The Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS), a national public interest group, has for years been trying to tell the story of nuclear hazards to the American public with little success.

Last year, the UCS released a report titled “Scientists’ Group Judges Federal Nuclear Safety Inspection Effort” which received little coverage.

The report criticized the Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s (NRC) failure to be a tough inspector of nuclear power pants. UCS spokesman Robert D. Pollard said “Nuclear power plants are inherently hazardous. Irrespective of how safe reactors are in theory, federal inspectors cannot be sure they are built and operated safely. This report shows the NRC’s inspection efforts are biased against enforcement, undermined by political considerations, weak and ineffective.”

Contrary to the common conception that the nuclear industry is closely regulated, UCS found: only one to five percent of safety related nuclear power plant activities are inspected; NRC inspectors spend most of their time inspecting utility records, not the power plants themselves; most regulatory standards are drafted by the nuclear industry itself.

As early as 1973, the Wall Street Journal, in a well-documented article, pointed out the economic liabilities of nuclear power plants and termed them “atomic lemons,” another story which did not receive widespread coverage.

Sources for these stories were the Union of Concerned Scientists Report, November 26, 1978, and The Wall Street Journal, May 3, 1973.

(ED NOTE: Altogether, there were some 80 “censored” citations warning of nuclear problems since 1976, the year Project Censored began.)


The BBC NEWS reported on May 30, 2011, that “Germany’s coalition government has announced a reversal of policy that will see all the country’s nuclear power plants phased out by 2022.

“The decision makes Germany the biggest industrial power to announce plans to give up nuclear energy. …

“There have been mass anti-nuclear protests across Germany in the wake of Japan’s Fukushima crisis, triggered by an earthquake and tsunami.”

(ED NOTE: On June 9, 2011, the Associated Press announced that a majority of the Swiss parliament voted to shut down the country’s five nuclear power plants by 2034. Ironically, months before the Japanese disaster, Sweden had announced plans to overturn a “near 30-year ban on atomic plans s part of a new drive to increase energy security …,” as reported by the Guardian on February 5, 2009.)

 Those who cannot remember the past

are condemned to repeat it!

–George Santayana