Friday, March 25, 2011

Greg Palast says nuclear safety testing is a fraudulent sham (from EarthBeat Radio)

With the recent nuclear accident in Japan we are generally worried about nuclear safety and rightly so many are questioning whether to continue building nuclear power plants. The powers-that-be however are urging continued expansion etc. This weeks episode of Earth Beat features an interview with independant journalist Greg Palast who's been reporting for the BBC about the nuclear disaster, and who claims the safety testing is a fraudulent sham.

Before getting to Palast however the show had snippets from a press conference in Washington DC. These were: Bob Alvarez, a senior scholar at the Institute for Policy Studies – yet, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission has ignored warnings on this problem. We hear from Alvarez on this issue, and we hear from Jeffrey Patterson of Physicians for Social Responsibility, who claims there is no safe level of radiation, and that it is only a matter of time before an accident similar to Fukushima’s happens in the US unless we act swiftly. Dr. Patterson ended his part talking about the impossibility of managing the unmanageable.

Palast reports that TEPCO has been invited to build the first two nuclear plants in the U.S. in over 30 years. That the design is similar to the ones which had their meltdown in Japan. And that it'll still have the same cooling-pool-next-to-the-hot-reactor design that failed so badly.

Additionally the partner is Houston Energy which has had to rename themselves into Reliant Energy because of their horrid safety record (fined over $1Billion) and fraudulent activities.

He talked about how rampantly fraudulent is the safety testing of diesel backup generators and seismic qualification at nuclear plants. The reason given is the cost involved if (when) problems are found. The $billions involved are a financial problem and they have incentive to commit fraud rather than fix the problems.

The broadcast also included a "debate" between some nuclear experts, which I've embedded as a youtube video below.

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