“Too Boring for TV”

Nuclear energy is in the headlines again, because John McCain and Joseph Lieberman are soon to float a bill proposing massive subsidies to major corporations — notably General Electric — that want to build nuclear energy plants again. Some notable enviros, such as Steward Brand, support the idea. Others, such as the National Resources Defense Council do not.

Thomas B. Cochran, the director of the Natural Resources Defense Council’s nuclear program said in The New York Times  (registration required): "The issue isn’t: Do you support nuclear? The issue should be: Do you support massive subsidies to the tune of billions of dollars for nuclear power?" He said, "The answer is no."

One point often overlooked when it comes to nuclear power: the American insurance industry, back in l957, refused to insure these plants. Congress had to pass a law allowing the Federal government to insure the plants berfore they could be built (the Price-Anderson Act). This to me is argument enough against them, given that the insurance industry will, for a price, cover just about any other public activity under the sun.

But "The Onion," as usual, gets to the heart of the matter, with its hiliarious piece from the May 4th issue, entitled "Actual Expert Too Boring for TV."

They quote an expert from MIT thoughtfully discussing the issue, then a segment producer for MSNBC discussing the expert:

"[The expert] went on like that for six… long… minutes," Salters said. "Fact after mind-numbing fact. Then he started spewing all these statistics about megawatts and the nation’s current energy consumption and I don’t know what, because my mind just shut off. I tried to lead him in the right direction. I told him to address the fears that the average citizen might have about nuclear power, but he still utterly failed to mention meltdowns, radiation, or mushroom clouds."

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