Nuke Reactor Opt-Out | Hits & Misses | Salt Lake City | Salt Lake City Weekly

Nuke Reactor Opt-Out 

Feeble Mask Efforts, Flag Upsmanship

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Nuke Reactor Opt-Out
Taxpayer money is often no object if you're considering business, growth and jobs. It now seems that the burden outweighs the enormous risk of creating the diminutive nuclear reactor proposed for Idaho Falls. Because the modular reactor would provide electricity to Utah cities, the Utah Associated Municipal Power Systems (UAMPS) managed to entice a few eager cities to commit to help paying for the then-$3.1 billion (now $6.1 billion) project. Even as the cities began to abandon the ship, the Department of Energy approved a $1.35 billion cost-share award, like that will help. Now six smart cities have opted out of the bleed. UAMPS still hopes nuclear still sounds like a good thing. "Those reactors have generated 80,000 tons of waste that will be disposed of at—oh, right, we don't have a repository or a dump for spent nuclear fuel, despite 70 years of trying to site one," writes Ralph Hutchinson of the Oak Ridge Environmental Peace Alliance.

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Feeble Mask Efforts
The Deseret News is trying really, really hard to persuade readers to mask up. Sunday's paper included a front-page spread of a newspaper from October 1918. "Doomed to repeat—October marked 102nd anniversary of first Utah shutdown, mask orders." And that was about the flu! The governor, meanwhile, has held press conference after press conference, even meeting with federal health officials, in a feeble effort to stave off the COVID wave here. "It is no longer just a pleasant request ... it is now a public health order," he told the D-News. And yet, no one really knows what that means, and there is no statewide mask mandate. When anti-maskers gathered outside the state epidemiologist's home, he said, "This isn't activism. Harassing epidemiologist Angela Dunn is unacceptable." The D-News ran a secondary editorial on the incident: "Utahns are better than this." Well, no, they're not.

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Flag Upsmanship
Salt Lake Indivisible's goal was to take back the American flag for everyone, using it as their logo and in all communications. But unless they start using big trucks with billowing flags, that's not happening anytime soon. The so-called Trump Trains have gathered the fun-loving right wingers to participate in a grand show of citizen intimidation. It works as a not-so-subtle reminder of the lynchings of yesteryear. Guns and vests complete the outfit. Just ask Kyle Rittenhouse how that worked for him. A Deseret News article quotes a Trumper saying it's a way to exercise First Amendment rights. Those "rights" include giving the middle finger to all who disagree with you, because the First Amendment isn't for anyone else.

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About The Author

Katharine Biele

Katharine Biele

Bio:
A City Weekly contributor since 1992, Biele is the informed voice behind our Hits & Misses and Citizen Revolt columns. When not writing, you can catch her working to empower voters and defend democracy alongside the League of Women Voters.

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