Nuclear Power Can’t Survive, Much Less Slow Climate Disruption


Drawing by Nathaniel St. Clair

Donald Trump: “America will never be a socialist country.”

Too late. We already have socialism for the rich, with the nuclear power industry as a prime example.

On a level playing field, nuclear power would go bust. Those owners get financial supports or subsidies that safe renewables like solar power, geothermal, and wind power don’t get. Two particularly large government handouts keep the reactor business afloat, and without them it would crash overnight.

1) In a free market, the US Price Anderson Act would be repealed. The act provides limited liability insurance to reactor operators in the event of a loss-of-coolant, or other radiation catastrophe. The nuclear industry would have to get insurance on the open market like all other industrial operations. This would break their bank, since major insurers would only sell such a policy at astronomical rates, if at all.

2) The US Nuclear Waste Policy Act (NWPA) would also be repealed. NWPA is the government’s pledge to take custody of and assume liability for the industry’s radioactive waste. Without NWPA the industry would have to pay to contain, isolate and manage its waste for the 1-million-year danger period. The long-term cost would zero the industry’s portfolio in a quick “correction.”

Jeremy Rifkin: “From a business perspective, it’s over” MORE

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Take Action: Ford Government gets it backwards on energy cost savings

 

Image result for doug ford energy program
Ontario Premier Doug Ford makes an announcement at the Queens Park legislature in Toronto on Wednesday, August 15, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young

The Ford Government is ending a number of valuable energy conservation programs – particularly those that help homeowners – with a claim that Ontarians don’t need help to save energy.

It says it will save on costs by axing things like incentives for higher efficiency lighting, furnaces and air conditioners. But what it fails to note is that Ontario’s conservation programs have the lowest costs of any option for meeting our energy needs – just 1.7 cents per kWh. Eliminating these programs and the energy savings they generate will just require greater reliance on high-cost nuclear plants, where the cost per kWh will hit 16.5 cents per kWh by 2025.

These actions will hurt consumers without leading to any decrease in electricity costs because energy efficiency is the lowest cost way to meet our energy needs and Ontario’s programs are highly cost effective, generating about $2.50 in savings for every $1 spent.

If the Ford Government is serious about cutting bills it needs to focus on what is really driving up rates – the enormous cost of rebuilding aging nuclear reactors. It could deliver real savings to all Ontario electricity users by closing these dinosaurs and making a deal with Quebec to import low-cost water power. Quebec has repeatedly offered Ontario power at less than one-third the price of electricity from rebuilt nuclear reactors.

Tell your MPP that it makes no sense to take away valuable assistance from consumers while throwing money at bloated nuclear projects. SOURCE

Basic income study aims to lower B.C. poverty level by 2024

Minister Shane Simpson said TogetherBC’s strategy is to assist the 557,000 people who are living in poverty, with the goal to lift 140,000 of them out of poverty.

Protesters gather at Lindsay's Victoria Park last summer to decry the provincial government's decision to prematurely end the Basic Income Project.
Protesters gather at Lindsay’s Victoria Park last summer to decry the provincial government’s decision to prematurely end the Basic Income Project.  (BILL HODGINS / METROLAND FILE PHOTO)

SURREY, B.C. — A panel of experts is looking at whether British Columbia could provide a basic income or if the federal government would have to initiate it, says the minister responsible for the province’s poverty reduction plan.

Shane Simpson said Monday the aim of the strategy is to cut the overall poverty rate by 25 per cent and child poverty by 50 per cent within five years.

He said the three experts came together six months ago and would make recommendations next year on various issues including the question of a basic income.

“That will, I think, trigger a very important debate in British Columbia about what income security looks like and about the role of basic income and the principles of basic income,” he said after announcing the guidelines for the province’s poverty reduction plan at a child care resource centre.

Ontario launched a basic income pilot project in 2017, but Premier Doug Ford cancelled it shortly after taking office last year. In February, the Ontario Superior Court denied a request that it quash the province’s decision, saying it had no power to reverse it. MORE

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