Nuclear power poses a threat to the planet
Nice try on the nuclear energy idea. (“Nuclear plants are safe, essential to state energy,” Aug. 31 Everybody’s Column.) As many times as I have had to head down the road and look for another job, I feel very little need to subsidize hopelessly money-losing enterprises.
All operating nuclear plants release a certain amount of radioactivity as a part of normal operation. Children living within 5 kilometers of operating nuclear plants have more leukemia than children living farther away. This is beyond doubt. Other public health indicators are worse closer to operating nuclear plants. Again, beyond doubt.
Nuclear power produces spent fuel and other radioactive waste that will be dangerous for thousands of years. No one has real solutions. The Yucca Mountain repository sounded like a good idea, but there are geological problems with this project. That is why it is not full up and we are looking for the next idea.
Fermi-1 (“We Almost Lost Detroit”), Three Mile Island, Chernobyl and Fukushima are the big ones we know about. There were reports of people and animals having health problems after the Three Mile Island meltdown. Actual public health science confirmed real problems.
Fukushima Prefecture has problems with wild pigs – they have picked up enough radioactivity from eating contaminated plants that they are not fit for human consumption, and disposing of their carcasses is a problem. One could go on and on.
Nuclear energy and associated leaks, radwaste, meltdowns and whatever else may be more of a menace to human survival on this planet than climate change and ocean acidification.