No End in Sight

Remember the scene in “A Clockwork Orange” where Alex has his eyes clamped open and is forced to watch a movie? I imagine a similar experience for the architects of our catastrophe in Iraq. I would like them to see “No End in Sight,” the story of how we were led into that war, and more than 3,000 American lives and hundreds of thousands of other lives were destroyed.

Roger Ebert

Published in: on August 12, 2007 at 2:39 pm  Comments (1)  

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  1. …in a summer whose theme seems to be things that don’t work, a rimshot, please, for the ongoing exercise in malfunction at a place where you really would rather not see it: the Indian Point nuclear power plant.

    True, this is not about running the reactors. Instead it’s the ongoing “Keystone Kops” episode about putting together a functional siren system that is now nearing another big deadline. That would be Aug. 24, when the updated $15 million system of 155 sirens is supposed to be ready to alert residents (let’s not dwell on what they would be alerted to) of Westchester, Rockland, Orange and Putnam Counties who are within 10 miles of the plant on the Hudson River.

    The new system was initially due by Jan. 30, but Entergy Nuclear, which owns the plant, wasn’t ready and was granted an extension by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission until April 15. Whoops! On April 12, 31 of what were then 150 new sirens failed to sound during a test. That led to a $130,000 fine.

    And now? The company said 96 percent of the sirens worked properly in its most recent test. On the other hand, it’s not a great sign that with two weeks to go, the company and regulators are arguing about just how loud the sirens have to be.

    Siren-Gate dates to 2005, when provisions inserted by Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton into the federal Energy Policy Act required backup battery power for the sirens at Indian Point, which were installed when the plant was built in the mid-1970s. The plans called for replacing the 156 old sirens, which had mechanical rotating horns and were activated by radio signals, with new units featuring activating systems that can be triggered by cellphone, microwave radio or Internet-based signals. But company officials say numerous glitches have prevented the system from operating properly. And public officials say the project has become a nightmare, sucking up time, energy and resources, with the outcome still uncertain.

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