– GE CEO Says Now is a “Perfect Time To Be a Seller” (Dark Bid, April 10, 2015):
If you thought you had market impact problems, then you have never tried to sell $273 billion of loans.
GE Capital’s 2014 loan portfolio was marked at $363 billion. It will take a lot of maneuvering to bring it down to the $90 billion target. With the market at all-time highs and with valuations stretched beyond all conceivable rationality, GE CEO Jeff Immelt said now is a “perfect time to be a seller. People are lining up at the starting line.” Continue reading »
– How GE Will Fund The Largest Stock Buyback In History (ZeroHedge, April 10, 2015):
Back in April 2013, Apple shocked the world when in a dramatic U-turn to Steve Jobs beliefs, it announced what was “the largest single share repurchase authorization in history” when it boosted its share repurchase authorization to $60 billion from $10 billion. Today, GE did its best to match this number, when it reported that as part of a massive business restructuring, it announced a “new Board authorization of up to $50B buyback.” This is how it will fund it.
– GE Announces One Of Largest Buybacks In History, Will Repuchase $50 Bn In Shares After Selling Most Of GE Capital (ZeroHedge, April 10, 2015):
Moments ago, General Electric showed why April is much more likley to be a rerun of February than January or March when it announceed that it would go ahead and repurchase half of the total record stock buybacks announced in February, or some $50 billion in what may be the largest stock buyback announcement in history! How will GE fund this massive distribution to its shareholders, of which the most concentrated one will once again be the biggest winners? Simple: by dumping the division that nearly caused its insolvency during the financial crisis, the hedge fund known as GE Capital. As part of the just announced mega transaction, GE announced an agreement to sell the bulk of the assets of GE Capital Real Estate to funds managed by Blackstone. Wells Fargo will acquire a portion of the performing loans at closing.
– General Electric Knew Its Reactor Design Was Unsafe … So Why Isn’t GE Getting Any Heat for Fukushima? (Washington’s Blog, Dec 11, 2013):
GE Engineers and American Government Officials Warned of Dangerous Nuclear Design
5 of the 6 nuclear reactors at Fukushima are General Electric Mark 1 reactors.
GE knew decades ago that the design was faulty.
ABC News reported in 2011:
Thirty-five years ago, Dale G. Bridenbaugh and two of his colleagues at General Electric resigned from their jobs after becoming increasingly convinced that the nuclear reactor design they were reviewing — the Mark 1 — was so flawed it could lead to a devastating accident.
– Fukushima: Radiation, Politics and Public Relations (Veterans Today, Nov 11, 2012):
by Leuren Moret, Dr. Majia Nadesan and Jim Fetzer (with Major William Fox)
On Friday, 30 March 2012, Dr. Majia Nadesan and Leuren Moret appeared as the featured guests on “The Real Deal” hosted by Jim Fetzer to discuss the radiation effects of the Fukushima disaster and the fashion in which it has been covered up both by the Japanese and by the American governments. Nadesan, PhD., a professor of communication in the Division of Social and Behavioral Sciences in the New College of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences at Arizona State University, has studied Fukushima extensively. Moret is an independent geoscientist who has done expert studies on the Fukushima disaster, radiation problems around the world including depleted uranium. What they had to tell us smacks of politics and public relations and is profoundly disturbing. This is Part I of the original interview, which can be heard here:
Introduction by Major William Fox
NOTE: I invited Major William Fox (former USMCR commissioned officer), who was instrumental in arranging this interview to prepare an introduction. His key point is that the first line of defense to handle any major crisis is accurate information. Tragically, not only has accurate information been deliberately withheld from Americans regarding the Fukushima crisis, but they have also been steadily fed disinformation. He continues:
Dr. Majia Nadesan reports in the interview below that on 16 December 2011, The Wall Street Journal wrote that the total radiation dispersed over a broad swath of northern Japan was 15% of what was released from Chernobyl. In contrast, the summary report of the RSMC [Regional Specialized Meteorological Center] Beijing on the Fukushima nuclear accident emergency stated that the total amount of radiation released from Fukushima in the first five days was equal to Chernobyl. In addition, scientists found radio-Xenon levels in the Pacific Northwest at 450,000 times average concentration levels in the weeks following Fukushima — not to mention other dangerous concentrations of radio-nuclides well beyond what any Western Europe countries ever experienced following Chernobyl.
Then we learn from Dr. Nadesan that, “…People in the Pacific Northwest actually inhaled between five and ten hot particles a day in the first month of the disaster — it could take 20 years for cancer to develop or it could take ten years or thirty years. But the significance is that the Western Press in the United States and in Europe as well as in Japan has trivialized the amount of radiation released by using terms like `no acute effects’, `no immediate health effect’…” Dr. Nadesan also comments:
“…If you look at the recently released NRC transcripts, they were projecting the dose to the thyroid of a one year old child, and they had different calculations. But one of their calculations was a thyroid dose of 30 millisieverts just from iodine to the thyroid of a one year old child annualized. And 30 millisieverts is a lot of radiation… clearly there was no effort to make any kind of recommendations to the public to keep their kids inside or to stop drinking milk or dairy, which was found in the wake of Chernobyl to be the primary vector by which small children were exposed to iodine is through milk. And that’s disturbing.”
Tags: 9/11, Afghanistan, Aspartame, Barack Obama, BP, Bromide, Calcium, Canada, Cancer, Censorship, Cesium, Cesium-137, Chernobyl, Children, Chris Busby, Cold shutdown, Concentration Camp, Contamination, Corporate Media, Crime, David Brownstein, Depleted uranium, DHS, Dictatorship, DNA, Drug Cartels, Drugs, Environment, EPA, Fascism, FDA, FEMA, FEMA Camps, Fluor, Fluoridation, Fluoride, Fukushima, General Electric, Genetically Modified Organisms, Genocide, Global News, GMO, Government, Gulf of Mexico, HAARP, Health, Homeland Security, Iodine, Iodine-131, Iraq, Japan, Leukaemia, Leuren Moret, Libya, Lithium, Magnesium, Majia Nadesan, Martial Law, Mexico, Military, Milk, Muammar Gaddafi, NAFTA, New World Order, New York City, NRC, Nuclear, Nuclear reactors, Obama administration, Pacific Northwest, Plutonium, Police State, Politics, propaganda, Radiation, RadNet, Saddam Hussein, Science, Society, SPEEDI, Strontium, Strontium 90, TEPCO, Terrorism, Thyroid, U.N., U.S., William Fox, Xenon-133
– 10 Most Profitable U.S. Companies Paid 9% in Federal Income Taxes (AllGov, Aug 18, 2012):
The largest corporations in the U.S., consisting of oil, retail, banking and technology giants, paid an average of only 9% of their earnings in income taxes to the Internal Revenue Service last year.
According to the tax code, companies are supposed to pay 35% income tax. But NerdWallet determined that the top 10 came nowhere near that.
Exxon Mobil, the country’s biggest business, made more than $73 billion in 2011, but paid only $1.5 billion to the IRS.
The second largest company, Chevron, paid $1.9 billion in taxes after collecting $47.6 billion in revenue.
No. 3 on the list, Apple, made $34.2 billion. It paid $3.9 billion to the IRS.
These were followed by: Continue reading »
– GE Filed 57,000-Page Tax Return, Paid No Taxes on $14 Billion in Profits (The Weekly Standard, Nov 17, 2011):
General Electric, one of the largest corporations in America, filed a whopping 57,000-page federal tax return earlier this year but didn’t pay taxes on $14 billion in profits. The return, which was filed electronically, would have been 19 feet high if printed out and stacked.
The fact that GE paid no taxes in 2010 was widely reported earlier this year, but the size of its tax return first came to light when House budget committee chairman Paul Ryan (R, Wisc.) made the case for corporate tax reform at a recent townhall meeting. “GE was able to utilize all of these various loopholes, all of these various deductions–it’s legal,” Ryan said. Nine billion dollars of GE’s profits came overseas, outside the jurisdiction of U.S. tax law. GE wasn’t taxed on $5 billion in U.S. profits because it utilized numerous deductions and tax credits, including tax breaks for investments in low-income housing, green energy, research and development, as well as depreciation of property.
“I asked the GE tax officer, ‘How long was your tax form?'” Ryan said. “He said, ‘Well, we file electronically, we don’t measure in pages.'” Ryan asked for an estimate, which came back at a stunning 57,000 pages. When Ryan relayed the story at the townhall meeting in Janesville, there were audible gasps from the crowd.
Ken Kies, a tax lawyer who represents GE, confirmed to THE WEEKLY STANDARD the tax return would have been 57,000 pages had it been filed on paper. The size of GE’s tax return has more than doubled in the last five years.
For your information.
The elitists vs. the people.
YouTube Added: 13.11.2011
For more information: Thrive
Tags: 9/11, Adolf Hitler, Agriculture, Alan Greenspan, Amy Goodman, Assassination, Banking, Big Brother, Big Pharma, Bilderberg, BIS, Canada, Cancer, Catherine Austin Fitts, CCTV, CFR, Chemtrails, CIA, Congress, Corporations, Council on Foreign Relations, David Icke, Debt, Deepak Chopra, Derivatives, Derivatives market, DHS, Dictatorship, Documentary, Dollar, ECB, Economy, Energy, Environment, EU, Europe, False flag, Fascism, Fed, Federal Reserve, FEMA, FEMA Camps, Financial Crisis, Food, Free Energy, Freedom, Freemasonry, G Edward Griffin, General Electric, Genetically Modified Organisms, Genocide, George Bush, George H. W. Bush, Global News, GMO, Gordon Brown, Government, Gulf of Tonkin, HAARP, Halliburton, Health, Henry Kissinger, Herman Van Rompuy, Homeland Security, Illuminati, IMF, infertility, Inflation, Inside job, Internet, Iraq, Jean-Claude Trichet, John Perkins, Journalism, JPMorgan, Law, Ludwig von Mises, Manhattan Project, Mexico, MI5, Microchip, Military, Money, Mortgage crisis, Mortgages, Nazi Germany, Nazis, New World Order, Nicola Tesla, Oil, Patriot Act, Pesticides, Pharmaceutical Industry, Police State, Politics, Pope Benedict XVI, Privacy, Procter & Gamble, Quantitative Easing, RFID, Rockefeller, Rothschild, Royal Rife, Saddam Hussein, Science, Seeds, Society, steril, Sterilization, Steven Greer, Surveillance, Technology, Terrorism, Terrorists, Thrive, Timothy Geithner, Trilateral Commission, U.N., UFO, Vaccination, Vaccine, Wall Street, War, War on Terror, Water, WHO, World Bank, WTC, WTO, WW II, Zionism
– Confirmed: Thailand’s “Pro-Democracy” Movement Working for US (Activist Post, August 13, 2011):
Thailand’s “Red Shirts” boast of NED, Fortune 500 Washington D.C. Visit
Bangkok, Thailand, August 13, 2011 – While it is well established that Thailand’s “red shirt” street mob is working on behalf of globalist-stooge Thaksin Shinawatra who in turn is backed by some of the United States’ largest lobbying firms, most influential politicians, and most powerful corporate-financier interests, it is now confirmed that key leaders within the “red shirt” movement or United Front for Democracy Against Dictatorship (UDD) have met with Soros’ Open Society-funded Human Rights Watch, the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs (NDI), National Endowment for Democracy (NED), and the U.S. – ASEAN Business Council in an April 2011 Washington D.C. visit.
Thaksin Shinawatra, Thailand’s prime minister from 2001 until a military coup removed him in 2006, was a former Carlyle Group adviser and was literally reporting to the globalist Council on Foreign Relations in New York City on the eve of his ousting from power. While in office, Thaksin attempted to ramrod through the US-Thailand Free-Trade Agreement (FTA) without parliamentary approval, a 2004 FTA backed by the exact same US-ASEAN Business Council recently visited by UDD leaders in April of 2011.
Image: The US-ASEAN Business Council, a who’s-who of corporate fascism in the US, has been approached by Thailand’s “pro-democracy” UDD for support. The UDD never fully explains what corporations like Exxon, BP, Goldman Sachs, Monsanto, or other banes to humanity have to do with democracy or what sort of support was asked for or promised. (click image to enlarge)The council in 2004 included 3M, war profiteering Bechtel, Boeing, Cargill, Citigroup, General Electric, IBM, the notorious Monsanto, and currently also includes the criminal banksters of Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan, Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, Chevron, Exxon, BP, Glaxo Smith Kline, Merck, Northrop Grumman, Monsanto’s GMO doppelganger Syngenta, and Phillip Morris. Admittedly, these corporations are more synonymous with mass murder, mass corruption, corporate fascism, crony-capitalism, warmongering, lies, deceit and all the other ugly aspects that truly define “globalization,” than they are with any tenant of “liberal democracy.”
Tags: Bechtel, Cargill, CFR, Citigroup, Council on Foreign Relations, Economy, General Electric, Global News, Government, IBM, Monsanto, New World Order, Philip Morris, Politics, Society, Syngenta, Thailand, Thaksin Shinawatra, U.S.
– GE Moves 115-Year-Old X-Ray Unit’s Base to China to Tap Growth (Bloomberg, July 25, 2011):
General Electric Co. (GE)’s health-care unit, the world’s biggest maker of medical-imaging machines, is moving the headquarters of its 115-year-old X-ray business to Beijing to tap growth in China.
“A handful” of top managers will move to the Chinese capital and there won’t be any job cuts, Anne LeGrand, vice president and general manager of X-ray for GE Healthcare, said in an interview. The headquarters will move from Waukesha, Wisconsin, amid a broader parent-company plan to invest about $2 billion across China, including opening six “customer innovation” and development centers.
Today, average Americans have less power relative to the monolithic corporate and governmental institutions that dominate our society than at any other point in U.S. history. Sadly, this is not what our founding fathers ever envisioned. Our founding fathers established a government “of the people, by the people, for the people”, but what we have today is very far from that ideal. In America today, wealth and power are very highly concentrated, and if you have neither wealth nor power than most of our politicians really do not have any interest in you. Over the past several decades, those with huge amounts of money and power have been busy rigging the game so that the rest of the money and power slowly but surely funnels into their hands. If current trends continue, the banksters and the corpocracy will eventually own it all. Below you will find 29 statistics about extreme income inequality in America. Sadly, most of these statistics will be out of date in a year or two because wealth and power will be much more concentrated by that time.
If you are a “Kool-Aid drinking Democrat” you are going to be really upset by this article. If you are a “Kool-Aid drinking Republican” you are going to be really upset by this article.
– #Fukushima II (Not I) Nuke Plant Wants to Dump 3,000 Tons of Water into the Ocean (EX-SKF, June 7, 2011):
Did you even know that there was water in the basement of Fukushima II (“Daini”)? And that water needs to be treated to remove the radioactive materials?
TEPCO fears that the power supply equipments in the basements may degrade from the salt water from tsunami, but if they have been sitting in the salt water for nearly 3 months, they are practically worthless, I would assume.
Again, a brilliant design by GE, having the power supply in the basement in a nuclear power plant right by the ocean in an earthquake/tsunami-prone country.
From Japan’s TBS News (10:58PM JST 6/7/2011; the link will probably be changed or disappear soon, as is often the case with the TV broadcasters):
It has been revealed that TEPCO wants to release about 3,000 tons of water in the reactor buildings [and turbine buildings, according to the news clip at the site] of Fukushima II Nuclear Power Plant. However, fearing the negative effect on marine products, the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries is strongly against the plan, making the negotiations between TEPCO and the Ministry difficult.
Kan: safety measures insufficient
May 01 (NHK) — Prime Minister Naoto Kan says the government and Tokyo Electric Power Company failed to fully address safety issues that had come to light before the March 11 disaster.
An accident last June at Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant caused by the loss of outside power and the subsequent drop in the water levels of a reactor was taken up at Sunday’s Upper House Budget Committee meeting.
Remember that, when they tell you that radiation levels are ‘safe’:
“Nuclear radiation is forever,” she added. It doesn’t dissipate or disappear. Jeff Patterson, former Physicians for Social Responsibility president said, “There is no safe level of radionuclide exposure, whether from food, water or other sources. Period.” In 1953, Nobel laureate George Wald agreed saying “no amount of radiation is safe. Every dose is an overdose.”
Also from the article:
“Radioactive iodine releases from Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi reactors may exceed those of Three Mile Island by over 100,000 times….While Chernobyl had one source of radioactivity, its reactor, there are seven leaking radiation sources at the Japanese site. Together, the three damaged reactors and four spent fuel pools at Fukushima Daiicho contain (much) more long-lived radioactivity, notably cesium-137, than the Chernobyl reactor.”
“The radioactive (iodine-131) fallout is now as much as 73 percent of the daily radiation emitted from Chernobyl following its meltdown disaster.” For cesium-137, it’s 60%.
“I hate to say it, but I am pessimistic….We have to think of all six (reactors) going down, and the possibility of that happening is not low.”
Japan’s March 11 earthquake/tsunami-caused nuclear disaster affects millions of people regionally and throughout the Northern Hemisphere. But you’d never know it from most major media reports, downplaying an unfolding catastrophe.
In fact, distinguished experts like Helen Caldicott long ago warned of inevitable nuclear disasters, especially in seismically active areas. On May 23, 2004, The Japan Times contributor Leuren Moret headlined, “Japan’s deadly game of nuclear roulette,” saying:
“Of all the places in all the world no one in their right mind would build scores of nuclear power plants, Japan would be pretty near the top of the list.”
“Japan sits on top of four tectonic plates….and is one of the most tectonically active regions of the world. (There) is almost no geologic setting in the world more dangerous for nuclear power than Japan.”
In 2004, Kobe University Seismologist/Professor Katsuhiko Ishibashi called the situation then “very scary. It’s like a kamikaze terrorist wrapped in bombs just waiting to explode.”
American cities like New York have no credible evacuation plans in case of nuclear disasters. Neither does Japan, its Fukushima response a clear example. In fact, however, there’s no adequate plan possible in cases of catastrophic nuclear events. How and to where do you transfer millions of people. Abandoning the technology alone can work, a possibility not considered, at least not so far.
Tags: Cancer, Cesium, Cesium-134, Cesium-137, Chernobyl, Chris Busby, Environment, General Electric, Global News, Government, Health, Iodine, Iodine-131, Japan, Nuclear, Nuclear reactors, Politics, Radiation
About Dr. Busby (Source: Wikipedia):
Christopher Busby (born 1945) is a British scientist and activist known for his work on the health effects of ionising radiation. In addition to his academic appointments he is the director of Green Audit, an environmental consultancy agency, and scientific advisor to the Low Level Radiation Campaign which he set up in 1995. Busby was also the National Speaker on Science and Technology for the Green Party of England and Wales, and the Scientific Secretary of the European Committee on Radiation Risks, based in Brussels.
From 1987 onwards Busby has worked in particular on the health effects of ionising radiation, developing the ‘Second Event Theory’ which distinguishes between hazards from external and internal irradiation. He has studied the effects of low-dose radiation on health. Recent (2008) work by Busby, focusing on the photoelectric effect as a mechanism for cells to be damaged by ingested uranium, was covered by the popular New Scientist magazine.
“As member of the International Society for Environment Epidemiology, he was invited to Iraq and Kosovo to investigate the health effects of depleted uranium. He has also given presentations on depleted uranium to the Royal Society and to the European Parliament. He was a member of the UK Ministry of Defence Oversight Board on Depleted Uranium.” He served on the UK Government’s Committee Examining Radiation Risks of Internal Emitters (CERRIE), which operated between 2001 and 2004, ultimately disagreeing with the committee’s conclusions and publishing a “minority report” with another committee member.
If you haven’t done so, please read at least these articles:
And watch this:
Technology giant JAPAN cannot measure any amount of radiation? Oh, sure!
And if the following is true then ….
… I need a break.
The Japanese Government, IAEA & the Mainline Media all lied
It is clear that Nuclear Energy as a means of power generation is now dead in the water
Dr. Chris Busby verified today in an email that three spent fuel pools are totally blasted away and burned up. That puts the approximate radiation levels at 24,000 HIROSHIMAS x 3 = 72,000 times the radiation of Hiroshima now in the atmosphere. Remember, this is JUST from the spent fuel pools. Radiation escaping from the reactors is another story altogether.
We have now all had time to evaluate what we believe is the truth behind the Japanese Nuclear Incident (or should I say disaster) and it has become clear that we have all been deceived by the Japanese Authorities, their nuclear establishment, the IAEA, the international pro nuclear groups and more importantly the so called experts that are invited onto the mainstream media channels to blast us with nothing more than total spin. We have heard from nuclear experts from Chatham House (the NWO voice box) and such people as Prof. Gerry Thomas from Imperial College London.
They all keep playing down this disaster without themselves fully understanding the implications on human health and the antiquated testing methods used in the assessment of potential victims. It is only when one listens to such people as Dr. Chris Busby that you get to understand the true picture of the side effects of contamination by ingestion i.e. depleted uranium etc.
Before we go into what Dr Busby is saying about this disaster lets throw a few things around that will make you re think on how you yourself may have analyzed this event.
This was an excerpt from The Nation:
Tags: Cancer, Cesium, Cesium-134, Cesium-137, Chernobyl, Chris Busby, Environment, General Electric, Global News, Government, Health, IAEA, Iodine, Iodine-131, Japan, Nuclear, Nuclear reactors, Politics, Radiation, Robert Alvarez, Uranium
– Israeli Nuclear Expert Accuses Japan Of Downplaying Danger Nuclear Calamity: ‘If there is fallout of plutonium oxide, a most toxic substance that they use in the reactor that exploded, no one will be able to set foot on the site for thousands of years’
However, many of those reactors have been negligently sited on active faults, particularly in the subduction zone along the Pacific coast, where major earthquakes of magnitude 7-8 or more on the Richter scale occur frequently. The periodicity of major earthquakes in Japan is less than 10 years. There is almost no geologic setting in the world more dangerous for nuclear power than Japan — the third-ranked country in the world for nuclear reactors.
“I think the situation right now is very scary,” says Katsuhiko Ishibashi, a seismologist and professor at Kobe University. “It’s like a kamikaze terrorist wrapped in bombs just waiting to explode.”
When reading the following article keep this fact in mind …
Gamma radiation measurements – on which all those low health risk statements were based – do NOT take into account radiation from alpha-emitting radionuclides such as uranium and plutonium!!!
… and also remember that the fuel rods may have already burned:
High temperatures inside the building that houses the plant’s No. 4 reactor may have caused fuel rods sitting in a pool to ignite or explode, the plant’s owner said.
CNN has changed the article, but you can still see that this exact phrase has been used in the article here.
Here is why Japan’s nuclear disaster could get (much) worse than Chernobyl
GE, the company that boasts that it “brings good things to life,” was the designer of the nuclear plants that are blowing up like hot popcorn kernels at the Fukushima Daiichi generating plant north of Tokyo that was hit by the double-whammy of an 9.1 earthquake and a hugh tsunami.
The company may escape tens or hundreds of billions of dollars in liability from this continuing disaster, which could still result in a catastrophic total meltdown of one or more of the reactors (as of this writing three of the reactors are reported to have suffered explosions and partial meltdowns, and all could potentially become more serious total meltdowns with a rupture of the reactor container), thanks to Japanese law, which makes the operator–in this case Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO) liable. But if it were found that it was design flaws by GE that caused the problem, presumably TEPCO or the Japanese government could pursue GE for damages.
In fact, the design of these facilities–a design which, it should be noted, was also used in 23 nuclear plants operating in the US in Alabama, Georgia, Illinois, Iowa, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Nebraska, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Vermont–appear to have included serious flaws, from a safety perspective.
The drawings of the plants in question, called Mark I systems, provide no way for venting hydrogen gas from the containment buildings, despite the fact that one of the first things that happens in the event of a cooling failure is the massive production of hydrogen gas by the exposed fuel rods in the core. This is why three of the nuclear generator buildings at Fukushima Daiichi have exploded with tremendous force blasting off the roof and walls of the structures, and damaging control equipment needed to control the reactors.
One would have thought that design engineers at GE would have thought about that possibility, and provided venting systems for any hydrogen gas being vented in an emergency into the building. But no. They didn’t.
There is a worse problem though. Probably in an effort to keep the problem of nuclear waste hidden from the public, these plants feature huge pools of water up in the higher level of the containment building above the reactors, which hold and store the spent fuel rods from the reactor. These rods are still “hot” but besides the uranium fuel pellets, they also contain the highly radioactive and potentially biologically active decay products of the fission process–particularly radioactive Cesium 137, Iodine 131 and Strontium 90. (Some of GE’s plants in the US feature this same design. The two GE Peach Bottom reactors near me, for example, each have two spent fuel tanks sitting above their reactors.)
As Robert Alvarez, a former nuclear energy adviser to President Bill Clinton, has written, if these waste containers, euphemistically called “ponds,” were to be damaged in an explosion and lose their cooling and radiation-shielding water, they could burst into flame from the resulting burning of the highly flammable zirconium cladding of the fuel rods, blasting perhaps three to nine times as much of these materials into the air as was released by the Chernobyl reactor disaster. (And that’s if just one reactor blows!) Each pool, Alvarez says, generally contains five to ten times as much nuclear material as the reactors themselves. Alvarez cites a 1997 Nuclear Regulatory Commission study that predicted that a waste pool fire could render a 188-square-mile area “uninhabitable” and do $59 billion worth of damage (but that was 13 years ago).
Another nuclear scientist agrees with Alvarez, quoted in an article in the Christian Science Monitor:
“There should be much more attention paid to the spent-fuel pools,” says Arjun Makhijani, a nuclear engineer and president of the anti-nuclear power Institute for Energy and Environmental Research. “If there’s a complete loss of containment [and thus the water inside], it can catch fire. There’s a huge amount of radioactivity inside – far more than is inside the reactors. The damaged reactors are less likely to spread the same vast amounts of radiation that Chernobyl did, but a spent-fuel pool fire could very well produce damage similar to or even greater than Chernobyl.”
Adding to that worry, Alvarez says photos of Reactor 3 seem to show white steam rising from the damaged facility, from a location where the spent fuel pond would likely be.
But it gets worse. According to news reports, the Reactor 3 unit was being fueled with MOX, a controversial mixed oxides fuel rod, which includes, in addition to uranium, a significant amount of plutonium–a far more dangerous element both chemically as a toxin, and in terms of its radioactivity.
You have to ask, what kind of numbskull would put the waste “pond” for spend fuel right above the reactor of a nuclear plant, thus insuring that in the event of a meltdown, not only would the core of the reactor blow up into the environment, but also all of the spent fuel from prior years?
Tags: Arjun Makhijani, Cesium, Cesium-137, Chernobyl, Earthquake, Environment, General Electric, Global News, Health, Iodine-131, Japan, MOX fuel, Nuclear, Nuclear reactors, Plutonium, Radiation, Robert Alvarez, Strontium 90, Technology, Uranium
Make no mistake, the financial crisis has only just begun.
This is The Greatest Depression.
Paulson on Paulson
A friend sent me a collage of quotes from former Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson’s memoir of the financial crisis, On the Brink. The quotes are particularly relevant in view of the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission’s newly issued report which concludes that the 2008 financial crisis was badly mishandled by the government.
The collage paints a stunning picture of a confused and panicked government without a coherent strategy for getting in front of and containing the crisis. Judge for yourself:
“I misread the cause, and the scale, of the coming disaster. Notably absent from my presentation was any mention of problems in housing or mortgages.” (p. 47)
“All of this led me in late April 2007 to say . . . that subprime mortgage problems were ‘largely contained.’ I repeated that line of thinking publicly for another couple of months. . . . We were just plain wrong.” (p. 66)
“Lehman’s UK bankruptcy administrator, PricewaterhouseCoopers, had frozen [Lehman’s] assets in the UK . . . a completely unexpected . . . jolt.” (p. 230)
“General Electric . . . was having problems selling commercial paper. This stunned me.” (p. 172)
“I’d never expected to hear those troubles spreading like this to the corporate world. . . .” (p. 227)
“In a celebratory mood, [Rep.] Pelosi, [Sen.] Reid, [Sen.] Dodd, [Rep.] Frank, [Sen.] Schumer, and I walked together to Statuary Hall to announce the [TARP] deal. . . . Perhaps I should have foreseen the problems ahead . . . .” (p. 314)
“I expected [TARP] to be politically unpopular, but the intensity of the backlash astonished me.” (p. 370)
“I began to seriously doubt that our asset-buying program [TARP] could work. This pained me, as I had sincerely promoted the [toxic asset] purchases to Congress and the public. . . .” (p. 385)
March 26 (Bloomberg) — JPMorgan Chase & Co., Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. and UBS AG were among more than a dozen Wall Street firms involved in a conspiracy to pay below-market interest rates to U.S. state and local governments on investments, according to documents filed in a U.S. Justice Department criminal antitrust case.
A government list of previously unidentified “co- conspirators” contains more than two dozen bankers at firms also including Bank of America Corp., Bear Stearns Cos., Societe Generale, two of General Electric Co.’s financial businesses and Salomon Smith Barney, the former unit of Citigroup Inc., according to documents filed in U.S. District Court in Manhattan on March 24. Continue reading »
In the latest sign of weakness in Louisville-area employment, about 10,000 people applied over three days for 90 jobs building washing machines at General Electric for about $27,000 per year and hefty benefits.
The jobs dangle medical, eye care, prescription and dental benefit packages, as well as pension, disability, tuition assistance and more, said GE spokeswoman Kim Freeman. And despite the recession, no union workers have been laid off from Appliance Park since the company negotiated lower wages with workers in 2005.
“There are no jobs out there paying these kinds of wages that also offer these kind of benefits,” said Jerry Carney, president of IUE-CWA Local 761 at Appliance Park.
Just four years ago, the same jobs paid $19 per hour. But that was before Local 761 approved wage cuts for new workers aimed at preventing the closure of Appliance Park.
“People still value these jobs,” Freeman said.
The US economy is suffering its steepest downturn since at least the 1970s and could descend into a depression, Jeff Immelt, General Electric’s chief executive, warned on Thursday.
He said businesses and consumers alike were struggling to contend with tumultuous markets and a financial-services industry under siege.
“Unlike the other downturns that I’ve been a part of, this one is faced with limited liquidity,” Mr Immelt, GE’s chief since 2001 told a conference. “Once you break through ’74-’75, you don’t stop ’til you get to 1929.”
When asked whether he would call the current slowdown a recession or a depression, Mr Immelt joked that he would need to refer to his college economics text book for a precise answer but said “it is one of those”.
– Iceland’s prime minister resigns (Financial Times)
– Obama Presses Lawmakers on Stimulus, Accountability (Bloomberg):
Jan. 23 (Bloomberg) — President Barack Obama pressed congressional leaders to reach a consensus on an $825 billion stimulus plan, warning the country may be facing an “unprecedented” economic crisis.
– Geithner Hints at Harder Line on China Trade (New York Times):
WASHINGTON — Timothy F. Geithner, who moved closer to confirmation as Treasury secretary on Thursday, told senators that President Obama believed China was “manipulating” its currency, suggesting a more confrontational stance toward that country than under the Bush administration. (More change!)
– China prepares for the Year of the Slump (Guardian)
– Sterling plunges to record lows (Financial Times – 23 Jan 2009)
– Recession figures heighten the gloom (Independent)
– Just The Early Stages of Economic and Financial Collapse (The International Forecaster)
– Boston Scientific Founders Bash Baby on Lehman Bets (Bloomberg):
Jan. 23 (Bloomberg) — The men who built Boston Scientific Corp. into the world’s biggest seller of heart stents have dumped $484 million in shares to repay loans after other assets were frozen by the Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. bankruptcy.
– Bank deposits at ECB drop sharply (Financial Times):
Deposits have now fallen by €171.5bn over the past two days and are almost two-thirds down from the record €315.3bn reached less than a fortnight ago.
– Where You Won’t Shop In 2009 (Forbes)
– Microsoft’s days as an unstoppable force are over (Telegraph)
– Samsung suffers its first quarterly loss (Financial Times)
– GE profit falls 43% to $3.9bn (Financial Times)
– Australian wine exports collapse (Telegraph)
Tags: Australia, Banking, Barack Obama, China, ECB, Economy, Financial Crisis, General Electric, Government, Iceland, Microsoft, Obama administration, Politics, Recession, Samsung, Timothy Geithner, U.K., U.S.