One of the first times I used the phrase “institutional insanity” was in 1973 to describe the behavior of scientist Dixy Lee Ray, chairperson of the presumed regulatory agency, the Atomic Energy Commission (AEC). I pointed out that her personal and academic roles were quite normal. But her running of the AEC—pressing for 1,000 nuclear plants in the U.S. by the year 2000 (there are 99 reactors left in operation now), and going easy on a deadly, taxpayer subsidized technology that was privately uninsurable, lacked a place to put its lethal radioactive wastes, a national security risk, replete with vast cost over-runs, immunities and impunities shielding culpable officials and executives, should a meltdown occur and take out a city or region (all to boil water to produce steam to make electricity)—was a case study in “institutional insanity.”
Updated: May 20, 2014
with Ralph Nader
freespeechtv on Apr 28, 2014
Ralph Nader discusses his latest book, “Unstoppable: The Emerging Left-Right Alliance to Dismantle the Corporate State.” Nader highlights the common concerns shared by a wide swath of the American public, regardless of political orientation, including mass government surveillance, opposing nebulous free trade agreements, reforming the criminal justice system, and punishing criminal behavior on Wall Street. Nader also discusses the U.S. push for the sweeping Trans-Pacific Partnership trade pact, General Motors’ new bid to escape liability for its deadly ignition defect, the revived nuclear era under President Obama, and challenging U.S. militarism through the defense budget.
Radiation from a half-mile underground reaches atmosphere.
It was Valentine’s Day when the nation’s only radioactive nuclear waste facility first released radioactive particles including Plutonium and Americium into the atmosphere of New Mexico and beyond, including into Texas, Oklahoma, and Mexico. Earlier that same day, the New Mexico Environment Department opened the public comment period on an application to modify and expand that nuclear waste facility, which the department said it planned to allow. Continue reading
Governments find it hard to do the right thing for their people – why?
There are those who say that the idiots running Western and allied governments (the “civilized” countries) are pitching the world toward a pair of disasters, the full realization of either of which, in its most extreme form, would likely change life on earth for the worse for most folks, whether it’s the continuing, unabated nuclear meltdowns in Fukushima or the continuing, unabated political meltdown over Ukraine that risks nuclear war. There are also those who don’t say that these leaders are idiots. We’ll see how things turn out.
with Noam Chomsky
democracynow on Mar 11, 2014
democracynow – World-renowned political dissident, linguist, author and MIT Professor Noam Chomsky traveled to Japan last week ahead of the three-year anniversary of the Fukushima crisis. Chomsky, now 85 years old, met with Fukushima survivors, including families who evacuated the area after the meltdown. Continue reading
“Completely and Utterly Fail in an Earthquake”
The Fukushima story you didn’t hear on CNN
I’ve seen a lot of sick stuff in my career, but this was sick on a new level.
Here was the handwritten log kept by a senior engineer at the nuclear power plant:
Wiesel was very upset. He seemed very nervous. Very agitated. . . . In fact, the plant was riddled with problems that, no way on earth, could stand an earth- quake. The team of engineers sent in to inspect found that most of these components could “completely and utterly fail” during an earthquake.
The White House
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release
February 24, 2014
MEMORANDUM FOR THE SECRETARY OF STATE, THE SECRETARY OF ENERGY
SUBJECT: Proposed Agreement for Cooperation Between the Government of the United States of America and the Government of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam Concerning Peaceful Uses of Nuclear Energy
RT America on Feb 24, 2014
Federal officials confirmed a local nuclear plant in southern New Mexico is leaking waste and releasing radiation into the surrounding area. The Waste Isolation Pilot Plant in Carlsbad was leaking for days before state officials were notified. Continue reading
Last month, the ruling Japanese coalition parties quickly rammed through Parliament a state secrets law. We Americans better take notice.
Under its provisions the government alone decides what are state secrets and any civil servants who divulge any “secrets” can be jailed for up to 10 years. Journalists caught in the web of this vaguely defined law can be jailed for up to 5 years.
Reassuring the public about something dangerous is tricky
It’s true that the most intensely radioactive part of the Pacific Ocean currently is the area closest to Fukushima, Japan, where the destroyed nuclear power plant continuously adds to the radiation burden in the aquatic food chain. It’s equally true – and somewhat less scary – that Fukushima is but the most recent, best known source of radioactive pollution in a body of water that had a natural, low level of radioactivity long before any human started making it worse.
“Why has this not made national headlines??? The Aircraft Carrier Ronald Reagan is nuclear powered. Radiation detection equipment did not pick up on this?? Why have these sailors and marines medical records been removed from permanent tracking. Criminal implications galore. This should be all over mainstream media. Someone please forward all these ene reports to the media…. Tepco is the lowest of snakes. Hari Kari for the lot of em!!” – Comment on enenews, August 15, 2013, by “timemachine2020”
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release
November 23, 2013
The P5+1 (the United States, United Kingdom, Germany, France, Russia, and China, facilitated by the European Union) has been engaged in serious and substantive negotiations with Iran with the goal of reaching a verifiable diplomatic resolution that would prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon.
Potential failure to reach an interim agreement at the P5+1 negotiations in Geneva this week can be attributed to various factors: The lingering damage to confidence caused by the French spoiler lobbed into the previous round earlier this month; the subsequent lack of commitment by the US to pursue the undoubted progress that had been achieved towards closing a deal; and the intrusive lobbying by Israel and its formidable American supporters in Congress creating unhelpful background tensions.
The former French African colony of Niger is facing famine – yet again – with international aid agencies reporting this week that up to one million people are currently without access to food.
It is the fourth such crisis to wrack the West African country in recent years, when famines struck similarly in 2012, 2010 and 2005. The immediate cause is extreme climate that has hit crop harvests. But the root cause is the deliberate underdevelopment of Niger under France’s parasitical neo-colonialism.