posted on Jun, 9 2006 @ 05:47 PM
Actually, nuclear power may be profitable, but not sufficiently so to be worthy of the investment:
Once the massive construction costs are factored in, nuclear plants simply aren't as profitable as their competitors, coal and gas-fired plants.
"It's not as if Greenpeace killed the industry. Guys in pinstripe suits on Wall Street killed the industry," said Jerry Taylor, a senior fellow at
the Cato Institute in Washington.
To consider environmental issues alongside economic ones, nuclear still loses:
The specter of caps on carbon emissions--which many in the power industry believe are inevitable--certainly increases the appeal of nuclear power,
which is emissions-free. But even with the run-up in natural gas and coal prices, nuclear is not profitable without a raft of government subsidies.
Still, with the largess it extracted from the government last year, the nuclear industry may have put even the ethanol lobby to shame.
The article goes further to demonstrate that one of the greatest expenses for nuclear energy generation is covered directly by the US
government...waste collection and storage. So, like the US airline industry, the profit is made on the backs of massive government subsidy. Nice
work if you can get it, but you're effectively making money from a collective gouge on the American people, not from your faculties as an effective
Now it seems that as a component of an overall energy generation policy, nuclear power definitely has its place, as it limits reliance on fossil fuels
and offers no carbon emissions for its effort. But one must consider the mindset of the profit-centric investor. It is a collection of these very
minds which have managed to sell us vehicles with declining efficiency, packaging materials which contribute to overall energy consumption on a
staggering scale, and pet rocks. As an American investor and consumer I fully comprehend the "sacrifices" made and the shortcuts taken in the name
of capitalism, but capitalism buoyed by government subsidy is robbery.
Ultimately, I think that some would argue that in exchange for the waste produced and the costs of initial investment, we would be better off putting
that money into R&D for an even more viable energy generation system. An important component of any growth strategy is the ability to know when to
quit and move on, or change direction. There has to come a point when people say, let's not build another reactor, let's give a shot at a solar
powered methanol machine to extract hydrogen OR let's stop subsidizing energy production and look to subsidizing manufacturers for significant
reductions in energy consumption associated with the products they produce.