This should be interesting and I only hope to read more such stories. Unfortunately, I think this tactic is going to all too common--shifting monies that the governing legislation directed for one purpose to an entirely different one.
I really do wish the Japanese could catch a break with their Fukushima reactors but the news just goes from bad to worse. I noticed an increase in the number of online stories concerning the possible demise of the nuclear industry with this event. I rather expect that for the next decade or so the push to build nuclear generation capacity will be blunted but sooner or later it will come back. After all it is only 25 years since Chernobyl. I find it terribly interesting that when it comes to the possibility of a terrorist attack on American soil any amount of risk is not acceptable and so we pour billions into a system that restricts our rights, subjects us to intrusive actions from authorities, and functions mainly to heighten our fears. When it comes to building nuclear power plants, however, the standard is much lower--we seem willing to accept the fact that crap happens and that we can't guard against everything. The Japanese built that plant to withstand a 7.9 quake and a 20ft or so tsunami. That was the largest event in their history for that region and happened in the mid to late 1930s. There is one definite connection between the two possible catastrophes--they are events most people have absolutely no direct experience with and which scare most people out of any sanity they might have.
Of course, one can argue that sanity left the American political scene a good while back and this story confirms that opinion. This little piece of asininity is as useful as the proverbial tits on a bull.
I have often expressed my skepticism about the role of profit in corporate America. Robert Reich puts the case very simply--for profit companies are all about making as much profit as possible and have large incentives to minimize the probability of their operations catastrophically failing and to 'low ball' the estimates of potential damage to people and the environment. I would take that a step further: They have every incentive to minimize any costs to themselves to repair the damages their failures cause.