Gambling (Your Life) in Nevada?
If you're interested in the environmental impact of some of the adventures of the American Imperialists, Jeffrey St. Clair's piece, March 30th,"Bush Administration Kills Nuclear Fallout Study: Downwinders Be Damned," in CounterPunch might be worth reading. Click here.
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Max Swing - 4/1/2005
Of course, the stocking of nuclear waste is a problem in itself and can't be easily dismissed. But usually government stores nuclear waste(at least in Germany) in old unused salt-caves, at least twenty meters under the soil you walk on.
I grant that this might be different as with your government having tested nuclear weapons above the earth and thus the radiation might really be a problem.
Though an uncle of mine works as an engineer at a nuclear power plant and his opinion can be seen as quite apt. He said that usually the storing of nuclear waste is not really a health problem, because the directives are clear. You even have lower radiation around the waste dumps, because the directives are so harsh. I don't know whether this is similar with in the US, but I guess so.
The true danger is the testing of nuclear warheads on the soil, because you couldn't even start calculating the dangers involved in this (radiation, fallout, wind-speed, terrain-consistency etc.).
I understand your problem with government use of radioactive material and I have the same problems with the French government, who are still trying to get a test-site down in the pacific.
However, I might at that private nuclear power plants are rather safe, at least in Germany.
Kenneth R Gregg - 3/31/2005
St. Clair's article ( http://www.counterpunch.com/stclair03302005.html ) is understandable from the vantage-point of one who resides here in Las Vegas (and Nevada in general). Most of us view Bush as throwing us out with the bath-water.
I think that Nevadans thought their support in the last election would bring out his sympathy for the former Nevada Test Site workers (many are still here in Las Vegas) and downwinders in general. That just didn't happen.
Max, you suggest that "The problem with radiation ends not only with the testing of nuclear weapons. People at the same time make a link between nuclear weapons and nuclear reactors, thus they will think nuclear power is as dangerous as an unleashed nuclear weapon (which is far from being right)."
Here in Las Vegas, it is more than right. As the Yucca Mountain site has been determined by the Bush Administration, come hell or high-water, to be the dump site for the entire country's nuclear waste, we feel twice dumped upon (pardon the pun). It is a sore issue here which is going to have many ramifications for both major parties here (the LP here is too minor to consider on this matter). From a scientific standpoint, the studies are questionable--there is groundwater there traveling to other parts of Nevada and Utah, there are earthquake faults there, results of studies have been faked. From a political standpoint, it seems to be a good deal for him--not many electoral votes, the elder Senator is the Democratic whip even if the younger one is a conservative Republican, not particularly politically powerful compared to most other states.
As the population grows here, and this is one of the fastest growing areas in the county, more federal land is traded or bought by private corporations for collectivist (homeowner association controlled) "private" suburban housing. It is just a matter of time before Nellis Air Force Base is closed (like Area 54 has closed) and parcelled out to private interests.
Since the military has used their 94% of Nevada land for bomb-tests and practice strafing raids, etc., there are countless non-nuclear unexploded bombs, dangerous materials, and chemically-laden property throughout areas near increasingly populated regions. It would cost untold billions to clean up what the military has done here, not that the Feds are interested in doing so--talk about environmental damage!! No private interest is even close compare to the military!
The Republicans are dim(witted)ly aware of the problems down the road only less vaguely than the Democrats are.
It may be that Bush will be lucky enough to avoid the consequences of these issues. But it won't disappear like the downwinders who are left around.
Just a thought.
Max Swing - 3/31/2005
The problem with radiation ends not only with the testing of nuclear weapons. People at the same time make a link between nuclear weapons and nuclear reactors, thus they will think nuclear power is as dangerous as an unleashed nuclear weapon (which is far from being right).
I am clearly no friend of nuclear weapon tests and I'd also go with the scientist to deny the right of testing nuclear weapons in the fashion of the late 50s tests.
The question is whether it would be acceptable to do the tests under water or whether it would possible to test nuclear devices under safe conditions or even in space (having the problem to get it into space without blowing up the ship).
However, it is sad to see that the Bush regime is cutting government research one-sided ( also biologic research which is aimed at medication gets budget downs to give more money to the bio-weapons department)
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