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Old 10-28-2018, 12:01 PM
k9bfriender is offline
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 11,391
Originally Posted by wolfpup View Post
This is actually an excellent point that isn't made often enough: the cost of emissions is not factored in to the cost of fossil fuels, so the market is prevented from working as it should, and the cost is instead borne by others, such as those suffering damage from extreme weather, sea level rise, droughts and floods, health effects, crop damage and pest infestations, and countless other ills. The political right wing is big on privatizing everything so they're fine with paying private firms to take their garbage away, but their automobile tailpipes and power plant smokestacks are totally open to the air, dumping absolutely free and with reckless abandon while costing the world trillions.
That's one of the complaints that I have heard in the nuclear community. They are responsible for containing every bit of their waste, even things like Tritium and Xenon emissions need to be at undetectable levels. So, a nuclear plant ends up putting out far less radiation than a coal plant, which just spews all of its waste, including radioactive materials, into the air for free.

I don't know that loosening the restrictions on nuclear is the right play, but tightening them on coal plants would be. Require coal plants to have the same level of radioactive emissions as nuclear, and see how long they stay economically viable.

(Though I do support reducing restrictions on tritium release. It's expensive to try to contain all of it, and is really a non-issue as far as nuclear contamination is concerned. Xenon is a bit more complicated, but I think we can afford to look at a cost benefit analysis of that as well.)