Nuclear Power Is Expensive and Bad for the Environment. It’s Being Pushed Because It Is Good For Making Bombs
(Editor’s note: Once again, Washington completely screws up something it controls. We are learning that the Fukishima nuclear disaster has its origins in DC. What a surprise.
Imagine a seceded state, now a new nation. How does it become 100% energy independent without uranium/plutonium reactors or coal-fired plants? Thorium reactors, called Molten Salt Reactors (MSR). Completely safe with no radioactive waste, and a proven 50-year-old technology. When you read the article below, you should get pissed at Washington. I did. You might also find THIS ARTICLE infuriating. China is leading the world in MSR technology.)
If nuclear energy is expensive and bad for the environment, why is it being pushed so heavily? And why did the Fukushima reactors use plutonium – instead of just uranium? We need a little background to understand the answers.
Virtually all of the nuclear reactors in the U.S. are of the same archaic design as those at Fukushima. This design was not chosen for safety reasons. Rather, it was chosen because it worked in Navy submarines, and produces plutonium for use in nuclear weapons.
Indeed, safer designs – such as thorium reactors – were left on the shelf because they don’t produce weapons-grade plutonium.
Governments have been covering up nuclear meltdowns for 50 years in order to protect the nuclear plant production of weapons-grade nuclear material. They have also suppressed the findings of their own top scientists about the health risks of radiation. Indeed, “nuclear regulators” are really just promoters for the nuclear cycle.
As veteran investigative reporter Joseph Trento – who has received six Pulitzer nominations, worked for CNN’s Special Assignment Unit, the Wilmington News Journal, and prominent journalist Jack Anderson – notes in a new report, the U.S. circumvented national and international laws to secretly give Japan nuclear weapons:
The United States deliberately allowed Japan access to the United States’ most secret nuclear weapons facilities while it transferred tens of billions of dollars worth of American tax paid research that has allowed Japan to amass 70 tons of weapons grade plutonium since the 1980s, a National Security News Service investigation reveals. These activities repeatedly violated U.S. laws regarding controls of sensitive nuclear materials that could be diverted to weapons programs in Japan. The NSNS investigation found that the United States has known about a secret nuclear weapons program in Japan since the 1960s, according to CIA reports.
[Japan] has used its electrical utility companies as a cover to allow the country to amass enough nuclear weapons materials to build a nuclear arsenal larger than China, India and Pakistan combined. This deliberate proliferation by the United States fuels arguments by countries like Iran that the original nuclear powers engage in proliferation despite treaty and internal legal obligations.
That secret effort was hidden in a nuclear power program that by March 11, 2011– the day the earthquake and tsunami overwhelmed the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Plant – had amassed 70 metric tons of plutonium. Like its use of civilian nuclear power to hide a secret bomb program, Japan used peaceful space exploration as a cover for developing sophisticated nuclear weapons delivery systems.
Political leaders in Japan understood that the only way the Japanese people could be convinced to allow nuclear power into their lives was if a long line of governments and industry hid any military application. For that reason, a succession of Japanese governments colluded on a bomb program disguised as innocent energy and civil space programs.
Until the March 2011 tragedy, the Japanese nuclear industry had largely remained hidden from critical eyes. The less than thorough InternationA nuclear-armed Japan would relieve much of the drain on American military resources. The need to keep two divisions on the ground in Korea, as well as nuclear armed ships and aircraft in the Pacific as a hedge against China and the missile bases in the Soviet Far East detracted from the Pentagon’s chief mission – preparing for all-out war on the plains of Central Europe. The Reagan administration’s strategy was to push the Soviet war machine until it broke, taking the Soviet Union and its satellite regimes with it. The less than thorough International Atomic Energy Agency, the world’s proliferation safeguard agency, also turned a blind eye.
In a rare glimpse of a Japanese industry that has remained top secret for so many decades, our investigation raises serious concerns about Japanese and Western nuclear policies and the officials who shaped those policies during and after the Cold War. International corporations and officials sacrificed the safety and security of the public to carry out the deception. Under the guise of a peaceful nuclear power program, they made huge profits.
Both the Monju fast-breeder reactor in 1995 and the Tokai reprocessing plant in April 1997 suffered serious, accidental radiation leaks; both accidents were the subjects of attempted cover-ups. Most egregious was the fire and leak of radioactive sodium at the Monju FBR. Japan’s Power Reactor and Nuclear Fuel Development Corporation (PNC), the government corporation that operated Monju, lied repeatedly to the public about the accident. PNC attempted to suppress video footage that showed the cause of the accident: a ruptured pipe in a secondary cooling system that had spilled an estimated two to three tons of radioactive sodium – the largest such leak in the history of fast-breeder technology. One of the reasons PNC gave for releasing the misinformation was that Monju was too important to Japan’s energy program to jeopardize the reactor’s operation. In other words, the public’s safety was secondary to the breeder program.
Had it not been for a courageous act by a group of Fukui prefecture officials in the early morning of December 11, PNC’s attempted cover-up probably would have succeeded. Suspecting a cover-up, the officials entered the plant and secured the videotape. The action came as a direct result of a previous accident at Fukui’s Tsuruga Unit I reactor in the early 1980s. Fukui prefecture officials were not permitted to investigate that mishap. When the Monju accident took place, the officials were determined not to be turned away a second time. Following revelations that the agency itself had been involved in trying to withhold the video, a PNC executive committed suicide.
The Fukushima nuclear disaster was not Japan’s first close call with nuclear weapons grade plutonium. Japan came very close to contaminating the Chilean coast on March 20, 1995, when the Pacific Pintail, laden with enough waste plutonium to build hundreds of nuclear bombs, tried to head into the protection of Chilean waters during a storm [with] 40-foot waves crashing over her bow, the spray flying away horizontally in the storm. He was in the midst of an Antarctic gale off Cape Horn at the tip of South America – the deadliest ocean in the world….
A veteran of the nuclear industry wrote this: “What the industry needs to regain the support of the British public is… something akin to a Truth and Reconciliation Commission.”
It needs to be admitted that governments and industry lied to the public about the links with the military programme” ….
Washington’s Blog is a frequent contributor to Global Research.