[Marxism] (no subject)

DW dwaltersmia at gmail.com
Sat Mar 10 18:20:18 MST 2012


Shane writes:

"But in fact capitalists make it produce huge profits. How? By exempting
these monopolistic capitalist firms from accounting for the real cost of
insuring against compensation for the actuarially expected victims of the
technology; by providing them interest subsidies in the form of federal
government guarantees of their loans (equity financing, of course, being
unthinkable for nuclear power); by charging ratepayers for the plants even
while still under construction; by including cost-overruns in the rate
base; by fast- tracking (ie., emasculating) the process of environmental
review." and...

No, Shane, nice try. The make money by selling electricity. No differently
from any capitalist commodity producer. You have to look at nuclear world
wide, most of which is produced by state owned enterprises where the
'profit' is a surplus usually directed back into investment or keeping
prices per KWhr down. But the key weasel-terms if "expected victims".
Exactly. And those "expected victims" are few and far between, relative to
all other forms of base load power. Do we demand insurance premiums from
dams on the grounds that ONE dam may break and kill 200,000 people? Nope.
And not just because all major dams in the US are Federal entities, but
because the statistical reality is that "all dams" kill very few, some kill
a lot. Chemical and oil refineries "could" kill 10s of thousands (and have)
and contaminate 'vast regions'. Does that mean that "all" refineries should
have to be able to insure against a "possible" accident or a "likely"
accident? It's the latter, of course. Thus the "victims" have to be run up
against how many there have been. If, for example, other plants put in
safeguards to guard against a tsunami induced loss of oniste power, would
that satisfy your demand they be completely insured for melting down the
earth? Hardly. The insurance canard is just that, canard. No industry, no
technology is held to the same standard as nuclear even though fossil fuel
kills a few *million* people a year. In fact, Shane, nuclear is insured by
a private insurer. The plants themselves are insured under standard
business insurance paid for by all utilities, public and private. Not good
enough, huh? If we insured industry and technology in general about "what
might happen" then there would be no industry and technology. So who
decides the 'worst case scenerio' or it's likelyhood? Well, politicians of
course.

"Nuclear power should be assessed like any other technology--by comparison
of its cost to the value of its output, relative to other technological
paths over time. Nuclear power is an overmature technology so expensive and
slow to construct that it can never make a significant contribution to
ending the world's need for CO2-producing energy consumption. It is
hopelessly uneconomic compared to the rapidly developing, steadily
cheapening, range of technologies (especially nanotechnologies) associated
with deriving useful forms of energy from our central electrical power
plant, the sun."

"Overmature"? Ha! That's a good one. So what is the contribution of
nuclear, say, in the U.S. to, "non-CO2-producting energy consumption"?
Exactly, it's 80% of all our non-carbon energy that's how much. With Hydro
taking up about 16% of the left over. Wind, solar, geothermal behind that.
Nuclear is 20% overall of US electrical generation, 8% of energy overall
(inclusive of transportation fuel, the big one). Not bad, should be 100%
but we not likely in the U.S. Other countries, better shot. Thus "assessed"
it is a great investment. In fact nuclear is 'cheapening' with new
modularly built reactors. The sun will always remain, like wind, diffuse
and thus, expensive to capture.

David



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