Thursday, May 19, 2011

Nuclear Reality Check

There is a reason why nuclear expert Arnie Gundersen claims that the best way to prevent further nuclear energy is to be a capitalist. With projected spending as high as ten times the anticipated amount, the price of nuclear energy production has gone from excessive to downright absurd. While the nuclear industry remains reliant upon government loans and ratepayer dollars to fund upcoming projects, the concern for public safety and the risks of proliferation have been grossly overlooked.

Recently the Alliance for Nuclear Accountability, a non-profit advocating openness and transparency in the nuclear industry, released an alarming report entitled, "Nuclear Reality Check: The U.S Department of Energy’s Most Dangerous Budget-Busting Projects." In addition to reviewing nine of the Department of Energy’s most costly and environmentally hazardous nuclear projects, the report also urges Congress to think twice before providing the Department of Energy’s full $29.5 billion budget request for Fiscal Year 2012.

Among the nine proposed projects are those dealing with the production of MOX, a highly toxic mixed-oxide fuel made with weapons-grade plutonium, while others reveal the soaring costs of construction of new weapons research and production facilities - plans that clearly contradict President Obama’s vision for a world free of nuclear weapons. In fact, one might find it strange that several of the proposed projects actually support the manufacturing of nuclear weapons and processing of fissile material rather than oppose it.

So what exactly are these monumentally expensive and harmful programs on the Department of Energy’s agenda? Wonder no more! Over the next several posts I will discuss each of the high risk proposals and illustrate how they will not only compromise the money in our pockets, but also our health and safety. The first step to change is awareness, so stay tuned to learn more about the following programs.

Chemistry and Metallurgy Research Replacement Project
Uranium Processing Facility
A New Kansas City Plant
National Ignition Facility
B61-12 Nuclear Warhead Life Extension Program
W78 Nuclear Warhead Life Extension Program
Mixed Oxide Plutonium Fuel Fabrication Facility
Nuclear Reactor Loan Guarantees
Waste Treatment Plant

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