Monday, April 29, 2013

Senator Lindsey Graham: Not So Smart a Cookie

Here is the senator aping former President Bush II, talking about
his political capital and his intention to use it. In this instance,
apparently knowing little about science, especially nuclear energy
issues, he is all in to bring the MOX (mixed oxide fuel) facility to
completion in South Carolina.  Anyone can understand his desire
to bring jobs to his state, but can't he find a safer, more cost
effective and productive project? Sen. Graham isn't above
using political blackmail to achieve his ends, holding up
confirmation of the new nominee for Energy Secretary,
Ernest J. Moniz, over the MOX debacle.
Nuclear energy has indeed proven to be the "Faustian bargain"
physicist Alvin Weinberg predicted decades ago, even before
Three Mile Island's ~40% core melt in 1979. There have been
at least five major nuclear accidents  around the world, not
counting the several submarines under the seas with their
dead and their nuclear power plants.

Many often have written about why nuclear power projects
should not be expanded in the U.S. or elsewhere:
What is to be done with the radwaste, toxic for hundreds of
thousands of years or more? Hanford, WA has leaking waste
containers from the early days of nuclear power, and recent
reports claim that newer storage containers (dry casks) have
had welds which haven't held.

Then there are the very shaky financial and insurance aspects
to constructing any new nuclear plant, whether for reprocessing
or for direct energy production. Every such project since the
beginning has been plagued by cost overruns, delays and safety
concerns. A California nuclear plant was actually installed
(oops!) backwards.

Wouldn't a studied intelligence conclude it's time to phase out
these electric utilities' dangerous dinosaurs, a failed
"swords into plowshares" post WWII proposition?
But Sen. Graham isn't up to date in South Carolina,
much less anywhere else.

He's not so smart a cookie, that Graham.

1 comment:

  1. I know what you mean, Amber.

    It seems to me that Lindsey Graham has always been a my-way-or-the-highway kind of guy. For instance, just a couple of weeks ago, he suggested that he might approve the abolition of some corporate tax loopholes, but ONLY in return for flattened tax rates. He's not a fella who ever considers the consequences of his actions.

    Hence, his support of a nuclear power project, despite its well-proven hazards, doesn't surprise me a bit. Not one bit!