No new nukes!... at least for a little bit

On Tuesday, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission announced that it would temporarily freeze any new licenses or renewal of licenses for nuclear power plants around the country. That decision by the NRC was prompted by a US Court of Appeals ruling back in June that the NRC has insufficiently dealt with the problem of nuclear waste material - thus violating the National Environmental Policy Act. Currently, the NRC provides licenses under the assumption that it will find ways to dispose of nuclear waste in the future when it becomes “necessary” or that nuclear waste can be safely stored at reactors sites.

As we’re seeing in Japan, there are a lot of problems with nuclear waste stored inside the reactor building – and the U.S. Court of Appeals recognized as much when they issued their ruling against the NRC. One of the main litigants in the case against the NRC – Stephen Smith, the executive director of the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy said about the NRC’s decision, “We believe it is appropriate to halt nuclear licensing decisions and stop creating an inter-generational debt of nuclear waste that will burden our children and grandchildren for centuries to come.” Time to ditch nuclear power!


CunningLinguist's picture
CunningLinguist 10 years 41 weeks ago

Just take two aspirins and call me in the morning!

fjkapustka2's picture
fjkapustka2 10 years 41 weeks ago

The problem of Nuclear wastes is not going away. The safest method of dealing with the waste is to install prefabricated processing unit and prefabricated CANDU or Advanced CANDU reactors at all current nuclear power plants. These reactors would then create power while reducing current and future nuclear was to the absolute minimum levels. (,

rruppena's picture
rruppena 10 years 41 weeks ago

I logged in to vote on the Nuclear Power freeze----my answer is YES, freeze ad infinitum!

William Chastain's picture
William Chastain 10 years 41 weeks ago

I am so totally against any new nuclear plants....I vote to disallow any new plants and begin now getting rid of the existing one. Germany is totally supporting their energy needs with Solar and have so much more energy than they require.. Such a small country...And we have so much open space to turn into solar energy generators.... Yes,,get rid of the Nukes... Thanks Thom for this article.


bev-lib's picture
bev-lib 10 years 41 weeks ago

Freezing is good. Spend our money on solar and wind power:

While taking nuclear off the list, take off oil, gas, and oilsands. They are poluters and health hazards. They are obsolete.

My son, his wife and my two grandchildren live in Japan. Those are humans living in Japan, and many of them belong to America, and are doing a job there. During the earthquake, and all this nuclear meltdown, no one knew, or still do not know what is going on and what will happen. I say going green is better.

klentz's picture
klentz 10 years 41 weeks ago

Sorry to buck the liberal nuclear hatred, but in itself, nuclear technology is not inherently unsafe. Check out the system of the dreaded France. Almost all their electricity comes from nuclear and they some how manage to hold a high standard.

The problem is power companies cutting corners to build the cheapest system available, the hiring of untrained managers and enginneers for as little as possible to run the show. Also a regulatory system which is itself in the pocket of power companies.

If you are truly progressive, then you would seek a well regulated and managed, fail-safe, nationalized nuclear-electric grid which would end fossil fuel power generation and pollution forever.

The answer is not to protest the end of all nuclear - the endless lawsuits and protests will drive the cost out of sight.

The answer is to demand tight regulation (unable to ever be touched by moron politicians) , mandatory maintenance, and total fuel recycling. And you will get cheap, safe power ad infinitum.

jdadam 10 years 41 weeks ago

Of course nuclear power plants are no longer an option. The question is, will they go first or last?

TimFromLA 10 years 41 weeks ago

Too little Too late ....................................Ask my relatives in Japan

dowdotica's picture
dowdotica 10 years 41 weeks ago

miles and miles and miles of sunshine, hmmm and i thought back when i was in 4th grade reading popular science that by the time i turned 50 i'd be riding a solar powered train and be running by cloth dryer on my back yard wind turbine. bummer, doesn't look like much has changed in 40 years!

jdadam 10 years 41 weeks ago

The fact remains that it doesn't work in practice like it does in theory. This then becomes more of using something you can't use safely simply because you can (make money). Perhaps we are just too "young" to justify the risks inherent in nuclear energy. Like giving a six year old a loaded pistol....

stersource's picture
stersource 10 years 41 weeks ago

Hey dope I lived in germany for 3 years Much of the time it was overcast and cloudy. GET REAL and don't be so F*** STUPID!! France has about 80% of their electrical power from nukes! You are an IDIOT and probaly think nobama is the best muslim since sliced bread!!! AMF away muslim fraud

stersource's picture
stersource 10 years 41 weeks ago

Do you really know what nuclear power is?? Nothing more than heating water to steam running turbines and generating eletrical power. harry reid shut down the Yucca Flats complex in Nevada for storing nuclear waste ALL AND I SAY ALL the engineering problems were anticipated and the storage complex would have been safe and secure. Yet harry reid, who won't release his tax records, got it stopped. (Went to Washintong poor and now lives in the Ritz carlton in DC!!) And stopping Yucca was just waht the enviro IDIOTS wanted no place to store the waste and down then shut the plants. BUT BUT there is still the nuclear waste--what do you do with it??? LET THE F*** EAT WEEDs AND GRUBS and live in caves!! rosanee barr and the hollywood trash and chieu the energy idiot who does not have car can live with them. Toss the nobamas in there too!!!

klentz's picture
klentz 10 years 41 weeks ago

No question - there are a number of no brainers: 1) Don't build nuclear plants on or in high seismic areas (Japan) (California). 2) don't store waste in high risk areas 3) Don't store waste near important aquifers 4} regulate the crap out of plants, including criminal charges against executives guilty of negligence.

If you are indeed "progressive" and hopefully "open minded", then you do not condemn technology simply because those few who exploit it are in fact profit driven morons.

What will be your position when a wind turbine blade snaps from fatigue along I580 and impales a 3 year old who was in a car simply driving by? Outlaw wind power?

What if one of the reflector mirrors on a solar concentrating plant fails, loses registration and sets a nearby residence on fire - frying an innocent 5 year old? No more solar energy?

Get real. The problem is not the technology- its the people exploiting it.

HalFonts's picture
HalFonts 10 years 41 weeks ago

ALL ENERGY IS NUCLEAR BASED -- and Nuclear will be the ultimate source of power. It is not inherently bad -- what we have is one more miserable example of another failure of our dysfunctional political systems to deal with solving the problems properly.

Storing waste on-site long-term is of course absurd. However that has been forced as a poison-pill by opponents blocking long-term processing and storage. So, in order to maintain our usage levels of energy per capita, we poison ourselves with carbon-abuse.

Solar, passive, wind, hydro, etc., etc. -- all nuclear-based; but do the math if you can. Duhhh. Ultimately someone will have to, and will solve the Nuclear Energy Issues -- and if the People's Representatives can't do it, The Oligarchy's Representatives will.

Anyone heard of the wonderful "HYDROGEN" lately? -- Wasn't that the liberal's solution to our energy problems? I'm sorry -- I sure as hell ain't with the Rabid-Right; but Nuclear Energy and Technology in general is the soft underbelly of the Know-Nothing Luddites of the Left. Sad; really sad that we live on a Left-Right (99%-1%?) Political Spectrum, with such huge problems to solve.

bobcox's picture
bobcox 10 years 41 weeks ago

Carter's decision to stop reprocessing started the difficulty of waste storage. Assemblies removed contain fissionable materials (Pu 239) whuch can be used to fuel other reactors. the high radioactive wast materials have to be removed to enable fission can be controlled (started, etc.) but can be used for low thermoelectric power for years. Carter stopped all development. The president can easily issue a new directive starting the reprocessing plants. We can "burn" Pu 239 as well as U2345!

megalomaniac's picture
megalomaniac 10 years 41 weeks ago

Rethink, research, evaluate without feign. Many decades ago my mother bought me a book while I was going to Chicago Circle campus University Illinois. It is an interesting chemistry book by Theodore Brown U of I author.

My mother also purchased the book at a flea market. Not sure what the price was although along with a calculus book cost only sixty three cents. The price written inside the front cover. Peculiar knowing it was too good to be true. Or my mom doctored the price. LOL. Even moms have a tendency to stretch the truth for their sibling, so think about the refined educated moms out there that will lean forward for any reason to get their kid ahead.

Anyway each the Chemistry and Calculus books hold the secrets to understanding this nuclear stuff. In thermo dynamics a basic theory called Entropy, and then linked to the Calculus Chain effect could “statistically” create a thermo nuclear reaction that is irreversible.

That’s scary. Then consider a country that was diligent, like japan, but error is always looming. The French at some point will observe discretion and or perhaps even retreat from a catastrophe as in a meltdown. Or, politicians as in 911, and I do believe Bush and company held the door open for 911, to allow the Wahhabi to will strike at Yucca Mountain triggering one of America’s repositories of nuclear waste. Here, located above a fault line could create a catastrophic event. Perhaps even shifting or shoving the whole liberal state of California into the ocean. One way to get rid of Democratic pests. Please this is said only in the attitude of the comedy of errors. I watch too much Steven Colbert. Or, myself preservation is kicking in.

What is horrible?

The news media knowing the elite and academic gigolos are prolific. They know who they are they know who is guilty. Scientists parasitizing, hiding, deceiving, liars, cheating, economically swindling, creating legislation called loopholes to circumvent participating in the common wealth, like not paying taxes is core of the outrage. Moreover, it sounds very cruel or perhaps some consider my opinion without merit, but when my research found out how close Bush and Cheney are in business deals with the Bin Laden family, a major Wahhbi link to Arab terrorist that transpired through decades. Profiteering of unknown amounts that would or could likely be considered economic treason is what our centered core of journalism is wrestling with. To condemn them, or at least drum them out of politics forever. Then America will establish the foundation for a Golden Age.

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 10 years 41 weeks ago

re: klentz: I agree that nuclear energy could be safe...just like a large dam could be safe providing the builders didn't cut costs by avoiding using rebar reinforcement in the concrete structure or using an inferior concrete mix. But, of course, we all know that in private enterprise, which is highly profit motivated, they will do whatever they can to cut back on costs which often means cut back on safety. In order to maximize profits, they will gamble that their decisions will not come back to bite them...till, perhaps, they are long dead. Sometimes they miscalculate and have to take the heat for what they failed to do in the interest of safety. But, I surmise that it is a rarity.

I wonder how many of the original designers and builders...especially the ones making all the big and important top executives of these corporations...and politicians that helped them out...have died off and will no longer be able to take the heat if a major accident occurs? Their heirs, having inherited the blood money, never really having to answer for, or give up any of that wealth once it was realized that their money came from the deaths of many people.

I suppose that all of those who conspired the 911 false flag operation fully expect to not have the real facts understood and accepted by the majority of citizens until way after the deaths of the original conspirators. But the power and the blood money that has resulted from 911 will live long after their deaths and their inheritors will continue to benefit. But, the inheritors, the ones that will continue to maintain power and influence, will carry on the myth of Osama bin Laden and 19 Muslim hijackers and they will likely never have to give back the power or the money they accumulated from treason. They will be fully committed to their beliefs that they deserve to have all of that power and money.

The examples of a windmill blade coming lose and killing someone or the reflector mirrors causing a house fire are very unlikely and would affect only one or a few people at most....much more unlikely than a nuclear meltdown due to a profit motivated, risk taker, who skirted safety because of the cost....and the numbers of people killed is likely to be way more than just one person. But, aside from those examples, I agreed with everything else that klentz has said. I think that a defect in a nuclear plant causing mega-death is more on the order of if Hoover Dam had been built without rebar or with the wrong mix of concrete....and millions of people built their houses were built along the banks of the lower Colorado River.

One nuclear meltdown could very easily kill way more people than all of the "lone gunmen" who go crazy and kill people with guns. And since 3 Mile Island, Chernobyl, and now Fukushima (not to mention all of the other close calls at other locations over the years) we should all now be very much aware of the danger in letting relatively unregulated, highly profit motivated, CEOs and other top execs, along with the pressures of the stock holders, and others who are willing to risk other people's money and lives for maximizing their short term the nuclear industry. We should have penalties more like what China would mete out....execute the bastards who let his greed get in the way of public safety. After all...when a lone gunman kills a few people....he/she may very well be executed (maybe...many years down the line..after the legal system (appeals, etc) gets done with him/her. But top executives, in the US, who wind up killing hundreds, thousands, or many more through their profit-driven decisions rarely even go to jail.

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 10 years 41 weeks ago

re: megalomaniac: Unfortunately, we are not all liberals here in California. Now if you detach Orange County...maybe...

Anyway, I believe you are correct on everything else...especially about 911. There are just way too many "coincidences?" about 911 to believe that it went down like the government wants us to believe.

I believe that Osama bin Laden was still working for the CIA and along with Pakistan's ISI and the Wahhabi regime in Saudi Arabia and the close-knit connections the Bush's had with them....that they all conspired and carried out 911 for several reasons.

It was to create another "Pearl Harbor" to scare American citizens out of their freedoms and ability to question authority..especially the authority that had spent many years scamming Americans in the sub-prime mortgage markets, derivatives, and many other financial scams. Another was to create an excuse to go after Saddam Husein and establish a controlling military presence in the Middle East in order to beat the Chinese, or anyone else, to control of the oil. Another was the pipeline they wanted to put through Afghanistan which was being delayed because the Afghanis was not biting the US "offer of a carpet of gold". ("Accept our carpet of gold, or expect our carpet of bombs!"). And others even including...that the WTC towers was facing a massive renovation to get rid of the asbestos insulation.
"The Twin Towers had large amounts of asbestos fireproofing which would have necessitated costly removal had they remained standing. The exact amount and distribution of the asbestos in the Towers remains unclear, like other details of the buildings' construction and history, but the evidence suggests that the cost of its removal may have rivaled the value of the buildings themselves."

I believe that this conspiracy consisted of the CIA using their man, Osama bin Laden, along with the ruling Wahhabi regime in Saudi Arabia to provide 15 of the 19 alleged hijackers, patsies, to go on some unspecified mission in the US. The Pakistani ISI, through Omar Sheikh, helped fund the operation when they handed Mohammed Atta $100,000.

I believe that the 19 alleged hijackers may not have even realized that the planes would be electronically hijacked (on-board controls disabled) and electronically guided to hit their targets...the US certainly had that capability years ago. And they certainly had the technology to create nano-thermite which was used in demolishing the WTC towers from planted explosives.

"Former Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf, in his book In the Line of Fire, stated that Sheikh was originally recruited by British intelligence agency, MI6, while studying at the London School of Economics. He alleges Omar Sheikh was sent to the Balkans by MI6 to engage in jihadi operations. Musharraf later went on to state, "At some point, he probably became a rogue or double agent".[7]"

"The Times describes Saeed Sheikh as "no ordinary terrorist but a man who has connections that reach high into Pakistan's military and intelligence elite and into the innermost circles of Osama Bin Laden and the al-Qaeda organization." According to ABC, Sheikh began working for Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) in 1993. By 1994 he was operating training camps in Afghanistan and had earned the title of bin Laden's "special son.".[14]"

"On October 6, 2001, a senior-level U.S. government official, told CNN that U.S. investigators had discovered Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh (Sheik Syed), using the alias "Mustafa Muhammad Ahmad" had sent about $100,000 from the United Arab Emirates to Mohamed Atta."
"A former FBI translator has claimed that the US was on 'intimate' terms with the Taliban and al-Qaeda using the militants to further certain goals in central Asia."

""With those groups, we had operations in Central Asia," said former Turkish language translator Sibel Edmonds on Friday speaking on the radio program, the Mike Malloy Show."

"Washington used the gunmen 'as we did during the Afghan and Soviet conflict'; she added referring to the US military support for Afghan fighters against Russia during the 1979-89 Russian invasion."

"Luke Ryland, a prolific investigator into the claims, says the tumultuous situation resulting from extremist operations would boost American arms sales in the region while forcing 'oil and gas concessions.' "

"Edmonds worked for the FBI until 2002 when she was fired on the charge of revealing sensitive information."

"The US government has twice barred Edmonds' testimony on some controversial issues."

"These are the confirmed cases," she added stating that her claims were based on 'first-hand' information 'based on what I obtained.' "There are a lot of things that our government doesn't want us to know."

"It's not very difficult to put two and two together on this," she said.
And then, wasn't it just nifty how a grey bearded old man on dialysis sitting in his Afghanistan cave was able to know and direct the exact right time to do all of this....during mock military drills that included hijacking airliners and crashing them into prime targets...the WTC towers and Pentagon being some of them?

And wasn't it nifty how these alleged hijackers were trained in US pilot schools on small craft and even then they were really sh!tty at it...yet they were able to accurately guide these huge airliners to their targets?

Man, there sure are a lot of gullible people in the US to believe the government conspiracy theory when all of these, and many, many more just glare out at you.

Idaglia's picture
Idaglia 10 years 41 weeks ago

Hope so.

If you can't glue the atom back during damage control, then we should not be using technology that we don't have absolute control over in usage or disposal.

The American RED Way: How we can get away with it and make a buck at someone elses expense. Anything that obstructs our path, i.e., regulations, physical barriers, etc., we will waste our time and someone elses money [public] to find any loop holes to our profitable advantage) . . . then walk away from it all after the damage is done as if it's the inheritor's fault).

The French Way: No so. Then, again, Europe is older, has made more mistakes (and learned from them). Wiser in understanding that the rich can get richer if they'd like as long as the poorest has a decent and comfortable living for themselves and their families).

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 10 years 41 weeks ago

That's right...the consequences for those few at the top who have accumulated all the wealth and refuse the masses a relatively decent existence is that the masses will eventually riot and chop off heads of the wealthy. It happened in happened in happened all over Europe...and now it is happening in parts of the rest of the world. I suspect that, eventually, it will happen here in the US.

Once the masses realize that their 2 party political system is owned by the ruling elite and that it is rigged to pander false hope, and the propaganda that we have to vote for the least evil of the two choices is not the solution, then the people will see how futile it is to keep playing their (the ruling elite) games.

Unfortunately, the ruling elite still has a lot of people fooled by this and these people still thinks that voting for Obama is the answer. Obama is part of the problem. He is just as owned by the ruling elite as is Romney/Ryan.

radster63's picture
radster63 10 years 40 weeks ago

I continue to be amazed at the ignorance shown by those who have taken this negative stanch toward nuclear power. First of all, the French and Chinese recycle 90% of their waste. Nuclear power is a safe and pollution free means of satisfying the worlds power needs. 80% of Frances power comes from nuclear plants. The stupids of germany had decided to shut down nulcear power plants only to laughed at by the French as Germany will be buying power for the nulcear supplied power grid of France. China ,India & Tiawan are buildling new plants that are designed by US companies. THree mile Island did not produce any hazard because the cooling valve stuff open and only released cooling water with harm to the nearbye public. Russians were performing a test they had been told not to perform. The recent Japanese was a result of the Tsunami washing out the emergency backup power generator. THe plant itself withstood the quake and tsunmai. More power plants will be build. Keep in mind, those think the wind and solar are so marvelous will still need backup power generation which will be nulcear unless you think that biggest polluter, our coal plants are still OK. So far, I am 100% right and you don't have it figured it !!!!!!!!!!!!

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