Millions of Dollars in Criminal Conspiracies Keep Aging Nuke Plants Operating

by on August 4, 2020 · 0 comments

in Energy, Environment

Nuclear Shutdown News  August 2020

By Michael Steinberg / Black Rain Press

Nuclear Shutdown News chronicles the decline and fall of the nuclear power industry in the US and beyond, and highlights the efforts of those working to create a nuclear free world.

Nuke Plant Multi-million Dollar Criminal Conspiracies Exposed

On July 23 Bloomberg News reported “Scandals taint efforts to save US nuclear plants.” The news service charged,” “Back to back scandals in Ohio and Illinois over the past week have given a black eye to efforts to prop up struggling US nuclear plants.”

As aging nuke plants continue to deteriorate and fail to make money, desperate utilities have been rolling out schemes to jack up prices on customers and funnel these ill gotten gains to corrupt politicos who further exploit the public to keep outdated nuclear plants spewing radioactivity into the environment from going under.

In Ohio, two such dangerously overworked plants were supposed to shut down this year. Instead a $60+ million bribery network centered around a high level politician and the nuclear utility that runs them prevailed. But on July 21 this racketeering enterprise hit the fan when Speaker of the Ohio House Larry Householder and four others were arrested on federal charges. US Attorney David DeVillers said this was “likely the largest bribery and money laundering scheme ever perpetuated against the people of Ohio.”

Colombus (OH) Business First called this a “$1.3 billion bailout” of the failing nuclear plants.

An 81-page affidavit details this horrendous ripoff, including numerous emails between Householder and First Energy Solutions, owner of the nuke plants. In 2017 First Energy began making regular wire payments of $250,00 to an entity named Generation Now, according to the Associated Press. Householder set this up as a supposedly nonprofit social welfare organization. But instead Householder and his cronies used it as “to build up a war chest of $ 2.9 million in ‘dark money’ used for political activities and campaigns,” according to the federal charges.

Among these was to install Householder as speaker, a post he had previously held, and to assist First Energy out of bankruptcy, after which it renamed itself Energy Harbor.

Once this was done Householder and gang pushed through a state law, HB 6, that gave millions to the decrepit nukes, so their shutdown dates were erased, and millions more to defeat a ballot initiative by environmentalists that would have shuttered the nukes and encouraged use of renewable energy.

The affidavit states that First Energy paid $9.5 million to the state house and $7.3 to the senate to effect passage of HB 6., the so-called Clean Air Act. In addition, there was $38 million laid out to defeat the no nukes ballot measure. This adds up to 54.8 million. In addition, , the feds charged, Generation Now donations went for “advertising and campaign strategy” to advance these corrupt activities.

Houdeholder appeared in court after his arrest but was not jailed and released without posting bail. At the end of July a federal grand jury indicted Householder and his gang of four on charges that could put each of them in lockup for 20 years.

One of the Lake Erie nuclear plants, Davis-Besse, has an abominable operating history. In 2002, according to Wikipedia, workers “discovered corrosion had eaten a football-sized hole into the reactor vessel head,” leaving only inches left to prevent the protective cover over the reactor from rupturing and causing a potentially catastrophic disaster. Subsequently it took owner First Energy Solutions two years to fix the problem, with the plant shut down. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission slapped First Energy with a $5 million fine, at that time the largest ever such fine, over the debacle. In addition, First Energy had to pay the Department of Justice $28 million.

And they want to keep this monster running?

Chicago Nuclear Blues

There was a similar slime bag scandal in Illinois, one that would make Al Capone seem like an altar boy.  Major nuclear plant owner Exelon of Chicago was found guilty, in another federal investigation, of paying off Mike Madigan, Speaker of the House there, to enact a $216 million per year “bailout for ailing nuclear plants” owned by Commonwealth Edison, a subsidiary of Exelon,  Bloomberg reported.

Exelon’s CEO had threatened to pull the plug on its nuke plants, which supply electricity to Chicago and other parts of the state, without a government bailout.

On July 17, Bloomberg reported, the “federal prosecutor” said employees of Commonwealth Edison stated that the company “tried to gain influence by arranging jobs and payments from 2011-2018 for the benefit of “Official A”, that is Madigan.

Sources: Bloomberg News,; Associated Press,; Colombus Business First,; Wikipedia,



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