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Obama's Atomic Solyndra?

By harveywasserman - Posted on 19 April 2012

Obama's Atomic Solyndra?

The future of nuclear power now hangs on a single decision by President Obama---and us. 

His Office of Management and Budget could cave to the unsustainable demands of reactor builders who cannot handle the standard terms of a loan agreement.  

Or he could defend basic financial procedures and stand up for the future of the American economy. 

You can help make this decision, which will come soon.  

It's about a proposed $8.33 billion nuke power loan guarantee package for two reactors being built at Georgia's Vogtle.   Obama anointed it last year for the Southern Company, parent to Georgia Power.  Two other reactors sporadically operate there.  Southern just ravaged the new construction side of the site, stripping virtually all vegetation.  

It's also stripped Georgia ratepayers of ever-more millions of dollars, soon to become billions.  This project is in the Peach State for its law forcing the public to pay for reactor construction in advance.  When the project fails, or the reactors melt, the public still must pay.  A taste of what's coming has emerged in shocking defects in poured concrete at the site which will cost millions to correct and months of delay on a project whose construction has barely begun. 

Nonetheless, Southern runs virtually no financial risk.  It actually has an interest in never finishing.  Florida is now in turmoil, trying to rid itself of a similar Construction Work in Progress law. 

Worldwide estimated reactor costs have jumped from $3-5 billion each a few short years ago to $10 billion or more, and rising. 

Uranium prices are set to soar as the supply of Russian weapons-based fuel is about done.  And renewables have long since outstripped atomic energy as being cheaper, faster to build, cleaner, safer, more reliable and open to community ownership. 

There are virtually no private investors willing to back new reactor construction.  There are no private insurers willing to take the risk on operating reactors.  There is no place to store the radioactive wastes they generate. 

Operating reactors in Vermont, New York, California and elsewhere now face ferocious public uprisings to get them shut.   

They are being joined by Governors, US Senators and entire legislatures.  Peter Shumlin, Governor of Vermont, has appeared at a major public rally to shut Yankee.  The legislature long ago voted (26-4) the same way.  Shumlin was joined by US Senator Bernie Sanders, who has issued a stunning denunciation of the loan guarantees.  US Senator Ron Wyden of Orgeon has published a serious warning about the on-going dangers of Fukushima, which he recently visited. 

Once the public kills one of these elderly reactors, a tsunami of shutdowns among the 104 currently licensed in the US will follow. 

Germany and much of the rest of Europe have abandoned the technology.  Bulgaria has just scrapped plans for two proposed generators.  Major banking institutions have warned potential investors in Britain's planned reactors that if they proceed, they will lose their financial standing.  Mexico has also said it won't build new nukes.   

In Asia, only one of Japan's 54 licensed reactors now operates, and it may soon shut.  Huge demonstrations and hunger strikes are raging against a proposed project at Koodankulam, India.  The Philippines says it won't build any reactors at all.  China, the last bastion of any apparent large-scale interest in multiple nukes, seems to be wavering, in part because of the rise of a No Nukes movement there. 

Here, two reactors barely beginning construction in South Carolina are also in deep trouble.  Their builders need massive rate hikes in North Carolina to proceed, and the opposition there is fierce. 

But the lynchpin is Vogtle.  The construction loan guarantee program got $18.5 billion from George W. Bush in 2005. With the industry in deepening chaos, it took until last year for a president to designate less than half that money.  For the first time in years, there is no Executive or Congressional request to put more money into the fund.   

The French National Utility EDF did step forward to get funding for Maryland's proposed Calvert Cliffs project.  But haggling over terms contributed to its demise. 

Now Southern faces the same abyss.  It refuses what the mortgage community would consider a normal 20% downpayment on its taxpayer-funded loan.  Southern wants to put virtually none of its own money into the project, leaving the radioactive gamble totally to the public. 

But the Office of Management and Budget is apparently demanding something more reasonable.  Because the OMB is a White House agency, Obama holds the key.  It's our job to make him turn it in a green direction. 

A short while ago, this package was considered a done deal.  But the GOP uproar over the failed $535 million loan to the solar company Solyndra changed to context.  Initiated by Bush, Republicans have made Solyndra the poster child for bad federal loans. 

Vogtle involves some 15 times Solyndra's liability.  And it's all Obama's.  At least three petitions are circulating against the package.   

There are many ways to finally shut down what has been the most expensive technological failure in human history.  Fukushima and the killing power of radiation, the unsolved problem of radioactive waste, the campaigns against failing reactors such as Vermont Yankee, Indian Point, San Onofre and Davis-Besse—all are key.  The first weekend in May, a conference convened by the Sierra Club in Washington, DC, will weigh the various strategies. 

But killing this loan guarantee package could finally kill the prospect of new reactors in the US.  The astonishing rise of Solartopian green technologies has far outstripped atomic energy in the marketplace.  Every delay deeply diminishes the possibility of building more of these profoundly uneconomic anachronisms. 

In the long run, Vogtle, Summer and any other new nukes that seem to slip through in the short term will almost certainly be stopped by what has become one of the most powerful non-violent social movements in human history. 

But right now, it's up to Obama—and us.  Does he really want an atomic Solyndra on his hands?  Will we really let this happen? 

Let's relieve the President of this radioactive burden.  Let's kill these reactors before they kill us, and take the most significant leap of all toward a green-powered Earth. 

Harvey Wasserman's SOLARTOPIA!  Our Green-Powered Earth is at, along with HARVEY WASSERMAN'S HISTORY OF THE US.  He edits, and his Green Power & Wellness Show airs at Originally published by 


Fukushima and other nuclear plants in Japan could still wipe out humanity if its meltdown's are not contained, which could radiate the whole world and end humanity.  Social movements to end these dangerous technologies have been up against a marriage of corporate power linked to State despotism, which ignored majorities and puts humanity into extinction crisis,so that the WESTERN FASCIST CORPORATE/MILITARY ALLIANCE can go on forever, how their FASCISM is called FREE MARKETS.   These class dogmas class myths, regarding corporations and Free markets has degenerated, deformed all politicians into CLASS WHORES, CLASS THUG, morphing from Fascist appeasement of Republicans, into Fascists themselves.   The endless CLASS COMPROMISE into corporate Fascism, by Obama has replicated the NAZI, FASCIST SLOGAN ABOVE THE CONCENTRATION CAMPS, that Fascism is Freedom, the enslaved labor is Free labor, that Slavery and enslavement is the free world, where whole majorities are ignored, threatened with nuclear annihilation, radiation, SO THAT OBAMA CAN PROVE TO THE WORLD THAT WESTERN FASCISM,MILITARISM, CORPORATE TYRANNY ARE ALL ABOUT FREEDOM, WHEN HE HIMSELF HAS BECOME A TOTALITARIAN who puts humanity's very survival into question to serve CORPORATE FASCISM, EMPIRE FASCISM.

Class politicians who risk the whole world, not to mention humanity should be SWEPT OFF THE FACE OF POWER, CLASS POWER, by refusing to vote for these class thugs, corrupt despots, WORLD WIDE, and dismantling their class parties, class ideologies, through socia power, social, moral logic, and expose them for what they have become, Fascist class politicians.   The South loves ENSLAVED LABOR, whether it was the commercial slavery of Africans, or todays's enslavement through fascist fiscal policies, fascist austerity, WHOLE NATIONS BEING ENSLAVED BY CORPORATIONS.    As I said before, Obamas trajectory into FASCIST SUPPORT for Empire, for corporate fascism, for Police Fascism ONLY SERVES TO EMPOWER THESE NEW SLAVE MASTERS IN GEORGIA.....AND THEIR RACISM.

Democracy Now had on Cornell West and Travis Smiley to discuss the new FASCIST/CLASS reality, that 1 in 2 Americans, 150 million of us have been impoverished by Corporations and Finance Capital, destroying the partial middle class that was always under the thumb of crippling class democracies, degenerating into concentrated oligarchy and Fascism.   Whole nations, half of the country ARE ENSLAVED BY UNEQUAL WEALTH OUTCOMES, CLASS OUTCOMES, DEFORMED OUTCOMES, TOTALITARIAN OUTCOMES, FASCISM:

Tavis Smiley & Cornel West on "The Rich and the Rest of Us: A Poverty Manifesto" (video)


"The latest census data shows nearly one in two Americans, or 150 million people, have fallen into poverty — or could be classified as low income. We’re joined by Dr. Cornel West and Tavis Smiley, who continue their efforts to spark a national dialogue on the poverty crisis with the new book, "The Rich and the Rest of Us: A Poverty Manifesto." Smiley, an award-winning TV and radio broadcaster, says President Obama has failed to properly tackle poverty. "There seems to be a bipartisan consensus in Washington that the poor just don’t matter. President Obama is a part of that," Smiley says..."







All symptons of degeneration and criminality signal larger failures, failed class states, failed class history, failed class politicians, failed class parties, failed class ideologies.   Glenn Greenwald, once again, smacks the criminality, STATE TERRORIST foreign policies, Fascist, military alliances of NATO, U.S. Empire to "DRONE SICKNESS".      It points to the failure of the Amerikan public to be informed about earlier criminality, State Terrorist , fascist foreign policies, which existed BEFORE 9/11, THAT BROUGH COUNTER TERRORISM TO U.S. soil.    We are responsible for 9/11 not caring, not wanting to know what is being done in our name. 

Of course, the yahoos, rednecks, fascists, were quick to use 9/11 as the NAZI REICHSTAG, FASCIST OPPORTUNITY,  to co opt a criminal matter into a military matter to justify MORE STATE TERRORISM, MORE FASCISM, MORE MILITARY BASES, MORE WARS aimed at most of the world, particularly, the Muslim populations.   This kind of CO OPTING, PHONY WAR AGAINST TERRORISM, that replicates the reason , BLOWBACK, 9/11 happened, will destroy Amerika into a NAZI STATE, FASCIST STATE AND EMPIRE, that too will end badly for the morons, racists, idiots who never ask questions, except to DEMAND MORE FASCISM, MORE PERMANENT WARS AND GUTLESS, criminal Drone murders by FASCIST MILITARISTS, FASCIST DEMOCRATS, OBAMA,HILLARY, AND THEIR FASCIST PARTNERS THE REPUBLICAN NAZI THUGS.   I was raised in a military family, and had two American military fathers, (one killed in Korea) and as an Army Brat, this institution has always been imperial, but now is clearly Fascist:


America’s drone sickness


This headline and first paragraph from today’s Washington Post scoop by Greg Miller speaks volumes about so many things:




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