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Wasserman writes: "The Supreme Court has just now certified the deadliest and most economically destructive scam of the entire Trump catastrophe."

Davis-Besse Nuclear Power Station. (photo: FirstEnergy Corp.)
Davis-Besse Nuclear Power Station. (photo: FirstEnergy Corp.)


America's "Hole-in-the-Head" Nuke Suicide Pact Gets Court Approval

By Harvey Wasserman, Reader Supported News

18 April 19

 

he Supreme Court has just now certified the deadliest and most economically destructive scam of the entire Trump catastrophe.

Every downwind American is now threatened with deadly radiation while state after state bankrupts itself with soaring electric bills and ecological disaster, crippling the Solartopian green energy revolution.

It is, in short, the “hole in the head” wave of massive state-based nuke bailouts 

All across the US, brain-dead Trumpist legislatures are scamming public billions into dying nuke reactors that pose the #1 threat to human survival on this planet. 

All the world’s 440 reactors (98 in the US) are decrepit, crumbling, ready to blow. They’re uninspected, under-maintained, filthy, falling apart. They emit massive quantities of heat and radiation that cause climate chaos. Most are huge money-losers that can’t compete with green Solartopian technologies. 

They are epitomized by Ohio’s infamous “hole in the head” Davis-Besse nuke, currently crumbling outside Toledo. In keeping with the Luddite wave now sweeping Trumpnation, the Ohio legislature may soon fork over billions to keep it running toward the ultimate failure.

The state-based nuke bailout craze actually started with New York governor Andrew Cuomo.

In 2016-2017, he began gouging the Empire State for some $7.6 billion to underwrite four dying upstate nukes. All lose mega-cash while killing countless jobs by raising electric rates and blocking renewables.

Wind, solar, batteries and LED/efficiency were set to make the Empire state both energy independent and fully employed. But Cuomo is blocking that by scamming ratepayers as far away as Long Island who get zero juice from the nukes they’re being forced to subsidize.

Cuomo originally promised the payouts would soon decline. Instead, they rose $50 million this year, even beyond the original bailout scam

The Illinois legislature is doing the same for three downstate reactors. New Jersey and Pennsylvania are contemplating a similar suicide. 

But Ohio may top them all.

Center stage is FirstEnergy’s infamous money-losing Davis-Besse “hole-in-the-head” nuke near Toledo. Its bankrupt owner’s precursor blacked out the entire Northeast in 2003. FE says without a gargantuan bailout, DB will shut by 2021. 

So the gerrymandered GOP legislature may soon gouge tax/ratepayers some $300 million/year to keep DB and the nearby Perry reactor open, dooming the state’s remnant rust belt economy.

DB dumps its waste heat into Lake Erie, between Toledo and Cleveland. A 1977 accident portended what destroyed its clone, Three Mile Island Unit Two, on March 28, 1979. TMI2’s owners later sued because lessons learned at DB that might’ve helped them avoid their own disaster were not passed on. 

In 2002, news of a hole in DB’s head astonished the industry. Dripping boric acid had eaten nearly through the reactor vessel head. Cleveland and the Great Lakes were 3/5ths of an inch from permanent irradiation. 

Rather than shut permanently, FE spent millions on a “fix” that failed. Then they cut through the containment and glued on a badly-fitted head from an unfinished Michigan reactor canceled by citizen action.

Shoddy construction and faulty maintenance have perforated the building meant to shield the public from DB’s radiation. Its operating/maintenance costs soar while it can’t compete with methane. 

But it’s wind that Ohio’s nuke-loving lawmakers most hate. “North coast” breezes blow steadily over flat agricultural land filled with transmission lines. Farmers are desperate for the steady income turbines can bring, especially when sited so close to urban consumers. More than $4 billion in private funding is pending for Ohio wind farms, guaranteeing billions in longterm revenue and thousands of secure jobs.

But in 2015, FE’s bought lawmakers concocted a setback provision meant to kill those projects. Other midwestern/Great Plains states are now filling with cheap nature-based electricity. But anti-wind Ohio may now bury its fiscal future with unsustainable electric rates.

All reactors spew carbon 14 along with huge quantities of hot water and steam that warm the planet and kill trillions of marine creatures. Their cooling towers kill countless birds. All American reactors (except Watts Bar) are more than twenty years old; some are more than forty.

Now the Trump-run Nuclear Regulatory Commission says it may simply stop inspecting these older reactors just as they most need it. They want owners to stop informing the public of mishaps just as they become more frequent and dangerous.

The terrifying escalation of reactor disasters has risen from the near-miss at Michigan’s Fermi One (1966) to the melt-down at TMI (1979) to the mega-explosion at Chernobyl (1986) to the three melt-downs/four explosions at Fukushima.

After that 2011 disaster, NRC staff compiled upgrades to guard against another one. But the Trump Commission killed them all, leaving the fleet even more dangerous than before Fukushima.

When the next big reactor blows, industry hacks like Ann Coulter will be all over Fox explaining that radiation is good and that plutonium is pixie dust that really won’t harm our kids.

But the ghastly death tolls at TMI, Chernobyl, and Fukushima say otherwise.

Based on the insane claim that nukes deserve “zero emission credits,” the Supreme Court has cleared the way for still more of these insane bailouts.

Grassroots Solartopians are fighting back. Ohio’s bailout has been held off for years, and may yet fail. They’ve petitioned California Governor Gavin Newsom to independently inspect Diablo Canyon.

They’ve also poured into the bankruptcy court, where FirstEnergy’s inabilities are on global display alongside those of California’s Pacific Gas & Electric, the money-losing behemoth that in 2010 killed eight people with badly maintained pipelines, then killed eighty more with badly maintained power lines that incinerated an entire ecosystem, including 12,000 structures.

The uncaring incompetence of this dying industry and its technology of death guarantee that unless these bailouts stop, far worse is yet to come.

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Harvey Wasserman’s Green Power & Wellness Show is podcast at prn.fm; California Solartopia is broadcast at KPFK-Pacifica, 90.7 fm, Los Angeles. His Life & Death Spiral of US History: From Deganawidah to Solartopia will soon be at www.solartopia.org.

Reader Supported News is the Publication of Origin for this work. Permission to republish is freely granted with credit and a link back to Reader Supported News.

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+60 # solartopia.org 2019-04-18 12:55
thank you rsn. we MUST stop these bailouts and shut these nukes before the next TMI/Chernobyl/F ukushima irradiates our nation.
 
 
+10 # MainStreetMentor 2019-04-19 17:18
A Deadly Way To Go©
mainstreetmentor

He rode up to the building
In a chauffeur-drive n car
A Rolls-Royce I think it was
He sported a cigar …

Wow … A big impression!
A rock-star could he be?
No, just a salesman -
For Nuclear energy.

An’ there within the boardroom
A ’fore his spiel began
He flexed his corporate muscles
With avarice in his plan:

His presentation: awesome
His dress: impeccable
But the content of his words
Were not so laudable

Embraced were words of safety
Extolled was energy
But n’er did he speak “meltdown”
Nor “nuclear misery”

He hung his head in shame
When questions then began:
Earthquake?; Tsunami?;
Radiation in Japan?

Infant abnormality;
A sea of glowing fish;
Nuclear reality
Comes from the Corporate wish

Of dollar bills in coffers
Which Suffering constructs
And Corporations build more
While counting all their bucks.

Citizens! Send him packing!
For Japan and we both know:
Nuclear energy is …
A deadly way to go.
 
 
+38 # Skeeziks 2019-04-18 18:04
We are not in a great place. Time to reach for the fork. Sorry kids and grand kids. We never realized the trouble we set for all of you in the years gone by as we thought we were doing good for the future of our country. We chose the wrong people to run our power plants and elected the wrong people to be our "Representative s".
 
 
0 # Anne Frank 2019-04-19 13:50
Agreed. But I think we did the best we could with the information the corporate media allowed us to consider believable.
 
 
+6 # backwards_cinderella 2019-04-19 04:26
If these plants are dumping into any of the Great Lakes, it's an international issue & Canada will say something about it. They have much stronger environmental laws than we do, so this isn't a done deal yet ... thank the goddess.
 
 
-10 # Yadayada 2019-04-19 16:42
Dumping what in the great lakes?
Warm water?
Not saying warm water is nothing but let's not get carried away, they are not dumping depleted uranium.
 
 
+3 # Caliban 2019-04-21 09:32
Really? Not a smidgen?

And you know this how, exactly?
 
 
+2 # elizabethblock 2019-04-21 18:27
You overestimate Canada.
 
 
0 # Jim Rocket 2019-05-12 21:11
Canadian conservatism has been taken over by neo-cons with the help of the Koch brothers and their friends. They are in power in several provinces. The Liberals are in power federally but they're pretty pro-business also. They know what the right thing is but they can't always be counted on to do it. A very concerning federal election is coming up in the fall.
 
 
+16 # Kootenay Coyote 2019-04-19 08:54
&, of course, this barking-mad idiocy puts the US’ neighbour Canada at peril. Air- & water-borne radiation do not bother to stop at borders. Radioactive gas was secretly released at Hanford around1950 to study its plume migration; but the chart provided later shows an expanding plume heading NE to the Canadian border where, for some reason, it is represented as vanishing.
 
 
-4 # Yadayada 2019-04-20 12:04
I am as worried about mismanaged nuclear as anyone but I don't think screaming helps the discussion.

"All across the US, brain-dead Trumpist legislatures are scamming public billions into dying nuke reactors that pose the #1 threat to human survival on this planet."

First, CO2, not depleted uranium, is the #1 threat to human (and everything's) survival on this planet.

Downwind? Absent a catastrophic event such à la Chernobyl, nuclear power plants do not spew out radioactive material in the atmosphere. What does is coal fired power plants. These should be shut down immediately.

Fukushima? How many people died of the Fukushima nuclear accident beyond the about 100 killed during the botched evacuation?
Where are the thyroid cancers? I am sure there are some, but where is the catastrophic epidemic?
Orders of magnitude more people are killed every year by breathing in smokestacks (fine particulates, NOx etc. without even counting global warming) than due to any cause related to nuclear power.

The #1 priority must be reduction of use of fossil fuels, and anyone telling you it can be done without using nuclear reactors is laughing at you.
THEN, when the coal-fired plants and then the petroleum and natural gas plants have been closed, then we can turn around and close the nuclear power plants.

Nuclear weapons are another topic - and yes nuclear weapons are a threat to our survival.

Go on, thumb me down.
 
 
+7 # laborequalswealth 2019-04-20 18:13
Ironically , it is less likely that we will have a nuke war than that nuke plant meltdowns and impossible to get rid of PLUTONIUM will destroy our species. Slow suicide.

Of course we can’t cite mortality figures for nuke plants because people move and NO ONE is keeping reliable stats. European scientists estimated that Chernobyl resulted in as many as 1 million premature deaths.

Nuke plants are insane.
 
 
0 # Jim Rocket 2019-05-12 21:15
"The #1 priority must be reduction of use of fossil fuels, and anyone telling you it can be done without using nuclear reactors is laughing at you." The point is not just that we shouldn't be running these machines but they're in desperate need of maintenance or upgrades - that no one wants to pay for so they're not going to get done. The threat of serious repercussions increases as time goes on.
 
 
+3 # solartopia.org 2019-04-21 03:27
nuke reactors ARE insane and forcing tax/ratepayers to subsidize them is part of it. ohio may be next. we must stop them!
 
 
+4 # DongiC 2019-04-21 04:59
Nuclear power plants reveal the amazing determination of the utility industry to maximize profits regardless of any inherent danger to the environment. It is not the general welfare which is important but corporate gain. This is nuts! We must support political candidates who put our society first and our businesses second. And, retire permanently our ageing reactors.
 

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