Nuclear Industry Spends Money on Lobbying and P.R. … Instead of Safety
We’ve previously noted that “nuclear can be safe or it can be cheap … but it can’t be both”.
Fortune quotes Japanese nuclear consultant Satoshi Sato today:
We spent ten times more money for PR campaigns than we did for real safety measures. It’s a terrible thing.
If the nuclear industry had spent the money on safety measures, instead of empty PR, Fukushima wouldn’t have happened.
It’s no different in the U.S. or the rest of the world.
For example, Bloomberg noted in March of 2011:
The Nuclear Energy Institute [NEI] spent about $1.69 million lobbying Congress and the White House last year, according to records filed with the Senate. Twenty-two utilities and utility trade groups each spent more than that on advocacy, often on a range of issues, according to the Center for Responsive Politics in Washington.
Executives and employees of utilities also contributed to political campaigns.
Exelon spent more than $3.7 million lobbying last year. The company’s executives and employees contributed more than $514,000 to congressional candidates ….
Those figures might be low. The Progressive reported in 2006:
NEI spent nearly $45 million on industry coordination, policy development, communications, and “governmental affairs” in 2006, according to its most recent financial report.
That doesn’t include lobbying by individual companies with a stake in the nuclear power business, such as Entergy, Exelon, or Duke Energy.
NEI’s numbers also don’t include utility groups, an important part of the pro-nuclear lobby
And some of Obama’s top funders are connected with the nuclear power industry.
No wonder U.S. plants are unsafe … they need to pinch pennies to spend more money on lobbying and P.R. efforts.