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Author Topic: Nuclear Power Industry Mendacious Propaganda  (Read 4827 times)

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    • Renwable Revolution
Nuclear Lie Machine Part 1 of 2 parts
« on: December 02, 2013, 08:10:10 pm »

Did you know that rats eat the wires in the pumps used to control the heat at Fukushima?

And we are supposed to trust TEPCO? Arnie Gundersen blasts all the lies, obfuscations and open disregard for all regulations and ethics by the nuclear "industry" criminals and their bought and paid for shills. Arnie claims we are told there are WATCH DOGS taking care of nuclear risks but  they watch dogs are actually LAP DOGS! He suggests googling "Will Shill for Nukes" to see what these "so-called" "watch dogs" are REALLY ALL ABOUT.

I did. Here it is for your reading "pleasure":
Will Shill for Nukes

Decommissioning the nuclear lobby's phony op-ed campaign

By William M. Adler, Fri., April 16, 2004

Will Shill for Nukes
Illustration By Jason Stout

Will Shill for Nukes

At UT and elsewhere, academic scientists are only too happy to lend their names and reputations to the nuclear power industry


From the Desk of ... Big Nuke

Tracing the daisy chain of nuclear PR recycling

On March 4, the Austin American-Statesman published an op-ed article by Sheldon Landsberger, professor of nuclear engineering at UT. Headlined "Funds for nuclear waste storage should be used for just that," the column argues that the government is fleecing electric-utility ratepayers, who contribute mandatory per-kilowatt-hour fees toward the development of the proposed national nuclear waste dump at Yucca Mountain in Nevada. Landsberger charges that a portion of the fees earmarked for the federal Nuclear Waste Fund are diverted to the general U.S. Treasury. "This is stealing money from taxpayers who were required to support the waste management project," Landsberger writes. 

Strong words.

But they're not Landsberger's. Nor are the other 633 words that appeared in the Statesman that morning under Landsberger's byline. "It was something which was written for me," Landsberger told me later on the phone. "I agreed with it, I went over it, read it a couple of times, took all of 15, 20 minutes."

The op-ed was ginned up, assembly-line style, by a Washington, D.C., public relations firm that the nuclear power lobby retains to tilt public opinion in favor of the stalled Yucca Mountain project. (Unmentioned in Landsberger's plea for official rectitude are the myriad of unresolved scientific, technical, and legal questions about the viability of burying high-level waste in Nevada.) Besides reading and approving the column, all Landsberger did to take credit for authorship was insert his name and position at UT, and forward it via e-mail to the Statesman even that address provided by the PR firm. (He also sent the column to several other Texas newspapers, none of which printed it.)

On Tuesday, the Statesman published a letter from Landsberger apologizing for his misrepresentation.

Landsberger says he doesn't know who actually wrote his column. He received it, via e-mail, from an employee at Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee. (Landsberger emphasized that he believed the employee, whom he wouldn't name, sent him the column as a private citizen, rather than on behalf of the national lab.) Nor was this the first time; when it comes to deceiving newspaper readers on behalf of a stealth nuclear lobbying campaign, Landsberger is an acknowledged recidivist. "I've been doing this four or five years," he says. "They [op-ed columns] come from Oak Ridge maybe two or three times a year, particularly when there's a hot-button issue."

Landsberger's accomplice is Theodore M. Besmann, an Oak Ridge employee since 1985. Besmann is a prolific correspondent. Beginning at least as far back as 1978, he has had published under his own or others' names dozens of nuclear love songs in newspapers across the country, from The New York Times to the San Francisco Chronicle to The Washington Post to the Houston Chronicle to The Christian Science Monitor ("Nuclear: The Environment's Friend," appeared in the Monitor in 1994).

None but a blockhead, Samuel Johnson said, writes for free.   :evil4:  Ted Besmann is no blockhead. He moonlights as a paid consultant to Potomac Communications Group, the Washington PR firm that works for the Nuclear Energy Institute, the nuclear industry's stentorian voice and lobby. The NEI's current primary concern besides beating the congressional bushes for tax breaks and subsidies for nuclear power is opening the atomic garbage dump at Yucca Mountain. Many of the nation's 103 reactors are running out of on-site storage space for their spent fuel rods, the NEI says, and may have to close if the Energy Department doesn't soon open the Yucca Mountain facility.

To spread its message, the electric utility-funded NEI relies on generous campaign contributions to key members of Congress, virtually unbridled access to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, and academic "experts" who prostitute their reputations and those of their universities.

Everybody Does It

Enter Sheldon Landsberger, Ph.D. He directs the Nuclear Engineering Teaching Lab at UT and coordinates the Nuclear and Radiation Engineering Program. He's a busy guy. So when Ted Besmann forwarded him the op-ed on Yucca Mountain, Landsberger read it, "signed off" on it, and passed it on to the Statesman as his own, just as he'd done with the Statesman and other papers, once or twice a year for at least five years. Is that such an outrage?

Well, yes, says Jonathan Knight, an ethics specialist for the American Association of University Professors. "If I see an article by Jack Spratt, then I assume that Jack Spratt has indeed developed the ideas that are in his document," says Knight, who directs the AAUP's program on academic freedom and tenure. "If I learn that in fact Jack Spratt has only lent his name to that, I've got a problem in terms of being seriously misled."

Unsurprisingly, the perpetrators of this "public affairs campaign"  ;) see it differently. :evil4: It matters not who writes the piece, says Bill Perkins, founding partner of Potomac Communications, but what the piece says. "Whether the words are largely theirs, or largely not theirs, the views are. Nobody would submit an article if they didn't totally agree with it."   

Besides, Perkins says, everyone does it.   
"I doubt that there is a public affairs campaign by any advocacy group in the country that doesn't have some version of this. The op-ed pages are one of the ways people express their views in these debates."

But Landsberger did not exactly express his views; he appropriated those of the nuclear lobby, in their words. The distinction is crucial. Otherwise, says Knight of the AAUP, he is "foisting an illusion upon us: that he really has come up with those ideas himself."

Landsberger acknowledges an offense but claims it was he who was victimized. He says that a "few months ago" he had a "sneaking suspicion" that Ted Besmann was forwarding him the same op-ed columns other professors were receiving. "When I started doing this, I was under the impression that rightfully or wrongfully I was the only guy." He said he has since told Besmann he will no longer participate.

Besmann says Landsberger is mistaken about his place in the PR machine. "I do help with letters to the editor," he says. "It's always original material, unique to that person." But Besmann says he only occasionally ghostwrites op-eds, that more often he merely passes them on from the ghostwriters of Potomac Communications Group.

Was Landsberger saying that it's ethical to slap your name on writing that's not yours as long as no one else claims it, too? "I had no problems with them coming to me," Landsberger says, "but then going on to someone else and having them do the same thing, I felt betrayed, duped, whatever the word is."   

No Credit

Suppose, the professor was asked, a student of his submitted a paper he didn't write as his own. Wouldn't he and the university consider that cheating, and how is that different from what he, Landsberger, did?

There was a long, long pause.  "I don't put them both in the same light," Landsberger finally said. "There was no monetary value in here, number one, and number two, there was no credit to be given."

Knight, the ethics expert with AAUP, disagrees: "Whether it's an op-ed in a local newspaper or an article in a learned journal, we're talking about the same phenomenon, which is plagiarism: presenting the ideas as if they were one's own."

Continued in Part 2
Rob not the poor, because he is poor: neither oppress the afflicted in the gate:
For the Lord will plead their cause, and spoil the soul of those that spoiled them. Pr. 22:22-23


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