Bush: Yes nukes!

Reviving a perennial theme of the reigning energy oligarchs, President Bush told the National Small Business Week Conference in DC April 27 that more nuclear plants are the answer to rising oil costs. “We’ve got a fundamental question we got to face here in America,” Bush said. “Do we want to continue to grow more dependent on other nations to meet our enegy needs? Or do we need to do what is necessary to acheive greater greater control over our economic destiny?” (Newsday, Environmental News Service, April 28)

This appears to be part of a coordinated propaganda drive. The New York Times’ execrable Nicholas Kristof ran an April 9 column, “Nukes Are Green,” dripping with venemous condescension for the anti-nuke activists of yester-decade. (Where are they now that we need them?) Ironically, that very same day’s NYT ran an editorial, “Terrorist Attacks on Reactor Pools,” noting the ominous findings of a new National Academy of Sciences report that nuclear waste being stored on-site at plants around the country is more vulnerable to theft or intentional release by terrorists than the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has been willing to admit.

There have also been recent reports (e.g. in the Hudson Valley’s Journal News of April 29) that “hemyc,” a critical insulator for electrical cables at several nuclear plants around the country, including New York’s controversial Indian Point, has been deemed unsafe by the NRC.

The pro-nuke propaganda blitz comes just after the winter 2005 issue of the Manhattan Institute’s prestigious (in right-wing wonk circles) City Journal ran an article entitled “Why the U.S. Needs More Nuclear Power,” making all the usual bogus arguments that this most expensive, toxic and dangerous of all technologies is “cheap, clean, safe–and doesn’t depend on Arabia.” (Never forget the mandatory play to xenophobia.)

Most perverse of all, the same Bush administration which is so concerned about our air quality that it wants to bring back nuclear power has buried provisions in the pending energy bill (already approved by the House Energy Committee) that would weaken key provisions of the Clean Air Act! (NYT, April 16) (It would also reiterate provisions that were similarly hidden in a budget package already passed in March opening the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil drilling.)

Those seeking an antidote to this insidious propaganda are directed to Nukebusters.org, website of the Citizens Awareness Network (CAN).