Friday, 23 October 2009

Fossil fuel waste vs nuclear waste

Joseph Romm's recent post at the Energy Collective references this report from the National Research Council on the impact of fossil fuel use. The report works to monetise the impact and Romm quotes US $120 Billion annual cost from the use of fossil fuel in America. And that does not include damages from climate change, harm to ecosystems, effects of some air pollutants such as mercury, and risks to national security, which the report examines but does not monetize.

US $120 Billion annual impact - just in the USA. And it's supposed to get much worse by 2030.

Comparing this to - say - the cost of the Yucca Mountain project, or other back-end fuel cycle management options such as the Integral Fast Reactor or other Gen-IV designs being developed to consume rather than sacrifice the energy remaining in nuclear waste - the cost of nuclear waste management appears to be a much easier pill to swallow. This NY Times article quotes the current cost of Yucca Mountain at just over US $10 Billion and the entire nuclear waste fund at US $22 Billion (after 40 years of commercial nuclear power in the USA).

One can imagine the thought of 100% internalisation of waste costs to the fossil fuel energy industry is just a bit unsettling to a fair few boardrooms around Australia and around the World. Perhaps some corporate attention will be (is being?) invested to resist calls to internalise such costs.


  1. This is REALLY helpful!!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. This is a bunch of crap, look at Japan after the earthquakes and Australia is on the Ring of Fire, NO ????? There are plenty of inventions that are being surpressed like Bio-Generators, Permenant Magnet Generators and Motors and they work but are discredited and physically assaulted and harrassed in courts because of the monsters who monopolized the way we do business through the fictious corporate instruments that polute and destroy the elements needed to sustain living things to create scarcities to create value so they can increase profit, a great sin that nobody addresses because they personally are attached with their heads in the ground not seeing the tragity it will bring us that is now in the near future. Gods Love is TRUTH