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The cost of new nuclear powerplants is obviously not a relevant argument for turning existing nuclear power plants off prior to the end of their design life.
Indeed no. The argument about shutting them down is about safety.
A completely objective assessment of the safety of Europe's nuclear plants is not possible, because you can't buy insurance against a Fukushima type disaster. i.e. there is no rational way to assess whether the risks are justified by the economic benefit.
The reason new nukes are completely unaffordable, and will not be built without sovereign strategic decisions and sovereign financing (whatever fig-leaves may be employed) is that providing a high level of safety is horribly expensive. Pro-nuclear people no doubt believe that the safety standards that are now required are absurdly excessive. But this is demonstrably in the domain of belief.
It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue
- Queen Elizabeth II
A safe nuke is not more expensive than a dangerous nuke. Nukes are expensive, period.
For example, the Fukushima accident would never happened if the plants had been protected by a comparatively cheap 20 metre high seawall.
And even if such a thing was lacking and the plants had indeed suffered core meltdowns, 99.9% of the radioactive emissions would have been avoided if the plants had been equipped by protective filters, cheap and simple enough that all Swedish nukes had them installed in the 80's.
Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
The US has ample sustainable, renewable energy sources that can be tapped with already existing renewable energy harvest technology for all our energy needs, if we adopt a sustainable economy, and if we don't adopt a sustainable economy then having nuclear power isn't going to save us. Our major energy challenge is vested interests standing in the way of abandoning energy profligate systems that they directly profit from.
I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.
Well, we do have both more acute and more serious longshort term problems than the energy crisis...
Namely, are we going to starve to death this coming winter due to massive crop failures...
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