It’s summed up in the emphasized third sentence – if nuclear power plant owners followed every safety precaution, they couldn’t make any money. Neocon Republicans love to spread fear by doting on lurid tales of the destruction that could be wrought by a ‘dirty-bomb’ nuclear device in the hands of a terrorist – so far, ‘peaceful’ nuclear power has killed more people than Al-Qaeda, but you won’t hear the GOP complain; they are, after all, a paid arm of the nuclear power industry.
“…[I]t’s been normal for this company in the past [lying to the public]. It’s normal for the industry to some extent.
“It’s a highly ideological industry, and it also involves a lot of concentration of political power, as well as physical power. And those institutions become very powerful, very close to the regulators, and an adversarial culture develops where they’re constantly pushing against the safety measures, because that`s where the money is.
“If you did every single thing that you — that was possible to make it safe, then you couldn’t make any money.”
— Greg Mello of the Los Alamos Study Group on MSNBC’s “Hardball,” March 16, 2011, talking about the Japanese nuclear plants. [Emphasis mine.]
“Nuclear plants the world over must be certified for what is called ‘SQ’ or ‘Seismic Qualification.’ That is, the owners swear that all components are designed for the maximum conceivable shaking event, be it from an earthquake or an exploding Christmas card from Al Qaeda.
“The most inexpensive way to meet your SQ is to lie. The industry does it all the time. The government team I worked with caught them once, in 1988, at the Shoreham plant in New York. Correcting the SQ problem at Shoreham would have cost a cool billion, so engineers were told to change the tests from ‘failed’ to ‘passed.’ ” [snip]
“These [Japanese nuclear] plants are now releasing radioactive steam into the atmosphere. Be skeptical about the statements that the ‘levels are not dangerous.’ These are the same people who said these meltdowns could never happen. Over years, not days, there may be a thousand people, two thousand, ten thousand who will suffer from cancers induced by this radiation.” [snip]
“It would be irresponsible for me to estimate the number of cancer deaths that will occur from these releases without further information; but it is just plain criminal for the Tokyo Electric shoguns to say that these releases are not dangerous. …The carcinogenic isotopes that are released at Fukushima are already floating to Seattle with effects we simply cannot measure.”
— Greg Palast, investigative journalist and former nuclear plant inspector, from “The No BS Info on Japan’s Nuclear Operators,” March 14, 2011.