The Earthquake That Screamed “NO NUKES!!!”

As the whole world lurches toward a fossil fuels mega-disaster — if we keep burning them, we make the planet less habitable; if we stop burning them (voluntarily, or, soon enough, as oil reserves diminish), our oil-addicted economy tanks  — it has been both predictable and scary to see the nuclear industry attempt a comeback.

Like drug pushers saying, “Hey, we’re out of pot, so try some crack instead,” nuke-pushers seem oblivious to the fact that their so-called solution will only exacerbate our problems. But, because this the land of the denial-dumb, they’ve been building momentum with their nukes-are-green bushit. At least until reality intervened:

The massive earthquake that shook Japan this week nearly killed millions in a nuclear apocalypse.

It also produced one of the most terrifying sentences ever buried in a newspaper. As reported deep in the New York Times, the Tokyo Electric Company has admitted that “the force of the shaking caused by the earthquake had exceeded the design limits of the reactors, suggesting that the plant’s builders had underestimated the strength of possible earthquakes in the region.”

What a surprise! All of those sober assurances we’ve been getting from white-coated nuclear engineers over the years were … wrong. Or dishonest.

We should keep it in mind when the current crop of nuke-pushers spin their nonsense:

 There is only one thing we know for certain about this advertising: it is a lie.

Atomic reactors contribute to global warming rather than abating it. In construction, in the mining, milling and enriching of the fuel, in on-going “normal” releases of heat and radioactivity, in dismantling and decommissioning, in managing radioactive wastes, in future terror attacks, in proliferation of nuke weapons, and much much more, atomic energy is an unmitigated eco-disaster.

To this list we must now add additional tangible evidence that reactors allegedly built to withstand “worst case” earthquakes in fact cannot. And when they go down, the investment is lost, and power shortages arise (as is now happening in Japan) that are filled by the burning of fossil fuels.

It costs up to ten times as much to produce energy from a nuke as to save it with efficiency. Advances in wind, solar and other green “Solartopian” technologies mean atomic energy simply cannot compete without massive subsidies, loan guarantees and government insurance to protect it from catastrophes to come.

This latest “impossible” earthquake has not merely shattered the alleged safeguards of Japan’s reactor fleet. It has blown apart—yet again—any possible argument for building more reactors anywhere on this beleaguered Earth.

Michael Sky