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Washington’s Columbia Generating Station Is a Seismic Timebomb – May 5, 2014

New studies reveal nuclear plant is near major faults

The landscape of eastern Washington State is deceptively tranquil: a pastiche of vineyards, farms, scrub grass, ridges and windmills. But what appears peaceful and settled in the moment has proven restive and violent over geologic time. Beneath the glacial trough of the Puget Lowland, and extending east through the Cascades to the Columbia Basin, lies a hidden landscape of geomorphic rubble – broken basalt, vast shards of continental rock, volcanic ash, and layers of ancient sediment. Like a picnic blanket spread over a minefield, the Columbia Basin's flat meadows and rolling hills veil an oft-times explosive past.

Hanford Nuclear ReservePhoto by the US Department of Energymore

by: Gar Smith

(4) Comments

Another Take on Pandora’s Promise – June 28, 2013

Pro-nuclear power film obscures as much as it reveals

You’ve got to give the producers of Pandora’s Promise credit for gumption. It takes a lot of chutzpah to release a pro-nuclear polemic in the wake of the triple meltdown in Fukushima, Japan. The film also suffered the ignominy of opening the same week that the owners of California’s troubled San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station announced the permanent shutdown of the facility’s two crippled reactors. Even the film’s title takes a bit of nerve; it was Pandora’s Box, after all, that unleashed a host of once-contained evils into the world.

movie poster

So, given the extensive history of nuclear mishaps and near-catastrophes, how do the… more

by: Gar Smith

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Fukushima: Living With the Consequences – March 11, 2013

An excerpt from Nuclear Roulette: The Truth about the Most Dangerous Energy Source on Earth

This time no one dropped a bomb on us. . . . We set the stage, we committed the crime with our own hands, we are destroying our own lands, and we are destroying our own lives.

Haruki Murakami, Japanese novelist

photoname Photo by Flickr userM1K3Y
Even with a cleanup,the health risks of long-term exposure to remaining low-levels of radiation are unclear.

In Japan, as in every other nuclear nation, the unresolved problems and unthinkable consequences of nuclear energy were ignored, minimized, or hidden. The former residents of Fukushima now are paying the price for the hubris and denial that fueled the Atomic Age.… more

by: Gar Smith

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The Deplorax – March 6, 2012

My review of The Lorax (with apologies to Dr. Seuss)

drawing of a lorax-like creature smoking a cigar on a desk, in-box filled with cashOriginal Illustration by Gar Smith

My name is the Lorax and I speak for the trees.
So how’d I get sucked up in Hollywood sleaze?
My message was lost in the Stremulous Stream!
Even Swomee-swans told me to “Get with the Team!”

The Grinch (who stole Christmas) got all the attention
Why TV? Why Movies? Why all this Big Mention?
Because he’s defeated, so Whos can start shopping!
But me? I’m ignored because I’d stop chopping.

So, how come the hokum? Why… more

by: Gar Smith

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Fukushima Is Forever – October 19, 2011

We’ll be grappling with radiation danger for years to come

The timeline for catastrophe has shifted. We used to fear "once-in-a-lifetime" floods. Today we face epochal calamities like climate change and intergenerational traumas like the Bhopal chemical explosion and the BP oil spill, which, according to the latest reports, is once again leaking toxic crude into the Gulf of Mexico.

What lessons can we draw from our latest atomic angst? One consistent lesson from Three Mile Island, Chernobyl and Fukushima is clear: plant operators and government officials inevitably cover-up and lie. The Japanese utility TEPCO lied when it insisted its reactors were "under control." Instead, full meltdowns occurred at three of the six reactors, 600,000 spent fuel rods were at… more

by: Gar Smith

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