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Jun-19-2011 00:39printcomments

Reactor Reax: Roundup of stories related to Nuclear Power & Weapons

Weekly collection of links to reports.

Calhoun Nuclear Power Station near Blair, Nebraska
The Calhoun Nuclear Power Station near Blair, Nebraska is surrounded by the swollen Missouri River; authorities say it is all under control, but there are many questions.
Photo courtesy: KMTV Action 3 News

(WASHINTON, D.C.) - Only a short time after Japan suffered a catastrophic earthquake and tsunami-based nuclear disaster, Americans in the red Midwest state Nebraska are watching closely as the Missouri River rages around the Calhoun Nuclear Power Station near the town of Blair.

I mean, it isn't like they built a dangerous nuke plant right in the middle of a flood plain adjacent to a potentially overflowing major waterway, or wait, that is what they did. Seriously, federal authorities say all is well, no problem, no danger, everyone can just remain calm.

All I can say is that the same exact thing happened recently in Japan; meaning the government was heavily downplaying the incident for everything it was worth. And then there is Chernobyl, perhaps readers already know that the Soviet government absolutely did not evacuate people as the disaster began taking place. Sure, eventually, but so many were heavily contaminated too quickly over the government's lies, when immediate evacuation may have given them a chance.

So, perhaps all is well on the Midwestern front, I sure hope so. I feel sorry for people who live near any type of looming disaster. There are many other good stories in this week's edition of Reactor Reax; which is published on, a Web site maintained by Physicians for Social Responsibility.
- forward by Tim King, News Editor

Japan's Richest Man Takes on Atomic Future With Solar Plans, Bloomberg, June 14, 2011. "Son, the 53-year-old chief executive officer of Softbank Corp. (9984), plans to build solar farms to generate electricity with support from at least 33 of Japan's 47 prefectures. In return, he's asking for access to transmission networks owned by the 10 regional utilities and an agreement they buy his electricity."

A Dimming Nuclear Future, New York Times, June 14, 2011. "Three months after Japan's worst earthquake of modern times, a total meltdown at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear reactor appears to have been averted. Whether the same can be said of the nuclear industry remains to be seen."

The problems with small nuclear reactors, (op-ed by Dr. Arjun Makhijani, president, Institute for Energy and Environmental Research), The Hill, June 15, 2011. "Nuclear power advocates have long promised far more than they can deliver, ignoring essential hurdles such as cost, safety, and performance. Decades of experience, however, have proven those promises to be hollow and hazardous. The notion that 'small is beautiful' for nuclear reactors is not just fanciful; it is whistling past the graveyard of the 'nuclear renaissance' that never was."

Italy's Voters Scrap Nuclear Energy!, Common Dreams, June 13, 2011. "As polls closed today in Italy, voters had turned out in droves to scrap nuclear energy and water privatization. Thus far, the 50% hurdle required for the voter turnout to count had been cleared. The latest count put the quorum at 57%."

U.S. Reactors Unprepared for Total Power Loss, Report Suggests, New York Times, June 15, 2011. "Nuclear safety rules in the United States do not adequately weigh the risk of a single event that would knock out electricity from the grid and from emergency generators, as a quake and tsunami recently did in Japan, officials of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission said Wednesday."

Rising water, falling journalism, (op-ed by Dawn Stover, a science writer based in the Pacific Northwest and a contributing editor at the Bulletin), Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, June 16, 2011. "A little farther up the Missouri, at the Fort Calhoun Nuclear Power Station near Blair, Nebraska, the river is already lapping at the Aqua Dams -- giant plastic tubes filled with water -- that form a stockade around the plant's buildings. The plant has become an island. In Blair, in Council Bluffs, and in my hometown of Omaha -- which are all less than 20 miles from the Fort Calhoun Station -- some people haven't forgotten that flooding is what caused the power loss at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant and the disastrous partial meltdowns that followed. They're wondering what the floodwaters might do if they were to reach Fort Calhoun's electrical systems."

Decommissioning a Nuclear Plant Can Cost $1 Billion and Take Decades, Solve Climate News, June 13, 2011. "According to Paul Genoa, director of policy development of the Nuclear Energy Institute, a trade group for the nuclear power industry, decommissioning costs typically run at $500 million per unit. But actual costs vary based on the plant's size and design, and some have reached over $1 billion — between 10 percent and 25 percent of the cost of constructing a nuclear reactor today."

"Reactor Reax" is featured on, a Web site maintained by Physicians for Social Responsibility.

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Colli June 19, 2011 5:19 am (Pacific time)

Oh well, at least our Government has kept us all well informed about this looming disaster . . . or was it who kept us well informed? Way to go Washington. Fat, Dumb, and greedy is no way to run a country!

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Sean Flynn was a photojournalist in Vietnam, taken captive in 1970 in Cambodia and never seen again.