Wednesday, July 30, 2008

What’s Wrong with Nuclear Power?

If you ask that question of some people, they will give you a laundry list: dangerous, Chernobyl, waste storage, lack of controls, etc. What it really boils down to is an irrational fear of nuclear power.

I say “irrational” because there has been one minor incident in the U.S. (Three Mile Island) and one major catastrophe (Chernobyl). Three Mile Island was blown out of proportion by the press, and Chernobyl resulted from a dysfunctional Soviet Union. Done right, nuclear can be a source of safe, clean, and relatively cheap energy. I believe it is the key to our future, but some don’t see it that way.

Interestingly, it is the leftists typically are against nuclear power, while those on the Right tend to favor it. Given that nuclear power plants can replace polluting coal-burning plants, thus helping the ecology, I’m not sure why those on the Left are so anti-nuclear. I believe with a concerted effort by the government and industry, we can resolve the waste storage problem, develop appropriate safeguards, and do it right. Let’s stop polluting the earth and go nuclear!

Certainly we can have wind farms, and we can and must conserve, but those measures will not meet the needs of our nation. We must build many nuclear plants and phase out the fossil fuel plants, keeping them in reserve for peak summer usage. With cheap and abundant electricity, we can begin heating our homes electrically, power our cars electrically, and use fossil fuels in airplanes and trucks where there aren’t any readily-available substitutes for petroleum. Let’s move into the 21st century and stop using 19th century technology!

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