Nuclear Energy Just Doesn’t Make Sense!

The breakdown of the nuclear power plant in Japan shows how environmentally dangerous nuclear power can be. Another negative for nuclear power is the cost of it. The nuclear power industry has never been able to survive without tax subsidies. When the nuclear power industry began it received “massive subsidies,” according to the Union of Concerned Scientists.

The California Energy Commission (CEC), in the most recent Integrated Energy Policy Report (IEPR), looked at the cost of electricity from 21 different central station generation technologies. The study found that by 2018 most renewable technologies, including solar photovoltaics (PV), will generate electricity for less than nuclear power.

A study for the German Renewable Energy Association found that nuclear reactors are effectively uninsurable. The study estimated that the premium needed to insure a nuclear reactor would cost from $0.20 per kilowatt hour (kWh) to $3.40/kWh, which means that the cost to ensure a new plant would cost as much as the power it produces.

A paper by the University of New South Wales’ deputy director of the Institute of Environmental Studies, Mark Diesendorf said that by 2020, offshore wind farms, solar thermal and solar PVs are predicted to be cheaper than nuclear energy. The cites the rising cost of cost of  building a nuclear power plant, which increased since 2002 from over $2,000 per kilowatt (KW) generation capacity installed to about $7,400 per KW. The cost of onshore wind power decreased last year from $1,900 per KW to $1,700 per KW, and solar decreased from $7,000 per KW to $5,120 per KW, and as low as $3,000 for utility scale projects.

California nuclear industry has not grown since 1976


There is a saying, “As California goes, so goes the nation.” Since 1976, there has been a moratorium on building new nuclear power plants, which effectively put a stop to the state’s nuclear power industry. Only 16 percent of the most populous state’s energy is generated from nuclear power.

The San Joaquin Valley of California is considered to be the agricultural center of the world, supplying the nation with its produce. The group, Fresno Nuclear Energy Group, LLC promotes the development of a nuclear power plant in Fresno, smack dab in the middle of the San Joaquin Valley.

The Fresno County Board of Supervisors voted last week to not support the group formally through a letter of recommendation. Previously, the majority of the board favored the group, and the idea of bringing nuclear power to the Fresno area.

About 20 people showed up to the Board meeting to protest nuclear energy in Fresno. One of them, Michael Becker, a political science professor at California State University, Fresno, said, “It’s jeopardizing the food supply of the human race, literally.”

Board Supervisor Henry Perea, who has consistently opposed nuclear energy in Fresno, said, “We set them back…This sends a strong message that we’re not going to let construction of a nuclear power plant in Fresno County happen.”

User: Paul J. Everett


Duane B.
.5 years ago

Thank you for sharing.

Terry V.
Terry V5 years ago


Louis C.
Louis C.5 years ago

Have you read the fine print on your cellphone repair/replacement contract or your homeowners insurance policy? If so, you will find that ANY damages due to nuclear accident or radiation is EXCLUDED from any form of coverages! You can thank the passage of the Dixon-Yates act in the late nineteen-fifties or early sixties for that in that the maximum liability limit for damages from a nuclear accident is some $200 million! If nuclear power is so safe, I CHALLENGE the industry to raise the cape substantially or eliminate it alltogether as a good faith effort to put your money where your mouth is!

Robert H.
Robert H5 years ago

It is long over due that people everywhere take a firm and clear stand against nuclear ANYTHING... energy, weapons, and/or all related nuclear technology. The sheer potential for unimaginable human and environmental harm is far greater than any misguided perception of "benefits" said to be drawn from radioactive elements of all kinds.

Dave Tohunga
Dave te tohunga6 years ago

The sole purpose of the nuclear power industry is to subsidise the cost of weapons grade materiel like DU and plutonium for private corporations who sell the weapons to the US military and others.
Nuclear power IS NOT CHEAP!
If taxpayer subsiies were dropped they'd be uncompetative.
Nuclear power IS NOT CLEAN!
as you will realise with the contamination of most of the USA's farmland with radioactive poisons from the Fukushima disaster and your cancer epidemic goes j curve.
The problem is corporate criminals buy politicians and spin doctors and co the stupid into supporting this evil industry.
With the birth defects and cancers from US DU ordinance appearing in mainland USA from Fukashima's fallout it won't be long before all involved in nuclear industries are charged with crimes against humanity, assets seized and sent to places like Iraq and Afghanistan to do hard labour cleaning up their mess until they die from radiation poisoning!
As all investors, corporates and govt officials supporting this evil criminal industry deserve!

White Fang
Nidhi Kaul6 years ago

Nah. We don't need to shut down nuclear plants altogether, we need to improve the way we generate nuclear power and make those reactors safer. It is no lie that nuclear energy really can help meet our growing energy needs.

People don't need to become paranoid because of the Fukushima disaster: Japan ITSELF isn't thinking of abandoning nuclear energy. Why? Because it would be stupid to let go of a resource which can solve so many problems on the basis of ONE incident.

Fukushima failed because it was an old outdated reactor constructed in a high risk zone and wasn't equipped adequately to deal with a natural calamity that magnitude. I'd simply say making a reactor near the coast in such a seismically active zone was a bit dumb to begin with. But reactors can be constructed safely at places deemed mostly safe in the seismic zoning map.

John T.
John T6 years ago

Start shutting down the nukes. We've got millions of tons of coal and miners that need work. Update the 100 year old technology and we can, once again, run our cars and trains with coal fired steam.
If the smog gets bad, we can do what they do overseas and walk around with masks on our faces.
Nukes were supposed to be the revolutionary power source beginning in the 50s. The modern nuke plants we use in ships are much safer than the ones used to power the Nautilus. But if a sub sinks, it only damages the ocean. Areas of Japan will be uninhabitable for decades.
We never had a disaster in a coal plant that devastated 100s of square miles.
We can just cough our way to power while waiting on the new technologies to get to a value point where the politicians can get enough graft to support it.

David Monroe
David Monroe6 years ago

Fission-based nuclear power showed such promise in the industry's infancy. Anybody remember the phrase "too cheap to meter?" Too bad it turns out it just costs too much to make the plants safe.

Grace Adams
Grace Adams6 years ago

No new nuclear power plants in the USA. I seem to remember from a previous Care2 article thirty-eight Mark I nuclear power plants (same Model as Fukushima) that are supposed to be the most hazardous model. Have the US Navy inspect those thirty-eight plants. Each year have Congress buy for the Navy the four Mark I plants in the worst shape. The Navy each year should replace with enough of the same kind of nuclear power plants they use on their ships those old Mark I plants. Then the Navy should reprocess the old spent nuclear fuel rods to salvage what they can from them rather than using virgin uranium ore. Over ten years, that should replace the old Mark I nuclear plants at least. Maybe by then wind, solar, ocean thermal energy conversion etc. will have become enough more cost effective to make the other civilian nuclear power plants obsolete, so they can be bought up and decommissioned.

Arkana Ireland
Arkana Ireland6 years ago

In this whole discussion is always (!) forgotten, that, if you logically add the COSTS of nuclear energy where they belong to, as research, safety and security AND DISPOSAL to the whole calculation, THEN nuclear energy is (BEFORE tax deductions!) about FOUR TIMES more expensive than energy sourced from photovoltaic techniques!!