Saturday, May 22, 2010

Cancer Causing Strontium-90 Found in Soil at Vermont Nuclear Plant

Mommy Mommy! What's that nukey smell in the sap?”

Strontium-90 Detected at Vermont Nuke Plant

A Catastrophe a Day in the Rat Race to the Bottom?

Leaking News

MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) — "Vermont Yankee officials say that while cleaning up after a leak of radioactive tritium at the nuclear power plant, they found another, more potent radioactive isotope in soil near where the leak occurred. Strontium-90 is a byproduct of nuclear fission that has been linked to cancer and leukemia.

Vermont Yankee spokesman Larry Smith said Friday that the substance hasn't been found in any groundwater and plant officials believe they've removed all the soil containing it. He said they believe it poses no threat to public safety or health. Vermont Health Commissioner Dr. Wendy Davis didn't immediately return a call seeking comment late Friday."

New Orleans-based Entergy Corp. owns the plant. In the wake of BP Oil's worst disaster to sully our shores, coincidentally you'd almost think somebody in the government of Louisiana is sleeping at the switch.

Did you know that unlike the oil industry, U.S. taxpayers subsidize insurance for the nuclear power industry? The free government-granted insurance Price-Anderson Nuclear Industries Indemnity Act given to for-profit nuclear plant operators has been cited by Ralph Nader as an example of colossal corporate welfare. But who is looking out for the welfare of our citizens and communities?

Wikipedia includes criticism of The Price-Anderson Nuclear Industries Indemnity Act below from a number of environmental and other organizations/think tanks including Union of Concerned Scientists, Greenpeace International, Public Citizen and the Cato Institute. According to watchdog group Public Citizen, no other government agency provides the same level of taxpayer indemnification to private corporate non-citizens:

Public Citizen has been particularly critical of Price-Anderson; it claims that the Act understates the risks inherent in atomic power, does not require reactors to carry adequate insurance, and would therefore result in taxpayers footing most of the bill for a catastrophic accident.[3] An analysis by economists Heyes and Heyes (1998) places the value of the government insurance subsidy at $2.3 million per reactor-year, or $237 million annually.[4] In 2008 the Congressional Budget Office estimated the value of the subsidy at only $600,000 per reactor per year. [3] Due to the structure of the liability immunities as the number of nuclear plants in operation is reduced the public liability in case of an accident goes up.[5]

Talk about the ultimate public-private man crush. While the Price-Anderson Act indemnifies the Department of Energy and private contractors from nuclear incidents “even in cases of gross negligence and willful misconduct (although criminal penalties would still apply)”, the DOE shrugs off critics of taxpayer funded insurance:

The Energy Department counters those critics by saying that the distinction is irrelevant, since the damage to the public would be the same. [4]

The damage - It would be the same! Got that? Taxpayers picking up the tab for private industry catastrophic disasters should be IRRELEVANT. Unlike British Petroleum whose oil spill disaster may quite likely have been caused by cutting corners, (but didn't get that sweet deal), why should the nuclear industry insure itself against potential disasters? Thank heaven for the best and brightest, public-private master caste, the neo-frat boy corporate state – to innovate a permanent neo-feudal caste of serfs to hedge their unsustainable, negligent bets. Will U.S. citizens take another slow as molasses response to demanding accountability from our elected government officials?

Party on, plebes!


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