Nuclear Corruption: Bribery Plot to Save Ohio’s Aging Reactors Exposed

August 22nd, 2020 - by Karl Grossman / Enviro Close-Up & Bob Fitrakis and Harvey Wasserman / Columbus Free Press

A Massive Bribe Scandal to Save 2 Failing Reactors

Karl Grossman / Enviro Close-Up #646

 (August 22, 2020) — Nuclear corruption is a major element in why and how deadly nuclear power plants exist in the United States. The US Attorney’s Office and FBI have just charged the speaker of the Ohio House of Representative and four others in a $61 million scheme to use $1 billion in ratepayers’ money to keep two decrepit nuclear power plants operating. And this kind of situation is not limited to Ohio.

Harvey Wassermanand Bob Fitrakis detail the nuclear corruption — in Ohio and elsewhere — in this Enviro Close-Up. And they also speak out about another form of corruption — Trump’s effort to steal the 2020 election, a move which both are deeply involved in fighting.  Fitrakis warns of the possibility of a “coup this fall” involving Trump and the presidential election.

The program will be broadcast nationally on Free Speech TV on August 22 airing on 200 cable TV systems in 40 states, the major satellite TV networks, Dish and DirecTV, and on various Internet platforms, and it can be seen now, too, on our website

Ohio Speaker Householder’s Bribery Scandal and the State’s Nuclear Reactors

Bob Fitrakis and Harvey Wasserman / Columbus Free Press

(July 23, 2020) — Ohio’s biggest-ever bribery case is rocking America’s reactor industry … and the fall election.

Full details of the shocking arrest of Ohio’s powerful Speaker of the House are still unfolding.

But on Monday the FBI charged Larry Householder and four associates with taking $61 million (that’s NOT a typo) in bribes from “Company A,” suspected to be the Akron-based nuke utility FirstEnergy. The company has not been formally named as the source of the bribe, but FE’s stock has since plummeted.

Householder is suspected of buying votes for the widely hated $1.5 billion bailout of two decrepit nuke reactors on Lake Erie. Donald Trump lobbied at least five legislators to support the cash giveaway. Ohio’s moderate Republican Governor Mike DeWine has asked Householder to resign. 

Without the bailout, Perry and Davis-Besse would already be dead in the rising tsunami of US reactor shutdowns.

The handout also supported two ancient coal burners (one in Indiana), and ten small solar plants. It killed a big, highly successful state-wide efficiency program and crippled further Ohio development of wind and solar.

Facing the imminent shutdown of FE’s dying Perry and Davis-Besse nukes, Householder rammed the bailout through a gerrymandered Ohio Legislature with just a few votes to spare.  In recent primaries the company assaulted a score of free market Republicans and hesitant Democrats, replacing them with compliant corporatists. The HB6 bailout could not have passed without those hand-picked Republicans and a few Democrats now suspected of pocketing some of Householder’s FE cash. 

Householder, under arrest, faces irate citizens.

The Indictments Have Ohio Burning

HB6 remains hugely unpopular in a state savaged by soaring energy bills and massive job losses, much of which could have been avoided with large turbine farm developments proposed for Ohio’s north coast corridor. Strong lake-based winds, flat fields and ample transmission to nearby cities years ago attracted $4 billion in committed investments. But rather than embracing a green-powered future, the legislature undercut those projects with a single corrupt anti-wind clause in the 2015 Ohio Code, leaving Ohio dependent on fossil and nuclear fuels.

Householder became Speaker in 2017 as FirstEnergy spent millions on bailing out its dying nukes. With shrill TV ads they linked reactor opponents to Communist China. Hired thugs called “blockers” physically assaulted activists who were gathering signatures to put a popular repeal referendum on this fall’s statewide ballot. The fascist attacks and strategic delays by Ohio’s Secretary of State kept the referendum off the upcoming November ballot.

The free-market Buckeye Institute, Sierra Club and others now want HB6 rescinded, almost certainly leading to the Perry and Davis-Besse reactors shutting down. Opened in the 1970s, Davis-Besse ist infamous worldwide as a shoddy relic likely to soon melt. In 1986, Perry became the first US reactor to be damaged by an earthquake.  

It’s unclear how a repeal vote would now go in the Legislature, or whether Gov. DeWine — who signed off on the original bailout — would support it.

But as the case unfolds, Ohio is in election year turmoil over a Trump-supported nuke bailout bought with bribery. Whether public fury will kill the handout and affect the fall presidential election remains to be seen. 

But Bribed Ohio 2020 has clearly gone radioactive. Ohio Governor Mike Dewine called for a repeal of House Bill 6 Thursday, July 23, however activists were quick to point out “At a Thursday press conference, DeWine called for the General Assembly to “very quickly” repeal and replace House Bill 6 while preserving the two nuclear power plants afforded the bailout. He supports nuclear power as a carbon-free, clean source in Ohio’s energy mix. The plants provide 15% of the state’s electricity.”

Bob Fitrakis & Harvey Wasserman have co-convened with Joel Segal, and co-authored six books on election protection at, where Bob’s Fitrakis Files reside. Final revisions of Harvey’s People’s Spiral of US History await Trump’s departure.

Read More:House Bill 6: Lawmakers propose repeal of nuclear bailout at heart of Householder bribery case,”

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