Tuesday, 31 July 2012

The big bad nuclear mafia

Also a good read: The big bad nuclear mafia: http://nuclearpoweryesplease.org/blog/2012/07/25/the-big-bad-nuclear-maffia/ ..."Quite often in the nuclear debate one encounters the idea that the nuclear industry is some industrial juggernaut of immense proportions, so large and rich that it can pay an army of lobbyists and crush the poor little renewable energy industry beneath its heel. Nuclear is firmly place next to oil, gas and coal in magnitude, richness and reach in the opponents mind. Renewable energy companies on the other hand are envisioned as small mom and pop buisnesses run out of the back of the yard with very small means and no political or economic clout to speak of. But what is it really like?
We can start by looking at individuals, extraordinarily rich people can have extraordinary influence. When it comes to oil everyone has heard of the oil barons of the last century. Names like Rockefeller and Mellon and perhaps even Deterding and Samuel. There is no lack of modern examples like Khodorkovsky or T Bones Picke and of course one can not forget the house of Saud. Oil and gas has created many individual with vast fortunes and influence. But when one search for "Nuclear Barons" nothing pops up. How about "nuclear billionaires"? Nope not much there either. Nuclear certainly has many legendary names attached to it, Oppenheimer, Fermi, Teller, Dyson, Rickover and so on. But it tends to be scientists and engineers posessing genius minds rather than industrial tycoons. There are of course people that are well off due to nuclear, I imagine that Anne Lauvergeon made a nice salary being boss of Areva, but no one really stands out. Even steel has had its Carnegie, matches has had its Kreuger but nothing like that exists for nuclear or uranium." ..."After reviewing these numbers, does anyone really think that nuclear has the economic might to prevent renewable, an industrial sector of about the same size? Does anyone think Nuclear makes a evil troika with big oil and king coal? If nuclear is in the same boat with other energy sources it is the renewables! The companies that build reactors also build wind power plants and solar cells. Nuclear and renewables both have to fight an uphill battle to take market shares from the big fossil fuels. Big oil and gas is the industrial juggernaut that can crush other energy sources, not nuclear."

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