The Real Cost of Nuclear Power

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-18-2000
The Real Cost of Nuclear Power
7
Thu, 03-24-2011 - 2:05pm

http://www.time.com/time/printout/0,8816,2059453,00.html

The chaos at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant — explosions, fires, ruptures — has not shaken the bipartisan support in partisan Washington for the U.S.'s so-called nuclear renaissance. Republicans have dismissed Japan's crisis as a once-in-a-lifetime fluke. President Obama has defended atomic energy as a carbon-free source of power, resisting calls to halt the renaissance and freeze construction of the U.S.'s first new reactors in over three decades.

But there is no renaissance.

Even before the earthquake-tsunami one-two punch, the endlessly hyped U.S. nuclear revival was stumbling, pummeled by skyrocketing costs, stagnant demand and skittish investors, not to mention the defeat of restrictions on carbon that could have mitigated nuclear energy's economic insanity. Obama has offered unprecedented aid to an industry that already enjoyed cradle-to-grave subsidies, and the antispending GOP has clamored for even more largesse. But Wall Street hates nukes as much as K Street loves them, which is why there's no new reactor construction to freeze. Once hailed as "too cheap to meter," nuclear fission turns out to be an outlandishly expensive method of generating juice for our Xboxes. (See pictures of an aging nuclear plant.)

Since 2008, proposed reactors have been quietly scrapped or suspended in at least nine states — not by safety concerns or hippie sit-ins but by financial realities. Other projects have been delayed as cost estimates have tripled toward $10 billion a reactor, and ratings agencies have downgraded utilities with atomic ambitions. Nuclear Energy Institute vice president Richard Myers notes that the "unrealistic" renaissance hype has come from the industry's friends, not the industry itself. "Even before this happened, short-term market conditions were bleak," he tells TIME.

Around the world, governments (led by China, with Russia a distant second) are financing 65 new reactors through more explicit nuclear socialism. But private capital still considers atomic energy radioactive, gravitating instead toward natural gas and renewables, whose costs are dropping fast. Nuclear power is expanding only in places where taxpayers and ratepayers can be compelled to foot the bill.

 


Photobucket&nbs

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-03-2009
Thu, 03-24-2011 - 10:33pm
Good article. Too bad it's likely to fall on deaf ears. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xAp2v3r-QZc

Jabberwocka

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-18-2000
Fri, 03-25-2011 - 9:08am
Thank you for posting that link.

 


Photobucket&nbs

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-07-2002
Fri, 03-25-2011 - 12:38pm
"One lesson of the past decade, in finance as well as nature, is that perfect storms do happen. When nukes are involved, the fallout can be literal, not just political."

Amen! Excellent article.

 nwtreehugger  

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-03-2009
Fri, 03-25-2011 - 12:39pm
You're welcome.

I am amazed that Imhofe has any credibility whatsoever. How can he make such a ridiculous statement that "once in 300 years, a disaster occurs."?! We've had three major accidents take place within less than forty years. Nuclear hasn't been around for 300 years! And there have been a number of lesser ones which proved fatal or toxic. The most recent Newsweek mentioned a bizarre event in the early sixties. http://www.newsweek.com/2011/03/20/america-s-deadliest-nuke-disaster.html

IMHO, Imhofe is seriously and studiously ignoring that which he does not want to see; and isn't even using an attack position which makes sense. He must think his constituents are as dumb as he is.

Jabberwocka

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-18-2000
Fri, 03-25-2011 - 3:27pm

Interesting. I'd never heard about that incident.

 


Photobucket&nbs

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-07-2002
Sat, 03-26-2011 - 11:26am
I grew up in the PNW & I never heard about this!

 nwtreehugger  

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-03-2009
Sat, 03-26-2011 - 9:40pm

Never had heard of it either but have been near where it happened.

Jabberwocka