Reply to post: Re: sustainable, clean energy

Tesla undecimates its workforce but Elon insists everything's absolutely fine

MonkeyCee Silver badge

Re: sustainable, clean energy

"actually this is partly because there are various subsidies for oil / coal / renewables and none that I know of for nuclear"

Have a closer look then :) nuclear is one of the more heavily subsidised power generation industries, because national security. The disposal and cleanup costs are borne by public funds with private contributions. No-one will insure them either (hundreds if not thousands of years of liabilities) so again public funds will cover that.

While it is somewhat true for all energy companies, all the nuclear generators are either state owned or state guaranteed.

Which make sense, because we don't build reactors for power generation, we build them so we can have plutonium. We don't have large scale thorium reactors because they (probaby) won't scale down small enough to use them to power a CV or submarine. So we have scaled up PWR becasue the public purse isn't going to pay twice when the priorities are weapons, small size and power.

It's also quite hard to accurately estimate the harm done by nukes. Even getting the figures for number of people who died in construction of plants is not possible. Or they are the only large scale buildings that are amazingly safe and no-one died or was injured during the construction phase. There's also not a clear way of costing the decommissioning, since it's mainly more can kicking than anything else.

I'm a fan of hydro dams, which are both fairly safe to build and operate. But when they go wrong they can kill tens of thousands directly, and hundreds of thousands indirectly.

"burying them in an unused mineshaft and sealing them in is as good as getting rid of them forever"

Except it doesn't. There are some places (Nevada IIRC) where you can do this, but many mines need to be pumped out otherwise you end up leeching into the groundwater. I live in an area that was heavily mined, and each year the council finds another excuse why they shouldn't have to pump as much of the old mine tunnels clear, preferring to spend more on water treatment after the mine water ends up in the aquifers.

Since many mine shafts are in areas that have been fucked over by the PTB, I wouldn't want them used as dumps. First we get to dig the coal out, but the profits go elsewhere. Then we get the heavy industry and coal power plants situated here, so coal dust in the mines then coal smoke above the surface, profits elsewhere. Then we get the mines and industry closed off, less pollution, and less jobs. Then it's "oh noes, we're not getting enough tax from you" so no more pumping the mines, leading to groundwater contamination. Next up we'll get to have all the nuke waste dumped on us, and again the profits from this will end up elsewhere....

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