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The Nuclear Industry - Not Gone - Not Hardly
By Dr. Tom Burnett
I suppose it's time to take a break from reporting the ongoing disasters and switch up a bit.  I'm pretty sure a lot of people think the nuclear industry is on the ropes.  They aren't.  The nuclear industry is healthy and views Fukushima as a 'speed bump'.
Nuclear energy is going ahead in Japan and everywhere else, even Germany.  Yes, I know.  But wait a couple of years.  There is going to be a huge 'mea culpa'.  It will sound like this:
"The terrible policies allowed caused some of the oldest nuclear plant designs in the world to run past their scheduled lifetimes without being upgraded properly have been thoroughly investigated and corrected.  New rules are in place and safety has become paramount.  The new reactors which are being built now are fourth-generation plants, built with new technology and new materials to be safe without compromise."
And they will keep building them - and keep running the old ones 20, 30 and 40 years past their scheduled shut-down dates.  See, these plants were originally designed with a 30 year lifetime.  So the owners cobbled fixes as cheaply as they could to reach that 30 years.  But suddenly they found out they could just get a waiver from the NRC to run the for AN ADDITIONAL THIRTY YEARS.  So they did.
But each and every one of these old plants are junk.  They are cobbled together with chewing gum and bailing wire because there was never an expectation they would still be running.  And because of that, they physically CANNOT be repaired without being completely disassembled and rebuilt with a newer design - which would take ten or twenty years and cost billions of dollars.
So they are going to start springing leaks and melting down and everyone knows it.  So when one does, they will just black out the news and move right along.  Like they did at Chernobyl and Fukushima.  And it may be quite awhile until Ft. Calhoun comes back online.  Maybe never.
I have always been trashed for having an anti-nuke agenda - and I have always said I am pro-nuke - so I get trashed for that, too.  But I'm only pro-nuke if we build nukes for safety, not for profit - and no one is willing to do that.  Believe me, there ARE such things as safe nuclear plants - but you will never see one.  
I'd like to show you a little trick.  Go here: http://www.radiationnetwork.com/AlaskaHawaii.htm
At 7am, Hawaii standard time, Wednesday, July 6, I am going to set my radiation monitor to read alpha and put the probe next to the Americium 241 cap out of a smoke detector.  Every smoke detector in your house has one of these in it, but that aren't dangerous.
Then we'll talk again.
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