April 20, 2012 |
KLEINENSIEL, Germany - When the German government shut down half the country's nuclear reactors after the Fukushima disaster in Japan, followed two months later by a pledge to abandon nuclear power within a decade, environmentalists cheered. A year later, however, criticism of the nuclear shutdown is emerging from a surprising source: some of the very activists who pushed for the phaseout. They say poor planning of the shutdown and political opportunism by the government have actually worsened the toll on the environment in Germany, and Europe, at least in the short term.
June 11, 2012 |
San Onofre's two nuclear-power units have been down for months and will stay that way for months more. Late last week, Southern California Edison officials acknowledged that after early hopes that the reactors would be running safely in time for the summer energy load, it isn't going to happen. They'll have a plan by midsummer for reopening Unit 2, but then the plan will have to go through the lengthy regulatory process. And no one seems even remotely confident of when Unit 3 might return, and if it does, at what level of power?
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 13, 1991
If Southern California Edison cuts its carbon dioxide emissions by 20% over the next 20 years (editorial, June 2), it will still be the leading atmospheric polluter in Los Angeles County. A 20% reduction won't make a difference. It will take an 80% reduction in emissions before Edison is brought in line with other local industries. Yet Edison, whose fossil-fuel-powered generating stations are the worst polluters in Southern California, also owns and operates the San Onofre nuclear-powered generating station, whose emissions are the cleanest.
March 5, 2010 |
Here we go again. With the Obama administration's promise of federal loan guarantees to build two new nuclear power plants at a cost of $8.3 billion, the radioactive monster is rising from a long dormancy, pumped to life by the lobbyists for nuke designers, nuke contractors, nuke operators and nuke consultants and their generous spending. Over the last decade, the nuclear industry has spent more than $600 million lobbying the federal government and another $63 million in federal campaign contributions, according to an analysis of public records by the Investigative Reporting Workshop at American University.
April 10, 2011 |
What a strange turn of events. Instead of uniting the environmental movement in renewed opposition to nuclear power, the Fukushima disaster in Japan has divided it still further. An increasing number of green advocates, including some very prominent voices, have declared their support for nuclear power as a clean energy option, even as radioactive water accumulates and the timeline for cleaning up the contaminated areas extends by decades. Can they be serious? They can. The irony of Fukushima is that in forcing us all to confront our deepest fears about the dangers of nuclear power, we find many of them to be wildly irrational -- based on scare stories propagated through years of unchallenged mythology and the repeated exaggerations of self-proclaimed "experts" in the anti-nuclear movement.
December 20, 2009 |
For nearly 30 years, no nukes were good nukes in this Scandinavian nation. Spooked by the meltdown at Three Mile Island, Swedes voted decisively in 1980 to ban expansion of nuclear power, and lawmakers pledged to close down all of Sweden's reactors by 2010. Many here were therefore stunned this year when the government announced a sudden U-turn in energy policy. Not only should the country's 10 nuclear power stations stay open, officials said, but the plants should be allowed to buy new reactors to replace the old ones if necessary.