Recently a federal judge blocked Vermont from decommissioning the leaky Yankee nuclear reactor that is almost identical to Fukushima Reactor #1 (75% of US reactors are leaking radioactive material), using the excuse that only the corrupt federal Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) can decommission a reactor.
Under the Tenth Amendment States’ Rights, states can do anything they want as long as it is not a power that is:
• delegated to the federal government in the Constitution
• prohibited to the states by the Constitution
• prohibited to the state by its own constitution
The Constitution lacks provisions forcing a state to risk its citizens’ lives in order to boost nuclear industry profits.
Vermont has a law that gives the state veto power over a reactor when its license from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is expired. The judge in the Yankee case unconstitutionally invalidated the state law, and the NRC granted the Yankee plant a 20-year extension. An appeal of the ruling would require a lot of time and effort.
A quick and simple option for Vermont would be to collect evidence proving leakage that endangers health or property in order to declare a State of Emergency that would put control over Yankee operations in the hands of the state. It is unlikely that Vermont could decommission the reactor, but they could close it down until the necessary repairs were completed. If the repairs were cost prohibitive, the effect would be to shut it down.
Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin’s War on Climate
Because the Yankee nuclear plant provides 70% of Vermont’s energy, a replacement energy source is required if Yankee were to close. Governor Shumlin favors green renewable energy that is insufficient, unreliable and very costly. Shumlin’s energy plan is centered on the pipe dream of renewables providing 90% of electricity needs by 2050. Coal is discounted in his fairy tale paradigm.
Governor Shumlin is either a global warming hoax sucker, or a globalist puppet intent on implementing UN Agenda 21 slavery through oppressive energy regulations that include cap-and-trade taxes. The only way that renewables can become cost effective is to raise the price of the competition through carbon taxes (the objective of this program is to eliminate the competition).
The state of Vermont has played into UN Agenda 21 tyranny by signing on to an unconstitutional treaty between states, the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, that implemented a mandatory cap-and-trade tax scheme in 2008.
Governor Shumlin shuns fracked natural gas because he doesn’t believe there is a big enough supply of it in Vermont (no mention of potential groundwater pollution and the undisclosed ingredients).
The nuclear industry and some environmentalists are pushing for nuclear energy to be classified as a clean renewable energy due to low carbon emissions, but this becomes ridiculous in the face of Fukushima and its radioactive emissions.
Coal would be the cheapest energy replacement source for the Yankee plant. But the EPA is is forcing coal plants to close by demanding cuts in sulfur dioxide and nitrous oxide emissions, the components of ‘acid rain’. The acid rain scam is as corrupt as the man-made global warming carbon dioxide hoax. Not coincidentally, the first cap-and-trade scheme was invented for the acid rain ruse.
If the EPA were honest, it would admit that sulfur dioxide is not terribly toxic; and while it does cause death in humans at 500 ppm, it was found to be harmless in laboratory animals at 5 ppm. Sulfur dioxide from coal smokestacks turns to solid particulates in the atmosphere and becomes cloud condensation nuclei. Reports that tens of thousands of people have died from sulfur dioxide at low concentration are a fraud; one overlooked analysis showed that half the scientists agreed that there were zero health effects from acid rain.
The EPA is also attacking coal plant mercury output by relying on studies that paint the bleakest picture, while simultaneously ignoring more credible reports and sources showing no serious health effects (coal produced mercury levels have dropped dramatically).
The Hidden Costs of Nuclear Energy
Based on Shumlin’s unrealistic energy fantasies, the Yankee plant seems to be the only real energy choice for Vermont right now. Nearly 20% of energy in the US is produced by nuclear facilities.
Nuclear energy is far more expensive than other energy sources, but the real cost is hidden because of government subsidies, tax breaks, insurance schemes and legal loopholes. Nuclear energy is estimated to be 60% greater than the cost of electricity from coal or gas fuel power plants. Therefore, nuclear energy would die without massive taxpayer handouts because it could not survive in a free market.
Taxpayer-funded subsidies include: construction cost overruns, uranium mining tax incentives, high water usage subsidies and defaulted loan liability (taxpayers are on the hook for loans that are estimated to default at a 50% rate with $58 billion at risk).
Long-term storage for nuclear waste is paid by customers. Decommissioning, which costs approximately $300 million, is passed on to the ratepayers.
Insurance rates are capped, which limits liability and keeps insurance rates extremely low compared to risk. The federal Price Anderson program mandates that the utility must cover the first $300 million in the event of an accident, and all of the other nuclear plants across the country would contribute $96 million per reactor to an insurance pool, for a total of nearly $10 billion for that event. However, a nuclear accident can cause damage that grossly exceeds $10 billion (Chernobyl was estimated to cost $350 billion, and Fukushima is off the charts).
The government, funded by taxpayers, would be on the hook for the remainder. Therefore, in a free market, commercial nuclear plants would cease to exist.
Nuclear utility corporations create limited liability subsidiary companies (LLCs) in order to limit their liability (accountability) and to transfer profits to the parent company in a tax-dodge scheme.
Corrupt Nuclear Regulators and Industry Lobbying
The NRC bows to the nuclear industry by failing to enforce regulations, ignoring dangerous industry practices, and barring public access to information and participation.
In 2007 when Obama was campaigning for the presidency, he criticized the Nuclear Regulatory Commission for “becoming a captive of the industries it regulates”. However, Obama has proven that his words are beyond trust: he has close ties with the nuclear industry that includes hefty campaign donations (bribes).
Between 1999 and 2009, the nuclear industry has spent $600 million on lobbying, with $63 million going toward campaign contributions.
The Future of Nuclear Power
Due to the high cost of nuclear power compared to low natural gas prices, the lack