As Fukushima continues to leak and smolder, what may be the definitive battle over new nukes in America has begun.
The critical first US House vote on a proposed $36 billion loan guarantee package for reactor construction may come as early as June 2. Green power advocates are already calling and writing the White House and Congress early and often, gearing up for a long, definitive showdown.
Germany and Japan have made their decision—the “Lethal Atom” has no future.
The coffin nail is Fukushima. Substantial radiation still leaks from three or more of its six reactors. Volatile fuel rods are dangerously exposed. Various containment and fuel pool structures are compromised. Heat and radiation still pour into our global eco-systems, with no end in sight.
Thankfully, a global citizens movement helped lower the amount of plutonium-based MOX fuel loaded into Unit Three. Without that, Fukushima’s emissions would be far more lethal.
…. Some $18.5 billion in loan guarantees for new reactor construction was put in place under George W. Bush. In 2007 the nuclear lobby tried to add $50 billion. The industry has spent some $645 million—$64.5 million per year—over the last decade twisting Congressional arms.
But a nationwide grassroots movement rose up to stop them. In every year since 2007 citizen action has beaten a variety of attempts to slip the industry more handouts. Local movements movements throughout the US focused growing demands for the shut-down of old reactors. In Vermont, a March, 2012 drop dead date looms ever larger, forced by a wide range of political pressures that could start an avalanche of closures.
Yet just last year Obama dropped $8.33 billion in loan guarantees on a bitterly contested double-reactor project in Georgia. Two other reactors are scheduled for South Carolina, where ratepayers are expected to foot the bill as construction proceeds.
But $36 billion in proposed new guarantees were stripped out of the Continuing Resolution that’s funding the government for 2011. Now Obama wants them for 2012.
Read more here: America’s New Nuke Showdown Starts Now! | Common Dreams.