Nuclear Power Bums, Bailouts and Bankruptcy

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Photo by Mark Goebel | CC BY 2.0

Photo by Mark Goebel | CC BY 2.0

You have to hand it to the nuclear industry for socializing costs and privatizing profits. Last year, lobbyists for operators of dirty, deadbeat old reactors won massive public subsidies — bailouts — in New York and Illinois that will keep decrepit, retirement-age reactors from shutting down.

Instead of turning off the rattle traps — and investing public funds in renewables – state-sponsored electric ratepayer handouts in the two states will total $10 billion over 12 years. Remember Reagan’s mythical “welfare queens”? These utilities are welfare gods, propping up decrepit reactors by buying entire state legislatures that in turn legalize monthly electric bill increases.

In New York, the FitzPatrick reactor (Entergy Corp) and Nine Mile Point station (Exelon Corp) join the Ginna reactor in foisting rate hikes on customers, giveaways that will keep the failed reactors spewing “allowable” radioactive emissions to the air and water indefinitely.

Tim Knauss, reporting for the Syracuse Post-Standard wrote, “The once money-losing nuclear plants are now expected to add millions to the profits of parent company Exelon Corp.” The windfall for the dividend-earning class is considerable. A single large power reactor can draw $1 million in profit every month for the owners and shareholders.

In Illinois, the Clinton and Quad Cities reactors will be saved from the axe by a similar bailout engineered by Exelon Corp last December….

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