Wednesday, March 16, 2011

TEPCO, Toshiba, Stone & Webster, and You

TEPCO, the utility company that operates the exploding Japanese nuclear reactors, has an 18 percent stake in the two new reactors President Obama has proposed for the South Texas Project. And as Greg Palast reports, both TEPCO and their US construction partner, Stone & Webster (now a division of The Shaw Group) have a history of falsifying safety reports. Not only that, but the reason The Shaw Group was able to acquire Stone & Webster so cheaply was due to a failed $147 million Indonesian kickback scheme that sank the company. And Toshiba has acquired the Westinghouse brand primarily for the purpose of promoting nuclear energy in the US, despite its now apparent incompetence in Japan. So, as usual, our nuclear power future is pock-marked with corruption and incompetence.

But wait! There's more!

In the latest shocking reversal from his campaign positions, President Obama is defending nuclear power's safety record in the wake of Japan's calamity. He has already asked Congress for $9 billion in loan guarantees for nuclear energy, and he is expected to seek an additional $56 billion in his inevitable second term.

So it appears the looming corporate feudal state will be augmented with dangerous, expensive nukes just for shits and giggles.

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