The only thing worse than paying for things you don’t want, is paying for them twice…
A one-sentence provision buried in the Senate’s recently passed energy bill, inserted without debate at the urging of the nuclear power industry, could make builders of new nuclear plants eligible for tens of billions of dollars in government loan guarantees.
Lobbyists have told lawmakers and administration officials in recent weeks that the nuclear industry needs as much as $50 billion in loan guarantees over the next two years to finance a major expansion.
The biggest champion of the loan guarantees is Senator Pete V. Domenici of New Mexico, the ranking Republican on the Senate Energy Committee and one of the nuclear industry’s strongest supporters in Congress.
But the provision has the potential to considerably expand the nuclear
industry, which plans to build 28 new reactors at an estimated cost of
about $4 billion to $5 billion apiece. And while the nuclear industry
would be the biggest beneficiary, the provision could also set the
stage for billions of dollars in loan guarantees for power plants that
use “clean coal” technology and renewable fuels.
Can we please cut the crap?
There is no future for nuclear power, until someone make nuclear fusion a reality. Nuclear fission is dangerous as hell, and while it’s clean in one respect — there are no immediate emissions from a nuclear plant — there is also the significant problem of waste. Right now, there is little to be done with nuclear waste, and to put 28 more power plants online without a plan for the waste is just stupid and irresponsible.
You see, that’s American business for you. They champion politicians who will whine and cry about single women with three kids who get a few hundred dollars a month to feed and house their kids, but they’ll gladly write a check to a bunch of fat rich guys for $4-5 billion to help them make money. They want all of the money, without any of the risk.
But nuclear power is a bad investment, anyway. I think we have to do something about global warming, as well, but the answer is not creating a heightened risk of a major nuclear meltdown tragedy in order to cut emissions. We should be looking at ways to produce power well into the future — hundreds of years into the future, even — and nuclear power has only proven to be a pain in the ass. If there’s an accident — and face it, with 28 more plants online, owned by people who didn’t even pay for them in the first place, and who can be counted on to cut costs to enhance the bottom line at some point, the odds of an accident will go up exponentially — the effects could possibly be devastating. And then there is the problem of fuel production.
And did I mention, they’re a security risk?
It seems quite odd that a country whose government is so concerned of the "terrorist threat" should be so gung-ho over creating so many new potential targets for them. Imagine the devastation if the terrorists on 9/11 had chosen to fly the planes into nuclear plants instead of the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. And then there’s the nuclear fuel; we’re concerned about Iran’s nuclear program for a reason; nuclear fuel can create serious problems, and with more of it out there, the potential for disaster will be even greater. It’s impossible for a terrorist, or anyone else, to cause major problems with the fuel from any other type of power plant. But nuclear fuel can cause major devastation.
Our emphasis on future energy technology must be based on not only renewable resources, but on natural energy resources available to us without burning things. Wind, solar, geothermal and tidal energy are the future. Creating plants which produce energy by creating nuclear fission is a disaster waiting to happen.
And for us to even think of paying a $50 billion subsidy to a bunch of fat cats for it is the height of irresponsibility, especially since the government has only committed $4 billion to research into other alternative energy sources.
Surely for $4-5 billion just to build each plant, this can’t be the cheapest way to reduce our carbon footprint in any case. Can you imagine your electric bills while the company tries to pay back this money AND attempts to make a profit, as well?
Write your Congresscritter, and let them know they cannot appropriate this money. It’s irresponsible.