Re: Never mind Nuclear Weapons
Yes - I do still work in the nuclear industry - although in the public sector, so I don't have a 'commercial' interest as such.. I'm actually in robotics rather than nuclear power/physics itself - the robots which go inside the radioactive areas - "so You don't have to".
Olkiluoto, Flamanville etc as I'm sure you know are hugely over budget, but I think they will succeed.
As for fusion - it's a nice idea - but if you ask my personal opinion, I think if the money we have invested in fusion were to have been put into testing better fission reactor designs (MSRs for example) then we would be a LOT better off. Fusion is safer than fission for sure (if the safest thing is to stop producing power forthwith, at the smallest opportunity) but there is still "low level" waste, e.g. the gloves and overalls that workers have worn when they have been in an area which has undetectably, low but unprovably nonexistent contamination. That is because of the ridiculous state the legislation is in, and it is precisely WHY nuclear is so expensive. Imagine if the fossil fuel and chemical industries had the same limitations on emissions: Where every last atom of heavy metals, nanoparticles etc they pump out, must be accounted for. But since a mass spectrometer is a hell of a lot more expensive per atom detected than a Geiger counter, nobody bothers.
In all honesty, I think fission is a LOT safer than most people believe. Those posters above, for example, advocating the construction of more nuclear subs: What do you suppose happens when a nuclear sub gets hit by a torpedo? If the same amount of radioactive material were released by a civilian power plant, then there would be a nuclear incident with the scale and cost of Chernobyl. Everybody panics, people DIE due to the evacuation (not because of the radiation), and the planet suffers, because we now need more fossil fuels to replace all the nuclear plants we just closed on a knee-jerk.
As for a policy on declaration of interest? Well I could always have gone AC like yourself!
RE: "Too Cheap To Meter"
You're right that it doesn't work in the current political and regulatory climate - but there's nothing to say it COULDN'T happen. If, for example, we were allowed to build nuclear power stations underwater (like nuclear subs!) and put the waste at very, very deep parts of the sea (subduction zones perhaps?) then nuclear would certainly be "Too Cheap to Meter". But of course, humanity would rather choke to death than pay any thought to that bogeyman.. At least not until they are *actually* choking to death.
When the world gets so hot that people start to need air conditioning to survive, then you can bet there will be de-regulation of nuclear power. But of course that will be too late. Most of our species will be extinct, and most of civilisation will have collapsed.