We Have A HOT Deal For You!

Looks like Idaho is about to get scammed once again by slick business types who have the ear of media and politicos.

This time it’s an outfit called Areva which is in the energy business. They got the obligatory color drawing on the front page of the Daily Paper and endorsements from state and federal politicians to build a $2 billion uranium enrichment plant near Idaho Falls.
Now all they need is about a hundred permits, $2 billion in financing, land, local zoning approval, and a market for enriched uranium fuel rods to power nuclear reactors, while the nation struggles with disposal of hot nuke waste that could be used to make bombs.

Locals in Idaho Falls are questioning the hazards of the proposed facility and seem eager to hear “the rest of the story.”

The GUARDIAN did a brief number crunch with the Bonneville Assessor. If the plant truly turned out to be worth $2 billion and it paid its fair share of taxes, it would mean a 41% DECREASE in local property taxes. As it now stands, the taxable value is capped at $400 million. At best it could contribute about 8% of the county revenues. Total taxable value in Bonneville County is currently $4.8 billion.

The Daily Paper ran the story as a “done deal,” saying the company WILL open the plant near Idaho Falls–not may, could, wants to, proposes, but WILL.

Here some examples of other highly promoted proposals which never made it:

ASSORTED BILL AGEE schemes including the Texas TGV rail line, the Honolulu monorail.

ROCKET LAUNCH site also near Idaho Falls promoted by Lockheed with a giant mock up of a space ship they towed around the country hustling local politicos.

THE DEFUNCT “WPPS” nuke plant that cost millions and never opened.

SATURN AUTO PLANT. Idaho wanted to put it at Kellogg to create jobs for unemployed silver miners…never mind GM would have had to ship parts and supplies a thousand miles to the wilds of Idaho and also ship finished cars as far.

SUPER COLLIDING SUPERCONDUCTOR. Another scheme that was shopped all over the nation. The GUARDIAN noticed everywhere we traveled the locals were “in the running.”

MEDITERRANEAN MOVIE SET and “planned community” at Blacks Creek east of Boise. What an idea location for a seaside community in the desert of Idaho.

MOVIE SOUND STAGE and theme park at Nampa. Sweetwater Junction never got going either, despite press conferences and headlines.

BOISE TOWER and a dozen other hotels, offices, convention centers, and condo projects.

MICRON PLAYED the political game of “we will put you on the list if you give us a break.” They got the break and built new facilities–in China, Singapore, and Virginia, NOT idaho.

Meanwhile the politicos still gush about all the jobs these projects “will create.” They seem to forget the humiliation of Albertson’s tax deal, the tax cap on Micron–the largest non-profit company in the state, Hollywood movie production rebates, and the list goes on.

For the record, the GUARDIAN actually favors nuclear power as a clean energy source, but it is absolute INSANITY to create more waste without establishing a permanent safe repository for spent fuel rods.

Areva, like any other company should pay its way. If they can meet the safety standards, provide the financing, pay their taxes, offer a safe workplace and good wages–welcome to Idaho.

Comments & Discussion

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  1. Don’t underestimate IF. Its a nuke town. You can’t say anything negative about nuclear in that town.

    I agree wholeheartedly about the waste issue. I’m deeply disturbed by industry touting nuclear as safe, clean and inexpensive. It is none of those things because of the waste. Waste disposal at this juncture is just another government subsidy giving us the appearance of cheaper rates since the cost of disposal isn’t incorporated into the rate.

  2. Uranium enrichment–whichb is what AREVa will do if allowed to– is one of the dirtiest nuke processes imaginable. AREVA has a rotten record as an industry in France, which owns AREVA. We are allowing a foreign government to build a uranium enrichment plant here that will only provide 250 jobs (as they told the Leg. when they were courting it). Guess where the top jobs will come from? not from Idaho.
    AREVA will be located near INL, and working with INL. But INL has not even got rid of the waste they were supposed, BY LAW, to get rid of by now. This rad-waste is still infiltrating the Snake River aquifer, the source of drinking and irrigation water for most of Magic Valley, ID.

    INL has also been told they will be taking on rad-waste from the dirty Hanford ex-nuke facility in Washington state.Plus, they might be taking on more of it from Europe.

    Butch Otter and his cronies think nukes are just fine–the answer to all our enviro and climate problems. Not. Patrick Moore, who spoke recently at an IEF lunch meeting, blames environmentalists for ALL our climate and environmental problems. That is an hilarious stretch. But what can be expected from a shill for the nuke industry.

    This is one of the best sites to read about the international nuke industry. Idaho needs to get educated about what they are taking on.

  3. I want to add a link about the record of the French in building and promoting the nuke industry:

    It’s not a pretty picture. AREVA is French. AREVA wants to install itself in Idaho. If you think this will be a safe jobs bonanza, think again.
    A word to the wise…………..?

  4. Ahhh, leave it to the Frence to bring socialized energy to Idaho. Areva has a long history of mistakes including dumping millions of gallons of radioactive waste in the ocean. I guess in this case they will have to dump it in a river or aquifer. Sweet! Anyone have kids or grandkids they care about?

  5. see stars in the sky
    May 7, 2008, 8:38 pm

    And what about the proposed nuclear power plant near Bruneau? That location has the potential to destroy the dark skies for the Observatory at Bruneau Dunes State Park which houses the only publically operated and funded, open to the public, Observatory in Idaho.
    That facility will also produce nuclear waste along with the light pollution. How much polution can we stand here? Do we have to grow toes out of the tops of our heads before someone stops to think that maybe this could harm the people and the planet? Why is Idaho such a big target for these companies all of a sudden? Could our laws be lacking in something that other states have already figured out? Ooo, don’t tell Idaho and let tham keep the nuclear waste there!

  6. Anybody ever wonder *why* all these nuke promoters want to build their stuff in Idaho?
    Cuz they don’t want it anywhere near their homes?
    Or is it just cuz they figure Idaho doesn’t have enough voters to put any pressure on D.C. to make the companies behave?
    Or because land is cheaper here?
    Or because Idaho probably will bribe them (tax breaks, etc.) to build here?
    Or because they think Idahoans are stupid enough to say Yes! Yes! Yes! to any plan that promises to bring in jobs, regardless of the “down” side?

    Probable correct answer: All of the above.

  7. It seems like there was another French investment in the state. Some place near Cascade? Did that investment cause some fallout?

  8. Dr Peter Rickards DPM
    May 8, 2008, 1:03 pm

    Sorry to hear The Guardian supports nuclear power, but at least you are demanding a waste dump for the fuel rods we are already stuck with.
    If Yucca Mt Nevada nuke dump is ever forced open, against the will of Nevada citizens, it will be overfilled with the backlog of high level waste. Yes, we will have to force future waste on another small state, hey, like Idaho! Maybe they will make us “do it like the French” and just dump it on site, in glass logs, in shallow graves. Yah, that’ll last 240,000 years!
    The Bush push to double our nuke plants already means more toxic uranium mining in Idaho, to feed the French fetish for fuel and uranium hexafluoride. When Craig and company aren’t in the men’s room, they have volunteered Idaho for the GNEP, or Global Nuclear Energy Partnership. That means we import the world’s spent fuel to reprocess and do the dirty work here. That buries more residual waste onsite, while they are leaving most the dumped plutonium they promised to remove right here in Idaho, dumped over our water, in a flood zone. BRILLIANT!

    EDITOR NOTE–Anti nuke groups put pressure on congress to cut funding for research on nuclear waste disposal 20 years ago (iron renriched basalt for example). Sort of like not allowing distribution of condoms for fear of people having sex. Clean up and safe disposal is essential before any more nuke waste can be generated.

  9. Hi Dave and all,
    Interesting analogy! I am not sure what anti-nukers were trying to cut research in nuke waste disposal, but it wasn’t me.
    I bet it was pesky old Nevada people trying to stop the dumping in their state. I really can’t blame them though. Dear conservative and pro-nuclear Idaho Congressman Stallings was serving 20 years ago. He told our group about the status of legislation of high level disposal. Richard Stalling said “Three states were identified by scientists as geologically potential high level waste sites, Washington, Texas, and Nevada. Washington and Texas are politically strong, so they removed their states from the study. We now openly refer to it as the ‘Screw Nevada’ bill” I think that is why Nevada is flexing the “State’s Rights”, and fighting back. Last summer or so, the Nevada lawyers found a great quote from the US Geological Survey team, that is in charge of verifying Nevada’s dump water infiltration status.
    The one USGS “scientist” told the other “I can’t believe they want more documentation! If they want more documentation, I WILL BE HAPPY TO MAKE MORE UP”!!! I wish Idaho would fight for our State’s Right not to be nuked into oblivion.

  10. The reason Idaho is so attractive to the nuke industry is because it’s politics is dominated by
    ultra right wing Republicans. These guys will lick any boot for election money so they can promise “high wage jobs” to their moron constituents who barely eke out a living wage.

    I hope the potato growing community in Eastern Idaho realizes that a nuke accident by a private company will doom their product on the world market. The dairy industry can kiss their hind tit
    goodbye too.

    A private nuke plant, like the mining industry, will “cut and run” in the event of an accident and hide behind the bankruptcy laws, leaving a huge poision environmental mess behind. If the Federal Government cannot clean up the radioactive mess at INEL how will a private company cope in that event?

  11. NoNukesInIdaho
    May 9, 2008, 2:53 am

    I agree with the Guardian. I am very pro-nuclear, so long as:
    1. They don’t burden future generations with any waste issues.
    2. So long as, they do lifelong follow-up on all workers to insure there are not the normal long term health effects well known with radiation exposure, cancer being the best known, but by far not the only one.
    3. So long as, they pay the full cost of their endeavor and do not push off the cost to taxpayers, full cost means, construction, operation, insurance, waste management (See #1 above.)
    4. So long as, they can provide a service that is economically comparable to other energy options.
    5. So long as, there are no unintended side effects in fuel processes such as lung cancer from uranium mill tailings anywhere they obtain their fuel.
    6. So long as, they can guarantee the radioactive material won’t fall into the wrong hands.
    7. So long as, they can guarantee that no radioactive accident can take place, and just to be sure they have the financial resources to clean it up themselves based on the cost of past accidents which couldn’t happen either.

    8. So long as, the DOE the department with a spick and span record of doing the right thing, the first time, can certify that no level of death and illness associated with nuclear power, which of course they don’t. They expect a certain level of increased cancer for every single nuclear plant (assuming no accidents and no excess exposure issues.)
    9. So long as they don’t idle many thousands of acres of farm land to make room for it and provide water to keep the thing cool.
    10. So long as, they don’t heat up our lakes and rivers killing fish and other life.
    11. So long as, if there is a problem they can issue a re-call on the item as is done in the standardized automotive industry where they build hundreds of millions of the same item and still have screw ups which at their worst might only kill a few people.

    I am sure there are other important things missing, but I don’t need the industry to be perfect to support them. if they could get even close to these I would be a real fan.

    Besides we all know we can rely on Larry Craig to tell us the truth. Anyone with his obvious upstanding (though be it a wide stance) moral values. Looks like he must have been giving our governor lessons (probably how he hurt his hip!)

  12. How about combining all the out-of-state investment in one irresistable package? The Avalon/Tamarack Nuclear Power Plant/Enrichment/Disposal Site, Ski Resort & Film Studio!

  13. No Nukes In Idaho pretty well sums it up.

    Oh, and one more thing: What to do with a nuclear plant after it outlives its short usefulness? Encase it in concrete (which doesn’t really block radiation), close off a few hundred acres in all directions, and wait a few thousand years?
    As for the Editor comment ” *Clean up and safe disposal* is essential before any more nuke waste can be generated,” yep. Unfortunately, there ain’t no such animal.

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