More nuclear woes

The news from Japan keeps getting worse.  Now it is reported that not only did the reactor core melt down, not only did it breach the pressure vessel, but it now appears that the material has penetrated the reactor building itself and seeped into the ground.  That is close to the worst case scenario.  Clean-up costs are now estimated at $250 billion, and that will not bring things back to normal.  It will still mean living with elevated cancer rates, particularly in Japan, but spreading all over the world.  And Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan has asked to close Hamaoka, another nuclear power plant that has been deemed not to be earthquake safe.

All of the costs for this disaster are being borne by the public.  The Japanese government will absorb all the costs of clean-up, relocation and health impacts.  Governments throughout the world will also be paying for the elevated health care costs arising from the increased rates of cancer in their countries.  These will continue for many decades.  Every other form of power generation is self-insuring.  The nuclear industry clearly does not deserve this free ticket as nuclear power is inherently dangerous.

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