We have seen the future, and it sucks.

Why America Abandoned Nuclear Power (And What We Can Learn From South Korea)

18th May 2017

Read it.

So what’s the catch? Cost is a big one. More than safety or waste issues, cost is nuclear’s Achilles’ heel. Modern-day reactors have become jarringly expensive to build, going for $5 billion to $10 billion a pop. Worse, the price tag seems to be rising in many places. Back in the 1960s, new reactors in the US were one of the cheaper energy sources around. Two decades later, after a series of missteps, those costs had increased sixfold — a big reason we stopped building plants.

What Brad Plumer (a Voice of the Crust) will never mention, nor even allow himself to think, is that these cost are from litigation by eco-Nazis who see the word ‘nuclear’ and immediately hyperventilate and multiple oppressive layers of government regulation (largely in response to eco-Nazi political pressure).

Additional woes followed. In its 1971 Calvert Cliffs decision, the DC Circuit Court ordered nuclear regulators to change their rules to comply with the National Environmental Policy Act. That opened the door for citizen lawsuits to intervene in the licensing and construction process, sometimes causing further slowdowns.

Oh, ya think?

Then nuclear suffered a mortal blow after the much-publicized (but nonfatal) meltdown at Three Mile Island in 1979. Every reactor still under construction at the time — 51 in total — suddenly faced major regulatory delays, changes in safety procedures, and new back-fit requirements. Construction times doubled, stretching out past 10 years. Costs went through the roof, past $7,000/kW for some reactors:

In other words, government regulations and bureaucratic delays.

5 Responses to “Why America Abandoned Nuclear Power (And What We Can Learn From South Korea)”

  1. Elganned Says:

    Ask the people of Chernobyl or Fukushima whether they wish there’d been a few more “government regulations and bureaucratic delays”.

  2. Tim of Angle Says:

    Chernobyl was the fault of a government that didn’t give a shit about its people’s safety — socialism, in case you didn’t recognize it — and is of a piece with the other environmental disasters inflicted by the ‘friends of the worker’ east of the Iron Curtain.

    Fukushima was a natural disaster. I don’t see you presenting any evidence that ‘a few more government regulations’ would have prevented it, until which time I shall view it as just more statist hot air.

  3. Elganned Says:

    “Chernobyl was the fault of a government that didn’t give a shit about its people’s safety”
    You make my case for me. Thank you.

    It is precisely the fact that OUR government DOES give a shit that all of the “regulations and bureaucracy” you rail against exist. The changes following Three Mile Island were to keep us all SAFE. Too bad that added cost and time to projects; maybe it would have been better to have a few disasters of our own to hasten the power company’s learning curve, though I’m sure the people who died would have taken scant comfort from it.

    ‘a few more government regulations’ wouldn’t have prevented the natural disaster, but that’s a red herring and you know it. Building codes can’t control the weather, but they can better ensure that the weather won’t make the building collapse.

  4. Steve in Tulsa Says:

    Thorium reactors are cheap and safe. They are melt down proof. They are low pressure so they cannot blow up. They need little to no maintenance. India is building them Why aren’t we?

  5. Roy Heath Says:

    Fukushima was a ‘perfect storm’ of an old design with known flaws being decommissioned struck by a 100 year event. It was bad and the full extent of the catastrophe will not, of course, be known for many years; but if this is as bad as it gets I don’t see how anyone can seriously criticize nuclear power. Newer designs offer significant improvements in flexibility, scalability, availability, and cost. It’s especially amusing to see criticism from those who think that ‘global climate change’ is the worst thing in the history of ever.