[Marxism] Nuclear Issues - the ugly facts are known - but forgotten by some?

dwalters at marxists.org dwalters at marxists.org
Tue Jul 11 17:39:37 MDT 2006

John, let me address some of the issues you raised, which seemed heartfelt,
albeit some what devoid of facts.

I work and an old thermal plant, not a whiz-bang nuke or even a new combined
cycle plant. I would not and could not work at a nuke. The reasons are not
about my own safety so much as skill and having to deal with the piles of
safety regulations implicit now in operating a nuclear plant. I know operators
who have worked at Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant: no thanks!

Secondly, along the same vein, nuclear power actually represents something of a
threat to all fossil-fuel workers. The more nukes the build, my job becomes
more insecure. Since I'm too old to become qualified in a nuke plant, the
option of working at one is really out the window for me. So I have zero vested
interested in supporting nukes from a job

Thirdly, there is no real comparison between building tanks and working at a
nuke plant as you contend. The purpose of a tank plant is to build tanks that
kill people. The purpose of a nuclear power plant  (or any energy plant) is to
produce electricity, not to kill people.

You are also wrong in comparing the need to do solar research, which I support
and have been active in here in SF (we won a $50 million bond issue to solarize
the Moscone center and some other public buildings!) and 'plutonium' research. I
think by this you mean research into dealing with the waste, yes? As it happens,
we do have to do the latter if only because this radioactive waste is here, now,
and not going anywhere. We need MORE money to seek a way of neutralizing it or
processing it so it can be safely disposed of. Environmentalists, historically,
have opposed this because it is a sort of 'deal with the devil'
if one creates a
safe way of disposing of nuclear waste
then another bullet item in opposition to
nuclear power goes away. Quite a quandary!

But John, your demeanor is one of nostalgic anti-nuclear activism, not of
someone who looks forward as well as backward. Your statement like "we KNOW
what is wrong and dangerous about nuclear power" is sentimental at best
DON'T know all that is wrong and we certainly don't know all the facts that
have been accruing since Three Mile Island. It is precisely this 30 year period
that many, such as yourself, seem to dismiss. I'm not sold on nukes by any
means. But I am open to it.

The fact is, both from the point of view of safety in current plants, and newer,
next gen type plants, there seems to be a whole slew of new technology that has
alleviated much, or some, of the safety concerns  [from meltdowns to waste
production to operating procedures] we were 100% correct to address 30 years
ago. My point is that we should look at this.



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