Nuclear industry must remember that all politics are local 1

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  1. Assemblyman Sam Blakeslee is a RINO who used to work as a research scientist at Exxon’s research lab in Texas. That is apparently where he developed a technique for using medical cat-scan technology to analyze deep geologic formations in the search for oil (hence his interest in earthquakes and Diablo Canyon). Then he moved on to Exxon management where he was responsible for budget management. He is also a financial planner, serving as president of a multi-branch investment and financial planning firm having more than $700 million of assets.

    Yet these eco-wacko groups (Green Peace, Sierra Club, NIRS, etc) give credence to this politician’s agenda which has as its aim not the public good but the enrichment of his own wallet. Or maybe he is taking advantage of their gullibility to advance his fossil fuel agenda while cloaking his activities as environmental?

    Whatever the case may be, I am disgusted. As a RINO, California’s Assemblyman Sam Blakeslee is no different in moral stature than far left liberal Andy Cuomo in NY State. These politicians – all of them – need to be exposed to the light to day for all to see.

      1. Rod,

        I thought the acronym “RINO” made it obvious – “Republican In Name Only” (similar to “CINO” – “Catholic In Name Only” – that’s the other guy I mentioned, Andy Cuomo).

        Again for the record, I am neither Republican nor Democrat.

        Lamar Alexander about whom you recently posted is also Republican and happily supports nuclear energy, unlike his predecessor on that Senate Committee, Barbara Boxer who is Democrat. I would thus say that the number of Republicans like Sam Blakeslee are far less than the number of Democrats like Andy Cuomo or Barbara Boxer. Of course, I have not done a statistical study to verify that. I only know what I see when one party dominates vesus the other party, and the people whom the present Administration has appointed to the NRC (e.g., Jackzo and Baran).

        Something like nuclear energy should NOT be a partisan issue. It is a no-brainer that nuclear is safer, cleaner and over the long haul more cost effective than any other alternative. Both political parties should support that.

  2. Rod

    This is a huge issue. We need to support our local supporters. Thank you for writing this.

    Local people know that March 11 is coming. If you remember, I floated an idea for March 11 on a nuclear list-serve. Fukushima rice (all of it) now passes even the Japanese overly strict rules on radiation content. I suggested people could obtain Fukushima rice and have potlucks featuring that rice. Have speakers, have potlucks, announce it all with press releases to the local papers.

    Everyone thought it was a wonderful idea. Nobody did it. That includes me. I did nothing after floating the idea.

    Why? Well, basically, it would be a lot of work and none of us have any funding. We are all busy with what we do already. Arranging to obtain the rice, setting up a venue for the dinner, and doing publicity would be a fabulous job for an intern or an employee just starting out. It is a limited task. It would be fun. It would be great.

    Unlike anti-nuclear activists, who have their own salary and some kind of staff, I think none of us can pay even for an intern. Well, not true. One summer I did raise enough money for an intern. Part-time for one summer. I consider this was a major win, but I haven’t been able to repeat it.

  3. Eye-catching local initiatives are where it’s at, all right.

    Regarding Fukushima, I understand there are a number of very large tanks of highly purified water which cannot be emptied into the sea because of local radiophobia.

    What I would love to be able to do is to get hold of a few gallons of this water, and set up a local water-tasting party. Invite a reporter, my nuclear-savvy friends, and maybe a local councilor or two, and all enjoy partaking.

    It’s not clear from the reports I could find whether the purifying process desalinates the water as well. If not, we could borrow a prtable osmotic desalinator of the kind supplied for lifeboats.

    If we can’t actually get the water, just making a well-publicized attempt to do so might get people asking some good questions.

    Of course, TEPCO should be organizing a local water-tasting party of their own, with company officials leading off…

    1. Be interesting to have a geiger counter and compare Fukushima water to natural ‘health giving’ (radioactive) spring water.

      1. It would take very expensive Geiger counters and a lot of shielding from background radiation to detect radiation from either source.

  4. I have been convinced for several years now that the nuclear industry’s biggest issue is public relations…or the lack thereof. I completely agree with you that support for the continued, and hopefully expanded, use of nuclear power must come from “local areas” and not D.C..

    It is time for people, especially those directly working in the nuclear industry, to start “sticking their necks out” and take a risk involving public relations. We have the facts on our side, but it seems that we lack the grit. Every time I see a commercial promoting the natural gas industry, I see a missed opportunity for the nuclear industry. Where are the commercials for the nuclear industry? Print ads? Donations to local “good causes”? Individual nuclear power plants do this, but they are usually located in communities too small to make any real difference in the public’s perception of nuclear power. We can never win the PR battle if we don’t ever even bother to fight it.

    That being said, there are many ways to promote nuclear power other than forming a special interest group or a massive PR campaign. One of the ways is to participate in the local STEM initiatives of ones surrounding school districts. I have done this, and I was pleasantly surprised at the turn out. I had over 450 high school students attend my seminar on a Saturday morning and many asked very good questions. Even the parents in attendance seemed interested and “favorable” to nuclear power. Its a small start, but at least I started…

    1. I just want one of those lousy stickers that says, “Nuclear energy, yes please”. You think I would be trying to find the Ark of the Covenant. Yeah, the industry does very little to save itself. We try educating and being smart and talking to people but like every other product that gets sold, its all in the marketing and nuclear power is just awful at it. Its like a business that advertises vs a business that markets. We advertise, we don’t market. Nuclear power doesn’t aggressively jerk the emotional strings, we don’t have a tribal identity and we need these things. Its what the anti-nuke groups have. Right this very minute there should be a video rebuttal of that stupid stupid video the Friends of the Earth and their kind are using to scare people about nuclear power. Who do I give money to in order for this to happen? Hmm? Nobody knows? That is a big problem.

  5. I was cool into doing the Fukushima foods & fish purchasing thing a long time ago except there’s no way you can do it — not even Hunts Point Market a half-hour from me — without some vendor OVER THERE willing to Fed-X you. There are foreign “gourmet” area produce there, but Fuku doesn’t fall into that. Maybe social media can find some sympathetic pro-nuke souls over in Fukushima willing to pitch for you but it’s a pretty dry well right now. It’s not totally off-the-wall for a Japanese Restaurant here via their special food channels to make a stand-out media self-promotion shtick by offering Fukushima produce dishes as a novelty play but I don’t know how gutsy they’d be about that.

    Anti-nukers have incredible national support networks. Almost soon as Vermont Yankee announced their shutdown that new familiar faces were popping up at Indian Point and Oyster Creek protests here, and I heard same for Pilgrim far away too. If nuclear power hopes to gain any headway against this monster, it at least has to match the antis network in local support and public education. Lone wolf Tupperwear parties aren’t going to fly. It’s going to take a lot of public education to catch up with 40 years of PR neglect without a massive nuke Ad campaigns a’la BP Gulf. Sadly I just don’t see that happening especially from nuclear professional organizations.

    James Greenidge
    Queens New York

  6. Good catch on the “Oil Man Sam” reference to former California State Assemblyman Sam Blakeslee. The website developed by the California Democratic Party is archived at https://web.archive.org/web/20110201142011/http://oilmansam.com/ and is worthy to examine.

    The fossil fuel industry support of so-called environmental organizations who want to shut down Diablo Canyon is relevant. It is analogous to the heating oil industry group bankrolling the opposition to the Shoreham Nuclear Power Plant on Long Island, New York. See the Atomic Insights article below:

    Rod Adams · January 5, 2010 “Smoking Gun Part 18 – An Oldie But a Goodie – Oil Heat Institute of Long Island Ad Using Scare Tactics to Fight Shoreham” https://atomicinsights.com/smoking-gun-part-18-an-oldie-but-a-goodie-oil-heat-institute-of-long-island-ad-using-scare-tactics-to-fight-shoreham/

    I’ll have more to say about the FoE and A4NR plan to force DCPP to install cooling towers utilizing sea water in a subsequent message. Here is an introduction in the form of the filing made on 04 November 2014 to the California State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) http://www.waterboards.ca.gov/water_issues/programs/ocean/cwa316/docs/cwa316cmmnts110414/gene_nelson.pdf This material formed the core of my SWRCB Board meeting presentation on 18 November 2014. Video of that meeting was available for public viewing for only 3 months. However, I archived a copy.

    1. “The website developed by the California Democratic Party is archived at https://web.archive.org/web/20110201142011/http://oilmansam.com/ and is worthy to examine.”

      Does the California Democratic Party support nuclear energy as the only viable provider of baseload electrical generation over fossil fuels?

      Here is what http://www.cadem.org/resources?id=0068 from the web site of the California Democratic Party says:

      “Urge Congress, the California Legislature, the California Public Utilities Commission, and the California Energy Commission to reduce long-term reliance on non-renewable nuclear power including the phaseout of reactors that cannot be shown to be economically viable, to ensure the safety and fully evaluate the economic viability and full lifecycle costs of nuclear power, to quickly decommission and withhold funding for license renewal for Mark 1 nuclear reactors that cannot be made safe, and to provide emergency plans and adequate liability protection for populations within 50 miles of reactors and in the event that nuclear reactors are decommissioned due to safety or economic concerns that there shall be a comprehensive employment plan that includes Project Labor Agreements (PLAs) for workers affected by plant closures…”

      It is just as I thought.

      1. “Urge Congress, the California Legislature, the California Public Utilities Commission, and the California Energy Commission to … withhold funding for license renewal for Mark 1 nuclear reactors”

        Wow, that’s an easy one. How much funding for license renewal is Congress, the California Legislature, the California Public Utilities Commission, and the California Energy Commission currently spending for the license renewal of reactors with a Mark I containment?

        Er … that would be zero dollars. Congress does not spend money on license renewals. That cost is borne by the utilities. There are no BWR’s — much less BWR’s with Mark I containments — operating in California and regulated by the CPUC.

        The California Democratic Party … heh … that’s like stupid squared, as their platform demonstrates.

  7. @ James Greenidge:

    “Lone wolf Tupperwear parties aren’t going to fly. It’s going to take a lot of public education to catch up with 40 years of PR neglect without a massive nuke Ad campaigns a’la BP Gulf.”

    I think if enough people see some of Gordon McDowell’s films it will be food for thought to a lot of people as to just who is rational. His “nude for nukes” scene and the “woman screaming for the mothers of Fukushima” let you quickly see there are some crazy anti-nukes out there.

  8. Well I’m willing to be local support. I’m seriously considering picketing friends of the earth. There is a location one hour drive from me.

    Friends of the Earth CA
    2150 Allston Way
    Suite 240
    Berkeley, CA 94704
    Phone: 510-900-3150
    Fax: 510-900-3155 –
    http://www.browercenter.org/visit/directions

    I anyone has any suggestions on how to go about it feel free to chime in.

  9. The problem was illustrated recently when a facebook friend posted a criticism brought on by the NRDC toward Jim Inhofe whom in a fit of climate change debunkery tossed out a Washington Snowball onto the Senate floor.

    I let it go. I shouldn’t have.

    We need to take every advantage we can to redirect careless perspective wherever possible.

    I could have pointed out that Inhofe was was mistaken because the frigid arctic air that came south across the eastern two thirds of North America throughout February had to be replaced by air going north further west. Did Inhofe expect a vacuum was forming at the arctic circle?

    I should have then pointed out that the NRDC was a faulty organization to follow too because of the ~$100 Million budget they need to maintain. They certainly don’t get a mix of 2 million $50 donations or a million $100 donations. They most likely get a revenue stream from well to do organizations committed to the current state of financial affairs. The NRDC is therefore as committed to the current state of affairs as is Inhofe, perhaps with a different set of benefactors, but a set of benefactors that may well intersect.

    The flaw in the current state of affairs is becomming more obvious to even the facebook casual observers. I lost the opportunity to tweak an individual toward a proper perspective. My apologies both to Gaia and the rest of humanity…. 😉

    1. I looked at the web site of Senator Inhofe (R) of Oklahoma. While he is not an adherent of goddess Gaia (being Presbyterian, his God is Christ) and anthropogenic global warming, he has issued statement after statement in favor of nuclear energy, and has consistently opposed the antics of anti-nuclear Senator Barbara Boxer (D) of California.

      That said, Nuclear Engineering International published an article on January 21, 2015 entitled, “Is Climate Change the Worst Argument for Nuclear?” Please Google it. It offers a perspective that may require an open mind.

      Nevertheless, I do believe that indiscriminately dumping millions of tons of pollution into the atmosphere each and every year is an untried experiment and will have unintended consequences. Why therefore the majority of the biggest and most ardent supporters of environmentalism – usually those on the left – do not openly advocate nuclear energy is a mystery.

      1. @Ioannes

        Why therefore the majority of the biggest and most ardent supporters of environmentalism – usually those on the left – do not openly advocate nuclear energy is a mystery.

        Mystery can be solved if you recognize humans can be dishonest and fossil fuel funders can make huge profits in an economy where access to energy sources are constrained.

        Hiding under a “Green” cover story has been more successful than honest competition.

        1. I believe Inhofe’s support of oil and gas (being expected, his being from Okalahoma) is far less insidious than the support given by the NRDC which advocates pouring resources in sunshine and breezes as competition for oil and gas.

          You are not mistaken given (I believe) that you recognize that fortunes are spent and far greater fortunes made keeping the debate in the public mind as 1) global warming is a ruse vs 2) we need to limit ourselves to renewables to combat real global warming. As the debate oscillates between the 2 positions, the established energy industries can only win.

  10. A good number of people on FB have been making noises about Burlington, VT touting that they have “gone 100% renewable” in energy supply. On one page I pointed out that most of that is hydro from Quebec and a lot of it is wood burning at the McNeil plant, which puts over 500,000 tons of CO2 per year into the air, but everyone ignores that because it is “renewable”. All I got was a bunch of bullying and hate mail in reply.

    These people are pathological. As a rational person it is hard for me to deal with that, and I just want to go away and say to hell with it. Some may call it cowardice, others just protecting yourself. But in any case when the environment is poisoned the inhabitants generally don’t do too well. The bullies and maniacs, people like at the recent NRC meeting in Vermont or those who burned down the Entergy offices in Brattleboro, seem to have become acclimated to the poison they spread. But they rest of us haven’t, and that puts us at disadvantage.

    1. Even if biomass is carbon-neutral in the long run, it’s still “polluting” in the more traditional sense of the word, as well as resulting in forest destruction.

      1. The problem is the time constants. It takes a tree anywhere from 50 to 100 years to sequester the carbon it holds, but when they burn it up in a few seconds in a plant like the McNeil plant (which uses trees, even though they call them “chips”, or “pellets”, where do they think those came from?), all of that carbon is dumped very quickly, so eventually there is a huge surplus of carbon waiting to be sequestered by a long time-constant process.

        Trouble is, we need a way to communicate this in a way that doesn’t make the average schlemiel-on-the-street’s eyes glaze over, which is usually what I get when I try.

        1. “Plant Food” is not fertilizer, It’s sunshine. Trees are an even weaker form of a sunshine power source than even synthetic sunshine silicon chips. Sunshine also made Coal, Oil and Gas. If Forests are “renewable” then so is Coal, Oil, and Gas.

    2. A good number of people on FB have been making noises about Burlington, VT touting that they have “gone 100% renewable” in energy supply.

      I’ve been dealing with this exact argument over at Renewable Energy World.  I think I’ve beaten it back with facts (for now), but I know that it will be pulled out again wherever it isn’t being challenged.

      These people are pathological.

      Scientifically and often numerically illiterate, but ideologically certain and committed.

      1. Renewable is the best example of a Granfaloon I can think of. The only think the elements of the category have in common, is the category itself.

      2. And some of them are downright dangerous, threatening employees of VY and their families( children) committing arson, vandalism, etc. You know, people in the NRC meeting acting like the moronic jerks that they are is one thing, but threatening harm to others and damaging property is another.

  11. California has a lot of people who could benefit in many ways from nuclear energy. Also true for many places. But California is also unique for it’s high numbers of celebrities, scholars, business executives, high ranking schools, you name it. Yet their own land suffers from drought and weather extremes and now since the closing of San Onofre nuclear plant they have much higher energy bills. Also the people who can make a difference are mostly antinuclear. It is almost biblical. The materialists are bringing about their own demise by idolizing false idols. But keep in mind what Rod is saying in his post. There is a majority that don’t have a voice who can become part of a local grassroots cause. If a successful turn around were to happen in California that would be a turning point like no other. Everyone pays attention when it happens in California. That is why i travelled from my native Canada last December to participate in a science fair like no other. A monstrous conference at the Moscone Center. A small group shared a booth that we paid for with crowd funding. We taught hundreds of people one on one about the benefits of nuclear. We had Uranium 238 and Thorium samples that people could hold. This is a great way to spend time. Educating people who might have been fence sitters were able to see that nuclear energy is one of the last chances of turning climate change around.

    1. I should also add that donations are welcome to many of the nuclear bloggers like Rod Adams and Meredith Angwin of @YesVY who often need to spend their own money traveling. Don’t forget they can communicate more effectively when they can actually afford to travel.

    2. If California is to change, I have to think the leadership would have to come from Silicon Valley. And for all those Californians with electric or hybrid vehicles, what better source to charge the vehicles than nuclear power….

  12. “Plant food” is the various inorganic compounds in the soil which a plant takes in through its roots — nitrates and so on. Also in many cases organic compounds produced by symbiotic fungi.

    Sunlight is a source of energy, but I would not call it “plant food”. Nor would I call oxygen “human food”.

    Coal is indeed renewable if you wait a few tens of millions of years. Peat and brown coal, somewhat less.

    That doesn’t help with an excess of CO2 in the air for the next few centuries.

  13. This blog is funny. people in here truly trust a nuclear power plant that was designed in the 70s. LOL

    “California has a lot of people who could benefit in many ways from nuclear energy.”
    Wrong, California could benefit in many ways from solar energy, by using the one resource we have more than most other states.

    California could also benefit from the high speed train, gosh no, we don’t want that, cause the same people fighting for nuclear energy prefer to burn gas in their cars 😉

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