Suppose, this article could have been titled, "Citizens Beware of Nuclear Monster" as well, seeing as the AP announced earlier today that the NEI (Nuclear Energy Institute) has hired one of Washington's blood sucking lobbyists, Chad Bradley & Associates to do some arm twisting and gift giving in the Congress. Guessing they are wanting to have Congress follow the Senate lead in giving the nuclear industry HUNDREDS OF BILLIONS of our tax dollars in 100 PERCENT loan guarantees for any and all nuclear reactors that the nuclear industry wants to build in the name of the Nuclear Renaissance...would be interesting to know how many citizens are willing to pick up the tab for building nuclear plants, while allowing private companies to own them? Seems it would make more sense if said reactors are insured with our tax dollars, and paid for with our utility rates, that it makes more sense to have DOE build them, and us the citizens to own them in the form of cooperatives.
Even with these loan guarantees though, Wall Street, and private investors need to think long and hard after the Almost Chernobyl reactor accident at TEPCO's Kashiwazaki-Karima Nuclear Plant. Even before the full investigation is complete, even before the other shoe of broken weld joints and other problems might be announced after the IAEA takes a look, the news is very grim for TEPCO who has announced that their profits for 2007 as a result of what they are calling a minor accident will tumble EIGHTY PERCENT. Original profit forecasts for 2007 were forecasted at 310 Billion Yen, have now dropped to 65 Billion Yen, and am guessing that figure is overly optimistic.
This supposedly minor accident, and the costs that will be associated with it are going to be monumental, and there is a very real chance that studies of the reactors themselves will show them incapable of being SAFELY restarted, without putting the citizens of the area in GRAVE DANGER should another earthquake hit the area, let alone one of similar magnitude to 6.8 on the Richter scale quake that just missed bringing God's vengeance down upon the nation of Japan earlier this month.
More importantly, the quake that has taken seven reactors off line in Japan shows the fool's folly that is the Price Anderson Act. Let's keep in mind that DOE, NRC, NEI and the IAEA have all down played the significance of this nuclear catastrophe. This supposedly minor event is carrying with it a very hefty price tag. Now, lets suppose that a similar quake had hit the poorly run and managed Entergy plant known as Indian Point, which is just 24 miles up the Hudson River from New York. First, because the two reactors are old, brittle and leaking, there is a very real chance they would have broken apart. Ignoring the loss of life, setting aside all the long term cancer deaths from citizens forced to shelter in place, and just focusing in on the financial losses, such and event could TOPPLE the US economy, and crash the Dow Jones as the lost dollars quickly soared into the hundreds of billions of dollars. The Nuclear Industry is quaranteed their lossed in the case of a major nuclear accident are capped at $10 Billion dollars, so who is going to pick up the slack, and the financial burdens? Is it far to risk making 21 million people in the New York City Metro homeless in the name of Entergy profits? Congress needs to rescind Price Anderson while we still have time.
Over night America would be thrown into a Great Depression, far worse than after the stock market crash of 1929. As the repercussions spread around the world, as markets crashed, and stocks became worthless, world wide panic would set in...for instance, what would China's reaction be when A) they realised all the financial notes they hold on American dollars could not be paid, and B) because our economy and way of life had crumbled, it meant American orders for Chinese goods would all but vanish. Would they pick that time to ramp up their massive war machine and declare world domination? How would the American public react to becoming a third world debtor nation? How would we take care of tens of millions of retired Baby Boomers when our government was bankrupt?
Wall Street needs to wake up to the fallacy and problems inherent in the Nuclear Renaissance. You simply cannot build a new generation of nuclear reactors, while counting on and aged and failing generation of antiquated reactors to carry you through to that brighter tomorrow. The odds are greatly increased that America will see at least one, if not more Chernobyl like incidents with the NRC wrongfully licensing these ancient nuclear relics for another 20 years of operation. Most companies that make replacement parts for these reactors are long ago out of business, and the retro fit after market parts available (if you can find them) are of inferior quality, thus lowering the safety margins of each and every reactor now operating in America, and our government knows this.
If Wall Street looks closely at the Exelon's, Entergy's and First Energy's that are on the cutting edge of this so called Nuclear Renaissance, there are some very alarming Enron correlations that can be drawn. One wrong move, one even minor nuclear incident similar to the TEPCO disaster in Japan, and their houses of cards will come falling down around them with investors left holding and empty nuclear bag. Even with parent company's trying to protect themselves by placing each reactor in a Limited Liability Corporation, the nuclear industry is just one major accident away from financial ruination.
NEI is trying to buy Washington, DC, attempting to place the financial burden of the entire nuclear industry onto the backs of the people, but we have the power to stop it. Insiders within the nuclear industry have said the only way the Nuclear Renaissance can move forward in a significant way, the only way dozens of reactors will be built in America is with a government backed 100 percent loan guarantee. In short, they have stated the 80 percent loan guarantee is inadequate to assuage investors worries, stated emphatically that a loan guarantee of only 80 percent will be the death knell of the Nuclear Renaissance. So, our task is simple...call, write and fax your Congressman or woman, and demand they strip out loan guarantees for a nuclear build up here in America. Demand that billion dollar subsidies to do the industry's research for them be gutted from the federal budget. We do not need to tolerate the chicanery and trickery that saw the Democratically controlled Senate sneak through a one sentence add on in and unrelated bill that gives the nuclear industry what they want...!)) PERCENT LOAN GUARANTEES for new reactor builds. Lets pull the plug on the nuclear reactor while we still have a chance to.