Monday, May 16, 2005

More on the Costs of Nuclear Energy

Guest blogger Angela Oung brings up an interesting point in this post at Ezra Klein: the nuclear power industry has had limited liability for meltdowns for almost 50 years through the Price-Anderson Act. So, in the case of an accident, we taxpayers end up footing the bill. I'd like to repeat a point Nathan Newman raises and Angela quotes:
...if private industry thinks it's too dangerous to open a reactor without government-subsidized insurance, I'm sure as hell not going to bet on it. The day the nuclear industry agrees that Price-Anderson is not needed is the day I'll believe the technology is safe enough.
Again, I question the labelling of nuclear power as a "mature" industry if it needs this kind of government subsidy.

BTW, I am not going to an "all nuclear energy all the time" format. The role of nuclear power as part of a national energy strategy has been pushed hard lately, though, so I think it's absolutely necessary to spend some time on the question. The more I look, though, the more convinced I become that nukes simply can't be considered "sustainable" except in the most cynical use of the word.

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