France’s own nuclear safety institute (IRSN) has published a study in which they assess the financial losses in case of a nuclear power plant accident. The paper says it would cost them about 430 bln euros, or $580 bln. That is 20 percent of their economic output.
100,000 people would be displaced in such circumstances and would create a difficult-to-recover image in the world. To remind you, France relies heavily on the export of delicacies and tourism, unlike Japan, and since nobody would drink French wine after the incident, that would lead to losses of about $160 billion, says Reuters.
“Tourism is an important activity for France and direct costs would not only hit the affected region, but the whole country,” said Patrick Momal, the IRSN economist in charge of the research.
Coming at almost two year after the Fukushima disaster, the study claims France would have more to suffer from such an unfortunate incident. Since Japan doesn’t rely that much on tourism, the image loss was not their biggest, says Momal. Japan’s losses were quantified to about $270 billion.
The study estimated the financial risks during accidents of different magnitudes, and concluded that those risks could go from as low as $162 billion in case of a 6-rated one to indefinite, in the case of one the size of Chernobil’s.
“We have to keep in mind that the probability of such accidents to happen remains extremely low,” Momal said. “But these estimates help policy-makers put the cost of preventive measures into perspective.”
Francois Hollande, the French president, promised to drop the share nuclear power has from 75 percent to 50 percent in 2025 and to close the oldest plant in Fessenheim.
Conclusion: the nuclear power industry doesn’t usually produce many victims, but when it does, it does big time.