Wednesday, March 16, 2011

The Risks and Costs of Nuclear Power

Even in the face of a disaster of unimaginable scale, the cynics still consider the proponents of renewable energy to be impractical. But I don't see why I or anyone should apologize for advocating developing energy resources that don't blow up and poison the air, land and water for miles around.Such large scale disasters are expensive as well as dangerous, which is a key reason why no new nuclear plants have been built in the U.S. for a generation.

Several years ago, I heard Jeff Immelt, the CEO of GE, say that commercial nuclear power won't be developed in the U.S. without federal liability or financing guarantees. The risks, however remote, are so expensive that investors don't want to take them on, no matter what the ROI. Even so, some supposedly hard-headed folks consider nuclear power to be more practical than wind or solar.

I know that some advocates for tackling climate change are convinced that nuclear power has to be part of the solution. But if the risks are so scary that industry can't finance a power plant without offloading financial liability onto the federal government, it may not be a practical part of the solution.

Photo: DigitalGlobe, via Reuters


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wind energy distractor, Misunderstood Finance (5/13) wrote:

"Imagine the extra devastation and loss of life that might have occurred, if Japan were circled by huge wind turbines and the Tsunami pushed hundreds, if not thousands, gigantic turbine blades into people and buildings. Imagine the devastation from a large solar plant that uses large batteries containing toxic materials, such as lithium, mercury, etc. to store power for times of the day when the sun is unavailable and that toxic material was spread over a city or got into a water supply."

Distractors should not longer 'imagine' that the above should be true.

"Frieda Berryhill writes ~ 'Battle-proof Wind Farms Survive Japan's Trial by Fire - Despite assertions by its detractors that wind energy would not survive an earthquake or tsunami the Japanese wind industry is still functioning and helping to keep the lights on during the Fuksuhima crisis.' " (Orig. post at Delaware Way)

"According to Ueda there has been no wind facility damage reported by any association members, from either the earthquake or the tsunami. Even the Kamisu semi-offshore wind farm, located about 300km from the epicenter of the quake, survived. Its anti-earthquake "battle proof design" came through with flying colors."

As Japan battles results of the earthquake, the tsunami, the damaged nuclear reactors/on site storage of spent nuclear fuel adds to the catastrophe with partial meltdowns, exposed spent fuel, the site fires and nuclear explosion hazards, the widespread nuclear contamination, health damaging radiation, hazardous duty, ultra limited manpower to fight meltdowns, further contamination of water, real estate, industrial property, food supplies, plus the hindrance of aid to survivors, clean up efforts, compromised containment efforts of nuclear events of catastrophic proportions, etc.

The undamaged wind units still stand producing zero emission power to Japan, using nature's free, clean energy.

It's time for clean energy opponents to come clean. It is better to work with nature than against it.

Deniers (mainly republicans) can't hang a price tag on a barrel of wind or rods of sun power, so they 'imagine' deadly solar panels and fierce windmills instead.

Ann Coulter goes so far as to say, excess radiation is "good news." Pure evil.

6:01 AM, March 20, 2011  

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