Huge yearly subsidy from US taxpayer to nuclear industry

When comparing energy choices, nuclear versus solar for instance, the full life cycle costs are rarely used. Nor are the financial risks taken into account, Pearce said. 

The Nuclear Cost Shell Game, By Stephen Leahy, UXBRIDGE, Canada, May 6, 2011 (IPS)“…….Experts estimate the U.S. nuclear industry’s liability cap of 10 billion dollars amounts to “an indirect subsidy of about 33 million dollars per plant per year over the lifetime of a nuclear plant,” according to a study published in Energy Policy in April.

If that 33 million dollars-per-plant-per-year indirect subsidy was instead used for loan guarantees for solar panel manufacturing plants, the U.S. would gain 5.3 trillion dollars worth of additional electricity over a 100-year time span, the study reported.”Wind might be even better than solar under this scenario,” said co- author Joshua Pearce, a mechanical and materials engineer at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario.
“We’re wasting money on nuclear energy. It makes no economic sense,” Pearce told IPS.

The study looked at the 100 nuclear plants in the U.S. and factored the cost of insuring a nuclear plant in the event of a catastrophic accident, and the power produced over the lifetime of a nuclear power plant. It then calculated how much additional solar energy could be produced from the value of the indirect subsidy that the liability cap provides.

The potential costs to society of this liability cap are very conservative. They are based on 10-year-old data and were not adjusted for inflation. They also don’t include estimates from the potential costs of Fukushima.

When comparing energy choices, nuclear versus solar for instance, the full life cycle costs are rarely used. Nor are the financial risks taken into account, Pearce said.

“In my mind it is basically insanity to shoulder the public with risk to get relatively small amount of electricity out of it,” he told IPS.
The Nuclear Cost Shell Game – IPS ipsnews.net

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