Blood for Uranium

by lizard

The San Onofre nuclear power plant in Southern California—which has been shutdown since January, 2012—will not reopen:

The owners of the San Onofre nuclear power plant in Southern California, which has been shut since January 2012, said on Friday that they would close it permanently because of uncertainty over when it could be reopened.

The two reactors at San Onofre had not run since a small amount of radioactive steam escaped from new tubes damaged by vibration and friction. Coming months after the Fukushima Daiichi meltdown in Japan, the event prompted a wave of public opposition and set off a legal and regulatory battle that included Southern California Edison, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, which manufactured the parts that leaked.

Those parts, called steam generators, cost more than $600 million. In the end, uncertainty over the plant’s fate “was not good for our customers, our investors, or the need to plan for our region’s long-term electricity needs,” said Theodore F. Craver Jr., chief executive of the utility’s parent company, Edison International.

For an administration with close ties to the nuclear industry, this news represents a setback. From the link:

While campaigning for president in 2008, Barack Obama promised that nuclear power would remain part of the US’s “energy mix”. His chief adviser, David Axelrod, had consulted in the past for Illinois energy company ComEd, a subsidiary of Exelon, a major nuclear-energy producer. Obama’s former chief of staff Rahm Emanuel played a key role in the formation of Exelon.

The Obama Administration’s ties to nuclear energy corporations like Exelon may be playing a much more significant role in shaping Obama’s foreign policy.

According to the scrappy investigative journalist, Greg Palast, if Bush’s foreign policy could be seen as blood for oil, with Obama, it’s blood for uranium:

I was once asked by a radio host to explain why Obama was so insistent on a massive military surge in Afghanistan. I said, “Who the hell knows?”

That was before I saw the Army’s missing “Country Study” of the mineral bonanza. It’s simple, it’s cruel and it’s how the world works. As I’ve said, if you liked blood for oil, you’ll love blood for uranium. While Obama had little use for the Iraq war over oil, war for uranium is another matter altogether.

Bush and Cheney came from the oil patch. To oilmen, Iraq has “strategic” value. Obama comes from the nuclear power patch, Chicago, home of America’s largest nuclear plant operator and one of Obama’s largest backers, Exelon Corporation.

Exelon was created by investment banker Rahm Emanuel – a deal that created Rahm’s personal fortune – before he became Obama’s White House Chief of Staff. (Emanuel is now Mayor of Chicago.) Exelon’s CEO was one of Obama’s earliest and largest fundraisers.

And David Axelrod, the man whose PR message of Hope and Change made Obama leader of the free world, made himself a leader of the PR world, says Bloomberg Business Week, by “operating from the shadows” to create fake “consumer” groups for Exelon.

Would President Obama really send Americans to die just for a bunch of uranium?

Yes, yes he would.

Obama always pitched the Afghan War as the good, sensible war to be fighting, and he followed through once elected with his “surge”. With help from the New York Times, which reported in 2010 on the vast mineral wealth below the barren landscape, the exploitive potential for Obama’s Chicago boys must have seemed too tantalizing to pass up. That, and the geopolitical competition with China made Afghanistan a must control region for Obama’s team of imperialists.

  1. Big Johansson

    Interesting to note that no (as of yet) has died of radiation poisoning from the Fukushima disaster.

    • JC

      There we go with that old cause and effect type of minimization thinking, again. Call it whitewashing, or what have you. Of course we could always look at the story like this:

      “Combining the projected spread of radioactive material with a standard radiation health-effects model, co-authors John Hoeve, a recent Stanford Ph.D. graduate, and civil engineering professor Mark Jacobson calculated that between 15 and 1,300 premature deaths would occur as a result of the accident.

      Within that wide range, the team poses a best guess of 130 direct deaths resulting from radiation inhalation and exposure.

      Those findings contest the hypothesis, circulated among some experts in the aftermath of the accident, that radioactive fallout from the Fukushima disaster would not result in any long-term human mortality…

      ‘We know that there were 600 deaths that resulted from the evacuation,” due primarily to stress and fatigue, he said. “There were also between 10 and 12 worker fatalities at the Fukushima plants. Our estimate looks at the expected deaths over a lifetime of exposure to low levels of radiation.'”

  2. mike

    This is too funny, Rahmbo and Axelrod are shills for the nuclear energy industry and uranium in Afghanistan is why we’ve been there for over a decade.

    FYI we have unlimited amounts of nuclear fuels domestically, whether we choose to go that route is an entirely different question.

    You look like an idiot if you posit that there is a connection here. You rail against the tea party while failing to see your idiotic rants are as baseless as the dumb shit righty’s throw out there. You have zero credibility but blog on , you a full of shit , you have a mouthpiece and a few weak minds who might think what you have to say is relevant. You are the poster child for an nold saying I find useful, “It’s your fantasy, I’ll stay out of it.

    • lizard19

      when I write posts, Mike, I usually include links and quotes to source material, so you may need to broaden your attack to include investigative journalists like Palast who are positing not just exploiting resources as a contributing factor to our imperial presence, but also competition with China to procure the materials used in weapons systems.

    • JC

      Why do you think we’ve been there for almost 12 years, eh, MIke? I suppose you buy the neocon line.

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