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What Is Your Opinion on Nuclear Power?

5/25/2010 3:31:03 PM

Tags: pros and cons of nuclear power, nuclear energy, question to readers

Nuclear energy poll resultsJudging by the results of our recent nuclear power poll, many of you have strong feelings about nuclear energy and its potential role in the United States’ future.

The pros and cons of nuclear power have been well-documented for decades.

An increased reliance on nuclear energy has often been suggested in response to global climate change. Nuclear power doesn’t produce greenhouse gases like carbon-based fuels, such as coal.

Inversely, many environmentalists are concerned with the long-term effects of nuclear power. A good option for waste storage has yet to be found, and future generations may have to deal with the mess our use of nuclear power has created. Nuclear power disadvantages also include the cost of building nuclear power plants, which is astronomical. Because nuclear power only provides electricity, problems involving oil would not be solved. MOTHER EARTH NEWS has covered these issues at length in the articles, The True Costs of Nuclear Power and Nuclear Energy: Let’s Not Repeat Our Mistakes.

While many fear the dangerous implications of building nuclear power plants in our backyards, France has depended on nuclear power for over three decades, incident free. Read more about France’s nuclear power success in National Public Radio’s article, France Presses Ahead with Nuclear Power.

We want to know what you think about nuclear power. Share your thoughts by posting a comment below.


Lindsey Siegele is the Senior Web Editor at Ogden Publications, the parent company of MOTHER EARTH NEWS. Find her on .



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life5678
9/30/2014 6:27:51 PM
The USA needs to invest in Liquid Thorium Fluoride Reactors. There is no danger of blowing up, no waste, pollution free and produces an abundance of desalinated water, which the west is desperate for. Nuclear power is really old school and is silly to even consider. The problem is the government is under the influence of other energy companies that don't want the competition. Bill Gates has invested in LTFR and is developing it with CHINA because the USA is too difficult. India is also developing this near perfect energy source. For more info go to energyfromthorium.

QiMatyeuh
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Dennis_32
3/17/2011 4:48:54 AM
I graduated high school in 1980, and have always been against nuclear power! I remember my teacher back then talking about how locomotives had explosions in the early days, which killed some people. I mentioned the huge difference between a nuclear meltdown and a few people killed in an explosion - though that is tragic also. I also mentioned that it seemed like we had barely scratched the surface in energy efficiency and production, with florescent lighting, solar energy, etc. To me, nuclear energy is the "dirtiest" of all energies.

KaleyLB
2/21/2011 12:40:54 PM
Silly ignorant people. Nuclear energy is a complete NO ! After Chernobyl, everyone living in the area that DIDN'T die since they were far away, had higher risks of cancer. Also, it spread as far to Spain who's cancer rate has increased since the incident. The only way the U.S. is going to move forward is to use solar panels as energy. Yes it is expensive but in the long run it will pay off. Oil has turned the world into a pollution zone and nuclear energy will dig a deeper hole and bring us humans one step closer to killing ourselves.

Frank
12/5/2010 12:05:06 AM
I seems to me that we should reprocess our fuel rods. there would be a lot less junk to dispose of. Better yet put Thorium in google and read some of the results. Not only will Thorium make cheaper nuclear power but there are no disposal problems. We could also put some of the uranium fuel rod waste with the Thorium and burn it up. Thorium has been known since the 1970's but there is so much money invested in uranium technology that Thorium was never developed. If we could get rid of 30% of the greed going on in this country we would all have a wonderful life and country. Frank

Charles J_3
11/15/2010 8:43:17 AM
Not only do we not need nuclear power, we can not afford it. The waste is indisposible and will take huge amounts of money to manage the waste for hundreds of years. Nobody wants it in anyone's backyard. As unforseen as events can be with Earth quakes, terrorist attacks or other disasters nuclear and it's waste is simply too dangerous to mess with. This is not even to mention the danger of transporting it. With huge government subsidies the nuclear industry has been a huge boondoggle. Why would we take such irresponsible and irrational risks when wind, solar, geothermal and tidal energy are now cheaper? It simply costs too much and is simply too dangerous. Anyone who still supports it is either ignorant or has an agenda.

jimhenry
6/20/2010 11:30:46 PM
Like it or not we NEED nuclear power. Let's expand it. The French show it can be done right. Clean coal is a myth, as is any significant contribution from wind or solar photo-voltaic. Concentrated solar thermal power is a real option and we use it, but requires that the national distribution grid be upgraded at great expense. Concentrated solar could provide the entire nation's electricity from plants in our southwest but the problem becomes transplanting that electricity nationwide, not do-able without a major upgrade to the national grid. Let's expand nuclear as an interim step. Let's also do what we can to conserve, and promote distributed solar and wind generated power locally.

Sharon_63
6/2/2010 7:22:52 AM
I am totally against nuclear power. Three mile island caused a lot of grief and stress even where I live (30 miles away). We were also put on alert "just in case". Then after what, a year to two, they decided it was worse than told by TMI people and it was on the verge of total meltdown. How's that for truth? The fact that there is no environmentally safe way to dispose of nuclear waste is another reason I am against it. They put the cart before the horse on this one. Some coal is 'dirty', but anthracite coal is the cleanest burning coal. I'm for the technology of clean coal and solar, but until prices come down for solar, most people can't afford it. Wind turbines? No. Noisy and ugly. Ask people who live near them. There are 2 wind farms within a 10 mile radius of my place and the residents complain all the time. Shale oil also is not a good alternative. People living near there are suing for well contamination plus it uses so much water to extract the oil that is depletes another natural resource.

Doug Smith
6/1/2010 10:09:29 AM
I live within a mile of Vermont Yankee, and anyone that knows Nuclear knows that plant needs to be replaced and soon. Problems abound with this plant of late. I am not against Nuclear, but when a plant needs relaced it should be replaced. I could care less if they put a plant right next to the old one, then decommissioned the old one. This is too critical an issue to systemize it. Remember three mile island, and Chernoble (spelling?)? Well here we are with a growing concern and the state and federal governments cannot seem to get their proverbial heads removed from their back sides long enough to see that something should be done about this particular plant. Another, idea would be to shut it down and rebuild where it sits, I know this would cost a lot, but when you consider the clean up from a disaster, I would bet down time and rebuilding would be cheaper. I would also like to say "have we learned nothing from the Gulf oil spill?" Regulatory agencies are corrupt and cannot be trusted. We need to speak up for ourselves. The most important thing I can say though is "VOTE, VOTE, VOTE!!!" Arm yourself with knowledge about each candidate and make sure your vote counts, don't just vote another puppet into office. Let make our stand now at the polls.

Dennis H
6/1/2010 9:20:41 AM
100% for nuclear power. Hello! Have you seen what is happening in the Gulf. We all need to push for more nuclear in order to cut back on depandance on oil and depending on countries that are our enimies. I do believe this survey. Most people are educated enough and open minded enough that they see the wisdom of alternative power and nuclear power should be at the top of the list. P.S. John P. is a fool and want to make this political. "Follow the Money", what an idiot.

Edward Croft
6/1/2010 7:55:05 AM
No one seems to be addressing the mining of materials. A lot of this is done in the Southwest. In and around the reservations. Native Americans have had to endure the results of this mining. Mines have been left abandoned and uncapped. The tailings leeching into the groundwater and runoff. In one case, a project to rebuild hogans on the Dine' nation, had to be put on hold. People were getting sick. It was found that the gravel that was being used to make the floor and foundation was contaminated. They had to tear the hogans down. These runoffs have also leeched into the Cheyenne River. There are signs telling people not to swim in the river, fish, or use it for irrigation. The Cheyenne flows somewhere doesn't it? The point is, that just like the drilling for oil is showing a prime example of what happens when corporations are left to their own devices, they will choose the cheapest route often disregarding important safe guards. If you want me on board with nuclear, then prove to me that you have solved the two main issues, the mining of, and disposal of, nuclear material. And do not say we can just dump it on the reservations as they have done in the past. There are people out there who have a tough enough life living with what we have left to them, without having us dumping our garbage in their yards also.

JOHN PADGETT_2
5/31/2010 7:24:11 PM
its simple. until there is a 100 % satisfactory method of disposing of nuclear waste, then all the other arguements have no meaning. dah. we should treat our energy problem as we did WW II. it's that important. we can get our solor, wind, tides, geothermal developed if we get off what is profitable, or competitive. we have to look at the long term costs to see what is "competitive". In the 70's when solar and wind took off, the arabs dumped cheap oil on the market killing alt energy. Carter came back with help. Reagan killed it cold. Big money is still in control. As with everything FOLLOW THE MONEY. MONEY IS POWER. Indeed the mere fact that Mother Earth does not take a firm stand shows that even here we have the influence. I for one do not believe this survey. All M.E. people (im from the 70's before it was sold) that I know feel as I. I own a factory. I am a business man. I try to earn a profit. BUT I'm sure not a republican.

Sandra D_2
5/31/2010 4:55:22 PM
Nuclear Power is the only alternative that can act as a transitional fuel to go from from fossil fuels to solar/wind/geothermal. We can't scale down from fossils to renewables quickly without causing a great deal of economic and social upset. Look at France's record with nuclear plants and then ask yourself if our fear of nuclear power wasn't helped along a bit by oil companies,their lobbyists, and media apparatchiks.

Leipsic Bob
5/31/2010 4:00:18 PM
Personally, I am 100% against nuclear power. Waste management/storage, use of current (Carbon-based) resources to dig raw materials, safety issues - remember, these things are supposedly built by "professionals" with strict regulations, but several folks I know including my cousin who worked on design and construction of Three Mile Island (among others) say that quality control is not 100%, monitoring is incomplete or inconsistent and history shows entirely too many accidents. Remember the old bumper sticker: "NO NUKES IS GOOD NUKES." While we used to apply it to nuclear weapons, it also holds true to Nuclear power plants. What we have is already too many. Bob in Leipsic

louie
5/31/2010 11:28:11 AM
I am totally against the development of nuclear power! First off....WHY!!? there are some really great developments in wind and solar that are just waiting for people to take them seriously. Such as the paint that can make an entire building or car into a solar collector or the development in window glass that allows any window to become a solar collector. Also there isn't a corporation in the world that can be trusted with correct handling or disposal of a toxic product when the cost of the handling is held against the bottom line. corporations would rather spend their money buying congressman to pass more lenient laws and standards instead of doing what's right. This truth is proven over and over. Just watch the Gulf of Mexico for awhile. Don't count on Thorium! I used to work at a foundry where thorium was a staple. It is incredibly, incredibly carcinogenic. So many people got cancer that worked there. Like the world needs more cancer.

WINTER Star
5/30/2010 12:31:54 AM
I am AGAINST nuclear power as used during the previous several decades and currently. HOWever, IF cleaner technologies were used, I might be persuaded to vote for limited transitional source of energy only: AS I understand it, "Pebble Bed" technology is far cleaner: "Pebbles" are small, easily limited to prevent melt-downs; are far easier to clean up the resulting mess from errors; make more complete use of materials so leave far less nuclear wastes to figure how to dispose of for thousands of years. THAT all sounds pretty good, but no one seems to be discussing that as a viable form. As one person mentioned: I would rather entirely stop doing things we cannot adequately clean up when those go terribly wrong: Nuclear energy is one of those things, as is petroleum. No matter how one tries to diminish "human error", it will always be an issue. We are better served developing proven Wind and Wave energy production on larger scale applications. Also, various Solar and Geothermal applications are very do-able. Spending on energy sources that can cause that scale of harm, now or later, wastes time and resources better dedicated to truly Green energy production and jobs.

Roney Smith_3
5/29/2010 11:25:49 AM
I am against the building of more nuke plants. 1. The cost. For what it would cost to build one nuke plant, a large number of wind devices or solar devices or tide followers or who knows what can be built - in other words, given that dollars are scarce, let's make sure that what we build is going to move us toward sustainability and safe energy in a cost-effective way. Nuclear plants will cost the very earth to build, will be dangerous from day one, will cost huge money to maintain, and this increases every year; while the 'accident waiting to happen' (which is what every nuke is whether you like to think so or not) gets more dangerous as time goes on. Let us not forget that the question of what to do with the waste has not been answered. 2. Jobs. We can create a large number of jobs if we invest money in retrofitting of existing houses with solar and wind devices. The same is true of any number of projects having to do with river mouth tidal installations, floating dock generators, and the like. The country needs jobs at the low end of the scale, where the hand meets the tool. Building a nuke plant does not create anywhere near as many jobs as a nationwide project of building a sustainable energy system. 3. National security. Every nuke plant offers to terrorists the opportunity to commit a major atrocity, quite easily, actually. And nuclear fuel, including the spent fuel, can be used by terrorists to do unthinkable atrocities.

summcomm
5/29/2010 1:17:21 AM
Exponential Growth is the problem... I consider a type of nuclear energy to be the only viable solution currently available... Jeff - The article you linked in your post is excellent! Uranium Is So Last Century — Enter Thorium, the New Green Nuke http://www.wired.com/magazine/2009/12/ff_new_nukes/all/1

Gregg E._3
5/29/2010 1:03:36 AM
There was one other nuclear reactor that killed some people. The SL-1 at the Idaho National Laboratory. It was a small, research reactor, not a power production one. It had one main control rod and some smaller ones for finer adjusting. The unfortunate bit was the main rod could be pulled completely out of the core, and pulling just the main rod partway out was enough to allow the uranium to start reacting. Pulling the rod all the way out = catastrophic runaway in a few milliseconds, followed by the core breaking apart and ceasing reaction. It only took those few milliseconds to kill two of the maintenance crew and fatally injure the third man. Nobody died or was injured by the incident at Three Mile Island. Other than a small amount of radioactive steam, no radioactive material got past the containment. What caused the failure was similar to Chernobyl, human error combined with some design problems BUT NOT the risky experiment the people at Chernobyl did that directly caused it to explode.

Gregg E._3
5/29/2010 12:54:46 AM
"The pros and cons of nuclear power have been well-documented for decades." Unfortunately most of the "con" people still repeat the same tired lines they were saying 30 and even 40 years ago, as if nothing at all has changed in nuclear power technology. Only one nuclear power plant has killed people in the entire history of the technology. Chernobyl in 1986. It wasn't because of any inherent danger of nuclear power, it was because the Soviet communist government so often pushed for speed of execution over any other concern. "Quantity has a quality of its own." Rather than wait for Soviet scientists to design a reasonably safe reactor, they had their spies steal some plans from the USA. Those plans were for a small and obsolete research reactor. Scaled up and adapted to power production, that one plant *was* an accident in waiting.

Holly Jones_4
5/29/2010 12:22:56 AM
I think nuclear power will look like a great idea until the moment we have a disaster. Greed and inattention can turn a minor problem into another BP spill. Sustainable energy, reduction of use, and wide open eyes are essential if we are to keep this earth inhabitable. It appalls me to see the number of readers who support nuclear power.

Steve R
5/29/2010 12:01:12 AM
I worked in the nuclear power industry and in the co-generation power industry. Trust me, nuclear power IS the cleanest source of power. The plants are made to shut down at the slightest hint of trouble. They can not blow up nor melt down, that is a myth. The manufacturers of fuel rods are not un-safe idiots. Tip of the hat to Jane Fonda, Meryl Streep and Hollywood for perpetuating those ideas. You can all thank them when your power bill comes in, your higher rates are because we don't have enough cheap generating nukes on line. If nukes were as un-safe as the anti-nuke people say they are, everyone in France would be dead or glowing!! Or both. Chernobyl happened because of a combination of human mistakes, and faulty design, in a type of reactor that we don't even use here. We don't run "tests" like they were running when that accident occurred. And our control circuits and emergency shut down equipment is years better than theirs was. And does anyone ever consider that the people who build and run these plants also LIVE and raise their families around said plants!! Would they really intentionally run these plants if they were dangerous? Would thousands of power plant employees nationwide, endanger their own children, just for a paycheck?! Get real. And why is it, that people who say that there are dead animals, malformed plants and what not, NEVER have the animals or plants? In a court, they'd call that heresay, and throw it out!! Show me the chickens Paula

jstack6
5/28/2010 1:56:55 PM
Get the facts, Nuclear is the most expensive power ever made. It used 1 gallon of water per KWh, we import uranium from Russia and have wate that will be unsafe for the next few thousand years. Renewables are safe and sustainable, they creat jobs and help the environment.

tammy_21
5/28/2010 12:03:23 PM
AGAINST - As the gulf has proven - we need to quit doing things that we can't fix when they break. Anything we do...can fail, break - that's the facts. There is nothing we can build that won't somewhere, sometime break, be destroyed, however. I live in Arizona with the largest nuclear power plant - I worked at one time with psychologists hired to interview potential employees for the power plant. Let me just say that about anyone, with any background can work there. It's all a joke and people don't know how unsecure those plants are and then what about the waste? It never goes away........ We need to quit it and start using wind and solar - here in Arizona there sun 99% of the daytime. Instead of investing money into bailing Corporations out, lets put solar on every house, wind where possible - that would remove a huge majority of power needed power plants and then existing plants can be used to supply the places needed that can't use solar as much. Problem is corporations money run the country & the politicians......

Patrick_28
5/28/2010 11:59:42 AM
Mary Jane Cummings, you sure are not my Grama! So who would you suggest be in charge or reducing the population? The Nazis, the Cultural Revolution? How about the Arabs in Ethiopia and the Sudan or some nice dude like Stalin? Now there is some population control one with no idea what they are talking about can get behind! What part of Eugenics do you like so much? The Progressives have been preaching population control for decades at their hands, seems like you would welcome a nice horrible nuclear accident so no one would have to admit to wanting to kill babies, men, women and children! Department of Population, you, and your question are the most disgusting thing I have read in a long time! As for nuclear, there is about as much in common with today’s nuclear as when the light bulb was first invented and the ones we use now. The both use electricity but that is where most of the commonalities end. Modern nuclear is clean, safe and plentiful, capable of providing abundant power to the entire world in a cheap manner. The only thing keeping the cost so high is all of the lawsuits by people with no idea of what they are talking about, just some miscreant thoughts from pure fiction writers. Writers that know about as much about nuclear as most do about the bottom of the deepest part of the ocean, not much! Nuclear would clean much of our air, as most of the energy provided by coal and oil is for use in manufacturing, business, and homes not for transportation. Very easy and effective to use nuclear for this and even actually a cost effective manner to run electric rechargeable vehicles. Then oil and coal could be used for just the methods of transportation requiring it instead of heating and cooling as now. The only really bad nuclear accident was in Russia with a type of plant that was decided to be too dangerous to build before the end of World War II. Not one truly modern plant has ever had a problem.

Mary Jane Cummings_1
5/28/2010 11:22:47 AM
Human beings got along without nuclear power for thousands of years. Instead, work on making quality of life for a smaller human population. Where's our Department of Population? Even one castrophe from nuclear power is too horrendous. There are plenty of other options. Just because we can do it doesn't mean we ever should. When will we ever learn what animals already know--that we just don't ruin our home we live in. Your Grama

man ray_1
5/28/2010 11:11:29 AM
Nuclear is our only option to provide the vast amounts of energy that are going to be necessary in the coming decades. Renewables are insufficient. It is still necessary to pursue them but they cannot make a dent in the energy demands facing us in this century. Compared to all other energy sources the nuclear industry has by far the best record when it comes to safety. Third and fourth generation nuclear power plants are not only very safe but the 4th generation plants produce little or no waste and can use stockpiled nuclear weapons and previous generation nuclear waste as fuel. In James Hansen's book Storms of My Grandchildren he details that there is enough of this waste to provide one thousand years of power and this is exclusive of mined uranium. For anyone who has doubts about nuclear power and its safety (I was anti-nuke for decades before immersing myself in the science and shedding years of environmental propaganda) I strongly urge you to read both Hansen's book and the Gaia books by James Lovelock. These brilliant scientists have described in great detail why nuclear is our only sane option for meeting our energy needs, how it can save the planet and why it is the safest means of generating power (Lovelock even offered to store nuclear waste in his backyard).

pronuclear
5/28/2010 10:55:58 AM
I am strongly for Nuclear power as a clean source of power. Yes there needs to be a solution for the ultimate disposal or reprocessing of the used nuclear fuel; aclosed cycle as oppsoed to an open ended operation. It should be noted that the waste is dramaticaaly less than for a coal burnewr that concentrates heavy metals in the fly ash along with some raioactive components. We have seen recently that fly ash ponds are not as benign as at first they might seem. Compare the nuclear industry to any other for emergency planning - every nuclear utility has to have an emergency plan and that is exercised regularly and involves the state and local authorities and with this organization in place the relationships and communication protocols can be used for other events. It would appear the oil industry has none. A nuclear plant has containment designed to contain the outcome of a nuclear accident and the systems and components used in that design are subject to rigorous quality requirements. It would appear that for a key component, the blow out preventer, this is lacking in the oil industry. The nuclear industry has an INDEPENDANT and effective regulatory body the NRC it would appear the oil industry does not. So bottom line and the general public who was/will be the most impacted by the TMI accident oil the current Gulf fiasco?

Craig Palmer_1
5/28/2010 10:37:29 AM
I am for nuc's ONLY if we build all new plants to one or two palns.As it is now every plant is one off .This rasies the cost of building and no standard training for the personal that will run it.Both bad news.

quiltingmatilda
5/28/2010 10:23:44 AM
I am in favor of nuclear power: reprocessing of the waste to reuse leaves less final waste. All accidents are human error (even car accidents)so the back-up safety precautions need to be for the people running the plants.

Tim Allen
5/28/2010 10:12:35 AM
Unfortunately it doesn't matter what any of us think. The reality is nuclear power can and should be used safely, but it has a bad image because of past problems that have been solved. The fact that we're using outdated cold-war era plants far beyond their designed lifecycle causes problems like the tritium leaks recently at VT Yankee, which contributes to the bad image. "Environmentalists" fight tooth and nail against modern, safe plants based on their ignorance and fear, which just means utility companies continue to run the old plants. Unfortunately most Americans are too shortsighted to see this cycle, and compare it to the success of nuclear power abroad.

Dan Cunningham_2
5/28/2010 10:10:52 AM
Nuclear power seems like a reliable power source now but disposal of depleted uranium is a problem. I keep hearing reports that depleted uranium is being used in ammo shot in Iraq, which if true, is absolutely evil and despicable and that radiation will somehow find its way home. Some types of cancer are already rising in Israel.

john3347
5/28/2010 9:46:21 AM
Like France, we have had a nuclear powerplant in our community for like 25 to 30 years. It just goes about producing electricity for the community without fuss or fanfare other than the initial publicity while under construction and initial startup. While we do not enjoy the low electricity rates enjoyed by some communities supplied by coal fired generating plants, we do enjoy a cleaner atmosphere. Accidents can occur with all kinds of power generation. Remember Valdez, remember 3 Mile Island, remember Chernoble (sp?), remember the current Gulf Oil disaster. Nuclear power should be one of several players in our future power needs. I am strongly in favor of this policy.

winston smith_1
5/28/2010 9:46:16 AM
DO IT AND DO IT NOW...IF THERE IS A PROBLEM THE PRESIDENT WILL TAKE RESPONSIBILITY AND CLEAN IT UP... Guess we can never drill for oil so why not screw up something else.

Jeff LeClair_1
5/28/2010 9:11:36 AM
In its current state, no I am not for it. Because of the cold war, we used uranium to create nuclear power and weapons. The more sensible source is thorium. If we were to convert to thorium, I would be all for it. Thorium does not create nuclear waste like uranium does. Check out this link: http://www.wired.com/magazine/2009/12/ff_new_nukes/all/1 I think you will agree!

Paula_22
5/28/2010 8:57:22 AM
I live within a mile of the nuclear power plant and we see deformities in the smaller life forms all the time. Only one of our neighbor's chicks raised from their coop has ever survived. The others have all died within a day. Does anyone remember Three Mile Island? Until nuclear energy is safe to produce from "cradle to grave", I will continue to minimize my use of electricity and I cannot condone its use. The world has thousands of miles of coastline, yet we ignore the enormous amount of energy produced by the tides every day. We have the technology and it is being used on a very small scale. we have trained armed guards to protect this nuclear power plant, foolishly located in one of the most heavily populated summer resort areas in the country. The safety risks out weigh the productivity. We live with the risk and the power is sold to Florida!

J Delaney Hansen_2
5/28/2010 8:24:50 AM
To be honest I am horrified by the fact that this extemely destructive source of power was ever created, let alone allowed to poison our environment. The thought of government stupidity in the development and continuation of such a force is appalling to me. Solar energy is safe and continually renewable, the the idiots who run this world turn away from it because they can't find a way to charge for sun shine. Has greed and corruption blinded us all?

George Works
5/28/2010 8:08:06 AM
I'm strongly for nuclear power. I think the objections are over-blown. Nuclear plants are not necessarily expensive. Besides the French experience, there are now several companies (Hyperion, Toshiba, NuScale, Westinghouse) developing small nuclear modules in the 10-50 megawatt range for local generation. These modules have no moving parts, require no cooling water and are self-regulating. They maintain a constant temperature over their lifetime and power a conventional steam turbine for electricity generation. They are generally buried while in use, which keeps intruders away and provides additional shielding and thermal insulation. At end of life the sealed module is dug up and exchanged for a new one, and the old one is recycled by the manufacturer. We Americans use a huge quantity of electric power. We could and should use less, but if you look hard at the numbers the only way forward is coal or nuclear. We'd be lucky to ever get 1/4 of our energy from renewable sources. I've lived near a coal plant and I'd prefer a nuclear plant any day. Especially a modular one.

Sabiha Joy
5/28/2010 7:52:27 AM
The mentality that anything goes as far as our Earth is concerned is the reason we now are dealing with the gulf oil spill. Caring for the planet MUST! trump all other issues each and every time. And please do not try to tell me nuclear is safe energy. History is proof of that lie. There are people out there who know how to power our needs freely and cleanly. But everytime they come forward they are stopped. This has to stop. Perhaps if enough people find the courage to step forward they will be heard and these new and low cost ways to fuel our energy needs will get out to the people. Until then, we have to demand our government to put the needs of the planet first or we will, sooner rather than later, not have a planet to call home.

wobs_1
5/28/2010 3:49:00 AM
We need more nuclear power. The worries behind it are are unfounded or grossly exaggerated. For example, the waste issue is a non-issue, as re-preocessed fuel that is spent will degrade to ore levels within about 500years. A length of time that is entirely engineerable. The whole issue of disposal has been researched and reviewed many times in a number of countries. The claim that they are expensive ignores that fact that France has the cheapest electricity in Europe, and that to run, they are incredibly cheap. Its that (like renewables) they are expensive to build. That doesn't make them unviable. Fear of disaster is just that: fear. Less people have died from nuclear power (per GW) than coal, gas, wind, solar, and hydro. Yes you read that right. Living near a nuclear power plant should not pose a threat either. I have a friend who has examined the environmental monitoring around Sellerfield, and she could not find any radioactivity in teh surrounding area. There are so many sources for uranium, we are extremely unlikely to run out of the stuff (new reserves, sea water, coal ash, phosphate). Fears of peak uranium are unfounded, and spread by those who are grasping at straws to put people off it. There have been decades of market stagnation in the urnaium market, as no new nuclear builds occurred, and so the demand stayed about the same. Why would anyone look for more when the mines that were in operation provided enough? Now demand looks to rise, we'll see an increase

Michael Mann_3
5/27/2010 9:00:39 PM
Nuclear power, I believe is the safest, most reliable, current technology to provide energy. The plants operating now are safe and the new designs are even safer. Building 100's of new nuclear power plants would improve the economy, reduce or eliminate dependence on foreign oil, create jobs, reduce pollution, and provide for future technological advancement. I have been working with nuclear power for 30 years. I would be glad to have a new Nuclear power plant or high level waste disposal facility in my community. My family and I live in a home within 10 miles of a nuclear power plant. (where I work) I have a know the risks involved and I'm completely comfortable with a plant "in my backyard". I have confidence that my grandchildren’s grandchildren will be smart enough to treat the nuclear "waste" as a valuable resource or at least smart enough to handle it safely . If the cavemen thought their children would be too stupid to use fire safely, where would we be now? Using Chernobyl as a reason not to build is like saying because of the Hindenburg I will never fly in a commercial airliner. Nuclear power has the smallest environmental impact of any current energy production method per unit of energy produced. One fuel pellet about the size of a pencil eraser produces the same energy as burning 1 ton of coal, and if reprocessed 2/3 of what’s left can be reclaimed. Nuclear power is our best option for reliable, environmentally friendly base-load electric generation.

Pat Miketinac
5/26/2010 10:20:22 PM
I think that it is an obsolete concept because of extensive government involvement, cost and safety concerns. Terrorists only need to stop the cooling water. Cost overruns are horrible. We are being billed in advance of construction here while cost estimates have gone from $6 billion to $22 billion. That is an increase of $13 million A DAY since 2006. What will the real final costs be? It makes more sense to me to have your own source of power not dependent on others, which is slowly becoming more viable.







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