The last few years has been pretty much a nonstop ride of positive safety PR for the nuclear power industry, right? I mean, this is an technology that absorbed an enormous earthquake and tsunami and barely even killed anyone/left whole towns uninhabitable/terrified the world. Nuclear power couldn’t even bring harm to erstwhile Wonkette scribe Jack Stuef! So really, why should Americans be spending our precious tax dollars on making our own nuclear power plants safer, when that money could be diverted to more pressing needs (tax cuts for billionaires, hott new missile defense systems, capital gains tax cuts … just spitballing here). But don’t worry, we don’t need those gridlocked crumbums in Congress to make these important decisions, since they were already put into place by updates to obscure federal regulations six months ago.
You know what really sucks and is boring is practicing stuff, as we remember very clearly from high school band, where we had to go to rehearsal every morning before school and lessons and (theoretically) practice on our own during the week and yet never once did we become a prominent jazz trombonist! Therefore practice is for losers, and there’s no point in practicing for what would happen if a nuclear plant released a “significant amount of radiation,” which totally works out because now you can have training exercises at nuclear plants that don’t deal with that at all!
Also, anyone who has ever tried to maintain an old broken down car knows what a pain it is to keep ancient equipment going past its prime. That’s why you’ll be relieved to hear that the Feds have relaxed the safety regulations for nuclear power plants operating beyond their design life, since living up those regulations would be hard and it’s not like we don’t still need the electricity even though those plants are like 50 years old now, amiright?
Anyway, don’t worry too much about this, because the number of Americans living within 10 miles of a nuclear power plant has really dropped in the last few decades. Oh, wait, did we say dropped, we meant “ballooned by as much as 4 1/2 times since 1980.” Enjoy the circa 1998 stylings of the Associated Press’s website (“Best viewed in Netscape Navigator 4!”) while your Wonkette turns the basement into an air-tight, lead-lined safety chamber. [AP]