Monday, 28 November 2011

What is the motivation for having nuclear power?

It’s difficult to see how it serves the interests of anyone at all.

No ordinary citizens want to live near a power plant, given the choice; that must be even truer in light of Chernobyl and Fukushima.

The nuclear and insurance industries themselves recognise that it’s not a viable enterprise. The state must nanny the industry massively for reasons including the unwillingness of providers to sell insurance policies to nuclear businesses.

There might be some considerable financial reward for some nuclear executives, but capitalists are clever people: if not nuclear, they can find plenty of other ways to enrich themselves.

Moreover, these executives (and their children) will live in the same country as their power stations and, as Fukushima shows, one can never really live far enough away to be safe from an accident.

I have been watching the documentary, ‘Into Eternity’: in Finland, they are building a massive underground repository (effectively an underground city) for nuclear waste; this facility will eventually be sealed, and must remain sealed for the next 100,000 years.

It’s mind-boggling. It’s not clear (might become so – haven’t finished watching the whole lot yet) who is paying for this. Apparently, this is the only safe way to deal with waste; but the cost of this project seems to dwarf any benefits from nuclear, and that itself seems a massive understatement when you consider that this project will presumably have to be replicated hundreds/thousands of times around the world (for all those advanced nations engaged in nuclear power production).

Out of all the contempt that drives human activity (e.g. racism that enables the plunder of lands populated by brown people, misogyny that sustains the oppression of women, hatred of animals that enables the daily genocide perpetrated by the meat industry), it seems our greatest contempt is for future generations. It seems that we (might) love our children, but we couldn’t give a damn about their children.

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