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A pill for nuclear meltdowns


As you approach a certain bridge in Philadelphia, a sign says: "In Case of Enemy Attack Do Not Stop, Drive Right Off Bridge."

Whoever was in charge of Philadelphia's evacuation policy when that sign first went up must be the same bozo in charge of safety planning for today's Nuclear Regulatory Commission. This so-called watchdog agency has long been a lapdog for the nuke-powered utilities it is supposed to regulate, and it keeps insisting that these nukes are 100 percent, absolutely safe. Trust us.

So, why has the NRC suddenly decided to distribute potassium iodide pills to families living within a several-mile radius of their friendly neighborhood nuke? Well, it turns out that one of the results of exposure to nuclear radiation is thyroid cancer, and experience shows that if people can get a dose of potassium iodide within a few hours of `quote` "an accident," then they've got a good chance of avoiding this cancer.

Hmmm ... let's review the NRC policy as it now stands: One, there is "no danger" from a nuclear power plant; two, we have pills to protect you from thyroid cancer just in case (oops!) there is danger after all; and, three, our plan is for every man, woman, and child to carry a supply of these pills with them wherever they go from now on -- don't leave home without them! Oh, one more thing -- the pills only protect you from thyroid cancer, not from the many other cancer-causing, gene-perverting, disfiguring and deadly effects of radiation, so if there is an "accident," try hiding under the bed, because we don't know what we're doing.

The only safe approach to nuclear power is to switch it off and use more affordable alternatives. Then, let's convert those contaminated nuke plants into retirement condos for the industry executives and NRC officials who hung this costly and deadly albatross around our necks.