Its One... Two... Three Strikes and you're Out at the old Nuclear Game

From the beginning, nuclear power has had a history of false economic promises! Here's what has happened.

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  1. Strike One


    February 1985 - Forbes Magazine documents the collapse of the nuclear industry - A decade after President Nixon called for a thousand reactors by the year 2000.
  2. From the Diablo Canyon reactors that were originally supposed to cost just over $300 million to their final price of $5.8 billion or the $2 billion WHOOPS collapse in Washington State, the industry ran up immense cost overruns. The overruns at literally every facility left the county with just 110 reactors, no new reactor orders after 1979 and as Forbes suggested, the largest managerial fiasco in US history.
  3. The US Electric Industry received over 100 billion dollars in government subsidies during this era, receiving most of the federal government's energy subsidies between 1950-1985. Even more subsidies never acknowledged come from the nuclear weapons fuel cycle.

    The Reagan Administration secretly gave PG&E nearly $2.5 billion via the EPA to finish the 3rd reconstruction of Diablo Canyon after the discovery its seismic supports were built backwards in 1981.
  4. Strike Two

    The Nuclear Industry claimed that it could solve the Climate Change issue and cost less than other sources of electricity. Yet the price of new reactors went through the ceiling - besides taking 10- 15 years to complete. Barely four years after the much ballyhooed Nuclear Renaissance most of the 30 proposed reactors were abandoned, and the few reactors that made it to the construction phase continue to go up costs in cost compared to wind or solar.
  5. Below is an ad back in 2005. It openly lies about the nuclear industry's history of subsidies. It was published publicly online in Journals and advertisements nationwide. Note that few Americans are able to look more deeply at the full scale of what is hidden in a few words the industry pays its full costs.
  6. A 2011 Union of Concerned Scientists study placed total subsidies for nuclear energy at 7.5 center per kilowatt or nearly 3 times as much as the industry was claiming it was charging the public for nuclear energy!
  7. Nor is the public aware of the history and costs originally born by taxpayers of the Nuclear Fuel Cycle. The US uranium industry collapsed in 1990 even after an $8 billion handout by congress. One of the biggest disasters was the building of Grand Junction Co. out of uranium tailings that cost over $1 billion to cleanup. Most uranium is now imported.

    The below video shows the immense impacts to water and the environment of mining in Australia, but can be said for over a dozen other countries.
  8. ACF: Australia: the dangerous nuclear cycle starts here...
  9. The US uranium industry created a national sacrifice area on Indian lands abandoning hundreds of mines and mills across the country. The public would have to foot the bill with estimates as high as $40 billion. All attempts to build low-level waste dumps across the country were stopped by citizen opposition. And the promise to construct a high level waste repository failed as costs approached $100 billion.
  10. Strike Three


    On March 11th, 2011 the triple disaster of a 9.0 Earthquake, Tsunami and Fukushima disaster devastated Northeast Japan. The Tsunami killed 20,000 people, displaced 120,000 more and could eventually cost up to $250 billion.
  11. This was immediately followed by explosions and meltdown of nuclear reactors at Fukushima. Over 120,000 people were forced to evacuate, as the U.S. government urged all Americans in Japan to evacuate within 50 miles of Fukushima. The global media continues to downplay the economic impacts of the disaster. Yet, it was publicly stated that the Chernobyl disaster has cost more than all the nuclear generated electricity ever produced by Russia and could easily reach upwards of $350 billion.
  12. The Impacts to Japan's Agriculture and Fishing industries resulted in global bans. Japan was forced to nationalize TEPCo, the world's largest private electric company to cover the costs of the disaster with an estimate of $105 billion by 2013 and could more than triple in the coming decades. The Abe Administration is threatening evacuees if they don't go back to their contaminated homes. In Comparison, areas as far away as Scotland just recently removed contaminated monitoring from the 1986 Chernobyl disaster.
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