If only this were true– then I wouldn’t have to go to bed at night worrying about a woman (Michele Bachmann) president.
Michele Bachmann and Kim Jong-II looking at meat– oddly appropriate don’t cha think?
Michele Bachmann’s “I’ve Got My Eye On Your Vagina” condoms on The Daily Show.
Previous Manhattan Mini-Storage Signs include:
“Your closet is so narrow it makes Cheney look liberal.”
“New York: Seven Professional Sports Teams and the Mets”
“If you store your stuff with your parents, it means you have to visit them”
Careful… she might make this her campaign poster.
With her hatred for immigrants, the poor, the sick—her book should be just like Adolf Hitler’s “Mein Kampf”
If you think that’s going to far, just remember Michele Bachmann compared Health Care Reform to the Holocaust and Hitler put people who were disabled into concentration camps—so trust me, it’s not a stretch at all to compare the two and not be exaggerating.
(Reuters) – The largest earthquake to hit the East Coast of the United States in 67 years raised concerns on Tuesday about the safety of the country’s nuclear power plants.
Since water pipes can easily be affected during an Earthquake and can take a while to even notice– we have no idea the real extent of the damage.
The 5.8 magnitude quake’s epicenter was just a few miles from the two-reactor North Anna nuclear power plant operated by Dominion Resources in Mineral, Virginia, 80 miles southwest of Washington.
Of course this is what made headlines yesterday.
The plant lost power and automatically halted operations after the quake. While a Dominion spokesman reported no "major" damage to the facility, three diesel generators were required to kick in and keep the reactors’ radioactive cores cool. A fourth diesel unit failed.
This fourth generator failing– was carefully left out of the news yesterday.
While nuclear power plants can operate safely on back-up power, failure of generators was a key reason for the disaster at Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi plant after a 9.0 magnitude quake and tsunami in March.
The fact that there are only 4 generators and one failed– that should be scary for everyone.
"Nuclear power plants lose a significant margin of safety when they’re forced to rely on these emergency back-up systems," said Paul Gunter, director of reactor oversight at Beyond Nuclear, an anti-nuclear lobby group.
I would guess this is obvious– then again, I’ve seen people drinking tap water and I probably won’t touch the stuff again (it was already very full of calcium to the point where it sometimes looks like white milk before clearing up and going back to clear.
Dominion spokesman Jim Norvelle said the plant was designed to withstand an earthquake of up to 6.2 in magnitude. But some experts expressed concern about the narrow margin between the design metrics and the quake’s size. "It was uncomfortably close to design basis," said Edwin Lyman of the Union of Concerned Scientists, which has pushed for stronger nuclear regulations.
I love how the "spokesman" downgrades the fact that a "5.8" and a "6.2" aren’t close to each other– let’s have him live near the plant until everything is checked out, and then see if he still feels the same way.
"If Fukushima wasn’t a wake-up call, this really needs to be to get the NRC and industry moving to do seismic reviews of all the nuclear power plants in the country."
*Cough* *Cough* won’t happen. Americans have really short memories for things.
Tuesday’s quake, which was felt along the East Coast as far north as Canada, was the region’s largest since a 5.9 quake hit New York State in 1944.
This was a huge error about yesterday’s quake– news channels were either too dumb to find the largest quake in the region– so most reported that this area hadn’t seen one this big since (insert random year from 1800′s).
North Anna’s reactors are among 27 east of the Rockies that the NRC highlighted during a seismic review last year as presenting a potential hazard, due to the amount of ground-shaking they were designed to withstand.
27. 27 doesn’t make big news but some sports star having an affair does– we really do "fit" the news for the dumbest viewers.
Twelve other nuclear plants along the Eastern Seaboard declared an "unusual event" following the quake, the lowest of the NRC’s emergency classification ratings. North Anna’s "alert" status is one step further up on a four-step U.S. emergency scale.
They were super terrified to say this yesterday on the news– even here, they can’t say the number but just "one step further up". Also Reuters even has it wrong, they’re talking about the United States Department of Energy which is similar to the NRC scale– but the NRC has it’s own scale.
Just so you’re not confused the NRC uses a 4 level scale
The agency currently uses a 4 level taxonomy [This is since 2006] to classify reported incidents:
- Notification of Unusual Event (not listed as accidents below)
- Unusual events are in process or have occurred which indicate a potential degradation of the level of safety of the plant. No releases of radioactive material requiring offsite response or monitoring are expected unless further degradation of safety systems occurs.
Not all reportable events constitute accidents. Incidents which threaten the normal operation or security of a facility may be reportable but not result in any release of radioactivity.
The United States Department of Energy uses a similar classification system for events occurring at fuel cycle plants and facilities owned by the US government which are therefore regulated by the DOE instead of the NRC.
Now this is probably confusing since on the NRC website I couldn’t find an explanation of the 4 level scale that they use– but only about the "International Nuclear Event Scale" which has seven levels. My guess is it was to down play the fact that the North Anna Plant was at a level 3 and to prevent panic. Although if something were to happen– this lack info coming out, would probably be seen as a "coverup" and of course someone would be the scapegoat for it.
While browsing the NRC website and looking for “their scale”, I only found the International Nuclear Event Scale—which has 7 levels not 4.
International Nuclear Event Scale
The International Nuclear Event Scale (INES) was introduced by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and the Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA) of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) in 1990 as a tool to communicate the safety significance of reported events at nuclear installations or involving nuclear materials to the international community. Use of the INES by IAEA and OECD Member States (a number of whom have their own nuclear event classification scales) serves to promote a common understanding of the significance of reported events among governments, the nuclear community, the media and the public.
The INES consists of a 7-level event classification system. Events of greater safety significance (levels 4-7) are termed "accidents," events of lesser safety significance (levels 1-3) are termed "incidents," and events of no safety significance (level 0 or below scale) are termed "out-of-scale deviations." A description of the INES, including an explanation of the various levels can be found at the IAEA’s INES web page .
The NRC does not require its licensees to classify events or to provide off-site notifications using the INES scale. The NRC has committed to transmit to the IAEA an INES-based rating for an applicable event occurring in the United States.
Page Last Reviewed/Updated Thursday, March 31, 2011
Oh, and the link for this page looks like this:
Doesn’t it make it look suspicious? I mean even if you read about the North Anna Nuclear Power Plant being up step up—if you actually go to the website most likely you’ll search and search—then only finding this, that’s labeled as an actual “scale”. Hell, looking at this URL—I had to even triple check my facts since it looks like the NRC scale is 7 levels but is actually only 4.
Then after looking around some more, I found this:
But wait this can’t be right. The URL says:
I mean on all of the news channels yesterday, they kept mentioning “scale” over and over again—it’s probably some internal thing, because “Classification” sounds much less harmless then “Scale”
Holy Sh*t we’re screwed.
So basically a little “release” of “radioactive material from the plant” is “expected to be limited to a small fraction of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) protection action guides (PAGS)”. It’s so nice to know that the people safe guarding our Nuclear Reactors have horrible grammar (pretty sure it said “scale” before but they had to edit it out so quickly they forgot to proofread it, either that or they just have horrible grammar to begin with). I personally don’t feel any “release”, no matter how minor is okay—anyone who disagrees, I feel should have to live right next to one.
An Emergency Classification is a set of plant conditions which indicate a level of risk to the public. Both nuclear power plants and research and test reactors use the four emergency classifications listed below in order of increasing severity. The vast majority of events reported to the NRC are routine in nature and do not require activation of our incident response program. For information on how we respond to an event that could threaten public health and safety, see How We Respond To an Emergency.
Recognizing that security-related events may involve different response actions from the licensees, the NRC issued Bulletin 2005-02, Emergency Preparedness and Response Actions for Security-Based Events. This bulletin identifies minor changes to the emergency classification levels to reflect emphasis of post-9/11 conditions.
- Notification of Unusual Event - Under this category, events are in process or have occurred which indicate potential degradation in the level of safety of the plant. No release of radioactive material requiring offsite response or monitoring is expected unless further degradation occurs.
- Alert – If an alert is declared, events are in process or have occurred which involve an actual or potential substantial degradation in the level of safety of the plant. Any releases of radioactive material from the plant are expected to be limited to a small fraction of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) protective action guides (PAGs) .
- Site Area Emergency - A site area emergency involves events in process or which have occurred that result in actual or likely major failures of plant functions needed for protection of the public. Any releases of radioactive material are not expected to exceed the EPA PAGs except near the site boundary.
- General Emergency - A general emergency involves actual or imminent substantial core damage or melting of reactor fuel with the potential for loss of containment integrity. Radioactive releases during a general emergency can reasonably be expected to exceed the EPA PAGs for more than the immediate site area.
So this is that infamous “NRC Scale” that got mentioned over and over on the news yesterday—but the only scale on the website you’ll find is for the 7 level International one… this one is mentioned “Emergency Classification”.
Oh and if you ever hear about the levels of classification for:
The following are emergency classifications for nuclear materials and fuel cycle facility licensees:
- Alert – Events may occur, are in progress, or have occurred that could lead to a release of radioactive material[s], but the release is not expected to require a response by an offsite response organization to protect people offsite.
- Site Area Emergency – Events may occur, are in progress, or have occurred that could lead to a significant release of radioactive material[s], and the release could require a response by offsite response organizations to protect people offsite.
Which is only a two level scale—“Screwed” and “Really Screwed”. So I assume this covers everything that’s not Nuclear Power Plant related—such as a train or truck carrying nuclear materials and it accidentally spilling something.
I feel safe—don’t you?
This is technically, the only visual scale that you can find by clicking the links on the NRC website—unfortunately, it takes you to the EPA website and it’s actually their “PAG Chart” or what the NRC refers to as “Protective Action Guides” or “PAGs”.
From Wikipedia about the previous accidents:
- Events are in process or have occurred which involve an actual or potential substantial degradation of the level of safety of the plant. Any releases expected to be limited to small fractions of the EPA Protective Action Guideline exposure levels.
- Events are in process or have occurred which involve actual or likely major failures of plant functions needed for protection of the public. Any releases not expected to exceed EPA Protective Action Guideline exposure levels except near site boundary.
- LaSalle County Nuclear Generating Station Unit 1, Seneca, Illinois, 20-Feb-2006.
- Honeywell International, Metropolis, Illinois, 22-Dec-2003.
- Idaho National Engineering & Environmental Laboratory, Idaho Falls, Idaho, 27-Jul-2000 and 17-Sep-2000.
- Idaho National Engineering & Environmental Laboratory, Idaho Falls, Idaho, 12-Jul-1999.
- Nuclear Fuel Services, Erwin, Tennessee, 2-Apr-1996.
- Nine Mile Point Unit 2, Oswego, New York, 13-Aug-1991.
- Vogtle Electric Generating Plant Unit 1, Burke County, Georgia, 20-Mar-1990.
- Davis-Besse, Oak Harbor, Ohio, 09-Jun-1985. Originally declared as an "Unusual Event" but upgraded by NRC findings.
- Ginna, Ontario, New York, 25-Jan-1982.
NRC General Emergencies
- Events are in process or have occurred which involve actual or imminent substantial core degradation or melting with potential for loss of containment integrity. Releases can be reasonably expected to exceed EPA Protective Action Guideline exposure levels offsite for more than the immediate site area.
- Three Mile Island Unit 2, 28-Mar-1979.
Of course the Reuters article had a few more disturbing things to say:
And Victor Gilinsky, who was an NRC commissioner at the time of the Three Mile Island nuclear disaster in Pennsylvania in 1979, said that he was concerned that safety at plants like North Anna were not being reviewed as understanding of earthquakes increases.
Thankfully Republicans want to help end what little help the EPA apparently provides by cutting them back even more.
Okay, okay, we get it. House Republicans don’t like the idea of trying to reign in pollution. I mean really don’t like it. Many of them already claimed that climate change wasn’t real on the campaign trail, and said they’d fight climate legislation. Then, the powerful chairman of the House Energy Committee, Fred Upton (R-MI), has already sponsored a bill designed to prevent the EPA from enforcing the Clean Air Act, claiming it would kill jobs and whatnot. Now, House Republicans have released their vaunted plan for massive federal spending cuts. At the top of the list? The EPA.
The GOP wants to slash over $1.6 billion from the EPA’s budget. The prime targets within the agency are the Brownfield program — which dedicates funds to cleaning up and restoring contaminated industrial factories that are leeching pollutants into nearby neighborhoods — the Energy Star efficiency program, the greenhouse gas reporting system that’s newly in place, and the Air Quality Management office. Nice. Many of these, as you can probably gather, are crucial to preserving the health and wellbeing of citizens. Which may be why 77% of Americans support the EPA.
But the EPA ain’t the only green fixture on the chopping block. Kate Shepperd whipped up a list of the proposed cuts, and they’re not pretty:
- Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy -$899M
- Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability -$49M
Nuclear Energy -$169M
- Fossil Energy Research -$31M
- Clean Coal Technology -$18M
- Strategic Petroleum Reserve -$15M
- Energy Information Administration -$34M
- Office of Science -$1.1B
- Land and Water Conservation Fund -$348M
- NOAA -$336M
- High Speed Rail -$1B
- Amtrak -$224M
- Natural Resource Conservation Service -$46M
- DOE Loan Guarantee Authority -$1.4B
Don’t worry some… it gets worse. Our Politicians apparently want us all dead.
WASHINGTON — Senate Democrats on Wednesday defeated a Republican effort to ban the Environmental Protection Agency from controlling the gases blamed for global warming.
Republicans still planned to pass an identical bill in the House on Thursday, even though it has little chance of becoming law.
In a 50-50 vote, the Senate rejected a measure by Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky and Sen. James Inhofe of Oklahoma that would have repealed a 2009 finding by federal scientists that climate change caused by greenhouse gases endangers human health and would have prevented the agency from using existing law to regulate heat-trapping pollution. The amendment – to a small-business bill – needed 60 votes to pass.
Only four Democrats – Sens. Mary Landrieu of Louisiana, Joe Manchin of West Virginia, Mark Pryor of Arkansas and Ben Nelson of Nebraska – supported the McConnell bid. One Republican, Sen. Susan Collins of Maine, voted against it.
Meanwhile, the Republican-controlled House is expected to pass an identical bill Thursday, but the White House has threatened a veto any bill that reaches the president’s desk. The House voted earlier this year to prohibit the EPA from spending any money to regulate greenhouse gases as part of a spending bill for the next six months. It is part of negotiations among the White House, Senate Democrats and House Republicans to keep the government running.
Senate Democrats proposed Wednesday less aggressive prohibitions on the EPA that would have delayed regulations for two years, exempted certain industries, or both. But the most votes any of the three alternatives received was 12. Republicans nearly unanimously voted against them, and so did most Democrats.
In a statement Wednesday night, White House press secretary Jay Carney said the administration was "encouraged" by the Senate’s actions to defend the EPA "by rejecting efforts to roll back EPA’s common-sense steps to safeguard Americans from harmful pollution."
But critics of the administration’s action on global warming looked at the outcome in a different light, saying that a majority of senators in some way voted to restrict the EPA’s regulation of heat-trapping gases.
"When all is said and done, a bipartisan majority in the Senate issued a sobering message to EPA … suggesting it’s time to reverse course and put Congress back in charge of America’s energy policy," Inhofe said in a statement.
Democrats focused their arguments on what they said was an unprecedented reversal by Congress of a scientific finding.
"The fact is, why should we play doctor? I’m too humble to repeal science," said Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., taking the position of many Democrats against the McConnell amendment’s overturning of a finding by the EPA that greenhouse gases endanger human health and welfare. EPA scientists had made the same conclusion under President George W. Bush, but the White House never acted on the recommendation.
Republicans, in hours of debate Wednesday, painted EPA’s regulations as an overreach of government that will harm the economy and lead to job losses and must be stopped. They stressed that their efforts to hamstring the agency in the case of global warming would not affect other parts of the Clean Air Act that protect people from toxic and lung-damaging pollutants.
"This legislation will remove the biggest regulatory threat to the American economy," said Rep. Fred Upton, R-Mich., the chairman of House Energy and Commerce Committee and chief sponsor of the House bill. "This is a threat imposed not by Congress, but entirely by the Obama Environmental Protection Agency."
Senate Republicans argued the lesser measures protected a handful of Democrats who could be vulnerable in 2012 elections, but would do little to protect American jobs and electricity costs in the long run. They also pointed out, as the EPA has acknowledged, that controlling greenhouse gases in the United States would do little to reduce the temperature of the planet, since other countries are not addressing the problem.
"Democrats themselves recognize the dangers of these EPA regulations," McConnell said Wednesday. "Yet instead of voting for the one amendment that solves the problem, they’re hiding behind sham amendments designed to give them political cover."
"It is important to review the seismic design of the plant in terms of current knowledge," he said "Instead, the NRC has been relicensing plants without any real safety review – they do not question any of the original licensing conditions, they only check to see whether the plant has a program to deal with old equipment. It’s an irresponsible approach."
Still, Ronald Ballinger, an engineering professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, said quakes like Tuesday’s posed little danger to U.S. nuclear plants.
"The size of the vibrations from this East Coast earthquake are probably less than you would feel in a loud nightclub," Ballinger said.
Based on its 5.8 magnitude rating, the quake was almost 10,000 times weaker than Japan’s quake in March and posed no tsunami risk, Ballinger said.
U.S. nuclear plants responded to Tuesday’s quake as they were designed to, said Tony Pietrangelo, chief nuclear officer at the Nuclear Energy Institute trade industry group.
No other East Coast plant had operations disrupted. Entergy’s Indian Point nuclear plant located north of New York City was operating normally, as was Dominion’s two-unit Surry plant in Gravel, Virginia.
The last time a quake of similar magnitude hit Virginia was in 1897, the U.S. Geological Survey said. A 7.3 magnitude quake, the largest recorded in East Coast history, hit South Carolina in 1886.
Dominion is one of 11 U.S. power companies who have expressed interest in building new advanced nuclear reactors. It has proposed adding a new reactor to the North Anna plant.
Don’t worry whatever you think about the Republicans and their lack of care for the enviroment—the “Tea Party” goes further:
Commentary: GOP’s attack on EPA ignore air, water safety
Dutifully following their Tea Party scripts, most of the Republican presidential candidates have declared war on the Environmental Protection Agency. They claim that the economy is being smothered by regulations designed to keep our air and water safe.
No iota of evidence is being offered, and in fact the record profits of big energy companies indicate a spectacular lack of suffering.
But listen to Rep. Michele Bachmann’s promise to an Iowa crowd about one of her first presidential priorities: "I guarantee you the EPA will have doors locked and lights turned off, and they will only be about conservation. It will be a new day and a new sheriff in Washington, D.C."
Michele Bachmann clearly is the “Antichrist”.
Granted, Bachmann is a witless parrot who has no chance — absolutely zero — of being elected to the White House. But her hatred of the EPA is shared by Gov. Rick Perry of Texas, who is considered a GOP frontrunner.
Like Bachmann, Perry refuses to accept that global warming is real. He launched a lawsuit to stop the EPA from enacting rules to limit greenhouse gasses from oil refineries, power plants and other industrial sources.
Perry likes to whine that "EPA regulations are killing jobs all across America," a statement that draws more cheers in his native state than in the rest of the country. In fact, polls show that a large majority of Americans are worried about air and water pollution, and hold a positive view of the EPA.
Nothing kills jobs like an environmental catastrophe, as the Gulf Coast gravely experienced during (and after) the BP oil spill last year. The true cost of that accident to the economies of Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi and Florida is probably incalculable, although surely many billions of dollars were lost.
The cleanup wasn’t perfect, but it’s absurd to think that BP would have worked faster or more efficiently if the Obama administration and the EPA hadn’t been leaning on the company, both publicly and behind closed doors.
Forty-one years ago the agency was formed, and for good reason: Toxins by the ton were being flagrantly pumped into this country’s rivers, bays and oceans, and blown through smokestacks into the air. People were getting sick and dying only because some companies were too greedy to spend money cleaning up their own mess.
The corporate mentality toward pollution has changed because the alternatives are heavy fines, criminal penalties and savage publicity. A reminder of why we still need the EPA was last month’s oil spill on the Yellowstone River, which affected ranchers, farmers, fishing guides and rafting companies. It also occurred seven months after Exxon Mobil insisted that its pipeline would never rupture because it was buried too deep.
Of all the reasons government exists, none is more crucial than trying to keep its citizens safe, whether from a terrorist attack, Wall Street’s recklessness or industrial poisoning.
Not surprisingly, surveys show that most Americans want their children to grow up drinking clean water and breathing clean air. How, then, to explain the radical hostility of Bachmann, Perry, Newt Gingrich and some of the other Republican candidates?
First, it’s about raising money. The petroleum and coal conglomerates are huge GOP donors, and they’d love to have a president who would gut the EPA.
Second, it’s about politics. To win Republican primaries — the theory goes — a candidate must fire up the Wingnut Right. The easiest way to do that is to brainlessly bash whatever government does.
Perry specializes in this, even though almost half of Texas’ vaunted employment growth has been in the public sector — government jobs, in other words. You won’t hear the governor complain about the $200 billion that U.S. taxpayers pump into his state’s economy annually for military bases and related industries.
One thing to emerge from the Republicans’ attacks on the EPA is the early campaign path of Mitt Romney. Clearly, his strategy is to appear less loony and misinformed than his rivals.
Romney says the EPA has an important role, and furthermore he has actually conceded that global warming is a fact. As governor of Massachusetts, Romney expressed interest in a carbon cap-and-trade program, and proposed a plan to cut back on greenhouse gas emissions.
Predictably, with the primaries looming, Romney now says he opposes regulating carbon dioxide and other gases linked to climate change. As he and the other GOP candidates begin piling into Florida for the long campaign, pay attention to their rhetoric about the dreaded EPA.
The economy here would crumble if the environment was left unprotected. Florida can’t survive without tourism, and tourism dies when tar balls and rotting fish turn up on the beach.
What remains of the long-polluted Everglades would also be doomed without a federal regulatory presence, however cumbersome. Doomed, too, would be South Florida’s chief source of fresh water, upon which business growth depends — not to mention the future of about eight million people.
Yet don’t be surprised if Perry and Bachmann arrive here clinging to the Tea Party narrative that government oversight is inherently evil. They’d like us to kindly forget about that little mishap in the Gulf of Mexico last year, and other man-made though preventable disasters.
It’s easier to ignore the past and stick to the script, especially if someone else is writing it.
I’m not normally the type of guy that likes to buy into government conspiracies—but man, Republicans are sure being open about their hatred of the EPA—my question is will Michele Bachmann and Rick Perry Change their tune?
Personally—they’re both crazy. Saying one is better than the other is like asking which is blacker… the kettle or the cast iron pot.