Talk:Price–Anderson Nuclear Industries Indemnity Act/Alltalk

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Chernobyl vs. BWR/PWR

What happened at Chernobyl can't happen at a BWR or PWR. You can't get a positive void coefficient, you can't operate in that portion of the power/flow map, you can't get a steam explosion, there's no graphite to burn, and non-Soviet Union reactors all have containment buildings. While meltdowns are assumed to be possible to occur, Chernobyl will always be unique. Simesa 16:08, 26 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Please see "BWR/PWr" in Talk below. Simesa 29 June 2005 20:29 (UTC)

Energy Bill of 2005

If nuclear power related legislation [1] not specifically related to Price-Anderson gets signed into law, a paragraph will be placed in Nuclear Power 2010 Program. Simesa 18:01, 26 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Self Evident Risk

I have a proposal - specifically for those who claim the risk of a chernobyl is unlikely.

Just this one question:

If there is no risk, why does the nuclear industry need a Price Anderson Act? Benjamin Gatti 04:14, 27 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Please read paragraph 4. 05:28, 27 Jun 2005 (UTC)
Read it. If that is the answer - why doesn't the Price Ansderson act cover windmills? They have financial risks as well - obviously much less - but if the PA provided equal justice for all, it would cover investors in windmills in the rare event that they suffered financial loss.
I have no objection to covering windmills, or even with fully subsidizing them. However, bank depositors are covered by the FDIC - you wouldn't want that to go away, even though it is exactly analogous to Price-Anderson. The railroads wouldn't have been built without land grants, or the airlines without mail contracts. That's one reason why we have a government. Simesa 28 June 2005 16:39 (UTC)
In the spirit of honesty - it burns me up that we have spent so much money on nuclear energy, and that we continue to spend _any_, when we haven't made an _Equal_ effort to harness renewable energy. That outright anger extends to any subsidy, liability waiver, in short an _inequity_ which gives one clearly dangerous industry an advantage over much cleaner and safer alternatives - which i am actively involved in developing [ ]. Is that a bias - yes - am i honest about it - yes. In addition, my wife is from Kiev, her family includes people who were sent in to clean up chernobyl while it was hot, most of which are now dead and dying of terrible diseases. Is that bias or experience. Some voices here are "nuclear engineers" does that imply more experience in the hazards of nuclear than someone who has lived in kiev and dined with people suffering the effects of chernobyl? Maybe not. I doubt anyone wants to hear from a voice which is so uninformed as to have no perspective whatsoever. I'm not against government funding public goods - but it must be open and honest. If nuclear is safe - why do we have Price-Anderson, if is dangerous how is it a public good - why not alternatives such as wind?Benjamin Gatti 29 June 2005 00:55 (UTC)
As I pointed out below, debating various positions is interesting and fun, but pretty much pointless here at Wikipedia. We aren't here to pass judgment on what tack is right or wrong or better, we're here to summarize pertinent information -- particularly on pro and con debates on subjects -- on encyclopeda articles. Our own personal opinions about which side is right are largely irrelevant. See Wikipedia:Wikiquette, Wikipedia:NPOV. Best · Katefan0(scribble) June 29, 2005 02:30 (UTC)
Do you really believe that any nuclear engineer doesn't know exactly what happened at both Chernobyl and TMI? Simesa 30 June 2005 10:50 (UTC)


Three Mile Island only cost $70 million despite a "back door" leak out of containment, so the risk is plainly insurable (for American plants, at least). The problem is in what maximum amount to insure for. The government apparently deems the Price-Anderson amounts and provisions to be adequate, so the industry is insured.

Your car insurance has limits that won't nearly cover a worst-possible-case accident. Nuclear is much better insured. Simesa 28 June 2005 16:39 (UTC)

I rather think that 275 million drivers each with 1,000,000 liability is closer to 275,000,000,000,000 dollars so the "Industry" of car operators has some pool of 275 Trillion Dollars - enough to cover the 250 Billion in losses from chernobyl one thousand times. That is what adequate coverage looks like. Even if the number of insured drivers is half the pop, its still adequate. 9 Billion in the whole pool is inadequate. - Why is there language that congress will consider picking up the rest. Insurance says DANGER.Benjamin Gatti 28 June 2005 21:48 (UTC)
The industry has liability of $9.5 billion PER ACCIDENT. Your drivers have $1 million per accident - there's no pool coverage. You should have seen that. Simesa 28 June 2005 21:56 (UTC)

No industry and no individual is insured for the worst possible accident. Why should nuclear power be held to a standard that any industry and anyone driving a vehicle? They are already held to Strict liability which means that they have to pay regardless of fault, whereas most industries are only liable if fault can be proven. As for uninsurable, that could only be determined by repealing Price Anderson. pstudier 2005 June 28 22:24 (UTC)


The industry is liable for AT LEAST $9.5 billion, so your statement is patently incorrect. Simesa 28 June 2005 16:39 (UTC)

From RFC

These recent additions, such as: The Price-Anderson Act, addresses the uninsurable risks of nuclear energy and research by passing the costs and the risks of a nuclear accident from the owners of production to the labor class. are POV. It's fine to cite someone criticizing the act for passing the cost of insurance on to the taxpayers, but we can't just make a blanket assertion like that; the language is too authoritative. This has been around a long time, surely you can find some critical sources to buttress the point you'd like to make. Wasn't the idea, back in 1957, that nukes were an immature industry, and as such had to be protected from insurance risks? Interesting that it's still considered immature. But that's neither here nor there in terms of this particular phraseology. · Katefan0(scribble) June 28, 2005 19:23 (UTC)

How does that square with Windmills? Wave Energy OTEC?. They are an immature technology, they have certain financial risks, why don't they need an cost-shift to the taxpayers?Benjamin Gatti 28 June 2005 21:44 (UTC)
Does it matter? How is that relevant to the article? I'm asking seriously, not to be flip. If you have a source that's critical of the Price-Anderson Act because of the nuclear industry's current status (i.e. no longer an immature industry), feel free to cite it. Otherwise it's sort of irrelevant. Our own opinions on the matter -- any matter (even mine) -- are immaterial. What we are here to do is summarize pertinent information, including pro and con debates, about various encyclopedic subjects, not pass judgment ourselves on which theory is right or wrong ot better (see Wikipedia:Wikiquette). Again, if you have a source that's critical of the nuclear industry vis a vis insurance, feel free to cite it. I'm sure there must be some out there. · Katefan0(scribble) June 28, 2005 23:43 (UTC)
Here's some criticism here, and here, and here. There's lots of information to work with. Personally I agree that there should be some critical voices in this article, but it has to be done in an NPOV fashion. I would be glad to work with you, Benjamin, to do that. I would recommend you start out by reading some of these websites and then taking a crack at summarizing their criticisms of the act inside the article (read Wikipedia:NPOV and Wikipedia:Cite sources for some guidelines). Best · Katefan0(scribble) June 28, 2005 23:53 (UTC)

Blither and Blather

Price Anderson is an INSURANCE thing - it "makes money available in case of damages" That is what insurance thingies do. I hardly think anyone needs this article to spell out what insurance does. So expanded words are really just filler, and ought to be dealt the deletonious stroke of the mouse.

"Because no one had (or has) quantified wh ..." What trite, either they had, or they hadn't. In really Hiroshima and nagasaki, as well as covert experiments on animals and people had clearly established a range of very bad things that could happen as a result of nuclear exposure. This is blither blather.

"Because no one had (or has) quantified what the maximum coverage necessary would be for a PWR or BWR, financiers were unwilling to insure the possible risk. Therefore, no private operator in the United States would have built a nuclear facility ..."

Is this what passes for encyclopedic facts these days? This is a string of interdependant negatives, none of which can be proved either way. Perhaps this would be better as an chapter in scient_logy. Let's reduce it to verifyable fact.

"(commonly called simply the Price-Anderson Act)" the Act is not commonly known much less commonly called, the redirect is adequate. Benjamin Gatti 29 June 2005 03:40 (UTC)

Ben, I agree that the article still needs work. All I've had time to do so far is add some background, but will work on it more when I have a minute. I'll be very busy today and probably tomorrow so I may not be able to get back to this in any detail for a few days. Also, with all due respect, the act is commonly shortened to Price-Anderson; nobody refers to it by its full name. Additionally, please refrain from making uncivil remarks about anyone's contributions — please read Wikipedia:Civility; calling contributions "blather" is not helpful to building an encyclopedia. We're all here for the same reason, to make the article better. · Katefan0(scribble) June 29, 2005 12:22 (UTC)

Its a subsidy thing

Subsidies encourage a specific outcome in otherwise competative industries. Their purpose is to encourage private investment in the outcome the government has predestinated to win.

It is called picking winners and losers.

Most theories of economics call it socialism, communism, dictatorships, command economies, etc,

Economic theories which abhor picking wiinners include capitalism, laize faire (sp) economics, libertarianism, etc ... Benjamin Gatti 29 June 2005 04:14 (UTC)

I have already pointed out several ways for you to insert such criticism in the article. As long as you cite a source that is critical of these practices, it's a perfectly acceptable way of building an article. There's a natural opening right after the sentence where the background info begins to talk about its detractors. Again, I'll have more time to help you on this later. · Katefan0(scribble) June 29, 2005 12:25 (UTC)

On Fairness

Here's my opinion on why the Act as a subsidy should be spelled out in detail.

Its insurance, and yet the article states that it is: "Insurance which makes available a pool of funds in the event of an accident." That is a tautology. If its insurance, it pools risk, and pays out on unexpected losses, spelling it out is tedious, but to be fair, we ought to spell out the subsidy as well, how it works, and its purpose - which in every case is to "direct private investment to support the outcome of a competative market which the government preordains." In the general case, subsidies encourage the least effecient market outcome because subsidies disable the group-intelligence of many individual investors, by dictating higher rates of returns for handpicked winners. Subsides unlevel the playing field and give economic advantages to otherwise uncompetative alternatives.

The Price Anderson Act is an open admission that nuclear power is dangerous and unable to compete with wind and other safe clean power sources in a fair competation. It is the WHY and the HOW of nuclear power. Benjamin Gatti 29 June 2005 12:46 (UTC)

I don't accept many of your conclusions. Subsidies don't necessarily give the least efficient market outcome. Nuclear isn't non-competitive - it certainly beats oil. PAA only indicates that the magmitude of insurance needed is unknown. Simesa 29 June 2005 18:43 (UTC)
Again, it's really immaterial what your (or my) opinions are on the topic. Wikipedia isn't a soapbox for advocacy, and these talk pages aren't to endlessly debate positions of policy or issues -- it's to bring up problems with POV, accuracy, etc., in an article. From Wikipedia:Wikiquette: Wikipedia articles are supposed to represent all views (more at NPOV). The Talk ("discussion") pages are not a place to debate value judgements about which of those views are right or wrong or better. If you want to do that, there are venues such as Usenet, public weblogs and other wikis. Use the Talk pages to discuss the accuracy/inaccuracy, POV bias, or other problems in the article, not as a soapbox for advocacy. · Katefan0(scribble) June 29, 2005 18:47 (UTC)


I have tried to express the subsidy aspect of the Act in parity with the insurance aspect. Were possible i used similar phrasing and presentation. Perhaps equal time will prevail. Remember the DOE calls it a subsidy. If it walks like a subsidy, talks like a subsidy, smells like a subsidy - it's probawobbily a subsidy.

While the industry and the DOE disagree on whether PAA is a subsidy, I'm content to call it one. What I disagree with is that it is wealthfare - this subsidy has a specific purpose necessary if we're to have nuclear power. (Whether or not to want nuclear power is POV here.) Simesa 29 June 2005 17:59 (UTC)
There are plenty of groups out there that have criticized this as just that -- wealthfare. And it's fine to summarize a group like Public Citizen's criticism in that realm. But you cannot simply assert it as a matter of fact inside the article. Think about what you're doing when you make edits like these. Instead of trying to bull through these items and make them statements of fact, in violation of Wikipedia's NPOV policies, properly cite the criticism and then you'll be fine. · Katefan0(scribble) June 29, 2005 18:03 (UTC)

Kyoto Protocol

While the Kyoto Protocol certainly is nuclear-related, it belongs in nuclear power, not PAA.

In any event, nuclear power, fusion and renewables would all satisfy Kyoto equally well, as the Protocol makes no recommendations as to how to obtain the greenhouse gas reductions. Simesa 29 June 2005 18:42 (UTC)

Recent removal of comments

Comments in an article are useful for asking questions, or as expansion notes. But please don't turn them into a debate inside the article itself. That gets confusing for people who are trying to edit the article. I have removed the comment in question, which was becoming a platform for debate, and reproduce it below :

<!-- — an extension is required to cover [[nuclear reactor]]s built after that year. (How is it proven that an extension is required - maybe the industry is mature, doesn't need subsidies, maybe nuclear has been demonstrated to be uncompetative and dangerous - I see no cite that an extension is _required_) - see your own quote below -- The DOE says none will be built without it. ok fine, but that doesn't mean its _required_ - only its _required IF IF IF new nuclear plants are to be built - is that a requirement? I think not. -->

· Katefan0(scribble) June 29, 2005 19:12 (UTC)


Hey -- I took out the reference to BWR/PWr and instead said something like "certain nuclear power plants" -- as a lay person, bwr/pwr makes really no sense to me and I imagine the vast ajority of people who might come upon this article would agree. But I don't want to remove any important context. So can you maybe explain to me what these things are and why you thought it was important to include them in the article? Just in layman's terms. thanks. · Katefan0(scribble) June 29, 2005 19:41 (UTC)

True - I didn't clarify that, did I. BWRs boiling water reactors and PWRs pressurized water reactors are the only two kinds operating in the U.S. (except for three odd research reactors at INEEL). Looking back, that paragraph is redundant - sort of a combimation of parts of your current paragraphs 2 and 4. I like your current version. Simesa 29 June 2005 20:13 (UTC)
[Boiling water reactors operate with about 1000 psi inside the reactor vessel, and allow the water to boil inside the reactor vessel at that pressure - then the steam goes to the turbine. Pressurized water reactors operate with about 2000 psi pressure inside the reactor vessel - the water doesn't boil, so no steam yet - the pressurized water goes to heat exchangers called "steam generators", where steam is made with clean water that hasn't gone through the reactor vessel - that clean steam goes to the turbines (there's a picture at the bottom of PWR). PWRs are used on ships because the water doesn't slosh around inside the reactor vessel, and the first commercial US nuclear power plant, the Shippingport Reactor, was actually a reactor made for a big ship.] Simesa 29 June 2005 20:26 (UTC)

paa and spurring the nuke industry

That was fun.. just got evacuated from the Capitol. Anyway... Benjamin, it is widely accepted that PAA helped to spur the nuke industry. I did not make the assertion myself, my addition said "Many believe." If you'd like to find a source that refutes that claim, feel free to add it. As for me, you can find my source in this nonpartisan Congressional Research Service report to Congress on the PAA and other nuclear energy issues: [2]. I will add it to the article. · Katefan0(scribble) June 29, 2005 23:11 (UTC)

What i do object to is Standards-Nased POV. If one said can say "Many Believe", than the other is equally justified in asserting that "Few Voices today assert that uclear is so vital to anything that it warrents suspending the constitution." See - good for the goose - good for the gander, I really believe that any system of government will be decent if it makes one rule for all. Saying I can't say Few Voices today - while the other pov can say many believe is unfair to the issue, and inherently NPOV. Benjamin Gatti 30 June 2005 00:31 (UTC)
If you have a source, feel free to cite it. Thanks · Katefan0(scribble) June 30, 2005 00:35 (UTC)

remove POV assertions

I removed: Countries which do not punish bad actors invariably promote corruption. All fair minded individuals will agree that it is not fair to ask alternatives technologies which are safer to compete with nuclear when the rules are tilted so heavily in favor of one side. In other words, if changing the law so that businesses cannot be punished for placing peoples lives at risk, then we ought to change the laws for everyone.

Wikipedia is not: a blog, an essay repository, Usenet, or anywhere else where you are encouraged to insert your personal opinions. If you have a source that states these things in the context of the Price-Anderson Act, feel free to cite it. Otherwise, opinions that are presented as encyclopedic fact have no place in this article. Have you read Wikipedia:NPOV and Wikipedia:Cite sources? · Katefan0(scribble) June 30, 2005 03:23 (UTC)
Just in case you haven't, here's a bit from it you may find useful to orient your mindset: 1. An encyclopedic article should not argue that corporations are criminals, even if the author believes it to be so. It should instead present the fact that some people believe it, and what their reasons are, and then as well it should present what the other side says.
2. An encyclopedia article should not argue that laissez-faire capitalism is the best social system. [...] It should instead present the arguments of the advocates of that point of view, and the arguments of the people who disagree with that point of view.
Perhaps the easiest way to make your writing more encyclopedic is to write about what people believe, rather than what is so. · Katefan0(scribble) June 30, 2005 03:27 (UTC)


May I just say that from my point of view this entire paragraph reeks of unverfiable assertions:
Ben, I appreciate your questions, and they're worthwhile ones to ask. Let me see if I can answer them adequately. · Katefan0(scribble) June 30, 2005 14:25 (UTC)
  • "The Atomic Energy Act, which was enacted several years before Price-Anderson, was intended to spur the development of America's private nuclear power industry by allowing private industry to use atomic power for peaceful purposes, such as generating electricity."

How do we establish that its purpose was not simply to reward political contributers by giving a subsidy? - When did historians start taking politicians at their word?

There are multiple nonpartisan references that treat this, including two which I have cited at the bottom of the article (GAO and CRS). Here are some pertinent bits, so you don't have to look through the whole thing: Soon [after the Atomic Energy Act], government and industry experts identified a major impediment to accomplishing the act’s objective: the potential for payment of damages resulting from a nuclear accident and the lack of adequate available insurance. Unwilling to risk huge financial liability, private companies viewed even the remote specter of a serious accident as a roadblock to their participating in the development and use of nuclear power. (GAO) · Katefan0(scribble) June 30, 2005 14:25 (UTC)
One of your cites is a yahoo:geocities freebie website, the other is the same government which refuses to release transcripts of its energy meetings - why should we trust a government which refuses to release transcripts? Benjamin Gatti 30 June 2005 17:43 (UTC)
It is not my source; it was added by Sietma (apologies for misspellings). I agree that it's not really appropriate as a primary source, but in this case it's not -- the GAO report is. · Katefan0(scribble) June 30, 2005 18:04 (UTC)
  • "But it soon became apparent that no-one was interested in building a nuclear power plant because of the lack of available insurance."

How do you prove "No-one" did anything?

See above. · Katefan0(scribble) June 30, 2005 14:25 (UTC)
Non responsive - how did the yahoo party or the closed door government verify that no one was interested? Benjamin Gatti
It really doesn't matter; the source is appropriate, and it's properly cited. We are not here to prove or disprove ourselves the validity of different theories, only to properly summarize the debate over them. · Katefan0(scribble) June 30, 2005 18:04 (UTC)
  • "Financial backers were were unwilling to risk the enormous financial liability that would result from a catastrophic accident at a nuclear plant."

For a price insurance is willing to do just about anything, people specialize in multi-party insurance for large scale risk. How do we prove that it was impossible? Was in uncompetative - probably so say that - but unwilling? unverifyable POV i say.

See above. · Katefan0(scribble) June 30, 2005 14:25 (UTC)
Nonresponsive - citing government sources asserting a negative doesn't provide independantly verifyable facts. - its POV Benjamin Gatti
It really doesn't matter; the source is appropriate, and it's properly cited. We are not here to prove or disprove ourselves the validity of different theories, only to properly summarize the debate over them. · Katefan0(scribble) June 30, 2005 18:04 (UTC)
  • "At the same time, lawmakers in the United States Congress began to worry that there was not adequate financial protection for the public in the event of an accident."

"Lawmakers began to worry" - so name one. In 1957, we had a cold war, we had duck (swoop) and cover. we were building bomb shelters under post offices. And somebody took time out to think Ohmygawd, we forgot to insure the Rocky Flats nuclear site for 9 billion dollars? - again name just one lawmaker who spent one night pacing the floor in a state of concern for lack of insurance, so i can look it up. sheesh - POV.

Also from GAO: In addition, congressional concern developed over ensuring adequate financial protection to the public because the public had no assurance that it would receive compensation for personal injury or property damages from the liable party in event of a serious accident. Faced with these concerns, the Congress enacted the Price-Anderson Act in September 1957. (meaning, liability plus public compensation) · Katefan0(scribble) June 30, 2005 14:25 (UTC)
as long as we accept their word for it - without names places dates and transcripts - this is nothing better than becoming a mouthpiece for government propoganda - er PR.
It really doesn't matter; the source is appropriate, and it's properly cited. We are not here to prove or disprove ourselves the validity of different theories, only to properly summarize the debate over them. If you'd like to add a criticism of GAO reports to the article on the Government Accountability Office you're certainly able to do so, but this isn't the proper venue for that. · Katefan0(scribble) June 30, 2005 18:04 (UTC)

"Price-Anderson was born from those dual concerns; the act established a mechanism for compensating the public for injury or property damage in the event of a nuclear accident, and encouraged the development of nuclear power by indemnifying the industry from fault."

A Summary of unsupported statements isn't any better than the sum of its parts. Quite likely, we had just dusted Japan off with two nukes, We - that is Eisenhower - wanted to leave a legacy somewhat broader than introducing the world to a global bowl of hemlock, so he set out to create a peaceful use for nuclear radiation. Turns out it was a flop, and rather than let it die - the government changed the rules and created a headstart for nuclear power so it wouldn't have to compete. Like handicapping a horse race, the government decided nuclear needed all the weights taken off - while leaving them on for the other horses of course. Talk about POV. Subsidies are the ultimate POV.

See above. · Katefan0(scribble) June 30, 2005 14:25 (UTC)
Non responsive - i say the paragraph goes Benjamin Gatti 30 June 2005 17:43 (UTC)
It really doesn't matter; the source is appropriate, and it's properly cited. We are not here to prove or disprove ourselves the validity of different theories, only to properly summarize the debate over them. · Katefan0(scribble) June 30, 2005 18:04 (UTC)
  • "Most analysts and researchers, including the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service, credit Price-Anderson with having paved the way for America's current nuclear plants to be built."

Both "Credit" and "Paved" imply that nuclear plants are a good thing. I suggest "concur or agree" that the Act has "enabled" private nuclear enterprise in the United States. BTW "America is a continent in two parts (North and South) - the Act does not cover a continent - it covers a Nation: the US.

Benjamin Gatti 30 June 2005 05:03 (UTC)
I have no problem with small language changes like that; thanks for your diligence. As an aside, all of the GAO's findings were backed up by the CRS report, but I can give you extracts from that as well if you would like. The language is NPOV and properly cited. With that being said, if you feel that some additional criticism or context needs to be added, by all means, find a source that outlines that criticism and cite it properly within the article. Thanks · Katefan0(scribble) June 30, 2005 14:25 (UTC)
The history is quoted in [3] - Katefan0's recounting is accurate, and her presentation balanced
"Lawmakers began to worry" - Eisenhower, for one. Atoms for Peace.
POV refers to Wikipedians' POV. We strive for NPOV here.
Simesa 30 June 2005 10:42 (UTC)

For Ben

This language: In so much as no serious accidents have occured however, the potential cost of the act on taxpayers has never been realized. The real effect has been to reduce the amount of investment capital available for alternative technologies while at the same time satisfying a market demand with a subsidized good which floods the market and lowers the return on investment for non-subsidized goods. This increases the problem of reducing available capital for the most effecient solution to energy demand. As a consequence, the cost of energy is inflated due to the cost of the subsidy, plus the cost of market distortion, which is inefficiency. Ben, this is good critical information, but it's not presented in an NPOV fashion. Its language is too authoritative for an item that is in dispute. You need to find a source that asserts these things, then summarize within the text of the article what that source believes. Until you do that, the information will not be considered within Wikipedia's NPOV mandate. Thanks · Katefan0(scribble) June 30, 2005 14:44 (UTC)

Benjamin, your re-addition: In as much as no severe accidents have occured however, the potential cost of the act on taxpayers has never been realized. Many economomists believe that the effect of Subsidies generally and in this case is to reduce the amount of investment capital available for alternative technologies while at the same time satisfying a market demand with a subsidized good which floods the market and lowers the return on investment for non-subsidized goods. This further reduces available capital for the most efficient solution to energy demand. As a consequence, the cost of energy is inflated due to the cost of the subsidy, plus the cost of market distortion, which is market inefficiency. needs a source. Can you please provide one? Thanks · Katefan0(scribble) June 30, 2005 15:54 (UTC)

I'd just like to say that I'm sympathetic to your viewpoints, Benjamin, but most of my wikitime with this article has been taken up by reverting your well-meaning, but ill-structured additions, instead of helping you properly formulate the critical information you'd like to see included. If you would just take a breath for a minute, and maybe try formulating your paragraphs here on the talk page first, we could all work together a lot better I think. · Katefan0(scribble) June 30, 2005 16:19 (UTC)

Dear Ketefan, In as much as I introduced the subject of Price Anderson by citing and referrencing it under "nuclear debate" and created this article in the first place, and whereas the congress is currently debating whether or not to continue the price anderson act, it is a bit disingenuous to critisize me for "ill structured additions." and the subject is hotly contested - not just here but in congress as we speak. historians have often remarked that they cannot work properly until some time has passed - in that sense, this is probably not a historical article, but very much a work in progress. If you want to invoke the spector of censorship into the spirit of wikipedia - that is your option. Just be honest with people when you do it - put a banner over the door that says "move over china - wikipedia coming through." Aside from which the first sentence structure is mine - and it is clearly better than the previous edition which focussed on the nuts and bolts of how laws are made instead of the direct meaning and effect. Benjamin Gatti 30 June 2005 17:16 (UTC)

Ben, noone on Wikipedia has ownership of any article, so whether you started the article in the first place is irrelevant, though I do respect your interest in the subject. As for censorship, it's anything but -- I'm here to help you insert whatever criticism is appropriate; as I have said multiple times, I think the article needs more critical voices. But it must be done in a proper way -- and as long as your additions are not done in an NPOV fashion (have you read it yet?), I will continue to resist their form. · Katefan0(scribble) June 30, 2005 17:29 (UTC)
Katefan - I don't claim ownership, but really do you think anyone cares how you spend your wikitime? This is an all voluntary army. If not you, someone else will explain to the readers that long phrases occassionally get shortened and make that the theater Markee. I happen to think it is fluff (blither Blather i think i called it - not that is istn't true, but its stuff for page 23b in the trade). And you criticize me for ill structured additions? In fact my effects paragraph was properly written straight up eco101 subsidy analysis, and you found a similarly form paragraph by a large group - that was ill-formed? Truth is a battle - not on your soapopera celebrity is she pregnant type subjects - but in matters of importance - matters of national defense - subjects which are more often classified and target of disinformation - truth is a battle. Benjamin Gatti 30 June 2005 19:30 (UTC)
You write: In fact my effects paragraph was properly written straight up eco101 subsidy analysis This is precisely the problem. Encyclopedia articles aren't term papers; that type of language is not encyclopedic style. · Katefan0(scribble) June 30, 2005 19:47 (UTC)
In the interests of accuracy, I made the initial stub for this article. The History shows it. Ben placed a link to it in Nuclear Power on 07:15 19 June 2005 (UTC). Simesa 30 June 2005 19:40 (UTC)
Simesa was the first to fill out the article. When i created the wikilink - it went nowhere - therefore my insertion as a wikilink creates the article - even if it is an empty shell. The substance of the Act was covered by my contributions under Nuclear power - this in essense is a fork of nuclear power with emphasis on the PAA. Benjamin Gatti 30 June 2005 21:33 (UTC)

"Government propaganda"

Is completely inappropriate and violates NPOV. If you'd like to insert criticisms of the Government Accountability Office or Congressional Research Service into those articles, you're more than welcome. But this article is not an appropriate venue for it. Also, I would like to respectfully observe that you seem willing to use Department of Energy documents to support your own viewpoints, and yet find government documents to be "propaganda" when they disagree. Best · Katefan0(scribble) June 30, 2005 18:08 (UTC)

When the DOE "Admits" that the PAA is a "Subsidy" - it is agreeing with its critics - so a cite in which the object of criticism admits the truth of those criticism is pretty damning evidence in my book - your mileage may vary, but if you're a reporter you really should know this - On the other hand, when the object of investigation is papering over the real issue by saying - "well it ensures compensation" - when exactly what it doesn't do is ensure compensation by f*reaking removing the standard obligation to get yourself properly insured - is blantant propoganda.
I was only pointing what seemed to me to be your own convenient hypocrisy. · Katefan0(scribble) June 30, 2005 18:18 (UTC)
Apparent inconsistency is not the same as actual hypocrisy. I would prefer that those with a POV which is pro Neighborhood Irradiation exclusively quote Ralph Nader and Greenpeace - with whom they openly disagree - while people who are in favor of sustainable energy without military intervention (SEWMI) quote the DOE. Quoting your enemy is the highest level of intellectual neutrality. Could I gush with volumes of refernces to greenpeace against nuclear - i hope so - is it interesting - no. is it interesting when the DOE admits the PAA is a subsidy which permits felonius conduct to go unpunished - yes. The PAA in other industries would be absurd - imagine a Bank Indemnity Act - no bank can be sued - even for gross violations - lost your retirement sorry - here's an employment form for McDonalds at age eighty . No car maker or tire maker can be sued for accidents caused because they couldn't be bothered to test their products. No doctor can be sued for slicing his name into your abdomen, or injecting his patients without their knowledge with experiemental substances? If Indemnity is so great a thing - why not have it for eveyone. How about the Drunk Drivers indemnity act of 2005 - taxpayers foot the bill for any accidents. But we put a fiver on the wall so we can say something like "We have a pool of money to compensate victoms?" how do you compensate people whose children will have three legs and one eye? is $100 bucks enough? $200. How far does 9B go when the affected population is New York City 9B / 4M is some 2 thousand bucks - yeah that should do it. Here's two thousand buck to shut up and raise your vegitable. Benjamin Gatti 30 June 2005 18:44 (UTC)
Why not contribute to the article on propaganda? I appreciate your opinions, but they do not particularly bear on the debate over this article. Our own opinions are largely immaterial when it comes to building an NPOV encyclopedia article. · Katefan0(scribble) June 30, 2005 18:46 (UTC)
I think others have demonstrated a greater ability to contribute to propoganda. Whoever can say that Price is principlay and foremost a great way to compensate victoms of knowing and intentional nuclear irradiation with a straight face is either being paid by the industry (Simesa?) or was paid by the industy, or a natural propogandista. Let's say for example that Simesa who I trust is a nuclear engineer, would not have been directed into that field by unconstitutional subsidies, instead Simesa would have contributed to alternatives to nuclear - maybe wind, or wave, or geothermal. In that scenario, we might be closer to a sustainable and safe form of energy than one which inspires terrorists. Benjamin Gatti 30 June 2005 19:35 (UTC)
Let's steer back toward talking about problems with the article instead of endlessly debating things that are largely irrelevant to the task at hand. Please see my earlier quote from Wikipedia:Wikiquette. · Katefan0(scribble) June 30, 2005 19:47 (UTC)

Its the Indemnity Stupid

I object to opening this topic by stating that "It makes a pool of money available for damages."

The purpose of the act was to spur nuclear plants - indemnity

DOE states that the indemnity was "Crucial" - doesn't say the "microcosmic pool" was crucial.

We can by sychophants for the nuclear industry - but then we should mabe just move to China. As independence press, we should seperate clear propoganda from the meat of the Act. Benjamin Gatti 30 June 2005 18:57 (UTC)

I agree that this particular area needs more elaboration. It's confusing and I haven't had time to really read on up how it works functionally to see how I can best help incorporate the information in the article, though. Would welcome explanations for how it works. Thanks · Katefan0(scribble) June 30, 2005 19:12 (UTC)

Please read...

...Don't disrupt Wikipedia to make a point. Thanks · Katefan0(scribble) June 30, 2005 20:08 (UTC)

My position is that taking up the all important first sentence with a trite redefinition of terms DISRUPTS wikipedia. I disapprove of the current redundancy every bit as much you disapprove of my somewhat overly explanitory phrase.

Large Pool or Small?

We state in the beginning that it creates a large pool - changed to small - changed to just pool. Then later we state that it is dwarfed by the actual costs of just one accident. In as much as the adequacy of the pool is very much in question - and whereas the taxpayers are on the hook for this bill in any case - it is really just propoganda to say there is a pool of money "to cover damages". There is a petty cash drawer for really small damages, but everything else comes out of the man's pockets.

If you would like to include that criticism, find a source and cite it. Thanks · Katefan0(scribble) June 30, 2005 20:40 (UTC)

The Opening Should Read:

The Price-Anderson Nuclear Industries Indemnity Act limits liability for nuclear plant operators. while it provides for some pooling of money to cover small nuclear, the government has agreed to charge the taxpayers for any large radiological incident, even if they are caused by the gross and willful misconduct of plant management. In addition, it caps damages and prevents punative damages against nuclear opporators even if they harm people while commiting a felony. The act currently covers all investors in nuclear facilities constructed in the United States before 2002. It has been criticized by environmental groups, consumer groups and taxpayer watchdogs as a handout to the nuclear power industry.

Any complaints? Benjamin Gatti 30 June 2005 20:44 (UTC)

I prefer the current version. This overemphasizes your POV that the act doesn't do enough to pay damages. · Katefan0(scribble) June 30, 2005 20:47 (UTC)

Lets agree on a point by point basis:

  • The Act contemplates "Large" Accidents by specifically stating what it will do in that case - I don't have an action plan for when california slips into the sea - having an action plan recognizes the need for an action plan. The operative term is "Large" and it is defined as having damages larger than the pool will cover - chernobyle cost 50 times what the pool contains. Do we agree that the Act contemplates "Large ccidents"?
  • The Act deals with "Small Accidents" - defined as less than what the pool can cover. Agree?
  • The Act provides indemnity - specifically without regard for fault - even if criminal behaviour is responsible - agree?
  • The Act places a limit on the damages which can be collected by damaged parties - Agree?
  • The Act covers investors - not the plant itself. Agree?
  • The Act would "Draw from the Treasury" that's your social security check in case you're wondering to cover a "Large" incident Agree?

There so its completely factual. and Not POV. Now let's look at the current Intro

The Price-Anderson Nuclear Industries Indemnity Act (commonly called the Price-Anderson Act) limits liability for nuclear plant operators. It also makes available a pool of insurance funds to compensate people who are injured or incur damages from a nuclear or radiological incident. It indemnifies the nuclear industry for accidents by paying on a no-fault basis, and caps damages that may be rewarded as a result of a lawsuit. The act currently covers all nuclear facilities constructed in the United States before 2002. It has been criticized by environmental groups, consumer groups and taxpayer watchdogs as a handout to the nuclear power industry.

  • Does it inform us that taxpayers would have to pay for accidents - no that is buried in geek speak "Indemnity"
  • It states that a pool of funds is created to compensate people for damages, which is words without meaning - is it adequate funds - clearly not, because of the language to deal with larger accidents ie draw from the treasury. So its POV. It should say a pool of funds for small accidents is created while big accidents would be paid for From somewhere other than the pool - thus the pool isn't big enough.
  • Caps damage awards - again true, but how much and in what way - specifically is prohibits _punative_ awards which are a means of punishing corporations for criminal behavior, and indirectly to punish investor who seek to get rich by investing in schemes which put the public at risk. Hiding the release of criminal liability under the anti-lawyer slogan of "damage award caps" is POV.

PS the title redundancy triggers my autistic tendencies, can we please get rid of it. Benjamin Gatti 30 June 2005 22:54 (UTC)

"autistic"??? I think you meant "artistic".
The pool is probably adequate to deal with a "severe accident" (industryspeak for a meltdown) based on TMI, where over a third of the core melted. Simesa 30 June 2005 23:16 (UTC)

At the same time, lawmakers in the United States Congress began to worry ...

This is simple BS.

for example: I'm worried we don't have insurance to protect our family.

So we

  1. hide a little money under the bed, and
  2. create family indemnity which says that the family is responsible if anyone in the family gets hurt.

There that should do it.

What did we change? nothing. We had the money, we put it under the bed. By creating an indemnity plan we shifted the burden of a catastrophy from where to where?

from - the Treasury, which in any case covers disasters - even tidal waves in Tailand - To ... drum roll please

to ...

to ...


The Treasury? -- Right! good! see.

Look up FEMA i think you'll see it covers emergency management - they have rebuild the same house in a flood plain umpteen times, FEMA would have to cover a nuclear accident, how is that differnt under Price. I suggest that by saying so, they get to define what the act actually does. Benjamin Gatti 30 June 2005 23:06 (UTC)

The information about Congress that you quoted is properly cited and is rendered in an NPOV fashion, backed up by both the GAO and CRS reports. If you would like to cite information that is critical of this position, find a source and include it. Thanks. Will answer your other points above when I am off deadline. · Katefan0(scribble) June 30, 2005 23:16 (UTC)
The FEMA article says it deals with natural disasters, but they do deal with nuclear accidents [4]. However, FEMA dates from only 1979. The power reactors are to be assessed up to $88 million each in the event of an accident that exceeds the insurance, so I'd venture that PAA would pay first. Simesa 1 July 2005 00:16 (UTC)

Smaller payement to pool than market rate of insurance

The Price-Anderson Nuclear Industries Indemnity Act (commonly called the Price-Anderson Act) limits liability for nuclear plant investors. It requires nuclear plants to contribute a smaller amount of money to a common pool than insurance companies would require to insure the plant against liability arising from the release of radioactive material whether by accident or by misconduct. It provides Federal indemnification, meaning that taxpayers will be held financially responsible for any damages over and above the amount of the pool. In addition, injured parties are limited in their ability to recover damages and punative awards even for willful managerial misconduct. The act currently indemnifies all nuclear facilities constructed in the United States before 2002. It has been criticized by environmental groups, consumer groups and taxpayer watchdogs as a handout to the nuclear power industry.

In this intro - I suggest that we agree - based on the cited section of the article, that the pool payment is Smaller than insurance would be at market rates. I'm not saying that the pool is small, just that the pool payments are smaller than insurance would be. That is supported in as much as the act is deemed "crucial" is sombody suggesting that the pool payment is actual higher than market rate insurance would be - look at the supreme court decisiosn - they admitted it was stinky - just they said it was so important stinky didn't matter.

We agree that misconduct is also indemnified. not POV - absolute truth backed up in the citations.

We agree that taxpayers are the deep pockets in this program - for anything "Over and Above" the pool. Truth NPOV

We agree that it limits awards and punative measures - NPOV fact.

eliminating uncomfortable fact is POV. Benjamin Gatti 1 July 2005 01:36 (UTC)

Please cite sources for your conclusions.
No, I don't see any reason to conclude that the amount is smaller. I'll concede that Price-Anderson is a subsidy, but saving on insurance was never the reason for the subsidy - having an insurance plan at all was.
As I said in my annotation, limited only if the claims exceed the pool amount plus what Congress arranges over that - possibly by further assessments on the industry.
Willful management misconduct is pure speculation - do you have any sources suggesting such actions in the past?
I still prefer Katefan0's intro. Yours isn't what I'd expect of an encyclopedia. Simesa 1 July 2005 01:59 (UTC)

"A contractor is fully indemnified for public liability, even if the liability stemmed from acts of gross negligence or willful misconduct, because the damage to the public is the same [DOE, 1997]." [5]

Is this bogus - or fair? I'm quoting it.

"The Price Anderson Act is anti-consumer because it asks taxpayers to assume most of the liability for nuclear accidents. " [6]

"The legislation was intended first of all to bolster investor confidence, whereas victim compensation is secondary. Price Anderson establishes only phantom insurance for the public, then provides a real bailout mechanism for the nuclear energy industry by reducing its need to pay for insurance, subsidizing the industry at the taxpayers' expense." [7]

"This 1982 study estimated that damages from a severe nuclear accident could run as high as $314 billion or more than $560 billion in 2000 dollars. Since that study, the NRC has developed "more realistic" modeling improvements to the agency s probabilistic risk assessment. A review of their 1982 study "found that property damages would be twice as much as those calculated in 1982, solely on the basis of the modeling improvements made." In addition, the Chernobyl catastrophe has cost the nations of Russia, Ukraine and Belarus $358 billion. This Chernobyl total, however, is vastly understated, since it does not attempt to estimate the costs to other nations, which also experienced health costs from the far-reaching nuclear fallout. Therefore, the $9.3 billion provided by private insurance and nuclear reactor operators represents less than two percent of the $560 billion in potential costs of a major nuclear accident. "

"A third major problem with Price Anderson is that it distorts the economic viability of the nuclear power industry since taxpayers cover the industry s insurance costs. A 1990 study calculated that without Price Anderson, nuclear power corporations would pay more than $3 billion annually in order to fully insure their operations."

So they have $100 Million of actual liability insurance which can't cost more than 100 Million, Plus they have a standing obligation of $88 Million - which they don't pay unless its needed - if at all.

Are you suggesting that their insurance premiums of 3 Billion - or about 25 million per year per plant would less than wha they pay now, which is about 100 times what you pay for you home insurance - say 300,000 a year, plus about the same in internal liability? Its not even several orders of magnitude - maybe 2%.

Benjamin Gatti 1 July 2005 02:33 (UTC)

Benjamin Gatti 1 July 2005 02:33 (UTC)

Category:Energy Subsidies

I created a Category Energy Subsidies for energy subsidies - i think if we are able to collect them together, it would be easier to summarize their relative net worth. Benjamin Gatti 1 July 2005 01:56 (UTC)

Request For Cooling-Off Period

Due to the incessant editwarring on this article, I filed for a Cooling-Off Period. Simesa 1 July 2005 02:19 (UTC)

Which I opposed on the grounds that the request had been filed by a <strikout>paid</strikout> formerly paid member of the nuclear industry. Benjamin Gatti 1 July 2005 04:30 (UTC)

Wikipedia demands that we assume good faith. Just because Simesa is a retired nuclear engineer does not mean that he is automatically a corporate mouthpiece; to suggest otherwise is a logical fallacy. Please refrain from these sorts of ad hominem declarations, which could even be considered a personal attack. Personal attacks can result in punitive actions by Wikipedia admins at the worst; at best they're annoying and create a poisonous atmosphere that makes cooperation difficult. · Katefan0(scribble) July 1, 2005 04:36 (UTC)


An intro paragraph should generally serve as a summary of the most important points the article will later elaborate on. The intro, as it stands now, is way too bloated with information that has no business being in an introductory paragraph. · Katefan0(scribble) July 1, 2005 03:51 (UTC)

Gentlemen, I apologize for the length back to which I had to revert the article, but I felt it necessary to remove Benjamin's disruptive edits. Inevitably some valid information was removed in the process that should be added back in, but I will work with everyone to make sure that is done. Benjamin, I'm glad to see that you are getting the hang of searching for sources, but finding a source that asserts something does not mean you can simply use it to authoritatively state something that is disputed as a fact and justify it by sticking in an in-line link to a website. If a group claims something, it should be properly identified as such. Your intro paragraph as it stood was ridden with biased claims that have no business being asserted so authoritatively, as far as I can tell. Thanks · Katefan0(scribble)`
Just for the sake of being thorough, I wanted to take a minute to go through some of the recent edits here (you monkeys are busy) and explain what specifically I had a problem with. Then I'm going to get a beer and watch crummy TV.

Under the act, a DOE contractor is fully indemnified for public liability, even if the liability stemmed from acts of gross negligence or willful misconduct, because the damage to the public is the same (DOE, 1997) [1]

The footnote style is incorrect, first off. Secondly, this information is already mentioned later in the article. It is not essential to the PAA and therefore I don't feel it's needed in an intro paragraph.

The legislation was intended first of all to bolster investor confidence, whereas victim compensation is secondary. Price Anderson establishes only phantom insurance for the public, then provides a real bailout mechanism for the nuclear energy industry by reducing its need to pay for insurance, subsidizing the industry at the taxpayers' expense.

Plainly a statement of opinion. If you have a source that asserts this to be the case, by all means cite it. Otherwise it has no place in the article.

The total effect is to evade responsibility if there is an accident.

Blatant POV. Again, cite a source if you like, but otherwise it's inexcusably biased language.

The Act has no fault liability for reactor operators, and injured victims are precluded from directly suing vendors or manufacturers responsible for the accident.

This information is already mentioned later in the article. It is not essential to the PAA and therefore I don't feel it's needed in an intro paragraph.

The Act poses legal hurdles to a victim seeking compensation by removing state jurisdiction and restricts plaintiffs ability to utilize any state laws which go above and beyond federal protections. Moreover, Price Anderson protects nuclear operators from punitive damages that are not covered under their private insurance coverage.

This is all new information, but it doesn't belong in an intro paragraph.

The act currently covers all nuclear facilities constructed in the United States before 2002 even in cases of gross negligence and willful misconduct, which seems to discourage contractor accountability and a safety culture.

The first part that is a simple statement of fact is already stated later in the article; it does not need to go in the intro paragraph. The second part is just a speculative opinion that as it is written is POV. Feel free to cite a source that says this sort of criticism.

No other government agency provides this level of taxpayer indemnification to non-government personnel.[6]

Again, this is already mentioned later in the article. It has no business in the intro paragraph.

The limitation on liability provisions protect the assets of utilities and suppliers, creating a disincentive to the safe operation of nuclear reactors.

This assertion of opinion needs a cited source.

Present Price-Anderson provisions do not ease the burden of proof for claimants to show that latent cancer or other injuries resulted from a nuclear accident. Price-Anderson reduces the cost of nuclear power below the free market cost, which encourages its use at the expense of other forms of energy.

The first sentence is missing the so what? The second sentence is already treated later in the article.

Source: United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission, NUREG-00957, op. cit., p. 1-2.

This source is not cited in encyclopedic style.

Prosit. I'll be online a bit yet. · Katefan0(scribble) July 1, 2005 04:14 (UTC)


All of these are direct quotes of documents with the source cited in line AND in a reference section I created. In the sentences without a cite, the paragraph continues to the next sentence where the citation is listed.

As for bloat and better further down and lacks content - well ok that would be easy to fix.

but for the record - that is new information and it is fully quoted. The source is not copyrighted and exists for the dissemination of such facts and assertions

Benjamin Gatti 1 July 2005 04:35 (UTC)
Can you provide a link to this source? · Katefan0(scribble) July 1, 2005 04:37 (UTC)

Sources: [8] & [9] Benjamin Gatti 1 July 2005 05:00 (UTC)

The first source is not nonpartisan, and the second source is a study done by a county in Nevada. That's not to say that they can't be used as sources, but they must be properly attributed. You cannot take a piece of information that is asserted on these websites and then place it into the article as a statement of fact. If the study found something, then the proper way to include it in the article is to say 'A study by <county> found that' or such as that. · Katefan0(scribble) July 1, 2005 15:02 (UTC)

This needs a good response sao I started a section : BELOW Benjamin Gatti 1 July 2005 20:01 (UTC)

Reply - Begin Long Discussion about Partisan and Nonpartisan sources

I'm hardly suggesting that the sources are non-partisan. The fact of their existence however is NPOV.

I would strongly object to the conclusion that government sources, DOE, CRC, or an elected official bloviating into the record be considered on a different plane. They all have an agenda, some more transparent than others, and are equally existant.

The assertion for example that the intent or purpose of effect of the act is to provide insurance is false and misleading - the FACT that some sources have said that it does this is - in fairness fact - but only when it states, on its face, that sos and so said this and that. Blending the authors into the citation is POV - unless the information is uncontested.

I would suggest that the fact that promotors of the plan are lying about its intent is Fact and so voices which assert an untruth should be identifyied for the blowhard they so clearly are. - present company excepted of course Benjamin Gatti 1 July 2005 20:01 (UTC)

Non Sycophant Intro

The Price-Anderson Nuclear Industries Indemnity Act (commonly called the Price-Anderson Act) limits liability for nuclear plant operators. Under the act, a DOE contractor is fully indemnified for public liability, even if the liability stemmed from acts of gross negligence or willful misconduct, because the damage to the public is the same. [10] It also makes available a pool of insurance funds to compensate people who are injured or incur damages from a nuclear or radiological incident. The legislation was intended first of all to bolster investor confidence, whereas victim compensation is secondary. [11] Price Anderson establishes only phantom insurance for the public, then provides a real bailout mechanism for the nuclear energy industry by reducing its need to pay for insurance, subsidizing the industry at the taxpayers' expense. [12] The Act has no fault liability for reactor operators, and injured victims are precluded from directly suing vendors or manufacturers responsible for the accident, it poses legal hurdles to victims seeking compensation by removing state jurisdiction and restricts plaintiffs ability to utilize any state laws which go above and beyond federal protections, the total effect of which is to evade responsibility if there is an accident. [13] It has been criticized by environmental groups, consumer groups and taxpayer watchdogs as a handout to the nuclear power industry.

Where isn't this cited or an accurate summary of published views on the ACT? Benjamin Gatti 1 July 2005 05:02 (UTC)

Benjamin, your POV is clearly that the portion of the act that allows indemnification in cases of miconduct is so offensive that it needs to be in the intro. But it is not the main thing that the act does, it is a portion of what the act does, and I will continue to resist your POV efforts to include this sort of information in the intro paragraph. It deserves a place in the article, but it is not NPOV to suggest that it's so important as to be included in the article's intro. I'll be reverting those changes. · Katefan0(scribble) July 1, 2005 14:59 (UTC)

The Government has a Point of View

Just because an assertion is listed in a CRC of Gov Study, doesn't mean it hasn't got a bias. We know the Gov bias here - it wants weapons - see the DOE charter sometime, if you think they're about the electricity - well just read it - it is ridiculous.

Congressional intent

Benjamin, insofar as you have questioned the GAO and CRS reports' summation of the debate in Congress prior to passage of Price-Anderson vis a vis concern for consumer protection, I took it upon myself this morning to do a bit of research, using the original Congressional Record from 1957, the 85th and 86th congress (sneeze -- dusty). Here is a direct quote from Rep. Melvin Price, one of the original sponsors, speaking on the floor of the House on July 1, 1957, about the bill that became Price-Anderson: "I want to assure you that the main purpose of this proposed legislation is to see that the public is protected in the unlikely event of a runaway reactor."' And from Rep. Cole of New York: "In 1953 and 1954 when the Joint Committee began deliberations and consideration of the possibility of revising the law so as to make it possible for private participation in the atomic program, this question of protecting the public against any unforeseen accident was in our mind. We were completely aware of it 3 or 4 years ago. It was a problem of such great magnitude, and the solution appeared so far in the distance that we at that time felt it would be undesirable to suspend changing the act in order to arrive at some solution to this question of indemnity of the public. I want to repeat again that this bill is not for the purpose of indemnifying the reactor operator; it is for the purpose of protecting the public." Obviously, politicians are given to rhetoric when it is convenient, but the public was definitely at least on their lips during this debate. I don't think this information needs to be added to the article, I simply offer it to perhaps quiet some of your concerns. Thanks · Katefan0(scribble) July 1, 2005 16:23 (UTC)

I'm shocked, just shocked that there is gambling going on in this casino. There is a quote from a historian - would you judge a period by the speaches of the directory of housing - or by the buildings put up during that time? The question of protecting the public from accidents is an old and tired one. BUY INSURANCE. I'm not critical of the problem, nor of the concern - its the solution that sucks, and in no way can it honestly be described as doing anything more than shifting the burden for indemnifying the public OFF of the shoulders of the reactor operators and on to the Taxpayers at large. Look at the act - it is "credited" with enabling the reactors - why "because now the people were happy because they were protected in case they were irradiated to the point of death sickness and cross-generational mutilation, that they could expect to be compensated with filthy lucre? - not rational - it "enabled" because it subsidies the risks. It forced people to pay for consumption whether they consumed or not, and it undermines the intelligence of open markets - which is unique BTW better than any one person, better than a CRAY computer - the intelligence of large groups (Stock Markets, Free Markets) is unrivalled, and that democractic intelligence had rejected the empirical imposition of nastular energy by lone zealots - so the response - a subsidy - a short circuit of market intelligence forcing this crap down everyone's collective throat. How about a little Pro-Choice when it comes to nuclear in my neighborhood? -Benjamin Gatti 1 July 2005 19:31 (UTC)

Hey, I like gambling. Well some of it anyway. While I respect your opinion, it's really just that -- an opinion -- and our personal opinions have no place in encyclopedia articles. Man, I am glad it's Friday. · Katefan0(scribble) July 1, 2005 19:42 (UTC)

Recent round of edits

Benjamin, in your recent round of edits, which were just reverted by Simesa, almost nothing is salvagable. It was ridden with POV, irrelevant or redundant information.

What exactly do you feel needs to be added to the article at this point? I think that we need to do a better job of explaining the way the insurance pools work (inadequately section headed as "present day"), but otherwise I think it's a pretty fair summarization of the act's history, intent and critics. · Katefan0(scribble) July 1, 2005 18:57 (UTC)

Agreed. The latest revert edit by Katefan0 read much better when compared to Benjamin's edits. Ryan 1 July 2005 19:48 (UTC)

The article certainly has improved a great deal. Simesa's revert was without discussion, so it doesn't merit notice. I didn't mean to overwrite your comments and was in the process of merging them.

POV in my opinion is any suggestion thatthe "Effect" - not the advertisements - but the product iteself "improves" the money availble for people injurred - over the laws which exist for other industries. Real insurance would be more expensive and provide third party analysis of risk and recourse - other than taking money from taxpayers. consumers deserve the right not to consume. This is a part of how we become a consumerists society - we force conservatives - in the dictionary sense, not the southern facist republistants sense - to PAY FOR CONSUMTION, whether they consume or not. Benjamin Gatti 1 July 2005 19:46 (UTC)

That is your Point Of View, Benjamin. If you would like to find a source that espouses this particular opinion about the Price-Anderson Act, feel free to cite it properly within the context of the article. But the article cannot -- and will not be allowed to -- become a soapbox for advocating your opinions. Also, as a native Southerner, I'd like to point out that we're not all Republicans and certainly aren't fascists. · Katefan0(scribble) July 1, 2005 20:10 (UTC)

"for the same reasons. And please remember Wikipedia:Civility. You are also violating consensus -- there are now ..." For the record I am creating consensus. all three editors and me agree today that the pool is smaller - my argument, that the act covers misconduct - my point, that the indemnity is at least equal in importance if not the truest purpose of the act. You're complaint is that i decline to rest on my laurels but choose instead to press ahead until all the lies and POV are conquered.

As for southern facists - it is increasingly clear that religious and increasingly misnamed "conservatives" have blended into a godless theocracy in which war mongering, oil, consumption, and the subjugation of women form the planks of a poligious platform. In NC today, black prisoners - probably convicted by all-white juries - are pounding out license plates featuring the confederate flag. - for this we thank God? , i just want my word back. Benjamin Gatti 1 July 2005 20:28 (UTC)

I have yet to see where you've formed a consensus for anything; you typically prefer to unilaterally attempt to bull through edits that reflect your personal POV. In fact, I'd prefer it if you tried to seek consensus. I'll ignore the rest of the rant, as it doesn't bear on making the article better.
all three editors and me agree today that the pool is smaller
This is in the article already.
my argument, that the act covers misconduct
This is in the article already.
that the indemnity is at least equal in importance if not the truest purpose of the act.
This is your OPINION, which is not proper for inclusion in the article. You're welcome to find a source that asserts this OPINION, but otherwise it has no business being in the article. I have said this now numerous times, so I'm sure that at this point you understand what I've said and simply choose to ignore it. We can go around and around reverting the text here if you like, but you have no legs to stand on with this one. · Katefan0(scribble) July 1, 2005 20:36 (UTC)
No, Is the Opinion of CATO, and Public Citizen

"Price Anderson Act: The Billion Dollar Taxpayer Subsidy for Nuclear Power- October 10, 2001

  • The Price Anderson Act is anti-consumer because it asks taxpayers to assume most of the liability for nuclear accidents.
  • If the nuclear industry does not have enough faith in its own technology to take full responsibility for their own mishaps, then nuclear energy does not deserve the public support Price Anderson provides.

Can I hear an Ahmen?

  • Ominously, while the Price Anderson Act limits the financial responsibilities of nuclear power corporations, the Act provides insufficient insurance coverage to compensate for nuclear accident victims injuries and loss.
  • Consequently, the Act is a dual-edge sword for the public that it purportedly protects. The legislation was intended first of all to bolster investor confidence, whereas victim compensation is secondary. Price Anderson establishes only phantom insurance for the public, then provides a real bailout mechanism for the nuclear energy industry by reducing its need to pay for insurance, subsidizing the industry at the taxpayers' expense. Understanding how the Act provides a crutch for nuclear energy is important for all citizens concerned about the United States continued reliance on nuclear power and the vulnerability of nuclear power to terrorist threats.

Public Citizen Benjamin Gatti 1 July 2005 21:02 (UTC)

  • It's fine to cite the criticism and attribute it to the proper sources, but you can't just state it authoritatively as a matter of fact. · Katefan0(scribble) July 1, 2005 21:18 (UTC)
    • And the same applies for all POVs - congress not excepted? Benjamin Gatti 1 July 2005 21:24 (UTC)
The article as it stands as it regards Congress does nothing more than assert the opinion of Congress, which is properly cited with factual information. · Katefan0(scribble) July 1, 2005 21:43 (UTC)

Another round of improperly attributed edits

Benjamin, you produced:

The Price-Anderson Nuclear Industries Indemnity Act (commonly called the Price-Anderson Act) limits liability for nuclear plant operators because they do not have enough faith in their own technology to take full responsibility for their own mishaps. [1] The Act provides insufficient insurance coverage to compensate for nuclear victims injuries and loss. [2] It indemnifies the nuclear industry for accidents by paying on a no-fault basis, and caps damages that may be rewarded as a result of a lawsuit. The act currently covers all nuclear facilities constructed in the United States before 2002. Environmental groups, consumer groups and taxpayer watchdogs have criticized the act as a handout to the nuclear power industry to the detriment of United States citizens.


1. This line: The Price-Anderson Nuclear Industries Indemnity Act (commonly called the Price-Anderson Act) limits liability for nuclear plant operators because they do not have enough faith in their own technology to take full responsibility for their own mishaps. [1]

My primary problem with this assertion is that, primarily, you use an interest group's opinion and state it as a matter of fact. You cannot justify this by simply sticking a citation at the end of a sentence; it must be properly attributed. It would be more proper to write something like: "Public Citizen has suggested that nuclear power plants' reliance on Price Anderson means they do not have faith in their technology." But really, this is a misrepresentation of Public Citizen's position, which is another problem I have with this addition. The portion you reference is really just a rhetorical question: If the nuclear industry does not have enough faith in its own technology to take full responsibility for their own mishaps, then nuclear energy does not deserve the public support Price Anderson provides. This is not quite the same thing. Additionally, it does not belong in the introduction paragraph.

2. This line: The Act provides insufficient insurance coverage to compensate for nuclear victims injuries and loss.

Again, you have taken an interest group's opinion and state it as a matter of fact. This is blatantly incorrect. It would be more correct to have said something like: "Public Citizen has criticized the act as having insufficient insurance coverage to compensate for victims' injuries and loss." The obvious wording problems aside, this is a fine criticism to include. I will take the properly described criticism and include it in the criticisms section. With that being said, I would caution you that we cannot include every criticism a group or groups make. An encyclopedia article should be a thumbnail of an issue -- it should hit the highlights, but it is not supposed to be a repository for every piece of fact or fancy about something. Additionally, it does not belong in the introductory paragraph.
I have now patiently explained to you the proper way to characterize the opinion of an outside group. You cannot state an opinion as a matter of fact and then simply stick an in-line link next to the sentence and leave it at that. It must be identified plainly within the text of the article for what it is, the opinion of a group; otherwise we do our readers a great disservice. I hope you will adhere to this from here on out. Thanks.

· Katefan0(scribble) July 1, 2005 21:42 (UTC)

Katefan, you too should not list the statements of interest groups - ie the government and certain senators as fact. You too can say - the Government expressed concern, or the government said it was interested in this and that. I'm stunned that a Washington reporter, who spends all day ferreting out the real reason things happen - as opposed to the PR reason - forgets that principle when she logs into Wikipedia.

As for "because they do not have enough faith in their own technology to take full responsibility for their own mishaps." that is fact, and i don't think it is contested - what is contested is including uncomfortable facts.

Here is additional source for that assertion as a fact.

" Consider the following statements from the 1956 and 1957 hearings on the then-proposed Price-Anderson amendment. A vice president of Westinghouse, Charles Weaver, stated: "Obviously we cannot risk the financial stability of our company for a relatively small project no matter how important it is to the country's reactor development effort, if it could result in a major liability in relation to our assets."[8]

In further testimony Weaver indicated that even Westinghouse's suppliers were unwilling to go ahead with the contract unless Westinghouse agreed to indemnify them against risks.[9] General Electric also indicated during the hearings that it was prepared to halt its work in the nuclear industry should a limitation on liability not be passed.[10] Suppliers of reactor shields also indicated their unwillingness "to undertake contracts in this field without being relieved of uninsurable liability in some way."[11]

It was under this pressure that the Price-Anderson Act was enacted."

Cato a referance which has been deleted by TeamPOV numerous times. Benjamin Gatti 1 July 2005 21:57 (UTC)

If you think that a Cato report contains critical information that is not currently aired within the text of the article, by all means present it here on the talk page and we can consider citing it in the article. But dumping loads of quotes into the page appropos of nothing is worse than useless. I can dump quotes into the page all day (I have access to the Congressional Record back to WWI -- that's a lot of bloviating), but that doesn't mean I (or you) should. · Katefan0(scribble) July 2, 2005 05:02 (UTC)
In the context of the contested issue, which is the WHY of the Act in the first place, these quotes tend to illustrate that the government was placed in a position BY THE INDUSTRY demanding indemnity - Perhaps you have evidence that the people were demanding an insurance pool - but i don't see any evidence of public outcry for the creation of a fund - thus the statements that the purpose is "only to help you" i think is obfuscation. - Personally, i think at the time, it probably was a compelling case - we couldn't afford to lose a nuclear energy race with the soviet union, which at that point had - i think already demonstrated a civilian power nuclear plant. - so we told some white lies, and subsidized the race in favor of nuclear power. I think if we're honest about the real reasons, - and then reflect on how the times have changed - we can decide whether encouraging nuclear energy - even at great additional expense is still justified.

Benjamin Gatti 2 July 2005 05:14 (UTC)

In regards to this statement: thus the statements that the purpose is "only to help you" i think is obfuscation -- I'm not sure how many other ways I can say this, but your opinion, as much as I respect it, is irrelevant to this article. As is mine. · Katefan0(scribble) July 2, 2005 06:20 (UTC)

Official Arguments for the Act

During the 1975 renewal hearings, Rep. John Young (D-Tex.) said "The fact is that we have run out of oil and gas. What oil and gas is left is desperately needed in a thousand other ways (other than boilers). The quicker that we can get into this other business of supplementary energy sources, the quicker this nation will be on its way to stability of its economy..." [14]

In the 1956 and 1957 hearings on the amendment. Westinghouse Vice President Charles Weaver, stated: "Obviously we cannot risk the financial stability of our company for a relatively small project no matter how important it is to the country's reactor development effort, if it could result in a major liability in relation to our assets." [15]

In further testimony Weaver indicated that even Westinghouse's suppliers were unwilling to go ahead with the contract unless Westinghouse agreed to indemnify them against risks. General Electric also indicated during the hearings that it was prepared to halt its work in the nuclear industry should a limitation on liability not be passed. Suppliers of reactor shields also indicated their unwillingness "to undertake contracts in this field without being relieved of uninsurable liability in some way." [16]


This section was removed - While it doesn't need to be in the article - I think these quotes underscore that the purpose, intent, and focus of the article was to address the literal strike conditions which were threatens by nuclear contractors - I suggest, though I am loathe to admit it, that the overhanging concern and intent was to secure the ability of the US to compete on a global level in the nuclear energy "race" for which the staring gun was quite literally Hiroshima.

I think the evidence that its purpose was to _increase_ the amount of funds available for victims is uncompelling and is as silly as Duck and Cover and the other flights of idiocy served up to a trusting and shamefully uninformed public during that time. Benjamin Gatti 2 July 2005 05:06 (UTC)

With all due respect, and while I respect your zeal, Wikipedia prohibits Wikipedia:Original research. We only summarize already-published sources. If you can find a traditional source that supports your claims, I'd be more than happy to support including some sort of summarization of it therein. Thanks. · Katefan0(scribble) July 2, 2005 05:11 (UTC)

Yes Kate - I understand no original research - at the risk of stepping on copyright violations, almost everything i have contriuted since you began criticising me for expressing my opinion has been cut and paste from cited sources. - with markedly little difference in most cases. Again, my objection will be that the government position is being stated with authority and a cite, while criticism is being held to a higher standard - it is being labelled derisively as criticism, and you are requiring a disjointed "he says = she says" syntax. - which again is fine--if the government is held to the same standard. I am asking for NPOV. Benjamin Gatti 2 July 2005 05:21 (UTC)

The government (i.e. Congress) created this act. Therefore, I think their opinions during the creation of the act are inherently relevant. Beyond which, government documents are in all cases considered encyclopedic sources, particularly when talking about an act of that government. Just because you feel the government is bad doesn't invalidate it as a source. Maybe you would find it more rewarding to contribute to conspiracy theories. Thanks. · Katefan0(scribble) July 2, 2005 05:51 (UTC)

Request for Evidence - intent to create pool

I observe, based on the cites, that the only evidence of any "intent to provide a pool" is mere propoganda - in the gentlest sense - from government officials. I have shown real demand for indemnity - does anyone have substatial evidence that 1. the government was under pressure to protect the public over and existing liability laws - and 2. that the act _increases_ in any way or degree the assets available to reimburse victims for nuclear related damages?

Anyone object (substantivly) to removing the authoritarian statements that the act was intended to reimburse victims? Benjamin Gatti 2 July 2005 05:48 (UTC)

That lawmakers said the act was partially intended to reimburse victims is factual and properly cited, as you well know. If you are confused, read the GAO report, where it is clearly delineated. And let's not forget the quotes from the Congressional Record I cited above. You doubting their motives is not enough to remove the information. Thanks. · Katefan0(scribble) July 2, 2005 05:53 (UTC)
Ben, don't include me in any supposed consensus for your pov. Simesa 2 July 2005 07:38 (UTC)


OK, I'm new to this mess. The point I want to make is...for Wikipedia's purposes, it doesn't matter what any of its members personally think about the subjects here. It doesn't matter. At all. We are not here for discussion. We are not here for argument. We are here to present articles as objectively as possible. Here's an example. Ben. I agree. This law basically subsidizes the nuclear industry. But you know what? It doesn't matter one iota. Wikipedia is not a blog. It is not a place where we put forth our own opinions. What I always say is...think of the Encyclopedia Brittanica. Do you see any arguments or wide ranging discussions in the Brittanica? Not the last time I checked you didn't. We're here to be an objective authority, whether you like it or not. We present both sides to every argument objectively and without "tipping our hand" to show how we really feel about an issue.

This is why any criticisms that are placed in an article need to be a counterweight to any arguments for whatever the article is talking about. And those criticisms can NOT be inciteful. They can't sound like they are expounding a particular point of view. They have to sound like an objective presentation of the facts...nothing more, nothing less. The same rule applies to arguments for whatever the article is talking about.

So what do I see here? Well, I see an article that is way too tilted towards criticism. I don't see many citations for arguments for this law. It might be painful to look for quotes from the nuclear industry, but it's necessary to show an objective view. I also don't see a link to the actual law. Again, you have to present people with the other side and pointing to the actual verbage of the law does that.

Anyway, I'll close here or else I'll lose people. Just wanted to say that the point of Wikipedia is to be balanced. That's our goal. We have to sacrifice our personal views for the betterment of everyone reading this article or any article. It's hard sometimes, but frankly, if you can't do that, then you don't belong here. --Woohookitty 2 July 2005 08:49 (UTC)

Welcome - thanks it needs help - and its a very important subject - although largly unknown. For the record, the initial stub, provided by an industry payee looked like this:

"The Price-Anderson Act, enacted in 1957 as Section 170 of the Atomic Energy Act, makes available a large pool of funds (as of 2004, approximately 9.5 billion dollars) to provide prompt compensation to members of the public who incur damages from a nuclear or radiological incident, no matter who might be liable."

Note that it says the pool of funds is LARGE, and doesn't even mention the fact that it provides complete criminal immunity to a very dangerous industry.

Now that is a POV - of the industry and one of their paid former employees.

Note that the citations have increased - in spite of being regulaly DELETED by the editor on the nuclear wealthfare dole.

Points of view are being discussed openly in discussion, so that people are honest which their own POV. Currently the Pro-Government Pro-Industry Pro-Nuking babies until theyy have three ears POint of View is being presented without qualification - while the truth is being herded into a corner under a label. Benjamin Gatti 2 July 2005 19:37 (UTC)

I still don't think you quite understand NPOV. #1 drop the us v. them mentality. You seem to think that the goal of all of the editors is to push the view of the nuclear industry. Actually, it's to make the article NPOV. That's the goal. If they come up with something that seems pro-industry, they are not doing it to spite you or to make the article pro-industry. They are doing it to balance out the criticisms later on in the article. Like with Katefan0. As far as I know, Kate is not pro industry. But, Kate wants the article to be balanced in terms of view.
And by the way, what exactly are you referring to when you say that the pro-industry view is being shown without qualification? Over half of this article is criticism of the law. To me, it's obvious that you want this article slanted so it sounds like it is against the law. Is that your goal? Or is your goal to have this article balanced? And no, I am not a paid member of the pro-nuclear community. --Woohookitty 2 July 2005 20:12 (UTC)
I definitely have concerns about nuclear power, but I'm not really pro or con. · Katefan0(scribble) July 2, 2005 22:31 (UTC)

I think the article should represent the truth which from where i set looks like this: after the war and bombing of hiroshima, the worl entered a nuclear race - a cold war with russia, in which developing nuclear technology was paramount. like any chess game, it was a question of getting every piece to work toward the goal of conquest. this meant adopting private industry giants GE and Westinghouse into the race against the sovient union. indemnifying them was necessary, so they passed price anderson - then it went to court and the supremes admitted that is was unfair, but we were at war, and the need to compete in the arms race - which was almost all nuclear warheads - overwrote basic constitutional principles - ie ... Marshal law was imposed, the constituution suspended, equality shelved, and nuclear contracters became in essence defense contractors, the DOE focus shifted to nuclear weapons AND energy. Perhaps it was justifiied at the time, perhaps it was reasonable, but to continue it now just seems ridiculous and incongruous. The purpose was military competition papered over as "concern for public safety" - which again is reasonable during a war - but not now. The markets can est decide what energy source is most cost effective and safe if we let the millions of invvestors contribute their knowledge into large decisions such as funding an energy plant - kind of like wikepedia - and the government should interupt the superior cooperative intelligence of a free market. Benjamin Gatti 3 July 2005 01:33 (UTC)

PS. specifically, the assertion that a nuclear accident in the US would be have less impact than chernobly is an important assertion made in a POV manner and represents the opinion of one industry voice. Benjamin Gatti


The Assertions being made in the authoritative voice are disputed with citations.

The solution is to qualify these assertions as the opinions of their respective owners or verify them with facts - not opinions of prominent mouthpieces.

  1. Pool for compensating victims. - The act DECREASES the private funds available for dealing with accidents - that cannot be summarized honestly as creating a slush fund for victoms. It replaces a liability system which exist for everything else with a fiver under the mattress and a government IOU.
  2. There is no pool. There simply is no bank account with 9 Billion dollars in it sitting around ready to compensate victims. If a chernobyl like event occured, and it was the fault of some enron-class crook, stealing money instead of spending it on maintenance, the other nuclear operators could go to court and claim that they weren't liable for the damage. Or their insurance carrior could balk, saying they don't insure crimes - and in the end Uncle Sam plays the bill anyway.
  3. "Financial backers were unwilling to risk the enormous financial liability." Unwilling is a negatiive assertion which cannot be veryfied - show me where someone has asked every available financier existent at that time that they would not, for the right price, insure a nuclear project. Might have been expensive, but you don't get to lie simply because you don't like the price.
  4. so no-one was interested in building a plant." Again no-one is unverifyable. There were 5 billion people on the planet, that a lot of people to ask to veryfy the assertion that no-one was willing, aside from which nuclear plants were built in other countries - so clearly the number of the willing was some number greater than zero.
  5. "However, were similar circumstances to be repeated in America, the scale of the disaster likely would be less" That is the Personal opinion of a single wikepedian who gets or got a check from the nuclear industry. Research on the other hand has shown that population density near chernobyl is far far less than population densities near most nuclear plants in the US, and that as a result, the consequences could be much more severe.

Benjamin Gatti 2 July 2005 20:18 (UTC)

I added 2 dubious tags to the criticisms. Why? Because Ben cites a couple of articles from Public Citizen about how the last was only supposed to last 10 years and that the nuclear industry is somewhat protected from negligence charges to do misconduct. Fine. But. If you go to those sources, they have NO citations themselves. So essentially, it makes it look like they got these assertations out of thin air. And Ben, you can't come back with...well...they aren't pretending to be the "authoritative voice". No they aren't, but they are using facts in their arguments and without citations, it looks like they could've just made this stuff up. Find better sources that actually use citations. --Woohookitty 2 July 2005 21:15 (UTC)

I think the standard for dubious is that you have reason to believe the information is false. When the article is reporting the opinions of peoplr - ie senators worrying, or ralph nader public Citizen, or Cato opining as their opinions, it is difficult to measure the importance of how they got their opinion, and immaterial. And actually I think that material first came from Katefan - the 10 year horizon - I personally don't find INTENT to be worth writing about. The act diverts investors time and money into dangerous forms of energy - thats a fact. Benjamin Gatti 2 July 2005 22:07 (UTC)

This is my fourth try at posting this. Sorry for the delay.

Again, I am neither retired nor paid by either the nuclear of energy industries - I have no contact with either, receive nothing from either. I advised Ben of this. Apparently his pov is that it isn't true.

Ben, without citations, called nuclear the most dangerous industry in the world. (I suggest that airlines might be more dangerous - see List of accidents and incidents on commercial airliners grouped by year.) POV.

Ben then said, without citations, "commits a criminal malfeasance which kills and maims the public, or mutilates the genetic code of unborn fetuses so that they are born with life-long deformities and illnesses." Again, without citations, it's POV.

One thing we haven't placed in PAA is that in the event of criminal malfeasance causing a "severe accident" (usually a meltdown), the insurance would refuse to pay for the plant and the investors would be out an (approximately) $1.8 billion replacement cost plus cleanup costs - the nuclear industry has a high incentive to have a superb safety culture. Also, the NRC has two resident inspectors at each plant - coverups would be difficult. Finally, the operators are unionized, and have no incentive to lose their high-paying jobs (Reactor Operator is the highest union job in a nuclear plant) by ruining the plant. Against that, Ben has provided no citations of severe accidents in non-Soviet Union plants (Chernobyl was caused by what I regard as criminal actions) to support his beliefs that malfeasance would be to blame. Simesa 2 July 2005 20:21 (UTC)

That's interesting an not at the same time. Is it any different for airplanes, hospitals, ships - if so how does tha act make it any different - curious since you mention it. Benjamin Gatti 2 July 2005 22:07 (UTC)
Actually the list by fatalities would be Cigarettes ~400K dpy, Guns ~50Kdpy, Cars ~45Kdpy, etc. (dpy = Deaths per Year- USA), Airplanes really don't compete. Nuclear Weapons are the most dangerous weapons however, and the DOE includes both and contracts with both power plants and weapons contractors - so suggesting that people who make nuclear weapons is the most dangerous industry is a supportable assertion - yes - it opens a long discussion of alternatives.
I am willing to include "was" paid by the industy due to your "former status" and I remind you that your social security and retirement account are likely funded by the industry which checks you still expect to receive, aside from which your POV seems to me very pro-nuclear - which i don't understand given your whistleblower status - so its a quandry, and the character Simesa, whether real or not - continues to "have been paid" by the industry. Benjamin Gatti
Please stop making personal attacks. · Katefan0(scribble) July 2, 2005 22:33 (UTC)

Yeah - Three Mile Island was a severe accident - not catastophic, but it did breach the containment which you so heavily preach. And the government did a good job lying about it for hours if not days, slowing the ability of the population to respond. Recently whisltblowers have been beat up and just last month one DOE contractor was fined for criminal behavior. Just curious why you think people in the US are so superior to people in the Soviet Union that mistakes - even crimes as you say - could not happen here. Look at energy leaders - Enron etc, are they above cutting corners to pocket a few extra dimes? I doubt it. Benjamin Gatti 2 July 2005 21:03 (UTC)

There was _NO_ containment building at Chernobyl. It _WAS_ Catastrophic - the graphite core ensured that! The _SOVIET_ government tried to cover it up, as they did so many things. I listed how the people in American plants are different - reliance on insurance, independent inspectors, lack of incentive for malfeasance. You know all these things and continue to ignore them. Simesa 2 July 2005 21:28 (UTC)
OK you've said there was no containment everywhere there's space - notice that i didn't put a dubious tag near that statement. I get that our plants are different - somewhat and in some ways. But we still have to move fissil material around, we have to process it, we have problems with terrorism and flying airplanes into things. but here again if you are so **&^damn sure that it is safe, why don't you invest in a company called Global Full Coverage Nuclear Insurance Inc. and then you could make all that money insuring something which no one else KNOWS is safe enough to insure. You should step up and indemnify the industry - you can probably do it for less than they are paying now - why they're probably getting ripped off by the government = what with having to post a bond of 88 Million. But i see you've still got your hand on your wallet - you want ME to insure the damn things - well I object to having my pocket picked. pick your own pocket - if nuclear is what you want.

Benjamin Gatti 2 July 2005 22:07 (UTC)

Let's cool down the rhetoric, ok? It's not useful to building an encyclopedia article. Take it to Usenet. · Katefan0(scribble) July 2, 2005 22:30 (UTC)

"I listed how the people in American plants are different"

Can I just say that if we are banking on the people being a different kind of person in America - by which you mean to include or exclude Chile, Brazil, Mexico, Columbia, Panama, and Canada? -then we are very much in trouble, not only are people remarkably the same around the world, but many of the people in America came that part of the world - especially our nuclear engineers. Benjamin Gatti


Benjamin, I will -- once more -- in excruciating detail -- delineate why the background section is properly sourced. I will not do this again. When I'm done, I will ask the other editors contributing to this article to view my justifications and tell me whether they think the text is fair or not, so a consensus can be achieved one way or another and we can put this particular section to bed. I have been very patient so far, but I refuse to waste another minute of my time repeating myself and having you ignore me.

The paragraph:

Financial backers were unwilling to risk the enormous financial liability that would result from a catastrophic accident at a nuclear plant [dubious ], so no-one was interested in building a plant. [dubious ]

From the GAO report referenced at the bottom of the article:

Soon [after the Atomic Energy Act], government and industry experts identified a major impediment to accomplishing the act’s objective: the potential for payment of damages resulting from a nuclear accident and the lack of adequate available insurance. Unwilling to risk huge financial liability, private companies viewed even the remote specter of a serious accident as a roadblock to their participating in the development and use of nuclear power.

The paragraph:

Price-Anderson was born from those dual concerns; the act established a mechanism for compensating the public for injury or property damage in the event of a nuclear accident (disputed — see talk page)

From the GAO report referenced at the bottom of the article:

In addition, congressional concern developed over ensuring adequate financial protection to the public because the public had no assurance that it would receive compensation for personal injury or property damages from the liable party in event of a serious accident. Faced with these concerns, the Congress enacted the Price-Anderson Act in September 1957. The Price-Anderson Act has two underlying objectives: (1) to establish a mechanism for compensating the public for personal injury or property damage in the event of a nuclear accident and (2) to encourage the development of nuclear power.

It's my opinion that the nonpartisan GAO report is a valid and authoritative source that has been faithfully summarized in the current article. I would appreciate the opinions of others beyond Benjamin and myself so we can reach a consensus. Thanks. · Katefan0(scribble) July 2, 2005 22:30 (UTC)

Respectfully, and i know you have been patient, to which i object,

These include negative assertions - as such they cannot be independently verified. You have demanded that and more from me when the source is Public Citizen - I continue to demand the same from you whether the source is the GAO, the President, or even Tom Cruise. I have no objection to quoting the GAO - but the assertions of the GAO as you have represented them are contested, and because they cannot be verified - must not be stated in the authoritarian voice.

There is no such thing as an authoritative voice on a negative assertion.

Let's say Carl Sagon believes there is nothing in a Black Hole. He's pretty damn authoritative, but he can't prove it - and what is better - he knows he can't prove it.

So he contents himself with "I believe there is nothing in a Black Hole." and he leaves it to someone else to go ye and VERIFY.

How can I verify that no one was willing to insure a nuclear reactor - then? - then? or now?

I Suggest "The nonpartisan GAO office sez:" see NPOV

Benjamin Gatti 2 July 2005 22:50 (UTC)

I would suggest this paragraph instead - Because this way we don't become compliance voices for the governments disinformation - right or wrong. It makes the act the subject, had no unverifyable assertions and describes the government rather than speaking for it. Benjamin Gatti

Price Anderson is an ammendment to the Atomic Energy Act(1954) which enabled private industry to participate in building nuclear reactors. At the time government was under pressure to provide indemnity to Westinghouse and GE because both had indicated they would not build nuclear reactors without being relieved of financial liability in the event of a catstrophic nuclear event. In addition, the question of who would reimburse the public if a nuclear accident should occur had been raised, and so the government cobbled together as much insurance as it could find at the time, which was about $100 million, and then created a pool system in which each independant reactor would contribute their insurance money if an accident occured in any nuclear site for any reason with the government contributing an additional $500 million if necessary. While the act provides very good protection for the Nuclear industry, it actually provides less protection today for individuals injured by accidents than would be required under standard insurance law. [17] Most analysts and researchers, including the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service, concur that Price-Anderson enabled the United States' current nuclear power plants to be built.


I accused Ben of moving my comments under a different heading. I was wrong - Woohookitty actually made the change. I looked at the History and got it wrong. Ben deserves my apology on this. Simesa 2 July 2005 22:20 (UTC)

Quite alright - I'm sure I deserve the frustration. I've not exactly gone out of my way to be generous. and while i really oppose spending tax subsidies on dangerous energy when we're not spending enough for clean one's burns me up - i like ya just fine (RLS - Kidnapped) Benjamin Gatti

Consensus to Remove (Dubious) inre ten year intended horizon

In 1957, according to Public Citizen, the United States Senate stated that Price Anderson should only be needed for ten years because "the problem of reactor safety will be to a great extent solved and the insurance people will have had an experience on which to base a sound program of their own." [6][7]US Gov (disputed — see talk page)

This section should no longer be duious in that it has 3 cites, and more are plentiful on google, it appears this is quite factual. Benjamin Gatti 2 July 2005 22:38 (UTC)

Last item - dubious - bigger or smaller

The Act makes available a smaller pool of insurance funds to compensate people who are injured or incur damages from a nuclear or radiological incident than is required under law for all other corporations (disputed — see talk page).

Its the inherent nature of an indemnity act - is substitutes a private fund with the government treasury, and since under option a. you have loads of insurance plus FEMA and under b.) you have not so much insurance plus FEMA, b.) is smaller than a.)

you have to read the provisions - see references - the court battle, the motivation. This act says you don't have to buy health insurance its covered if you're working for us - so you don't create a pool of health insurance. Katefan agreed based on her research that it is smaller, simesa consurred with her edits, as well as one more - if i remember history - smaller was reached by consensus - but if anyone wants to dispute it - "let's get the party started" (GWB in his formative years). Benjamin Gatti 3 July 2005 02:38 (UTC)

Please point to where I agreed with such a thing. Impossible, since it never happened. I've not done any research on this point to know either way. · Katefan0(scribble) July 3, 2005 03:14 (UTC)

[18] I believe this is the edit - you put up inuse, and when you came back it was full of cites and critics - greenpeace etc who had expressed essential my criticism that its a big wealthfare program. In there is the assertion that the pool would be depleted by a chernobyl class event. As for the word smaller - we settled on that a while back - can history be searched? Benjamin Gatti 3 July 2005 03:39 (UTC)

Why I reverted all of Ben's additions tonight

I reverted them all because everything Ben added was POV. Every single item. I think at this point we need to request protection for a day and let people cool off. And then after that, I have a feeling we're heading to arbitration, because what Ben considers "NPOV" is completely different than what anyone else here sees as NPOV and I don't know to reconcile that. Also, please stop adding the meta comments in the article. It makes editing more difficult than it needs to be. Thank you. --Woohookitty 3 July 2005 02:55 (UTC)

Again Ben, please...stop putting the meta comments in there. --Woohookitty 3 July 2005 03:25 (UTC)Discussion belongs here, not in the article, even if the comments don't show up in the article.
Will reduce use of meta comments - although at least two editors here have found them useful - they should stay long - but it seems gentler than outright deletions - think of it as a suggested deletion. In spite of the vitriol, i too would like to see the tension racheted down. Benjamin Gatti 3 July 2005 03:32 (UTC)

Please weigh in

All -- I apologize for the duplication, but Benjamin continues to dump text into this page so I fear that it will be lost.


Benjamin, I will -- once more -- in excruciating detail -- delineate why the background section is properly sourced. I will not do this again. When I'm done, I will ask the other editors contributing to this article to view my justifications and tell me whether they think the text is fair or not, so a consensus can be achieved one way or another and we can put this particular section to bed. I have been very patient so far, but I refuse to waste another minute of my time repeating myself and having you ignore me. +

The paragraph: +

Financial backers were unwilling to risk the enormous financial liability that would result from a catastrophic accident at a nuclear plant [dubious ], so no-one was interested in building a plant. [dubious ] +

From the GAO report referenced at the bottom of the article: +

Soon [after the Atomic Energy Act], government and industry experts identified a major impediment to accomplishing the act’s objective: the potential for payment of damages resulting from a nuclear accident and the lack of adequate available insurance. Unwilling to risk huge financial liability, private companies viewed even the remote specter of a serious accident as a roadblock to their participating in the development and use of nuclear power. +

The paragraph: +

Price-Anderson was born from those dual concerns; the act established a mechanism for compensating the public for injury or property damage in the event of a nuclear accident (disputed — see talk page) +

From the GAO report referenced at the bottom of the article: +

In addition, congressional concern developed over ensuring adequate financial protection to the public because the public had no assurance that it would receive compensation for personal injury or property damages from the liable party in event of a serious accident. Faced with these concerns, the Congress enacted the Price-Anderson Act in September 1957. The Price-Anderson Act has two underlying objectives: (1) to establish a mechanism for compensating the public for personal injury or property damage in the event of a nuclear accident and (2) to encourage the development of nuclear power. +

It's my opinion that the nonpartisan GAO report is a valid and authoritative source that has been faithfully summarized in the current article. I would appreciate the opinions of others beyond Benjamin and myself so we can reach a consensus. Thanks. · Katefan0(scribble) July 2, 2005 22:30 (UTC)

Benjamin, don't delete talk page comments made by other users. It is considered vandalism. Please note that Benjamin replied above if you would like to see his reply. · Katefan0(scribble) July 3, 2005 03:29 (UTC)

I think duplicating your earlier comments without their replies is equally problematic in every respect, and I disagree that anyone other than you considers deleting duplicate entries to be vandalism. It's called refactoring.

OK, I added 2 citations. Both are from the GAO report that Kate cited, so I added citations. I also re-reverted a bunch of POV added tonight but I deleted a Chernobyl sentence that Ben objected to as original research. I don't think it is OR but so be it. Now I am returning to stubsensor where no one argues with me. ;-) --Woohookitty 3 July 2005 03:49 (UTC)

I don't get it, Ben. You complain about lack of citations in the first part of the article. I put the citations in there and you call them "opinion". Read the GAO report. It includes exactly what's in the article. If you think it's "opinion", then I'll go ahead and remove every citation you used since they are "opinion" too if the GAO article is "opinion". --Woohookitty 3 July 2005 03:59 (UTC)

I believe Benjamin's issue is that he would prefer the paragraph to say "Government documents assert" or "The GAO claims" instead of simply stating, this is the factual history of the act. I say that the GAO is an authoritative enough source that the history of the act and congressional intent with its creation can be stated without those kinds of hedges, as long as we have an in-line link to the source. It isn't as if it's opinion that's being stated, it's historical fact. Benjamin's arguments generally have tended along the lines of -- the government can't be trusted to tell the truth, so government research should be treated like opinions from an outside interest group. · Katefan0(scribble) July 3, 2005 04:03 (UTC)
Kate - i use and trust government data all the time, and have cited DOE, DEI etc... My complaint aside from the major victory in removing the Original Research that a nuclear incident in the US would have less effect than chernobyl - is the double standard. My criticisms - for example the fact that it is a subsidy - is sources from government documents, but is has been hounded into a corner and presented as the opinion of left-wing fanatical blame america first groups - when i sourced it from the DOE.
The DOE is very different than the GAO. Beyond which, that it's a subsidy is disputed by the industry, lawmakers and other trade groups. You have yet to show how the GAO's summation of historical fact is disputed by anyone but yourself, for the thinnest of reasons. · Katefan0(scribble) July 3, 2005 04:31 (UTC)

Why should the 'supposed' intent of the government be entitled to ride in a horse and carriage, while critical viewspoint have to sit inthe back of the bus? We're at consensus with substance - but i object to negative facts - equally sourced - being made second class citizens. Benjamin Gatti 3 July 2005 04:22 (UTC) PS. Note that i have offered a proposed resolution - failure to respond to such an offer is a defense in arbitration. Benjamin Gatti

Well that's Ben's personal opinion that the government cannot be trusted. The Wikipedia trend is that government sources are seen as authority. If Ben doesn't like that, that's his opinion and as I said, in this case, our personal opinions mean nothing. It's called consensus. --Woohookitty 3 July 2005 04:07 (UTC)

"U.S. President Jimmy Carter ordered a full investigation of the TMI incident. According to Admiral Hyman G. Rickover, the key figure in the development of nuclear power plants and a close confidant of the president, the original report was so critical of the nuclear power industry's safety lapses that if it had been released, all nuclear plants in the U.S. would probably have been forced to close. Rickover said the final version was more muted, at the command of Jimmy Carter." [19]

It seems to be the consensus of wikipedia that the government cannot be trusted to release the truth on this issue. Benjamin Gatti 3 July 2005 04:30 (UTC)

Offer of Compromise

I have requested arbitration - however, because the major complaint - that is the assertion that an accident in the US would have less effect than chernobyl has been removed - i think it is quite possible to resolve the lesser isues.

I propose that the other editors "weight in" to Katefan's comment - and list explicitly why and when the government can be used as an authoritative source in the face of expressed doubt. provided of course that the rule applies to everyone equally i have every confidence that it will be acceptable. Benjamin Gatti 3 July 2005 04:12 (UTC)

While I respect your opinions, you are not an expert on nuclear energy insofar as I know and therefore your doubt about the government holds less weight. If you have a source that's critical of the GAO report's summation of historical fact, feel free to cite it. Otherwise, your own doubts are not particularly relevant. I would think that GAO reports would be fine to use authoritatively pretty much on any topic. · Katefan0(scribble) July 3, 2005 04:28 (UTC)

"U.S. President Jimmy Carter ordered a full investigation of the TMI incident. According to Admiral Hyman G. Rickover, the key figure in the development of nuclear power plants and a close confidant of the president, the original report was so critical of the nuclear power industry's safety lapses that if it had been released, all nuclear plants in the U.S. would probably have been forced to close. Rickover said the final version was more muted, at the command of Jimmy Carter." [20]

What you have here is a pattern of deception - well documented here and elsewhere - as recently as the failure to release closed door meeting with Dick Cheney. I doubt anyone would suggest that the US or any state has been the picture of openness when it comes to nuclear capability - its an issue which demands stategic ambiguity. Benjamin Gatti 3 July 2005 04:38 (UTC)

The GOA expresses the opinions of others - just say that explain it as it is, Say The GAO has asserted thus and so - i will follow with and jimmy carter compelled the incident report to be watered down. - just go easy on the assertion here, and we'll be ok. Benjamin Gatti

Regretfully, the community here has overruled you. The consensus is that such language is unnecessary. Thanks. · Katefan0(scribble) July 3, 2005 04:41 (UTC)

It is inappropriate for any third party to assert as fact the "intentions" of another - such third party assetions are not fact because they cannot be fact - intentions can be masked, assimulated, or otherwise falsified. Unless the GOA administered a lie detector test and a truth serum, or took the information as a dying utterance, its really just heresay.

And another point - the simple word "The" implies an unverifyable negative which is the absence of alternatives. Instead of "The intent was" use "An intent was to ..." There - that is easy. That is veryfiable and sources - i'll even give you government source is authoritative on the indefinite predicate. Benjamin Gatti

Ben, what "intent" are you refering to? Heck, make the change yourself if you want to. Make whatever "the" you are referring to into an "an" and then we can see what you are talking about. I don't see it otherwise. --Woohookitty 3 July 2005 05:06 (UTC)

OK Ben, I will give you credit. The edit you just put in there actually looks ok to me. Now you need to explain why we need more criticisms in an article where the criticisms section is threatening to dwarf the other sections. --Woohookitty 3 July 2005 05:28 (UTC)

Part of the reason the criticism section is long, is because every assertion has to be quoted in line and couched in introductory qualifications. The second - and i don't oppose cleaning it up - i think we can once we stop reverting content for pov reasons - definitely less is more.

my list of criticisms

  • liability immunity encourages safety lapses
  • subsidizing one energy choice reduces the funds available for safe alternatives
  • giving taxpayer money to a few ricj investors is anti-democratic
  • the act indicates that current nuclear ractor design continue to be uninsurably dangerous
  • And uneconomic in a competative market

Which of those is optional?

Speaking on behalf of the thousands of people whose lives have been reduced to horror and heartbreak by the chernobly accident, i doubt this goes far enough. Benjamin Gatti 3 July 2005 05:34 (UTC)

Honestly, it doesn' tmatter to me which one is removed or edited. But don't do anything :) Let's see what the other editors think. This isn't over yet but at least it feels like progress is being made. --Woohookitty 3 July 2005 06:05 (UTC)


By the way...and I'm not sure if this has been noticed...but both catagories this article resides in are heavy, heavy POV. --Woohookitty 3 July 2005 05:08 (UTC)

Yeah, Categories Wealthfare and Corporate Welfare were removed. Benjamin Gatti

It occurs to me that Price was intended to overcome - temporary barriors- to comercialization

that is never intended to be a continuing subsidy and that the background section should draw the distinction of intent between - overcoming the barriors, and overcoming the temporary barrios to privatization ... but its a small issue. Benjamin Gatti 3 July 2005 05:39 (UTC)

Arbitration request withdrawn

(Comment added to RfP) I am withdrawing my request for Arbitration. The Original Research has been pulled with consensus, and unveryfiable assertions have been pulled as well. The article is not longer in violation of POV by my book Benjamin Gatti 3 July 2005 05:53 (UTC)

You shouldn't have. I'll/we'll probably have to file one very shortly. And the fact that people stop arguing with you at 1 am doesn't constitute consensus. Simesa 3 July 2005 09:20 (UTC)
Benjamin, I know this is because you're fairly new, but what has been requested is that the page be locked from editing. Arbitration is a very, very different and discrete thing and it would probably be best if you stopped referring to a request for page protection as "arbitration." Thanks · Katefan0(scribble) July 3, 2005 14:15 (UTC)

Objection - request for consensus

Thank you all for the progress.

Please feel free to mercilessly edit the criticism section.

I am asking for feedback on the second sentence.

"It also makes available a pool (disputed — see talk page) of insurance funds to compensate people who are injured or incur damages from a nuclear or radiological incident. "

If a majority (three) of you agree that this sentence accurately describes the effect of the act - i'll agree to it - but I think is perpetuates the great lie - since the act removes the requirement to get full insurance - the act substantially reduces the pool of funds. Benjamin Gatti 3 July 2005 06:02 (UTC)

That sentence seems accurate to me. Then again, I have the time to read this massive Discussion page. Simesa 3 July 2005 09:20 (UTC)
It is accurate. The law has the framework for the pool of money if it is needed -- therefore, it makes the pool available. What would you prefer it say, Benjamin? · Katefan0(scribble) July 3, 2005 17:22 (UTC)

I think it is clear from the record that Westinghouse GE, and their subcontractors represent large assets relative to the reactor project, and they were quite aware that their asses - er assets were on the line if an accident occured - that was a LARGE pool of funds made available through existing liability legislation.

The Act would have none of that and Voided the LARGE pool of assets - to be replaced with a LIMITED liability plan under which a seperate pool - some 600 Million and growing was to be made available.

So the Act clearly REDUCED the pool of fund available - it should say that.

Benjamin Gatti 3 July 2005 17:49 (UTC)

Chernobyl vs. Western Reactors

I've restored the disputed section and added two citations, one PBS and one industry. I agree that the section should have had these citations before.

Frankly, and as one citation says, we wouldn't have built nuclear power plants in the West or Japan if a Chernobyl could happen to us. (DOE reactors for military purposes, OTOH, are sometimes like Chernobyl - the ones at Hanford and Savannah River have all been shut down.) Simesa 3 July 2005 10:14 (UTC)

Added two more citations. Simesa 3 July 2005 10:57 (UTC)

"This area of Ukraine is described as Belarussian-type woodland with a low population density. About 3 km away from the reactor, in the new city, Pripyat, there were 49 000 inhabitants. The old town of Chernobyl, which had a population of 12 500, is about 15 km to the South-east of the complex. Within a 30-km radius of the power plant, the total population was between 115 000 and 135 000. " [21]

Perhaps we can find a compromise - if you agree that the population density around almost any reactor in the US has a higher population density - perhaps it would be meaningful to say -

"While the impact area of a nuclear accident in the US would likely be smaller than it was in Chernobyl, the number of people affected could be higher because of higher population densities near reactors in the US."

Here's the logical falacy in the argument as it stands. You're so sure the impact would be less, but the industry continues to be willing to make the same bet - so when it comes to people willing to put their money where their mouth is - they aren't so sure it would be less, they're not sure it would be safe - in short, we still have a situation in which nuclear energy is to risky - dangerous - to merit interest in afree-market. Benjamin Gatti 3 July 2005 16:41 (UTC)

Our opinions and conclusions are irrelevant, however, if you have a source that contradicts this particular info then it would be appropriate to cite it. · Katefan0(scribble) July 3, 2005 17:24 (UTC)
The two plants I worked at were Nine Mile Point, in Oswego, New York, which is extremely remote, and Hope Creek, which also is in a remote section of southern New Jersey. The Palo Verde units, for example, are in a desert. Clinton, Illinois, is in the middle of an area of cornfields. Turkey Point is on its own island. I could go on down the list - but you're continuing to ignore an important difference between Chernobyl and non-Soviet reactors.
The graphite fire at Chernobyl lofted radioactive material high into the atmosphere, where it spread over most of Europe. Non-government American reactors don't have graphite cores (not even wooden ladders) - so no lofting. The radioactivity, if any escapes containment, will stay near ground level. All the plants have an Emergency Planning Zone plan for a 10 mile (16 km) radius around the units (including sirens). The AEC selected 10 miles by hypothetically throwing half a reactor core into the air, and using bomb fallout data to predict the downwind effects - they decided they needed 5 miles, so they doubled it to 10 for safety. In modern drills, a "leak rate" is assumed for the containment (so that the whole plan can be exercised) - but that leak rate isn't half a core, like at Chernobyl. So, no, I don't agree that the population density in the EPZ around the majority of plants is necessarily higher, nor the risk unacceptable. Simesa 3 July 2005 17:23 (UTC)


Looks like the page has been protected -- and a good thing for it. I was working on the "how the law works" section, so I'll just reproduce it here. Let me know what you think. I think it's pretty faithful and clear.

==How the law works==

Under the law, commercial nuclear reactors licensed by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) must carry insurance coverage equal to the maximum amount of liability insurance available from private sources (currently $300 million). If claims resulting from an accident exceeded $300 million, the law requires all commercial reactors to contribute an additional amount of money determined by the NRC into a pool from which those additional claims would be paid — currently, each reactor would have to contribute up to $95.8 million, for a total of about $10 billion. The law indemnifies nuclear reactor operators from claims beyond that amount of money — if claims from an incident exceeded that pooled sum, the NRC would have to petition Congress to make up the rest, either with taxpayer dollars or through additional easements on the industry. [22]

A catastrophic nuclear event — such as the 1986 Chernobyl accident — would arguably deplete and possibly exceed the current pool of money. Though the Soviet Union never released official estimates of the accident's economic impact, Greenpeace International estimated it to have been about $280 billion, not including medical costs for victims. However, were similar circumstances to be repeated in America, the scale of the disaster likely would be less [23] [24] [25] [26] [dubious ] — the Chernobyl reactors were unstable RBMKs, unlike American plants, and the Chernobyl reactors did not have containment buildings around them.

Nuclear insurance pools have paid $151 million ($70 million of which was related to the 1979 Three Mile Island meltdown) and the Energy Department $65 million since Price-Anderson was enacted 48 years ago. · Katefan0(scribble) July 3, 2005 14:55 (UTC)

I agree with your last version. I don't understand why we don't state that DOE facilities are covered - however, I'm willing to live with this revised text. P.S. - The DOE will be building a new reactor to make Plutonium-238 for long-life batteries, so it's not a meaningless item. Simesa 3 July 2005 15:07 (UTC)
DOE facilites meaning what? Government-owned nuclear reactors? It's nto that I object per se, I just don't understand what the distinction is and why it's important. · Katefan0(scribble) July 3, 2005 15:10 (UTC)
I'm sorry, yes, among other facilities the DOE operated/operates nuclear reactors at Hanford Site and Savannah River Site. The new reactor will be at INEEL which is also DOE [27] [28]. DOE also enriches nuclear fuel via its contractor United States Enrichment Corporation. It also operates Sandia National Laboratories. There are/were a number of other facilities and contractors. Simesa 3 July 2005 15:35 (UTC)

Taking the sources one by one

1. includes: "Given such uninformed enthusiasm for technology, " Which i would like to use in the authoritative voice - any objections?

2."But if the design of Russian and U.S. reactors is critically different, broad similarities between the two countries' management of nuclear-power development led both national programs into difficulty." Again - design different - politics and attitude same - we agree it was the attitude of the operators and engineers - not the design which was most at fault. Chernobyl was an intentional violation of safety protocols which included disabling systemic safety deivices.

3."the ordinary citizen was made to believe that the peaceful atom was virtually a panacea and the ultimate in genuine safety, ecological cleanliness, and reliability."

Which is what some are trying to do here. disinform the ordinary ciitizen.

4. This whole hide the problem - problem is discussed as well: "Accidents," writes Medvedev, "were hidden not only from the general public and the government but also from the people who worked at Soviet nuclear power stations. This latter fact posed a special danger, as failure to publicize mishaps always has unexpected consequences: it makes people careless and complacent."

5. Even in the US - Peole are the same - Simesas argument that the people are different is specious unsupported by his own authorities and frankly biggoted.

"Authority dominated in the early days of nuclear power in the United States as well. "The AEC and the JCAE," James Jasper notes, "placed themselves outside normal political accountability."

5. introduces a fine point - we agree that the risk is probably on par with many other risks - but we as individuals do have the right to oppose the accumulation of risks - beyond our control.

"The rest of the world didn't choose to be irradiated by a badly designed and criminally misoperated Soviet nuclear power plant."

6. And finally a falshood: "millions of Americans willingly buy the electricity that nuclear utilities generate." - those Americans, by which hopefully is meant the peoples of both North and South America inclusively, don't really have much choice in the power they purchase - choice based energy is new, and opposed by the industry. Benjamin Gatti

The Second - university of pittsburg

"Since the mechanism for dispersing radioactivity over long distances was so efficient in the Chernobyl accident and is so inefficient in U.S. reactors, it is almost impossible to believe that an accident in a U.S. reactor can ever cause nearly as much radiation exposure at large distances from the plant."

First it says "almost impossible" so we should use those words, but more importantly, it is talking about the size of the affected area. I do not contest nor have ever contested that the AREA affected would be greater - only that the EFFECT COULD be greater due to population density differences. Benjamin Gatti

Third reference includes this fact - Russian reactors have been modified to avoid "pos void coeff"- but they are still not safe!. So the only difference is the sarcaphacus. which it say says "Should" prevent release - notably did not prevent release at three mile island. Benjamin Gatti

fourth ref (Texas) "All this reflects important differences between Western and Soviet operators and their training. Unlike the Soviets, U.S. reactor operators take continued training in classroom situations and on reactor simulators. Further, operators in Western countries are strictly bound by what are called "technical specifications" which forbid operation of the reactor outside of preset safety limits."

Directly contradicts the first ref which shows simularities between the attitudes of US and USSR. The operators knew the were leaving technical specs. Surely the rules said they shouldn't - but the chief engineer say they must - how many times do "operators" just accept what their bosses say - look at abu graib - bosses said beat these people up to get to get information, and they did it - despite the law. this happens every day. Nuclear industry is beating up whistlblowers - look at Simesa good engineer, banished from the industry for speaking out on matters of (safety). how many other engineers see that example and say - i'll just be quiet and go along, i've got kids to feed.

So in short - there is new material to add based on these references, and the assertion of comparison is limited to hectars, not people, deaths, cost, or any other measure of impact. Benjamin Gatti 3 July 2005 17:20 (UTC)


I'm sorry, your proposed additions in the first section have nothing to do with Price-Anderson, and your points on Chernobyl do not contradict the text as it stands. I oppose all of them. However, if you can find a source that specifically contradicts that info on Chernobyl I'd like to see it -- and by that I mean, "An accident like Chernobyl would exceed PAA's provisions"; or, "An accident like Chernobyl would be equally devastating in the US." · Katefan0(scribble) July 3, 2005 17:31 (UTC)
I'll try to work on all your points in a minute, but one point should be made immediately: violation of Technical Specifications is a federal offense. Tech specs are part of the operatintg license, and as such carry the force of law. Every person granted unescorted access to a nuclear power plant is trained on this exact point. Perhaps the AEC was a law unto itself during the Cold war, but those days are gone, it's gone, and that attitude is gone. Simesa 3 July 2005 17:56 (UTC)

Simesa Replies

(headings to make commenting easier) Benjamin Gatti

I can't see how any of these would be meaningful here - I object to all of them.
The First Reference
1 - Actually, it's been shown that people fear what they aren't familiar with. PCs are great, Nuclear is feared in most places. I can't see how t would be useful anyway.
2 - Pre-TMI, that was true. Post-TMI is a different culture.
3 - Odd, I used nuclear fuel software named PANACEA. Seriously, safety isn't simple or easy. The electricity is the same, and capacity factors are now above 90% so it is reliable.
4 - The nuclear industry has an information network whereby incidents at any plant are broadcast to every other plant with the intent that the same problem not occur twice.
5 - Each American has the option to vote for strongly anti-nuclear candidates.
6 - True, but choice-based is available now.
Second Reference
We already say "likely would be less"
Third Reference
The sarcophageus only covers the ruined Unit-4. The other units remain without containment buildings.
Containment never sealed off at TMI.
Fourth Reference
This reflects the current state of training and operations. Tech specs carry the force of federal law. And the Station Shift Supervisor can throw anyone off-site.
Simesa 3 July 2005 18:58 (UTC)

Likely is a weasel word - doesn't hold up under strict NPOV verifyability weasel words analysis. I think it just as likely could be more in health and cost effects especially if terrorism were the cause - it would be morally devastating. - and have cited - since deleted.

So we have containment, they just aren't sealed sometimes? and that's the difference?

What you failed to respond to is this - the Graphite moderated reactors, what with POsitive Void Coeffiecient - have been modified in the Russian sites, so they now have NVC. but you continue to say they are less stable? how so - just the containment building? - if all we're depending on here is a different brand of people - then i think the article should state that. perhaps "People in America (sic) are so much better than damn communists, they could never make a mistake?"

Benjamin Gatti 3 July 2005 19:26 (UTC)

6. Is it really consumer choice if the good is subsidized - its like say you can buy anything you want, but i'll pay ninty percent of the cost if you choose what i want. So i would argue that choice really only exists in a free market - and you would have to agree Price Anderson is anything but. Benjamin Gatti 3 July 2005 20:07 (UTC)

Request for Mediation

The following has been inserted into Requestd for Mediation WP:RfM - Please participate by Weighing it there.

Mediation is requested to resolve one question - whether the following sentence can be included in the authoritative voice.

" However, were similar circumstances to be repeated in America, the scale of the disaster likely would be less [29] [30] [31] [32] [dubious ] — the Chernobyl reactors were unstable RBMKs, unlike American plants, and the Chernobyl reactors did not have containment buildings around them.] <!-- The graphite fire combined with no containment meant that the plume of radioactive smoke reached high altitudes and was therefore scattered widely - and at Chernobyl, there was a tremendous amount of such smoke. -->"

In spite of 4 references which posit this opinion - it remains the opinion of the positors, and is not independantly verifyable. The use of weasel the word "likely" does not grant immunity from verifiability requirments. As no one has shown how this assertion could be veryfied, it ought to be properly couched and dressed in counterclaims - which have been deleted.

My sense is the parties (4) are all open to mediation. Benjamin Gatti 3 July 2005 18:28 (UTC)

I don't think you understand the Mediation process - are you just trying to get around being unable to come up with citations? I believe the line is correct, adequate and necessary, and see no need for Mediation. Simesa 3 July 2005 19:36 (UTC)
Nonetheless are you willing to accept the result if I am?
Yes - its cited, but the text doesn't say "The Academy of Hopeful Nuclear Engineering Candidates promises that accidents in the US would have less impact", it says they "likely would have less" impact. Likely is a weasel word, and the assertion isn't attributed - and therefore doesn't invite criticism, either by the reader, or by other authors. It wouldnot be that hard to follow the NPOV guidlines - just do it.

Benjamin Gatti 3 July 2005 19:57 (UTC)

Personally this level of hand-waving and whinging is really not worth the paragraph if you ask me. I'd just as soon see it completely deleted. · Katefan0(scribble) July 3, 2005 20:06 (UTC)
Katefan0 is proposing to delete all of:
The pool of money — which as of 2004 stood at about $9.5 billion — is contributed [dubious ] by the nuclear industry, primarly through power reactor licensees, who are required to have $200 million worth of primary insurance as of 2001. In the event that claims deplete the pool of funds, the Congress of the United States is required to consider covering the excess cost, possibly by establishing additional assessments against the industry. [A catastrophic nuclear event — such as the 1986 Chernobyl accident — would arguably deplete and likely exceed the current pool of money. Though the Soviet Union never released official estimates of the accident's economic impact, Greenpeace International estimated it to have been about $280 billion, not including medical costs for victims. However, were similar circumstances to be repeated in America, the scale of the disaster likely would be less [33] [34] [35] [36] [dubious ] — the Chernobyl reactors were unstable RBMKs, unlike American plants, and the Chernobyl reactors did not have containment buildings around them.]
I can live with that if the $200 million of primary insurance is mentioned along with the $88 million assessments in the previous paragraph. Simesa 3 July 2005 21:17 (UTC)

I doubt that an intelligent conversation on the Price Anderson could exist without reference to the single largest nuclear event in history. We have to deal with it and deal fairly - All i'm asking is that the assertion that it is less likely be attributed in line. and other opinions countering it be equally included in-line right there and then.

Benjamin Gatti 3 July 2005 21:29 (UTC)

I was referring to only the portion about Chernobyl. I fail to see why it's absolutely necessary, unless you argue for inclusion of criticism about it. · Katefan0(scribble) July 4, 2005 06:45 (UTC)

You know

I'm trying to keep up with this discussion, but its a bit hard. I woke up today and 6 headers had been added to the talk page. I think we should protect the talk page too. ;-) --Woohookitty 3 July 2005 20:03 (UTC)

Improper page protection

so long as this protected page is not listed on protected pages - it is not proper procedure. In order to limit the damage of an unveryfied assertion being sanctified by a rule violation, the redirect has been opened for editing. Do drop in.

Citation disputing the existence of the Pool as a real thing.


This site states that the liability chain is not so rigid that it amounts to the same thing as a "pool of funds" sitting around ready to compensate victims.

"But Price Anderson was originally intended by Congress to be a temporary solution to what they thought was a temporary problem - the refusal of private insurers to underwrite the risks of nuclear power. In a 1957 Senate report, the Senate wrote that Price Anderson would only be needed for ten years because "...the problem of reactor safety will be to a great extent solved and the insurance people will have had an experience on which to base a sound program of their own."

But the historical record debunks this initial optimism. Nuclear reactors continue to experience significant safety problems, and the nuclear industry remains unwilling to assume the risks of its own operations.

Even the industry's claim to the relatively-paltry $9 billion liability is not necessarily accurate. The Price Anderson Act fails to clearly stipulate the industry's exact responsibility - in the text of the law, in terms of the execution of the Act's provisions, or in terms of the actual funding of the insurance coverage.

The text of the Price Anderson has definitions which are very open-ended. As a result, independent government agencies like the Nuclear Regulatory Commission have wide discretion to fill in the blanks and adjust the insurance requirements on an individual basis. In addition, the Act is vague on what the government's financial obligations are in the event funds are unavailable from the nuclear industry. The total effect is large opportunity to evade responsibility if there is an accident and victims require payment of damages.

Those three points should be included - preferrably with the standard degree of couching. Benjamin Gatti 3 July 2005 19:44 (UTC)

So what text would you propose? Please create a dummy here on the talk page of what you would propose to add. It'll make it easier for other editors to decide whether they agree with it or not. · Katefan0(scribble) July 3, 2005 20:08 (UTC)


According to X (Or not if that is the standard) "Nuclear reactors continue to experience significant safety problems,

That might be appropriate for Nuclear power, but not here. · Katefan0(scribble) July 4, 2005 06:52 (UTC)
Since Price Anderson is all about dealing with the risks of nuclear energy - contemporary safety issues - are directly on point. There are existing safety issues - which lead to the need for Price Anderson. I believe people coming to an encyclopedia should leave informed - and if Price exists to address risks, it is relevent to indicate which risks, as best they are known.(declassified) Benjamin Gatti

Anywhere a 9 billion pool is mention ... "So and So states that The industry's claim to the relatively-paltry $9 billion liability is not necessarily accurate.

I have seen some criticisms of the pools; I would hesitantly and in the absolutely most general way say I would be supportive of seeing firmer language put forth in terms of this criticism. I am not in support of using this quote because it has no purpose except to take a cheap shot. How else precisely would you propose to deal with this criticism, given that it's been rejected in this form? Specific text, ready to insert is what I'm asking for. · Katefan0(scribble) July 4, 2005 06:52 (UTC)

Price Anderson is an ammendment to the Atomic Enery Act, the total effect of which is to evade responsibility if there is an accident and victims require payment of damages.

Absolutely not. Way too authoritative and besides which, the article as it stands already says that some groups think it doesn't require enough payment and that the industry gets off too easy. You can't say it a million times, it's pointless and past a certain point starts to unbalance the article. · Katefan0(scribble) July 4, 2005 06:52 (UTC)

And again, because I'm so easy, I would agree to any level of qualification that applies to counter assertions. Ie "One wikipedian sez Chernobyl can't happen in the US because the American people are different." Benjamin Gatti 3 July 2005 21:18 (UTC)

Yes, we all know how NPOV the word "paltry" is. You keep wanting to turn this article into a anti-nuclear article no matter what anyone else comes up with. It needs to be NPOV and what you are proposing is not NPOV in the least. "Neutral" means neither favoring one side or the other. Your definition seems to be different. So I think I'll vote no. --Woohookitty 3 July 2005 21:37 (UTC)

"Paltry" is a direct quote of the source. NPOV states that controversial statements are NPOV as long as they are attributed - important relevent and factually substantiated are all other reasons to reject a foriegn quote - but the mere fact that the quote has a POV is not - when it is couched. please see NPOV 101. Benjamin Gatti 4 July 2005 01:18 (UTC)

I could see it being NPOV if it was balanced by a statement that said the law was ok. The NPOV article says that "To write from a neutral point of view, one presents controversial views without asserting them; to do that, it generally suffices to present competing views in a way that is more or less acceptable to their adherents, and also to attribute the views to their adherents." In other words, it takes 2 things to make it NPOV. It needs to be attributable AND it is supposed to present competing views fairly. You seem to use the first part but not the second. What the NPOV article does not say is that if its attributable, anything goes. In other words, just because it's attributable doesn't mean it's automatically NPOV. In addition, look at the NPOV Tutorial article. It says that neutral language should be used at all times. The example given implies that if the statement given is considered ok if the assertion made (in the case of the example, the word "shocked" is used) is universally accepted. That is certainly not the case here. What you consider "paltry" is not what I would necessarily consider paltry.


I really think we should do mediation here. Ben is not going to budge and he's probably going to continue to find "loopholes" in the policies of Wikipedia so he can be POV while pretending to be NPOV. Because Ben has an agenda and he's not going to give up on it until one of us gives up and that's not going to happen. Pretending that what you are presenting is NPOV is almost laughable. I think it's telling that you don't have any other supporters on this. I don't see others saying "Ben is right". I am not trying to be condescending but have you read other articles on Wikipedia to see how they are structured and what is considered ok in them? Looking at your contributions, I see nothing but edits on 3-4 articles. Look at other controversial issues and what is accepted. There is no way that a word like "paltry" is considered acceptable in the way you are trying to use it. I get the feeling that your attitude is "Wikipedia policy be damned" unless it matches your point of view. If you stick with that, you are not going to win any arguments here. As I said originally, drop the "us versus them" stuff, ok? We are not the "enemy". You often present competing views as "you say that...". Actually, no. I don't necessarily believe some of the stuff that's presented in the "how the law works" section here. The point is...IT...DOES...NOT...MATTER and the quicker you realize that, the easier this will be. Advocacy gets you nowhere on Wikipedia. And that's all I'm saying on this as I'm tired of repeating the same things to the same person who won't listen because he has an agenda that he's trying to push. It's tiring and rather pointless. --Woohookitty 4 July 2005 04:35 (UTC)

(I broke Woohookitty's comment and my response into a new section - I hope you don't mind.) Mediation, perhaps - but in the one-sentence Mediation Ben has proposed he's just trying to get around the fact that I have four citations whereas he (as I) couldn't find ANY to support his view. After some cooling-off perhaps we can mediate the whole article. Simesa 4 July 2005 06:05 (UTC)
I just don't get it. His "neutral" isn't neutral at's anti-nuclear. I understand his view but it doesn't belong here. I don't think mediation will help, but frankly, we can't jump to arbitration yet. That's considered a last restort. He will not give up until we all do and that's not going to happen. I just don't see resolution here. What he considers "neutral" is laughable. If you used his version of neutrality, you could quote someome saying "All cats are evil" and it's be considered neutral. Come on. --Woohookitty 4 July 2005 06:20 (UTC)
Woohoo, I completely understand your frustration (see my earlier comments -- I've been justifying and justifying the historic information from the time I hit the ground on this article. · Katefan0(scribble) July 4, 2005 06:59 (UTC)

First off - I agree to be bound by mediation, bear in mind that before K and W showed up, the article was FAR MORE tilted towards a "Nuclear good-renewables bad perspective". It is now more neutral - but as long as it stipulates that "An Accident in the US would have less impact than Chernobly in the authoritative voice - I think that violates NPOV. That is opinion - based on hope, and the thrust of the ACT admits the huge risk of nuclear still exists. I only expect the pro and con perspectives (POVs) to be held to the same standard - read NPOV. Benjamin Gatti
Mediation normally isn't binding. Of course parties can agree to hold a mediator's views binding. As for the Chernobyl stuff, let's just deleted it then. Simesa has already said fine. · Katefan0(scribble) July 4, 2005 16:16 (UTC)

I'll agree to the removal of all mention of chernobyl if someone can find a majority of articles in the top n google listings for Price_Anderson which also do not mention chernobyl. No chance. Look, i'm the obnoxious one - but that isn't the same as POV. I doubt even Simesa believes price can be intelligently discussed outside the framework of chernobyl. Censorship is POV and worse. at least POV is merely sub-neutral. Censorship is a worse violation of the spirit of Wiki by orders of magnitude, and I'll go all the way to the top on that one. Benjamin Gatti 4 July 2005 16:42 (UTC)

P.S. I would suggest that censorship vs. POV is the overarching conflict here. Simesa wants to censor anything to the effect that nuclear is dangerous. I want to see that hse doesn't. In my mind - Price Anderson is the best evidence that nuclear continues to be dangerous - otherwise - why isn't anyone willing to insure it? I don't know what they don't tell us. I know they hide data on nukes - ask Simesa, i'll bet hse is not allowed to talk about everything hse knows. So we have to take what we do know and extrapulate or infer. And the fact that the nuclear industry is begging for free insurance tell me - they're afraid of their own shadow. I say don't censor that. let it shine - let it shine. Benjamin Gatti 4 July 2005 16:54 (UTC)

This is irrelevant. What language would you prefer, then? Specifically, with citations. · Katefan0(scribble) July 4, 2005 16:54 (UTC)
Ben, If "censorship" to you is to make this article NPOV, than I am all for it. And by the way, you just admitted that you'd rather have this article POV. And yes, what you said is not relevant here. And stop picking on Simesa. He is trying to make this article NPOV just like "K" and "W" are. --Woohookitty 4 July 2005 17:19 (UTC)
I have admitted that POV is orders of magnitude more acceptable than Censorship. Explain to me how the assertion that a nuclear accident in the US would have LESS impact than chernobly is anything other than POV - in your own words - with cites.
This reflects a fundamental misunderstanding of yours -- or maybe you do understand and just don't care. From WP:NPOV: Wikipedia policy is that all articles should be written from a neutral point of view: without bias, representing all views fairly. According to Wikipedia founder Jimbo Wales, NPOV is "absolute and non-negotiable". Non-negotiable is pretty clear-cut. · Katefan0(scribble) July 4, 2005 17:54 (UTC)
Hopefully they are both non-negotiable. Here's a quote from WP:NPOV, which i not only cite, but also have read: Wikipedia's policy is "presenting conflicting views without asserting them." That's the opening of an informative chapter on this debate. p-ist believe and q-ists believe. You've done a good job of herding the q-ists into a corner, but you let the p-ists run free - meaning the assertion that a nuclear accident in the US would be less than cherny had been allowed to be _asserted_ in the unqualified NPOV fassion - which I have been rather non-negotiable on. I assert I have been closer to WP:NPOV than some others, and that's why we're all some passionate here - each thinks they have god in their pocket. - just typical people stuff ;-) Benjamin Gatti 4 July 2005 19:33 (UTC)
You've done a good job of herding the q-ists into a corner, but you let the p-ists run free - I resent this. That's why I've helped you add basically the entire criticism section, right? Of course. · Katefan0(scribble) July 4, 2005 20:02 (UTC)
Yes, Kate, you've been indispensible in defending the criticism section, may I extend my gratitude and respect. Boy i can see how friends could fall out on this project. But i think you'll have to admit that NPOV guidlines are against herding p-ists into a corner - that is NPOV oppose the creation of seperate points of view under labels Pro / Con and that is what we've got. The labels ought to be NPOV. History, Purpose, Effect, are NPOV. Arguments for and arguments against are segregation and not embraced by NPOV. Neither is the double standard - if some disputed facts are asserted By Wiki but other fact are asserted by their respective owners that is a violation of NPOV. If this were a popularity contest - I lose, but its not.
And you know what, Ben? I think the fact that earlier, you took the quotation part of the NPOV article but not the fair part goes to show that you will do anything to win an argument. You probably don't believe this, but I'm unbiased on this. As I've said several times, I agree with alot of your points- I just don't think they belong here. So I can say without biasness that the only one who has almost completely failed in making this article NPOV is you, so I would appreciate if you stop quoting the NPOV article. You already admitted today that you would rather be POV than to have "censorship" on here. I think that kind of closes the case. So quit quoting from the NPOV article as if you have any intention in following it. Thanks. --Woohookitty 4 July 2005 20:52 (UTC)
Personal attacks are a waste of bandwidth I would suggest. In reality, i have a lot more exposure here than the anon set. I'm in the energy business, i will asking nuclear operators to fund my project in all likelihood - i can play as hard as the next guy, but surely there are limits to good taste and you can expect me to be reasonable. I have no qualms however about promoting the debate throught the arbitration system, i'm involved in federal court, i challenged the outcome of the election in court, and spent time in jail for picking up litter, i'm certainly not going to cut and run for some - online mediation arbitration routine. ordinary people should be exposed to the issues surrounding our energy policy, cheney was wrong to cover up, and censorship would be wrong here as well. I have every intention of seeing this article through to NPOV. Show me place I object which is not supported by NPOV. Benjamin Gatti 5 July 2005 03:15 (UTC)

- The Language I would prefer is:

"While the events of chernobly are not likely to be repeated (optional - even in similar reactors due to design retrofitting and lessons learned), nuclear energy continues to have a higher degree of risk than the free market is willing to accept. - and for this reason, Price Anderson Indemnity continues to be necessary 30 years after it was intended to expire."

Now that might be a little rich in places, and unnecessarily pile on - but anything more supportive would in my opinion by just as POV as your concerns the other way.

Any Objection? Benjamin Gatti 4 July 2005 17:48 (UTC)

Yes. Please support all your assertions with citations that we can check. Thanks. · Katefan0(scribble) July 4, 2005 17:54 (UTC)
Yes, I object. The proposed text makes no mention of the key differences of an unstable reactor and of the lack of a containment building. We have four citations for those differences, and that satisfies NPOV. Simesa 4 July 2005 18:35 (UTC)
I propose: "While the accident at Chernobly is not likely to be repeated (even in similar RBMK reactors due to design retrofitting and lessons learned) due to better designs and the presence of containment buildings, nuclear energy continues to have a higher degree of risk than the free market is willing to insure. - and for this reason, Price Anderson Indemnity continues to be necessary 30 years after it was intended to expire." Simesa 4 July 2005 18:39 (UTC)
Respectfully, I can't support either version. They both assert disputed views as matters of fact. Wording without some attribution such as "X believes," or "Y says," won't be adequate. · Katefan0(scribble) July 4, 2005 18:45 (UTC)
I should have included the four citations, but you're right - other statements are still unsupported. Let's see what citations Ben comes up with. Simesa 4 July 2005 18:48 (UTC)
Technically [38], Chernobyl was a "major accident". Simesa 4 July 2005 18:59 (UTC)
Certainly making progress - I would say I fully agree with this version - containment buildings are important - we get into a problem though in that the Russian designs have been retro-ed but are still not covered - irrelevent here excapt that we have dragged them in. So technically its untrue. I would suggest opening with the simpler text:

"While the accident at Chernobly is unlikely to be repeated, nuclear energy continues to have a higher degree of risk than the free market is willing to insure. Russian designs have been improved, US reactors are more stable AND have CONTAINMENT buildings, but still Price Anderson Indemnity continues to be necessary 30 years after it was intended to expire."

Do we agree the most difficult statement to support here is "Chernobly is unlikely to be repeated"?

And then couch it if necessary. Benjamin Gatti 4 July 2005 18:56 (UTC)

I can go with that text, preferably with wikilink. Simesa 4 July 2005 19:02 (UTC)
I suggest the PBS page [39] as the reference for the first parts of the two sentences. I haven't found sources for the other two points yet. Simesa 4 July 2005 19:31 (UTC)

Mediater is asking who agrees to mediation. It seems we have a paragraph we should be able to agree on (yes we'll source it and link it no problem.) Also I wish _Necessary_ would be explained as in necessary for what - just necessary? or necessary to induce private participation? But its not a sticking point. Benjamin Gatti 4 July 2005 19:27 (UTC)

Honestly, I'll agree to whatever you 3 agree to. I can see both sides of the issue and I'm just trying to get everyone together. --Woohookitty 4 July 2005 19:43 (UTC)
I'll post a note on RfM in a moment. Is this the only paragraph we're working on?
Well, there are two parts to "necessary". Price-Anderson as it currently exists will continue to cover all facilities that were licensed (I think it's licensed) up through 2002 - it won't go away for them. For new facilities to be covered, Price-Anderson would have to be extended. We should re-word the text a little - something like "but for new reactors to be built Price Anderson Indemnity still continues to be necessary 30 years after it was intended to expire." [The new DOE enrichment facility in Piketon, Ohio probably also needs it, but that's a minor point.] Simesa 4 July 2005 19:48 (UTC)
I appreciate that you have qualified the requirement. In my book, we can shut them all down tomorrow or buy insurance at market rates - i think necessary is too strong a word. Perhaps "But some 30 years after it was first intended to expire, the situation is much the same, no new nuclear facilities will be built without government Indemnity under Price Anderson." I think it explains the welfare angst, which is that what was intended as a help-up has become a permanent obligation. Benjamin Gatti 5 July 2005 03:34 (UTC)
I agree with ya there, Ben. There needs to be something that says that this was something that was created for one reason but is now used as a way to support the industry. You can say that for most subsidies. They started for a reason but then became permanent funds without regard for the original intent. It's not really criticism of the subsidy if it's put the right way. it's just the nature of the beast. How about "Some 30 years after it was intended to expire, the Price-Anderson Indemnity will still be used if a new nuclear facilty is constructed"? Bit better grammar. How does that sound? OK? --Woohookitty 5 July 2005 03:47 (UTC)
First Problem - Price isn't "used" - it's not a commodity. It is a legal framework which "Applies", "Indemnifies" "Insures" "Supports" "Subsidizes" "Favors" . You could say it would still be necessary if a new nuclear facility is constructed - but i oppose the word necessary. The situation is unchanged: No Insurance = No nuclear. Is that good? is it bad? doesn't imply either way. Necessary implies need - we don't need nuclear. We could use the words support and subsidize, as in "but after 45 years of corporate wellfare, the nuclear industry alone still requires the unequal support of a 3 Billion dollar subsidy which was promised would only last 10 years" - but that probably gets us to name calling and mediation. Benjamin Gatti
OK Well the problem with your wording is that it makes it sound like the situation was going to expire. :) How about "No nuclear facilities will be built without government Indemnity under Price Anderson, 30 years after the law was intended to expire". Same words you used. Different order. --Woohookitty 5 July 2005 05:30 (UTC)


Is it ok with everyone if we archive some of this discussion? I have dialup and it's getting to the point where it's taking a minute or so to load this page and that's excessive. --Woohookitty 4 July 2005 17:22 (UTC)

Fine by me. Probably a good idea. · Katefan0(scribble) July 4, 2005 17:25 (UTC)
I'd do it for you if I knew how. Benjamin Gatti
There we go. :) Btw Ben, all you do is create a new page, paste whatever you want in it and then just create a link at the top of the page you took the text from and wallah. :) I picked 30 as the cut off because that's typical on Wikipedia. I'll do it again if we get into the 40s again here. --Woohookitty 4 July 2005 18:16 (UTC)

$ per reactor under the P-ANIIA

Geoffrey Rothwell and Jeffrey Dubin (Geoffrey and Jeffrey!) argued that liability has been significantly reduced in Nuclear Power through "Price-Anderson Liability Limit and Preparing for the Improbable: Safety Incentives and the Price-Anderson Act. Abstract reads:

Between 1959 and 1982, the Price-Anderson Act placed a limit of $560 million on the liability of nuclear power plant operators for accidental damages. This limit grew to $7 billion due to the 1988 amendments to the act. This paper, using insurance premiums charged for the first $160 million of coverage and the Nuclear Regulatory commission's estimate of the probability of a worst-case loss, models the distribution of damages with a log-logistic density function. The study finds that the value of the Price-Anderson subsidy was $60 million per reactor year before 1982 but then dropped to $22 million per reactor following the 1988 amendments. (Geoffrey Scott Rothwell, "Subsidy to.

On the other hand, Anthony and Catherine Heyes (relation!), in their Subsidy to Nuclear Power through Price-Anderson Liability Limit: Comment, argue that:

Dubin and Rothwell (1990) use details of insurance premiums to develop a methodology for inferring the value to nuclear operators of the Price-Anderson liability limit from but misinterpret the terms of the insurance contracts for which the premiums are paid. This leads them to overstate the subsidy due to the limit by a factor of between four and ten.

How was this debate concluded, I wonder... was it? Have the figures changed in the last 15 years? Sorry if this was mentioned already. El_C 4 July 2005 21:14 (UTC)

We had agreed that there was a subsidy but hadn't placed the amount in the text. $22 million times 104 reactors yields $2.3 billion, which is close to a $3 billion cited in one source. So the subsidy is probably between $230 million and $3 billion? Simesa 4 July 2005 21:28 (UTC)
I wonder how they arrived at those numbers. The whole point of Price-Anderson is that no one knew the maximum possible liable amount. Simesa 4 July 2005 21:49 (UTC)
I believe we currently have a line in the current article stating that Public Citizen did a study in 1990 that found that the subsidy was worth about $3 billion annually. · Katefan0(scribble) July 4, 2005 22:09 (UTC)
If I had access to this Oxford University Press' journal, I'd be able to review the methodology. That is close enough though, I suppose. The key point I'm interested is an historical one: did liability decrease to one third in the post-1982 period? Because that'd be noteworthy. El_C 4 July 2005 22:14 (UTC)
The answer seems to be that industry coverage has increased sizeably. The following is from [40].
"The Price-Anderson Act, a 1957 amendment to the Atomic Energy Act, limited liability for any single nuclear accident to $500 million in government funds, plus the maximum amount of liability insurance available in the private market—at that time, $60 million—for a $560 million total. Congress passed 10-year extensions of the law in 1967 and 1975, and a 15-year extension in 1988."
"The 1975 Revision. The 1975 revision established the system of coverage now in effect. The first level of coverage consisted of the liability insurance provided by private insurers—then $125 million. The second level provided that a $5 million maximum assessment per reactor could be imposed for each major accident, with a maximum of two accidents per plant per year. The federal government agreed to make up any difference between the amount of protection provided by the first two levels and the $560 million limit."
"Effective May 1, 1979, the first level of coverage reached $160 million. When the nation’s 80th reactor was licensed to operate in 1982, it brought the total of the second level of coverage to $400 million. With the first and second levels of coverage totaling $560 million—the limit stipulated in the Price-Anderson Act—the federal government’s indemnity role was phased out."
"The 1988 Revision. Under the 1988 revision, the secondary level—the maximum assessment per reactor that can be imposed for each major accident—was raised from $5 million to $66.2 million, plus adjustments for inflation at five-year intervals. The primary level of coverage was increased to $200 million shortly thereafter."
"In August 1998, the maximum retrospective assessment was adjusted again for inflation and increased to $88.1 million per reactor. These assessments would be prorated and would not exceed $10 million per reactor per year."
Simesa 5 July 2005 00:38 (UTC)
So being fixed at $10 million p.a., does that mean 8 years to pay the full $88 million per reactor? How is this supposed to work? (I'm afraid the prorated bit eludes me). More generally, the figures could be easily skewed depending on the formula. The NEI is, of course, a highly partisan source, do we have any other studies to compare their figures with (or sources for their own findings?). El_C 5 July 2005 00:51 (UTC)
I believe, if I'm remembering the GAO report correctly, that each reactor would have to pay $10 million per year until the $95.8 m individual cap is reached. I'll have to check that tomorrow, or you may like to read through the GAO report if you have time. It's linked off the article. · Katefan0(scribble) July 5, 2005 02:48 (UTC)
As has been previously cited, the language leaves plenty of wiggle-room for the Nuclear commission to decide who will actually pay if necessary - what it makes absolutely clear is that it won't be the people responsible - the plant owners, the engineers' who design for positive void coefficient etc... Strangely the act systematicaly disables all of the intelligence built into both market system, and insurance systems. There is no incentive to build safer - only to build less safer plants - why - because a bigger reactor can amortize the 88Million over more saleable KWh - is bigger safer? no, the opposite, Yield is a factor of fuel available, which is higher for larger reactors. So in at least three way, the Price Anderson encourages less safe reactors, to say nothing of safe renewale options. The Government Indemnity is phased out - limiting the liability to collect from reactors under the law is a form of indemnity in which the poor victim is twice victimized. The only way to estimate the value it would seem is to let nuclear plants buy insurance on the open market. The fact (as we have asserted) that they cannot suggests that the value is infinite. Benjamin Gatti 5 July 2005 02:56 (UTC)
Woohoo watches as this subject goes way over its head -- Woohookitty 5 July 2005 03:15 (UTC)
Yes, I BELIEVE that pro-rated means that IF CLAIMS REQUIRE each reactor will pay $10 million a year up to a total of $95.8 million (unless, as a result of high claims, Congress assesses more) PER ACCIDENT. True, NEI is partisan - I apologize, I didn't think to look for a second source (here is a not-pro-nuclear one [41]). I hope the text above also answers your question about 1982.
BTW, Price-Anderson is about to be amended again. The Energy Policy Act of 2005 has passed both houses of Congress and is headed for joint committee for reconciliation. I didn't delve for the details as nothing is firm until the House and Senate reconcile the bill. Simesa 5 July 2005 05:05 (UTC)
Thanks. On a glance, the figures seem to, more or less, match. I presume that the "$83.9 million per reactor per accident" cited (v. NEI's $88.1 million), are due to the "possible 5 percent surcharge for legal costs"...? So, any word on what's planned for the 2005 ammendment? El_C 5 July 2005 05:39 (UTC)
I think, but don't have a source for, that the differing amounts are due to "plus adjustments for inflation at five-year intervals" counting from 1988 (from above).
The only change I've read about is a 15 or 20 year extension [42] - but I'm confident there are more just based on the size of the section in the table of contents ( [43], Title VI). It's a massive bill, and unfinished, so I didn't download it. Simesa 5 July 2005 11:46 (UTC)
Ah, I see. If I could backtrack though, you were projecting above that liability per reactor (out of 104 reactors) is $~30 million (or so), but then we're looking at ~$80 million (NEI, et al.). Could you explain this discrapency to me (I'm probably missing something really simple). Thanks for all your time. El_C 5 July 2005 12:03 (UTC)
I think you may be confusing two numbers.
As of 1988, the primary insurance was $200 million combined with $66.2 million assessments each in the event of a major accident. That $66.2M was to be adjusted for inflation every 5 years. That has grown to the $95.8 million Katefan0 found in the GAO report.
The (contested) calculated benefit to each reactor was $22 million in 1982. That must have been how much more they estimated the necessary insurance would have cost.
(BTW - the calculated benefit is an "avoided cost" by the reactor. No money actually changes hands, unless there is a major accident where claims exceed the pool.)
Simesa 5 July 2005 12:39 (UTC)
Just to point out - an avoided cost is a real competative advantage, and this subsidy has pushed aside investments in alternatives, so it hardly matters whether the benefit is cash out of pocket or liability out of pocket - it has the market overriding effect just the same. Liability is a fungible comodity which is only more difficult to grasp because you can't buy an ice cream cone with it. But look at GM, they built a business by making promises to Unions that they couldn't keep (retirement and health care mostly) now those retirees realize that they were traded high risk compensation in exchange for low risk labour. liability is quite transactable. The liabilities of one energy may not be the same as the liabilities of another, but each prime energy has its risks, and when those risks are removed by fiat, then the competative advantages of each are replaced by the will of the government - that is a form of political economics and it has a name. Benjamin Gatti 5 July 2005 14:36 (UTC)
Yes, I realize it's designed for a major accident. But you said, and I quote, $22 million times 104 reactors yields $2.3 billion, which is close to a $3 billion cited in one source. So the subsidy is probably between $230 million and $3 billion?. Which is seen to follow R&D's findings that the value of the Price-Anderson subsidy was $60 million per reactor year [?] before 1982 but then dropped to $22 million per reactor following the 1988 amendments. Now, you seem to be implying that R&D got it wrong since the ~$60 million did not drop, and remained adjusted to inflation so as to reach the ~$80 million per reactor today. You are saying this a matter of differing valuations of insurance costs? Could you better clarify the first passage I cited (your first projection) in relation to the ~$60/~$80 million per reactor? Thanks in advance. El_C 5 July 2005 12:42 (UTC)
The $66.2 million refers to assessments the reactor would have to pay. The $22 million in 1982, I don't know what that would be today. The Consumer Price Index has almost exactly doubled since 1982 [44] so I suppose the calculated benefit today would be double the $22 million as well? Simesa 5 July 2005 12:59 (UTC)
No idea, just trying to follow your train of thought as per 22 million times 104 reactors yields $2.3 billion, which is close to a $3 billion cited in one source. This is all new to me. El_C 5 July 2005 13:04 (UTC)
Perhaps this will help answer some questions. From the GAO report on PAA: In 1975, the Price-Anderson Act was amended to require licensees to pay a pro-rated share of the damages in excess of the primary insurance amount. Under this amendment, each licensee would pay up to $5 million in retrospective premiums per facility it owned per incident if a nuclear accident resulted in damages exceeding the amount of primary insurance coverage. In 1988, the act was further amended to increase the maximum retrospective premium to $63 million per reactor per incident to be adjusted by NRC for inflation. The amendment also limited the maximum annual retrospective premium per reactor to $10 million. Under the act, NRC is to adjust the maximum amount of retrospective premiums every 5 years using the aggregate change in the Consumer Price Index for urban consumers. In August 2003, NRC set the current maximum retrospective payment at $95.8 million per reactor per incident. With 103 operating nuclear power plants, this secondary insurance pool would total about $10 billion.
This also partially helps explain what happens if that $10 billion cap is exceeded, also from GAO:
The Price-Anderson Act also provides a process to deal with incidents in which the damages exceed the primary and secondary insurance coverage. Under the act, NRC shall survey the causes and extent of the damage and submit a report on the results to, among others, the Congress and the courts. The courts must determine whether public liability exceeds the liability limits available in the primary insurance and secondary retrospective premiums. Then the President would submit to the Congress an estimate of the financial extent of damages, recommendations for additional sources of funds, and one or more compensation plans for full and prompt compensation for all valid claims. In addition, NRC can request the Congress to appropriate funds. The most serious incident at a U.S. nuclear power plant took place in 1979 at the Three Mile Island Nuclear Station in Pennsylvania. That incident has resulted in $70 million in liability claims.
Sorry for all the text, but it's a good explainer and directly bears on what we're talking about. · Katefan0(scribble) July 5, 2005 14:09 (UTC)
Thanks for the detailed explanation, Katefan0. I confess to still being un clear on how R&D arrived at the $22 million figure, though. El_C 5 July 2005 22:44 (UTC)
If anyone thought that the highest possible liability was $70M, then nuclear reactors would only need as much insurance as a single block of houses. The undisputed fact is that the industry - based on its own expertise - does not believe the risk is acceptable for its own monied interests - but somehow the same risk is acceptable to impose on the people who live near nuclear plants and the transporation routes that serve them. Personally, I doubt that we can fix even the avoided cost of insurance, because the potential for liabiity - as calculated from the raw fuel present at a single site multiplied by the worst case effect of that fuel on a population is probably so high that insurance of any amount whatsoever, may STILL leave the industry exposed. Even an airplane crash - aside from a malicious one - is somewhat limited in damage to the people on board + people on the ground in a limited crash zone - so the liability exposure of a nuclear plant I believe eclipses all other industries. Benjamin Gatti 5 July 2005 14:58 (UTC)
No one thinks $70M is the max, but I'll dispute your pov statements. As for your worst case, that's why we have containment buildings. You might also check out the Bhopal Disaster, which killed 14,000 and injured up to 600,000. Simesa 5 July 2005 16:41 (UTC)

Pending Changes to Price-Anderson

It appears (from [45], choose the last Senate version and go to Title VI) that only a few changes are pending for Price-Anderson. First, the Act would be extended to December 31st, 2025. The secondary insurance (the pool assessments) is being changed to $95.8 million. The annual payment is being upped from $10 million to $15 million adjusted every 5 years for inflation. There are some minor wording changes, and some changes for DOE contractors. Note that this bill hasn't completed its journey through Congress yet. Simesa 5 July 2005 21:58 (UTC) - Revised: Simesa 6 July 2005 01:08 (UTC)

Thank you for the explanation, Simesa. Could you please fix the link? When do you estimate the ammendments to the Act to pass? El_C 5 July 2005 22:46 (UTC)
I fixed the link - the webpages aren't too long. I mis-read section 170t - it's every 5 years. I don't know Washington well enough to predict when the bill will be signed, but I think it's a done deal. Simesa 6 July 2005 01:08 (UTC)
It's not, actually. The energy bill is one of many big ticket bills that could slip because of the anticipated fight over replacing Sandra Day O'Connor. · Katefan0(scribble) July 6, 2005 02:39 (UTC)
And on this, Kate is the word of God. ;-) --Woohookitty 6 July 2005 02:44 (UTC)


Discussion has slowed, I think consensus has coalesced regarding the assertion that chernobly isn't likely. It would seem valuable to wrap this up while the issues and their solutions are fresh in the collective mind. I think it is more important that we agree on a formula for going forward than that we agree on a specific sentence however, because other sentences will emerge and we'll end up deadlocked again.

Can we agree that any factual assertion which is disputed by non-original research will not use the unqualified authoritative voice? And that because I have shown evidence of government coverups in the past - again by non-original research - that the government will not be treated as an unassailable trust-worthy source on this national security related topic - provided the objection is WP:NOR? (And that means no more Conspiracy Theory remarks)?

Benjamin Gatti 6 July 2005 03:36 (UTC)

Well, now that we've asked for a Mediator, I'd just as soon go through that process. What's the hurry? However, if you want to post a proposed article we can certainly discuss it. Simesa 6 July 2005 06:31 (UTC)
I think it would seem to a mediator that the parties have reached consensus on the issue posed. If you are asking for a general purpose mediator, then I think we owe to them to at least define the issue to be resolved. I have stated a general position I would like to see supported - perhaps even as policy - that on matters where the government has a history of being cagy we don't accept their citations are authoritative.

How closely do we agree on the view that DOE was under pressure to indemnify GE and Westinghouse in order for them to build power reactors, that the "concern" over public compensation was not tangible since there is no evidence of any real risk, nor of any public pressure to address the risk. I don't know about you, but i rarely see government address problems without a lot of pressure. So it appreas that the compensation angle is mere window dressing in order to "sell" the plant to the public. As a long term plan it wasn't horrible, it assumed rapid growth of nukes, and after the 6th plant it would seem the government would almost be relieved of its burden, and in ten years it hoped private insurance would take over. All of this occured during a cold war, and a nuclear fear, and the conclusion of the SCOTUS that it was more important smacks of wartime mentality, by 1970, conservation hits, all plants are stalled, TMI and Cherny occur, and that's about the end of nuklear, so the Price plan didn't mature on schedule, now - when we're not in a nuclear arms race, we've got a legacy framework which should have expired but didn't and we find that we still need it, but we don't have the same compelling argument - ie now we say "its clean" vs - we can't let the russians beat us to cheap power. Nobody can explain whay we need it - it contradicts the idea that nuclear is safe now, but the market is mature, and so the cost of insurance cannot be built in to the price, so we punt and just keep the temporary solution because without it the industry ceases to exists - as was always the case.

So is that close - or not? Benjamin Gatti 6 July 2005 07:09 (UTC)

Possibility of Mediation

I haven't read everything, just took a hasty glance. At the moment I'm basing everything on a single edit, so I may be wildly wrong. Nonetheless, please bear with me for a moment.

Ben made the following edit:

However, were similar circumstances to be repeated in America, the scale of the disaster likely would be less [dubious ] — the Chernobyl reactors were unstable RBMKs, unlike American plants, and the Chernobyl reactors did not have containment buildings around them.] Truly we are thrilled to hear it - but its your opiion, and even as a lifelong nuclear engineer, this is not the place for your first published research - where is a cite stating AUTHORITATIVELY which is verifyable and undisputed that the damage would be less. The only fact which could satisfy this assertion is that there is substantially LESS fuel loaded in the reactor. - otherwise things can happen, a spaceship crashes into a containment vessel, a terrorist (strikeout markup added by Uncle Ed for this example)

Without prejudice to the issue, I would just venture to say that discussing the article in the text of the article has not been shown to work well at Wikipedia. Nor have "Edit summary" discussions. We made talk pages for this. So, everybody, please TALK about this.

If you all want to choose me as a Mediator, you'd have to agree to let me give advice like the following:

  • Avoid sarcasm completely ("thrilled to hear it")
  • Don't bother the reader with dispute notices embedded in the text.
  • Do point out instances wherein the article asserts a POV.
    • All points of view, in controversial articles, need to be sourced. For example, which engineering studies (or political pundits) have predicted that the scale of the disaster likely would be less?
    • If something is common sense, it won't be disputed! No one pushes the POV that water runs uphill or that GPS satellites are impractical because there's no way to orbit the flat earth.

So, how about it? Uncle Ed July 6, 2005 11:24 (UTC)

I accept Uncle Ed as a Mediator. Simesa 6 July 2005 12:35 (UTC)
I agree if the following are upheld / recognized:
  • The authoritative voice must not assert a POV.
  • The Government is/has a POV the same as any other source.
  • The Government(s) has an agenda with nuclear, ie weapons and global competition - from common sense.
  • Sources which use weasel words are not authoritative.
  • Common sense is limited with nuclear energy and risk subsidies because so few people understand it or care - They want to trust the government on this one, and it is exactly the purpose of a free press to deny the government the benefit of the doubt. So i would suggest that we agree to source everything rather than get in POV arguments about what is common sense and what is disputable. No-one so far is disputing the plainly obvious.

Benjamin Gatti 6 July 2005 14:24 (UTC)

I have misgivings about Benjamin's caveats. He essentially is couching them such as to, from the outset, cast doubt on nonpartisan, nonideological research done by government-funded research bodies like the Government Accountability Office and Congressional Research Service about fundamental, fact-based information on the historical beginnings of the Price-Anderson Act (see our discussions above). His POV is that the government can't be trusted, so even nonpartisan sources that do nothing but summarize the facts behind the historicity of the PAA can't be cited authoritatively, as the text currently does. I could understand more if he could produce a source that proved the information wrong, but so far he hasn't. Anyway, with these caveats we are already getting into the meat of the discussions that need to be had -- I think they are detrimental to a good result with mediation given that this has been one of the main sticking points. · Katefan0(scribble) July 6, 2005 14:30 (UTC)

I have provided cites showing that the government has engaged in cover-ups on this subject. Without suggesting that the government is evil or always lies, there is strong evidence that all governments are less than frank about their nuclear status including accidents - so add this:

  • To be NPOV the assertion must be both positive and verifyable - which rules out negative and exclusive assertions, even if cited. For example - any suggestion that the "only reason for Price is to provide a pool to compenate victims" is an exclusive assertion - which is a form of negative assertion because it asserts the absence of alternatives. (an NPOV loophole perhaps).
  • NPOV is non-negotiable.
  • Censorship is even worse.

Benjamin Gatti 6 July 2005 15:14 (UTC)

I'll accept Ed Pool as a mediator and to be bound by the decision on the single issue for which mediation was requested - if Kate is now asking for mediation on the boundaries of NPOV and other things - that's fine, and I'll be happy to participate as a respondant. And i concur that this dialogue reflects the conflict. which in short is that no source is above NPOV, not the GOA, not the Pope, not even Jimmy Wales. NPOV is a contract with the reader and with the community of editors and is the basis on which contributions have been accepted. Benjamin Gatti 6 July 2005 15:29 (UTC)

Look, this is deconstructive. If we all agree to abide by NPOV then we'll be fine. But it's worse than useless to use the terms of mediation to rehash the very debates we already can't agree on. · Katefan0(scribble) July 6, 2005 16:03 (UTC)
I agree to participate and to Uncle Ed. Benjamin Gatti 6 July 2005 16:29 (UTC)
I'm sorry, but we need to clarify that we're asking Uncle Ed to mediate the entire article. Simesa 6 July 2005 17:22 (UTC)
You people get up too early. Anyway. :) Just wanted to say that I also accept Uncle Ed. I've been here mostly to try to keep everyone in check. I'll continue to try to do that. I accept. --Woohookitty 6 July 2005 18:48 (UTC)

Statement by Mediator

If you all have accepted me as your Mediator, shall we create a subpage and do this on the wiki? Or by private e-mail?

Also, is the dispute limited to a single passage, or does it encompass the entire article?

Regardless of your answers to the above, I must insist that no one regard anyone else as being bound by the outcome of this Mediation. I am not an agent of the arbitration committee, and this is not binding arbitration. If everyone is satisfied with the results, then Mediation will end with a happy, mutually acceptable and stable outcome.

All my previous mediations have been successful. They have never been a "step" along the path to an arbcom ruling. Anyone who predicts or hopes it will, speak up now. Uncle Ed July 6, 2005 17:40 (UTC)

Simesa's point is noted. I think a wiki is fine. Benjamin Gatti 6 July 2005 18:21 (UTC)

My opinion is that it should be the entire article. I'm happy to have you mediate, Uncle Ed. And doing it here on a subpage should be fine (easier, probably, too). Thanks. · Katefan0(scribble) July 6, 2005 18:44 (UTC)
I'm in, for the entire article, and on a subpage is fine. Thank you. Simesa 6 July 2005 19:06 (UTC)
Talk:Price-Anderson Nuclear Industries Indemnity Act/Mediation1 Benjamin Gatti
As of this moment, I get red text and a blank page. Simesa 6 July 2005 19:49 (UTC)
Just git started. I suggest that you start by specify your concerns.
I suggest that we wait for Ed to set up the mediation in standard fashion, whatever that might be. · Katefan0(scribble) July 6, 2005 21:42 (UTC)
Glad to see that Ed is here as the official mediator. You're in good hands. Goodluck, everyone! El_C 6 July 2005 23:52 (UTC)

Note: A moderated "consensus version" of the article is at Talk:Price-Anderson Nuclear Industries Indemnity Act/moderated.

Actually, the "moderated" thing never bore any fruit. But it developed insights, which we shall now all apply. Uncle Ed 13:53, July 20, 2005 (UTC)

I have provided cites showing that the government has engaged in cover-ups on this subject. Without suggesting that the government is evil or always lies, there is strong evidence that all governments are less than frank about their nuclear status including accidents - so add this:

  • To be NPOV the assertion must be both positive and verifyable - which rules out negative and exclusive assertions, even if cited. For example - any suggestion that the "only reason for Price is to provide a pool to compenate victims" is an exclusive assertion - which is a form of negative assertion because it asserts the absence of alternatives. (an NPOV loophole perhaps).
  • NPOV is non-negotiable.
  • Censorship is even worse.

Benjamin Gatti 6 July 2005 15:14 (UTC)

I'll accept Ed Poor as a mediator and to be bound by the decision on the single issue for which mediation was requested - if Kate is now asking for mediation on the boundaries of NPOV and other things - that's fine, and I'll be happy to participate as a respondant. And i concur that this dialogue reflects the conflict. which in short is that no source is above NPOV, not the GOA, not the Pope, not even Jimmy Wales. NPOV is a contract with the reader and with the community of editors and is the basis on which contributions have been accepted. Benjamin Gatti 6 July 2005 15:29 (UTC)

Look, this is deconstructive. If we all agree to abide by NPOV then we'll be fine. But it's worse than useless to use the terms of mediation to rehash the very debates we already can't agree on. · Katefan0(scribble) July 6, 2005 16:03 (UTC)
I agree to participate and to Uncle Ed. Benjamin Gatti 6 July 2005 16:29 (UTC)
I'm sorry, but we need to clarify that we're asking Uncle Ed to mediate the entire article. Simesa 6 July 2005 17:22 (UTC)
You people get up too early. Anyway. :) Just wanted to say that I also accept Uncle Ed. I've been here mostly to try to keep everyone in check. I'll continue to try to do that. I accept. --Woohookitty 6 July 2005 18:48 (UTC)

Statement by Mediator

If you all have accepted me as your Mediator, shall we create a subpage and do this on the wiki? Or by private e-mail?

Also, is the dispute limited to a single passage, or does it encompass the entire article?

Regardless of your answers to the above, I must insist that no one regard anyone else as being bound by the outcome of this Mediation. I am not an agent of the arbitration committee, and this is not binding arbitration. If everyone is satisfied with the results, then Mediation will end with a happy, mutually acceptable and stable outcome.

All my previous mediations have been successful. They have never been a "step" along the path to an arbcom ruling. Anyone who predicts or hopes it will, speak up now. Uncle Ed July 6, 2005 17:40 (UTC)

Simesa's point is noted. I think a wiki is fine. Benjamin Gatti 6 July 2005 18:21 (UTC)

My opinion is that it should be the entire article. I'm happy to have you mediate, Uncle Ed. And doing it here on a subpage should be fine (easier, probably, too). Thanks. · Katefan0(scribble) July 6, 2005 18:44 (UTC)
I'm in, for the entire article, and on a subpage is fine. Thank you. Simesa 6 July 2005 19:06 (UTC)
Talk:Price-Anderson Nuclear Industries Indemnity Act/Mediation1 Benjamin Gatti
As of this moment, I get red text and a blank page. Simesa 6 July 2005 19:49 (UTC)
Just git started. I suggest that you start by specify your concerns.
I suggest that we wait for Ed to set up the mediation in standard fashion, whatever that might be. · Katefan0(scribble) July 6, 2005 21:42 (UTC)
Glad to see that Ed is here as the official mediator. You're in good hands. Goodluck, everyone! El_C 6 July 2005 23:52 (UTC)

The Zero-revert Rule

Those who follow these 2 simple rules will avoid edit wars:

  1. Anyone may take out anything they disagree with - provided they discuss it.
  2. Nobody is allowed to "revert" a text move. (this is the zero-RR)

Dispute over pool

Cut from into:

It also makes available a pool [dubious ] of insurance funds to compensate people who are injured or incur damages from a nuclear or radiological incident.

During the Mediation, one or more people said that this sentence was a problem. Uncle Ed 13:52, July 20, 2005 (UTC)

Dispute over pool

Cut from into:

It also makes available a pool [dubious ] of insurance funds to compensate people who are injured or incur damages from a nuclear or radiological incident.

During the Mediation, one or more people said that this sentence was a problem. Uncle Ed 13:52, July 20, 2005 (UTC)

Ben said so, but it's better than the inaccurate line "The Act promises taxpayer-backed indemnity for extraordinary nuclear incidents while providing for limited compensation to victims". Simesa 00:03, 22 July 2005 (UTC)

Text Move - Chernobyl

However, were similar circumstances to be repeated in America, the scale of the disaster likely would be less [46] [47] [48] [49] [dubious ] — the Chernobyl reactors were unstable RBMKs, unlike American plants, and the Chernobyl reactors did not have containment buildings around them.]

We (ie the mediator and i) agreed that this statement is a disputed assertion - which cannot be stated without identifying the source. Benjamin Gatti

Simesa, Since we had already agreed on a paragraph which conveys this info - let's put it here in a final form, and perhaps have Ed move it onto the main page. Benjamin Gatti

I gave you four sources and an NRC source in [50] The line "However, were similar circumstances to be repeated in America, the scale of the disaster likely would be less" is correct, as are the reasons " the Chernobyl reactors were unstable RBMKs, unlike American plants, and the Chernobyl reactors did not have containment buildings around them." If you can find better wording for that, I'll look at it. Simesa 19:43, 21 July 2005 (UTC)
"Many nuclear physicists hope and pray that a nuclear accident in the United would have less impact that chernobly, however, the industry remains unwilling to accept the risk." Benjamin Gatti
If that is what you call a serious response, then I insist on the original wording. Simesa 23:58, 21 July 2005 (UTC)
Well, there might be a touch of irreverence in that - i really ony meant the form. Perhaps "Due to differences in design and the presence of containment buildings, many nuclear physicists maintain that the meltdown at chernobly and its widespread aftermath are unlikely to be repeated in the United States; however, the potential for a serious incident remains high enough that the industry is unwilling to accept full liaility. Benjamin Gatti
You are repeating things already said to again push your pov. A more accurate statement is:
"However, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission believes [51] that a similar event in non-Soviet reactors would likely have smaller consequences due to safer reactor designs and the presence of containment buildings."
09:59, 22 July 2005 (UTC)
Well that is certainly better. The phrase "a similar event" is disturbing to me from a factual standpoint. Since US reactors don't use the Graphite Moderator/ water cooled strategy - exactly "What Happened" at chernobyl realistically couldn't happen in a different design. There are however (I presume) events which could involve the conversion of the available fuel into heat in a finite space of time as well as siesmic and malicious incidents. The point that I intend to see represented is that the industry itself is the "lucy goosey" saying the sky is falling etc. That it's not just a bunch of naive schitzos who think nuclear energy is too dangerous to accept the risk/benefit - but that the industry itself, with surely the most informed persons in their employ - concludes that the level of risk is unacceptable and continues to offer a less than market rate return on risk. Benjamin Gatti
As long as that viewpoint is backed up by cites, and noot just your pov. Simesa 09:24, 23 July 2005 (UTC)

Removed "[A catastrophic nuclear event — such as the 1986 Chernobyl accident — would arguably deplete and likely exceed the current pool of money. Though the Soviet Union never released official estimates of the accident's economic impact, Greenpeace International estimated it to have been about $280 billion, not including medical costs for victims." pending resolution of Chernobyl phrases. Simesa 09:20, 3 August 2005 (UTC)

Text move from intro (DOE subsidy)

The Department of Energy has described it as a subsidy for investors.

This is strictly true, but not fair in the way in which it was presented in the intro. The intro already reads that the law has been criticized as a handout to the industry; we don't need to pile on in the intro. This can be (and I believe is) mentioned elsewhere in the article. · Katefan0(scribble) 15:16, July 20, 2005 (UTC)

Intro text move: "reduces"


To say that the law "reduces" the insurance required to be carried by the industry is not strictly correct, because it implies that before the law there were other specific standards for the industry that were greater. I don't think this is correct. I believe the correct verb should be limits. · Katefan0(scribble) 15:19, July 20, 2005 (UTC)
"Shifts ... to the U.S. taxpayer" is also not correct, as it implies that there was a nuclear insurance industry pre-PAA. I have replaced it with "limits." · Katefan0(scribble) 17:29, July 20, 2005 (UTC)

Certainly liability laws existed before Price - under such, corporations would be liable for the harm they caused others - Price shifts this burden from the corp to the taxpayer - its straight up factual. Benjamin Gatti

None that strictly applied to the nuclear industry. · Katefan0(scribble) 19:51, July 20, 2005 (UTC)

Or that applied stricktly to the haircut and stormdoor industry - or to a hundred other "industries". Industrial Liability is a fairly general concept for a good reason and that is that it treats everyone the same (kind of a tenant of our constitution). "Special rules for special "industries" often have the effect of picking winners - particularly when it applies to sub-industries (Energy is an industry - Fussion is a sub.) Why does that matter? Because fusion competes with others in the energy industry - but with special advantages handed out by a bribed congress. Benjamin Gatti

Regardless, if there were no laws that strictly applied to the nuclear industry, and then Congress enacted one for the first time, it's not accurate to say that law "reduced" liability for that industry since specific statute didn't exist beforehand. · Katefan0(scribble) 20:00, July 20, 2005 (UTC)

There were laws. They applied to the nuclear industry. And they were strict. Perhaps you mean "Exclusively"? Very few laws do that. Benjamin Gatti

Other non-industry-specific indemnity laws, you mean? Can you point me to some information on what the differences are? · Katefan0(scribble) 20:26, July 20, 2005 (UTC)
I think other non-industry-specific liability laws are what you are looking for. Every state has their own, and they say roughly that if you harm someone you have to put them back in the condition they werein before you harmed tham. In addition punative damages cover gross negligence (think McDonalds and Coffee), plus pain and suffering, and treble damages for organized lawbreaking. Benjamin Gatti

Intro text move: "criminally negligent"

even if the reactor operator is crimminally negligent

This information is strictly correct, but I don't think it's entirely fair to include it in the intro. This isn't an enormous part of the law, it's one provision among many, and I dont' think it rises to the level of importance as the liability caps or public idemnification the law created (or the general criticism even). In my opinion, to include it in the intro is basically just a subtle way of asserting a POV. · Katefan0(scribble) 15:24, July 20, 2005 (UTC)

And to remove it having admitted to it's being factual is a subtle way of censoring a POV. NPOV is neither an affirmation nor a censoring of a substantial POV. Benjamin Gatti

It's not censorship -- the information is mentioned later in the article. But including it in the intro elevates it to a position that isn't warranted, and tends to make the intro biased. · Katefan0(scribble) 19:52, July 20, 2005 (UTC)
I really wish we could stop the "buzzwords". Chernobyl, censorship and Holocaust. Just because things are removed that don't belong in the INTRO isn't "censorship". The intro will lack some facts's an intro. it's not the meat of the article. --Woohookitty 00:38, 21 July 2005 (UTC)

Again I would argue that it is an enormously important part of the Act - if you don't "get that" then you're probably not a heavy investor in the business. The risk of bad actors plagues every investment of every size - look at Enron, Worldcom etc - having the government step in an say - ah - this investment shall be freed of that risk - is enormous. Now I want to build a wind turbine, i have to concern myself with not hiring crooks to do the project accounting - but if i operate a nuclear facility - i could hire the Taliban to run the place - and wouldn't be financially accountable for the result. That's pretty freaking enormous if you ask the victims. Benjamin Gatti

Moved: regardless of fault or negligence -- exact same meaning. · Katefan0(scribble) 20:16, July 20, 2005 (UTC)
This is an item of some dispute. There are those who, clearly, would say that having the criminal negligence clause is necessary. · Katefan0(scribble) 20:24, July 20, 2005 (UTC)
I assure you that the industry found it was necessary to include it in the BBill and lobbyied long and hard for the language they felt was necessary. I would suggest that our article ought to faithfully inform both industry and potwntial victims of the unique legal framework which the act imposes. Benjamin Gatti

For Ed -- I object (gaming the system)

I made a text move of Benjamin's earlier addition of information saying "even if the reactor operator is crimminally negligent" [52]. One of your rules for mediation was not to revert a text move. Benjamin didn't revert, but he did re-add information that conveys the same message: "regardless of fault or negligence" [53]. I object to this and would like to bring it to Ed's attention. · Katefan0(scribble) 19:57, July 20, 2005 (UTC)

I would suggest blandly that a sentence which includes the word "criminal" cannot pretend to compare with a sentence which does not. Surely the most objectional word in the phrase you "text moved" has not been reinserted. If you still object (which perhaps you do) By all means move the new phrase and discuss it. I would remind you that "Criminally Negligent" are Ed's words. I support him on his excellent choice. Benjamin Gatti


I did a third archive. Everything here is "post moderated" if that makes sense. --Woohookitty 20:55, 20 July 2005 (UTC)

Note for Ed

Simesa mentioned this on the moderated talk but just so its here too...the article should be reprotected when Ed leaves for a week or else chaos will ensue, I assure you. :) "Inmates running the asylum" is a good term for it. --Woohookitty 00:39, 21 July 2005 (UTC)

New rules

Let's not be hasty and start accusing each other of things like:

  • over-zealously applying text moves.
  • gaming the system

It takes a while to get used to the new rules. We might want to adopt a convention which says that when A moves some text which B wrote (or otherwise approves), then B is not allowed to replace it with something similar. Rather, A and B both should agree on a formulation which satisfies them both.

And maybe even C should be the one to replace the mutually acceptable version.

Try to work it out. Aim for unbiased text which does not take sides but which describes both sides. Uncle Ed 01:36, July 21, 2005 (UTC)

Respectfully, I stand by my original statement. Do you disagree that those kinds of edits are counter to the text move rules you established? I ask not to be obstreperous but to have a clear ruling on how exactly we are to interpret your rules. Is it considered a "revert" of a text move if we reword a sentence to use different words that convey the same meaning of a disputed item that was moved prior? · Katefan0(scribble) 02:59, July 21, 2005 (UTC)
My only problem we've said before...this article is already mostly criticism. So we're walking a fine line here. The language that Ben wants is going to have to not sound like criticisms of Price-Anderson. Otherwise, we're going to take a tilted article and make it into a near diatribe. I wish myself that we would ban the buzzwords I mentioned earlier because they don't get us anywhere. They are just derisive and dividing. --Woohookitty 02:36, 21 July 2005 (UTC)

Answering Katefan's question: the guidelines I suggested are intended to get editors to cooperate. Instead of going back and forth in the article until one side gives up from sheer exhaustion - work it out on the talk page. Find a way of discussing the disputed point which both sides can agree on.

This frequently means describing the disagreement. Here are several examples, all non-nuclear:

  • China regards Taiwan as a breakaway province, while many in the United States regard it as an independent country.
  • Some Americans think abortion is a woman's right, a decision entirely between her and her doctor. Others think that during its gestation the fetus is already a human being, so that killing it is tantamount to homicide.
  • Until the 17th century, natural philosophers believed that the Sun revolved around an immobile Earth. Galileo revived the idea that the Earth and other planets each revolve around the Sun.
  • A doctor in late-nineteenth-century Vienna got the idea that an invisible substance carried on one's hands was lethal to women giving birth. He insisted that physicians wash their hands thoroughly after conducting autopsies - instead of just wiping their hands on a cloth. The other doctors obeyed but resented this. They dismissed the first doctor's claims that the hand-washing practice was saving women's lives. (Joseph Lister and Louis Pasteur followed this up with the germ theory of disease - think of Listerine mouthwash and pasteurization of milk.)
  • Some people think "cults" brainwash recruits. Others think that new members undergo a genuine religious conversion.
  • Some Americans think that Bush was right to invade Iraq. They believe his description of Iraq as a dictatorship and of Saddam as a cruel tyrant capable of using poison gas or other WMD for aggressive military purposes. Others think that Bush was wrong to invade Iraq. They variously regard reducing tyranny in a sovereign as none of America's business; or Saddam as less tyrannical or threatening as Bush thought. In particular, they point to the failure of US forces to discovery enough WMD to justify a pre-emptive invasion.

All of the above is, I believe, perfectly balanced and neutral. You should not even be able to tell which "side" (if any) the writer himself (hi! that would be me ;-) advocates, merely by reading the text. See also Wikipedia:Writing for the enemy.

Now I'm going on vacation till August 1st. Please find a way to cooperate on writing a neutral yet comprehensive article.

Redundant Line

The line "The Act promises taxpayer-backed indemnity for extraordinary nuclear incidents while providing for limited compensation to victims." is both inaccurate and redundant, and should be removed. Simesa 10:03, 22 July 2005 (UTC)

I disagree with respect to redundant. Because the indemnity is "Legal" indemnification, while the compensation is "financial". You may have liability insurance on your house, but if something really terrible happened - in excess of your insurance - you would still be legally responsible, and if you commited a crime, your insurance might not cover you. That is not the kind of indemnity nuclear plants get. They have full "Legal" indemnity which means it is against the law for victims to sue a nuclear plant for damages - in excess of the insurance - now imagine that in any other context - it's disturbing, as much for what it does, as for the mere fact that some believe it is necessary. Benjamin Gatti

Redundant Phrase

Removed to Discussion "all nuclear reactors and" as redundant Simesa 09:16, 3 August 2005 (UTC)

Incorrect and Inflammatory Phrase

Removed to Discussion "The Act promises taxpayer-backed indemnity for extraordinary nuclear incidents while providing for limited compensation to victims." The Act doesn't promise that, it covers far more than extraordinary events, and compenstion to victims is not necessarily limited. Simesa 09:23, 3 August 2005 (UTC)

I think "Extraordinary Nuclear events" is the actual text of the Act - and certainly the intent. Benjamin Gatti

Unbalanced Phrase

Removed to Discussion "to the detriment of United States citizens" as unbalanced - we don't say that Congress believes it is to the benefit of the citizenry, although it clearly does. Simesa 09:30, 3 August 2005 (UTC)

Anytime you subsidize a lethal activity by restricting the right of states to protect their citizens from bad acts - it is to the detriment of citizens. Benjamin Gatti

Uncited Phrase

Removed to Discussion "The Act makes available a smaller pool of insurance funds to compensate people who are injured or incur damages from a nuclear or radiological incident than is required under law for all other corporations [dubious ]." as stated twice and not cited either time. Simesa 09:36, 3 August 2005 (UTC)

This has been established and agreed to under mediation. Clearly this is the purpose of the law. Benjamin Gatti

Incorrect Phrase

Removed to Discussion "In addition, damage awards and punitive judgements are capped." which is incorrect in that awards are capped only if pool limit is reached and Congress does not act. Simesa 09:40, 3 August 2005 (UTC)

No punantive judgementts are excluded altogether - in fact state courts are excluded - which is where punative damages are awarded (by juries of one' peers) civil actions in federal court are taken before a judge I believe.

As to Mediation

I'm afraid Mediation has ended with little effect other than to preserve misleading information on the Wikipedia and in general to disrupt the wiki process. Because the pages have been unprotected by someone other than the mediator - the effect is that the mediator has lost control of the situation, and we are therefore operating under a new framework. Unless we agree to abide by the principles established in mediation voluntarily - we will quickly find ourselves escalating the edit wars. Benjamin Gatti

I reverted back to the last Mediated article. We're adhering to the Mediation rules - it's you that want to try to make the Nuclear Power article part of this Mediation, which it is not and was never agreed to be. You want mediation on Nuclear Power, file for it separately. Simesa 20:53, 3 August 2005 (UTC)
Um Ben, the article was taken off of protection when Ed left for vacation. How do you think we were doing text moves? We need to keep in mediation. We haven't resolved a thing. The reason why things went on hold is that Ed went on vacation, but he's back now. I see no reason to end the mediation process. FYI, the protection was taken off on July 20nd. It does NOT mean that mediation is over in the least. I don't think it's quite right that someone can just unilaterally end mediation. Besides, you knew that Ed was going to leave for a bit to go on vacation. You seem to be pleading ignorance here. --Woohookitty 21:37, 3 August 2005 (UTC)
Um, no WHK, actually it was restored after he returned - but perhaps during the time the he was banned for deleting VfD.
Please sign your posts. If you continue to not sign them, further action will be taken. Thanks. --Woohookitty 02:05, 4 August 2005 (UTC)

Look, as mediator, Ed has upheld my argument which is that government doesn't get a free pass when it comes to disputed assertions. That is settled. If Simesa wants to avoid another losing edit war, which apparently he does, then reeverting to the mediated version makes sense - I will do my part by being only equally radical in my edits. Benjamin Gatti

Fine Ben. Then let's put this up for arbitration. And by the way, show me where he said he upheld your argument. I want exact verbage and an exact quote. Your idea of "settled" is quite strange. Even if Ed made such an assertion, it would've been something that we would've had to agree to. It was mediation, not arbitration. Nothing Ed says is binding. And he will tell you that himself. He's said it himself many times. And by the way, your "if Simesa wants to avoid another losing edit war" sounds like a threat to me and it also sounds like bad faith. You are basically threatening him to stay in line with what you do or else. You have no chance in arbitration Ben and you know it. So give it back to Ed and we'll continue where we left off. My patience with your style is at an end. Wikipedia is collaboration. It is not threats and it is not someone unilaterally ditching mediation when he's decided that it doesn't suit his needs. I really wish you'd put your energies into something that can further your cause. Brother, pulling your BS on Wikipedia is not the way to do it. --Woohookitty 02:11, 4 August 2005 (UTC)
Whao there Who's who. Nobodies Threatn'in - aside from I think thats not allowed and all - I'm just thinking Simesa realizes he doesn't want to lose another edit war - so he did the right thing - that as they say is progress. You're right - nothing Ed does is binding - a point so many have found a way to make lately. Really - I mean are you at all up on what's going down? Ed's in arbcom - ah the irony - we went to the marriage counselling, and the shrink commited suicide. If you check - Ed agreed with my position that the government's opinion must be couched - there's reams of it there - if you need me to find it for you - then you weren't paying attention. I couldn't possible win any more in arbitration than I have won already - so I'm not going to be the one knocking on their door - but if my style offends you so much - why don't you discuss it with Uncle Ed? I'm not here to make friends - I'm here to make a difference. And I appreciate your participation - regardless of your positions, Thank you. Benjamin Gatti
Right, so you are going to use this to your advantage and beat the system, which has been your goal all along. By the way Ben, I am probably going to put a request for comment up for you to question your behavior through all of this. Thanks and have a nice day. I'm tired of dealing with you and it's time we get others to question your methods. And quit being condescending and quit acting like I'm being McCarthy...THAT is what offends me...not your style. --Woohookitty 03:12, 4 August 2005 (UTC)
I wasn't aware that McCarthy burned books - I was thinking more like Chairman Mao - who burned not only books but violins as well. (Apparently he was anti-violins). Censorship is censorship - you think you can draw the line between good censorship and bad censorship? Why you - if you why not anyone else? What uniquely qualifies WHK to decide what is proper censorship and what is improper censorship - once you admit that the item is factual - where do you get off censoring it. I welcome the opportunity to illustrate again the dangers of censorship - I would not look forward to what could only be described as an invitation for personal attacks. Benjamin Gatti
I'm on vacation, but popped in because Woohookitty emailed me about the unprotect. I'm pretty much tired of dealing with this intractable dispute, which appears to have been abandoned by its mediator. I'd support an RFC, or even taking it to ArbCom, but I won't be an active participant in anything until I'm back from vacation. The beach is 30 feet from where I sit right now, and I'm about to go dip my toes in the water as it sneaks up on 3 a.m. · Katefan0(scribble) 07:01, August 4, 2005 (UTC)

I reverted back to the last Mediated version, following the rules we said we'd adhere to until Uncle Ed advises us to do differently or someone files for arbitration - which, Ben, you'd lose.

I didn't lose an edit war - I took the proper course to deal with an ideologue. Simesa 07:06, 4 August 2005 (UTC)

If you read the Request for Mediation, and then the Mediators statement on the Request, I think you will see pretty clearly that I was indeed correct on the issure presented for Mediation - The Government is not immune from being couched with respect to its opinions. Perhaps we both won. Benjamin Gatti
I think we'd be all served well if you dropped this "win loss" mentality. Oh and I want to make sure that you guys are aware of the 3 revert rule. I will be watching it like a hawk. --Woohookitty 18:00, 4 August 2005 (UTC)
Are we in Mediation or not? If yes, then we should be using the Mediated version. If not, then there's nothing sacred about the "Mediator's last version" - and I intend to file for Arbitration. Simesa 20:21, 4 August 2005 (UTC)
I concur. I think it's time for arbitration. --Woohookitty 20:33, 4 August 2005 (UTC)
I'm satisfied with the outcome of mediation, and I'm satisfied that the pages are unlocked. There is nothing in mediation which supports your removing every negative fact from these two articles, and so long as i have 3 reverts, i intend to prevent you from gutting actual facts from the article without discussion. Benjamin Gatti
What would you arbitrate - Ben is violating the 1.5 reverts a day rule? - good luck, I may choose not to participate in that farce. Benjamin Gatti
We would be arbitrating which version of this article should survive. It would be a way of finalizing things. Otherwise, we're going to be at this for months and months and months. Mediation is supposed to end the dispute. It didn't end anything, which is shown by the continual reverting we're going through now. If you don't want to participate, fine. Our side will win by default and then when you try to change the article to the way you see fit, you will probably be reprimanded and then banned. It's not a's what happens when people violate the rulings of arbitration. As far as I know, we'd both submit what we want as the final version of the article and then ArbCom would decide which version should be kept. Their decision is final. Please don't feign ignorance, Ben. I mean really. You know what mediation and arbitration are. They are both designed to come to a final outcome. We haven't had a final outcome yet. Taking Ed's comments as meaning that you "won" is a complete joke. The issue of government being treated as authoritative is not our only issue here. And if you think it is, then YOU are the one who hasn't been paying attention. You are completely ignoring the whole issue of this article being tilted towards your side even more and also whether history should be included here and all sorts of other things. What you consider "facts" are actually opinion. That is another point of contention. Need some more? You refuse to submit to arbitration because you know that we would win...end of story. So spare us. --Woohookitty 21:25, 4 August 2005 (UTC)
My objection at this point to arbitration is that it seems a waste of what must be their valuable time. Arbcom is going to set a final version - which remains until it gets edited by who knows who and then what? You think there is finality? One cannot step in the same river twice. Aside from which they seem occupied with eating their own young at the moment. Benjamin Gatti
Arbcom prefers not to take up content disputes. But they do look at conduct disputes. · Katefan0(scribble) 21:53, August 4, 2005 (UTC)

Since Ben's actions have taken us out of Mediation, there is no longer any reason not to insist on an accurate, fully cited and non-pov article. Simesa 06:34, 5 August 2005 (UTC)

Ed Poor wants to continue to mediate, so I have reverted back to the last mediated version. Simesa 14:36, 5 August 2005 (UTC)
I'm in if Ed's in. I may go fall on my sword in another article, but when I'm back from being banned - let's roll. Benjamin Gatti
The mediation is not over until official decisions have been made and they haven't been. Ben is just gaming the system again by declaring himself as the "winner". And quit telling me I'm not paying attention. You must be a joy to live with. --Woohookitty 16:40, 5 August 2005 (UTC)

Wales Article on Wikipedia

We probably all should read [54] Simesa 16:57, 5 August 2005 (UTC)

Well ways of treating bad actors need to be added to Wikipedia. --Woohookitty 18:51, 5 August 2005 (UTC)

Just exactly as soon as we agree on ways of defining bad actors. In fact - if I get to pick who is a bad actor - i'll let you decide what to do with them. Benjamin Gatti

It will be done by consensus I am sure. --Woohookitty 19:23, 5 August 2005 (UTC)

It will be done with consensus in keeping with established and Prefacto rules? - or _just_ consensus? May I remind you that both the Holocaust and the enslavement of blacks was done by consensus. "Consensus" buys you zero moral highground. Even suggesting that it does places you in rather dark company. Benjamin Gatti

Have you looked at the vfd pages? Everything on here is done by consensus. Everything. I am not looking to buy moral highground. Not everything is a battle, Ben. I was just stating the fact. For once, leave it at that and don't try to make a battleground out of it. --Woohookitty 19:51, 5 August 2005 (UTC)

Back from being banned in violation of written rules - but hey what are a few rules amongst friends

Let's roll. Benjamin Gatti

I'm surprised it took that long. --Woohookitty 14:34, 8 August 2005 (UTC)

While I may have stepped on 3RRs before, and I may have leaned on a few other rules - in this particular case, I was objectively right, and the action was a deviation from written rules - but what are a few rules amongst kings? Benjamin Gatti

Price-Anderson Extended

The President signed the Energy Policy Act of 2005 today - Price-Anderson extension to 2025 was in there. Simesa 20:01, 8 August 2005 (UTC)

With the signing of the Energy Policy Act of 2005, this article became inaccurate. After advising the Mediator, I changed the numbers but not the text. Simesa 00:25, 11 August 2005 (UTC)

No Objection - for the sake of currency, I suggest you take a liberal hand with including the latest "No Lobbyist left behind Bill" in the article. Particularly how it was necessary in 2005 - after 40 some years of development for the industry to have "special case" insurance at taxpayers expense. Benjamin Gatti

Proposed added phrase

Ben has proposed adding the following phrase to the end of the intro:

"In recognition of the continuing fact that even future nuclear power plants will be far too expensive and dangerous to afford liability insurance and still compete with safe and clean wind power, the Republican dominated House of Representatives extended the provisions of Price Anderson insurance subsidies in the Energy Policy Act of 2005."

I have not seen a source indicating that the House of Representatives concedes that. My reading of the House's actions are exactly the opposite. Simesa 06:51, 15 August 2005 (UTC)

By including it in the Bill - they concede the contained facts. Nuclear still needs a serious leg up to compete. The 50% subsidies concede it. As do the Insurance provision concede the fact that they are necessary. We argue that Price is necessary for nuclear - why - because without it - nuclear would be uncompetative. If they had to pay their own insurance - they couldn't compete on price - is their any other way to see it? Benjamin Gatti
My personal interpretation is that Congress feels that the plants are safe, $10 billion is sufficient and the government is not taking on any significant risk - but that's uncited and/or pov and doesn't belong in the article, let alone in the intro. (I think we do have cites that paying for the insurance isn't a big deal, getting it at all is.)
The subsidies I interpret as a one-time motivation to get past the next round of new government regulations, as they only kick in if there are construction delays - after UP TO six plants, there are no more construction subsidies. Again, pov, as I know of no one who has explicitly said this. Simesa 21:42, 15 August 2005 (UTC)
You might as well argue that agriculture is not competitive because it is subsidized, and we should all go back to hunting and gathering! pstudier 23:17, 2005 August 15 (UTC)
Agriculture in this country propbably is not competative so long as we allow the importation of child labor-produced fruits from foriegn countries which themselves subsidize agriculture because it is an export. Yeah, I don't have any magic bullet for untangling the subsidy/free trade problem, but I think we can be as honest about it as possible. I think (wasn't it your referance) that 95% of subsidies go to nuclear is important and telling. and the fact that "Safety Insurance" is the area of the subsidy is also telling. If nuclear is safe - we should shout it from the rooftops. And if not as well. Price Anderson is as clear an admission as one is likely to get that nuclear plants CONTINUE to be dangerous - even future plants. Benjamin Gatti
Again, I disagree with your interpretation that Price-Anderson is an admission that nuclear is unsafe. But if you can find a cite, I'll vote for putting it in Criticisms. Simesa 01:04, 16 August 2005 (UTC)


What is our status? Are we happy with the article or are we all taking vacation at the same exact time? :) --Woohookitty 11:51, 6 September 2005 (UTC)

I think our limiting factor is Uncle Ed. I'm available daily except Saturdays. Simesa 17:48, 6 September 2005 (UTC)
I think the world has taken itself by storm. I'm pretty busy despising the administration for much more than an absurd energy policy. BTW, did you realize that marriot is invested in synthetic coal because it saves them 405 million in federal taxes? Why, if we're going to have pork barral projeccts - aren't they at least aimed at something safe and renewable?

"I will protect you." Dick Cheney 2004

Benjamin Gatti
Ben, go start a blog. That's where all of your rantings belong. NOT here. Applying your passion to Wikipedia is a waste. It's pointless. Wikipedia is not a massive blog. Not not not not not. --Woohookitty 04:18, 7 September 2005 (UTC)


Could someone provide a weblink to the complete text of the act, please, so that (I hope) everyone can make her/his own judgment? Mami 15:43, 15 September 2005 (UTC)

The original act was passed some years ago - its "provisions" as extended, which continue to bear the name of the original act, are contained in the Energy Policy Act of 2005 (Have fun with that. It's probably not the best or fastest way to get up to speed on the act. I doubt the Senators who voted on the Act actually read it. Perhaps the GAO analysis is the more broadly accepted synopsis.) Benjamin Gatti
I tried in vain to find the act during the mediation process and I couldn't find it. Just isn't out there. --Woohookitty 01:50, 16 September 2005 (UTC)
Since "Acts" are generally a list of additions and modification to existing law, one can often find the substance of acts in the sections of law they affect. If I recall, Price Anderson initially is fairly well contained in a single section of federal code - which again would show up in the Energy Policy Act of 2005 (where I believe little more than the dates were changed to extend the provisions.) The Act was written in 1957, a number of years before everything was expected to be on-line in real time. Benjamin Gatti

Thanks for your effort anyway. Mami 13:59, 24 September 2005 (UTC)

Mediation Status

In order for mediation to be declared over, either the mediator needs to declare it over or the parties must agree that everything is agreed to. Neither has happened here. Ben, you cannot unliterally declare it over. I think we need another mediator. I know you feel like you "won", but we 3 do not agree with you. So we need another mediator. Our mediatior getting into trouble does not end mediation. --Woohookitty 01:10, 25 September 2005 (UTC)

I think as a practical matter, the mediation has wound down. I will consent to "calling it a draw" and recognize that we have made progress, at very least in terms of understanding each other's points of view. I suggest if someone wants mediation - they should go through the regular channels. - and for the record, I have no problem with Ed continuing to mediate, but he'll have to show up; at this point its been several months with no progress - we all have to move on. Benjamin Gatti
I don't agree that it's over and I highly doubt that Simesa and kate will either. --Woohookitty 02:30, 25 September 2005 (UTC)
We'll I suppose that approximates what some would call pergatory, and others might term nervana. I'll accept that "it's on" when I see some forward progress, until then, I would consider it to be mutually suspended. Benjamin Gatti
Btw, mediation is not a win or loss scenario. It's not a "draw" or a "win" or a "loss". --Woohookitty 04:01, 25 September 2005 (UTC)
It is certainly not over, and I'll resist any unilateral changes, Ben. · Katefan0(scribble) 04:48, 25 September 2005 (UTC)
And yet it is Woohoo who suggests that it is about winning (see above near "won"). I hate to interfere when one is arguing with one's self. I'm open to hearing from anyone, including Ed, or anyone else masquerading as a mediator. In the meantime however, I have to recognize that from a factual matter - there's no a whole lot of mediat'in going on 'round here. Benjamin Gatti
Excuse me, but what are you talking about? I was saying that you seem to think it is about winning or losing. That's how you treated it up above. --Woohookitty 23:46, 26 September 2005 (UTC)
The Tedium meter just hit ten, but for the sake of participation, it seems that you are discussing mediation in terms of winning and losing, and then change you're mind - leaves me wondering would you suggest that arbcom isn't about winning either?
I'm going to stop engaging you in these types of discussions. You are just a playground bully. I know what I said. You are just twisting it to start a fight. --Woohookitty 01:19, 28 September 2005 (UTC)

In the interest of mediat'in - What is the issue to be mediated? In what way is any party unsatisfied with the status quo? (1) (2) Benjamin Gatti

Simple. You showed a couple of days ago that you still want to add POV material to the article. We need to go through mediation or arbitration to come up with a final version of the article that we are all happy with. And then that will be it. No more adding stuff about how it's a handout to the nuclear industry and all of that jazz. How can you possibly say that mediation is over when you are still adding stuff like that to the article? The whole point of mediation is to come to a FINAL decision on the article. Final means final. It means no more adding of stuff like you tried to add 2 days ago. In fact, doing what you did could be grounds for a request for comment opened up on you if mediation was indeed over, which it isn't. --Woohookitty 01:19, 28 September 2005 (UTC)
My chief objection is that it is hard to understand how the Act works from this article. That section needs to be re-written. And I agree that we have to reach a formal conclusion, at least between the four of us. Simesa 01:34, 28 September 2005 (UTC)
I agree. The whole point of mediation or arbitration is to end the end hostilities so to speak. And yes, honestly, reading this article, I don't quite understand how it works. I mean do nuclear power plants and such petition for the money or are they given it automatically or what? --Woohookitty 04:27, 28 September 2005 (UTC)
On that point - the Supreme court has included a paragraph of its own finding about "How the Act works" I suggest that we fully incorporate the Supreme courts brief description of the act. This has the elegance of being vetted by the leading authority - and it is not overly verbose - we could agree on some 6th grade english for the parts that need it, but I have great faith in that approach over continuing to argue amongst ourselves who is the least biased and rightly fit to translate the act into the common tongue. Benjamin Gatti

Sorry to neglect you guys so long. My status at Wikipedia has changed somewhat, but if you still need me as a Mediator, I am willing to continue. Uncle Ed 03:19, 29 September 2005 (UTC)

If you're game and you care to participate - I believe I speak for all of us (in this alone) when I say that you have been missed - and that in your absence, we have been little more than treading water. With respect to the current mattter at hand - there is a general complaint (including by outside interested parties which have contacted me via email) that this article fails to effectively describe the act. I have proposed as a start that we incorporate to the extent possible the actual text of the Supreme courts interpretation because there isn't really a better analysis, and much as I respect Simesa's views on the technical operation of a nuclear reactor, I doubt that any of the current editors can lay claim to a legal understanding that exceeds that of the SCOTUS. Does anyone object in principle to that approach? Benjamin Gatti
I concur. --Woohookitty 05:17, 29 September 2005 (UTC)
Sounds like a good solution. Simesa 12:01, 29 September 2005 (UTC)
Glad to have Ed back, but I'll reserve judgment on whether or not the Supreme Court's text -- as inserted by Benjamin -- is properly represented or adequate at all. I noted that he inserted some Supreme Court text, but removed the properly sourced text about Congressional intent. If that's your solution, to me it's no solution at all. · Katefan0(scribble) 13:09, 29 September 2005 (UTC)

Attribution of views

Do we all agree that the Supreme Court of the United States is:

  • is composed of human beings
    • who are fallible
    • who were each appointed by a U.S. president
      • and confirmed by the U.S. Senate
  • renders opinions which are
    • sometimes unanimous
    • sometimes split (even closely split, like 5-4)

I have another question based on this, but let's ease into this, shall we? Uncle Ed 16:51, 29 September 2005 (UTC)


Concur. Simesa 17:54, 29 September 2005 (UTC)
Unquestionably. Benjamin Gatti 00:23, 30 September 2005 (UTC)



Would like to see what the other question is based on these before I answer. · Katefan0(scribble) 21:21, 29 September 2005 (UTC)

Sorry, I forget what the next question was going to be! Uncle Ed 16:27, 4 October 2005 (UTC)

So we have agreement to accept the Supreme Courts "take" on the act as authoritative. Excellent work. I'll get it pasted in as soon as I get a better connection. Cheers, Benjamin Gatti
I think using the Supreme Court is potentially fine, depending on what you intend to "paste" in. If in doing the "pasting" you delete other content, no, I don't agree to that. · Katefan0(scribble) 16:48, 4 October 2005 (UTC)

Not so fast, Ben. I don't see the "agreement" above as implying that the Supreme Court's take on anything should be considered authoritative. Can we confirm that, please:

US Supreme Court opinions regarding nuclear power, insurance and indemnity shall be considered authoritative for the purposes of writing and editing the Wikipedia article on the Price-Anderson Nuclear Industries Indemnity Act (Where the decision is supported by a margin > 1, and is substantially uncontroverted, and where the legislature has not since substantively ammended the relevent language, and where no lesser court has since concluded otherwise) (added by Benjamin as suggested qualifiers)

Support: Benjamin Gatti 02:42, 5 October 2005 (UTC) Oppose:


I knew something would follow from the above poll, but I didn't have this specifically in mind. I was following my intuition. (I thank my wife for helping me learn to trust my intuition more. *kiss, kiss*) Uncle Ed 17:22, 4 October 2005 (UTC)

I'm not sure how to fit this in above, so I'll state it separately. I think what we're looking for here is "findings of fact", as in "the Court finds the following facts to have been proved by a preponderance of the evidence. The Court shall state the conclusions of law to be drawn therefrom in a separate Memorandum and Order to be filed in due course." I believe that the legality of Price-Anderson is an issue already settled. Simesa 17:48, 6 October 2005 (UTC)

I don't mean to seem obstreperous, but I don't want to get railroaded into agreeing to something sight unseen. What exactly are you talking about adding, here? I would much rather talk about whether we agree with the specifics of language proposed to be added than ask folks to agree to these definitive but rather uncontextual statements just hanging out in the ether. · Katefan0(scribble) 17:51, 6 October 2005 (UTC)
-To Simesa - I would jump at the opportunity to overturn the Price case, and I think it quite possible - remember the case was prior to Chernobyl, and thus the potential for damages was largely speculative rather than demonstrable. Moreover, the presumption was that nuclear energy was critical and meaningful, I doubt the State would be given as much room to argue that nuclear is so important as to justify suspending federalism these days etc. That said - I find the Supreme court's analysis of the law to be persuasive. I do not find their decision with respect to it's Constitutionality equally persuasive - but that point is not contended. It has been tested and it has passed muster - for now. I am merely suggesting that their finding - not of the risks etc, but of the "workings" of Price Anderson, and the transfer of liabilty schedule is clear, concise, and quite likely the single most responsible summary of the act - "they" say no one gets fired for buying IMB, I suppose in law, no one gets fired for quoting the Supreme Court - and that's why I suggest we do so. It avoids partisanship, and really any claim of bias. Benjamin Gatti
My head will commence spinning in 5, 4, 3, 2...--Woohookitty 02:41, 7 October 2005 (UTC)
Why keep us in suspense? Why don't you just post a link to the court's decision? pstudier 05:39, 7 October 2005 (UTC)
Because Ben likes drama. lol --Woohookitty 10:58, 7 October 2005 (UTC)

Supreme Decision


Here the opinion. Benjamin Gatti

Read - no surprises, except that the Tucker Act provides a further remedy even beyond Congress's backing. Simesa 07:25, 11 October 2005 (UTC)
Is it just coincidental that Ben lives fairly near both the plants discussed in the opinion, McGuire and Catawba? Simesa 09:47, 12 October 2005 (UTC)
I was 8 years old when this was decided. And I lived in california. I would suspect that I live outside the DMZ of either plant, so it's probably not very meaningful either way. All the same, I'd be happy to make the same argument again, I think the Supreme Court decision was biased by the speculative nature of the industry at the time. Benjamin Gatti

How the law works

There being no one paragraph in the Supreme Court decision to quote, how about this for "How the law works":

In the Act, power reactor licensees are required to have $300 million worth of primary insurance as of 2005. Also, each power reactor must pay up to $95.8 million in the event any of them has an accident. The pool of money — which as of 2004 stood at about $10 billion — is contributed by the nuclear industry. In the event that claims deplete the pool of funds, the Congress of the United States is required to consider covering the excess amounts, possibly by establishing additional assessments against the industry.
Price-Anderson covers DOE facilities and contractors such as the USEC uranium enrichment plants, national laboratories and the Yucca Mountain disposal site.
Nuclear insurance pools have paid $151 million ($70 million of which was related to the 1979 Three Mile Island meltdown) and the DOE $65 million since Price-Anderson was enacted.

Simesa 07:25, 11 October 2005 (UTC)


It appears that Ed Poor has quit Wikipedia (see his talk page). I recommend that we seek another mediator at RFM. · Katefan0(scribble) 17:19, 13 October 2005 (UTC)

There seemingly being no way to continue with Uncle Ed, I have applied for a new Mediator. We should all read wp:rfm. Simesa 00:38, 14 October 2005 (UTC)
I'll be taking over the mediation. See below. Ral315 WS 03:55, 14 October 2005 (UTC)
For what it's worth, he will be missed - flaws and all. Benjamin Gatti

I didn't really quit: I was just having a bad day. In any case, there's a new Mediator on duty now. Anything I say from this point on is in my private capacity as an ordinary contributor. Uncle Ed 18:40, 16 October 2005 (UTC)

New mediator

I've stepped in for Ed Poor as mediator. I'd like to hear from each party specifically what you believe the problems are on this article. Please DO NOT respond to each other's comments; I'm just looking for your personal opinion on where the dispute is. We can worry about ground rules and other details after I get an opinion from all four of you as to exactly what you think are the problems here. Ral315 WS 04:02, 14 October 2005 (UTC)

Welcome! We're at sort of a stalemate and have been for awhile now. It's basically Simesa, katefan and I on one side and Ben on the other. Ben wants to make the article tilt towards the anti-nuclear crowd while generally, we think that the article is fine as it is even though it does need some background info still

. --Woohookitty 04:26, 14 October 2005 (UTC)

At this point, I would settle for a readable "How the law works" section. In the past, there has been insistence on stating how Chernobyl's consequences would have overwhelmed the resources - which is true, but should be balanced by a brief discussion by a few points that non-Soviet Union plants are very much unlike the RBMK-type reactor for that very reason. Simesa 13:20, 14 October 2005 (UTC)
P.S. - I will be unavailable until Sunday night, working at an event. Simesa 13:20, 14 October 2005 (UTC)

Ral, glad to have you here. We really have made pretty much no progress on substantive disagreements. I am going to re-post my initial thoughts from when mediation began:

I came here as a result of an RFC listed by Simesa asking for some NPOV eyes on Benjamin Gatti's edits (and his own, too, of course). I have no particular axe to grind or bone to pick except making sure the article is NPOV. My involvement has mainly been trying to help Benjamin understand NPOV and trying to help him properly insert the criticsm he thought was necessary, while attempting to rein in some of his anti-nuke POV. I anticipate that, similarly, my involvement in this mediation will come in the form of answering the things Benjamin thinks needs to be changed, although I will try to keep an open mind.

Primarily, the change he has sought that I have fought against most recently is that Benjamin thinks the GAO information on the historicity of the Price-Anderson Act (the "history" or "background" section, can't remember now what it's called) should not be stated authoritatively. That, rather, it should say "According to government documents," or "According to the GAO," which tends to cast doubt on the information in much the same fashion as with an interest group's opinion. My own feeling -- backed up by standard Wikipedia practices, I think -- is that the GAO is a nonpartisan, nonideological research organization and that its information is quite accurate. As such it's fine to use it as a source for factual information (as opposed to summaries of opinions) without attribution, as long as an in-line link is cited, which it is. The specifics of the information being summarized is factual on its base -- it isn't describing a debate or characterizing an opinion, it's simply the facts behind the creation of the Price-Anderson Act, which make Benjamin's objections even more confusing to me.

I also tend to feel that the criticsm section is a bit overstuffed as it stands now, though it would be fairly easy to consolidate when the bulk of the issues are resolved.

· Katefan0(scribble) 14:52, 14 October 2005 (UTC)

This article is very anti nuke POV. Some examples:

  1. The law suspends U.S. liability laws for nuclear power plants. No, it defines a no fault liability.
  2. ...taxpayers would have to foot most of the bill for a catastrophic accident Well, this is not different than with any other industry, such as when airplanes crash into skyscrapers.
  3. ...injured victims are precluded from directly suing vendors or manufacturers responsible for the accident This is because the act uses strict liability. One does not have to prove fault, only injury. A less POV way of expressing this would be to say Nuclear plant owners are not allowed to defend themselves in court against charges of negligence.

pstudier 23:11, 14 October 2005 (UTC)

  1. I think more accurately - it suspends state liability laws for a particular class of person - that is nuclear plant operators; quite unfair to "windfarm" operators, or PV operators, because it fails to provide "equal protection." I doubt there is such a thing as US liability laws. Federal court is not the best place for tort litigation.
  2. the law would hold taxpayers liable before it held the reactors operator liable - even if criminal malfeasance or supreme neglact were proven - such is not the case with airline carriers.
  3. Nuclear operators don't need to defend themselves, because they aren't liable beyond their insurance policy - the victom is.
I agree that the criticism section is bloated. The issue should not be framed as for and against, with for going first. It should be framed as fact following more important fact and the introduction should stipulate
Benjamin Gatti

Ground rules for mediation, and a few questions.

Now that I've got everybody's opinions, let's get to my own.

This seems like a relatively stable article right now, albeit disputed. Nevertheless, I think it's important to lay down a few ground rules right now:

  1. One revert per day per person; any more reverts will result in a 24-hour block.
  2. All edits should be discussed on the talk page; see below.
  3. Try not to make any major changes without first discussing it on this page and getting my agreement.

On another, less authoritarian note, I made two minor changes: Changing AEC and DOE to proper links, rather than linking to their disambig pages, and making Energy Policy Act of 2005 a bullet point in the "See Also" section.

Some questions I personally had about the article, both major and minor:

  • We all seem to agree that the "Criticisms" section is bad. It's very large, and in a lot of places, seems to be a hodgepodge of information, with absolutely no organization. Is there a way that we can agree to cut this section down, while still maintaining a Neutral Point of View? This may be the hardest part to do. Tell me, what can we cut?
  • In the "how the law works" section, we use "ibid" to source a document. While I understand that "Ibid" means the previous source, a good number of people don't. Also, ibid says that it really deals with endnotes and footnotes primarily, not in-line sources. Should we link to the source again? Or perhaps just link it to ibid?
  • Are all the HTML comments throughout the source necessary in the "Price-Anderson covers United States Department of Energy facilities." area? It seems to me like we should either have the information, or remove it completely.

I want everyone's opinion on these questions, and any other questions you may have...I'd really like to get this article in better shape. Ral315 WS 07:33, 15 October 2005 (UTC)

____ I suggest that the graveman of this mediation has little to do with excessive reverts, failure to discuss, or even failure to vet changes with the mediator - the article as you suggest is stable, worts and all. Where we have disagreed in the past is whether or not the opinions expressed by certain government sources - include the GAO - were "facts" to be asserted by the voice of WP in the first person, or expressions of third parties, to appear in quotes with due attribution. As the chief critic amongst the warring tribes, it is worth noting that I don't care what is said under the heading "CRITICISM". The mere existence of a cordoned-off area for criticisms is offense. Moreover, the rules for criticisms have been different than the rules for supporters in that criticisms are diluted by attributions, while supporters have been permitted access to the first voice of WP. I'm no fan of in-line comments, but I think it's preferable when deleting material which is awkward, to leave it in place for a while so that one is not accused of deleting - only of hiding. Benjamin Gatti

I agree that I don't think that any of these are problems. I'm just setting them down as ground rules in general. Understand that my questions are mainly for discussion, to see exactly what people want, and more importantly, to figure out a place where all parties can agree, and the article is stable, NPOV, and most importantly, a good article. Ral315 WS 22:12, 15 October 2005 (UTC)
I think referencing the source again is preferable - editors don't always check for ibids.
I suggest we delete the hidden text and say simply "Price-Anderson also covers DOE facilities and contractors such as the USEC uranium enrichment plants, national laboratories and the Yucca Mountain disposal site."
I once tried to boil down the Criticims to the following:
The law is not without its detractors, including the libertarian thinktank CATO Institute, Greenpeace International, Public Citizen, Taxpayers for Common Sense and other interest groups, who charge that Price-Anderson has amounted to an enormous giveaway to private industry at the American taxpayers' expense. According to Public Citizen, a 1990 study calculated that without Price-Anderson, nuclear power corporations would pay more than $3 billion annually to fully insure their operations. [55] According to research done by the United States Public Interest Research Group, a consumer advocacy group, estimates of the subsidy to nuclear power plant owners range from $3.45 million to $33 million per reactor per year (in 2001 dollars). With 106 reactors covered, this would represent $366 million to $3.5 billion annually, USPIRG legislative director Anna Aurilio said.[56] Even the United States Department of Energy has said Price-Anderson is essentially a subsidy for the nuclear industry [57]. Public Citizen has been particularly critical of Price-Anderson, arguing that it understates the risks inherent in atomic power and does not require reactors to carry enough insurance — as a result taxpayers would have to foot most of the bill for a catastrophic accident, the group says.[58] Public Citizen has also criticized the act as having insufficient insurance coverage to compensate for victims' injuries and loss. [59]
Some of these groups also argue that the Price-Anderson Act was enacted when nuclear power was an immature industry that needed governmental protections to spur development, but that after 48 years such protections are no longer needed. In 1957, according to Public Citizen, the United States Senate stated that Price Anderson should only be needed for ten years because "the problem of reactor safety will be to a great extent solved and the insurance people will have had an experience on which to base a sound program of their own." [60][61]US Gov
However, the Energy Department has said it is "widely perceived that no new nuclear plants would be built in the United States without the cap on liability provided by the Price-Anderson Act." [62] (The last civilian nuclear plant completed in the United States started up in 1996 but new plants are proposed under the Nuclear Power 2010 Program and the Energy Policy Act of 2005.)
Additionally, Price-Anderson has drawn fire from these groups for a portion of the law that indemnifies Department of Energy private contractors from nuclear incidents even if there were gross negligence or willful misconduct. "No other government agency provides this level of taxpayer indemnification to non-government personnel," Public Citizen has said. [63] However, the Energy Department counters those critics by saying that the distinction is irrelevant, since the damage to the public would be the same - the goal of Price-Anderson is to provide coverage. [64]
As I recall, the above misses one point introduced after August 5th.
Simesa 22:38, 15 October 2005 (UTC)

I'm glad Ral is here. I'd like to join the team - purely as a contributor, not as Mediator Emeritus or anything.

My problem with the article is it gives hardly the slightest clue about how anyone expects it work in practice. What is indemnified? Who pays money to whom, and how much? Is all negligence excused, even if it amounts to criminal mischief? Where does the act draw the line?

Also, I'd like lay out (or see laid out) the major arguments in favor of the act, and opposing the act. (I hear it's been signed already, so I guess there are grumblings about it or campaigns to repeal it, but usually these financial bills just go into effect upon presidential signature, don't they?)

Now to reveal my "position" on nuclear energy: I'm generally in favor of it, but I think extraordinary precautions should be taken to make it safe. I don't think Three Mile Island resulted in a significant amount of radiation leakage. What I've picked up about background radiation says to me me that the few millirems that went out of TMI just fade into the "background" in comparison.

Although I'm proud to be an American, I also doubt that the U.S. federal government is so trustworthy in all respects that it merits the endorsement of Wikipedia. Partisanship shows up in odd places, even in supposedly "nonpartisan" agencies. Case in point is global warming and the Kyoto Protocol. The EPA says one thing, the White House says another. Should Wikipedia endorse the agency or the president on this? Uncle Ed 19:00, 16 October 2005 (UTC)

I agree in general, but agencies like the EPA are arms of the administration. The opinions they give are expected to jibe with the administration's opinion. The GAO, CRS, etc., are for the most part independent bodies, functioning as Congress' investigative/research arm. Agencies often toe the administration line because that's what they are -- appendages of the administration. Not so with entities such as the GAO and CRS, CBO etc. I'm not saying they are infallible, but when it comes to something like the historicity behind something like this, I think it's pretty safe to say their summation should be considered accurate. · Katefan0(scribble) 20:43, 16 October 2005 (UTC)
I'm sure that the GAO appreciates your endorsement. but an endorsement is an opinion, and just like mine, yours are not the proper stuff of encyclopedias. I suggest that we inform the reader of the source, and leave it to the reader to weight the credibility of sources. That would be black-belt NPOV. Now to Ed, welcome back in more ways than one. You realize that with extraordinary precautions, nuclear is more expensive, more dangerous, creates fewer jobs, and is less exportable than - for example - wind. Benjamin Gatti

What amazes me is that I've been involved in this since April and basically zilch has been decided. Not sure how many times we need to say that the GAO is a non-partisan group that has no stake in this or any other matters its involved in. The GAO comes out with FACTS, not opinion. This isn't a thinktank nor is it a partisan group. --Woohookitty 11:10, 19 October 2005 (UTC)

New intro

Cut from intro:

(commonly called the Price-Anderson Act) limits liability insurance obligations for nuclear plant operators. The act currently provides indemnity to all nuclear facilities (except Navy aircraft carriers and submarines) constructed in the United States before 2026. The Act is broadly viewed as a requirement for nuclear energy in the United States.

I decided that a very short quote from the NEI page didn't merit quotation marks; I just supplied a [1] style web link instead.

The rest of the verbiage seems confusing, and I think it's what we've all been contending about anyway, so I just text moved it here for discussion.

I would like to know more about how Price-Anderson imits liability insurance obligations.

I would like "indemnity" to be defined.

I'm not sure why we are mentioning the Navy. Are we trying to say the law applies only to civilian power plants?

"Broadly viewed" needs attribution. As the sailor said to the marine, Who are ya calling a broad? ;-) But seriously, which advocates regard the art as a requirement for nuclear energy in the United States, and why? Uncle Ed 14:32, 18 October 2005 (UTC)

Ed's new intro is much clearer than the previous. Yes, incidents involving military-operated reactors are NOT covered. Simesa 19:07, 18 October 2005 (UTC)
Here's the beauty of accepting the Supreme Court's "findings of fact" - the Duke case found that nuclear plants (in particular the Duke plant) would not be built. The fact that it has recently been extended demonstrated that someone is arguing for it, and I believe Katefan submitted testimony from Cheney that is was critic today - also, taken with the new subsidies (50% of new building costs) - it remains clear that nuclear plants are a form of subsidy farming, and even with these subsidies, we do not see new plants popping up like mushrooms after a rain. As always, its tricky to say which subsidies are fungible (that is to say easily replaced by alternative incentives having the same avoided cost value, but liability subsidy is a slight-of-hand; it "costs" very little on a typical day, but "risk" is a major component in buying decisions for long-term capital investments. Any competative technology - with most or all of the risk removed, becomes advantageous. I have no problem with nuclear energy being the energy of choice - if it is truly the least cost option in a fairly costed world. My complaint and opinion, is that the costs of nuclear are being tortured in a manner which does not provide equal protection to persons seeking to compete in the energy market with alternatives which are more safe, and for this readon, less costly in a free market wherein each seller pays the true costs of production. Benjamin Gatti
Two clarifications: First, the construction subsidies are, for two reactors only, 50% of cost overruns due to delays and, for the next four reactors only, 25%. No delays, no such subsidies. "Subsidy farming" is a term once applied to wind power. As for "popping up", I am aware of five planned plants, of one or more reactors each. Simesa 00:58, 19 October 2005 (UTC)

But you admit that there are no 50% subsidies in place for cost overruns at - say Cape Wind. And you admit that Nuclear has recieved 97% of subsidies, so Wind can only claim to be subsidy gardening at best, (and with only 3% of the energy subsidy Wind is quite probably fully competative with nuclear (adjusted for the Price risk subsidy). And you don't deny the simple unfairness of granting "headstarts" to one form of energy - without providing equal time to clean safe alternatives. There hasn't been a new nuclear plant commissioned in this country since like the 1980's? I wouldn't call that popping up. In fact, even if they dent the golden shovels tomorrow morning, it would be another ten years before the first new nuclear kilowatt is pumped into the grid. Benjamin Gatti
I was thinking of the turbines at Altamont Pass, of which it has been said that their primary productivity was not electricity but rather tax write-offs - that was clearly a headstart. The last plant went on-line in 1996. New construction schedules are expected to be five years, the Japanese do it in a little under four. Simesa 02:45, 19 October 2005 (UTC)
I heard the Russians can do it in three. Apparently there are some tradeoffs available in the scheduling, maybe the jury is still mulling the risk/benefit. Did you mean a headstart IN FRONT of nuclear - its chief competitor? Logic review: Nuclear gets 97% of government support, while Wind energy gets 3% and Simesa calls the race for Wind? I doubt that would fly in middle school debate class, I'm afraid that sermon only rings true with the choir. Fun aside - we agree that the Supreme court found the act was necessary, and that that should be authority enough? Benjamin Gatti 03:09, 19 October 2005 (UTC)

This just got complicated

Ed took the liberty to edit the intro - but I would like to adjust it - but then "we" are under some kind of comment first edit later protocol. So are we in this together? or is there going to be different rules for each party? I'll agree to this: So long as the article is being edited by the rules - I'll agree to discuss first - but if the article is being edited without pre-discussion, than I will not be held to a lesser standard. Benjamin Gatti

Yes, this is exactly the problem. I see that you have indeed gone ahead and modified it to something I find unacceptable. Now what? I'd rather not edit war. · Katefan0(scribble) 04:04, 19 October 2005 (UTC)
As much as I agree with Ed's changes - I think Pstudier has done the only practical thing to keep the train on the tracks. The agreement to take it slow is worth keeping, because without it, we will quickly be at each other's throats, RfC, RfM - oh that's where we are - then maybe we shouldn't make it worse.Benjamin Gatti

Vote to accept Ed's changes:

  1. Accept:
    • pstudier 05:12, 19 October 2005 (UTC)
    • Simesa 07:00, 19 October 2005 (UTC)
  2. Reject:
  3. Comment:
  4. Abstain: Benjamin Gatti 04:32, 19 October 2005 (UTC)

Caution: "Wikipedia is not a democracy" - "Wikipedia is not an experiment in democracy. Its primary method of finding consensus is discussion, not voting. In difficult cases, straw polls may be conducted to help determine consensus, but are to be used with caution and not to be treated as binding votes." (see Consensus) Simesa 17:51, 19 October 2005 (UTC)

I've rejected my own changes, because unless all of us agree that the intro is correct and unbiased, I don't want it. I don't need the aggravation!
Seriously, a tense standoff, thrown together as "consensus" and supported by a shaky coalition of votes, is nothing but a house of cards.
I swung and missed. Next up to the plate is . . . ? Uncle Ed 18:44, 19 October 2005 (UTC)

With respect then to the Intro Paragraph - I suggest that we list the issues on which we disagree.

Facts I would assert:

  1. The DOE has called Price a "Subsidy for investors"
  2. The act exists because nuclear energy is "too" dangerous to insure.
  3. Put another way, if nuclear had to pay the cost of insurance at the same rate as windpower, nuclear energy would be more expensive than alternatives - including wind.
  4. The act limits the amount a victim can be compensated as a result of pain of lost loved one's, suffering, and real damages resulting from criminal negligence on the part of nuclear plant operators.
  5. Nuclear power has recieved 97% of government energy subsidies.
  6. Clean safe alternatives get fewer subsidies and must pay the full freight for their risk profiles (which while different, are no less significant and costly)

Over the months, each of these points has been supported by citations - which can be dug up if that's the issue. Benjamin Gatti

  1. We treated that.
  2. Nonsense, it's insured now, and the industry contribution alone is 140 times the claims at Three Mile Island.
  3. That doesn't belong in this article.
  4. With Congress's required action, it is open-ended - unlike car insurance coupled with a person's assets.
  5. That belongs in Criticisms, if anywhere.
  6. That belongs in Criticisms, if anywhere.
Is there anyone who can't live with the current intro?
Simesa 07:42, 20 October 2005 (UTC)
That would be me right - that's why we're here more or less?
  • The DOE has called Price a "Subsidy for investors"

So why does the introduction suggest that opponents has said its a subsidy? - it ought to say the DOE and opponenents have said ...

  1. The act exists because nuclear energy is "too" dangerous to insure.

"Notwithstanding comprehensive testing and study, the uniqueness of this form of energy production made it impossible totally to rule out the risk of a major nuclear accident resulting in extensive damage." SCOTUS "Thus, while repeatedly stressing that the risk of a major nuclear accident was extremely remote, spokesmen for the private sector informed Congress that they would be forced to withdraw from the field if their liability were not limited by appropriate legislation." SCOTUS

  1. Put another way, if nuclear had to pay the cost of insurance at the same rate as windpower, nuclear energy would be more expensive than alternatives - including wind.
  • "It soon became apparent that profits from the private exploitation of atomic energy were uncertain and the accompanying risks substantial." SCOTUS
  1. The act limits the amount a victim can be compensated as a result of pain of lost loved one's, suffering, and real damages resulting from criminal negligence on the part of nuclear plant operators.
  • (d) The Act provides a reasonably just substitute for the commonlaw or state tort law remedies it replaces, - SCOTUS
  1. Nuclear power has recieved 97% of government energy subsidies.
  • If this is a fact - then it is not a criticism, real facts are neutral.
  1. Clean safe alternatives get fewer subsidies and must pay the full freight for their risk profiles (which while different, are no less significant and costly)
  • As often as this wiki asserts the various relative costs of reneables over trads, it must to be fair, assert the reverse where it is true. Benjamin Gatti
So then Ben, doesn't that make the GAO information neutral? Or are you arguing that what they come out with on this and others issues are not "real facts"? --Woohookitty 13:11, 20 October 2005 (UTC)
Yes-likely. The line I propose, in the context of risk and liability, is that there is a difference between 1. what is. 2. what optimists believe the future holds, 3. what pessimists believe. 1 is simply neutral - negative facts are not "the facts according to critics."
I think we've gotten ahead of our Mediator. Simesa 14:18, 20 October 2005 (UTC)
I'm also a little confused as to why anybody's suggesting rewriting the intro at all. It was my impression that the only person who had a problem with it was Benjamin. I would think it then falls on him to suggest what changes he seeks. · Katefan0(scribble) 14:43, 20 October 2005 (UTC)

New Intro cont ...

He has. see history. ([65]). Benjamin Gatti
And with that version I object to leaving out all of the DOE facilities, and to the line ", which continue to be more dangerous than insurance companies are willing or able to insure at a price competative with cheaper, safer, and cleaner alternatives such as wind" - reactors aren't necessarily more dangerous (as shown by TMI), they're assumed to possibly be more dangerous, "are willing" has been repeatedly been shown to be wrong, "price" has nothing to do with it as plants are required to buy all that is available, and "competative (sic) with whatever" belongs in Criticisms. Simesa 04:10, 21 October 2005 (UTC)
In a free market, the price of risk is not determined by Simesa pecking comments into a BB, Risk associated costs are priced according to terms a competant party is willing to accept in a voluntary transaction. For all the obfuscation, we DO have an estimate of those prices. Nuclear plants are no longer required to buy all the available insurance, they get a special dispensation which in effect dramatically lowers their costs of production. They then "dump" their energy on the market which puts clean, safe, alternatives out of business. Benjamin Gatti
Ignoring the pointless personal attack and the incompetent economics lesson, we do have data for non-Soviet (i.e., crummy plants operated poorly with no containment buildings) meltdowns - $71 million. Nuclear plants are still required to purchase all the insurance available to them [66] [67]. Selling your power competitively is not dumping. Simesa 01:00, 22 October 2005 (UTC)

A personalized comment is not a personal attack, c'mon Sim, I just wrote an appeal brief which condemns's the state's position as McCarthian and beyond the lunar fringe of precedent - if there were to be a personal attack, it would be obvious. (NC wants to criminalize collecting litter)

  • I accept your citation - nuclear plants may be required - however, you'll notice that only a single company offers nuclear insurance, and that's probably all it does - meaning it probably doesn't even have the assets to cover two claims simultaneously. The problem is that the market for insuring nuclear plants is artificially manipulated. Who wants to be in a business when the government is giving away the product for free?

This is a fun quote - the purpose of Price (According to the DOE is an investor subsidy - and the real purpose is to protect investors in the event of a crime.)

Selling power at prices which are less than the free market costs of production is predatory (under color of law even) when your competition is denied (equal protection) access to the same level of subsidies - I'd love to make that case, might buy a windmill, just to gain standing. Benjamin Gatti

I'm afraid

That we're getting right back into bickering. Mr. Mediator, what would you like for us to do? Uncle Ed had us try using a separate mediation page. Not alot of came of it, but I think it'd be more useful than just continually bickering here. I still think we should just go to arbcom and finish this, but that's just my opinion. --Woohookitty 04:27, 21 October 2005 (UTC)

I'm just afraid that I'll be 45 years old and we'll still be discussing whether or not the GAO is an authoritative resource. It just never ends. --Woohookitty 04:36, 21 October 2005 (UTC)
I apologize for not responding in a while...I've been watching what you've been suggesting with interest. To be perfectly frank, I don't think that ArbCom will take your case; ArbCom usually doesn't deal with content disputes, and you've all been very civil about the article. Ral315 WS 18:09, 21 October 2005 (UTC)
Since you came aboard, yes. :-D It's actually been more civil than it was initially. --Woohookitty 01:39, 22 October 2005 (UTC)

Referencing the GAO?

Let's keep GAO comments in this section for clarity reasons. I'd like to pose a few questions that I have about this particular portion of the dispute.

  • To the people who think that we should say "the GAO says", why? The GAO is "the non-partisan audit, evaluation, and investigative agency of the United States Congress." It's strictly a non-partisan outfit, isn't it?
  • Cite everything or nothing at all. This is a contested issue, must of which revolves around speculation into possible future events, and anyone's opinion on future events must needs be taken with more than a grain of salt. Choosing one oracle to speak in the first voice, dismisses the other oracles to the lesser role of also ran. I believe this topic is one for which the policy is meant, and it should just be followed without departure. It is rude to interject policy arguments into a discussion of substance. Any argument on whether or not sources should be "couched" belongs in the appropriate wiki forum, and I object to continuing it here. Whooo is right, we need to move on with respect to that question, He is just wasting time anymore, it's a tired issue, two mediators have indicated the sources must be indentifyied in-line, and if it continues, then I suggest it is a form of interuption and vandalism suitable for the arbcomm to sanction. It certainly is consuming more time than Ed's five minute retirement of the RfD.;-) Benjamin Gatti 22:36, 21 October 2005 (UTC)
From wikipedia:cite_your_sources:
When you add content
For all of the above reasons, if you add information to an article which you gleaned from a specific external source, please cite where you got your information. If you can properly format your citation, that's great! If not, others can re-format it for you, as long as you provide all the information necessary to find the original source.
In general, even if you are writing from memory, you should actively search for authoritative references to cite. (If you are writing from your own knowledge, then you should know enough to identify good references that the reader can consult on the subject—you will not be around forever to answer questions.) The main point is to help the reader and other editors, which is why you should try to go beyond those sources you happened to use yourself.
The need for citations is especially important when writing about the opinions held on a particular issue. Avoid weasel phrases such as, "Some people say ..." Instead, find a specific person or group who holds that opinion, mention them by name, and give a citation to some place where they can be seen or heard expressing that opinion.
Just because a statement is referenced does not mean that it is appropriate or conveys an accurate impression. As implicitly described in the official NPOV policy, even if a citation is from a reputable source, it should provide the reader the gist of the research on a certain subject and not merely carefully selected or out-of-context quotes to support a certain point of view.
Remember that Wikipedia is not for your opinions or for original research.
  • Having or arising from authority; official: an authoritative decree; authoritative sources.
  • Of acknowledged accuracy or excellence; highly reliable: an authoritative account of the revolution.
  • Wielding authority; commanding: the captain's authoritative manner.
  • Based on, influenced by, affiliated with, or supporting the interests or policies of no single political party: a nonpartisan commission; nonpartisan opinions.
By the above, I submit that the GAO is an acceptable, non-partisan source.
Simesa 01:54, 22 October 2005 (UTC)
While I object to the pasting because it is rude - a link would suffice - I don't disagree, and it doesn't matter. The Union of Concerned Scientists is not based on, influenced by, or otherwise affiliated with a single political party. I suggest that both the Green party and the Democractic party would be comfortable with their positions. Other parties may be affiliated with crooks, I don't think a sourc has to please everyone to be non-partisan. All of which changes nothing. I never suggested the GOA was an improper source. I would suggest that mind-reading is an improper assertion for anyone, and the Wiki should refrain from engaging is the astrological arts. If the GAO feels that it can devine the intent of Congress, less it tarnish its own name, why should we lend the reputation of the Wikipedia to idle speculations? Bad enough we have to report on them (see hubris peak) Benjamin Gatti
  • To the people who think we should leave the GAO out, why? It's generally Wikipedia style to cite all sources, isn't it? Even if they're non-partisan audit agencies, shouldn't they still be cited?]

I want you to tell me why. Don't argue, don't bicker, don't fight. Just try to convince me why we should or should not cite the GAO.

I don't mean to start a fight, but could you get my name right, Ben? Hell, call me Mike if you want to. I don't care. But it's a little rude to keep mussing up my name. And you've been doing it despite repeated warnings. I know you type fast, but try to get my name right. Thanks.
Anyway, I don't mean to speak for Ben, but essentially, he sees the GAO as being on equal footing as his sources. He doesn't believe that they should be used in the authoritative voice because what they say is opinion and not fact. And he basically sees the GAO as pro-government because it's a government agency and in this case, the government's case would be to keep Price-Anderson. If I'm wrong Ben, say so. My argument that the GAO is non-partisan and has no vested interest in any of this. They are generally used in the authoritative voice on Wikipedia and that should be the case here. But Ben doesn't see it that way and I'm pretty certain he's not going to budge off of that position. And I don't see us budging.
As for arbcom, honestly, we've moved about an inch since I got into this back in June. The same issues then are the same issues we have now. Ben wants the criticism section even bigger...he wants it integrated into the rest of the article...he wants the GAO to be treated as an opinion source just like his sources are. Meanwhile, we think that the criticism section is already too big (but we don't want to shorten it) and that any other anti-price anderson information put in will essentially make the article biased towards anti-nuke people. Ii other words, we did alot of moving early on, but at this point, we're not willing to move any further towards making this anti-nuke. And actually, simesa, katefan0 and I aren't even pro-nuclear power! We just feel as though this article needs to be NPOV and that letting in the kind of language Ben wants in would just tilt it. here is a version Ben tried to put in a few weeks ago when he unilaterally declared mediation "over". So it's not like this is ancient history. I know arbcom doesn't usually take content disputes, but honestly, I just don't see the sides moving here. We go round and round and round and round and nothing changes. The kicker is that, generally, Simesa, Kate and I are happy with the article as it is. We feel like we need to add more on the background of the law and all of that, but if this article wasn't altered, we wouldn't be dissatisfied.
I know this is long, but the main point is that we're ok with things as they are and Ben wants to keep tilting the article towards anti-nuke. That's essentially the issue with GAO and everything else. --Woohookitty 04:11, 22 October 2005 (UTC)

Mike, about the name - may I politely decline the offer to take your absurdonym seriously. You've played the namegame by your own choice, perhaps you shouldn't be offended when others join the fun.
As to budging off of my insistance that every voice be treated equally, it sure doesn't help to have mediator(s) agree with me. Perhaps Mike is shopping for opinions and is hoping one of the four in arbcomm will validate his position. Good luck. I'm not holding you back. Serve the papers - but I warn you, I and others believe you would be wasting their time. Benjamin Gatti
I'm not anti-nuke; I am anti 97% of subsidies being funnelled into a nonrenewable energy source, which is dangerous, when we have cheaper alternatives which are largely unexplored (wind, waves, solar). I do believe with similar levels of funding, wind and wave energy would both be competitive. But mosly, Price is an admission that nuclear is dangerous, and I do intent to have the Supreme Court's expression of that simple fact blazened across the front of this article. (BTW, a very non-partisan, independant group). Do you agree to give the Supreme court the authoritative voice? ie "Despite years of improvements, the possibility of a nuclear accident still exists - therefore PI is (still) required to subsidize a gaggle of 6 figure Ph.D's"? Benjamin Gatti
Sorry, I never responded to the question. Yes, I believe that the GAO is an authoritative source. Frankly, if they aren't authoritative, no one is. Ben, no personal attacks. I am not playing the game with you anymore. Stick to the issues. --Woohookitty 04:17, 22 October 2005 (UTC)
And, despite prodding several times, Ben has yet to come up with another case on Wikipedia where the GAO is not treated as authoritative. --Woohookitty 04:24, 22 October 2005 (UTC)
First, this (and Hubris Peak) are both speculative subjects. The GAO report on matters of fact may be uncontested and not require further couching. I this case, the GAO - if I remember - is being used to list the motives of Congresspersons. Well, anyone who claims to know what motivates congress needs couching regardless of the source. I would suggest that there are no "sources" beyond reproach, but there are "assertions" which are so universally accepted as to merit the unquestioned voice. The "motives" of politicians is not even within the lunar fringe of universal acceptance - just let it go. You have yet to find anyone who agrees with you on this, you've had more than 6 months and two mediations to make this point, and you've yet to convince anyone. Sheesh? Benjamin Gatti
And you didn't answer me. Where are the other places in Wikipedia where the GAO is not used as an authoritative source? I want an answer on that. You always avoid it. You have the burden of proof here, not us.--Woohookitty 05:35, 22 October 2005 (UTC)
To answer ye yet again, it depends on the assertion. If the GOA is asserting tax revenue for 2004, and no one contests the assertion, the the authoritative voice is appropriate; however, when it claims to read minds - by suggesting the "intent" of the legislature, that is a different matter. So I'll turn the question and invite you to "prove the negative". Show where the GAO is referenced with respect to "mind reading" elsewhere in the wk, but I must warn you, that it wouldn't matter to me if they were. What matters is whether there is a non-trivial objection to the use of the authoritative voice. As there is here, usual couching applies. For one thing, assertions must be "VERIFYABLE" which means it is possible by some means to determine the truth of the assertion. Consequentially, the assertion "Congress intended ..." is unveryfiable on its face. "The GAO reports that Congress intended ..." or "The SCOTUS found that Congress intended ..." are both perfectly verifyable statements. Those three words aren't going to melt the servers. Benjamin Gatti

As a technical matter, Congress is incapable of owning a "motivation", it is a body which acts in accordance with the majority of its members, as such, it is limited to "Acts of Congress". Individuals may have motives, concerns, and an array of human emotions. They may also be motivated individually by the promise of campaign financial support, or as in the case of DeLay, by large and obsequious donations to his legal defense fund (routed through swiss banks if necessary of course). But "Congress" would have to vote in order to hold a motive, and consequently, it is bizarre to lay claim to knowledge about what truly motivated Congress. It is clear by the record that they were made aware of the threatened pullout of private participation in nuclear power. It is far less clear that there was any public or private outcry of concern over who would pay for a nuclear accident, and in any case Price doesn't really address or change the source of funds. The government had the ultimate responsability before, and after, to deal with such an affair, thus the "claim" of concern for "protecting the public" amounts clearly to window dressing a subsidy for public consumption, and I suggest the Wikipedia can do better than playing sychophant to congress. Speaking of sychophant - have you read Harriet Miers flattery of the CIC? I could cry, it was so touching. Benjamin Gatti
Actually, given that the matter is not settled, and there is no clear answer, all of you have the burden of proof. But I do agree with Woohookitty on the Personal warning for everyone. Any more personal attacks will result in a block, no questions asked. Try to remember that this can be worked out amicably. Ral315 WS 07:56, 22 October 2005 (UTC)
Ral, as you've said we're a civil group; heated, informed, diverse, and opinionated, but "mostly harmless." One has been sensative about the spelling of one's screen "interjection"; I find that some screen names are intended to inspire levity, and consequently, the assertion that the failure of others to observe one's arbitrary collection of purient syllables with funereal decorum amounts to a personal attack to be specious. Benjamin Gatti
I'd take that as a personal attack on me, Ral. It has abolutely nothing to do with the case at hand. It's just an attempt to make fun of me and he's done that twice in the last 12 hours. --Woohookitty 13:37, 22 October 2005 (UTC)
I would take the specious claim of a personal attack where none exists to be character asassination, but I'm not complaining about it. Benjamin Gatti
How is making fun of someone else's username not a personal attack? If I started calling you Bennnnnny (which I won't), I don't think you'd like it. What my name is on here is completely immaterial. It was just a cheap shot, which is a personal attack. --Woohookitty 14:22, 22 October 2005 (UTC)
Deal - I'll call you Mike, and we focus on substance. Benjamin Gatti
Works for me. --Woohookitty 02:38, 23 October 2005 (UTC)

Proposed Intro

The Price-Anderson Nuclear Industries Indemnity Act (commonly called the Price-Anderson Act) protects investors in nuclear power plants from liability, even for criminal neglect, for the death and destruction caused by nuclear incidents such as Chernobyl. The act currently provides indemnity to all nuclear facilities (except Navy aircraft carriers and submarines) constructed in the United States before 2026. The Act as been recognized by the United States Supreme Court as a requirement for the private generation of nuclear energy in the United States. In addition, the Supreme Court found [68] that the risk of a major nuclear accident has not been eliminated by 40 years of research and testing. Environmental groups, consumer groups and taxpayer watchdogs as well as the Department of Energy have described the act as a transfer of wealth from those who earn it (taxpayers) to those who own it (investors). Benjamin Gatti

I'd say you are trying to cram your entire POV, unbalanced, into the first paragraph. I strongly prefer the current Intro over the above. "Private generation" isn't all the Act is necessary for. Criminal neglect is still speculative (it wasn't, for example, a factor at TMI), and if "wholesale irradiation" were possible in U.S. plants the NRC wouldn't have mandated only a 10 mile Emergency Planning Zone. One agency (the EIA) of the DOE described it as a subsidy - but there has been no "transfer of wealth" as the government has never paid a dime for commercial plants' incidents, and it's very unlikely it will ever have to. Simesa 20:08, 23 October 2005 (UTC)
  • according to the Supreme court, private participation was the thrust of the act. If you are unwilling to accept the Supreme Court's conclusions, then I think you bear the burden of proof. "Criminal Neglect" is not speculative. we had cite after cite which shows the act does not allow companies to be sued for the damages arising as a consequence of knowing and intentional violations of law. The transfer of wealth has already occured. "Wealth" includes "avoided costs". The cost of insuring nuclear plants has been avoided by transfering it from those who invest in nuclear energy and to those who invest in safe clean alternatives. Thus, the investments (ie Wealth) which would, in a fairer market, have been available to safe clean energy, were "transfered" to unsafe, dirty nuclear plants. That is a transfer, the taxpayer is the victim along with those who have invested time, effort or money into safe clean energy. Benjamin Gatti
The burden of proof is easy, read the first line of the Supreme Court's decision: "The Price-Anderson Act (Act), having the dual purpose of protecting the public [including from incidents at DOE facilities] and encouraging the development of the nuclear energy industry..." (my text in brackets). If we were to list one thing that the Act would cover, then we should list all the incidents it would cover: a very long laundry list. I disagree with your somewhat twisted reasoning - no costs have been added to anyone, no other energy producer has paid anything for Price-Anderson. Market fairness is a subsidiary issue to be dealt with in Criticisms. "Unsafe" is stil your POV not borne out by the IPE examinations, "dirty" is relative (ever worked around coal?). And are you really claiming that wealth was transferred away from you specifically? So now you believe you do have a fiduciary interest in this? Simesa 02:07, 24 October 2005 (UTC)

SCOTUS: The Price-Anderson Act (Act), having the dual purpose of protecting the public and encouraging the development of the nuclear energy industry, imposes a $560 million limitation on liability for nuclear accidents resulting from the operation of federally licensed private nuclear power plants, requires those indemnified by the $560 million fund established under the Act to waive all legal defenses in the event of a substantial nuclear accident, and further provides that in the event of a nuclear accident involving damages in excess of the amount of aggregate liability Congress "will take whatever action is deemed necessary and appropriate to protect the public from the consequences of a disaster of such magnitude."

It's a long sentence, but the best minds in the country couldn't be complete with less (trust me, they tried). I believe it would be premature for me - at this point to claim personal fiduciary interest. In fairness, I have invented and patented an alternative to nuclear energy, however, there is no substantial interest in the idea, therefore the value, even in a nuclear-free world is speculative at best. Full disclosure doesn't poisen the well. Nuclear energy also lowers the cost of energy (at significant risk to those who live close to the plant, route, and storage sites) - which I pay, thus the savings from nuclear in simple dollars and cents outweight the personal financial benefit of an unlikely alternative. Moreover nuclear energy cannot be used to stabilize developing countries, and it cannot be easily exported, so it imposes a significant cost on global standards of living. Provided reactor operator don't cut corners, lie steal and cheat like an energy company, and there is not major accident, it possible that a nuclear scenario could cost me less than a non-nuclear scenario, its also possible that it would not. I believe the choice should be up to the market, and I object to not having the freedom of choice. Benjamin Gatti

Private Participation

Within a decade, however, Congress concluded that the national interest would be best served if the Government encouraged the private sector to become involved in the development of atomic energy for peaceful purposes under a program of federal regulation and licensing. See H. R. Rep. No. 2181, 83d Cong., 2d Sess., 1-11 (1954). The Atomic Energy Act of 1954, Act of Aug. 30, 1954, ch. 1073, 68 Stat. 919, as amended, 42 U.S.C. 2011-2281 (1970 ed. and Supp. V), implemented this policy decision, providing for licensing of private construction, ownership, and operation of commercial nuclear power reactors for energy production under strict supervision by the Atomic Energy Commission (AEC). 1 See Power Reactor Development Co. v. Electrical Workers, 367 U.S. 396 (1961), rev'g and remanding 108 U.S. App. D.C. 97, 280 F.2d 645 (1960). SCOTUS

Private industry responded to the Atomic Energy Act of 1954 with the development of an experimental power plant constructed under the auspices of a consortium of interested companies. It soon became apparent that profits from the private exploitation of atomic energy were uncertain and the accompanying risks substantial. See Green, Nuclear Power: [438 U.S. 59, 64] Risk, Liability, and Indemnity, 71 Mich. L. Rev. 479-481 (1973) (Green). SCOTUS

Benjamin Gatti?

(This is a reply to Simesa - I see an awful lot here focussed exclusively on Private Industry) Benjamin Gatti

A lot of verbiage, desperately trying to regain the point, but it doesn't change that key first sentence. DOE incidents are covered. Simesa 09:43, 24 October 2005 (UTC)
And the nonsequitar award goes to ... The first sentence says nothing about DOE incidentse. Yes, given, DOE facilities are included. But there is no verbiage from the Supreme court to suggest that "insuring" the DOE was the prime purpose, the effect, or the problem presented to Congress as a precedent to the passage of the Act, and they have cited many contemporary reports in support of that position. I believe it's clear from the record that Price was invisioned and intended to provide a bridge of insurance to cover the experiential period after which insurance companies ought to have collected enough information and experience to calculate the risks of nuclear energy in the private sector. The fact is that period has passed, and includes Chernobly and private insurers are no closer to fully insuring nuclear energy than they were in 1954. Benjamin Gatti
"The Price-Anderson Act (Act), having the dual purpose of protecting the public and encouraging the development of the nuclear energy industry," clearly has a prime purpose of covering DOE-related incidents.
The unrelated point is also wrong - with only one applicable accident (TMI) in the world to examine, and that with negligible impact, the experiential period goes on.
Simesa 09:29, 28 October 2005 (UTC)

Can we get a little structure please?

I really must object. This article is being modified all over the place without any kind of prior consensus or even raw discussion. I'm starting to get very frustrated with the way this is going, or not going. · Katefan0(scribble) 04:14, 24 October 2005 (UTC)

Really Kate, I would suggest this is one of the more static pages on the wikipedia. I suggest it is not changing enough to keep the editors interested. I suggest we lift the no-edit ban entirely and let the wiki process run its course. One problem is that there is very slow participation on the consensus side. Simesa and I are trading substance, others, well, not so much. May I say as an aside - what a great time to be a Washington reporter. If I were you, and I say this with great appreciation and respect for your participation here, I think I would let this slip a bit and focus on the new and compelling issues boiling over in DC. What a ride! Benjamin Gatti
Those are some novel comments, but they don't change my request above. · Katefan0(scribble) 04:26, 24 October 2005 (UTC)
Then I wish you well of your quest. Seriously - you must be reporting on what's happening in Washington, is it to much to ask where you publish? Benjamin Gatti
Yes. Ral? · Katefan0(scribble) 05:08, 24 October 2005 (UTC)
Ral, this is just another attempt by Ben to declare mediation over. He tried that about a month ago. Look at alot of archive 5 for what I am talking about. We need some sort of conclusion here and him just backing out of this isn't it. --Woohookitty 06:30, 24 October 2005 (UTC)
Deal. Mediation shall continue so long as the mediator and every party to mediation participates at least once every second day. Once mediation lapses, it must be renegotiated. The perpetual censorship of drag-one's-feet mediation is unacceptable. Anyone who objects to these conditions can take it up with arbcom or use their majik powers to block me, but I will not voluntarily be silent unless we are making an attempt at progress. Benjamin Gatti
This ultimatum is obviously not okay. We're in mediation specifically because we need a mediator in order to help us make progress. As long as we don't have someone taking an active hand, we're going to go nowhere fast. · Katefan0(scribble) 03:27, 25 October 2005 (UTC)
Mediation is voluntary. I most certainly can assert the conditions under which I voluntarily agree to participate. My conditions are reasonable. It's been forever. It's time, i suggest to move on - however, i'll agree to a few more days of serious effort, if there is a coalition of interested parties, otherwise, I intend to use the Supreme court's conclusions to assert that nuclear energy is dangerous and this is why, in 2005, Bush signed the no-fault taxpayer insurance for Republican investors. Benjamin Gatti
Benjamin, you're happy to do what you want. But I'd like to continue mediation. I am active, for what it's worth; now that I have a handle on this issue, I'm going to be a lot more active in the matter. Ral315 (talk) 07:10, 25 October 2005 (UTC)
Thanks Ral. How do we proceed from here? · Katefan0(scribble) 15:32, 25 October 2005 (UTC)
If Ben backs out, I'm putting this up for arby. I know they generally don't take content disputes, but I don't think we can let Ben get all he wants by just not being in the process. --Woohookitty 07:19, 25 October 2005 (UTC)
Certainly, I have not backed out. I am merely stating that I intend to interpret lack of participation as conclusory. If Mike wants to go to Arb, I intend to show good faith by participating in mediation, but I do not believe that mediation should amount to self-cencorship for 12 months. Benjamin Gatti
Self-censorship? Anyway. Yes Ral, how do you want us to go from here? --Woohookitty 16:04, 25 October 2005 (UTC)

My revert tonight

I reverted back to the consensus version of October 15th. Let's come up with a consensus and THEN change the article. Not sure why this is proving hard for people. --Woohookitty 06:46, 24 October 2005 (UTC)

I applaud each of Uncle Ed's attempts, but agree with Woohookitty that we will have to do this the long way. And I agree with Katefan0 that ending Mediation precipitously would simply result in edit-warring.
I don't see either side budging on the Intro. I suggest we move on to "How the law works", which both sides agree is incomprehensible. Simesa 09:52, 24 October 2005 (UTC)
basks in the applause Uncle Ed 02:29, 25 October 2005 (UTC)

Can we get a little substance please?- Is Nuclear Dangerous or not?

The Supreme court has indicated that the risk of a nuclear accident is the driving cause of Price Anderson. Our readers deserve to have this information. Simesa has argued that nuclear is not dangerous and that there is no risk, however, this argument has been to the Supreme Court and failed. There is a rule at law which says a party cannot argue both sides of the same issue when it suits their fancy. In that sense, the Nuclear Industry has lost the right to argue that nuclear is safe, when they went to the Supreme Court and argued that it is so dangerous that they deserve to have a special Constitution just for them. Accordingly, it is inappropriate for us to publish that which is inconsistent with facts which the industry has used to argue in favor of its narcotic subsidies.

Now then who can provide a non-trivial objection to the assertion that (according to the Industry in their case to the Supreme Court) nuclear IS dangerous, in spite of efforts to make it safe, and that Price Anderson is a continuing tribute to the inherent risks thereof? Benjamin Gatti

When did Simesa say that there was no risk in nuclear power? I don't remember that. I do remember you insisting for the longest time that he was a paid mouthpiece for the nuclear industry because he worked for the nuclear industry over a decade ago and then become a whistleblower. But I don't you remember him saying there was no risk in nuclear power. Besides, I think the possible danger of nuclear power belongs in the nuclear power article. Besides, if you read this article in full, you can gather that nuclear power is dangerous. I'm not sure we have to yell it from the mountaintop here. This section basically hints its dangerous.
"Although the AEC offered incentives to encourage investment, there remained in the path of the private nuclear power industry various problems - the risk of potentially vast liability in the event of a nuclear accident of a sizable magnitude being the major obstacle.Notwithstanding comprehensive testing and study, the uniqueness of this form of energy production made it impossible totally to rule out the risk of a major nuclear accident resulting in extensive damage."
In addition, the tone of the article is that this is essentially a handout to the nuclear industry so their asses are covered in case the inevitable accident will occur.
And then we have the issue that Simesa, kate and I have been solid on for awhile. This article's tone is anti-nuclear. We have a criticisms section that takes up more of the article than any other section. We do not have a section with reasons for the act. We have essentially a paragraph and then it's mixed in the first few paragraphs of the article. In other words, we have an article heavy on criticism already. If we make it any more critical, it's going to be basically an essay on how evil Price-Anderson is. --Woohookitty 13:14, 25 October 2005 (UTC)

We're not here to critique the SC decision. From what I read of it, they don't call the industry dangerous. So it shouldn't be here. --Woohookitty(cat scratches) 02:34, 27 October 2005 (UTC)

This sounds like a promising avenue to go down. It looks like Price-Anderson came about because of the perception that nuclear power is dangerous.
As a student of physics (one year high school, one year college) I think there is something to this perception. A chunk of uranium the size of a grapefruit can destroy an entire metropolis: think New York City, not just Manhattan. And Chernobyl proved what can happen if you don't take elementary precautions (since when did the Soviets really care about not killing innocent people?!).
A lot of activists have claimed the US nuclear power can not be made safe, and that therefore it should be abolished. I believe this claim was connected ideologically with the "no nukes" movement which sought unilateral disarmament by the US during the Cold War, in the hopes that the USSR would gain a decisive advantage. I met organizers of the Clamshell Alliance in Boston and talked to various related others - this is not just me talking out of my hat here.
Then there are the opponents of US energy use in general, such as the environmental movement (which in turn connects to the Kyoto Protocol and global warming).
The whole thing is a tangled mess. It's no wonder that we haven't been able to resolve anything. There is too much under the surface (see elephant in the living room). Uncle Ed 17:11, 25 October 2005 (UTC)
Well, I certainly agree with that, and would go a step farther to say that some of the problem is that there is too much "truth-seeking" going on and not enough attention paid to just summarizing disputes. · Katefan0(scribble) 19:25, 25 October 2005 (UTC)
Hard to argue with that point. Let's not forget that we entered mediation because some wanted to summarize the views of theose who believe nuclear is dangerous - including the SCOTUS, while using the authoritarian voice to represent the other side - including the assertions of the GOA regarding the motivations of Congress. So if there is going to be an argument for focus, I would suggest focussing on that question.
To Ed. Sure, its a tangled mess. I think more accurately, this, like Hubris peak and Evolution for that, is a subject which is scientific in its fundamentals, and yet so speculative as to preclude a scientific conclusion in our time. Kate has a point which is that we should summarize arguments. Really it's a point I have been making since forever. Assertions should be verifiable summarizations of identifyable sources. iE, "The SCOTUS held (here) that nuclear is more dangerous than all the insurance companies in the world combined could afford to insure." Benjamin Gatti
Wow. progress. I might have to give everyone a cookie for that. ;-) --Woohookitty(cat scratches) 03:25, 26 October 2005 (UTC)

What I get from the SCOTUS decision is "The potential consequences of a worst-case nuclear accident are unknown, so that private insurance companies are unable to cover all of them." The word "danger" (as "dangerous") is used only once, in repeating a claim - SCOTUS never used it. The exact SCOTUS decision is:

We disagree. We view the congressional assurance of a $560 million fund for recovery, accompanied by an express statutory commitment, to "take whatever action is deemed necessary [438 U.S. 59, 91] and appropriate to protect the public from the consequences of" a nuclear accident, 42 U.S.C. 2210 (e) (1970 ed., Supp. V), to be a fair and reasonable substitute for the uncertain recovery of damages of this magnitude from a utility or component manufacturer, whose resources might well be exhausted at an early stage."

The closest SCOTUS comes to Ben's wording is:

Notwithstanding comprehensive testing and study, the uniqueness of this form of energy production made it impossible totally to rule out the risk of a major nuclear accident resulting in extensive damage. Private industry and the AEC were confident that such a disaster would not occur, but the very uniqueness of nuclear power meant that the possibility remained, and the potential liability dwarfed the ability of the industry and private insurance companies to absorb the risk.

My wording is significantly different from Ben's, but more accurate and closer to the SCOTUS decision.

Simesa 09:51, 26 October 2005 (UTC)

So Ben, how does that equal "The Supreme Court said that nuclear power is dangerous"? --Woohookitty(cat scratches) 12:51, 26 October 2005 (UTC)

It seems that both sides can find comfort and support in the SCOTUS opinion. What the SCOTUS are saying in their own special "greenspeak" is that the risk is enormous, the danger exists, the damage potential dwarfs private insurance companies (globally combined even) - but more importantly, it indicates and stresses that the purpose of Price is to "Subsidize the danger." - Which is discussed in far more column inches than is the politicaly correct nonesense "Protect the Public" - which in any case is a farce. In what way are the public "Protected" by encouraging power companies to install nuclear bomb on every street corner? Price does not "Increase" the public safety one iota. In truth is deccreases the public safety, but because it is a weapon technology, it decreases the safety of our enemies EVEN MORE. That is the definition of an arms race. Both sides in a race to the bottom. Benjamin Gatti

Shortened criticisms

Now the Act is tilted in favor of nuclear because the criticism section is the shortest. Balance is happily restored. Anyway the important criticism is the fact that victims of criminal action (can you say Enron) by nuclear power companies (like Enron) are not afforded the protections of state and federal (equity) laws.

In this country, a thief who injures himself robbing a bank has more protection than a three year old child exposed to a lifetime of cancers, deformities, and the threat of bearing horribly mutated children against the criminal negliegence of an energy CEO who sacrifices safety to pump up his 100 million dollar year-end bonus. Benjamin Gatti

I mean this in the kindest possible way, but how can anybody take your edits seriously when you add things like this with absolutely no acknowledgement that it is a clearly disputed statement of opinion? The absence of liability protections effectively encourages investors to take short-cuts on safety issues You know how NPOV policies work. So why do this? · Katefan0(scribble) 01:58, 27 October 2005 (UTC)
Because he thinks he can slip one by us. Or he just doesn't care. From what he's said in the past, I'd take option B. He's acknowledged that he doesn't care what the other articles on Wikipedia say. He doesn't care how they are structured. He doesn't really care much about how neutral the article is. Again, these aren't attacks. I'm taking this from admissions he's dropped in from time to time during this entire process. And he keeps changing strategies. He's cooperative and then he's beligerent and then he's apologetic and then he's back to putting in whatever he wants. He makes edits without consensus. Threatens to back out of mediation whenever things are turning against his way. In the past, he's tried to game the system by quoting the NPOV policy but then leaving out important points. Again, none of these are personal attacks. It's in the record. To say it's difficult to make heads or tails of his intentions is an understatement. Ben, I kind of wish you'd just be consistent here. If you want to be beligerant and put in whatever you want, fine, but then don't act like you want to cooperate and then go right back to being beligerant. The thing is. We're assuming good faith. We have been since the start. It's just impossible to follow someone who continually reinvents his strategy and keeps altering behavior from one moment to the next. --Woohookitty(cat scratches) 02:48, 27 October 2005 (UTC)
There is also the distinct possibility that (he) simply believes it to be so, finds the position to be well supported in the body of evidence, and proposes that the final opinion include the assertion. This isn't really an emotional issue, I doubt that caring or not caring is highly correlated with the results. I'm certainly not persuaded by consensus in the absence of demonstrated expertise, in the face of empirical evidence such as chernobly, and given factual finding by the SCOTUS, as well as the recent reaffirmation off the necessity of Price, the argument, that nuclear is "safe" is perfectly specious. Benjamin Gatti
Ben, even among those exposed to Chernobyl's massive fallout, "there is little evidence of increased mortality, cancers or birth defects among them; and when such evidence is present, existence of a causal link to radioactive contamination is uncertain." If by chance there was an accident and a containment leak and someone didn't get evacuated and was as a result exposed, there's a huge fund for their treatment, Congressional backing, and according to the SC the Tucker Act behind that. U.S. utility managers are highly motivated not to sacrifice safety, for several reasons, and you never did produce any cites about such doings at Entergy, the second-biggest owner of nuclear units (Exelon, the largest with 20 reactors, did have one allegation against them when I searched). Median utility CEO total compensation in 2003, including bonus and long-term incentives, was under $4 million [69]. The facts just don't support your rhetoric. Simesa 03:21, 27 October 2005 (UTC)
Fact. Millions in those regions who were pregnant were encouraged to abort for fear of mutilations. That is prima facia evidence of a profound threat and substantial damages.
Fact: (Exelon, the largest with 20 reactors, did have one allegation against them when I searched).
Fact: Nuclear energy companies openly discourage public disclosure of safety violations by - among other things beating witnesses within an inch of their life.
Fact: A Burglar can sue his/her victim for negligence, but the innocent victim of a criminal nuclear incident is denied access to the liability protections of our "unjustice" system. Benjamin Gatti

Is there any non-trivial objection to citing the Supreme Courts position that all the kings horses and all the kings men couldn't insure the nuclear industry from even a single nuclear accident? Benjamin Gatti

Is there any non-trivial objection to making Ben stick to the point and not continually go off on tangents? This article is NOT about whether or not nuclear power is dangerous. It's about a law that was passed over 50 years ago, what that law says, how the process it sets works, what the criticisms are of it, etc, etc. It's not about whether or not nuclear power is dangerous. We have an entire article on nuclear power. That's where stuff like your facts belong. This is about the Price-Anderson law. Period. So quit making it something it's not please. --Woohookitty(cat scratches) 04:47, 27 October 2005 (UTC)


Ral, I'm not trying to do your job for ya, but I just reverted to the last consensus version. Again, I thought the whole point of mediation was to decide on a consensus version and *then* change the article to fit the consensus version. Ral, should we protect the article again? Frankly, I'm going to keep reverting back to the consensus version until we come up with a new consensus version. I thought that was the point of mediation. --Woohookitty(cat scratches) 02:51, 27 October 2005 (UTC)

Ral, if we protect every article on the wiki which experiences an excess of 1 revert per week, we could rename the site CNN. No one yet has violated the 3RR rule, or even the 1RR "rule". Mike is demonstrating the lost art of overreaction. Kudo's M. Benjamin Gatti

No. See Ben, the point of mediation is to come up with consensus versions, i.e. versions that everyone is happy with. It is not to keep making changes when you feel like it. If that was the rule, we wouldn't have mediation since the whole point is to give and take so we can come to a consensus.
What's annoying me is that it took me about 6 attempts to get this back reverted to the October 24th version. It's done now. --Woohookitty(cat scratches) 04:00, 27 October 2005 (UTC)
The point of this mediation (as it appears on the record) was to determine whether or not the wiki itself should presume infalible knowledge of Congress' "intentions" given an assertion of same by the GAO. Care to resolve the point Ral? The rest is just Kabisting while we wait for the jury to come back with the verdict. Benjamin Gatti
Um no. The point of this mediation was to come up with a version of this article that we can all be happy about. I really wish you'd quit trying to change the rules of the mediation. It's quite annoying. It's gaming the system. --Woohookitty(cat scratches) 04:44, 27 October 2005 (UTC)
Protected for now. I'll discuss it in a new section in a few minutes. Ral315 (talk) 04:47, 27 October 2005 (UTC)


Some stats to consider (commenting on size, not substance)

Introduction: 77 words

A pretty good length, I think. Ral315 (talk)

Background: 367 words

It could be longer, but doesn't need to be if it explains the act fully. Ral315 (talk)

How the law works: 178 words

Good length. Ral315 (talk)

Criticisms: 553 words

Obviously, this is a problem for many (all?) of you. If we could boil this down to about 300 words, that would be great. Ral315 (talk)

I've set up a temp page for editing: Price-Anderson Nuclear Industries Indemnity Act/Temp. As this is a page invisible to the public, feel free to make sweeping changes. But note that the ONE-REVERT RULE is still in effect there. The main article will be unprotected when I feel that we've hit a consensus, or everyone involved wants it unprotected. Ral315 (talk) 05:06, 27 October 2005 (UTC)

Another note...refer to your edits here with the "permanent link" from the toolbar so that we can all see your particular revision. Thanks :) Ral315 (talk) 05:08, 27 October 2005 (UTC)

This is the 2nd go at trying it this way. Or is it the 3rd? :) But let's hope it's successful or else I'm going to run out of WikiAdvil. --Woohookitty(cat scratches) 05:12, 27 October 2005 (UTC)

Were you counting my recent version wherein the criiticism section was shortened? The criticism section is not long because of the "critics" it has been bloated by those trying to bury the ugliest truths in a mound of platitudes. Benjamin Gatti

I think it's an important part of Wiki policy that protected pages get listed in that section for protected pages - it tends to bring in additional points of view which may be valuable in resolving the issue. Benjamin Gatti

Amazing. --Woohookitty(cat scratches) 05:46, 27 October 2005 (UTC)

Remember: You need to back up major changes with reasoning. Ral315 (talk) 14:36, 27 October 2005 (UTC)

How the law works

Okay, I made a first proposed change. Simesa 11:40, 27 October 2005 (UTC)

Calling Spade

Price - removes "Public Protections" by suspending laws truly intended to protect the public from dangerous activities of others. Benjamin Gatti

Criminal law still applies, and in the words of SCOTUS "in the event of a nuclear accident the utility itself would probably suffer the largest damages." Simesa 14:49, 27 October 2005 (UTC)
Price - removes "Public Protections" by suspending laws truly intended to protect the public from irrational investment in dangerous activities.
The people who suffered the most from Chernobly was not kiev, ukraine, or their energy company - it wa in fact the people of Belarus which happened to live to the north and recieved no benefit from the plant during its operation. Benjamin Gatti
By now you know enough to know the Chernobyl RBMKs were a special case, unlike any civilian U.S. power plant which (1) don't have graphite in their cores and (2) have real containment buildings (I can't speak for the DOE's weapons-production reactors, but they've all been shut down anyway). And both Canada and Mexico have their own nuclear p[lants. Simesa 07:44, 28 October 2005 (UTC)

Objection to Censorship

"Protecting" a page on account of 1 to 2 edits a week amounts to censorship. Regardless of the subject or any other thing - it is antithetical to the spirit of wikipedia, and not supported by any published policy. I must therefore object. For comparison, the GWBush page is vandalized about twice a second, but remains open for business nonetheless. A double standard here can only be explained by bias or elitism, and the use of censorship to effect either of those is inconsistent with cooperative nature of wikipedia.. Benjamin Gatti

Simple vandalism can be reverted easily. This is a content dispute, and I'm using the protection not to censor anyone, but rather to encourage open discussion and editing on the temp page. Ral315 (talk) 14:32, 27 October 2005 (UTC)
Also, for what it's worth, I had never heard of the Price-Anderson Act prior to this mediation, and my knowledge of nuclear energy was virtually zero. Ral315 (talk) 14:45, 27 October 2005 (UTC)
Ral, I'm with ya. I had no idea what it was either. And yes, protection in this case is because people (and it wasn't just you Ben) were making edits without consensus, which defeats the purpose of mediation. --Woohookitty(cat scratches) 16:51, 27 October 2005 (UTC)


Obviously the Intro and Criticisms are areas of discussion, so I suggest they each have their own section in Discussion.

Ben's suggestion is: The Price-Anderson Nuclear Industries Indemnity Act (commonly called the Price-Anderson Act) eliminates the laws which protect the public from criminal, negligent, and irresponsible actions for nuclear power plant operators, as well as the requirements that they be adequately insured for liability. The act "indemnifies" private reactors, as well as some government facilities, but does not cover Navy aircraft carriers and submarines. The Act has enabled private participation in nuclear energy in the United States. Environmental groups, consumer groups, taxpayer watchdogs, as well as the Department of Energy has described or criticized the act as a handout to the rich.

To this I object to "eliminates the laws which protect the public from criminal, negligent, and irresponsible actions" as clearly - and in every nuclear worker's initial training - criminal penalties DO apply. I object to "that they be adequately insured for liability", as who is to judge "adequately"? - Congress aparently thinks so, and the Supreme Court said that inadequacy of $560 million was something "which we have already rejected." "Rich" is Ben's personal interpretation - in the recent past utility rates were set by Public Utilities Commissions, and now they're set by the marketplace; I suggest this statement would need an a good, solid cite.

I'll try to blend the initial and Ben's Intros. Simesa 14:46, 27 October 2005 (UTC)

Objection to "that they be fully insured and/or accountable for liability" ?
The DOE has said it is a subsidy for investors. Who are investors if not the rich, and who are taxpayers if not the Poor - remember that income derived from investments are taxed at a lower percent, so the burden of taxes is on the working class principly - who recieve little or no offset subsidies. Benjamin Gatti


I rewrote Criticisms - for the first two paragraphs the changes were minor.

But I'm amazed - no one else objected to the line "Like all subsidies, Price Anderson raises the price of its target commodity by forcing the market to make poor decisions."??? Subsidies immediately lower the price of commodities. If we want to discuss long-term effects of subsidies, we'd need a fairly comprehensive study to cite, as it's not always true that subsidies raise prices in the long-term (windmills, for example).

"Strong financial incentive"? A reload is $150 million. Plants should cost about $1.5 billion. Even the top number, $33 million, if the U.S. government were to charge it, is hardly a deciding factor.

The next line, "The costs of Nuclear energy were grossly underexagerated, and have in fact turned out to be more expensive and dangerous than clean, safe alternatives, such as wind power" is just a commercial for renewables with no impact on Price-Anderson, so I cut it. (As an aside, nuclear did become far more expensive due to huge building delays when the post-Three Mile Island modifications had to be incorporated, but those modifications - and more - are incorporated up-front now.)

I get the feeling that we are missing some valid criticisms, but I'll have to go back and compare to the current article. Mediation isn't a negotiation as to "what I can get in", it's a decision process as to what should be in.Simesa 08:23, 28 October 2005 (UTC)

Okay, I've added some criticisms back in. Simesa 08:55, 28 October 2005 (UTC)

1. Presuming that a freedom market is superior to a command economy in providing the best goods at the lowest price, then a deviation from the former raises the cost as the latter is approached. To argue that a free market is not the most effecient is non-trivial, and certainly has not been made here - or referenced. 2. The high number (33M) is annual, a reload is (3-10 years?), and the overnight cost is amortized over 40+ years. Benjamin Gatti P.S. yes I know what a sequitur isn't - and how it's spelled.

Price removes Protection

This is an important point. It removes the basic protections of laws which require those who cause damages to be held responsable for those damages. Without such laws, there would have been zero safety improvements either in cars, industry, airflight - or any other commercial enterprize. Notably after 50 years, nuclear energy is no more safe than it was at the beginning - the incentive to improve is gone - gone - gone. Benjamin Gatti

(see below) Simesa 09:10, 28 October 2005 (UTC)
Can you please translate this into language changes you're seeking? · Katefan0(scribble) 21:24, 27 October 2005 (UTC)
  • The purpose of liability laws are to hold persons (ie companies and their investors) completely responsible financially for the damages they may cause. This risk of being sued for damages is what causes car companies to recall their vehicles and correct mistakes. It is a critical part of the give and take of what makes this nation what it is. In other countries - such as Mexico - it is far more likely that careless behaviour which causes damages will not result in justice - or equity - that is the making whole of the injured party at the expense of the responsable party. Price Anderson directly interfers with the only real protection injured people have against those who in their greed would seek to profit by putting other's lives at increased risk.
"The Act removes the quintiessential protections which allow the victims of greed and negligence to be made whole by the courts." Benjamin Gatti
I added the line "This limited liability is in contrast to most other industries, which are generally mostly or fully liable for the troubles and difficulties that their products cause." You guys can reword but I think that's what Ben is getting at. I'm not giving this as "my version". Just trying to translate Ben's words into something NPOV. That's as close as I can get, even though again, it's it can easily be viewed as another criticism seeping into this article. --Woohookitty(cat scratches) 00:44, 28 October 2005 (UTC)
I Think that is progress. Two points: The "Protections" were removed by price - not added. Suggesting that the government is adding protection by promising to bail-out the victims is redundant - look at Katrina and every other disaster natural or man-made - the government bails out victims - with or without some prior rhetoric. The difference is that the teeth of liability laws which do in fact guard the safety of each of us by threatening those who would harm us with significant and negative results have been detoothed. The direction which Protection has taken as a result is negative - while the rhetoric is more Washingtonian perjury.
The second point is that Nuclear ought to be compared to its peers specifically - with which it competes. Yes - the general case is that most industries are motivated to improve their safety by imposing the burden of liability on the prime mover. But the specific, and more relevent case is that all other forms of energy are compelled to fully fund their own liabilities and risks, and that to be competative, they must fund their risks and still cost less than nuclear - with its risks fully subsidized. This is a tall order. Equivelent to requiring a marathon runner to be competative while one runner gets a limosine ride during the uphill parts. Benjamin Gatti
How can you look at designs like the ABWR, the passively-safe designs and the inherently-safe PBMR and say there's been no progress in safety??? The post-TMI mods? The IPE process for each plant? Simesa 09:09, 28 October 2005 (UTC)
Because - as the SCOTUS says - in spite of much research, the probablity of a catastrophic accident is greater than 0. In spite of the improvements, the world insurance community is unwilling to insure nuclear plants (still). The plan for Price was as an introductory offer - the reality is that it is still required. You claim that nuclear is safe - the problem is neither SCOTUS or the insuranc market find your claim persuasive - why should I? more importantly why should our readers? Benjamin Gatti
Actually, with the PBMR the chance of a meltdown WILL be zero, and Price-Anderson won't be needed. Congress found nuclear to be persuasively safe, and insurance companies certainly are willing to sell nuclear all the insurance they can. Simesa 23:09, 29 October 2005 (UTC)
You always ignore criminal penalties. And I disagree that the Congressional promise is redundant - it isn't for banks, for example. And, other than immediate life-support, the Katrina victims are getting mostly low-interest loans, which if used will have to be paid back. (Simesa 09:09, 28 October 2005 (UTC))
Begging pardon for bifurcating your comment; I don't ignore criminal penalties, but how are the trials of Lay, Ebbers, Fastow etc... going to put the money back in the pockets of those who were damaged by their actions. Nuclear plants cannot effectively be tried for crimes at a corporate level, but they can be held financially liable, and that is the biggest stick when dealing with corps - you know this of course, being a far cry from stupid, but look at chernobly - rules were violated, presumably even international laws, was anyone put in prison? What if we sell a nuclear plant to nicaragua, and they sort of screw up, being a bit less uptight about laws than we are, and a cloud spreads over half a continent - how are putting a few hired hands trying to feed their family in jail going to rewind a nuclear event? - won't happen. The only way to prevent a nuclear event is to make t so expensive for the companies involved that they either find a less risky way to generate electricity, or make damn sure there is a zero chance of failure, fraud, corruption, sabatoge etc, or that if there is, the damage is contained. Benjamin Gatti
For those who are wondering, Lay, Ebbers and Fastow refer to corporate fraud cases [70]. Yes, people were put in jail for Chernobyl:
"The trial of the persons accused of being responsible for the Chernobil accident started in July 1987 in Kiev. Two operators, who were originally accused, turned out to be innocent and their firmness was appreciated. (Due to the large dose exposure both of them have died since then.) Verdict was delivered three weeks later. Brukhanov, director of the power plant and Fomin, chief engineer (for tolerating the constructional deficiencies during the building phase of the plant) and Diatlov deputy chief engineer (for the experiment performed irresponsibly) were sentenced for ten years of imprisonment, while three others were sentenced between five and two years. Some of them had to released because their health was damaged by the suffered radiation dose." [71]
Plants sold to foreign countries are not covered by Price-Anderson, which hasn't stopped GE from selling to Mexico, Spain, Taiwan, etc. I agree with the contained viewpoint. Simesa 09:19, 29 October 2005 (UTC)
Your analogy is poor. The subsidy is estimated to be at most $33 million per year per reactor, when a reload costs $150 million and a plant should cost $1.5 billion. The maximum $33 million would be noticed, but is hardly something the industry couldn't live with. Simesa 09:09, 28 October 2005 (UTC)
As I said above. The anualized frequency would be significant, in addition to which insurance doesn't fully mitigate risk. Bankrupcy is the only limit to liability claims, and a single event could trigger damages in excess of the insurance carriers liquidity, and thereby challenge the companys involved directly. Benjamin Gatti
If your goal is to eliminate Price-Anderson so as to reduce competition, that ship has sailed. Simesa 09:19, 29 October 2005 (UTC)
Actually that ship has just become ripe for a Constitutional challenge. I definately see Price going to the Supremes again - the one ruling is unpersuasive, based on insufficient data (pre-chernobly), and deals with the rights of victims to be treated equally regardless of the cause of their damages. I believe a stronger argument is the right of wind generators to be treated equally with others in their industry - and not to be exposed to unfair and government subsidized competition. Benjamin Gatti

I can see that in the latest edit Ben has returned to aggressive negotiating. I thought Woohookitty's compromise was a bit much, and I can see that Ben has rejected it as well. I'll try writing my own compromise. Simesa 23:09, 29 October 2005 (UTC)

Flurry of Substance

Perhaps an idea which might help - Instead of the proponents making the sugar-coated case, and leaving it to me to prove some factual deficiency in the best case scenario, how about if the proponents prove some factual inconsistency in the worst-case scenario - which generally is that:
  1. In spite of best efforts, all nuclear plant designs available for construction as of 2005 conform to the finding of SCOTUS that "[the risk of catastrophic damages is greater than 0]".
  2. That investors, even if by negligence or criminal activity, join in a corporation and cause nuclear damages, would not risk the loss of their investments to those they injure.
  3. That investors in safe clean energy have fewer protections against their specialized risks than investors in nuclear energy.
  4. That safe clean energy must compete on price with a severe handicap of fewer developmental subsidies, less avoided cost subsidies, and fewer red tape subsidies than nuclear (with almost zero federal support - and some state-level support). Benjamin Gatti
  1. Actually, a PBMR has operated in Germany. The passively-safe ESBWR is about to be ordered, and should also have a zero risk of meltdown for at least three days after a LOCA.
  2. Investors would lose their investment in the plant, over 1.5 billion dollars, plus up to 95.8 million more at each reactor. That's quite a large risk.
  3. This may be true, but then again they pay far less insurance per kilowatt.
  4. You don't know government paperwork until you've worked in nuclear (even the site fence defies belief). The subsidies are decided by Congress, and in the new Energy Policy Act of 2005 wind and wave power are being subsidized as well.
Simesa 01:14, 30 October 2005 (UTC)
  1. If safe reactors were available - then Price would not be necessary for the next generation of nuclear plants (per the SCOTUS argument).
  2. Investors losses would be limited to the plant, or more meaningfully, their exposure is limited to the ratio that a single plant represents relative to the entire corporation. GE - for example builds all sorts of plants and many of them, the loss of a single reactor would presumably represent less that 1% of the entire portfolio value - while the damages could in fact represent 100% of the portfolio and more. Consequently Price protects 99% of the portfolio value even from criminal and negligent damages.
  3. Yes - they pay less per kw in liability insurance, but wind has risks, which like nuclear, are unique to the technology, specifically wind is highly sensative to future fuel prices and rates of inflation. Fairness, I suggest, would mean leveling the risk field - regardless of how the risks are allocated.
  4. A mountain of paperwork won't stop a nuclear event. In fact, unecessary paperwork can increase the problem as it makes it more difficult to make objective improvments. Providing economic incentives to be safe - in my opinion is a powerful tool for improving technologies, it has worked excellently in many cases. Benjamin Gatti
  1. I agree that Price-Anderson is necessary for one new generation of plants.
  2. One of the points of Price-Anderson exactly - company officers were not willing to risk the unrelated portions of their entire companies. Once(if) the industry evolves, that might be handled by spinoffs, as Westinghoue has spun off the Westinghouse Electric Company and GE spun off Global Nuclear Fuels.
  3. Under deregulation, competition affects all producers equally: wind and wave, like nuclear, have high capital and maintenance costs but low fuel costs (unless you count the gas turbines necessary to back up wind power). Are you referring to potential tornado and hurricane damage?
  4. I disagree that adequate paperwork won't prevent accidents, having dealt with some of that myself. The paperwork can get massive - that's why much of it is "controlled copies", and why the IPE process was computer-based.
Simesa 10:57, 30 October 2005 (UTC)
  1. Then you agree that the new generation is in fact dangerous - ie risk of damages is higher than potential market value.
  2. Corporate shielding is a pruriet and increasingly less effective gambit, If nuclear plants were safe, then there would be no risk, if they are not safe, then the corporations which build them (and yes, that is likely to be large corporations) ought to be fully responsible for their criminal or negligent activities. - removing this requirement is Removing a Public Protection agreed?
  3. Paperwork - yawn, let's agree it's not a serious issue either way.

Benjamin Gatti

  1. My reading of designs and PRA results indicates that the current generation of U.S. plants are more than adequately safe, the next generation of passively-safe designs are extremely safe, and the generation after that is expected to be inherently safe.
  2. Not agreed, as the public is adequately protected by Price-Anderson as found in the Supreme Court decision - the government chose to step in, and to impose stricter laws upon nuclear-related corporations as well as individuals (see, for example, the replies in [72]).
Simesa 03:27, 31 October 2005 (UTC)

Temp Edits

Actually Simesa, I was just trying to NPOV the words Ben was trying to use. Didn't see it as trying to make a compromise. --Woohookitty(cat scratches) 04:15, 30 October 2005 (UTC)
But apparently, Ben thought I was agreeing with him, so he attempted a ridiculously POV edit. Won't you ever give up? An edit that POV is *never* going to be accepted by Simesa, Katefan and myself. Ever. I mean...
"The Price-Anderson Nuclear Industries Indemnity Act removes the protections victims deserve against companies which by criminal, negligent, or malicious means cause or permit nuclear radiation to harm the public."
"Deserve" is a word that should never be in an intro of a Wikipedia article unless it's something like "some argue that people deserve...". Ral, the thing that's so frustrating here is that Ben doesn't just go an inch into POV land. He's go so far into it that it's impossible to negotiate on it. How do you compromise on something THAT POV? I mean in the part I quoted, it's entirely POV from removes to public. I can't even start to couch that it's so POV. --Woohookitty(cat scratches) 04:29, 30 October 2005 (UTC)
What you have failed to argue is which part is false. I'm sure once we agree on the facts, the neutral expression of same will come.
Would you accept Benjamin Gatti
Ben, that's not the issue. We need to make the article NPOV. It needs to be balanced. What you give here is even more POV than what you put on the temp page. And then you cry censorship when you know it's not the issue. I agree with your points. I always have. But that's not the point. We're building a NPOV, collaborative encyclopedia. I've told you all of this before many many times. We're just going round in circles.
The problem, Ben, is that you seem to throw fact and opinion all into one pot. What you put here and on the temp page is *your opinion*. It's not "facts". It's your take on the facts, which is your opinion. I'm not singling you out. It's a common misconception about Wikipedia that I run into on political articles constantly. Wikipedia is not about throwing opinions into the articles and then seeing what fits. It's not let's put up one opinion and then put another one up there and let's see what the majority agrees with. Instead, it's writing articles with no particular opinion. Neutral articles. That's why I refuse to argue what you call "facts". It's not the issue. The issue is that we need to have an article that presents both sides of the issue in as neutral language as possible. Even the critical sections of articles need to follow some semblance of NPOV. In other words, it always has to be "some argue" or "some say" or "critics say". Even the critical sections of articles don't try the stuff you try. It doesn't use the authoritative voice to declare that the law is evil.
Anyway, I'm just tired of doing this over and over and over again. We're not allowing words that POV into the article. I don't know how many times I have to say that. You make no effort to make the language neutral. You expect us to do all of the couching and then you complain when we do it. Enough! --Woohookitty(cat scratches) 05:19, 30 October 2005 (UTC)
Mike, where you and I get stuck I believe is that you want to assert an opinion of the GAO - that is this assertion that congress "intended" to "protect" the public with Price. I think this is a. an opinion, and b. ridiculous. I believe they intended to improve funding for the coldwar nuclear race by compelling the electrical market to fund nuclear reactors whether it made economic sense or not. In my opinion that is a morally neutral choice in the context of a race, but given that the context is now anachronistic, I believe the market should be freed from this irrational constraint. In any case, this assertion can/should not be asserted as an unqualified fact any more than my opinions to the contrary should be. We will stop this editwar only when we can agree on that point. Meanwhile, ink is free. Benjamin Gatti
I really wish you'd be consistent on tactics. Now we're back to "on target, cooperative" Ben. --Woohookitty(cat scratches) 08:01, 31 October 2005 (UTC)

From the Archives

This was an intro I proposed some months back - Anyone care to attack it factually - or is everyone content to try to endrun the facts by complaining about personalities?

"The Price-Anderson Nuclear Industries Indemnity Act (1957) provides Federal Indemnity for private nuclear reactor operators against catastrophic nuclear accidents in the United States. The Act releases plant operators from Federal and State liability laws under which the operators could be held financially responsible for any and all damage to the public caused by a nuclear accident or similar radiological event. Because the nascent insurance industry did not offer policies large enough to cover the costs of a nuclear event in the 1950's, and because the cost would render nuclear energy uncompetative, Congress established a pooled insurance system in which each reactor would insure all of the other reactors up to USD $88 Million per reactor with the Federal government providing up to USD $500 Million additional insurance if necessary; Congress also limited the amount of compensation permitted for people killed, poisened, or genetically disfigured by nuclear radiation, even if caused by the knowing and willful misconduct of senior staff and management. The Act is a risk subsidy which artificially reduces the cost of nuclear energy, making it nearly competative with coal and oil. Like most subsides, it has been panned by both left-wing environmentalists and right-wing fiscal conservatives as contrary to a free market, and a form of corporate welfare which takes from the poor and gives to a few comparatively wealthy energy investors.

Benjamin Gatti

While I've been trying not to comment that much on individual ideas, remember that NPOV is not achieved by text that distracts the user's emotions from the issue. I'm looking at "genetically disfigured" specifically. And a word change may be in order in the case of 'nascent' - I consider myself well read, but can honestly say I've never heard the word used. (I have no opinion on the content of this paragraph personally, however, either way) Ral315 (talk) 02:09, 31 October 2005 (UTC)
How would you describe children born with genetically contained deformities induced by exposure to radiation in utero other than this? Are you suggesting we use euphemisms such as collateral damage? We do not have a mandate to clothe a holocaust in a shroud of presumed righteousness. Here is the dictionary per the US Army at [73]
"(a) At 15 rad, there may be up to a 6% chance that the child could be mentally retarded. Conversely, there is at least a 94% chance the child will not have such a radiation- induced anomaly. "
'f. Heritable changes in the reproductive organs may occur that could, theoretically, affect the progeny of the conceptus but not the conceptus itself.
2. Effect of ionizing radiation.
a. Malformation and Prenatal Death
b. Growth Retardation
c. Neurological Effects
d. Severe Mental Retardation
e. Intellectual deficit
f. Seizures
g. Occurrence of Malignancies.
Benjamin Gatti
At extremely high dosages the above are possible, which is why the NRC mandated nuclear-grade designs and construction, licensed operators, containments, 10-mile Emergency Planning Zones and FEMA-supervised annual drills.
Harvard Medical School researched the radioogical results of Chernobyl in [74].
Simesa 03:45, 31 October 2005 (UTC)
We agree, These are the risks which victims would not have recourse against a corporation, which even by criminal means, caused a radiation incident in the United States. The probability is high enough that nuclear energy companies are unwilling to take the risk - do they know something you don't? BIO Benjamin Gatti
All I'm saying is that it distracts the reader from the main issue, which is the act itself. And now, I'm going to leave the rest of you to decide whether it belongs. Ral315 (talk) 05:04, 31 October 2005 (UTC)

Kicking up dust

Mike has drawn up a personality complaint (which is common enough when losing the battle on the merits) I have taken the liberty to respond and list this article, as well as the complaint under: Wikipedia:Requests for comment/Maths, natural science, and technology, and may I suggest things were more civil prior to the censorship regime. I'm not fond of censorship, it is unpersuasive at best, and tends not to bring out anyone's friendlier side. Benjamin Gatti 01:01, 31 October 2005 (UTC)

May I say that the reason I locked the main page was that any time a user changed something, it was quickly changed and edited, and then someone would inevitably decide that the changed version was inferior (whether it was or not, I don't know), and revert. Nobody was making any real progress- in three tries, the page was reverted within just hours. Censorship was not my goal; in fact, I believe that having edits on a temp page promotes more open discussion of the topic. Ral315 (talk) 02:15, 31 October 2005 (UTC)
Locking a page promotes the agenda of the last editor, and it violates established wikipedia policy, which in my opinion, is a poor way to advocate that others comply. Benjamin Gatti
Unprotecting would certainly unleash edit-warring. Simesa 04:56, 31 October 2005 (UTC)
Ben, #1 me opening a RfC against you is not an issue for this page. And #2, apparently you think this is some sort of joke. You actually signed the proposed RfC I made (it isn't even live yet) as God. And you also put in your own text in the "parties to the dispute" section. I'd suggest you take all of this more seriously. It's not "censorship". It's following the rules of the site. Please start following them. It's not your words we object to. It's the never ending delaying tactics and the always changing strategy and the constant gaming of the system. I'd politely suggest that you stop treating this all as a fiddle. --Woohookitty(cat scratches) 08:11, 31 October 2005 (UTC)
Good luck with your Jihad, I've already got God on my side (dibs). (every epic conflict involves manipulating with side God favors, Vietnam was US v. godless commies, now its the baptized GW v. the uncircumcized). Well, you've already deleted the response of your target - so I'm confident people will see through your chirade. Benjamin Gatti
Please, guys, let's keep the personal attacks, and the religion and politics out. We're here to write an encyclopedia, not bring up partisan views. Ral315 (talk) 06:37, 1 November 2005 (UTC)
I believe Mike has established that he is here to censor the views of others by any means. He drew up a slanderpage, invited his friends to comment, and then when I responded in the (response) section of the RfC template, he promptly excized it, and when I reverted his vandalism, he had one of his admin friends purge the evidence. I object and complain. Benjamin Gatti
Actually, what he did was begin drawing up an RFC on you in his personal user space. You chose to edit it instead of waiting until it was posted in the Wikipedia main space. The one being disruptive was you. · Katefan0(scribble) 16:29, 1 November 2005 (UTC)
I have never done any business with User:Doc glasgow. He is not my "admin friend". And #2, please take responsibility for your actions. If we do put a Request for Comment on you, it's not like I made all of your actions up out of whole cloth. Yes Ben, I'm just out to hang you. Please. And by the way Ben, this isn't the place for this. If you want to complain about any administrator actions I've made, you can do so on the appropriate RfC page. The thing is, there is absolutely no policy against opening a "practice" RfC page on one's userspace and to tell others about it. It's been done many times in the past and it'll be done many times in the future. And I wish you would quit yelling censorship. What? We're just supposed to let Wikipedia become a free for all. See, that's what blogs are for. If chastising you because you keep violating policy is "censorship", then i guess all of our policies are "censorship".
And the other thing is that this is not the only article. So if we do open a RfC on you, it's about your user conduct, not about any specific article. I mention this because when I had the page up, you had something up from when Ral said that the arby committee doesn't take up content disputes. Well Ben, this is more than a content dispute. It's continued bad behavior that has been demonstrated in this article, in Looting, nuclear power and some others.
Anyway Ral, sorry for this, but I felt like I needed to respond to his latest series of attacks. I'm a respected administrator. I am not out to "censor" anyone. Please. Yes, I woke up today and went "How can I screw Ben?". No. I'm attempting to keep Wikipedia clean and tidy and without bias. That's the job that the people who voted for me wanted me to do and I'll continue to do that job. This whole argument is not about censoring Benjamin Gatti. It's about getting this page to be NPOV. --Woohookitty(cat scratches) 16:41, 1 November 2005 (UTC)
Certainly Mike is permitted to open up an RfC anywhere he wants, but those who are criticised "By Name" in any forum have the absolute right to respond. Deleting such a response is censorship of the highest order, and has nothing to do with neat and tidy. Benjamin Gatti
Ben, it wasn't live yet! And it was within my rights to ask for its speedy deletion. Here is the policy. Read it. Or do your usual and don't. Your choice. Btw, notice that the entire subpage is deleted, not just your comment. So it's not as if I just removed your comments. They are all removed. Also, once the RfC goes live, you will have every chance to respond. So let's drop the "Censorship!!" cry, shall we? I violated no policies. It was something on my own personal user page. You could do the exact same thing. Despite what you implied, I did not "pull rank". Any user could have asked for that page to be speedied. And the request would've been granted because users can ask for their subpages to be deleted. So let's not make this into something it's not. And one more thing. Putting a practice RfC on my user page is NOT "opening up a RfC". It's not as if it's official. It's not as if other users will treat it as official. It's just another attempt at gaming the system. You know the policy. You know I'm within my rights. So drop it already and let's get back to the issues, shall we? --Woohookitty(cat scratches) 20:23, 1 November 2005 (UTC)
Mike, your criticisms were both personal and public enough that Simesa, Kate, and I all knew about them, use whatever rationale you like, I will not concede the absolute right of a person named in a complaint to respond, and subsequent censorship is condemnable. You do not have the right to censor those who are defending themself from your baseless attacks. Benjamin Gatti
Go away. --Woohookitty(cat scratches) 21:04, 1 November 2005 (UTC)

Revert of 10/31/05 3 am UTC

I'm reverting because of the following objections to the following lines:

The Price-Anderson Nuclear Industries Indemnity Act (commonly called the Price-Anderson Act) eliminates public safety laws in all fifty states

Nonsense, Title 10 of the Code of Federal Regulations covers nuclear safety.

and protects criminally negligent nuclear operators from being held financially responsible for criminal acts

The Supreme Court said "the utility itself would probably suffer the largest damages", and criminal law is enhanced, not reduced.

The Act makes it a crime for private persons to protect themselves against a nuclear event by insuring their own property against an explosion at a nuclear energy plant.

No it doesn't - the situation there is that the industry has already bought up all the insurance available, as required by the Act.

In the event that a corporation commits a criminal act which leads to wide-spread devastation similar to Chernobl, taxpayers and victims, rather than the corporation will be held financially responsible for the damage.

The reactors will be liable for at least $10 billion, but this statement is partially correct - but since Chernobyl was vastly unlike any U.S. power plant, it doesn't belong in the intro.

The Act is part of the Energy Policy of President George W. Bush.

So what? Congress passed the Energy Policy Act of 2005 with bi-partisan support, why mention Bush but not that?

Simesa 04:56, 31 October 2005 (UTC)

Yep. Again, the problem is that some of edits go so far into POV land that they are unrecoverable. --Woohookitty(cat scratches) 08:33, 1 November 2005 (UTC)

Status Question

Is anyone working on what we've discussed before in terms of writing more background into this article? We still have damn little on how the process works in terms of filing the claims and such if something does happen. I'm not the guy to do it...maybe Simesa could?? --Woohookitty(cat scratches) 20:26, 1 November 2005 (UTC)

I'm pursuing it - I did find one quote, from 1979, that "The claim was handled by American Nuclear Insurers, a private company, for under Price-Anderson the federal government does not pay until the claims from an incident reach $120 million" but I will get a better source." Simesa 23:32, 1 November 2005 (UTC)
Is not the Supreme Court's opinion a suitable source for background copy? I think, in the main, how it works (to the degree that how it works is even specified) is described by the Supreme Court's opinion. As far as specifics are concrned, it doesn't really "work" for victims in any specific way - the only thing it does specifically is relieve nuclear reactors from worrying about what happens when a nuclear catastrophy hits. Benjamin Gatti
I think Mike is looking for something more like the following. An authoritative source may be [75] - "Within twenty-four hours of the Pennsylvania Governor’s advisory for pregnant women and pre-school age children to evacuate a five-mile area around the site, we had people in the area making emergency assistance payments. Two days later, a fully functioning claims office staffed with some 30 people was open to the public. The claims staff grew to over 50 people within the next two weeks. All of the claims staff came from member insurance companies from around the country. ... As the office was being set up, we placed ads on the radio, television and in the press informing the public of our operations and the location of the claims office. Those people affected by the evacuation advisory were advanced funds for their immediate out-of-pocket living expenses, that is to say, expenses for food, clothing, shelter, transportation and emergency medical care. Approximately $1.3 million in emergency assistance payments were made to some 3,100 families without requiring a liability waiver of any kind." (That amount sounds kind of low to me, but then again there wasn't any physical damage - we know that eventually $70 million was paid.) Simesa 03:22, 2 November 2005 (UTC)
The man to talk to is Dan Antion of American Nuclear Insurers, Glastonbury, CT. I've attempted to contact him by mail and e-mail. I also found that FEMA incorporates ANI in accident drills. Simesa 02:53, 4 November 2005 (UTC)
It's a nice paragraph, and like thanksgiving dinner, it quickly fills one with warm thoughts, but this was not the situation experienced in the aftermath of chernobyl, neither does it begin to touch the scale of disaster contemplated by Price Anderson. In the event of a real emergency, taxpayers and victims would be compelled to absorb the damages - not those responsible, even in the event of criminal and frausdulent behavior, like the false and misleading behavior of Enron officials. Benjamin Gatti
I wasn't looking for a political statement. I was looking for what Simesa is offering. What is the process if an accident occurs? Whether or not P-A does a good job of protecting the public isn't the issue. The issue is...what is the process the law lays out when there is a problem? --Woohookitty(cat scratches) 19:16, 2 November 2005 (UTC)
Again, I suppose this is describing three mile island, and again, none of this represents "the process" of Price Anderson. The Process of Price is better spelled out in the Supreme Court finding. Generally, insurance covers the first bit, and the government picks up the tab after that = automatically to a point, and by congressional action beyond that - none of which is really even a process - except to say there will be a promise - ie congress agrees to invent one should a crisis occur. The only thing which is defined, is that the injured cannot go after those responsible for the damage - even if criminal action was the root cause. Benjamin Gatti
Yes, that's sort of what I mean, Ben. I mean...if something happens at a nuclear plant, how does it work? Another thing we don't address here is...according to P-A, what constitutes an "accident". It's all stuff that should be in here if we want a thorough article on the Act. Otherwise, it's a little like having an article on the War Powers Act but no discussion on what the Act means by "War". --Woohookitty(cat scratches) 20:06, 2 November 2005 (UTC)
Mike, if people are looking to Price Anderson as a Bible for emergency response, they are lost. An "accident" which meets the insurance threshold of Price would be geater than ~100 Million, Beyond that "mutual insurance" would kick in under which all the safe reactors "insure" the unsafe reactor. This isn't a fixed amount, but it can be calculated by the number of reactors times the roughly 100M figure. After that (~100 Billion?), then Congress kicks in a little bit more - like 500 Million, and beyond that a "retroactive mutual insurance" kicks in whereby reactors are committed to pay an addition premium if necessary - up to a limited figure, beyond that Congress has agreed to "do something" - whatever that means. All of which is rather imprecisely defined, and again, what is far more clear is that victims will not have recourse against those responsible.
For example: Without Price, if Enron were to try to cut costs by ignoring safety requirements and a large explosion took place, victims would have the ability to sue Enron for damages, which clearly they would, and into bankrupcy, which many would argue is what keeps most companies from cutting such corners. With Price, some insurance money would be available. generally a lot less for each victim, restitituion would be rationed, medical expenses would be rationed, treatment would be rationed, because the damages are limited to minimal numbers and the discretion of congress. In short, it would look like a remake of Louisianna, with widespread unfunded incompetance, and an inexplicable inability of huge government departments, run by former horse association lawyers and lottery commission members falling over themselves to explain that everything which could possible be done is being done. In the meantime, the funds of Enron would be unavailable to recompense the victims. Benjamin Gatti
I think I need to tape a sign to your head that says "Stay on subject Ben". lol I just want something on how it works. No political statements or judgements necessary. --Woohookitty(cat scratches) 06:58, 3 November 2005 (UTC)

I archived today

We're now up to 384K total in talk on this subject. We have 2 very small (8K) archived pages. Not sure why. I also think we've reached the point (7 archives) where there is value in making one big archive that users can go to as well. --Woohookitty(cat scratches) 19:28, 2 November 2005 (UTC)

OK. I consolidated the archives a little since one was too short and 2 were out of order (i.e. talk 2 should've been talk 3 and vice versa). All fixed now. I didn't delete or move anything...just between pages so I could get the order right. Thank me. lol --Woohookitty(cat scratches) 19:45, 2 November 2005 (UTC)
And now we have one big ass archive that covers all of the discussions back to June 26th. Now, we're missing the talk from when we had that separate mediation page, but oh well. We have enough. lol --Woohookitty(cat scratches) 20:00, 2 November 2005 (UTC)

Well, thanks for nothing for archiving away the explanation of why this page has a posted (if confusing) request for comment. Judging from reading the last archive, this is stillan active though unexplained request for comment. Sandpiper 02:05, 4 November 2005 (UTC)

Why the RfC

In response to Sandpiper -

Price is an Act which permits energy companies to commit crimes, and place people at risk of nuclear disasters, without worrying that they will sued for damages.

Some want to paint the act, as indeed Congress has tried to paint the act, as "intended to protect the public" when in fact it removed the basic protection mechanism in all 50 states - which is simply, if your harm someone, you and not they should suffer the costs of their health care, etc ... Benjamin Gatti

How Liability is Spread under Price

Executive Summary From the Supreme Court ruling:

Here is the explainantion: In 1975, Congress again extended the Act's coverage until 1987, and continued the $560 million limitation on liability. However a new provision was added requiring, in the event of a nuclear incident, each of the 60 or more reactor owners to contribute between $2 and $5 million toward the cost of compensating victims. 7 42 U.S.C. 2210 (b) (1970 ed., Supp. V). Since the liability ceiling remained at the same level, the effect of the "deferred premium" provision was to reduce the Federal Government's contribution to the liability pool. 8 In its amendments to the Act in 1975, Congress also explicitly provided that "in the event of a nuclear incident involving damages in excess of [the] amount of aggregate liability, the Congress will thoroughly review the particular incident and will take whatever action is deemed necessary and appropriate to protect the public from the consequences of a [438 U.S. 59, 67] disaster of such magnitude . . . ." 42 U.S.C. 2210 (e) (1970 ed., Supp. V). (SCOTUS) [76]

Just to point out some things: The words used are Nuclear Incident, and Disaster (not "accident"). "Liability ceiling" being spelled out to the penney, while the means of protecting the public is relegated to - "we'll see 'bout dat." "Whatever is deemed appropriate" sounds to me like a fly-over in the executive jumbo-jet for a Presidential Photo Op at 40,000 feet, and sending some useless spoonfed child of the aristocracy to stand around in a pressed suit and brylcream handing out water bottles to the recently rescued. Benjamin Gatti

Request for Comment on What?

I came here totally randomly from the request for comment page, only to find a heated debate, but about what?

Without knowing anything about this law before reading the page, plainly it is intended to protect the companies building nuclear reactors. The argument for it was apparently that no one would be willing to enter the business in the face of a potential open-ended risk of damages. It seems to me that this would be likely to remain the case. It would be wholly impossible for a private company to obtain insurance against the full extent of a possible worst case accident. Technocrats would probably argue that the technology is good enough to prevent an accident like chernobyl, but this seems poor defense against deliberate acts of man, or nature. The law specifies a capped level of insurance which is deemed legally acceptable. I strongly suspect that despite the law any company which had such an accident would be wholly bankrupted as a result, but the law serves to allow those runing a company to at least get into the business.

Whether this constitutes protecting the people, or unprotecting the people depends on your view of whether having nuclear power is good or bad. The law merely enables building of power stations, it does not really alter the consequences of a disaster or the benefits of this form of power production assuming all goes well. It would therefore be my view that effectively it is neutral in terms of protection to the public given the existence of nuclear power. However, in so far as it enables the existence of such station, it does presuppose that it is preferable to build them and take the benefits/risk than not to do so.

Has anyone said that already, in all those archives? Sandpiper 02:30, 4 November 2005 (UTC)

A perceptive understanding. Two suggestions: first, we are doing our editing on [77]; second, the intent was to get past government-support by developing an experience base of accidents - this didn't happen, as the only two accidents have been Three Mile Island (trivial impact on populus except psychological) and Chernobyl (a design vastly unlike those of non-Soviet plants). The Pebble bed reactor, an inherently-safe design, may get us past the need for government support - one PBR has operated in Germany, and the design is under development. Have to go now. Simesa 03:28, 4 November 2005 (UTC)
The suggested link leaves me more mystified, since it is a redirect to this page. An analogy of arguing in circles? It would seem to me (reminiscing now of sitting on the physics department roof, discussing radioactive lamb in Wales after Chernobyl) that the experience base of nuclear accidents has done exactly what might be expected- scared insurance companies to death. I am still unsure where the battle lines have been drawn here, I answered the RfC posed question, but I think there are other issues. My first reaction would be that the article as-is explained to me the main points about the act. In other articles, I have entered into fierce debate about what constitutes 'original research' and personal theories, rather than objective fact. I suspect you are largely arguing about theories of motivation for the act, rather than simply describing what it is and how it works. Have people agreement on that background, at least? Sandpiper 20:43, 4 November 2005 (UTC)
Unfortunately, no, it is one of our main points of disagreement. Whether it is enough to list the publicly stated, well-documented historical reasons (Congressional and industrial) for the creation of Price-Anderson (my position), or whether to try to assert the "truth" about why Price-Anderson was desired (which has been what Benjamin has primarily sought). · Katefan0(scribble) 20:58, 4 November 2005 (UTC)
I looked at a few Ben edits, and I fear they are a bit loaded with words like 'criminal', which in context would not be literally correct. I think it is necessary to start with a bland statement of the legal mechanics of what the act does. Then perhaps people can agree to fight over a later paragraph about motivation? It ought to be possible to get something agreed upon to start off the article? Sandpiper 22:50, 4 November 2005 (UTC)
Not only a bit, usually. You're quite circumspect. We had a pretty to the point intro at one time, but Benjamin typically comes behind and insists on the inclusion of other speculative POV information. So here we are. · Katefan0(scribble) 22:56, 4 November 2005 (UTC)
IIRC Sandpiper, you are responding to a RfC that Benjamin Gatti put up because I had put up a *test* RfC on his user conduct on my user page. So it was not legit. We are already in mediation. In fact, this is our 2nd go round on mediation. So, if you want to stay, great, but you don't have to. :) --Woohookitty(cat scratches) 04:10, 4 November 2005 (UTC)
Sandpiper - welcome to the fray, I would hope to speak for everyone, in encouraging you to stay. It's good to see you've groked the essence of the Act. The chief concern among those who do not share your ambivilence is that in fact nuclear energy has consumed the lion's share of subsidies, and has not delivered on the promise of cheaper electricity. Personally, I think energy sources should be selected on the basis of their ability to deliver a marketable good, with minimal external impact on the environment. If nuclear is really the least expensive means of energy, than I support it, but where I (and others) are dissappointed is that nuclear is getting more than a head start, and so the market is being forced to accept a product which, in a free market, they would not prefer. You make the argument that we should recind our liability laws in order to make room for nuclear energy. Oddly, I don't necessary disagree, except that it ought to be recinded on an equal opportunity basis. If I want to invest in clean safe wind power, why should my investment not enjoy the same benefits of (say) your investment in a nuclear reactor? If I have to worry about the risk of a cat 5 hurricane, why shouldn't you at least weight the probability of a nuclear disaster before choosing to invest in an abomb-in-a-box? So yes - whatever you want to call it, the act removes barriors to energy, my complaint is that it doesn't remove them equally. (sadly, all of which is irrelevent, since all we can do is quote sources on the front page.0 So you will see me quote the Supreme Court which found that nuclear is in fact to dangerous to afford the cost of its own insurance. also - criminal behaviour is protected by the act. Benjamin Gatti
(Quick note to Sandpiper: my mistake, I left the "Talk" in - should be [78] Simesa 01:22, 6 November 2005 (UTC)

Act III Enter Sandpiper, Simesa exit stage far right

Hi Ben. I was not intending to express ambivalence, nor argue that it was desirable to alter ordinary trading rules, rather trying to summarise what I saw. My impression of the act is as I said, that the consequences for individuals after an accident do not appear to be different despite the acts varying of normal rules. The government would be left to carry the can, either way. But as I also said, the distinction seems to be that the act is intended to encourage private companies to enter the market. In that sense, it merely enables a decision already made by the US government. I do see lots of scope to argue about whether that decision was good or bad. But the act in itself seems to be simply a factual subject.
The article seems to allude to subsidies enjoyed by Nuclear generators in as much as they do not have to carry their own liability insurance. I am not sure exactly how this works in the US, but I think in the UK nothing would stop you entering business with inadequate insurance. You would just be bankrupted when a disaster happened. Or someone might get a court injunction to stop your activities, if they could prove you were doing something immediately harmful to someone. If I was planning to do something like this then I would just create a company and get on with it. The problem would be obtaining permission to build it. But in the UK all nuclear power generation has been done by government, anyway. This kind of argument simply did not arise, as the Government is always its own insurer of last resort. Creating a legal structure which allows a private company to side-step insurance worries seems quite sensible if it is assumed that there is a small risk of an extraordinarily big bill. Normal insurance averages risks, and can not cope with that situation. I would not accept that avoiding vast insurance premiums amounted to a subsidy, unless it could be demonstrated before hand that these bills were certain. That is the normal standard applied to companies.
Now, if you are arguing that nuclear power has received other 'unfair' subsidies, then yes, it has. Again, I know more about the UK than the US. Development has first been driven by the need to develop nuclear technology to further bomb production, and second by the strategic importance of having alternative sources of energy not reliant on steady supplies of fossil fuels. I believe the US power program was originally based upon military propulsion reactors, and the investment needed to create them? Several UK governments have fallen/suffered due to energy supply problems. The UK nuclear power industry has now been privatised, but is essentially bankrupt and has had to be bailed out repeatedly for political and resource reasons. Despite massive trust funds for dealing with the problems of decomissioning, it has not even managed to make an operating profit. Nonetheless, the UK government is currently considering embarking on a new building program, for strategic reasons as the current reactors are reaching the ends of their working lives.
The principle argument currently being pushed in the UK for Nuclear power is that it does not release massive amounts of CO2 into the atmosphere. There is plenty of fossil fuel available to the world, but this argument is steadily gaining ground, apparently everywhere except the USA. From the UK, the US seems addicted to cheap energy. All fossil fuel burning comes at an environmental price, and presently absolutely no one is paying properly that price. Saying that the nuclear industry has a special indemnity against damages claims in some ways only puts it on the same footing as the fossil generating industry, which has never had to indemnify properly against pollution. Who will pay out if sea level rise floods New York? I have argued in a circle here a bit, since I seem to have returned to the issue of insurance.
Personally, I agree that we could use vastly more renewable energy resources than we do, that we would very probably be doing so now if the same amount of subsidy had been directed towards developing them as has been directed towards nuclear. But I am not entirely sure in what way people want to add or remove this background debate from this particular article. Sandpiper 20:43, 4 November 2005 (UTC)

Sandpiper, you've certainly hit the high points within the alloted time. Yes fossil fuel do get rather a similar dispensation with respect to the right to poisen people slowly without recourse, and I would argue in favor of fully burdening oil energies with their environmental costs - as would I prefer to see nuclear energy pay the piper - and to be fair wind, waves, and solar energy should pay their way as well, because I believe in a fair market, clean safe energies would be more competative. That said - to level the playing field, renewable energies ought to have the same trillion dollars of development headstart subsidies currently enjoyed by nuclear energy. (all of which is opinion and not publishable). What I do propose is to call a spade a spade, the DOE has called Price a "subsidy for investors", and we can state the facts - which is the Price exists to protect investors from being held responsible for nuclear incidents, and yes it protects investors even when criminal behavior is the cause of the disaster. As you appreciate (which I presume few others do), the risk of underinsurance is bankrupcy, but the problem in the US was that the companies lare enough to participate had deep pockets, and they were faced with exposing their investors to the deep risk of a nuclear disaster in exchange for minor returns relative to the risk. As you have deduced, this problem was real, and appears to be the one and only problem fully and specifically solved by the Price Anderson Act. Now some want to put lipstick on the pig by suggesting the intent was to protect the public. I call bullshit. There really is no movement towards protecting the public - as you say, the government is in both cases the insurer of last resort, and the difference between saying or not saying it is moot. - that leaves us with real motive, and real consequences.

I suggest the motive is exclusively to illicit private investment in defense - er, military technology by taxing the population with the risk of a nuclear disaster (which anyway they can "afford"). This done, it is now expected that the population will continue to bear the risk of nuclear energy - while investors bear the rewards. The GAO has said the "intent" is to "protect the public". I have not objected to the statement, but I have objected to having it appear in the simple authoritative voice. That's it. That is the RfC, the mediation, the retracted and censored RfC by Mike (WHK), several blocks etc ... Benjamin Gatti

Scene II the contemplation of motive

Well, the problem is that you are expressing a particular point of view. It is not an unknown one, quite a lot of people would agree with you, at least some of the way. Your difficulty, is that it is wiki policy to create articles which express first the mainstream opinion. Well, as I suggested above, first to express the facts. Then to discuss interpretations, in so far as they are 'noteable'. I have no doubt that the sort of argument you are making is noteable enough and widely held enough to be included, but not as the banner headline. It would have to be in a balanced way, explaining both sides of the argument. This is the only fair way of doing it, really. Wiki does not set out to campaign on issues, only to report.
It is true that companies sole reason for existing is to make money. But they should not be criticised for that, we collectively let them do that because it benefits everyone else along the way. The art of it is to regulate the companies enough to keep them from doing harm, but not so much as to stifle them. It is unfair to blame companies which build power stations, acting almost certainly no worse nor better than other kinds of companies, when they have essentially been asked to do this by the government, acting on policy considered by democratically elected officials to be in the best national interest. Best national interest frequently covers a multitude of murky business, but balanced by some goal which is considered highly desireable. So I would hold that accusing companies of acting 'criminally' may or may not be true in particular examples, but in general is unfair. They are doing what they have been asked to do. If you like, what the government has bribed them to do. But that is still not to say they have been given 'unfair' subsidies. They have been given the price they negotiated to carry out what was asked of them. Normal business rules.
I think, there is no such thing as 'private investment in defence'. All defense equipment is now and has always been paid for by governments centrally. They collect money, somehow, and then pay someone to work on the technology. This is normal and very widely accepted. There is nothing different here. Whether you consider that nuclear power is a strategic national goal, or a stepping stone towards weaponry, it is still being funded by government. Perhaps this act is a means of relieving comanies of one cost and passing it on to the public, but that is just taxation by a different means. And in fact, it is quite a clever ploy because this is deferred expenditure. One day the bill may come home to government, but not now. Again, that is very very normal government policy, on any matter. Politically, it would be welcomed by many many voters who also prefer to defer their tax payments.
This act does not set out to protect the public, but rather the companies, I agree. But that does not mean it sets out to harm the public either, or that it actually does. The issue is rather like asking whether deforestation caused the demise of the Roman empire. Might have, who can is too complicated to know. So with nuclear power. There have been enough accidents to demonstrate the risks. It is is not economic in the operating sense, but that is comparing it to very unfair competition from fossil fuels, where we seem to agree the generators do not pay the true cost either. So choosing to use it becomes a strategic issue, what is in the long term best interest. It is unfair to imply that those concerned are acting maliciously or with disregard for public safety. Sandpiper 17:21, 5 November 2005 (UTC)

Protecting the public, is exactly what the act does not endeavor to do. I fully concur on the other points, Businesses should make money, the government has the right to contract for power; however two questions are raised, does the government have the right to contract for power from a particular source? or must it offer the same terms to all providers without discrimination? - and secondly, does the government not have the obligation to be truthful when it asks the democractic process to enact a law - in essense levying a risktax on non-voters by calling it "an act to protect the public."
If the government chooses to impose the costs and risks of nuclear experimentation on its people, I suppose that it can, where I would argue is that we as the press, ought to publish the truth of their actions, rather than the propoganda. That is the purpose and function of the first amendment (to shine the light of truth on the darker motives of government). It is no secret that corprations have a greater ability to lobby congress than do the unnamed potential victims of a nuclear holocaust, but this is no reason to permit the government to swindle the people by pandering to their financial supporters while lying to the public. I suggest that you and I agree that Price incorporates the big lie, which is that it's intent and effect is to better protect the public. Thus we as editors should not recoil from our duty to expose that lie for what it is.
Finally as to the power of government to specify the method of generation, I think this treads on equal protection. If I can generate power with wave energy, I should be entitled to sell that power in the same market, with the same advantages as other competitors, and I should not be discriminated against by having the government provide "earmarked" subsidies. If they want to subsidize power - fine, if they want to place a price on carbon - fine, but I believe the government oversteps when it says that "nuclear reactors" will get favorable terms in the marketplace because in their case alone, we will suspend the ordinary risks of conducting a business. In short what is good for the goose, is grand for the gander.
Accordingly, we have the right as editors to describe a "command economy" as one in which market decisions are dictate by a central elite, and to differentiate such from a "free market" economy in which consumers, rather than the government plays the central role in deciding which goods are preffered. Command economics are a trademark of left-wing socialistic/communistic elitist economic politics, and those who embrace it should be properly labelled. Benjamin Gatti

I see someone has a sense of the dramatic. It begins to sound as though your root objection is to commercial discrimination against wave power. Wiki is distinct from the US, and though it may be governed to some extent by laws of the US and its constitution, it is not an arm of the US government, or of the supreme court. It has its own constitution, which is to inform, not crusade. I dont really diasagree with that, as I think knowledge is power. Just tell the story accurately. But it has to reflect accurately the views of everyone concerned. For example, this act has no consequences for most of the world.
Governments, in general, are sovereign entities, which means they have a right to do just about anything they please. Particularly so, when the government in question is the USA. Most governments would maintain that they have a right not to be truthefull, too, when that is to further the national interst. It is not really true that paid lobbyists have a better ability to affect government than do ordinary voters. It would be more true to say that ordinary voters normally do not care very much about any particular issue. This apathy creates a vacuun in which lobbyists can be heard. I think you will find that what most people want is for the lights to go on when they flick the switch. How this is managed is not something which troubles them. So, that truth would be reported in wiki too.
Yes, governments do have a right to choose to push nuclear power, and arrange the legal structure for this to happen. That is one example of what governments do all the time: their job is to make decisions like that. Now, there is little point an adherent of renewable energy moaning about market intervention working against him. Fuel is heavily taxed, but still produces cheaper energy than the other possible sources. If all market intervention was removed, then the only game in town would be burning fossil fuel. The only reason renewable resources are being considered is because of the different players taxing energy sources and manipulating the market by restricting supplies. True, one day there will be an almighty crash when the fuel runs out, but a free market will go on partying to the last second. The only hope for a managed transfer is market intervention. So don't grouse too much because a different technology got in there first. Sandpiper 20:54, 5 November 2005 (UTC)

The US government doesn't have unlimited power, and it is specifically prohibited from treating people differently for arbitrary reasons. And the US is atomic energy, France gets all its reactors from US designs, we paved the way, and without Price, none of that would have happened. So Price is an international law in effect. So here's the question - What is a non-arbitrary reason for buying energy from a nuclear plant for a different price than from a clean safe alternative (ie wind, wave)? I reckon to grow old waiting for that answer.
I think its worth the effort to expose the fact that Price Anderson does not do what it say it does. Benjamin Gatti

Scene III competative concerns

Price-Anderson no longer affects the world. Currently the Canadians, French, Russians, South Koreans and Chinese all have their own designs for nuclear power plants (the French even hope to sell in the U.S.). The pebble bed reactor was built in Germany and is being developed by other countries.
Part of your answer is that wind power isn't clean when the wind doesn't blow, wave power is not developed enough to be relied on, and wave power doesn't help large portions of the U.S. Simesa 01:22, 6 November 2005 (UTC)

WWII no longer affects the world - in the sense that you mean here. True, wind energy isn't when the wind doesn't blow, unless we find better ways of storing "fat". In cold weather we can boil water, and in hot weather we can freeze it. These are not expensive, and if there was a market for "intermittancy" we'd see them included in every building. Wave energy is far more reliable (80% availability) because the energy source is less localized, with DC interconnects it could provide significant power for much of the world. With Wind, wave, solar, hydro, and thermal we could be sustainable safe and clean. Benjamin Gatti

The UK gets lots of nuclear technology from the US, but the news etc here would certainly have you believe the UK developed its own reactors. So would the nice lady at the visitors centre, though we did scratch our heads a bit at some of the things she said. In fact several different designs, which was one reason they were outrageously expensive, if you insist on designing a new one every time you build one. If someone had managed to stabilise the design better we might have had a lot more. While I don't know a lot about the details of American law, it is not obvious that an enabling law for power generators treats people differently. In so far as it does, as I said, it seeks to place nuclear on an equal footing with fossil fueled power. The criticism of it, then, would be that it did not extend this equalisation to wind power. You feel it should have specifically included indemnity provisions for wind/wave generating companies, or at least that such should now be added?
I read some of the edits which Ben inserted, such as that the industry could not get insurance because it was too dangerous. This is not correct. Nothing is too dangerous to insure, the problem is that the risk remains unknown and unquantifiable. Precisely, that the exact danger remains unknown. Insurance companies are also businesses intent on making money, and it is an industry which has suffered very badly from guesswork about levels of risk (asbestos, tobacco). Absolutely the last thing it needs is to take on another unknown risk, so it prices accordingly. This act creates an affordable insurance scheme, which protects the public better than the ordinary law would, as it formally recognises the states obligation to bail out victims in the last resort.
As simesa mentioned, what do you propose to do if fossil is required to pay its full costs, when there is a calm day and little power is generated from renewables. Thermal power from the earths core?... just wait till there's a magma release. Don't get me wrong, I am in favour, but critics will persist in pointing out this rather serious difficulty. Sandpiper 09:13, 6 November 2005 (UTC)

What we expect to do is to shut down unnecessary loads, ie boilers and coolers, and use the stored energy, to run on sodium bromide or hydrogen batteries, and in short, by lowering the price of energy during non-peak times, encourage conservation and scheduling during peak-or-unavailable-times. We can also burn natural gas "sweetened" with hydrogen from surplus generation during off-peak times.

As for insurance, you claim that "Nothing is too dangerous to insure". As a practical matte, many things are too dangerous to insure. Particularly when there are competitors which are safe and clean. What I have said consistently, is that nuclear is too dangerous to get insurance at a price which would allow it to compete with safe, clean wind.

The risk horizon for a nuclear company is in essence all of its liquidible assets, and those its contractors, and vendors. For GE and Westinghouse in 1954, this was a sum they were unwilling to risk, and for which they could not expect to get affordable insurance.

Renewable energies have risks as well. They are different risks, but risk is fungible from the perspective of an investor, and I would argue that where the government alieviates the risk for one persons, it must do the same for another (equal protection).

  1. Nuclear energy has a non-zero risk of disaster
  2. Without Price, the US has a zero-chance of nuclear disaster from large energy reactors.
  3. With Price, the US has a non-zero risk of catastrophy.
  4. Consequentially, Price imposes risk on the public.
  5. Conversley, Price does not "protect" the public.

Scene IV blame congress

Any disagreement? Benjamin Gatti

well,yes. You are blaming price for enabling constrution of reactors, and thereby creating a risk to the public. This is wrong, and unfair to write it up as such. The act is enabling, but it only expresses the will and deliberated choice of the US government, that in fact nuclear is both acceptably safe, and necessary. So blame congress, not the act. The existence of the act effectively presupposes that the US government has already decided nuclear is safe. The fact that neither generating companies nor insurers would touch the matter without this assistance merely says that they have different standards to the US congress. The power companies have decided that without sweeteners, the return is too small to balance the investment and risk. The insurers have decided that the risk is indeterminate, and thus again, not worth the risk. Also, when considering such potentially vast claims, there is the issue of their total resources to make payments, which might be too small to allow them to underwrite such a single event bill. Insurance is a business which relies on averages. On average, ther will be a certain number of events each year. It effectively assumes that the number of events will be big enough that there will be a steady stream each year, and constant payouts matched by constant receipts. This is not true of the nuclear industry, so no sensible insurer would touch it. And non sensible ones are no longer in business. Sandpiper 20:55, 7 November 2005 (UTC)

Gee I'm confused, Congress says nuclear is safe - so uh - it's safe right, so insuring it should be very easy, you know, like a safe driver discount and all. If nuclear is safe, why suspend the rules? are you suggesting the rules are bad - why not suspend them for everyone, Under what conditions dear reader is a double standard acceptable? If congress "declared" the moon to be cheese, does that make it so? Our duty is not to condemn the act, nor to praise it, we are here only to report such things as are true. The truth is that the act serves to expose the public to a risk, which whatever it may be, is nonetheless far far more than either the nuclear industry or the insurance industry is every likely to accept.

Which of the above assertions are untrue? Benjamin Gatti

Well, if congress declared that the moon was made of cheese, with appropriate formalities, then legally within the authority of the USA (or its military), it would be. Obviously. I return to my earlier comment, that if a US company managed to have a really serious accident, then it would be out of business. period. So it is not true that the act absolves them from financial risk. If these companies believed that they were going to have such an accident they would never have started in business, because it would have been a financial loser from the start. If congress believed they were going to, it would not have passed the act. The whole point is that all these people believe that this risk is vanishingly small, but not cast-iron impossible. They believe that the risk is acceptably small.
An insurance company has a completely different outlook. You seem to think that insurance companies insure risks. They do not. They insure certanties. They love to sell fire insurance, or death insurance. They know everyone will die, they know houses will burn down. They insure these things because they know for certain they will happen, and therefore they know exactly how often or how soon they will happen. On average, of course. The people concerned take out insurance because although they also know for certain that they will die, or that someone's house will burn down, if it actually happened to them right now they (or their surviving families) would be in real trouble. For the individual it is an uncertain future, but for the insurance company it is a cast-iron fact and way to make money. Why would they want to give insurance to an industry where the risk is small (but in precise terms unqantifiable) and the payouts are potentially very big (and also in precise terms unquantifiable)? That is simply not what insurance companies do.
So, the act makes private provision for a scheme where there will be compensation money other than directly from the taxpayer. If, as congress, you believe that Nuclear is safe, but for market reasons getting insurance would be impossible (because no company would insure unquantifiable risks), then you have to do something. Either underwrite it yourself, or negotiate a deal with the companies. So they made a deal which does require companies to stump up quite a lot and spreads the risk over different plants and operators, and indeed insurance companies, as far as is possible. So it is also true to say the act provides compensation aside from government intervention would could not otherwise exist.Sandpiper 10:38, 8 November 2005 (UTC)

Tripe and Trivia

Mike, the RfC is legit. The fact that you deleted my response and ate the evidence is a burden on your own conscience. Benjamin Gatti
Do you have to argue *everything*? Look. The fact it was "legit" is your opinion. But the fact that it was deleted by an admin (when he didn't have to) without any question tends to tell me that it wasn't. The RfC wasn't live. It was on my personal page. And it's not a burden on my conscience. I'm perfectly ok with it, thank you. Now your RfC was bogus. This article is in its 2nd mediation. Requests for comment is the first step to handle disputes. It was done way back in June. That's how Kate (and eventually I) got involved. Mediation is the 2nd step. It makes 0 sense to go back to the 1st step in the middle of the 2nd. It was a revenge tactic. Period. Now why don't we drop this since neither of us is going to change our mind. --Woohookitty(cat scratches) 05:27, 4 November 2005 (UTC)
Well, the RfC still seems to be there, and pragmatically it seems to me to make sense that getting more people involved would, at least, more easily demonstrate what is a consensus. Sandpiper 20:43, 4 November 2005 (UTC)
Yes, your voice is welcome. I wish you fortitude, however, in deciphering what all is the matter. ;) · Katefan0(scribble) 20:55, 4 November 2005 (UTC)


I will be on the road and away from internet access until Monday nght. Simesa 03:28, 4 November 2005 (UTC)

I wish I was as well. --Woohookitty(cat scratches) 05:27, 4 November 2005 (UTC)


I was going to give you a quick summary of what's happened here, but instead, I'd suggest reading the archives. Yes, everything you mentioned has been said in one form or another. At this point, we've drawn lines in the sand. This is our 2nd mediation and yet, nothing has changed since I got involved back in June. And just for quick background, Katefan0 and I are administrators...Simesa is a former nuclear engineer who became a whistleblower...and Ben is a very pro-renewable energy advocate. --Woohookitty(cat scratches) 05:51, 4 November 2005 (UTC)

text move = banks

"As with banks, claims above the insurance are required to be backed by the U.S. Congress. "

Yes - Bank accounts have some insurance, but it is limited to $100,000 per accountholder. This means that taxpayers are on the hook for an amount which is both finite and calcuable. Accountholders * $100,000. Price Anderson, on the other hand does not insure the first 100,000, it insures after the threshold is reached. Thus the taxpayer is exposed to an infinite risk, moreover, the institutional investors are protected. I'm not sure that if a bank goes under, its own investors are protected by the FDIC. I think the resources of the bank are consumed, and then the FDIC picks up whatever is necessary (Up to the threshold) - after which nothing. quite a different kettle of fish, and I object to the false analogy. Benjamin Gatti

I do not see that this act would protect the owners of a nuclear plant. Technically it might, but they would be unlikely to be allowed to continue in business having demonstrated a glaring danger in their plant. They could hardly sell off a closed down plant second hand. They would still have the expense of getting rid of it. The Price act may say explicitly that congress has to do something if the bill is bigger than anticipated, but this is also true of banks, even if not explicitly stated. If the failure of a bank was so serious as to threaten the rest of the economy, then the government would be forced to step in and pay for whatever had to be done to make the system safe again. No difference, really. Sandpiper 10:49, 8 November 2005 (UTC)

Page unprotected

The page has been unprotected, and the temp page's history has been merged into here. I think it looks a lot better, and I think we have some more work to do, but we're on our way. Here's a quote from someone I asked to look at the article:

the current version needs citations for the POV references "irresponsible behavior" and "are generally fully liable for difficulties that their products cause". All accidents are not due to irresponsible behavior. Many businesses are not liable for difficulties they have disclosed in warning labels...

I think there are a few areas that need citations, definitely. One other thing I'd ask is what other problems editors have with this article. Ral315 (talk) 07:38, 7 November 2005 (UTC)

Oi vey. I really don't think this is a good idea. Why? Because Ben is very good at acting like he's being cooperative and then when we unprotect the article, we go right back to extremely POV edits like we did tonight or he attempts to revert things that we agreed to during the protected period. It's the 3rd time that this article has been protected and then unprotected and Ben has done this every time. I kind of wish we'd discuss it before unprotecting. This is getting very old. This is just the latest in the long line of ridiculously POV edits that he's put up. He's very good at acting sincere as if he's going to be helpful now but then we just go back to the same old same old. Next time, please ask everyone first before unprotecting it. I know you aren't required to do so, but it would save us alot of headaches. --Woohookitty(cat scratches) 09:31, 8 November 2005 (UTC)

Revert of 7 Nov evening

I object to the following:

suspends protection

  • "is an act suspending public protections against nuclear corporations" -- Discussed before, 10CFR applies.
    • Are you saying its factually inaccurate?
      • Mediator: I'm not sure about whether this should stay or go. Ral315 (talk) 04:26, 8 November 2005 (UTC)
      • It is factually inaccurate, since public protections are not suspended, they replaced by protection through intensive regulation and review, and responsible levels of compensation, rather than possible overreaction in the American civil litigation system. But just because the statement is inaccurate, does not mean it can't be in the article. After all, notable people hold inaccurate POVs all the time. Just provide a citation, and put it in the appropriate place, not the introduction.--Silverback 11:08, 8 November 2005 (UTC)
        • This is the argument that the American civil litigation system is the problem. If that's the case, then the act should have addressed the problem equally for all. The problem isn't the legal system, it's nuclear reactors. Benjamin Gatti
          • That is logical, except that it assumes the political system is logical. There are currently attempts to reform the tort system as a whole in congress, however, at the time of the legislation, there were sufficient votes that recognized the rather extreme case of public fears and misunderstanding of nuclear power required action at least at that margin of the system.--Silverback 10:31, 9 November 2005 (UTC)
              • All of which grossly fails to justify a double standard. Benjamin Gatti
  • "which do them harm" -- speculative, implies that utilities intend to do harm
    • Would "should they do them harm" suffice?
      • Mediator: "should they" might work. I'd have to see how the sentence flowed. Ral315 (talk) 04:26, 8 November 2005 (UTC)

risk sufficiently great

  • "The act was passed because the risk of a nuclear disaster is sufficiently great that neither the nuclear corporations nor the insurance industries are willing to be held responsible for a potential nuclear holocaust." -- While technically correct this is grossly misleading; the correct statement is that the risk in non-Soviet-built plants is tiny but non-zero.
    • I would like to see a direct replacement for this sentence - this is a critical sentence, which everyone agree is accurate. Your opinion that it overstates the case is your POV
      • Mediator: We shouldn't use "nuclear holocaust", really, as it's a media-like term that doesn't really mean what people think it means. The rest of the sentence could use a bit better structure. Ral315 (talk) 04:26, 8 November 2005 (UTC)
      • Actually the statement is inaccurate. The risk of a nuclear disaster is so low, that society should be using more nuclear power, the problem is the American civil litigation climate which may impose outrageous liability even in the absense of real damage, such as was done in the cases of silicon implants and is currently happening with vioxx. Actual damage even from the worst melt downs such as chernoble, which is unlikely to occur in more responsible societies, is far less than the public feared and is geographically limited in scope. Far less land has been rendered inhabitable, than from say coal mining for instance. The statement is POV, should be attributed to a source. The public fears are real, if largely unjustified, and there are notable fear mongers stirring them up, that you should be a find references for. These fears and dangers should be covered in the introduction, however, keep the language neutral, and first provide a short descriptive first paragraph, and the next couple of paragraphs of the intro could get into the fears and risks, but provide citations and attributions. Wikipedia should not have its own position on nuclear power, but fairly present the positions that are out there.--Silverback 11:08, 8 November 2005 (UTC)
        • Wind providers have to compete within the US Legal system. If the Legal system were the problem, it would not be a competative issue either way. Benjamin Gatti
            • Yet, they compete in a different environment of fear and misunderstanding, however unjustified that is. One hopes that congress has more resources, time and access to experts to inform their deliberative process than a mere jury trial does. However, even the congress, cannot afford to wholly ignore voter hysteria.--Silverback 10:31, 9 November 2005 (UTC)
          • The statement is inaccurate. It is not that the risk is sufficiently great, it is that the possible consequences are sufficiently great. Admittedly, the two are interrelated, because the consequences can only happen if the risk comes about. But it is the unquantified but vast bill if the worst imaginable accident happened which is what everyone is worrying about first. This has a lot to do with public perception, and the effects of atom bombs. Sandpiper 09:01, 9 November 2005 (UTC)
            • I would suggest that "risk" encompasses (probability * damage_horizon). Your argument that the risk is weighted towards the damage horizon is well taken, but also a distinction without a difference. We insure floods, hurricanes, criminal acts with airplanes into large buildings; all of these are similarly weighted. The fact is the risk is great enough that nuclear energy would not be competative were it to bear the cost of its own risk profile. this very definately has the effect of moving the market away from safe technologis (which have unsubsidized risks) and towards energy with subsidized risks - which are also more dangerous. Accordingly the effect is to raise the price of energy (subsidies raise costs because a free market is more efficient) and increases the chance of a nuclear disaster. Benjamin Gatti
              • As I say below, not necessarily. We agree, the result is a compound of the risk and the cost. However it is not the business of an insurance company to consider a realistic resultant of these factors, but a worst conceivable one. Insurance companies makes money by betting on reliable probabilities, not by taking risks on uncertain one. If they are unsure, the only responsible course for the manager of such a company is to state rates calculated on the worst-case. That represents his responsibilty to his shareholders, not to society. Sandpiper 08:13, 11 November 2005 (UTC)

medical risks

  • "This means that children who experience Malformation, Death, Growth Retardation, Severe Mental Retardation, Intellectual deficit, or experience heritable changes in their reproductive organs which could impact their own children [79]" -- inflammatory, to say the least. In the U.S., TMI caused none of these.
    • All word for word quotes from the army manual on the effects of nuclear exposure on a fetus. duly cited.
      • Mediator: Just because it's true doesn't mean it belongs in the article, just like the exact wording of the bill doesn't belong in the article. And to insert this makes the article blatantly POV, especially considering none of these have happened as a result of the bill. Ral315 (talk) 04:26, 8 November 2005 (UTC)
      • These should be attributed to that manual then. But keep in mind that the increase in incidence of these was so low, even in chernobyl, that it took sophisticated statistical analysis to separate the effect out from the background levels of these conditions. You could easily say that life itself has risk of malformation, death, etc. You also seem to forget that if nuclear power is used in a market economy, it will be because it has economic advantages, not only in conserving rare resources such as fossil fuels, but perhaps even in lower cost electricity. Such economic wealth and savings can provide far more health and life saving benefits and significantly outweigh rare accidents. --Silverback 11:18, 8 November 2005 (UTC)
        • True, financial benefits save lives, but also true a fair market tends to bring more economic benefit to more people - how does enriching a relatively few in the nuclear field improve the outcome over say hiring many more people to build windmills? Its quite possible that wind would avoid more deaths from financial causes, even than subsidized nuclear, the question is why not trust the market? if the market is not willing to accept the risk - or prefers the risk of wind to the risk of nuclear, that should be reason enough. Benjamin Gatti
          • But we are not talking about a fair or free market even without this act. In a pure market, I would be able to build a nuclear reacter on my land, and only worry about safety and liability later, and probably even then only if I had something to lose if an accident happened. In this market, even without the act, reacters would be regulated, building permits contested, and environmental impact statements required, etc.--Silverback 10:39, 9 November 2005 (UTC)

no reimbursement for loss

  • "could not expect to be reimbursed" -- this is baloney, PAA always pays and Congress is required to act.
    • The Act prevents reimbursement for pain, suffering, loss of consortium, punative damages necessary to discourage dangerous behavior and the right of a jury to set the proper value of reimbursement etc ... Y/N?
      • Mediator: It's badly worded. Even if it does limit some reimbursement, it doesn't flat-out block reimbursement, which is what it implies here. Ral315 (talk) 04:26, 8 November 2005 (UTC)
  • "by the corporation which caused the harm" -- SCOTUS found that PAA was sufficient remedy for this
    • in otherwords you agree its factual - sufficient or not is speculative, what is true is that price prevents the victims from recovering from the corporation causing harm.
      • Mediator: Not sure whether this should stay or go. Ral315 (talk) 04:26, 8 November 2005 (UTC)
      • You should keep in mind that corporations are all ready liability limiting organizations, created by government, this is just another level of liability limitation in order to decrease the risk of investment. Because of the excessive and unwarranted fear of nuclear power, and the thoroughly justified fear of the American civil liability system, it would be difficult to raise capital to finance this industry without reasonable limitations on liability.--Silverback 11:25, 8 November 2005 (UTC)
        • Investors are more than willing to turn a blind eye to how corporations get profits (so long as they do) holding investors responsible, within the bounds of their investment for corporate crime is the only way to force the market to pay attention to whether or not corps are behaving. Benjamin Gatti
          • The act (or accompanying legislation) seems to include mechanisms to regulate, inspect and fine companies which are behaving dangerously. However, it is not done as part of claiming damages from them. It might be argued that this is an advantage for someone seeking damages, they do not have to prove exactly who was to blame. Sandpiper 09:01, 9 November 2005 (UTC)

criminal activity

  • "even if it were the result of criminal activity." -- always have to imply the utilities are dirty, don't we.
    • What kind of industry asks to be indemnifyied for criminal activity? If the shoe fits.
      • Mediator: Doesn't fit. We're supposed to present the information and let the reader deduce what they want, not steer them toward different beliefs. Ral315 (talk) 04:26, 8 November 2005 (UTC)
      • Actually, corporations are usually not liable for the criminal activity of their employees, unless it was sanctioned at the very top. This law probably provides compensation to injured parties, even when legally the corporations might not be responsible.--Silverback 11:25, 8 November 2005 (UTC)
        • Price protects the investor - even if the CEO commits the crime I describe. I have no issue with immunity from "unknown criminal acts", but we should be honest - they has asked for criminal immunity. Benjamin Gatti
  • "This "Too bad" provision," -- if this isn't POV, I don't know what is.
    • Just imagine, you've been injured because the CEO of Nukes-R-us fakes the result of an internal inspection order to avoid shutting down the reactor as required by law. You're a fetus, and as a result, you end up stupid, short, missing an ear, so you sue the CEO and Nuke-R-us for damages in state court under the liability law, and the judge says - in short "tough luck pal."
      • Mediator: Benjamin, that whole paragraph above is POV. If you can't back up a statement with a NPOV reason to keep it, the sentence is certainly POV. Ral315 (talk) 04:26, 8 November 2005 (UTC)
        • The fact is when an injured persons tries to collect damages against a nuclear reactor, the operator will file a motion to dismiss pursuant to federal immunity. and the judge will say "case dismissed". Now that is legalize for "too fr*king bad".
  • "or "limited laibility" as lawyers call it, is unique to the nuclear industry." -- You've never heard of investors not being liable for more than the corporation's assets?
    • Has nothing to do with the investors assets. It has to do with the corporate assets. Why should you, as a horribly disfigured victim not be equally protected from corporate harm regardless of whether they harm you with chemicals, nukes, lies, carginogens, etc ...
      • Mediator: Again, Benjamin, you need to back this up with something that isn't POV. A "what if you were disfigured" argument has nothing to do with what should be in an encyclopedia article. Ral315 (talk) 04:26, 8 November 2005 (UTC)
  • "No other industy can expect to avoid paying for damages caused by criminal behavior." -- Under PAA, the industry pays without any question of who was at fault INCLUDING all criminal activity by anyone.
    • Non sequitur. Name one other industry that has asked to be held harmless for their own criminal behavior?
      • Mediator: It's true, but does it belong? I'm not sure. Ral315 (talk) 04:26, 8 November 2005 (UTC)
      • Every other industry that uses corporations is protecting its owners from criminal activity, and there are even shell corporations within corporations to further limit liability both criminal and civil. The act, while limiting liability is also assigning it. You appear to be trying to assign collective guilt. The criminals will be held responsible under the criminal law. You appear to want to destroy whole corporations and the wealth of their probably innocent stock holders and other employees. People should and will be held responsible for their criminal and negligent actions. The actual risks of nuclear power are low, what is being laid out is the mechanism for determining levels of liability. Unrestrained civil court systems don't necessarily get to the truth, and often assign liability based on sympathy for the victims rather than any fault of the deep pocketed faceless corporations. This is just a different, perhaps more reasonable way of assigning responsibility and managing risk. It is not as if, nuclear plants are built in secret. For people willing to accept the risks, the fearmonging may benefit them, by giving them opporunties to obtain real estate a lower prices near power plants. Even those in fear of nuclear power, many find warning systems and evacuation plans an acceptable way to manage risks.--Silverback 11:35, 8 November 2005 (UTC)
        • Corp X hires militia to enslave locals to build a pipeline. Of course it should be held responsible. The slaves earned the money which is now held by the corp - they are entitled to it. Investors are entitled to the proceeds - if there are any. Victims are entitled to a prior claim against the corp. Holding investors responsible for bad corporate behavior is a good way to prevent them from turning a blind eye to white color crime. Benjamin Gatti
          • The act does hold the companies liable. It creates a fund to make payments to claimants. The fund gets its money from the companies. You can be sure that if there did start to be lots of claims, congress would revise the terms and make the companies pay more. Just like any insurance company. So far, it has not had to do this, because there have been very few claims compared to the sum in trust. Sandpiper 09:01, 9 November 2005 (UTC)

unfair competition

  • "The Act is broadly viewed as enabling private nuclear reactors to unfairly compete with clean safe energy, such as Wind power" -- as phrased, this belongs in Criticisms, or in a commercial.
    • let's say we drop "unfairly" and just say "compete"? better?
      • Mediator: Without unfairly, this might work, but I'd have to see how it flowed. Ral315 (talk) 04:26, 8 November 2005 (UTC)
      • The statement is POV and needs to be attributed. Safe is relative and a value judgement. Is it "fair" to for nuclear power to face unwarranted fears? Wind power is extremely dangerous to birds, and even humans must be kept at a distance by fencing, etc. Wind and solar power without accidents, may actually render more land uninhabitable, because they are land intensive, than nuclear power would even with accidents. And extracting energy from the wind may have consequences for the climate. After all, mountains have significant effects on the climate, and windmills increase the effective elevation of the ground. It just may be more difficult to attribute the risks, is that a fair way to compete?--Silverback 11:44, 8 November 2005 (UTC)
        • Is it fair for wind to face the speculative concerns over decreased property values. Um yes or no, but certainly what is true for the good is true for the gander. Benjamin Gatti
          • Well, a fossil power station also has to worry about reduced property prices near it, when a new one is built. The difference is that people think the nuclear one might render their homes uninhabitable, and their children mutants. They do not think this of wind power. Sandpiper 09:01, 9 November 2005 (UTC)

P.S. I would very much like to see the mediator comment on this list. Ral, you've been asking for a bullet list of diagreements, you won't get better than this. Benjamin Gatti


I agree, I won't get better than this. I think a lot of what was inserted is POV. Some of it is good, some of it is okay. But a lot was POV. That's my honest opinion, regardless of my personal beliefs about the act (it sounds to me like Price-Anderson is stupid, even if well-meaning, but I'd nevertheless try to keep this NPOV). Ral315 (talk) 04:27, 8 November 2005 (UTC)
  • POV is OK as long as it is attributed. Unattributed hysterical fear mongering does not need to be in the very first paragraph, but such fears are so common, that they should be addressed in a responsible attributed manner in the next couple paragraphs of the intro. But the voice of wikipedia should be neutral in presenting these POVs.--Silverback 11:44, 8 November 2005 (UTC)
That isn't quite the NPOV policy. Sources used must be attributable AND fair. In other words, an article that has 28 sources attributed but they all represent one side of the debate is still a POV article. Attribution isn't enough. "Articles should be written without bias, representing all majority and significant minority views fairly. This is the neutral point of view policy." That's the basis of NPOV right from the official policy. So no, POV is not necessarily OK as long as it is attributed. That's a very common misconception. --Woohookitty(cat scratches) 14:44, 8 November 2005 (UTC)


The company (or companies) I was a whistleblower against is/are no longer in the nuclear industry. Simesa 01:45, 8 November 2005 (UTC)

burden of those who would potentially be harmed.

I was copyediting the article and changed the sentence containing the heading above. This was firstly because the sentence makes better sense if it mentions the exception first, then the balancing reason held by the supreme court afterwards. I rephrased it to 'risk of harm'.

However, I am mentioning it here because it strikes me that it must be wrong, either way. My impression is not that the case was about risk to the public, but about legislation granting a special exemption to the companies, so treating the public differently. In which case the sentence ought to say something like 'loss of protection', or more NPOV 'unique means of compensation'. (I have the impression the constitution would have no objection to people being treated equally badly) Sandpiper 11:38, 8 November 2005 (UTC)

No Fault Liability

I was under the impression that no fault liability was a good thing, since it was not necesssary to prove who was to blame, therby making it easier to claim compensation. The article implies it is a bad thing. Assuming for the moment I am correct here, those who think there is a bad thing in there somewhere really mean that compensation is also limited somehow? The two points would be distinct. Sandpiper 11:38, 8 November 2005 (UTC)

indemnity of gross negligence, Public Citizen quote.

Price-Anderson has been criticized by many of these groups for a portion of the law that indemnifies Department of Energy and private contractors from nuclear incidents even in cases of gross negligence and willful misconduct (although criminal penalties would still apply). "No other government agency provides this level of taxpayer indemnification to non-government personnel", Public Citizen. The Energy Department counters those critics by saying that the distinction is irrelevant, since the damage to the public would be the same. [80]

First, the first two sentences of this paragraph in the criticisms section are essentially one point from the cited 'Public citizen' page. So why is the second bit in quotes, but the first not? Is someone suggesting that the first sentence is more widely accepted than the second, or what?

Second, I don't like the rebuttal sentence, which seems muddled. I think it should probably read 'the damage and compensation to the public', which seems to me to be the actual case, but I do not know what the Energy Department actually said. Anyone? Sandpiper 12:08, 8 November 2005 (UTC)

I don't think that compensation was part of their rebuttal, I believe it was only the damage part. I don't remember anymore. But you can look through the source link and see, if you find it confusing. · Katefan0(scribble) 15:49, 8 November 2005 (UTC)
A good suggestion: check the cited reference. Ok. So, the reference is a report prepared for the Eureka county commisioners, Nevada??? Not the US department of energy??? There is this line,

A contractor is fully indemnified for public liability, even if the liability stemmed from acts of gross negligence or willful misconduct, because the damage to the public is the same [DOE, 1997].

This is part of a section defining who is insured under the act, absolutely nothing to do with answering anyones criticisms.??? There is another mention of 'damage to the public' in the context of an aeroplane with a faulty engine crashing into a reactor. The airline company would then be insured against any claims of its liability for causing a crash/ nuclear leak.
This reference seems to be a detailed explanation of the act, not of criticisms or responses to criticisms.
It seems to mention that any plant/contractor failing to follow nuclear safety rules can be fined $110,000 per day per offence for as long as they continue to not follow safety rules. Don't recall reading that bit in the article?
Well, I havn't got time now to read it all, but it has not helped with my query. Anyone who put this in can perhaps explain it? Sandpiper 20:37, 8 November 2005 (UTC)


In response to Sandpiper's question in Article History, the $300 million insurance is once per incident. The $95.8 million from each power reactor (as opposed to a research reactor) should also be once per incident. Simesa 17:46, 8 November 2005 (UTC)

Claims response text

I have been unable to contact American Nuclear Insurance by e-mail, and I made a new submittal as well as put a letter is in the mail. Simesa 17:46, 8 November 2005 (UTC)

The Price-Anderson Nuclear Industries Indemnity Act (commonly called the Price-Anderson Act) replaces the liability protections against nuclear corporations which may har the public. The act was passed because the risk of a nuclear disaster is greater that either the nuclear corporations or the insurance industries are willing to accept. The Act protects private and government nuclear facilities from being held fully responsible for harm to the public. Consequentially, children who experience the effects of radiation, which the army medical manual describes as: Malformation, Death, Growth Retardation and Severe Mental Retardation [81] are barred from suing those responsible for causing their illness or death even if it were the result of knowing, and intentional criminal activity by the chief executives. "Limited liability" means that the courts will dismiss any case in which an injured person seeks compensation for injury against the corporation which caused the injury. Such immunity is unprecedented; no other industy can expect to avoid paying for damages it has caused by the criminal acts of its CEO. The Act is broadly viewed as enabling private nuclear reactors to compete with alternative energy, such as Wind power. Environmental groups, consumer groups, taxpayer watchdogs and even an agency of the Department of Energy have criticized the act as subsidising the nuclear power industry.

  • An Updated Version

Benjamin Gatti

erm, but the reason they are barred from taking suits is because they have been given an alternative compensation scheme, which does not require them to prove exactly whose fault it was. This is an easier legal hurdle to get over when making a claim, surely? The point of barring other claims, is that they are not entitled to claim twice; by the special means, and also by the normal means. Sandpiper 20:43, 8 November 2005 (UTC)
You make a compelling case for ditching liability laws in favor of socializing all harm; however you have not begun to make the case that it should be done for the goose and not for the gander. Benjamin Gatti
Most governments, including I think that of the US, are not 'comunist' and do not believe in doing things which the market can handle for itself. So, in general, the kinds of risks which industries runs are well understood mechanical, chemical explosion, crushed employees, and insurance companies have a good enough feel of what the costs will be to be happy to insure them. This article is strictly only talking about insurance. There is not much point the government extending this to other industries. In fact, the insurance companies would probably start screaming unfair competition if the government started taking business they wanted. Or are you saying that wave/wind power also contains unquantifiable risks to the public which prevent it getting insurance, thereby stopping its development? If so, then yes, I would agree this should be mentioned. Sandpiper 08:31, 9 November 2005 (UTC)
Investments are always a package of risks, benefits, barriors, overhead, transaction load, etc... Wind, and Wave energy have risks, some of them are similar - for example the risk of public resistance to building a wind farm is similar - though for largely different reasons. Because renewable energy is high in capital and low in running costs, the risks are shifted highly towards the future marketability of the product. One chief risk is whether or not you will have access to a fair and free market - which is directly undercut by unequal subsidization of competitors in any way, and by the probability that the value of carbon abatement may change. These are "investment risks" - which is what Price addresses. Price does very little to mitigate "public risks".

It occurs to me to wonder just how much alternative energy plant could have been paid for with the costs of the current gulf war, which seems to have had quite a bit to do with ensuring energy supply. Never mind. Pushing up the price of oil has to be good for alternative energy producers.

The thing is, it is not clear to me that the consequence of the Price act is 'unfair'. Yes, it provides insurance at a lower cost than the market. But I have not been convinced that the market price would be fair. Everything depends on what you believe is the real risk and expense of making good actual damage from such plants. If you honestly believe that nuclear plants are uneconomic because of the damage they cause due to inevitable accidents, then , yes, it is unfair. But on the other hand, if you believe that nuclear power actually has a good safety record and including costs of damages will still produce power competitively, then, no, it is not unfair. I have not seen anything on this page which would help decide this issue. This is what I mean by repeatedly referring the issue back a stage, to the decisions made by congress. The act is just a tool. Its effect depends on the accuracy of the assumptions behind it. But unless you can demonstrate that congress' decision was wrong, or that actual insured expenditure is going to be greater than the industry is paying for, then you can't really write it as though it is so. Sandpiper 22:05, 9 November 2005 (UTC)

You've constrained "fairness" to the relationship between the insurer and the operator. Generally I refer here to "fairness" as between a nuclear plant and (say) a wind plant. I assume that however good bad, or indifferent the insurance companies are, that they are rational, motivated by profit, legion, and competative. If it were possible to make a lot of money insuring nuclear plants, it seems that simple competition would ensure that one company would not be able to command an unfair profit.
The truth, and one we should not be faint to report, is that Subsidizing risk affects the market, and it gives an undeserved advantage to predefined parties. It is called "picking winners and losers, and amounts to the government replacing a free market as the final arbitor of which companies will survive, and which will not. I happen to believe that efficiency, quality, integrity, and safety are a better rubric to measure competancy than whether or not one has access to closed door meetings at 1600 pennsylvania ave. (for sandpiper - think #10 downing street). Those who think otherwise are welcome to join their ilk as socialists and communists, but it is absurd to sugest that capitalism is reflected by subsidizing individuals players in a competative market. Benjamin Gatti
Yes, i would constrain fairness considerations to the subject of the article, rather than to the entire debate over nuclear power, or to the state of the entire world economy. Not entirely, but this is an act about nuclear power. It addresses the issue of nuclear insurance, and people are arguing it gives the companies too good a deal. It may be that other people are getting different deals on different things which are unfair, but no, I do not think it appropriate to make this a general essay on unfairness. The direct issue is whether the nuclear insustry is getting insuranc at below cost. I have seen no evidence that it is. Equally though, I have not seen evidence that other companies (wind, waves) are suffering this same problem over insurance, which would be reasonable to mention. It might be that overall subsidies unfairly support nuclear, but we are talking about insurance here.Sandpiper 08:49, 11 November 2005 (UTC)

It further occurs, that what I have said here is what is wrong with the wording of the introductory paragraph of the article. It states the act limits companies liabilty, implicitly saying this is good for the company. Well, yes, good for the company, but only unfairly good for the company if it is limiting below the real cost. If it is only limiting the liability to below the unfairly hiked up rates demanded by insurance companies, then it is not unfair at all. Sandpiper 22:23, 9 November 2005 (UTC)

--- I have yet to receive anything from American Nuclear Insurers, despite having contacted them by website form and letter. I suggest we quote the TMI claims response experience as an example. That experience is contained in testimony before Congress, in [82] Simesa 06:31, 20 November 2005 (UTC)

Comments on the Intro

I just want to point out that I have backed up the assertions in the intro I propose with Supreme Court findings, DOE documents, and quotes from the hearings which lead-up to Price Anderson. Those who revert it have backed up their objections with what (personally speculation and opinion?) Now I am going to restore the NPOV, documented, cited, text, and I would challenge who ever takes it down to provide third-party documentation to support an alternative view. Benjamin Gatti

After all this time and all the careful and polite pointers, including Sandpiper's thoughtful discussions, these recent edits of Benjamin's lead me close to concluding that he either cannot or will not constrain his edits to information that is relevant to this topic (malformation?) and adheres to NPOV policy (all the rest). I feel that most of my time here in this mediation has largely, therefore, been a waste, and I am close to throwing up my hands. I am having an increasingly difficult time justifying the time I spend in this mediation trying to come to a consensus with someone who seemingly cannot or will not conform to WP's editing policies. · Katefan0(scribble) 03:33, 11 November 2005 (UTC)
The flip side is that the confrontational process has the value of refining the issues (which we have done better recently than previously), and the process requires both sides to proffer candidates. Now my candidate is well documented, I think the sources include an army manual on the medical effects of nuclear exposure, a supreme court ruling, and congessional record. Hmm "foul" "wacko" "conspiricist". As much as I believe Katefan0 is a stellar human being talented journalist, and dedicated wikipedian, this is a complicated subject which turns on a casual understanding of negative void coefficients, non-zero probability, market risk, competative advantages in a risk-sensative commodity market, and it would be difficult to persuade me that my understanding of this subject is wrong, without making coherent arguments which run through the less pedestrian aspects of a very non-trivial pursuit. Of course, everyone is welcome to make an argument, but all arguments are not equal. It is sheer optimism to suggest that by determination alone, anyone can muster a persuasive argument related to the economics of nuclear risk. Benjamin Gatti
Could you turn down the condescending attitude a bit? Thanks. Katefan is as knowledgable as they come, flash...THIS IS NOT THE ISSUE. Keeping Wikipedia NPOV and on tangent is the issue. Not sure how many times we have to say that before you understand that. It's not about whether or not Price-Anderson is helpful or hurtful. That's not the issue. The issue is that this article needs to be balanced. Period. End of story. I'm also tired of your antics and I really don't think this mediation is helping a bit. Nuclear risk is not the issue. Whether or not nuclear power is safe is not the issue. And just like always, Ben basically avoided the issue that Kate brought up. And I'm sure he'll avoid the issues I bring up as well. You can ban me for personal attacks if you'd like, Ral, but we have ample evidence of his misbehavior. We're not making this all up. --Woohookitty(cat scratches) 05:16, 11 November 2005 (UTC)

Mike, a whole paragraph, and not one word related to the article. Yawn. Ok you want balance, but where is the tipping point? Do we treat the pro nuke crowd as defacto normative, or do we accept the Supreme Court's finding that nukes are too dangerous to insure as normative?, or do we scramble for a dictionary to look up normative? Kate seems to be pining over the lack of progress, but Ral remarked that the last exchange was an excellent bullet list. You may find me ascerbic, dogmatic, persistant, as you would naturally find people who do not share your views, but I think if you set the personal issues aside you will see two or three informed advocates refining the critical differences in a nuanced subject, with some help from the gallery. Your participation is welcome, but if you want to do anything more than blow a plastic horn and cheer, you've got to get into the ring, and you'll know you're in the ring when the subject of your sentences are nuclear reactors, probabilities, risk, competitors, market theories, winners, losers, and in short, the subject matter. The fact that your comments continue to focus on other editors is as tedius as it is telling. Benjamin Gatti
Not playing your game. Not going to let you get me riled up and therefore, off subject. Keeping this article NPOV *is* the subject, not the stuff you rant on about. Your strategy is to get us off tangent so we start discussing nuclear power and all of this other stuff and then forget that we have to keep this article NPOV. And then you basically call me stupid and ill informed so then I'll get riled up and you can get me upset and off tangent. Not playing. And what progress are we speaking of? Your POV rants in the article the last few days show that we haven't made any progress at all. That's what Kate was saying. --Woohookitty(cat scratches) 07:07, 11 November 2005 (UTC)

NPOV policy

I've stated this many times, but it's worth another go. Despite what Ben seems to think or what was expressed up above by Silverback, POV is *not* automatically ok if it's documented. It doesn't work that way. The assertions must be balanced. For the 45th time, this article already leans towards being anti-nuclear. I just don't see how adding more POV language in favor of the anti-nuclear forces can be called "fair and balanced". The idea is that both sides be represented fairly. Just because you can document POV doesn't mean that it's neutral. If that was the case, then you could have an article that has 45 cited articles that show one side and yet that would be called "neutral". No. Neutral is a fair showing of both sides of an issue or an article that is written with no point of view at all. I would quote the official Neutral point of view policy, but it's all over that document. But that's why you keep avoiding that issue, because you know that this article already tilts towards your side so you know that on a NPOV basis, you have no standing, so it's easier just to avoid the issue. --Woohookitty(cat scratches) 06:01, 11 November 2005 (UTC)

Being anti-something is not necessarily unbalanced. Cancer sucks. We are not bound by NPOV to drum up enough positive aspects of cancer to form a 1:1 ratio of ying and yang. Price Anderson is what it is. There is no normative assumption that is either good or bad. If the facts are largely negative, that is that. I have nothing against a fair showing, but I do object to the presupposition that the outcome should be predestinated to assume the Price is moral, promotes public safety, promotes competition in the energy market, is cheaper than alternatives, is safe enough to insure, or any thing else which is untrue. I was the first to argue for NPOV here, check the history. My argument is that NPOV requires assertion of parties to be couched. I'm fine couching the Supreme Court and the Army Field manula and the DOE where they expound on the nature of the danger, the reality of the danger, and the economic effect of subsidizing the damger. Benjamin Gatti
You enjoy this, don't you? You enjoy gaming the system and getting rises out of people. I didn't say that being anti-something was being unbalanced. I said no such thing. I also didn't say "I do object to the presupposition that the outcome should be predestinated to assume the Price is moral, promotes public safety, promotes competition in the energy market, is cheaper than alternatives, is safe enough to insure, or any thing else which is untrue." I didn't say that. Nope. I said that the article needs to be balanced. That means that your view AND the other view both have to be included, fairly and equally. And like I said, again, you are missing the point. I'd like to see you present facts that show that nuclear power is safe and that P-A promotes that. Then I'd say you are trying to be fair and balanced. But you don't. Because you don't want a NPOV article. You never have. Quit wasting our time. --Woohookitty(cat scratches) 06:57, 11 November 2005 (UTC)
Was there a writing mistake in that sentence about presenting facts, woohoo, or was it what you meant? Never mind. My own view is that I have seen no facts demonstrating that this is subsidised insurance. Sandpiper 09:07, 11 November 2005 (UTC)
No mistake. I was just saying that Ben would really show his fairness by writing for the other side. You probably don't know this, Sandpiper, but Simesa and Katefan0 helped Ben write alot of the criticisms section and they helped temper the original POV of this article (which was more pro-nuclear). Ben has never really shown any effort to make this article truly NPOV. In other words, he's never written things that have helped the other side. Wikipedia:Writing_for_the_enemy has a good description of what I mean. See, you do a good job of that, I think. You are trying to see both sides of the issue and you are trying to help both sides. And Katefan and Simesa helped Ben alot early on. But he's never reciprocated. So despite his cries that he's for this being balanced, he's shown no inkling whatsoever to demonstrate it by helping the other side. He's done quite the opposite. --Woohookitty(cat scratches) 09:17, 11 November 2005 (UTC)
I think that I have written for the enemey, although this latest intro may not be an example, check the history for that phrase, I think you'd find it. Yes - you are right; Kate and Mike both helped move the article away from the original which listed toward simesa's POV ie nuclear is good and safe. The problem Mike faces, is that my sense of balance is not the same as his. Its an issue, not easily resolved - however more eyes can help - provided they can speak to the issue - which as I said, isn't trivial. A hundred screaming fans does not a fair fight make. Benjamin Gatti

And do me a favor Ben

Read this article as we have it right this instant. And tell me which side it favors. it sure as heck doesn't favor our side. It favors yours. And our side is not that nuclear is good. It's not that Price-Anderson is a wonderful law. It's that we have to present this law fairly and with balance. And frankly, to me, you are the one who keeps getting off subject, not me or our side. This isn't about right or wrong. It's not about what would happen if we had another attack. It's about fairly presenting the law. Simesa feels that way and so does Katefan0. You can call me stupid. You can call me whatever you want to. It's not going to change that fact. This is my last time engaging in a discussion with you that isn't about NPOV and making this article NPOV. I'm not engaging in any more tangents with you that just get us off topic. It's a waste of time. --Woohookitty(cat scratches) 08:09, 11 November 2005 (UTC)

Ben's 3 day exercise.

Thought it fair to consider your last suggestion of opening paragraph.

The Price-Anderson Nuclear Industries Indemnity Act (commonly called the Price-Anderson Act) replaces the liability protections against nuclear corporations. ok so far.

which may harm the public.

  • perjorative. Raises the suggestion that this is exactly what it does. Not NPOV
    • The Supreme Court has said there is a real risk of a nuclear disaster, we can use the actual language, or shorten it as here, but the finding of the Supreme Court stays, it will survive mediation, arbcom, or anything else you want to throw at it I'm sure.

The act was passed because the risk of a nuclear disaster is greater that either the nuclear corporations or the insurance industries are willing to accept.

  • Not true. It implies that both these industires expect a disaster. Obviously they do not. They expect that little or nothing will happen. But there is a small risk that something very very serious could happen. They are not worrying about major parts of the US becoming uninhabitable, but about making a trading loss: that is the standard which they are concerned about.
    • Straw man, you suggest that my text asserts falsly that major parts of the US would be uninhabitable. It doesn't. What is says is that the (potential) risk (redundant but if you prefer) is greater than the industry is willing to ensure. WRITING FOR THE ENEMY your side should suggest this, that due to the nature of the risk, the government decided insurance companies would simply go bankrupt if they were allowed to insure, and so the gov decided it would be the exclusive insurer of nulear risk, and indemnify everyone. (You'd need a source however).
      • Then in the position of the enemy, I would sack you as copy writer, since you have missed the point. The point is that neither the government, nor the nuclear industry, nor the public, seriously expects any major accident to occur. If any of them did then there would be congressmen demanding plant closures, industrialists cancelling their contracts and mothballing their plants, and rioters in the streets. None of these people seriously expects any major accident. The sentence as you posted it implies a significant likelihood of a nuclear 'disaster', which is not the accepted view. Sandpiper 18:01, 11 November 2005 (UTC)

The Act protects private and government nuclear facilities from being held fully responsible for harm to the public.

  • Not true. It merely alters the rules. Arguably, they are much more strict than apply to other industries.
    • "Fully" here means the court's definition of the term "equity". Look it up. And it is certainly true.
      • No it doesn't. It means what it means in the normal usage of a person reading the article, in common english. A reader would not take it as a legal term and should not be expected to. Again, it is the impression it gives rather than exact wording which is objectionable. The act does alter the rules, but it imposes different penalties instead. Sandpiper 18:01, 11 November 2005 (UTC)

Consequentially, children who experience the effects of radiation, which the army medical manual describes as: Malformation, Death, Growth Retardation and Severe Mental Retardation [83]

  • Deliberate attempt to raise fears about peoples children. naughty, naughty.
    • only because other words were viewed as opinion and POV. These are the words used in the manual. This is what the act insures against. True or False?
      • If you insist on putting it like that, then false. False, because it cites an example which is not representative. Sandpiper 18:01, 11 November 2005 (UTC)

are barred from suing those responsible for causing their illness or death

  • implies they have no fair redress. Again Untrue.
    • they have less redress, and it is not full equity redress. It could be very little redress, we don't know. We know they are barred from suing those responsible for full equity. you have a better way to say that?
      • Well, if you claim we don't know exactly what the redress will be, then we certainly do not know it is unfair. Again, you are trying to use a particular legal standard. I think this was one argument used to the supreme court, that this departed from normal procedure. But the fact that redress is provided differently does not mean it is unfair. The text needs to explain that redress is different, not imply there is none.Sandpiper 18:01, 11 November 2005 (UTC)

even if it were the result of knowing, and intentional criminal activity by the chief executives.

  • Apparently also untrue. Sanctions both criminal and financial still exist against the company, just a different system.
    • sure criminal sanctions exist, but what does that have to do with "making the victim whole"? the point is they can't sue for equity - even if they were harmed by criminal behaviour.
      • You get recompense from the insurance fund, obviously. And save yourself the trouble of suing them. Sandpiper 18:01, 11 November 2005 (UTC)

"Limited liability" means that the courts will dismiss any case in which an injured person seeks compensation for injury against the corporation which caused the injury.

  • I though limited liability meant that liability was limited to a certain level, usually financial. It does not mean a case would be dismissed. In this instance, there is a different mechanism of redress, so courts would dismiss a case because anyone trying to bring one would be following the wrong legal process.
    • Perhaps this could be better worded. The act bars actions for equity in state courts, and limits liability in federal courts. For practical purposes, victims would have little or no recourse.
      • Ah well, there we seem to disagree. All I know about this is what I have read here. Nothing has demonstrated to me in what sense there is unfair treatment of claimants. That is what I need information about. Sandpiper 18:01, 11 November 2005 (UTC)

Such immunity is unprecedented; no other industy can expect to avoid paying for damages it has caused by the criminal acts of its CEO.

  • You have not demonstrated that the industry would avoid paying for its acts (it already pays premiums into the insurance scheme and would suffer other sanctions including bancruptcy in the event of an accident). Limited liability is a very common concept in company law.
    • This sort of (federal indemnity) limited liability is unprecendented, and if one doesn't understand the difference one isn't paying attention. What other corporation is indemnified for criminal acts? just name one before you strike the phrase.
      • well, every sentence is a can of worms. It seems to me extraordinarily unlikely that actual accidents would be an issue of criminal action by the CEO, so first this is promoting a small issue to prominence, which is not balanced reporting. Next, I am less worried about the degree of precedent than about the 'avoiding paying'. Third, this is still the same issue, that all that has been excluded is the traditional legal route. This differs in detail as well as major substance in different countries around the world, anyway. Are you suggesting all other legal system are unfair, and only the US has a fair system? The concept of limited liability is absolutely not unprecedented. Sandpiper 18:01, 11 November 2005 (UTC)

The Act is broadly viewed as enabling private nuclear reactors to compete with alternative energy, such as Wind power.

  • No, it creates an affordable insurance scheme, and it is not clear this is subsidised. It may, or may not, be broadly viewed as allowing competition with alternative energy, but I have not seen any discussion/evidence on that point either. How many people think this: did you mean 'quantity of people' or 'summary of effect' by 'broadly viewed'? The real issue is competion with fossil power, which is the current established norm.
    • The DOE say Price is "a subsidy for investors in nuclear power". Assuming arguendo that those same investors might feel more comfortable investing in other energy sources without this subsidy, we can safely assume they might well invest in the fastest growing energy sector: wind. Agins, this assertion is sourced by the enemy.
      • I have yet to see that quote. I repeat, who else thinks this and how representative are they of the population? And as I also said, alternative energy is a minority generator. Real competition is directly with fossil generators. You are arguing it is unfairly treating wind generators, yet, if anyone, it mainly affects conventional operators. Sandpiper 18:01, 11 November 2005 (UTC)

Environmental groups, consumer groups, taxpayer watchdogs and even an agency of the Department of Energy have criticized the act as subsidising the nuclear power industry.

  • Maybe so, I don't know. However, I suspect that a similar list may also not have criticised it, so this may still be unbalanced.
    • Good point, we should add, Energy Executives laud Price Anderson as just reward for their political contributions to the likes of Tom Delay.

  • Well, another load of waffle, but my point is that this seems to me riddled with inaccuracies. It would not be so important if it was later in the text, but on the assumption that some people will only read the first paragraph, it must be accurate. Sandpiper 09:47, 11 November 2005 (UTC)
    • Is it really inaccurate? I have backed every claim, and be honest - have you provided a single source to back up your claim of inaccuracy? Benjamin Gatti
      • If I had to generalise, I would say you are making a case as one might in court, by only mentioning things supporting your arguments. Courts work that way, wiki doesn't. Here they have the inquisitorial system. The staus quo is that governments and the people accept that nuclear power is safe, and reasonable measures have been taken to regulate it. That is not reflected in this paragraph. Sandpiper 18:01, 11 November 2005 (UTC)
Welcome to our world, man. :) --Woohookitty(cat scratches) 10:04, 11 November 2005 (UTC)
well, would you be here if it wasn't fun? Sandpiper 18:01, 11 November 2005 (UTC)
Honestly, I don't find any of this or the other major dispute I'm involved in right now (the John Kerry article) fun. I wish I did. Refereeing is not enjoyable for me. --Woohookitty(cat scratches) 18:47, 11 November 2005 (UTC)


I have reinstated the pre-mediation intro, which seems to me to be much more NPOV than any of Benjamin's recent attempts. Simesa and Woohookitty and I had all agreed that it was a fair version. Sandpiper, Ral, what do you think? I would never say it's perfect, but it's a better starting point than the bloated, biased monstrosity Benjamin is working from. · Katefan0(scribble) 16:19, 11 November 2005 (UTC)

The Price-Anderson Nuclear Industries Indemnity Act (commonly called the Price-Anderson Act) limits liability for nuclear plant operators.

  • For a first sentence, it does little to explain the Price Anderson Act. This sentence makes it sound like fine print on a rental car agreement.

"Price relieves reactor operators from liability for a potential nuclear catastrophy and the resulting damage to the public health.

It also makes available a pool of insurance funds to compensate people who are injured or incur damages from a nuclear or radiological incident.

  • Right - the pool is called the collective backpockets of taxpayers, and the Act doesn't "create" the pool, it merely expresses the intent to take from it.

It grants the nuclear industry no-fault insurance for incidents, and caps damages that may be rewarded as a result of a lawsuit. The act currently covers all nuclear facilities constructed in the United States before 2002. Environmental groups, consumer groups and taxpayer watchdogs have criticized the act as a handout to the nuclear power industry to the detriment of United States citizens.

  • all acceptable (not stellar).
No ganging up on Ben. Appoint one person to represent the anti-Ben side and let that person speak in opposition. Rex071404(all logic is premise based) 00:03, 14 November 2005 (UTC)
Rex, you have no clue what this is even about. We've been at this for 5 months. It's 3 people on one side and 1 on the other. You are just trying to spite me. Good god. If I could just run into a cooperative Wikipedian, I'd be a happy man. --Woohookitty(cat scratches) 00:10, 14 November 2005 (UTC)
Did no one tell you that the only cooperative wikipedian is a disintereted wikipedian, who never edits anything? Sandpiper 22:36, 14 November 2005 (UTC)
I just did some minor grammatical stuff to the intro. It shouldn't be anything to get into a fuss over. --Woohookitty(cat scratches) 17:23, 11 November 2005 (UTC)

Well, what I think is that Ben does not expect his introduction to be taken seriously. I commented on it just to make a point. As to which version I prefer, I think i prefer the version which I last made edits to, which appeared through the mediation (I think, but I havn't really read them all). I have criticisms of it, but I think it jumps straight in and gets a summary right into the first sentence. But that is not a definitive answer. I do have issues with how it exactly explains what liability is shifted to whom, things I would change but which would not necessarily be regarded as just tidying up. I do not have time just now to think about it. Sandpiper 18:33, 11 November 2005 (UTC)


Ben, could you please do a serious edit? It was mentioned earlier that obviously, Ben puts edits up there that he doesn't think we will take seriously. Fine. So. Why make the edits? At some point, you are basically acting like a vandal and nothing more. I've seen people blocked for less and I'm being serious. Stop it. Post serious edits or don't post at all. I mean, look at this. Just a complete joke. --Woohookitty(cat scratches) 05:43, 21 November 2005 (UTC)

  • I quite agree. I'd like to see some constructive edits from everyone, but Benjamin, please don't put edits up there that you know violate NPOV. "Robs from the poor and gives to the rich" is a statement so horribly POV that I doubt even most biased sources wouldn't use. Ral315 (talk) 15:05, 21 November 2005 (UTC)
    • What else is a subsidy if not a form of "Taking" - why not use the plain english form Rob. Perhaps we should stick with "Takes from the Poor and gives to Rich energy investors. The DOE has said its "a subsidy for investors" - should we call it any less. We know it goes to investors - by definition those with more money than they need - Where does this subsidy come from? It comes from taxpayers, and the potential victims of a nuclear disaster (Who have already been deprived their right to sue the company which has ruined their life) Let's call them the Poor (Taxpayers, and children victimized by a nuclear disaster) Sure - the disaster hasn't happened yet - but this is a distater plan, and the plan calls for children to get the short end of the stick if energy executives commit crimes which affect the public. I take this as a pretty serious breach of decency, and suggest that "robbing from the poor to give to the rich" is not putting it to strongly. So I would counter by demanding that someone tell us why a law which protects criminal behavior against being sued for damages by the people they injure is anything less than a naked grab for wealth and power - enriching those who have - at the expense of those who have less? I'll wait a few days - and when that simple question is not answered - we'll agree to calling a spade a spade. I'll wait for consensus, but I doubt anyone can give a good reason why protecting criminals to enrich investors at the potential expense of children maimed for life is not a grotesque act of theft under natural law. Benjamin Gatti 17:46, 21 November 2005 (UTC)
I think that trying to justify your ridiculous edits shows your true colors. You don't care about Wikipedia. One bit. Nothing can justify those edits within the context of this project. Nothing. This is not about content. We are not going to turn this article into an anti-nuclear diatribe. It's just not going to happen. It's like talking to a brick wall that can talk. --Woohookitty(cat scratches) 20:58, 21 November 2005 (UTC)
The only thing I'll agree to is that I'm just about done trying to collaborate with you, Benjamin, when you make edits that so willfully ignore Wikipedia's policies. It's worse than a waste of time, it's also insulting. · Katefan0(scribble) 21:04, 21 November 2005 (UTC)
Both of you are apparently unwilling to confront the fact that this is an Act - intended to protect criminal behavior from financial liability - which places children (more than adults) at risk of a laundry lists of things to fearsome to list. Hmm. I'm not persuaded that we should make jingoistic conclusion that whatever the US does cannot be wrong. Price Anderson is heinous, and ought to be accurately described. Benjamin Gatti 23:44, 21 November 2005 (UTC)
And you are apparently unwilling to confront the fact that that's not the issue. And you know that's not the issue. And you've known this since this whole thing started back in June. And you keep waiting for us to fold. Why, I don't know, since it should be obvious by now that it's not going to happen. Mediators are not going to let you get by with POV edits. Simesa, katefan and myself are either going to stop attempting to collaborate with you or you are going to end up in arbitration and you won't be on here anymore. Not a threat because it's the truth.
And if we do decide to stop collaborating with you, then what will happen is that our side will become the consensus side and you won't be able to have much say. #1, 3 to 1 would be considered a consensus by many, especially since if we wanted to, I'm pretty sure we could get support from alot of others on here since most of us believe in NPOV above all else. And #2, who would fight us on it? We've been about as patient as humanly possible with you since this all started. At first, we let you get alot of leeway in terms of adding criticisms to the article. And since the dispute itself started in June, we've been patient in letting you get away with these ridiculous POV edits. We got 2 mediators involved, which was very nice of us considering that...again...many would consider 3 to 1 to be a consensus especially since we ended up giving more than half the article to the criticisms side. I just don't see someone neutral coming in and going "You know, these people are being very harsh on Ben." We've been as helpful as we can be.
And we get repaid by being called child killers or as bad as the Germans in World War II or being censors or whatever else you've concocted. And I won't even mention the constant gaming of the system. I think the last 2 days have shown once and for all that "cooperative Ben" is a complete sham. It's slash-and-burn. You want to be a martyr for the cause, as you probably have been many times before. Fine. But I suggest that if you want anything of yours left in the article, you probably want to try to be seriously cooperative. Because if we stop collaborating with you, I guarentee you that this article will not remain 60% criticism, which is what it is. --Woohookitty(cat scratches) 05:26, 22 November 2005 (UTC)
Mike, you are a tough and worthy opponent in this debate, and I do appreciate the participation - mediation - RfC - included. Obviously threats are not persuasive, nor effective. Bear this in mind - you can't ban people forever - the best you or I can hope for is to persuade - and that is a good thing. The person who abandons the debate for force is admitting defeat on the merits. I understand the frustration, this is an intractable issue - which has spawned world-class protests. I would ope to be mostly rational - and admit to momentary lapses in judgement. Yes - "Robbing the poor" if probably beyond the pail. As was One mediator's action simply blanking the entire article. Its a heated debate, and lively, and I doubt that anyone should apologize for that. In a sense - that is a big part of what wikipedia is. Sure - you'd like to think everyone could just settle down to the business of classifying mushroom's - but there are contentious issues in the world - and the opportunity to define the discussion is part of the interest of wikipedia. All of which said - I'm still going to note that you have refused to confront the fact that Price Anderson is an act intended to financially protect companies which expose the public to nuclear radiation by criminal behaviour. I think that is a very important aspect to the Act - and I feel that we have not done that aspect justice. Benjamin Gatti 00:56, 23 November 2005 (UTC)
Now we're back to cooperative Ben. I give up. --Woohookitty(cat scratches) 05:30, 23 November 2005 (UTC)
Ben, I am thouroughly personally convinced that nuclear power is subsidised, and that without subsidy it would not exist. But that is neither here nor there as far as this specific article is concerned. This particular act is not intended to 'rob the poor', nor unfairly protect companies from damages, nor prevent criminals being punished. It might in some imaginable circumstances have these effects, but so far it has not. It was in fact intended to create a 'fair' platform for companies to enter the market. National argument has convinced both lawmakers and the public that this is the case. So that is what the article should say. Sandpiper 15:15, 23 November 2005 (UTC)

Revert of 22 Nov evening

I object to the following changes made by Ben:

"financially protects corporations which expose the public to nuclear radiation even by criminal means." -- Doesn't protect corporations from costs of damage to their plant, doesn't protect any utility from the $95.8 million assessment, implies that corporations routinely do this, and "criminal" is speculative.

The entire act is speculative - it is a disaster plan. We ought to analyse the plan - not by marching around saying "it will never happen" - but by recognizing that corporations have insisted we have a plan in the event of a disaster - now, in that case - what is the nature of this plan? Benjamin Gatti
Again you go off on a meaningless tangent. WE don't analyze here, we summarize in an encyclopedic fashion. Your wording is both incorrect and slanted. Simesa 03:29, 24 November 2005 (UTC)
I did change it to address your concern. It certainly is intended to protect corps from the financial liabilities which could results from nuclear radiation - even by criminal means. That is honesty - what do you propose? Benjamin Gatti

"replaces common liability laws with a fixed pool of funds which could be rationed out to victims, mostly children" -- ignores requirement that Congress act, ignores Tucker Act, and no source indicates that American injured would be mostly children.

Do you agree or not agree that compensation would most likely be rationed in the event of a disaster (of the scope contemplated by the act). FEMA is rationing compensation for Hurricane victims. Rationing care is how government handle the cost of healthcare - show me where that isn't the case. According to army manual, the younger the organism, the more profound the effect. fetuses are the most vulnerable, I believe most of the secondary victims in belarus are young children. Benjamin Gatti
No, I do not. Only in a wildly extreme case, such a Soviet RBMK reactor with no containment, where the pool and Congress's action were exceeded would there be limitation - and even then the government could be sued. We had a partial meltdown with virtually no Price-Anderson impact. And I don't believe you can show me a reference that says more children would be victims in America. The children in Belarus were victims because their mothers fed them contaminated milk, something my brother in Germany at the time was ordered not to do - that wouldn't happen here. Simesa 03:29, 24 November 2005 (UTC)
You're back to arguing it will never happen - let's hope, but the purpose of the Act - just like an evacuation plan for New Orleans is to address the effects IF IT SHOULD HAPPEN. Ignoreing it doesn't make it go away. Benjamin Gatti

"could suffer mental retardation, profound malformation and pass on genetic deformations to their child and their children." -- while possible, this is both extremely unlikely in America and hasn't happened in America.

This is how the US Army describes the consequences of nuclear radiation - if you have a better source then put up (or don't) This is a sourced assertion v. an editors opinion. editor opinion loses. thank you for playing. Benjamin Gatti
These are extreme results not seen here or expected, so it doesn't belong in the Intro. Your sarcasm is ignored. Simesa 03:29, 24 November 2005 (UTC)
Again - you can't be effective in the insurance business by saying simply - it will never happen. Insurance hopes it won't happen, but it provides a framework - for how to handle thing IF IT DOES HAPPEN. So any assertion that a nuclear disaster WON"T happen in a nonsequitor. Benjamin Gatti

"takes security from children" -- scaremongering.

This is a transfer of a certain kind of wealth. That kind of wealth is security. You can't subsidize without taking. Governments don't create wealth - their redistribute it. Here, they are "creating" security for investors - principly by taking - in equal porportions - the same security from children. Benjamin Gatti
Again, you're putting your weird POV in. Simesa 03:29, 24 November 2005 (UTC)
Riskk is zero sum - who, in your opinion, is taling the risk that nuclear corporation are avoiding? If not the victims - then the taxpayers - but only in a limited sense - ergo rationing, children, etc ... Benjamin Gatti

"by providing limited and rationed health care and other compensation for victims" -- see second objection.

You can't "Cap damages" without imposing the effects of capped damages. Sure, the Feds could contribute - but Federal funds are already stretched pretty thin - so the reality is that care and compensation would have to be limited and rationed. Benjamin Gatti
Your presumption that the federal government wouldn't contribute is both speculative and counter to the requirement that it must - and there's still the Tucker Act if it doesn't. My objection stands. Simesa 03:29, 24 November 2005 (UTC)
You seem to speculating that Congress would have funds to cover the disaster - let's say they might have some funds. like Katrina, some coverage, but rationed, like medicare - certainly I would expect it to be rationed - where would they get the money for endless medical benefits. In which case - it becomes a shift of risk to taxpayers, and still to victims, because the Act prevents victims from recovering punative damages. In a very backward sense, punative damages are how we prevent damges in the first place. Benjamin Gatti

"scheme" -- the word has a negative and POV connotation.

scheme, schematic, is a plan laid out in actionable detail. It is neutral in its connotation except in your mind - but that seems to be what counts. Benjamin Gatti
That's only one of the connotations, another is "A secret or devious plan; a plot." You pick just the interpretations you want. Simesa 03:29, 24 November 2005 (UTC)

"Republican-controlled Congress and President George W. Bush in an act which gave huge tax-breaks to oil companies" -- The Act passed with bi-partisan support.

If you had said irrelevent - that would be understandable, but to say it was bi-partisan is stretching the truth. The oil tax breaks were inserted by the right and used to hold the energy policy hostage. Thank Delay. Benjamin Gatti
The vote is recorded in the article Energy Policy Act of 2005 and there was strong bi-partisan support. And you're right, it is mostly irrelevant. Simesa 03:29, 24 November 2005 (UTC)
The vote doesn't reflect the degree too which the right held up the act until it included oil subsidies and nuclear subsidies. I should think the demmocracts fielded an alternative sans the subsidies for oil and nukes - and I feel that you are papering over the nuances of a Republican dominated congress (thanks to Delays' criminal gerrymandering).

"the Act subsidizes the danger" -- POV wording. The Act's intent is to insure the public, establish the industry and cover the DOE.

It subsidizes risk of disaster. Those are words from the act and/or the Supreme Court. Disaster is the word used in the act. I would say that is danger. Benjamin Gatti
It's a conclusion, as neither the Act nor the Supreme Court used the word "subsidize". If you can provide a cite, the statement belongs under Criticisms. Simesa 03:29, 24 November 2005 (UTC)
The DOE has called it a "Subsidy for nuclear investors" it's there and cited. Benjamin Gatti

"agencies of the Department of Energy" -- incorrect - we have a cite from only one agency, the EIA.

Ok - we'll singularize it - my mistake. Benjamin Gatti

Simesa 03:40, 23 November 2005 (UTC) Thanks. Benjamin Gatti 18:25, 23 November 2005 (UTC)

And the Award for Hardest to read section goes to! ;-) --Woohookitty(cat scratches) 04:18, 24 November 2005 (UTC)

Yeah, but this is really the best way to hammer out differences in real text. Benjamin Gatti 23:41, 24 November 2005 (UTC)

New Edits

I feel that the points put forward in the intro have been supported by citations, and paint a balanced picture of an act which does in fact protect corporations which harm the public by criminal means from being held fully responsible. In the last two weeks I haven't seen any new facts which would persuade me that the act does not provide substantial protection in the event of criminal behavior, nor that children are not the most vulnerable, nor that a disaster is not fully contemplated as a possible events which CANNOT be ruled out. If everyone else is satisfied with a daily swing between the truthiness version, and the head-in-the-sands version, then that is the best we can do. We have reached the end of the facts, and the end of persuasion. Simesa is a talented advocate for one view, but has failed to convince me that Price Anderson is anything more than pandering to corporate interest who want a get-out-of-jail-free card in the event they cause a nuclear disaster. I'm not going to file for Arbcom, but neither am I likely to uy the "We are the consensus party" line either. The facts are on my side, so I will be content to promote the facts on a regular basis. I am more than open to being convinced, but not so open to being mobbed. Benjamin Gatti 00:04, 25 November 2005 (UTC)

In short you have no interest in the consensus process, and it's your way or the highway. Simesa 01:32, 25 November 2005 (UTC)
There is a discussion of the limits of democracy (I believe it is De Tocqueville). The illustration being that a democracy could, by consensus, establish that the mood was made of Gruyere, and it would simply be wrong. Three editors v One sounds convincing, but in the end, the truth lies in the facts, and not the number of bobble-heads one lines up to agree to pleasant falsehoods.
You have a choice Ben. Work within the consensus or have your edits reverted. Like I said, we've given you EVERY chance to play ball. I can't even count how many chances you've had. We could've said we're a consensus months ago. But we didn't, because we're reasonable people and we're tried to keep your concerns in the article. But if you buck consensus, that's all going to go away. I'm tired of the condescending attitude here. Please stop quoting people as if they'd be on your side. Please. --Woohookitty(cat scratches) 03:33, 25 November 2005 (UTC)
I am of the view that we should all start working on consensus paragraphs. All are welcome to work on those paragraphs. Ideally we would all agree on those paragraphs, but sometimes that's not possible. I propose we start with the introduction. · Katefan0(scribble) 02:04, 25 November 2005 (UTC)


Paragraph 1

The Price-Anderson Nuclear Industries Indemnity Act (commonly called the Price-Anderson Act) limits liability for nuclear plant operators. The Act also makes available a pool of insurance funds to compensate people who are injured or incur damages from a nuclear or radiological incident. The Price-Anderson Act grants the nuclear industry no-fault insurance for incidents, and caps damages that may be rewarded as a result of a lawsuit. Today, it currently covers all non-military nuclear facilities constructed in the United States before 2026. Environmental groups, consumer groups and taxpayer watchdogs have criticized the act as a handout to the nuclear power industry to the detriment of United States citizens.

If anybody feels strongly that this paragraph should be added to or modified, please propose what you feel those changes should be. If you think it's fine the way it is, please indicate such.

  1. The paragraph is fine as-is. · Katefan0(scribble) 02:07, 25 November 2005 (UTC)
I agree with Woohookitty on grammar. I'm fine with Simesa's notation, though I think the point about beyond-pool coverage could be a little sharper. How about (if an incident exceeds the pool's funds, Congress must consider appropriating more money). Something like that. Benjamin's version, which has already been rejected through edits prior to this consensus-survey, is still too biased to be appropriate. I also don't agree that it's necessary to mention the criminal malfeasance clause in the intro paragraph, as I've said repeatedly in the past. · Katefan0(scribble) 05:11, 25 November 2005 (UTC)
  1. Looks good. My only complaint is grammatical. "Today, it currently" is redundant. "Currently, the law covers" works betters. But other than that, it looks fine. --Woohookitty(cat scratches) 03:46, 25 November 2005 (UTC)
  2. The paragraph, acceptable as-is, could use slight modification (see below). I can go with either version. · Simesa 03:54, 25 November 2005 (UTC)
  3. The Paragraph fails to mention that criminal acts could be shielded from liability suits, and the Act covers military reactors (ie reactors used to breed Weapons - it does not cover subs.) Benjamin Gatti 05:05, 25 November 2005 (UTC)

I'd modify that to:

The Price-Anderson Nuclear Industries Indemnity Act (commonly called the Price-Anderson Act) limits liability for nuclear plant operators. The Act also makes available a pool of insurance funds to compensate people who are injured or incur damages from a nuclear or radiological incident (coverage beyond the pool is to be provided by the federal government). The Price-Anderson Act grants the nuclear industry no-fault insurance for incidents, and potentially caps damages that may be rewarded as a result of lawsuits. The Act currently covers all non-military nuclear facilities constructed in the United States before 2026. Environmental groups, consumer groups, taxpayer watchdogs and one federal agency have criticized the act as a government handout to the nuclear power industry.

Simesa 03:54, 25 November 2005 (UTC)

I would modify it to read:

The Price-Anderson Nuclear Industries Indemnity Act (commonly called the Price-Anderson Act) protects corporations from liability lawsuits in the event the public are harmed by a nuclear disaster, even if the cause is criminal malfeasance. The Act replaces common liability laws with a fixed pool of funds which may or may not be adequate to cover the healthcare costs of potential victims. In the event of a severe nuclear disaster, the effects on infants and fetuses could include mental retardation, profound malformation and genetic defects passed on to future generations. Under the Act, the nuclear operator is held harmless for these damages, and the cost is transferred to the victim and to the taxpayer. The Price-Anderson Act gives security to the nuclear industry by taking it from the public under a no-fault partial insurance plan. The Act was recently extended in the Energy Policy Act of 2005, the Act subsidizes the risk of catastrophy for all non-military nuclear facilities constructed in the United States before 2026. Environmental groups, consumer groups and taxpayer watchdogs and the Department of Energy have descibed the act as a subsidy for nuclear investors at the expense of the taxpayer.

Benjamin Gatti 04:41, 25 November 2005 (UTC)
Make an actual attempt at NPOV or don't bother. I counted about 10 negative words in there. --Woohookitty(cat scratches) 05:50, 25 November 2005 (UTC)
New consensus paragraph, modified per Simesa et al:

The Price-Anderson Nuclear Industries Indemnity Act (commonly called the Price-Anderson Act) limits liability for nuclear plant operators. The Act also makes available a pool of insurance funds to compensate people who are injured or incur damages from a nuclear or radiological incident (if an incident exceeds the pool's funds, Congress must consider appropriating more money). The Price-Anderson Act grants the nuclear industry no-fault insurance for incidents, and potentially caps damages that may be rewarded as a result of lawsuits. The Act currently covers all non-military nuclear facilities constructed in the United States before 2026. Environmental groups, consumer groups, taxpayer watchdogs and one federal agency have criticized the act as a government handout to the nuclear power industry.

Any other changes? · Katefan0(scribble) 17:22, 25 November 2005 (UTC)
One more comment -- to partially satisfy Benjamin's concerns, perhaps we could change the last sentence to ... "Environmental, consumer and taxpayer watchdog groups have criticized the act as a government handout to the nuclear power industry and argue that it does not adequately protect the public." · Katefan0(scribble) 17:32, 25 November 2005 (UTC)

Adding 'argue that it does not adequately protect the public' seems fair, since they do, but I am not convinced that ALL environmental agencies (etc) argue this. So equally it should add SOME environmantal groups, consumer.... Bens suggested version is not realistic. As to the two alternatives about congress providing funds, the first implies it will, the second wording might imply no special obligation upon congress to do anything. The truth seems to be a legal obligation to think about it? (which, realistically, would produce some money if not all that was sought) Sandpiper 18:29, 25 November 2005 (UTC)

Yeah, you're right, adding "some" would be better. Also, as I understand it, yes -- there is nothing that says Congress MUST appropriate more money. As I understand it (someone correct me if I'm wrong), the law just says Congress must consider appropriating more money. I'm not sure what exactly that would mean in practice (hearings?), but I don't think there's any requirement that Congress must, in fact, give more money. · Katefan0(scribble) 18:32, 25 November 2005 (UTC)
So we're at:

The Price-Anderson Nuclear Industries Indemnity Act (commonly called the Price-Anderson Act) limits liability for nuclear plant operators. The Act also makes available a pool of insurance funds to compensate people who are injured or incur damages from a nuclear or radiological incident (if an incident exceeds the pool's funds, Congress must consider appropriating more money). The Price-Anderson Act grants the nuclear industry no-fault insurance for incidents, and potentially caps damages that may be rewarded as a result of lawsuits. The Act currently covers all non-military nuclear facilities constructed in the United States before 2026. Some environmental groups, consumer groups, taxpayer watchdogs and one federal agency have criticized the act as a government handout to the nuclear power industry and argue that it does not adequately protect the public.

That looks pretty good to me. Simesa 20:58, 25 November 2005 (UTC)

  • Ignoring the fact that it shields corporations from liability for criminal acts isn't going to fly. We can find an agreeable way to say it, but we cannot agree to ignore it (Wikipedia isn't paper?). I would suggest that someone other than me give it a shot. think writing for the enemy. I might suggest the words "willful malfeasance" which while oblique, has the benefit of being used in the references.
  • Kate is right - congress is only obliged to consider appropriate relief. - going from there to congress will in fact cover the damages is speculative. Aside from which congresses definition of damages may be very different from "equity" - which generally means whatever an impartial jury believes would be necessary to compensate for the pain, suffering, medical costs, loss of children, spouses etc ... oddly - a very high number when you're talking an early death to cancer etc ...
  • Adding "some" - suggests fewer than most. I would challenge that - I believe most environmental groups (weighted by membership) have criticised the act. Greenpeace alone is probably most.
  • "at least one" would be safe - since we cannot claim to have personally interviewed each and every department. I would speculate that the EPA has had a few choice words, and the DOE renewable folk have probably kicked a water cooler once or twice. I think you aren't giving these departments credit for their independence by limited the number to the results of a three minute Google inquiry.
  • Is "all non-military reactors" accurate? I think it covers all fixed reactors and ground transportation of fissionable materials. - or another way - all land-based incidents.
  • It might state that the act has been criticised for "providing real protections to nuclear corporations, and imaginary protections for the public." One of our sources put it that way - and it is both true and concise.

The Price-Anderson Nuclear Industries Indemnity Act (commonly called the Price-Anderson Act) protects the nuclear industry from the catastrophic liabilities which could arise from a nuclear disaster in the United States. The Act allows nuclear reactors to be self-uninsured and puts the taxpayer on the hook in the event of a serious accident. The Act reduces the ability of people injured in a nuclear incident to sue those responsible - even for criminal conduct. The Act currently covers land-based reactors constructed in the United States before 2026 and ground transportation of fissile materials. Most Environmental groups, consumer groups, taxpayer watchdogs and the DOE EIA have criticized the act as a government handout to the nuclear power industry and point out that while the protection for industry is real, the protections for the public are fictitious.

A little improvement. Benjamin Gatti 02:16, 26 November 2005 (UTC)

Such an improvement I just reverted it. So he followed Katefan's advice and contributed...a ridiculous POV paragraph...and just like always, so ridiculous that we can't really even work with it. --Woohookitty(cat scratches) 03:45, 26 November 2005 (UTC)
We aren't ignoring criminal etc. -- it simply doesn't need to be mentioned in the intro paragraph. Some is more accurate. Your last point is not a good faith suggestion. I believe we've now established a consensus. I'll paste our consensus paragraph into the intro after I save this comment. · Katefan0(scribble) 04:59, 26 November 2005 (UTC)
You can't summarise the intent of the act as protecting criminals from catastrophic liabilities, because that is not the intent of the act. It might (arguably) be a consequence in certain circumstances, but this does not belong in an honest opening summary. Sandpiper 00:41, 28 November 2005 (UTC)

Paragraph 1 obit

Does everyone now agree that the introduction is good as it is, allowing us to move on to the next section? Ral315 (talk) 01:08, 27 November 2005 (UTC)

"Good" is the correct word. I'm not happy about removing "adequately", but it's still a good Intro. Simesa 02:48, 27 November 2005 (UTC)
Everyone but Benjamin I imagine. · Katefan0(scribble) 05:32, 27 November 2005 (UTC)
  • limits liability for nuclear plant operators.
As the first, this sentence has the responsability to represent the act in a single sound bite. This doesn't. "... protects nuclear operators from financial liability for the effects of a catastrophic nuclear disaster on the general public and provides limited federal funding to compensate victims instead." This a short sentence - accurate in each clause, with words carefully chosen from the Act itself.
  • The act also makes available a pool of insurance funds to compensate people who are injured or incur damages from a nuclear or radiological incident (if an incident exceeds the pool's funds, Congress must consider appropriating more money).
The parenthetical phrase is an inappropriate aside. The sentence fails to state that the pool is limited - while the gravamen of the act is its limitation.
  • The act grants the nuclear industry no-fault insurance for incidents, and potentially caps damages that may be rewarded as a result of lawsuits.
The act doesn't 'potentially cap - it affirmatively caps damages awarded. If Congress were to allocate funds, it would be a Fema-style dispensation, and not likely to be rewarded in a trial.
  • The act currently covers all non-military nuclear facilities constructed in the United States before 2026.
First we said "nuclear subs" weren't covered, now we say "military reactors" aren't covered - I'm not convinced the two are the same, and I want to see a citation. I googles a bit and couldn't find out how we create the fissile material for bombs - are those research reactors? Remember the charge of the DOE is defense (read offense). So any DOE "research" reactor which is in fact pumping out warheads - would qualify as a "military reactor" - certainly would be a justifiable military target if located in north Korea.
In this day and age, probably the USA finds it cheaper to buy second hand fissile material from Russia Sandpiper 01:03, 28 November 2005 (UTC)
  • Some environmental, consumer and taxpayer watchdog groups, as well as one federal agency, have criticized the act as a government handout to the nuclear power industry and argue that it does not protect the public.
The word "some" qualifies the number of groups which have expressed criticism. My instinct is that if we are going to qualify - then we need to do it accurately and source it. My guess is we have no factual basis on which to make the distinction. The qualification should be left out unless sourced. The DOE did not "criticize" the act, nor does the quote which I provided, support the assertion that "it does not protect the public." We have sacrificed accuracy for simplicity - no go.
All told, not one sentence of this introduction will hold up under educated scrutiny. Ditch it, ditch openness, or live with volatility. Benjamin Gatti 05:13, 27 November 2005 (UTC)

I still had a reservation about the word 'handout', which is somewhat pejorative, and would prefer 'subsidy'. (However, this might be a direct quote of what was said?) I doubt i would argue about this, but having just read the article again, i think the introductory paragraph is pushing a POV that the act is a 'bad thing'. It goes on a lot about things which sound like they might be bad for people, but which in reality are considered very unlikely to cause anyone harm. (i.e this claim cap)Sandpiper 01:03, 28 November 2005 (UTC)

The DOE used the word "Subsidy" - and I wouldn't characterize their POV as derogatory - it was just a fact issued by a factual organization. (Some people live outside spin). I would guess the opening paragraph of the Spanish Inquisition reads a bit negative as well. An article is not entitled to a presumption of neutrality - it is entitled to a fair presentation of the facts. I believe my intro provides a fair and accurate presentation of the whole truth and nothing falsified for simplicity. Benjamin Gatti

Accurate Intro

The Price-Anderson Nuclear Industries Indemnity Act (commonly called the Price-Anderson Act) protects nuclear operators from the potential civil liabilities arising from a nuclear disaster and provides limited taxpayer-funded compensation instead. The act coordinates private insurance policies to cover the first ~$300 million in damages, forms a cost-sharing plan to cover the next ~$10 billion, promises federal funds up to $500 million after that, and finally commits the Congress to consider additional remedy if necessary. Under the act, persons injured by nuclear events cannot sue those responsible for damages for full compensation, even in the event of willful malfeasance, instead victims can only request limited compensation from the federal government. The act insures research facilities, transportation of fissile materials and reactors constructed in the United States before 2026, but does not cover nuclear submarines. The Department of Energy has called it a "subsidy for nuclear investors" while environmental, consumer and taxpayer watchdog groups have condemned the act as welfare for the rich and because it exposes the public while protecting the nuclear industry.

Benjamin Gatti 06:09, 27 November 2005 (UTC)

Better, but still slanted and by far not superior to the consensus version. Just had to get "limited" in twice, for example. Aircraft carriers, Navy training reactors and classified reactors aren't mentioned. Simesa 08:43, 27 November 2005 (UTC)
Are you judging better based on conformity to a personal bias - or on accurate, comprehensive, and usefully informative? "Limited" is the essence of the act (assuming we agree "indemnity" is a word better explained than used to explain.)
I think the information is better, the sentences more complete, and the inaccuracies addressed. I'm still a bit vague on what reactors, or related activities are covered or not. So that section is provisional pending sources. Benjamin Gatti 15:56, 27 November 2005 (UTC)

Need to Settle the Question - Does the Act protect Corps from liability for Criminal Acts?

I feel we can't really make progress unless we come to terms with this issue. I know of no other legislature which protects corporations from liability from their own criminal behaviour. My reading of the Act is that the Corp is shielded from liability claim Regardless of the cause - including criminal malfeasance. I notice that neither of the two introductions proposed even mentions that alarming fact though they do go into inaccurate minutia on other matters (fixed military reactors are covered - mobile reactors ie ships and subs, of which only subs remain are probably indemnified elsewhere along with the totality of the military - and are also small enough to represent a manageable risk.)

I doubt that this matter will come to resolution outside Arbcom unless the criminal protection issue is addressed openly and without tergiversation. Benjamin Gatti 05:02, 25 November 2005 (UTC)

I feel we can't really make progress until you start to follow NPOV. I don't know why you keep pounding us with this stuff. It's a waste of time. --Woohookitty(cat scratches) 06:03, 25 November 2005 (UTC)
I would venture to guess then that this is the impasse, and I see no resolution. If the Act protects criminal acts which cause mass destruction to the general public, then that my gentle friends belongs in the Introduction. Agree with me, or ban me - I am not likely to bend on the need to inform the reader of such things. Benjamin Gatti 14:23, 25 November 2005 (UTC)
And now he's baiting us. New tactic. You know darn well we can't ban you on sight. "Agree with me or ban me". Yeah. So if we say well actually Ben we don't do either, you can go "Fine, then it'll go into the Introduction". You're getting more transparent. Apparently that's possible. No I don't agree with you. Labeling it "criminal" makes it POV. it's a point of view. We're not here to judge right and wrong. That's the essence of NPOV. Why am I bothering saying that? You know what NPOV is. You just don't give a damn. --Woohookitty(cat scratches) 15:13, 25 November 2005 (UTC)
The Act covers the public regardless of the cause, but the plant in question is not above (1) loss of investment in the plant, (2) the $98.5 million per reactor, (3) losing its insurance and effectively its ability to operate, (4) criminal prosecution and (5) NRC fines and "show cause" orders (show cause why you should be allowed to continue to operate nuclear units). As the Supreme court said, "in the event of a nuclear incident the utility itself would probably suffer the largest damages."
If you had produced cites of notable no-consequence criminal activity in American plants, that might bolster your case (the only possible one I found was that there is/was a grand jury sitting on the Davis-Besse Reactor Vessel Head case - the utility has already paid a $5.45 million fine and the engineer in charge of inspections was banished from the industry, which are pretty severe punishments). Simesa 15:21, 25 November 2005 (UTC)
Benjamin, you're welcome to make good-faith contributions to the paragraph we're working on above. In fact you're more than welcome, I strongly encourage it. But if you can't or won't do that, there's not much the rest of us can do. Either work with us on a consensus paragraph -- and I mean really work with us -- or don't. It's up to you. But either way, a consensus will be established. · Katefan0(scribble) 17:27, 25 November 2005 (UTC)

Objection - 1 Revert rule

Tonight - I proposed an original introduction, after discussing the many factual errors in the existing intro. Katefan reverted it (1). Then I reverted (1), then Kate reverted again (2). I take that as a violation of 1 revert rule - so here's the deal. Either kate apologises, is banned for a day, or I no longer am bound by my agreement to this mediation. Response due in 24 hours. Benjamin Gatti 06:05, 27 November 2005 (UTC)

Ben has repeatedly posted wildly non-POV (but "different") edits, and has just said "ditch it or live with volatility" (see above). I propose that his edits be revertable on sight. Simesa 08:26, 27 November 2005 (UTC)
The complete quote is "ditch it, ditch openess, or live with volatility" That in a nutshell is the tricotemy of Wikipedia. It can be the "Encyclopedia that anyone can edit", or it can be stable and owned by a single point of view, or it can continue a struggle for consensus. Since there is no point in compromising on truth - the current intro will trigger conflict. I would consider censoring the fact that the Act protects criminal behavior from being civilly responsible to the victims is wildly POV and should be revertible on site. Benjamin Gatti
Revertible on sight? WP:RFAR's thatta way. That's the only place you would get such a ruling. Considering mediation has failed, and there does not seem to be any sign of resolution, I seriously suggest you all avail yourselves of that process. Dmcdevit·t 08:33, 27 November 2005 (UTC)
We will if Ben delivers on his threats of the last few days. --Woohookitty(cat scratches) 08:37, 27 November 2005 (UTC)
Who's threatening? Since when do editors speak in the royal we - or worse, form loyalties (which place loyalty over the truth - see Bush White House)? Benjamin Gatti 14:49, 27 November 2005 (UTC)
I would suggest that endlessly threatening Arbcom is harrasment. Either put up or shut up already. Benjamin Gatti 14:50, 27 November 2005 (UTC)
Bait bait bait. --Woohookitty(cat scratches) 15:04, 27 November 2005 (UTC)
No, Mike, I'm not baiting, you keep informing everyone that you're going to make a complaint to arbcomm, at the same time, you don't want to go to arbcomm and lose, so rather than armcom, you have adopted threatcom. The perpetual harrasment of pending doom. I'm beginning to think that your empty threats are a personal attack and actionable at arbcom independantly. So here it is - the next threat will end us up in arbcom. (I don't make empty commitments.) Benjamin Gatti 15:49, 27 November 2005 (UTC)

another revision

Well, I saw ben had inserted another opening paragraph. Instead of reverting it I replaced it with the standard version, but with some alterations of my own.

I also noted the tag 'totallydisputed', at the top of the page as I was editing. Actually, I don't think this page IS totally disputed. We are more or less agreed about all the content which should be here, it is just the emphasis which is placed upon it. (Ok, so disagree with me then and tell me which 100 pages of argument I missed) Sandpiper 16:17, 28 November 2005 (UTC)

For the record, the new paragraph is:

The Price-Anderson Nuclear Industries Indemnity Act (commonly called the Price-Anderson Act) provides protection to nuclear plant operators against actions for damages in the event of a nuclear accident. Instead, the act makes available a pool of insurance funds which provides no-fault compensation to anyone injured or who incurs damages from a nuclear or radiological incident. If an incident exceeds the pool's funds, Congress must consider appropriating more money. The effect of the act is to provide insurance to the nuclear industry which it could not otherwise obtain in the open market, because of the perceived risks from nuclear power. The act currently covers all non-military nuclear facilities constructed in the United States before 2026. Some environmental, consumer and taxpayer watchdog groups, as well as one federal agency, have criticized the act as a government subsidy to the nuclear power industry and argue that it does not protect the public.

It is not much different from the "consensus" version and I like it. Simesa 19:48, 28 November 2005 (UTC)
I agree with Simesa. Now this is true collaboration. Though, I don't think "Instead" is needed -- it sets up a dichotomy that isn't explained otherwise. Just a copyediting point though. · Katefan0(scribble) 20:06, 28 November 2005 (UTC)
well, I put in the 'instead' deliberately. I'm not sure dichotomy is exactly right, but I did mean 'on the one hand...on the other hand...'. It seemed to me that this is correct: the act does protect the companies, but it balances this by creating an alternative method of redress for anyone harmed. But, yes I see what you mean, it's not quite right as it is really 'Instead (of a right to sue)', but that would not flow well. Sandpiper 22:32, 28 November 2005 (UTC)

Revert of early Nov. 29

Ben changed the Intro to read:

The Price-Anderson Nuclear Industries Indemnity Act (commonly called the Price-Anderson Act) protects nuclear plant operators against actions for damages in the event of a catastrophic nuclear incident; instead, the act makes available a pool of no-fault insurance funds to provide partial compensation to persons injured or damaged by a nuclear or radiological incident. If such an incident were to exceed the pool's funds, Congress has agreed to consider appropriate relief. The effect of the act is to relieve the nuclear industry of the risks of participating in nuclear energy. The act currently covers transportation and storage of fissile materials and all non-military nuclear facilities constructed in the United States before 2026. Some environmental, consumer and taxpayer watchdog groups, as well as one federal agency, have criticized the act as a taxpayer subsidy for the nuclear industry and argue that it does not protect the public.

I object to the following: Operators aren't protected against claims against their insurance (to say "actions" instead of "claims" is misleading since claims are definitely allowed), the word "catastrophic" isn't necessary and is incorrect since ALL incidents are covered, the compensation isn't necessarily partial (it's over 100 times TMI's claims), the industry still shoulders massive risk as stated by the Supreme Court, and that's not the sole effect of the Act and there are still massive financial risks. Better than normal, but the consensus version is still superior, so I'm reverting.

Simesa 06:09, 29 November 2005 (UTC)

The coverage is partial, not because of the caps on cost, but because it provide for a lesser definition of "equity". The standard definition is determined by a jury of one's peers, and as you know, they may put an extrodinary value on life and loved one's, and on pain, suffering etc... - so yes - it is partial. Benjamin Gatti 14:22, 29 November 2005 (UTC)

well, if we are going to engage in rhetoric, i object to quite a few things. The change from 'provides protection' to 'protects', strengthens the meaning and implies more that the act provides absolute protection, which it does not. (I might even be tempted by 'provides some protection',but I think that might be too far the other way) the word 'catastrophic' suggests in the mind of a reader that this is a realistic scenario, which it is not believed to be, and also implies that 'catastrophies' are the main issue of concern. They are not, and the act would and could not protect companies in such an outcome (not in the sense of continuing their business unaffected). The act is much more concerned about situations somewhat smaller than 'catastrophies'. No-fault has moved again. the point is that claimants do not have to go to the trouble of proving liability from the company, which is much easier for them. No, it does not relieve the industry of all risks...the degree to which it does this is arguable (and is argued later), and whether it 'relieves' at all is arguable; it changes the method whereby those risks would bite. It is not reasonable to re-state the degree to which the act might fail to protect the public repeatedly. It had the last word in the original version where it said that a number of people have said this. That makes it their views, not ours; it is not reasonable to place that interpretation rhroughout the paragraph. The bit about transportation of fuel may be accurate and might be worth including if it is not felt that would be apparent as a normal part of the business. Sandpiper 08:23, 29 November 2005 (UTC)

In fact, my opening paragraph fails to mention explicitly that the companies do still have to pay for their insurance through the fund. I think it was probably the intention of congress that the act would be self-funding, which it has been so far. But I would not suggest going into more detail of how the fund works in the opening paragraph. Sandpiper 08:34, 29 November 2005 (UTC)

If one reads the text of the act, and the Supreme Court _ I believe you will see that in fact the act was intended to address the catastrophic case, the fact that your health insurance covers hangnail doesn't change the fact the the purpose of insurance is to deal with much more significant risk - hell I'd be selling dry-cleaning insurance if insurance was meant to address trivia. "No-fault" is a good (short and recognizable) term. The point is that when one gets a cancer, or is exposed, the cause or effect may be many years away, and not directly traceable to a single negligent effect. I think you do the article an injustice if you approach the incident insured with inherent skepticism. This isn't "alien invasion" insurance. Nuclear reactors can and do have incidents which pose profound harm - the Supreme Court said that while unlikely, they cannot be ruled out, the industry has saiid the chances are likely enough that they were worried about it. I suggest if the supreme court and the industry consider such a possibility, then it is an unacceptable POV to assert the opposite. The risk of nuclear is proably highest during transportation, and storage presents a non-trivial risk, so to limit this to "reactors" is misleading - presumably, the transport and storage facilities are not even owned by the reactor company. Benjamin Gatti 14:22, 29 November 2005 (UTC)
I agree with all of Sandpiper's points. Plus, this sentence: The effect of the act is to relieve the nuclear industry of the liability risks of participating in nuclear energy. changes the focus from the real reason why it was enacted in the first place -- to enable the creation of a private nuclear power industry -- to a rather POV supposition. Simesa and I are behind Sandpiper's version. That means consensus is not with you -- again -- on this point, Benjamin. · Katefan0(scribble) 15:47, 29 November 2005 (UTC)
yes, it is intended to address the issue of catastrophies. However, it does not expect a catastrophy. This is not,'what we will do when there is a catastrophy', but 'what we would do in the (implicitly exremely small) chance that there was one'. It is implicit in the existence of the bill that it is designed to cover all eventualities, and (as discussed at length before) that while we may get the odd case of cancer, or 5 mile island, we are not expecting something huge. Sandpiper


In all this edit warring, everyone seems to have forgotten about specifying (a) that it is an Act of Congress in the United States and (b) what year it was passed in, in the intro. Morwen - Talk 08:38, 29 November 2005 (UTC)

what, include facts? Sandpiper 09:50, 29 November 2005 (UTC)
Some of the problem with doing that is that the conglomeration of statutes now known as Price-Anderson has been changed and added to by several other acts of Congress over the years. So while the initial language was enacted in '57, there have since been several other bills enacted to add to/modify the language as "Price-Anderson Act Amendments." If we're goign to use that level of specificty (mostly with the year I guess), then we'd also need to mention all the other times it's been modified, since we're describing the law as it currently works. Or perhaps mention that it was first enacted in '57. Something like that. · Katefan0(scribble) 15:46, 29 November 2005 (UTC)
Well that's been an issue for awhile now. Because of all of the POVness, we haven't really been able to finish this article as it should be finished. I mean we've spent...what...2 months now on just the opening paragraph? --Woohookitty(cat scratches) 19:54, 29 November 2005 (UTC)

"minimal" compensation?

The act protects the industry against the excesses of punitive and pain and suffering damages, but the coverage it does provide cannot be called "minimal". This is POV and should be sourced if there is an authoritative source for this opinion. This mischaracterization of the coverage, even if sourced, does not belong in the introduction.--Silverback 15:47, 29 November 2005 (UTC)

Hi silverback. This page is currently suffering a sifference of opinion over content. The word 'minimal', only appears in the version favoured by a minority. Please check other versions to see what you feel. Sandpiper
Partial, limited, capped, "less-than-equity". How do you want to describe it. Its like Home insurance - it will cover the reasonable market value? How do you place a reasonable market value on a child afflicted by radiological defects? Generally we have a process - we let people decide the value of such things - called jurists - and they have a history of expressing a rather high value for life. that is the "real" value - anything less, is well - less. Benjamin Gatti
Jurors often value life much more when it is a big corporations money than they do when they make decisions in their own lives, or than the politicians they elect do when making decisions. Lives are money when politicians make decisions, it costs 15,000 to save an additional life through better prenatal care and $15 million to save it through increased air quality regulation, although Congress usually values a life at about $3,000,000 in most of their decision making. A nuclear accident would have the difficulty of figuring out what deaths are attributable. In Hiroshima they tend to label every cancer death a victim of the bomb even though only an incremental percentage of the deaths can be due to the effects. Of course, radiation releases will possibly also save some lives and perhaps even result in a net saving of lives through hormesis.--Silverback 08:48, 30 November 2005 (UTC)

Other parts of article

I was feeling foolhardy, so I just looked at some other parts of the article. Aside from not actually mentioning that this is a US government issue (well pointed out), there seem to be one or two other points which have slipped out of the article.

An earlier version gave a better explanation of normal US liability law, which i thought useful, being British and never having sued anyone in America. This was once the opening of the 'how the law works' section.

The background section used to say that one aim of the law was actually to satisfy concerns that the public was inadequately protected against nuclear risk (presumably including by established legal routes), and that this was intended to improve the public's position. Presumably, since it effectively makes all nuclear power companies jointly liable for an accident by any one of them. Sandpiper 19:20, 29 November 2005 (UTC)

Yeah we know Sandpiper. :) We used to discuss other parts of the article, but we got bogged down on wording of the intro. --Woohookitty(cat scratches) 19:57, 29 November 2005 (UTC)
This is another point that Benjamin has fought. It is clear that, upon enacting PAA in 1957, one of the reasons stated by Congress in doing so was to protect the public in the event of a nuclear incident. (Presumably by making insurance available to nuclear plant operators). Benjamin has disputed this, saying it wasn't really the truth behind it. Of coruse this gets to the heart of NPOV policy. We can say that this was in fact a stated reason -- I have provided more than enough actual floor testimony from the bill's authors to show that it was certainly part of their rhetoric if nothing else. · Katefan0(scribble) 20:34, 29 November 2005 (UTC
So you can say "public concern was par of their rhetoric" - but I think we can't sanctify rhetoric by reporting it as fact. When I have time, I'll explain to you the difference between a speech on the house floor, and a fact. For now, take it from me, there is a difference. Mind that in that speech, and related testimony, we have the industry threatening to cease work on a nuclear reactor. We don not yet have Greenpeace, or any other voice clamouring for a mutually-self-uninsurance policy. So yeah - we're waiting for a cite which proves that public concern was more than a rhetorical tool (FUD) to manipulate support for an industry subsidy. Benjamin Gatti 23:05, 29 November 2005 (UTC)
This has been a key confusion of yours for months now. We don't report anything as fact that's in dispute. We don't search for the "truth." We summarize others' published statements, including all valid sides in a dispute. Re-read Verifiability: Articles should contain only material that has been published by reputable or credible sources, regardless of whether individual editors regard that material to be true or false. As counter-intuitive as it may seem, the threshold for inclusion in Wikipedia is verifiability, not truth. · Katefan0(scribble) 23:09, 29 November 2005 (UTC)
Sounds like an echoo in here. Yes - verifyability has been a chief complaint of mine here. Especially with respect to the original debate - whether or not the assertion that "Congress intended to protect the public" could be presented in an unverifyable format - we agree that it could not and must be couched so that it was provable. ie.. Bob, at the EIA said on tuesday 23rd, that congress intended etc ... Welcome to the light. Benjamin Gatti 23:19, 29 November 2005 (UTC)
Civility please. --Woohookitty(cat scratches) 23:38, 29 November 2005 (UTC)
Benjamin, that is an utterly false portrayal of our prior discussions. Even beyond the GAO report, I provided several quotes directly from floor statements of the lawmakers that worked on this bill stating precisely that it was enacted in order to protect the public. And we have agreed on nothing on this score. · Katefan0(scribble) 23:45, 29 November 2005 (UTC)
Yikes a nerve! "We" means me and two moderators. As you said, you have found endless references to the rhetoric, which I applaud and support so long as they remain what they are - assertions of rhetoric. But "intent" is inherently unverifyable, and becomes extremely problematic when generalized. (Ie "congress intended to this and that". The business of the press is to "not take politicians at their word." If you can find a better business for the press - do tell. Benjamin Gatti 02:50, 30 November 2005 (UTC)
What I've referenced is stated Congressional intent. Trying to read tea leaves and instead insist on "the truth" is where you get bogged down when it comes to NPOV policy. · Katefan0(scribble) 17:36, 30 November 2005 (UTC)

Some more points. I read the supreme court judgement, and while it may have literally included what is in the article, actually there were several reasons mentioned in their judgement why the act was both satisfactory and reasonable in furtherance of its asserted aims, allowing power companies to operate while giving a satisfactory alternative redress to anyone who might be affected by nuclear accident. It would seem to me that the supreme court in fact endorsed the act as fairly achieving its stated aims, and should be referenced as doing so.

One of the references appeared to be saying that in fact five mile island was not an ENO,(nuclear accident) according to the terms of the act, so was handled outside of the Act by the companies insurance, under the normal rules for suing people for damages. Most was apparently settled out of court.

Next, that the description of how the act works is not entirely precise. It transfers court action to federal courts (though it did not originally do this), but it is still necessary for someone to start an action for damages. The defendants are then forbidden by the act from entering certain defences, like it was someone else's fault (either tthat a different party or the claimant himself was to blame). Some companies would see this as contrary to their interest...being forbidden to defend a case against them. But in return, final judgement is against the PA fund, rather than the companies themselves. The company's insurance is then liable for the first 300 million$ (or whatever the sum is now), then further amounts must be born equally by the whole industry. Normal state time limits for bringing actions are extended if they are less than those specified by the act (thee years after discovering damage).

Finally, as mentioned in the last para, some actions may not qualify for PA protection, when normal court and presumably defence rules apply. The DOE has to make a determination firstly that a significant nuclear leak has occured off the defined premises concerned, and secondly that there has been actual damage above a specified level: one death, five serious hospitalisations, loss of 2.5 milion by one person or 5 million by a number, or 1 million by at least 50

Companies also do not have to pay up in the event of a huge claim all at once. Their bill is limited to a maximum of 10 million$ (or possibly now 20 million$, some of the references are rather old and figures are out of date) per year until up to the maximum of 95 million. And the figure are per incident. So if there were five separate accidents in one year, that would be a total liability of 95 million per accident at the rate of 20 million per year. Assuming I got that right, it is not exactly true to say the fund limit is 9.5 billion, but 9.5 billion per event. The terms for DOE installations are somewhat different (I think the entire bill falls to the government, but with an equal allocated fund of 9.5 billion?)

Oh, and it appeared it might not cover terrorist acts? I am not sure if it covers, say, someone blowing up a power station. One reference said it would not cover release of radioactive material which had been stolen by terrorists, but that might still cover a release during an attempted theft. Of course, if that is so, could someone sue the company for inadequate security allowing the theft, Hmm..

Anyone who has been reading this for rather longer than me, please comment if I have misunderstood any of this.Sandpiper 17:29, 30 November 2005 (UTC)

Logical Alternatives to PA

well, I was considering what the alternatives to PA would be. One would be no nuclear industry. I think this would be unaccaptable to the US government for various reasons. Thus, irrespective, nuclear plants were going to be built. The next option might be the government would build them itself. In that case the entire liability risk would rest with the government, not just the last resort liability. Or third, the government could cut a deal and persuade private companies to do it.

Either companies build without PA, when they assume entire liability themselves, or we have PA. Without PA, presumably a shell company would be created which would protect the 'investors' from liability. This would then have little capital,(say 1 billion dollars startup money) and big debts to banks. Presumably the banks would have first call on the assets if the company became insolvent? So there is a real catastrophy, what happens? Company goes broke, is out of business with no prospect of restarting. How much money is available to pay injured parties? A lot less than 10 billion dollars. Or, we have PA and a ready cash fund (more or less) of 10 billion. Sounds better to me. It;'s no good slating PA as a subsidy to companies when, if anything, it is merely the government doing its best to involve private companies on the best terms it can make and thereby save expense to the taxpayer. What do you say? Sandpiper 09:45, 30 November 2005 (UTC)

Perhaps you are editing examples for the False dichotemy article? The government would require nuclear companies to be bonded and insured up to a rational figure - corporations protect the investors, but they do not protect the corps assets. Shelling doesn't solve any problems because in the end, investors will have to decide to support the shell or not, and the risk / information ratio is poor. Yes there is a risk that an incident would create insolvant companies - which is a big problem for decommissioning issues.

If the government ran nuclear plants - they would not be motivated by often angry stockholders who care only about the bottom line to cut corners - moreover the government is fully accountable for what it does. In "outsourcing" the problem - it escapes the Constitution. The (unlisted) alternative is to provide a neutral support for clean safe energy - and if the cheapest solution is a nuclear plant - than viola - but if the cheaper, safer, cleaner alternative is wind power or wave energy or whatever - than so be it - and the government is not picking winners (of course we know when they pick winners they are doing it for all the right reasons Congress has only the best intentions. Benjamin Gatti 14:48, 30 November 2005 (UTC)

I think your arguing about subsidy is still missing the point. You are starting from an assumption that private companies want to buid nuclear plants. They don't, or did not and would not in a free commercial environment. I am not disagreeing about that. But PA is part of the contractual terms agreed between government and private industry in order to build these power plants. More, looked at solely on its own merits, as we are primarily supposed to be doing here, PA is pretty revenue neutral on the assumptions made by the industry, and accepted by congress (and effectively also by the supreme court). It is the intention of the act, and the experience of running it so far, that claims have been met by the industry. Finally, whether the money comes from congress to pay compensation or out of utility bills, it still comes from the same taxpayer. All of this presupposes that having nuclear power is in the national interest, which I think is the root of the disagreement here. Sandpiper 17:56, 30 November 2005 (UTC)

perhaps, but I have linked to sources which cite "industry" (GE & Westinghouse) saying they aren't interested - given the risk. Now let's say two things - we can't accept this reality - and then turn around and claim that "the risk is really not that bad". The risk - whatever it is is large enough that companies are NOT INTERESTED. This we can assert without qualification.
Yes PA is part of a contract (continuing it is not part of the deal however.) There is a question however as to whether the contract is too "specific". If I convinced Congree to pass a law which insured only Me, or only people who look like me, or only green people like me, or persons born on my birthdate - there is a legitimate question as to whether or not the contract is honest - or a "giveaway" to a priviledged class. I suggest, that Price oversteps because it does not forward a "legitimate goal of the state". Let's say a legitimate goal in "energy" - and clean, safe, and cheap energy at that. So the government can offer to "contract" for "Clean safe, cheap energy", but it should not be able to specify beyond the legitimate purpose of government. In specifying Natural gas, or fuel cells, or nuclear power - I suggest it has overstepped, and the act should be challened as violate of equal protection. (The last paragraph however is beyond the scope of an encyclopedia. We must limit ourselves to the first - simple assertions which are fully true without qualification, That is - the risk is higher than industry will accept. We do not need to agree on how high - nor how low it "actually" may be (which in any case we're merely guessing) - only to show - as an objective fact that it is an effective barrier to entry - and let the reader determine how real the threat must therefore be. Benjamin Gatti 04:21, 1 December 2005 (UTC)
well, yes, the companies are not interested. But different groups have different viewpoints depending on their circumstances. People don't allow their children to walk to school for fear someone will abduct them...despite the fact they are more at risk from ill health from lack of exercise, than from the remote chance of abduction. The parents are more worried about the immediate and catastrophic risk of losing a child now, than about some vague risk in the future. Same here?
Another example: in the UK government has relaxed planning laws to allow mobile phone masts to be built very easily. Without this it would have been virtually impossible to get people to accept them (not least because of the 'risk' of radiation). Everyone has one of these phones, though they are still bellyaching about masts. The argument again is that normal rules have been overriden in the greater good, but also in a way which is not believed to harm people generally, or cost the government anything.Sandpiper 21:17, 1 December 2005 (UTC)
Not buying it. In California, everyone has a phone, and they've been creative about the masts. (in one case for example, they replaced an old "wind turbine" with a taller model) - overwritting rules destroys the potential for creative solutions. Benjamin Gatti

Defining risk

Because Price is a tool to address risk, it is incumbent that we express the risk. I have proposed we use the phrase "risk is higher than industry will accept. I think it is veryfiable and accurate, and while it doesn't say what the risk is, it defines it as accurately as is known. Benjamin Gatti 00:21, 2 December 2005 (UTC)

Why bury a new section in the middle of the discussion page? And we've been over this before, and it's already treated in the consensus Intro. Simesa 00:49, 2 December 2005 (UTC)

Let's do this, then.

It's obvious that editing the intro is a concern for everyone, since it seems to be one of the main fighting points that everyone's worried over. So how about this: Nobody edits the intro for a while. Let's work on other parts that need work. Above, many have stated other problems with the article, things that have been accidentally deleted in numerous revisions, etc. It seems to me that if we can make the other parts of the article work, we can find an intro that suits everyone afterward. Anyone willing to leave the intro alone as it is right now, and work on everything else now? Ral315 (talk) 21:21, 30 November 2005 (UTC)

Agreed. Simesa 22:04, 30 November 2005 (UTC)

well, I stuck in a mention of the USA and Congress in the first sentence, as suggested by someone above (as it was a good point to say what country this relates to), expanded 'instead' to 'instead of this redress' as also suggested since it does read better, and put in 'establishes' from Ben's last edit, as it was a more accurate word than 'makes available'. i think these are minor alterations which won't make it better or worse as regards the main issues here... By all means, it may be time to work on some of the other paragraphs. Sandpiper 00:37, 1 December 2005 (UTC)

Tell you what - you guys work on the butt end of the article, and I'll manage the front. Think of it as "distribution of labour". Frankly I don't really much care what gets put in section 11b, It's the front page that's red. (And the first sentence at that)  ;-) I would rather continue to punch around the intro - for this reason, the rest of the article is going to be a camel - (horse by commitee) unless we adopt a pithy style - sufficiant without being pleonastic and commit to that style throughout. For example: The proper words are "incident" (not accident); compensation and relief (not money) liability cases request compensation for damages, whilst congress can act to provide "relief"; establish (not makes available) the Constitution uses the term establish, and consequentially most things that reference the constitution uses the same term; "Retrospective premiums"
No. We're not going to do it that way or else we'll be back to daily ridiculous POV edits. I can guarentee it. --Woohookitty(cat scratches) 05:36, 1 December 2005 (UTC)
No, I think the four of us will continue to insist on the consensus version of the Intro, as well as work on the rest of the article. Simesa 05:42, 1 December 2005 (UTC)
By the way, to me, and in my dictionary, 'damages' means money paid as compensation to someone who has suffered damage. English legal term. So 'compensation for damages' does not make sense; do you get the damage afterwards as the compensation? Is this an american translation isue? Sandpiper 08:02, 1 December 2005 (UTC)

My definitve version with these last amendments was overrun by Ben, so I am posting it here, while also making a proposal for the other sections below.

The Price-Anderson Nuclear Industries Indemnity Act (commonly called the Price-Anderson Act) is an act of the Congress of the United States of America. It provides protection to nuclear plant operators against actions for damages in the event of a nuclear accident. Instead of this normal redress, the act establishes a pool of insurance funds which provides no-fault compensation to anyone injured or who incurs damages from a nuclear or radiological incident. If an incident exceeds the pool's funds, Congress must consider appropriating more money. The effect of the act is to provide insurance to the nuclear industry which it could not otherwise obtain in the open market, because of the perceived risks from nuclear power. The act currently covers all non-military nuclear facilities constructed in the United States before 2026. Some environmental, consumer and taxpayer watchdog groups, as well as one federal agency, have criticized the act as a government subsidy to the nuclear power industry and argue that it does not protect the public. Sandpiper 11:24, 1 December 2005 (UTC)

Ben, I have no objection to 'civil liability suits' rather than 'actions for damages', but not both together 'liability suits for damages'. 'liability suit' may be a better phrase for the US, it would be odd in the UK. 'civil' seems a good qualification, as distinct from criminal. You can't just say 'catastrophic' events, because it covers a whole class of events from relatively minor upwards. You can't phrase the explanation of the act the way you want, because the risk from power stations is not proven to be so high as you argue. It is the possibility of it being so high which worries investors. Sandpiper

risk = consequences multiplied by probability. The risk is higher than industry is willing to accept. Benjamin Gatti 00:16, 2 December 2005 (UTC)

Ode to Ontology

Some refences:

nevada state nuclear waste glossary

yes, I read it. Are we accepting this as a definitive legal opinion?. (I mean, it looks ok, but it might not be). Sandpiper
This is a reference which discusses the triggered nature. My guess is that some provisions are triggered, while others are static. But the Supreme court stated that the purpose was to address catastrophic nuclear incidents.
well, I wish you well with your general catastrophic visit to the dentist, and catastrophic visit to get your eyes tested and any other minor catastrophic medical conditions you may get. The supreme court was only discussing 'catastrophies' when meaning the very worst events. I listed the criteria for ENO aboves, starting at one death. Quite a misfortune for the person concerned, but not what would normally be described as a national catastropy. No, I see what you are getting at. The specific problem was to deal with catstrophic events (which the supreme court reckons it did), but it also had to maintain protection for more 'normal' incidents under the different rules. (which again the supreme court said was achieved.) It remains the case that the most likely issues to be dealt with under PA have not been and will not be catastrophies in the sense meant in the supreme court judgementSandpiper 20:35, 1 December 2005 (UTC)


what is the legal consequence of a nuclear incident which fails to be an ENO? nothing, normal rules apply? Sandpiper
Presumably, the self-reinsurance scheme covers the event directly, and the exotic provisions of price are uninvoked. Price includes a primary insurance requirement, but that is not its purpose. basic insurance is an a priori expectation - would have been required without price etc, and the supreme court said catastrophic nuclear incident.


ye, as compared to the unrealistic normal situation where you or I could be held liable for causing billions of dollars of damages which the plaintiff would never getSandpiper
eh? Nuclear energy requires investors - indievuduals deciding where to put their trust. Most, if they had the choice of investing in nuclear or wind under the same rules, would choose wind, because it is less dangerous. The state has chosen winners, and I think encroached on a fair market. Benjamin Gatti 15:18, 1 December 2005 (UTC)



  1. the words "no-fault insurance scheme" - I renew the suggestion that we use those words.
The intro does say 'no-fault compensation', which encapsualtes the meaning of this phrase.Sandpiper
  1. The act is triggered by "extraordinary" incidents, and not just any nuclear event. - "catastrophic nuclear incident" is a common phrase. (ENO) is I suggest less common.

"extraordinary nuclear event" 30 hits "catastrophic radiological incident" 17 "catastrophic nuclear incident" 164 google - used in Supreme Court  :

I don't see a legal distinction between a 'catastrophic event' and any even which is big enough to qualify as an ENO and hence trigger PA. This distinction may be useful in the body of the article, but not in the introduction.Sandpiper
I think catastrophic is a more general term, meaning unusually large in its impact - while quite possibly, ENO is specifily defined in person-rads or some similar metric - but very close in intent. Benjamin Gatti

Benjamin Gatti 05:22, 1 December 2005 (UTC)

but also,

(and other similar references in the same vein.The qualification 'reasonably' refers to the necessary legal standard of proof, rather than implying that the PA alternative is only 'reasonably' OK)

Note the paradigm is "replacement and substitute for tort law remedy." Benjamin Gatti
might be, but put 'tort law remedy' in the wrong place and people will be asking their doctor what it meansSandpiper 19:10, 1 December 2005 (UTC)


FUD - in truth the end of PAA would end nuclear operation - and thus ensure the safety of the public without qualification. Benjamin Gatti
Only if the US congress was convinced that ending nuclear generation was a good idea. Otherwise some other legal device would be crafted in its place. The issue is the will of congress, not this particular act. Sandpiper 19:10, 1 December 2005 (UTC)


Given the above tripe, how do you explain that PAA paid out $70 million at Three Mile Island, where no identifiable injuries due to radiation occurred? Simesa 06:00, 1 December 2005 (UTC)
my question also. One of the references seemed to suggest that PA was not triggered and did not. It talked about represntatives of the plants insurance company rushing to the site to make payments ASAP, and litigation following the normal court process.Sandpiper 08:21, 1 December 2005 (UTC)
My impression, is that the purpose of PAA, like health insurance - is to address the problem of extraordinary medical events; however, many plans include coverage for hang nail - thus it is not inconsistent for the Supreme Court to find that PAA's purpose is to address the catastrophic nuclear incident - while at the same time, an institution established under the act responds to an event of lesser magnitude. TMI was an ENO or not? I think it was extraordinary. Benjamin Gatti
` The Yucca mountain report on PA amongst the references says ' Three Mile Island, did not qualify as an ENO under the NRC's rules, which are the same as the DOE's. ' . A different reference goes on about representatives of the insurers rushing to the scene, but also litigation went to court for a number of yearss. Sandpiper 19:14, 1 December 2005 (UTC)

Catastrophic Intent

I have provided two sources which assert that the purpose of PAA is to address catastrophic incidents. It seems the case that PAA would not exists if the only threat of nuclear was an odd accident (of the TMI type) The concerns of congress, and of industry leading up to the PAA all contemplate the worst case scenario - and do not express the need for special legislation to address common industrial accidents. Can we agree that PAA is an insurance scheme to cover the potential of a catastrophic nuclear incident?

  1. YES Benjamin Gatti 00:29, 2 December 2005 (UTC)

Benjamin Gatti 00:29, 2 December 2005 (UTC)

We've been over this before as well. To imply that PAA covers only catastrophic incidents is incorrect. Simesa 00:51, 2 December 2005 (UTC)

We (or at least I) would agree that the act exists specifically because of general concern over 'catastrophic' risks. However, as Simesa just commented, it does not deal only, or even mainly, with such cases. It is anticipated by those who drafted it, and confirmed it, that it will normally deal with much smaller incidents. The present introduction already says that it was intended to deal with 'perceived risks from nuclear power.' Sandpiper 01:03, 2 December 2005 (UTC)

I reckon I counted 6 POV phrases in Ben's last suggestion for opening para. Did anyone spot more?Sandpiper 01:12, 2 December 2005 (UTC)

That seems about the average for Benjamin's contributions. · Katefan0(scribble)/my ridiculous poll 15:29, 2 December 2005 (UTC)

(Referring to this version):

Words which I have borrowed from bonifide sources: catastrophic nuclear incident, substitute, scheme, common-law and tort, no-fault, appropriate and necessary action to protect the public, malfeasance.

Those words are all sourced, and while I understand that 3 people find them to express a biased point of view, they in fact come from the Supreme Court, and the Nevada State Glossary of terms - so I find that the unsourced removal of sourced terms to express an unfounded bias. Gentleavators, we have a problem. I appeal to Ral for some mediation. Ral, what do you, as mediator recomend - valid sources - or - majoritarian baseless opinion? Benjamin Gatti 03:22, 2 December 2005 (UTC)

It doesn't matter who said them. It depends how you use them. Shields implying something you hide behind; catastrophic implying something bad is going to happen as a result; taxpayer backed implying cost is shifted to the taxpayer and it will cost people money; victims of negligent and careless implying this is about protecting negligent and careless people, it is not and supreme court agreed; place burden on taxpayer, which the supreme court said it did not; criminal malfeasance, implying again the intent is to shelter criminals, also elsewhere explicitly said it is not as it is is merely protection from civil damages, and not even that since payment is made by the companies as well if not better under this act than otherwise, supreme court agreed. I havn't checked out which agency allegedly said this was a subsidy, so I don't know if this accurately represents their view, but I still suspect that the majority of the population is perfectly happy with it. You can't place a claim here which does not represent the balanced truth. This is a summary, you can explain at greater length later that various groups disagree with the majority opinion.Sandpiper 08:14, 2 December 2005 (UTC)
I agree that this version is POV. Again, the point of Wikipedia is not to tell of all the bad things that might happen in the case of a nuclear attack. The point is to give an accurate representation of the law itself, taking into account nothing about our opinions on its effects on people, civil suits, or anything else. Furthermore, the first paragraph of an article is, by definition, meant as an introduction to a topic, not a means to bombard the user with confusing statements. Look at John F. Kennedy — the first paragraphs, while they do mention some positive and negative aspects of his presidency, they only give an introduction into the rest of the article, and the Cuban Missile Crisis, Bay of Pigs invasion, and all other events are discussed in detail later in the article. I think everyone on both sides are forgetting that the first paragraph of the article is not supposed to be a dumping ground for everything we can say about Price-Anderson. All the first paragraph should do is explain the subject, and slightly hint toward the rest of the article. Ral315 (talk) 18:01, 4 December 2005 (UTC)

Background section

The Atomic Energy Act Amendments of 1954, three years before Price-Anderson, was intended to spur the development of America's private nuclear power industry by allowing private industry to use atomic power for peaceful purposes, such as generating electricity. Prior to that act, the government had held a monopoly on the use of nuclear power.

Private industry responded to the Atomic Energy Act of 1954 with the development of an experimental power plant constructed under the auspices of a consortium of interested companies. It soon became apparent that profits from the private exploitation of atomic energy were uncertain and the accompanying risks substantial. Although the AEC offered incentives to encourage investment, there remained in the path of the private nuclear power industry various problems - the risk of potentially vast liability in the event of a nuclear accident of a sizable magnitude being the major obstacle. Notwithstanding comprehensive testing and study, the uniqueness of this form of energy production made it impossible totally to rule out the risk of a major nuclear accident resulting in extensive damage. Private industry and the AEC were confident that such a disaster would not occur, but the very uniqueness of nuclear power meant that the possibility remained, and the potential liability dwarfed the ability of the industry and private insurance companies to absorb the risk. Thus, while repeatedly stressing that the risk of a major nuclear accident was extremely remote, spokesmen for the private sector informed Congress that they would be forced to withdraw from the field if their liability were not limited by appropriate legislation. [84]

To address this issue, the congress introduced the Price-Anderson act in 1957. This had the dual aim of removing the exposure of plant operators to unlimited financial risk in the event of a nuclear incident, but also to maintain or improve protection for the public. This act obliged companies to obtain $60 million of insurance cover against accidents, and provided an additional pool of $500 million from government funds to cover any losses not covered by the insurance. The companies were not liable for any further amounts. This act was intended to be temporary, and to expire in August 1967.

It became apparent that the industry would still be unable to obtain insurance privately, so the act was extended for a further 10 years in 1966. A provision was added which prevents companies from offering certain kinds of of defence to actions involving nuclear accidents. This was intended to make the process of suing a company easier, and to remove discrepancies in different states where different laws applied. It only applied to incidents where a significant escape of radioactive material was deemed to have occurred (an ENO, extraordinary nuclear occurrence).

In 1975 the act was again extended, up to 1987. The total amount of insurance remained the same, but a provision was added for each of the 60 or so reactor owners to contribute between $2 million and $5 million in the event of an uninsured accident. Insurance requirement for each individual company was increased to $140 million. These measures reduced the contribution of the federal government to the insurance pool. However, an explicit commitment was made that in the event of a larger accident, Congress would 'take whatever action is deemed necessary and appropriate to protect the public from the consequences'.

In 1988 the act was extended for 15 years up to August 2002. Individual insurance for each generator was now increased to $200 million, and total fund to $9.5 billion. For each reactor owned, a company was liable to contribute up to £63 million towards compensation for any claim against any company, though this could only be recovered at a maximum rate of £10 million per year. Assessments were to be adjusted for inflation every 5 years. The same level of indemnity was provided for government DOE facilities, while small reactors (education and research) were obliged to obtain £250,000 insurance and had a government backed pool of £500 million in the event of accident. The act provided for all cases resulting from one incident to be heard in a federal court, rather than local courts.

In February 2002 the act was extended to December 2003. It was extended to 2017 after some debate in 2003. The individual insurance for each site was increased to $300 million while fund contributions per reactor were increased to $95.8 million. In 2005 it was extended again to 2025.

The constitutionality of the Price-Anderson Act was challenged in 1975 (Duke Power vs. Carolina Environmental Study Group, Inc.) and upheld by the Supreme Court in June, 1978. The suit had challenged the act on two grounds — first, that it violated the Fifth Amendment because it did not ensure adequate compensation for victims of accidents, and that it violated the Fourteenth Amendment because it treats nuclear accidents differently to other accidents. The court found:

  • it is clear that Congress' purpose was to remove the economic impediments in order to stimulate the private development of electric energy by nuclear power while simultaneously providing the public compensation in the event of a catastrophic nuclear incident.
  • The record supports the need for the imposition of a statutory limit on liability to encourage private industry participation and hence bears a rational relationship to Congress' concern for stimulating private industry's involvement in the production of nuclear electric energy.
  • the Price-Anderson Act does, in our view, provide a reasonably just substitute for the common-law or state tort law remedies it replaces.
  • The District Court's finding that the Act tends to encourage irresponsibility in matters of safety and environmental protection cannot withstand careful scrutiny, since nothing in the liability-limitation provision undermines or alters the rigor and integrity of the process involved in the review of applications for a license to construct or operate a nuclear power plant, and since, in the event of a nuclear accident the utility itself would probably suffer the largest damages.
  • We view the congressional assurance of a $560 million fund for recovery, accompanied by an express statutory commitment, to "take whatever action is deemed necessary [438 U.S. 59, 91] and appropriate to protect the public from the consequences of" a nuclear accident, 42 U.S.C. 2210 (e) (1970 ed., Supp. V), to be a fair and reasonable substitute for the uncertain recovery of damages of this magnitude from a utility or component manufacturer, whose resources might well be exhausted at an early stage.
  • There is no equal protection violation, since the general rationality of the Act's liability limitation, particularly with reference to the congressional purpose of encouraging private participation in the exploitation of nuclear energy, is ample justification for the difference in treatment between those injured in nuclear accidents and those whose injuries are derived from other causes.

Ok, I have inserted a new paragraph actually stating the date of PA and explaining the second reason for it, to improve compensation arrangements. Next, a history of each reenactment and what changed. Then, expanded the final paragraph reporting of the supreme court findings about the act. I have a problem in that there seems to be no mention of appeal against the 14th amendment. Was this quietly dropped, or is there another judgement as the one referenced deals with the appeal against the 5th? I think a new subsection break is needed immediately before staring to talk about the supreme court case. e.g ---Constitutional Challenge---. I think the relaxation of time limits to sue was in the same year as the removal of certain defences from companies, but I'm not sure. I also didn't find a reference to what just happened in the last renewal.Sandpiper 13:36, 1 December 2005 (UTC)

Impressive research! I believe the Act simply failed to cover all facilities licensed from 2002 to 2005 (it still covered all facilities already licensed). Making a section break there sounds good. The last renewal is covered in a reference to Energy Policy Act of 2005, [85] Title VI Subtitle A (all of Title VI is Nuclear, as is Subtitle E of Title IX). Simesa 16:02, 1 December 2005 (UTC)

Insurance Companies

Does anyone know what laws regulate insurance companies, and to the point of our article, whether in fact they might be forbidden by law from insuring events beyond their ability to pay out? This might go to the heart of the issue here, exactly how insurance companies decide they can insure for $300 million, or whatever the exact sums have been in the past. Also, that they might conceivably effectively be forbidden by statute from offering to insure the nuclear industry as a whole. 19:17, 2 December 2005 (UTC)

I've posted a question in Insurance. I'd ask American Nuclear Insurers (based in Connecticut), but you have to do that by snail mail. A partial answer is in [86]. Simesa 21:12, 2 December 2005 (UTC)
It's not fully relevant either way for this reason: Insurance is a third party tool to address personal liability. Personal (ie corporate) liability extends to net worth - but not farther - it was the unwillingness of Industry to expose their own net worth to the risks of nuclear energy which brought on Price - Insurance companies merely provide the service of risk amalgamation. Benjamin Gatti 00:52, 3 December 2005 (UTC)
However the industry has been willing to accept a scheme whereby they provide $10 billion of insurance risk per incident spread amongst all of them. This suggests they do accept that the financial risk is acceptable once aggregated. Most industries proceed without bothering with vast insurance. Sandpiper 10:27, 3 December 2005 (UTC)

Risks, or perceived risks

Hi ben, I noticed your slight amendment to the the opening paragraph. It has the merit of being, i would judge, literally true. However, I suspect that 'perceived risk' is truer, because the actual risks are unquantified. I am begining to think (see above query) that the real problem is the scale of the liability, rather than the precise risk. It also strikes me that the biggest hole in the PA act, is the fact that in the event of a truly awful accident, the underwriters of the insurance (the other power companies) could well themselves be in no financial condition to pay their contributions...having just been closed down. Still, I suppose it should be possible to squeeze $100 million from the wreckage of each company. After all, closing them all down at once would cause unacceptable electricity shortages.

To return to your most recent edit. The change has to be read in context of the rest of the paragraph. I might even consider it fair to slip the word 'catastrophe' into this clause, if it was saying something along the lines,'possible financial exposure from a worst-case disaster'. Ah, I have slipped 'possible' back in subconsciously, because it also needs to be clear it is a small risk of a really big problem. It is clear to me that congress has dismissed this risk as negligible: what is not clear to me is whether it really is. But the question here is whether this change would then make the paragraph acceptable to you, or whether you would insist upon further changes which would skew its meaning. 19:44, 2 December 2005 (UTC)(sorry, Sandpiper, not logged in)

Congress did not dismiss the risk, they contemplated and made explicit plans for it. I contest your unsourced assertion that he risk is "small", insignificant" or merely "perceived". The risk - such as it is - is a substantial barrier to the privatization of nuclear energy. Were it in fact as slight as you say - I can't imagine why it would be a real impediment. I think you don't get to have it both ways. It is large enough for industry to walk away from nuclear energy. That is pretty large really. Think of the risks of say - building an automobile, or a pacemaker, or a prescription drug. These are all large risks which industry will accept - Nuclear risk apparently is higher than those. That can hardly be dismissed as "perceived".

There is a small probability of a catastrophic nuclear incident - the risk (as in the term "risk/reward") is higher than industry (and investors - who measure risk/reward) - are willing to accept. I will insist on such language. Benjamin Gatti 00:49, 3 December 2005 (UTC)

The noun 'probability' presumably has the same derivation as 'probable', but also encompasses the opposit meaning,'improbable'. It simply denotes a mathematical evaluation of the likelihood of an event. so a small probability risk may in fact be highly improbable. And I repeat, while the various lawmakers have discussed at very great length what is to be done in the event that this 'improbability' might take place, it is wholly explicit in their discussion that they do not expect it ever to happen. I can not realistically believe any set of lawmakers would deliberately legislate for nuclear power if they believed one of the reactors was actually going to explode. So, all this hot air is about something no one expects to happen. The alternative is that the legislators have created a clean up program for a political disaster which they expect to have to face, and politicians just do not do that sort of thing. Sandpiper 09:51, 3 December 2005 (UTC)
Not so, Nuclear incidents are expected at a rate of something like one every 10 thousand reactor years. With a thousand reactos, the chances are 1 in 10 for a given year. (Not sure of those numbers - but that is the general idea). Benjamin Gatti 17:11, 4 December 2005 (UTC)

Restore Balance to Criticism Section

I'm reminded of President Bush deciding that protesters with anti-bush signs must be moved to the next country for the sake of safety while pro-war_ sloganeers were considered "safe" and allowed to line the bush parade route. In a sense, a "criticism" section does the same thing - it cordons off opposing points of view - to a later, and less often read portion of the landscape. I object to this discrimination, however, if the views opposed are going to be censored from the main portion of the article, it is only fair to exclude the proponents of dangerous, expensive nuclear subsidies from the criticism section. I'd like Ral to weigh in on these things. Benjamin Gatti 06:41, 3 December 2005 (UTC)

Looks like Simesa created a Rebuttal to Criticisms section. --Woohookitty(cat scratches) 07:32, 3 December 2005 (UTC)
Note that the rebuttal section was Ben's suggestion last night. Simesa 12:57, 3 December 2005 (UTC)
the problem is that facts have to be presented in a logical order. You have to explain what the act is, before you can explain who disagrees with it and why. The introduction plainly states that others disagree with it, and what about. Besides, Bush was correct: I doubt the pro-war demonstraters were trying to lynch him. Sandpiper

how the act works

I notice Ben inserted some comments into the section about how the act works.

The law shields corporate interests from being sued by victims of careless, negligent, or even criminal actions so long as the method of damages include a radioactive component.

The law makes energy more expensive by forcing the market to accept a higher cost product and passing on the additional costs in the form of a mandated transaction.

I havn't considerd how this should be expanded, but my initial reactions to these additions is that the first is worth including, though in a more neutral way. The second does not seem to me to be supported by anything I have read. I have not seen anything saying anyone is obliged to buy electricity from nuclear generators, but more particularly PA, if it does anything, actually makes the electricity has been accused of being a subsidy not a tax.

The first is already included in Criticisms. I agree with you on the second. Simesa 12:50, 3 December 2005 (UTC)
P.S. - I again contacted American Nuclear Insurers about how they react in the event of an incident. We have testimony about how they reacted during Three Mile Island, but without confirmation of today's practices I hesitate to put that into the article. Simesa 12:55, 3 December 2005 (UTC)

The law makes energy more expensive by forcing the market to accept a higher cost product and passing on the additional costs in the form of a mandated transaction.

A subsidy is in effect a forced transaction at a higher total cost than the market (which seeks the lowest cost) would provide. Subsidies are monies in addition to the voluntary price added involuntarily - but paid in any case by the consumer (the taxpayer). The result is to raise the cost of energy (not at the point of purchase - but the bottom line all the same.) As to inclusion of this fact, if the pro side gets to say it enables nuclear energy (which is true)- than the criticism side gets to say that it does so by raising the cost of energy. Benjamin Gatti 15:52, 3 December 2005 (UTC)

yes, but PA does not raise the cost of energy. Government provides no funding under this act, nor does it compel anyone to buy anything at a false price. All it does it arrange a mutual underwriting scheme for nuclear companies. Where is the subsidy?Sandpiper 20:12, 3 December 2005 (UTC)
Subsidies by definition raise the cost. If they didn't raise the cost, they wouldn't have any effect. In order to underwrite the risk of an ENO, the US has to levy taxes. Those taxes (even if not spent this year) amount to an additional cost of energy. This subsidy is only part of a panapoly of subsidies for nuclear energy, and when you add them all up - you could for example discount thoses costs from gas taxes and show a reduction in the cost of energy. Moreover, if PAA were not discriminatory, a allowed anyone providing energy to have their risks coolesced more effecienctly and taxpayer backed (rather than going into the market price) then energy would be cheaper. The free market provides the lowest cost - distorting the market alway alway always raises the cost - its just a matter of figuring out where and how. Benjamin Gatti 22:37, 3 December 2005 (UTC)
right, then we are back to the question of how likely it is that an accident will happen which will cost more than the industry pool can provide. If this never happens, then the amount of this possible subsidy is zeo. So whether or not there is a subsidy, and how great, depends on your view of how likely a 'catastrophic' accident will be. Aside from that, exactly how great is the subsidy currently enjoyed by fossil fueled power stations, in that they too are not obliged to pay for the pollution they produce. Then having determined both these numbers, which is greater? Sandpiper 00:23, 4 December 2005 (UTC)
Not really; risk is a fungible commidity, and the value of PAA has been determined to be some 3 Billion per year - forcing wind energy operators to pay taxes without the benefits of Price Anderson risk mitigation increases the cost of wind power. The general public gets to pretend that risk doesn't have a cost, just like we get to pretend that social security is going be solvent when we retire (at no additional cost). Risk is something people choose to ignore.

Benjamin Gatti 01:25, 4 December 2005 (UTC) The cost of social security for pensioners at a given point in the future can be quite precisely estimated, and will occur as a certainty, whatever the exact amount turns out to be. The point here, is that most people expect there will be no major accident. This policy is based upon that assumption, and the consequence that there will also be no cost to the taxpayer. The first ten billion is also chargeable to the industry itself, anyway. Quite a lot. Now, exactly what long-term risk does the wind generating industry need to have mitigated? Sandpiper 10:30, 5 December 2005 (UTC)

Censorship complaint

Simesa removed the following items from Constitutional Challenge. (Duke Power vs. Carolina Environmental Study Group, Inc.)

  • it [is] impossible totally to rule out the risk of a major nuclear accident resulting in extensive damage.
  • Private industry and the AEC were confident that such a disaster would not occur, but the very uniqueness of nuclear power meant that the possibility remained, and the potential liability dwarfed the ability of the industry and private insurance companies to absorb the risk.
  • Thus, while repeatedly stressing that the risk of a major nuclear accident was extremely remote, spokesmen for the private sector informed Congress that they would be forced to withdraw from the field if their liability were not limited by appropriate legislation.
  • profits from the private exploitation of atomic energy [are] uncertain and the accompanying risks [are] substantial.

These items are all direct quotes and findings of the Supreme Court. It would appear that some want to cherry pick facts to please their bias. Shame. Ral? Benjamin Gatti 16:03, 3 December 2005 (UTC)

For some reason, I doubt you'd object if he had removed everything that you perceive to favor "our side", even though we don't have a side. We want this article to be NPOV. We always have. And I've said this about 25 times now. --Woohookitty(cat scratches) 16:24, 3 December 2005 (UTC)
That's a personal attack - it is unrelated to the article, and continues a pattern of making this personal. I suggest that a neutral description of the Supreme Court ruling would include all of the findings, and not merely the findings which support a foregone conclusion. Benjamin Gatti 16:39, 3 December 2005 (UTC)
The heading of this section is "Censorship Complaint". If that isn't a personal attack, I don't know what is. --Woohookitty(cat scratches) 17:00, 3 December 2005 (UTC)
Mike mike. Plueeze. "Censorship" and the claim of censorship refers to the exclusion of facts or ideas merely because they are unpopular - it has nothing to do with an individual, it has to do with the facts and their exclusion. Your quote above ("For some reason, I doubt you'd object if he had removed everything that you perceive to favor "our side", even though we don't have a side.") makes an argument using an editor as the subject matter. It's ad hominem. You've been called on it, and not doing it will make your argument stronger. Benjamin Gatti 19:35, 3 December 2005 (UTC)

The first three of these are redundant, the last is obsolete as the profits are no longer uncertain and the last four words redundant. I left in "it (is) impossible totally to rule out the risk of a major accident resulting in extensive damage." No harping. Simesa 16:55, 3 December 2005 (UTC)
Ben, OTOH, removed "*it is clear that Congress' purpose was to remove the economic impediments in order to stimulate the private development of electric energy by nuclear power while simultaneously providing the public compensation in the event of a catastrophic nuclear incident." (put in by Sandpiper). I submit that we're simply in the editing process. Simesa 16:55, 3 December 2005 (UTC)
I think you'll see that I inserted it (not realizing it was redundant), saw it was redundant, and then removed one of the two. I did not censor valid excerpts from the opinion - as others have done. Benjamin Gatti

Hi all. I looked at the four added quotes. In fact they are all from the same paragraph in the judgement, so i do not see the point of listing them separately, particularly since together they are making an argument....and separately they make a rather different statement.
Secondly, they are not actually judgements of the court. They are part of the court's summary of the evidence presented to it, a summary of what others have said, although with their endorsement.
third, I have combined them as originally stated in the judgement (though with the references to witness statements removed), and amended the article to say that this was the courts own summary of the story so far, as distinct from its conclusions. And what do I have? The exact paragraph already included in the article earlier. Since this is plainly copied from the judgement, it would be better to leave it here directly attributed to the court. The piece above will have to be revised to say the same thing in different words.
So strictly, Ben you have discovered a copyright violation, but can not claim censorship since each of your quotes precisely as it was originally written had already been included. Sandpiper 17:48, 3 December 2005 (UTC)
The statements were included in the Supreme Courts "Findings" which was the operative words. (Its "holdings" are different that its "finding" one refers to findings of fact vs. conclusions of law. A judgement sanctifies both equally and without distinction. In cases where the facts are in doubt, such as Scott Peterson trial, the finding of fact is far more sensational.)
The fact that similar thoughts were included elsewhere in the article in no way justifies leaving them out of the Court's findings. If you are going to list in rather exquisite detail the findings of the Supremes, it ought to be thorough and complete. You have probably already realized that the copyright remark was the beer speaking . ;-) Benjamin Gatti 19:23, 3 December 2005 (UTC)
what beer? Copyvio is a different wiki issue. It is fine to quote the supreme court, but not to include their words without attribution. For everyone's information, I have finished revising the 'background' section to remove the supreme court quote paragraph, and directly quote it in the proper section. This crossed with Ben's reversion of me, but I have inserted one version with both sections as I would see them. Time for others to express a view. Sandpiper 19:49, 3 December 2005 (UTC)
Ben, I see you removed the original quote again and replaced it with three separate extracts/paraphrases. Why? Sandpiper 01:31, 4 December 2005 (UTC)
Because short bullets are far more emphatic than long-winded verbeage by lifetime lawyers. How about we bury the pro side in a sleepy monologue? Benjamin Gatti 17:14, 4 December 2005 (UTC)
Not because the meaning of the paragraph is entirely different to the meaning of short pieces chopped out of it? Why did you feel the need to re-state parts of the paragraph independently, when the entire thing as originally worded was already in the article? 10:22, 5 December 2005 (UTC)(User:Sandpiper, computer decided not to log on again)

I removed the rebuttal sections

Otherwise, this is going to get out of hand again. There's no reason for a rebuttal or a rebuttal rebuttal. This is not a debate. It's an encyclopedia article. Honestly, if we continue on this path, I'm going to ask for protection again because we're NOT devolving into an edit war again. Jesus. Actually I didn't like the rebuttal idea anyway. It just happened before I had a chance to comment. --Woohookitty(cat scratches) 01:55, 4 December 2005 (UTC)

I reverted to the last by Sandpiper plus reverted the change Ben made where he said to address it in a rebuttal section - we should debate that here in discussion. I will note that just because we have such sections doesn't mean that uncited and POV statements, commercials for renewables, or speculation about the Supreme Court's intentions belong in them. Simesa 02:05, 4 December 2005 (UTC)
OK. --Woohookitty(cat scratches) 02:09, 4 December 2005 (UTC)
If we're not going to have rebuttal, than why a criticism? I suggest we include all facts as equal and sort them by some other metric than popularity - ie chonological, catagorically, etc ... Benjamin Gatti 17:16, 4 December 2005 (UTC)

The paragraph in question above now reads (as it originally did):

Price-Anderson has been criticized by many of these groups for a portion of the law that indemnifies Department of Energy and private contractors from nuclear incidents even in cases of gross negligence and willful misconduct (although criminal penalties would still apply). "No other government agency provides this level of taxpayer indemnification to non-government personnel", Public Citizen. The Energy Department counters those critics by saying that the distinction is irrelevant, since the damage to the public would be the same. [87]

The points about criminal penalties applying (since the plant proceudres carry the force of law via the operating license) and the Department of Energy opinion should be made somewhere. Simesa 02:14, 4 December 2005 (UTC)

Copyedits to intro

I made some minor copyedits to Sandpiper's intro to make it a little less jargony/wordy in spots. Nothing major. Here's the new version:

The Price-Anderson Nuclear Industries Indemnity Act (commonly called the Price-Anderson Act) is an act of the Congress of the United States. It provides protection to nuclear plant operators against damages sought as a result of a nuclear accident. Instead of this normal redress, the act establishes a pool of insurance funds from which no-fault compensation may be paid for injuries or damages caused by a nuclear or radiological incident. If an incident exceeds the pool's funds, Congress must consider appropriating more money. The effect of the act is to provide insurance to the nuclear industry that would not otherwise be available in the open market because of the risks inherent in nuclear power. The act currently covers all non-military nuclear facilities constructed in the United States before 2026. Some environmental, consumer and taxpayer watchdog groups, as well as one federal agency, have criticized the act as a government subsidy to the nuclear power industry and argue that it does not protect the public.

· Katefan0(scribble)/my ridiculous poll 04:51, 4 December 2005 (UTC)

Grok this - Supreme court said the risk is substantial

So no more saying the risk doesn't exist and pretending as though it doesn't exist. The supreme court said the risk is substantial, and that's that. Any other qualification of the risk will need a better source than the Supreme Court. (none exists) So until one of you files a suit and takes it to the Supremes, your going to have to live with "Substantial risk" Benjamin Gatti 17:21, 4 December 2005 (UTC)

The supreme court said (as has been in the article for some time): Private industry responded to the Atomic Energy Act of 1954 with the development of an experimental power plant constructed under the auspices of a consortium of interested companies. It soon became apparent that profits from the private exploitation of atomic energy were uncertain and the accompanying risks substantial. Although the AEC offered incentives to encourage investment, there remained in the path of the private nuclear power industry various problems - the risk of potentially vast liability in the event of a nuclear accident of a sizable magnitude being the major obstacle. Notwithstanding comprehensive testing and study, the uniqueness of this form of energy production made it impossible totally to rule out the risk of a major nuclear accident resulting in extensive damage. Private industry and the AEC were confident that such a disaster would not occur, but the very uniqueness of nuclear power meant that the possibility remained, and the potential liability dwarfed the ability of the industry and private insurance companies to absorb the risk. Thus, while repeatedly stressing that the risk of a major nuclear accident was extremely remote, spokesmen for the private sector informed Congress that they would be forced to withdraw from the field if their liability were not limited by appropriate legislation.

Well, apparently the definitive view of the supreme court was that: the uniqueness of this form of energy production made it impossible totally to rule out the risk of a major nuclear accident resulting in extensive damage....[but]... Private industry and the AEC were confident that such a disaster would not occur...the risk of a major nuclear accident was extremely remote

all depends how you quote it, eh?

The only time the supreme court judgement used the word substantial in a relevant way was in the quote above profits from the private exploitation of atomic energy were uncertain and the accompanying risks substantial. Deconstructing this sentence it says either (1)the risks accompanying private exploitation of atomic energy were substantial, or (2) the risks accompanying profits from the private exploitation of atomic energy were substantial. The supreme court statement is entirely consistent with the view that there are no risks associated with atomic energy, only with private exploitation of it. It is entirely consistent that the risks are financial rather than radiological. Now, I think the court meant all the risks, of whatever sort. But it does not say there is a substantial risk of a nuclear accident. In fact, taken overall it says that private industry believed that profits would be small, accompanied by a remote possibility of being wholly bankrupted, and that as a business proposition this did not make sense. Sandpiper 17:59, 4 December 2005 (UTC)

Not so fast there - Mr. quote parser. The Supreme court asserted that "it was clear .. that the risk was substantial" but it only quotes the Industry (they of little bias) as "being confident" that the risk was remote. There is a world of difference between assertions made by the industry and facts asserted by the Supreme Court. I have never challenged as factual that the Industry claims to be safe. You can print that in bold letter at the head of every paragraph - I don't give a damn. But what the Supreme Court ITSSELF has found to be factual - is that the risk is substantial. I will insist that wherever the risk is quantified that the Supreme court's qualification be used - and not as the (see-no-danger) crowd would have it that we sweep "substantial" under the rug and pleasure ourselves by reporting only the facts consistent with our bias. Benjamin Gatti 21:08, 4 December 2005 (UTC)
I checked the entire judgement for occurrences of the word substantial, and the only relevant mention I found was this paragraph above. It does not say what you claim it says. In fact it literally says as I discussed above. The entire paragraph is reporting the views of the industry: so if you would have it that the merely the industry is claiming it is safe, then it is also merely the industry maintaining there is substantial risk. I understand this apparent paradox as meaning that different risks are referred to. The high financial risk, and the low risk of an accident. The financial risk may have absolutely nothing to do with any nuclear risk at their plant: There is the tiny issue of borrowing billions of dollars to build a plant which you may then not be allowed to use for no reason within your control. 10:19, 5 December 2005 (UTC)(User:Sandpiper)

Supreme Court is unassailable source

Until someone can truump the Supreme Court - I am going to argue that their findings of fact are supreme and unassailable. If we go to arbcom because I insist that the version of the truth held by the Supreme Court be maintained - then we go. Benjamin Gatti 22:58, 4 December 2005 (UTC)

We have a consensus Intro. Your proposed intro explained very little about Price-Anderson. Simesa 00:14, 5 December 2005 (UTC)
what is the issue? The supreme court ruling was included before, and is now. The only issue seems to be that you wish to leave half of it out, altering its meaning. Sandpiper 10:50, 5 December 2005 (UTC)
Well then. Why don't we just include the entire decision then? I'm of the mind that a summary of what they said was permissible. I don't like listing all of the points or some of the points like we did. Summarize it. This article is not about the decision. It's about the Act. Keep it as short as possible. --Woohookitty(cat scratches) 11:56, 5 December 2005 (UTC)
I agree - it ought to summarized - not watered down. The act asserts the risk as being "substantial" now how do we get from that to this idea that the risk is insignificant? Won't wash with me, and I suggest it won't wash at arbcom. Benjamin Gatti
The arbitration committee does not decide content disputes. · Katefan0(scribble)/mrp 16:34, 5 December 2005 (UTC)
Yes. If an arbcom case was ever opened on this matter, it'd be on user conduct, not this article per se. --Woohookitty(cat scratches) 16:38, 5 December 2005 (UTC)

The issue seems to be just the one paragraph. It was already in the article in its entirety before, it just didn't say it was quoted from the supreme court. Ben wished to add points from this paragraph to the section listing supreme court conclusions. I realised that actually all his quotes were from this one paragraph, and that it was already there. So how is it a problem to have this entire paragraph-everything ben wanted to include- in its entirety in the section listing views of the supreme court. Ben, if you think the meaning is altered by quoting the entire paragraph, then I can only think the proper meaning is exactly as the supreme court wrote it. If you do not think the meaning is changed by quoting the entire paragraph, what is your objection to it?

woohikity, this article is about the decision. My reading of the judgement is that it supports the act. It is a respected body and deserves to be heard. I do not object to Ben putting in a clear explanation of what other organisations have said in separate sections. Without rebuttal, so long as they accurately quote the source. It becomes a bit silly if we have several sections, each one cross-referring to an opposite POV from someone else. I am of the view that there is a significant body of opinion which does think this act is abominable, and it is fair to say so. Unfortunately, the supreme court did not say that.

Ben, are there other sections of the judgement saying different things which you would like to include as well? 17:23, 5 December 2005 (UTC)User:Sandpiper

By the way Ben, i read what you posted on talk:Hubbert peak theory Conservation and Alt Energy are not likely to support the same levels of over consumption, but let's be honest - wind turbines are being built with less subsidy than nuclear plants, and nukes are part of the cheap energy reality. So we can and do have sources of energy which while they may not be fully competitive, are nonetheless, so closely competitive that the effect of losing one and coming to depend on the other is trivial. It's like losing GM, and having to depend on Hyundai. There's a difference, but far closer to a matter of preference than a calamity. Benjamin Gatti 06:17, 3 December 2005 (UTC) Ben, do I take it you think nuclear power is as near in cost to convential power sources as makes no difference? Sandpiper 17:41, 5 December 2005 (UTC)

Yes, even with the reseach subsidies, and Price Anderson, Wind energy, wave energy, and yes Nuclear energy are all close enough in cost that the increased reliance on any one of them would not threaten our current standard of living. That is a far cry from saying which of the three is more competative in a very close race, or that they are so close that it makes no difference. In the context of Hubbert, the emphasis is on a sudden disruption in our way of life being caused by the end of cheap oil. My point is that wind is close to nuclear, and nuclear is competative with natural gas, and so in the end, even alternative energies are not so much higher in cost that we can justify irrational fears in connection with the disruption of cheap oil (note that cars are a horse of a different color). Benjamin Gatti 20:39, 5 December 2005 (UTC)
well whatever colour the cars are, you compared the cost difference between fuels as akin to choosing a different brand of car, GM or Hyundai, and 'the effect of losing one and coming to depend on the other is trivial'. Sandpiper 02:18, 6 December 2005 (UTC)


A revert war. I think that's the only thing we had avoided. Oi vey. I wish I had never gotten into this mess. --Woohookitty(cat scratches) 16:49, 5 December 2005 (UTC)

Serious and well intentioned people are just the worst, aren't they? Sandpiper 17:43, 5 December 2005 (UTC)

Well I've learned alot. There are just times when I wish I had told katefan0 (who first told me about this back in June) "no thanks". :) --Woohookitty(cat scratches) 17:57, 5 December 2005 (UTC)


Hi Ral, I reverted Constitutional challenge to Constitutional Challenge. However, I think I figured out what you were getting at. I checked a few articles and heading capitalisation varies, probably because no one else knows exactly the preferred style either. I havn't changed it back again, because under the circumstances it didn't seem a good plan to generate yet another edit. (and it is on my list of things to investigate) Sandpiper 18:03, 5 December 2005 (UTC)

"Does not adequately protect the public" is incomplete

I interpret critics to be arguing the act was designed with the purpose of protecting the nuclear industry at the expense of the public so "does not adequately protect" is incomplete or the opposite/wrong way of thinking about this. I believe they are saying "is detrimental to public safety". zen master T 18:47, 5 December 2005 (UTC)

from my own point of view, i have not progressed sufficiently far with this to analyse exactly what the critics have claimed. One of the acts stated aims was to protect the public, the other to encourage nuclear power. It is arguable that the act improves the public's position as compared to no act, even though it might still be criticised as inadequate. The supreme court upheld that it did adequately protect the public. Perhaps another interpretation of the criticism is that anything furthering the existence of nuclear power is creating a grave risk to the public, which might more accord with your suggestion.

Ah, i see this is further to a proposed change to the slightly wobbly consensus view of the first paragraph. So my POV would be that I do not support changes at this time, but am open to persuasion based upon exactly what the critics have said. However I doubt very much the 'federal body' claimed the act was 'detrimental to public safety', and reserve that the paragraph overal must not overstate criticisms of the act. Sandpiper 20:32, 5 December 2005 (UTC)

Touche' - Indeed my objection to the current intro includes this complaint. The Federal body described it openly as a subsidy to investors - but unlike plebian editors, does not necessarily equate "subsidy" with "criticism" - and certainly did not go so far as to say that it did not protect the public. Subsidy (like Scheme) is a neutral word which may or may not be used critically. But the editors here tend to put a great emphasis on the connotation of words given their most pedestrian (and oh so often misunderstood) use. Benjamin Gatti 20:59, 5 December 2005 (UTC)
I suggest that we quit pretending to have a "consensus version", until we in fact do have. Benjamin Gatti 20:59, 5 December 2005 (UTC)
Well we actually do. IIRC it was agreed to by me, Simesa, katefan0 and I think Sandpiper...or he agreed with most of it anyway. The only person not to agree was you Ben. Consensus is not 100% approval. 4 or even 3 to 1 can be considered a consensus. --Woohookitty(cat scratches) 21:05, 5 December 2005 (UTC)
It was agreed by me too. It needs improving, but that is about exact wording not meaning. people keep hacking at it (simesa, i see what your comment about 'problematic results from courts' was meant to mean, but I would have to argue it is criticism of the american legal system which deserves to be discussed later, as it was once upon a time)Sandpiper 21:30, 5 December 2005 (UTC)
We could do that. "Problematic" is based on a Supreme Court statement, "While in theory no legal limit would be placed on liability, as a practical matter the public would be less assured of obtaining compensation than under Price-Anderson. Establishing liability would depend in each case on state tort law and procedures, and these might or might not provide for no-fault liability." Simesa 23:09, 5 December 2005 (UTC)
Hi simesa. Just looked up your quote. It is actually the words of chairman Anders of the NRC, giving evidence. The court quotes it to give the case for PA, then has a paragraph summarising the arguments against PA. The courts conclusion is actually the big quoted paragraph now at the start of the 'constitutional challenge' section, which used to be in tha article all along. So I would suggest the big paragraph, attributed to the court would suffice? Now, if we can just get Ben to accept that paragraph too, since it the same one his three quotes were extracted from.... I think raising the issue straight in the introduction is just too complicated. Just a blunt statement that normal process is altered?Sandpiper
Good point about any nuclear power could be interpreted as a grave risk to the public, I just interpreted the old intro to be understating or mistating the critics' view. If the point/title of the act is "nuclear industries indemnity act" how can the public possibly be protected in a civil law sense? My "public safety" phraseology is perhaps is a little too much and should be modified, but "adquately protecting the public" is an inaccurate or opposite way of interpreting what critics are saying I believe. Perhaps we need a couple of sentences to succinctly paraphrase what each critic is saying instead of trying to find some generic, and potentially watered-down, consensus criticism? zen master T 20:53, 5 December 2005 (UTC)

'Bear in mind that legal protection is not the same as "safety" One suggests a recourse to damages as "protection", while "safety" would appear to refer to preventative measures designed to prevent an accident in the first place. My family is protected against my deat by life insurance, but I am not more safe as a result. Benjamin Gatti 20:59, 5 December 2005 (UTC)

Well, it could be argued that because the nuclear industry has a civil get out of jail free card they are much less likely to be diligent when it comes to safety. Though I agree "public safety" is a little too much and we should change it to something like "critics argue it eliminates or lessens civil protections and recourses the public would normally have after an accident" or some such. zen master T 21:11, 5 December 2005 (UTC)
"Does not adequately protect the public" IMO is fine for the intro. Zen argues that it's incomplete, but of course it's incomplete. It's the intro, it should hit the high points -- it doesn't need to be and shouldn't be complete. The article can (and does) later elaborate on just how its critics think it's flawed. · Katefan0(scribble)/mrp 21:16, 5 December 2005 (UTC)

actually, i think we need two sentences like a hole in the head. We have enough difficulty with just one. If you indemnify something, then you keep it from harm: in this instance you protect companies from being sued into bancruptcy, but you do it by creating a fund (probably considerably larger than the companies own resources, $10 billion) which will compensate any victims. So while the company is protected, the victims are also more protected than otherwise. Further, since all the money comes from the companies (but not just the one concerned), it is self-financing, just like ordinary insurance. Quite clever, really. Also, it alters the law to make suing easier. The rest of the intro is a bit negative already, as it were to balance the negativity around.

The issue of whether this makes a company less safety conscious is addressed by firstly the observation that they are likely to be out of business anyway if something serious happens at their plant, and secondly that the act has absolutely nothing to do with safety regulations, inspections,licensing, criminal penalties or fines for breeching regulations. Sandpiper 21:21, 5 December 2005 (UTC)

I changed it to clarify the lack of civil recourse point. Also, after I've thought about it when I said "incomplete" I actually mean "mistated" as in "the critics' views were being mistated". What is wrong with "critics argue it was wrong to eliminate or lessen civil protections and recourses that would normally be available after and accident"? To resolve an interpretation of critics views I think we are going to have to examine them more closely. Kate, a suffict summary is good except when it's misleading. zen master T 21:26, 5 December 2005 (UTC)
"Does not adequately protect the public" is not misleading. Your version rather is, as it isn't as inclusive as the shorter version. · Katefan0(scribble)/mrp 21:32, 5 December 2005 (UTC)
The point of the sentence is really to make it clear in the introduction that criticism exists. Trying to make it exact makes it very hard indeed to make it short. Write it under criticisms. The problem with your suggestion 'critics argue..lessen' is first whether they do, and secondly whether this is a sensible and widely held criticism which makes it worthy of mention in the introduction. Also, as said before, the supreme court held it did not 'lessen', which would inevitably mean you would ahve to mention that in the introduction as well. Sandpiper 21:39, 5 December 2005 (UTC)
If the point of the act is to give the nuclear industry indemmity at the expensive of the public then of course the public isn't "adequately" protected, they are in fact less protected than they would be absent this act, right? "Adequately" implies that act was actually trying to protect the public would would be an incorrect assumption, right? The summary of criticism should succinctly connote just how fundamental the criticism is, right? zen master T 21:43, 5 December 2005 (UTC)
ah, no. The whole point of the act is to give companies limited indemnity without harming the public at all. The magic of insurance, what this act really does (also mentioned into the intro) is create a mutual insurance company funded by all the reactor companies. It makes all the companies liable for a failure by any one of them. Sandpiper 22:06, 5 December 2005 (UTC)
Critics are actually arguing the forced move of civil law claims out of state court and into federal actually harms the public, right? Capping damages can harm the public if damages are greater than the insurance fund? Why should the government be on the hook in the case of negligence that leads to an accident by a nuclear power operator, taxpayers certainly would be harmed. Capping medical payments in the event of a nuclear accident seems like harm to me. The impetus for the act seems to be exclusively using a pro nuclear industry economic analyis, the public has lost the right to sue the specific company that had the accident for punitive damages and blame (in state court and perhaps at all?), I'd call a loss of rights harm. Also, at no time is the possibility the public would choose alternative energy sources and increased efficiency instead of the potential for harm from nuclear power, why must this one energy industry get indemnity? zen master T 09:10, 9 December 2005 (UTC)

I'm asking for protection again

Here we go again. We've now had 8 reverts in the last 24 hours. We're heading for a slew of 3RR violations. I'm going to ask for protection again. Both Sandpiper and I are lost because we have too much going on here. Let's slow down again. --Woohookitty(cat scratches) 21:28, 5 December 2005 (UTC)

Ok, sorry, I didn't realize there were so many editors that were so keen on presenting the critic's view the old way. Let's try to resolve the disagreement(s) on the talk page. zen master T 21:37, 5 December 2005 (UTC)
Zen, you are entering a hornet's nest here. I'd strongly suggest trying to read some of the archives or ask Sandpiper for help in getting up to speed, since he's relatively new to this too and just got up to speed himself. Otherwise, you are going to get lost and not necessarily add to the discussion. I mean we're in our 2nd mediation. We've literally had 4 protections. We have 500K of chat. Just a bit complex. :) --Woohookitty(cat scratches) 21:40, 5 December 2005 (UTC)
Summarizing critics' views shouldn't be this contentious. If people think my change is too long we can shorten it, but "does not adequately protect the public" seems to errantly imply that act was trying to protect the public, which is false right? zen master T 21:45, 5 December 2005 (UTC)
some pages I know, you post a suggestion and come back a week later to see if anyones noticed, and no one has. Needs a day here for everyone to catch up (this is a world spanning debate, I think. Wonderful to get foreigners involved in things they had never heard of before). And before I get another edit conflict, I think it would be correct to say the secondary aim of the act was to protect the public. That was a stated aim, and once again was confirrmed by the supreme court both in intent and effect. read the article, its has quite a few facts.Sandpiper 21:48, 5 December 2005 (UTC)
Yes zen, you really have to get up to speed here. Not being critical, but as a new person to this mess, you have no idea what we've been debating for the last 6 months. Hell, I barely know and I've been involved since (almost) day 1. Read the archives and get up to speed. --Woohookitty(cat scratches) 21:50, 5 December 2005 (UTC)
Zen, no, it's not false -- and in any case, it's not a valid argument with which to support the wording you seek. Protecting the public was one of the two main stated reasons Congress enacted the thing in the first place, those being to enable the creation of a private nuclear power industry, and to protect the public by creating a pool of funds from which damages would be paid in the event of a nuclear accident. Some critics argue that it does NOT protect the public, but that's only one view. The creators of the law clearly disagreed, so we can't argue that "does not adequately protect the public" is wrong because it's "false." That's passing judgment on a point of dispute, which WP:NPOV compels us not to do. ·Katefan0(scribble)/mrp 21:51, 5 December 2005 (UTC)

Back to my protection request. The complication is that we have 3 people who patrol the protection page and they include me and kate. *sigh* We just need a cool down period. I don't want anyone to violate the 3RR...yes...even Ben. I'd rather not have to complicate things any more than they are. --Woohookitty(cat scratches) 21:56, 5 December 2005 (UTC)

Do critics generally agree the public has been protected by the act? If I am the only one then I digress. It would be accurate to state that because of the act the public is forced to seek redress and compensation for damages over a certain amount from the government, not from the industry, right? Would it also be accurate to state that the normal right to be able to civily sue the industry that harmed someone in an accident was removed by this act for the nuclear industry, right? zen master T 21:55, 5 December 2005 (UTC)

The intro already covers all these points. · Katefan0(scribble)/mrp 22:02, 5 December 2005 (UTC)
Not as comming from critics and not directly nor explicitly. If because of this act the public has less rights and avenues for recourse in the advent of an accident we should state that directly, rather than watering it down with "does not adequately protect the public". What does "Instead of problematic resuls from claims in state cours..." mean anyway? Who exactly is alleging whatever is being alleged is "problematic"? That seems like the pro industry position to me (a caveat should be added for NPOV). zen master T 22:35, 5 December 2005 (UTC)
I'm still catching up on all the comments, but I based "problematic" on the Supreme Court's statement "While in theory no legal limit would be placed on liability, as a practical matter the public would be less assured of obtaining compensation than under Price-Anderson. Establishing liability would depend in each case on state tort law and procedures, and these might or might not provide for no-fault liability." Simesa 23:13, 5 December 2005 (UTC)

It would not be right to state 'that because of the act the public is forced to seek redress ...from the government'. The first $10 billion of any claim comes from the companies, all of them. The bill for each is low enough that there is a good likelihood they will be able to pay. In the absence of the act, just one company would be liable, and I doubt it would have anything like that amount of money. Anyone want to buy a second-hand nuclear plant just after a major accident? So the amount available for payouts is bigger because of the act than otherwise. It is not correct that the normal right to sue has been removed. In fact, what has been removed is the companies right to defend itself in court against any actions. Then, the time limits in which to sue have been extended, and (good or bad, I don't know), all actions are moved to a federal court rather than a local one. The changes to the legal process all make it easier, not harder. The issue is that some people have claimed the act makes these things worse (or so I am told, I havn't checked that bit yet)Sandpiper 22:53, 5 December 2005 (UTC)

If a specific company X has an accident does the public have the right to sue that company for damages and blame? The right to compensation is not equal to the right to sue. Making it easier for the public to recive the first $10 billion in damages was given at the expensive of the public losing the right they would normally have of being able to sue a specific company in state court, right? Feel free to argue moving the cases to federal is better in some way but in my interpretation critics disagree with you on that. Your argument seems very pro nuclear industry to me, shouldn't we let critics characterize their own argument? How about "critics argue it was wrong to force any future damage lawsuits out of state court and into federal court" or similar, would you have a problem with that, and if so, what is it? zen master T 23:04, 5 December 2005 (UTC)
Because there are many criticisms. If you outline one, you must outline them all to be fair. Instead, it's best to stick to something inclusive -- critics assert that it doesn't adequately protect the public. Boom. Then outline them in more detail later. As I've said. · Katefan0(scribble)/mrp 23:10, 5 December 2005 (UTC)
The outline in the article currently understates or tangenticizes the critics' views. Critics assert the act was "wrong" not that it was merely "inadequate". Boom. zen master T 23:21, 5 December 2005 (UTC)
I disagree on all points. · Katefan0(scribble)/mrp 23:24, 5 December 2005 (UTC)
Is it possible some critics argue the act was/is "wrong"? Don't critics also argue it was wrong for the nuclear industry to get a big government subsidy which allows it to unfairly compete against other sources of energy, such as renewable energy? zen master T 23:32, 5 December 2005 (UTC)
It is perfectly possible that critics argue all sorts of things, including the most common paint colour for nuclear reactors. The thing is first, produce some specific examples with a strong public profile, and second, put them sensibly into a section which explains what each one is upset about. Sandpiper 00:21, 6 December 2005 (UTC)
Critics do argue all sorts of things, which doubles the importance of not trivializing or downplaying their many allegations. Why is the critics' view seemingly being written/interpreted from a pro nuclear industry standpoint in this article? zen master T 22:34, 6 December 2005 (UTC)

Yay us

Just created archive #8. We are at 614K and 160+ headings of archived talk. And we've settled basically zip since this started. --Woohookitty(cat scratches) 21:50, 5 December 2005 (UTC)

Don't get me wrong, I take this seriously, but I laughed my head off when I read this one.Sandpiper
I do too but I felt like lightening up the mood a bit would be helpful. Plus. It's damn funny. :-D That is the amazing thing about all of this. If you look back at archives 1 and 2, it's basically the same issues we're dealing with now. --Woohookitty(cat scratches) 22:01, 5 December 2005 (UTC)
I thought it might be. Serious, concerned people. Sandpiper 22:10, 5 December 2005 (UTC)
For different reasons though. Simesa, katefan and I just want the article to be NPOV. Ben is more concerned about the article sounding too pro-nuclear. Like I've said all along, we don't have a "side" really. Personally, I agree with Ben's views on nuclear and the Act. But the article needs to be NPOV on the point even if I'm personally not. Anyway. I'm wingeing on. --Woohookitty(cat scratches) 22:14, 5 December 2005 (UTC)
Perhaps, but I also noted Ben's nearly pro-nuclear comments from another page, which I posted above. But the more times I keep summarising what the act actually does, the more it seems rather a clever legal device to make the companies pay. So in fairness it is quite hard to write it as doing any of the things claimed against it. Except, as I have said above (well, everything has been said above) the presupposition by congress that nuclear is a good thing. Sandpiper 22:38, 5 December 2005 (UTC)

come on ben!

Ben, you wrote:

while exposing the public to the substantial risk of a catastrophic nuclear incident. Instead of the fair outcome in state courts, the Act substitutes a preferential resolution process and establishes

If it wasn't for the fact that some people might construe it as an insult, and insulting people is considered bad form her, but under the clear understanding that it isn't meant to be insulting, come on Ben, you re just taking the piss! Sandpiper 22:30, 5 December 2005 (UTC)

I believe that particular conjugation is British. The founding fathers said that jury's should decide these things, and that the states should have the right to set up laws - for example to cover liability, and finally - the outcome of states courts is not "Problematic" except in that a jury's view of the just compensation for a lifetime of medical maladies * the number of persons affected could be unaffordable, but the decision is - by definition - fair. 12 people decide what they would have to be paid in order to come out even on the deal - you irradiate me, but i get a million dollars. Most people would prefer their health to money in an even trade. - The result of Price is preferential to basic equity - (again 12 ordinary people placing a value on life). The system of 12, while often criticised is a large part of the quality of life in the US. Benjamin Gatti 22:42, 5 December 2005 (UTC)
I don't recall any mention that PA removes juries. If it does, why don't you propose explaining this where it properly fits in the main article. Initially, what I read says you sue someone as normal, but the company is not allowed to fully defend itself. It seemed implicit that if the state said this process needs a jury, then that is what it would get. Then cases were transferred to federal courts. Is that where the jury disappears? I am not personally convinced that a decision arrived at by a specific process is necessarily fair, even if it follows the rules precisely. In any event, the supreme court (yes I know...) claimed it was fair redress, constitutionally speaking. You know, this is just the sort of argument we get here...people complaining about the EU imposing centralised laws on countries. I dont think I understood your phrase 'the result of price is preferential to basic equity' Sandpiper 23:10, 5 December 2005 (UTC)

(Answering Open Issues) - My understanding is that:
  1. In Federal Courts the amount of judgement is set by a judge - in state court it is set by a jury. Juries are more empathetic to the subjective award, a judge may tend towards calculating (ie Your son died, since he had not yet gone to college he has no special skills, therefore his value is 30 years time average income of 35K = 1Million) A Jury might say you'd have to pay me a hell of a lot more than a million dollars before I'd take it in an even trade for my sons life - more like 500 Million or so.
  2. There is no punitive damages permitted. Many judgements are elevated by the jury deciding to prevent such behavior by punishing those responsible - over and above damages.
  3. My definition of fair is closer to a jury's definition - the value in a voluntary trade.
  4. The concept of equity means to compensate the victim so completely that they are placed in a similar state - not entirely possible when death is involved, but the jury award tried to approximate the value of a life. A Judge may approximate the earnings in a lifetime, and they are not the same.
  5. The effect of price is a preferential outcome for the nuclear reactor, and a less than prejudiced outcome for the victim.

Benjamin Gatti 22:27, 6 December 2005 (UTC)

Observations (not numbered to specifically refer to numbers above)

  1. Legally speaking, I infer, punitive damages are intended to punish the accused, not compensate the victims? But the victim gets to keep them? Actually, I find that quite an odd arrangement which I would not find just. They ought to go to the nation, spent on hospitals, whatever. Otherwise a jury might get confused as to the exact reason it was demanding damages.
  2. In this case, there is specific legislation designed to punish nuclear operators failing in their duty of care etc. Presumably this should supercede individual action in courts? So the issue of punishment of the company is separated from the issue of compensating victims, and they will have to face it in a different trial. How does having many trials for damages allow a 'just' level of punitive damages to be set for what is essentially one incident?
  3. yes, I appreciate that most families would not take any price for someone's life in an agreed trade. However, that is not really the issue at law, and never has been. Whatever damages are awarded by a jury, I think this exact same argument would still apply. Society is quite prepared to let someone die for lack of $100,000 for medical treatment: in general, compensation is based on the value of an average citizen, not on the special value of a citizen to his loved ones.
  4. The true value of money decreases the more of it you have, so the real value to the recipient of being given $200 million instead of $1 million is very much less than, say, having your mortgage paid off and a modest pension, if your husband is killed.
It would be nice to have a legal reference discussing equity in compensation claims Sandpiper 10:13, 8 December 2005 (UTC)

PS. I agree the word 'problematic' was not helpfull as it is not clear what it means. But that was a counter to some of your own suggestions..... Sandpiper 23:12, 5 December 2005 (UTC)

Criticisms, things to do?

I was looking at the criticisms section. the green scissors quote suggests that An NRC commissioned study estimated that damages from a severe nuclear accident could cost as much as $560 billion in 2000 dollars. Do we have a reference for their source, or alternatives? The article does not mention anywhere that $10 billion is an unrealistic bill, so should it mention that a figure of $560 billion has been suggested? Anyone got information on what level of bill has what suggested probability of occurrence?

Now, I think I also read something that said any insurance fund on this scale is simply specious. Rather than collecting $1000 billion in a bank account, it is far better for government to use the money in everyday business (it's called reducing taxes), and raise some more if ever they have to pay out. The argument was that sums on this scale are so big that everyone pays one way or another, and we might just as well put it off until the day.

no proper explanation yet that national facilities are self insured to the same sum. better explanation of categories. definition of military exclusions and who carries their bill?. research reactors, there is a list.(this is maybe 'factual' info and belongs in background)

Green scissors mention waste disposal: I think this is essentially irrelevant to the strict issue of PA, but it might fit in a general discussion of whether nuclear power is inherently unsafe (but endorsed by congress through this enabling act). I do not envisage a long article on merits, something short explaing that there are broader arguments against nuclear power. Is this already covered in a different article which should be referenced?

There is a mention of estimated subsidy costs. Is there anyone arguing that there is no subsidy? Or differing figures? As Ben mentioned above, there ought to be a mention that subsidies may be perceives as good, bad or neutral depending on the circumstances. Also better treatment of effects of subsidy on other alternative power (well more than half a sentence, anyway.)

Description of the procedure should an accident occur greater than the PA fund. I read something about reports to the president and an action plan? (This might not be a criticism, it might simply be factual background?)

More suggestions that people see as being missing? (time I went to bed) Sandpiper 02:05, 6 December 2005 (UTC)

OK - a response -
  1. I think that my recent intro lists what is likely to happen in a serious event.
  2. You can excuse the insurance and legal plan anyway you want - i want to know why it doesn't apply to other forms of energy and their similarly challenging risks? Why not insure wind investors against a hurricane for example /
  3. Why not? Benjamin Gatti 23:37, 6 December 2005 (UTC)

Not wishing to rock the boat, but amendments to the introduction

Should the introduction mention the sum of the insurance pool. I am minded that it should (just inside brackets or commas at a relevant point). Seems like an obvious, short, current omission from the the intro. yes/ No?

Suggestion for a more precise last opening sentence (just one!) which succinctly summarises criticisms more exactly.

'problematic results from claims'. I'm not happy because when i first read it I didn't really understand what it meant. I know now this is endorsed by the supreme court and quoted from there, but i think this is one we could hold back on in the intro. on the other hand, Zen seems to have leapt in with the impression that altering normal process is automatically bad, which i do not think is a correct impression for the introductory paragraph to give. Should there be something (short) explaining the act aims to make claiming easier?

Similarly, the intro implies that the pool is government funded, whereas it is entirely industry funded. This may also mislead a reader (again zen seems to have read it this way). Insert 'industry-funded' before 'pool of insurance'?

'current reactor design': is there really some prospect that insurance companies will give unlimited protection to anyone building a modern designed reactor, however safe it is in theory? If someone built a reactor which was stone-certain as safe as a coal one, would anyone be willing to insure it, and have we got that in writing? I think there should be a mention of improved technology, and that PA strictly covers new plants for life, so if it had not been renewed this would prevent new plants being built...or might not, but this needs explaining after the intro, somewhere. Is there a possibility that builders of new plants might actively oppose renewal of PA, since it shifts responsibility onto them from older, less intrinsically safe reactor designs? Can companies opt-out of PA? Sandpiper 09:25, 6 December 2005 (UTC)

The fixed portion of the insurance is paid by Industry - the unfixed portion is paid by the taxpayer, and in either case the victim is entitled to less compensation than if he were run over by a mac truck (and received the same injuries.) Thus those burdened include - the industry (to a known and fixed amount), the taxpayer (to an unknown amount), and the victim (to a considerable degree). Yes this should be summarized, but hardly by focusing on a single fixed sum, as that is hardly the extent of the Act.
The insurance available would need to be sufficient to cover liability and punitive damages and still leave the investors whole. The question really is are their investors willing to put forward the money to build a nuclear reactor with the full value of the investment exposed to a catastrophic nuclear incident. One problem not mentioned is that investors need to understand the risk, and my understanding is that the workings of a nuclear plant are closely kept - consequentially, without information equality, there is not investment potential. Price - to some extent exists to mitigate an information imbalance (Which could well be obsolete at this time). Benjamin Gatti 16:53, 6 December 2005 (UTC)
Ah, now, you are suggesting a difference between the amount of money someone would get under PA, compared to without. Can you please explain this difference, because right now I don't see it. For starters, we have no mention of punitive damages in the article, and I have not seen any reference mention this. So what are you talking about, what are you saying is different. Any source available to read? None of the references and criticisms from the article mentioned this, which seems surprising. This may be what you meant in the first example of the mac truck. If not, please explain how our unfortunate victim would be worse off sprayed with plutonium dust at a power plant and dying, as compared to, say, arsenic dust in a chemical works and dying. As things stand, I would not see why this should be in the article, because nothing yet has explained that there is an issue. I do recall comment that if total damages exceeds $10 billion, then it would be reduced pro-rata, unless or untill congress stumped up the rest. I also have not heard what happens if the bill is exactly the $10 billion, but the companies are not obliged to pay it all for 10 years, so do people have to wait? On the face of it, if you can demonstrate a difference, then it ought to be clearly explained in the 'how it works' section (which it certainly isn't right now) I do think we ought to be trying to expand later bits like that, because I for one am not going to adjust the introduction to account for facts I know nothing about (yet?).Sandpiper 17:46, 6 December 2005 (UTC)
However, I would also have to take issue with whether the question is, are investors willing to take the risk. The investors told the government quite plainly they were not. The government created the act to coax them into taking part. Now, if you can demonstrate that there actually is a subsidy, (see also my question above not mentioned yet in the article about likelihood of claim sizes above ten billion, as well as this question of actual damages), then maybe we can write something factual explaining how this would arise. But this still begs the issue of whether this is a subsidy to nuclear power in general, or to the companies in particular. This is something which has been bugging me, because I do not see money changing hands. The companies are still essentially working as subcontractors for the national government, and as such are fulfilling the contract originally agreed, at the price agreed. Free market arrangement between them and the government.

This was an intro I submitted - it includes a full discussion of the events. Benjamin Gatti 16:57, 6 December 2005 (UTC)

There are a couple of POV words in there (I really don't like using willful), but my only big objection to this is that I've never been convinced that we need to cram this all into one paragraph. Why can't the intro be something simple that says the name of the act, that it's an act of congress and that it sets up a compensation system in the case of a nuclear disaster? We can then integrate the rest into the How It Works section. The intro is supposed to be that, i.e. a quick summary of the act and what it does. It's supposed to be sort of a teaser, not something so specific. If anything else, it'd be easier to agree to since it'd be shorter. At least then, we'd have a least one part of this article completely agreed to. And then we can move on to the specifics. Thoughts? --Woohookitty(cat scratches) 17:22, 6 December 2005 (UTC)
First point, I don't recall where the $500 million comes from. There was such a fund once upon a time, but I had assumed it had been abolished when the extra reactor contributions were introduced. No?
Second, this also totally does not explain in what way they can not claim for 'full' damages, and I have no information how this might be (as I just said above). I am not saying it should explain exactly here, because it is a summary, but the facts have to be in the article somewhere. And I still haven't come across what the DOE actually said.Sandpiper 18:04, 6 December 2005 (UTC)
I subscribe to the executive summary theory. The first paragraph should be a complete summary. (Not a half-grass attempt to rename the subject three times at the expense of useful information) We should not strive toward the kind of barnyard redundancy Bush has made famous. Benjamin Gatti 18:33, 6 December 2005 (UTC)
The problem I have with summaries of this type is that people will lose interest and stop reading the article. That's the whole point of a teaser and it's why most articles on here use that format. --Woohookitty(cat scratches) 18:37, 6 December 2005 (UTC)
I susbscribe to the 30 second explanation of the topic summary. Just enough for someone to know whether this is a page they are interested in. Ben, nice to see you are about, but I notice you havent answered any of my questions, nor some similar pithy ones I posted a few days ago. As of at the moment, we still do not have grounds to include half the stuff you are interested in. Sandpiper
Could you point them out - i'll look ... Benjamin Gatti 22:12, 6 December 2005 (UTC)
(Tying up unanswered question for Sandpiper)

It is a subsidy because it lowers the cost of insurance by holding the taxpayers liable. This is an avoided cost subsidy of approx 3 Billion annually. The DOE has called it a subsidy. And yes it subsidizes risk more than dollars, but investments deal in both risk and reward. by eliminating risks for one industry without equally reducing the risk of competing industries - private interests are given a market advantage by government fiat at significant cost to the public because they give up the right to hold bad actors financially accountable. Benjamin Gatti 21:11, 7 December 2005 (UTC)

well, you have me half convinced. There is still the very big problem of quantifying this subsidy. It would appear that quantification is the heart of the problem. If it was proven small, then industry would not be bellyaching. If it was proven huge, then no one would be running nuclear power. If it was proven $5-10 billion, then everyone would be happy, because that is the level which the current scheme provides. But since it is not proven, both sides complain about it. But still, in the final analysis, congress has decided that it is in the national good to take on the final risk. This is in fact identical to the position over 'catastrophic' pollution damages from other industries, which are also not expected to obtain insurance coverage for global warming, acid rain eroding buildings, etc. etc.
Now, what about the $500 million, is that stil in the act or was it dropped? Sandpiper 10:34, 8 December 2005 (UTC)

My personal goal for the main paragraph would be for it to be 4-6 sentences, ending with EXACTLY 1 SENTENCE of what supporters have said about it, and EXACTLY 1 SENTENCE of comments from opponents. Anything regarding numbers should go in "How it works"; more criticisms should go in the criticisms section. Ral315 (talk) 22:06, 6 December 2005 (UTC)

So how does renaming the subject twice in the first sentence help people understand whether or not they are interested? This Sentence conveys absolutely nothing which people could find interesting - it isn't a tease - it is obligatory detail - and it hardly opens the act with aplomb. Benjamin Gatti 22:12, 6 December 2005 (UTC)
Obligatory detail. Exactly. Intro is supposed to quickly summarize the article NOT get into specifics. Specifics are for the main body. --Woohookitty(cat scratches) 00:27, 7 December 2005 (UTC)
How absurd - to suggest that a introductory sentence should get itself tripped up in parentheticals and asides. The fact that Price applies to the United States is meaningless by itself. The first Sentence must stand alone as a meaningful statement using the topic as its subject. Anything less is an edit war from my corner. Benjamin Gatti 01:36, 7 December 2005 (UTC)
I wouldn't suggest threatening an edit war. --Woohookitty(cat scratches) 01:39, 7 December 2005 (UTC)
The most important thing about this act is something which a number of people seem to have presumed, that it is an american act made by the the official government of America, Congress. I even once altered united states to a link, so people who got here by some mischance could find out more about the country. Anyone discovering it has nothing whatever to do with them can then totally ignore it.Sandpiper 09:17, 7 December 2005 (UTC)

Reverts of December 5

The revert war that happened on December 5 cannot happen again. I know there's still some animosity, but as I recall, when I took over, everyone agreed to a 1 revert rule. Zen-master, Benjamin Gatti, Katefan0, and Woohookitty all have broken it, from my preliminary looks at the history. If you're going to continue to edit war, there's no reason for me to mediate. I would really like to see a consensus of sorts soon. Again, remember that when the page gets unprotected, 1RR still applies. Ral315 (talk) 22:14, 6 December 2005 (UTC)

Ral, just to point out that many of the edits on Dec 5 where unrelated and accidental. And I object to the continues use of the term "consensus" to describe any random version unless there really is a formal vote to back it up - it dilutes the term mercilessly. Both Zen and Sandpiper have changed or expressed an interest in changing the intro, with me, that makes 3 to Mike, Kate, and Simesa. I'm not sure where you fit in, but there doesn't seem to be a consensus for the intro, and we should stop pretending. I suggest the claim of consensus where there is none is both disruptive and deceptive. Our readers deserve better. Benjamin Gatti 23:31, 6 December 2005 (UTC)
I never said that the current intro is, or isn't, consensus. I'm merely pointing out that it's been nearly two months since I took this mediation, and I'd like to see a consensus be agreed on soon. Ral315 (talk) 23:54, 6 December 2005 (UTC)
I will concede to an intro which is fully factual, fully representative, and describes the act without dilution, or intentional omission of facts which sources have identified as key. If you are here to help us get to that point, than I think this effort can be successful. As Sandpiper has recently pointed out - the current intro includes factual errors and generalizations which are not discretely true. Now we either get busy fixing that sort of thing or this is an exercise in circularity. I would be so bold as to make a suggestion, that as a mediator If I were you, I would either roll my sleeves up, find a principle and insist on it, or I wouldn't bother. As a participant, I have no idea what your standards and principles are - except 1RR - which is just a slower form of revert war. As several have pointed out, this is a largely intractable issue, and I believe that it tests the wiki guidelines to the limit. The issue is speculative, and almost religious in the sense that as it is currently written, it requires an act of faith as to whether or not a catastrophic nuclear incident is a fiction or a legitimate risk. Benjamin Gatti 00:13, 7 December 2005 (UTC)
My opinion is that we don't need to worry about whether a catastrophic nuclear incident is a fiction or a legitimate risk. We need to worry about whether we're telling the story correctly. Ral315 (talk) 02:11, 7 December 2005 (UTC)
I'd agree to that. --Woohookitty(cat scratches) 02:23, 7 December 2005 (UTC)
Would you agree that "... because of the perceived risks from nuclear power." goes farther than telling the story and in fact projects an opinion quantifying a risk which the Supreme Court described as "substantial." Benjamin Gatti 03:20, 7 December 2005 (UTC)
In the interests of accuracy I would observe that my position more accurately supports the reverts made by Kate and woohikity than alterations inserted by Zen or Ben. I would have reverted them myself, expressly to make a point of my own views (reverting can be useful), except that I was too busy trying to talk to Zen about it, and the others got there first. Also, that a careful reading of the supreme court judgement does not support a view that the risk is substantial, rather that it is 'remote'. 'perceived' risks rather goes to the heart of the debate. It is exactly peoples differing perceptions of the risks (not just radiological) which is at issue. But yes, so far, we have very little actual included information about professional opinions on the level of risk, so it is something of an 'act of faith'.
Ben, I don't see any point in re-listing the points I asked you to comment on, as you suggested: not least because the position above where you asked for them to be re-listed was just below a couple of them. Sandpiper 09:38, 7 December 2005 (UTC)

Misstatement of critics' views

The intro and article currently do a very insufficient job of describing the critics' views to the point of severe misstatement or understatement. First, the phrase "...does not adequately protect the public" errantly implies the act was trying to protect the public which I interpret to be in opposition of the actual critics' and public's position. Secondly, critics are directly arguing it was wrong for the act to force all civil law claims, in the event of an accident, out of state court and into federal court -- the public's right to seek civil law recourse (to be able to sue) and seek blame against the specific company that had the accident has been severely lessened if not eliminated, we should state this fact directly. Some editors have argued here on the talk page that this act is "better" as it makes it easier for victims to get compensation (up to a point), but that sounds like the pro nuclear industry view and it obfuscates the fact that victims overall would likely get orders of magnitude less money and be unable to seek redress in state court against the specific company that had the accident, even for criminal behavior or incompetence that led to any accident. Thirdly, this act has the effect of making nuclear power seem more economical than other forms of energy, such as renewable energy, which is wrong, we need a level playing field that uses a fair assesment of whether an energy source is economically feasible, not to mention whether an energy source is sound given infinite liability (government shouldn't obfuscate nor be burdened with the nuclear industry's basically infinite liability). zen master T 17:37, 7 December 2005 (UTC)

First objection: The Act has always been intended to protect the public, but you might be able to find a cite on the public's position. So propose a final sentence, but leave the federal agency out of it as all the EIA said was that PAA was a subsidy.
Second objection: That's already in Criticisms, and belongs there as it is a moot point (until someone files a lawsuit). As I read it, the public's right to sue individual companies for radiological incidents is in fact gone under PAA, although under the Tucker Act the federal government can still be sued. The onus of taking action against individual companies is on the federal government, by levying fines, filing criminal charges, revoking licenses, etc.
Third objection: This hardly seems like something for the Intro. I'd put a mention of it in Criticisms (as is presently there) and refer to Nuclear power's "Economy" section - which already has a paragraph that reads:

A UK Royal Academy of Engineering report in 2004 looked at electricity generation costs from new plants in the UK. In particular it aimed to develop "a robust approach to compare directly the costs of intermittent generation with more dependable sources of generation". This meant adding the cost of standby capacity for wind, as well as carbon values up to £30 (€45.44) per tonne CO2 for coal and gas. Wind power was calculated to be more than twice as expensive as nuclear power. Without a carbon tax, the cost of production through coal, nuclear and gas ranged £0.22-0.26/kWh and coal gasification was £0.32/kWh. When carbon tax was added (up to £0.25) coal came close to onshore wind (including back-up power) at £0.54/kWh - offshore wind is £0.72/kWh. Nuclear power remained at £0.23/kWh either way, as it produces negligible amounts of CO2. Nuclear figures included decommissioning costs. [23].

Simesa 20:05, 7 December 2005 (UTC)
The costs of intermittency are skewed by adaptation. In essence, by promoting a prix fixe market for residential energy (that is the price of a KWh is the same at peak and trough demand) has encouraged building schemes which fully exploit the artificial subsidy of a rigged market. Peak energy is 10 times the cost, but 1 times the price, consequentially, it is cost-effective to build for minimal energy use rather than to build for minimum energy cost. The old adobe hut has a great deal of thermal mass, and would cost far less to heat or cool in a rational market, but is more expensive in a prix fixe market. The reintroduction of intermittent energy - along with a rational market for same - would encourage adaptive building design, and could easily accommodate daily requirements with minimal waste or cost. Benjamin Gatti 02:42, 8 December 2005 (UTC)
well that first sentence took a bit of interpreting. I thought the fundamental problem was what happens on a clam day when the wind stops. Preventing demand surges at certain times of day would probably be a good idea irrespective of how power is generated. Having no electricity at entirely unpredictable times is a real problem. If people are encouraged to live with intermittent electricity, what do we do? all have backup generators? That seems likely to be quite inefficient. Sandpiper 23:27, 8 December 2005 (UTC)
Answer number two, inserted after edit conflict!

Well hi. To address your comments Zen: First the introduction does not attempt to state the critic’s views, nor should it. It merely states that there are critics.

Actualy the stated aim of the act was to protect the public, and the supreme court agreed not only that this was what congress had been trying to do, but also that it had done so. Yes, this may well be contrary to what the critics are saying, but if they were agreeing with what congress had stated, then they wouldn’t be critics. I have not seen any claim by critics that the act was not trying to protect the public, only claims that it did not.

I have also yet to see any claim, certainly no explanation of a claim, that ‘critics’ argue that transferring cases to a federal court harmed the public. Can you give me a link to some? I could not put into the article what no one has shown me actually exists. I also asked Ben in what way, exactly, people’s ability to seek redress has been weakened. I am still waiting for an answer. Can you explain how, exactly, they are worse off? It is quite plain that their right to seek redress has not been eliminated…again, the supreme court felt it was much the same.

I really don’t care whose view it is that it is easier to get redress. The facts I have read so far about how the act work say that it is easier. The companies are not permitted to defend cases brought against them, and time limits to start an action have been extended. Please explain what has been changed which makes things harder for claimants. How and why would they get ‘orders of magnitude less money’? What does which court hears the case have to do with it? It has been said before, if anyone commits a criminal act, PA does not give them any protection against criminal charges. How would cases come out differently if criminal action was shown by the company, assuming no PA? Unless someone can explain how that might come about, it can hardly go into the article.

It is Ben’s view that nuclear power will be a very important energy source in the future. (Ben, please correct if this is wrong). That there will be no alternative to using it, so we had better become accustomed to the risks and learn to live with them. I have posted comments above asking for more information about in what way some people consider PA to be a subsidy. If we can get a sensible explanation of this, then it can go in the article. Can you provide some? But not in the introduction, which needs to be short. Do you have a source stating we need a level playing field with regard to energy, and why? What about the massive subsidy currently given to fossil fueled power stations, since they are not obliged to carry insurance against disasters (noteably global warming). Who is going to pick up the tab for that, and how is the situation different to the nuclear industry? Will US car owners pay up if London gets flooded due to melting polar ice? Similarly, what about the risk from letting off atomic weapons, chemical pollution, car pollution, carcinogens used by the building industry, declaring war on non-hostile foreign countries? There are many many things where government carries the bill. These would also need to be mentioned. Sandpiper 20:10, 7 December 2005 (UTC)

I believe the critics are arguing the stated aim and actual aim of the act are in disagreement. Critics would disagree with your determination of "the facts" as you have read them so far. Getting accustomed to the risks of nuclear power is something that may (I repeat may) be worthwhile, but that does not mean we have to eliminate or severely lessen the public's right to seek civil law redress in state court. The nuclear power industry should also get use to facing potentially infinite liabiity. Perhaps nuclear power should be a non-profit or governemnt run activity since the risk of accidents caused by profit motive, rather than safety, considerations is too high. zen master T 20:26, 7 December 2005 (UTC)
I don’t really recall any ‘critics’ talking about PA’s stated aim re the public, only that they think the finished act disadvantages the public. So, information needed… And again, in what way does it reduce the publics redress? It is not contested that the process is different: how does it disadvantage claimants?
Now, I don’t think the industry needs to get used to facing liabilty, but really I think that is irrelevant. These people were asked by the government to build these reactors: it is already the government’s decision. The industry was perfectly happy not to build nuclear plants. Electricity has to be generated somehow, and I imagine exactly the same companies would have built different kinds of plant if that was what was wanted. Now, where is there a reference saying how there is a likelihood of accidents as a consequence of PA? PA will not help a company which has a big smouldering hole where it used to have a reactor. (or can a plant operator sue itself to get compensation for the massive damage to its own plant after such an accident? As far as I can see, this would be an uninsured loss) Sandpiper 20:50, 7 December 2005 (UTC)
It's not the governments business to tell peoplehow to create electricty - it should encourage the generation of energy and provide an open, honest, transparent, and fair market for participation. In the meantime, every tom dick and hairy with a cockamany scheme to generate electricty wants the government to favor their particular scheme. Under equal protection, the government is disallowed from choosing winners (and ought to comply). Benjamin Gatti 21:32, 7 December 2005 (UTC)
"disadvantages the public" is much stronger than "does not adquately protect the public", we should at least use the former. Benjamin Gatti has a list in a section above that explains why the nuclear industry would prefer to face civil claims in federal court rather than state court, basically in federal the judge sets damages, in state court juries do, juries also are allowed to consider more than just "lifetime earnings" for the value of a human life and can award punitive damages to punish the at fault company for gross negligence etc. If nuclear power is so risky to the point where the industry requires PA to function then perhaps society should take a step back and instead invest tax dollars in much safer and more sound alternative energy sources. But the key point here is we shouldn't be debating the merits of the act, we should be trying to state what the critics believe. If the critics believe/argue it was wrong to disadvantage the public by eliminating or lessening state court civil law redress then we should say it directly like that. zen master T 21:15, 7 December 2005 (UTC)
To start at the end, i don't think anyone is saying we should not state accurately what the critics believe. But a number of people feel it is not appropriate that this should be in the introduction. I said before, one sentence listing that people object. If you have suggestions for additions/expansions/changes/ to what is currently the criticisms section, then please post them here.
'disadvantages the public' is an odd turn of phrase as people will not understand quite what it means, and it would imply the issue is wider than simple compensation, but I don't necessarily see a problem with that.
I havn't read Bens list yet, I look forward to it with interest. However, it would have to be born in mind that any 'punitive' damages would come out of the pockets of exactly the same people who are receiving them. Either taxpayers supporting a bailout fund (if this was bigger than $10 billion), or from earnings of generator companies (which would mean higher electricity prices, so again from everyone). This is a closed circle: generators cannot be permitted to go out of business, or there is no electricity. Government has chosen to create nuclear generators, so it presumably sees no point in adding to its own costs in the event of an accident. There is also the point that a whole raft of safety regulations and a system of fines exists especially for the nuclear industry, which does not apply to coal burning etc. So it would arguably be 'double jeopardy' (a suitable american phrase?) to punish the generators twice. Sandpiper 09:27, 8 December 2005 (UTC)


Due to the indefensible Protection I have requested Arbcomm to review the cause for Protection. Comments at: Requests_for_arbitration#Price-Anderson_Nuclear_Industries_Indemnity_Act

Er, okay. But as I've said to you before, the Arbitration Committee does not hear content disputes. Expect it to be summarily dismissed. If you take issue with an article's protection, the correct place to complain about it is at WP:RFP or WP:AN/I. · Katefan0(scribble)/mrp 22:43, 7 December 2005 (UTC)
Number 1 indefensible? We had a massive revert war going on. #2 they don't take content disputes. We've told you that in the past. --Woohookitty(cat scratches) 22:55, 7 December 2005 (UTC)

Hello Benjamin Gatti, I think it would make more sense to file an RfA over the article's current lack of neutrality and accuracy (if they are an applicable thing for arbcom to decide), instead of over "unjust protection". zen master T 23:42, 7 December 2005 (UTC)

Not a bad idea, but they don't adjudicate content disputes. --Woohookitty(cat scratches) 00:18, 8 December 2005 (UTC)

Assuming Mike is correct - (in that Arbcom doesn't adjudicate content disputes) - the question arises as to whether or not they will dictate content by proxy. Page protection for the purpose of dictating content is the dictation of content by administration - a summary dismissal is a decision, and if made in support of censorship would establish as precedent that the ArbComm does in fact exercise its authority in determining matters of content, does tolerate and engage in censorship, and operates in contrast to the motto of wikipedia, which by definition is a document edited by its readers. Benjamin Gatti 00:57, 8 December 2005 (UTC)
Good point about supporting protection is tacit if not complicit support of content/censorship (a certain version of an article), though I suspect the arbcom will simply say they "don't get involved in content disputes". zen master T 01:02, 8 December 2005 (UTC)
I'm not asking them to change the content. I'm asking whether or not they will permit administrators to dictate content (and thereby censor community-based editing) by the raw exercise of power. To be (a wiki) or not to be... that is the question. (borrowed). Benjamin Gatti 02:31, 8 December 2005 (UTC)
Ok, I agree that would or does indeed set a bad precedent. Perhaps at the same time we should create a list of NPOV violations (in our interpretation)? For example, things like "Instead of problematic results from claims in state courts..." and the misstating of understating of critics' arguments, what do you think? We should also seek out other editors to help us change this article to be neutral and accurate. zen master T 02:40, 8 December 2005 (UTC)
RfAr is not the place for any of this. I'm sure you made a great impression on the Arbcom. Btw, zen, your probation is about to be extended. Once it is, I'd tread carefully here if I were you. Any disruptive edits can send you to ANI where you could be blocked from here. Not a threat. More of a FYI. --Woohookitty(cat scratches) 08:33, 8 December 2005 (UTC)
That is most certainly a threat on your part but it seems increasingly hallow, I am still waiting for you/someone to point out specific edits that you take issue with instead of the nebulous "disruptive". zen master T 10:44, 8 December 2005 (UTC)
I've told you. It was the revert of the consensus that you did. --Woohookitty(cat scratches) 11:03, 8 December 2005 (UTC)
1 revert does not violate any policy and your definition of "consensus" is inaccurate, at least two editors disagree with you and interpret this article to be violating various wikipedia presentation neutrality policies. zen master T 11:13, 8 December 2005 (UTC)
In the end, zen, it doesn't matter one or the other since probation on your was going to be extended to all articles even if I hadn't said anything. At the time the discussion was opened a week ago, Fred and Kelly had already said they wanted to extend it. --Woohookitty(cat scratches) 11:15, 8 December 2005 (UTC)
That doesn't mean any justification has ever been made, this is just more evidence of a pattern of censorship on certain wikipedia articles by a relentless handful of editors. It could be argued the race and intelligence article uses similar disinformation, mischaracterization and psychological effect of language techniques as this article does. It doesn't make sense that an editor claims to be a "flamming liberal" yet supports an act passed by Congress that is basically a giant government subsidy of the nuclear industry and also severely limits the public's right to sue the specific company responsible in the event of a nuclear accident. How can "Instead of problematic results from claims in state courts..." ever be considered a neutral presentation? To be neutral Wikipedia articles shouldn't simply regurgitate apparent nuclear industry marketing bullet points. zen master T 11:30, 8 December 2005 (UTC)
I don't support the act! Wikipedia:Writing for the enemy. I quoted this on RfAr. Read it. It is possible to write things you don't believe when you are striving for a NPOV encyclopedia. --Woohookitty(cat scratches) 11:47, 8 December 2005 (UTC)

(reindenting) And by the way, I haven't actually made an edit to this article since you joined it. I reverted a couple of times but I haven't actually physically added any content to it. --Woohookitty(cat scratches) 11:51, 8 December 2005 (UTC)

La - a note to follow So

Shouldn't we specifically note who is arguing: "Instead of problematic results from claims in state courts..."? That sentence does not adhere to the NPOV policy. It also is wrong to mischaracterize critics' views. zen master T 17:44, 8 December 2005 (UTC)
actually it is a quotation from the supreme court ruling on the case brought against PA as being unconstitutional. Part of the evidence which they held to demonstrate that it was fair. I think it needs rewording, because it sounds rather odd out of the context in which it was originally written, but on the whole the supreme court is held to be a good source for whether something adheres to the US constitution. Sandpiper 23:20, 8 December 2005 (UTC)
If that's true, I have to hand it to Sandpiper on that one. I believe the fourth circuit probably had this case correct, and then the Supreme's politicized it. It shows a degree of contempt for the Constitutional right of state's to have courts at all if the Supreme court would refer to them generally' as problematic. Benjamin Gatti 23:28, 8 December 2005 (UTC)
I beg your pardon, Ben. My mistake. it is not a quote, but Simesa's paraphrase of the judgement. Two paragraphs before the now-infamous one we have been discussing being quoted in the article.

"The primary defect of this alternative [nonrenewal of the Act], however, is its failure to afford the public either a secure source of funds or a firm basis for legal liability with respect to new plants. While in theory no legal limit would be placed on liability, as a practical matter the public would be less assured of obtaining compensation than under Price-Anderson. Establishing liability would depend in each case on state tort law and procedures, and these might or might not provide for no-fault liability, let alone the multiple other protections now embodied in Price-Anderson. The present assurance of prompt and equitable compensation under a pre-structured and nationally applicable protective system would give way to uncertainties, variations and potentially lengthy delays in recovery. It should be emphasized, moreover, that it is collecting a judgment, not filing a [438 U.S. 59, 90] lawsuit, that counts. Even if defenses are waived under state law, a defendant with theoretically "unlimited" liability may be unable to pay a judgment once obtained. When the defendant's assets are exhausted by earlier judgments, subsequent claimants would be left with uncollectible awards. The prospect of inequitable distribution would produce a race to the courthouse door in contrast to the present system of assured orderly and equitable compensation." Hearings on H. R. 8631 before Joint Committee on Atomic Energy, 94th Cong., 1st Sess., 69 (1975). as advised by yourself, although this was originally evidence given to the supreme court, i take it that they now endorse it as an accurate summary. Sandpiper 00:22, 9 December 2005 (UTC)

No, my mistake again. Not the paragraph quoted in full in the article, but the one which describes the PA alternative means of redress as 'fair and reasonable'. It continues in the same vein. The supreme court judgement was, I think, before the amendment transferring actions to federal courts, but did criticise the workings of state courts. However, PA did then include provisions for centralised administration of the fund and payouts, which it also endorsed. Sandpiper 00:53, 9 December 2005 (UTC)
A Pretty serious mistake in my judgement which has found its way to a now-locked article. Clearly an opinion, inconsistent with fact, and unsourced. Meanwhile the Arbcom is being lobbied to view my edits as NPOV violate? Such humor lightens the soul this yuletide season. Perhaps we should apply the wisdom of Price Anderson to our entire legal system. We should eliminate the crush of lawsuits by upturnin state courts and handle every case with the administrative efficiency of Guantanimo Bay - style hearings? We should ensure the every plaintiff recieves their award by making the state the owner of every business, and therefore the respondant in every lawsuit (protecting the state against the cost by eliminating the fourth amendment right to a jury - of course). Price is a picture of Stalin dancing on the mold of Jefferson. Benjamin Gatti 01:08, 9 December 2005 (UTC)
Well, no, not really, because it would be fair to summarise that the supreme court felt the results in state courts were problematic, as it went on to describe in rather more detail. But I fancy Simesa put this in to balance one of your own edits in the opposite direction. It does illustrate that in a summary less can be more, because the previous version, while having less detail, gave a reader a clearer view of the issue. Didn't the supreme court rule against Guantanemo, or is that still ongoing? But plainly a significant proportion of the American electorate supports the policies of its president. He was re-elected. Sandpiper 02:05, 9 December 2005 (UTC)
It's a startling paragraph really, because it is so deeply anti-federalist, and alarming in the sense that it is equally true in any other case. Think about Vioxx for example, and why wouldn't this argument stand to shut down state court with all their wrinkles (being democratically controlled an all) and favor removing all liability cases into the federal court on the rather specious argument in my opinion that the feds are made of better stock (aren't they people too?). Its elitist, and monopolistic in that it exterminates the diversity of the state's - a diversity surely which works to improve and inform all of us, for what matter isn't best solved by trying fifty variants and choosing over some time the best practices based on empirical results? Benjamin Gatti 02:38, 9 December 2005 (UTC)
Please bear in mind that i have to interpret your coments on the basis of 'common knowlege' in the UK. So i am not totally sure what you mean by anti-federalist, and what vioxx is about. The act claims that its intent is to give equal treatment to US citizens irrespective where they live. I presume they feel it unfair that the central government would give different levels of compensations to different citizens depending on which state they live in? But yes, I can see how that general argument would apply to a lot of things. equal treatment of citizens in different countries is one of the major principles of the EU. Perhaps the federal government of the US feels that it has watched what the states do for 200 years, and now does know which is the best system? But I think most Brits would think America is crazily obsessed with suing about anything. Sandpiper 21:02, 9 December 2005 (UTC)
Federalism refers to the principle of a central government with limited powers and the right of the states to excersize the rights "not reserved". In short the default power - or unspecified power - belongs to the states. The Feds have the power to uphold constitutional rights such as free speech, equality, and fair trials (also interstate trade and common defense). Certain general terms (ie Provide for the general welfare) provide an opportunity to interpret a larger or smaller role for the federal goverment. An example of State power is the death penalty - which is decided on a state by state basis. Funny that nuclear power would rate as more important to welfare than the lives of citizens (or not?).

We've just had a lawsuit that vioxx caused some deaths - so there will be compensation for damages. The point is that the feds could argue that to insure fast equitable processing of those claims - it is necessary to unwrite the Constitutional principle of state's rights. Personally I believe diversity is important, and state's rights represent the people's right to a participatory democracy and the freedom of local people to control their own destiny. Benjamin Gatti 02:32, 10 December 2005 (UTC)

Everyone busy?

i was wondering why it was so quiet here. But I see we have been busy elsewhere. Sandpiper 03:09, 9 December 2005 (UTC)

Yeah I was wondering when you would name yourself a party. It seems that persons can choose a side (Mike prefers the against paradigm over the traditional and not-prejudicial regarding syntax) and deal themselves a hand. You're invited to join as your conscience (or whatever your religion substitutes for one) dictates (Hint - it's likely to be interesting).
Sandpiper, you can become a party if you'd like but just so you know, the arbcom case is about Ben's behavior NOT about this article. The arbcom does not take content disputes. So if you want to join the case, that's fine, but it's on those terms. We aren't going to be arguing the merits of Price-Anderson. --Woohookitty(cat scratches) 03:21, 9 December 2005 (UTC)
Repeat the mantra: repeat the matra: Ignore the elephant: repeat the matra. Benjamin Gatti 03:52, 9 December 2005 (UTC)
If the arbcom accepts this case, it'll be as a user conduct case, because they do not accept content disputes. And it's not just me saying this. As I pointed out on your talk page, look at [[88]]. --Woohookitty(cat scratches) 04:09, 9 December 2005 (UTC)
It does seem as if Woohookitty has some user conduct incidents that are worth looking into, hopefully by the arbcom. zen master T 06:08, 9 December 2005 (UTC)
Well, I would agree there is at least one elephant wandering about in the wiki livingroom. Policy demands they be ignored, but a few people wave sticks at them. (and no, I don't mean people I mean issues) Sandpiper 18:56, 9 December 2005 (UTC)

Important information being whitewashed by an over-zealous lock

The goblet for which long we've searched. Here, my gentle friends is a toast to the sacred writ in the lingua franca. Benjamin Gatti 04:00, 9 December 2005 (UTC)

  • Source and scope of "no-Fault"

"the Commission or the Secretary, as appropriate, may incorporate provisions in indemnity agreements with licensees and contractors under this section, and may require provisions to be incorporated in insurance policies or contracts furnished as proof of financial protection, which waive (i) any issue or defense as to conduct of the claimant or fault of persons indemnified,... "

  • Odd equal protection balance: While the "fault" of the "persons indemnified (ie Industry) is not an issue - the "fault" of the victim is:

"Such waivers shall not preclude a defense based upon a failure to take reasonable steps to mitigate damages, nor shall such waivers apply to injury or damage to a claimant or to a claimant’s property which is intentionally sustained by the claimant or which results from a nuclear incident intentionally and wrongfully caused by the claimant."

  • Duty of Congress in a Catastrophic "Nuclear Incident" (To compensate all public liability claims)

"(2) In the event of a nuclear incident involving damages in excess of the amount of aggregate public liability under paragraph (1), the Congress will thoroughly review the particular incident in accordance with the procedures set forth in subsection (i) of this section and will in accordance with such procedures, take whatever action is determined to be necessary (including approval of appropriate compensation plans and appropriation of funds) to provide full and prompt compensation to the public for all public liability claims resulting from a disaster of such magnitude."

  • On Punative damages

"(s) Limitation on punitive damages

No court may award punitive damages in any action with respect to a nuclear incident or precautionary evacuation against a person on behalf of whom the United States is obligated to make payments under an agreement of indemnification covering such incident or evacuation. "
  • Purpose is extraordinary incidents

"agree to indemnify and hold harmless the licensee and other persons indemnified, as their interest may appear, from public liability arising from nuclear incidents which is in excess of the level of financial protection required of the licensee."

  • Damages v Compensation

(Compensation is used extensively) Damages is not used to describe monetary awards except in the phrase "punitive damages".

  • The imposition of marshal law (suspending the Constitution)

"(A) recommendations for any changes in the laws and rules governing the liability or civil procedures that are necessary for the equitable, prompt, and efficient resolution and payment of all valid damage claims, including the advisability of adjudicating public liability claims through an administrative agency instead of the judicial system;"

Benjamin Gatti 04:31, 9 December 2005 (UTC)

well congratulations on finding a source, though it would have been nicer to find one on a level somewhere between the original act and simple claims about what it does. But beggars can't be choosers. However, what are you suggesting should happen as a result of this information? Sandpiper 20:30, 9 December 2005 (UTC)

First I'd like to see Simesa to review the find. If he agrees that this does represent the best available source, then we should reference it prominently - we've been bombarded with requests.
Second, i think each quote listed resolves a question, or at least provides a source from first principles. Some I was right on, and others not so much. For example the language does not appear to give the legislature much choice but to appropriate funds to compensate victims for all damages (except avoidable damages). I was under the impression, based on the Supreme Court that it was somewhat more ambiguous. Benjamin Gatti 20:40, 9 December 2005 (UTC)

The act has been amended since the judgement: i don't know if wording has been changed, but it may. That sounds exctly the kind of bit legislators might argue about endlessly.

a good idea

Then put a request up at the requests for page protection page. That's what it's for. If you feel like it's been wrongly protected, post the request there, not here or at Arbcom. Hell, I'll post it there if you want me to. --Woohookitty(cat scratches) 04:04, 9 December 2005 (UTC)
And btw, what you cite there is the law, but it's not the Price-Anderson Act per se as far as I can see. --Woohookitty(cat scratches) 04:11, 9 December 2005 (UTC)
I believe it's what's become of the act (for the most part) - and this version doesn't reflect the most recent ammendments (slight numerical adjustments on the whole). Benjamin Gatti 04:33, 9 December 2005 (UTC)
If you don't put the request up to unprotect, then I don't think you have the right to call this a "whitewashing". Whether you agree with the current policy on protection (i.e. that parties involved usually request it) or not, it doesn't matter. You don't gain points by refusing to use the established process. Either use the process to unprotect the page or accept the decision to protect and work from there. You can't refuse to use the current process and then call it a whitewash at the same time. --Woohookitty(cat scratches) 05:17, 9 December 2005 (UTC)

Ben, I actually agree we should request page unprotection, the arbcom case(s) can proceed in parallel to the specific content disagreement(s) over this article. zen master T 06:11, 9 December 2005 (UTC)

Done Benjamin Gatti 06:26, 9 December 2005 (UTC)

The Sound bite on this evenings news

[[89]] (Pasted by Benjamin Gatti 05:43, 9 December 2005 (UTC))

I request that you take that down immediately. I never said such a thing and you are characterizing it as a quote of mine. --Woohookitty(cat scratches) 05:21, 9 December 2005 (UTC)

You should have had the diff there in the first place. it's called taking a quote out of context. --Woohookitty(cat scratches) 06:07, 9 December 2005 (UTC)
What else is a sound bite? It's accidental poetry, as a friend, if you ask me, I'll take it down. But it's pure freudian art. Benjamin Gatti 06:28, 9 December 2005 (UTC)
P.S How much of your complaint is cherry picking, parsing, and out-of-context? Benjamin Gatti 06:29, 9 December 2005 (UTC)
1 or 2 or 3 or 20 incidents can be just in the passion of arguing. Over 100 (Which is how much evidence we have) is a pattern. --Woohookitty(cat scratches) 06:32, 9 December 2005 (UTC)
I hope for your sake that you're keeping the best for last. Benjamin Gatti 06:44, 9 December 2005 (UTC)

Post protection era

It's intriguingly surprising no one has edited this article since protection was lifted 20 hours ago. But anyway, what changes do people think should be made? zen master T 02:52, 10 December 2005 (UTC)

The article tends to be edited in fits and spurts. We'll have massive editing and warring for 2 weeks and then very little for a month or so. It's been more consistent lately. --Woohookitty(cat scratches) 08:32, 10 December 2005 (UTC)
Well the intro needs to be balanced. Right now it's tilted towards anti-nuclear. And I don't mean the last sentence. I mean the intro as a whole...the article as a whole. I'd like to see it evened out a bit. Zen, if you feel like the summary of the criticisms at the end is inadequate, what do you think it should say? I think what happened is that you got in the middle of this revert war we had and I think your changes got lost in the shuffle a bit. --Woohookitty(cat scratches) 15:59, 10 December 2005 (UTC)

Trim Intro per discussion

The sentences "It fully protects the nuclear industry against claims of public liability arising from a significant nuclear event by placing taxpayers at risk for the extraordinary cost of damages. Rather than subject this industry to the same state courts and their historically compassionate juries as their competition," are inaccurate. The industry is not fully protected, and "historically compassionate" is unsubstantiated. Also, the FDIC covers banks, so Price-Anderson is not unique. Simesa 07:44, 10 December 2005 (UTC)

  1. The Industry is fully protected against public liability beyond a deductible of approximately ~9 billion dollars which deductible consists of 300 million in direct insurance, and a limited obligation to pay retrospective premiums.
  2. You are suggesting that State court's - and their juries - and not more compassionate than federal judges with future hopes of being promoted by politicians beholden to their corporate sponsors? OK - we'll look around for a source. I think that point is made by some critical sources. Benjamin Gatti 14:49, 10 December 2005 (UTC)
  3. So wrong. FDIC doesn't insure banks - it insures bankers (to a limited amount). I would have no complaint is PAA was structured like the FDIS. The FDIC doesn't begin to pay a claim until all the assets of the Bank are depleted. If the FDIC were structured like the FDIC, PAA would insure the first headache of every victim after GE, Westinghouse, etc... had filed for bankrupcy and had their assets auctioned off at the courthouse door. PAA protects the industry, not the consumer, and I think the jury is quite out on whether or not the public is safety as a result of Price Anderson. Certainly the Union of Concerned Scientists doesn't think so. Remember the cost of Chernobyl is some three times higher than the economic benefit of all nuclear plants in the USSR.\:#Accordin to the NRC, the risk of a nuclear meltdown is some 45% in 20 years (per 100 reactors) Benjamin Gatti 22:15, 10 December 2005 (UTC)

There's a good point: It does seem to be open to congress to charge companies further amounts if a claim was made greater than the $10 billion. Sandpiper 19:58, 10 December 2005 (UTC)

Just did a revert

I wish this wasn't unprotected. Nothing is settled. We now have an uncited John McCain quote and "no fault, no accountability". Oh and you misspelled communism Ben. I reverted it. --Woohookitty(cat scratches) 15:20, 10 December 2005 (UTC)

John McCain dubbs the Energy Bill - the No Lobbiest Left Behind Act.

No-fault/no-accountability What's the point of "no-fault" - its to divorce the cost of accidents from the behavior which causes them. It is a system of suspending accountability. It is the antithesis of "the buck stops here" when in our Nuclear program, the buck doesn't stop with those responsable for a nuclear accident - it stops with the citizen taxpayer. Benjamin Gatti 15:42, 10 December 2005 (UTC)

Number one, I didn't see it cited in the article. And #2 it doesn't belong in the intro. If you want to put into criticisms, I have no problem with that. But essentially, an intro that was already tilted towards anti-nuclear is now explicitly anti-nuclear. We need it balanced so it looks fairly at both sides. NPOV is what our goal is here. I don't see a real reason to make one loaded phrase (no fault. Even if it's used by the SC, it's a loaded word) and added another one. Reading the version you put up there, it's obvious that the point of view of this article is that the nuclear power industry intentionally creates accidents so they can get the insurance money. We're supposed to have a NPOV here. Reading the intro, the reader is supposed to see both sides of the issue. They are supposed to see a general summary that includes both views on this issue. --Woohookitty(cat scratches) 15:57, 10 December 2005 (UTC)
Balanced is a phrase which implies a normative reference. Let's take the Supreme court as normative - where we read that nuclear energy includes "substantial risks" of "harm to the public" - which creates the need to burn the Constitution and State's autonomy, and to abandon the fair market fair competition economic model in favor of the common ownership of the risks of production for rich and politically connected special interests. - Viola - PAA. Brought to you by the special people of DeLay inc. Benjamin Gatti 16:35, 10 December 2005 (UTC)
Yes, the idea that NPOV in this case is anti-nuclear. We've been down this road before. And you know, I don't remember the Supreme Court saying anything about abandoning the fair market system or burning the Constitution and ending the autonomy of states. Just because you can cite a Supreme Court statement and make a bunch of POV inferences from it doesn't make it all NPOV. If that was allowable Ben, then you could make any inferences you wanted from any piece of information. It would make the whole idea of NPOV rather pointless. It's the same problem I've had with you all along. It goes back to when you quoted NPOV policy as saying that controversial viewpoints are ok as long as they are cited but completely missed the point that there has to be balance to the article. Balance to me means showing both sides in the same light with no bias. It's the essence of NPOV. --Woohookitty(cat scratches) 16:50, 10 December 2005 (UTC)
"Fault" and the irrelevency thereof is the key provision of the Act - and you are advocating that it be considered POV? (to the Arbcom no less) - This is rich. It's in the act (Which I found and cited yesturday). Benjamin Gatti 16:38, 10 December 2005 (UTC)
Up above, I said that I don't think we should say no fault and no accountability. I didn't say let's consider fault POV. Is fault a loaded word? Yes. It's loaded in any context. When I say loaded, I'm not saying it shouldn't be included. If you look at the versions we've put up there, they say no fault and they've said no fault for quite some time now. Btw Ben, if you are referring to this as when I supposedly said that no fault is a POV term. 2 things. #1 I removed that because I decided it wasn't appropriate to use. And #2 I didn't even say there that "no fault" was a POV word. I said that the statement ""The Act establishes a no-fault-no-accountability collective insurance program for the nuclear industry, backed by the full faith of the taxpayer and protects investors against liability losses as an incentive to move investments from safe clean energy to nuclear energy which imposes substantial risks on the general public." defines POV. It certainly does. I don't like using double loaded words, but even if you go past that, we have the ending, which is obviously saying nukes bad, energy renewal good. I have no problem with the word "fault". If I did, then why the heck would I be reverting back to versions that use that word? --Woohookitty(cat scratches) 17:04, 10 December 2005 (UTC)

Ben, what is your big issue about no-fault? I don't see what the fuss is. Companies are forbidden from claiming an incident was not their fault, so a claimant does not have to prove that it was their fault, only that it was their plant. I don't see how that does anything except make life easier for claimants. (sandpiper) 20:18, 10 December 2005 (UTC)

In the United States, Victims of industry do not overtly suffer from the inability to make the causaual connection to industry. Juries have no trouble connecting the dots. The concern of "no-fault" is that it divorces the act from the cost and in doing so increases the liklihood of the act. Surely this isn't hard to understand. Didn't they shut down the open-platform trolly in London last week? We don't sell refridgerators with locks - because there is a good risk that children will go inside. Insurance companies spend millions of dollars to reduce claims because they have an incentive to do so. The Engine in a car no longer ends up in the drivers lap - it shoots under the carriage in an accident. Restaurants cook eggs and meat to a safe level because the cost is connected. Under a no-fault rubric, you have the USSR's approach to public safety - no one has a reason to improve safety - the state is responsable for everything - and everyone is poorer as a result. We have a soviet-era energy system in the United States, and I believe it is because we have adopted a communistic centrally-controlled - deeply subsidized irrational solutions, and removed incentives for improvement. (That and the corruption of Cheney's closet friends at Enron.) Benjamin Gatti 22:06, 10 December 2005 (UTC)

Point of order

Aren't we supposed to be talking these changes out before we make them? Last I checked, we were still in mediation and I thought that was one of the ground rules we had agreed to or that Ral had said we should follow. --Woohookitty(cat scratches) 16:05, 10 December 2005 (UTC)

Probably. I would like to place an emphasis on the communistic aspects of the Act. I have previously provided a source noting that Reagan, while very much a capitalist in most things, has advocated for socialism on energy policy. PAA does in fact communalize the risk of production, and I believe that is a derivative (and absurd) form of communism - the point of which is to replace competition with central ownership. By centralizing the ownership of risk (for only a single special interest), PAA eliminates the fair market for competing energy providers, and replaces it with a model characterized by the central selection of winners and losers - rather than the market selection of appropriate technology. It is critical for people who believe themselves to be participants in a "capitalistic" system, and which regularly, openly, and notoriously criticise, condemn, and make war on other countries for having ascribed to economic systems of central control (commies) (vietnam, korea, cuba) to understand the degree to which they share and embrace the same ideology - however unpopular that realization may be. Cato quote [92]

Here we have an excellent source of the risk - both in terms of probability and magnitude. 45% over 20 years - that to me sounds like a much higher probability than the tripe I keep hearing from self-sourcing editers. And the magnitude dwarfs the pool by nearly an order of magnitude.

So I intend to weave this source into the article soon. Benjamin Gatti 16:57, 10 December 2005 (UTC)

Into the intro or are you deciding that we're not going to work on this section by section anymore? --Woohookitty(cat scratches) 17:08, 10 December 2005 (UTC)

Economic Benefit Questioned

[93] Benjamin Gatti 17:03, 10 December 2005 (UTC)

  • The Costs of imposing nuclear risks on the taxpayer are not paid by the current taxpayers or consumers, but by their children (The Republicans favorite non-voting taxpayers).


  • Another reference to CRAC-II.

Yours trully Benjamin Gatti 17:09, 10 December 2005 (UTC)

Proposed Intro

The Price-Anderson Nuclear Industries Indemnity Act (commonly called the Price-Anderson Act) is an act of the Congress of the United States. It protects the nuclear industry against claims of public liability arising from a significant nuclear event. The Act establishes a pool of insurance funds from which no-fault compensation may be paid for injuries or damages caused by a nuclear or radiological incident. If claims from an incident exceed the pool's funds, Congress is required to appropriate all necessary funds. The Act establishes common ownership of the risks of production while granting the profits to special interest groups. Of the 300 Billion in damages estimated by the NRC in CRAC-II (1982) [[95] industry would provide only 10 Billion, with the remaining 290 billion to come from the taxation of future generations. The Act establishes a no-fault collective insurance program for the nuclear industry, backed by the full faith of the future taxpayer and protects investors against liability losses as an incentive to redirect investments from safe clean energy to nuclear energy in spite of the substantial risks on the general public [96]. The Act currently covers all non-military nuclear facilities constructed in the United States before 2026. Some environmental, consumer and taxpayer watchdog groups, as well as one federal agency, have described the act as a government subsidy to the nuclear power industry and some argue that it removes important legal remedies from the potential victims of nuclear accidents.

  • Includes workable references to both the probability and magnitude of the risks contemplated by the Act. (But I'm sure industries petty cash fund to cover 3% of the contemplated impact is more important.) Benjamin Gatti 18:27, 10 December 2005 (UTC)
Responding to something Woohookitty said above but is relevant here, an introduction's size should be proportional to the size and complexity of the subject. Given the numerous different pro and critical view points on "Price-Anderson" it makes sense for this intro to be moderately sized. I like Ben's intro overall, the McCain quotation is good and should be added back perhaps, though I think some word choices should be cleaned up and some sentences could be clarified and succinctified. zen master T 19:04, 10 December 2005 (UTC)

Also, I think "...removes important legal remedies..." misses the point that the public has lost rights, not just remedies. zen master T 21:25, 10 December 2005 (UTC)

Which "rights" have potential victims lost which are not more accurately described as legal remedies? It's true that the likelyhood of a future indebted by taxation to pay 300 billion plus interest is a serious risk for our children (but what Republican freeloader doesn't worship the taxation of children)? Benjamin Gatti 21:51, 10 December 2005 (UTC)

You are right they are the same thing I just think "rights" is more clear than "legal remedies". Perhaps we need to mention both or otherwise explain what the public has lost in more detail? zen master T 22:35, 10 December 2005 (UTC)
I would endorse the strongest terms, yes they are rights - including the essential right of a federal democracy which is for people to choose the laws they will live under, and when the federal government tells the states that their laws are no longer in force, the people have lost the right to a meaningful vote (as a matter of state's rights). Benjamin Gatti 22:54, 10 December 2005 (UTC)
If you want to mention the $300 billion you also have to mention the probability of a class-9 accident. (I've written off to find out just what a "class-9" accident consists of so we can do that.) Simesa 03:50, 12 December 2005 (UTC)

Request for Mediation

Ral, Kate has removed information from the Intro which answers a long standing question: What is the risk (both probability and magnitude) contemplated by Price Anderson and imposed therefore on (FTA) (Future Taxpayers of America).

I'd like the mediator to render a decision as to whether or not the removal of deeply pertainant information from the intro without discussion is consistent with policy (and which). Benjamin Gatti 18:56, 10 December 2005 (UTC)

Speaking of rich. This is just after you added a John McCain quote without a citation and without discussion, which is also against the policies laid out by the mediator. Can't have it both ways, Ben. --Woohookitty(cat scratches) 02:42, 11 December 2005 (UTC)
Just asking if the removal of sourced and pertainent information without discussion is consistent with policy? Benjamin Gatti 02:54, 11 December 2005 (UTC)

re Factual Accuracy Tag

If no one can list at least five facts which they dispute than the disputed tag comes down.

  1. __five to go
  2. __four to go
  3. __three to go
  4. __two to go
  5. __one to go

Benjamin Gatti 22:24, 10 December 2005 (UTC)

I posted once before that most of the facts are not disputed. It is their interpretation which is at issue. A question of editorial judgement. Sandpiper 23:57, 10 December 2005 (UTC)
So we can change the tag to a simple neutrality dispute. I agree that the article is not neutral. We have failed to include the NRC's own assesment of the risk probability, and substituted (others) antecdotal opinions. Shame on us. Benjamin Gatti 00:07, 11 December 2005 (UTC)
well maybe not, it would depend what you thought to include? i still havn't seen anysuggestions for expanding the body of the articleSandpiper 00:29, 11 December 2005 (UTC)
Yep it's not neutral. It sounds like an advertisement for a nuclear protest group. --Woohookitty(cat scratches) 02:44, 11 December 2005 (UTC)
Um. Mr Gatti? How can you remove the totallydisputed tag and then the first edit you make after that says "shorten, fix inaccurate statements, copyedit"? That doesn't make a lick of sense. --Woohookitty(cat scratches) 08:38, 11 December 2005 (UTC)

I removed the tag two edits back - there is no policy which supports a (factually) disputed tag unless statements exists which are in fact disputed (more than several if I remember). The list is right up there - I don't see more than several. I see exactly zero. There are no facts disputed - we agree its a question of neutrality. It's a moot point. Benjamin Gatti 09:13, 11 December 2005 (UTC)

Fine. But next time, don't remove the tag and then immediately remove "inaccurate" information. Kind of looks bad. --Woohookitty(cat scratches) 09:17, 11 December 2005 (UTC)

Source for Probability

[97] Can anyone dispute this with a source? Benjamin Gatti 02:53, 11 December 2005 (UTC)

The best commonly available source is the 1975 WASH-1400, the "Rasmussen Report". This was a very early Probabilistic Risk Assessment, which employed large conservatisms. (WASH-1400's results have been superseded by more powerful and more accurate Individual Plant Examinations - IPEs - at each plant.) The WASH-1400 article quotes a probability of less than 1 in 20,000 reactor-years, which for 104 U.S. reactors is once in 200 years.
I'll write to NEI and see if there are better numbers available, but I suspect they're proprietary. I can tell you that the ABWR and the next-generation ESBWR are significantly safer than current designs.
Simesa 03:27, 11 December 2005 (UTC)
The quote appears to be better reported in [98], where allegedly the NRC told Senator Markey that of some two dozen current reactors completing IPEs the probabilities were conservatively 1 in 1,000 reactor-years to 1 in 10,000 - for 104 plants, about 1 in 10 years to 1 in 100 years.
Simesa 04:14, 11 December 2005 (UTC)
Note that the above are for core meltdowns only - the probabilities of large-scale radioactivity releases due to containment failure are order(s) of magniture lower. Simesa 05:33, 11 December 2005 (UTC)

'Report to the Congress from the Presidential Commission on Catastrophic Nuclear Accidents', [99] quotes these figures for accidents: 'PROBABILITY OF CORE MELT 1 in 10,000 per plant year PROBABILITY OF CONTAINMENT FAILURE 1 In 100 PROBABILITY OF BAD WIND DIRECTION 1 In 10 PROBABILITY OF INVERSION CONDITION 1 In 10 PROBABILITY OF EVACUATION FAILURE 1 In 10 The product of these possibilities is 1 in 1 billion'

The quote above included the word 'crude', meaning 'without taking into account all factors. So this assessment considers approximately 1 core melt per 100 reactors per 100 years, but without significant consequance outside the plant. then, 1/100 chance of a sgnificant escape from the plant. 1/100 chance that waeather coditions would be bad and thus the escape would affect people, 1/10 chancwe that they would not have a chance to escape. In point of fact if there were no escape of radiation, then it is not clear to me that PAA would apply? A core melt might quietly happen, and it would be entirely up to the company to pay for clearing up their melted plant. Sandpiper 13:32, 11 December 2005 (UTC)

by / while

Let's take this from the top.

The Act has a number of provisions, they aren't necessarily linked.

We can say that it: "Provides for the compensation of victims of nuclear incidents by establishing seventeen inadequate funds, and placing the rest of the burden on the American taxpayer."

or "that it shields the nuclear industry by providing limited exposure and full federal indemnity regardless of fault or cause."

But here's the factually problem - All the money in the world wouldn't protect the Industry from liability - it simply raises the point after which liability compensation begins to come from the assets of the corporation. (reread and research until you understood that line). You don't shield a company from liability by having a fund of money - there's simply no connection. What you need is Indemnity. There's a difference between being held harmless and having an insurance company pay for your harm (to a point). And all that lies between the words "by" and "while".

Benjamin Gatti 05:54, 11 December 2005 (UTC)

Well, we are editing in circles again. I shortened the sentences. Simesa joined them together with a 'while'. I changed it to a 'by'. Ben objected to the 'by'. As the sentences are currently, it does work with the 'by'. Up to £10 billion, the companies pay, after $10 biliion congress sorts something else out. Using 'while' suggests the two things (liability and creating a compensation scheme) are unrelated, whereas the whole point of the scheme is to compensate victims instead of them having to get money directly from the company. Compensation payments are the liability which is being protected against, so this is correct.
The issue of whether 'by' is incorrect is less factual and more one of POV, depending on whether someone believes that this is a satisfactory compensation scheme. If it is, then the other changes to the law made by the act are secondary details of legal framework, which a reader does not need to know in a quick summary. If it is not a satisfactory compensation scheme, then it becomes a real issue whether it alone would protect the company under simple liability law, and the legal protection mechanism becomes relevant. I noted above that the act appeared to me to leave open the possibility for congress to retrospectively charge companies more if a bill turned out to be bigger than the scheme pool?
My original choice was to leave the two original sentences unconnected. Then there were two facts presented without explaining exactly how they were related. Introducing a conjunction requires us to choose the most accurate one. 'while' suggests to me two unrelated things going on at the same time, which I judge to be less accurate than 'by'. It is conventional editorial position to give governments the benefit of the doubt as to to being responsible and reliable, and doing what they claim to do. After you have done that, then later you get on with picking holes in what they have done.
The whole paragraph suffers from people repeatedly changing the meaning of bits of it, so individual sentences suddenly start making different points which initially were covered by different sentences.Sandpiper 06:59, 11 December 2005 (UTC)
You are correct. And it's what we've been doing since June. --Woohookitty(cat scratches) 07:10, 11 December 2005 (UTC)
I have just revised it again, hopefully to flow better and separately make the main points we had before. No-fault has dropped out, I think this should be in the 'how it works section'. However, the criticism sentence is too long and sounds a bit as though someone is desperately trying to make more of it than is justified. (which seems to me rather counter-productive since the criticisms are broadly reasonable) Sandpiper 07:34, 11 December 2005 (UTC)

Re-draft of how the law works

--How the law works--

Power reactor licensees are required by the act to obtain the maximum amount of insurance against nuclear related incidents which is available in the insurance market (as of 2005, $300 million per plant). This insurance is used first towards any claim at their plant. Larger claims are then paid by the Price-Anderson fund, up to the extent of the fund at that time. The fund is financed by the reactor companies, each of whom is obliged to contribute up to $95.8 million in the event of an accident at any plant belonging to one of them. The total (approximately $9.5 billion) depends on this individual amount multiplied bt the number of reactors (currently approximately 100). No money is paid into the fund unless a claim occurs, but fund administrators are required to arrange financing for the fund so that claimants can be paid rapidly. Actual payments by companies are capped at $15 million per year untill either a claim has been met, or the maximum individual liability has been reached. Individual liabilities are indexed against inflation with 5 yearly reviews.

If claims are likely to exceed the fund value, the fund administartors are required to develop an additional scheme for further compensation payments and submit this to congress. Congress is reqired to consider the proposal and decide how best to implement it. Therer are time limits within the act for this to be done.

The law makes a number of changes to the procedure which would otherwise apply to claims for damages in individual states. Jurisdiction is transferred to federal courts rather than those of the state concerned. All actions from one incident are consolidated into one court, which is responsible for prioritising payouts and sharing funds equitably should there be a shortfall. Companies are expressly forbidden to defend any action for damages on the grounds that an incident was not their fault. An open-ended time limit is applied, which allows claimants three years to launch a claim, but only starting from the time they discover damage. Individuals are not allowed to claim punitive damages against companies.

Price-Anderson covers Department of Energy facilities, private licensees, and their subcontractors including the USEC uranium enrichment plants, national laboratories and the Yucca Mountain disposal site.

Nuclear insurance pools have paid out some $151 million ($70 million of which was related to the 1979 Three Mile Island meltdown) and the DOE has paid out $65 million since Price-Anderson was enacted.

I had a go at redrafting 'how it works', see above. I don't have time to finish this now, but comments? Sandpiper 08:23, 11 December 2005 (UTC)

Good effort. Needs to add in Congress's required action and the possibilities under the Tucker Act (whereby the federal government can be sued for obligations owed by the federal government).
I haven't yet received anything from ANI, so I suppose we'll have to relate how claims were handled during TMI.
Simesa 15:21, 11 December 2005 (UTC)

Risk comparison

Now here's a funny thing. This morning, about 6 I heard an explosion. Wondered what it was. Apparently an oil storage depot exploded 100 miles away. property damage a mile away, blast felt at a distance of 40 miles, so they say on the news. dangerous stuff, oil. All that energy immediately available for an explosion. Wonder if anyone will discuss what the yield was. Sandpiper 11:47, 11 December 2005 (UTC)

[100], also 2005 Hertfordshire Oil Storage Terminal fire. Simesa 15:46, 11 December 2005 (UTC)
Apparently we have lots of Wikipedians in that area...was talking to pgk and he lives about 20 miles from where the accident occured. --Woohookitty(cat scratches) 15:54, 11 December 2005 (UTC)
I grew up in a petroleum town -- oil and gas refineries everywhere. When I was in high school, a plant exploded; I could feel the shock wave before I heard the blast, rolling underneath me. Felt like I was on a roller coaster, the shockwave lifted the earth underneath our house and then was gone, like a horrible 5-second earthquake. · Katefan0(scribble)/mrp 15:57, 11 December 2005 (UTC)
So we see - I'll leave it to Sandpiper to tell us how he would feel if it were a nuclear plant instead. What if were only an LNG terminal? Benjamin Gatti 17:19, 11 December 2005 (UTC)
Yeah. --Woohookitty(cat scratches) 17:24, 11 December 2005 (UTC)
well there's a nuclear plant just 5 miles away. Looks very pretty, all alone on the seashore. Every now and then they let off the odd puff of radiation. 20 miles from Hemel Hempsted would get you into the western side of London, 30 miles to the centre of London, so there would be some wikipedians there somewhere. My immediate reaction would be that nuclear reactors dont have the potential to explode on this scale, though it not yet clear how this lot was ignited.

New Intro

I'm sorry, but the latest intro being flown doesn't work for me.

  1. Money doesn't buy you indemnity
  2. The risk horizon is some 300 Billion dollars, which means to provide protection, you have to show where 300 Billion will come from.
  3. At that level, the Insurance fund (euphamism for complex scheme based on taxing children forever) is not significantly Industry funded.
  4. The act covers research (and warhead precessing I presume) Remember the first duty of the DOE is to build the bombs that threaten the world into compliance.

Generally speaking the provisions, should be connected in the form of a, b, and c - (not by, for etc) The analysis might make causual connections, but they have to be fully sourced and attributed. Benjamin Gatti 17:18, 11 December 2005 (UTC)

Going on semi-break

I'm taking final exams this week, and will be partially inactive this week. Therefore, I ask your cooperation: Please keep discussion civil, and avoid revert wars. I'll check in periodically. Ral315 (talk) 02:48, 12 December 2005 (UTC)

Some Thoughts on

How it works

The cost of a core meltdown at a nuclear plant has been calculated at some 300 billion dollars. The chances of a meltdown have been calculated to be about 1 every 20 years to 1 every 200 years. Price Anderson is a contract between the United States government and the nuclear industry which spells out how the cost of a nuclear incident will be paid. In short, the first $10 billion will come from the industry and private insurance, while the remaining amount will come from future taxpayers.

Under the act, each reactor must carry all available insurance (about $300 million); in addition, all 100 reactors insure each other under a mutual assistance agreement which obligates them to pay retroactive premiums in the event one of them has an accident (up to $98 million each). For incidents which exceed this amount, Congress must take necessary action (including the appropriation of funds) to insure that all damage claims are promptly paid.

In addition, the act terminates the rights of States to enforce their own liability laws when nuclear incidents are concerned, and prevents the courts from punishing reactor operators for negligence by awarding punitive damages to victims.

The Act extends the statute of limitations to accommodate the delayed onset of radiological illnesses, and requires reactor operators to accept responsibility regardless of whether or not they were directly responsible for the damage or otherwise at fault.

_____ Benjamin Gatti 04:15, 12 December 2005 (UTC)

Your numbers above aren't compatible with each other. The IPE results of 28 U.S. nuclear power plants had a conservative core melt probability of about 0.0003 per reactor-year. For 104 reactors that's about 0.03 per year, or in the U.S. alone one more than every 30 years. Per Sandpiper the probability of containment failure is about one in a hundred, so we have in the U.S. alone a core melt with containment failure of more than 3,000 years. As for the $300 billion, we first have to determine what a "CRAC-II class-9 accident" is before we can determine a probability - I have written off for that information. Simesa 04:52, 12 December 2005 (UTC)
The quotes from CRAC-II suggest a 45% chance in 20 years. More recent (2001) references suggest the CRAC-II has been superseded. Critics point out that the simulations rely heavily on assumptions of zero construction defects, zero operator error, ignore the brittlization effect, fail to consider the effect of a fuel laden wide-body impact, and may not contemplate the MOX scheme with its positive temperature coefficient and increase brittlization impact. I feel we could use better sources for a sense of the risk, but I'm afraid there's been a redacting of such information of late. I tend to draw conclusions from the behavior of the Industry - in short by demanding indemnity it appears they have a legitimate concern, I doubt they would spend the money lobbying for protection from imaginary risks. Any ideas? (beyond requesting the CRAC report) Benjamin Gatti 06:15, 12 December 2005 (UTC)
Your quote isn't from CRAC-II, it's from [101], it's the probability of a severe core melt only, and 45% in 20 years roughly matches the one more than every 30 years I stated. That still leaves the probability of containment failure, and we still don't know what else a "CRAC-II class-9 acident" entails.
If CRAC-II has been superseded, my inquiry to Sandia National Laboratories should yield some discussion of it.
The industry doesn't assume zero construction defects (although methods such as radiographing of each safety-grade weld are employed) - instead, the system is pressure-tested with negligible fission products present, and containment has regular Integrated Leak Rate Tests - everything else is in the failure probabilities. Reactor vessel and piping embrittlization is well-known from destructive testing of old vessels as well as by the use of removable coupons inside the reactor vessel. It's not the size of the plane, it's the mass, composition and speed of the engine rotors, and concrete is pretty much impervious to fire [102]. Uranium-235 has a positive temperature coefficient just like plutonium - it's due to Doppler broadening (Mixed Oxide Fuel just substitutes plutonium for some of the uranium-235). Embrittlization of the pellets shouldn't matter, since they're expected to crack and crumble inside the fuel rod, but I'll admit I'm not a MOX expert.
The lack of available insurance above $300 million is hardly imaginary, and is the reason we still need Price-Anderson (at least until the PBMRs come along - btw, one is to be built in South Africa).
Simesa 10:54, 12 December 2005 (UTC)
The empirical evidence from 3 mile island was that the cost of a core melt was $70 million? Sandpiper 15:42, 12 December 2005 (UTC)
Well, at TMI over one-third of the core melted, much of that melt pooled at the bottom of the reactor vessel, and it cracked the stainless steel liner but didn't damage the base metal of the reactor vessel. There was some leakage of radioactive water out of containment, but then again containment was never sealed off. I think the answer is that what a large-break loss-of-coolant accident with multiple ECCS failures and significant containment leakage would do is still untested (ECCS is Emergency Core Cooling System, and there are several).
You might also find the LOFT (Loss Of Fluid Test) simulations interesting. [103]. This page is part of a series, with [104] [105] [106], 1970s, [107] and [108].
More on LOFT at the bottom of [109]
French PHEBUS melt tests at [110]
Simesa 17:37, 12 December 2005 (UTC)


The article is getting a bit wordy now. Struck me that a picture or two would improve it. Anyone got any suggestions? Would one of a power station and another of a protest march be taking things too far? Sandpiper 20:58, 12 December 2005 (UTC)

NEI had great difficulty getting us a fully-released picture of a nuclear power plant for Nuclear Power. I don't recall reading about a protest march aimed at Price-Anderson. How about one of a truck with a spent fuel cask being hit by a locomotive? [111] (BTW - the cask survived, the locomotive didn't.) Simesa 21:16, 12 December 2005 (UTC)
OK, I e-mailed off for permission to use that picture. Simesa 21:39, 12 December 2005 (UTC)
well i could take a picture of the local one here, though I doubt I'd be going down there before next summer. Just checked its article: looks as though it could do with some more write up and a picture there too. Sandpiper 21:52, 12 December 2005 (UTC)
As I've said before, what astonishes me is how little information we have on the actual act. #1 who the heck was Price and who was Anderson? it's not even mentioned. Most articles on acts at least mention the original bill authors. --Woohookitty(cat scratches) 21:56, 12 December 2005 (UTC)
I quite like the crash test, don't know how it rolls for NPOV but it would add a bit of humour and make a sensible point about what people are worrying about. It could work near the top of the page. Is it loaded on wiki? would be lovely to have a shot of some protest re the supreme court challenge. woohoo, we proceed by small increments. I don't know what the normal format for acts of congress is: in the UK very few acts of parliament are not simply government bills. Sandpiper 21:52, 12 December 2005 (UTC)
Well the president cannot draft bills. So most US laws are named after the Congresspeople who introduce the bills. So we have Taft-Hartley (Senator Robert Taft and Representative Fred Hartley), Gramm-Rudman-Hollings (3 senators), etc. And usually in articles on Congressional Acts, the sponsors are identified. Obviously there was a Price and an Anderson. I'd like to see it mentioned and I'd like the act itself to be treated. I mean, is there any reason why we don't have a list of the acts that have amended P-A over the years? We're missing basic info on the act. --Woohookitty(cat scratches) 22:17, 12 December 2005 (UTC)
Often the administration draws up their preferred version of certain legislation. But you're right, technically they can't introduce anything. However, often on particularly important pieces of legislation, the administration will ask a lawmaker (usually the chairman of the committee with jurisdiction) to introduce the administration's preferred text as a courtesy. Generally they do, and while it is technically listed as sponsored by that lawmaker, everybody knows it's the administration's draft. · Katefan0(scribble)/mrp 22:29, 12 December 2005 (UTC)
Right. But I want to know who these Price and Anderson guys were. :) I know Sandpiper, this is not necessarily something for now. But eventually we need more information on the act itself the amending acts that have come since. Just a simple chronology or something. It's silly to have a full article on a major Act of government that has caused this much debate on here and not even have basic info on the original bill.
To get back to what Sandpiper said, it's just a different system here. We don't really have "government bills" and members of Congress are not required defacto to vote with their party as is the case in many countries (especially Canada where parties often expel members for not toeing the party line on just one major issue). Just a different process in the US. --Woohookitty(cat scratches) 22:36, 12 December 2005 (UTC)
Er, well we do have a paragraph for each time it was renewed and amended, but I havn't seen any reference naming each act/amendment act as it went by. I stuck in the dates where they were mentioned in the references. Quite possibly Price and andersson would be dead by now?Sandpiper 22:38, 12 December 2005 (UTC)
Amendments to the act were reasonably straightforward up to about 2002, when congress seems to have had about 4 temporary bills before sorting out an agreed long term extension.Different people seemed to have different versions at the same time. We have a three line whip system in the UK. Supposedly MPs are presented with order papers where bills have been underlined by the government whip to indicate how they should vote. A three line whip means they are absolutely expected to vote for it unless they happen to be dead (and hence no longer entitled to vote). Just about everything turns out to be a three line whip. Sandpiper 22:44, 12 December 2005 (UTC)

Yes, I think Messrs. Price and Anderson are probably quite dead. · Katefan0(scribble)/mrp 22:45, 12 December 2005 (UTC)

Yeah nothing like that here, Sandpiper. We have whips, but it isn't quite as set in stone, especially in the Senate. --Woohookitty(cat scratches) 22:52, 12 December 2005 (UTC)
  • I think pictures of TMI post accident would be the most appropriate since that is the largest expenditure under the act. The truck image sounds fun, and says something about safety, but in fairness, PAA deals with unsafeness. Benjamin Gatti 22:50, 12 December 2005 (UTC)
I was able to find Congressman Charles Melvin Price (D-Ill.) and Senator Clinton Presba Anderson (D-N.M.). Simesa 22:55, 12 December 2005 (UTC)
more than I was, indexing of wiki is terrible. Looking at something else, do I take it that the sandia picture is copyright US government, hence can be used here? Sandpiper 06:26, 13 December 2005 (UTC)
I wouldn't bet on it. While it's possible, it might be best to find the source first (the picture's actually deletable because it's no source) Ral315 (talk) 07:24, 13 December 2005 (UTC)
? I wasn't aware it had arrived yet, never mind delete it. Did I read a copyright tag that something coptrighted to the US government is freely available? Sandpiper 08:25, 13 December 2005 (UTC)
The page the picture is on is marked "Copyright Sandia Corporation". There was a page of contacts, so I wrote off to them for permission to use the pic. Simesa 10:20, 13 December 2005 (UTC)
Sandia Corporation didn't think the pic was appropriate for this article, partly because of the tone of the article. They offered it for other articles, but I don't hae time to write one on fuel shipping casks yet. Simesa 17:59, 13 December 2005 (UTC)
Shame. I understand their concern, but the picture was undoubtedly staged for the express purpose of convincing the public that such containers are indestructible. I think it would have the same message here as it was intended to have. Oh, and the P&A pictures do make things look better.Sandpiper 18:43, 13 December 2005 (UTC)