As this blog recently noted, further development of nuclear energy would seem to be in direct conflict with one prong of the three prong strategy of the economic stimulus package.
At the widely popular, Climate Progress blog, Joseph Romm has made a similar, and terse observation:
Why are we still propping up an industry that can’t survive without the taxpayer swallowing both the economic risk of an actual meltdown and the risk of the new nukes melting down financially — all for a mature technology that has already received more than $100 billion in direct and indirect subsidies?
Nor is he alone in his scrutiny of the $50 billion nuclear power loan the Senate version of the economic stimulus bill (S. 336) guarantees. WonkRoom noted that the staggering sum proposed by some of our marvelous statesmen in the Senate “would more than double the current loan guarantee cap of $38 billion.” And, according to Romm, The Center for American Progress noted, “This expanded loan guarantee program is the type of unnecessary pork barrel spending that President Obama urged Congress to avoid, and it should be removed from the final bill. (His emphasis)”
“Now is not the time for another bailout boondoggle. Nuclear power is the most expensive form of energy there is. It takes 10 years or more to build a reactor, so it is impossible to claim with a straight face that this preemptive bailout has anything to do with creating jobs. Senate appropriators’ decision to include such wasteful spending in the stimulus is an example of Washington at its worst.”
And, Joseph Romm again demonstrates remarkable patience with rapid denial by a Climate Progress commentator, who wants readers to perceive nuclear as a more economic option. Romm noted that he already had provided a detailed cost analysis with numerous links to distinct, objective supporting articles and studies that cogently argued the opposite.
Yet, more outrageous still, the “$50 billion nuclear throwaway” in the Senate version “nearly matches the total allocation for genuinely clean energy in the House version. By “genuinely clean”, as opposed to Newspeak clear, The Center for American Progress reports that the entire three prong strategy in the House stimulus package for smart grid, renewable energy, and energy efficiency investments totals only $52 billion. If any AG reader still has a problem connecting the dots with this particularly “unconscionable“ delaying strategy, WonkRoom and Brent Blackwelder of Friends of the Earth, who discovered the nuclear pork, explain:
In contrast, the committee allocated only $9.5 billion exclusively for “standard renewable energy projects.” Although the loan guarantee program covers nuclear technology, carbon capture and sequestration for coal plants, as well as renewable energy, the vast bulk of requested loans — $122 billion — are for new nuclear power plants… Unlike renewable energy and energy efficiency technology, investments in the nuclear industry generate few jobs or economic growth. The nuclear industry has developed through massive federal subsidization from research to deployment over decades. Such a massive expenditure of nuclear pork has no place in the economic recovery bill.
Other Climate Progress posts decrying nuclear power:
- Nuclear cost study 3: Responding to Heritage’s staggeringly confused ‘rebuttal’
- Nuclear power, Part 2: The price is not right
- Nukes, Part 1.5: Nuclear Bomb
- The Self-Limiting Future of Nuclear Power, Part 1
- How much of a subsidy is the Price-Anderson Nuclear Industry Indemnity Act?
- Obama knows nukes, Planet Gore knows nothing
- Power plants costs double since 2000 — Efficiency anyone?
- Nuclear storage at Yucca jumps 38% — to $96B