[Marxism] Re: Nuclear Power

Emerson Tung emerson.tung at gmail.com
Thu Jan 12 17:35:01 MST 2006

"Stimulated by discussion here on this list over the last few years,
I've started to reevaluate my own, "SWP Orthodox Anti-Nuke" position
that I've held for many years. It even hardened as I got to know the
industry from the inside over the last two decades. Now, I'm not so
sure any more." d.walters

What was your position in the industry? What has shifted your position
against 20 years of experience?

Considering the current drive to push nuclear power (to workers) as
the solution to the energy crisis and global warming, I'd be really
sceptical of anything put out by the nuclear industry on estimates of
future costs etc.

If you look at the projected costs vs real in construction:

"Diablo Canyon, California

Original estimated cost $450 million
Actual cost $4.4 billion (a tenfold increase)
Shoreharn, New York

Original estimated cost $242 million
Actual cost $4 billion (a sixteen fold increase)
Trojan, Oregon

Original estimated cost $235 million
Actual cost $460 million (almost double).
Midland, Michigan

Original estimated cost $267 million
Actual cost $4.4 billion (a sixteen fold increase)
Marble Hill, Indiana

Original estimated cost $1.4 billion
Actual cost $7 billion, before being abandoned "

This is from a pro-nuclear author  "The Environmental Case for Nuclear
Power by Robert C. Morris Pg 173". Right wingers lay the blame on
anti-nuclear activists...

Then it doesn't look at the opportunity costs of subsidizing the
nuclear industry instead of investing in efficiency or renewables.

On a side note, why aren't the neoliberals screaming about governments
propping up the inefficient nuclear power industry? Surely the free
market and the private sector should be able to come up with the best
solution without governments interference?

See Monbiot

and the Rocky Mountain Institute

on the so called "debate" and how its misleadingly framed between
either nuclear power or global warming.

"[Interestngly, the old SWP has done a complete 180 degree reversal
and now support nukes]. " Can you show me in what context? Surely it
would be in exposing the hypocrisy of the imperialists in attacking
Iran for having a nuclear power (and weapons) program at the same time
as pushing nukes at home?

I still think the position for marxists would have to be for
unilateral disarmanent, regardless of how the ruling class tries to
market it as the only solution to global warming. Otherwise you would
end up supporting nuclear weapons, the denial of land rights to
indigenous peoples (consider the Jabiluka campaign in australia), etc.

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