Utah For Sale

It is apparent that Utah is for sale. Our state is the only state in the Union now identified as being willing to continue as the nation’s nuclear dump site, and now the world’s site as well, without protest and defensive acts by our political leaders.

What will Virginia do with its nuclear leftovers? It doesn’t have a landfill licensed to take them. It doesn’t have a plan to develop one. There’s only one that will take Virginia waste, and it’s in Utah.

Utah is also a one-party state. Republican leadership is obviously in the pocket, and vice versa, of EnergySolutions. Envirocare by whatever name has asked the federal Nuclear Regulatory Commission for permission to bring low-level nuclear waste to Deseret from Italy, and by inference, anywhere else.

Where is the governor? So dead-set against Divine Strake? And our civic and religious organizations? This is a violation of our air, our water, our land, and our security. EnergySolutions finds ways to bring in so-called “depleted uranium” as meeting the “low level” standards. This depleted uranium is ‘depleted” only in that it can not become fissionable in the form of a bomb or missile. It remains radioactive for millions of years. Just what corporate structure, in the private or the public sector, do we possess to protect us for millions of years half-life?

Our senators, or congressmen, and our state legislature should be in unified opposition to this use of arguably the most beautiful land in the United States. I’ve heard no opposition to our becoming the dumping ground of the world from Utah’s religious leadership as well. Don’t bother me with sermons on the evils of pari-mutual betting, or of cigarettes and caffeine, if we allow nuclear cocktails in Zion. Please, at least be relevant and somewhat aware of real life issues. Every other state so threatened has organized their local and national representatives to oppose storage in their states of nuclear waste. Nuclear power likewise raises intolerable threats to our security. There is simply no way to deal with the eternally radioactive waste. Not below ground or on the surface.

I would have thought that the proposal, by members of our own legislature to build a nuclear power plant in Utah and divert our limited desert water from the Green River to cool this monster would have triggered immediate opposition from our legislative leaders. No such opposition, so far, has arisen. Our Republican version of conflict of interest seems non-existent. For sale: the state of Utah. Only an aroused citizenry can stop these threats. Clearly, our political leaders have sold out to EnergySolutions and the big bucks they envision from going nuclear. We have alternative energy solutions, real solutions, in solar, wind, and other environmentally friendly alternatives. Only organized public opinion can avert a sell-out to one or another end of the nuclear industry.

  1. #1 by Jenni on January 4, 2008 - 12:00 pm

    Nuclear plants and nuclear weapons are unethical and dangerous to future humans and other creatures on earth.

    You hit the nail on the head when you say “Just what corporate structure, in the private or the public sector, do we possess to protect us for millions of years half-life?”

  2. #2 by Richard Warnick on January 4, 2008 - 1:36 pm

    I tend to come down on both sides of the nuclear power issue. I devoted more of my time than I could afford to back in the early 80’s arguing against a nuclear dump next to Canyonlands National Park. It was a horribly bad idea, which actually seemed inevitable at the time. We won at least a temporary victory.

    Nobody should build more nuclear power plants until the waste problem is solved, or until fusion power becomes practical. I saw a working fusion reactor at the 1964 World’s Fair, however the latest prediction is that commercial fusion power won’t happen in my lifetime.

    Depleted uranium contains less than one third as much uranium-235 and uranium-234 as natural uranium, and emits an extremely small amount of radiation. I wouldn’t worry about it.

  3. #3 by glenn on January 4, 2008 - 2:07 pm

    I believe that there are about 56 nuclear power plants in France that are producing 80% of the countries electrical needs. That electricity powers their bullet trains, industry grid(yes, they still have one), residential grid, and will soon be used to compress air for auto propulsion.

    Their plants are breeder reactors. Engineered by Americans, they re-process most of the waste, and store what they cannot, in their own rather small country. They will figure out what to do with that in years to come. They have been running with an incredible safety record, produce no carbon, and usually run in the 4000 megawatt range for a biggee. The 2 coal burners on the Swell are 3200 MW combined.

    In addition, coal burning in the manner Utah does it, releases radioactive poisons that are bound up in the coal, we cannot store them, they are irretrievable. By the tons every year. This is ongoing everyday.

    My only concern with US nuclear power plants is that as Americans having become a rather haphazard lot, they may not be capable of running such devices without error. We will have to outsource that. With our own kids testing in 30th @#$%^&* place and all in science disciplines, and other competencies, it could be too much to ask them to run a plant and not screw up.

    That scenario already legend, with Homer Simpson. I’m sure we would get a Burns like character to own and incorporate our plants too. All essential maintenance functions contracted out under minimum insured liability. All rights reserved and in no way liable. The american way.

    Storage is the ultimate issue, and France has the same problems we do, though a different angle in how to get around it. Imagine if we had spent a trillion dollars figuring out waste storage and redundant nuclear plants instead of clubbing Iraq? What honestly is scarier, and what are the ethical implications of some 1 million dead people related to our energy needs?(all of us).

  4. #4 by glenn on January 4, 2008 - 2:20 pm

    Richard, no one really worries about the DU uranium radiation component, it is that DU is as all other heavy metals vapourized in a round. TOXIC. Then there is the vaporized armor of destroyed vehicles, and destroyed material, that you breathe if you are near it, that has peoples panties in a bunch.

  5. #5 by glenn on January 4, 2008 - 2:22 pm

    Jenni; Storage is the ultimate issue, France is committing to figuring it out. We and china are committed to building as many new coal fired plants as we need.

  6. #6 by glenn on January 4, 2008 - 2:49 pm

    Ed, if it is to be, why not embrace it? Why not make it be done right, with State oversight? WHY not demand to run it yourselves? It would be a great industry for no load Utah.

    Brigham Young could start a program for research of storage methods, and training of People to learn how to run such a facility. You know..like European countries that provide education for upcoming and undeniable need?

    Naw…forget it…that would take foresight and leadership, let’s just pray to the Lord instead, that he will provide. Sure is cheaper, and we need only stay on our knees.

    Whats’ down there is Sevier Hole that you have visited lately? Could put all the solar panels down there too, and the thermal solar chimneys

    It would take 20 of the solar chimneys seen at the link to equal one big nuclear plant. Let’s put it all down there!! Divert all that excess heat from the nuclear plants through the solar chimneys for recovery. Awesome! Who needs water? I’m sure an air cooled nuke has been at least theorized.

  7. #7 by Jenni on January 4, 2008 - 3:59 pm

    In addition to dangers: uranium, like oil, is a finite resource and is therefore unsustainable.

    If we spend half the time and money we spend on nuclear to develop better and more effecient sustainable options, we’d be on our way to a much greener planet by now.

    Dangers: how many years would it take depleted uranium to be safe enough to hold in one’s bare hand? How many years are we able to protect humans and other life from this waste? A hundred years from now when the United States has ceased to exist, will you great grandchild living in this geographical area find a fun rock to play with not knowing how it will destroy his body? Once the nuke companies have made their big bucks, are they going to hang around and protect living creatures from their wastes for thousands of years?

    If we open up ourselves to being the planet’s nuke waste trash can, we open ourselves up to nuke plants as well. If we open ourselves to being the planet’s nuke trash can, what incentive is there to reduce waste? What incentive is there to fight high level nuke waste that’s even more dangerous and dangerous to every community it’s trucked through to get here? What incentive to do the truly sustainable thing ?

    There’s an interesting book out called “The World Without Us” and it talks about what would happen to every man made thing if humans were to suddenly disappear from the planet. He talks about how long it would take for the nuke plants to either meltdown or explode, depending on what part of the cycle it’s in at the time of abandonment.

    Now, imagine that not all humans have left the planet, but some catastrophe has made it impossible to get to the plants to maintain it. The plant has back ups, but they will only last so long. How many Chernobyls will we create? How many humans and other life will suffer and die so that we can power our tvs with nuke power instead of solar power.

    We owe it to future generations of humans to cut this crap out now. #1 We should be investing as heavily — in fact much more heavily — in sustainable options as we are nuclear ones. #2 We need to work on educating and other efforts to reduce the population: education for women, easily accessible birth control, comprehensive sex ed, and education about the effects of population on the ability for humans to survive.

  8. #8 by Larry Bergan on January 4, 2008 - 4:08 pm

    If depleted uranium is so darned safe, the places that produce it can keep it there. I am concerned that a guy named Steven Creamer, who gave us the Syncrete debacle and dams that break in southern Utah is in charge of bringing this waste to Utah.

    I was so concerned about this, I took my video camera down to the capitol and filmed our congresspeople voting to give Creamer the right to build his storage facility as high as he wanted to. It was like they were passing a bill on a new traffic signal.

    Only two congressmen stood up against it. One was a republican and the other was Phil Reisen, who said he was astonished by the role money plays in the decisions made on capitol hill.

  9. #9 by glenn on January 4, 2008 - 4:36 pm

    There is enough uranium in the sands of Saskatchewan to power our current energy needs for a very long time, way longer than coal and oil. Plus the breeder reactors make their own fuel.

    The math doesn’t bear this out Jenni, green for now will mitigate our needs, and reduce dependence, but it isn’t a honking 4000 megawatt plant snorting 24/7 . That’s real power. BTW, France has tried just about everything, and still, though 80% comes from nuclear, another 12% is hydro, with rest alternative, and oil, coal and gas plants.

    We don’t need less people Jenni, WE NEED MORE POWER!!

    Unlimited clean power can clean water, air, sewage, soil, make fertilizers through electrically powered chemistry, and be converted into mobile clean fuel. We want as many people as possible to reach the critical mass to leave here, and build up the Moon, Mars, or any other place we can get to. Right now our legacy is invested in Earth, and the record shows that one good sized galactic rock traveling 35k MPH can hit us, and wipe us out forever. Like a dinosaur. We’re getting off this rock, if we can in time. We at least need the ability to preserve our species. We aren’t going to stay here forever.

    You discount any future process of what to do with waste. Right now our own waste sitting in pools can be re-processed, it is just too “expensive”. Of course it is, when you can dig coal all day and burn it.

    Most people are not interested in your reduced population world, least of all the brown people that have always born the brunt of white de-population campaigns. Are you sure you haven’t been reading Malthus and Davenport?

    FYI, the campaign you speak of, de-population, has been enormously successful in Europe. So much so, that the current viable couple has produced 1.3 children through their joining. This, if the math is done, results in a halving of the indigenous population every 32 years. Read white. The immigration keeping Europes population stable, now is primarily from the Muslim, and Eastern European world, where birth rates are much higher, and people well understand the concept of breeding their competition out. Yeah, they aren’t so much interested in how they get power, as much as just getting power, in more forms than electricity.

    As for crap laying around, take responsibility, if it is to come, and it already is in Utah, the gig is up, so do something constructive, and make nuclear power an economically non viable option. Banning it isn’t about economics. We will be setting up panels for a long time. I have a plan for that too, down in the Sevier Desert. When you and I vanquish nuclear power, we’ll send a letter to the French, I’m sure they would invite us in for wine and cheese to listen to how we did it.

    In addition are you aware that there is an “Island” of trash twice the size of Texas made mostly of plastic that is floating between the gyres of the Pacific? What a resource!

  10. #10 by Richard Warnick on January 4, 2008 - 4:39 pm

    I’m no fan of Steve Creamer (we fought him on paving the Burr Trail 20 years ago). I certainly don’t like Energy Pollutions and their dump. But let’s face facts, depleted uranium won’t do anything to the human body unless ingested.

  11. #11 by Jenni on January 4, 2008 - 5:01 pm

    glenn — my population decrease suggestion is not racist in the least, although I’ve no doubt that there are some pop.control groups that are coming from that angle.

    mine’s the quality of life angle — when women receive an adequate education, they tend to have less children, and are less likely to live in poverty. Decreasing the population with this method is therefore anti-sexist.

    If we were to (yes this is a really big stretch) voluntarily limit ourselves to one child per family worldwide, by the end of the 21st century we’d be down to what our population was at the beginning of the 20th — about 1.6 billion people versus the 9+ billion we are expected to reach by mid-century at current rates. 1.6 billion people use far fewer resources than 9-12 billion people and is far more manageable for a healthy planet.

    Smaller world population: better quality of life for women, cleaner air, cleaner water. More places for plants and animals to thrive.

    Richard – I remember hearing all kinds of stories about cancers and birth defects from depleted uranium weapon use in Iraq. Good to know that was overblown.

  12. #12 by glenn on January 4, 2008 - 5:38 pm

    Jenni; Good luck with de-population, you have better chances with an asteroid.

    Jenni here is the “solar” math.

    Current panels are 36 inches by 40 inches for 120 watts.

    1 big nuclear reactor is 4000 mega watt, or 4,000,000,000 watts.

    4,000,000,000/ 120= 33,333,333 solar panels required to equal 4k MW nuclear reactor. 33.3 million panels

    Let us just say that each panel takes up a square yard. It does not, it is bigger, and of course there is space between panels, but for the ease of math we will use a sq. yard.

    1 square mile = 3 097 600 square yards.

    So… 33,333,333 solar panels/ 3,097,600 = 10.76 Yes, 33 million panels.

    10.76 square miles of solar panels will be required to equal the output of 1, 4 THOUSAND MW nuclear reactor.

    So lets average up, because I went small to begin with, let’s say by the time it was all said and done, spaces between panels, roads, etc, etc, we would need an area at LEAST 12 square miles to equal ONE large nuclear reactor.

    That solar farm won’t work at night, or half the time of the day, year round.

    So DOUBLE its size, so as to generate what that 1 nuclear reactor would produce.

    2 X 12 = 24 24 square miles needed of panels to do what 1 nuke will do. The panels last 25 years currently. A good nuke 60 years.

    Oh yeah cost. 500 dollars x 33,333,333= 16,666,666,666 or 17 billion for the panels alone. Not counting mounting infrastructure and road network, staff, and squeegees. Oops, forgot to double it because of the night time no worky thing.

    So 34 Billion dollars for the panels alone. Quite a front load.

    24 sq miles is a goodly portion of the Salt Lake metro area, so the Sevier desert is good no? What becomes of habitat that no longer has the sun shining on it?

    Jenni, just an exercise, I am not opposed, but you can begin to see when all thought out, why the French have 56 nuclear power plants.

    I will do more research, but on a kilowatt basis, solar power is the most expensive means of generation to date, with nuclear being the cheapest means that does not produce greenhouse gas on a per kilowatt basis. The 24/7 aspect of nuclear and the raw magnitude of power in one small space is the main appeal to nuclear.

    Just think, fame! Utah could change its name to the beehive honey bucket state! Or the whole nuke storage area could be under cover of solar panels, so as to mitigate water migration of contaminants. All down in the Sevier Hole. How about Utah, the shady state?

  13. #13 by glenn on January 4, 2008 - 6:36 pm

    In addition Jenni a world without man, would have its areas of devastation, and of course uranium, which is after all a pretty common element and widely dispersed in many areas of the globe, especially Utah sandstones.

    Look at the area around Chernobyl, site of the worst man made nuclear industry disaster. People have been dis-allowed from living near the contaminated zone and as is to be expected, wildlife inside the zone is thriving. It would appear that the presence of radiation is less harmful than the nearness of humans. Whatever the mutations, it sure can’t be called a “dead” zone.

    This in only 20 odd years after human vacation.

  14. #14 by glenn on January 4, 2008 - 6:41 pm

    Ed; Yes Virginia, there is a Santa Claus, and he lives in Utah!

  15. #15 by caveat on January 5, 2008 - 11:37 am

    While Santa may reside in Utah, the Lokata seem to be claims on our neighbor, Wyoming. There is also a primary ballot-off in that great state as I type. Will the voters even consider that much of what they seem to believe is a part of the USA might be represented in the future by neither pub nor dem, but by a national government of the Lakota?

    Just wondering.

  16. #16 by glenn on January 5, 2008 - 11:48 am

    Long as you do as you are told, and pay the bills, you can call yourself anything you want.

    The Lakota will have to mix and negotiate their claims with the Blackfoots and Shoshone, not to mention all the half black, half Indian elements from the stationing of blacks as US soldiers in the 1890’s and on, around the area of Lander. Almost all those Indians are part black, uh, African American. With that much chaotic lineage who do we imagine will win that battle?

    Whoever grants the monies. Out of thin air.

  17. #17 by caveat on January 11, 2008 - 8:47 pm

    From Bouphonia Re nuke waste : …a good example of how the principle of consent can lead to massive injustice, given that the consent sought is that of a small subset of the present generation to collude with the Government in imposing unasked for and unfair burdens on future generations. The risk of long term disposal, unquantifiable as they are, are inevitabley, unequitably shunted onto future generations.

    See also: economic burden of present war.

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