Wimpy, the famous Popeye cartoon character, famously said, over and over, “I would gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today.” Wimpy was a glutton, and had trouble keeping up, as seen in this picture:
Wimpy’s famous saying is about what the nuclear industry is saying, and it looks like they are going to get loan guarantees they want of $54 billion, as reported by The Hill:
Department of Energy Secretary Steven Chu told reporters on Friday that the DoE budget, which will be released on Monday, would call for a $54 billion loan guarantee program, tripling the current amount.
Where does one begin to describe the folly of pumping up this industry, which for obvious reasons can’t muster the money for itself? The accidents at Three Mile Island and Chernobyl are grim reminders of how much money can be lost very, very quickly, just in construction outlays alone. And the cleanup costs can dwarf the construction costs. As noted in various places, such as here by the European Center of Technology Safety,
Hundreds of billions of US dollars’ worth of direct and indirect damages have been reported by Belarus, Russia and Ukraine as a result of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant accident …
Costs of disposing of the wastes have never been reckoned. There are also the security concerns and associated costs.
And, as I’ve pointed out before, the legacy of older plants is highly likely to result in yet another accident.There will be a resulting backlash and outcry to stop any construction on plants in progress and to shut down those in operation, depending upon the damages. It would be far better to put that $54 billion into something that is less of a gamble, or that is certain to reduce energy consumption, such as public transportation.