In my 50 years in journalism, several stories have never gone away, including: nuclear-fusion power producing "electricity too cheap to meter
," a cure for cancer using "magic bullets" and a dental breakthrough meaning "no more drilling, no more fillings." The old dental chestnut popped up again at the weekend.
My history goes back to the 1970s when they insisted nuclear power would be "too cheap to meter
," and despite all readily available economic logic and reason, they insisted on squandering about a billion dollars in the folly of Seabrook One and Two, one of which sits rusting in a perfect memorial to PSNH's headlong rush into this incredibly expensive folly.
He said: "Nuclear power was promised as an energy source that would be too cheap to meter
. It is now too expensive to generate." His intervention contrasts with widespread political support for the construction of a Paul | new Wylfa nuclear power station on Anglesey.
It's a product of an era of cheap electricity, when we were told nuclear power would soon be "too cheap to meter
." That era also had an attitude about putting important buildings on pedestals, aloof from the common sidewalk.
A few examples: the earth is flat, nuclear electricity will prove too cheap to meter
, thalidomide and of course only 20 years ago climate scientists were forecasting the global weather change would bring on an ice age.
The promise of electricity 'too cheap to meter
' has been replaced by a radioactive reality of a costly and contaminating industrial sector that the Economist magazine recently dubbed 'the dream that failed'.
In 1954 the chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission predicted that energy generated by nuclear plants would be "too cheap to meter
." Nevertheless, situational awareness of what is coming--which could be here in less than a decade--will make it easier for building owners to prepare and react.
I remember as a young boy reading in an encyclopaedia circa 1959 that, thanks to the invention of nuclear power, electricity will in the future become too cheap to meter
. What has actually happened is that for many people it has become too expensive to use.
Fusion gave rise to the "too cheap to meter
" vision in the 1950s, with the notion that a plentiful supply of deuterium could inexpensively meet energy needs.
For 50-plus years the nuclear industry has promised us variations on "energy too cheap to meter
" and, yet, despite the billions "invested" in it (far more than has ever been given to renewables and energy efficiency), it has still to deliver on this.
As far back as 2001, The Economist observed, "Nuclear power, once claimed to be too cheap to meter
, is now too costly to matter."