Best of the Week
Most Popular
1. Will Gold Price Breakout? 3 Things to Watch… - Jordan_Roy_Byrne
2.China Invades Saudi Oil Realm: PetroDollar Kill - Jim_Willie_CB
3.Bitcoin Price Trend Forecast, Paypal FUD Fake Cryptocurrency Warning - Nadeem_Walayat
4.The Stock Market Trend is Your Friend ’til the Very End - Rambus_Chartology
5.This Isn’t Your Grandfather’s (1960s) Inflation Scare - F_F_Wiley
6.GDX Gold Mining Stocks Fundamentals - Zeal_LLC
7.US Housing Real Estate Market and Banking Pressures Are Building - Chris_Vermeulen
8.Return of Stock Market Volatility Amidst Political Chaos and Uncertain Economy - Buildadv
9.Can Bitcoin Price Rally Continue After Paypal Fake FUD Attack? - Nadeem_Walayat
10.Warning Economic Implosion on the Horizon - Chris_Vermeulen
Last 7 days
The Hottest Commodity Play In 2018 - 23rd Apr 18
Stock Market Correction Turns Consolidation - 23rd Apr 18
Silver Squeeze, Gold Fails & GDX Breadth - 23rd Apr 18
US Economy Is Cooked, the Growth Cycle has Peaked - 23rd Apr 18
Inflation, With a Shelf Life - 23rd Apr 18 - Gary_Tanashian
Stock Market Predictive Modeling Is Calling For A Continued Rally - 22nd Apr 18
SWEATCOIN - Get PAID to WALK! Incentive to Burn Fat and Lose Weight - Review - 22nd Apr 18
Sheffield Local Elections 2018 Forecast Results - 22nd Apr 18
How Long Does it take for a 10%+ Stock Market Correction to Make New Highs - 21st Apr 18
Sheffield Ruling Labour Party Could Lose 10 Council Seats at May Local Elections - 21st Apr 18
Crude Oil Price Trend Forecast - Saudi Arabia $80 ARAMCO Stock IPO Target - 21st Apr 18
Gold Price Nearing Bull Market Breakout, Stocks to Follow - 20th Apr 18
What’s Bitcoin Really Worth? - 20th Apr 18
Stock Market May "Let Go" - 20th Apr 18
Overwhelming Evidence Against Near Stock Market Grand Supercycle Top - 20th Apr 18
Crude Oil Price Trend Forecast - Saudi's Want $100 for ARAMCO Stock IPO - 20th Apr 18
The Incredible Silver Trade – What You Need to Know - 20th Apr 18
Is War "Hell" for the Stock Market? - 19th Apr 18
Palladium Bullion Surges 17% In 9 Days On Russian Supply Concerns - 19th Apr 18
Breadth Study Suggests that Stock Market Bottom is Already In - 19th Apr 18
Allegory Regarding Investment Decisions Made On Basis Of Government’s Income Statement, Balance Sheet - 19th Apr 18
Gold – A Unique Repeat of the 2007 and How to Profit - 19th Apr 18
Abbeydale Park Rise Cherry Tree's in Blossom - Sheffield Street Tree Protests - 19th Apr 18
The Stock Market “Turn of the Month Effect” Exists in 11 of 11 Countries - 18th Apr 18
Winter is Coming - Coming Storms Will Bring Out the Best and Worst in Humanity - 18th Apr 18
What Does it Take to Create Living Wage Jobs? - 18th Apr 18
Gold and Silver Buy Signals - 18th Apr 18
WINTER IS COMING - The Ongoing Fourth Turning Crisis Part2 - 18th Apr 18
A Stock Market Rally on Low Volume is NOT Bearish - 17th Apr 18
Three Gold Charts, One Big Gold Stocks Opportunity - 17th Apr 18
Crude Oil Price As Bullish as it Seems? - 17th Apr 18
A Good Time to Buy Facebook? - 17th Apr 18
THE Financial Crisis Acronym of 2008 is Sounding Another Alarm - 16th Apr 18
Bombs, Missiles and War – What to Expect Next from the Stock Market - 16th Apr 18
Global Debt Bubble Hits New All Time High – One Quadrillion Reasons To Buy Gold - 16th Apr 18
Will Bitcoin Ever Recover? - 16th Apr 18
Stock Market Futures Bounce, But Stopped at Trendline - 16th Apr 18
How To Profit As Oil Prices Explode - 16th Apr 18
Junior Mining Stocks are Close to Breaking Downtrend - 16th Apr 18
Look Inside a Caravan at UK Holiday Park for Summer 2018 - Hoseasons Cayton Bay Sea Side - 16th Apr 18
Stock Market More Weakness? How Much? - 15th Apr 18
Time for the Gold Bulls to Show their Mettle - 15th Apr 18
Trading Markets Amid Sound of Wars - 15th Apr 18
Sugar Commodity Buying Levels Analysis - 14th Apr 18
The Oil Trade May Be Coming Alive - 14th Apr 18

Market Oracle FREE Newsletter

Trading Lessons

Nuclear Power, The Economic Dirty Bomb

Politics / Nuclear Power Aug 16, 2011 - 12:06 PM GMT

By: Andrew_McKillop

Politics

Best Financial Markets Analysis ArticleWithin the next 15 years as many as 100 industry standard 900 MW nuclear reactors, concentrated in the "old nuclear' countries will have to be decommissioned, dismantled and made safe - unless the sinister farce of reactor operating lifetime extensions goes on playing. In some countries, especially Germany, Switzerland and probably Japan this farce has already ended or could end very soon. When it does, nuclear debt will go into overdrive from its already high gear shift setting.


Nuclear power is capital intensive, lives on subsidies, thrives on false hopes and dies in debt.

Putting a figure on how much the nuclear "decomm" story will cost is in fact impossible - and is signalled by the tell-tale anticipative action of nuclear friendly governments, for example the UK, which now sets decomm as an activity that will only need to start a generous or foolhardy 30 or 40 years after the reactor was powered down and removed from the national power grid. Until then, the reactor can stay on the horizon as a contribution to national culture, or something. Decomm periods could or might be as long as 125 years, according to some nuclear apologists: why not 250 years ?

Staying an extra moment in the UK which this month of August 2011 had a three-day low level civil war outbreak, countered by PM David Cameron with the same phlegmatic repressive "courage" as Bashr el Assad facing his own five-month real civil war in Syria, we get an additional glimpse of nuclear power's real and open ended risks and costs.

In a real civil war, in any country with real nuclear power plants, who exactly is going to tell us these giant Dirty Bombs will not get hit - possibly as early priority targets for insurgents and anti-government forces ?  In that case, what will be the economic costs and sequels of this ?

ECONOMIC DISASTER
The keyword "disaster" suffers from overuse and erosion, for example the loss of Michael Jackson is a "disaster" for world culture, but nuclear disaster has a real and known meaning. While we do not know and will not know the real cost of the Fukushima 4-reactor meltdown because a period of 10 years is about the minimum needed to get a handle on it, the economic damage and loss from the Chernobyl 1-reactor meltdown has been relatively well costed - over the years since it happened in 1986. At a minimum and in today's depreciating and devaluing dollars, the cost ballpark starts at about $ 250 bn.

To be sure, this is chickenfeed relative to the multi trillion-euro and trillion-dollar sovereign debts being juggled in Europe and the USA (or the 1000 trillion yen sovereign debt of Japan), but it concerns real world spending in the real economy. The leverage relation between the real economy, and the high speed fantasy world of sovereign debts, is hard to estimate but we can suggest that $1 spent in the real economy is equal to at least $100 of funny debt fiat money being refinanced, restructured and extended.

Next we add that these two nuclear catastrophes, grave as they were, extreme as they were, occurred a long way from dense urban areas with high value properties and businesses, and millions of residents. The chance of Nuclear Luck continuing, with rural-type disasters rather than city region disasters, is not guaranteed - but nuclear power's extreme high costs and risks are guaranteed, sure and certain.

Worst-case scenarios for nuclear collateral damage in so-called "mature democracies" facing civil war because of political decisions made by the elite to defend their shrinking middle classes, waking up to the reality they are getting poorer, not richer, are relatively easy to construct. We can likely multiply the Chernobyl tab for economic and loss and damage by a factor of four, for city regional nuclear catastrophes of the future, taking the real economy risk of loss to around $ 1 trillion, a respectable number for players like Obama to put through their teleprompters. The impact of this on already so-fragile national finances and economic confidence in the Old Rich/New Poor countries would be, very simply, catastrophic.

RECYCLE, REUSE AND DEFEND THE ECONOMY
Nuclear waste business, as we know, is not business friendly and leads to the very basic reflex of simply dumping a considerable and growing part of the world's unmanageable nuclear wastes from the current world fleet of around 436 operating civil reactors (depending on how many Japanese reactors are brought back into service). Proliferation risks are in a decidedly Olde Worlde 1950s-way restricted only to conventional explosive nuclear weapons - totally ignoring both Depleted Uranium weapons using and "recycling" nuclear wastes, value-adding too, and the future Dirty Bombs which with almost no possible doubt will be used in coming civil wars and international wars. Both of these nuclear war options are above all cheap, and of course dirty.

Since the 1991 Gulf War 1 against Iraq, the war against Afghanistan starting in 2001, and second war against Iraq of 2003, at least 2500 tons of Depleted Uranium weapons have been used by the US, UK and France in these delightfully far away and "over the horizon" Indiana Jones type war theaters - causing a conservatively estimated 10 000 cancer deaths, and as many as 50 000 living sufferers of cancer in Iraq and Afghanistan. This has easily calculated economic consequences - when this concerns white democratic middle class sufferers of the same types of cancers: roughly $ 40 000 for a cancer death and $ 25 000-per-year fur surviving cancer sufferers.

To be sure these cancer deaths and injuries are chickenfeed in relation to the civilian deaths and refugees caused by the West's "pre-emptive" attack against Saddam Hussein's Iraq and its virtual stock of Mass Destruction weapons, and revenge crusade against the Taliban for so expertly organizing the demolition of New York's Twin Towers in 2001, exactly like the ratio of real economy damage cause by nuclear power and the notional debt mountains of the formerly-rich countries. However, total civilian deaths in these two completely illegal wars - probably more than 250 000 - and the real suffering caused to millions by these illegal wars will we can hope some day give way to reparations, which will be payable and due, exactly like debt repayment by the Old Rich/New Poor countries. The "cute idea" of recycling nuclear wastes as DU ordnance will generate the economic damage that these filthy weapons should generate. Those who profit from misery will finally pay.

To be sure, this cozy morality is fine - as long as the best0by date for muddling through is way in the future. When it comes home to roost with the very shrinking number of bird numbers - even bird species - this is another kettle of also rapidly depleting open ocean fish.

LOSS AVOIDANCE IS THE ONLY SOLUTION
Turning off the nuclear tap will soon become the only solution. With civil nuclear power plant growth and  proliferation already cancelled in several countries, including Germany, Japan and Switzerland and likely to be placed on hold because of nuclear debt and the sheer un-economic nature of nuclear power in other countries - to be sure with China and India coming very late to the party - we can be sure that Nuclear Nirvana's murky underside of a Pandora's Box of evils will soon cause a sea shift in ruling elite thinking.

Options exist for the rapid removal of nuclear power from the scene. Since 2008, in more than a half of OECD countries exposed to the realities of the sovereign debt crisis, electricity consumption has fallen by double-digit amounts in 3 years. The need for nuclear power is cut by this real world trend. To be sure there are long-term and rising nuclear debts due to accumulated wastes and to the near-term future crisis of reactor decommissioning - which should (in a sane world) only hasten the total abandonment of this failed option for supplying "cheap, clean and safe" power.

The options are better known than ever. The pathology of "we didnt know" has worn awfully thin after the Fukushima disaster. The same applies to Depleted Uranium weapons, so nicely reserved for expert commentators to pontificate on - but which cause cancers and economic loss every day in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The choices and options are on the table for those who want to admit them. Unfortunately our current political decider elite is congenitally unable to admit them. Soldiering along and muddling through with the deadly, high cost option of nuclear power will continue - but not for long.

By Andrew McKillop

Contact: xtran9@gmail.com

Former chief policy analyst, Division A Policy, DG XVII Energy, European Commission. Andrew McKillop Biographic Highlights

Andrew McKillop has more than 30 years experience in the energy, economic and finance domains. Trained at London UK’s University College, he has had specially long experience of energy policy, project administration and the development and financing of alternate energy. This included his role of in-house Expert on Policy and Programming at the DG XVII-Energy of the European Commission, Director of Information of the OAPEC technology transfer subsidiary, AREC and researcher for UN agencies including the ILO.

© 2011 Copyright Andrew McKillop - All Rights Reserved Disclaimer: The above is a matter of opinion provided for general information purposes only and is not intended as investment advice. Information and analysis above are derived from sources and utilising methods believed to be reliable, but we cannot accept responsibility for any losses you may incur as a result of this analysis. Individuals should consult with their personal financial advisors.


© 2005-2018 http://www.MarketOracle.co.uk - The Market Oracle is a FREE Daily Financial Markets Analysis & Forecasting online publication.


Comments

Mark Goldes
16 Aug 11, 19:30
AN UNRECOGNIZED NUCLEAR THREAT

MELTDOWNS OF MULTIPLE NUCLEAR PLANTS ARE A HIDDEN HAZARD!

The largest solar flare in years erupted earlier this month. Had its emission slammed into our geomagnetic field it could have collapsed critical global power grids for months.

A nuclear plant without grid power for a month is a meltdown candidate.

See the Aesop Institute website for an overview of the problem and a few maps that illuminate the threat, which is far greater than any terror attack.


Post Comment

Only logged in users are allowed to post comments. Register/ Log in

6 Critical Money Making Rules