Talk:Price–Anderson Nuclear Industries Indemnity Act/Archive 6

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Archive 5 Archive 6 Archive 7

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. 81.7.59.14 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? 81.7.55.187 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)

great

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)

Capitalisation

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)

RfArb

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?).
Vioxx

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 [[1]]. --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

[[2]] (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 [5]

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

[6] 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).

[7]

  • 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) [[8] 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 [9]. 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

[10] 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 [11], 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', [12] 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)

[13], 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 [14], 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 [15]. 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. [16]. This page is part of a series, with [17] [18] [19], 1970s, [20] and [21].
More on LOFT at the bottom of [22]
French PHEBUS melt tests at [23]
Simesa 17:37, 12 December 2005 (UTC)

pictures?

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? [24] (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)