the richest Third World country on the planet."
Peter Coyote, Actor and author of Sleeping Where I Fall
From Screwed:
"If we are going to live in a Democracy, we need to have a healthy middle class. Thom Hartmann shows us how the ‘cons’ have wronged this country, and tells us what needs to be done to reclaim what it is to be American."
Eric Utne, Founder, Utne magazine