Climate

Wall Street Journal poll: Most popular spending cut is to subsidies for new nuclear plants

http://www.ucsusa.org/assets/images/np/price-chart-hires2.jpg

It is no big surprise that Americans don’t want cuts in Social Security, Medicare, or K-12 education.   But the new WSJ/NBC poll does have some surprises:

The survey found that the most popular potential spending cuts were subsidies to build new nuclear plants, with 57 percent support….

Of course, nuclear is absurdly over-subsidized (see “Nuclear Pork “” Enough is Enough“).  In fact, a new report by the Union of Concerned Scientists, Nuclear Power: Still Not Viable without Subsidies (the source of the chart above) finds:

Government subsidies to the nuclear power industry over the past fifty years have been so large in proportion to the value of the energy produced that in some cases it would have cost taxpayers less to simply buy kilowatts on the open market and give them away….

New nuclear power plants look to be even more uneconomical:

Back to the WSJ/NBC poll.  The public would much rather raise taxes on the wealthy than make deep, job-killing cuts in spending:

By a 56-40 percent margin, more respondents said Washington’s top priority should be job creation and economic growth over slashing outlays, and 52 percent worried Republicans would go too far in their quest to fight the deficit.

NBC said just 23 percent of independents listed spending cuts as their top issue, while two-thirds of independents expressed concern that spending cuts would hurt them and their families, against about half of Republicans.

“It may be hard to understand why someone would try to jump off a cliff” to cut spending, McInturff told the Wall Street Journal of his fellow Republicans, “unless you understand that they are being chased by a tiger, and that tiger is the Tea Party.”

… Asked whether they favored imposing a surtax on millionaires, 81 percent said that would be totally or mostly acceptable.

Anyone listening?

43 Responses to Wall Street Journal poll: Most popular spending cut is to subsidies for new nuclear plants

  1. Lou Grinzo says:

    Of course no one is listening. They have far too much unregulated, untracked corporate money stuffed in their ears.

  2. catman306 says:

    If you were a millionaire (at least 10x over) and all of your friends were millionaires, and your friends got you elected to public office, would you want to RAISE TAXES on MILLIONAIRES?

    Maybe we need caps on the total value of all of the possessions of elected officials. Wealthy and super wealthy need not apply. Politicians with windfalls would need to resign.

  3. Scrooge says:

    Its good to see that the numbers still say the public is lucid. To bad we can’t say the same for politicians.

  4. PeterW says:

    Hi Joe,

    The press continually push polls at us, but I always wonder how they can be taken seriously. With Caller ID and people no longer having land lines, who actually still responds to polls? Even for the people answering the phone, how many hang up right away when they find out it’s basically another telemarketer?

    Isn’t the sample of modern day polls terribly skewed? I would guess an older (conservative) demographic would be overrepresented because their the only ones who would answer the phone.

    I’m sure the press realize this but don’t care because it gives them an easy story.

    [JR: Polls without cell phones overpoll conservatives slightly.]

  5. Solar Jim says:

    Thanks for this glimmer of hope.

    The public is beginning to understand the corruption of plutocracy in a nation once known for some fairness and justice. It is particularly enlightening against all the PR manipulation about how everyone seems to want to Go Atomic, including the president and his energy secretary (formerly of a nuclear weapons laboratory).

    Uranium is not an “energy resource.” It is the basis of nuclear weapons systems and is a poisonous and poisoning element, a form of matter. Atomic fission is a fraudulent federal business enabling construct. Try buying insurance against radioactive contamination. The feds and corporate interests have moved most nuclear liabilities and costs onto the public. And they want to do this more, much more. Welcome to the age of American Corporate Fascism, and their governmental stooges.

  6. DavidCOG says:

    Re. nukes, I just came across this interesting critique of David Mackay’s claims in his book, Sustainable Energy Without The Hot Air:

    * David MacKay’s “…inflated demand figure of 490 GW is nowhere near our real energy demand, and has mislead people into believing the myth that Britain’s energy demand exceeds its renewable resource, whereas the reverse is true: our renewable resource is much greater than our energy demand.” http://www.energynumbers.info/british-energy-demand-and-professor-mackays-estimate-of-it-an-explanation-of-the-differences

    The book is like a bible to the nuke fan club – and given the many biases that seem to be working for nukes and against renewables, it’s becoming clear why….

  7. Mike Roddy says:

    The pronuke lobby also consists of the banks, who love the multibillion dollar loan guarantees and all the juicy fees, and the oil companies, who love technologies that might be deployed in, say, 2025. The oil and gas companies are stalling, and much of the pro nuclear talk comes from them.

  8. jcwinnie says:

    But they can own the uranium and poison people while mining it and when disposing of it, just like the big dog coal barons do.

    Can’t own the sun or wind, Joseph. Let’s put on our thinking cap! Maybe, something like a Tokomat power station where there is a good chance of blowing up a part of the Galaxy in an instant. Something like that, to make ’em feel important.

  9. Sasparilla says:

    #1 Lou Grinzo – very well said.

  10. K. Nockels says:

    In this age of E-mail and social media they are really still taking poll results by land line ? I guess you go where you get the results you want.

  11. David B. Benson says:

    Somehow the reest of the world seems to want and be able to start construction on new nuclear power plants:
    http://www.world-nuclear-news.org/NN_Build_up_of_nuclear_construction_0401111.html

    The idea, after all, is to emit less carbon dioxide.

  12. spacermase says:

    @jcwinnie

    “Maybe, something like a Tokomak power station where there is a good chance of blowing up a part of the Galaxy in an instant”

    While Tokamak fusion reactors have a *very* questionable ROI at best, and probably won’t be available for decades or longer, that is a profoundly wrong statement.

    Plasma is an *extremely* heat conductive material. If a fusion reactor breaches, the heat immediately dissipates, and the reactor shuts down. Furthermore, there’s never more than a few grams of fuel in the reactor at one time. As nuclear power goes, it really is the safest form- but of course, it’s also the hardest to build, and the most theoretical.

  13. David B. Benson says:

    Be interesting to see the correct ‘subsidy’ comparison of nuclear versus coal, natgas and oil as well as tax incentives for wind and solar. As I recall an earlier post, internalizing all the externalities associated with burning coal to generate electricity resulted in about 18 cents/kWh.

    Even adding in the stated almost 6 cents/kWh of ‘subsidies’ for nuclear power one doesn’t get up to 18 cents/kWh busbar prices for burning coal.

  14. David B. Benson says:

    One is likely to find information more approapriate for elsewhere than the USA on
    http://bravenewclimate.com/
    starting with the TCASE series of threads linked on the sidebar.

  15. David B. Benson says:

    As suspected, the Federal Electricity Subsidies managed to bootstrap in at least some of DoE’s environmental cleanup work. The vast majority of that work is to cleanup the mess left by building atomic weapons.

    It alos includes the fusion research program which certainly is not a subsidy for the nuclear fission electric power generators.

    So it appears the extent of the US govenment subsidy is considerably overstated. Try comparing to what, say, the Japanese and South Koreans do.

    It does appear that the accounting is done in a way to make nuclear look bad and coal look good.

  16. Bill Woods says:

    DavidCOG (#7), quoting Andrew Smith:
    * David MacKay’s “…inflated demand figure of [195 kWh/d * 60M = 490 GW] is nowhere near our real energy demand, and has mislead people into believing the myth that Britain’s energy demand exceeds its renewable resource,…”

    What an odd review. He at least skimmed the book, and realized that that 195 kWh/d figure was “presented as the typical demand of an affluent adult: one, it turns out, with an extreme energy consumption”, not as an average current or aspirational demand.

    In chapter 27 MacKay sketches five sample plans to generate or import 50 kWh/d (~125 GW) of low-carbon electricity, one of which relies on nuclear power and two of which have none at all:

    If you don’t like these plans, I’m not surprised. I agree that there is something unpalatable about every one of them. Feel free to make another plan that is more to your liking. But make sure it adds up!
    http://www.inference.phy.cam.ac.uk/withouthotair/c27/page_212.shtml

  17. CW says:

    Great article with mind-blowing stats on the historical financial atrocities associated with subsidizing this industry:

    Nuclear Socialism, by Amory Lovins

    (and a reply to a critique of Lovins’ article)

  18. Bill Woods says:

    Mike Roddy says (#8): The pronuke lobby also consists of the banks, who love the multibillion dollar loan guarantees and all the juicy fees, and the oil companies, who love technologies that might be deployed in, say, 2025. The oil and gas companies are stalling, and much of the pro nuclear talk comes from them.

    The old antinuke talking point was that Wall Street wasn’t willing to invest in nuclear power. Progress of a sort.

    “[M]uch of the pro nuclear talk comes from [oil and gas companies]”? Got a cite for that? Why would oil companies even care, since they don’t even compete with nuclear power?

  19. Leif says:

    Bill Woods @ 19 asks: “Why would oil companies even care, since they don’t even compete with nuclear power?”

    Because the fossil industry is really afraid of Green sustainable energy and thus loosing their monopoly. Effort and money wasted on Nuclear does not compete with them and does not enhance sustainable energy and the capitalistic system change that it implies. Nuclear is Business As Usual.

  20. David B. Benson says:

    Leif @20 & others — Unfortunately ‘Green’ sustainable electricity comes at a very heavy price. Either electricity only when the wind blows or when the sunshines or else, if that is unpalatable to you, a fantastic co$t in excess capacity + storage.

    The advantage of nuclear is the same as coal; electricity 24/7. Of course nuclear does not have the damage to the environment cuased by coal. So a sensible electric power production plan has some wind, some solar and (unfortunately) lotsa nuclear.

    For more about why this must be so, following the link I gave previously to Brave New Climate and study the TCASE threads.

  21. Mulga Mumblebrain says:

    Of course the MSM is not listening. A surtax on millionaires, ie their owners? It is to laugh! Of course politicians aren’t listening. A surtax on millionaires ie their owners and themselves. It is to laugh! What the public wants in a plutonomy is just a matter for cynical mirth and ridicule, as the neo-feudal masters go about their business, their ceaseless quest for ‘More, more, more’.

  22. Mulga Mumblebrain says:

    David B. Benson #21, if the amount of money proposed to be squandered on nuclear power was, instead, spent on research and development of renewables, eg solar thermal, wind, tidal, wave, geothermal etc, and on energy efficiency, we could achieve 100% renewable power within decades, probably about as long as it takes to build nuclear these days. Without the dread danger of proliferation, accidents and waste management and the gargantuan costs of de-commissioning.
    One of the denialist industry’s most sorry canards is the explicit assertion, sometimes an implicit insinuation, that renewables will remain expensive forever. This, of course, goes against the evidence of just about every industry in history (save perhaps, ironically, the nuclear industry) that research, development and the utilisation of mass production techniques and the growth of strong market demand, inevitably lead to cheaper, more efficient, industries and products. Still, no untruth, no matter how preposterous is beyond the denialists.

  23. David B. Benson says:

    Here is a portion of David MacKay’s electrc power plan for Britain:
    http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-VDwn7ITESiE/TW7LAli_3NI/AAAAAAAAAMg/rZpdf0GDJMA/s1600/2050Sankey.png
    Note the heavy role of nuclear and still, about 30 GW of backup generation “may be required”.

  24. Leif says:

    David B. Benson, @ 24: I Would like to say this about that. (I sincerely hope that I am wrong.) I feel that western society will be looking a whole lot different in ways that we cannot imagine today. Social disruptions on so many fronts will be forcing lifestyle changes and those changes will severely curtail personal energy consumption. The carbon stompers of our time will be ostracized, perhaps even killed like abortion doctors of today, and wasted energy will be looked at by all as in fact starving our fellow man. Not because we have had an awakening but because the evidence will be in our face. It will not be denied. The military is even today looking at drastically curtailing the carbon foot print of the foot soldier. (I have seen numbers as high as 90%!) When that technology becomes available to me and my neighbors the future of mankind just might stand a chance. Assuming that we can buy enough time for the transformation and prevent humanity from stepping across the threshold of doom. Thirty years ago humanity just might of been able to make the necessary adjustments without serious loss of life. That opportunity has now been lost in my view. The carnage will be horrendous under the best of scenarios. Sadly, to say the least, I see no escape. Humanity will have to become green or most all will die. The new dawn has broken, and it is a bloody red sky.

    On top of all, Capitalism and the GOBP are doing their level best to exasperate all.

  25. MarkB says:

    From the same poll, Question 26, by a 74-22% margin, Americans support elimination of tax credits for the oil and gas industry.

    The bad (or neutral) news is that Americans are split on reducing funding to the EPA. Not eliminating funding but still…also support for cutting scientific and medical research is near 50%. Seems the more broad the question the more support there tends to be, as people have different ideas of research they want to cut.

  26. Merrelyn Emery says:

    Leif #25. Yes it will be horrendous and yes, behaviour changes very fast when it has to. Changes in attitudes and values follow.

    In our last drought which was extreme with extreme water restrictions to say nothing about the cost of water, anybody with a clean car or a blade of green grass was looked upon with great suspicion and investigated.

    People who were lucky and had legitimate sources of water such as bores were forced to put a notice up explaining why they still had some green in order to avoid being ostracized.

    You can bet your boots that pretty soon there will be radical changes in behaviour with subsequent changes in values. The great mass of people are not stupid although some may have been temporarily captured by the deniers and their funders.

    These changes will play out in different ways in different places but they are inevitable. And hopefully not too late to avoid the very, very worst. I am still putting my faith in commonsense, ME

  27. Raul M. says:

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    for drinking water. Those filters help to
    clean aluminum prior to intake, as well
    as, other elements.

  28. quokka says:

    The one outstanding fact about nuclear generated electricity that seems to be pushed into the background is that it currently saves multiple times the CO2 emissions saved by “technosolar” – wind, solar, wave etc. It has been doing this for decades. It will continue to do this for the foreseeable future. It will be a long time before technosolar surpasses nuclear in cumulative emissions savings, if indeed it ever happens.

    To ignore this extremely simple fact is pure folly in the context of having any chance of maintaining a safe climate.

    As for the issue of loan guarantees being subsidies, this is surely a different beast entirely from feed in tariffs. Whatever notional value is placed upon loan guarantees most certainly is a function of how the risk is priced. Markets are not always that great at pricing risk as evidenced by the GFC, so one really does need to adopt a critical attitude to the claims of the magnitude of subsidy allegedly implied by load guarantees. At the end of the day, the point is to reduce emissions, not engage in free market worship.

  29. Anne van der Bom says:

    @DavidCOG,

    I have exactly the same opinion. The MacKay book is a shameless plug for nuclear and lends itself very well for misleading (=anti-renewable) quote mining. The whole exercise gives a completely false image of the real energy situation in Britain or any other western country.

    My main critique is that it artificially inflates the energy (i.e. primary energy) demand by a factor of 4 or so when treating the renewables. But when nuclear is discussed, he suddenly shifts to the current electricity demand. With this trick he holds renewables to a much higher standard than nuclear. Very misleading.

  30. Anne van der Bom says:

    Bill Woods,

    You are correct that MacKay corrects his inflated demand in the book later on, but by that time the damage has already been done. Many people will already have drawn the wrong conclusion by staring at this picture of an enormous ‘demand’ stack and next to it a production stack with all renewable options crossed out (in a very polemic, politicized fashion I might add). And he promotes his book by saying “numbers, not adjectives”, but can’t prevent his emotions from taking the better of him.

    Please answer me this question: what the logic is of spending 112 pages building a message ‘we need 195 kWh pppd’, to later having to destroy that message as being unrealistic?

  31. Anne van der Bom says:

    quokka,

    It will be a long time before technosolar surpasses nuclear in cumulative emissions savings, if indeed it ever happens.

    To ignore this extremely simple fact is pure folly in the context of having any chance of maintaining a safe climate.

    Yeah, because the horse & carriage did a lot of cumulative emissions savings, we should revert to that technology.

    This fact is ignored because it is completely irrelevant. What is relevant is how much ‘bang for the buck’ each technology option gives us today and what we can expect from it in the future. To ignore this exctremely simple logic is pure folly.

    In 2010, around 40 GW of new wind capacity was installed globally. In generating capacity that is equivalent to around 10 GW of nuclear power.

    In 2010 around 17 GW of new solar PV capacity was installed globally. In generating capacty that is equivalent to around 3 GW of nuclear power.

    According to the World Nuclear Assosication, since feb 2007 the world wide nuclear capacity has grown by around 9 GW, a little over 2 GW per year.

    Ergo: even photovoltaic power is outpacing nuclear. Wind power is growing 5x as fast as nuclear.

  32. quokka says:

    @Anne van der Bom

    It is hardly any secret that few nuclear reactors were built for a considerable period. That situation has changed and WNA reports that 10.7GWe of new nuclear capacity will come on line in 2011. And 13.4GWe will come on line in 2012. Furthermore, the operating licences of current nuclear power plants are being extended in quite a number of instances. Just recently Spain has dropped the somewhat arbitrary 40 year lifetime limit and these older plants will continue to operate as long as they meet safety requirements. Many countries currently with little or no nuclear power are making serious moves towards nuclear including Turkey, UAE, several middle eastern countries (depending of course on the political situation), Sth Africa, Vietnam, Bangladesh, Indonesia and so on. And of course China has an ambitious program as does India.

    In comparing wind to nuclear, remember that the service lifetime of wind turbines is 20 years. New nuclear is 60+ years and you must also take this into account when projecting necessary build rates.

    I stand by what I wrote. Technosolar is unlikely to match nuclear capacity within a decade and unlikely to match accumulated emissions savings from nuclear within at least another decade. After that, who knows, but my suspicion is that sometime over the next decade there will be a race to nuclear driven by fossil fuel costs, issues of energy security and the urgency of emissions reduction.

    The bottom line however is that all of it – nuclear and renewables is happening far too slowly and the persistent irrational opposition to nuclear power can only make matters worse for the climate.

  33. Mike Roddy says:

    Bill Woods,

    Tillerson and Boyce are not going to publicly promote nuclear power. They get think tanks, lobbyists, and propagandists to do it for them. The talking point goes like this: “Nuclear is the only realistic replacement for fossil fuel generated electricity”. You can find that quote in Cato, Heritage, CEI, Heartland, and the rest of them.

    So you want a citation from one of their execs. Don’t you know how the world works?

  34. Kaj Luukko says:

    In this image you can see the growing rate of both nuclear and wind power for the first 12 years of construction. The wind power megawatts are divided by 4 to make it comparable with nuclear. The red curve is for wind, blue for nuclear.

    http://planeetta.files.wordpress.com/2009/10/ydin-_ja_tuulivoima_teholliset_ensimmaiset_vuodet.png

    As you can see, nuclear power has been built more than twice as fast as wind power. Nuclear works 24/7, wind does not, if always requires some reserves.

    Fighting against fossil fuels without nuclear power is like is extinguishing a fire without water. It simply will not work.

  35. Bill Woods says:

    Anne van der Bom (#31) says:

    Please answer me this question: what the logic is of spending 112 pages building a message ‘we need 195 kWh pppd’, to later having to destroy that message as being unrealistic?

    But he doesn’t spend even one page saying we need 195, which is presented as a high-consumption, everything-including-the-kitchen-sink estimate. Search the text; I found only two instances of it.

    The point of the column of crossed-out options it that large-scale renewable are facing considerable opposition from environmentalists, NIMBYs, etc. It’s not a position that MacKay is advocating; quite the contrary.

    But realistically, I don’t think Britain can live on its own renewables – at least not the way we currently live. I am partly driven to this conclusion by the chorus of opposition that greets any major renewable energy proposal. People love renewable energy, unless it is bigger than a figleaf. If the British are good at one thing, it’s saying “no.” (p.108)

    It’s not going to be easy to make a plan that adds up using renewables alone. If we are serious about getting off fossil fuels, Brits are going to have to learn to start saying “yes” to something. Indeed to several somethings. (p.112)

    I don’t see why you think a book which has chapters titled “Wind”, “Solar”, “Hydroelectricity”, “Offshore wind”, “Wave”, “Tide”, “Geothermal”, and one chapter titled “Nuclear?” is a “shameless plug for nuclear”.

    As you can see, http://www.iaea.org/programmes/a2/ , nuclear power was pretty flat until last year, but the amount under construction has ramped up from 31 units (25 GW) in 2007 to 65 units (63 GW) today. Big increases in on-line capacity are still a couple of years away.

  36. David B. Benson says:

    BANANA republic?

    That’s what you’ll have without a substantial development of new electric power sources. Mostly nuclear is known to work [as in France].

  37. Rod Adams says:

    @Mike Roddy who wrote: (March 4, 2011 at 10:53 am)

    Bill Woods,

    Tillerson and Boyce are not going to publicly promote nuclear power. They get think tanks, lobbyists, and propagandists to do it for them. The talking point goes like this: “Nuclear is the only realistic replacement for fossil fuel generated electricity”. You can find that quote in Cato, Heritage, CEI, Heartland, and the rest of them.

    So you want a citation from one of their execs. Don’t you know how the world works?

    Actually, I think I do know a bit about how the world works. It is hard to have been the son of a school teacher and an engineer, a professional naval officer, an energy entrepreneur, a manufacturer, a DC bureaucrat, a father of public school educated professionals, a grandfather, and a long time blogger and not have learned a few things along the way. I am not claiming much other than a rather wide range of experiences watched with open eyes.

    Though Heritage is reasonably consistent with its libertarian message and publishes many positive words about nuclear energy, it is also strongly opposed to any assistance for the technology, even in the form of simply backing the loans required to install the initially expensive capital equipment.
    http://blog.heritage.org/2010/02/24/nuclear-yes-subsidies-no/

    One of the main reasons that the equipment is so expensive now in the US is the most of what we need is not currently being manufactured. Our suppliers need to invest in the initial engineering, tooling, and quality assurance overhead required before they can start producing at what will initially be unprofitable low volumes. New nuclear plants in the US will be first of a kind machines, even though the technology is well understood – just like a new automobile company in the US would be building FOAK machines if they tried to start from scratch.

    Jerry Taylor, the primary energy author at Cato often writes very discouraging material about nuclear energy. I have called him on his stance on a number of occasions – his response is that it takes too long and costs too much to be competitive, but he refuses to acknowledge that many of the hurdles have been imposed by excessive regulatory bureaucracy. Here is one of many links about our engagements
    http://theenergycollective.com/rodadams/34064/smoking-gun-jerry-taylor-fellow-cato-institute-founded-koch-focuses-libertarian-rheto

    Nuclear energy has no strong support among the organizations that you list for the very same reasons that it has no support among fossil fuel extractors. It is disruptive technology that requires the input of thousands of careful, well-trained, responsible, and honest individuals who earn a decent living. It does not require the consumption of massive quantities of fossil fuel whose supply can be controlled by the very wealthy who have no problems working with dictators like Qaddafi or Abdullah.

    It is interesting to me to note that the nuclear industry, in general, has a higher concentration of union workers than most other industries in the US. The communities around nuclear plants are often “throwbacks” to the 1950s and 1960s where workers are paid a fair wage, they are respected, schools are well supported by business property taxes, and teachers make a good, middle class salary. It is funny how the technology that really does beat fossil fuel on many objective measures of effectiveness has somehow been sold as something that liberals should oppose.

    Many people on the right dismiss me as a “conspiracy theorist” when I point out that commodity suppliers in a wide variety of businesses often take strategic actions to limit supply by raising barriers to entry to their competition. (I learned about that income maximizing technique in business classes, and by reading business trade publications for more than 30 years.) I adamantly believe that the coal, oil and gas industries have engaged in steady, long term pressure to slow down the market penetration of nuclear energy. Nuclear has done best in countries where those industries do not dominate the political scene.

    My fondest hope is to gradually convince people who are honestly concerned about climate change, the raping of the land by hydrofracking, open spaces, air pollution, water pollution, fair wages, union rights, and public education that nuclear energy is something that is not only worthy of their support, but that it is the powerful tool that will enable them to be Davids in a country where Goliath currently holds the reigns of power.

    Rod Adams
    Publisher, Atomic Insights

  38. CW says:

    Nuclear: Still Not Viable without Subsidies After 50 Years

    A report released by the Union of Concerned Scientists found that more than 30 subsidies have supported every stage of the nuclear fuel cycle, from uranium mining to long-term waste storage. Added together, these subsidies often have exceeded the average market price of the power produced.

    http://www.ucsusa.org/news/press_release/nuclear-power-subsidies-report-0504.html

  39. CW says:

    Ontario’s Stranded Nuclear Debt: A Cautionary Tale

    As Figure 1 indicates Ontario Hydro’s average revenue from the sale of electricity (6.3 cents per kWh) was less than its cost of producing nuclear electricity (7.7 cents per kWh).

    As a result of the cost overruns and the poor performance of its nuclear reactors, Ontario Hydro was broken up into five companies in 1999. All of its generation assets were transferred to Ontario Power Generation (OPG). However, in order to keep OPG solvent, $19.4 billion of Ontario Hydro’s debt or unfunded liabilities associated with electricity generation facilities was transferred to the Ontario Electricity Financial Corporation (an agency of the Government of Ontario) as “stranded debt” or “unfunded liability”. More than three-quarters of the stranded debt was with respect to Ontario Hydro’s financially unsustainable nuclear liabilities.

    No nuclear project in Ontario’s history has ever been completed on time or on budget. Currently, retrofit projects at the Point LePreau Nuclear Station in New Brunswick and the Bruce Power Station in Ontario are running years behind schedule and billions of dollars over budget. Ontario ratepayers and taxpayers, who are still facing a mountain of debt from previous nuclear projects, deserve no less than a firm guarantee that they will not be left once again with a vast pile of stranded debt from a Darlington Rebuild Project, particularly when less risky and more financially viable alternatives are readily available to meet our power needs.

    http://www.cleanairalliance.org/files/nukedebt.pdf

  40. Solar Jim says:

    David MacKay is apparently acting as an advance propaganda agent for the British Corporate-Government military agenda of maintaining atomic weapons technology and associated civilian atomic electric service.

    His agenda was apparent to me before the first page of his book. His dedication references the buried energy of materials. These materials are ancient hydrocarbons located in the planet’s lithosphere, and in the case of “nuclear” are based on uranium. This indicates to me that a professor of physics does not understand the difference between Matter and Energy. Uranium, like petroleum fluids and coal, has always been, is now and shall always be (a state of) Matter. However, a primary imperative in a global military state is maintenance of the technology of this extreme explosive, a very toxic one at that.

    Economics is man made. So is routine radioactive contamination, “nuclear waste” and climate cataclysm. Yes, China is building many gigawatts of atomic fission, and consequently could fail this century as a nation-state from accident, economics or climate change. So should we all become atomic communists, or just atomic corporatists by gaming “the market?”

    By the way, a point of relevant fact: despite denials, the uranium fission “fuel cycle” is substantially dependent on fossil fuels (for mining, conversion, milling, enrichment, fission rod fabrication, plant construction, decommissioning, waste processing-reprocessing, 10,000 year storage, diesel back-up, etc.) and other greenhouse gases such as CFC,s.

    To atomic apologists and advocates: thanks for the entertainment of reading your hogwash and other creative language fabrications. After all, fossil and fissile materials are truly explosive subjects, or should I say substance.

    Most sincerely, JRN

  41. sailrick says:

    Regarding McKay’s power plans for Great Britain: What may or may not work there is not a very good indicator of what might work elsewhere. The U.S., for example, has enormous amounts of land suitable for large scale solar and wind, including the southwest- with easily 1,000 GW generating potential from solar thermal. Superb solar resource there, as there is across the border in Mexico.

    Add solar thermal with heat storage to the mix, and you have large scale power source, way less intermittent than PV solar or wind, with over 50% capacity factor – up to 70% for power tower type CSP plants. In fact it’s dispatchable power will make it easier to integrate PV solar and wind energy into the grid. This would reduce the need for nuclear power considerably.