[Marxism] UK to keep foreign nuclear waste

Charlie Parks jcparks5550 at hotmail.com
Wed Dec 15 04:20:15 MST 2004

Anybody see the priceless episode of "The Simpsons" in which Homer is 
elected director of sanitation for Springfield, promising a lavish expansion 
of waste collection services? He is utterly profligate in his expenditures 
and exhausts his annual budget within a month. To generate the extra funds, 
he agrees to let nearby towns bury their trash in an abandoned mineshaft in 
Springfield. All goes swimmingly until we see Homer playing golf with Mayor 
Quimby, who is singing Homer's praises when suddenly garbage starts to burst 
through the surface of the putting green.  Soon garbage is seen shooting out 
of the ground like a geyser, eventually burying the entire town in refuse. 
This forces Mayor Quimby to resort to "Plan B," Springfield's contingency 
plan for (un)natural disasters: picking up the entire town and moving it 
five miles away.  The show amounts to a parable for the consequences of 
administrative short-sightedness and capitalism's tendency to resort to 
unsustainable practices in the service of short-term gain. Well, despite the 
UK's affinity for "The Simpsons," it seems New Labour wasn't watching the 
night they showed this episode.  And unfortunately for Britons, "Plan B" 
doesn't look like an option for a country sitting on an island! This would 
all be quite funny if we weren't talking about NUCLEAR WASTE here. --CP

UK to keep foreign nuclear waste

Paul Brown, environment correspondent
Wednesday December 15, 2004
The Guardian

The government has decided to bury Japanese, German, Italian, Spanish, Swiss 
and Swedish nuclear waste in Britain as a money-making venture to help pay 
for the UK's own unresolved nuclear waste problems.

The decision, announced in a written Commons statement, has been taken by 
the trade secretary Patricia Hewitt despite the fact that Britain as yet has 
no depository for the waste. It overturns a 30-year-old policy that the UK 
would not become a dumping ground for other countries' nuclear waste.

Previously both Conservative and Labour governments have said waste arising 
as a result of lucrative nuclear fuel reprocessing contracts at Sellafield 
in Cumbria should be returned to the country of origin.

Successive governments had intended to return all highly dangerous waste 
contaminated with plutonium to its country of origin - a total of 225 
nuclear shipments. This week's decision means keeping and disposing of the 
bulk of that toxic waste in Britain.
full: http://www.guardian.co.uk/nuclear/article/0,2763,1373964,00.html

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