Chernobyl Not Over Yet

This article from Bloomberg.com deals with the financial fallout from the Chernobyl disaster…

Chernobyl Leak Forces Ukraine to Seek $1 Billion After 25 Years
By James M. Gomez and Daryna Krasnolutska – Apr 17, 2011 5:01 PM ET
Ukraine is seeking $1 billion to seal Chernobyl, the site of the world’s worst nuclear disaster, and concern is mounting the accident at Fukushima in Japan and a growing debt crisis may make it harder to raise the money.

Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych will host a conference starting tomorrow in Kiev to get funding for a new containment shelter 25 years after Chernobyl’s No. 4 reactor exploded. French Prime Minister Francois Fillon and European Commission President Jose Barroso, who arrives today, also will urge states to contribute as a venture involving France’s Vinci SA (DG) and Bouygues SA (EN) begins work on the foundations.

Japan’s battle to contain four damaged reactors at the Fukushima Dai-Ichi nuclear plant has reignited the debate about Chernobyl, whose makeshift shelter has five years left in its lifespan and still leaks radiation. The Ukrainian government warned aid may fall short as governments cut spending and balk at a fund-raising effort that has been going on since 1997.

Here in America, we have looming expenses of decommissioning worn out nuclear plants and finding a safe place to store the waste. Twenty five years is not a very long time when dealing with radioactive elements that remain deadly for thousands of years. Still, it’s hard to bear the truth that we will pay for today’s electricity long after the power plants are closed.

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One response

  1. The Chernobyl fire was caused by over-zealous engineers trying to accelerate the production of fissile byproducts for weapon manufacture. And indeed that is the dirty little secret: Weapons need constant input of fresh tritium especially but other materials with short half-lives as well. Lithium6 is one such. Our own reactors and those in allied countries such as Japan serve this military purpose, just as the Soviet reactors.
    Nuclear power is not economically viable — private enterprise will neither fund nor insure these plants without government subsidy. They require government to deal with the waste. And on top of all this now we see they require government to deal with the disastrous consequences of accidents.

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