Sunday, August 15, 2004

Soil-ed Green: I voted FOR it before I voted AGAINST it

"We were presuming at that point in time, though, that they were going to do a safe analysis," Kerry said. "My opposition has been on the basis of the analysis that has come back."

Second-guessing on Iraq? Nope, playing the same song, different words, on Yucca Mountain. See this article by Jonah Goldberg, at TownHall, for background.

I have some sympathy with the argument that Kerry, and for that matter Edwards, make about voting for permitting the Prez to take military action, and then criticizing him for using it. They really may have expected him to do things differently.

But now that Kerry is pulling the same garbage on nuclear waste disposal, it makes me see red. Listen to this, from Goldberg:

"Now, I've been to Yucca Mountain and interviewed the scientists there and read quite a few of the studies. And, frankly, I have no idea what Kerry is talking about. Yucca Mountain is indisputably the safest conceivable installation for nuclear waste in America - and, quite probably, on the planet... "

"Anyway, I could go on, but the science on this issue is so settled that no one really disputes it. That's one reason why we've heard so much hyperbole in recent years about how dangerous it would be to transport the waste to Yucca Mountain. Once the waste is there, it's not going to bother anybody."

That's really what is going on here. Putting the stuff in the Nevada desert solves the problem of nuclear waste disposal. That is the LAST thing that anti-nuke activists actually want. They love the fact that, as Goldberg puts it, nuclear waste "is currently strewn across the country like socks and beer cans in a frat house."

Why? Isn't it terribly unsafe that way, spread in literally dozens of different facilities, each requiring redundant storage, monitoring, and armed protection? Doesn't that multiply exponentially the risks to the public?

Of course. That's the point. The anti-nukies want people so afraid of the nuclear bogeyman that we will all vote to end the nuclear power program. Michael Moore accuses the Bushies of using scare tactics, but Sierra Club, the Green Party, and "Enviro-Nazis United to End the Use of the Wheel and Return Man to the Stone Age" all depend on scaring citizens for their contributions. Direct mail solicitations tell entirely fanciful, fully fabricated scare stories about "Mobile Chernobyls" and other demogoguery, when in fact opening Yucca would make most of us much safer.

And Kerry is pandering to these people, with his now standard story: "Sure, I voted for it, but I who knew that I could more votes by denying it later? Since I can get votes, I'll just lie!" Kerry knows perfectly well that science and rational policy require Yucca to be opened up soon.

Makes me see red, to see Kerry pretend to be Green.

(thanks to NP, for the tip)


Anonymous said...

Thanks for the acknowledgement. np

Anonymous said...

It is actually much worse than you describe. The reality of Yucca is that the Greens realize if there is a secure place to store spent fuel for eternity then Wall St. will not be willing to finance construction of new reactors in the U.S. (they are now willing to do it anywhere but the here). The industry and government realized this in the 80's when they decided to build Yucca by levying a surcharge of 1/2 cent per kilowatt hour on the electricity that it sells (meaning anyone that is hooked up to the grid pays this hidden tax). It is now worth about 35 BILLION. So here's the rub, it's not actually there, it was used for general revenue (remember Gore's "lockbox" plan to social security?). Of course the surcharge is still applicable. But wait, it gets worse!

The DOE sold this to the utilities in the 80's by GUARANTEEING that they would start to pick this stuff up in the once the facility was complete and would have it all safely stored at Yucca by 2010. Of course nothings happened, so utilities sued the DOE for breach of contract for not picking ANY of it up (and hence the utilities are still liable for the spent fuel). Guess what, DOE knew they were going to lose the case, so they settled for about $300 million (and you know who pays for the DOE's "mistake"). Now there are about two dozen utilities lined up to sue the DOE, which will probably settle their losing position. The pay-out for this will likely top the cost for building Yucca in the first place. The end result of all this is that it will cost taxpayers at tens of billions of dollars and not one spent fuel rod will be moved.

Oh wait, it does get worse. Yucca mountain is limited by statute as to how much spent fuel can be stored there. So technically there is already more spent fuel then could legally be sent to Yucca. The reason for this? To sell it to Nevada in the 80's the Federal gov't agreed to limit the amount sent there to ensure that another site would have to be built, therefore poor Nevada wouldn't be the odd one out. Of course, no one is willing to speculate where the next disposal site will go, that topic is radioactive (sorry, couldn't resist).

The end result is that due to increased pollution laws power generation via fossil fuels is decreasing while power demand is increasing. Therefore, since no power company can get financing to build a new plant they are applying for permits to run existing reactors beyond their designed lifecycle at the same time applying for permits to increase their output (which the DOE is happy to grant lest someone flick a switch and nothing happens, hence inspiring the poor soul to call their elected official). This fact, combined with the spent fuel situation, has created a very hazardous scenario, one which we have the “Greens” to thank.

Anonymous said...

ERRATA TO ANON: Please remove the "not" in the second sentence. Thanks.

"It is actually much worse than you describe. The reality of Yucca is that the Greens realize if there is a secure place to store spent fuel for eternity then Wall St. will not be willing to finance construction of new reactors in the U.S. (they are now willing to do it anywhere but the here). "