We talk with Harvey Wasserman, a co-author of “Killing Our Own: The Disaster of America’s Experience with Atomic Energy,” the author of “Solartopia” and the soon-to-be released “People’s Spiral of U.S. History.” He also edits nukefree.
We discuss the state of the atomic power plants in Ukraine. There are 15 nuclear reactors in Ukraine, that provide 50% of the electrical power to the country. They are vulnerable, and two have already been overrun by the Russian army. Russian troops were in fact marched through the dead zone of Chernobyl, with no special shielding or care. We can consider the powerplants in Ukraine as “Putin bombs” since they are in effect ‘pre-deployed weapons of a mass apocalypse,’ nuclear threats that need no additional delivery to be destructive, and threaten all of Europe.
The US has 93 nuclear power plants, all of which could be replaced by wind, solar batteries, and efficiency in a relatively short time frame, at much cheaper cost. In west Texas, where wind energy is abundantly available, it is too cheap to meter.
Our guest is Annie Waldman, a reporter at ProPublica covering education. She describes to us a situation in Louisiana, the “Lockup capital of the world.” She describes a secret prison for children, which uses a small facility in St. Martinsville to confine children, who have been deemed too troublesome to help. The conditions are appalling: children confined to solitary confinement 24 hrs. per day, in shackles, with no treatment or schooling. Although Louisiana received Covid funds from the federal government, these were not used to improve conditions. There is a lack of transparency about funds use, descriptions of the facility, or even allowing visitors.