[This is a repost about the financial costs and risks of nuclear technology. If a country is going to spend $10 billion to generate energy and reduce carbon emissions what technology truly offers the best return on a full cost-accounting basis? The latter calculation is not simple or uncontroversial – here is an attempt to get at it.– Stephen ]
By Stephen Leahy*
Costs of nuclear skyrocket while costs of renewables falling quickly say energy experts
BERLIN, Jul 31, 2009 (IPS)
Why is nuclear energy back on the table?
One reason is a powerful U.S. lobby where 14 energy companies spent 48 million dollars in 2007 alone to convince American politicians to give the industry huge loan guarantees because they cannot get financing anywhere else, says Ellen Vancko, a nuclear energy analyst at the Union of Concerned Scientists, a U.S.-based non governmental organisation (NGO).
This lavish lobbying effort by the energy and nuclear power sector has been ongoing since the mid-1990s, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, a U.S. NGO and now totals at least 953 million dollars.
Even more has been spent to convince the public that nuclear is one of the keys to energy security so that there is significant public support for new reactors, a Gallup Environment Poll reported this year.
“There are lots of senators and members of congress talking about nuclear as a clean, renewable energy resource,” Vancko says.
The other reason is the French. Continue reading