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VIDEO: Before Meltdown, GOP Mocked Concerns About Nuclear Safety

By Jeff Spross  

"VIDEO: Before Meltdown, GOP Mocked Concerns About Nuclear Safety"

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Commenting on the unfolding nuclear reactor crisis at Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi plant, John McCain (R-AZ) said recently:

I think what happens now to this power plant as to whether the damage is contained or not will have a direct effect on the future of nuclear power in the United States. Let’s have a little straight talk.

Kicked off by the 9.0 magnitude earthquake which struck the country on Friday, the crisis has already become the worst nuclear accident since the Chernobyl disaster. An ensuing series of explosions and breakdowns has forced workers on site to react with increasingly desperate measures to bring the crisis under control, primarily by pumping seawater into the damaged reactors in an attempt to cool the overheating cores.

Not surprisingly, the crisis has also inspired renewed debate over the future of nuclear technology here in America. It’s worth noting that, before offering “straight talk” on nuclear energy, McCain and fellow Republicans — including Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN), Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-OK), and Sen. Kit Bond (R-MO) — were displaying a frighteningly blasé and contemptuous attitude towards the severity of nuclear power’s dangers and the regulations necessary to address them:

McCain is probably regretting that his views on nuclear safety did not advance sooner beyond “blah blah blah.”

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