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View Diary: The Nuclear Shill Apologizes. (157 comments)

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  •  Risks, etc. (2+ / 0-)
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    LIsoundview, Plan9

    The only way the real risk can be handled through private insurance without Federal help is if the reactor operators can demonstrate to the insurance industry that this event is so improbable that insurance companies can write policies to cover this at a reasonable cost and get a believable profit out of it.

    Well, you've touched on something significant here. How do you truly assess the risk? How does the risk compare to other risks that are insured every day?

    We're not talking about insuring automobiles here. There are millions of automobile accidents each year in the US, which kill thousands of people annually. So insurers have a pretty good understanding of the risks and consequences of automobiles and thus are able to set their policies appropriately.

    Compare that to nuclear plants. In over 40 years of operation, the principal data point is an accident that killed no one and whose financial costs were completely covered by the insurance that the Price-Anderson Act requires the licensee to purchase from private sources. Considering the actual real-world data that is available -- and not unrealistic calculations or fanciful melodramas -- the nuclear industry can be said to be very safe and completely insurable.

    Considering the heavy hand that the government has in guaranteeing safety in the nuclear industry, I personally have no problem with the government also dictating the terms by which claimants are compensated for damages resulting from a nuclear or radiological incident. Anyone who has taken the time to understand how the Price-Anderson Act works, clearly sees that it is crafted to protect the public, not the owners of nuclear plants.

    As for the taxpayers being stuck with the bill, perhaps a little perspective is in order. Hurricanes regularly cost the taxpayer huge sums of money, often running into the billions of dollars. The public cost of hurricane Katrina has run into the hundreds of billions. Do you also advocate that nobody should live in Florida or along the Gulf Coast?

    Hurricanes are a regular occurrence. The one "dangerous" nuclear accident in the US in 40 years cost only $70 million in claims, all covered by private insurance. Price-Anderson has cost the taxpayer virtually nothing.

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