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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

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