Thursday, February 22, 2018

Civil Charges for Corporate Malfeasance Represent Regulatory Capture


Citing safety and compliance violations at Georgia's Plant Vogtle, the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission is "proposing" a $145,000 civil penalty:
Russ Bynum (2018, Feb 21) Agency Seeks Fine for Violations at Georgia Nuclear Plant (2018, Feb 21). US News and World Report. Available, https://www.usnews.com/news/best-states/georgia/articles/2018-02-21/agency-seeks-fine-for-violations-at-georgia-nuclear-plant

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission said investigators found at least 13 system operators at the plant who on multiple occasions neglected to perform required rounds, then made false log entries saying the checks were completed. The civil penalty was filed against Southern Nuclear Co., a subsidiary of the electrical utility Southern Company.

The NRC said in a letter to the company that workers are required to perform rounds to identify and correct "degraded, abnormal, or undesirable" conditions at the nuclear plant. "In this case, however, this vital function was intentionally precluded by the deliberate misconduct," the NRC's letter stated.
In my book, Crisis Communication, Liberal Democracy and Ecological Sustainability (publisher description here), I explain how small civil, rather than criminal, penalties contribute to a culture of corporate malfeasance.

Additionally, the levying of small civil penalties, rather than criminal charges, for misconduct that jeopardizes the lives and livelihoods of entire communities constitutes regulatory capture.

My crisis book's first chapter describes how corporate malfeasance and regulatory capture produce the conditions of possibility for catastrophic accidents, such as the 2008 financial crisis, the 2010 BP oil spill, and the 2011 Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster.

These three catastrophic accidents may appear unrelated, but when one traces the money chains one discerns closely-coupled underlying ownership structures.

Additionally, all 3 accidents are case examples of global industries historically inclined towards prioritization of short-term extraction, with well-documented disregarded for catastrophic risks, as I describe in my book.

The energy and financial complexes pursue logics of dispossession that will lead us rapidly to societal collapse in the manner described by Jared Diamond, as a form of collapse deriving in large part from centralized ownership and resource exhaustion.


Good governance of catastrophic risks engineered into our modern infrastructures requires a rapid shift to sustainable, alternative financing and energy production/ownership.  Further, governments must be perceived as just and equitable. We are a long way away from where we need to be.

The NRC could help move us in the right direction if it rejected nuclear partisanship and prioritized public safety in a "threat-environment" characterized by rising cybersecurity threats, severe weather, and aging nuclear infrastructures.






13 comments:

  1. With relevance, a citation left by one of the commentators here:

    Ari Natter (2018, February 21). Nuclear Reactors Could Run as Long as 80 Years Under Trump Plan. Bloomberg https://www.bloomberg.com/amp/news/articles/2018-02-21/nuclear-reactors-could-run-as-long-as-80-years-under-trump-plan?

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  2. The nuclear catastrophe-states are Japan, America, Russia, Ukraine, and Belarus.
    Chernobyl, weakened, ukraine to the point of a collapsing civilization and society. Ukraine has an onging civil war. They have done little to close, their beat-up old reactors, in the face of abundant, renewable energy. Ukraine has little money to do so. They are being  cannibalized by catastrophe capitalism. Trump now says, America
    will store its nuclear waste there.

     Another reactor meltdown will poison them, russia, and europe to a point beyond comprehension, from  the point of view  health, genotoxic, and geoplotical repercussions. Millions have fled Ukraine, russia, and belarus, since chernobyl. Nuclear refugees. Soon no place to go for any of them.

    Japan, is in the early stages of collapse. More precarious than Ukraine. The very geological instabality, which caused their nuclear catastrophe has grown worse. Due to gross censorship, propaganda, and lies by the world nuclear-security state, most people do not understand.  The lies and propaganda involves the iaea, and the secrecy law of japan, enacted after fukushima.  There is have purposely obsurred picture of japan, after the worst nuclear disaster in history. More people have woke-up since then, inspite of our psychtic, homicidal nucleoape governments. We are extrapolating from our own experiences, chernobly, and keeping a close eye on fukushima.
    The fact that the Japanese, are reopening, probably damaged reactors, in areas of increased seismic activity, shows them to be desperate. The fact that they are genociding their own people, by moving them back into forbidden zones of radioactive saturation, shows them to be far more desperate than Ukraine.

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  3. Russias economy has never recovered since chernobyl. The same neoliberal devils who caused 2008 here chopped them up and handed their wealth  to the bloodthristy oligarchs and mafia boses, that have vampire sqiuid, influence from wall street, to flleet, to asia. 

    Much of the inhabited part of their huge land mass, is polluted beyond remediation by radionuclides and nuclear accidents, from mayak, to moscow, to much of what was once a prestine artic circle. Today Moscow has radiation alerts weekly to daily from mishandled nuclear waste and god only knows what other nuclear accidents are occuring. Putin, and the russians act as if they are chained to nuclear death. They raid their peoples pension funds, to finance nuclear ponzi schemes, protection rackets, reprocessing and extraction death rackets, nuclear waste rackets, with the most dangerously built nuclear reactors known. They are trying to foist nuclear power on the least polluted, more pristine, countries in the world, so they can exploit them and ruin them as they have, their own country. This is in the face of a renewable energy revolution, providing the cleanest , cheapest, most hi tech, most efficient enery known. 

    Russia is destroying itself with nuclear. It wants to export nuclear death everywhere. The radionuclides saturation, in most of Russia, is not as concentrated as Ukraine, Japan, or Belarus, but, it soon will be, if putin and rosaton continue their current course.

    The United States. Hardly anyplace  in the US uncontaminated by radionuclides. Radium in drinking water. AMERICIUM IN LANDFILLS. westlae, by sy lous. The west from 1000s of nuclear explosions, nuclear waste dumps and uranium extraction massacres.
    Ninety nine, of the worst neutron emebedded atrocities on earth, begging for the new perfect storms, that have arisen in the past few years to cause meltdowns and fuel fires like fukushima. Twenty to 50 years of high level nuclear wate accumutaion, with no safe place to store it. Tritium contaminated water everywhere. 

    Instead of doing anything, our demented monster leaders dig in, like the far worse off broke, morons in japan and ukraine. One has to wonder whether the nuclear countries mentioned here have not cultivated a microraganism, that makes them really stupid en masse. Or perhaps it is the environmental intoxicants of pesticides, heavy metals, nuclides. 

    In the face of fukushima, americans elected a degenerate regime, and demented leader that wants to export reactors, to the only country that has ever physically attacked this continent in 75 years , on 911. 

    He has opened mining genotoxic garbage again, in its west. Wants to build 10,000 more useless nuclear weapons. Wants to keep 50 vulnerable, deathtrap, neutron embrittled weapons of mass self destruction opened, on its coasts, and extend their already expired, expiration date to 80 years. That is in the face of the greatest energy rennaisance in history, with renewables. Wants to start ww3.

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  4. Humans are fragile. We are propagandized to think we might be indestructible, by the reptiles that exploit us. That George Jetson and Jimmy Neutron will save us. Meanwhile, most are living in a neoliberal meatgrinder that is collapsing.
    They lie to us about the poisonous, and radioactive nature of the sewer, they have coaxed us into. Their medical system is all about fighting poison with even more poison and exteme exploitation.

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  5. For your musical entertainment

    Birdbrain

    https://youtu.be/hc4Oda0hrnY

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  6. I would love to hear your opinion on this!

    Ukraine secures US funding for storage facility
    http://world-nuclear-news.org/WR-Ukraine-secures-US-funding-for-storage-facility-15021801.html

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    Replies
    1. "Bank of America/Merrill Lynch has arranged in the US capital markets the sale of OPIC's $250 million risk insurance commitment in the form of fixed-rate bond securities."

      "The contract represents Ukraine's first access to US capital markets..."

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    2. VERY INTERESTING

      WASHINGTON – Today, the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) joined the signing ceremony to mark the closing of a $250 million political risk insurance contract for the Central Spent Nuclear Fuel Storage Facility Project that will bolster energy independence in Ukraine.
      https://www.opic.gov/press-releases/2018/innovative-opic-political-risk-insurance-product-facilitates-ukraine%E2%80%99s-first-access-us-capital-markets

      OPIC, the U.S. Government’s development finance institution, is providing insurance to support the Central Storage Safety Project Trust’s $250 million fixed-rate bond securities issuance in the U.S. capital markets. The proceeds will fund a 20-year loan to State Enterprise National Nuclear Energy Generating Company (Energoatom). With OPIC’s political risk insurance credit enhancement, Moody’s rated the notes Aa2, a significant uplift from the Government of Ukraine’s Caa2 rating.

      The loan will help to finance the construction of a long-term fuel storage facility in the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone, and provide Ukraine an alternative to its current practice of shipping spent fuel to Russia. In addition to advancing a major energy security project in a region critical to American foreign policy, this project marks a milestone in an innovative use of political risk insurance to help developing countries access the capital markets to finance major infrastructure projects.

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    3. Yes but it is also a sweerheart deal for holtec, thay has done a terrible job at Hanford. Why not help ukraine get out of nuclear energy, with more renewables. What is up with the Ukrainian government , allowing their country to be turned into a nuclear waste repository, as Trump is pushin for american nuclear waste to be shipped there. Please answer these questions.

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  7. Sharing used fuel to run reactors that are falling apart. The bank that is giving them the loan, is worse than stupid. Sounds like
    Reactor failure in ukraine, is more likely, soon, than I thought. No one cares.

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  8. Sorry. Misread it. Ukrainians are using Holtec in usa, which helps with the disasterous hanford cleanup, to build a used fuel storage facility in Ukraine. What a sweetheart deal! In other words, an incompetent american company will build a storage facility in ukraine, istead of shipping it to Russia. Nevermind that a few used fuel, storage facilities have been hit by rocket barages in the ongoing civil war, in ukraine. Nevermind, that ukraine needs money to fund new energy away from nuclear as much and as soon as possible. The ukranians, are not doing adequate maintenance on their reactors anymore, to keep them from blowing-up.

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  9. Merril lynch is not going to make any money on this 20 year loan. They will lose. There will be a default. It is a big black hole. Like all nuclear.

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  10. Merril lynch helped cause the 2008 stock market crash, and housing crash. They should not even exist.

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