We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
If nuclear powered electric plants are so "uneconomical" then why is Western Europe getting from 70% to 80% of its electricity from nuclear plants. They like to spend excessive amounts of money on essentials?
I don't buy it. The guy has some secret axe to grind.
Massachusetts actually has a glimmering of sense here. The way they've done this is to provide employment for loyal party members.
On the other hand, they could institute a Bureau of Government Efficiency to review all government programs and pull the funding for programs that have accomplished their task but never shut down, programs that don't work and outright corrupt programs. This their sole task. To ensure they do their job, BuGE's budget comes from the programs they shut down.
Re the article Stossel points to, the author is in favor of natural gas over nuclear. OK, in at least some ways natural gas is cheaper than nuclear power. And unlike, say, France the US does not have to import it via three or more other countries, from supply through rights-of-way, etc. I'll go along with that. But with reservations, especially for here in the Northeast.
Stossel quotes from the article at Cato. Well, look at that quote: "If nuclear power made economic sense, we wouldn't need to subsidize it."
Uh-huh. Of course, that may also be said of much of our food supply. Else why do we subsidise Big Agriculture - right? Or roads - go back to toll roads, they worked (unless, like the Mass Pike, it is actually a government operation). Or just plain "free" roads - which were always paid for somehow, usually - yes - via government handling of the funds.
From the Cato article itself "Economist Douglas Koplow calculates that federal nuclear subsidies have totaled $178 billion from 1947-1999."
Or, two billion a year. Yes, a lot of money to me - but to Congress? Rounding error.
And "Building a light water breeder reactor is a technologically challenging and costly undertaking whether regulators are on the scene or not."
Which is true enough. But note he carefully mentions only one, highly-specialised, type of reactor. Granted, building any type of power plant is expensive, and nuclear may be more expensive than some others, but this is still cherry-picking.
Stossel goes on with another quote: "He also notes that when the Department of Energy proposed offering to guarantee 80 percent of the cost of new nuclear plants, the big investment banks told the department that even 80 percent loan guarantees wouldn't be enough. They needed 100 percent guarantees, or they wouldn't make the loans.
Which is probably why they got the loans from smaller banks. It was after they got the loans that the administration said, well, OK, we'll "guarantee" them. I suspect for the sake of the banks, not the nuclear plants.
Nuclear power has followed the typical business model.
It moved so it was taxed, it kept moving and was regulated, it stopped moving so now it needs to be subsidized.
Or we could just cut some of the red-tape and let grow on its own. I used to work some nuclear engineers with will tell you that it is the most profitable and logical form of power production available at our current level of technology - as long as you keep politicians out of the process.
You're right about that, NJSoldier. We already have one nuclear plant here in Texas, and would dearly love to have more. When California has an electricity crisis [and that's pretty often, lately] they gaze hungrily over at Texas and want to annex some of our electric power for themselves. But [heh-heh] Texas is not on the National Power Grid. So they can't.
Appreciated mucho the "gigantic symbiosis" article. it talks about one of the things that worry me about nuclear weapons. I mean, as a peacekeeper among nation-states, as a preventer of 'big' war, they're the only thing that works --and cheaply too, relatively. However, what will they be if and when the 'one-world shadow-power' finally secretly behind the scenes begins to direct the governments of the nation-states (if it does already, perhaps not yet fully in command), governments which almost to a one are desperately trying to grow GDP in order to stave off revolution, decide there's simply too many of us, and too many of us surplus unemployed, and decide to have what looks like a nuclear war but it in reality a nuclear "cull" --a cooperative limited 'accidental' affair that takes advantage of the perfectly-designed city-quick-killer technology to simply eliminate say half of us --and give the other half several generations of plenty of work to do rebuilding?
yup, we need to listen to Buzz Aldrin and get some colonies going in the solar system --get some genes off this rock --
I suspect that between DARPA's portable combination jet-fuel and electricity station and China's pollution and infrastructure problem, we'll see competing mass produced transportable 10MW nuclear power plants within the next few years. Subsidized in development, but won't need it in operation.