Sunday, September 6, 2009


An Editorial by Gregg Vickrey, Chairman, The Alliance
September 6, 2009, concerning the:

U.S. Uranium and Nuclear Power Outlook: 2008 - 2030
Presented to:National Research Council of the National Academies
Presented by:Tom Pool
Chairman, International Nuclear
November 18, 2008

Although I could point out all of the obvious errors in this completely bias report BY THE NUCLEAR INDUSTRY TO THE NATIONAL RESEARCH COUNCIL of the NATIONAL ACADEMIES (NAS?), I will only address the section entitled: "Opposition"

This one section of the report serves to prove that the pro nuke, uranium mining & milling bunch, are frightened of, no, TERRORIZED by, the rational people that oppose their for profit slaughter of human beings (including children), animals and fish, and the environment all over the world. This section is a deliberate attempt to subliminally effect the emotions of the reader.
It attempts to make anybody opposed to nuke power, uranium mining and milling, seem like a group of paranoid fanatics. It is meant to gain pro-nuke, pro-uranium mining & milling followers by deliberately creating the mind set: "if I oppose this, I will be labeled and vilified. Worse, I will be considered stupid (remember the old story: "The Emperor's new clothes"?). It is marketing and public relations at it's best. In professional terms, it's called "branding". Although typical branding is done to create positive "top of mind awareness" in the mind of the consumer - in this case, the NRC of the NA (NAS?) - this marketing, PR drive is determined to create a negative impression of anyone that dares oppose the for profit corporations as represented by Tom Pool, Chairman, International Nuclear.

So, without further ado, please let me address the picture that he paints of the "opposition":

In Tom's own words: "Most opposition can be Characterized as":

– Lack of Understanding (Fear of the Unknown) This is true. Based on the problematic history of nuclear power, uranium mining and milling world wide, the current problems and issues (more are discovered every day), the lack of any new technology that significantly improves the probability of successful nuclear power generation, uranium mining and milling, and the fact that uranium mining and milling has never been done any where in the world with the climate and population density of Virginia, creating a HUGE UNKNOWN that can NEVER be addressed, except as theory - making Virginia the biggest potential experiment in nuke energy fuel production EVER in the history of the United States - we , the people that rationally oppose this boondoggle, proudly lay claim to NOT UNDERSTANDING WHY OUR ELECTED OFFICIALS, IN OFFICE TO LOOK AFTER OUR WELL BEING, NOT THE PROFITS OF CORPORATIONS HELL BENT TO TAKE OVER OUR LANDS AND TRAMPLE ON OUR INALIENABLE RIGHTS, PUSH THE AGENDA OF FOR PROFIT CORPORATIONS (even foreign corporations) INSTEAD OF LOOKING OUT FOR THE PEOPLE THEY WERE ELECTED TO, AND ARE PAID TO, REPRESENT.

Yes, we are fearful that our elected officials are so beholding to for profit (even foreign) corporations
that they will NEVER listen to the will of the people. They (the politicians) claim that this is "business" as usual (taking money from corporations to pay for their election campaigns). I say IT'S TIME TO CHANGE THE WAY WE DO BUSINESS!

We, the opposition, do not need to look very hard to find all of the reasons that nuke power, uranium mining and milling, should not be done! OUR POLITICIANS NEED TO UNDERSTAND THAT IT IS NOT UP TO THEM TO DECIDE IF NUKE POWER, URANIUM MINING & MILLING SHOULD BE DONE. This decision is up to the people. Their ONLY job is to implement the will of the people. If they cannot handle this simple task, it is time for us - THE PEOPLE - to vote them out of office! We need politicians that KNOW they do not work for corporations, domestic and/or foreign! They need to understand, they work for us! Just because WE elected them to office, WE did not give them Carte' blanch to do whatever they want to do. WE also did not agree to serve THEM.

THE CORPORATIONS and THEIR PUPPETS, our elected officials, HAVE GONE OUT OF THEIR WAY TO STIFLE THOSE WHO DISAGREE WITH THEM. They call us names, they emotionally and defensively challenge our facts without providing any new or better information. Our politicians hide behind questionable "studies" so that they can justify serving their corporate masters. They make stop overs and declare that a proposed, potentially lethal to millions uranium mine & mill is "far away from everything"! They (the politicians) expect you to accept this declaration as an item of fact. Never mind that a look at any map will give truth to their lies! They refuse to take a stand on the most important issue that Virginia has ever faced. There has not been an assault like this on the people's rights since the war of Northern Aggression! Our politicians have become the "bully" on the beach.

• Connection With Nuclear Weapons DUH! Uranium is processed into weapons grade material to create nuclear bombs! Depleted uranium (the spent, or used up uranium power rods from domestic nuclear power plants) is used to coat bombs and the ordinance used in conventional weapons (riffles, hand guns, etc.). These depleted uranium bunker busters, and gun ordinance that our soldiers carry, have been reported to have been, and continue to be, used extensively in the USA's middle east wars - Iraq & Afghanistan. Our military is coming home with the effects of this low level radiation poisoning as we speak. That is, if they're lucky enough to come home at all. If we should be fighting these wars or not is a subject for another discussion. As for a "connection with nuclear weapons", there can be no doubt.

Our Federal, State, and Local Governments (our elected servants) would like for us to believe that there is no danger from the nuke industry at any phase of it. Do the minimum of research and you will find that this is absolutely not true, A LIE! They (the politicians that work for the foreign and domestic corporations) would like for us to believe that we need nuclear energy to solve our domestic energy problems in terms of production of energy, and cost for that energy. They tout nuke energy as renewable, clean and affordable. This is THE BIGGEST LIE! Our existing nuclear energy production facilities (nuke plants) are at, and/or, reaching the end of their safe operating life cycles. There are new nuke plants on the table, but none of them are in, or anywhere close, to the beginning of construction. Why? (1) Private banks will not finance them because of the risks (financially, environmentally, and long term return on investment) without 100% loan guarantees from OUR federal government. That would be TRILLIONS of DOLLARS, our (the tax payers) dollars, invested in a non-renewable, 20 year max resource. (2) Although the industry has tried, there is no "cookie cutter" physical plant plan to mass produce nuclear power generation plants. ALL nuke plants must be individually engineered (meaning no economy of scale = MORE DOLLARS TO BUILD, including the inevitable cost over-runs) per location. Of the 30 or so plans currently under consideration, none of the future nuke plant blueprints have been approved. They simply do not meet the requirements of the authorizing governmental agencies.

So, if our existing nuke plants will all be shut down in a very few number of years, and new nuke plants, even if authorized to be built starting today, cannot come on line for at least 10 - 30 years, providing that they can get financing (which they can't - that's why some power companies in the USA are increasing their prices for electricity - they need to build a fund), why do we need uranium mining and milling at Cole's Hill or any other place in America? Why is the USA selling off excess uranium? We know why the USA imports uranium! It's to keep the bad guys from getting it. This is why Russia has such a lucrative deal with the USA to provide us with around 20% of our uranium needs. We need to corral their uranium stock piles to keep them from going to unfriendlies (to the United States) that will use the uranium to develop nuke and depleted uranium weapon capabilities. This is our (our government, not necessarily representing the people) nuke power problem with countries like Iran. They claim to want a domestic source of nuke energy, but do they? We (our government) claims to want a domestic nuke energy program, but do we (them, the corporation's paid for politicians)? In light of all of the other, truly sustainable, truly "green" Tree Hugger options for domestic energy - including the idea of pouring the nuke trillions of dollars into decentralizing our power supplies by investing in property by property energy independence through solar, wind, etc., that could then provide excess power into our centralized grid - why would we (the people) put up with the archaic, so yesterday, anti people and environment methods of power production that will give us they same old, same old? Sounds like a recipe for functional obsolescence. The same
functional obsolescence that killed our auto industry. Something is NOT right. But, I'm sure that, as Tom promotes, we are too stupid to figure it out. After all, a bunch of ignorant rubes should not have anything to do with running the country. Leave that to the governmental experts!

• Chernobyl & Three Mile Island More "Lack of Understanding" and "Fear of the Unknown"? You bet! The ignorant masses, otherwise known worldwide as the "Opposition", do not understand how Chernobyl & Three Mile Island could have happened in light of governmental and corporate assurance that all was well, that melt downs could not possibly happen! In the case of Three Mile Island, the corporate lackeys (otherwise known as our elected government officials) led us to believe that there couldn't possibly be any danger because Three Mile Island was/is extremely well regulated and controlled. Inspections would/will surely find any potential problem(s) and make sure that it never causes any serious situations. Less serious problems, based on what is allowed to be a problem by regulations, will (and do) happen, but these problems will only effect a small number of people, lands, and water ways. If these people are scared, they can move - nobody is stopping them. Nobody is forcing them to live in the proximity of a major life threatening catastrophe waiting to happen. The people living in the area knew the risks - there was plenty of debate with the stupid opposition - why did they stay? I'm sure (as Walter Coles Jr. said to me in one of VUI's private presentations) that there was a boom in the real estate prices when uranium, I mean, nuke industry people moved in to fill well paying jobs. Why didn't they sell then? Idiots! I guess they just didn't understand! Guess they're not afraid enough of what "they don't know" to do the smart thing and leave. Because information about Three Mile Island, and every other nuke power plant and uranium mining and milling operation all over the world is readily available to anyone that really wants to know the truth. The pro nukers, miners & millers are not responsible for the ignorance of the masses! Their ignorance is proof as to why corporations, through their elected governing officials, should rule.

– Prejudice BRAVO! What a GREAT MARKETING, PUBLIC RELATIONS WORD to label the "Opposition" with! The word "prejudice" brings to mind ignorant people that are racist and more. Think "Neo-Nazis, Rednecks, Hicks, Stupid, Country Bumpkins, Politically Incorrect (OH NO! NOT POLITICALLY INCORRECT!), etc.

The pro nuke, uranium mining and milling people will try to convince you that anyone opposed to them, you know, the prejudice people that do not want nuke power, and by extension uranium mining and milling, and because, for some reason we are opposed to progress, are just, well, prejudice. Wish I would have thought of this for our opposition campaign! But then, I don't have a Million Dollar Plus (provided by foreign corporations) PR and Marketing budget. If I had thought of this label, I would have said that the pro folks are prejudice against truly sustainable, healthy electric power generation. Oh well! They thought of it first. Guess I'll just try to convince folks to be "discerning" when looking at the issues.

– Mysticism I am indeed mystified! I think it's "magic" the way the pro-nuclear, pro-uranium mining and milling folks twist and ignore the facts. I find it fascinating that they always come up with the money to get their way. I must suspend my disbelief when watching the slight of hand that happens when their lobbyists lobby (that's what they do. A lobbyist's job is to get an elected public servant to do a corporations will) OUR elected officials. Perhaps the corporations have hired an untold number of hypnotists? I can see it now... the room is dark, all eyes are on the lobbyist/hypnotist... the smell of money is wafting through the room (you know, for ambiance), and the lobbyist/hypnotist says: " You are all very greedy..., you all love money and power (rumor has it that you can't hypnotize someone to do anything that they are not already inclined to do)... you will all vote for a "study"..., you will all vote for uranium mining and milling in Virginia... When you awake at the count of three, you will not experience any remorse... You will not worry or think about your lack of personal fact finding... despite the fact that you have many personal aides that could do this for you... at tax payer expense..., Tax payers are only there to provide money for your wants and needs ..., You will be relaxed, happy, and rich... 1.., 2..., 3.....

– Political Positioning You are smart people, despite what Tom thinks! Need I say anything more on this topic? If your answer is yes, I still think that you're smart, but a glutton for punishment.

– Over Reaction I know that many people wrestle with this. What is the "proper" amount of reaction? How should it be expressed? When is it "under reaction"? How can we possibly know in this age of "blip" communication, where we might be misunderstood? What is the "proper" means to react? Who will give us the answers to these profound questions? Are the pro-nuke, uranium mining & milling folks causing us to "react"? If not, who is? Why have I never thought about these issues until VUI/Santoy/Virginia Energy Resources, INC. (whatever they call themselves this week) expressed the desire to make Billions of Dollars by mining and milling uranium in Pittsylvania County? Do the pro-uranium mining & milling folks have the answers? Didn't Walter Cole's say that HE would decide if uranium is mined and milled in Pittsylvania County (and the rest of VA by extension) publicly when he was quoted in many newspapers throughout Virginia as saying "if it can't be done safely, it won't be done"? Did I get short changed on information regarding Walter's qualifications to make this decision for the rest of us? Henry Hurt is quoted as saying: "If we can put a man on the moon, surely we can figure out how to safely mine (and mill) uranium (in the Commonwealth)". I know Henry is smart, but isn't this two different things? Isn't Tom's presentation to the NRC to the NA (NAS?) full of opinion and hyperbole, designed to discredit anyone with questions, never mined opposed to, nuke power, uranium mining & milling? Somebody! Please help me to react appropriately to this demeaning, paid for by the nuke industry, presentation! I'm at a loss... of knowledge as to the correct amount of reaction I should have to this insulting presentation, and the lack of indignation from MY elected officials, and... money to present real facts by people that are rightfully opposed to nuke energy, uranium mining and milling

I don't have a Million Dollar Plus marketing & Public Relations budget. I only have this one little blog and the goodwill (if I become a "story") of the media. Perhaps Tom will help me to react appropriately...

– Media Sensationalism MY EXPERIENCE IS THAT THE "MEDIA" TYPICALLY DOES NOT "SENSATIONALIZE"!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Except for editorial opinion pieces that can make, or break a movement that "they" don't approve of (let the "media" - Danville Register & Bee - figure out what I mean by this). Typically, the "media" reports. That's their job. You will always have young, cub reporters (think John Crane) that, if there is nothing newsworthy that's sensational, will create sensation in how he chooses to report. This "killing of the Golden Goose" is how these young reporters, to their chagrin, think that they can create a "story" worth printing. Anyone that has undergone "how to deal with the media 101" in corporate training knows to watch out for this. Even so, sometimes you get blind-sided by an overzealous, trying-to-be-up-and-comer reporter.

It's up to the "warring factions" to make news, and "sensationalize" a subject. The media coverage of dissenting voices is Tom's topic in this presentation to the NRC of the NA (NAS?). My opinion is that Tom is warning the "media". He's telling them to print only the pro-nuke, pro-uranium mining and milling perspectives or risk the wrath of the "powers that be".

Unless, of course, they are favorably reporting the pro side of things! Some "media" might be happy with that. Unfortunately, the era of true investigative reporting has gone the way of the dinosaur. It's much more cost effective to "stir the pot" than to truly dig in and uncover the facts! If this is not true, let the "media" prove me wrong. Let the "media" not make decisions about content based on advertising dollars. Let the "media" prove that "news" and "investigative journalism" is based on issues independent of ratings, readership, advertising (real or potential) dollars, and political influence. Let the "media" win back the respect that it once had. This is the ONLY way that the "media" can counter the charge of "media sensationalism" leveled by the pro-nuke, pro-uranium mining & milling industry.

– Mistrust of Government Regulators
Let's see... where to begin... No matter which side of the aisle you are on, all of us can list a multitude of sins (some listed in this editorial) that cause us, as individuals and groups of people, to not trust "The Government". Why is that? Why is it that the only constituency that does trust "The Government" has names that end in INC. and LLC? Could it be that these "people" know something that we don't?

Look, there are plenty (a majority) of companies and corporations, both for-profit and not-for-profit, that are "good corporate citizens". Indeed, non-profits (such as The Alliance, CELDF, SCC, United Way, Kids & Kritters to name a few) could not exist without the American corporate structure. There would also be many (vastly many) jobs that would not exist without small, for-profit enterprises. But, let's be realistic! None of these not-for-profit and small for-profit corporations can dictate "government regulations" like national & international corporations can.

Surprise! Our elected and appointed government officials DO NOT dictate "government regulations" So, who does dictate "government regulations"?

Big corporations. Not local Mom & Pops. Really HUGE corporations. The kind of corporations that put local (including regional and some state wide) businesses out of business! These conglomerates, often financed from foreign (not American) resources, such as VUI/Santoy/Virginia Energy Resources - a wholly owned CANADIAN corporation - have the financial resources to buy anything they want! Including our government. How do they do this? They have a multi-prong approach (just go to the Canadian stock exchange to see what Walter & company is up to). They promote their cause publicly through the media and charitable donations. In fact, they put millions of dollars (don't believe for one minute the "small company" poverty plea of VUI, "America") into "Public Education, Public Relations, Advertising, and Marketing campaigns".

They hire the best, high powered lobbyists that they can afford (trust me, they have the best). These lobbyists write the proposed legislation. Remember, it was Whitt Clement, Brother-In-Law to Walter Coles, (the man that has taken it upon himself to decide if uranium mining & milling is "safe" on his property - he owns the biggest share of the ore that, when mined & milled, will pay him, at minimum, Millions. The ore is estimated to be worth Billions as long as there is a domestic world wide nuke energy market for it. No wonder VUI's private presentations focus on the nuclear industry instead of the local issue of uranium mining & milling. In fact, you really can't get them - VUI - to talk much about the local issue of uranium mining and milling) and a renowned Richmond lobbyist that convinced VA Senator Frank Wagner to include uranium mining and milling in his 2006 energy bill, later adopted by the Governor of Virginia. We (the people) have been under the threat of this scourge on humanity ever since. We, the people, NEVER asked for this controversy. Walter Coles and his investors forced this controversy on us, against our will. They have manipulated the General Assembly, the Coal & Energy Commission (not an elected panel, but an appointed panel responsible to, and reporting to no one. So, what's in this for them?), and the media to achieve their goals. The nuke industry, in full support of uranium mining and milling, manipulates through presentations like Tom's to the national government, and appointed governmental bodies such as the NRC of the NA (NAS?), and the media. The nuke industry also forces it's propaganda on unwitting citizens through paid advertising and the intimidation... I mean manipulation... of the "media".

Have I mentioned that industries such as nuke energy and mining of every kind - including uranium mining and milling - are the ones that write the regulations? Sad, but true. Our government (the elected people that supposedly represent you and me) consider the industry people the experts in the field. Therefore, our elected officials abdicate their responsibilities to protect us poor dumb citizens to the very people that are in the business to make money. This is where the idea of "cost benefit analysis" comes from. Big corporations analyze their potential financial exposure concerning breaking their own "regulations". The regulations that they had their elected officials put in place. If their analysis determines that it is more profitable to "break the regulations", also known as committing an illegal act, they will do so. After all, they know the rules (that they made) and repercussions much better than anyone else. It's their business to know!

This finally brings us to the idea that people have a "mistrust" of government regulators. Duh! Why should we trust government regulators when they work for the very corporations that they are supposed to regulate. At best, they will find wrong doing and impose the sanctions that the regulated industry has approved, creating a profitable (but not healthy) situation for all (of them) concerned. Even if a regulatory agency wanted to do its job for the people, they DO NOT have the money. Want proof? Take a look at how many inspectors there are, per state, and how many bridges per state they are required to "regulate", inspect, keep safe for the citizens. It makes me cringe every time I cross one. It's not the inspector's fault, it's the government's fault. It's not the government's fault, it's the people's fault. In this case, the "people" does not include corporations.

Corporations are only "people" when it comes to "their" (whoever "they" are) rights. Funny how corporation rights always trump people's rights. Its like corporations have the same number of votes that every counted-in-the-census human being has, times two! Now we're back to mysticism. I think this has something to do with the smell of money in the room whenever big corporations influence... I mean talk to their... I mean our, elected government officials.

Trust the regulators? I think not! We, THE PEOPLE, have plenty of reason to not trust them.

So, the call to action? I challenge every person (not corporations, but including their elected officials) to do the following:

  • Ask yourself what YOU are doing to learn the facts?
  • Ask yourself what YOU are doing to make a difference in the debate?
  • Ask yourself how much respect you have for someone that deliberately remains ignorant of the issues in today's world of information technology, yet espouses their opinion as if it's fact?
  • Ask yourself how much respect you have for an industry (the entire nuke industry from uranium mining and milling to power plants and depleted uranium ordinance production) that spends Millions of Dollars to control your government, your media, and the very thoughts that you think? An industry that would allow, indeed sponsor, Tom Pool, Chairman, International Nuclear, to speak on its behalf? An industry that demeans and ridicules, demonizes and criminalizes, any PERSON that disagrees with them. Ask yourself, are they looking out for your best interest, or theirs?
  • Ask yourself how you really feel about the corporate owned politicians that sanction this abuse of you and your family? Ask yourself if you want a country ruled by BULLIES?
  • Ask yourself what are YOU doing to educate the, according to Tom Pool, Chairman, International Nuclear, ignorant masses (my words, his by inference)?
  • Ask yourself, are YOU willing to do anything at all, one way or the other? If not, don't think that you have any right to rejoice or complain no matter what happens. You deserve to get what your sowing reaps. If so, and I'm referring to REAL human beings, NOT corporations, THEN DO IT. Thinking about it doesn’t count. DO SOMETHING! Doing something DOES NOT include living in the past, using this crisis to remind all concerned of past glories. When you do this, you make yourself look foolish and irrelevant. It causes people that may be on your side to distance themselves from you. It hurts your cause. It doesn’t matter what you've done in the past, or how long your family has lived in the South. What matters is your RELEVANT contribution to the issues at hand. Doing something DOES NOT mean seeking media attention and glory for yourself. This is not productive to your cause. The issues are important, not the people that deliver the message.
  • If you do something, understand that YOU are doing it. Take pride in that! Do not rely on groups (such as The Alliance or SCC), or any one individual, to take action for you. Take personal responsibility for the outcome of this and any other issue that you feel is important.
  • Participate in YOUR government. The surest way to take back our inherent, and rightful, governing authority is to participate in the process. Attend your Town & City council meetings. Attend your County Board of Supervisors meetings. Attend your School Board meetings. Attend your Zoning Commission meetings. LET YOUR VOICE BE HEARD! There is a saying that "all politics is local". If you do not regain control of the polotics at the local level, you will never stand a chance of demanding your constitutional rights at the state and federal level. The pro-nuke, pro-uranium mining and milling corporations may have a LOT of dollars to vote with, but THE PEOPLE still go to the ballot box. Ultimately it is We, The People, that allow these travesties, these corruptions of our way of life to happen. It is up to each of us to take a stand, to participate, to own our futures. To say loud and clear, I claim MY right to live free of the corruption that has become prevalent in MY country, the United States of America.
  • Recognize that our government has become corrupted by mega national and international corporations. Recognize that YOU have a right to live in this country free of the abuse and corruption in YOUR government that is being caused by these corporations.

    Are YOU listening?
    Are you THINKING?
    Will you heed this call to action?


Anonymous said...

Since all of Virginia will now be included in the study of uranium and will be up for grabs, your editorial should be placed as as a full page ad in The Washington Post and the Wall Street Journal. In Washington, D.C., Northern Va, Maryland, etc., no one would even think of starting their day without reading these papers; and I assure you most are anti-nuke (lots of very wealthy mothers and wives up there!). If you rattle the cages of these wealthy suburbs with this type of advertising in their face (yes, scare the S _ _ T out of them!), you will serve to awaken a base of very well-connected individuals, many of whom have no idea uranium may be mined and milled in VA. Make an additional headline in your ad as follows: "BUY NO AGRICULTURAL PRODUCTS, LIVESTOCK (COWS & HORSES, etc.) FROM VA OR DRINK VA BOTTLED SPRING WATER BECAUSE IT WILL BE POISONED WITH URANIUM". You will be able to hear the outrage from Middleburg all the way to Coles Hill. Fight them in a much wider media, especially where people are much more wealthy and much more connected than the folks down here are (except for Charlottesville, of course).

Anonymous said...

Since all of Virginia will now be included in the study of uranium and will be up for grabs, your editorial should be placed as as a full page ad in The Washington Post and the Wall Street Journal. In Washington, D.C., Northern Va, Maryland, etc., no one would even think of starting their day without reading these papers; and I assure you most are anti-nuke (lots of very wealthy mothers and wives up there!). If you rattle the cages of these wealthy suburbs with this type of advertising in their face (yes, scare the S _ _ T out of them!), you will serve to awaken a base of very well-connected individuals, many of whom have no idea uranium may be mined and milled in VA. Make an additional headline in your ad as follows: "BUY NO AGRICULTURAL PRODUCTS, LIVESTOCK (COWS & HORSES, etc.) FROM VA OR DRINK VA BOTTLED SPRING WATER BECAUSE IT WILL BE POISONED WITH URANIUM". You will be able to hear the outrage from Middleburg all the way to Coles Hill. Fight them in a much wider media, especially where people are much more wealthy and much more connected than the folks down here are (except for Charlottesville, of course).