Today! NEIS invites you all to observe a Congressional Briefing on reactor decommissioning and radioactive waste issues: Monday, July 16, 1 p.m. Central time Room HC-8, Capitol Building Washington, D.C. Live webcast will be streamed at: www.eesi.org/livecast... See MoreSee Less
[ Now, in 2018, the nuclear industry seems to be changing its tune and finally giving up the pretense that there are no civilian-military connections. Several years have passed since the Fukushima Daiichi catastrophe put the nuclear industry in defensive mode, so it no longer has to try so hard to persuade the public. The issue is out of the public eye. More importantly, the nuclear energy industry is in desperate straits financially. It needs enormous inputs of public funds because it cannot compete with the cost of other sources of energy. The truth will out, the saying goes, and this week no one was too ashamed to finally admit the reality:
A broad coalition of 75 industry, government, and military dignitaries—a quarter of whom are retired admirals or vice admirals—has come out in support of President Trump’s plan to bail out the nation’s struggling nuclear plants, agreeing that more premature closures pose a national security threat. - Tom Henry, “Government, military officials in favor of Trump's nuclear bailout plan,” Toledo Blade, July 1, 2018. www.toledoblade.com/Energy/2018/07/01/Government-military-officials-in-favor-of-Trump-s-nuclear-b...
The vaguely worded “national security threat” is of course a euphemistic way of saying the nuclear arsenal will be useless if it isn’t replenished with tritium and fissile material from the civilian sector. It will be too difficult to maintain the technical know-how, and too costly to maintain the infrastructure if electricity isn’t sold as a by-product of the nuclear complex. It has been obvious to many for a very long time, but Professor Andrew Stirling put it succinctly in 2017 when speaking of the government’s readiness to pay the enormous costs of the Hinkley Point power plant in the UK:
“… there was a crucial, largely unspoken, reason for the government’s rediscovered passion for nuclear: without a civil nuclear industry, a nation cannot sustain military nuclear capabilities.” - Andrew Stirling, professor of science and technology policy at Sussex University ]