David McNeill & Jake Adelstein
It is one of the mysteries of Japan’s ongoing nuclear crisis: How much damage did the March 11 earthquake do to the Fukushima Daiichi reactors before the tsunami hit? The stakes are high: If the quake structurally compromised the plant and the safety of its nuclear fuel, then every other similar reactor in Japan will have to be reviewed and possibly shut down. With virtually all of Japan’s 54 reactors either offline (35) or scheduled for shutdown by next April, the issue of structural safety looms over the decision to restart every one in the months and years after.
Note: Germany gets 25% of its electricity from nuclear. We get 21%
By JUDY DEMPSEY and JACK EWING
Published: May 30, 2011
BERLIN — The German government agreed on Monday to phase out all nuclear power by 2022, a sharp reversal by Chancellor Angela Merkel aimed at appeasing the country’s intensified antinuclear movement. The announcement came after marathon talks held at the chancellery on a new report by the Ethics Commission for Security Energy that recommended closing all 17 of the country’s nuclear plants.
by Brian Moench
Published on Sunday, May 22, 2011 by CommonDreams.org
""I apologize. I do not want to live in a country where any time a corporation does something that is legitimately wrong, is subject to some sort of political pressure. [It] amounts to a shakedown, so I apologize."
How about Barton’s grasp of CO2 as a greenhouse gas? “It’s odorless, colorless, tasteless, doesn’t cause cancer... there’s nobody that’s ever been admitted to a hospital because of CO2 poisoning. Hell, “CO2 is in our Coca-Cola!'"
Even better is Barton's explanation of how wind power could speed up climate change. "Wind is God’s way of balancing heat. Wind is the way you shift heat from areas where it’s hotter to areas where it’s cooler. Wouldn’t it be ironic if in the interest of global warming we mandated massive switches to energy, which is a finite resource, which slows the winds down, which causes the temperature to go up? Now, I’m not saying that’s going to happen, Mr. Chairman, but that is definitely something on the massive scale. I mean, it does make some sense. You stop something, you can’t transfer that heat, and the heat goes up. It’s just something to think about.”
Congressman Joe Barton, Texas (R) Ranking Member House Energy and Commerce Committee
Yes, Joe, that sure is something to think about!
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