McCain, Obama: both pro-nuke

It is pretty depressing that 29 years after Three Mile Island and 22 after Chernobyl, the nuclear industry has recouped its propaganda losses to the point that both candidates are obliged to pay lip service to the oxymoron of “safe nuclear power.” McCain is gung-ho for nukes, calling for building 45 new reactors over the next 30 years. Obama‘s support is more equivocal—he said June 20 that nuclear power is an option worth pursuing, while adding the caveat: “I don’t think that nuclear power is a panacea.” (Reuters, June 20)

McCain pitches nuclear power as a necessity to reduce greenhouse gases. (VOA, June 23) How convenient that Exxon is a top uranium supplier. (Locations of Uranium Milling Facilities, Nuclear Regulatory Commission) Despite some worrying signs, the same problems of massive cost and time overruns, general inefficiency and (with luck) citizen opposition will probably ensure that the long-awaited “nuclear renewal” remains an empty dream.

Meanwhile, activists in New York state are still trying to get the Indian Point nuclear plant—one of the nation’s oldest—closed, with post-9-11 safety concerns still mounting. In the latest embarrassment for plant owner Entergy, five out of 167 sirens failed in a test of the plant’s warning system June 23. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has fined Entergy $780,000 for missing deadlines to install the new siren system. (AP, June 23)

New Orleans-based Entergy is petitioning New York’s Public Service Commission to allow the spin-off of Indian Point to a stand-alone company. Opponents say the plan would enrich Entergy and its stockholders at the expense of New York consumers while allowing the company to avoid responsibility and liability for the plant. (AP, May 20) Entergy is also petitioning the federal Nuclear Regulatory Commission for renewal of the plant’s license. The current licenses for the plant’s functioning reactors 2 and 3 expire in 2013 and 2015 respectively. (Mid-Hudson News Network, June 19)

The Indian Point Safe Energy Coalition is hosting a benefit concert in New York City June 30 to raise money for litigation against the re-licensing. See announcement below.

See our last posts on nuclear fear, and Indian Point.

  1. Benefit concert to close Indian Point
    From the Indian Point Safe Energy Coalition:

    You are invited to join us for our urgent fund raising event on Monday, June 30th from 6:30 to 10:30 pm. at the Walter Reade Theater in Lincoln Center, 165 West 65th Street, between Broadway and Amsterdam Avenue in Manhattan.

    We must raise $100,000 to cover the expenses associated with the litigation and the Intervenors’ actions to oppose a 20-year extension of Entergy’s Indian Point nuclear facilities’ operating licenses. The Intervenors are PHASE, RCCA, Sierra Club, WESTCAN and Assemblyman Richard Brodsky. (We are also working with Clearwater, Riverkeeper and the NY State Attorney General.)

    Our event will feature the New York premiere of the award-winning film Woven Ways, which exposes the impacts of uranium mining on the Navajo people. The documentary on Indian Point, Nowhere to Run, will also be screened. Author and activist Harvey Wasserman will be our special guest.

    This event is hosted by the Sierra Club NYC Group and is sponsored by the Environmental Justice Committee for the National Lawyers Guild, the Indigenous Environmental Network, NY Environmental Law and Justice Project, Physicians for Social Responsibility NYC, and the Indian Point Safe Energy Coalition (IPSEC), which is a coalition of environmental, health and public policy organizations founded in 2001 to address the vulnerabilities of the nuclear reactors at Indian Point.

    Supporters include Christie Brinkley and Aidan Quinn (other sponsors and supporters to be announced).

    To contact the event organizers, e-mail: june30benefit (at)