News & Information on Nuclear Weapons,
Power, Waste & Nonviolent Resistance

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Nuclear power is unsafe, uneconomic, unsustainable, contributes to rather than prevents climate change, produces persistent, highly radioactive toxic waste, creates terrorist targets, promulgates nuclear weapons and is unnecessary. New investment in it robs resources from clean, renewable and safe energy production.


Nuclear Power Dead in the Water it Poisoned

By John LaForge, Nukewatch Staff

Cover story, CounterPunch magazine, March 2014, Vol. 21. No. 2, pp. 10-14

On Feb. 11, 1985, the cover page of Forbes thundered, “The failure of the U.S. nuclear power program ranks as the largest managerial disaster in business history, a disaster on a monumental scale.…”

Fourteen months later, reactor No. 4 at Chernobyl exploded and burned for 40 days, spreading radioactive fallout across the entire Northern Hemisphere, depositing cesium-137 in Minnesota’s milk and Japan’s topsoil.

So how is it that Congressional representatives, TV network pundits, FOX ditto heads and even CNN program directors still promote nuclear power?

Part of the answer comes from American University researcher Judy Pasternak and her students. According to Pasternak’s 2010 study, the nuclear industry spent $645 million over 10 years lobbying Capitol Hill, and another $63 million in campaign contributions over the same period. Between 1999 and 2008, these millions manufactured the canard that nuclear power is “carbon free,” “clean” and can “help fend off climate change.” Prior to this spending blitz, the US nuclear power program was, because of the shock of accidents at Three Mile Island in 1979 and Chernobyl in 1986, “pretty well dead in the water” — in the words of economist and author Jeremy Rifkin. ...

Download the full, footnoted article here.

Nuclear Power Too Expensive, Too Dangerous

Commentary by John LaForge

Duluth News Tribune, Monday, Jan. 11, 2010

Lofty claims about the benefits of nuclear power have been coming from the Nuclear Energy Institute’s lobbyists and others. Yet news journals, financial journals and energy journals all make clear that boiling water with uranium is the costliest and dirtiest energy choice.

Even Time magazine reported, on Dec. 31, 2008, that, “New [reactors] would be not just extremely expensive but spectacularly expensive.”  

Florida Power and Light’s recent estimate for a two-reactor system was a shocking $12 billion to $18 billion. The Wall Street Journal reported on nuclear’s prospects on May 12, 2008, finding that, “The projected cost is causing some sticker shock [and is] double to quadruple earlier rough estimates.”  

No less than Jeffrey Immelt, CEO of General Electric, one of the world’s richest nuclear engineering firms, discouraged new reactor construction because of financial liabilities. In the Nov. 18, 2007, London Financial Times, Immelt said, “If you were a utility CEO and looked at your world today, you would just do gas and wind. You would say [they are] easier to site, digestible [and] I don’t have to bet my company on any of this stuff. You would never do nuclear. The economics are overwhelming.”  

The estimates never even include the cost of managing radioactive waste, a bill that keeps coming for centuries. The New York Times reported five years ago that the owners of nearly half the reactors in the U.S. “are not reserving enough money to decommission them on retirement.” The newspaper’s sources were Congressional auditors, who also said the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) was not tracking the money carefully.

Radioactive tritium has poisoned groundwater near at least 14 reactors in the U.S., including in Kewaunee, Wis. Groundwater is contaminated with tritium above Environmental Protection Agency and Nuclear Regulatory Commission allowances under the communities of Braidwood, Ill., Dresden, Ill., Brookhaven, N.Y., Palo Verde, Ariz., Indian Point, N.Y., Diablo Canyon, Calif., San Onofre, Calif., and Kewaunee.  

Nuclear is so dirty Germany legislated a national phase-out of its 17 reactors by 2025. That 1998 decision was based partly on government studies that found high rates of childhood leukemia in areas near German reactors. In July 2007 the European Journal of Cancer Care published a similar report by Dr. Peter Baker of the Medical University of South Carolina that found elevated leukemia incidence in children near U.S. reactors.  

U.S. Rep. Ed Markey, D-Mass., complained to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission in 2005: “The nuclear industry and the NRC have automatically dismissed all studies that link increased cancer risk to exposure to low levels of radiation. The NRC needs to study — not summarily dismiss — the connection between serious health risks and radiation released from nuclear reactors.”  

The Oxford Research Group’s 2007 study, “Too Hot to Handle,” called the hope of quickly building new reactors a “pipe dream.” In his 2008 book, Carbon-Free and Nuclear-Free: A Roadmap for U.S. Energy Policy, Dr. Arjun Makhijani, president of the Institute for Energy and Environmental Research, said, “Even the leaders of the nuclear industry have said that they will not build new plants without 100 percent federal loan guarantees.”  

Lester Brown, president of the Earth Policy Institute, wrote “The Flawed Economics of Nuclear Power” in 2008, noting, “While little private capital is going into nuclear power, investors are pouring tens of billions of dollars into wind farms each year. And while the world’s nuclear-generating capacity is estimated to expand by only 1,000 megawatts this year, wind-generating capacity will likely grow by 30,000 megawatts.”  

The Washington Post reported less than two months ago that “leading environmental figures, including former Vice President Al Gore, remain skeptical of nuclear’s promise.” That’s due to the high cost of construction and the threat of nuclear-weapons proliferation. Leading security and big-business figures are skeptical for similar reasons.  

The U.S. Commission on the Prevention of Weapons of Mass Destruction Proliferation and Terrorism has called for ending subsidies that would expand nuclear power. In its Oct. 21 report, “The Clock Is Ticking,” the commission recommended that the “U.S. … work internationally toward strengthening the non-proliferation regime ... discouraging, to the extent possible, the use of financial incentives in the promotion of civil nuclear power.”  

Nuclear power’s pollution burden already is carried by the public. This is bailout enough. The industry should not also be allowed to unload on us its overwhelming financial risks.

-- John LaForge of Luck, Wis., is a staff member for the independent action group Nukewatch and edits its quarterly newsletter.


President Barack Obama on radiation exposure




Nukewatch Quaraterly Nuclear Power Articles

Spring 2016

Twin Reactors at Indian Point, 25 Miles from NYC, Leak Radioactive Water--Again
Triple Reactor Disaster: Fukushima Five Years On
Weak Climate Deal Relies on Public Pressure to Become Strong and Keep Nukes
     Out--That Means You!

Global Wind Power Capacity Tops Nuclear for First Time
Calfornia Solar Capacity Surpasses Nuclear by 75 Percent

Winter 2015-16

Fukushima Radiation Plume in Pacific Reaches West Coast
Child Cancer Cases Soar in Fukushima Contamination Zone
Sierra Club Not Fooled by Pro-Nuclear Lobby
Solar and Wind Now Half the Cost of Nuclear

Fall 2015

Obama's Clean Power Plan: Just the Beginning
Fukushima: Thousands Have Died, Thousands More Will Die
Reckless Endangerment: Restarting Sendai I
Concerns About Evacuations in Radiation Emergencies Unabated
Energy Transition Law Ends France's Nuclear Renaissance

Summer 2015

Fire at Indian Point: New York's Nuke Operating Without a License
Chernobyl and the Fire Next Time
Fukushima Triple Reactor Disaster--A Crisis Without End
45,000 Rally Against Nuclear Power in Taiwan

Spring 2015

Spring Melt: Three Mile Island, Chernobyl & Fukushima Taint the Season
Continued on Page 4
Watching the Nuclear Watchdog: Government to Report on Cancer Risks Among Neighbors and Down-Winders Near US Nuclear Reactors
Nuclear Giant Areva Lost $5.38 Billion in 2014: Reactor Plans Falling Like Dominoes
Japan to Permanently Close Five More Reactors

Winter 2014-15

Nine Groups Sue NRC Over Failure to Obey 2012 Waste Ruling
European Reactor Improvements Opposed by US and Russia
Rare Public Critique of French Reactors
Radioactive Waste Fuel Pools Declared 'No Danger to the Public'
Eight Countries with Reactors Most at Risk of Tsunamis

Fall 2014

Childhood Leukemia Cases Up 37% Near Nuclear Reactors
     Continued on Page 6
Regulators Okay Indefinite Onsite Storage of Highly Radioactive Waste Fuel
International Nuclear Power Fading Fast, Study Finds

Summer 2014

Thorium Fuel's Advantages Mythical as the Gods
     Access  Expanded, Footnoted Version Here
NRC Denies Petition to Improve Reactor Disaster Response
Government Hands $6.5 Billion Loan to Vogtle Reactor Builders
Don't Reactors Warm the Climate?

Spring 2014

Fukushima Roulette with Identical US Reactors

Winter 2013-2014

Unnecessary, Uneconomic, Uninsurable, Unevacuable and Unsafe:
      Why Atomic Energy Stinks Worse Thank You Thought

Former NRC Chief Says "Shut Down Indian Point"
Japan Increases Wind, Solar Capacity as Former Leaders Call
      for End to Nuclear

Nuclear Disaster Averted in Philippines
Big Players Abadoning Nuclear Future
Defective Reactor Parts Scandal in South Korea Sees 100 Indicted
Nuclear Wa$te - of Billion$

Fall 2013

Vermont Yankee Joins Landslide of Falling Reactors
San Onofre Reactors Close Permanently
Santa Susana: Meltdown Coverup Uncovered
Swiss Reactor Contaminates Lake

Short Circuit Scares Palo Verde
Palisades Leaks Endanger Lake Michigan
Mexico's Fraud and its Cracked and Leaking Laguna Verde
US Nuclear Collapse: Out with the Old and the New

Summer 2013

Globalized Call for Phase-Out of Nuclear Reactors
One Dead, Eight Injured at Arkansas Nuclear One
DOE Making NASA Plutonium
Finnish Utility Fights Two Reactor Giants Over $2.3 Billion Cost Overrun

Callaway Electrical Explosion
Wind Power Helping Put Nuclear Power to Rest

Spring 2013

Nuclear Disaster Cover-ups
      Continued on Page 2
Nuclear Resisters in India Denied Bail, Face Sedition Charges

Winter 2012-2013

Hurricane Sandy Put 34 Nuclear Reactors in Harms Way
Kewaunee Breaks the Bank
Fukushima: Government and Industry Still in Denial
Protests Continue in India

Reactor Roulette (page 4 & 5 sidebars)
Palisades - Can it be Shut Down Before it Melts?
Exelon Pushes to End Wind Power Tax Credits
San Onofre Shake Up

Climate Change and Nuclear Power: Magnifying the Risks
Scientists, Investors, Economist: Reactors Can't Make Comeback

Fall 2010

Wildfires in Russia Spread Chernobyl Radiation Again
Sheep Declared "Edible" 24 Years After Chernobyl
Wild Boars Still Radioactive
Biodiversity Declines Around Chernobyl
"No One's Died From Nuclear Power"? Don't Be Fooled
Nuclear Reality Inconsistent with Dreams of "Renaissance"
  Poison Power is Not on the Rise --
  Hard Facts Point to a Continuing, Slow Phase-out Around the World

Contaminated Reactor Parts Could Take Water Route from Canada to Sweden
Lessons From the Gulf for Nuclear Reactors
The Collapse of Clavert Cliffs & "Nulear Revival"
Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Nuclear Power: Nuclear Worse Than All Renewables

Summer 2010

Giant Human Chain in Germany Demands Retention of Reactor Phase-Out
Rebuilt Experimental Breeder Reactor's Stumbling Restart
California Reactors on Shaky Ground
Utilities Hit Taxpayers for Failed Rad Waste Schemes
One-Third of U.S. Reactors Leaking Tritium
Vermont Yankee Tritium Moves Underground
Radiation Lobby Loses Big in Wisconsin
Nuclear Power Troubled as "Ultimate Heat Sink" Warms

Spring 2010

State Pulls Plug on Vermont Yankee
Hundreds Contaminated at Shuttered Canadian Reactor
Nuclear Power, French Fried
Purchasing Consent for Poison Power
Three Mile Island Still Accident-Prone
Indian Reactor Drinking Water Sabotaged
NRC Mulling Study of Cancer Near Reactors

Winter 2009-10

Indian Point Puts Public Health at Serious Risk
Reactor Relapse Hit by Three Show-Stoppers
Ret. NRC Member: Reactors No Answer to Climate Change
Commission Urges End to Federal Subsidies for New Reactors
Spain Can Retire All its Reactors

Fall 2009

Dresden Reactor Leaks Tritium
Oyster Creek Secrecy
Braidwood Shutdown Causes New Tritium Release
Crane Crash at Bruce Power
Davis-Besse Explosion
Shots Fired at Reactor Site

Sellafield's Reckless Endangerment

Summer 2009

Who Will Pay for America's Chernobyl Roulette?
       By Harvey Wasserman

Leaks Plague New York's Indian Point Reactors
Funding Ended for Yucca Mt. High-level Waste Dump:
    NRC Finds 299 License Problems, Excludes Tribes From Hearing Process
Corrosion Bites Ohio Reactor Containment Building   

Weapons & Fuel Makers Sued For Deadly Rad Pollution

Spring 2009

Strontium-90 in Breast Milk Near New York Reactors
Sweden Says No to Nuclear Negativity
Reprinted from The Guardian [London], Feb. 16, 2009:
   Killing the Messenger: UK Nuclear Advisory Group Scrapped After Warning of
   Safety Risks, Insiders Claim
Reactor Pork Cut from Stimulus Package
Radiation Exposure Standards "Scientifically Inappropriate"

Jet Crashes and Nuclear Reactors
  Harvey Wasserman
Resolve Health Issues Before Building New Reactors

West Valley Waste Remediation Could Cost Billions
Uranium Mining, Native Resistance and a Greener Path
   The Impact of Uranium Mining on Indigenous Communities

Canada's Cameco Contaminates

Hawaii Embraces Solar Hotwater, Electric Cars
Yucca Funding Slashed

Winter 2008-09

Repairman's Electrocution Lengthens String of Accidents
More Trouble at Vermont Yankee
Idaho: County Planners Reject Nuclear Power
France's Nuclear Mess
       By Arjun Makhijani

France's Nuclear Mess Continued
Lame Duck White House Rushing Yucca Mt.

Fall 2008
NRC Says the Reactor Revival is Not Ready for Prime Time
Nuclear Power's Market Meltdown
Accidents Sour French Nuclear Romance
Secrecy and Red Tape Stall Nuclear Worker Compensation

Summer 2008
New Reactors, Same Old Risks
      By Harvey Wasserman

Three Mile Island at 29: Reactors and Infant Health
Counterfeit Safety
Pre$idential Nuclear Politic$
Secret Safety Study Slammed
Another Leak at Braidwood, Illinois
Should Women and Children be Evacuated
Skyrocketing Reactor Construction Costs Embarrass Utilities,
      Estimates Being Kept Secret

Greenpeace Reveals Radiation Spewed in Spain
Vermont Yankee Crane Fails, High-Level Waste Cask Falls 4"

Spring 2008

Including: Nuclear Power: Throwing Gas on the Fire of Global Warming
A 4-page (5, 6, 7 & 8) pull-out of nuclear power information

German Says Childhood Leukemia Increases Near Operating Reactors
Enviro' Groups Agree: No Nukes
Nuclear Power: Throwing Gas on the Fire of Global Warming
    By Nukewatch Staff

Nuclear Industry Susidies Robbing Climate Change Crisis of Real Solutions
Fewer Nukes, Better Health
U.S. Can Cut CO2 Emissions 28% & Save Money, Without Nukes
Wis. Reactors Unsafe at Any Speed
      Operators Repeatedly Failed, Faulted, Fined

What's the Real Cost of Nuclear Power

Yucca Mountain: A Scientifically Unsound Nuclear Waste Plan

Nuclear Proponents Ignore Uranium Mine Waste, Devastation
Groundwater Contamination from Nuclear Reactors Goes Nationwide
Footnotes and Sources

Wisconsin Lawmakers Taken in by Nuclear Industry PR Machine
Presidential Hopefuls on Nuclear Power

Atomic Highway

Winter 2007-2008

"Call me Unreliable..."
Unplanned Shutdowns Highlight Inefficiency of Nuclear Power
    By Paul Vos Benkowski & Bonnie Urfer
Scottish Government: No More Nukes!
Ministers Oppose Nuclear Waste Transport
Georgia, Florida & Alabama Nedd Water, Reactors Too
Seeking Source of Cooling Water Loss
Fault Lines Rattle Yucca Mt. Project

Wisconsin Should Look To Clean Energy Sources
Nuclear Disorder
Stop the Biggest Taxpayer Giveaway to the Nuclear Industry in History

Fall 2007

Japanese Shocked, Reactors Rocked, by Major Earthquake in July
Earthquakes and Fault Lines Warn: "No Nukes!"
      by Harvey Wasserman

Thirty-Five-Year-Old Cooling Tower Collapses
Nuclear Mob Enjoys Cover-Ups, Lax Oversight
Knoxville's Secret Spill
Australia Joins GNEP, Outback Eyes Dump
Candu Reactors Can't
Failed Concrete Chernobyl Cover to be Re-covered in Steel

Summer 2007

Train Watch Alerts Nation to Radioactive Transport
Plutonium Reprocessing Plan to Waste Billions
News Group Says U.S. Nuclear Sub Collision With Tanker Caused Radiation Leak
A Few Recent Nuclear-Powered Accidents at Sea

Resuscitated Browns Ferry Shuttered Again, Storied Alabama Reactor Restarted After
    22-year Shutdown

New Reactor Construction Eyed in Wisconsin
S. Carolina says "No More"
New Study Charts Reactor Accidents Since Chernobyl
Indian Point 1, 2 and 3's Explosion and Leaks
Kewaunee Emergency Backup Power Failure
California Rejects Move to Lift Reactor Building Ban
Smoked by Grass
Braidwood's Unregulated Spills
On the Up Side: New Reactor on Hold
The Sham of Nuclear Power & Patrick Moore
Major Security Breach at Palisades Reactor Critics Urge Congressional Investigation

Troubled International Nuclear Reactors

Spring 2007

'59 Reactor Meltdown in California Kept Secret: Study of Contamination at Rocket
    Lab Reveals Evidence of Cancer Link

U.S. Sub and Oil Tanker Collide in Persian Gulf
Minnesota Reactor Aging Badly
Greenhouse Hype
      by Paul Vos Benkowski
Uranium Mining = Racism
       by Bonnie Urfer & John Heid
Germany Sends Uranium to Russia
New Nuclear Sub for U.S.

Rotten Reactors
      Explosion at Diablo Canyon
      "There's nothing unusual" About Accidents: Operator
      Fire and Cooling Water Leaks at Ringhals
      Broken & Missing Waste Fuel Rod Leads to Fine
      Contamination Surrounds Indian Point Reactor
      Potassium Iodide Dispensed for Use in Radiation Disaster
      Oyster Creek Reactor Versus Endangered Sea Turtles
      Reactor Removed, Waste Remains, "Contamination Inevitable
      Vermont Yankee Hauling Contaminated Equipment
      Palo Verde Voted Most Dangerous
Nuclear Reactors: Building Blocks for H-Bombs
       by Jeremy M. Maxand
Enough Money Wasted on Nuclear Power
       by Michele Boyd

Truck Carrying Fuel-Grade Uranium Crashes

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