Thursday, April 27, 2006

If You Won't Listen to Me...

Listen to the one leader who's actually had to deal with a nuclear disaster. Mikhail, the mike is yours:
President Gorbachev said recently “You don’t actually solve problems by finding solutions that create more problems down the track. It doesn’t add up economically, environmentally or socially. Of all the energy options, nuclear is the most capital intensive to establish, decommissioning is prohibitively expensive and the financial burden continues long after the plant is closed. In the U.S., for example, direct subsidies to nuclear energy amounted to $115 billion between 1947 and 1999 with a further $145 billion in indirect subsidies. In contrast, subsidies to wind and solar combined during the same period totaled only $5.5 billion.”
Oh, you sweet-talking Communist. You had me at "Glasnost".

1 comment:

Ronald Brak said...

I'm going to play with the figures in your post because I enjoy that sort of thing and it might give some interesting results. A total of $260 billion dollars in subsidies over a period of 52 years comes to an average of five billion dollars a year. The U.S. produces about 3.9 trillion kilowatt hours per year and about 20% of them come from nuclear power. This means that last year the United State's taxpayers contributed about 0.64 of a cent for every kilowatt-hour of nuclear power generated. As it will almost certainly cost more than an additional 0.64 of a cent per kilowatt-hour to produce power from coal burning plants that sequester CO2, this doesn't seem such a bad deal. However, as the government was not paying nuclear companies to reduce CO2 emissions the subsidies probably weren't allocated very efficiently.