I am proud to announce that harman on earth has become a certified public relations nightmare.
No. That’s too grand.
Rephrase: I am pleased to announce that Uranium Enrichment Corpse is in a public relations clusterfuck, a fact reinforced by the inclusion of our post on the company (NRC, UEC: ICUP) being listed at Canadian Bob Rempel’s Public Relations Nightmares blogspot.
A far less glamorous event, but of inestimable pleasure, nonetheless.
In the last ten years or so, I’ve had some amazing interactions with the public relations community, both the homegrown, self-taught gossipy spinners as well as the hypergroomed, overpaid attack flacks. Without doubt, the very best of the lot work for the military and the petrochemical goliaths. I’ll let you work out the rationale behind that.
There are always those in less-than-desirable industries, such as uranium mining (or unusual custom animal parts), let’s say, that choose to go it alone and handle their own PR. Rural and low-income communities typically get short-shrift from ventures hoping to save a few coins from hiring a Smiling Bob, the assumption being that such locales are also populated by absolute morons. Such assumptions rarely prove to be the case. Gaining the attention of an interventionist media, however, tends to be the highest hurdle out-of-sight communities are faced with.
By this measure, Goliad residents opposing uranium mining in their drinking water aquifer have done so many things right (organizing quickly, collecting baseline water samples, hiring a competent attorney, networking with regional environmental groups) that the fight there will likely be significant.
I’m starting to think the same of that potential powder brewing between the San Antonio City Council and city-owned utility CPS over nuke plans. Shaky economics and lack of transparency on CPS’s part will play a large part in that confrontation.
However, it doesn’t help matters when reports come out suggesting that U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission approval of the South Texas Nuclear Project is already a done deal.
Posted at Scientific American yesterday:
One of the U.K.’s top nuclear officials said today that she was told the U.S. will okay plans to build the first nuclear power plants since the accident at Three Mile Island nearly three decades ago. Lady Barbara Thomas Judge, chair of the U.K. Atomic Energy Authority, said that the chair of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission informed her that the NRC will approve three applications for new nuclear reactors that it’s currently considering.
“Dale Klein told me that those three nuclear applications will be approved,” she told the State of the Planet conference at Columbia University today, the 29th anniversary of the accident at Three Mile Island in Middletown, Pa. (Subsequently, a reactor at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in the then Ukrainian Soviet Republic melted down in April 1986 in what would become the worst nuclear power accident in history, spreading radiation as far away as North America and leading to the evacuation and resettlement of more than 336,000 people).
What is one to think about such statements? That we’ve been sold out already?
Done deal or no, the looming question facing San Antonio’s finest is a financial one. I suspect if they take the advice of many in attendance at the recent public forum on a pending rate hike, and commission their own study by a qualified consultant, they will see the that now is no time to gamble on reinvesting in nuclear power.
Now is the time to kick-start a new green economy and push Texas to the front of the pack when it comes to solar and efficiency innovation and production. Quick, someone tell the PUC. Wait, thousands of you just did. Word is, you crashed their server too! Attaway.
Now if we just had a cadre of visionaries to to fill in soon-to-be-vacated top tiers within CPS itself… Ah, daydreams do wander.
Nukes are promoted for their supposed environmental merit: chiefly, that they are a low emitter of global warming culprit CO2.
But they have a variety of disadvantages, including the fact that their power source and waste products include the deadliest and longest-lived substances, some naturally occurring, most engineered.
Also, they are heavily reliant on fresh water for cooling the reactors. With ongoing climactic warming, it is expected that almost a quarter of the United State’s current 104 nuclear reactors may have to shut down because of drought in the near future.
“Water is the nuclear industry’s Achilles’ heel,” said Jim Warren, executive director of N.C. Waste Awareness and Reduction Network, an environmental group critical of nuclear power. “You need a lot of water to operate nuclear plants.” He added: “This is becoming a crisis.”
An Associated Press analysis of the nation’s 104 nuclear reactors found that 24 are in areas experiencing the most severe levels of drought. All but two are built on the shores of lakes and rivers and rely on submerged intake pipes to draw billions of gallons of water for use in cooling and condensing steam after it has turned the plants’ turbines.
While I still recommend all concerned about the future order and read The Changing Climate of South Texas, there is a new report out this week that shows global warming has been particularly unkind to the U.S. West. A project of the Rocky Mountain Climate Organization and the Natural Resources Defense Council, the group concluded that:
The American West has heated up even more than the world as a whole. For the last five years (2003 through 2007), the global climate has averaged 1.0 degree Fahrenheit warmer than its 20th century average. For this report, RMCO found that during the 2003 through 2007 period, the 11 western states averaged 1.7 degrees Fahrenheit warmer than the region’s 20th century average.
That is 0.7 degrees, or 70 percent, more warming than for the world as a whole. And scientists have confirmed that most of the recent warming in the West has been caused by human emissions of heat-trapping gases.
Results of this warming also include: