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"Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Wake UP" say Demonstrators in front of USGS
Demonstrators chose the Menlo Park, CA U.S. Geological Survey site as a choice protest spot in front of the federal facility today. They said they were not protesting the USGS and that they respect the scientific research produced by the scientists there. Their message was for the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. The Raging Grannies, an anti-war and environmental activist group, led the protest. They said that the NRC has been rubber-stamping licenses for nuclear reactors and granting extensions and exceptions to their owners without enough regard for the public's safety.
Top photo: Demonstrators stand in front of USGS entrance with their message to the NRC. Photo credit: Mei Bo Chan.
An employee of USGS, who asked not to be identified, said that the mainstream press has been getting their information from PG & E and re-reporting news from other news sources, rather than getting the facts straight. He stated that there is a big difference between the facts that USGS is giving the media in interviews, from peer reviewed studies, and what is appearing in the media. He gave the example of the Shoreline Fault, the fault near Diablo Canyon, a reactor only 170 miles from the site of today's protest. USGS scientist Jeanne Hardebeck, who discovered that fault, has spoken to media sources.
The man I interviewed on condition of anonymity works in the Geothermal division at USGS. He said that rather than quote scientists like Hardebeck, the media is repeating the 6.5 magnitude earthquake prediction for Shoreline Fault, which is PG & E's estimate, rather than the real estimate of 7.7.
Today, Platts.com, an industry news website, reports that the Nuclear Regulatory Commission will check the seismic risk of 27 nuclear units first. Neither of the California reactors is on that list. See link for that report.
The Raging Granny in "radioactive protective gear" joked that this style could become a new trend, if the NRC doesn't see fit to shut down dangerous nuclear plants.
...and pets too. The Grannies quoted recent news: in Tokyo the water is not safe for infants due to contamination from the Fukushima fallout.