Nuclear energy relies on taxpayer subsidies

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

It's not just AIG and Wall Street jeopardizing your financial future. Taxpayers and ratepayers have long been victimized by the nuclear industry, their lobbyists, and some elected officials who take their contributions. Nuclear power couldn't exist without massive taxpayer giveaways.

The nuclear industry is reaping enormous profits at your expense. Nuclear power's costs to taxpayers are astronomical. Wall Street rejects the nuclear gamble, so costs for new nuclear power plants and their deadly wastes will continue to come from the wallets of ordinary Americans.

Nuclear industry lobbyists and oblivious supporters are perpetrating an unconscionable scam on taxpayers.

Billions of your tax dollars are being used for building nuclear plants, long-term high-level radioactive waste storage, liability, and more. We can't afford more nuclear power. For example:

1. Federal loan guarantees would be required for $8 billion of an estimated $10 billion for the proposed Pennsylvania new nuclear reactor along the Susquehanna River. Actual costs could be far higher. That energy wouldn't even be available until 2016, at the earliest.

2. Paid by taxpayers and ratepayers
The astronomical costs for dealing with the nuclear industry's massive amounts of high-level radioactive wastes that remain deadly for hundreds of thousands of years. $100 billion estimated for Yucca Mountain just for 150 years ? $70 billion taxpayers, $30 billion ratepayer fund. EPA set a million-year health standard. How much will it cost future generations to deal with the nuclear industry's ever growing piles of deadly wastes?

3. The Price Anderson Act absolved the nuclear industry from major liability costs for accidents or terrorists attacks. In 2004 dollars, the calculated cost for just one reactor accident or attack at Limerick would be $417 billion. The nuclear industry pays only about $10 billion of that.

4. Health costs related to routine and accidental radiation emissions into the air, water, and soil around nuclear plants are immeasurable, but overwhelming.

For cancer increases since Limerick Nuclear Power Plant went on

For powerful connections, read "Radioactive Baby Teeth: The Cancer Link" by Joseph Mangano, Radiation and Public Health Project. Or visit

5. Environmental damage is too costly to calculate. Limerick Nuclear Power Plant provides examples. What are long-term future costs to taxpayers and residents around nuclear plants for:

Insatiable water needs running the Schuylkill River dry

Massive radioactive wastewater discharges (5 billion gallons each year) poisoning the river

Heated wastewater discharges damaging ecosystems

Contamination of the river with massive amounts of unfiltered toxic mine water to supplement the flow for Limerick Nuclear Plant

Radiation emissions routinely and accidentally poisoning our air, water, soil, food and bodies

Limerick Nuclear Plant's major air pollution under the Clean Air Act ? Permit includes: NOx, PM10, VOCs, SO2, Arsenic, Cadmium, Chromium, Lead, PCBs, Halogens.

Nuclear spin groups like the PA Energy Alliance along with some elected officials and media are still absurdly claiming nuclear power is clean, reliable, and necessary to solve the energy crisis. None of that is true.

Some in Congress keep trying to get $50 billion more in federal loan guarantees for dirty, dangerous nuclear power. Why? Could it be campaign contributions/donations from Exelon and others?

The fact is, we don't need dangerous, polluting, and costly nuclear power jeopardizing our future. DOE reported that wind and solar can provide far more energy than our nation needs. Both are far cleaner, safer, and faster paths to energy independence and far less costly to taxpayers.

For reliable information on nuclear power issues visit