Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
There are several fundamental reasons why nuclear energy should be State run:

  • nuclear waste, technically manageable as it is,  is a multi-generational issue, and as such, needs to be dealt with by an entity with a long term outlook;

  • the small risk of catastrophic accident is not insurable by the private sector - again, that will always be borns ultimately , by the State, and it might as well take responsibility for it right from the start;

  • nuclear energy (like wind, which should be developed with even more alacrity) is investment-heavy but operations-cheap. its main cost is the cost of financing the upfront investment. The State can borrow a lot cheaper, and over longer maturities than private sector companies can, which gives it an unbeatable cost of production advantage (as EDF demonstrates in France);

The only thing is that the roles of State as owner/investor, and of State as regulator/safety inspector must absolutely be split to ensure the highest standards.

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Mon Jan 29th, 2007 at 09:05:40 AM EST

I think that it critical to have independent auditing/regulation of all energy facilities, including those that are not as clean as nuclear facilities.

Believe it or not, the foresic analysis of Chernobyl disaster showed that there were regulations in place and a regulatory authority.   But they were really not independent and both reported to the committee responsible for meeting the goals of the 5 year plan.

The test that lead to the Chernobyl failure was supposed to take place before the reactor ever operated, but it was skipped to meet the political goals of the 5 year plan.

Moreover the test did not obey specific protocols included in it, and the operators, who were not nuclear engineers but electrical engineers, conducted the test on an ad hoc basis.

I think that unannounced auditing by both independent national and independent international authorities should become de riguer.

I would extend such ruling to the coal industry and the gas industry as well, which will help to cause them to be shut more quickly.

by NNadir on Mon Jan 29th, 2007 at 10:25:28 AM EST
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