Monday, January 28, 2013

NRC denies Oconee fire protection delay

More on the unsafe Oconee Nuclear Station, as originally reported here back in late September of last year.

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission will conduct a public meeting at 1 p.m. Wednesday at Oconee Nuclear Station’s World of Energy. Duke Energy officials will discuss major projects at the plant, including the fire-protection efforts.

From Sunday's Greenville News:

NRC denies Oconee fire protection delay
Agency says plant is safe, but wants protection system
by Eric Connor, staff writer

For years now, the Oconee Nuclear Station’s colossal three reactors have operated on the shores of Lake Keowee under fire-protection methods that the government says were only meant to be temporary.

However, federal regulators have now taken an unexpected stand – denying the most recent of voluminous deadline extensions Duke Energy has requested through the years as the company works to put its fire-protection practices at the forefront of the nuclear industry.

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission – in recently citing a higher-than-acceptable safety risk under temporary fire-protection measures while at the same time insisting those temporary measures have been sufficient so far — is straddling a line with contradiction on either side.

If the risk of fire is great enough for regulators to stand ground opposite a powerful energy giant, then why are Oconee’s reactors still operating?

Or, if the plant can safely operate under interim measures as it has for years, why should a nuclear provider so integral to life in the Upstate be denied a pass in an industry known for the deadlines both it and the government itself frequently don’t meet?

The NRC insists that the plant is safe from fire, though the agency says the degree of safety could be as much as 40 times less than if Duke had kept to its deadlines.

Duke insists that it is working diligently and that the project is more complex than either it or the government had foreseen.

The answer, nuclear watchdogs say, lies in reading between the lines of a denial that they say borders on the unprecedented — and one that, if held to, could be an indication of a willingness for the NRC to take a stronger stance against criticism that it has become too cozy with the industry it regulates.
Our 2010 Green Party Senatorial Candidate, Tom Clements, is quoted in the article:
“This is almost unprecedented to me that the NRC would deny a request presented by a licensee,” said Tom Clements, director of the Columbia-based Alliance for Nuclear Accountability. “This is highly unusual, and it signifies how serious the NRC is taking this issue.”

Duke has a 30-day window to appeal the NRC’s denial.

The outcome — for instance a potential plant shutdown — could set a tone for the industry as dozens of reactors must make the transition, said Paul Gunter, director of the Reactor Oversight Project for the Maryland-based Beyond Nuclear watchdog organization.

“This is sort of a push-comes-to-shove moment for fire protection in the nuclear industry,” Gunter said. “We really need to see if the NRC will back up its enforcement policy. This plant shouldn’t be operating if it can’t meet fire-protection qualifications.”

The denial is even more astounding given that the NRC recently granted a one-year extension for Brown’s Ferry in Alabama, the genesis for the industry’s original fire standards following a fire at the plant in 1975, Lochbaum said.

“What about all the other plants that haven’t begun the transition?” Lochbaum said. “If two more years is unacceptable for Oconee, how is it OK for the four dozen other reactors? I guess Oconee spun the wheel of misfortune and it came up ‘no’ this time.”

The NRC determined that the “core damage frequency” rate is at least four times and as much as 40 times greater than if Duke had the pilot measures completed.
More here.

I probably will not be able to make it to Wednesday's Duke Energy meeting, but we are hoping we can hear from folks who will be? If you will be attending the meeting, please consider contributing your account to Occupy the Microphone, which airs on Tuesdays on WOLT-FM, 1-2pm, here in upstate SC. ( We would like to have South Carolina Greens in attendance. Unfortunately, the meeting wasn't announced very far in advance, to allow people to travel from all over the state (especially from the more liberal coast).

And of course, we are hoping some of those rich folks around Lake Keowee make their feelings known.


EDIT: Mary Olson of NIRS (Nuclear Information and Research Service) will be calling into the show tomorrow to talk about this issue in more depth, so tune in!


EDIT 2/1/13: The January 29th Occupy the Microphone show in its entirety is HERE. My apologies for tardiness in posting it.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Radio show poster

How do I look? I love it! (you can click to enlarge)

Check us out, if you haven't yet.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

This is your cat on catnip

Internet connection woes have plagued me for days now. Days. Bah.

Sorry about that.

Here is our recent show on WOLT-FM, have a listen. After the show, we chowed down at The Red Bowl, which has the greatest sauce (for my veggie lo mein) in the entire universe. I regret to say I don't even know what it's called. If I knew how to make it myself, I would dump it all over everything and eat it daily.

Right now: enjoying the dapper Anderson Cooper and the spirited CNN discussion about women in combat. My mother once told me that if women were ever required to register for the Selective Service (military draft) en masse, you'd see a baby-boom the likes of which this country has never seen. I always wondered if she was right. But allowing women in combat is still a long way from forcing them to register for the Selective Service. (more discussion here)

Mr Daisy is currently listening to the namesake of this blog, UNCLE DAVE'S DEAD AIR, and I am getting ready to join him.

But first, thought you should see this Public Service Announcement. I already posted it on Facebook, just to get the word out.

Get your cats and make em watch! The life you save may be theirs!

This short, seven-minute film (by Jason Willis) debuted at the Sundance Film Festival this year. Truly inspired!


Tuesday, January 15, 2013

On the radio

Today was our second OCCUPY THE MICROPHONE show in our new radio digs. (At left: my talented radio co-hosts, Double A and Gorgeous Gregg.)

Last week was our first show at WOLT-FM (103.3 FM on your radio dial in Greenville, SC), so I deliberately did not link it, because it was a bit frenzied and I was not at my best. In fact, I was a nervous wreck. We are now broadcasting to a much larger audience; you can hear us in most of the upstate.

Unfortunately, I missed my cue today and started out with "Now?" (sigh) I carried on though, and overall it was a pretty good show. We interviewed Christopher Williams, author of The Killer Job and friend of the old Daisy Deadhead Show on WFIS-AM. We hope you will give us a listen.

I'd also like to give a shout-out for the RAISIN KANE benefit for young Kane DeGeorgis at the Handlebar, tomorrow night at 8pm, featuring my very favorite local band, Mac Arnold and Plate Full O' Blues. Other local artists participating include: Benton Blount, Craig Sorrells, Greg Payne (of The Piedmont Boys), Chuck Beattie, Caesar, Taylor Moore, JJ Woolbright, George Grady, Stacy Bruns, Cynthia Brashier, Jim Peterman, Tez Sherard, Scram, Teresa DeGeer, Gene Brashier, Tom Peterson, Greg Hodges, Jeff Holland and possibly even more. Your $10 ticket goes to a very good cause. Kane has Batten disease, which is so rare that in all my years of medical transcription, I cannot recall typing up a single case. (It occurs in an estimated 2 to 4 out of every 100,000 births in the United States.)

We wish Kane and his family all the very best.

If you'd like to advertise with us, contact Gorgeous Gregg at

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Link Wray

Rumble - Link Wray (1958)

Visuals are from The Delicate Delinquent. (1957)


I'm not sure when the following tunes were recorded.

Raunchy - Link Wray

The Earth is Crying - Link Wray

Friday, January 11, 2013

Campaign for Southern Equality

The "WE DO" demonstration was today in both Greenville and Asheville... and we had a pretty good-sized group for the upstate. Over a hundred folks; I am SO proud of us!

And only one lone heckler, who instructed us to read Romans Chapter 1. (I guess the rain was a mixed blessing.) There were five Greenville Occupiers in attendance.

We started at the Warehouse Theater and marched over to Greenville County Square. Six couples attempted to get marriage licenses as we quietly witnessed outside; some prayed. When the couples emerged, we applauded and cheered.

At least one couple was already married in their home state, but are not regarded as legally married here in South Carolina, where they currently reside.

It was invigorating! Hope you like my photos (at left and below) of the demonstration; the last two were taken inside the Warehouse Theater. (As always, you can click to enlarge.)

Gay, lesbian couples denied marriage licenses in Greenville
Written by Ron Barnett
Greenville News staff writer

More than 100 supporters turned out on a drizzly morning to support half a dozen gay and lesbian couples who attempted — and were denied — to apply for marriage licenses at Greenville County Square.

The event was aimed at drawing attention to South Carolina’s marriage laws, which allow only heterosexual couples to marry.

“In May of 2011 we were able to go to Washington, D.C., and get married,” Ra’Shawn Barlow-Flournoy told marriage license clerk Elizabeth Robinson. “And we just wish that we could be able to come back home to South Carolina and be able to have the same rights as everyone else.”

The event was organized by the Campaign for Southern Equality and was the fourth of nine stops at courthouses in six states. The group was headed to Asheville after leaving Greenville.

The Rev. Jasmine Beach-Ferrara, executive director of the organization, urged the group which gathered at the Warehouse Theatre on Augusta Street afterward to continue to work to change people’s minds in a nation that allows gay marriage in some states and not in others.

“It’s immoral and it’s illogical and it’s unsustainable, and it’s got to change,” she told the cheering group.
Ongoing YouTube account of the Southern Campaign here.

Please check them out on Twitter and elsewhere on the net, and lend your support. The South needs you!


Saturday, January 5, 2013

Soulful Saturday

Why Can't We Live Together - Timmy Thomas (1972)


Slippin Into Darkness - War (1971)

Friday, January 4, 2013

Speciesism: The Movie

Speciesism: The Movie (trailer)

"You'll never look at animals the same way again. Especially humans."

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Pope trashes capitalism for the New Year

At left: I know he is technically Pope Benedict XVI, but to me, he will always be Cardinal Ratzinger, ideological hit-man for the Vatican.

And today, he did some ideological sermonizing that few expected. Now, this is the kind of New Year's Day sermon I can get behind.

Lots of people are surprised, quoting and misquoting right and left (if you'll pardon the expression) and so I went to the Vatican website to get the actual text verbatim:

[The] world is sadly marked by hotbeds of tension and conflict caused by growing instances of inequality between rich and poor, by the prevalence of a selfish and individualistic mindset which also finds expression in an unregulated financial capitalism, as well as by various forms of terrorism and crime, I am convinced that the many different efforts at peacemaking which abound in our world testify to mankind’s innate vocation to peace. In every person the desire for peace is an essential aspiration which coincides in a certain way with the desire for a full, happy and successful human life. In other words, the desire for peace corresponds to a fundamental moral principle, namely, the duty and right to an integral social and communitarian development, which is part of God’s plan for mankind. Man is made for the peace which is God’s gift. All of this led me to draw inspiration for this Message from the words of Jesus Christ: ‘Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God’ (Mt 5:9)
The splendour of the face of God, shining upon us and granting us peace, is the manifestation of his fatherhood: the Lord turns his face to us, he reveals himself as our Father and grants us peace. Here is the principle of that profound peace – “peace with God” – which is firmly linked to faith and grace, as Saint Paul tells the Christians of Rome (cf. Rom 5:2). Nothing can take this peace from believers, not even the difficulties and sufferings of life. Indeed, sufferings, trials and darkness do not undermine but build up our hope, a hope which does not deceive because “God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit which has been given to us” (5:5). May the Virgin Mary, whom today we venerate with the title of Mother of God, help us to contemplate the face of Jesus, the Prince of Peace. May she sustain us and accompany us in this New Year: and may she obtain for us and for the whole world the gift of peace. Amen!
The reviews are coming in fast and furious; some predictably stating that the Pope's New Year's address "left many scratching their heads"... while others approvingly quoted his words and nodded in agreement.


In other news: Carolina kicked Michigan's ass! (You shoulda heard the whooping and hollering in the Mellow Mushroom today.) And Georgia beat Nebraska, which was welcome news in my household.

It's going to be an interesting year. :)