Nuclear Socialism?

Stephen Smith | November 12, 2009 | Energy Policy

You have to love the irony of all this talk of “socialism” these days when the political party that screams the most about the “socialist agenda” is praising the French Nuclear program.

pigs-in-feed-04-02-01Nuclear power subsidies have been a long standing recurring issue with this so-called “mature industry,” yet the nuclear power industry and their utility supporters cannot seem to get their nose out of the feeding trough of taxpayer dollars and special treatment by some southeastern utility regulators. While there are a number of reasons to oppose new nuclear construction, the industry’s repeated asking for government handouts is one of the best.

Indeed what the nuclear industry appears to be looking to do is have the federal government (who pays: taxpayers) and state utility commissions (who pays: ratepayers) to establish policies to transfer all the risk of building these risky multibillion dollar new nuclear reactors on to you and me. Meanwhile, these billion dollar investments show up on the utilities’ books as “assets” that they (who profits: shareholders and utility corporate executives) get a nice rate of return on and/or executive compensation with no risk, after paying extremely high fees to the few big companies who supply nuclear plants and services.

Socialize the risk, privatize the profits!

My friend KC Golden has written a piece offering advice for the nuclear industry entitled, “New nukes? A fair shot not a free ride.” We don’t need nuclear free riders.

Stephen Smith
Dr. Stephen A. Smith has over 35 years of experience affecting positive change for the environment. Since 1993, Dr. Smith has led the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy (SACE) as…
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