A Nuclear Accident Could Cost Trillions of Dollars and Bankrupt Us

Socialism for the Rich … But Taxpayers Eat the Losses

We’ve reported for years that – according to government reports and mainstream media – a nuclear catastrophe could cost ten trillion dollars or more (many times more than the insurance which nuclear power operators are required to carry) … and could even bankrupt a country.

For example, Fukushima could cost 10 trillion dollars to clean up … which could bankrupt Japan.

We’ve also reported that the nuclear industry is wholly-subsidized … where the taxpayers bear all of the risk if things go wrong, but the private nuclear companies get all of the profits in the good times.

Like the biggest banks, nuclear companies are government sponsored enterprises where all of the profits are privatized, and all of the losses socialized.

Today, Wolf Richter confirms these facts from yet another government source:

Catastrophic nuclear accidents … get costly. So costly that the French government, when it came up with cost estimates, kept them secret.

But now the report was leaked to the French magazine, Le Journal de Dimanche. Turns out, the upper end of the cost spectrum of an accident at a single reactor at the plant chosen for the study, the plant at Dampierre in the Department of Loiret in north-central France, would amount to over three times the country’s GDP. Financially, France would cease to exist as we know it.

Hence, the need to keep it secret. The study was done in 2007 by the Institute for Radiological Protection and Nuclear Safety (IRSN), a government agency under joint authority of the Ministry of Defense and the Ministry of Environment, Industry, Research, and Health. With over 1,700 employees, it’s France’s “public service expert in nuclear and radiation risks.” This isn’t some overambitious, publicity-hungry think tank.

It evaluated a range of disaster scenarios that might occur at the Dampierre plant. In the best-case scenario, costs came to €760 billion—more than a third of France’s GDP. At the other end of the spectrum: €5.8 trillion [7.53 trillion U.S. Dollars]! Over three times France’s GDP. A devastating amount. So large that France could not possibly deal with it.

***

“One trillion [Euros], that’s what Fukushima will ultimately cost,” Repussard said.

Part of the €5.8 trillion would be the “astronomical social costs due to the high number of victims,” the report stated. The region contaminated by cesium 137 would cover much of France and Switzerland, all of Belgium and the Netherlands, and a big part of Germany—an area with 90 million people (map). The costs incurred by farmers, employees, and companies, the environmental damage and healthcare expenses would amount to €4.4 trillion.

***

Yet the study might underestimate the cost for other nuclear power plants. The region around Dampierre has a lower population density than regions around other nuclear power plants. And it rarely has winds that would blow the radioactive cloud in a northerly direction toward Paris. Other nuclear power plants aren’t so fortuitously located.

For those who think Fukushima or Chernobyl were one-time events, please note:

This entry was posted in Business / Economics, Energy / Environment, Politics / World News. Bookmark the permalink.
  • nveric

    Bankrupt?

    What this means is all life stops without having the abstract stuff called money. This artificial substance seems to have unlimited and absolute power and control over all humans. The unthinking and unknowing abstraction seems to be alive and rules our dominion, giving no quarter. (no pun intended)

    When the money is gone, our lives cease, the electricity stops, the water doesn’t flow, the food can’t be grown. Think about it – food requires money to be grown. Strange and all pervasive grip of unrestrained and total and complete control this money has.

    How could life have ever evolved without money first?

    Maybe the Creation was the correct and real beginning of the Earth. But, where does it say God created all the money? When too.

    Seems a bit silly to let the universal medium of exchange be less than it is. Less, as in, it’s not something with any real value except what it’s given when exchanged for something else.

    While the story is about nuclear power and the associated costs, the substance behind the story is the use of dangerous substances like uranium and its derivatives and money, the foolish artificial thing having no inherent value. In both of these cases, new ways must be found.

    People must do things to live. People’s time is as valuable as the next. Our abilities are different, yes, but not exponentially so. The creation of money is where? If people work or sell things, they receive money already created. When was it created? How did this money thing get started?

    Come on people think. How and when and who created money? leading all on this road where life will end without having money?

    Money seems and is the root for most all blogs and their reporting. This money thing drives or not drives, the entire World, so it’s the top story, the only story. People spend (no pun intended) so much effort / time being obsessed with having or obtaining this stuff – and who decides it’s creation or not?

    I’m aiming that this control of money is absent reality, because people want to do those things they need to do, but are denied so because they lack the money and the means to obtain it. If money is easy to earn, then why isn’t it? The economics of money, or the effort to make its value stable is why it’s controlled. But it’s the very control of the money supply which is unreasonable and not founded in reality, otherwise …

    (Sorry to report the author’s brain just exploded. He’ll be back once reassembly is concluded.)

  • David Mills

    Which is why we should have had thorium nuclear power and not power based on uranium. It is the nuclear power that can not have a melt down and which is capable of burning up all of the nuclear waste. Thorium nuclear power was designed by Alvin Weinberg, the person who owns the patent on uranium nuclear power because he wanted something much better and safer. He proved it would work at Oak Ridge. The military put a stop to thorium power because they wanted plants to enrich uranium and thorium is a poor choice for making a nuclear bomb. Watch the best video on thorium by a NASA scientist who realized that thorium would be the answer to power on the moon.

  • David Mills

    Which is why we should have had thorium nuclear power and not power based on uranium. It is the nuclear power that can not have a melt down and which is capable of burning up all of the nuclear waste. Thorium nuclear power was designed by Alvin Weinberg, the person who owns the patent on uranium nuclear power because he wanted something much better and safer. He proved it would work at Oak Ridge. The military put a stop to thorium power because they wanted plants to enrich uranium and thorium is a poor choice for making a nuclear bomb. Watch the best video on thorium by a NASA scientist who realized that thorium would be the answer to power on the moon.

  • Martin

    Well, look on the bright side – it would create a lot of jobs, just like WWII!

 

 

Twitter